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Old 10-04-2008, 04:42 PM   #1
N7OQ
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Default Some kits of interest

I bought a couple neat kits that might interest some of you.

The 1st item is a little USB FT232RL breakout board that you can buy from Sparkfun Electronics http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/categories.php?c=20
This is a USB to serial converter but it is a 3.3volt level and that is the same lever that all most all the Ham rigs use, like Kenwood, Icom and Yaesu. So all you have to do like in my case is tie the Receive and transmit lines together and connect to one pin and ground to the other and plug it into my Ic706mkiig and I have a nice radio to computer interface. The IC chip and USB socket it already soldered to the board for you. So for $15 and a little time to solder on the cable for your radio you have a radio USB interface. This thing works great on all my radios and is very small board.

The 2nd item is a little more complicated as far as soldering goes, it is called DDS60, a small board with a DDS (Direct Digital Synthesis) chip and hand full of parts all surface mounted and a good project to learn how to do surface mount. http://www.amqrp.org/kits/dds60/index.html With this board you can generate a 1 to 60 mhz signal at up to 4 volts p-p using a computer, or Pic chip or any micro chip to control it. You can use it as a VFO , Signal generator, or a frequency standard. When you buy the kit you get the PC board and all the parts except the DDS chip that you can get for free as a sample from the manufacture. If you don't want to solder on the IC chips they have a guy who will do it for a small fee. The frequency output can be controlled from 1 to 60 mhz in 10 hz steps but I have actually set it lower to frequencies like 455khz to adjust IF stages. I have plans on using it in a project to turn my Oscope into a HF spectrum Analyzer.

Another project I'm getting ready to start is a regen Receiver that was in a QST issue. http://www.arrl.org/tis/info/pdf/0009061.pdf I'm gong to design and make my own boards and this will be a project for my Son.

Just though I would throw out a few ideas out here and see if there is any interest in this area.
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Old 10-04-2008, 06:45 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by N7OQ View Post
Just though I would throw out a few ideas out here and see if there is any interest in this area.
Enough interest that we created a new forum to put it in! :thanks:
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Old 10-04-2008, 07:53 PM   #3
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Hey !!! Good idea, I like this. I have to admit though, I've not done any kit building in awhile. Anyone ever hear of Heathkit ? Hi Hi.... Now you know it's been awhile.



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Old 10-04-2008, 09:22 PM   #4
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Heathkit...wasn't that a cat in the comics.....nope Heathcliff I believe, Red Skeltons seagulls...Gertrude and Heathcliff.

Kit building takes good eyes and steady hands...and most of us to not have that anymore.

Ken
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Old 10-05-2008, 08:14 AM   #5
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The RS-232 kit sounds interesting.. I've used a few RS-232 adapters over the years, even tested one (Beta test) which I gave a very negative review (it was a 3-line, the task it was marketed for needed a 10 line interface).

I'm not all that happy with3.3volt kits though as they don't always work.. I have a pair of "prolific" adapters (That's the chip set name) that work for some things, not for others.

I have two more (not a pair) that work for EVERYTHING One is a Belkin Don't know the other.. The Belking interfaces with my TS-2000 normally (As does one prolific but only for T/R control via a home made opto-isolator interface)
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Old 10-05-2008, 12:52 PM   #6
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The RS-232 kit sounds interesting.. I've used a few RS-232 adapters over the years, even tested one (Beta test) which I gave a very negative review (it was a 3-line, the task it was marketed for needed a 10 line interface).

I'm not all that happy with3.3volt kits though as they don't always work.. I have a pair of "prolific" adapters (That's the chip set name) that work for some things, not for others.

I have two more (not a pair) that work for EVERYTHING One is a Belkin Don't know the other.. The Belking interfaces with my TS-2000 normally (As does one prolific but only for T/R control via a home made opto-isolator interface)
Well this uses a ft232r chip that was featured in a QST article for a cheap USB radio interface and I found this one already on a break out board and at a very cheap price and all the hard work is already done. If you want 5volt level no problem you can change a jumper. There is already several people who are selling USB radio interfaces using this chip at more than double the price. Now to use it as a rs232 port you would have to add a line level converter like a MAX232.

Now if the Radio industry would get with the times and start selling radios that use USB instead of RS232 than that would be much better. The Telescope industry is the same way, I just bought a new state of the art LX200R GPS telescope and what does it have but two rs232 ports.
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Old 10-06-2008, 07:20 AM   #7
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One item I found in searching the nets is a usb to DUAL Rs-232 adapter.. Outragous price IIRC but nice to know it's out there.

I see a lot of computer to rig interfaces but to do it right I need audio and at least TWO, count 'em TWO RS-232... and on the TS-2000 the RS-232 port is dual function as well so it can get real confusing.. If I use the built in mini-TNC that uses the RS-232 port.. And if I use the computer to either control, or to simply read out, the frequency and mode.. That too uses the same port on the computer... Alas only one task can occupy the port at a time.... Thankfully the computer has a full TNC package on board (Which is better than the mini-TNC anyway)
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Old 10-06-2008, 09:00 PM   #8
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I ran across this website while on a Brand-X Forum. It interested me mainly due to the discussion area on grounding mobile (RV) antennas. There's a lot of other good info there as well and very well explained I thought. It is the website of K0BG.

I probably posted this to the wrong area but, thought it would get the most interest here.



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Old 01-04-2009, 10:34 AM   #9
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the K0BG is great site for ideas
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