20 September, 2012

My first 24 hours on WSPR

My first beacon on 30 m, a free-running Ultimate QRSS kit (no GPS) has now been running for a full 24 hours using the Weak Signal Propagation Reporter (WSPR) mode. The figure comes from the WSPRnet page.

With an output power of about 150 mW to an 80 m horizontal loop it has not been possible to reach beyond Europe so far. Perhaps this will happen in the future with better conditions and/or with some more output power.

Added 26.9.2012: I made it for the first time across the Atlantic!
Timestamp           Call       MHz         SNR Drift  Grid      Pwr Reporter   RGrid      km      az
2012-09-26 00:50, LA3ZA, 10.140262, -26,   -2,   JO59fu, 0.2, WB2EEE, FN21xh, 5852, 290

16 September, 2012

Altoids Projects

Press image for magnification
I like to build small electronics projects and like many others I have found the small Altoids tins to be excellent enclosures. 

These tins are inexpensive, well shielded, easy to work with, and least but not least they enable you to make experimental circuits that are sturdy enough that they can be reused later.

Pictured here is a collection of projects I have built over the years with the hope that  they may inspire others.

04 September, 2012

Noisy Designer Lamp

Herstal pendant lamp,
type 06
Some years ago I had this annoying noise that made listening for weak signals on several of the shortwave radio bands virtually impossible. In the end I was finally able to track down the noise source: Our beautiful Danish Herstal designer lamps in the kitchen. Actually it wasn't the lamps themselves, but the dimmable switch mode power supply that came with them.

After some years of always having to remember to turn them off, in the end I just replaced the original noisy dimmer with a fixed voltage, noiseless, electronic transformer and inserted lower wattage 12 V light bulbs in the two lamps.

The original dimmer came in its own nice conical designer housing and inside one finds a more ordinary plastic housing. And of course it is marked with the CE mark, thus indicating that it should be fine with respect to noise.