So after coming home from the beach aka an activation, i put the uBitx on the bench and gave it a bit of a test out. Seems it needed some calibration work, the audio was way to tinny, so a bit of BFO fiddling was in order and a little LO calibration was needed also as it was way off frequency.
Well, I do want to say this about the uBitx calibration routines, they suck. There is no real way to get the radio any closer than 50hz off frequency. This is not good enough really and I know i can do better, but I am going to have to do a lot of code reworking so i can make the changes I require.
Anyway, thats not the point of this post, while i was sitting here trying to diagnose how I bricked the uBitx for the 4th time, i found out the lack of RF was a broken adaptor. Seems the arse fell out of it and there was no antenna thus no RF. Yeah Me 🙂
So i got busy today and wired up the uBitx. Turned it on and tuned around a little to find some signals, well there was not much going on anywhere but I did manage to find this one ZL on an other wise dead band. Its good to know that the receiver works, now i just have to wire up a mic and check its working on transmit. But that is going to be another day.
So I recorded a little video from tonight’s 7.130 dx net. I have been giving the receiver a good workout to see how I like it. So far, to be honest, I think i prefer the Bitx40 over the uBitx. Though, it might be I just need to play with the IF and BFO settings to move the bandpass around a little to where I think it sounds better.
I got rather excited this arvo and setup the mini cnc mill and went and bought some 1mm aluminium sheet with the grand idea to cnc out a front panel for the uBitx, because lets face it when it comes to cutting a straight line I suck big time. So i got on the computer and fired up Aspire Vectric and laid out a front panel with all the mounting holes etc being peck drilled for me to drill out to the right size later on the drill press. Things were going quite well until i realised i made it 100mm too short. Oh well, its now a tomorrow job.
So with the new year comes new projects, I am not going to set out what my overall plans and goals are as I have started way to many things and never bothered to see them through or to complete them. So with that in mind, I am building a L match
Its hard to make out, but you can just see the LED glowing, the signal is 10v p-p from the signal generator, the load is a decade resistance box. At infinite swr there is 1/2 the p-p voltage at the junction of the rectifier and capacitor. As swr approaches 1:1 the voltage drops to a point where the LED turns off. Its simple and its a winner.
It will get paired up with the sotabeams switched inductor and a 8-370pf air capacitor. as an L match. Should be good enough for the kinds of girls i go out with. Below is the schematic I am following for this project and a link to the authors site is at the bottom of the page. In the final build I will use 3w 50ohm resistors and the diode i used was a Schottky, i don’t recall the numbers it was just something i had in the parts box, I used the Schottky for its lower voltage drop, though that is probably not all that critical seeing that LED’s are current limited, not voltage.
So the VK4FFAB weather station is all systems go. Well, kind of. I still need to put the front door on the box and make sure all the code is working and I also am still waiting on the water depth sensor for the rain fall gauge. So now the serious testing begins as I want it fully functional before the new year for data collection.
Once this is all done, I want to add environmental data monitoring for things like light intensity, UV, gas levels, dust levels and the like.
So the other day while out shopping, we came home and a neighbour from up the street informed up that some woman was casing camper trailers and carvans up and down the street looking for easy targets. He got her rego and reported to police, but I thought i better upgrade security here just in case the bitch comes back. Added a new wheel clamp, and a bolt and lock on the tow hitch to go with the existing chain thought the wheel trick. It wont stop them, but it will slow the bastards down.
I have noticed over the last year or so focusing on fine details have become a problem, a few weeks back i went and had my eyes tested and low and behold i needed glasses. Well, today is the first time when i have put them to the test while doing some electronics work and well all i can say is its really nice to see things in crisp sharp focus. All Hail Cpt Four Eyes.
Just finished a new decade resistor box, it currently covers 10, 100, 1000, 10000 ohms, I did not have any 100K or 1M 1% resistors so i will have to go back and add them in at some stage, not that it is really important, none of the typical measurements that I will be doing will go anywhere near such big values of resistance.