Friday, 2 February 2018

First Experiments with HB100 Doppler RADAR Modules

 Cor blimey! Aint it cold!!!

These past few days here have been enough to freeze the balls off of a brass monkey! (although monkeys were never made of brass for this exact reason - if you dont know what a 'monkey' is, research naval gunnery in the 18th century!). If your finding that your gas bill is extortionate this time of year, take a look at the link at the bottom of this page!

The HB100 Doppler RADAR module is the modern equivalent of the old X-band Gunn diode modules that many of us used for 10GHz WBFM back in the 80's and 90's. And they cost very little. I have two of these to experiment with.

The ultimate goal of course is to use them for 10GHz WBFM amateur radio, but they are somewhat harder to use in this manner than the old Gunn modules were.

Instead, as a project for my son who is well into his coding, we are looking at a simple RADAR speed gun project. To this end, I had a little play with one yesterday.

Nothing very special, and no pictures im afraid for this post. Simply a test that they do in fact work. I took one of the modules and connected its IF output to the 'scope, and gave it a clean regulated 5V supply. The output is extremely low level, we are talking just a handful of mV here, and is a variable audio frequency, dependent on the speed of the target, which in this case was just my hand being waved about! But - I could detect an output waveform.

Next step is to add a suitable IF amplifier chain to bring the output level up to around 3V or so, suitable for shaping and feeding into an Arduino.

Also yesterday, I finally joined the Milscanners group and programmed by UBC-125XT scanner up with the UKs military airband frequencies that are most likely to be receivable from the shack. Im quite surprised to be able to hear aircraft at low level all the way down to RAF Cranwell, and extremely pleased to be able to hear at good level aircraft at the Donna Nook gunnery range. The trick now will be to identify any frequencies that I just cant get any traffic on and remove them - as there are still around 60 air defence channels I want to add but have run out of memories!

On each blog post  I will be including the following link -
 £50 credit if you switch energy supplier to Bulb Ltd
This is my own personal referral link, not an advert! I am with Bulb for gas and electricity. Do your own research, but if you decide to switch to them, do so via the above link, and we both get a £50 credit!

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