Step attenuator kit

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The 30dB step attenuator, in a nice case.

I’m the proud owner of a MiniVNA for quite a few years already. One of its features is that you can use it as an RF signal generator. However, the output power cannot be adjusted, so I needed an attenuator. I could build one myself of course, but for about the same amount of money you can buy a kit at the dutch web shop of Kent Electronics. I never tried their kits before, so I decided to give it a try. — more →

Getting started with Arduino: morse keyer

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Close-up of the prototype keyer.

Using a paddle to operate in morse code is very convenient. But paddles don’t create dots and dashes on their own, so you need some electronics, called a “keyer”. You may use the build-in keyer of your radio, but most of them lack of functionality. You may buy a keyer at your local ham store, but these are rather expensive. So why not build your own keyer? It’s fun to do, and you learn new things. The Arduino prototyping board allows you to build the most advanced and personalized keyer that you have in mind! This article gives you a decent start for such a keyer, by implementing the basic functionality and learn a bit about the Arduino platform if you’re not familiar with this board yet. — more →

Simple signal tracer

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The completed original version of the signal tracer.

I found a really simple project for kids to attract them to homebrewing and hamradio. It is also very nice for people who want to learn soldering electronics. It’s a “signal tracer”, which means it detects all kinds of RF signals radiated by devices around you. It demodulates the signal, allowing the user to actually “hear” signals produced by a TV, computer, LED light, electrical wiring in the walls, etc. I showed it to different people, they all went walking around the room for a while and curiously listened to all the different signals. — more →

Adapter for LC meter

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The LC meter adapter in action.

The dutch electronics shop Van Dijken Elektronica sells a nice kit to build your own LC meter. The kit includes a professional PCB, all components, building instructions, prepared case and leads. The kit takes an evening to assemble, the result is an instrument to measure capacitors and inductors. Every radio amateur should have one. — more →

Altoids L-tuner

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My Altoids L Tuner

A while ago Tjeerd PA3GNZ donated me some Barkleys mint tins (identical to the famous Altoids tins), which are rather popular by QRP builders to house small homebrew stuff. Two weeks later I found a czech webshop, offering a kit called “Altoids L-tuner”. This kit perfectly fits in such a tin. Since this tuner would be a perfect add-on for my 30m QRP transceiver, I immediately ordered it. — more →