Welcome to the N1IR Electronics Website. Totally off the cuff, one take, unrehearsed video projects for anyone interested in amateur radio, electronic design, makers, hardware hackers and science.

Get off you duff and build something!
Training the hand and mind since 1982.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Semi Automatic Paddle Practice Oscillator

This circuit is a Semi Automatic Paddle Practice Oscillator, I built to practice Morse code. It' similar to the paddle key for the ICOM IC-718. Here is the video

This is different than a standard practice straight key, like my home made paddle? 

It is Arduino compatible, I like to use a 6 pin header and a FTDI cable. It a lot easier to breadboard circuits.


PCB Board Design

Coming Soon!

Here is the Code ******************************************

int outPin = 9;
unsigned int frequency = 400;
unsigned long dotDuration = 60;
unsigned long dashDuration = dotDuration * 3;
int dotPin = 7;
int dashPin = 8;

void setup() {
pinMode(dotPin, INPUT);
pinMode(dashPin, INPUT);

void loop() {
int dotVal=HIGH;
int dashVal=HIGH;

dotVal = digitalRead(dotPin);
dashVal = digitalRead(dashPin);
if (dotVal==LOW)
tone(outPin, frequency, dotDuration);
delay (200);
if (dashVal==LOW)
tone(outPin, frequency, dashDuration);
delay (400);


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Emptiness of a vacuum

AMPEG Valve amp I'm working on, more to come stay tuned......

Mega Hurts

This project is a 1 Hertz reference clock signal for digital and binary clocks, some of our older projects used the 60 HZ line frequency as a clock reference, the problem with this is after the power company deregulation they no longer have a tight frequency standard, the power company use to be 60 Hz (+/- 1 HZ).
Now it's all over the place, I measured at my house anywhere from 55 to 70 HZ, no wonder my old clock was gaining and losing time.

Here is the schematic


Here is the schematic of the binary clock we use

Notice that coming off the secondary of the transformer it feed into a 4040 and divides down by 60, pin4 of the 7414 is 1 Hz.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Projects on Steroids II

This project details a small & simple, but very powerful USB charger for your mp3 player, camera, cell phone, and just about any other gadget you can plug into a USB port to charge!

The USB charger that runs off 3 volt Boost regulator. this one is a twist with two "D" Cell. Does not work with Apple i"whatever", for apple you need to set 2 voltages on D+ and D- pins this will set your charge rate.

Projects on Steroids

Finnaly I can post again after finishing my last class.

Here are a couple of project I've been working on.

First is a 40 amp triac phase control for my electric water heater, this was built so I could reduce the wattage of the hot water heater, this was done so I could run the heater off my genset if we had power loss. Yes it works! and yes it takes longer to heat the water but it does not tax my genset. If I hooked it directly up to the genset it would be at it's maximum wattage rating. I have cut the power in half to around 2KW. Why not use a diode? Well that would tax one phase of the genset more than the other not a balanced load, by using the triac I can control both sides of the sinewave. Photo are below

I used the guts of a dimmer switch and swapped traics, you can still see the old one mounted next to the pot. The triac is rated for 40 amps or 9600watts, the heater has a max of 4500 watts. The heat sink is off of a solid state relay. I ran without a heat sink and the box got warm to the touch so I over killed the heat sink. Out of the box it min pot resistance I run about 2100 watts, at max 4000 watts. Used 10 AWG solid wire soldered directly to MT1 and MT2.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Dirt Cheap Dirty Boards from China

Just got my boards back from Dirt Cheap Dirty Board, they turned out awesome. But it took exactly 30 days to get to my house from Hong Kong. I think next time I am going with the $33 DHL shipping at 3 to 9 day. Here is the board,

I went with a simple board I first milled out on our T-Tech 5000 at my shop for test. After figuring out what Gerber files I needed I sent it to Dirt Cheap Dirty Board. The holes are 50 thousandths.

Overall the board has some very, very minor cosmetic blemishes, but soldered up nicely and was well within my hole and dimension specification. The plating was very thick and the traces were a bit raised because of the plating. Perfectly fine for my work, I am definitely ordering more project PCB with this company and give our poor mill machine a rest from mass production.    

Changes: The only changes for the next board is hole size 50 thou was a bit bigger than what I needed next time I'll try 30. Very happy customer!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Amateur radio saves lives!

I usually keep my radio on all night just in case, I have battery powered station that charges on solar so electricity is free to run it so I keep it on 24/7.

About 4:30 9/25/2014 from a dead sleep I heard a weak station call for help ” I need help......I'm at 77 Plymouth, Ave and need an ambulance” at first I though I was hearing things, but the station came on again saying “I need help I'm at 77 Plymouth, Ave” cutting in an out of the repeater. I got up and responded and found that the station calling was Mike W1MWC, I found he was diabetic and haven't had medication for three days, he also could not move from his chair. I got his full address and called 911. 911 then transfer me to Andrew at EMS. I explained to Andrew that my friend was in trouble and gave him the address and told him I was in direct radio contact with him.
Andrew also heard Mike on the radio in the background as well and assessed his situation over the radio. Mike was shaking and could not get up from his chair but he had his radio next to him a Baofeng handheld. Andrew instructed me to keep in contact with mike and tell him help was on the way. Andrew dispatched an ambulance and police to Mikes address. In a matter of a few minutes the ambulance was at his address trying to gain entry into mike home, I asked mike if there was anyone there that could let them in, he did not he was alone. The Wareham police got there a short time later and force there way into his home where they found Mike. I kept in contact with Mike until the police got into his home and stood by for any additional traffic.