A correspondent having seen recent discussion and models on eHam regarding steel dipoles, asked about the accuracy of my articles:
Galvanised steel wire CF dipole; and
Galvanised steel wire OCF dipole.
The eHam article gives the gain of a low half wave steel dipole on 160m as 0.5-1dB less than copper depending on steel composition. (The thread was entitled “galvanised steel wire”, but the model was clearly labelled steel. For discussion of the effect of galvanising, see Galvanised steel wire OCF dipole.)
The model used is not fully exposed, but the results are unlikely unless perhaps the permeability of the steel was ignored (NEC-2 does not natively model µr>1).
Above are the gain plots from NEC-4.2 for three different material types, copper, steel, and steel resistivity with µr=1 (-wrong). Continue reading Steel wire CF dipole on 160m
This project is a data logger accessory for Lou Destefano’s (VK3AQZ) RF Power Meter kit (RFPM1).
The RFPM1 develops an analog signal 0-2000mV corresponding to 0-100dB input power range, -85-16dBm. The module described here produces a digital output scaled -85.0 to 15.0 for 0-2000mV input.
The hardware is based on a clone of the Digispark ATTiny85 USB development board, about A$3 incl shipping on eBay. Differently to the original Digispark, the board above has a micro USB connector on board. The vero ‘mother board’ carries a resistor and 10t pot for calibration adjustment. Continue reading A prototype data logger for RFPM1
The Naze32 is hardly new, but it does seem to have reached a maturity where it, alternative firmware and the support tools are functional and fairly stable.
The article describes a project to fit a Naze32 to an existing quadcopter that used a Multiwii flight controller on a Atmega 328P platform, and initial perceptions.
The 32bit processor at 72MHz provides a lot more computing power than the old 8bit processor at 16MHz.
An early decision was made to try Cleanflight as first option, as it appears to work well, is responsive for user issues, has a good PC client and is configurable from Arduino using the EZ-GUI client that I use for Multiwii.
Above is the Naze32 undergoing Bluetooth testing before fitment to the quadcopter. Continue reading NAZE32 / Cleanflight trial
This Jan 2011 article has been copied from my VK1OD.net web site which is no longer online. It is for reference in further articles discussing the popular reflections explanations. The article may contain links to articles on that site and which are no longer available.
The statement is often made to the effect that:
VSWR will damage a HF ham transmitter, and the mechanism is that the ‘reflected power’ in a standing wave will be absorbed by the Power Amplifier (PA), increasing heat dissipation and damaging the PA.
There are two problems with this statement: Continue reading Does VSWR damage HF ham transmitters
At Transmission line loss under mismatch explanations I wrote that there is a lot of woolly thinking amongst hams about transmission line loss under mismatch and worked a simple example that could be done ‘by hand’ to show that formulas that some authors have produced as implementations of their explanations don’t stack up.
I also gave a solution to the Zo*3 scenario using TWLLC, but not the Zo/3 scenario which a few eagle hounds have pounced on as evidence that the solution would not support the article.
Not at all, the Zo/3 TWLLC solution was not given so as to keep the article short and within the attention span of modern hams though it was eventually a quite long article, and for that reason I will address it separately, here. Continue reading Transmission line loss under mismatch explanations – the missing TWLLC model
There is a lot of woolly thinking amongst hams about transmission line loss under mismatch, perhaps exemplified by Walt Maxwell (Maxwell 2001):
The power lost in a given line is least when the line is terminated in a resistance equal to its characteristic impedance, and as stated previously, that is called the matched-line loss. There is however an additional loss that increases with an increase in the SWR.
This article probes the folk lore with an example scenario designed to expose the failure of such thinking. Continue reading Transmission line loss under mismatch explanations
This article describes an enhancement to the DIY USB password generator, a small USB HID keyboard device that types a password stored in EEPROM automatically when it is attached.
The implementation was on a Digispark ATTINY85 General Micro USB Development Board which was purchased on eBay for a few dollars. The board uses different pin connections to USB to the original. Continue reading DIY USB password generator – (USB PRC) enhanced #1
This article describes an implementation of the DIY USB password generator. It is a small USB HID keyboard device that types a password stored in EEPROM every time it’s attached.
The implementation was on a Digispark ATTINY85 General Micro USB Development Board which was purchased on eBay for a few dollars.
The board uses different pin connections to USB to the original, and requires a hardware jumper from D+ (PB4) to INT0 (PB2).
In the process of changing the code, I updated the V-USB driver. That necessitated quite a few changes to source code.
The updated code was compiled, and tested just fine.
Changed / updated code (includes hex): usb_tiny85_passgen.zip.
The Carolina Windom is very popular with modern hams, and at the same time is commonly the discussion of problems in online fora.
The question is whether it is its popularity that is the reason for cries for help, or whether there is something inherently high risk in the ‘design’.
The original Windom
The first type is the classic ‘original’ Windom with single wire feed which folk lore explains as a horizontal wire being tapped at a point where Z matches the vertical ‘single wire’ feeder, that there is not a standing wave on the feed line, and that it does not radiate. Traditional characterisation as a
single-feeder Hertz denies the existence of the vertical radiating element.
It is a folly to designate the vertical wire as a non-radiating feeder, it carries an RF current that contributes to radiation just like current on the horizontal wire does. Continue reading Some thoughts on the popular Carolina Windom antenna
A correspondent asked about whether the proprietary copper clad VHF whips are some kind of marketing ploy.
Lets consider a quarter wave whip for the 2m band. Made from 2.4mm stainless steel, it should deliver lowest VSWR(50) at about 483mm in length.
The properties of stainless steel whips will vary, but lets consider the case of one made from 17-7 PH Stainless Steel, a quite tough material that is popular with manufacturers of mobile whips.
17-7 PH Stainless Steel has higher resistivity than copper, but worse, it is weakly ferromagnetic which affects RF resistance.
Above is a calculation of the effect of skin depth, Rrf/Rdc is very high at 172, mostly a consequence of the permeability.
Above is a calculation of the end to end RF resistance of the whip, 15.3Ω. Continue reading Are copper clad VHF whips a marketing ploy