Digital directional wattmeter – based on G8GYW – part 2

Digital directional wattmeter – based on G8GYW – part 1 laid out the basis of a project. This article discusses some changed code and calibration.

Changed code

Most of the code was changed, importing work done on other projects.

The important thing is that the code provides for a third order polynomial curve fit to measured data.

Also included is a calibration mode which displays the calculated voltage at the forward and reverse detectors given the nominal 1% voltage dividers in the circuit and the measured ADC reference voltage on this chip. Continue reading Digital directional wattmeter – based on G8GYW – part 2

Some wooly thinking on Antenna Factor online

Antenna Factor is often given / used as a parameter for an antenna (system).

An antenna with (nearly) constant AF can be quite convenient to simple field strength measurement where the AF value establishes a simple relationship between antenna terminal voltage and the external electric field strength.

Antenna Factor (AF) is the ratio of field strength to antenna terminal voltage for an antenna, dimensionally \({AF}=\frac{E}{V}=\frac{V/m}{V}=1/m\), AF units are 1/m or can be expressed in dB as \(AF_{dB}=20 \log_{10} AF \text{ dB/m}\).

It is lazy practice (though not uncommon) to simply express AF in dB, but wrong.  Continue reading Some wooly thinking on Antenna Factor online

Digital directional wattmeter – based on G8GYW – part 1

This article describes a low power digital directional wattmeter based on the design published by G8GYW at https://github.com/G8GYW/g8gyw.github.io .

The complete wattmeter was purchased on Aliexpress for around $70, principally for the hardware as it was intended to replace the firmware.

Above is the seller’s picture of the wattmeter, it has a different display to that used by G8GYW, different resolution but still an I2C OLED mono display. Continue reading Digital directional wattmeter – based on G8GYW – part 1

Diagnosis of a 9:1 transformer from NanoVNA plot – part 2

Diagnosis of a 9:1 transformer from NanoVNA plot discussed an example measurement of a 9:1 transformer on a binocular ferrite core. These are often recommended for use with Beverage antennas on 160 and 80m bands, and this was the maker’s application. In that article, I hinted that the core might not be #73 as the maker thought, or wished.

This article reports measurements of a 9:1 transformer wound on a Fair-rite 2873000202 (#73) binocular core. The pic above shows the test fixture. Continue reading Diagnosis of a 9:1 transformer from NanoVNA plot – part 2

Diagnosis of a 9:1 transformer from NanoVNA plot

A chap recently posted online a question:

I have added two 1:9 transformer (2T/6T) back to back (high side together) and measured with the nanovna – 2 port measurement, as the binocular core I am not confident BN73 or not.

Also I swiped with one port S11, with one transformer where the high side is terminated with a 470ohm resistor load.

Please advise if it can be used for beverage antenna for 160/80m.

Let’s focus on the second test, and assume that the measurements are valid (and that is often an issue), that the 470Ω resistor is close enough to 450+j0Ω and the connections are short.

Above is his s11 sweep from 1 .5-7MHz.

I suspect this is actually #43 material. Continue reading Diagnosis of a 9:1 transformer from NanoVNA plot

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

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???

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