09 March 2020

FA-VA5 600MHz Vector Antenna Analyzer Kit

Hi all,

FA-VA5 is a high precision 600 MHz Antenna Analyzer for measurements of antennas, cables and other one port devices.


The VA5 is a portable, full-featured Vector Measuring Device with a frequency range of 10 kHz to 600 MHz, with the added benefit of a USB port for connection to a computer.

The designer, Michael Knitter DG5MK, has taken feedback from users of the previous VA4 instrument and incorporated many of the requested new features in the VA5, whilst maintaining high performance and excellent value for money.


·         Frequency Range 10 kHz - 600 MHz

·         Small dimensions 15 x 8.5 x 2.2 cm - fully portable

·         User friendly - intuitive menus

·         Large display with good readability

·         Low power consumption (up to 40 hours from 2 AA batteries)

·         SOL Calibration function

·         USB-interface with support of the DG8SAQ VNWA Software

·         Real time clock with backup capacitor

·         Audible buzzer alert for minimum SWR alignment


The FA-VA5's graphic display shows the complex impedance, standing wave ratio, complex reflection coefficient, capacitance and inductance.

Vector’s measurement means that, unlike a scalar instrument, not only the SWR is measured and displayed, but also the value of the impedance, including the signed imaginary part. The so-called SOL (Short, Open and Load) compensation is used for the calibration of the device and provides precise measurements in different configurations.

Have a look what you will get in the package and how assembly the analyzer…



The kit is double boxed with instruction manual

In two separated packages you will get PCB with pre-installed SMD parts and bag of thru hole parts including the LCD display which need to be soldered.

The instruction manual is detailed, precise and I am recommending to following all step by step.

Anyway I will highlight few important things which should help you during the assembling and it should avoid issues.


Motherboard PCB with ON/OFF switch and USB module installed


Before the installation of the USB module you have to ensure that insulating mica foil is correctly placed on the bottom of the board > in between the USB board PCB and motherboard PCB.


Correct place of the mica

Most important part of the assembling procedure is the LCD panel installation on the motherboard PCB. I am recommending to using three spacers instead of two pieces (recommended in the instruction manual) in order to avoid bending the headers and possibly LCD itself when you will press the fingers on the top during the soldering phase.


Three spacers used to avoid bending the headers during soldering

The rest of thru hole parts assembling should not make any troubles. Just be careful and do not overheating the switches and other plastic components while soldering them on the motherboard PCB. Specially the BNC socket used in the kit is cheapest component using the crappy plastic insulation inside so you must be quite careful during the soldering it on the PCB.

CAUTION: Do not overheating this component otherwise you can melt the insulation part inside and most important part of analyzer – the measuring port could failure due to inserting the DUT (movement causing short circuit or so)

You should also double check the polarity orientation of the both AA cells holders before soldering them to PCB.


All parts assembled on the motherboard PCB



Correct height of the LCD panel and well assembled input port BNC



The SMD components are pre-assembled on arrival



Housing the analyzer using pre-drilled box. All fits perfectly 

After the assembling the analyzer it should work for the first time. Do not use the charging AA cells as it will not work because of their low voltage.


Initial screen should be displayed after turning ON the analyzer.   

Building document done by P. Ourednik, 9-Mar-2020. Document 03-20, rev.1.0

73 - Petr, OK1RP

07 January 2020

The ATU add-on module for RGO ONE is coming soon

Hi all,

as you know the optional module of ATU is under finishing and the f/w code under tweaking for the RGO ONE.


One of the hardest point of the ATU performance - the very low impedance matching has been successfully tested on the beta test piece of RGO.

Look over here: https://youtu.be/aImge42dZZk

The antenna in use was an 80m band dipole. Tested band was 160m.
The ATU f/w code is still under tweaking and hardware is in beta testing to be sure that all will perform excellently in RGO ONE.



73 - Petr, OK1RP

The RGO ONE pre-order form online available now

Hi folks,

Due to the high volume of inquiries recently received Boris, LZ2JR decided to post this google form which reserves the right to the user who filled in this form to get advantage ordering RGO ONE transceiver on “first come – first serve” basis. Please FILL IN and SUBMIT the form as soon as possible.

The link is added to the Boris, LZ2JR page as same as to home page description of the RGO groups.io.

You can place the pre-order anytime online here:
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1...nolpgclHW2n0XccpyeMI2vCA/viewform?usp=sf_link

Also directly on Boris, LZ2JR page here:
http://lz2jr.com/blog/index.php/rgo-one-preorder-form/


73 - Petr, OK1RP

06 December 2019

RGO ONE - new classic CW / SSB transceiver on the market - part 3 (first impression)

Hi all,

I got the chance to test this new radio coming on the market these days. Last evening I found the time to bring the RGO ONE to our contest station in order to make first short test on the air.

I have to say that I am impressed how the receiver is quiet. Compare to other radios and mainly SDR architecture radios the RGO ONE receiver has smooth and low noise. The VBF is very effective and nice feature for close in signals.

I had only short time yesterday evening so I tested it quickly on 40m then 80m band. As I found the pile-up for T6AA on 80m I had chance also to testing the RIT/XIT features etc. It is easy to manage and operate the RIT/XIT on RGO ONE.




Big surprise came after switching to 40m where that nite was hearable OTHR intruder at around 7005kHz. I tried to switch antenna to our contesting Icom IC-756PROIII quickly to found that OTHR occupied most of the CW portion in 40m band with over S9+20dB wideband mess. Even with 500Hz filter on Icom I was not able to hear any signals on 40m CW band as 30kHz far from the center I still had S8 wideband noise.


After switching to RGO ONE the surprise happened. Of course the OTHR blasted to S9+30dB at 7005kHz and covered wide portion of CW band but when I switched the VBF ON and reduced it down to 200Hz then I noticed that when I tuned up over the 7015kHz the wideband mess gone and I was able to operate and make QSO without any problem or QRM. Amazing!



I did not make video unfortunately as my phone battery lasted exactly at that time when I need it, hi... but I made QSO 15kHz away from the OTHR intruder with VBF set to 300Hz and I was not disturbed at all...

I had no more time to test it yesterday evening so more tests will come later.



And one more think... I like very much the sentences posted by KW6LA:
"I do like the old style controls. RGO ONE looks like a radio, not a garage door opener!"


73 - Petr, OK1RP

RGO ONE - new classic CW / SSB transceiver on the market - part 2

RGO ONE is the GOLDEN classic super-heterodyne down conversion HAM transceiver covering all HF bands 1.8 - 29.7MHz (160/60m as an option).

High dynamic range receiver design including high IP3 monolithic linear amplifiers in the front end and H-mode first IF mixer.
Low phase noise first LO – SI570 XO/VCXO chip.

Full/semi (delay) QSK on CW using click-less quiet diodes switching; PTT/VOX operation on SSB. Strict RX/TX sequencing scheme. No click sounds at all!

Due to its modular construction it can be easily modified or redesigned in manner that suits operator. This kit is intended for users that like building their own home made equipment and constructions.


Main goals

  • Classic super-heterodyne design – with popular 9MHz intermediate frequency. Filter method DSB to SSB modulation
  • Coverage of the 9 HAM HF bands (160m optional)
  • High dynamic range receiver design including high IP3 monolithic IC in the front end and H-mode first IF mixer
  • Fast acting IF (134kHz) AGC.
  • Click-less operation – solid state Ga-As PHEMT SPDT switches on RX, (band-pass filters; TX/RX) and ultra fast rectifier diodes (LPF)
  • Custom multicolor FSTN LCD (Especially developed for this project)
  • Custom made ABS face plate, unique and ergonomic knob controls
  • Custom made crystal filters – 6,8 pole, CF=9MHz, 2.8kHz, 2.7kHz, 1kHz, 500Hz
  • Three filters can be used - First IF roofer 8-poles 9MHz; second (optional) 4-poles variable bandwidth filter Johnson type 9MHz; third 2-poles noise filter 9MHz
 
 
  • Double CPU circuitry control for front panel and mother board, both field programmable via implemented USB hub
  • Modular construction with no “flying wires” inside the box. Transceiver is built up on a main – mother board which has two functions. First to serve as a “chassis” and second to fit all the external connectors, daughter boards, inter-connections and acts as cable harness.
  • Plenty of optional modules: Audio filters, Automatic antenna tuner (ATU), Noise blanker (NB), narrow/wide band IF crystal filters.
  • Linear final amplifier PA 50W with precise power adjustment especially for QRP operations. Forget noisy FANs – 25W  – unlimited time!! QRO work – with max power of 50W driving should be sufficient for a kilowatt amplifier.

 
  • Personal computer control CAT via USB
  • Morse code keyer (Curtis A, CMOS B)
  • Contest and DX-pedition operation conveniences
  • Both Kit & Ready-to-Run versions will be available

 

And one more think... I like very much the sentences posted by KW6LA:
"I do like the old style controls. RGO ONE looks like a radio, not a garage door opener!"


73 - Petr, OK1RP

RGO ONE - new classic CW / SSB transceiver on the market - part 1

Hi all,

This coming new CW/SSB all HF bands transceiver is the “classic” architecture of 9MHz IF super-heterodyne with good filtered front-end and proper roofing crystal IF filters.
It is using PHEMT LNA, high dynamic range H-mode mixer, 8+4 poles crystal filters etc.
Full, fast and absolute quiet QSK with proper timing is devoted to all CW enthusiasts.
It looks like great era of famous TenTec transceivers is coming back :)


http://lz2jr.com/blog/
https://groups.io/g/RGO-ONE
https://www.eham.net/reviews/view-product?id=14445

 


Experiences with RGO ONE in CQWW, CW by John, AE5X:https://ae5x.blogspot.com/2019/11/cqww-cw-with-rgo-one.html

Some pics of my new arrived RGO ONE are uploaded in groups.io here:https://groups.io/g/RGO-ONE/album?id=223623


And one more think... I like very much the sentences posted by KW6LA:
"I do like the old style controls. RGO ONE looks like a radio, not a garage door opener!"



73 - Petr, OK1RP
.../-.-

01 July 2019

Sea of Peace Award 2019 (SOP) started!

Sea of Peace Award 2019 (SOP) started!
 
If you want to get beautiful pennon or following your last year achievement you would like to continue to get sticker then you should turn on your radio and pay attention to the stations from the required countries during the July 2019...

This certificate in form of a silk pennon will be awarded for QSOs with the Baltic neighbouring states and regions in July. Annual stickers can be acquired for repeated fulfilment of the rules during the subsequent years.


Beyond coming SOP-owners will receive special recognitions after 5-and 10-times achievements of the pennon and stickers.




This popular certificate was awarded by the amateur radio organisation of the former GDR in 1958. And has been continuing by the DARC district Mecklenburg-West Pomerania since 1991.
 
The DARC district Mecklenburg-West Pomerania publishes this honouring since 1991 to all licensed radio amateurs and SWLs, in the time from the 01.07., 00.00 UTC, to 31.July, 23.59 UTC per year, who fullfilled the following rules:
     EU   -  applicants: 15 points, of it 3-DL points
     DX   -  applicants: 10 points, of it 1-DL points
     VHF - applicants: 
5 points, DL points are not necessary
Points:A QSO with a station from the DARC district Mecklenburg-West Pomerania
(DOK  Vxx  additional Z87, Z89, MCM, MVP, SOP, YLV) counts 3 points, all other German stations (max. 3 stations) and stations each once one pouint.
QSOs with stations in the following countries and districts count in each case once one point.

ESLALYOHØOH1OH2OH5OH6 OH8OH9OJØOZ 
R1R2FSMØSM1SM2SM3SM5SM6SM7 SP1SP2 YL  
There are no band- and modes of restrictions. Beginning in 1992 SOP sticker (small pennons) are published for renewed fulfilling of the conditions. The SOP pennon is pentagonal and multicolored; 22 cm wide and 33 cm long. The sticker about 7 cm wide and 10 cm long. As a bonus after 5-times achievement of the SOPs the applicant receives a special sticker (free of charge), after 10 years achievement a certificate.
Supplement for 2019: Foreign stations with the suffix "SOP" (e.g., OZ4SOP, SJ1SOP...) count as a joker for a not achieved area if they are activated in the current year...

Application:
Log extract - please till 31 August every years - Calls alphanumerically listed
Manager: Georg Tretow - DL4SVA, P. O. Box 1114, D-23931 Grevesmühlen, email: DL4SVA@darc.de
Fee :  SOP pennon  DL 12 Euros, non DL 15 Euros, SOP Sticker 5 Euros

The manager sends an email with the account data.

On-line applications are preferred.

https://ok1rp.blogspot.com/2018/07/sea-of-peace-award-2018-sop-started.html
http://www.dl0sop.darc.de/Seite-2e.htm
https://www.amateurfunk-mvp.de/sop-antrag/index.php


73 - Petr, OK1RP