Fun with SMD and on Six.

I had a slow radio weekend. After spending most of the week trying to get my weather station back up I finally succeeded and decided to spend time on an unfinished project instead of time behind the radio. We had our first thunderstorm of the year last week so the 1-wire lightning detector has be be done before the season really kicks off. The “radio” part was already done, but the 1-wire counter/memory part not. Maxim put everything in one IC, the DS2423P, which has a 6 pin TSOC package. I haven’t worked with SMD components a lot and never build a one-off circuit. Traditionally I would use the Manhattan style of building, but after a lot of thinking I decided to do the following: draw a lay-out of the circuit, put some copper tape on the back side of a PCB and cut out the lay-out. With solder paste the components can then be put into place and soldered on. The first step you can see on the photo below.
20140315-lightning-detectorNow the only thing I am still not sure of is if it is wise to put the 100 nF capacitor across one of the tracks (after I coat it with conformal coating, of course). It would save me a bridge if I do it this way. I only have one DS2423P and they are US$10 a piece, so I can’t mess it up.

On Sunday night I still got my dose of radio fun. Just before heading for bed I tuned to 6 meters and heard AH2G/B with a lot of chirp, but coming in quite well. So far I have not heard anything on six this year, apart from some local hams, so this was a welcome change. I tuned around and 9M2TO came in very strong, so working him was easy. I also heard and worked 9M6ZAE. Some traces of VK8 stations and FK8CP, but he was calling SEA/ME and didn’t answer any calls from me or other Taiwanese hams. A pity, but at least I did work my good friend BX2AB, who was also calling CQ on six in CW. It made for a funny exchange: “BX2AB de BX2ABT BT GE OM Lee, 599 in Longtan BK”

Hans "Fong" van den Boogert, BX2ABT, is a regular contributor to and writes from Taiwan. Contact him at [email protected].

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