I often hear debate about solar power. Its always from some unenlightened idiot claiming its the death of ham radio and that no one should get it, because his guy on fox news says coal is the way to go. While there are some installs out there that are disasters, it does not have to be that way. Now this picture was taken early in the morning and we were not making much power, but even at half and full power the spec-an reads the same. The actual RF the inverter puts out is lower than -110dB which is the noise floor of my spec-an.

Now on 40m I cant hear shit all from the inverter on the IC-7410 which can hear a signal down to something like -130dB, the actual radiated RF from the inverter in the form of switching noise is rather low indeed. Even using a noise collector like the 1/4 wave vertical antenna I use on 40m, if there is no storm static I can turn on the pre-amps to help with chasing those weak parks signals.

My whole house is energy efficient, LED lighting, inverter fridge, freezer, washing machine, 3 air cons and not a single thing adds significantly to the background noise here. I will admit, I am in the middle of bum fuck nowhere and I do not have to worry about what crap electrics my neighbors use, but it does go to show that done right, things do not have to make noise.

When your power bill is essentially $0 each month and a solar system costs $5,000 to install, you really have to be bonkers not to have it.


Peace out


Doing My Head In

Nothing can be easy can it. So I remembered before we moved I had designed and built this control board with the intention of using it to control most parts of a radio. All good, you might think, but that is where the fun begins.

Windows 11 does not like the programmer I am using to program the bare IC’s. Linux on the other hand says my programmer is fine, but I have to fuck about with permissions each and every time I boot up for it to work.

Everything uploads fine in Arduino IDE but I hate using it and if you do not know all the correct flags in PlatformIO it shits its pants and complains.

I was using 2 16×2 LCD’s and 2 encoders, got dropped pixels on one screen and the other is not being detected by the processor. Neither encoder was working with the polling method and as there is only one interrupt on the processor, i gotta dick about now and refactor the code to only use one encoder and I might not have the flash space for that.

Anyway, I think I am at a point now where I have solved all the major problems and can get onto writing code to make it all work together. Here is hoping. Worst case scenario is that I redo the board using a better processor with more flash and ram. I got plenty here to choose from.

This is where I am at currently.

Its fun to bust out all the toys and make a mess.

PlatformIO settings for using USBasp programmer with the ATmega328p bare bones.