Projects

An Introduction To My PIC Based Projects

This page collates posts about my various projects.  I define a project as something I’ve conceived, designed, developed and built from scratch and can be electronic, mechanical or a mixture of both.  I also have a page called ‘snippets‘ which is about things I’ve modified, changed or have comments about.

Some of my projects use PICAXE chips which are a simple way to do embedded software /micro-controller projects, please don’t be put off by these and give them a go, contact me if you want help or walk-throughs with them. I got involved with PICAXE after a friend at work pointed me in the direction of them knowing I was fearful of anything more complicated.  Originally designed for educational purposes I have found PICAXE can do loads of things useful in radio amateur and do it very simply.  PICAXE chips are cheap and the development, simulation and downloading software, Programming Editor, is free!  PICAXE works by running your code on top of PICAXE firmware (interpreter) blown onto the PIC chip, you can write your code directly in BASIC (IF, ELSE, etc) or you can produce code from creating flowcharts or building logic gates in the Programming Editor software, do have a look at ttp://www.rev-ed.co.uk/picaxe/. Where possible I’ve provided my code for the projects which you are welcome to use and edit, but please acknowledge me if you use it and let me know if you find it useful or if anything can be improved!

If you are interested in any of the projects but don’t have the time, means or skill to make it send me an email and I will try and help were possible.

Icom External Keypad

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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144MHz 1.25Kw SSPA Amplifier

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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BX-184 Voice Keyer

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

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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Mobilinkd Bluetooth TNC Auto Power on Mod

Mobilinkd Bluetooth TNC Auto Power on Mod

In my car I use an Icom IC-2820 which is a dual band (dual receive) mobile radio, but only ever monitor one side at a time (the other side has the volume down) and in the previous car I used…
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70MHz Transverter Mk5 – Nacton

70MHz Transverter Mk5 – Nacton

I’m a sucker for continually re-building, I’ll have you believe *improving*, my 4m transverter, the first I built in 2010.  The Nacton variant is the Mk5 iteration in as many years!  The transverter is essentially the same, 28MHz IF and…
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Hy-Gain HAM-IV Rotator Upgrade

Hy-Gain HAM-IV Rotator Upgrade

I seem to find myself updating each and every rotator I own to have a digital readout plus a few other cool features, my latest one is converting my Hy-Gain (CDE) HAM-IV. The original HAM-IV is analogue meter based, and…
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FA-SM Station Manager

FA-SM Station Manager

Everyone needs an FA-SM Station Manager.  I got one after using a BX-184 (boxed) for a while but wanted some more features. It has these features; A voice keyer with up to 60 seconds memory in total. 4 memories are…
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144MHz Harris Amplifier

144MHz Harris Amplifier

Modification of the Harris Amplifier is not the reason for this article, there are many documents on the web covering this [Site 1, Site 2 part1 & Site 2 part 2], I followed Mark GM4ISM’s as Mark was the source…
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432MHz (70cm) Masthead System (Remote RX/TX Amp)

432MHz (70cm) Masthead System (Remote RX/TX Amp)

Following on from my 23cm Masthead system I decided G3PYE needed a similar system for 70cm.  The system will mirror the 23cm version with a TX amp and a Preamp in the box, but in addition I fitted a band…
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70MHz (4M) Low Pass Filter

70MHz (4M) Low Pass Filter

So to go along with my original 4m Tranverter System which had a decent PA I needed a LPF (Low Pass Filter) on the output.  There are lots of designs online [1, 2, 3] (thanks), take the construction methods from…
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Adding VOX to the Data Jack on an FT-817

Adding VOX to the Data Jack on an FT-817

By default the Yaesu FT-817 only supports the VOX (Voice Operated Xmit) from the microphone input. This is generally fine as it would generally be used on SSB with a headset for example. However with the increased adoption of smartphones…
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Yaesu Quadra Manual Band Switch

Yaesu Quadra Manual Band Switch

The Yaesu Quadra VL-1000 HF Amplifier has the ability to have 2 radios connected to it independently.  Each input has an RF connection, PTT , ALC control and band switching. In my situation I use my Icom IC-756pro3 on input…
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23cm Masthead System (Remote RX/TX Amp)

23cm Masthead System (Remote RX/TX Amp)

Most people know coax has loss, the higher the frequency the greater the relative loss.  You can go buy better coax with less loss – however every coax has loss and once the signal is lost, it’s lost. This is…
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PICAXE-20X2 Icom Automatic Voice Keyer Mk2

PICAXE-20X2 Icom Automatic Voice Keyer Mk2

This project was based upon my original Icom Voice Keyer Mk1 which worked well however I found it a little large and after use a few areas for improvement were needed, but the main reason was I sold it to…
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23cm 80w Amplifier

23cm 80w Amplifier

For a while I operated on 23cm with just my IC-910 with it’s UX-910 module, this was only 10w.  Rather luckily  John G4BAO lives local and had designed and published a nice 45w LDMOS 23cm amplifier.  It was quite easy…
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BXF Azimuth Rotator Controller

BXF Azimuth Rotator Controller

  I decided to build a new rotator controller to replace my Yaesu G400RC controller (but my design was made to work with virtually any rotator) to give me additional futures beyond the sole analogue position feedback of the G-400RC….
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PICAXE-18M & MXD2125 Based Elevation Module

PICAXE-18M & MXD2125 Based Elevation Module

One of the aspects of amateur radio I enjoy is EME.  When I was active on 2m (144MHz) EME I built my own elevation system using a jack-arm but I then needed a way to feedback the angle.  I tried…
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LVB [Tracker] Extender

LVB [Tracker] Extender

I started using an LVB Tracker by G6LVB (also of FunCube Dongle fame) to control my Yeasu G400RC and KR-5400 rotators which have my directional antennas on them – The G400RC + homebrew jack-arm elevation was mainly for EME and…
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Icom (CI-V or band Data) to Yaesu BCD Band Data Converter

Icom (CI-V or band Data) to Yaesu BCD Band Data Converter

After the 2011 Camb-Hams DX’Pedition to Arran and using the Discovery 64 on 6m and making some good contacts on it I decided to bite the bullet and go buy a decent 6m Amplifier. I have been thinking of getting…
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