Saturday, 30 November 2013

Simplifying the VFO

The last few days have seen an annoying failure of the (clone) Arduino NANO that I was using to control the "Two DDS" RF generator system for the new SSB rig.

I ordered a new NANO and received it promptly (having paid an extra 20 pence for the privilege of first-class post) and got the system up-and-running again.

However, I also got some ATmega328 micro-controllers in 28 pin DIP packages, so I decided to rip out the Arduino and replace it with just the micro...

First, I had to program the chip - so I put it into a simple configuration emulating the circuit of my Wotduino and programmed via a USB to Serial device. The programming task was trivial, as the chip had been supplied with the Arduino bootloader already in place.

Once the device was programmed, I could pop it into the RF Generator system with only a minimal amount of re-wiring - in fact, all that was needed was a 16MHz xtal, and a couple of passives.

Notice how the ATmega328 in the DIP package is nearly as big as the Nano !

Everything was working fine...

so I was able to get on with some more operating.

I enjoyed a nice QSO with Nicola, iz1lei, on 20m, who was in Cuneo near Torino (my best dx to date with the new rig) and I had a great contact on 40m with the gb3rs station at the National Radio Centre, Bletchley Park, operated by Henry, m0zae...

Henry gave me what he emphasized to be a genuine 5 and 9 report which delighted me - this little rig really does work!

...-.- de m0xpd

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