GB3BSS 13cm tropo and aircraft scatter

Tropo and aircraft scatter from GB3BSS in IO81SR32 on 2320.924923 MHz (GPSDO locked).  14:25 on May 14, 2016. Elad FDM-DUO/G4DDK Anglian/DB6NT MKU23 G4/40-ele Wimo. Aircraft scatter around +10dB peak over noise, tropo is 2dB or so over noise. Beacon running 40W EIRP at 248km on 13cm.  Pretty much normal conditions.

GB3BSS-TR-AS-1605141423

33GHz Broadern drivers for 134GHz

Bought a pair of Broadern 33GHz transceivers to use as an LO source for 134GHz bare diode harmonic mixer transverters. Should be a bit of fun for those cold, dry winter days.  2300 IF on 134 would work, so would 432 IF.  Not really any good for 241GHz though, x7 in one step doesn’t sound feasible…

broadern33G

DB6NT MKU 23 G4 13cm transverter

Another new toy arrived today, the latest 13cm multi-segment transverter from DB6NT

Kuhne13cm
Feels very solid and precise, reassuringly heavy

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C
onnected to the DDK Anglian transverter

IMG_0426Output spectrum, 20dB attenuation external to the 8562A, so 27.17dBm output on 2320.200MHz.  Close-in noise about 80dB down at 5kHz.  The HP436A shows about 27.8dBm.  Second and higher harmonics are below the noise floor of the analyser.

2320 spectrum MKU 23 G4This is the SDR waterfall with a -156dBm carrier in to the 2320MHz RX input from the E4421B via a Narda 18GHz 20dB pad.

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Binocular Microscope

I finally cracked and decided my eyeballs were not up to SMD work, and holding a magnifying glass was just too clumsy, so yet another bit of kit has appeared.  7x to 45x binocular microscope from AmScope. Very nice working distance and excellent clarity, at full zoom an 0805 resistor looks like a house-brick.  FOV at 45x is about 4mm. At 7x zoom, full frame is about 25mm diameter, with 100mm working distance.

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13cm Spectrian amplifier

I bought an eBay Spectrian 75W amplifier for 13cm to go with the Kuhne transverter.  Spec says 26V at 16A, so the efficiency is extremely low, but it was cheap.  7 amps or so standing current. Thinking of watercooling it.  It has a thin copper heat spreader bonded to the underside of the PCB, so maybe OK just mounting it on an aluminium cooling plate, but I have a bit of copper bar that I can solder the water pipe to directly, so might go for that instead.  Transverter has not arrived yet, so having to test it with a CW signal from my Agilent E4421B

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144MHz Anglian transverter

After seeing the Anglian on Sam G4DDK’s stall at the Martlesham Microwave Round Table event, I bought one of the last of the batch and built and tested it as the IF for the upcoming 13cm and 3cm transverters.  Great fun and it works extremely well with a 116MHz GPSDO locking reference at -10dBm.  Output is very clean at 13dBm output, and receiver is performing as per spec.

Anglian1

23cm PA project

The parts are coming together.  Nice isolators direct from RFCI in CA, peak 1kW, 200W continuous, built in 100W dummy load

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RFCI

FETs. At six quid each, the MRFE6S9160HS makes a nice cheap 23cm PA, cellphone technology instead of broadcast devicesfets

Hybrids. OK, I could use a printed Wilkinson as the input splitter, but hey…

hybrid

Relays. The R570113030 is rather over-specified for this, but has 85dB isolation up to 1GHz and 80dB up to 2GHz and should handle up to 500W at 23cm very easily.

relays

Tinplate boxes to screen the individual DF9IC PA boards

box

27V 18.6A switchmode PSU

psu

 

More KE5FX phase noise tests

Three runs with a VBW/RBW ratio of 0.01, total run time about four minutes.  HP E4421B at 1296.200 MHz 0dBm into HP8652A using KE5FX PN.  Brings out the 50kHz interval spurs very nicely.  Now I need to find if they are from the 4421 or the 8652!

E4421B-phase-noise

KE5FX PN settings1

Elad SW2 with DUO and CW Skimmer

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Quick test with CW Skimmer using the MEM setting for DX cluster to local 127.0.0.1:7300, using Softrock IF 48kHz with RX1 set to 48kHz IF and using the FT-897 CAT set.

I set the CW tone to 600Hz and the IF offset to -600Hz

Works OK to click in the spots window in SW2 and on the Skimmer display.  Ideally I want to use this on RX3/VRX3 so I con’t have to change to use 48kHz IF instead of audio for when I’m using every other bit of software, and don’t mess things up when I’m using split with RX2. Needs a lot more work!