ESP8266, ESP32 reset – the (ugly) detail

Like many microcontrollers, the ESP8266 and ESP32 series contain an in-Silicon bootloader which can be initiated at chip reset by holding a pin low at the moment of reset.

Documentation is not helped by less than common terms (like EXTRSTB for a pin that is really a /RST, and the EN pin which seems to be used interchangeably as a /reset pin). The other relevant pin is known as GPIO00, but can be thought of as a /BOOT bin (often labelled IO00 on PCBs).

Automatic bootloader initiation

The firmware is uploaded using ordinary RS232/TTL, and it is possible to use modem control signals to control the /RST (EXTRSTB) and /BOOT (GPIO00 or IO0) pins, indeed the common convention is to use RS232 signals RTS for resetting the MCU, and DTR for boot selection.

So, it is possible to connect RS232/TTL /RTS to /RST and /DTR to /BOOT, and ESPTOOL will automatically initiate the boot loader when accessing the chip.

Above is a simulation of that type of direct connection. The RTS/DTR scenario is that from ESPTOOL, but it can be seen that even if the RTS transition was delayed somewhat the /BOOT pin is low and when /RST rises the chip will initiate the bootloader. The critical timing is that /BOOT is low when /RST transitions from low to high. Continue reading ESP8266, ESP32 reset – the (ugly) detail

(How) does this balun work? A variation on the theme …

My article (How) does this balun work analysed a balun configuration sent to me by a correspondent, apparently published on Youtube channel TrxBench.

Essentially, my analysis was that it comprises two 12t winds of two wire transmission line in parallel on the ferrite ring. The potential benefit was that the characteristic impedance Zo of each transmission line is probably close to 100Ω, and the parallel combination is probably close to 50Ω.

Online experts following fashion are opining that a low Insertion VSWR balun is better made with two wire line(s) than winding a single 50Ω coax line. They make these claims without evidence, I am not convinced.

In that vein, here is a variation on the TrxBench balun above.

The designer describes it: Continue reading (How) does this balun work? A variation on the theme …

Some pretty woolly thinking on measuring Thevenin equivalent source impedance of a ham transmitter

A ham seeking to optimise his station based on some measurements with a VNA and some modelling of a matching network posted the results of a test in the process.

The radio is an Icom IC-7300. I bypassed the built in tuner, transmitted a tone into my external tuner, adjusted it for SWR=1. I then disconnected the tuner from the radio, and measured the impedance looking into the tuner with a VNA. Surprisingly, (to me anyway) the result was a pretty good 53-j3 Ohms at 14 MHz.

What should we / have expected? It is an interesting case to study. Continue reading Some pretty woolly thinking on measuring Thevenin equivalent source impedance of a ham transmitter

Collins 30-L1 on FT-8

After a lot of grief with Excel trying to open and fix some 10 year old spreadsheets… finally…

I was recently asked about FT-8 on the Colling 30-L1 linear amplifier considering my article Collins 30L-1 and AM.

The first thing to note is the Colling 30-L1 manual cautions against AM and FSK:

That said, what are the reasons for such a prohibition? Continue reading Collins 30-L1 on FT-8

Logging temperature meter (ltm) v1 – prototype trial run measuring ECT

Logging temperature meter (ltm) is a ESP8266 based temperature measurement and logging device.

Above is the prototype, but for this test a small thin film NTC thermistor was attached to the existing engine coolant temperature (ECT) sensor. Continue reading Logging temperature meter (ltm) v1 – prototype trial run measuring ECT

N6THN’s novel balun – flux leakage

N6THN’s novel balun presented measurement of the Insertion VSWR of the subject balun, and N6THN’s novel balun – an explanation gave explanation that included mention of flux leakage as a contributor to the quite high inductance per unit length of the transmission line formed by the two windings.

A correspondent suggested that with a ferrite core, flux leakage is insignificant. This article calculates the coupled coils scenario.

The balun as described

Above is the ‘schematic’ of the balun. Note the entire path from rig to dipole. Continue reading N6THN’s novel balun – flux leakage