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November 27th, 2010

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CaptiveWorks CW800S AGC Adjustment

March 9th, 2010

Here is now to adjust a CaptiveWorks CW800S AGC…. This will improve the signal quality significantly. This is one thing about this particualr receiver that really ticks me off. So here is how…

Type in ‘100′ on the remote. Press the Forward button on the remote, it has this symbol on it >>|  Now you will see the signal adjustment dialog. Change from 25 to 29 or until the signal levels have improved. You are now done!

Now when you do a scan, you should receive all your transponders much better. On Galaxy 17 it made a HUGE difference for me!

Cheap and Easy VoIP with Skype

February 18th, 2010

Well lately I have been working on a new project… it all started out with installing Skype on my cell phone and signing up for SkypeOut… So a quick overview of how I have this working… I have a Windows XP box running Skype attached with SkypeOut USA&Canada… thats the most expencive part so far! That will set you back about $3 per month… Axon free edition for a PBX on the same box and a Skype to SIP plugin called  SipToSis. Now that setup alone will let you receive Skype ‘internet’ calls and make SkypeOut calls… but what about an inbound number? Well this is where Skype wants to charge you your left arm, but check out Ring2Skype. Its a free inbound number! Configuring Axon is pretty straight forward, but if you are going to take this on find a tutuorial online how to set it up. Mine was hacked together until it all worked. SipToSis, you just have to follow the guide. Its straight forward as well. Now for a SIP Softphone… just use google there are many varietys out there. Personally I use X-Lite. If you wanted to, or have a spare hardphone kicking around… use it with Axon PBX! Ebay has many USB enabled hardphone… under $20 CAD straight from China! So for under $25 bux starting cost and $3 bux a month, you set with your own VoIP system! Experiment and see if you can improve, Im sure there are lots of ways to improve this system…

Live Streaming Audio

January 29th, 2010

Well the latest project I finally got around to is up and running…  You can now listen to the station audio live! The only thing you need is a media player like Winamp or VLC (xmms works well for linux) and you can listen to the live station feed. The link is under the radio section of the links or you can click here.

Have fun listening!

Its been a while….

January 26th, 2010

Well… Im still around. Just have been neglecting the website. I do have a new call of VA3CIB along with my VE3SJB call…..  Hopefully over the next few days I can get some new posts up and work on the page a bit.. it has been a very very long time since I have even thought about doing any work on it.

Listen on 20m in the morning for me calling CQ.



December 11th, 2007

So, I have finished the SoftRock RXTX kit completely. Its in a nice case now and runs great.  I have the transmitter tuned for a nice solid 1Watt out  on 40/80m. I also got the DDS kit complete as well. Its a AMQRP Kits DDS-60. It was quite easy to build and works great.  But this is just a quick update. Check back a in a while and ill get some SR pictures up.  73 

Remote PSK31 and SoftRock RXTX

November 12th, 2007

hey everyone, so i ordered my SoftRock RXTX and its on teh way, that will be the next project to be showing up here on the site… still waiting for it in teh mail.. i got my DDS-60 ordered as well and shoudl be arriving any day soon now.. but also, i have come up with a way to do PSK31 remotly from anywhere on the internet… and so now i have remote access to my PSK31 station from anywhere in the world via the web. I will not be releaseing this to the public tho the login or page link to it for the fact that anyone unlicenced could use it and thats just not acceptable. But for now, I can get in to it and check it out and use it… see whats going on around 14070khz PSK31 from school or work or where ever and do some PSK31 ops from where ever, with out havign to lug the station around… so thats pretty cool…  im in the process of getting my gear set up and arranging a coax switch so i can just flick on the unit i want to use and away we go./… right now things are a bit sloppy in the ’shack’ aka my room haha… but, this softrock rxtx looks pretty cool. its for 40/80m and depending how well it works i may get the 20m version as well. I want to find a linear amp kit so i can atleast push 10W with all my gear.. as most of it is QRP and some days working sideband QRP is lacking and a little more power woudl help out. So i am searching for a kit of sorts to get some RF amplification… im lookin for anything that will push 10 – 50 Watts… but even 15 – 25 is nice. With what i have, high power isnt an option haha. but there really is no need for QRO stuff… 25W is more than enough for PSK31/CW/SSB…..   even 5W is enough for a nice PSK31 / CW contact for that fact…   its mainly for sideband i want more power.. but i have to be QRT here i am at work, ill update some time soon with a tutorial on how to get the remote PSK31 going with your station…   73 de ve3sjb

University? Lost? Quebec? WTF? University Tour Drop-Outs?

August 17th, 2007

Well, im blogging from the road today… first chance i have had in the last few days here.. we left thunder bay on Aug 14th and stayed at Chutes Provincial Park that night, its a very nice park… quiet and clean. lots to do there, it took us about 12 hours to get there… wasnt to bad… it rained most of the way up till sault st. marais… from there on in it wasnt to bad driving to Massey… thats where chutes is… the 15th we drove from chutes to sudbuy to meet up with Ashley.. formerly M3OCT, had an eyeball QSO with him then we took off from sudbury to Ottawa.. that was a nice drive… some very hick like towns inbetween haha…

So about 10 min outside of Ottawa, HWY-17 East turns in to a 3 and 4 lane highway.. in one direction.. traffic is insane.. construction is insane… and i started to go crazy because i am not used to this kind of insane traffic… bumper to bumper and to top it off, its rush hour… about 5pm or so.. so after navigating that no problems… we roll in to Recreation Land… its about 5 minuts to the west of Rockland… its just a few minutes drive from ottawa… nice easy driving..  unlike the 417 which was busy busy…  but the campground is very nice, some stuff is a bit out dated, but overall its CLEAN.. thats all that is important…. and the people are nice too…  the owner is a ham, i had a eyeball with him as well.. ..  so we went in to Rockland and got some groceries, and what not, took a look around, its a nice little town, not big, but not small…  and we got all set up at the campground and what not….

so, we got up today (the 16th) ate, and decided to go to the University of Ottawa, for a tour, then off to the aviation museum…. ok, so google maps gives me great directions… and i write it all down, plan it out… and we go…… so we get to the university.. well pretty dam close to it….. we coudl see it, drive becide it, but since they mark the streets here so poorly… i coudlnt friggin get to it.. so after a slight detour….. and by detour, we ended up on sussex drive, then… we went over a bridge… and we were in what was like a whole new country… Quebec…. in quebec, you cant turn right on a red… UNLESS its posted.. and, the lights are sideways… no english, just french… i know just enough french to ignore it cause i dont understand a word of it lol… but yeah, so after a good 30 minuts of trying to get out of Quebec, we make it out… and FIND THE DAM UNIVERSITY… so…. yeha we go to this university tour, and it was …. boring like paint drying… we ended up bailing out of it a hour in to it… so we dropped out of the tour…. but got our free parking… lol so… we decide that lets go to the aviation museum and check it out… so on the way, we hit up a ghetto… literally ghetto Burger King… awful, and discusting… never again ill go there.. so we make it to the museum… guess what, it closes at 5 and that gives us 45 minuts to view it.. so screw it…. were going tomorrow lol… so we start driving around ottawa…. randomly… end up calling tyler after a few minuts, see if he wants to come out… so with 1 or 4 minor detours we make it to tylers… and we headed out, saw a park… and  river and what not… then headed downtown via major scenic route detour of the day number 45…. haha… yeah, i love driving here,… its really not that bad, if you know the names of the streets you want to go… so we end up on Sussex drive, and find some cheap parking downtown…. we wandered for a few hours.. saw parliment and what not…  saw some big guns shot off….. it was pretty cool….  but they had a lightshow at parliment at 9pm… it was amazing… i have some pictures of it ill be posting on facebook… absolutly beautiful… but its been a long day…  and its time for bed… ill post again in teh next few days….


July 11th, 2007

Well I got a Hendricks QRP Kits MMR-40 for my birthday. So i started work on it last week.. i have it completed now .. but have a few problems.. unfortunatly.. but the issue i have is nearly identical to the issues that other members of the mmr40 group on yahoo… but over all, it seems to be a nice kit… the receiver works great… but so far the PA section is giving me troubles… but i hope to have it resolved soon and get on 40m CW/SSB soon…. i have everything all rigged up to get on the air. Just need the kit to work now haha… i havent been on 20m PSK31 lately.. but thats only because i have been screwing around with this MMR-40 trying to get it to work…. but otherwise, things are the usual around these parts.. the next big challenge will be getting a 40m 1/4 wave vertical up…. i have stuff for a dipole but no where to put it, other than operating at camp… we will see, ill keep everyone informed…



June 1st, 2007

Hey everyone… so its starting to get warm here in Thunder Bay finally… Skiing is over, sadly for the last few months haha… but its that time of the year for camp….  so i got my Small Wonder Labs PSK-20 kit on the air…  sounds great on the air and i get lots of RST 599 reports back….   pushing a whole whopping 2 Watts.. QRP at its best… PSK31 is a wonderful mode, you need next to no power to get on the air, and a simple dipole works great…  The kit went together in a evening, some toroid winding, and a lot of soldering…  Alignment of the receiver couldnt get any simpler, and aligning the transmitter section is quite easy as well, the whole alignment process only took about 20 minutes or so…. and after that, constructing a simple wire dipole in the living room i was on the air….   before even aligning the receiver i was copying a few XE2 (mexico) stations and some other stations in new mexico and what not… .. the kit does have a few flaws now that i have had it on the air for a few weeks now.. one of which is strong signals overload the receiver, well not so much the receiver but my cheap sound card in my laptop… thats easy to fix by bring the gain down in the sound panel in linux/windows….  Im useing a fancy peice of software called DigiPan to interface with the rig… works great, and is a nice peice of software, it will even run on older machines, i tryed it on my pentium 3 @ 667mhz with 128mb ram and it flys…  also, on i threw up a review of the kit…  i woudl suggest this kit for anyone, experience or not with kit building or as a first radio in to the world of PSK31, give it a shot… it will not let you down. Yes, there are 4 toroid inductors to wind, but dont let that hold you back, they are easy to wind…  So, if you hear me on the air calling CQ, i usually hang around 14068 – 14072khz, give me a call, ill come back to you if i can copy you…  And, with the solar cycle sitting at the bottom, band conditions change daily at this point…. some days im copying in to Italy and Europe no problem, some days i can even work anything thats in North America… but with the solar cycle maximum comming up in a few years time, getting one of these kits for 10m might be a great idea… work some nice DX , but thats not for a while atleast now… the solar minimum is hurtin’ the bands pretty bad some days… Also on the topic of radio, I have been looking at the Hendricks QRP kit page (ill post a link for that in the QRP section today) and they have a nice CW/SSB rig for 40m as a kit. This kit is called the MMR-40 Tranceiver…. im hopeing that i get this kit for my birthday thats comming up and get on 40m SSB… then this will also mean haha, ill be able to work a few modes now too with another radio… PSK31, CW and SSB….  yeah, my CW skills are rusty, but this gives me a great excuse to break out that Heathkit keyer again…. since the PSK31 bug hit me i havent been working CW at all…… But anyways back to the MMR-40, so from what i have read the kit throws out 6 Watts on CW…. which is respectable, but i would prefer a but lower haha, yeah the QRP bug has me… low power is much more fun, and a challenge, you dont need 1KW to get out, when 1 or 2 watts will do just fine with some patience and skill… but when and if i get one of these kits i will be posting a review on about it…

Ok on another note here, i have started QSLing via again, any QSL requests are to be sent there, and ill do them electronically…

I have recently been playing with regenerative receivers…. again haha… and i have been fiddling around with some ideas i have to come up with a simple tube or transistor based QRP CW regenerative based tranceiver… i will be posting infomation about my designs and ideas, and input is welcome… mainly ive been playing with an idea that is based around the MK484/ZN414… but, ive built my own version of that IC from 3 transistors… including a way to control the regeneration in the circuit… i have had some stability issues with my design so far but, i think its to do with the bias set on the regenerative detector transistor im useing… by the way im useing all 2N2222 or 2N3904 transistors in there, they are basically interchangeable in the circuit….  but, hopefully when im finished perfecting that, ill move on the the next step of that and throw in some RF amplification so that you dont need to use a mile of wire for an antenna… get that shortened down to say a whip antenna for portable operation…  and also a 1 or 2 transistor audio amp in there for some volume…

well as allways, i have been playing with SDR’s as well, i build up something based around the MC4066 and have had limited results but i think its because of the fact that my design is poor and i just whipped it up haha, it really doesn’t work that well, when it works… but i have final parts coming in soon for my other SDR that ive been working on for the last 6 months… then i can complete the construction of the DDS and then finish writing the software for the PIC to control it..

well other than that, not much has been going on, listen around for me on 15m/30m in the CW bands(runnin QRP of course) and on 20m around 14068-14072khz PSK31 in the evenings.. I hope to be operating portable from camp a lot this summer… Grid there is EN48vo, so if you need that for whatever reason, just drop me a line and well make a sked…

73 de VE3SJB/P /QRP  SK