Quick update picture of the shack @ 2E0RFU, much busier than the last photos.
When planning my new Amateur Radio Shack in the cupboard under the stairs, ala Harry Potter, there was only one option when it came to furniture. Ikea.
Only in the big blue giant can you find nice and small furniture to make a usable workbench in a 75cm by 50 cm space without building it yourself.
Using 1 x LAIVA desk and 2 x RAST night stand I put together this.
The top RAST has the lower shelf not fitted as this leaves a large enough space for a 19 inch monitor if I decide to fit it, I plan staring off using my Nexus 7 for qrz lookups etc. connected them using a couple of straight brackets on either side and this gives enough rigidity as to not miss the second shelf. A 6 way power strip sat in the cable tray that the LAIVA powering two LAGRA clamp lights and a RIGEL hook as a headphone holder and the space is complete.
And from the outside looking in through the Hobbit sized door.
Now complete on vero board and cased up in a Ramsey Electronics Receiver case that I picked up a couple of at a Radio Rally, for the final version I swapped the 22K potentiometer for a 100k one, it give a much finer control over the volume. I also took a minute to swap the plug over on my Czech Morse Key.
Just needs some gluing inside and possibly some decals for the front.
I am currently in the process of learning Morse Code with the plan to get on air by the end of the year. I fancied a practice oscillator and being the cheap skate I am I was not happy spending upwards of £20 on a glorified buzzer.
I had spotted a few plans for some 555 based designs but know from my 555 synth experiments that the sound you can generate from them is not especially nice. So after some googling I spotted that Kent Morse Keys do a kit for their practise oscillator, and whilst it is not to unreasonably priced they also provide a circuit diagram. So a quick order from http://www.bitsbox.co.uk/ for about £6 posted I had all the parts except the circuit board that you would get in the kit, I also end up with plenty of spares. Service from Bits Box is very fast, the order was with me next day.
I had a spare hour this afternoon, so I breadboarded the design up to check all was in order, and here are the results.
And here is Alfie on the Key
I will try and get it soldered onto some vero board and in an enclosure this weekend.
Thanks for reading
As requested by some members of the FISTS mailing list I have scanned the doc’s for the PIXIE I built for my Intermediate practical. They where drawn up by David G0VIE
For the circuit diagram and VERO board layout please follow this link –>> PIXIE II 30M
Since becoming licensed as M6BYR I have enjoyed taking part in the monthly 144MHz UK Activity Contest run by the RSGB, it is one of the most affordable contests to enter and can give a good sense of achievement and an excellent way to test your set up.
I currently use a Trio TR-7010 with a home made dipole in the window of my shack, powered by a cheap eBay 3amp PSU, in all the set up cost about £50. With the radio being almost 40 years old there are no luxuries but it does the job, with the channelised VXO covering 144.100 to 144.300 and then 4 extra crystals allowing access to about 144.320, missing a chunk of the SSB section it does put me at a disadvantage, but it is something I can live with. Putting out only 8 watts there are no licence issues with this rig.
The contest schedule can be found here on the RSGB VHF Contest Site, along with the other band contests they run, but the 2 Meter on is on the first Tuesday of the month and by far the busiest in terms of enterants.
So if your newly licensed, experienced VHF FM or HF operator, give it a go next month.
Is my UK Foundation Amateur Radio Call Sign.
Based in Stockport 500m from Junction 1 of the M60 approximatly 200ft ASL. I am newly licenced and took my exam at the Stockport Radio Society.
I am a member of the G-QRP club member #13710 & FISTS member #15821 and am building up my QRP HF CW Station over the next 6 months or so.
I have built a simple Android App which allows offline access to the UK Band Plan 2012 it can be downloaded for free below.
I am currently set up to work 2M SSB with my Trio TR-7010 and take part in the UK Activity Contests.
My Shack PC runs Puppy Linux and I use FLDIGI for data modes.
I am currently learning CW and will hopefully be on HF soon.
I have recently launched a simple but effective Android App which provides you with offline access to the UK Band Plan and a list of call sign prefixes. It is nothing clever or complicated just nice and simple.
It can be found for free here
I would really appreciate it if you contact me with any comments or suggestions.