Let’s Spin a Roller Inductor

As expected, even though the variable capacitor was a massive Palstar model, a roller inductor has more friction, hence requires more torque. When I spun it as fast as I could it drew just under 1 amp. That’s very reasonable. One BIG issue is that with “direct drive”, the set screws would unloosen – this is because the shafts of the stepper are stainless…

Let’s Spin a Variable Capacitor

There is more than enough torque for the large Palstar variable capacitor. There was little extra power drawn, but not much. I’ll try the roller inductor later today.

U.RAT Key Learnings

Here are some key design notes and learnings: I had to use a Raspberry Pi due to the fact that the KPOD driver software is written in C and compiled on Linux. The KPOD is a proprietary device using the HIDRAW protocol, so its not exactly the same as a keyboard or mouse The WiringPi library turns the interfacing part between software and pin…

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…

The uRAT Has Landed!

YEAH BABY, YEAH! The uRAT now works very nicely – exactly as I had envisioned it working: The “secret sauce” included: Elecraft sharing a KPOD utility that is part of their development and QA suite (thanks Paul, N6HZ and Eric, WA6HHQ!) WiringPi – Gordon Henderson of Devon, UK, who created a C library that makes it as easy to work with RaspberryPi GPIO as…

The “Other” Half of the Eagle Has Just Landed . .

This may not look sexy, but it is. After some serious debuggery, I got the Elecraft KPOD to work with the Raspberry Pi 3 b. Thanks to Paul, N6HZ, the lead developer of the KPOD code, and also the KPOD firmware updater, a real thorny problem was solved. My advice to anyone who has a KPOD – download the KPOD utility and update the…

My First Oscilloscope

The Arduino and Raspberry Pi offer a wonderful set of inputs and outputs which will let me really dig in and start to understand electronics and computers in a way I have never been able before. I know that there are continuous signals and voltages and pulsing signals and voltages, and vaguely remember PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) from my ham test – but I…