Hacking Electronics, 2nd Edition

This is another superb book by Simon Monk, who has the best approach to teaching electronics that I have ever seen. I’m going to walk through each of his projects and use my oscilloscope to measure voltages at various points in each circuit to see what is going on. He covers both Arduino and Raspberry Pi, but also covers how discreet components work and…

Makers Seem More Receptive to Hams Than Hams to Makers

The Maker community is a “devil may care” assortment of all ages, cultures and “persuasions”. In a way, you can say they are the “Punk Rockers” of Electronics, or maybe better yet, the “Hackers”.  They are rabid for anything that does something cool, and what I have experienced is that they think the URAT project (stepper motors that tune a remote antenna tuner) is…

Amateur Radio 2.0 (A talk by Ward Silver, N0AX)

Mike, KJ4Z and I have had regular conversations regarding old and new ham radio. Mike found a superb talk by N0AX, Ward Silver at a TAPR convention a few years ago: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7rLlQeAVb08 Ward’s talk hit on so many points that Mike and I have discussed that its almost as if we had heard his talk before we both started blogging about this. Ward talks…

The KY6R Field Strength Meter

My take on the field strength meter is to use an old 1979 October QST circuit, but add a modern twist on the packaging and go with a clear Hammond translucent polycarbonate project box, 1591STCL. the caps are .01 uf, the diodes 1N34A and the potentiometer 10K The meter is a beautiful Simpson new old stock VU meter, model 7458. I’m just waiting on…

Field Strength Meter

I’m going to use this new old stock Simpson panel meter for a field strength meter. I’m thinking of making it Arduino or Raspberry Pi based so it can be made wireless – have the sensing circuit out in the yard and it sends data and have the meter in the shack. Kind of a weird digital – analog mash up. There are many…

U.RAT Version 2.0 and Experiments

The u.RAT that I will set up tomorrow will replace the Palstar BT1500A, but only as a test – to see if two Palstar C600 variable capacitors plus one inductor will work on 160M. I expect it will work on 160 and 30M, but not sure about 80M. I split the control box and the drivers so that the Raspberry Pi Zero is in…

Balanced Vs. Unbalanced Antenna Matching

I’m going to add the URAT to a 70′ tall wire vertical with 96 buried radials, and this is a classic 80M quarter wavelength vertical. Its an unbalanced feed with an unbalanced antenna. It will require an L matching circuit: I like VE7BPO’s diagram, and I am guessing that I will need to wire the variable capacitor and roller inductor using circuit B, but…

The Best Part About Ham Radio? Learning

I’m very pleasantly surprised that my latest big excitement in Ham Radio and “Making” is reading about the physics of electronics. Its because I am finding this book to be fascinating. When I was at University of Pennsylvania at Lock Haven in the late 70’s, the physics professor needed a full class for an electronics class he wanted to teach. Lock Haven did not…

The Future of DX-ing and DXCC: ROBOTS!

I’ve been grappling with this for a few years, ever since I was involved with fund raising for VK0EK. I don’t think the average DX-er really knows what a big job it is.  The funniest thing about this blog post is that it came about while sipping a very nice Uinta Detour Double IPA and just sitting back and thinking – musing about the…

Measuring The u.RAT With an Oscilloscope

This is a nice little tutorial on how to use a signal generator and oscilloscope to measure the resonance of a tank circuit. Here is the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G_RCyDdt2rM He doesn’t show a frequency counter, but my Rig Experts AA-30 will act as a frequency counter. Here is a great video on what I might try with the u.RAT: