Wemos D1

Not to be outdone on micro controller usage, I am onto yet another micro that is worth using. I cannot see any real use for say ham radio, but for some other electronics projects i have been tinkering with for way to long, this might just be the go. The Wemos D1 is a uno compatible board that has 1meg flash, 80K ram, 80mhz processor and best of all WIFI, which means i can use this as a webserver for the weather station i have been planning/tinkering/building or procrastinating about for way to long. So with the addition of my other code and the hooking up of some sensors, I should be able to make this thing chooch and display the data on the world wide interwebs.

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Going Light Weight

Well its the pigeon pair. I got the matching tuner to go with the HB-1B. The plan is to use it with a SotaBeams 10m pole and vertical wire and a couple of radials with the HB-1B and the Bitx 40 in some of the more space limited places I wish to operate from. I have everything here to acheive this, its just a matter of going down the local park with the laptop and antenna analyser and the rigs and getting things all sorted out.

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STM32F103 Using Arduino IDE

So i have been trying to get this thing to play nice with the Arduino IDE. Its certainly not for the feint of heart and the thinned of skin as it will take some work and a lot of trouble shooting to get this nightmare to run and play nice.

Out of the box the board will not program via USB as the bootloader on the board is basic and requires an external UART programmer like the ST-Link V2. I do now have an ST-Link V2 but have one on the way from an ebay seller, but in the mean time i wanted to play with the micro and see how it performs.

So, with a serial programmer in hand and the 4 wires soldered in I burned a new bootloader that allows the board to be programmed via USB, then stuffed about with drivers to get ones that work and eventually uploaded the blink program and got it working.

 

The STM32F103 boards have a 72Mhz processor, 64K of Flash and 20K of Ram and a metric ton of interupts. Plenty of resources for everyday Joe’s like me.

Oh, and what ham radio project/s am i going to use this for? Well, you will just have to wait and see. I won’t be providing a full description of how to get these things setup and working either. If you really really really want to do it, you are just going to have to suck it up and do what I did. Spend 2 hours working out each and every problem along the way. Its not as simple as just plugging in your arduino uno board and hitting upload and I have no desire to answer 1000 questions on why something is not working, because what worked for me, might not work for you as it will depend on what tools you are using to make it happen.

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600hz Tone Injection

So i was sitting here thinking about adding CW to the Bitx 4om. Now there are a number of ways to achieve this from unbalancing the mixer to tone injection. Tone injection seems like the easiest option for me currently and so I started to give some thought to where I am going to get my 600hz tone from.

Well, as I am already working on an Iambic keyer using an arduino, it seemed like the best place to start. It also turns out that this is also a very simple option as well as it really is just 1 line of code to turn a pin on and produce a square wave at the desired frequency with a 50% duty cycle.

And with some massive attenuation and some RC filtering, i should be able to turn this square somewhat sine and make it even sound nice.

tone (8, 600);

Can it get more simple than that.

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Going Over To The Dark Side

Well its bound to happen eventually, the need to use SMD components. I have been collecting some now for a while and ammassed a tidy little assortment of these beasts. Best of all, they will all fit into 3 tiny ring binders. One for Caps, one for Resistors and one for Inductors and Semi Conductors. Might as well get in now and make a collection before all the large sized SMD vanish and only the grains of sand remain. I currently only have the one binder, but have 2 more on the way from China just to be sure to be sure.

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M4070 LCR Meter

I have not had much luck with the inductance setting on LCR meters. Most of them are crap, inaccurate and just plane useless. I think this is the 5th cheapish meter I have tried and I have finally hit on one that works and works well. In the picture below is a 1.8uH slug tuned variable inductor. So yes, it works and is accurate and with 3 decimal places its going to be nice to use for getting those hand wound toriod inductors right. The test frequency is a bit low, it would be nice if it was in the MHZ range rather than KHZ, but for that you need to spend up big on high end gear, not $70 on ebay.

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New Computer

So i finally got the shits with the computer I was using, so grabbed out my gaming PC and installed the nessessary evil of Windows 10, then put all the regular software I use back on and am making sure everything is working as it shoud. The whole exercise has ben rather smooth and I now also have some power again, with a quad core, 16gig ram and SSD for the OS and software.

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Ok, I Am Not Dead

It has been quiet a while since I have updated this. Yes I am not dead but I have been dealing with some health issues. Nothing all that serious just arthritus in my right hand, which has made doing anything more or less imposible and so I have taken a break from homebrewing as even cutting the leads off a resistor has been all but imposible. And while things are certainly not great currently, I do have some movement now and should be able to get back to doing some radio. I even started to clean up my work space in anticipation.

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