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.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Thor's Hammer with frequency drift

The receiver has a considerable frequency drift, even more than I expected.

When I visit next time I may have a better RX at hand. - if there is enough time to ge one going.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Thor's Hammer Realigned

I was visiting the house of OZ9QV and got the 10 MHz grabber realigned.

I broadened the viewing frequency window, since the receiver has some temperature drift. In any case, QRSS signals are now visible again on the grabber.

Thor's Hammer, by OZ9QV :

QTH JO65cp
Frequency 10.140 MHz
Cheap transistor synthesized receiver
Older low spec PC


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Update IC-703 500kHz

After having made a study of the IC-703 manual I see that there is a high pass filter in the TX path , cutting off at 1.6 MHz.
This is most probably for avoiding the IF frequency (455kHz) reaching the TX output.

A switch - switching in a 500kHz bandpass filter (alt 136kHz filter for LW) or bypassing the filter - would probably be possible, but the *tiny* SMD components at this place in the radio makes me think twice about making the attempt.

It *may* be possible to tap the signal out to an external amplifier, but then there is still 30mW out of the TX at 500kHz, so that could as easily be used.

Conclusion : 500kHz looks possible with the 703, but I doubt the internal filter mod is worth the risk of ruining a perfectly good TRX.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Modifying the IC-703 - - and 500kHz

Ham radio manufacturers are funny (funny-strange, I mean).

They make 100 W radios needing lots of cooling, yet the PA's work through.

On the other hand, making QRP radios, PA transistors go KAPUT, drivers go KAPUT (FT-817 and IC-703 respectively)

SInce I have a FT-817 with a PA that died, I know it is just a matter of time before it happens again, unless the correct mods are made.

This week end ( with temperatures up around 30 C) I got to do the necessary mods for the IC-703

1) Driver modification. This one is not too bad, a matter of cutting a single PCB track and rerouting a piece of wire on the accessible side of the PCB, no need to remove the PCB. When at it, I adjusted the bias to the driver down to the recommended .5V, so the driver should be safe even with high temperatures now. In the original IC-703 the driver is connected directly to the full supply voltage, now it is connected to the 8V supply line.

2) CW Keyer input. For some obscure reason the keyer jack is grounded through a choke, giving rise to RF making it impossible to release the TX key. The solution, connecting the keyer jack ground directly to RF ground can be made provisionally outside the radio, but the more elegant solution requires the main board PCB to be lifted from the housing. Not too tricky, but beware of the flat cables (connectors).

3) 500 kHz TX option. This one required moving a *tiny* SMD diode. I managed to do it with a "normal" small solder tip, but the result is not that pretty.
The mod does open for TX on 500 kHz, but max output is about 40mW, and it looks like something is heating up, because the output reduces a bit after key-up, then stabilizes. I would probably not try to use the max output, but reduce it a bit, them make a power amp.

All in all not too bad for a hot summer's week end.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

New Toy, Heavy Stuff

Just picked up a Maritime transceiver, the IC-M710.
The station operational from 1.6 to 30MHz, so TX on all bands 160 - 10m.

Now I need to learn to operate the thing, it is not quite the same as a normal HAM transceiver, but there will be time for playing, the set tunes in 100Hz steps, but with a clarifier.

Capable of running 150W out continuously (I have heard), the radio can be used for heavy duty operation

Now for some playing...