New Year, New Project (well …)

Ok, so the end of 2014 saw a suspension of all things radio in the name of festivity! 2015 sees the recommencement of work but unfortunately we’ve taken a few steps backwards.

Firstly my uber cool Ulitmate3 QRSS beacon has stopped working, just because I put it in an enclosure. I have no idea why putting it in a box has killed it so it’s back to the drawing board on that one. In short the GPS module appears to have ceased functioning and the beacon is receiving a spurious signal from somewhere that it thinks is the sync pulse from the GPS module. So, it just sits there merrily transmitting in its mind, but in reality nothing is happening. Removing it from the enclosure doesn’t rectify the fault which suggests something has got broken wiring wise in the process.

Hans Summers has released an alternative GPS module which arrived over Xmas, so eventually I’ll rethink my plans. Primarily I’m keeping the power supply outside the enclosure to minimise any noise which is a shame as my little 5v/3.3v board was a fun build and slots perfectly in the PCB rails inside the case. The bonus is the new GPS module runs on 5v straight off of the motherboard so it simplifies matters significantly.

Anyway, the SDR radio issue rattles on. A lot of time and effort has been spent trying to get it working fully. Receive is perfect and I couldn’t be happier. However, Tx is another matter! I’m getting very messy Tx signals with a lot of splatter and tracking down what’s going on is proving harder than expected.

At the moment (with much gratefully received assistance) I’m paring back the radio to it’s absolute basics and looking to get a clean CW transmission, moving then to voice, then to data. Not as easy as it sounds strangely enough because HDSDR is proving a tricky customer to configure and work with.

When I get to a point of success I’ll post something useful for those who find themselves in a similar predicament. All I can say is Google isn’t your friend on this one as there is so much contradictory information out there. The Softrock40 forum have been extremely helpful, but there isn’t a one solution fits all cure to this problem.

In addition various bits of test kit have landed which need building that will help this endeavour. Again, when they play their part any useful data will be shared.