News and Views
Oct 6th, 2013: SDR, Raspberry Pi - Fun All Round!
The solar powered auto matching unit has been up and running for some time and I will shortly produce a page with details, subjectively it seems to be working well with my best DX this summer being Japan on 15m running 100 watts SSB.
Over the past year I have been playing with SDR using the cheap TV dongles which although somewhat noisey are pretty amazing for the price! I've also built a simple passive mixer HF up converter for the dongle, this used a 40MHz TTL crystal oscillator and tripler. Other projects have been a set of switched HF bandpass filters using surface mount relays and plan a new version using diode switching. I recently bought a Funcube Pro+ which move the SDR up a notch or two!
Recent fun includes playing with the Raspberry Pi and a Liliput 7 inch HDMI monitor, learning Python and looking at using the PI for a self-contained software defined radio.
Nov 9th, 2012: Antenna Changes
Whilst my inverted L antenna works well from 20m down to 6m it is not so hot on lower frequencies so I have obtained an automatic matching unit. The plan is to house the unit at the base of the vertical section of the L, it will be powered from a sealed lead acid battery charged by a solar cell array. All the parts have been purchased and being constructed as will be a page describing the antenna system.
I have now opened an eBay stop at Sales at Radio Wymsey, this enables me to increase the range of low cost items and I now have around one hundred different items for sale.
Aug 21st, 2012: Improvements
I've done some tidying up of the new component resource site using the excellent jalbum software.
(Click on the image to go there.)
Aug 4th, 2012: Better Late Than Never
Only a year since the last entry! Still haven't got the Funcube and now there are wideband TV dongles for a few pounds.
I am starting a photographic archive of components and equipment that passes through my hands, it's an eclectic mix dating from the 1920s to the present day.
My HF antenna is now an inverted L fed from the base of the vertical section. It has quarterwave counterpoises for all bands from 40m up to 6m. In order to get out on 80 meters there is a further length of wire than runs down to the bottom of the garden which can be switched in from the shack when required. Although pretty inefficient I am able to work most of the UK on 80m. See Inverted L.
In order to get the SWR down on 40m and 80m I have built an antenna matching unit, detail on the above page. The matching unit also has a dummy load built in.
July 8th, 2011: What's Going On Then?
Not a lot of radio activity over the past few months what with settling into retirement and Reading. I've been enjoying exploring areas which I knew well as a child and teenager, lots of cycling and walking.
Project ideas are brewing to keep me busy when the winter arrives. I'm exploring Software Defined Radio as well as the Funcube with the idea of building some sort of HF receiver. Other ideas include a QRP 2m SSB transceiver.
February 26th, 2011: Bicycle Mobile
I have added a page showing my set up for 2m bicycle mobile. Come the spring I plan to take to the hills!
February 19th, 2011: New QTH
At the end of January we moved from Southampton to Earley in Reading and are still settling in at the new QTH. Currently I am only active on 2m and 70cms as the TS480SAT is back at Kenwood for repair, it has a strange audio fault and has already had the DSP chip changed and seems to be causing bafflement!
Meanwhile I am missing HF and antenna experimentation. Antennas are a challenge at the new QTH as the garden is very small (about 27 feet by 10 feet) so I am planning a vertical for HF, it will be tuned at the base with an automatic tuner. I have a tri-bander for 6m, 2m & 70cms.