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.
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.
It wasn't expected to be here until Saturday, but it arrived yesterday afternoon. It looks to be in excellent shape and works well.
Now, I need to get some antennas so I can give it a thorough workout.
(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.
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.
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.
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.
Well, I've been working on the keyer. It turns out that the Arduino Mega has the I2C bus on different pins than the Arduino Uno. Since my keyer shield doesn't actually have pins for that location on the Arduino, I had to come up with an adaptor mechanism. I bought some extra long pins from Jameco and put two of the wires into a two-pin housing, and now I have a display. The lack of sidetone output was traced to a broken wire going to the speaker. The paddle inputs didn't work, but that turned out to be a software error.
It's been a while since I wrote anything, so I thought I'd bring y'all up to date about what I've been doing.
It occurs to me that I never explained why I'm re-writing the keyer software. To recap the project up to this point: I have wanted a CW memory keyer for a long time, and I had wanted to do some project with the Arduino. However, I didn't think that my circuit design skills were up to designing the necessary hardware and I didn't really want to write the software, and it occurred to me that someone else might have decided to use the Arduino as the basis of a memory keyer and have designed hardware and written the software necessary to make it do what I want.