U.RAT – Next Steps

I’ve cleaned up the uRAT code and removed probably 2/3rds of what was in the Utility KUSB that Paul, N6HZ wrote, and so now its close to as lean and mean as possible. I am sure if I download a code editor that has C dependency checking I can get rid of more lines – but for now its clean enough – all unused routines are gone. Since the code is really only useful for people with a KPOD, it seems to make sense that Elecraft would distribute it – maybe just as bundled in with the KPOD as hackable C code – or perhaps in a Github Repo. We will know after Freidrichshafen – where the Elecraft Team are headed.

In the meantime, I have signed up to present the uRAT at Pacificon and will offer my good friends at EBARC – with several Diablo DX-ers who are members, the first presentation. I’m hoping to package it up as a demo unit.

          

I happen to have these two Palstar Components, so will mount them on an old Ameritron ATR-30 chassis that I have – where I can use my NEMA-23 stepper motor brackets and create a cool “show and tell” demonstration set up.

I also will try to make the uRAT work on a Raspberry Pi Zero W – since that will fit in my control box with room to spare. I will have fun with one unit for “show” and the other for “go” out at the antenna.

One thing I will order is a set of shaft couplers, but I will first have to measure the size of the Palstar component shafts, and to do that, I will be getting a digital caliper:

Hard to believe this is only $16.00 – they wanted $27 for a very cheap version at an Ace Hardware store. As much as I like shopping local when I can . . . Amazon is hard to beat any more.

Once I get my “show and tell” rig together, I can write up a nice article for QST and also put together my slide deck for my presentations. The part that is most fun for me is that I get to “play” product designer, something (as my wife Kat mentioned yesterday) that I wanted to do in electronics since I was a kid back in Newton, NJ.

And its true, in 4th Grade, Ms, Goodin taught us a series on “Inventors”, and I did a report on Guglielmo Marconi, and we took field trips to Edison’s Lab in Menlo Park, NJ:

I sure wish Tesla had gotten his fare share of fame – but in any case, it was just too cool as a kid to think that people had invented all the great things that they had. I wanted in on that – and here I am!

 

 

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