A recent long running thread on QRZ entitled “True balanced auto-tuner” was sure to tease out some pretty woolly thinking… the word “true” was enough to signal the outcome.
There are only three words in the title, we can dismiss “true” as a harbinger of woolly thinking, and though people will argue the toss on the appropriateness of the term “auto-tuner’, most people share an understanding of the meaning. “Balanced” is another problem altogether.
After thirty odd posts, there has been no definition or discussion of the term balanced, or its advantages or disadvantages.
One of the recommendations by several posters is the old is new again solution, the once popular link coupled tuner and the work of W5ZQ featured in one of those recommendations.
W5ZQ and WW8J
W5ZQ describes a tuner inspired by WW8J. W5ZQ extended the design and provides a writeup on optimising balance.
Above is W5ZQ’s partial circuit. In the article he describes and shows:
- adjustment of the grounding point of the output tank; and
- current meters which presumably attach to J2 and J3.
Key to analysis of the topology is that the centre of the output inductor is grounded. This results in the circuit tending towards equal but opposite phase voltages on the output terminals. Continue reading True balanced tuner
The YHDC SCT-010-000 clip-on or non-invasive current transformer is widely used in DIY energy monitor applications, and is readily available on eBay for A$6 including post.
A key issue with current transformers is that current in the primary winding will cause excessive voltages in the secondary winding unless the secondary winding is suitably loaded. The broad rule of thumb is NEVER disconnect the output connections whilst current flows through the primary.
YHDC’s website is typical of Chinese web sites, and I could not find a datasheet for information on the internal circuit and possibly internal protection.
Continue reading SCT-010-000 current transformer protection
I have several instruments and software packages that can create screen captures, and the capture files commonly need some mix of image processing including for example:
- brightness, contrast, gamma adjustment;
- transparency change;
- format conversion; and
- file copy / archive / cleanup.
Above is an example. Though WordPress presents a small image inline, if you click on it, there is a 640×480 image that was created from a QVGA (320×240) screen capture file scaled and gamma adjusted.
Continue reading Standardised processing of instrument screen captures
I mentioned elsewhere that I dowloaded the WSPR archive for 1/08/2017, and particularly analysed 40m spots.
There were close to 1,000,000 spots for the day, about 340,000 on 40m, and about 20,000 individual transmissions reported during the day (40m).
Tx / Rx mix
Above is a pie chart of the mix of Tx Only, Rx ONLY and Tx/Rx stations. The largest group is Tx Only, 44% of stations do not contribute reception records. Nextly, 30% are Rx Only, and 27% Tx and Rx. Continue reading WSPR – data mining 40m 01/08/2017
On the back of A WSPR experiment for station evaluation I thought I would try a similar experiment on 30m in the quest for some meaningful results.
Given the lack of activity from credible stations on 40m, it seemed worth a checkout on 30m befor committing to the trial run, large download and data analysis.
So, I ran WSPR for a half hour just before 0000Z and observed the activity on WSPRnet map. I should note that my tx power was 0.1W and rx performance was impaired as there was a 20dB attenuator in line to achieve the tx power.
Above, the map after of the half hour of activity.
The encouraging this was that there were 12 stations active. Continue reading WSPR checkout on 30m
An experiment was conducted on 40m using WSPR to compare my own station transmit performance with others relatively close by.
The experiment was conducted around sunset on 01/08/2017, data was collected for the period 0600Z to 0900Z, sunset was at 07:17Z.
The experiment was unannounced as previous experience has been that if the WSPR community becomes aware of activity that does not accord with individual’s opinion of acceptable, the activity can be disrupted.
Data for analysis was fetched by downloading the archive which contained nearly 1,000,000 records for the day, and about 340,000 of those were 40m spots.
Factors shaping experiment design
The following is a discussion of various factors that weighed into experiment design.
Transmitters tend to cluster around the centre of the 200Hz WSPR band.
Above is a frequency distribution of tx frequency, and it is evident that the risk of interference is reduced by choosing a frequency near the upper or lower limit of the band segment. There was some activity just outside the designated band segment which might indicate care and competence of operators.
One wonders if randomising the tx frequency might not reduce collisions and improve decode rates. Continue reading A WSPR experiment for station evaluation
I was working recently on an antenna and a visitor was intrigued by a device I was using.
Above, the device is for tensioning a wire span, commonly called a come-along though that term gets applied to all manner for appliances for broadly similar purpose. A significant difference is that this was designed for smooth hard drawn copper wires, and has smooth flat jaws (70x6mm) and does not put a kink in the wire (as do most wire grips for more general fencing and FSWR use). This one has had the strap replaced, it came with a 1.25″ canvas reinforced rubber transmission belt which became hard over time. Continue reading Come-along from the past
On 5/10/2016 we cut over to a new broadband Internet access service, switching from Telstra 8Mb/s ADSL to iiNet NBN 12Mb/s.
Over some years, I have run an automated file transfer to measure the speed of our access service. The tests are done between 6:00 and 22:00, I am interested in performance during the times I want to use the service, and less interested in times when I would usually be sleeping.
One of the performance measures is speed, it seems simple enough especially when it is talked about by politicians and promoted by RSPs and NBN’s advertisements.
So, how does one characterise the speed. People like to think of simple concepts like ‘average’, but let us look at the distribution of speeds.
Above is a chart of the frequency distribution of speed observations for a week in March 2017. It is not in the form of the Normal Distribution, the classic bell-shaped curve for which common parametric statistics like Mean (average) and Standard Distribution are meaningful, but it is a skewed distribution. Without knowing the characteristics of the distribution, it is a misuse of parametric statistics to apply parametric statistics like Mean (average) and Standard Distribution. Continue reading Review of 10 months of iiNet broadband Internet access
On the back of failure to buy decent BN-V11U batteries for my theodolite (Chinese BN-V11U NiMH replacement battery), A fall back was to fabricate a battery that would fit in the battery compartment.
Above is a battery pack made from 5 x 2/3A 1.6Ah NiMH cells. Continue reading Chinese batteries – 5 x 2/3A 1.6Ah NiMH cells
My theodolite uses the once common BN-V11U NiMH camcorder battery.
I purchased a replacement on eBay, they are getting harder to find since changes to regulations about transport of batteries, but there are still quite a few sellers. Continue reading Chinese BN-V11U NiMH replacement battery