Contents :

A collection of thoughts, and my notes about experiments and ideas, technical or otherwise, connected to Amateur Radio, Satellite working and monitoring and other electronics.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Thor's Hammer Frozen Again

The Grabber is down, again.

It is running unattended, so will be restored when someone can attend to it.

It still needs some recovery program if a reboot should occur (e.g. due to a power failure).

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Thor's Hammer back on track

Thor's Hammer has been down for a while due to a thunderstorm putting it offline.
The grabber is on line again.

If I have sufficient time one or two new bands will be added to TH when I go there next time. 80m is a likely candidate, since I have a 80m RockMite built and ready. However, I may have to add another low powered PC to take the load off the current one. SpectrumLab is not the easiest on processor load.

I may see if Argo or Spectran is better in that respect. Tests needed, or, if anyone has experience, please tell me.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Thor's Hammer up and running

During some work at the place the PC had been switched off.

The "Hammer" is running nicely again since Christmas.

It is running on 10MHz and 500kHz as before. Possibly with an extension in a few months. Some antenna work and some soldering needed.

Next band will probably be 80 (3500kHz). and a simpler receiver for 10MHz. The original receiver will then be set to yet another band. Some wideband antenna work will be necessary for this to work out.

Time to get the soldering iron warmed up again.

On the PA9QV front the next soldering project should be the FA-SDR. All components including the housing have arrived, only a PA (1W) is missing yet. I may build a small wideband PA myself.

Still a lot of kits to build, but slowly getting started again.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Thor's Hammer stuck

I have noticed that Thor's Hammer has stopped uploading. Reason unknown, but could be the Inet connection has been lost, or the PC has been rebooted due to a power outage. I will have to wait and see.

Since I cannot just go there and back again in a day It will have to wait till I can go there for it to be updated

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

New kits arrived

It took a while, but I now have "a few" kits to build.

Some SoftRock II kits, different bands, each can be made directly for 160,80,40,30 or 20m, all components in the kit. Some SMD soldering necessary, but should be possible, even with my eyes.

Some "Funkamateur" single frequency kits, among those a 10.7MHz kit to connect to my VHF-UHF RX (R7000, possibly AR-8600).
Two kits for 9MHz, one will be modified for use on 10MHz

the other 9MHz might be made "wideband", so a multitude of LO signals could be used, possibly a Si570 synthesizer or the DDS60 kit

Two lower band kits, to be decided

The FA wideband SDR TRX, will need a PA and a programmable LO, not yet ordered. Covering 1.7 - 30 MHz with preselection, so seems quite usable.

The "standard" 1W PA could probably easily be replaced by a home made solution, but I will see if I do not get to order the standard one at some stage. The local oscillator, the so-called FA-SY may be the way to go for full band coverage. A housing is also available, I may order that one, too.

Update :
The FA-SY oscillator has been ordered, along with a housing fit for the FA-SDR TRX
More Update :
The FA-SY kit and the housing have arrived

Lots of kits to build, not too much time, so let us see what comes up here.

The intention is to use some of the fixed frequency stuff for simultaneous WSPR and QRSS monitoring.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

600m WSPR at "Thor's Hammer"

Since I visited the QTH of OZ9QV last month I have been monitoring the WSPR reception there.

The WSPR receiver is of course the same as the one for QRSS, with WSPR running concurrently on the PC.

With the tiny indoor tuned multi turn loop (diameter 22cm) the following stations have now been received successfully on 600m .

PA0A, PA0O, G3XIZ, PE1GRL and EI0CF being 1225km from there.

For such a simple setup I am quite happy with the results, even though I know that improvements are certainly possible.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Grabber : "Thor's Hammer" at OZ9QV : updates

During a holiday (and being there for other reasons) in Denmark I have made an update to the "Thor's Hammer" QRSS grabber. More will happen later at another visit.

The grabber can, as usual be found at :
Thor's Hammer

The grabber now works on two bands, a more stable receiver (old TRX with defective TX) has been installed for 10 MHz and the viewable frequency range reduced. Still using an older low powered PC

10 MHz Grabber :
RX range : 10139.880 - 10140.120 kHz
SpectrumLab set for display of 3 stripes of consecutive periods
Antenna : indoor dipole

500kHz Grabber :
RX range : 502.700 - 505.500 kHz - some noticeable frequency drift, but acceptable
SpectrumLab set for 3 strips as above
Antenna : indoor multi turn tuned loop

The 500kHz RX seems to have some problems with receiving WSPR, only once or twice the WSPR signals from PA0A and PA0O have been received.
The signal from (I think) G3XIZ was visible, but no decodes.

All in all I am fine with the improvements, but more is needed. I would like to add more bands, e.g 80m, 40 and 20m, possibly 136kHz but things do take time to get running, and new antennas will be necessary.

I may experiment with a wide band active loop antenna (H-probe) or an E-probe (short active whip).