As I like fully integrated solutions I started to work on a new PCB design that includes a RTC6705 video transmitter and my tinyOSD into one tiny 16x16mm board called tinyFINITY. The image shows a preliminary version where I tested a surface mounted ceramic antenna instead of the usual wire or whip-antenna (which was rejected in later designs because of the poor performance)
This article describes the “Cigarette Pack” SSB QRP transceiver” for 14MHz that I first had mentioned some months before. Recently, when taking it from the shelf, the transceiver dropped to the floor and was severely damaged. This lead to serious defects in the front panel area, the main frame, the cabinet and so on. The interior parts were, luckily, not affected by the crash. So, I had to revise the whole radio, make a new front panel and cabinet, ply the frame straightly (as far as possible) and so on. This is the full description of the rig now to complete the files here. The good news: The radio is fine again and fully operational! And the even better news: I still have not started smoking!
My car comes with a built-in Bluetooth hands-free but unfortunately it does not support audio streaming. Luckily there is an AUX input available which uses a regular 3,5 mm jack. Perfect opportunity for a DIY project. I built the Bluetooth DAC using Raspberry Pi Zero W and a DAC hat. This post depicts the details of this project.
This video describes a DIY Vacuum Pick-up tool for picking and placing parts from an SMD component tape. The basic design for this tool involves using a vacuum pump and a solenoid to control the vacuum to a handpiece under control of a foot pedal.
While I was working on the power meter function for the latest version of the SNA, I used several fixed attenuators for checking linearity and calibration. It would be a lot easier if I had a variable step attenuator. I have several digital controlled attenuator modules that I bought one eBay a while ago, and I guess it is time to use some of them. There are several models available. The ones I plan on using are the simplest with only 6 control pins for a total attenuation of 31.5 dB in .5 dB steps. I am going to connect two in series with the control lines paralleled for a total of 63 dB in 1 dB steps.
In the late winter of 2018-19, I decided to build a receiver that would provide a performance improvement to the regen I built a couple of years ago. I wanted the radio to receive AM and SSB signals between 160m and 20m (1.8-14.5 MHz).
I’ve always been fond of the popular Nixie clocks made from old surplus Soviet nixie tubes. Nixie tubes are no longer made, so they’re hard to acquire. Instead, I took inspiration from “Lixie” displays and made my own Nixie-inspired, LED-powered display. And in an unusual twist (for me, anyway), I didn’t make a clock this time! It’s a weather/temperature display. I made the parts myself, starting with the electronics. These circuit boards were created on the CNC machine. The “brains” are an ESP8266 chip, which grabs the current weather from the Internet.
I’ve always wanted to know what the “tube magic” was all about. There is much opinion in the science of music production, probably because music and its perception is highly personal and subjective. Ive always imagined that since transistor amplifiers were “perfect” with their large amounts of negative feedback, great linearity, and low THD that tube amplifiers must add something to sound that generates their appeal. From the reading I’ve done it has to do with harmonics.
Shawon Shahryiar over at Embedded Lab shared a how-to on making a SPL dB meter:
Sound needs a medium for propagation or travel. It can’t travel in vacuum. Normally air is that medium but sound can also propagate in liquids and other states of matter. I am not going to lecture on how sound travels and its properties as Wikipedia details everything well here. Everything we see around us has a measurement and a unit. In case of sound pressure, the unit is decibel. Our basic requirement is to be able to measure Sound Pressure Level (SPL) in decibel scale with a typical 8-bit microcontroller, an ordinary microphone and without involving complex algorithms.
Measurement of sound has a number of uses. For instance, monitoring sound pollution, security system, monitoring the quality of an amplifier, detecting sound profile of an environment, etc.