Thursday, November 27, 2014

APRS J-Pole Antenna mounted

Well, last week I was finally able to get up on the roof and mount my J-pole antenna which is tuned to 144.39MHz for the Amateur Radio APRS frequency.

It is mounted right above my Television Yagi antenna and time will tell if it interferes with our television signal.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Makin' the LED Blink!

Yeah, I know it is the programming equivalent of "Hello World", but it is still enjoyable to watch the LED turning on and off after successfully installing a program (sketch) into the Arduino. I've got mine mounted on Vulcan 1 Digital Logic board made in (or at least assembled in) Calgary.
Originally today, I was going to setup the Arduino as a TNC, but I've gone and misplaced my cable....sigh. Hopefully, I've left it at work, or I'm going to be placing another order with Mobilinkd

Friday, November 14, 2014

Raspberry Pi TNC

As if one project isn't enough (Arduino running as a Mobilinkd TNC). I found this link for a TNC for my favorite platform, Raspberry Pi. (TNC-Pi)
Here is a pic from their website:
I've got a couple on order and will be playing with both the Arduino / Mobilinkd TNC as well as the RaspiTNC.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Mobilinkd TNC

Well, I'm really enjoying my Mobilinkd Bluetooth TNC piggybacked onto my VX-6 (got the idea from VE6AB, Jerry Clement).
The photo does not include the cable running from the TNC to the radio because I'm playing with another project that Rob Riggs of Mobilinkd has shared with everyone. Using an Ardiuno as a TNC

I was able to successfully download his .hex file into my Arduino Nano and now I'm in the process of wiring it up!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Solar Charge Controller & Battery Bank

The 2 solar panels that are mounted on my deck are wired into the charge controller in my garage:

This in turn is wired into my battery bank(s). I have 4 sets of 2 x 12V batteries that I can use at any time. In addition, they all have 50A Anderson Power Pole connectors to plug into my Go Power 1500W Pure Sine Wave Inverter (yellow box under the charge controllers).

If I lose power at the house & garage, this inverter and associated batteries will run my Radiant Tube heater to keep my garage warm. If it is the middle of winter, I have a 3000W Guardian Generator in the shed that I can bring into the garage to warm up and then run outside to power my furnace & refrigerator in the house.

Solar Panels mounted on the Deck

Another of my hobbies that aligns with Amateur Radio is Solar Power. I just installed 2 x Sharp NE-80EJEA solar panels on the railing of my deck. These complement the 2 that are on the shingles of my garden shed (can't show a pic because the are buried in the 4" on snow that we received last night & today)

Yes, all of those white specs are the snow that is still falling!

These panels have several ratings that are important:
Maximum Power (PMax) = 80.0W
Open-Circuit Voltage (VOC) = 21.6V
Short-Circuit Current (ISC) = 5.15A
Operating Voltage (VPMAX) = 17.3V
Current at VPMAX = 4.63A
Maximum System Voltage = 600V
Maximum Series Fuse = 10A

I've wired the 2 panels in series to deliver 24VDC to my charge controller which is a MorningStar SS-20L-24V