Low Pass Filter Board

So I figured for my stacker transceiver project that I would start with the transmitter. First cab out of the rank will be the low pass filters to test out and ensure that my board design is working as it should be. Added in the switching bits to start with and jumpered out the coupling capacitor links used in band pass filters. I have even ordered NP0 monilithic caps for these and should have them in a couple of days and have this built and tested by friday.

The three filters will be for 80, 40 and 20 meter bands using 7th order Butterworth derived filters. Probably overkill for my transmitter design and power, but hey if you got em roll em.

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VK4FFAB Arduino Logger TFT Edition

So after procrastinating about this for such a long time I finally got around to porting the code over to make it work with the 3.2 inch TFT Display. And seeing as it was pretty much a huge code rewrite, while i was there I added in come new functionality to improve usability. All input functions will now accept the <BACKSPACE> key to erase mistakes. Still to be done, create and use a new logfile and add in some WWFF specific items like park to park and my park details. All in all I am rather please with how this has come along. Each time I spend some time on it, it comes out much more improved.

Arduino Logger TFT Edition Code: TFT_Arduino_logger

 

Here is a break down of the stack. 3.2inch TFT on the top, followed by the MEGA2560 and underneath it, the shield board with sd card, real time clock and ps2 keyboard interface. Not my cleanest work, but much cleaner than the last build LOL.

And this is the log file data from the video below. Nice clean ADIF that should by rights allow for importing into any other logging application.

And here is a video of the thing in action. Next on the agenda is boxing it up with a 5000mah single cell Liop, charge controller, BMS and Boost converter to make 5 volts, then add in the new code features and this choocher should be awesome as frig.

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Arduino Logger Update

I have made a little progress with the Arduino Logger updating the previous mess i had made in a box, to something that is going to be neat and tidy and use a TFT display where i can show more data than i could on the 20×4 lcd display.

Everything is now built into the shield that sits below the Mega. SD card will be accessible now without taking off the lid. The real time clock is in the shield board now and hidden from view. Next job will be to wire up a 1 Cell lipo battery pack, charger and boost converter to make 5v to run the thing, Oh and convert the software.

It is a bit of a power hungry thing, close to 200ma.

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Arduino Light Bulb Moment

You know when you are working on some grand Arduino implementation and you only have 2 available Gnd or Vcc pins and you need to then run a ground and power bus just to service the one extra module you are trying to add. It a pain in the arse for sure. But alas poor Yorick not everything is rotten in the state of Arduino, help is at hand. If you have a few vacant digital or analog pins, turn them into outputs and make them either VCC ot GND with a couple of lines of code and pull a pin either low or high. Code is better than hardware. Obviously current limits on pins apply and you cannot pull 100ma, but if the sensor or modules current limits are sparrow fart, then this is a nice way to solve a common problem.

A Ground Pin

digitalWrite(GND_PIN_#, LOW);
pinMode(GND_PIN_#, OUTPUT);

A Vcc Pin

digitalWrite(Vcc_PIN_#, HIGH);
pinMode(Vcc_PIN_#, OUTPUT);

And here it is in action with a RTC.

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VFO, Tx Switching, AF Amp Board

So we got to building the board and testing it out. Everything is working as it should be. VFO is making signals where it should be, the Tx Rx switching works on command and the AF Amp is amping it up.

This is the output of the AF Preamp, its being slightly overdriven because i was to lazy to get the attenuators out and drop the signal level from the Function Gen down to the level you expect out of a mixer.

This is the output from the LM386 taken to the point of clipping. Looks reasonably clean and should make a nice racket when i put a speaker onto it.

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WWFF Park Activations

I plan to be activating the following parks over the Easter holidays. There might be another couple added to the list on the Saturday. Just depends on time.

Fri, 14 Apr 2017 Afternoon (WWFF) VK4FFAB on 7.030 CW in (VKFF-1517) Cooloothin Conservation Park 7.144 also will self spot

Fri, 14 Apr 2017 Evening (WWFF) VK4FFAB on 7.030 CW in (VKFF-1554) Harry Spring Conservation Park 7.144 also will self spot

Sat, 15 Apr 2017 Morning (WWFF) VK4FFAB on 7.030 CW in (VKFF-1551) Great Sandy Conservation Park 7.144 also will self spot

Sat, 15 Apr 2017 Afternoon (WWFF) VK4FFAB on 7.030 CW in (VKFF-1667) Tuchekoi Conservation Park 7.144 also will self spot

Sun, 16 Apr 2017 Morning (WWFF) VK4FFAB on 7.030 CW in (VKFF-1645) Six Mile Creek Conservation Park 7.144 also will self spot

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