112 miles. 10,000ft of climbing on roads up to 30% gradient in the wind and rain of a very ‘normal’ West Cumbria. Fred Whitton Challenge. All 6 passes in the lakes in a day. Radio is a whole load less tiring, even when its not going well. Looking forward to getting back on the air
These may not be a surprise to you but the popular electrical CAD package, Eagle, has add ons plugins, scripts or whatever they are technically called. Most of these would probably be really useful if I ever knew what I was doing but one stands out. Its called Eagle-up.
Eagle-up takes the PCB as you’ve laid it out and puts it into the equally popular 3D CAD programme Google Sketch up. The plugin allows you to see the PCB in 3 dimensions and allows you to add components from the extensive library or draw out your own. The end result is a potential a photo realistic rendering of what you have just designed. I’m using it to place the various parts on so I can design a case to fit the MSFduino. I want to laser cut an acrylic case and Sketchup let’s you export to an svg file by, you’ve guessed it, a plugin.
A bit of useful information to share if that’s your kind of thing.
When you use software regularly, thing become natural. Especially when you can find errors in your work and they need correcting. Over the past few evenings I have spent several hours trying to correct inconsistencies between the schematic and board on my first PCB project, the MSFduino.
There’s nothing fancy about the MSFduino. Its what I’ve started calling my shack clock project. Its a cut down version of the popular Arduino uno and a 60khz receiver with an LCD to display the date and time.
I got so frustrated in the end I started all over again. That made life an awful lot easier. So easy in fact that I wrapped up the Gerber files in a nice zipped package and sent them off to be prototyped. Seeing as this was my first attempt I have agonised a bit about getting it right but in the end I just had to press the send button.
It seems that whilst 6m is still a bit low on the G7KSE listening list (Nothing to do with it still being freezing cold here and me thinking its still winter) but others have had a bit more success. The latest 6 and 1o report has been uploaded here and is available.
After what seems like a lifetime in the attic the Cobwebb ventured outside for the Easter weekend. What a weekend as well.
I put the little antenna up on the telescopic pole about the same height and the top of the Hustler 6-btv (in the background) and spent a few minutes tuning into various stations then dashing in and out of the house to swap the feeder over between the two antennas. Several dashes later and the freezing cold east wind finally kept me in doors just as 2 VK stations appeared on the cluster. At the time I was on the vertical and paid little attention to them as experience tells me that they wouldn’t be ‘in range’ with my 100w. Especially as I was at home in the st bees dip which usually strips rf out of the ether. I tuned to their operating frequency and was met with stoney silence, as expected.
Out of curiosity I did one last switch and the first station was a real 5 & 9. A few calls later and we managed my first qso with a vk. A few minutes later I bagged my second. Within a few hours I managed 7 new countries in between walking the dog and other family stuff. I can safely say that I will be making a more rugged version of the single wire Cobwebb and retiring the vertical.
Now the bands have returned to their usual quieter state it was certainly a good weekend to be on the radio