Homepage

Hi! My name is Gavin, welcome to my webpage.  I hope to use this space to chronicle my adventures in amateur radio and electronics.

  • In late August 2015 I added a page called “Shop” to use as a way to offer for sale components I no longer plan to use, finished or unfinished kits I’ve no need for anymore and surplus equipment.

I have a motto; “Anything made by man can be fixed by man, no matter how hard it seems”. While this obviously applies to repairing  something which is broken, it also applies to the attitude I have towards experimenting where it removes the fear or worry I have in damaging something during my designing, modding or constructing, mechanical or electrical.  This allows me to broaden my imagination and try difficult and risky experiments or mods. If I fail, then fixing or putting something back to how it was is always a possibility, with no harm done. However an interesting, and unexpected consequence of this is motto, is the amount of tools it leads you to acquire!  I could create a whole webpage on the just the number and types of crimping tools I have 🙂

To try and keep things simple and presentable,  I’ve split the website into sections;

  • Projects: This page covers my electronic projects, usually PICAXE based.
  • Snippets: Posts about things others might find useful, please give me feedback if this is the case.
  • Selective Tweets: Tweets I post and tag with #WP, usually because they are relevant to my Projects or Snippets
  • Shop: A page where you’ll find components, finished or unfinished kits I no longer need plus any surplus equipment
  • Logbook: My ham radio contacts.

Please use the feedback form if you would like to get in touch or comments on anything you find on this site.  If you share any content all I ask is you acknowledge me as the source and provide a link to the article on Geekshed.co.uk.


Woodbox Radio Tmate Software on Windows 10

The Issue I got an email from Goran, S55OO, who was after the ‘Tmate software’ to actually use the T-Mate control knob as it was no longer available to download from the web.  I’m quite good at organising and keeping…
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GT3PYE/P DX’Pedition – Isle of Man 2019

The 2019 Camb-Hams DX’Pedition is over, and to me this year again clearly demonstrates how much easier VHF is from the right location. This year, with little Sporadic E, GT3PYE/P managed 160x QSOs on 6m, 24x QSOs on 4m &…
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UK MGM Events Overview

I posted this to Facebook in response to someone asking about if FT-8 was popular on VHF, I thought the information might be useful for others so I’ve copied the same message below; FT-8 is very popular in Region 1…
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IC-7300 CI-V Voice Keyer [Undocumented] Command

Manufacturers have had built-in Voice Keyers for some time now, Icom have had it in various radio models with varying functionality.  Voice Keyers are useful for many types of operating, contesting being the main one. As mentioned, Icom, have implemented…
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Getting the DX Cluster to Work on KST2Me

KST2Me is an application written by Bo OZ1M, and makes using the ON4KST chat pages much simpler.  It uses the Telnet connection to the ON4KST server so it’s also much quicker on slower connections. One aspect which always bugged me…
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Satellite Polarization Switcher

As many operators of satellites will know, it’s common for a satellite to fade out during a pass, even when the satellite is well above the horizon. There are a few factors behind this, of which I’ll not go into…
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Eltek SMPS 1800SI Connection Mod

The Eltek SMPS 1800 SI 48v switch mode power supply is capable of supplying 37.5A (1800w) so is great for powering 48v amplifiers. The only issue, which is common to most rack mounted SMPSs is they have proprietary connectors on…
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Icom External Keypad

In the past I’ve designed and built external keypads for triggering the REMOTE input on an Icom mic connector [1] & [2].  These both were designed to add an auto repeat feature to the in-built Icom voice keyer for older…
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Woodbox Radio TMate 1.0 Windows 10 Driver

I bought the TMate v1.0 “VFO Tuning Knob” a few years back at Friedrichshafen for use with my Flex-1500 as the TMate was much cheaper than Flex’s own “FlexControl”. When I bought it I was probably still using Windows XP,…
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Getting started in Meteor Scatter (MS) – Pre FT-8

NOTE: This article was written before FT-8 and even MSK144, became popular. Many of the principals I mention are applicable to both, where I mention FSK441 then MSK114 can be substituted, and where JT6m/JTMS etc is mentioned then FT-8 can…
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Playing Radio in GM over Easter 2015

For Easter 2015 Bex and me decided to visit my parents in Dumbarton.  While there I took the time to catch up with Stevie MM6ZFG a couple of times to play radio. Kilcreggan – IO75OX – 3rd April 2015 The…
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Ecoflex-15 Degradation

The Problem As a member of the G3PYE contest minions, I bought two 25m runs of Ecoflex-15 back in 2011. A year later we started to notice less power at the antenna end of the runs, we initially put this…
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RTL-SDR R802T – SMPS Mod

My mod was based on this article here http://www.rtl-sdr.com/improving-hf-reception-disconnecting-switching-power-supply-rtl-sdr/ I had no success using diodes myself so instead I used an LD1117A 1.2v regulator, which I think is a better solution too. This is the RTL-SDR (R802T) after fitting the…
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Repairing the Brake and Motor on my Yaesu G400 rotator

The brake in my G-400 rotator bell fell off and got jammed in the gears, this is not the first time this has happened and previously nothing was damaged, other than the brake disk, and I managed to get new…
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Yaesu FT-817 IF Tap for SDR

As with my other radios (IC-756pro3 IF Tap page, IC-910H IF Tap page & IC-706mk2G IF Tap page) I wanted to tap the IF (Intermediate Frequency 68.33MHz) out of my Yaesu FT-817 to allow monitoring on an SDR radio and…
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Icom IC-706Mk2G IF Tap

As with my other radios (IC-756pro3, IC-910H & FT-817) I wanted to tap the IF (Intermediate Frequency) out of my Icom IC-706Mk2G to allow monitoring on an SDR radio and associated software. The IC-706Mk2G has two IF frequencies, I tapped…
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144MHz 1.25Kw SSPA Amplifier

Winner in Craftsman category of the RSGB Construction Competition 2014 Waw, what a device.  The Freescale (and NXP) SSPA parts are quite incredible. The part I’ve used is the MRFE6VP61K25H, which is a 1.25Kw device with peak gain and efficiency…
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Homebrew Solder Dispenser

To save a bit of desk space and to save me getting annoyed at solder getting tangled in my projects I decided to make a couple of solder holders / dispensers.

BX-184 Voice Keyer

The BX-184 is a voice keyer developed by Olli DH8BQA designed to fit into the case of a Yaesu MH-31 microphone.  I used the BX-184 at the G3PYE contest station before upgrading to an FA-SM Station Manager. BX-184 Features Even…
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DTMF Keypad (and more) Explanation

Wow, I just realised I created this project back in May 2008… I think the principal and technique used for the keypad is worth explaining however so I’m publishing it now. When my local repeater GB3PY started providing Echolink access…
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