What’s Going On?

For the past several weeks I’ve been using my keyboard tapping, when not working on IT projects, mainly for coding, so my blogging has suffered a bit.  Here’s what I’ve been up to in the Radio Artisan laboratory recently:

My Arduino CW Keyer code now supports six separate transmitter keying and PTT outputs and it’s no longer necessary to use PTT lines for transmitter keying line multiplexing.  K1EL Winkey emulation mode has been enhanced to support Winkey 2 commands and has been tested successfully for SO2R operation.  I’m currently working on LCD display code that will use the Adafruit RGB LCD Shield.  This unit is really sharp looking and uses only two I/O pins for interfacing using the I2C protocol.  I’m planning to use I2C a lot more in all of my projects in the future.

I have added to my Arduino Rotator Controller software brake control and “slow start” capability, and rotators with any starting azimuth and rotations of up to 719 degrees can be configured.  If you’re not familiar with this project, you can interface nearly any rotator to any logging or control program.  Experimental code for using the HMC5883L digital compass and ADXL345 accelerometer is included if you want to homebrew your own rotator and not use pots for reading azimuth and elevation.  On the roadmap is support for the LSM303DLHC combination digital compass and accelerometer and the Adafruit RGB LCD Shield.

I’m currently working on an Arduino controlled balanced antenna tuner.  I won’t go into all of the gory details here, but needless to say it’s going to be commercial grade, very configurable, and have QRP and QRO versions.  No stepper motors or expensive roller inductors.  This is going to be fun.

If you subscribe to CQ magazine, be sure to check out my article in the June 2012 issue entitled “Summit Expeditions – Outdoor Radio Adventure Close to Home“.  I talk about operating from Summits On The Air (SOTA) locations and give some thoughts on equipment choices and the benefits of outdoor operating.  If anyone wants to invite me to a big time DXpedition in a cold, high latitude QTH, please send me an email :-)

So that’s what’s been going on here.  Keep your software updated, your beverages cold, and your rig warm.  73

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