Sunday, March 20, 2016
Thursday, March 17, 2016
This is what I've been messing around with while I'm not messing around with SDR software.
For a couple of weeks now I've been soldering and testing bits and pieces, trying to get this Rigblaster Plus and my radio talking. A while back I told you that I was playing with PSK31. I was using the very effective method of holding my microphone over a speaker and making contacts that way. It's a good method and one that works but it's not really perfect and it's only really any good for the PSK modes. Having a proper data interface is much better and allows one to try other modes including Morse, Hell and JT65 among others.
I got the Rigblaster as is. Just the box. I've had to buy a link cable between it and my radio. Buy a serial to USB lead to connect it to my laptop. Make a male to male 8 pin lead. Make a power supply and finally get my head around setting the jumper leads inside the box. Not as easy as it sounds because the connector to the radio had its own configuration.
With that all done I connected everything tonight and set the volume levels. It worked, so all the hard work has been worth the effort. I know it works because I made a contact in France and he's now in the log book.
I have another data interface to finish and an antenna to build before another mast goes up at the bottom of the garden. There's also some SDR experimentation to be done and hopefully in a couple of weeks the SDR might just end up going mobile.
Who knows what else I'll find to do!
Raspberry Pi maybe?
Saturday, March 12, 2016
This lead has taken over a week to make.
It's a connection between a data module and my radio. I needed to make it because I couldn't find one online and if they do exist online I don't the correct technical name for the connectors. To me and a lot of people they're just 8 pin mic connectors. In each of those connectors are 8 very small wires and each one needs to be soldered to its own pin. This is not an easy thing to do. In fact for me it's very difficult. Having done it wrong 3 times and then correctly twice I can now say it's a little easier. But not much.
So now the computer talks to the data box, I can connect the data box to my radio but now comes the bit which is as much brains as skill. I have to set the jumper setting inside the data box to suit my radio. If I get this wrong I could break the radio which is not the point of all this.
If it works I'll let you know exactly what I'm up to.
Not that that will make any sense either.
Friday, March 11, 2016
I thought I'd share a screen grab of GQRX running on my laptop.
It's a special moment for me. The reason I got into Linux in the first place was that an update of SDR# borked my Windows installation. I should point out here that it wasn't SDR#'s fault just the dodgy download site.
Anyway, since I've been on Linux one of my goals has been to have some kind of SDR running and I managed it today. It took me a little while to get it running and get it configured and it did eventually crash but it definitely does work and so I'll persevere with GQRX.
I've been doing a lot of radio stuff on my week off. I made a ground plane for Documentally, got FLDigi talking to my data interface and found a whole bunch of new frequencies to explore.
So much to do and so little time.