Today I’ve done some work around the tower. I am going to put up a new section so all the cables had to be cleared from the tower. Really unwieldy cables to wind up! Maybe I’ll take down all the antennas and other stuff in the tower tomorrow. I also have to fix better guy lines as I am now using real guy lines on the first section but only blue rope at the second..
The last week has been a lot of fun. I’ve finally “released” the first part of the diversity systems firmware and also built a prototype PCB for testing. This board controls the receiver and will be placed in each receiver in the system, a vital part that must work before anything else can be tested correctly.
While testing the board I realized that one of my filter designs didn’t work out as expected but I’ll look into that this weekend. This is just one part of the whole system but still fun to see that I’m making some progress after such a long time.
For all of my firmwares in this system I’ve built a CLI (command line interface) to control all the AVR processors via the computer (usb). This makes everything so easy as I can make all calibrations and debugging etc. directly from the computer.
Last weekend me and Teemu (SM0W) went up to Luleå University to work with the openASC project for SK0UX. We made a lot of progress and one huge step closer to getting our system ready. The founder of openASC, Mikael (SJ2W), gave us access to the lab the whole weekend and also helped out building everything together, big thanks! The lab was amazing and so fun to work in, I won’t be able to solder again without thinking about it!
The openASC project is a system which is used to control a big ham radio station. Everything from changing antennas to rotating towers/antennas and also enables the ability to remote control a station on-line. The project was created by SM2WMV to be used at his contest station SJ2W (http://www.sj2w.se) but is open for anybody who wants to join the project.
This weekend I participated both in the crew and operator team for SH3Y. We have been working for some weekends at SK3W to be able to run 5 stations at the same time, all with a dedicated amplifier and up to 3 antennas on each band. We had some work left to do when most of the youngsters arrived at Thursday evening but together we got everything running a few hours before the contest, now that is ham-spirit!
This is the youngest Multi Operator Multi Transmitter team we’ve had in Sweden as far as I know. Most of the group from outside Sweden is youngsters we met in Belgium via the YOTA program, they all gave it their best even though the bands were completely dead at some times and the propagation was horrible. On Sunday the propagation’s went the other way and the 14 operator young and strong team managed to break the 13 year old Swedish M/M Record! What a feeling it was!
More information can be found on several places on the Internet, links below!
This weekend I finally got some time over for the repeater voting system (diversity). The receiver part is more or less done and the calibration with the receiver itself works really good. I connected the whole link with receiver, link transmitter, link receiver and then the voting interface. Both the link transmitter and link receiver has to pass the noise at 5-7KHz so a modification is necessary, you can find that modification under the “Project” page . Just before I was going to try it out my link receiver started to smell like something had burned. I quickly disconnected everything and found that I accidentally had shorten the 13.8v and ground. Fortunately, after the disassemble of the radio, only a track on the PCB had burned off. So after the repair all was working fine again.
To be continued..
I also made a simple CAT interface for Yaesu FT1000MKV as I wanted to control the radio via contest software such as HamRadioDelux and N1MM. The manual says that you have to use a cross over cable but I found out that it has to be a straight cable if it’s connected directly to the computer!