Archive for the ‘FDIM’ Category

Recovering from FDIM/Hamvention

May 21, 2014

Have about recovered from the trip to Dayton. Rained the entire time except Sunday and Monday (the day we came home) and quite cool. But, if you don’t have to like the weather to enjoy it at Dayton. We stay at the KOA campground every year and love the friendships we have made the there.

As far as what goodies I bought…some 2.5″x3.0″ prototyping boards at a dollar a piece (good deal), an interface for my MFJ-259B so I can plot my sweeps on the PC, and finally broke down and bought the DSA815-TG spectrum analyzer. I have been struggling about buying one for over a year…so made the plunge. I have been playing with it for a few days now and makes me wonder how I ever got along without it! I put it next to my DS1052E scope and was able to remove several pieces of older test equipment that I won’t need anymore on the bench. Also picked up a hiking pack for three to four day trips on the trails.

I hope to get back to the Binuaral Receiver in a day or two. I am anxious to use the new SA on it and see how clean the crystal resonator really is. If it is clean, I will use those prototyping boards and make both 40 meter and a 80 meter resonators for the work bench.

Binuaral Receiver Update

May 10, 2014

Tinned the pads for the next two sections (actually four: LPF, RF Amp, RF Phase Shift, and Product Detector).  I also laid down and tinned the three pads for the LO/Product Detector interface transformer.  Have the RF Input section (LPF and RF Amp) done and most of the RF Phase Shift section done.

I have also been doing a wood working project for the wife (five shelf bookcase) for her scrapbooking/circut hobby.  That and made a pedestal block set for the fifth wheel landing legs and stabilizer jacks for our stay at the KOA campground near Dayton.  I can’t say enough good things about this campground.  We used to stay there for family outings when I was stationed there at Wright-Patterson AFB before I retired in ’98, and now stay there for FDIM/Hamvention.  The campground hosts go out of their way to make the week we spend there for FDIM/Hamvention one of the best camping trips of the year!

The weather is supposed to be nice tomorrow (Saturday), so will spend most of the day outside getting the RV ready and some yard chores.  Sunday through Wednesday is forecasting rain showers so may have extra time available for the workbench, though I doubt I will finish this project before we leave for Dayton.

FDIM, Hamvention, KX1

May 25, 2013

Well, as they say, FDIM/Hamvention is in the history books. We camped at the KOA with about 200+ hams and had a very enjoyable time. I think I go now to Dayton for the social aspects of FDIM and Hamvention, whereas years ago it was to find bargains and new kits. I did buy the new 40 xcvr from the 4SQRP gang…it is called a Cyclone and uses a neat version of a PTO VFO. The case is made of the same material as the PCB, so that will be a new one for me. I also bought the RF Section (8554B) for the HP spectrum analyzer that I had but without a working RF Section. Also found a blue LCD shield for the arduino microprocessor board. All in all, the trip was very good even though there were a few days of cool weather while we were camping just north of Dayton and then some rainy weather at Shipshewanne.

I made my first contact using my KX1. Was on 40 meters and worked Bill, W9VC down in Richmond. IN. Bill has a very good first and it was fun to chat with him.

I tried operating the first part of the week while at Dayton, but some X-Class flares on Monday and Tuesday (prior to FDIM/Hamvention) made band conditions unworkable. I had to want to give my new end-fed antenna a work out, but that did not pan out. We are going to NY next month for some fishing and visit the XYL’s family, so will try again then.

I am listening the the CQ WW WPX CW contest right now with the KX1 and have found that the variable receive filter is worth its weight in gold. I really like being able to adjust the bandwidth on the fly when conditions get crowded. I can adjust from 0.3 to 2.0 KHz and it makes copying so enjoyable! Guess the KX1 and K1 will both be in my camping box for the summer…hi hi.

That is about it for now. Trying to get some yard work done this weekend before I doing some bass fishing next week, so solder fumes and dit/dahs are on hold for the moment.

Stay tuned for how my antenna experiments go this summer with the RV…

Workbench Updates

May 7, 2012

Had been messing around with a VXO idea by VK3YE, but the thing won’t start oscillating. I suspect it is due to the choice of caps on the emitter of Q1. But have lost interest in that project for the moment and have inventoried the MMR-40 kit I have had on the shelf for some time. It uses a PTO for the VFO and I have never built one before, so that is what is laid out on the workbench at the moment.

I have attended Dayton for 20 years straight…so decided that we would pass on it this year. We have been camping at the KOA just west of Hara and it was cheaper to camp for seven days than stay at the hotel for four days. Best part is that the entire campground is full and nearly all of them are hams. But considering the cost the week of camping (a tad over $300), the cost of fuel (over four dollars a gallon for diesel), the cost of attendance at Hara and FDIM, etc…we can go to Shipshewanna camping for the week and still come out ahead money wise. Hate to sound like a cheap-skate, but I still have two years before I can start drawing on my IRA’s and 401K’s. So for at least this year, we are going to forgo Dayton.

I have have never been to OzarkCon…so that is on the bucket list. There are four Coast to Coast campground there and one is very close to the hotel. Cost ten dollars a night for us to camp at Coast to Coast, so that is a no brainier for us. We can stay at each campground for two weeks…so we ought to make it out there and enjoy the shows and sites and OzarkCon at at once.

Still haven’t uncovered the RV, but hope to this coming week. Want to spend some time just doing the camping thing and some portable operating like I used to do a few years ago. Weather (temps) are starting to get into the 70’s each day with the overnight lows only in the lower 50’s…so it is time to start hitting the campgrounds and being even lazier than I have been of late.

FDIM 2010-Hamvention

May 15, 2010

Made the Thursday night event at the hotel. Meet Jason, NT7S, which was a big highlight for me! Jason is a very humble and quite guy. We yacked for a bit and then made our way into the Big Room to see what was for sale and the many projects for various contest categories. I went up and down the rows twice but couldn’t find Jason’s entry…that was a big disappointment for me! Jason was in the forum/presentation for the new Flex 1500 HF SDR radio. You could not have squeezed one more body in that room…LOL. We let before the presentation was over, so hope to get info from him later. Thanks Jason for making the long haul to attend FDIM this year!!!!

Bought a new rig/lit from Doug and the gang at Hendrick’s QRP Kits…I really like how he brings a new kit each year to FDIM. I buy it no matter what so he comes back and I have a good supply of kits to build during the colder months. Saw Diz and a few other Flying Piggies and some old friends who have made our hobby so wonderful.

We had our annual cookout here at the KOA and had about 100 in attendance with great weather. This was the first really good weather we have had since we arrived last week. I lost our awning due to wind and rain early Tuesday morning so will have to get it replaced when we get back home. We called the house and the sitter says all is good back at QTH and the cats are getting quite spoiled…great! Anyone interested in two very lovable cats (hope the XYL isn’t reading this blog!!!).

Heading back to Hara again in the morning and plan to spend all my allowance on whatever. Didn’t bring a list this year…but sure have a long one now that I have seen so much stuff…LOL. Kenwood has a new HF rig, the 590 and I hear it is a really good rig with roofing filters and the same footprint as the 570.

That is about it for now. Hope to add more if the park’s Wi-Fi can handle all the ham campers who all seem to have brought laptops with them….

72…Mikey, WB8ICN