Sunday, 25 September 2016

A break

I'm taking a short break from kitting Anglian 3 transverters. Two weeks of intensive kitting, component preparation, paperwork and shipping has taken its toll. I need a break from it. 
Started to investigate integrating the DRiACS dish controller into my existing system, beginning with an eddy current damped gravity pendalum elevation indicator. 
I was extremely disappointed with the Machine-DRO digital pendalum inclinometer. Although the reading updates very quickly ( too quickly?) it is very unstable. It seems to be similar to the well-know 'Lidl' digital inclinometer. That is also totally unsuited to moon tracking as it takes ages to settle down to a reading. The Machine-DRO is exactly the same. It is suitable for indicating elevation if hou have time (>30-45seconds) but totally unsuited to tracking, where the 'noise' masks the immediate moon (or sun) position.
So, i'm back to trying to implement the MAB25 absolute encoder solution, but with the possibility of using eddy current damping to reduce reading instability, especially during windy conditions when the dish mount will inevitably shake.
On a very positive note, the add-on GPS clock works well, even inside my garage shack. GPS lock is solid. The DRIACS indicates the actual moon ( or other celectrial object in the almanack) without worrying about clock drift.

Saturday, 17 September 2016


All now ready to attend the Crawley Microwave Round Table tomorrow (18th September).
I'm taking a few VLNA preamp kits and PGA144 preamp kits. I'll also take some of the WA5VJB antennas and other boards.
Accompanied by Alan, G3NYK, who will take some of his boxes for sale as well as some of the HUPRF kits.
Should be a fun day.
There are some interesting talks scheduled for the afternoon. For once I'm not speaking at one of these events.

Wednesday, 14 September 2016


I am disappointed that apart from the usual entry in the published RSGB Convention programme, I have seen only a two-word mention in Radcom of what I think is my talk at the Convention.

This year I am scheduled to speak (The secret life of the transverter) at 16:00 on Saturday. Looking at the programme published in Radcom I see I am scheduled against some pretty good alternative talks.

Only by self-advertising am I likely to attract a few to my session, otherwise I might get overlooked!


Friday, 9 September 2016


I've been busy preparing the documentation for the Anglian transverter. Takes as long as developing the circuitry!
Separate technical description and assembly manual for the kit
Kits only. No assembled SMD boards for now.
Should be available soon. Just waiting for some back ordered components.

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Venice and beyond

We've been back from EME2016 in Venice for one week, having stayed on a few days to have a better look at the city. For sure it was heaving with tourists and cruise ship visitors (the Cunard Queen Victoria was the only liner I recognised).
I have to congratulate the Conference organisers for a job well done. Having been one of the Cambridge 2012 organisers I know just how much work goes into the organising of a two day EME Conference, with the various dis-staff tours etc.
I thoroughly enjoyed the Conference and learnt a lot from the various talks. I was able to attend every one of the 16 talks over the 1&1/2 days.
I have been inspired to do some additional 'fettling' of my own dish and now it has additional bracing on the feed cage to overcome the cage drooping when the heavier RF horn and amplifiers are installed. Mainly the 6cm one.

The diagonal braces are of substantial gauge aluminium alloy and secured with M5 screws.
Laying one of my laser levels on the mount, I have checked the 'true ' of the cage and where its red dot appears on the fence. This enables me to reset the SPID RAS at intervals to overcome the inevitable SPID pulse count errors!