Category Archives: Projects

Rotor Control, the Easy Way

Today I added a computer interface to my Yaesu G450C rotator. There are several ways¬†to accomplish this but after recommendation by my good friend Rico PA3BVK I went for¬†Easy Rotor Control¬†or ERC made by German company Schmidt Alba. I ordered the kit last week and it arrived only two days later. Anyone with reasonable soldering skills will build this neat little interface in an hour or so. The PCB is small enough to incorporate it in the rotor control box and I decided to put the board just above the main PCB in the G450C box. It’s the board with the 3 orange relays in the above picture. I drilled¬†4 holes in the back of the box, 2 for the included mounting brackets and 2 larger ones for the power and interface cable jacks.¬†5 wires needed to be connected to the internal wiring¬†as decribed¬†in the extensive documentation and thats¬†really¬†all there is to it. The controller comes with software for remote control and there’s also¬†a program¬†for¬†guided¬†calibration of the controller. It was a breeze really. The unit talks Yaesu GS232A or GS232B protocol so configuring in Ham Radio Deluxe took about a minute. A great kit, well documented and it comes with everything you need, including power and RS232 or USB cables. Highly recommended for lazy old men that want to point and click their antenna to the correct bearing. Just like me ūüėČ

Filters & fun

This morning , I took the notorious ice machine (see previous posts) ¬†apart and installed a R/C filter on the most noisy switch. 100pf in series with 47ohms across the terminals. So far so good, haven’t heard a scratch yet, fingers crossed! Later in the afternoon I had a small hour of CQ DX fun on 10 meters, including a short but nice QSO with Saudi Young Lady¬†Laila HZ1HZ operating a special event station for the¬†International Day of People with Disability with callsign HZ1WDD. I recognized her voice immediately. She is alway fun to talk to, and the only fully licensed YL in all of Saudi Arabia!¬†We had a chat¬†before on 15 meters a few months back but I was operating at the club station, not my with own call sign. Another special thing about today’s¬†QSO was that I heard the last second or so of my words back through the speaker of my radio. I have no other explanation than that I heard myself back over the long path on the back of the G3TXQ hex! Weirdness!

Vintage Sony Saved

Have a look at¬†the¬†1969 vintage Sony “88” bookshelf amp/tuner/decoder set¬†at my¬†office. I stream¬†music from my Mac to this little amp whenever I’m at work for some¬†years now.¬†¬†I have two small Magnat speakers and a Yamaha subwoofer connected and vistors¬†are always amazed about the great sound quality of this set. But this morning, no music but only a loud hum from the speakers after power on. After half a century the¬†two¬†2200őľf / 25V caps in the power supply of the TA-88 had enough of it all. Two new capacitors from the local electronics store for a mere 3 euros in total, half an hour’s work, and it plays like new¬†again. Love vintage audio gear!

TS-870S front mic problem

Off the air for a few days due to failure of the front mic input of my TS-870. I recently bought a used MC-80 and it seems that bad solderwork  in the mic plug has shorted/fried the mic input. Input from the rear ACC connector (digi modes) works ok, so I suspect the AD822 op-amp in the front mic circuit is the culprit. Note to self; always inspect the cable and plug of a second hand mic.

UPDATE: Fixed the transceiver! Picture gallery of the operation here