A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the U.RAT . . .

OK, so that’s a bit dramatic – but I’ll be busy first wrapping up the final “packaging” of the u.RAT Demonstration Board, and then writing articles and presentations. I will submit the article to QST with the main theme one that I will repeat at EBARC and Pacificon – which is that the “Maker – Ham” connection is a real force to be reckoned with, and if you are bored waiting for that next DX-pedition, or Public Service Event, maybe its time to get the toolbox out.

The best thing is that the motivation for this project was my own “Mod Bob” remote antenna tuner, but along the way, I have learned so much and had more fun in ham radio than I can ever remember. The richness of the project and all of the areas that it cuts across:

  1. Antennas
  2. Antenna impedance matching and solid state “full gallon” amplifiers
  3. Giving new life to old manual / analog antenna tuners using Stepper Motors
  4. The “maker – ham” connection from a social point of view
  5. Low Band DX-ing in conjunction with the Mod Bob
  6. How a balanced antenna tuner works and when to use one
  7. Arduino vs. Raspberry Pi – when to use one or the other – Raspberry Pi Zero W especially
  8. Deep dive into the Raspberry Pi, Steppers and Stepper drivers
  9. The C and Python languages on the Raspberry Pi and perhaps Open Sourcing a project
  10. The Raspberry Pi GPIO, emulating Arduino on the Pi and the USB and OLED C libraries

There is no doubt more, but these are 10 very solid aspects or facets to this project. In fact, as I mentioned before, I am much more interested in sharing and possibly Open Sourcing the u.RAT than adding the u.RAT to my remote antenna tuner. Its like this project tok off and has a life of its own – but its opened up far more interesting avenues than what I had originally intended. This is the mark of dreaming, discovery and a fun journey. I feel like I went on a DX-pedition but never left my house or yard. A journey of the mind indeed!

It reminds me of the title of an R.E.M. album, “Life’s Rich Pageant” . . . .

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