14.170 +/- 50kHz tonight

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Post by Admin on Thu Jul 26, 2018 10:37 pm

Hi again Szolt,
I totally agree with you. I give courses to adult engineers, students and often, older children. If any of these guys had asked me what I was doing I would have shared info with them and shown them what you can do with a bit of simple home made kit.

I'll tell you a little story:

At work we have taken on an 18-year old lad as a student "summer worker", straight out of high school, but no RF background whatsoever. Only a basic IT school education.

On the first day I gave him a 6 GHz signal generator and spectrum analyser, then gave him a 1-hour talk about frequency, span, bandwidth and amplitude. He spent the day playing with those, then found that different cables gave different amplitude readings. Then I gave him a couple of step-attenuators to play with.

On day 2 I gave him two RF panels I was building for my next project: RF over Fiber. He fed in a signal, saw what came out and adjusted the path-loss to 0dB. He then calibrated the two panels to work together to give a 50dB loss with 0dBm input. We will be installing that in a test LTE system directly between the radio base and a mobile telephone simulator.

Day three he tested some "scrap" step attenuators, recovered about SEK 80 000 (USD 10000) worth of components, then he took one apart to see what they were made of: separate module for 1dB, 2dB, 4,B, 8dB and 10dB. He then swapped the modules to repair many of the defective modules.

After a month he is using a simple spectrum analyser, High-level analysers, such as the Anritsu BTS-master, VIAVI, and even a Vector Network Analyser. He is also using a PIM analyser. He can now work unsupervised to calibrate larger systems using "Handover Units" (simulate path losses), edit configuration files in UNIX, and calibrate complete LTE simulation networks with 12 Radio Base Stations, a 24 000 mobile telephone simulator (about SEK 8 000 000) and get the calibration to within +/- 0.5dB. He can calculate the RSRP (individual carrier power) in a multi-carrier LTE network.

Someone like that is worth his weight in gold. As a "summer helper" he has secured his future and will be offered a job in the company after he has taken his college education.

Anyone showing interest and ability deserves to be given every opportunity, and I will donate a lot of time to help such a person. But many youths today are more interested in making trouble.

> In my country everybody has  the idea that the Nordic countries are the place where lambs eat with the lions ...

Sadly this not the case today, at least not in Sweden. 25 years ago I would have agreed with you, but Sweden has received a lot of refugees (more than a million) from, for example, Africa and the Middle East, who are bringing with them their own cultural habits, such as women are property, female circumcision, theft, violence, gang-related shooting and rape. In fact Sweden is often recognised as the rape capital of Europe. 
14.170 +/- 50kHz tonight Countries
(Statistics per 100,000 inhabitants)

Every night I see people touring car-parks looking inside, trying door handles, and most apartment block doors have crow-bar damage where people have tried to break in. Every couple of months I hear a ring on my doorbell, the door tested, then peeping through the letterbox for signs of accumulated mail.

There are "few lambs eating with lions" these days. I will not write any more about this because this is not a suitable forum for this kind of conversation. I think enough is already written.

Very best regards from Harry -SM0VPO

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Post by zsolt on Sat Jul 21, 2018 11:39 am

Hi,
incredible experiences i read here  Smile  .  In my country everybody has  the idea that the nordic countries are the place where lambs eat with the lions , peace and wealth everywhere you look ... we don't get to see in the news these stuff so it's quite incredible how things got turned around. Here we can still walk in the park after ten... thous i see the same tendency also.  Hope things get right again .
Anyway i don't consider that it's your own fault being there . The "youths " should have an other occupation not their "territory" , something like hard work and education in first place . And hobbies . Maybe same amateur radio stuff Smile , so the story could have an alternative ending like : i was in the park with my radio and i see some youth participating at the TXDX..(more abbreviations and capital letters )..... Q radio contest

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Post by Densil on Fri Jul 20, 2018 11:19 pm

hi harry. been following this thread and thought i would give my input.
we have 2 gangs of youths here all under 18 so the cops cant do anything. our 2 gangs are romanian and arab i think. both are cowards alone but in a group they are terrors. stole my daughters plastic pedal car and saw it smashed up saw it dumped by the shopping center.

u should take care. it could have been nasty for you.

did u get any qsos for all your trouble.
/D

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Post by Admin on Fri Jul 20, 2018 9:58 pm

Hi Zsolt,
Thank you very much for your kind words. To be honest I was really scared, not so much at the time, but from about 5 minutes after it happened.

I am aware that I am a 67-year old man, fat (and ugly). I looked like an easy target, and I had a bit of kit on the table that looked kinda valuable. At the time I knew that I had to react strongly. The average Swede may probably have said "I want no trouble - take it all", but to give in would open the possibility of getting hurt.

A swift-kick in the "goolies" to the leader was my reaction, and it worked, especially with a screwdriver in my hand. These youths can be brave in a group, but if they think that they could get hurt then they will run. They did  Smile

I don't know anything about borders and politics and actively seek to avoid those subjects, especially on this forum. But I have a big hate for criminals.

When I was in England (G4VVJ) I used to electrify my ham-radio workshop when I worked abroad in Saudi Arabia and other times. I also put my motorbike inside the caravan and connected that to the 325 Volts. The floor was grounded.

On one occasion it was youths who got an arm through a skylight and stole some CDs. They later broke in and got the shock of their lives  Surprised  When the police came I swapped the "special" adapter that fed the power to the workshop. When the police saw the workshop they said it should have been obvious to anyone that there could be dangerous voltages with that kind of equipment I had. There was also a clear warning on the door. The police poked a few things with fingers and didn't get a shock.

But last weekend taught me a lesson. I am now old, overweight, and these gangs of youths patrol their "territory" every night during the hours of darkness. It was my own fault for being there in the first place. In the future I will drive out in the country, if I want to play with my radio set.

Very best regards from Harry - SM0VPO

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Post by zsolt on Thu Jul 19, 2018 11:19 pm

hi,
sorry to hear about the bad experience you had, i would have kick their asses back to where they come from . There s nothing bad about that or any reason to feel sorry. To much happened on this side of the world and to  much history , it's a pity to give up everything now for the sake of nothing. I know that this sounds like our prime minister (Orban) but i feel the same. It's ok to protect our borders like it s ok to give help to those who come nicely and legally through our gate and not jump over the fence .

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Post by Admin on Tue Jul 17, 2018 10:30 pm

Hi Glen,
I like the idea of a sun-friendly display and an external counter. There is an output from the VFO on the rear apron, but I think a better idea is to make a DDS signal generator from 5.0MHz to 5.5MHz with a back-lit LCD display. Perfect in sunlight.

I already have a DDS signal generator built, but it does not look very pretty for the moment.
Positive - good display in the sun, better frequency stability
Negative - external unit, but I can use the internal VFO at night :-)

Thank you for the ideas.

------------------

BTW, last Saturday evening I went to the BBQ garden at midnight and started calling CQ NO-CONTEST, but did not get so many calls. I think I waited until too late. Should have been about 10 PM, while it was still light.

At about 01:45 AM a group of six youths, 15 to 17 came by. One demanded a cigarette. I said I don't smoke, then he demanded my wallet, telephone and radio. The other guys were coming round the table, so I thought I had to do something fast. I kicked the guy in the groin and he wend down. I picked up my screwdriver. The other youths all ran away, and the one on the floor picked himself up and followed after.

A Swede would probably have decided on no trouble and handed over the radio, but I acted before thinking. I was so angry. Then I became frightened as to what could have happened. I was shaking for about an hour afterwards. The guys could have easily have overpowered me and taken my radio, but more than one of them would have been on the end of my screwdriver. I was born and dragged up in South Yorkshire. I learned that the best form of defence is attack.

I packed up my stuff and went home. I only had my radio, no wallet, no telephone, nada! All I did have was my National-ID and a copy of my license. None of the youths were white; they all looked like they had "ethnic origins". Perhaps I should have called the police, but then again, this is Sweden! I made the first assault, I threatened with a weapon, and they were under-age (and immigrants).

In the future I will be operating evenings in the countryside, far away from these residential gangs of youths. An old, fat man probably looks like an easy target. 

Anyway, goodnight. BR from Harry - SM0VPO

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14.170 +/- 50kHz tonight Empty Re: 14.170 +/- 50kHz tonight

Post by Glenndk on Sun Jul 15, 2018 10:28 am

Admin wrote:
Hi all,
This evening I took my old FT-101ZD with inverter to the barbecue park, sat up a 5m vertical on a umbrella stand, three 5m radials, and powered the radio form two parallel 12v 12AH batteries.
...
If I can I will be OTA tomorrow afternoon, but with +32ºC it is difficult to read the frequency display in sunlight.

Goodnight all, perhaps hear someone in about 90 minutes.

BR Harry - SM0VPO/P

Hi Harry

How about making your own external frequency counter with sun-friendly LCD-display for the FT-101ZD using some PIC or ARM microcontroller with band, mode,... offset computing?
With a VCTCXO (voltage trimmable TCXO) (I hope the link works)?:
https://www.digikey.dk/products/en/crystals-oscillators-resonators/oscillators/172?k=&pkeyword=&pv1989=0&FV=2dc0a45%2Cffe000ac%2C1c00c5%2C1c0002%2C1c0003&quantity=0&ColumnSort=0&page=1&pageSize=25

Maybe the VFO-frequency and power can be found on some plug on the rear of FT-101ZD?

I know you can 3D-print odd plugs :-)

.

The frequency counter could be split in two:

* The frequency counter internally in the FT-101ZD with a serial/I2C output port.

* An external LCD-display with a serial input port (you maybe need: Gnd, serial, enable/clock and plus).

Serial/I2C to HD44780 (parallel) adapters. Instead of PCF8574 or 74HC595 you could use a PIC here too:

An LCD for Your Microcontroller Using a Single I/O:
https://www.allaboutcircuits.com/projects/a-one-wire-lcd-for-your-microcontroller/

Why pay for Serial LCDs when you can make your own?:
http://embedded-lab.com/blog/why-pay-for-serial-lcds-when-you-can-make-your-own/

Serial LCD I2C Module–PCF8574:
https://alselectro.wordpress.com/2016/05/12/serial-lcd-i2c-module-pcf8574/

Serial LCD Interface I2C:
http://www.picmicrolab.com/serial-lcd-interface-i2c/

LCD Backpack V2 - I2C and Serial RX:
http://www.hobbytronics.co.uk/i2clcd-backpack-v2

i2c / SPI character LCD backpack:
https://www.adafruit.com/product/292
https://cdn-learn.adafruit.com/downloads/pdf/i2c-spi-lcd-backpack.pdf

I2C connection to LCD screen (PIC18F4553 / PCF8574):
https://www.microchip.com/forums/m830041-p2.aspx

Drive a standard HD44780 LCD using a PCF8574 and I2C:
https://www.robotshop.com/letsmakerobots/drive-a-standard-hd44780-lcd-using-a-pcf8574-and-i2c

Search string:
https://www.google.com/search?q=%28serial+OR+I2C%29+HD44780+adapter+schematic

-

Or buying it:

HF Frequency Counter for Yaesu, Kenwood, and Atlas radios:
https://sites.google.com/site/radiolabrio/hf-frequency-counter
"...
Yaesu FT-101ZD ( MK0 to MK3) - 10 Hz resolution
...
The counter measure the VFO frequency, and compute math with the offset for each BAND and MODE.
Inside crystal oscillators (carrier and heterodyne) of the radio, must be calibrated!
The 3 position toggle switch, change the offset, for LSB, AM , USB.
..."

br,

Glenn / OZ1HFT

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Post by Admin on Sat Jul 14, 2018 10:23 pm

Hi all,
This evening I took my old FT-101ZD with inverter to the barbecue park, sat up a 5m vertical on a umbrella stand, three 5m radials, and powered the radio form two parallel 12v 12AH batteries.

I had most of Europe and some USA came romping in. And, absolutely NO QRM. Like listening to the VHF band  Smile
Pity it is a contest weekend. Perhaps I upset some users by calling "CQ NO-CONTEST".


From my apartment there is S9 of QRM and WB noise, so forget HF. BUT a sack-barrow with two batteries and my FT-101ZD in the BBQ park outside the apartment and I can run over 40-Watts of SSB for an hour. Falls to about 25-W after an hour, but the radio does take 20A on transmit.

Tonight (Saturday), if I am still sober, I intend to go back to the park at midnight, Swedish time (22:00 GMT) and see what I can do. I hope to be there around 23:45 (21:45 GMT) or so, around 14.170MHz, plus or minus a few kHz. Please feel free to call in on me :-)

The batteries are nearly charged, the radio is working (with reservation for "geriatric-switch syndrome", where switches have become slack after 30 years use), so I can have an hour or so on HF. Just crossing my legs that there will be no young hooligans around (that can be quite common in JO89WO, Märsta).

If I can I will be OTA tomorrow afternoon, but with +32ºC it is difficult to read the frequency display in sunlight.

Goodnight all, perhaps hear someone in about 90 minutes.

BR Harry - SM0VPO/P

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