Amateur Radio

I have passed my Foundation Radio Amateur License Exam with the Dover Radio Amateur Club and met very nice people there!

My callsign is “M6GHE”

I currently have a couple of projects going and more ideas to come. Here are the projects I am working on now.


Project #1 – Transciever HUB
I am now in the process of building a PCB interface that will enable to hook up my handheld transciever to a PC/PDA, and do the foolowing things:

  • AX.25 packet radio decoding using an ATMEL 328 (the same micro as in the Arduino Uno/Duemillanove)
  • DTMF decoding of the audio using dedicated chip (this is an added extra, I just want to see if it is possible to do)
  • amplify the signal a bit, with variable gain
  • and last but not least, completely isolate the transciever from the PC/PDA. The audio in/out will be isolated using 1:1 transformers, while the digital data in/out will be isolated using opto-couplers.

Features:

  • Power will be provided from a 9V battery
  • Low power, integrated TNC interface with “KISS” output

CONNECTIVITY:

    Data paths:

  • BlueTooth for Audio and Data
  • USB for PC/Chumby/etc…, USB A connector
  • SERIAL RS-232 for my iPaq36xx, DB9
  • AUDIO IN/OUT on the transciever side of the interface:

  • RCA female connectors, since I have the cable to connect my TH-F7e with proprietare 2.5mm+3.5mm double jacks to 4 RCAs
  • AUDIO IN/OUT on the PC/PDA side of the interface:

  • 2 stereo female jacks for connection to PC/PDA/Chumby/others

I am in the draft phase of the PCB and do not have to much spare time to do it.

Here is the provisional schematic of it: Kenwood Transceiver Interface


Project #2
The other project related to Amateur Radios, is a Yagi VHF+UHF antenna, for satellite operation, and tracking the weather baloon that we are going to launch later this year!


Project #3 (this in the very early stages)
Connect the “Transciever HUB” to the Chumby One I have, interpret the packet radio data and display it on a map (e.g. OpenStreet Map, Google Map…)
This is just an idea… but it might happen…


Fun times, hope I can manage to get all this done!

All the best!
73s!


Brief history on how I started with Radio DXing

Tuning the radio on LW, MW, SW and FM was my passion for as long I can remember being able to turn a dial, and both my grandfathers had radios, which I was actively fiddling with. One of the radios was the Romanian made Gloria 3, Solid State radio, pictured here, and the other was the Sokol 403, pictured here.
My mother’s father Ioan, owned both of them and my father’s father Dumitru owned the Gloria 3 and the latter version Gloria 4. And of course at home we had an Albatros radio in kitchen that was on almost 24 hours a day, every day! The Albatros radio was produced by Tehnoton, here is the link to the RadioMuseum’s website.

My grandfather Dumitru also had an Unitra Goplena 2 radio (https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=Goplana+Two+Unitra+Radio), which I was NOT allowed to touch, but it was a beauty! My father still has it in the garage somewhere and I wish so much to restore it and try it!

Another piece of electronics that gave me great joy was the Unitra ZK120 T(here is a picture I found of it on the net http://www.milicja.net/?723,magnetofon-szpulowy-unitra-zk-120t), tape player, which I used to listen to music and then use a storage device for my first computer the Electronica CIP-03 (http://www.old-computers.com/museum/photos.asp?t=1&c=700&st=1), which was a Sinclair Spectrum ZX clone.

I loved it then and I love it now, to tune in far distant places! However nowadays I got myself the newer technology radio/transceiver the handheld Kenwood TH-F7E! Wow, it’s an amazing device! It can transmit on VHF/UHF and receive from 100kHz up to 1.2GHz!!!

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