Year: 2016

Si5351 output waveforms

I finally managed to have myself some shack time this weekend and one of the curiosities I had was to check the output waveform of the Silicon Labs Si5351 I2C programmable VCXO. The chip is quite popular among homebrewers thanks to its low price, ease of use, the fact that it generates 3 independent outputs across a very wide bandwidth (8kHz to 160MHz) and that it offers lower phase noise than the cheap & cheerful AD9850/1 DDS modules.   Adafruit Si5351 module By the way, there are also some versions of the Si5351 that have 8 independent outputs instead...

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RedPitaya expands line-up with 7 StemLab models

Red Pitaya, the 21st century alternative to laboratory test instrumentation, have just replaced their single product with 7 new models called STEMlab. The original Red Pitaya is a powerful piece of hardware that can act as a dual-channel oscilloscope or spectrum analyser, signal generator,  8-channel logic analyser, LCR meter, vector network analyser and much more. It has no problem working as a dual-RX dual-TX DDC/DUC HF+6m transceiver and there is even a project for a full featured final product in the works, called the Red Pitaya Hamlab. It can do all these thanks to the fast 14-bit 125Msps dual-ADC,...

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Onion Omega2 – $5 WiFi Linux computer

The Onion Omega2 is a miniature Linux computer with integrated storage and WiFi connectivity. It runs on Linux so it supports many programming languages such as C++, Python, PHP, nodeJS etc, plus there are apps you can install for different purposes. The base Omega2 model costs just US$ 5 and comes with a 580MHz CPU, 64MB RAM, 16MB storage, b/g/n WiFi, 15 GPIO ports, 2x PWM, 2xUART pins and I2C, SPI and I2S interfaces. There is also an Omega2 Plus version that is currently US$ 9 and has 128MB RAM, 32MB onboard storage and an MicroSD slot, which might...

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Baofeng UV-50X3 – new mobile radio

Baofeng just launched the UV-50X3 triband mobile radio and it looks like a jab, cross and left hook to the established japanese manufacturers who were caught dreaming about DMR, C4FM, D-STAR and other leprechauns. Yes, the chinese manufacturers aren’t creative, but they are really good at copying stuff and manufacturing it for a fraction of the price, so the resemblance to some japanese models shouldn’t surprise you. Or maybe the Yaesu FTM-350AR ? Kenwood TM-d710 looks a bit similar, don’t you think ?     The tri-band FM Baofeng UV-50X3 can transmit in 3 amateur radio bands (2m and...

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Red Pitaya Hamlab – HF/6m 10W SDR transceiver and much more

Red Pitaya Hamlab has just been announced at Friedrichshafen Ham Radio 2016 expo. It is a dual-receiver dual-transmitter DDC/DUC HF/6m 10W SDR transceiver with extended measurement capabilities, based on the popular Red Pitaya development board. The RF is converted to the digital domain with a LTC2145-14 125Msps 14-bit ADC (comparable to what an Icom IC-7300 uses, for example), so performance should be pretty good. Receiver coverage is 0-60MHz and +15dB preamp and -6/12/18dB attenuators are available for different levels of frontend gain settings. The transmitter has currently 10W and is optimised for the 160m-6m bands. A higher power amplifier...

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Yaesu FT-891 video

Got the chance to play a bit with the Yaesu FT-891 at Friedrichshafen 2016 Ham Radio expo. The radio is pretty menu-driven, even some of the most important menu options (like ATT or IPO) are hidden behind a few button presses. The expected price for the FT-891 would be around EUR 600, which is suprisingly low; the way Yaesu looks at it is FT-891 + FC-50 tuner costs around the same as a...

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Yaesu FT-891 update

Update: The Yaesu FT-891 is the smallest at lightest 100W HF transceiver ever built, at 155x52x218mm and 1.9Kg. Unfortunately the 2A current draw on standby makes it unsuited for truly portable operations. Among other features worth mentioning would be the 3kHz wide roofing filter (yes, at the 69MHz IF) and the USB port that supports CAT, PTT keying and RTTY data. Yaesu FT-891 is on public display at Dayton 2016.       It covers 30kHz to 56MHz on receive and transmits in the amateur bands from 160m to 6m with 100W output, has a 69.450MHz 1st IF and...

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