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Friday, July 3, 2015

Farhan's ATU (and his new blog!)


Farhan has built a very cool antenna tuner.   More important, it is the subject of the first of what we hope will be many postings on his new VU2ESE blog.   I really like the re-purposed Sony meter, and the homebrew feedline for the multi-band (80-6 meters) doublet.  This is clearly a suitable antenna and tuner for the multiband Minima.  I have been inspired!  I hope to brew up some feedline soon!  No more store-bought transmission line for me! 

VU2ESE Blog:  http://hfsignals.blogspot.com/p/about.html

VU2ESE Tuner Article:  http://hfsignals.blogspot.com/2015/06/a-balanced-tuner.html


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

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Doug DeMaw's Rigs Found, Donated to ARRL for Exhibit


http://www.arrl.org/news/museum-donates-doug-demaw-w1fb-homebrew-equipment

This is really good news (Thanks to Pete Eaton for the alert.)

I wonder if the Barebones "Barbados" Superhet was in this batch.

We KNOW where that Tuna Tin 2 is....  

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

Sunday, June 28, 2015

New Rigs but Old Mics


So now I have THREE BITX transceivers on the operating bench.  I've been getting tired of moving the old D-104 around as I change bands.  Surely each of these rigs merits its own mic.  This would allow me to avoid the hassle of having to adjust the level on the D-104 each time I change rigs.

Fortunately in the junk box I have some useable old mics.   An old "Turner SSB+2" mic  has been kicking around in there for decades.  I probably got it when I was a kid. The element was no longer working, so I just popped an electret element in there, took out the preamp circuit, but kept the adjustment pot.  At first I had a 3.3 uF coupling cap in there at the output, but this was letting too much 300 Hz energy through.   So I changed the coupling cap to .1 uF and this seemed to even things out a bit. 

I know, I know: It is CB gear.  It is painted BLUE and it looks like something George Jetson would use to talk to his interstellar Good Buddies. But it was preceded by a very similar mic made for hams (see above).   And I like it.  It even has the word "Transistorized" emblazoned in script across the PTT bar. 





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, June 27, 2015

The Truly Amazing Workbench and Shack of VE7ZWZ (Video)



Brace yourselves.  This is almost too much.  Prepare for sensory overload and possible palpitations.
 
Wow.  This is really amazing.   Note the very casual way Paul manages to mix Eico 430 oscilloscopes with the latest Tek touch-screen 'scope.  Heck, the doesn't even mention the SP-600s!  He does briefly note "a very large transmitter." Indeed. And he has a microscope on the bench.

This video is part of an excellent YouTube channel called "Mr. Carlson's Lab."   Great stuff in there.  Paul works on everything from old tube type receivers to modern Yaesus and Icoms.

It took me a little digging to find his ham radio call sign.  There are many Paul Carlsons on QRZ.com, but Paul's pronunciation of "solder" gave him away.  It seems our Canadian friends also (like the Brits) pronounce the "L."  VE7ZWZ. 

Check out his channel.   Lots to learn there:   

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qqmegXoB7lA

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, June 26, 2015

Armand's Bench (and Hamfest Goodies)

 
Above is the workbench of esteemed long-time SolderSmoke listener and electronic wizard Armand WA1UQO.  Lot of good stuff on that bench. 

 
Armand made it to the recent Manassas (Virginia) hamfest.   Here is what he came back with. 


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, June 25, 2015

A Homebrew Compendium from Hungary


Stefano IZ3NVR sent me HA5KHC's very interesting web site.   Lots of ideas here. 
For example, check out WA7JHZ's 75 meter SSB transceiver.


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

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Video of Pete's VERY COOL Zia Build



This is cool in so many ways:

I like the RF amp along the back with the LP filter off to the side.

The stacked PC boards are very nice.

The Display -- What can I say?

Having stations from the Philippines (DU) for the receiver demo.  Nice touch.

Mesh-like side panels!  And the plexiglass top!  Wow!

PAINTING THE COPPER-CLAD FRONT PANEL BLACK!  WOW!  BLACK IS THE NEW COPPER!

Nice feet for the rig.  Feet are key.

NO NOTICEABLE PHASE NOISE.  No Si5351 output bleed-over.

Love the name:  ZIA!!  (That was my only contribution.)

Back with the Sats: Catching Cubes with a Dongle


I've been playing around with a little $13 DVB-T SDR Dongle receiver.  These devices normally tune 24 MHz to 1.7 GHz, but I modified the first one I had so that it would tune the HF bands.   Pete then sent me another one, which I vowed to keep unmodified, thinking that it would be fun to use it to listen to the many small Cube-Sats that are up there.  Most have downlinks (and Morse Code beacons) in the 470 MHz range.   I whipped together a simple ground-plane antenna for this band (One 6 inch copper wire as the receive element with 4 five inch groundplane elements). 

 

I then went to the "Heavens Above" website, plugged in my location, and clicked on "Amateur satellites."  This gave me a very accurate schedule of satellite passes.  I started listening. 





First I heard (and saw in the HDSDR waterfall)  the CW beacon of the Prism satellite at 7:05 am EDT today.  Prism is from the University of Tokyo and was launched from Japan.

Then Cubesat XI-V at 0711 EDT.

Cubesat XI-IV was heard at 0813 EDT.  The Cubesats are from Japan and were launched from Russia.  

ITUsPAT was heard at 1422 EDT.  The I is for "Istanbul"

Finally,  I monitored a pass of the Japanese FO-29 satellite aka JAS-2 at 1611.  Wow, this was like old times on the RS-10 and RS-12 satellites.   Lots of CW and SSB stations in the downlink passband.   Lots of fun.

At 470 MHz the Doppler shift of a low-earth orbit satellite is quite noticeable, and helps confirm that you are in fact receiving sigs from an orbiting device.

I thought it was pretty cool to take a $13 DVB-T Dongle, connect it to a small, copper-wire antenna, and use it all to receive signals from some 4"x4"x4" cubes in orbit of the Earth.

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, June 22, 2015

Pete Puts His Zia in a Box

 
Wow, Pete really knows how to pack a lot electronics into a small box.  (He claims that he does this to justify the $250000 CNC machine!) I remain very jealous of that cool display panel. 
  
 
  






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

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Why "Q" for Transistors?

Steve Silverman provides a possible answer:



"There are claims that, after initial chaos, eventually the letter Q was chosen because of the popular TO18/TO39 case styles."


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