Arduino Nano – FT232RL test pin floats

The Arduino Nano leaves the FT232RL TEST pin floating which may give rise to initialisation and communications problems.Grounding the test pin by bridging pins 25 and 26 with a small solder bridge seems to overcome the problem.

 

NanoMod

Above, a fixed chip.

Small untuned loop for receiving – it’s not rocket science

I have written several articles on untuned loops for receiving, as have others. A diversity of opinions abounds over several aspects, but opinions don’t often translate to sound theory.

This article analyses a simple untuned / unmatched loop in the context of a linear receive system.

An example simple loop for discussion

Let’s consider a simple single turn untuned loop with an ideal broadband transformer. The example loop is 3.14m perimeter and 10mm diameter conductor situated in free space. The loop has perimeter 0.0744λ at 7.1MHz, less than λ/10 up to 9MHz, so we can regard that loop current is uniform in magnitude and phase. This simplifies analysis greatly.

Above is a schematic diagram of the example loop. The transformer initially is a 1:1 ideal transformer, it serves to isolate the loop from a coaxial feedline, allowing fairly good loop symmetry and reduction of common mode feed line current contribution to pickup. This works, and subject to symmetry and a good transformer design, it will work well over the stated frequency range, though its gain at some frequencies might not be sufficient to overcome receiver internal noise. Continue reading Small untuned loop for receiving – it’s not rocket science

YouLoop-2T and the self resonance bogey at MF/lowHF

Small untuned loop for receiving – simple model with transformer gave a simple model for analysing a loop and and Towards understanding the YouLoop-2T at MF/lowHF  applied that to the YouLoop-2T.

Above is the Airspy Youloup-2T. Try to put the two turns thing out of your mind, it is misleading, panders to some common misunderstanding, and so does not help understanding.

It would seem that many are quite confused by information from Airspy. The following quote from an online forum captures the confusion. Continue reading YouLoop-2T and the self resonance bogey at MF/lowHF

Oyster conversion – #2 – 24W

Conversion of oyster luminaire to LED discussed a first conversion effort. This article describes a conversion of a oyster that used a T8 32W flourescent tube.

First step was to strip the magnetic ballast, power factor correction capacitor (if fitted), clips for the tube, labels that are misleading, and to check / provide the needed protective earth connection.

The LED plate used is that reviewed at LED plate analysis – 24W round plate with driver but with a new driver that delivers 260mA (though rated at 300mA).

Above is the 24W LED plate. The plate has 48 0.5W 5730 LEDs in a 24×2 configuration. If we allow that the 24W rating is total input power, driver loss is typically around 2W so the LEDs themselves will draw 22W. We expect that the voltage at 22W will be around 80-85V, and will require ~275mA current. The original LED driver supplied (180mA) is not capable of that current and was discarded. A nominally 300mA LED driver was procured for about $10 for five, and they fall short, delivering 260mA but that is good enough for this implementation. Continue reading Oyster conversion – #2 – 24W

LED plate analysis – 24W round plate with driver

This article reviews a 24W LED plate and driver commonly sold on eBay and Aliexpress for around $12.

Above is the 24W LED plate from the sellers pics. The plate has 48 0.5W 5730 LEDs in a 24×2 configuration. If we allow that the 24W rating is total input power, driver loss is typically around 2W so the LEDs themselves will draw 22W. We expect that the voltage at 22W will be around 80-85V, and will require ~275mA current. It is shown here with a 220mA LED driver or 80% of what is required for 22W. Continue reading LED plate analysis – 24W round plate with driver

(How) does this balun work? (Tonna / F9FT balun for Yagis)

This article proposes an explanation of how the balun used on some Tonna Yagis works.

It appears Tonna no longer manufactures these antennas, I do not know if this design is novel. I do not recall seeing them used by other manufacturers, they may be protected by patent.

Above is a pic of the balun structure on a 2m antenna.

Above, the manual shows that the black sleeve on the balun sleeve would be slid up over the coax connector, making a neat finish. There are slightly different versions for 70cm antennas. Continue reading (How) does this balun work? (Tonna / F9FT balun for Yagis)

AD9833 / PllLdr checkout

PllLdr is a generic microcontroller to load a PLL chip’s configuration registers using SPI. SPI is used by many PLL and DDS chips, data format and content varies from chip to chip.

This article documents checkout on an ADF9833 DDS chip.

The test was made on an inexpensive module purchased on eBay for about A$3 posted. This board has a 25MHz clock oscillator, but be aware they are sold with other frequencies as well, and is usable to about 40% of the clock frequency.

Above is the test board. It does not contain any form of output filtering, it really is bare bones. Continue reading AD9833 / PllLdr checkout

STC-1000 firmware change – STC-1000B

STC-1000 firmware change documented a chip and firmware update to a popular Chinese thermostat.

There has been enhanced firmware for a STC-1000 controller based on a PIC chip, but in my experience, most seem to be made with an STM8S003F3 chip. More recently, what appears to be a port of the PIC software to STM8 has been published at https://github.com/Emile666/stc1000_stm8.

The enhanced firmware is directed at home brewing for control of long running fermentation processes etc, incorporating storage for a number of multi-step programs (profiles). It is not really suited to more general applications like a fridge controller as for example it is more difficult for the common operation to set the set point.


This article describes a similar update to a later model STC-1000. Continue reading STC-1000 firmware change – STC-1000B