Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Full line

....I know, wasn't thinking in getting more appliances, only built my own radios.... couldn't resist:

 Some years ago decided to have an FT-102 radio and acessories line, bought the antenna tuner first, after some time could not get hold of an FT-102 so sold the FC-102....a few months latter bought the FT-102....

After some long years of wait finally have the missing parts, all in one go: FC-102 antenna tuner, FV-102 external VFO and SP-102 speaker.

The bad parts is: bought in Portugal last time was there and arrived after I returned to Ireland... oh well... will have to wait a litle more to connect all things together.

Here's the lonely FT-102:

For now! 

Have a nice week!

Friday, February 28, 2014

GE 3-5976A CB in the shack

  Alongside with some other radio equipment, the GE 3-5976A walkie-talkie, was, when they come to the market, a big eye catcher for me.
Unfortunately at that time I was teenager and money was short to buy one.
Now money is still short but the price asked for second hand units it's way smaller, almost free, no one uses them anymore.

I don't do CB anymore but decided, as nostalgia, to buy two units, these ones:


They only come equipped with one channel out of three (channel 14, 27.125Mhz).
Tested the units doing a QSO with my daughter. She had a lot of fun and they are perfectly working and in good condition for the age, more than 25 years.
Serial numbers are 000051 and 000048 with date code 5451...whatever that means.

For the future, might use one of the housings for a 20m band portable Bitx or as an 10m AM portable rig. For now it's just for decoration.

Have a nice weekend!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Fixing broken plastic parts.

Hello, I'm back...

I'm sure everyboddy allready had to fix some platic parts on a radio or on any other equipment.

Normally I use resin type glue or cyanocrylate one if very small parts. This time and because of a new addition to the shack decided to try a new method. And that is because some plastic bits were missing as you can see:

I have to recreate the missing plastic part from the battery holder compartment lock of my new radio equipment: for me that is. Fresh buy from an online auction in unknown working state.

The idea of this glueing method is to use cyanocrylate glue with some agglomerating particles making a stronger part and filling the voids. The particles are basically baking soda, my guess the original inventor used it because it's a very fine powder.

Got the idea from this well documented video on youtube:

Here's the outcome of the fix, it works, and I was carried away and fixed also some small screw bindings posts to hold the front panel (no pictures of that sorry):

 First I made a small holding form from plastic tape to hold the first layers, then was just a matter of adding more glue and more baking soda.

Honestly I got surprised with the quality. It's not perfect but works quite good.

I still have the rest of baking soda pack to make some cake.....

Have a nice week!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Newsky TV28T RTL 2832U / R820T DVB-T DAB FM SDR

Sorry for not updating so often now the blog, I have time but have been without patience to write. While before coming to Ireland I wrote in English just for fun, now that I write and speak every hour of the day I get a little tired!

Back to radio...

Some time ago (in September) bought one of those new (at least for me) TV receiver dongles with the initial idea to make a simple spectrum analyzer or a standalone receiver using one of the small Linux computers boards.

What I got in the mail:

 And the cost was 19 Eur, so, excluding the computer you have a nice receiver for a small amount of money (that's always relative).

After installing in the laptot according to one of the guides (you have to use a diferent driver from the one that comes with the card) and to make the initial test, I placed on the airband for the Cork airport approach and connected around 50 cm of solder "wire" acting as antenna:

This is the screen on the Cork approach frequency

The plane was here:
 Then requested to change for tower frequency

 And prepare for landing (north wind most likely):


 There's a discrepancy in the plane reported altitude and the airpot one so I guess that someting is changed in the ADS-B system used in the plane spotter site.

It was fun! Placed the card together with the other electronic components and when I get one of those small computer boards will place it on a standalone box....

Have a nice week!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013


I had to build something while I don't have everything set around so decided to buy a small kit and build an AM receiver. The kit looked well built and affordable, using a classic design approach, eg somewhere in the 70's with two 455Khz IF and a diode detector.

So, 2 weeks after paypal payment it arrived at the front door (it come from Malaysia, but I think there's resellers in Europe).

The the built process took about an hour done in small bits, I first tested the audio amplifier part and then proceeded without further "delays". Didn't worked (got any station) at first time because I had no power supply (still don't) and was running it from a Nokia mobile phone charger which infected a lot of noise in the power line. Now I'm running it from a 9v battery and a LM7806.
I works, sensitivity is, well, low, but enough for during the nigth get one or 2 stations from Europe.
I might try to add an extra coil, parallel to the coil in the ferrite and connect an long wire aerial for reception improvement.

Here's the marketing photo:
What you see is what you get in the kit.

Mine when arrived:
 I bough from the same seller two small 300pF variable capacitors... their allways handie... always in my assemblies the box is something for "one of these days"...

Have a nice week!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

North Cork Radio Rally

I'm getting international in therms of radio rallies, after the Moscavide (PT ARVM) one, Leiria (PT ARLA) and Friedrichshafen (DE), now I went to Cork (IR NCRG). is Dayton?
It was easy to find the spot since I had already explored a little bit of that area in town, arrived at 11H00, the starting time of the event, and everything was already set. Weather was the classical Irish for this time of the year; you guessed, rain in the morning and then some sun.... and then a little more rain, but was mild rain.
There were the usual sellers and the normal boxes full of odds and ends.

Got home this:

 I never learn....why did I asked the price of the rack airband receiver?...oh well, if it works I will probably leave it like this, if it doesn't I got a really nice quality box and a bunch of components.

I met Ed, EI2HEB who is one of the organizers of the event and we ha a little chat. From what I understood there was another foreign visitor from the Netherlands, so, that made this one a truly international event.

Unfortunately I did not took pictures because run out of memory on the phone and could not delete existing images.

Overall was a nice morning and I got some more stuff to play.

Have a nice week!

Sunday, September 01, 2013

New method for PCB making...

...At least for me.

I normally don't do much PCB, using the standard method or standard methods, but this time since there was a need to solder an SMD amplifier device it seemed that could be a good idea to do so. Just because I'm out of my normal shack I started to look for alternatives for the normal Iron perchlorate liquid and came up with a new product to dissolve the cooper. The method is explained elsewhere in the net by it's creator.

 Basically it's 50% of Hidrogen Peroxide (oxygenated water sold in pharmacies used as an disinfectant for small cuts on skin,, at least I used wen I was a kid) and 50% of vinegar with some salt to taste! Without the salt it would not work and you must be adding some so the process continues.

Here's the board before being cuted. The device to solder (PGA103+) is near the 1n5711 diode, big hum?

Had to buy an hacksaw for the job:

And now the mix, from time to time the board must be shaken and some salt added.
 The rest of the cooper part was protected with clear tape.

The final result:
 Does it pays of? No, except if you are in an island and really need to make a pcb....
and if you want to know I used normal white wine vinegar. Took me around 45 minutes from start to finish.
Now I still have to solder!

Have a lot of fun!