Archive | May, 2015

My X1M Transceiver Field Kit is Ready

26 May

I finally got all the pieces of my X1M field kit built and tested. I’ll be going out for 5 days camping in my motorhome next week, so I plan to spend some time evaluating the whole setup.

The kit consists of the X1M Transceiver, a 7AH battery, a homemade slingshot antenna launcher, an EFHW wire antenna supported by 0.07″ dacron cord, an antenna tuner/SWR indicator an audio interface box and any one of my Android mobile devices for software/rig control. For now, I’m using an ASUS Transformer (because it has a keyboard) and the DroidPSK & Pocket RxTX apps available from the Google store.

 

Joe
W3JDR

My thoughts on a firmware-implemented AGC for the X1M

13 May

One of the sadder omissions in the otherwise full-featured X1M PRO transceiver is the lack of AGC and an S-meter. There are hardware boards that have been developed to provide these functions, but there isn’t much room inside for a bunch of add-0n boards, and, besides, we plan to install this very powerful little Arduino Nano, right? So why not let it be an AGC controller and an S-meter provider that’s remotely settable and monitorable over the CAT link? That’s what I wrote about today here. Your comments are welcome.

Spring Update…..

12 May

You may have noticed my silence for the last couple months. Probably like you, I’ve been absorbed in the many things that happen when Winter ends and Spring begins. Yard work, graduations,  weddings, social obligations, domestic projects, vacations, etc. I know I left in the middle of a couple unfinished projects, so I think it’s time to to stop and discuss where we are, how we got here, and where we’re going.

This site came about as a result of my quest for a portable QRP radio that I could use for camping outings and also as a platform for my never-ending need to experiment and “improve” things. I thought the Minima project might be it, but after considerable time spent analyzing that design, it became clear that the basic architecture is flawed and the project has been stalled for some time. I decided to take some concepts I’d been noodling for a long time and go off and develop my own radio called the “Bus Switch Special“. I got pretty far into that development and somehow decided the world needed a better way to characterize crystals for IF filters, so I started writing about that. This led me to resurrect a scalar network analyzer I had developed in 2003 and implement it with modern component modules. This became the SNAP! project on this site. I got SNAP! to the point where it needed just a few more days of my time to be able to release all the schematics, firmware and software to the web site. Then Spring hit, as mentioned above. During that time, I became aware of the very nice X1M QRP transceiver available fully assembled for under $300. I purchased one and I’m now fully involved at experimenting with how to ‘improve’ that.

That’s the way it is with me…I can’t seem to control myself. I go from project to project, always moving on when I get to about the 80% point. Don’t get me wrong – I fully intend to finish up the SNAP! project and eventually get back to the BSS-1, but right now, and probably until Winter makes me housebound, I’ll probably continue my affair with the X1M.

 

Stay tuned…

Joe
W3JDR