Thursday, March 26, 2020

New Technology for 2020 ~ The AD9833 RF Generator Board

A New Toy on the N6QW Workbench!

3/29/2020 ~ Your uBitx may contain a critical part of the next generation of Covid 19 Ventilators.

3/30/2020 -- Double Balanced Mixers!

I am happy to report that Mouser now carries the ADE-1 Double Balanced Mixers and are available in single lot quantities for about $6 and some change. Nice! 

Just checking I went to the SolderSmoke Blog and searched in the Amazon block and typed in Double Balanced Mixers and this is what showed up ($1000)

It is a mixer; but probably won't work too well in my design. Guess it is important to be specific.

Pete N6QW


[I have a sudden interest in 3D Printers. Looking for recommendations firstly, on a good software package as that is probably more important than the machine itself and likely dictate what I buy. Given a robust software, secondly is a specific machine recommendation in the $300 to $400 range. My interest is in making knobs --big knobs.]

It seems like the University of Florida has been working on a ventilator design that uses plastic pipe and sprinkler valves. Such an approach would enable building such devices simply by making a trip to Home Depot. 

But then there is the issue of how to control the system. Boom hams to the rescue! According to what I just read on the reflector several hams have prototyped a control system to work with the plastic pipe / sprinkler valve ventilator. A posting on the reflector states today that  the involved hams will mate the Arduino / 2N3055 transistor control system with plastic pipe and sprinkler valves to breadboard a working model. How cool is that?

So while you are twiddling the knob on your uBitx that Arduino inside may be the heart of an international open sourced homebrew ventilator. That old adage is once again proven: Necessity is the mother of invention!

Just watch --- the emperor (with the nano particle sized e) will claim he invented it!

3/28/2020 ~ A new way forward!

We are now at 103K known Coronavirus cases in the USA and this is driving many changes in the way we do things that likely will be permanent!

Yesterday I made an inquiry of one of my XYL's Doctor's as she has an appointment coming up on April 7th. The office staff gave me instructions to download Zoom and that the appointment would be kept using the Zoom application. 

Payment for services will be by credit card and we already had setup prescription refills via the Dr. sending an email to our pharmacy. In the past seeing this Dr. was a bear! Her office had limited parking spaces and it was located 10 miles away. Man I foresee all future appointments being done this way. 

Ditto for her primary care doctor who will visit with you via a telemedicine application to determine what further action would be required. I happen to have a higher quality BP machine and a pulse oximeter so the Dr. can get some vital signs right over the internet.

Got an email from our dentist who is suspending his practice for a month -- not sure how you get your teeth cleaned via the internet; but someone surely is working on an application.

I discovered you can order "the college student staple food", Top Ramen via Amazon. The price is cheaper too. Funny story --on Monday I am getting a combined package from Amazon consisting of two items: A set of replacement probes for my Rigol DSO and a case of Beef Flavored Top Ramen. 

This Monday I will be all set --new DSO probes and Top Ramen! Just other day I received some high quality buttermilk biscuit mix from Amazon. 

It is likely in the future I will be doing more food ordering from Whole Foods and PillPak for the meds. What can I say other than Bezos is a genius: Stuff, Food and Medications all quickly delivered to my door. 

You have got to love technology! The stay at home order will change the paradigm! It saves gas too and is good for the planet. I am running some calculations on the gas savings versus the added delivery costs. That will be interesting.

Remember: #TOT, your life depends on it! Listen to the real leaders like Dr. Fauci and Gov. Cuomo!

3/27/2020 ~ Loaded the Code!

I just copied the code from the earlier link into a blank sketch and then of course you have to null out lines, add libraries, do the usual fiddling  and ultimately you should get a display that looks like this. You will note it says AD9850 because the author took that code from a prior project and repurposed it. [Thanks again DuWayne!]

For my use I will have to do some major surgery on this code; but this is a starting place. I want to limit the frequency range to 5 to 5.5 MHz and I don't like what was used for pin assignments --- but you can make it play as is.

I had an Uno R3 with an attached display and that is what I used. But in keeping with a small size you would want the Nano. We are moving forward...

Just  finished listening to the daily briefing from NY Governor Andrew Cuomo. Now there is a straight talking "leader" and such a vast difference from the emperor (with a microscopic e) who essentially is misleading all of us.

You can listen to and believe the emperor;  but you do so at your own risk! Just look at the numbers of cases: that data is truth! We are past 100K cases --when do you stop listening to the emperor?

Why did he wait until now to invoke the war production mandate. Weeks ago he could have ordered GM to make ventilators. This is the problem of a lack of competence to lead!

It must be that the Trump properties are losing money and that is the rationale for opening the country by Easter.


But 1st, I see where the USA leads the world in the number of Covid-19 cases, at greater than 80K of our population. We now have surpassed the 1000 mark in number of deaths!

We must look to the emperor (with a microscopic e) as a potential reason as to why so many cases. From the outset he was in denial, calling it a Democratic hoax designed to make him look bad. 

It is well known that he was briefed on the impact of this scourge over two months ago. But instead of taking action, he frittered away precious time. The emperor chose to ignore the experts and to trust his gut. Well it seems his gut was wrong.

Anyone who listens to him or believes what he is saying --we'll check back with you in about two weeks to see if you are still alive! Good Luck!


Today my AD9833 RF Generator board arrived. I kid you not it is the size of a postage stamp. When the envelope arrived I thought at first that it was an empty envelope.

The link above has the key to unlocking its secrets! The plan is to fabricate a generator in the range of 5 to 5.5 MHz as this is a common VFO frequency for many of the OLDE Boat Anchors. I have a Ten Tec Omni C that has a drifty VFO and is a candidate for this jewel. Heathkit, Drake, Galaxy and National all used a VFO in the 5 MHz range.

I am working on the AD9833 as I await the PSN's to arrive from the UK or maybe Turkey.

See the link at the top, thanks to our good friend DuWayne , down in Riverdale, GA, we now have the "how to".

It is time to TOT!

Pete N6QW

New Technology for 2020 ~ Improvise, Adapt and Overcome

What to do during the Pandemic? This is a chance to get back on the air or to take up an interest in homebrewing your own rig. You can bui...