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Sunday 25 November 2012

Tweaked HF antennas

Pruned and tweaked (cleaned and remade connections) for my other HF antenna at QTH whilst messing with 160m... so have a reasonable antenna on 80/40/30 and 20m

160m CQWW qrp

Well not expecting anything too surprising but playing with possible 160m antennas.

This is a 10m fishing pole, whole network of radials and I also connected to the shack earth side too.

The coil is wound ona 50mm pvc pipe and is bunches of 50 turns and some random numbers of turns in the middle, until it became resonant... about 1825-1850.

Anyway KX3 up and running and sending cq....

Ah well no response... so either antenna doesn't work, or noone hears me :-)

Monday 19 November 2012

qsl cards

Lots more direct cards arrived for KH8 today... and got the final proofs in from Geoff (FDS does my QSL cards), yes I know KH8 locator is wrong should be AH45pr





 General UK card:

Guess the shoreline?

Was going through the photos over w/e and thought I'd start to add a couple that show operating sites I have used when DX.

These ones southern hemisphere

This one had perfect take off to the North towards UK and EU (2007)

This beach was again north side towards UK and wonderfully soft sand

Saturday 17 November 2012

LED display

I have a homebrew bit of kit with a dodgey display, one digit (3rd)
has failed.... :-)

It is using a common anode 4 digit LED display. Rather than go buy a
new one (I know only about £2) I have some single 7 seg displays of
about same size and started to play about to do a swap and some
fiddling with the wiring. Then after a bit of playing I had an idea as
I also have some larger (4") ones that are nice and bright with 7.4V
and 40mA per segment I bought at Rishworth last year, one even has
RN1-4002LO8W on it so I found a data sheet!

The multiplexing etc is a bit of fun.

On the original common anode the digits are controlled with Digit 1
pin 12, Digit 2 pin 9, Digit 3 pin 8 and digit 4 pin 6.

a-g pins 11,7,4,2,1,10,5

The 7 seg are:

a-g pins 7,6,4,3,2, 9,10

I bridged the original wiring to the new needed.

12 goes to 1 1st digit
9 goes to 1 2nd digit
8 goes to 1 3rd digit
6 goes to 1 4th digit

bridge the a-g segment pins too 11 to 7 etc.

The original or the smaller uses about 2.2V forward and draw is about
25mA per segment.

If I wired in the smaller LED I do not need to do anything else, they
work. If I were to try the larger LED how would you safely raise the
voltage and current draw? I thought add in a simple NPN transistor as
if I were driving a relay and add a stable voltage of 7.5V (use LM317)
to the display pin?

BTW I will order 11 extra sets of components for the Cumbria DSP
boards from Ron I'll contact those who expressed an interest with
details tomorrow.

It is also valve day tomorrow so hope to find you on air.

Saturday 10 November 2012

QSL cards

Only proofs but these are what will go out (thousands of them so I guess I'll be writing a bit !) ... I'll add gqrp logo and my member number.

Friday 2 November 2012

Shack work this winter

Got to redo the operating shack, this summer other projects and trips took over but shack needs an overhaul and I am painting the inside white, putting up decent lights (had them from a car boot buy 2 years ago) and redoing the roof (had the 4" insulation and boards a while).

Two new desks will go in (made from 600mm wide sections of Sterling board (again had for a while) and the current old tables will go, MDF shelves ready to go in so the old metal ex-garage shelves will go too. The house loft reorg and 'stuff' sort out has provioded a number of deep clear A4 plastic boxes so I'll put these on the shelves with appropriate kit in them. All the 'components' should be up in the workshop now.

A new set of antenna feeders will be put in along with a permanent (yahoo) 40/80 dipole running NS down the garden. I also plan on putting up a directable 10/15/20 antenna of some sort and being nagged to put up a 6m/4m/2m/70cm antenna of some sort and so bought bits to build yagi from Harrisons.

I have a 1.2GHz project I want to have a go at building and that will require an antenna of some sort probably a 20+ el yagi.

The 500KHz NoV will get a dusting off this xmas about the same time as the GQRP xmas contest and I will put up an inverted L for this and/or a vertical.

If time allows I might experiment with SO2R and SDR RX & separate TXRX as I plan to be having some fun next year in the RSGB cumulative  and some QRP contests.

New KX3 kit arrived

My second KX3  a new KX3 kit just arrived.

Base model
Roofing filter
No ATU, this will be the DXpedition spare and the shack rig so doesn't need an ATU.
No key (I use K1EL USB Winkey or a paddle)
No battery charger (this one will possibly not even have battery holders fitted)

Will be built it next week.

In case anyone from UK asks... £8.00 Royal Mail handling charge and £144.37 VAT

Still way cheaper than if I bought from W&S in UK. 

QSL cards ordered

I have QSL cards for these call prefixes coming:

6W, 6W/P, C5, KH6, KH8, W5
I have several thousand to complete :-)
All directs I will send out first and there are a couple hundred of them.

Thursday 1 November 2012

Cumbria DSP

I will do another order with Farnell as there are enough enquiries.

I might (as asked) also add the other bits and connectors.

You will have to get boards from Ron (G4GXO) I will not stock them, as asked I will not build a DSP board up and I cannot program the chip for you either. I provide no support for the board and if you fry a component you are on your own.

To program the board the simplest option is probably to obtain MPLAB's PICKit3 which Ron referred to in his talk, it and the RJ11 ICSP cable will set you back £45 from MPLABS. Ron includes the HEX code in the Cumbria site downloads along with the source code for those brave enough to try and play. Please do not ask me for them.

If interested in a component set contact me but I will be picking and packing current sets right now.

I have enquiries from US and Australia as well as UK!