Wednesday, 19 February 2014

The slow boat comes in!

I didnt get much radio done at all today, instead I decided to get some sleep in advance of night-shifts. I did, however, set up for 10% WSPR beaconing on 6m. The result of which, I found when I woke up, was a grand total of no spots whatsoever! Oh well, i'll stick to HF for WSPR until the conditions improve.

Several more items arrived today from China. These included the 10x 10k potentiometers and 5x SPST toggle switches, both packs cost less, including shipping, than just one item would have cost from a UK seller! I do try and support British business, but its a no brainer to me to buy parts for experimental purposes where I can get them at the best value. I'll support British business by buying local veg, meat and cheese, and      local beer (oh, and whilst there still in the UK - Scottish single malts!), or for components, from sources such as rallies, and club sales.

Also today came the 'windows 7 compatible' USB micro Bluetooth dongle. This cost a whopping 99 new pence, so I really wasnt holding out much hope. But Windows 7 saw and installed it no problem. So far so good then, I then tried to use it. It was at first a bit flakey, but then settled down. Bluetooth is very easy to use, once you know how, and it took me a while to work out what to set on both the PC and the external device (in this case my mobile phone) to be able to transfer files, but that learning curve mounted and a few files were successfully transferred each way. So, for less than a quid, im fairly happy with that. It should help Julie transfer pictures from her phone to the PC.

I'm still waiting on the 100k potentiometers, the audio jack cables and the SDR DVB-T receiver dongle. Hopefully these will arrive soon.

The mixer balun/doubler tuned circuit core for Wispy has been rewound as a 9t trifilar winding, and is ready to be re-installed. I feel somehow happier with this than with Rogers original 9+2+2 toroid, as I know all the turns are in the right place. Ive already swapped the 1N34s for 1N4148s, and will see just what the output is like. I have  a feeling something is amiss with the driver amp following the modulator, which might be why im not getting much output. I'll also improve the LPF with a 7-pole version.

All this will probably have to wait until saturday. Although I will be off shift by friday morning, im on a visit to Yorkshire Television and the Emmerdale studios, so im likely to be rather knackered after!

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