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.
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
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.
Treated myself to a DB6NT 10GHz G2 transverter kit to get back on to 3cm after 35 years. Nice project on which to try out the new binocular microscope. Brilliant kit, just hope my SMD skills are still up to scratch.
The parts are coming together. Nice isolators direct from RFCI in CA, peak 1kW, 200W continuous, built in 100W dummy load
FETs. At six quid each, the MRFE6S9160HS makes a nice cheap 23cm PA, cellphone technology instead of broadcast devices
Hybrids. OK, I could use a printed Wilkinson as the input splitter, but hey…
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.
Tinplate boxes to screen the individual DF9IC PA boards
27V 18.6A switchmode PSU
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!
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!
This is a first shot at using the KE5FX suite of GPIB applications with my HP 8562A spectrum analyser. Input was from my DB6NT TR1296H transverter driven by my Elad FDM-DUO. 50dB of attenuation of the 10 watt output gave me -10dBm into the 8562A. This is three runs at 1kHz to 1MHz using mostly default settings just to get a feel for the process.
I also ran similar tests with my E4421B signal generator and found it was a few dB better from 10kHz to 100kHz, but a few dB worse from 1kHz to 10kHz.
Now I need to try with some longer plot averaging runs and see if I can understand what goes wrong closer in than 1kHz. I guess I need a really pure crystal oscillator to use as a reference tone.
Somewhere I have a KK7B LO board, maybe that would drive a doubler and give me a clean phase-noise-free source?
Since we got “proper” broadband in the village, I have been unable to use the 10MHz (30 metre) band for anything other than contacts with extremely loud stations. There is a wall of noise right across the HF band, particularly bad between 8MHz and 12MHz. The worst part is that if I transmit, the noise is replaced with some very loud training tones at 4kHz intervals. Not content with wrecking my enjoyment of the band, the broadband service then screams in agony when I spoil its fun.
In the first video, check the band noise in the first few seconds. It is way louder than it should be. The the video freezes for 6 seocnd while I transmit. Soon as I go back to receive, all hell breaks loose, with loud carriers at 4kHz spacing for about 100kHz around my transmit frequency. It them retrains and goes back to the wall of noise, but leaves the training tones at a high level for 15-30 mins.
They call is progress. Fibre service would be progress, this is just stone-age cheapo interference-making.
The training tones fire up a comb of carriers at 4kHz spacing. Note the dip in diginoise close to where I was transmitting.
This is the noise on 10MHz before I transmit. About 20-25dB over what the noise floor should be. 30m dipole up 30ft in a tree about 40m from the nearest phone pole. Elad FDM-DUO and SW2
The waterfall shows more clearly that the diginoise spectrum looks like a ploughed field at 4kHz spacing
On the higher bands, the xDSL is notched out. There is a sharp edge at 12MHz where the nature of the noise changes from solid mush to a pulsating 25Hz comb that sounds like a buzz on AM. Here’s the 12MHz edge and guard-band
The notched-out bands from 20m up are well-defined:
and the pumping buzzsaw noises stop at just over 27.7MHz
for info, the screen recordings were made using the Windows 10 built-in recorder, accessed using Win-G to load the games toolbar, then hit record. Much nicer than the freeware screen recorders with all the nasties they tend to install.