Category: Construction

An updated internal and external ADS-B comparison

ADS-B receiver mounted on a rifle cleaning rod

It’s been well over a year since I moved my external ADS-B receiver to the top of my Alimast and it’s been performing very well, regularly sitting in the top five of the UK receivers according to the FlightAware statistics page and in the top ten world wide on the PlaneFinder sharers list.  A good location […]

Installing a good quality TCXO into my Kenwood TS-590SG

W7MLG TCXO board fitted inside my Kenwood TS-590SG

Over the years as I’ve operated QRSS and WSPR, I’ve noticed that my original TS-590S and then the replacement TS-590SG have always been slightly off frequency and suffering from a little drift.  This frequency inaccuracy was barely 30Hz which seems minuscule but when monitoring a section of the band which is only 200Hz wide, the […]

Building a Hendricks 41dB Step RF Attenuator

Hendricks 41dB Step RF Attenuator kit

Two or three years ago I had a browser tab sitting open on the Hendricks 41dB Step RF Attenuator from Pacific Antenna/QRP Kits in California.  For some reason I never ordered one and when I finally remembered that I was going to get one, they were out of stock. I dropped them an email back […]

Building a JYE Tech Cap Meter 060 Kit

JYE Tech Capacitance Meter DIY Kit

One of the new local Foundation licence holders recently did the Intermediate course and exam and as part of her practical assessment, she built a capacitance meter which I’m sure helped her pass the course.  Well done, Caroline! I fancied doing the same as it’s a handy piece of test gear that I’ve never owned. […]

Time for a new aerial, I’ve replaced my doublet with an OCFD

Far support pole holding my OCFD

Earlier this year I decided it was time to replace my doublet with a new wire aerial.  There was nothing actually wrong with the doublet, I’ve worked plenty on it but it always galled me that I had a smarttuner connected to it which limited my transmit power.  I could only run 100W SSB or […]

A detailed look at three different methods of operating the low power WSPR mode

Hans Summers Ultimate 3S transmitter

There seems to have been an upsurge in people operating WSPR recently.  Barely a day goes by (sometimes barely an hour) without someone posting a map of where their signals have been received on Twitter.  When I first started experimenting with WSPR and QRSS some years ago, I did exactly the same. I’m quite sure […]

Installing a new external ADS-B receiver

External ADS-B receiver using a Raspberry Pi and Poe to power it

Not long after my last post on this subject, back in January, the preamp I had mounted in the box at the top of 30ft of pole strapped to the side of my house failed and I was forced to removed that particular ADS-B aircraft tracker.  I still had my loft unit running and working […]

Returning to data modes after an enforced break

Home brew interface for data modes using two audio isolation transformers

My shack computer is an Apple iMac.  For a few years, I’ve operated a lot of data modes and been very successful in data contests.  I’ve always enjoyed data modes and in 2012 I operated GO6NHU to celebrate the London 2012 Olympics exclusively using data. Back in 2015, Apple released a new operating system called El Capitan and […]

Building a Raspberry Pi internet watchdog

Finished Raspberry Pi Zero W internet watchdog

I wasn’t sure whether to post this or not as it’s not specifically amateur radio – But there’s a small amount of electronics involved so I figured it might be of interest. A few days ago while Susan and I were out, I received a text from my son saying “I thought you’d like to […]

How to replace the noisy fan in an Icom ID-5100 with a much quieter one

Inside of the Icom ID-5100 showing the new fan in place

I’m a happy owner of two Icom ID-5100 radios, one is mounted in the car and I use the other one in the shack on low power for working the local repeaters.  It doesn’t get much use but I’m monitoring GB3CL and GB7TE most of the time. About the only thing which I don’t like about this […]