Thursday, 29 May 2014

First results "Hollands Glorie" receiver

Today I made good progress with the construction of the "Hollands Glorie" receiver. See my blog posting of May 18 for the circuit diagram. 
I succeeded in making a replica of the 402 Amroh coil. 

                                        Original Amroh 402 coil. Hard to get !

This coil is very hard to find these days. I made a replica bij using a ferrite rod with two handwind coils.
                              Details necessary to build the replica 402 on ferrite core

The replica 402 is located on the lefthand side of the solderingboard (attached with two tyreraps). After connecting the coil the power was switched on and after a minute there was music! Up till now I have heard 4 different Dutch broadcast stations on the medium wave. The 90 m band (where the fishermen used to communicate, long, long time ago) however does not give sounds (except for lots of noise). 
Anyway I am happy with this result. While I am typing this the radio is tuned to "Radio 5, Nostalgia", on 747 kHz AM.  I am curious to see if more stations (from the rest of Europe) can be detected when the sun has dissappeared.

In the evening of May 30, 2014 with a 8 meter long wire into the garden as antenna I was able to listen to 10 stations: 
Dutch (4x), English (2x), French (1x), German (1x), East-European (2x). This is better than expected. I thought most of the AM broadcast stations had dissappeared. During the day only following 4 Dutch stations can be heard (even with the long wire antenna):
Radio Maria NL, 675 kHz
NPO Radio 5 Nostalgia, 747 kHz
Groot Nieuws Radio, 1008 kHz
Vahon Hindustani Radio, 1566 kHz

Sound quality is ok. Selectivity is fine. There was a small hum which I could solve by installing a 100 ohm resistor between one of the filament connections to ground. I am impressed what can be achieved with a one-tube design. 

Fisherman; copied from the original "Dr. Blan" article in 1963

Saturday, 24 May 2014

New camera

Most pictures on this blog have been taken with a 4 Mpixel camera of my Samsung Galaxy Young. It is easy to improve the quality of the pictures taken with this smartphone.

Last weekend I got a new camera; a Canon Powershot A3500IS.
This is a compact camera making 16 Mpixel pictures. A nice feature is the WiFi capability which enables you to upload pictures to the PC without cable. 
I have to explore all the features this little device has.
Anyway, picture quality on this blog will certainly change.

This camera will be added to the list of cameras that can make use of the CHDK (Canon Hack Development Kit)  

Update May 25, 2014. Some pictures taken today with the Canon near the village of "Gelderswoude".

Sunday, 18 May 2014

"Hollands Glorie" receiver

In 1978 I built the " Hollands Glorie"  receiver as published in the Amroh issue of "Jongens Radio" in 1969. I do remember I was so impressed by the results of this one tube receiver at the time. I have decided to re-build the receiver to see how it behaves in 2014.

Instead of the original ECL86 I will use the PCL86 (14.5 Volts filament voltage)


I do not have the original 402 Amroh core. So I have to re-engineer and re-build the coil.

Circuit receiver

Progress until now is as follows:

To my surprise on the www I found an article about the receiver in a "Dr. Blan" publication, on which the article in "Jongens Radio"  was based:

Sunday, 11 May 2014

70 MHz propagation

Yesterday I switched on the 70 MHz transverter. After some hours I found a couple of Dutch  stations that detected my 5 Watt WSPR signal on 70.0926 MHz:

My signal was heard by PA0O, PA3EGO and PA7EY/1. Unfortunately there are not a lot of 4m WSPR stations. I hoped to be heard in the UK since yesterday some English 4m WSPR stations were active. 
Propagation conditions were not good enough to cross the Northsea this time. Maybe in a couple of weeks when better tropo or even Es comes available.

As you can see G3MXH was heard in the northern part of the Netherlands by PA0O. So WSPR sigs did cross the Northsea but my indoor antenna probably performs not good enough to capture the tiny radio waves.

Friday, 9 May 2014

K150 PIC programmer arrived

As I informed you April 17, I ordered a "K150 PIC programmer" from eBay for about $10.
The unit arrived this week. As promised it was delivered with USB cable and ICSP ("In Circuit Serial Programming") flatcable.

I connected the programmer to a free USB port on the PC and installed drivers and the small Microburn program. After trying some COM settings, it appeared I had to use COM "3".
Up till now, I have been able to succesfully program three different PICs: a 16F628A, 12F675 and 16F877.

Free "Microburn" program:

Very nice-priced and useful product !

Thursday, 1 May 2014