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Good Grief! ANOTHER Keyer?

I've been licensed as KA8KPN since 1980. I have sometimes told people that it was 1979, but that's my mistake. My true story about not having an ID for the general test, but having one for the amateur extra test implies that I was licensed the year I turned 16, which was 1980. That whole time, CW has been my mode. First, with a straight key, and then with a set of iambic paddles (I received a nice chrome based set of Bencher paddles for my 16th birthday.) The thing about iambic paddles is that you need a device called a keyer in order to actually use them for anything.

The Pixie Rides Again!

Well, after thinking about it, and using all the tools at my disposal, including colorful language, I managed to get the old S8050 out of the S-Pixie kit. Now, I've been buying component assortments for years. I figure that if I want to build my own equipment, especially equipment of my own design, I'll need parts and it's better to buy cheap assortments well in advance than to order the specific parts that I think I want. I mean, the fact that I have, say, an S8050 transistor, that can guide my designs to use parts that I have rather than be overwhelmed by all the parts that there are.

A Tale of Two Pixies

I was on Twitter the other, well, year. and I saw that Richard GW1JFV had posted a photo of something he'd gotten in the mail. It was a kit from http://lxqqfy.com. They're a Chinese outfit that makes electronics kits for radio amateurs. Now, I'm always a sucker for a cheap kit, as evidenced by the assortment of unbuilt kits I have on my shelves, and they've reproduced some classic kits that are no longer available elsewhere. So, in my ongoing effort to actually establish two-way radio contact using gear I built myself, I bought an S-Pixie.

Kit Progress

A year or two ago, I bought a dummy load kit at the Texas City Hamfest. It's basically a bunch of 1K 3W resistors, a mason jar, a couple of perforated metal disks, and an SO-239. Some assembly required. I made some changes to the design, replacing the SO-239 with a BNC connector, and adding BNC connectors for sample and AM envelope detector outputs, and it's now done. The guy who sold me the kit gave me way more than 20 resistors, though, so I have a bunch of 3W resistors left over, not to mention the fact that I misplaced the resistors so I bought even more.

I've bought a VFO!

An image of the beast, itself.

(Image from RadioWorld) I've had my FT-102 for a while, and it gets used occasionally. One of the things that makes it difficult for me to use in day-to-day activities is the fact that it is an old school HF rig, so it has a single VFO built into it. To operate split, you need an external VFO. Of course, an external VFO was sold as part of the FT-102 line. That external VFO is the FV-102DM. It's actually a digital synthesizer with battery-backed memories and stuff like that. They come up for sale on eBay every once in a while.

Aaaaanndd, we're Back

For those of you playing along at home, I have a VPS (Virtual Private Server) on which I host various sites. Actually, for various technical reasons, I have two VPSes. Well, a couple of months ago, my host for the VPS that serves this site went away. No warning, no hint of a problem, they just up and disappeared. Now, I'd backed up the databases that are used by this site, but the non-database content is just gone. Well, I've now set up this site again. Don't get your hopes up, it should work just as poorly as it did before.

My Peaberry Puts out Power --- Sort Of

I've been working on this Peaberry kit for longer than a year, now. I've been tweeting updates and stuff because there's not a lot to tell. It's taken so long because it's, by far, the most complicated tangible thing I've ever built. I've written programs that are more complicated (it's what I do for a living, after all, and people never seem to want simple programs) but those aren't tangible. Of course, I have run into problems during the construction. It's part of the nature of the beast.

Keyer Project Update - Almost Public

Well, I've been working on the memory keyer and it now can record and play back memories programmed through the keyboard. I can send a serial number that gets updated automatically, and I've fixed the odd bit here and there. I've confirmed it compiles through the IDE on Windows, although I'm still stymied by the IDE under Linux. I also tested to see if it really would key the FT-102. It does.

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