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Hi all,

recently I have came across drone community. They are pretty amazing guys & girls flying their drones like anything.

When flying a drone - or driving an RC car, it's user can ask - how fast his model was. With that a simple Speed Measurement Module can help. 

Max speed s

Basically this is GPS receiver that receives GPS data, added Arduino processes all the data and shows them on the OLED display. Module can display Max. Speed, Current speed, Max. Altitude, Current Alltitude and Number of received satellites.

A clever design enables displaying of all that data which can be selected with a press to OLED display. 

Module is being powered with a single LiPo cell and draws less than 50 mA. 

I have made a simple video of it's performance. Video can be found on this link.

 

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Hi all,

in the mean time I have update Weekender firmware. With a help of Marko, S56FGS (who wrote PC SW) we have sucessfully rewrote firmware so that Weekneder channels can be easily updated via Marko's PC software. 

Whether you're from the USA, Downunder or from the EU you can write your simples and/or duplex channels/frequencies with CTCSS included and upload all data to the Weekender.

You're invited to download files from Github. In the files you will find manual how to use SW to upload new channels/frequencies. You can use this or this serial adapter for uploading SW to the Weekender.

Happy Weekending :)

73s de S52CQ, Jure

PS: note that all past Weekender owners will have to update FW within AVR chip. There is a FW file at Github for that, but to do that you'd need an AVR programmer like this one. If you're not into AVR programming you can still order already preprogrammed AVR chip wiith the latest Weekender firmware.

PS2: all files on my entire web page are available only for personal use! For any other use (workshops in HAM radio clubs & HAM associations is prohibited!

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Hi,

a quick update about small transceiver module. 

I was looking at Baofeng microphone that I normally use for my Baofeng FM radio and I thought to use complete microphone as a part of small transceiver.

The idea is that Baofeng microphone includes all what's needed: it's got electret microphone, speaker & a TX switch. If I add a small LiPo and small transceiver module I'd get a small transceiver - in a shape of microphone.

I had ony to make one simple modification to the microphone. Had to add a simple circuit to ensure TX switching. Namely Baofeng mic. makes TX when PTT switch connects to GND, while at transceiver module we have to connect PTT to +Vcc. Mod is simple - see the image below:

Modification 

Read more...

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Hi,

after Robert's PA2RDK inniciative we have designed APRS with DRA818 module. APRS is based upon Arduino, it has a single two-colours OLED and possibility for FM communication on one selected channel - that is a feature that "usual" APRS modules that are on the market do not have. But after testing it for over a year now I can confirm it's nice to have one FM channel available for chat!

Description of APS module can be found on this link (Razzies magazine).

APRS KIT

KITs for PI4RAZ club members are in preparation and will be shipped.

Robert has in the mean time also developed version with full colour TFT LCD which offers functionality of APRS and full featured VHF transceiver. See article here. For this version you have to add to APRS board just another Arduino board, TFT LCD and few components. And you've got APRS and full featured VHF transceiver.

Best 73s de S52CQ, Jure

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Hi,

lately I was playing with a new transceiver module that is cheap, small, requires only speaker, microphone, PTT switch, antenna and a battery to run.

   

Out of the box it runs on 16 preprogrammed channels at the following bands:

CB (27 MHz, 40 MHz, 49 MHz) and UHF (409 MHz up to PMR channels). It's output power is approx. 10 mW.

Read more...

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Hi,

with a little help of John (VK3TVZ) I have upgraded SW for the UHF Weekender and made an ebay listing available on this link (click).

I invite all HAMs to contact me to modify SW so that the Weekender will be usable in your area.

Best 73s de Jure, S52CQ

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Hi,

due to increased questions/mods etc. I have created Yahoo discussion group called Weekend VHF/UHF radio group that can be reached here.

Group is intended for tech. discussions regarding Weekend VHF/UHF radio and related topics. 

Best 73 de Jure, S52CQ

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Hi all,

Weekend radio was well accepted at Hamradio fair in Friedrichshafen. I have met there many HAM operators, some also from the USA.

Recently I've got enquiry for Weekend radio from the USA and when checking US Band plan I realized that 12.5 kHz step cannot be used. So I have tried 5 kHz step - and DRA818 module worked well, despide datasheet that was saying that only 12.5 and 25 kHz steps can be used. So I thought if this was OK then perhaps I can add also add PMR channels.

Read more if interested...

 

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Hi,

it's my pleasure to announce that Weekend VHF/UHF radio open source project will be displayed at HAMRADIO fair in Friedrichshafen from June 24th to 26th on the booth of Slovenian radioamateur organization ZRS (Hall A1, booth 243).

a logo

I will be there most of the time so if you can please stop by. I'd be pleased to discuss Weekend VHF/UHF radio project with you.

See you at HAMRADIO fair this June!

73 de Jure, S52CQ

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Hi,

another update came from Jan, PA2JS, who's implementing OLED display. Read more if interested...

 

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Hi,

Wolfgang, DL4KX has sent to me nice photos of the workshop, where they were assembling a couple of Weekend radios.

Read more if interested...

 

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Hi All,

I have been playing with the idea how to make a dual-band transceiver with a single DRA module. I had ups and downs and hence no news from my end. Finally I have done a proven amplifier that works well and does help make a dual-band transceiver with a single DRA module. Read more if interested...

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Hi all,

 

long time no hear. I hope that you who have purchased our Weekend radio KIT enjoy it.

In the mean time there was a lot of things done around Weekend radio. Among these SW has been developed, not only by me, but also by other members of this Open source community.

As a result Marko S56FGS had upgraded his Arduino SW. Marko has saved all repeater info into EEPROM and thus saved quite some RAM space. Also Marko has made semi dual-band function. As you know DRA modules work also outside specified freq. range but with very limited TX power. But as such RX does receive with slightly degraded specs. also outside declared freq. range. Read more if interested...

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Hi all,

there is a slight modification needed on the PCB Ver. 5_11. Version No. may be found at the solder side of the PCB.

Read more if interested...

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Hi all,

Weekend project has become a world wide project. JA7LGC Abe has sent to me program to be used in Japan. Namely channels in Japan are different than in the EU. Step frequency is 20 kHz.

Here is what Abe wrote to me: Read more if interested...

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Hi,

 

I got an email from Jeff (WB0YBK), who is an electronics instructor at Tulsa Tech and teaches there radio science. He has sent me few photos of Weekend VHF/UHF audio transceiver.



 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is what (among other things) Jeff wrote to me: Read more if interested...

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Hi all, 

below you will find a project of Weekend VHF/UHF Radio audio transceiver with an ARM7 MCU driving DRA818U. Read more if interested...

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Robert has been active and made a new version of SW for Weekend VHF/UHF transceiver. Robert has included in his SW also local Dutch repeater names.

He also add User Manual for it that you can find in the Download section. Thanks Robert! 

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Hi all,

 

just a quick note to all. DUBUS has published my article regarding Weekend VHF/UHF radio. See the link to article.

 

Dutch HAM publiction Razzies has published an article based on DRA818 that Robert PA2RDK wrote. See that article in September issue on that link.

 

73 de S52CQ

 

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Hi all, 

summertime was nice, lot's of hot & sunny weather, that I enjoyed very much but did not work on Weekend radio updates.

Few days ago I have updated current SW. I have added two new items in the SETUP menu: Save settings & Load default settings.

Save settings option saves all current settings and when radio is powered on all these save settings are used. This is handy if you want that radio tunes on your favourite frequency when turned on. 

In case that you have messed up all frequencies there is an option: Load default settings.

Go to Download section and download latest SW.

 

 

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Hi all,

Robert PA2RDK has made another version of program. Here is what he wrote in his email:

Hereby is the latest version of the software.
Includes all dutch VHF repeaters, but you can put your own arrays in. There are five. The first segment of all arrays are dummies.
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Hi all,

my short holiday is over, but builders of DRA818 weekend project VHF/UHF transceiver are not resting. Robert has upgraded his SW, here is what Rober wrote to me:

Hi Jure,
 
Hereby my latest version of the software.
 
66F6E43D-4890-44D0-83B3-9F8C95E41F2B
 
It already has a lot of functionality:
    • Scan mode, delays if it receives a signal
    • Scan mode, stops after it receives a signal
    • Monitor 1 frequency every 4 seconds
    • Scan boundaries settable (min-max)
    • Monitor frequency settable
    • Step changeable 12.5, 25, 100 and 1000 Khz
    • Squelch, Volume and Modulation settable
    • CTCSS TX and RX settable
    • Menu option to save in eeprom frequency, scan min and max, monitor frequency, volume, squelsh, modulation, ctcss tx and rx and scanmode
    • 19 Dutch repeaters are programmed in 3 arrays (call, name, ctcss - 145.575 – 145.800) this tables need to be adapted for local use
    • By tuning to the top (174.000) the TRX junps to 430.000, so listening on 70cm also works a little bit.
    • Blocks transmitting outside the band. 
Pressing the button jumps through the menu, PTT exists the menu.
Frequency hopping is under development, Sending works, after releasing the PTT a 4 digit DTMF is sent with the new frequency and the TRX moves to the new frequency.
Receiving has the be build, but therefor I need to find a way to decode CTMF and build a second radio!.
 
73'
 
Robert PA2RDK
 
See Bascom file & fonts at Download section. Note that you will need to complie it with licenced version of Bascom-AVR. For those of you who do not have licenced version I have compiled the SW for you and add it as HEX file.
 
 
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Hi all,

Robert (PA2RDK) has sent to me great photos and modification of my program. That's what Robert wrote to me:

 

Hi Jure,
 
This weekend I'm playing with your weekend project. I like it very much, it's a very nice concept and a beautiful print.
 
 
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Hi all,

my friend Marko, who is also building his DRA818 VHF/UHF Radio audio transceiver has published an Arduino code. Marko has also made a very nice outline on Nokia 5510 LCD. See the image below.

Read more if interested...

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Hi,

 

just to let you know my Weekend VHF/UHF radio will be displayed - thanks to ZRS, on the HAMRADIO fair in Friedrichshafen on the booth of ZRS - Slovenian HAM radio organization:

Zveza Radioamaterjev

Slovenije (ZRS)

hall/stand no.:  A1-247

 

If you happen to visit this fair please come around and say hi to my colleagues who will be on the booth.

73 de Jurij, S52CQ 

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Hi,

so finaly things are getting forward. I have got Nokia5510 LCD and modified the SW so that I can show much more information on the LCD. Since transceiver is dual band it's sensible to have dual band display. See attached photo:

VHF UHF2

 

Read more if interested...

 

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Hi,

 

it has been happening a lot over here. I have already wrote that the VHF module can receive also on UHF. Therefore I have used Nokia 5510 LCD to display frequency for both bands: 144 MH and 433 MHz.20150505 215220

 

Read more if interested.

 

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Hi,

 

here is another update. I am impressed with DRA818 modules, although I have noted that scanning command does not work. Also some other functions that similar modules offer, do not work, like microphone level, scrambling, sensing SMS messages. If interested read on...

I got many feedback to my posts, some were concerning PCB which is partly SMD partly THT. Apparently some users have problems with soldering SMD components so I have designed a PCB with "classical" THT components. See image below. The PCB can be purchased here.

 

With respect to the program, I have tested 1.5" OLED as display and it does perform nicely, but somehow numbers/letters on it are rather small. So I have tested also Nokia5510 GLCD (82x82pixel) and this one was much better. The program that I am currently working on supports receiving on two bands (VHF&UHF), because DRA818V modules can receive also UHF signals. Unfortunately they do not transmitt well on UHF.

One of the future projects with these modules will be a Micro repeater. It will contain one VHF and one UHF module, duplexer, LiPo, sollar cell and some logics. It should be a self contained micro repeater for local work. Will post more info in the blog as the project evolves.

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Hi all,

 

here is the follow up of this project. Schematic diagram is attached, the Bascom SW can be found on this link in the Download section of my web page.

 

Click to image to get full PDF schematics.

On the schematics I need to add some explanations.IC5 is basically not needed if the board is about to be powered from 12V. IC5 was added in case that the board was powered directly from LiPo cell (nice feature for Portable work where we need every Watthour from the battery). Fully powered LiPo can have 4.5V, while it's normal voltage is below 4V, which may cause that LCD might not  have propper contrast, hence we need IC5 to add that much negative voltage so that LCD displays in order. If you ommit IC5 then the middle contact of J2 should be connected directly to GND.

On the board you will find also microphone preamplifier. This was added after during tests electret mike did not perform well enough. You may want to adjust amplification of the preamp around Q2 and change R10 - smaller R10 means smaller amplification. On this schematics a dynamic microphone was used.

Perhaps you'd want firstly to try your electret mike without Q2. In this case you do not need to use R10, C23 (and Q2) and connect electret mike to junction R1/C3.

Jumper J1 was meant to achieve higher amplification of the LM386. During testing I have seen that LM386 has enough amplification with J1 open, but you may want to try that yourself.

SP2 is active buzzer, which sounds when we confirm settings done with encoder.

The Bascom program cannot be described in few lines, but it's also rather well commented so there should be no problem when you want to modify it. This version of the programme is for 134 to 174 MHz band, while I am already preparing 400 to 470 MHz version.

Best regards

Jurij

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Hi all, 

not long ago I have seen DRA818V module, which is a complete FM HAM radio station that requires microphone, AF amplifier and a MCU. So I have ordered a couple of them and by the time I got modules, I have designed a PCB. And it turned out that this was really a weekend project, PCB was soldered in no time, in the rest of the weekend I wrote first version of Bascom-AVR program and after some HW problems the radio station was nicely working by the Sunday evening. Read more if interested.

 

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Hi all,

I have done a USB HM-TRP adapter as seen on the photo below. USB HM-TRP adapter works on 868 MHz ISM band (Europe) or 915 (Australia, USA). It is a great tool because with it's UHF embedded module it can have a range of over 2 km in the open.

 

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Hi all,

I am announcing a new interesting accessory for all AVR programmers. It's upgraded AVR fuse programmer that's being described in the book on the page 147 (click the link).

We have upgraded fuse programmer so that now it's a stand alone programmer.

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Hi all,

few days ago I needed digital potentiometer for one application. A quick look at available pots has returned Microchip's MCP41HV31 Digital Pot. This pot is controlled via SPI, which is nice, because Bascom-AVR can handle SPI with ease. If you're interested how, Read more if interested...

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Hi all,

it's nice to use 3x4 matrix keyboard to enter all variables via keyboard. But sometimes it's more convenient to use rotary encoder for that purpose.

PEC11

In this blog I will write something about rotary encoder, how to use it and how to make a system with main menu and submenus. All will be displayed on the LCD of course. Read more if interested...

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Hi,

we all know matrix keyboard. Two types are most common: 3x4 and 4x4. The numbers indicate number of keypads on the keyboard. Most of them are connected as matrix.

I have attached keyboards from the photo directly to MiniPin dev. board (which is by the way Arduino compatible), no resistors were used.

In Bascom help you can find a nice command: Getkbd() and it's nicely documented but... Read more if interested..

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Hi,

this blog is connected with my recent one, where HM-TRP was discussed. Why? Well, I wanted to see data comming from HM-TRP on an LCD but as such it displays data only at 5V power supply voltage, while HM-TRP operates at max. 3.6 V power supply voltage.

Sollution for that problem was found at this web page, where author was generating low frequency with a microcontroller or an oscillator. I did try a microcontroller, but it has turned out that this sollution uses one pin, which in "pin critical" applications is not what I wanted. Read more if interested...

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In my blog I have been discussing new Hoperf modules which were performing very well however in one application I needed really long range, therefore I was looking for suitable modules.

Sure enough Hoperf has got a great module that operates on 868 MHz which here in the EU is a band that is available for users like myself. Allowed transmitted power is up to 0.5W, which is a lot of power.

For other regions other frequency ranges can be ordered from Hoperf, also the output power may be lowered with a simple command - see datasheet for more info.

Module that I used has 100 mW of output power and it's transceiver, which is great for my application.

The module has also one nice feature: RSSI. Read more if interested...

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Hi all,

we have obtained new UHF modules from Hoperf company.

   

Photos of a new receiver and transmitter.

First impression is that modules are much better than those that we have been using so far and have been obtained elsewhere on the Ebay. I am sure that you've seen the image of the receiver like this:

 

Well, new modules have much better range thanks to the RF83 chip used on that module. The chip itself includes modern UHF receiver and therefore much better reception & range. Read more if interested...

 

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Hi all,

I have been playing with ultrasound distance measurement module. Nice little module that does basic distance measurement in the range of 3 mm to up to 3 meters or more.

I have used this module.

Bascom-AVR program is very simple:

$regfile = "m324padef.dat"
'$regfile = "m16def.dat"
$crystal = 8000000

Config Pind.3 = Input
Config Portd.4 = Output
Portd.3 = 0
Portd.4 = 0
Dim Distance As Word , W As Word , I As Byte

Config Lcd = 16 * 2
Config Lcdbus = 4
'Config Lcdpin = Pin , Db7 = Porta.7 , Db6 = Porta.6 , Db5 = Porta.5 , Db4 = Porta.4 , E = Porta.2 , Rs = Porta.1
'Config Lcdpin = Pin , Db7 = Portb.7 , Db6 = Portb.6 , Db5 = Portb.5 , Db4 = Portb.4 , E = Portb.2 , Rs = Portb.1
Config Lcdpin = Pin , Db7 = Portc.7 , Db6 = Portc.6 , Db5 = Portc.5 , Db4 = Portc.4 , E = Portc.2 , Rs = Portc.1
'Config Lcdpin = Pin , Db7 = Portd.7 , Db6 = Portd.6 , Db5 = Portd.5 , Db4 = Portd.4 , E = Portd.2 , Rs = Portd.1
Cursor Off

Distance= 0
Cls

Do
Pulseout Portd , 4 , 20 'Min. 10us pulse
'Waitms 100 'meant for testing error
Pulsein W , Pind , 3 , 1 'read distance
Incr I
If Err = 0 Then
W = W * 10 'calcullate to
W = W / 58 ' centimeters
'W = W / 6 ' milimeters
Distance = W
Else
Distance = 0
End If

Locate 1 , 1
If Distance > 0 Then
Lcd "D= " ; Distance; " "
Locate 1 , 7
Lcd "cm"
Else
Lcd "*ERROR**"
End If

Waitms 200

I did not complicate with designing a PCB, because module's connection to MiniPin is pretty straight forward with 4 wires like this:

Module works great. At measuring long distances one has to take care to disable unwanted echoes from the side of the module. My friend Vilko has put on sensors plastic tubes and achieved distance measurement of 4m.

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Hi all,

with a little help of John (VK3TVZ) I have upgraded SW for the UHF Weekender and made an ebay listing available here:http://www.ebay.com/itm/222650125101?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649

I invite all HAMs to contact me to modify SW so that the Weekender will be usable in your area.

Best 73s de Jure, S52CQ

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