Monday, 16 February 2015

Confirmation 28 MHz contact with Greenland

Greenland is an enormous autonomous country within the Kingdom of Denmark, located between the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans.
With a population of less than 60,000, it is the least densely populated country in the world.
In 2011 I had a digimode (PSK63) radiocontact with Jan, OX3DB on 28.120 MHz and he sent me this eQSL:

Because there are so few radio operators in Greenland this is an eQSL to be treasured.
Up till now I made two other radiocontacts with Greenland (OX3XR and XP3A).

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Fender amplifier

This week I had the opportunity to have a close look at a Fender Twin Reverb amplifier.
This guitar amplifier has been equipped with four 6L6 tubes.

                                     Fender Twin Reverb amplifier, front view


At this moment, the amplifier has three anomalies and is being repaired now : One 6L6 has turned white, most likely due to the loss of vacuum, one magnetotransformer of the reverb unit has a broken wire and a 10k potentiometer has a damaged shaft. 

Chassis after some thorough cleaning

I saw this collection of LP's in Utrecht recently...vinyl ("LP's") is back. A perfect combination with tube amplifiers!

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Hungarian eQSL

Just received an eQSL from a PSK31 QSO I made with Gabor, HA0NGT, on 50 MHz in 2010.
It is rare since I made only a couple QSO's on 50 MHz in digimodes.
I think, the picture is a nice one and interesting enough to display here:

                                eQSL from PSK31 QSO with HA0NGT in 2010

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Raspberry Pi 2

The Raspberry Pi Foundation's low-cost computer was an instant phenomenon upon its release in 2012, and now, just shy of three years later, it's back with a new one. The foundation has announced the Raspberry Pi 2, an equally cheap, equally tiny computer that's meant for use in a variety of electronics projects (including ham radio) and assisting experiments.

There are two key changes on this new model: its processor is now a lot more powerful and it includes twice as much RAM. What doesn't change is just as important: it still sells for about 35 euro (!).

The Pi 2 is running a quad-core, ARMv7 processor clocked at 900MHz (the foundation says that it expects power users to clock it even higher), and it includes 1GB of RAM. The Pi 2 will support WIndows 10. The original Pi included a single-core, ARMv6 processor at 700MHz and only 512MB of RAM. Aside from that, the new model is pretty much the same as the latest "Model B+" Pi board. It supports up to 4 USB connections, its primary storage is a Micro SD card, and it all fits on a small green board. The Raspberry Pi Foundation says that performance increases will vary depending on what you're doing with it, but on the whole, they're going to be substantial.

The Pi 2 comes with powerful software like Mathematica and Element14, which usually costs hundreds or thousands of dollars.