Digital display for DIY 25W dummy load – part 4

Digital display for DIY 25W dummy load – part 1 described a  digital display for a DIY 25W dummy load / digital wattmeter. The original research tested implementations on an Arduino Nano (ATmega328P) and Arduino Mini Zero (ATSAMD21). Though the Zero appears the better chip (32bits, better ADC resolution etc), the dev board is so noisy (ADC wise) that the Nano produces better results.

Other candidate chips are those of the newer AVR chips, and to that end some ATtiny1614 chips were purchased for trial. Unfortunately I have not seen inexpensive dev boards and the chips are not available in DIP format, these are SOIC14 (SSOP14) 150mils.

Above is the result of this morning’s cooking… three ATtiny1614 chips on DIP style break out boards for prototyping. The chips were soldered in a T962 IR reflow oven. The very long unmasked sections of pad to accommodate different width chips make for a messy looking solder job as the solder runs along the long pads. Continue reading Digital display for DIY 25W dummy load – part 4

Setting a torque wrench when using an offset adapter

Sometimes an offset adapter is necessary or convenient on a torque wrench. This calculator calculates the correct torque wrench settings to achieve the desired fastener torque.

The torque wrench is designed to provide a torque indication based on a force applied to the handle and the length about which that force acts to turn a fastener. The calibration may not hold if that geometry is changed by some form of adapter.

An oft cited solution is to set the adapter up at exactly 90° to the long axis of the torque wrench, but that is not always possible or convenient.

For the purposes of this explanation, let’s use the Facom S.234 adapter (above). Continue reading Setting a torque wrench when using an offset adapter

dB loss is always negative… right???

A recent online posting set out to inform the masses:

The concept of free space path loss (FSPL) is widely misunderstood. Some university lectures and even texts get it wrong. …

The result is some dB of loss which is the ratio of the power received to the power transmitted expressed in dB form.

Errr no! Continue reading dB loss is always negative… right???

Neewer Macro LED Ring Light Flash RF550 – Guide Number

I purchased a Neewer Macro LED Ring Light Flash online for a modest price (~$50).

It was described with specifications, but specifications for Chinese product are not to be trusted… so it deserves measurement (though shortfall would become evident in use in short time).

This article reports measurements of the flash mode characteristics. Continue reading Neewer Macro LED Ring Light Flash RF550 – Guide Number

Digital display for DIY 25W dummy load – part 3

Digital display for DIY 25W dummy load – part 1 described a  digital display for a DIY 25W dummy load / digital wattmeter. The original research tested implementations on an Arduino Nano (ATmega328P) and Arduino Mini Zero (ATSAMD21). Though the Zero appears the better chip (32bits, better ADC resolution etc), the dev board is so noisy (ADC wise) that the Nano produces better results.

This article documents tests on three other dev board alternatives:

  • Arduino Nano Every (genuine);
  • Wemos SAMD21G board; and
  • Seeed XIAO mini Zero.

Baseline: Arduino Nano v3.0 (clone)

Above is the initial prototype Arduino Nano v3.0 (16MHz ATmega328P) with OLED display. This clone has a CP210x serial chip, clones with a claimed FTDI chip are probably fakes, ones with CH340x chips are probably ok. Continue reading Digital display for DIY 25W dummy load – part 3

FT37-43 for a 49:1 EFHW transformer enquiry

A correspondent asked whether Sontheimer coupler – transformer issues – an alternative design – FT37-43 could be used to inform design of a 49:1 EFHW transformer based on the same core, but with a 2 or 3t primary.

In the case of the Sontheimer coupler the winding with the higher number of turns appears in shunt with the nominal 50Ω load, and its effect on InsertionVSWR and the core loss can be predicted reasonably well and confirmed by measurements as in the referenced article.

In that instance, a 7t winding in shunt with the nominal 50Ω load causes excessive core heating, a 3t winding will be worse, and 2t worse again.

The case of an EFHW transformer is somewhat similar, the difference is now that the winding with less turns in approximately in shunt with the nominal 50Ω primary referred load. The same Simsmith model can be used to predict likely InsertionVSWR due to primary magnetising admittance, and the core loss.

Let’s try the 3t case first, with the experience of the referenced article we can expect it will have insufficient turns for good performance.

Above is the Simsmith model of a Fair-rite 5943000201 core (equivalent dimensions to FT37-43) with a 3t winding. Note this does not apply to Amidon #43 as their material is significantly different in characteristic. Continue reading FT37-43 for a 49:1 EFHW transformer enquiry

Digital display for DIY 25W dummy load – part 2

Digital display for DIY 25W dummy load – part 1 described VK4MQ’s build of a DIY 25W dummy load / digital wattmeter with very good performance. As part of the project, Bruce made an exhaustive set of measurements of Prf vs Vdc from 0.001W to 25W. A second order curve fit was calculated and is used in the instrument to transform measured Vdc to Prf for display.

That project was an elaboration of a design worked up at Digital display for QRP labs 20W dummy load – part 1 and following articles. That workup included an LTSPICE model of the half wave detector with BAT46 diode, 0.1µF capacitor and 56k+1k voltage divider. A second order curve fit was calculated and is used to transform measured Vdc to Prf for display.

This article compares the LTSPICE model data set, its curve fit, the measurements of Bruce’s implementation, and its curve fit. Continue reading Digital display for DIY 25W dummy load – part 2

Digital display for DIY 25W dummy load – part 1

Digital display for QRP labs 20W dummy load – part 1 and following articles laid out a initial study into the feasibility of an approach of a similar project. This project uses the same display solution for a DIY 25W dummy load / digital wattmeter with very good performance.

This article describes Bruce, VK4MQ’s, build.

Implementation

Bruce built the dummy load wattmeter into a small die cast box.

Above, the front panel view, the OLED display shows power in watts and dBm, and a bar chart display. The unit is battery powered, and has a on/off switch on the front panel. Continue reading Digital display for DIY 25W dummy load – part 1

NanoVNA source mismatch error

One of the popular ideas online is that the correction process in the NanoVNA does not correct errors in mismatch at Port 1 and Port 2. This article deals with the first case ONLY, Port 1 mismatch.

An experiment with source VSWR nominally 2:1

A NanoVNA was configured with a SMA tee connected to Port 1 and a good 50Ω termination connected to the branch port, see the pic below. The left hand side of the tee becomes the new Port 1 interface, and by virtue of the additional 50Ω shunt termination, if the native Port 1 was indeed well represented by a Thevenin equivalent circuit with Zs close to 50+j0, the Thevenin source impedance is now closer to half that, Zs close to 25+j0.

Some would calculate this mismatch as causing a mismatch loss of 0.512dB that is additional loss in the s21 path.

Above is the test setup. The NanoVNA was SOLT calibrated with cal parts attached to the left hand side of the tee and the 200mm coax jumper from that point to Port 2. Continue reading NanoVNA source mismatch error

Digital display for half wave detector with cubic spline interpolation – part 4

Digital display for half wave detector with cubic spline interpolation – part 1 and following articles laid out the design concepts of a power meter display.

Digital display for half wave detector with cubic spline interpolation – part 2 described a simple cubic spline interpolation model.

This article examines the problem a little deeper to arrive at an improved solution.

The chart above compares the response of an ideal peak detector (cyan) with an LTSPICE simulation of a BAT46 with 57kΩ load (orange x). Whilst the simulation approaches the ideal at peak RF voltage Vp greater than 3V, it departs greatly at very low Vp. Continue reading Digital display for half wave detector with cubic spline interpolation – part 4