ft-950 and 32usd band-scope project – see what you hear

 First.. thanks for this site (and various of others) to give me idea to start playing with cheap bandscope project with rtlsdr-stick (dvb-t)

http://www.tarapippo.net/gnuradio/ft950.html

I have been playing with rtlsdr for quite long, and after aquiring a Yaesu FT-950 I was ofcourse going through what I can do with the rig and accessories.  Then after some lucky google search I came to tarapippo’s site and got the idea to test bandscope myself.

Here is what you need in general:

rtlsdr compliant dvb-t stick 10 euro  in ebay like here : http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/390613356279?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1497.l2649

bnc to mcx adapter 9 euro in ebay like here: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/230961193408?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1497.l2649

tmp to bnc adapter 5 euro +shipping from funk amateur: http://www.box73.de/product_info.php?products_id=1990

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Instructions:

  1. start to remove many many screws from the bottom of the ft-950
  2. all screws are off and time to flip cover open!
  3. there ya go, now to locate scope-plug
  4. scope-plug located, which states clearly “scope” and is connected to 50ohm dummy. remove the dummy.
  5. took the dummy off from the plug and taped it in here.
  6. now spot hole in the left upcorner from where you will insert the tmp->bnc cable.
  7. mp-adapter looks like this. I had to squeeze it a bit to get it through the rigs back panel ventilation holes.
  8. then comes the “hard” part. push tmp cable toward the hole in left up corner and use pliers to pick it up from the hole.
  9. then connect it to the scope-plug and youre done! 🙂

 

After that you can connect the bnc-adapter to bnc-mcx and mcx to dvb-t stick and to your computer.  

Then you can startup your favourite SDR-software, tune to 69MHz and start catching signals on HF. Some SDR software (like HDSDR)

supports also CAT-controlling.  There is 3 images in the bottom of this blog, and listed in order 15m/digi ,  20m/ssb, 40m/ssb.   73 de OH2FXD ! 🙂

 

Radio

 

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DSC00975DSC00976Bandscope15digiBandscope20ssbBandscope40mssb

Power me UP Mr. Scotty! – FT-817ND power cabling

Here is my power cable setup for 817, in the picture missing 5000mah 4S lipo which power out 16.7V max so need voltage regulator. Starting from down to up:

 

#1 plug to rig 

#2 fuse cable

#3 wattmeter

#4 12VDC ubec (voltage regulator)

 

Connectors are xt60 which can handle atleast up to 65A continuous! All the special parts are from RC-hobby and are much cheaper than any HAM spesified part-sellers. I have bought all my stuff from http://www.hobbyking.com.  As you can see the cables are made as “modules” so you can decide will you run the cable with wattmeter, ubec, or even fuse.  If any questions im happy to answer 🙂

 

73 de OH2FXD

 

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Parts list:

Ubec:  http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewitem.asp?idproduct=18787&aff=913086

Wattmeter: http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewitem.asp?idproduct=10080&aff=913086

XT60 connectors: http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewitem.asp?idproduct=9572&aff=913086

Good Moooorning Chiiina! TYT UVF-9

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Testing my new blog-app and best way to start is with this cool TYT UVF-9 review :–) I have been testing various of chinese handhelds (vhf/uhf single/dual) in past few years since I got my radioamateur licence and today I am positively suprised for the TYT handheld im holding in my hands.

Handheld itself feels nice, sturdy and finished feeling. One thing what is missing is again the real SQUELCH control as in all chinese

handhelds, so it is done via software. Both receive and transmit audio seem to be very nice. Menus are logical and I was quite fast familiar with the whole setup. TYT’s antenna could be a bit better but you can always replace it with “rat-tail antenna” as nagoya-701. First thing which made me to order this radio was the nice screen and sturdy look (hey im fan of rugged-rigs and ht’s) hi. There is thought ofcourse some negative parts also to be noted: ht seems to pick up rf quite easily, so proper shielding of internal components feels a bit unfinished. I have two examples allready: driving around a car and ht picks up noise, also walking around the neighbourhood and it does the same @certain places.. actually this was inspected further on next day and radio is just so sensitive on RX!. Radio also has 2x 128memories (for both banks) and this is COOL feature among the nice screen too 🙂 I like to use my handheld for RX (scanner like) so the banks were filled up quite fast, too bad it misses AM-mode so no air traffic for me.

 

Here is tech details from http://tyt888.com manufactures site:

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Here is some pictures about the HT, and programming software (best ive met on baofeng/quansheng/tyt/wouxun):

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Cons and pros for the end:

look/feel ++++

working menu/programming software++++

 

73 de OH2FXD/TYT

 

XT60 – To Connect Or Not?

From time to time  on the fields of radio-amateurs you heard about discussions about banana connectors vs powerpole connectors and both parties tend to prove their views to be better than other. I have myself  been using banana connectors as the overprize of powerpole has been too much for me. Also as mostly being a QRP or 100W user bananas (also the eatable) were more than OK. Until now! Happily Im still among friends, and few of those are rc-hobbyists. Slowly they are brainwashing me to the RC-world and while stumbling as a rookie, there is alot of good stuff you can and should use on the HAM side too :–). XT60 connector is the one which im propably at first going to use on my field installations. Here is a short description of the connector and url to sparkfun as the image and description is from their website.

https://www.sparkfun.com/products/10474

and here is where I bought mine!

http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewitem.asp?idproduct=9572&aff=913086

Be extra caution where do you buy the connectors, some sites do sell cheap copies which are not filling the requirements. I have myself using lately http://www.hobbyking.com and price per one pair was about 0.64eur (including postal fees).

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73 de OH2FXD & keep the bands sane!
 

Building a HAM-DRONE

HAM-DRONE v 0.1x

Mission:  Listen, Transmit and Inspect

Target: Sky, alt. max 150m

Estimate time of finished project :  03/2013

IDEA: To be used for inspecting antennas, longwire tests, analyzers.

Codename: He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named and You-Know-Who

Parts: (mainly thanks to HobbyKing!)

Flight Controller: Crius All In One Pro V1.0 ebay

Servos: 4* pcs  NTM 2826 1200kv http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewitem.asp?idproduct=17345&aff=913086

Servo fitting kits: http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewitem.asp?idproduct=16719&aff=913086

Propellers: 8x4R http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewitem.asp?idproduct=11331&aff=913086

Frame: x666 http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewitem.asp?idproduct=24227&aff=913086

Transmitter: Spektrum DX7 used

Receiver: AR7000 used

Turnigy Accucel-6 Charger:  http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewitem.asp?idproduct=7028&aff=913086

Battery: 2x 5000mah turnigy 4S http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewitem.asp?idproduct=9277&aff=913086

ESC: Turnigy plush 30A: http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewitem.asp?idproduct=9277&aff=913086

ESC: turnigy programming card: http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewitem.asp?idproduct=2169&aff=913086

GPS: Crius CN-06  ebay

12 in 1usb simulator dongle ebay

gopro craddle: http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewitem.asp?idproduct=27153&aff=913086

servos for craddle: http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewitem.asp?idproduct=9392&aff=913086

xt60 connectors: http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewitem.asp?idproduct=9572&aff=913086

xt60 harness: http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewitem.asp?idproduct=10265&aff=913086

polymax connectors: http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewitem.asp?idproduct=68&aff=913086

5V UBEC: http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewitem.asp?idproduct=16663&aff=913086

Software:

MegaPirateNG

Arduino

Mission Planner

Simulator software ie. Phoenix

Notes:

D2-D13 = motor connections

AR7K need to be on 90degree angle

Links:

MegapirateNG+Crius programming: http://www.multi-rotor.co.uk/index.php?topic=380.0

DX7 spesific: http://diydrones.com/profiles/blogs/setting-up-6-different-flight-modes-on-a-spektrum-dx7-using-just

Pictures:

Flight control parts and the x666 frame.

Unpacked

More part pictures.

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Installing the “bed” for the Crius All In One flight Controller

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FC installed.   

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Prepping up the frame and LG (landing gear)         

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Side of the LG’s   

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LG  

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LG installed.          

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Frame built, thought missing few aluminium spacers, so res of the LG’s will be connected later.        

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Crius All In One       

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He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named and You-Know-Who is Alive!      

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Starting up Mission Planner after succesfull flash of the MegaPirateNG.

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OK ready to go.. wait! wheres the motors          

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 DX7 controller arrived and some extra items hooray!

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 Landing Gear finished with some homebrew components :–) (bolts and plastic tubes)          

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Crius ALL-IN-ONE V1.0 in all its might!

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Wiring the Crius CN-06 V2.0 GPS module:

GPS-module has 4pin (black/gnd, green/rx/, yellow/tx, red/vcc)

USE i2c port to get power (pin3/5V, pin4/gnd)

USE Serial Port to get TX/RX for GPS (pin3/tx2 –> wire green/RX, pin4/rx2 –> wire yellow/TX from gps-module)

Here is some pictures with the gps-module +installation:

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GPS is on, but no fix yet! Will test it outside tomorrow

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UPDATE: And we have the FIX! 🙂

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Jewellery Box case mod for GPS

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Madlab Industries protective casing is way over COOL aspect!

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battery installed + voltage buzzers ! 🙂

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Got today the PWR wired up and messed up with the receiver! 🙂 It starts to look like insect!

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To be continued.. 73 de OH2FXD/QUAD

Im so BLUEtooth today.

Testing BLK-MD-BC04 Bluetooth Module +Demo Board

Thirtyseven (37) days ago I made an order from EBAY to an item I found rather interesting to test out. Finally today it arrived via  airmail from Hong Kong :–).  Bluetooth module set is via Bolutek and here is the specifications for the bluetooth module itself:

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Description:

The BLK-MD-BC04-B is a Bluetooth serial module for OEM manufacturers who want to implement Bluetooth functionality with their products cost effectively and also in timely manner. The BC04-B supports UART, USB, I2C, PCM, PIO interfaces for the communication with the OEM products.

The BC04-B is provided with Bluetooth v2.0 compatible firmware runs internally for SPP (Serial Port Profile) applications by default. It based on CSR BC04 External chipset with an antenna integrated and with the firmware provided by our company, it could be easily used for kinds of Bluetooth products.

The BC04-B is fully qualified with Bluetooth v.2.0+EDR specification so OEM manufacturers can save cost and time for overall OEM product certifications, which makes the BC04-B ideal solution for larger volume and cost sensitive applications.

Specifications:

Bluetooth protocol: Bluetooth Specification v2.0 + EDR

USB protocol: USB v1.0  2.0

Frequency: 2.4GHz ISM band

Modulation: GFSK (Gaussian Frequency Shift Keying)

Transmit power: ≤ 4dBm, Class 2

Sensitivity: ≤-84dBm at 0.1% BER

Rate: 2.1Mbps(Max)/160 kbps(Asynchronous);1Mbps/1Mbps(Synchronous)

security features: Authentication and encryption

Support profiles: Bluetooth serial port (master & slave)

Power Supply: +3.3 VDC 50mA

Operating temperature: -20 ~ +55 Centigrade

Dimensions: 26.9mm x 13mm x 2.2 mm

Application:

Personal Digital Assistants

POS Terminals

Data Logging Systems

Audio Gateway applications

GPS receiver

Industrial control

MCU projects

Bluetooth module is hooked up to serial (RS232) demo-board which is very useful on many forthcoming applications I have in my mind. With the demo-board you can either choose the Master/Slave/Off modes and programming the interface itself with AT-commands is easy via RS232 interface.

It took some time to go through different types of serial programming applications to get AT-commands running as they should. By default the BC04 is configured with this setup: PIN: 1234 NAME: Bolutek  SPEED: 9600  .. So if you are fine with default settings you can start hooking this tiny device on rig, firewall, anything which has a serial port actually. Just keep in mind that you need external power 5VDC for device to work. You can choose to use USB-port on device or either solder  5VDC power source as accu/battery. Here is the instructions for setup BT-module on OSX, but the principles will be the same no matter of the Operating System: First make sure the module is set to “Slave”. Then connect it via serial cable to your computer, and use your default serial terminal application to access it via following settings:  COMx (where X your COM-port), baudrate: 9600, parity: none, bits 8, stop bits 1, none for hardware flow control. Turn the module on (USB-cable plugged in for power), open your serial terminal software  and hopefully you will be able to start typing AT-commands.

Then comes the best part (AT-commandline) Start with AT: AT -> Should Respond “OK” AT+HELP

Command Description


AT Check if the command terminal work normally

AT+RESET Software reboot

AT+VERSION Get firmware, bluetooth, HCI acess code

AT+ROLE Get/Set master or slave mode

AT+STATE Get current state

AT+SENM Get/Set security and encryption mode

AT+IPSCAN Get/Set page and inquiry scan parameters

AT+SNIFF Get/Set sniff power table parameters

AT+LOWPOWER Start/Stop low power mode

AT+UARTMODE Get/Set uart stop bits and parity

AT+ENABLEIND Enable/Disable Indication print

AT+LSP List Paired Device List

AT+RESETPDL Reset Paired Device List

AT+REMOVEPDL Remove one entry from Paired Device List

AT+SUPERVISION Get/Set supervision timeout

(M)AT+AUTOINQ Start/Stop auto inquiry

(M)AT+AUTOCONN Start/Stop auto connection

(M)AT+INQM Get/Set inquiry parameters

(M)AT+INQ Start inquiry

(M)AT+INQC Cancel ongoing inquiry

(M)AT+CONNECT Connect to a remote device by BD address


Note: (M) = The command support master mode only, other commands

support both master and slave mode.

For more information, please visit http://www.bolutek.cn

Copyright@2011 http://www.bolutek.cn. All rights reserved.

AT+VERSION

+BOLUTEK Firmware V2.42, Bluetooth V2.0, HCI V2.1, HCI Rev37, LMP V4, LMP SubV37

AT+NAMEOH2FXD

OH2FXD

OK

AT+PIN2505

2505

OK

AT+BAUD8

–> change to 115200 on terminal app & test once more (close and reopen)

AT+VERSION

+BOLUTEK Firmware V2.42, Bluetooth V2.0, HCI V2.1, HCI Rev37, LMP V4, LMP SubV37

Then poweroff  the module and plug it back into your favourite serial port accessible machine 🙂

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73 de OH2FXD, Mikko 

Yaesu FT-250e – Its Rugged Baby!

Some weird radio-bug bit me on the last Field Day event and I was destined to get me a new VHF handheld.  My ham radio friend Harri (OH7HL) had Yaesu VX-150 (premodel of FT-250e) and instantly when I got home I started to look same kind of rugged and simplified radio. To my luck Yaesu had pushed in the market newer model which had a bit stronger audio output and added some features related to memory banks. I was ofcourse straight away hooking it up to the computer to notice only software available is something you pay for.  Earlier paying for ft-60, ft-817nd, ft-270 software from same coder I decided that I wont waste my bucks for piece of software and try to do it old way and manual program I did.  Took me up 2 minutes to configure handheld memory banks with simplex and repeater information, naming them would take a bit longer hi.

Here is some info I leeched on Yaesu’s webpage:

– 0.5/2/5W VHF handheld
– 1400 mAh battery
– 700mW of Loud Audio
– Wide/Narrow selection
– Nine DTMF Auto-dialer memories
– Two Front Panel programmable keys
– RF Squelch
– Battery Voltage Display
– TX Deviation Level (5 kHz or 2.5 kHz)
– Transmit Time-out Timer and Automatic Power-Off
– AR- Water resistant case construction
– Automatic Repeater Shift
– Memory-Only operating
– Scanning Mode: VFO / Memory / PMS / Dual Watch
– Busy Channel Lock-out
– ARTS (Auto-range Transponding System)

For short review this is very nice one band handheld to own if you like simple, made to last type design. One thing I would myself do a bit better is the back light on the screen, it is very very dim. Maybe future brings some modification suggestions who knows hi.

More info found on Yaesu’s site:

http://www.yaesu.com/indexVS.cfm?cmd=DisplayProducts&ProdCatID=111&encProdID=13A355C2DE175553305DE961A0A053DD&DivisionID=65&isArchived=0

73 de OH2FXD