Crosstown Traffic: Hackaday Hacklet #19 – Ham Radio – SDR, Foxhunt Attenuator, and Ethernet to Radio Adapter
The folks over at Hackaday featured Ham Radio in their latest edition of the Hacklet, their weekly newsletter covering projects posted on their hackaday.io site. The first project, titled “RTL-SDR With Upconverter and Case” features the use of an upconverter to enable the SDR dongle to pick up HF. Pretty handy, considering the stock RTL-SDR has a low limit of about 24 MHz. I just picked up one of these SDR dongles, so I’ll have to look into getting the upconverter.
Like fox hunting? Attach the “Ham Radio Fox Hunt Attenuator” to your HT to reduce the sensitivity of your portable as you close in on that tiny low-powered transmitter. This one uses a couple of 1K potentiometers abd boasts a “…first of its kind variable attenautor vs multiple switches. 1-20 and 21-60 db. with a 3rd option of bypass/straight through.” The ones I’ve used in the past have a bank of switches that switch resistors in an out, so their might be some advantage to the variable unit.
The “PortableSDR” is an open source portable HF plus 2M transceiver with built in GPS functions and vector network analysis to help with those antenna and feedline issues. it looks to have a set of CW paddles on it as well. It was designed for backpacking and camping.
Finally, the “Ethernet to Radio Adapter” promises to eliminate feedline losses by putting your radio right at the feedpoint of your antenna. As described by W5VO, “The basic system consists of a single-band direct-conversion I-Q radio, which is then fed to a stereo audio codec. The codec IC is then controlled by an Ethernet connected microcontroller. Power and control is sourced over Ethernet. The whole contraption is then controlled from a computer running soundcard SDR software.”
(Published from 36,000 feet above somewhere in Tennessee)