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November QST Arduino Based Antenna Analyzer

Discussion in 'Homebrew and Kit Projects' started by N6RGR, Oct 26, 2017.

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  1. N6RGR

    N6RGR Ham Member QRZ Page

    I read the article and decided to build one. The article states it will cost about $50.00. Not quite. I probably spent $50.00 on the primary boards and the PCB board from QRPGuys. All the incidentals ran another $40.00 or so as I don't normally have 1/8 watt resistors in my junk boxes and some of the other components. Still it is cheaper than $300.00 for an AA-54. Right now I am waiting for all the bits and pieces to arrive. This will be my first venture into Arduino based gear. I bought the Arduino for Ham Radio book and have a working grasp of the system and programming language (nothing like Fortran, or Pascal from the old days). I will post updates and pictures as I progress with the build. I have home brewed a number of tube based regenerative radios and Xtal controlled transmitters. So this will be a new experience.

    Roger N6RGR
     
    KE0CAA likes this.
  2. N6RGR

    N6RGR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Update: I added up the cost of all materials from three sources (E-Bay, AdaFruit, & Tayda Electronics). The total came to $121.28. No too bad considering I had to buy almost everything except some hardware (nuts, bolts, wire, solder and misc tools).

    Stay tuned for more!

    Roger N6RGR
     
  3. AI3V

    AI3V Ham Member QRZ Page

    Standing by!

    Allways interesting to see what's new and exciting in the world of antennas.

    Rege
     
  4. WB0RIO

    WB0RIO Ham Member QRZ Page

    The Arduino uses the Wiring language, which is a sub-set of the C language. And it keeps getting better
    with each release.

    C is not that different from Pascal from the programmer's point of view, but it does everything with a lot
    fewer characters. Underneath, C is much more efficient than Pascal, it is the glue that makes the Internet
    stick together. As they say: C's got everything delightful, C's got everything I need.

    Pascal was designed to be a teaching language and was never really meant to be used in
    real-world applications, although it did get used that way. Anybody remember Turbo Pascal for CP/M?
    Nowadays, there's nothing like compiling a long Pascal program on a system with noisy and unreliable
    8" floppy drives, luckily.
     
  5. KA2BPP

    KA2BPP Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    brrrzzz brrrzzz brrzzt clunk clunk brrrrrrzzzzt clunk
     
  6. WD5HHH

    WD5HHH Ham Member QRZ Page

    The C language has often been characterized as a portable assembly language. In C's basic implementation without libraries it is just a step above assembly languages and below more complex languages like Pascal, Basic, etc. It was developed for the implementation of operating systems. It is therefore a very good language for SOC's (System On a Chip) as used in the Arduino.
     
  7. WB0RIO

    WB0RIO Ham Member QRZ Page

    I don't think the Arduino's Atmega 328 processor quite qualifies as an SOC these days, those are typically much more
    powerful ICs with integrated graphics processors and more advanced peripherals, like an entire PC
    architecture on a chip. The Raspberry Pi and Beaglebone boards use SOC ICs.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/System_on_a_chip

    It's kind of a blurry definition though, the Atmega 328 has as much memory and peripherals as a
    1980s 8 bit CP/M machine. WordStar rules!

    The Arduino is a really fun environment to play in, it is great for rapid prototyping and has lots of
    useful I/O capabilities. My only complaint is the lack of a full 8 bit parallel port on all but the larger
    boards. You need to use external 74HC595 shift register/latch ICs for parallel outputs.
     
  8. N6RGR

    N6RGR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Update: I have received most of the discrete components (resistors, capacitors, inductor, diodes), stacking headers and pins, wire connectors. I went with a UHF bulkhead mount for the antenna input. I also am using a 9 volt battery with on-off switch, or a 9 volt wall-wart. Still waiting for the board from QRPGuys, Mega 2560, and some other bits.

    Will probably start the build next weekend - although I am going to get a used Tx-455 tower on Saturday, November 11 :).

    Roger N6RGR
     
    WB5THT likes this.
  9. KV6O

    KV6O Ham Member QRZ Page

    Very cool, been working with Arduino's for years now and they are a blast. Will be watching!
     
  10. N6RGR

    N6RGR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Update: Picked up mail on Saturday. I have received the Mega 2560 board, TFT-LCD screen and power connector. Still waiting for the DDS board and the PCB board from QRPGuys. They must have a backlog as I am certain others have ordered as well. I have downloaded the IDE for Arduino and the other necessary libraries and have been doing some messing around. I think I will try some other Arduino projects if successful with the antenna analyzer. I may also take the plunge into Raspberry Pi.

    Roger N6RGR
     
    KC3BZJ likes this.

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