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…

The S and Z Match for the URAT

I was going to disassemble the u.RAT and re-use the components, but I have just come into a second variable capacitor – which is the Palstar C600, a true work of art. I am trying to get rid of having a roller inductor in the circuit, but would much rather have a switched inductor. Yesterday I posted this circuit: And the Palstar BT1500A has…

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…

Art and Wires

I’m going to take this old assemblage piece and put dual cameras in side – looking out through the eyes. Then I will take two Nema-17 Stepper Motors and a proximity detector and have the head tilt and pan in an effort to follow someone as they walk by. I’ll need to add a realistic plastic rat inquisitively checking Old Sal out … I…

First u.RAT Presentation at EBARC and Making vs. Collecting

Saleae Logic Analyzer- with an Arduino sketch that loops and continually sends the word “Hello” My good friend Mike, KJ4Z and I had a nice chat about DX-ing vs. Making in the Ham Radio hobby. Mike made a comment that is so true – he said DX-ing is all about “collecting” and that over time there is less and less to collect and it…

First Stop on the u.RAT World Tour: EBARC in El Sobrante

I will be giving my first Maker – Ham presentation at the EBARC meeting this Friday: 7:30pm, Friday, August 11th, at the El Sobrante Library on Appian Way This will be my “warm up” for Pacificon, and several Diablo DXers will be on hand    

U.RAT Ready for World Domination!

The final part of this u.RAT “science fair project” is wiring the variable capacitor and roller inductor with a 50 ohm dummy load resistor and then attaching the Rig Experts AA-30 so we can see how tuning the components affects SWR and what the L, C and X values are. I have been playing with different “equivalent circuits” and using a 56 ohm as…

u.RAT and This Blog Featured on the Adafruit Blog!

The Adafruit Blog, Copyright Adafruit featured this blog today, August 1. https://blog.adafruit.com/2017/08/01/%CE%BC-rat-an-elecraft-k-pod-input-controller-for-arduino-or-pi-projects-hamr-makertools/ Adafruit was founded by “Lady Ada”, AC2SN, and I am finding more and more that if you want a reliable component, you will never go wrong ordering from Adafruit. Their site is amazing wealth of resources – including CAD drawings for their designed components – such as the cute little Pi-OLED that…