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Showing posts from 2019

Exciting Bitx40 Modifications

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Make your Bitx40 Work FT-8 & WSPR! Happy New Year ~ 2020! [ The following describes two methods for adding USB capabilities to your Bitx40 and further adds an alternative to the Raduino controller.] So OK I built my first Bitx20 shortly after VU2ESE announced to the world his exciting project -- that was over 10 years ago. Even then W6JFR (now N6QW) hacked that project by converting the inductors to ferrite core, shifting the IF to 9 MHz and adding an LCD Display complete with a EI9GQ VFO stabilizer. So it goes to reason that I would still be hacking this amazing design --today! Bill N2CQR provided two "seed" Bitx40 boards and I am happy to report that both boards have now been "hacked" so that they are USB capable and working the 40 Meter Digital Modes such as WSPR and FT-8.  But here is the icing on the cake the hacks involve two completely different approaches and this experimentation has provided some new ideas for me for use on

The Whaddon Mk VII - Paraset Clandestine Radio

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What is a Paraset? 12-12-2019 40 Meters is wide open! This is just the transmit part of my Bitx40 using my N6QW Controller. First time to be heard in the Philippines and Singapore from this QTH. Maybe this could be done with a Paraset? 20 minutes later --really open. (Transmit only) Yes haywire and chewing gum; but can also do FT-8.  ***************************************************** No I didn't say parasite but Paraset!  Bottom Line the Paraset was a clandestine radio set built in England and supplied to agents operating behind enemy lines in the European theater during WWII. Most went to the French Resistance; but some found their way into the Scandinavian countries.  It is believed that  Torstein Raaby, the radio operator on the Kon Tiki voyage used the Paraset while a Resistance Fighter in Norway during WWII. The whole radio was stuffed inside an innocuous looking scruffy suitcase. The standard issued radio even included some spare tubes

Bitx40: ~ Replacing the Raduino with the N6QW controller!

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Say What: Replacing the Bitx40 Raduino? 12-07-2019 ~ Pearl Harbor Day Let us not forget what happened 78 years ago today. On a sad note there are but three remaining survivors of the original USS Arizona crew and only one will be attending the commemoration ceremony. Many have sacrificed to make this the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave!  ***** I have now added switching of an linear amplifier to the PTT circuit so I can run 600 Watts with my "reworked" Bitx40.  Two 1N4148 diodes and a 12 VDC SPST relay make it all happen. Running a bit more power does help. My latest project now on my website... http://www.n6qw.com/The_Paesano.html 12-04-2019: I call my Bitx40 "Maggie May" since she has been passed around a bit and before transmitting I specifically looked at the Bitx40 documentation. Shazam -- The bias was at Zero and not set to 100 Ma, and there was no drive as such. Fixing those two provided 10 Watts of solid

Why it is important to join the GQRP Club?

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When you know stuff, You can do Stuff! Yesterday to once again demonstrate that I can do stuff, I made some changes to the Arduino and Si5351 LO/BFO board and re-installed those two on the CRAP rig. Here you see it working on WSPR. Pretty Cool! Yes that is the Cool Blue 16X2 LCD. Now on to a problem. Recently for The Paesano rig, I installed a new library to use with the 65K Color OLED. This is a universal library intended to use with all sorts of displays and one variant works with the ST-7735 type of display which is similar to the ST-7735 library used with the normal Color TFT displays I have used in the past. Long story short, on some of the older projects I have developed using the Color TFT when you try to load them --you get an error message about pixel height. The sketches with the Color OLED's and as well as those using the LCD's are not affected.  That could be a disaster! But since this is not my 1st Rodeo, previously I loaded IDE 1.8.5 on a sep

A letter sent to DX Engineering

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Are we being manipulated by the Ham Radio Manufacturers? Here is a letter that was sent to DX Engineering? If after reading this you have similar views --why not drop K3LR a note at the DX Engineering website "Contact Us" tab. I am sure he would love to hear from others in the ham homebrew community who like me see $4K for a Appliance Box as being out of step with our true ham roots which are now over 100 years old! 10/26/2019 ~ PPS (Pre Post Script).  W hen you have the innovative and experimental mindset, then it is possible to add some new technology to fix problems with older radios. One does not learn that by knowing the 3000 menus in the IC7300. A Ten Tec Model 540 had a completely broken dial cord mechanism. Yes. radios used to have dial cord mechanisms.  The message here is "when you know stuff, you can do stuff"! Working Contests and Operating may not give you the skill sets to pull this off. Watch the video... October 23, 2019