Speaker cable and similar Figure-8 twin in various sizes is popular as RF transmission line, particularly with QRP operators, especially those operating portable in the field (eg SOTA activators). Indeed, SOTA seems to have triggered a revival in the use of these cables. With the large number of online recommendations, one could be forgiven for thinking that a dipole and feed line formed entirely from #24 speaker wire is the antenna of choice.
With that in mind, this article looks at the performance of Jaycar WB1702 speaker cable, 14×0.14mm conductors (#24) with PVC insulation, cost $0.50/m.
Continue reading Speaker cable as RF transmission line
Matched Line Loss (MLL) is the loss or attenuation of a transmission line terminated in its actual characteristic impedance, and usually give for some length, eg dB/100′, dB/100m, dB/m.
One method that occurs in ham radio articles is to measure the input resistance of a resonant s/c or o/c stub, and to calculate MLL as 8.686*Rin/Zo/length dB/unitlength. (This is not the only method, or even a good one, but it is commonly used.)
Continue reading Measuring matched line loss
A new Hakko FG-100 arrived from China this week, the meter and pack of 5 sensors cost less than A$12 including post.
Continue reading Review of Hakko FG-100 soldering iron thermometer
I purchased an Atten 191 soldering iron thermometer which uses K thermocouple elements from Allendale UK.
Continue reading Atten AT191 review