Remote WiFi Antenna Tuner

A work in progress, not going to say much for now, other than its working, made it tune the 40m 1/4wave onto 80m. Need to make some resistance standards to get its full tuning range, but I am hoping for something in the 5 to 5000Ohm range. Frequency wise its good for HF and maybe 6M, but who cares about 6M LOL.


Tri-Bander -Update

After a comment by Adam, VK2YK on 20m today, I was reminded that I had not posted this SWR plot since I moved the 20m radials about and got it happening. Well, as you can see its much improved now on 20m. The only way to fix 10m is to shorten the aluminum radials. Not sure I am keen to drop it and cut a CM or 2 off each radial LOL. Most of the needed parts of 10m is under 2:1, but if I get keen I will shorten them.

As far as the antenna goes, this is a huge improvement over what it used to be like with only 3 radials. Really, it needs 4 per band. Not the 1 per band it comes with.

Spots on RBN:

Not overly strong to anywhere, but its being heard and getting out.


Fake It, Till You Make It

Making antennas is a shit business LOL. I have never found it to be a fun aspect of the hobby. But as the focus of my dxcc chasing is moving to 10m and the fact that I have completed 20 and 15m using the same antenna I have been using for donkeys nuts, I figured it is time up upgrade to a Yagi. 3 elephants on 10m is a reasonable antenna and as you can see in the image below, I have all the tube sitting there as left overs.

After looking at the various design options, what crap I have on hand and the like, the easiest yagi for me to build is a through the boom design with a gamma match. So then, if i cannot build a gamma matched dipole for 2m on the bench, there is no way in hell that I could build a yagi for 10m.

I know this looks dodgy as, and that is because it is. Crap is held together with duct tape, love and a hope and a prayer. This is the 3rd edition of dicking about here. The gamma match calculators were, well to say the least, kind of fucking useless. So I isolated the variables and just went at it one variable at a time to see the effect they have. Added capacitance first, moved the tap point second and finally changed the distance between radiator and match and in the end, I think i got a bit of an understanding of what does what.

A few hours later and I have this plot, not bad all things considered, like is connected to a bit of wood in a vice, its got alloy tube really close to it, its right next to the work bench and its stapled together with duct tape. But, I think I am now able to take this knowledge and turn it into a 10m yagi. For shits and giggles I might take what I have here and turn out 4 elephants for 2m and point it at the local repeater for full quieting HAHAHA.


The Story Of Lost Code

Some days you really gotta wonder what the hell were you thinking and where did you leave that? Before I had decided to design the board the micro is on, I had pretty much written the code and had it all working, come time to upload the code and finishing things off, i cant for the life of me find the code anywhere on my computer.

Screws me where the hell it is and the best I could find was an early backup that would have been more work to fix than actually starting from scratch. So, starting from scratch it was going to be. Start with getting the 2 rotary encoders working followed from the 6 push buttons, then the SI5351A and finally the LCD screen. All seems simple enough, well it was going swimmingly till I started on the buttons.

So this is my cheats way of doing key debounce, it works well and does a great job of debouncing the button so you only register one key press. But for whatever reason having 3 or more buttons functions called like that from the main loop, causes them all to fail and I have no idea why, other than for some bizarre reason it was getting locking in the while statement of the 3rd function.

I honestly have no idea why its doing that, or why it should be entering the while loop at all on the 3rd function. So I needed to find a fix, and fix it I did by writing an actual debounce library to use on buttons.

Now the button code looks a little cleaner, the read class is essentially a modification of digitalRead to use the millis timer to debounce, which is much nicer as its non blocking, unlike the delay call i was using. The difference is now I still get the odd double key, rather than always getting one per push.

So now the doing my head in is over, I can actually move on to writing the code to make each function work and do its thing, other than being a placeholder than does nothing than print to the serial monitor.

Code huh, it can be a pain in the arse.


An Australian Antenna Story

On 40m i use 40m quarter wave. Its a hellically wound wire on a sota beams light weight fiberglass poll. At each joint in the pole I have used electrical tape to stop the pole from collapsing in wind and rain. This is only temporary till I get arsed to drive into Brisbane and buy some aluminium tube. Or so i said 18 months ago LOL

Anyway, if you look closely the blue tape is evenly spaced out up the pole but is missing in places. When i taped the seams I taped all of them. I only noticed yesterday that some were missing, when I saw the thief in action.

A Satin Bower bird, who has his bower in my neighbors yard, flew in, landed sideways on the poll and started to undo the tape. He started by pulling with his beak to get a hold, then swung around the pole like it was a swing until the tape fully unraveled and he dropped to the ground. Then picked up his bounty and flew back to his bower hoping to impress his girlfriends.

My mistake? Using blue electrical tape. Satin Bower birds collect blue things. When it comes to blue things they are kleptomaniacs and this one has decided to steal my antenna. HAHAHAHA

Here he is in action, trying to steal the blue tape from my antenna. HAHAHA


40m Vertical Almost Finished

The 40m vertical is up and running. I just need to make another 4 radials and a ton more lawn staples and peg the crap out of it and leave it be till the grass grows over the wires. Cant say I enjoy building antennas and i still need to make the radiator out of aluminum, but that is going to wait a while. Now i just need some 40m signals so i can see how its working.


Radial Day

Not much fun scalping the lawn to lay radials when you have hay fever HAHAHA. Stupid fucking runny nose and watery eyes that feel like sand. Not sure I will get the radials all laid before the rain hits, but i am making progress. Next job is to pull down the existing antenna and lift its radials.