Saturday, December 22, 2018

2019 MAGA ~ More Arduino's Greater Advancements

What Ham Radio Needs?

December 26, 2018 ~ The Day After ..

Well I did get one radio related gift from my middle son and his XYL. Parts! Yes I got three bags of parts... one of caps, another of diodes and zeners and the third of inductors. So not all bad.

In thinking about MAGA ~ More Arduino's Greater Advancements. I have come up with several "tools" built into one Arduino.

First would be a simple band switched RF Oscillator. This would provide outputs in the ranges 1 to 3 MHz, 3 to 6 MHz, 6 to 10 MHz, 10 to 15 MHz, 15 to 22 MHz and finally 22 to 30 MHz for starters. These would all be step tuned in increments of 10 Hz, 100 Hz, 1K, 10K, 100K and 1 MHz tuning steps.

Also being considered is fixed frequency outputs for testing IF stages like outputs at 4.9152 MHz, 9 MHz and possibly 10 MHz or other chosen frequencies (CLK2).

Next would be audio related such as Two Tone generation for Linearity testing of RF Power Amps and to provide fixed tones for use in checking audio amplifier stages.

In our age of do it fast and thinking about those who take a guilt trip about not doing CW ( I am not in that camp), four push buttons would provide the following:

  • Button #1 calls CQ in CW
  • Button #2 responds by saying your report is 599, Name is Pete, QTH is Newbury Park, CA
  • Button #3 says Rig here is homebrew running 800 watts and antenna is a droopy dipole
  • Button #4 says Tnx fer the QSO nice to wrk you 73's.
There now that would be useful and the only skill is button pushing and no sending skills required.

Possible other implementations (mind you all in one Mega2560 Arduino)

  • Return Loss Bridge
  • SWR Bridge
  • Coffee Pot Timer
  • Station ID timer
Hope you got some nice stuff for Christmas.

Pete N6QW

We Need More Simple Projects Using the Arduino Nano. Thus our new slogan:

MAGA = More Arduino's  Greater Advancements

In 2019 I hope to develop some projects that may be useful in the shack. Some may involve test instruments while others may include projects like remote antenna tuners. However, all will be Arduino based.

For those who await new projects with baited breath [or just plain bad breath], having built so many transceivers in 2018 there will be no new transceiver projects in 2019. I guess I should never say never.

Happy Holidays and may you find a gingerbread person in your holiday stocking.

Pete N6QW


  1. Test Instruments. I like the sound of the Pete.

    de G4WIF

  2. Bill is going to be convinced that you have totally gone over to the Dark Side. I think test instruments are great ideas.

    Have a safe and joyous holiday season.

  3. I look forward to seeing 2019's projects unfold Pete. Today I am channeling Pasta Pete and am making pasta sauce. Just 10 Liters of it LOL.

    Merry Christmas all.

  4. Hi Pete
    I got a ham related Christmas gift as well... two full days of quality bench time! :) Started to make a dent in some of the project back log.

    Thinking about MEGA. Antenna analysis tools would be nice. Watt meter with your SWR bridge. Some way to calibrate level on those signal generators. Looking forward to seeing what you come up with.
    Jim wa7hrg

  5. Hi Jim,

    Actually one thought was to include the use of Microchip Digital Pots to provide an attenuation of the signal source so you could determine MDS. While the attenuation would be constant one nut to crack is 0 dB attenuation value as the frequency changes. The Si5351 has a tendency to drop off in signal level as you go higher in frequency. So one would have to have a way of reading the base line and then applying the attenuation --still a work in progress.

    Lots of noodling here but something other than a transceiver.Thanks for your input jim.

    Pete N6QW

    1. On a upcoming signal generator project plan on using a AD8307 to measure the input to a pair of HMC470 Step attenuator modules from eBay and a 40 dB relay controlled fixed attenuator to give around 100 dB attenuation in 1 db steps. Hardest part seems like it will be providing adequate shielding to prevent bleed through when at higher attenuation levels.
      DuWayne KV4QB


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