Posts Tagged ‘Morse’

Simple interference fix for the Chinese Pixie

The Chinese Pixie transceiver operating at 7023 kHz has become very popular. It often costs less than 5 USD on Ebay. Like most Pixies it is susceptible to broadcast breakthrough and intermodulation. Much of this is caused by the keying circuit of the audio amplifier, the LM386. The cure is to move the muting diode from the power supply pin (no. 6) to the bypass pin (no. 7). I have described this in another blog post with title: “Using pin 7 of the LM386 to reduce BCI and add side tone to Pixie 2“.

Here are two pictures that show how this can be done for the Chinese Pixie. One needs an additional resistor in the range 10 – 47 ohms. I have used 10 ohms in the picture. It replaces the old R3 of 1 k. The diode D3 is not mounted, and instead it is mounted under the PCB with the minus (denoted by the ring) connected to where D3’s minus was, and the plus side connected to pin 7 of the LM386.

R3 is indicated by the lower left arrow, and the old
placement of D3 is shown with the upper arrow

Arrow showing where D3 instead should be soldered.
The minus, indicated by the ring, is to the left in the image

Simple interference fix for the Chinese Pixie

The Chinese Pixie transceiver operating at 7023 kHz has become very popular. It often costs less than 5 USD on Ebay. Like most Pixies it is susceptible to broadcast breakthrough and intermodulation. Much of this is caused by the keying circuit of the audio amplifier, the LM386. The cure is to move the muting diode from the power supply pin (no. 6) to the bypass pin (no. 7). I have described this in another blog post with title: “Using pin 7 of the LM386 to reduce BCI and add side tone to Pixie 2“.

Here are two pictures that show how this can be done for the Chinese Pixie. One needs an additional resistor in the range 10 – 51 ohms. If you can fit it, then use the large 51 ohms resistor that come with some of the kits (I think it is meant for a dummy load). I have used 10 ohms in the picture. It replaces the old R3 of 1 k. The diode D3 is not mounted in the holes provided, and instead it is mounted under the PCB with the minus (denoted by the ring) connected to where D3’s minus was, and the plus side connected to pin 7 of the LM386.

R3 is indicated by the lower left arrow, and the old
placement of D3 is shown with the upper arrow

Arrow showing where D3 instead should be soldered.
The minus, indicated by the ring, is to the left in the image


The post “Simple interference fix for the Chinese Pixie” first appeared on the “LA3ZA Radio & Electronics Blog.”

Practicing CW QSO’s without RF

The bands are starting to make my cw practice pretty heavy going. I got one contact over the Christmas period with my ft-817 and end fed antenna and to be frank I made bit of a hash of it. Lots of errors mainly caused by a lack of practice time on the key.

I’m sure that I won’t be alone in saying that practice software goes a long way to getting rid of those errors and helps you move up from glacial sending and receiving speeds but nothing matches on air work . But what can you do when there’s no chance of a decent QSO / Sked. Well there may be an answer in iCW. It is a Mumble based system that does away with all that pesky RF and simply allows you to connect you key (via a keyer or in my case from the audio out of my transceiver) to a computer and then hey presto you can practice with your friends to your hearts content.

There seem to be a couple of websites that cover the detail. The main one and a one that shows you a bit more detail. Its a bit confusing but having said that the setup is pretty straightforward and some really helpful video’s help get the finer points sorted.

So it dire times of s9 noise and no propagation. There’s plenty of opportunity to get some practice in.

Yet another Arduino clock

Does the world need more Arduino clocks? Maybe not.

But I needed another Arduino project as I had made a K3NG morse keyer. I love this keyer because it is unique in supporting a display where you can see what you send. But I wasn’t using the morse keyer all the time, so I wanted the hardware to serve two purposes. That’s the excuse for also making a clock.

Its main features are:

The hardware for the K3NG keyer includes a speed pot and a memory bank selector (to the right) as well as four push buttons on top for selecting memories. The pot now controls the intensity of the display, but the bank selector switch is not used. Of the four push buttons, only button 1 is used. With it one can toggle the clock through various displays as shown below.
Local time, solar and lunar state
Line 1: Local day, date, time
Line 2: Sunrise, maximum solar elevation (actual solar angle during the day), sunset
Line 3: Civil dawn, local time at maximum solar elevation, civil dusk
Line 4: Lunar phase, arrow showing that it is rising, days since new moon

UTC and position display
Line 1: UTC time, locator
Line 3: latitude, longitude
Line 4: Altitude, number of GPS satellites
Dual time display with local time, UTC time, and locator
What I would like to have as well is an indication of lunar visibility at the actual location with azimuth and elevation for the moon. So far I haven’t had success in finding a suitable Arduino library for that, but I’m hoping that a reader of this blog may help me.

The post “Yet another Arduino clock” first appeared on the LA3ZA Radio & Electronics Blog.

Yet another Arduino clock

Does the world need more Arduino clocks? Maybe not. But I needed another Arduino project as I had made a K3NG morse keyer. I love this keyer because it is unique in supporting a display where you can see what you send.

But I wasn’t using the morse keyer all the time, so I wanted the hardware to serve two purposes. That’s the excuse for also making a clock. Its main features are:

The hardware for the K3NG keyer includes a speed pot and a memory bank selector (to the right) as well as four push buttons on top for selecting memories. These controls are not used by the clock, except for button 1. With it I can toggle the clock through various displays as shown below.
Local time, solar and lunar state
Line 1: Local day, date, time
Line 2: Sunrise, maximum solar elevation (actual solar angle during the day), sunset
Line 3: Civil dawn, local time at maximum solar elevation, civil dusk
Line 4: Lunar phase, arrow showing that it is rising, days since new moon

UTC and position display
Line 1: UTC time, locator
Line 3: latitude, longitude
Line 4: Altitude, number of GPS satellites
Dual time display with local time, UTC time, and locator
What I would like to have as well is an indication of lunar visibility at the actual location with azimuth and elevation for the moon. So far I haven’t had success in finding a suitable Arduino library for that, but I’m hoping that a reader of this blog may help me.

The post “Yet another Arduino clock” first appeared on the LA3ZA Radio & Electronics Blog.

Walter Winchell

I was meandering around the web this morning and stumbled on to a page where famous key collector and curator Tom Perera W1TP had re-created the morse key setup used by Walter Winchell to introduce and punctuate his radio and later TV broadcasts. They were a pair of Vibroplex bugs.

The Vibroplex ‘Lightning Deluxe’ and ‘Original’ bugs
The Vibroplex ‘Lightning Deluxe’ and ‘Original’ bugs

I grew up in Sydney in the 1950s and remember how radio station 2UE would start their news bulletins with a brisk CQ CQ. They were probably inspired by Winchell. Another memory is watching ‘The Untouchables‘ on TV with narration by Walter Winchell.

It’s worthwhile reading Walter Winchell’s Wikipedia entry while you listen to and occasionally watch an archived TV show of his from December 1953.

The Walter Winchell Show 13 Dec 1953
The Walter Winchell Show 13 Dec 1953

Ironically in his early years as a gossip journalist he was close to prominent criminal identities and later became friends with J. Edgar Hoover. He was Jewish and in the lead up to the second world war was one of the first Americans to criticise Hitler and those in the US who supported him. Another of his targets was isolationist Charles Lindbergh. His fame followed his reporting the famous kidnapping and subsequent trial.

From the clip you can hear the rapid-fire delivery. In many ways it’s like a precursor to much of what we consume today.

Walter Winchell reporting – from a brilliant site about old mics – coutant.org
Walter Winchell reporting – from a brilliant site about old mics – coutant.org

He attacked the Klan and its supporters. After the war he aligned himself with the Senator Joe McCarthy’s hunt for communists. But within this short clip there are a couple of places where he briefly questions a couple of issues that were to haunt the US for the next couple of decades – Vietnam and cigarettes and cancer.

Complex and probably unattractive, what I want to know is if he actually knew how to handle those Vibroplex keys.

I Need You in My Log! SKCC K3Y/0 Special Event (January 2016)

I need your help!

Come meet me on the shortwave (HF) ham bands for the Morse code (CW mode) special event, the Straight Key Century Club (SKCC) celebration, with special callsign, K3Y. During the shifts (time slots) listed below, I am the control operator as K3Y/0.

Tomas, NW7US - operating Morse code as special event station, K3Y/0I need you to make a contact with me.

This special event takes place every year during January. We celebrate the legacy of Morse code, and promote Morse code and manual creation of the code by any non-electronic (digital) device and method. Which means that we love mechanical bugs, straight keys, two ends of a wire, or any other manual device, if Morse code is generated. The Straight Key Century Club is a free membership group. The link to their website is below.

I need you to make a contact with me, during my scheduled times, listed below.

NOTE: YOU DO NOT NEED TO BE A MEMBER OF THE (free) SKCC GROUP. To get into my logbook, you meet me on my frequency, and use Morse code to communicate with me. It is painless. If you must, you can use computer-generated Morse code. Or, you can tap it out on any Morse code signalling device, like a bug, a set of paddles, or a straight key; whatever you choose to make Morse code emanate from your HF transmitter.

HOWEVER: For those of you who want to get fully immersed in the spirit of this event, you are invited to use a straight key. And, as a bonus, you may and can join the SKCC group for FREE. Then, you would have your own SKCC number. That’d be cool; we SKCC members use that number in our exchange during our QSO information exchange. But, you don’t need that. Since it is free, why not?

What is needed is simply you, getting on the shortwave band, finding me, hearing me, and responding to me with Morse code. In other words, we need to have a QSO using Morse code. I am not a fast operator, so no problem if you are not very fast. I’ll meet your speed.

In any case, here are some of the times I will be on the air as K3Y/0… please dust off your straight key, bug, paddles, whatever, and make a QSO with me. Thanks!

My current schedule:

UTC Start/End (remember, these are NOT your local times, but are the UTC (GMT) times!)


(revised times, as of edit date)


00:00 - 02:59 19-Jan-16
00:00 - 02:59 20-Jan-16
00:00 - 02:59 21-Jan-16
00:00 - 02:59 22-Jan-16
00:00 - 05:59 23-Jan-16
14:00 - 18:59 23-Jan-16
20:00 - 21:59 23-Jan-16
00:00 - 02:59 24-Jan-16
14:00 - 18:59 24-Jan-16
21:00 - 21:59 24-Jan-16
00:00 - 02:59 25-Jan-16
00:00 - 02:59 26-Jan-16
00:00 - 02:59 27-Jan-16
00:00 - 02:59 28-Jan-16
00:00 - 02:59 29-Jan-16
00:00 - 05:59 30-Jan-16
13:00 - 18:59 30-Jan-16
20:00 - 21:59 30-Jan-16
00:00 - 03:59 31-Jan-16
13:00 - 23:59 31-Jan-16

Now, what frequency will I be on?

To find out what frequency I am on:

Visit http://g.nw7us.us/sched4SKCC and look on the right side for my callsign, NW7US. I usually post my frequency of operation right after my call sign.

Typically, evening operation is 30m, then 40m, and then possibly 80m.

If you are trying to alert me to your presence, you may message me on my personal Facebook profile, under my “Tomas David Hood” profile messages, but I may not see that right away.

Here is the detail covering the K3Y operation and the SKCC group: http://skccgroup.com/k3y

73 de NW7US
dit dit

This was last year:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UfRvITFpTb4

..
Tomas, NW7US - operating Morse code as special event station, K3Y/0

..


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