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Friday, November 16, 2018

Launch Date Approaches for Farhan's Satellite


It looks like the launch date might have been moved up from 24 November to 19 November. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

W7ZOI: Direct Conversion Receivers -- Some Amateur Radio History


http://w7zoi.net/dcrx68.pdf

Farhan and Pete WB9FLW alerted me to this wonderful article by Wes Hayward, W7ZOI.  I guess my interest in DC receivers must have been noticed by the Google algorithm because I am bombarded by ads extolling the virtues of "Zero IF."   Hey Google -- I'm already a believer!  I was converted by W7ZOI's 1968 article in QST. And my belief in the technique has been greatly reinforced by his November 2018 50th anniversary article. 

There is so much good stuff in Wes's look-back piece.  The travails of trying to write for QST are presented very well.   And we learn that none-other-than Doug DeMaw himself is responsible for the use of the word "presence" in describing amateur radio audio.  

This article has inspired me to take a new look at the DC receiver I built last winter.  Mine needs some work. I think it is kind of deaf.   It could probably benefit from a diode ring  detector.   But it already has presence.   

http://w7zoi.net/dcrx68.pdf

Thanks Wes.  And thanks to Farhan and Pete for the heads up. 

Monday, November 12, 2018

Getting Ready for Farhan's Satellite (videos)



I've been getting ready for the November 24 launch of the CubeSat that Farhan and his friends in India built.  I started out with my trusty Drake 2-B and a Hamtronics 2-to-10 downconverter, but I quickly switched to an RTL-SDR dongle and HD-SDR software.   My 3 element quad antenna is visible in the first video.   So far, I am using the Armstrong method to turn the antenna. 

In that first video I keep saying that I am waiting for AO-71.   In fact is was AO-73, the "FunCube" from the UK.   I think it is similar in power and antenna configuration to Farhan's satellite, so I think we are almost ready for launch.

(Any ideas on what that mysterious pulsating sig in the satellite passband signal is in the first video?)     

Monday, November 5, 2018

Pete N6QW Rejuvenates the Atlas Twins with an Arduino and an Si5351



Pete Juliano N6QW has turned his attention to the Atlas Twins, a nice single conversion multiband rig. Pete has used an Arduino/Si5351 to replace the analog oscillators in the old Atlas.  This improves stability and allows for USB/LSB operation.  

Pete very graciously kept the old analog circuitry in the rig, allowing the Atlas to be returned to its pristine analog state at some time in the future. Pete also made some very kind comments about the surprising stability of the original  analog oscillator circuitry.  

Check out Pete' site for more details: 

http://n6qw.blogspot.com/2018/11/2018-year-of-ssb-transceivers.html

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Oliver Heaviside

Image result for Oliver Heaviside
In the last SolderSmoke podcast we took a look at some of the giants of radio.   Here is one fellow we missed:  Oliver Heaviside.  Hackaday has an interesting profile of him: 

https://hackaday.com/2018/10/30/oliver-heaviside-rags-to-recognition-to-madness/#more-330784

Like many of the giants we looked at, Oliver definitely had his problems, and didn't end well.  But he deserves a lot of respect and credit for his many innovations and discoveries.   I didn't know that he is the one responsible for those 88 mH coils in my junk box.  

Saturday, October 27, 2018

SolderSmoke Podcast #207 -- 15 mtrs, 60 mtrs, Giants of Radio, Cubesats, Pete's rigs, SDR MAILBAG


SolderSmoke Podcast #207 is available: 

http://soldersmoke.com/soldersmoke207.mp3

-- Giants of Radio
-- Pete on 15 Meters
-- Bill on 60 Meters with the uBITX
-- Pete's Sudden and Heath Filter Transceivers
-- Cubesats to orbit!  To the moon!  And to Mars! 
-- Bill rebuilds his 2 meter "Ray-Gun" Quad (for Farhan's Cubesat)
-- Homebrewing Variable caps and stockpiling NP0
-- My "by ear" Minimal Discernible Signal Technique
-- Thoughts on Direct Sampling SDR and the Radio Art
MAILBAG
-- A request for feedback from GQRP
-- G4WIF reports G3ROO on UK TV with spysets
-- VU3XVR builds FB rig from EMRFD
-- M0KOV Charter member of the 3 Scratch-built BITX club
--KD4PBJ's PTO Turtle DC Receiver
-- AB1OP builds Pete's LBS receiver and gives us a new acronym: SITB
-- KD4EBM -- Thanks for the scanner Bob!   
-- A possible sponsor from California... 

-- Pete's dream neighborhood...
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