Saturday, 12 November 2016

Ultimate 3S Relay kit

The relay board kit and extra LPFs for my U3S beacon arrived yesterday, so I found some time to work on them today.

As with all Hans' kits, its very compact but goes together very easily, excellent quality. I did find the nylon pillars were a bit awkward to fit due to being so close to other components, something that would not be a problem if the stand-off for the display was screwed into it, rather than the other way around. I removed my pins connecting the RF out, then realised I could leave them, and tried to put them back but couldnt clean the holes out properly and ended up making a mess of it! So they were left out permanently. Not to worry though, im unlikely to revert to single band operation.

The above shows the relay board fitted onto the U3S. This is revision 5 of the board, which includes a novel modification to increase the harmonic suppression performance, but it does require the highest frequency LPF (in my case 10m) to be left permanently installed in position 1. Position 0, that is, the LPF location on-board the U3S, I have left my other original filter for 40m installed. This leaves me four positions for my four new filters - 30m, 20m, 17m and 15m.

I have so far only completed building the 20m LPF, and so this is installed in position 4, leaving positions 5 (30m), 3 (17m) and 2 (15m). The only other thing to do is make sure that the correct 'band', that is, the relay position number, is set in the software so that  the corresponding filter is selected to match the operating frequency. I have already modified my two transmission settings for 40m and 10m to match the new filter arrangement.

I have also recently been trying to program some old Philips PRP70 series radios, but so far without success, despite having a genuine programming lead. I suspect theres a corrupt file in the software, as it throws up a run time error that seems to relate to file handling in MS-DOS. I have three of these radios and only really need to get one working, as that will go on 4m.

More bits ordered from the Far East are beginning to trickle in. Several cheap multimeters, just to give me some extra metering capabilities, but one of the little analogue meters ive had to have refunded, as it is totally dead! I suspect i'll be able to fix it so long as its not the coil in the movement itself.

Ive also received the 24v 3A SMPSU block, which, as feared, is slightly wider than the 1Ah clansman battery case i'd hoped to fit it into! I need to test it anyway first, but I think I will have to look out for a 4Ah metal cased battery to decell and turn into a mains supply instead. I could perhaps switch the casing on the LiPo pack.

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