Support QRP CoA Everywhere

Monday, 28 December 2009

GQRP Winter sports

Having fun sending what is probably really bad cw from shack (brr it's cold in here).

tx is a FCC-1/FCC-2 dds vfo fed to a hastily built, on the dinning room table, J310/2N3904/2N4401 buffer and a IRF510 PA and LPF. I key the drive to the buffer stage, with the PA voltage being constantly applied, (Look at the TX circuit in the HB-1A, I copied it). I think I get about 4.8W out but not sure my VSWR has gone open circuit and it's too damned cold to fix it. The MFJ-993 tuner says 4.8W but it's never accurate at low power.

There is a norcal power meter I built last summer in a box in the shack somewhere but not found it.

rx is softrock V9.0 using a separate antenna (long wire, non resonant) with Simon Brown HB9DRV new SDR-Radio software.

I was going to use the SR V6.2 I have as a tcvr but using that right now for a MOBO build.

Keying is using a K1EL keyer chip.

Lots of fun....

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Salvaging Components using B&Q 1800W heat gun

Was asked what and how...Salvaging Components using B&Q 1800W heat gun.

I have a somewhat huge pile of PCB with both through hole and smd components and it is time to clear some shack space out.

I used to salvage with a normal soldering iron and suction pump. This is a faster but needs a bit of care to always produce usable components, especially where they have plastic involved.

Through hole is easy, clamp the PCB vertically in a vice, with the component side partially facing downwards. Then with the heat gun running hot for a few seconds before you bring it near the board bring it up to the solder side. It takes seconds only for the solder to heat up enough and the components fall out or you have to 'encourage them' with a pair of long nose pliers. If you work from the top of the board and move to the bottom in time the board will be completely salvaged. The leads can be bent over so this might cause a problem so you may need to pull them out..

For smd the method is a little different, the board is best held in one hand, the solder is heated to point where it is melted slightly, then with the board held over an aluminium foil sheet on a hard board hit one corner hard, either hit the PCB onto the board or hit the pcb above the board. It will be a matter of trial and error but you will soon figure out how hard. Anyway, a nice pile of solder splatters and components will appear. IC are obvious, R will have values on them but C and L will not. I found an easy way to ID the L was to mark the L SMD with a small permanent marker (fine gold spot).

Note that SMD discrete components range in size from 0402 to 1206.

Some PCB seem to be much more susceptable to burning before the solder melts so the ability to salvage components will vary.

Only do this in a location with LOTS of ventilation as all sorts of fumes will be created. And exercise extreme care with some components, especially small electrolytic or tantalum capacitors will have a tendancy to 'detonate' if over heated so only apply heat to the solder side.

The B&Q heat gun by itself has a 2" nozzle, this works but it also has a couple of attachment nozzles and I started with the 2" reduce to 1" reduction adapter. This may be enough but I also dug through the copper pipe connectors in the garage (we had some plumbing done) and found a 22mm to 15mm reduction adapter and this fits exactly in between the heat gun adapter and the main nozzle. I added some self tapping screws to keep the adapters in place.

NB Use a set of safety glasses when doing this along with a set of leather gloves so you don't burn your hands. Proceed without either and frankly you are asking for trouble.

Make sure you have a bucket of water or similar close by if the board bursts into flames, one will at least! I measured the jet of air produced from the heat gun after 10 minutes running and it was at almost 600 degrees C. The nozzle will stay very hot for a long time after use, as will the salvaged PCB so keep fingers away unless you want to remove all finger prints from them and don't bring anything flamable close by.

I would not use the method on a board you intend to use again afterwards.

Saturday, 19 December 2009

SDR Remote Update

Been in the shack today, braving the cold, salvaging components from some PCB (B&Q 1800W heat gun) and listening to remote users using the 80m SDR rig. There seemed to be a contest on this w/e as I heard plenty of "cqx2 test".

I also swapped the setup SLA as it had dropped below 12V, that was the first time in 4 days operating, so not bad, and most at minus something too! The laptop and subsequent WiFi network connection is kept running with a large 110AH leisure battery with a solar panel recharge that operates during daylight.

Yes it really is a 96KHz laptop sound card. The 80m SoftRock Lite II kit provides a simple to build SDR receiver with a fixed center frequency of approximately 3.522 MHz. When used with a sound card that can sample at 96 kHz, the band coverage is from below 3.50 MHz to about 3.57 Mhz. Note I have really good isolation interface filters between the Softrock and the PC sound card so the signal should be very clean, no central bump. If you scan through the other SDR-IQ and Softrocks on the remote server lst you'll soon see who has not done this.

Eventually when you use the console you will be able to set the centre frequency to 3.522MHz but Simon had not included that functionality yet.

So what will you get if you log in (this was a capture running my own server remote just now, a high resolution image too open it in another browser window) ignore most of the garbage below 3.5MHz, the big broad signal. The lowest part of the band is actually just below 3.500 on the scale (the calibration is really in terms of KHz either side of a central point). As you can see plenty of 80m cw signals. Obviously 80m during the day in UK is going to be pretty quiet, night time has much more activity.

Someone emailed and asked who had logged in and from how many countries... I've not analysed it yet but the country count is growing fast!

Simon's software automatically grabs the logged in user, system name and IP address and logs it. This is from the server. The empty entries seem to be caused when the server was restarted.

Start End User Country Address
19/12/2009 15:56:59 19/12/2009 16:00:31 sv3fuk on SHACK European Union
19/12/2009 15:53:53 19/12/2009 15:54:54 ulidf5sf on ULI-WINDOWS Germany
19/12/2009 15:36:40 19/12/2009 15:37:50 Chris on BACKROOM2 United Kingdom
19/12/2009 15:22:28 19/12/2009 15:22:46 1 on 1-PC United Kingdom
19/12/2009 14:51:44 19/12/2009 14:55:57 Paulo on PCP-AFA6EF46EF1 Brazil
19/12/2009 14:41:22 19/12/2009 14:42:15 Paulo on PCP-AFA6EF46EF1 Brazil
19/12/2009 14:30:53 19/12/2009 14:31:46 Administrator on PC4DUAL Canada
19/12/2009 14:11:37 19/12/2009 14:12:30 EMILIO on EMILIO_DESKTOP Netherlands
19/12/2009 06:11:24 19/12/2009 06:12:21 Mark Millman on BACKSTREETS United States
19/12/2009 05:05:39 19/12/2009 05:15:58 W4DU on D99HQJ91 United States
19/12/2009 00:52:03 19/12/2009 00:55:28 Bill on BILLNETBOOK United States
18/12/2009 22:45:12 18/12/2009 22:47:07 lipe on LEN8 Italy
18/12/2009 22:15:17 18/12/2009 22:20:06 Wilfried on PC306 Germany
18/12/2009 21:46:55 18/12/2009 21:47:14 nyadmin on RADIO1 Denmark
18/12/2009 21:15:37 18/12/2009 21:21:44 hp on HP-PC Brazil
18/12/2009 20:42:51 18/12/2009 20:43:58 gary on UP-9BEB2F679254 United States
17/12/2009 17:27:29 17/12/2009 17:29:42 Ted on YOUR-LYUHSZGO6D United States
17/12/2009 17:20:37 17/12/2009 17:21:14 steih on P4-2600 Germany
17/12/2009 16:31:30 17/12/2009 16:53:56 sv3fuk on E232ECC382B84A4 European Union
17/12/2009 16:02:00 17/12/2009 16:02:57 Helmut on MINI Germany
17/12/2009 15:59:28 17/12/2009 16:00:02 BobanS on SER011 Spain
17/12/2009 15:22:03 17/12/2009 15:23:33 VICTOR on SAMLAB Russian Federation
17/12/2009 13:13:50 17/12/2009 13:16:10 ulidf5sf on ULI-WINDOWS Germany
17/12/2009 12:56:35 17/12/2009 12:56:57 david on DKPH-DAVID United Kingdom
17/12/2009 10:51:51 17/12/2009 10:52:20 RV9OK on HOME Russian Federation
17/12/2009 09:57:53 17/12/2009 09:58:17 gebruiker on XPULTIMATE Netherlands
17/12/2009 07:46:51 17/12/2009 07:47:04 david on DKPH-DAVID United Kingdom
17/12/2009 05:04:22 17/12/2009 05:12:40 Dave Flack on DAVEF United States
17/12/2009 04:33:01 17/12/2009 04:33:46 W4DU on D99HQJ91 United States
17/12/2009 04:19:28 17/12/2009 04:21:17 W4DU on D99HQJ91 United States
17/12/2009 03:26:07 17/12/2009 03:30:22 Mike on MIKE-PC United Kingdom
17/12/2009 03:04:58 17/12/2009 03:11:29 David Wagner on DWAG-ASUS United States
17/12/2009 02:07:26 17/12/2009 02:10:55 ku7y on SHACK United States
17/12/2009 01:48:15 17/12/2009 01:49:12 Owner on HAMSHACK United States
17/12/2009 00:10:53 17/12/2009 00:21:27 Chuck on CHUCK-LAPTOP United States
17/12/2009 00:08:54 17/12/2009 00:10:48 Chuck on CHUCK-LAPTOP United States
16/12/2009 23:24:44 16/12/2009 23:25:32 jvdijk on LTJVD02 Netherlands
16/12/2009 23:22:11 16/12/2009 23:23:14 jvdijk on LTJVD02 Netherlands
16/12/2009 23:14:39 16/12/2009 23:15:14 jvdijk on LTJVD02 Netherlands
16/12/2009 22:57:46 16/12/2009 22:58:04 Halbardier on MEDION Belgium
16/12/2009 22:48:20 16/12/2009 22:55:11 LEANNE GRAY on LEANNEGRAY-NTBK United Kingdom
16/12/2009 22:36:47 16/12/2009 22:37:40 giles on COMPUTER United Kingdom
16/12/2009 22:32:48 16/12/2009 22:35:12 Halbardier on MEDION Belgium
16/12/2009 22:28:11 16/12/2009 22:29:58 piotto on ADRIANO Italy
16/12/2009 22:00:37 16/12/2009 22:02:20 david on DKPH-DAVID United Kingdom
16/12/2009 21:53:25 16/12/2009 21:56:46 wac on YOY Poland
16/12/2009 16:51:43 16/12/2009 16:53:29 ulidf5sf on ULI-WINDOWS Germany
16/12/2009 16:48:22 16/12/2009 16:49:44 ulidf5sf on ULI-WINDOWS Germany
16/12/2009 16:25:24 16/12/2009 16:28:17 HP_Administrator on MEDIA_CENTER United States
16/12/2009 15:31:22 16/12/2009 15:32:04 Milt1 on MILT2 United States
16/12/2009 10:56:44 16/12/2009 10:58:39 Steen Nielsen on STEENSDV5204 Denmark
16/12/2009 10:18:01 16/12/2009 10:19:23 1 on 1-PC United Kingdom
16/12/2009 10:03:48 16/12/2009 10:06:00 Compaq_Propriétaire on NOM-EB85C523610 France
16/12/2009 08:13:03 16/12/2009 08:14:03 Steen Nielsen on STEENSDV5204 Denmark
16/12/2009 07:52:02 16/12/2009 07:53:18 Matte on MATTES Sweden
16/12/2009 07:25:19 16/12/2009 07:26:53 Administrator on JOHNHP United States
16/12/2009 07:15:36 16/12/2009 07:22:32 Administrator on JOHNHP United States
16/12/2009 07:13:39 16/12/2009 07:14:58 Sergei on SERGEI-9255D212 Russian Federation
16/12/2009 06:03:10 16/12/2009 06:07:03 Administrator on JOHNHP United States
16/12/2009 04:48:57 16/12/2009 04:49:48 Drew on DREW-PC United States
16/12/2009 04:34:23 16/12/2009 04:36:39 Alex on YOUR-BQC30SBMP9 Singapore
16/12/2009 04:30:16 16/12/2009 04:30:47 joe on DON-83SFVV3KH7S United States
16/12/2009 04:27:51 16/12/2009 04:29:25 joe on DON-83SFVV3KH7S United States
16/12/2009 04:23:11 16/12/2009 04:26:11 joe on DON-83SFVV3KH7S United States
16/12/2009 04:21:44 16/12/2009 04:22:38 joe on DON-83SFVV3KH7S United States
16/12/2009 04:16:01 16/12/2009 04:16:20 joe on JOE6 United States
16/12/2009 04:12:14 16/12/2009 04:13:40 joe on JOE6 United States
16/12/2009 04:08:15 16/12/2009 04:12:09 joe on JOE6 United States
16/12/2009 03:58:29 16/12/2009 03:59:28 joe on JOE6 United States
16/12/2009 03:35:11 16/12/2009 03:35:46 Sonny on SONNY-PC United States
16/12/2009 02:45:00 16/12/2009 02:46:18 Gene on GENES-PC United States
16/12/2009 02:21:09 16/12/2009 02:23:18 Compaq_Owner on YOUR-27E1513D96 United States
16/12/2009 02:11:43 16/12/2009 02:13:59 Owner on HAMSHACK United States
16/12/2009 01:07:47 16/12/2009 01:08:48 mew on MEW-PC United States
16/12/2009 00:41:01 16/12/2009 00:41:35 Steen Nielsen on STEENSDV5204 Denmark
16/12/2009 00:31:02 16/12/2009 00:31:08 Sid on SIDRADIO United States
16/12/2009 00:18:35 16/12/2009 00:20:39 Neil on FAMILYRO-40A5E7 Canada
16/12/2009 00:09:30 16/12/2009 00:09:55 Administrator on SX270 United States
15/12/2009 23:59:22 16/12/2009 00:08:58 Administrator on SX270 United States
15/12/2009 23:37:04 15/12/2009 23:38:19 Halbardier on MEDION Belgium
15/12/2009 23:19:05 15/12/2009 23:22:24 Milt1 on MILT2 United States
15/12/2009 23:16:09 15/12/2009 23:16:48 fkuepper on FRANK01 Germany
15/12/2009 23:00:32 15/12/2009 23:06:14 Halbardier on MEDION Belgium
15/12/2009 22:42:43 15/12/2009 22:44:38 Korisnik on HOME Montenegro
15/12/2009 22:37:51 15/12/2009 22:39:44 fbaldini on FBALDINI France
15/12/2009 22:06:10 15/12/2009 22:33:57 fbaldini on FBALDINI France
15/12/2009 22:03:25 15/12/2009 22:04:43 Jan on DESKTOPJAN Netherlands
15/12/2009 21:13:43 15/12/2009 21:14:40 giles on COMPUTER United Kingdom
15/12/2009 21:10:47 15/12/2009 21:11:19 sd on E232ECC382B84A4 European Union
15/12/2009 21:07:20 15/12/2009 21:10:21 sd on E232ECC382B84A4 European Union
15/12/2009 20:42:02 15/12/2009 20:43:01 sd on E232ECC382B84A4 European Union
15/12/2009 20:38:06 15/12/2009 20:41:46 sd on E232ECC382B84A4 European Union
15/12/2009 20:28:18 15/12/2009 20:34:07 Claudio on PIANO-TERRA Italy
15/12/2009 20:25:42 15/12/2009 20:28:15 Claudio on PIANO-TERRA Italy
15/12/2009 20:18:48 15/12/2009 20:20:02 Denis on PORTABLE-F6CRP France
15/12/2009 20:10:55 15/12/2009 20:18:37 Marco on HB9CAT Switzerland
15/12/2009 19:58:51 15/12/2009 20:02:35 sd on E232ECC382B84A4 European Union
15/12/2009 19:45:32 15/12/2009 19:48:33 Helmut on MINI Germany
15/12/2009 19:14:10 15/12/2009 19:14:38 User on USER-PC United Kingdom
15/12/2009 19:02:54 15/12/2009 19:04:16 RV9OK on HOME Russian Federation
15/12/2009 17:34:34 15/12/2009 17:38:55 Dom on ACER-2E68C49B20 United Kingdom
15/12/2009 17:24:12 15/12/2009 17:26:03 RV9OK on HOME Russian Federation
15/12/2009 17:00:52 15/12/2009 17:04:09 rob on M0TFO United Kingdom
15/12/2009 16:59:50 15/12/2009 17:00:23 Matte on MATTES Sweden
15/12/2009 16:48:12 15/12/2009 16:59:32 rob on M0TFO United Kingdom
15/12/2009 16:40:58 15/12/2009 16:41:50 Terry Netbook on TERRY-NETBOOK United Kingdom
15/12/2009 16:36:13 15/12/2009 16:36:55 User on RADIO-GX745 United Kingdom
15/12/2009 16:27:14 15/12/2009 16:27:28
15/12/2009 16:26:40 15/12/2009 16:27:12
15/12/2009 16:13:38 15/12/2009 16:16:21 rsaue on NETRUNNER Norway
15/12/2009 16:10:36 15/12/2009 16:11:21
15/12/2009 15:03:24 15/12/2009 15:04:06 SEQUE on XPC-NOIR France
15/12/2009 15:02:46 15/12/2009 15:02:50
15/12/2009 15:02:22 15/12/2009 15:02:40
15/12/2009 14:58:29 15/12/2009 14:58:40
15/12/2009 14:47:52 15/12/2009 14:48:19 Besitzer on PC3 Germany
15/12/2009 14:38:05 15/12/2009 14:38:36 Besitzer on PC3 Germany
15/12/2009 14:33:00 15/12/2009 14:33:03
15/12/2009 14:27:02 15/12/2009 14:27:43 RV9OK on HOME Russian Federation
15/12/2009 14:11:33 15/12/2009 14:12:02 Admin on HOME-C6ADAE6368 Russian Federation
15/12/2009 13:53:35 15/12/2009 13:54:34 Wilfried on PC306 Germany
15/12/2009 13:39:50 15/12/2009 13:39:57
15/12/2009 13:39:32 15/12/2009 13:39:43
15/12/2009 13:39:12 15/12/2009 13:39:21
15/12/2009 13:33:22 15/12/2009 13:33:27
15/12/2009 13:28:23 15/12/2009 13:28:41 RV9OK on HOME Russian Federation
15/12/2009 13:27:46 15/12/2009 13:28:10 RV9OK on HOME Russian Federation
15/12/2009 13:27:24 15/12/2009 13:27:44
15/12/2009 13:24:48 15/12/2009 13:24:55
15/12/2009 13:24:32 15/12/2009 13:24:41
15/12/2009 13:24:11 15/12/2009 13:24:28
15/12/2009 13:22:42 15/12/2009 13:23:17 RV9OK on HOME Russian Federation
15/12/2009 12:43:54 15/12/2009 12:44:09 Robin on DELL United Kingdom
15/12/2009 12:40:26 15/12/2009 12:42:11 Robin on DELL United Kingdom
15/12/2009 12:26:18 15/12/2009 12:26:59 RV9OK on HOME Russian Federation
15/12/2009 12:22:28 15/12/2009 12:23:10 RV9OK on HOME Russian Federation
15/12/2009 12:22:09 15/12/2009 12:22:21 RV9OK on HOME Russian Federation
15/12/2009 12:15:18 15/12/2009 12:16:53 RV9OK on HOME Russian Federation
15/12/2009 12:10:34 15/12/2009 12:15:02 RV9OK on HOME Russian Federation
15/12/2009 12:06:29 15/12/2009 12:07:21 Stephen Cannon on POLARIS United States
15/12/2009 12:02:59 15/12/2009 12:03:48 Stephen Cannon on POLARIS United States
15/12/2009 11:53:57 15/12/2009 11:55:44 Alan on OLDTIMER-04C3BB United Kingdom
15/12/2009 11:43:30 15/12/2009 11:44:27 RV9OK on HOME Russian Federation
15/12/2009 11:21:02 15/12/2009 11:21:43 Compaq_Proprietario on BEPPE Italy
15/12/2009 11:07:44 15/12/2009 11:08:32 RV9OK on HOME Russian Federation
15/12/2009 10:11:08 15/12/2009 10:12:31 Terry on G4POP United Kingdom
15/12/2009 10:09:40 15/12/2009 10:10:09 Simon on BLACK-BEAUTY Switzerland
15/12/2009 10:08:55 15/12/2009 10:09:35 Simon on BLACK-BEAUTY Switzerland
15/12/2009 10:06:47 15/12/2009 10:07:24 Simon on BLACK-BEAUTY Switzerland
15/12/2009 10:04:45 15/12/2009 10:05:03 Chuck on CHUCK-LAPTOP United States
15/12/2009 10:04:04 15/12/2009 10:04:35 Simon on BLACK-BEAUTY Switzerland
15/12/2009 10:03:02 15/12/2009 10:03:48 Simon on BLACK-BEAUTY Switzerland
15/12/2009 10:02:47 15/12/2009 10:03:00 Simon on BLACK-BEAUTY Switzerland
15/12/2009 09:56:31 15/12/2009 09:56:53 Chuck on CHUCK-LAPTOP United States
15/12/2009 09:55:56 15/12/2009 09:56:15 PE2RDH on HAMRADIO Netherlands
15/12/2009 09:51:17 15/12/2009 09:55:01 Simon on BLACK-BEAUTY Switzerland
15/12/2009 09:50:49 15/12/2009 09:51:03 Simon on BLACK-BEAUTY Switzerland
15/12/2009 09:50:37 15/12/2009 09:50:48 Simon on BLACK-BEAUTY Switzerland
15/12/2009 09:49:21 15/12/2009 09:50:36 Simon on BLACK-BEAUTY Switzerland
15/12/2009 09:34:45 15/12/2009 09:35:32 Omistaja on HOME-622SMYP9YU Finland
15/12/2009 09:24:47 15/12/2009 09:24:52 Matte on MATTES Sweden
15/12/2009 09:23:35 15/12/2009 09:24:45 Matte on MATTES Sweden
15/12/2009 09:16:48 15/12/2009 09:17:26 Compaq_Propriétaire on NOM-EB85C523610 France
15/12/2009 09:07:12 15/12/2009 09:09:15 PE2RDH on HAMRADIO Netherlands
15/12/2009 08:35:43 15/12/2009 08:35:54 rob on M0TFO United Kingdom
15/12/2009 08:12:26 15/12/2009 08:12:54 Mike on MIKE-PC United Kingdom
15/12/2009 06:58:57 15/12/2009 06:59:05 Roelf Mitton on private-cdqs64f South Africa
15/12/2009 06:57:29 15/12/2009 06:58:54 Roelf Mitton on private-cdqs64f South Africa
15/12/2009 06:03:44 15/12/2009 06:06:03 Administrator on SX270 United States
15/12/2009 06:02:09 15/12/2009 06:03:38 Administrator on SX270 United States
15/12/2009 02:08:08 15/12/2009 02:09:05 Admin on ADMIN-PC United States
15/12/2009 02:02:03 15/12/2009 02:02:38 neil on SHACK-43561C282 Canada
15/12/2009 00:50:04 15/12/2009 00:50:53 mew on MEW-PC United States
15/12/2009 00:48:42 15/12/2009 00:49:49 Marco on HB9CAT Switzerland
15/12/2009 00:48:00 15/12/2009 00:48:35 Marco on HB9CAT Switzerland
15/12/2009 00:39:52 15/12/2009 00:40:35 neil on SHACK-43561C282 Canada
15/12/2009 00:39:36 15/12/2009 00:39:48 mew on MEW-PC United States
15/12/2009 00:39:02 15/12/2009 00:39:32 mew on MEW-PC United States
14/12/2009 23:55:01 14/12/2009 23:55:23 Drew on DREW-PC United States
14/12/2009 23:10:23 14/12/2009 23:11:11 Steve Veal on STEVEDELL United States
14/12/2009 22:45:53 14/12/2009 23:05:01 Denis on PORTABLE-F6CRP France
14/12/2009 22:23:44 14/12/2009 22:24:17 Nicolas on ACER-4CCBBC5D09 France
14/12/2009 22:23:28 14/12/2009 22:23:41 Nicolas on ACER-4CCBBC5D09 France
14/12/2009 22:11:55 14/12/2009 22:12:23 Admin on MICROSOF-86C6D5 Ukraine
14/12/2009 22:08:47 14/12/2009 22:09:17 ulidf5sf on ULI-WINDOWS Germany
14/12/2009 22:08:26 14/12/2009 22:08:33 ulidf5sf on ULI-WINDOWS Germany
14/12/2009 21:57:32 14/12/2009 21:58:24 USER on DESKTOP Belgium
14/12/2009 21:43:16 14/12/2009 21:44:30 Peter on ACER France
14/12/2009 21:42:38 14/12/2009 21:43:13 W4DU on D99HQJ91 United States
14/12/2009 21:27:52 14/12/2009 21:28:25 gary on UP-9BEB2F679254 United States
14/12/2009 21:13:35 14/12/2009 21:16:20 Mike on SPUTNIK United States
14/12/2009 21:09:03 14/12/2009 21:09:35 Administrator on KLEMEN Slovenia
14/12/2009 21:05:52 14/12/2009 21:07:52 Simon on BLACK-BEAUTY Switzerland
14/12/2009 21:04:22 14/12/2009 21:04:31 Simon on BLACK-BEAUTY Switzerland
14/12/2009 21:01:31 14/12/2009 21:03:59 Simon on BLACK-BEAUTY Switzerland
14/12/2009 21:01:05 14/12/2009 21:01:22 Simon on BLACK-BEAUTY Switzerland
14/12/2009 20:57:38 14/12/2009 21:00:46 Simon on BLACK-BEAUTY Switzerland
14/12/2009 20:54:28 14/12/2009 20:55:22 Gerald on GERALD-A6D79306 Germany
14/12/2009 20:48:14 14/12/2009 20:50:54 Denis on PORTABLE-F6CRP France
14/12/2009 20:46:17 14/12/2009 20:46:47 Nicolas on ACER-4CCBBC5D09 France
14/12/2009 20:42:15 14/12/2009 20:46:14 Admin on P4-3GHZ Belgium
14/12/2009 20:37:47 14/12/2009 20:38:10 USER on DESKTOP Belgium
14/12/2009 20:35:40 14/12/2009 20:36:47 Admin on P4-3GHZ Belgium
14/12/2009 20:30:54 14/12/2009 20:31:37 USER on DESKTOP Belgium
14/12/2009 20:27:09 14/12/2009 20:27:24 Nir on NIRI Israel
14/12/2009 20:25:52 14/12/2009 20:27:04 Nir on NIRI Israel
14/12/2009 20:19:23 14/12/2009 20:20:58 USER on DESKTOP Belgium
14/12/2009 20:15:22 14/12/2009 20:16:08 W4DU on D99HQJ91 United States
14/12/2009 20:14:12 14/12/2009 20:14:47 W4DU on D99HQJ91 United States
14/12/2009 20:01:02 14/12/2009 20:13:54 cesser on CESSER6400 United States
14/12/2009 19:56:53 14/12/2009 20:00:23 Matte on MATTES Sweden
14/12/2009 19:51:10 14/12/2009 19:55:20 Matte on MATTES Sweden
14/12/2009 19:35:23 14/12/2009 19:49:19 Denis on PORTABLE-F6CRP France
14/12/2009 19:27:55 14/12/2009 19:32:46 Denis on PORTABLE-F6CRP France
14/12/2009 19:22:28 14/12/2009 19:22:37 rob on M0TFO United Kingdom
14/12/2009 19:16:59 14/12/2009 19:21:13 cesser on CESSER6400 United States
14/12/2009 19:01:01 14/12/2009 19:02:46 Helmut on MINI Germany
14/12/2009 18:54:42 14/12/2009 18:55:15 rob on M0TFO United Kingdom
14/12/2009 18:41:32 14/12/2009 18:42:04 rob on ROB-PC United Kingdom
14/12/2009 18:37:43 14/12/2009 18:39:31 rob on ROB-PC United Kingdom
14/12/2009 18:05:22 14/12/2009 18:05:41 Simon on BLACK-BEAUTY Switzerland
14/12/2009 18:03:30 14/12/2009 18:05:20 Simon on BLACK-BEAUTY Switzerland
14/12/2009 18:02:52 14/12/2009 18:03:25 Simon on BLACK-BEAUTY Switzerland
14/12/2009 18:01:23 14/12/2009 18:02:14 Alan on OLDTIMER-04C3BB United Kingdom
14/12/2009 17:57:55 14/12/2009 18:00:52 Simon on BLACK-BEAUTY Switzerland
13/12/2009 19:02:49 13/12/2009 19:07:33 Valter on PORATILE-01
13/12/2009 18:57:13 13/12/2009 18:58:06 ulidf5sf on ULI-WINDOWS
13/12/2009 18:25:49 13/12/2009 18:28:04 Chris on CHRIS-PC
13/12/2009 18:24:34 13/12/2009 18:24:47 Phil on DARK-PC


Friday, 18 December 2009

The shack is snowed in!!! 2009

There's snow outside...
OK so only 2" or so but the shack door is snowed in and the 'drift' at the foot of the door is more like 5". Still the callsign is visible hihi

The vertical isn't usable though as the traps are all iced up...


BTW that's why the SDR remote server stopped working, back up again now...

QSL double from UA3RN whilst was 3B8/M1KTA

Along with the XMAS post, some QSL envelopes just arrived.

Most were for 3B8/M1KTA and in them was the first set of QSL cards from one op that managed both cw and ssb modes with me.

That's a first for me to have the qsl cards that confirm qrp operating both cw and ssb whilst being the DX station.

Monday, 14 December 2009

SDR Remote Server

I have a test remote SDR server running now with a Softrock 80m V6 Lite RX that is xtal controlled. The RX signals are all at the bottom end of 80m and the Softrock will 'see' just under 96KHz band width. I believe the signal in the centre is some PACTOR that has been present for hours today but it doesn't seem to decode.

The 'server' is a 900MHz Celeron 4G 701 Asus eeePC, so seriously basic and I have both it and the radio running off a couple 12V batteries with a solar panel connected so it's anyone guess how long they'll last. I couldn't come close to running an SDR setup with any of the other SDR offerings with this setup.

The antenna is a 6BTV vertical tuned for the 80m cw segment about 3.560MHz so the interG isn't great but the DX can be.

Anyway connect to it using Simon's new SDR software.

NB I have two sound cards on this beast(!) one is an external USB card, not used right now that is for SR V9.0. I am using the internal Realtek 24bit sound card at 96KHz. So if get no sound and are too eager to try it the reason is probably you need to change to other sound card. Stop the SDR, blue button on right, change the sound card and press start again. Please don't restart the server (button next to disconnect) unless you absolutely need to.

Note the total lack of the 'hump' in the centre of the pictures...(click to enlarge) This is because there are no ground loops in my Softrock setups.

Sunday, 13 December 2009


Annotated image showing a bit of a quick lash up to test the server software. I am just testing Simon's SDR-Radio Console software he has released a tech preview see here for information

The software works with RFSpace IQ radios local or remote only right now. Some that have downloaded the software and there are few, have even put their servers up on the internet so you can connect to them.

The ability to use a Softrock V9.0 (from Tony Parks KB9YIG) will follow soon.

Just as a note for other Softrock owners, Simon's Softrock I built him earlier this year is using V15.10 of PE0FKO firmware.

I am sure fixed frequency Softrocks will follow officially .....

For now, I have added a server to the list. It is a soundcard only softrock, fixed frequency, running on an ASUS 4G 701 so that is a Celeron 900MHz pc. It is covering the bottom section 80m. If you start the console the frequency will be nonsense and it will say 160m... it isn't trust me! Press the 80m button, also press the console tab (top) and select a smaller scope bandwidth <100khz.>
This is a short video of me testing the server software with a very hastily built Softrock fixed frequency V6 80m RX. When I added the server to the list intending to connect to it myself or ask Simon to 3 others connected and played, this was taken whilst one of them connected... you can enable the audio locally whilst the remote user uses the radio. I set the band width FFT quite high so was using c50kB/s.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

/P from the beach near Kings Lynn trying to hear AA1TJ

I was up on the beach 10th November trying to hear AA1TJ and his code talker.

The DX was amazing working VK and ZL's as well as US all QRP.

Using my homebrew Norcal-20 and FT817 with Z11 ATU.

I bought a car recently and it makes a great mobile shack for all weathers, I was on the beach for maybe 6 hours. It was also the day before rememberance day so I also worked a number of Gb and Northern EU special event stations.

The buddi pole was up near the car and I also had a 3el 2m antenna on the first one of 4 (yes 4!) 20m verticals I put up in a square to try and hear AA1TJ. The car was about 15 feet from it at this point so not ideal.

This what the beach tooks like when the tide is out. The location is Snettisham South Beach.

Oscilloscope kit

Just had fun in the hotel room last night after work and built one of these:

No camera with me so borrowed those images off the company site.

Interesting project.

* Max sample rate - 5M/s (AUTO mode),8 bits
* Sample memory depth - 256 bytes
* Analog bandwidth - 1MHz
* Vertical sensitivity - 100mV/Div - 5V/Div
* Vertical position adjustable with indicator
* Input impedance - 1MΩ
* Max input voltage - 50Vpp
* DC/AC coupling
* Horizontal - 2μs/Div - 10m(minute)/Div
* Auto, normal and single trig modes
* Rising/falling edge trigger
* External trig available
* Trig level adjustable with indicator
* Hold/run feature
* Save up to 6 captures to EEPROM and retain after power down
* Retrieve and display saved captures
* Transfer its screen to PC as bitmap file via serial connection
* Built-in 500Hz/5Vpp test signal
* Frequency counter (only for TTL level input signal)
* 9 DC power supply
* Dimension: 110mm X 65mm X 25mm (without case)

I bought it from

Monday, 7 December 2009

SDR-Radio and if blog visits were qsl cards

I have written something (will share it with SPRAT too) for QQ (not sure which issue yet) about SDR-Radio from Simon HB9DRV. Keep an eye out for it. Simon and I agreed the title should be something like "SDR-Radio, a vapourware preview... from an alpha tester." By the time the issue of QQ is published I expect first version of SDR-Radio will be released generally.

I thought was interesting after George G3RJV put the blog into RadCom to capture who was looking at what and where from. It would be great to have a qso with many of these places.

So far the blog has had this number of unique visitors from 78 different countries:

United Kingdom (GB) 549
United States (US) 520
France (FR) 150
Germany (DE) 119
Netherlands (NL) 105
Italy (IT) 83
Spain (ES) 54
Canada (CA) 53
Czech Republic (CZ) 51
Belgium (BE) 50
Hungary (HU) 49
Sweden (SE) 48
Poland (PL) 46
Romania (RO) 45
Russian Federation (RU) 41
India (IN) 40
Australia (AU) 33
Greece (GR) 32
Brazil (BR) 28
Japan (JP) 27
Ukraine (UA) 27
Slovakia (SK) 27
Portugal (PT) 26
Croatia (HR) 25
Slovenia (SI) 25
Indonesia (ID) 25
Europe (EU) 23
Finland (FI) 23
Bulgaria (BG) 23
Norway (NO) 22
Denmark (DK) 22
New Zealand (NZ) 20
Ireland (IE) 20
Austria (AT) 16
South Africa (ZA) 16
Korea, Republic of (KR) 15
Switzerland (CH) 14
Argentina (AR) 13
Turkey (TR) 13
Serbia (RS) 11
Israel (IL) 11
Iran, Islamic Republic of (IR) 10
Lithuania (LT) 10
Belarus (BY) 6
Egypt (EG) 5
Uruguay (UY) 4
Philippines (PH) 4
Peru (PE) 4
Thailand (TH) 4
Estonia (EE) 4
Bosnia and Herzegovina (BA) 3
Venezuela (VE) 3
Hong Kong (HK) 3
Vietnam (VN) 3
Faroe Islands (FO) 2
Aland Islands (AX) 2
Isle of Man (IM) 2
Latvia (LV) 2
Chile (CL) 2
Guadeloupe (GP) 2
Singapore (SG) 2
China (CN) 2
Malaysia (MY) 2
Kazakstan (KZ) 2
Costa Rica (CR) 1
Sri Lanka (LK) 1
Colombia (CO) 1
Cuba (CU) 1
Iceland (IS) 1
Georgia (GE) 1
Saudi Arabia (SA) 1
Libyan Arab Jamahiriya (LY) 1
Mexico (MX) 1
Taiwan (TW) 1
Nigeria (NG) 1
Malta (MT) 1
Antigua and Barbuda (AG) 1
Ecuador (EC) 1

It would be interesting to know who some of you are and if you have any comments.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

SLA and UPS batteries

This is a definite plug after these guys helped me out big time.
But go to

They sell really nice 12V 17Ah and 18Ah batteries, I used two to rebuild a failed UPS battery, and another a little while back for use with a set of solar panels on the shack roof (lighting) but they are also perfect for use as a rig battery, or to float charge off a generator during field day or otherwise.

The batteries were £24 each which is pretty cheap.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

MOBO & V6.3 SR and FT243 crystals

OK Art and Alex pulled the stops out and managed to scrounge together a full kit of parts for me. So I'll be building this asap. However, it is a bit like buses you wait to ages and two come along at once and the same with work so that has taken over in the last week so not apparently done much. I will be building as I did in HB9during 2007 and I will have the mobile /P homebrew bench in a airline carry on bag and build in the hotel room in the evening.... This should be interesting. Just spoke to Simon HB9DRV and his new SDR software is not far away from release including support for USB controlled Si570 Softrocks. The MOBO we will both eargerly be waiting to see the usb sound card add on too the current beta kit is without that.

Also one kind soul sent me a pile of 80m crystals after the GQRP valve day and I will add those to the 6V6 TX this w/e and also 'put up something horizontal' so inter G working is possible.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Cat in the shack

You have to be a cat person or have experienced cat behaviour to get the funny side of this but in my shack I have one of those angle lamps with a magnifying lens and when I am in the shack the cat tends to come in and occupy either the operating seat or the homebrew bench seat... anyway this afternoon it decided the homebrew bench, on the PCB I had under the lamp was a warmer place. I mentioned it to Dad and he sent me the link. Shame didn't have a camera but sure Pud will repeat it again soon...


Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Softrock Si570 AVR/ USB firmware

As building the V6.3 and MOBO V4.3 and built 4 versions of the V9.0 already and gone through a few different firmware revisions I thought should mention an up to date reference (as of today anyway).

The original eons ago firmware, as far as software development life cycles are concerned anyway, that the V9.0 and V6.3 kits used to ship with works, with bugs but it is so old and out of sync with the up to date software developments going on you really do need to update the firmware on the AVR chips.

Wander over to and peruse the documents on that page. It will explain everything.

The firmware you need can be obtained here:

He has made the source available here:

I am not saying what you have as supplied by W&S or Tony Parks will not work just you should take on-board what G8VOI and PE0FKO say on the matter.

PCB source

I was asked by another UK amateur about my use of PCB for things if I had a friendly PCB source. The quote is "...just curious about what seemed to be extravagant usage – it was obvious that either you had deep pockets or an interesting story to tell"...

This is the story of how I got the PCB.

In May 2003 needed a few bits of PCB as I was trying to build a BLT. Maplin wanted what seemed like a huge amount for very little and I had heard mention there were some PCB fabrication places around Cambridge... so I found one... then in total innocence I went in to see them, this was back in 2003 just after I was licenced and asked if they had any 'off cuts' they could sell me. I even had my little bag of change out. The answer was not at that time but could I turn up, a couple days later, which I did on a bicycle with a pannier eagerly hoping might get enough as I was about to build that BLT so didn't need much! Anyway the bod who met me was one of the directors and he listened to what I wanted and why etc... (he wasn't an amateur). So that night he gave me 6 or 7 pieces for what I wanted as long as I showed him the end result which I was happy to do, I went back 2 weeks later with it and a desk pencil holder I had made with the other bits I had left over, I noticed the reception didn't have a place for the pens by the signing in book, so I made one and gave it to them. We bought each other a beer in a pub around the corner and I went off to operate /P for maybe the first time from the bicycle.... he said come back in a month, and he'd have some more bits, I could share with others .... but next time could I come in a car?

Anyway I turned up with help from a now SK G0 who had van and he gave me a (48 crisp packet sized) box of off cuts as he explained they go through >1,000 square feet of PCB in a good week, I had been given all the off cuts from the last few weeks production runs. Also he had a stack of sheets c2' x 4' that were not up to spec as the copper was ridged or non uniform, he asked if I wanted them... said yes obviously, he fed a dozen or so into an auto gulloteen (spelling?) and chopped into foot squares. I kept one sheet whole for the home brew bench. He said keep the cash as he would have had to pay to dispose of it all. However, he asked me not to reveal who/where I got it from and if I was to throw it out to contact hime first.

A local club when still a member I took the PCB sheets in one night and thought £1 a sheet to club funds seemed reasonable but hardly anyone interested so I took it home and I use/used it for making chassis. The next meeting I took the off cuts of PCB in and said were free needless to say 90% disappeared in minutes, now I realise that the dark stuff was mobile phone/wifi RF stuff. There was all sorts, single sided, double sided, thick and really thin stuff. I did the same thing the following year too.

That is how I have it and no don't have deep pockets.

This is the same place that also allows me to dispose of used etch solution.

Maybe ask your friendly PCB fabrication place?
Now If I can just find a mobile phone mast engineering place with some 2" hardline they don't want for that mag loop project!

Sunday, 15 November 2009

GQRP Valve Day II (November 15th)

Still hours to go yet but gone QRT...

Swear I heard Colin G3VTT at one point as I heard the familiar weep weep of his paraset but then lost him in the noise...

Anyway after over hour with no response generally as cq'ed for ages on every frequency now qrt but not a bad mix...

GM3VMB 15:29
OH1O 15:39
DL6KWN 15:42
DJ3KK 15:55
OZ5DX 15:57
DL8JJ 16:28

Freq's 3.51140 (3.7W), 3.50746 (4.2W), 3.52800 (5.6W) 3.57903 (7.3W). Missing 3.560 +/- few KHz means few qrp stations find me.

The DL 'HOT' contest meant there were a lot of qrp stations on the 80m band.

Glass RCA 6V6 valve (1940's vintage valve) TX (as per GQRP rally at Rishworth) with manual change over switch to RX with FT897 (with 20dB attenuation in line when 6V6 TX active).
Antenna 6-BTV vertical. (Not ideal 80m antenna for UK working!)

Videos of the Valve Tx in action tonight:

video video

Saturday, 14 November 2009

M1KTA QRP TCVR (HB-1A/KX1 clone... started that way anyway)

Been asked to post full circuits and details of the PIC code...

I cannot do that just yet as want to see 1. what KK7B and Kanga US might have to say about it first as the R2/T2 stuff is his, not spoken to him yet! and 2. if I can manage/afford to kit it and after any I get feedback from beta builders but not even at that stage yet!

If it doesn't become a kit/project (and I want the PIC code to be worked on by builders too) I will post details.

Thanks all for interest and messages though after George G3RJV RadCom Dec 2009 QRP column comment about the blog.



Thursday, 12 November 2009


As those that follow GQRP list/yahoo group might have noted a few weeks ago I asked if anyone else was building the MOBO SDR setup.

Apologies maybe a bit cryptic but definitely QRP......... please is any
other member building one the MOBO V4.3 Beta ? If so please can you
contact me off list.

For those who will ask questions what this is about read these...

...not for those who don't like SMT.

Anyway Tony has just sent me all the Softrock parts required and Art, KY1K and Alex, 9V1AL have agreed to send me a set of PCB and components so I'll be building a MOBO beta V 4.3 shortly. The project will eventually be adding 24 bit 192KHz sound via USB not a sound card and the idea will be to also work with Simon HB9DRV and his new SDR software to create a frequency agile all band HF transceiver, using only a USB connection so plug and play that can be homebrewed in a modular manner.

HF TestSet

Browsing on the train whilst coming back from seeing the guys at Comic Relief I came across the HF test set from the 4 states QRP group. This isn't actally new but they are rekitting it
I dropped Wayne an email and had an exchange about it and one of his older projects (minibootsII that I lent to Michael MI5MTC at GQRP rally). I already checked and I have everything in the junk box/shack shelves so I am going to build an M1KTA version. Probably manhatten style as I realise it's nice to have some ugly in the shack too.

This will add a

Frequency Counter
Crystal Oscillator
Wideband Noise Generator
Audio Oscillator
50 Ohm Dummy Load
RF Probe
Time Domain Reflectometer
to the M1KTA homebrew bench.

For no particular reason except I enjoy it I build a fair amount and I find bits of test kit are infinitely valuable, I'll update this blog post as I build it.

All proceeds from kit sales are being used to finance OzarkCon QRP Convention so wander over to their site and order one.

The blog listed in RadCom December 2009!

Just advised of this so found the copy of RadCom December 2009 that I had not even opened yet, along with QST, PW and a few other electronic magazines. It seems G3RJV, Rev George Dobbs wrote about the blog advising readers to come a take a look which was a nice surprise.

One note though....The HCQRPC, Home counties QRP Club, the founders are:

Hedgehog #1 Paul G0WAT and Hedgehog #2 Nicolas M1HOG

I'm Hedgehog #8 Dom M1KTA was lucky enough to be asked to give a talk at the first HOGCON, where I spoke about a trip to 3B8 I did in March 2008, the RadCom photo of me looking like I am demonstrating using a hammer to Hans G0UPL, was from that first meeting where Hans also talked, (if you hit a project like this it is bound to work) I think was the quote from HOGCON.

If you read the blog and want to ask a question or post a comment please do.

The blog contains a lot of different topics and may seem to bounce around, I used to try to update a project blog post directly rather than add new posts so it might not seem like much has changed sometimes.

Monday, 9 November 2009


Ok moved a bit further on this over w/e as my own HB-1A SMT build stumbled. I had added a solder bridge under IC6 (DDS) and IC5 (EEPROM). 101 SMT soldering means they should not have happened but I rushed the build and was late and made a simple mistake....

Anyway this post is to state that it looks like I have managed to add SSB to the AD9851 DDS and the RX chain. I have two alternate IF frequencies right now either 4.1952MHz or 11.0592MHz and could go either way. I also decided to drop the idea of making the SSB offset in the DDS and went with the 'standard' BFO setup where you use two crystal oscillators, set off set either side of the IF. Adds to the component count but then that isn't a bad thing.

The Softrock V9.0 Switchable BPF, along with the PIC-A-STAR and the QRP2004 designs have made me rethink the front ends and I am thinking that these should be switched. Now I don't mind winding toroids but I am thinking that some small SMT or through hole can type inductors might be workable for a 'no torroid' design.

Monday, 2 November 2009

A random cw log

I was looking through some old emails the other day and forgot I did this....

CW as a mode is winning me over and it is probably use that made the difference.

Why not also have a go at the RSGB CC on 80m too, just one evening a month, there are also ssb and psk evenings and it only lasts 90 minutes. Yes I know it is a 'horrid' contest but I find my biggest hurdle is still callsign recognition and responding practice from home during these contests helps. Many do slow right down for you. There really isn't much to remember or get wrong so you can focus on the callsigns you hear. I am sure the more of us that take part that are slow or rusty will encourage others to join in...

My best so far was using a full size vertical loop I put up on 80m for fun back in May and managed 34 at 12 wpm in an hour, it really was me too!
There were lots of GQRP members those ones in the log that night were:

QSO: 3551 CW 2008-05-22 1905 M1KTA 599 0002 M3WCK 599 002 #11717
QSO: 3551 CW 2008-05-22 1908 M1KTA 599 0003 G3JNB 599 004 #3432
QSO: 3551 CW 2008-05-22 1913 M1KTA 599 0005 MM0RKT 599 006 #11898
QSO: 3551 CW 2008-05-22 1914 M1KTA 599 0006 G4CZB 599 O9 #582
QSO: 3551 CW 2008-05-22 1917 M1KTA 599 0008 G0TPH 599 012 #7642
QSO: 3551 CW 2008-05-22 1922 M1KTA 599 0013 GW0ETF 599 026 #6822
QSO: 3551 CW 2008-05-22 1928 M1KTA 599 0017 G3YAJ 599 031 #2913
QSO: 3551 CW 2008-05-22 1934 M1KTA 599 0022 G3YMC 599 035 #11029
QSO: 3551 CW 2008-05-22 1935 M1KTA 599 0023 M0BZU 599 025 #10402
QSO: 3551 CW 2008-05-22 1937 M1KTA 599 0025 G4DDX 599 043 #141
QSO: 3551 CW 2008-05-22 1942 M1KTA 599 0028 G0WBC 599 026 #8999

I carried on afterwards and managed to put LA, EA, DL, F and IK stations into the log.

LM3914 and SWR and protection

I found a tin of bits and a page of scribbled notes and the above circuit.
Got a spare pair of LM3914 and LED as well so could display both fwd and rev not just the SWR.

Using the above as a guide I think I could do this also.... build new or salvage a CB SWR bridge (£3 from Rishworth) - as I need a voltage for FORWARD and one for REVERSE. I believe a stockton bridge would be frequency independent, I think the CB strip line one (stripline circuit) would work but might not work at VHF and might not be very sensitive but either will work. Using Shottky diodes instead of the originals might make it much more sensitive.

The circuit has the pins listed but basically you Connect the FORWARD voltage to the REF input on the LM3914. Connect the REFLECTED voltage to the INPUT pin. The data sheets says the REF pin has something like 25K of resistance across it for the comparators, you need a similar resistor across the REFLECTED line so they are seeing the same load so may need to play with various resistors.

If I were qrpp then the maximum output from the SWR bridge may be considerably less than the maximum input to the LM3914 so I could use a dual opamp (a LM358 can work with a zero input too can't it?) and amplify both channels - that will give you better sensitivity. I have some LM324 in the tin too.

I have a note that says use a small pot to apply the tiniest bit of forward bias to the REF pin to keep prevent a random display of segments when there is no drive.

The protection is adjustable... you source the output of the LM3914 at the level you want the protection to start and use it to trigger a relay or whatever so that the RF goes to a dummy load rather than to a PA etc...

Saturday, 31 October 2009

HB-1A 5V regulator blown

Built the rig and got it up and running fine, then the LCD went out and all the 5V rail is dead.

Seems I have a short somewhere, don't appear to be a duff components so must be a bridge under IC 5, 8 or the DDS chip.

Nice suggestion from N1RX (Bruce)... cut the 5V rail isolating the IC/board area and find the bridge.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

HB-1A kit build - part II

More photos from build last night.

The connections and components to test the DC

The switch postion to test DC.

The IF chain, dial 602 and lm386

The DDS through a magnifying lense... bit blurred

The dds as seem naked eye. Think I did ok soldering that by eye but needed to reflow pins 13,14 and 15.

Now put into a PCB vice and populating the board with through hole components

Top side more components.

Note I changed the kit supplied IC sockets for turned pin sockets as I suspect will remove the IC onces or twice in future

HB-1A kit build

All ready for the start. 0.1uF and 0.01uF SMT first.

Small 0805 SMT components

Various stages through the population of the boards:

I melted solder on the build last night…. almost completed it. The
soldering is fine but not perfect, I worked with naked eye, 22SWG
multi core solder, temp controlled iron and 1mm bit and hand soldered,
so it is possible. I even managed the DDS chip without having to flood
and wick excess away… it is on a degree or two little wonky but fine
otherwise. I used a pinch to release type of tweezers you can see on
one of the photos to pick up components. The R and C are all 0805
which is big enough to be hand soldered but small enough to probably
cause some a few issues. Once the SMT R and C were in place and tested
the DC lines I tranfered to using a PCB vice (

Early in the process I added the main switch S1 and the DC supply
socket, fed with 13.8V and sensed the 6V and 5V pads around the board
feeding the IC's. My 5V is 4.996V and 6V is 6.035V. The voltage values
I get on different pins are within 5% of Bruces so I'll not reproduce
them here.

Anyway I have added photos to the hb-1a yahoo group M1KTA album for
those interested but I attached them here too.

The timestamps on the photos are accurate so you get an idea how long
it should/could take. I expect to complete this later today.

I will say that I was missing a few SMT components (R 2K2 and 47K
which I robbed from the junk box) but I was sent heaps of extra other
values and a pair of 602 and a 386… so I know what I'm building next…
another IF chain.

Maybe a 2x hb-1a homebrew build qso might be possible if anyone
interested, I am in UK and cw is qrs!

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

GQRP 2009, that B2set and Paraset

Ian (G3ROO) said... take a look at what I brought for the show and tell at dinner the evening before the GQRP rally....

Johnny SM7UCZ did the same and handed me a paraset!

Photos of the psu Ian (G3ROO) had built so that his rebuild of a B2set would be operational for the GQRP rally. His original transformer is being rewound as some of it has gone open circuit.

The underside of the TX side. Ian G3ROO, just as I am, has built his set to use so some accomodations will be made in this case Ian has used torroids to create the fixed values for the tuning circuit rather than 1/2" paxolin/tufnel coils as in the original. Likewise ALL the wire looms are using PVC coated modern wire.

The chokes were some I had left over from a box I shared with paraset builders.
Note the chassis was made using some double sided PCB rather than the original steel but to the original dimensions.
The tune side capacitor is not original as they are rare but the value is the same, as Ian luckly had a part T to start with the load side capacitor is original.

Some photos of the wiring loom, again accomodation using modern R and C's so that the end result is usable.

The TX side access to the small orange 4-20pF trimmer capacitor

Top view of the TX side.

The underneath of the TX

Ian tells me that the rotary switch is functional but not original.

More HB-1A kit photos

The blank PCB

Top side


The through hole components spread out.

Starting to place topside components to check fitting etc.

I just updated with some component values.

HB-1A kit the mysterious R47

R47...For those asking what??? and have a kit, it is on left hand edge (SMT side) to right a little higher than T2. The smt version uses a through hole 2N7000 forQ4, maybe if it fails easier to replace a through hole version? Anyway the centre pin (G) goes to R45, the bottom pin (S) goes to Q1 base, top pin (D) goesto C1... between them there is a R47 that connects the pin to ground...It is not on the schematic. On a built version... (thanks Roy) it is marked 103.

Monday, 26 October 2009

Rishworth 2009 Homebrew Build

The display had everything from cutting edge smt to 1940's valves with the only requirement being that the components had to be be soldered in by a builder. I think everything was qrp! Absolutely everything from full blown kits to ugly style constructions were displayed. I brought my first ever (working!) valve radio a 6V6 TX from the GQRP valve day in July.
along with a selection of random builds inclding a MARS 80m (Sprat #140) build that I only started populating on Thursday. Next to it on the left is Steve KD1JV ADC-40 rig.
and although cut off in the photo is the PCB from the HB-1A kit I was just sent from China.
Roy GM4VKI added his built HB-1A to show how it will look after building it.
Ian G3ROO also added an all valve RX and George G3RJV brought something he had been sent in by a JA.

Here are some images from the Homebrew Build display area before everyone arrived:

Ian (G3ROO), Dom (M1KTA) and Roy (GM4VKI), ?? (sorry!) discussing the projects over pie and peas before the doors to the area opened.

Steve (G0FUW) and George (G3RJV) had not set up the Buildathon places at this point.
Steve (G0XAR) and Hans (G0UPL) added their QRSS T and Class E >85% efficiency PA's.
After his talk Ron G4GXO added his T2 and Si570 dds to the display and John G4EDX bought his ugly Norcal 40 and an MFJ like analyser, the latter generating a lot of interest probably as it being being painted fluroescent pink!

There were a number of other projects added during the day including a Pic-A-Star by Rod G3

and Johnny SM7 added his paraset.