Monday 13 September 2010

Joe spots my Beacon-in-a-Box

Having enjoyed building the new "runt dipole" antenna for the multi-mode beacon, I decided it was finally time to put the whole shooting match into a box...

The box is a cheap aluminium offering from Maplin (code KR55) which is reasonably new to Maplin's range. I marked out the front panel to take a reset push-button and an LCD display (which I picked up from Hua Qiang Bei Lu Technology Market) as I intend to add a self-contained DDS to replace the USB Synth - eventually. You'll see that the box has plenty of space for the DDS, my receiver and some other goodies (don't tell anyone, but I'm thinking of going multi-band).

The existing boards were just positioned in (what seemed to be) a rational layout (with the output LPF currently a temporary fixture)...

On the back you can see (left to right) RF out, RS232, USB (for the Synth), and DC in...

Note that I haven't yet peeled off the protective white film - I've still got some more metalwork to do (fitting controls for the DDS etc - once I decide what controls to fit HI HI).

I fired up the beacon again and left it running overnight - I was delighted that the first transatlantic hop with the new antenna (not to mention from the new box) should be spotted by none other than the great Joe Taylor, K1JT, himself...

WSPR returning to its creator!

Although the WSPR reports have been pleasing, I've been disappointed so far by the performance of the other modes.

I'm leaving the beacon running pretty much continuously for a while to gather some more WSPR stats.

...-.- de m0xpd

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