Category Archives: openASC - Page 3

Shack makeover

The radio shack has gotten so messy lately, that it felt like it was time to redo everything properly. Now when all equipment pretty much is the same regardless of contest it is easier to put cables etc more permanent. Priority #1 will be getting the remote up and running and the rest will have to take as long as it takes before everything is working to 100%. Position #1 and #2 (SO2R position) will be done when I have the support op fixed which will be a high priority now so its done before WPX SSB.

SM2XJP helped me all day so it went pretty well and part of the stuff is now done but still lots more to be done.

I also went out to remove some snow which had stuck to some guy wires.

Some winter pictures

I have been playing around getting rotators to be controlled by the openASC system. Right now I have installed it on two antennas (5el 15m, 5el 20m) and hopefully before the Christmas break is over I will have it installed also on the 60m tower and the 10m stack. I rotate it either with the openASC box or with the openASC Controller software which communicates with the box over ethernet and can be used remotely. By just selecting which antenna I wish to rotate and clicking in the map the rotation of the antenna(s) start.

openASC Controller run in Windows 7

openASC Controllerr run in Linux

Here are some winter pictures,

W7IUV preamp and rotator boards

I’ve been in the mood for building so I built a W7IUV preamp that I am going to test if it works better than the MMIC version I tried earlier. That one works too but I am hoping to get even better IMD performance from this one, we will see.

I also assembled two rotator boards for the openASC system. I intend to get the rotating working via the openASC system during the Christmas break which would make remote operating even more fun! Now I have four boards so I can convert all rotators and the easiest one is the alfa spid where I only needed to mount the bus interface, uC and the RS232 converter since its a serial controllable rotator. The other ones are the 3-phase motor of the 60m tower (24v relays), the YAESU G-1000SDX and an old EMOTATOR 1103MMX where I will just interface it against the push buttons and the potentiometer for indication. SM0SVX has written a great piece of software for the rotor control @SK3W and I have written the interface so it works against my hardware as well now.

I have decided to remove the pulse sensor on the 60m tower and put a 3-turn 1k potentiometer that I got from SM2O. This will make the system more safe even if the rotator board has got a big super cap which makes it possible to save the current position before turning off. However it can still lose pulses because of RF etc, so the non-volatile behavior of the pot will be more reliable.

The yard got cleaned up

This weekend SM2LIY was working the Scandinavian Activity Contest as SOAB LP. We did not know that the ACOM 2000A that we got sponsored by Ojojoj Music AB would show up before the contest, so SM2LIY was signed up for SOAB LP on the Swedish “National Team” in the contest. The propagation’s during the night with aurora ruined the chances of taking a new Swedish record, but Pelle seem to finish in second place after OH5Z.

On Friday I did connect the last antennas since we dug the cables down in the ground earlier in the summer, to prepare for the contest. I also built a mould which will be used to make the concrete base for the 40m tower. Hopefully next weekend we get to borrow an L70 tractor to get some gravel and maybe the concrete mixer from my neighbor, so we can start making the base for the tower.

On Saturday SM2XJP had borrowed a tractor that we used to move the tower sections and all the wood left from the house work during the summer. I have a small hay barn which is 20m2 that has been standing empty, so we moved the wood there and also the insulating material which was left for the last wall of the house, which will be finished next year. When SM2XJP got tired in his clutch foot I got to drive the tractor which was a lot of fun but when it got too exciting he got to take over 🙂 Now the yard is starting to look decent again but still some cleaning to do before we can call it ready for the winter, which hopefully wont arrive in a while if we are going to get that 40m tower up.

SG3P has borrowed me an TS480HX that I will be using to remote control the station. The openASC system is supporting control of all antennas etc remotely and now I’ve started to make it so that we can control it over ethernet as well, which will make it even more neat. However to make the station fully steerable I will need to add my rotator boards into the rotator controllers so we can turn the antennas remotely.

We got sponsored by SM2O and his Microbit 2.0 AB company with lots of remote gear. The well known remoterig system which is an excellent product to make remote operation enjoyable with very low latency, possibility to send clean CW etc. All in all we got a complete set of RRC-1258MkII with an extra control unit for SM2XJP, a Webswitch 1216H and also an RC-1216H for controlling the ACOM amplifier. I soldered some cables for this so hopefully I will have it operational after the weekend!

Stay tuned…