Malamute SDR

I have to confess that I fail to comprehend this obsession for cheap chinese devices. Although I understand the “cheap” part of the rationale, what constantly amaze me is the fact that usually people that buy such stuff are not necessarily financially challenged — a fact that could justify such a choice. Let’s be honest: […]

Cold shrink tubes

I discovered this technology rather recently on YouTube and I was instantly hooked by the opportunities. I bet most of you who had to insulate connectors or sections of hardware (like antenna segments, for example) relied heavily either on self vulcanizing tape or on electrical insulation tape. Both had disadvantages but for me the deal […]

Multipurpose RF Proto Board v2.0

This is a general purpose PCB that I designed in KiCad as a helper board for my Manhattan-style mounted RF projects. It allows connection via SMA connector (vertical or edge mount) and BNC. The two completely separated prototyping sections can be interconnected by using the SMAs in the middle or, if you want to save […]

Motor drivers for antenna rotator

I made some progress on my antenna rotator project and installed the stepper drivers and the Raspberry Pi computer. I bought two drivers from and these should work just fine. They are based on Toshiba TB6560AHQ, PWM Chopper-Type Bipolar Driver IC for Stepping Motor Control. The datasheet can be downloaded from here. My projects […]

Mini N connector – timelapse in Fusion360

I needed this 3D design for a mini N connector that I have in my shack but I was unable to find any 3d file (.STEP etc) online. The connectors are used for my 101dB attenuator project. Enjoy ! Greetings.

Build SvxLink on Orange Pi — aide-mémoire

This is mostly a memory helper, to remind me some steps in the setup of Svxlink on Orange Pi Load packages sudo apt update sudo apt install g++ cmake make libsigc++-2.0-dev libgsm1-dev libpopt-dev tcl8.5-dev libgcrypt20-dev libspeex-dev libasound2-dev libopus-dev librtlsdr-dev doxygen groff alsa-utils vorbis-tools curl libcurl4-openssl-dev git rtl-sdr libcurl4-openssl-dev Create svxlink user and add to groups […]

Build SvxLink on Raspberry — aide-mémoire

This is not really a post, but mostly a reminder with some information to help me remember the steps. Meanwhile I wrote a much more extensive documentation here, on my wiki (in romanian). And I think I also made a video tutorial but I have to upload it to YouTube. Load packages sudo apt update […]

First steps with Orange Pi

This is rather a reminder, not a real post. This is a collection of links to help me in my quest to control this device.

KiCad Templates for Orange Pi Zero

KiCad templates for two different hat models for Orange Pi Zero boards can be downloaded from my GitHub repo. Two different KiCad templates can be downloaded in the same GitHub archive: one uncut, 46×48 mm exactly same size as Orange Pi Zero; the other one has some cuts for network and USB connector, to accomodate […]

AD8307 RF Power Meter III — build

This will be another short post. I also made the GitHub repo public, but please be aware, current design is flawed. If you use it, you acknowledge that you use it on your own risk. Today I managed to build the revision 1.0 of this power sensor, not without some lessons learned. It was my […]

Kenwood TH-D74

We first met — I think — in the summer of 2015 during the Hamfest in Friedrichshafen. At that time I had a mobile Kenwood transceiver TM-D710 which was quite nice by its own. However, after several months using the TM-D710 I got increasingly annoyed by some of its shortcomings, most of them purely subjective (but I […]

Beacon with SiLabs module

This is a beacon project started by my friend YO5VAE. He faced some issues while programming of the Si4463-based module and I thought I might give a hand. I resoldered the entire project on an empty Arduino shield to allow expansion of the project with some additional modules. Below are some pics, but probably the […]

Boards for prototypes

For low frequency projects, a fast way to prototype is using a bare PCB and scratch some dividers that allow “manhattan” style prototyping. I am especially very fond of this prototyping technique and I believe that PCB design should be avoided in the early stages of prototyping. Jim Williams was an artist in such designs. […]

OCXO tests

A couple of months passed since I purchased two 10 MHz OCXO modules from eBay. And, to my shame, I didn’t even tried these. Yesterday I did a quick test and the devices are spot on. Both measured on my TTi TF930 3GHz frequency counter: The OCXO needs apx 10 minutes for proper warm up […]

Electronics from China — Pixie CW

Power supply: DC 9v – 12v Antenna: 50 ohms, is not balanced, 7MHZ band, standing wave ratio below 1.8 Receive the static current: 10 mA @ 9 v Transmission power: 0.8W @ 9 v, 1.2W @ 12 v Frequency range: 7.023 MHz launch, receive 7.023-7.026 MHz (7.023 MHz crystals) Stray (harmonic) inhibition: – 20 db […]

Electronics from China

I am pretty pleased by the outcome of my commercial endeavours on eBay. Purchasing seems to be a pleasure; until now — with just one exception — I was spared from any nasty experiences. After several small items that I ordered in part for my curiosity to evaluate speed and quality of shipments from chinese suppliers, I […]

APRS Proto - 3

144.8 Mhz TX for APRS (3)

This is a quick update post. The road I took with this little project is slowly getting to a dead end due to what it seems to be a lack of available crystals for 144.8 (like 48.26 or 28.96 MHz, for using the third or fifth harmonic). I believe that, currently, all APRS modules are […]

144.8 Mhz TX for APRS (2)

More work today and yesterday on this project. Still locking on 144 MHz, but this is normal, the crystal I used is a 48 MHz overtoned, working on the third harmonic in this case, thus spot on 144.0 MHz: I managed to clean the output, at the expense of transmitted power. I used a 7-pole 2m bandpass […]

144.8 Mhz for my APRS Beacon project

144.8 Mhz TX for APRS

Been busy at work lately, but still had some time for myself. Latest idea: a low-cost APRS beacon, done with a classical 144.8 Mhz TX and a μController. AX.25 on air. Automatically. So these days I’ve been busy making this: Winding coils, soldering, measuring. Fun. The frequency is remarkable stable, given the rudimentary nature of this. For example, […]

The Indestructible LDMOS

Mailbag today 2 ! This time from NXP. OMFG, look what I got ! This baby will definitely end up in a power RF amplifier for my Ham Radio fun time. This will be a project. THANK YOU NXP ! Got them both today ! And I have to tell you, the girls and guys […]