2nd version of the PCB i designed over 2 years ago. Hopefully without bad errors i hope ;) Lets see when the shipment will arrive…
I corrected the package of the microcontroller and swapped a few signal pins in order to gain some flexibility with the software.
I was not qrv from JO61XA for a long time. Now there was the chance to take all the equipment to Triebenberg again. During the last months i tried to repair some things here and there. The 9cm transverter got a new alignment and is working now. Saturday morning i collected all the stuff and partly assembled it. I wanted to go for 23/13/9cm and 3cm eventually. This time i used the 1m dish that i bought last year in order to save some time during the mast construction. In the end i was qrv 1 hour after beginning of the activity. So what… The goal is to test the hardware. First observations were not that promising: 1) bad connection of the DC supply for the mast transverters 2) control unit for the rotator was not working.
The later one was really bad. Later at home i noticed that i partly disconnected the cable for the display / keypad unit when fixing some loose screws few weeks ago.
For 3cm i picked a second IF transceiver. Unfortunately the wrong one. The IF is 432MHz but i took the FT-290 instead the 790R2 ;) RX/TX switching via the mimic for the 2m based transverters from the FT-817 was not working but it took me almost until end of the test to find out what was going on. So only 1 QSO there.
Also 23cm seemed to have some oscillation in the RX LNA. I got some very strange sounds from time to time when releasing the PTT. Maybe some feedback from the 13/9cm transverters because of the PTT mimic i use (i switch all chains to TX but only transfer the IF to the one i want to use. Decoupling is only 50dB which might be an issue. I need to investigate there).
Finally, when deconstructing the mast, i was a bit optimistic on the way to remove the ropes and had a very robust takedown of the antenna and transverters. The main impulse was taken bei the box of the 13cm transverter. Fortunately only the plastic box splitted into several segments. The transverters are still working fine… lucky operator ;) I anyway want to put it into a common box with the 6cm i am going to build and the new 9cm i have flying around as components here.
Since some time i own a DF9NP GPSDO. Currently i only use it to lock my signal generator but i also want to use it for my microwave transverter OCXOs. When connecting a SMIQ signal generator and checking the signal output at 6GHz i noticed some +-50Hz jitter under the poor reception conditions at thelocation of this signal generator. So i want to look a bit closer into that topic. In China i ordered a Neo-M8N module that can be configured to provide a 10MHz clock at its timepulse output. I tried to compare it with the GPSDO and the OCXO of my SMY-02 signal generator.
Of cause the digital clock has significant jitter because it is generated by a CPU (specified with +-10ns).
Neo-M8N clock output at 10MHz
The picture of the timepulse at 10MHz shows, that it seems that comparing the clock to a stable oscillator over a relatively short period could be sufficient for adjusting the frequency of this oscillator to the GPS.
GPSDO, M8N, OCXO
The screenshot shows the oscilloscope triggered to the GPSDO (green). The output of the M8N module (yellow) shows the jitter and the adjustment range within 60 seconds (yellow shadow). The third (blue) trace comes from my SMY-02 which was locked to the GPSDO. The SMY signal shows some slight jitter compared to the reference. To me it is not clear if the cause is the reference or the locking in the generator. The clock from the M8N module shows significant adjustment of the clock frequency within the 60 seconds shown compared to the GPSDO which has a TCXO that is slowly compensated by the GPS inside the reference.
Looking to the signal in frequency domain shows this picture:
Neo M8N spectrum
There are rather close sidebands that require narrow band adjustment of a oscillator eventually locked to this GPS clock. Wideband the spectrum is noisy as well.
M8N phasenoise at 10MHz
Finally i took a short video showing the the scope triggered to the 10MHz OCXO reference of the SMY and comparing the GPSDO and the M8N output. The OCXO is slightly off 10MHz and therefore the picture is moving all the time. You can also see that the M8N is slowly adjusting compared to the GPSDO output.
The above shows my 9cm transverter. It gives about 5W in 3400MHz. The boxes are rather old but still work fine after adjustment of all currents. The PA has 46dB gain which makes a attenuator necessary.
transverter component side
This photo shows the assembly side with the RF transistors. The other side carries the filter cups aß Well as some other larger components.
transverter top side
The small box ist the oscillator/multiplier and the other one the transverter.
103.5MHz oscillator briefly measured with R&S FSP30..
PN Plot G8ACE OCXO
I think above 1kHz the PN figure is determined by the FSP oscillator.
Does someone have a better measurement of such an oscillator, especially above 1kHz up to 200kHz ? Unfortunately i do not have a better PN testset.
The following picture shows the cold-start behavior of the OCXO from room temperature to 60 degree celcius. The X-axis shows time in seconds and the y-axis frequency in Hz.
Sequencer for Transceiver and Transverter sequence control made around a Attiny2313. It can switch a RX/TX relais lowside, a PA supply highside, has “active” and a “TX inhibit” outputs. Furthermore there is a input to lock the PTT from a second sequencer (switch on the RX/TX relais only). There is an extra 7bit output driver that is in that example used to drive a pulse controlled RF relais.
This time no operation from hill. Just a few QSO from home. HiQSDR + ME2HT-PRO + PA + DK7ZB Oblong. Few hours of operation saturday evening and sunday afternoon. 78 QSO and about 18000 points claim.
The screenshot shows the great Tucnak log.
Some signals look very awful on the band…
I will not tell who it was ;) Hopefully the signal can be improved.
The weather in JO60OM was obviously quite good compared to other contest locations. A nice and warm Saturday, no rain during the night and sunny sky at Sunday morning. In afternoon it started raining and the rain continued until we were back home.
The equipment was running quite well. 13/9/6cm was operated by 2 operator new to microwave under the DN5TA training call. The 23cm operation was nice with ODX G3XDY about 860km. But i had the impression that the activity is declining each contest. You really need to push the people in chat in order to get QSO done. Between 0100UTC and 0400UTC even the chat activity almost stopped. The band was empty.
Here you can listen to the ODX QSO with G3XDY:
23cm signals are very wideband sometimes