Arduino for Ham Radio – by Glen Popiel, KW5GP (ARRL)

Projects (from ARRL website):

  • Random Code Practice Generator
  • CW Beacon and Foxhunt Keyer
  • Fan Speed Controller
  • Digital Compass
  • Weather Station
  • RF Probe with LED Bar Graph
  • Solar Battery Charge Monitor
  • On-Air Indicator
  • Talking SWR Meter
  • Talking GPS/UTC Time/Grid Square Indicator
  • Iambic Keyer
  • Waveform Generator
  • PS/2 CW Keyboard
  • Field Day Satellite Tracker
  • Azimuth/Elevation Rotator Controller
  • CW Decoder
  • Lightning Detector
  • CDE/Hy-Gain Rotator Controllers

Projects (from ARRL website)

  • Auto On/Off Mobile Power Control
  • Station Power Monitor
  • AC Current Monitor
  • Load Tester
  • Voice Memory Keyer
  • Wireless Remote Coax Switch
  • Wireless Remote Telemetry
  • GPS-Based Ethernet Network Time Protocol Server
  • Yaesu FT-series Transceiver Rotator Controller Interface
  • Yaesu G-450A/G-800SA Rotator Controller Rebuild
  • Yaesu Rotator Controller Modification
  • 1 to 30 MHz DDS VFO
  • Antenna SWR Analyzer
  • 40 Meter QRP CW Transceiver
  • 40 Meter QRP JT65 Transceiver

These are two superb books. The projects are very real and very useful for Hams, and even if you don’t find any of the projects exactly to your needs, the approach Glen takes to describe the hardware and then the “sketches” (code) is just excellent. You will learn more from these books than many other Arduino and Maker books because the projects are oriented toward very useful and pragmatic projects. You will learn how to code and about electronics all at once – which is pretty amazing, actually.

The other thing about Maker projects is to never take any of them too literally. What I mean by this is that with just a little creativity – you can take one idea and with slight modifcation – adapt it to another project. If you think in “patterns” you can really go far. For example, you could take a circuit that reads a voltage and then displays it on an OLED (i.e. an Arduino based volt ohm meter) – and use that idea to do what I did – read a micro voltage off a 1970’s ARRL Handbook Field Strength meter and with the Arduino’s A to D converter – convert that analog signal to a digital reading that you then can display.

Glens writing style and presentation is perfect and engaging. The other fellow who has written great Arduino and related Maker books is Simon Monk – but his projects are more general in nature – I guess you could say pure Electronics science vs. the ARRL books – which are specific and applied Electronics for the Radio Amateur. But don’t forget – you can take general electronic circuits and adapt them to your ham radio needs. In other words, think out of the box!

I’m very excited to try the Code Practice oscillator and the 40M QRP rig.

4 Comments on “Arduino for Ham Radio – by Glen Popiel, KW5GP (ARRL)

  1. The “40 Meter QRP JT65 Transceiver” sounds exciting, because that implies they’re somehow doing SSB modulation. I assume it must have a companion Winders computer?

    That looks like the AD9850 module on the front. I am actually using one of those right now to try to drive the $9 “Forty-9er” Chinese kit off of eBay. I’m glad I stocked up on those 9850 modules a few years back because they have now quadrupled in price!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Actually, I downloaded the companion files from the website and I can see he is using the “Frog Sounds” radio for his JT-65 transmitter. FFS, that’s what the Chinese guys call the Forty-9er. He’s doing exactly what I was doing, only he already did it. I guess to the well-versed Maker, these ideas just suggest themselves in the same patterns you were just talking about.

      Liked by 1 person

      • major parts:

        nokia 5110 lcd
        digilent uc32
        ad9850 dds
        frog qrp xcvr module
        chipkit uno32

        Pretty darned cool!

        Liked by 1 person

      • The best thing that happened to me in my career is that I started thinking in terms of patterns – for back end data stuff and now – front end object oriented UI stuff. I always knew the basic’s, but when I was younger I was hung up on “knowing” a language.

        Once I started thinking in patterns, I would circle back and learn what I didn’t know. Many times I’d just hack code that “looked about right”.

        I just built a killer front end web app in React.js, and oddly enough – only now am I reading an excellent book called “Javascript – The Good Parts”. Javascript and JSX in react are downright bizarre at first. I could have let that totally psyche me out – and then I found a web site – Ant Design and their Ant UI library. They have a killer online sandbox – and I started cutting and pasting bits of code – and soon I had what I wanted. The pattern was adding components to make a really nice looking app – so my UX for once rocked instead of sucked.

        Then the app could query the database through a REST API I developed in Python using Flask – that was easy – like when I coded SP’s in Oracle or MySQL or Postgres

        SO – all of these things are just like taking one board and wiring to the next. A UI container is kind of like an Arduino biard with a shield plugged in (container with objects inside).

        WHat is too cool for school – is my 1978 Systems Analysis class – where we learned to draw block diagrams is pretty much what coding and building SDR radios is all about.

        And for me – this convergence is just the shit, I love this stuff!

        Liked by 2 people

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