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Thursday, April 23, 2015

SolderSmoke, ArduinWoes, and BrainwagonBastas!


It might not be apparent, but I have it on good authority the guy with the blue face pulling the Brainwagon was saying "BASTA!" when this drawing was made,  probably after an evening spent with Arduinos and their fascinating I2C libraries. 

Mark, K6HX, kindly offered to help us with our ArduinWoes (painful details are available in SolderSmoke Podcast #175).   Mark went to the trouble of getting the display and I2C backpack that have been giving us trouble, and then went and did a lot of testing to find the origins of the problems.   He has written this all up in two brilliant blog posts: 

http://brainwagon.org/2015/04/21/a-not-entirely-simple-lcd-display-for-the-arduino/

http://brainwagon.org/2015/04/22/using-a-sainsmart-lcd-panel-with-the-arduino-1-6-3-ide/

You will notice that Mark has made quite liberal use of the word "basta."   As Pete has noted, in order to get the full effect of this very therapeutic Italian word, you have to make use of the correct hand gesture.  Veronika nails it at about 1:28 in this video  (WARNING: VERONIKA CAN BE QUITE EXPLICIT):



Thanks Mark for all your help on this.  I'm not sure if we are entirely out of the woods yet, but it is reassuring that we are not the only ones screaming...
 


Our book: "SolderSmoke -- Global Adventures in Wireless Electronics" http://soldersmoke.com/book.htm Our coffee mugs, T-Shirts, bumper stickers: http://www.cafepress.com/SolderSmoke Our Book Store: http://astore.amazon.com/contracross-20

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Harv's Idaho Mighty Mite


Greetings Bill, Pete,
While between tasks, I put a little work in on the LPF for the Michigan Mighty Mite.
I will soon be ready to light this thing up. I fit everything on a copper board 3.5 X 5.
I even put some non-skid rubber feet and fashioned the tank circuit for 40 Meters.
The Color Burst frequency was a bit too low for a practical antenna on this small city lot so, I did the next best thing.
It's like reliving those teen years, routing through boxes of misc parts and soldering them in place one at a time.
The thrill involved kind of brings those days back to future.

I wanting to construct a regen-receiver but, the pile in front of the solder station is urging me to continue on with the Minima.

I love the variety of Mighty Mites that have been built thus far. Each one is like a painting where the artist has left their signature on their work.

Keep building, Keep having fun and Keep learning. 

73's

Harv -=WA3EIB=-
Eastern Idaho


Our book: "SolderSmoke -- Global Adventures in Wireless Electronics" http://soldersmoke.com/book.htm Our coffee mugs, T-Shirts, bumper stickers: http://www.cafepress.com/SolderSmoke Our Book Store: http://astore.amazon.com/contracross-20

Monday, April 20, 2015

Progress! Si5351 VFO/BFO Working

 
I got the Si5351 portion of the new rig going today.  I used an Arduino program from Thomas LA3PNA.  It is relatively barebones, without a lot of bells and whistles, but it does just what I need:   it puts out a fixed BFO frequency and a variable VFO frequency, and displays the resulting transmit frequency.   Thanks Thomas, and thanks to Jason, NT7S, for his work on the Arduino libraries that make this all possible.
 

 
It is very simple:  Just an Arduino Uno with the Si5351 board sitting above it on a proto board that Pete sent me (thanks Pete!).  You can see the rotary encoder on the panel, and the 10K pot to set the brightness of the back-lit display.   I put the Arduino USB port on the front to make it easier to update the software, change the BFO freq. etc.    I'm going to use another cigar box wooden box for this projects, so the VFO/BFO front panel board was sized with that box in mind.  
 

Our book: "SolderSmoke -- Global Adventures in Wireless Electronics" http://soldersmoke.com/book.htm Our coffee mugs, T-Shirts, bumper stickers: http://www.cafepress.com/SolderSmoke Our Book Store: http://astore.amazon.com/contracross-20

Saturday, April 18, 2015

SolderSmoke 175 Mellow Audio, Pete in China, JBOM&BITX, ArduinoWoe, BFOVFO Chip, Chuck Adams, Mailbag


SolderSmoke Podcast #175 is available:

http://soldersmoke.com/soldersmoke175.mp3

18 April 2015

-- Some enhanced audio testing (Mellow, with Presence!)
-- Pete's trip to Fake-shu-out, China
-- My visit to the National Academy of Sciences
--Bench Reports:
   Pete's JBOM Re-born
   Bill's plans for a new SSB Transceiver
-- Arduino Woes   BASTA!!!!!!!!!!!
-- Si5351 VFO/BFO development 
-- Chuck Adams, Tribal Knowledge, and Muppet boards
-- KX3 QRO?
-- What antenna for Pete?
MAILBAG

Our book: "SolderSmoke -- Global Adventures in Wireless Electronics" http://soldersmoke.com/book.htm Our coffee mugs, T-Shirts, bumper stickers: http://www.cafepress.com/SolderSmoke Our Book Store: http://astore.amazon.com/contracross-20

Thursday, April 16, 2015

One more on Gagarin



Bill, Pete,

In keeping with historical events, I have enclosed a few snap-shots from the 1961 Pittsburgh Press dated Wednesday, April 12, 1961.
Yes, a few of us recall that very day. I had filed this newspaper in my Scrap Book back then. It was a bitter sweet thing, to read for most, as we hoped the U.S. to be first but none-the-less, we smiled anyway because, it proved a person could go into space and return. (Flight Breaks Barrier to Space Travel). I was very enthusiastic about Rockets, Travel and current events. I built my own capsule in the rafters of my parents home and spent all day up there in the tiny confines as I launched my own secret adventures into Outer-Space.

Hope you enjoy the photos. I can provide a better set of copies if you are interested.

73's

Harv - WA3EIB
Idaho Falls, ID


Harv:   I converted a small closet into what I saw as an excellent simulator of the Apollo 11 Command Module.  Bill


Our book: "SolderSmoke -- Global Adventures in Wireless Electronics" http://soldersmoke.com/book.htm Our coffee mugs, T-Shirts, bumper stickers: http://www.cafepress.com/SolderSmoke Our Book Store: http://astore.amazon.com/contracross-20

Cosmonautics Day Follow-up

Mark, K6HX, took a break from Hummingbird photography and captured some of the images streaming down from the International Space Station on Cosmonautics Day (April 11):  http://brainwagon.org/2015/04/11/sstv-from-the-iss/  
Very cool Mark (and I think the bird pictures are just as cool!)

Our book: "SolderSmoke -- Global Adventures in Wireless Electronics" http://soldersmoke.com/book.htm Our coffee mugs, T-Shirts, bumper stickers: http://www.cafepress.com/SolderSmoke Our Book Store: http://astore.amazon.com/contracross-20

Monday, April 13, 2015

Once again, into the digital morass...


Well, it has happened to me yet again:  After a somewhat happy period of stubborn luddite rejection of digital technology, yesterday I decided to jump into the fascinating world of Si5351 PLL chips.  I don't have to tell you who is responsible for this decision.  But he is of Italian descent and lives in Southern California.

I'm working with an Arduino Uno board and a prototyping shield sent to me by the same Italo-Californian gentleman.  The physical wiring of the Si5351 was remarkably easy -- just four connections.  Wow, I thought, this is going to be easy.  WRONG. 

Lady Ada's sketch and library compiled and uploaded without difficulty and the little device was simultaneously spitting out 125 MHz, 13 MHz, and 10 kHz energy.  Pretty cool.

But I got into trouble when I tried to load some of the VFO circuits out there.  Most of the trouble was caused by my errors in managing all the libraries and such.  But as I was telling Billy, it really seems to me that the folks who work on this stuff are using another language. And the problem is that it is a NON-HUMAN LANGUAGE.   If it were French or even Chinese, it would probably be easier. But you end up getting error "messages" like "U-int-8 has not been declared!"   Oh, I see.  I found myself thinking back fondly to my recent problems on 40 meters with the screeching amp and the helpful ESSB guys.  Ah, the good old days.

So, I'm not going as far as declaring microcontrollers to be demonically possessed (remember the regens?)  But I do suspect extraterrestrial involvement in these little devices. 

In the end, I got several of the VFO sketches working.  You get a sense of how new the Si5351 VFO work is when you find yourself using code that was written last week or last month.  Thanks to Lady Ada, Pete N6QW, Jason NT7S, Tom AK2B, and Thomas LA3PNA.  All of these folks are doing great work, moving the radio art forward (even if they are working with ET). 


Our book: "SolderSmoke -- Global Adventures in Wireless Electronics" http://soldersmoke.com/book.htm Our coffee mugs, T-Shirts, bumper stickers: http://www.cafepress.com/SolderSmoke Our Book Store: http://astore.amazon.com/contracross-20

Friday, April 10, 2015

Happy Cosmonautics Day! Yuri Gagarin Images (SSTV) from Space This Weekend

http://m0dcm.co.uk/?tag=sstv

From the ARISS Web Site:

http://www.ariss.org/news.html

Latest NewsApril 6, 2015

ISS Slow Scan TV Expected Weekend of April 11

In celebration of Cosmonautics Day, Russian ARISS SSTV activity is planned for the second week of April.

Cosmonautics Day celebrates Yuri Gagarin’s famous flight on April 12, 1961 becoming the first human to reach space.

The SSTV event is planned for Saturday, April 11, beginning at 10:00 UTC and continuing until 21:00 UTC. All transmissions will use the high resolution SSTV mode PD180. Transmissions will be at 145.800 MHz. If similar to past events, 12 different photos will be sent through the weekend with 3 minute off periods between transmissions.

To receive the images in real time, all that’s required is a 2 meter radio receiver and a computer to convert the receiver’s audio to image form. The software to do this is available as freeware on the internet at sites such as http://hamsoft.ca/pages/mmsstv.php.  Received images can be uploaded and viewed at the ARISS Image gallery found at http://www.spaceflightsoftware.com/ARISS_SSTV/index.php .

Those capturing images are encouraged to upload them to http://www.spaceflightsoftware.com/ARISS_SSTV/submit.php

Uploaded images may be viewed at http://www.spaceflightsoftware.com/ARISS_SSTV/

Please be advised that situational demands on crew time could result in postponement or cancellation of any ARISS activity. Please pay attention to the possibility of any change in scheduling.


Soviet Union-1965-Stamp-0.12. Cosmonautics Day.jpg
 
 
 
Our book: "SolderSmoke -- Global Adventures in Wireless Electronics" http://soldersmoke.com/book.htm Our coffee mugs, T-Shirts, bumper stickers: http://www.cafepress.com/SolderSmoke Our Book Store: http://astore.amazon.com/contracross-20

Thursday, April 9, 2015

The Slaughter of Inductors, Capacitors, and Crystals Continues...


 
Oh the humanity!  Pete Juliano has turned his digital attention to previously completed projects.  Perfectly fine rigs -- whose only crime was that they used LC or crystal (VXO) oscillators -- are now being ARDUINOED by the maniacal Dr. Juliano.  Not even Huff and Puffs will be spared.  This is like the French Revolution!   We hear that Pete has even mastered the art of cutting the square holes that are needed for his "displays," so there is no stopping him now.  

Our book: "SolderSmoke -- Global Adventures in Wireless Electronics" http://soldersmoke.com/book.htm Our coffee mugs, T-Shirts, bumper stickers: http://www.cafepress.com/SolderSmoke Our Book Store: http://astore.amazon.com/contracross-20

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Termination Insensitive BITX Amps


 Back in 2009 Wes Hayward and Bob Kopski designed a termination insensitive amplifier block for use in BITX-like transceivers. Farhan urged me to use it.  The advantage of this design is that the input impedance stays at 50 ohms no matter what you hang off the other end.  That's very helpful, especially when you start trying to get specific impedances at the ends of crystal filters.   I'm planning on using this circuit in my next BITX.   This morning I was playing around with it in LTSPICE.  The "mirror" feature in that program is quite helpful when you are working on circuits like this!

Here is the article by Wes and Bob that describes this great circuit:
http://w7zoi.net/bidirectional_matched_amplifier.pdf

Our book: "SolderSmoke -- Global Adventures in Wireless Electronics" http://soldersmoke.com/book.htm Our coffee mugs, T-Shirts, bumper stickers: http://www.cafepress.com/SolderSmoke Our Book Store: http://astore.amazon.com/contracross-20
Designer: Douglas Bowman | Dimodifikasi oleh Abdul Munir Original Posting Rounders 3 Column