OK So What Have I Been Doing

Well its good that you asked this LMAO. Well i have not been posting here much that is for sure, but i have been very busy with things. I have sat and passed a license upgrade and I have been working on fixing the uBitx lack of audio on the V4 boards, have been working on designing and prototyping stages for a receiver/transmitter/transceiver, it keeps evolving and have had a bunch of boards made in China and they are sitting on my desk AM waiting for me to populate and test them.

So there has been lots going on, more on all that to come and more over the next couple of weeks as i start to pull all these disparate threads together into something cohesive. Oh and I started to discuss with a mate the possibility of together designing and building a rig for SOTA etc that is cheep and simple. And in 6 weeks or so when I have the new call sign and I can use homebrew on air and just into a dummy load, I will be certainly looking to get some homebrew transmitting capability happening here at home.

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Another Project Case

A mate of mine needed a case for a homebrew radio he is building. So i knocked one up for him on my homebrew bending brake. A couple of bucks in sheet metal and screws and about 30 minutes of my time. Its not my best or neatest work, but its functional and will survive a lot of abuse doing SOTA and WWFF etc where it will be thrown in a backpack often.

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Home Brew Straight Key. Update

So I got excited and rather than waiting on all the bits from China i ordered to polish the crap out of this, I decided just to put it into service. I am still waiting for the right sized lower springs to arrive from China, these ones i cut out of ones i bought from Bunnnings (hardware store in VK) and they do not sit correct. But, the key works, its nice and smooth and even though its not polished to within an inch of its life, i am very happy with how this turned out. I learned a lot and if i do another one, I know i can make it better than this one by a long shot.

 

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Home Brew Straight Key

All the bits have finally arrived and I can get onto making a key. Not your average crap key made from a paper clip or a couple of bananas and a peg, but something that is going to be solid and last a lifetime. Well, as part of my plan to home brew an entire station from key to antenna and everything in between, I have taken a break from the receiver project while i wait on some parts and will focus on building a key for a while.

Parts are 100x10mm aluminum, 30x10mm aluminum, 10mm delrin, knurnled nuts M4, M4 threaded rod, M4 copper rivets and some spring-a-ma-things.

The plan is to made a not very pretty but very functional straight key. Its going to be no Begali or Kent even, but I think it should work ok.

So i have made a start on it and cut out the base plate, yes I using aluminum for the base and not wood, the 2 pivot blocks and what will eventually become the arm. I have hit an impasse tonight and cannot cut the arm out until morning when i can open the garage door and get access to the vice. Onward and upward.

Day 2: Its starting to take shape.

So much sanding. LOL. Yeah its probably going to take 10 hours of sanding to get things perfect.

And the sanding continues LOL

Its coming along nicely.

Added some random springs for a temporary test and it seems to work quite fine. Actually when i make it properly adjustable and put a knob on it, it should be a pretty good unit all round. Waiting on springs to come from china. So not much doing now for 3 weeks.

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Boned In China

It was bound to happen eventually, anyone who buys parts off ebay gets stung and it was my turn. Looks like i got a packet of floor sweepings and rejects. Out of 120 xtals, 50% failed to even oscillate and the ones that did ranged in frequency from 11,996,000 to 11,999,600 with 4 being higher than 12mhz. Anyway, it is what it is and I will not be using that seller ever again and I will lodge for a refund. The 3 weeks wait has been the killer I wanted to get cracking on with filters for the receiver. ATM i do not have enough xtals the same frequency to even start. So, i just ordered some genuine parts from RS Components and will have them here within a couple of days and then I can move on.

That is the pile of dead or Q so poor that the amplitude of the sine wave was less than 1vpp compared to 4vpp on ones that were ok.

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