Softrock Lite 6.2
Adventures in Electronics and Radio
Elecraft K2 and K3 Transceivers
25 May 2010
I've been remiss in not updating this page in the last two
weeks. I've had a rush of kit orders to get out and also working on a couple of
new kits. The one closest to being available is a very simple, but useful add-on
to the Z10040B Norton amplifier, a bypass or transfer relay, model Z10080A.
The Z10040B has an input relay that disconnects the
amplifier input and grounds (through resistors) the RF input. This is intended
as a safety measure, to prevent the amplifier from seeing potentially excessive
signal levels when power is removed. The excessive signal levels might occur if
the Z10040B is used near high power transmitters or from nearby lightning
Some Z10040B owners have requested a different
configuration; when power is removed, the RF input is connected to the RF
output. It's not a simple matter to revise the Z10040B design to accomplish
this, particularly if the current safe-when-off configuration is retained as an
option. I've instead designed a small printed circuit board holding a relay,
diode and gas trap. It can be added to a Z10040B enclosure as illustrated below.
To make installation simple, the board has been designed for plug in connections
to the enclosure and the Z10040B, via a series of short extension cables.
I've received the printed circuit boards, but have not
completed the manual. I hope to write the manual and add a web page for the
07 May 2010
I've added loss measurements for the Digiwave cable and a
similar length of "real" RG-58 to the page "The
Curious Case of Digiwave RG-58 Cable" The results were not what I expected.
06 May 2010
I've added a page "The
Curious Case of Digiwave RG-58 Cable" with an analysis of a sample of
Digiwave DGC-RG58 cable. This cable has two oddities, one of which is
explainable and the other is not.
03 May 2010
I've updated the Z10040B Norton Amplifier manual to
reflect the most recent printed circuit board revision (revision 3). The new
manual may be read (4.9 MB PDF file) by clicking
here or from my
Downloads page. The manual for PCB versions 1 and 2
remains available at the Downloads page.
The new PCB revision does not alter the Z10040B's
performance, but rather incorporates changes that were made in an ad hoc fashion
in version 2.
02 May 2010
This web site is developed and maintained with Microsoft's
FrontPage 2003, which is the last FrontPage release. This site relies
extensively upon tables - all the paragraphs are table-based. Most images are
embedded in tables.
The site is several hundred megabytes in size, and has
well over 100 individual pages, all in FrontPage.
My web host has implemented the "FrontPage extensions" and
so far has not notified me that it will discontinue the extensions, but its
clear that sometime in the not distant future, I will have to reconstruct this
site to be more friendly with the current internet standards. FrontPage is most
emphatically not in compliance with the current accepted best practices for web
So far my research has established that this
transition will be neither smooth nor painless nor simple. At the moment, I'm
considering options. One route is Microsoft's Web Expressions 3, which is
probably the closest in philosophy to FrontPage, but it is far from being simply
an "updated" FrontPage.
I welcome any comments and suggestions on a transition
strategy and web software.
02 May 2010
Ron, K8AQC, has supplied the two images below, showing the
Doppler shift of CHU at 7850 KHz and the received signal level at his QTH near
Detroit, MI. The two plots are are 1000 seconds long (16.6 minutes) and are time
synchronized to within a few seconds.
02 May 2010
As usual, last month's Updates are now in the archive. You
may view the April 2010 updates by clicking here
or by the links in the table at the top of this page.