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.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

921 bulb LED mod

Hi all,
Just bought about 1000 white and 1000 blue leds on e-bay and my first project was in my camper. One of the sockets broke off (thanks son) so I deiced to try out some white LED as a replacement. I used a Vector Board also know as pref board or matrix board or I've even seen Prepunched Insulating Breadboard. There are 30 LED's and it's about twice a bright as the 921 bulb, but very directional, the 921 has more of an even spread.

The Circuit:
A branch is three 3.2V 20mA White LED in series with a 120 Ohm Resistor, Nine branches total at about .18 Amps @ 12VDC. A 921 Bulb take about 1.33 Amps @ half the brightness of the LEDS. Pics of the final install in the camper coming soon, we will see how it looks :)








comparison between LED and 921



.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Precision Board Layout

In the shop we had a problem, we ran out of one of the kits for freshman exploratory. We had all the parts and documentation but we had no boards, so off I when to make an exact duplicate of the board. We did this to make the assembly instruction compatible with the board that came premade with the kit. Time was of the essence we had to have 12 board made up the next day by noon time so the students didn't have any down time, cost is about three times what a kit cost so we really didn't save money and ordering kits were out of the question there is about a 5 week lead time on orders.

How I did it, will with a set of calipers I measure each component hole X and Y coordinates using the Left Bottom of the board as X=0000,Y=0000 reference point. I also had to make a couple of custom foot print for switches. The interesting thing is the software (traxmaker) reference point starts at X=1000,Y=1000 so everything is offset by 1000 mills.

Here is a photo of the board



Heres the copy:



after printing it out and holding the PCB up to the paper printout everything lines up perfectly. The test PCB I milled lined up as well, I used a T-Tech 5000 Milling machine.

Arduino Fox Controller

Hello all, sorry for the long delay on posts. It's been a crazy xmas and new years.

Anyways I finished another project on a simple Arduino based Ham Radio Fox Controller. Basically this will control a 2 meter HT and send out my call in Morse code and send so test tones for 1 minute duration then unkey wait for a duration and do it all again. All that is needed is a 5 Volt relay (Solid State Relay will work to but I had none in stock) and connectors to interconnect the radio and a 8 ohm to 100 ohm transformer, connect the 8 ohms side between ground and port 12. In my case I'm using a Puxing 777 (similar to a kenwood mic wiring).

I used a transformer and a relay to keep the Arduino and radio isolated, in my next version I think I will pull 5 volts from the radio (available at the connectors mic/spk) and power the Arduino thus eliminate the transformer, relay and Arduino main board and directly use the ATMEGA 328 chip for a smaller package, But that will be in version 2. but anyways Here is the code:

void setup() {

pinMode(12, OUTPUT); //Tone out connect to mic input via 8:1000 ohms xformer
pinMode(13, OUTPUT); //Relay for PTT
}

void loop() {

digitalWrite(13, HIGH); //turn on radio
delay (1000); //Wait for 1 second


tone(12, 750); //DAH
delay(200);
noTone(12);
delay(100);

tone(12, 750); //DIT
delay(100);
noTone(12);
delay(100);

delay(750); //REST

tone(12, 750); //DIT
delay(100);
noTone(12);
delay(100);

tone(12, 750); //DAH
delay(200);
noTone(12);
delay(100);

tone(12, 750); //DAH
delay(200);
noTone(12);
delay(100);

tone(12, 750); //DAH
delay(200);
noTone(12);
delay(100);

tone(12, 750); //DAH
delay(200);
noTone(12);
delay(100);

delay(750); //REST

tone(12, 750); //DIT
delay(100);
noTone(12);
delay(100);

tone(12, 750); //DIT
delay(100);
noTone(12);
delay(100);

delay(750); //REST

tone(12, 750); //DIT
delay(100);
noTone(12);
delay(100);

tone(12, 750); //DAH
delay(200);
noTone(12);
delay(100);

tone(12, 750); //DIT
delay(100);
noTone(12);
delay(100);


delay (10000);

tone(12, 500); //test tones, 500 Hz
delay(10000); // Transmit for 10 seconds
noTone(12);
tone(12, 1000); //test tones, 1000 Hz
delay(10000); // Transmit for 10 seconds
tone(12, 2000); //test tones, 200 Hz
delay(10000); // Transmit for 10 seconds
noTone(12);
delay (10000); // Transmit for 10 seconds

digitalWrite(13, LOW); //turn radio off

delay (60000); //Wait 1 min then loop again

}

You can play around with the delays pretty much do any combination you would like like xmit for 10 seconds and off for 2 min, for on for 30 seconds and off for 5 min. Endless possiblityes.

Here is the Shield layout



Again I think in version 2 I'll stick with a ISP and go directly to a 328 to make things smaller.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

anti-SOPA blackout

Today, the Wikipedia community announced its decision to black out the English-language Wikipedia for 24 hours, worldwide, beginning at 05:00 UTC on Wednesday, January 18 (you can read the statement from the Wikimedia Foundation here). The blackout is a protest against proposed legislation in the United States – the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the U.S. House of Representatives, and the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) in the U.S. Senate – that, if passed, would seriously damage the free and open Internet, including Wikipedia.

This will be the first time the English Wikipedia has ever staged a public protest of this nature, and it’s a decision that wasn’t lightly made. Here’s how it’s been described by the three Wikipedia administrators who formally facilitated the community’s discussion. From the public statement, signed by User:NuclearWarfare, User:Risker and User:Billinghurst:

It is the opinion of the English Wikipedia community that both of these bills, if passed, would be devastating to the free and open web.

Over the course of the past 72 hours, over 1800 Wikipedians have joined together to discuss proposed actions that the community might wish to take against SOPA and PIPA. This is by far the largest level of participation in a community discussion ever seen on Wikipedia, which illustrates the level of concern that Wikipedians feel about this proposed legislation. The overwhelming majority of participants support community action to encourage greater public action in response to these two bills. Of the proposals considered by Wikipedians, those that would result in a "blackout" of the English Wikipedia, in concert with similar blackouts on other websites opposed to SOPA and PIPA, received the strongest support.

On careful review of this discussion, the closing administrators note the broad-based support for action from Wikipedians around the world, not just from within the United States. The primary objection to a global blackout came from those who preferred that the blackout be limited to readers from the United States, with the rest of the world seeing a simple banner notice instead. We also noted that roughly 55% of those supporting a blackout preferred that it be a global one, with many pointing to concerns about similar legislation in other nations.

In making this decision, Wikipedians will be criticized for seeming to abandon neutrality to take a political position. That’s a real, legitimate issue. We want people to trust Wikipedia, not worry that it is trying to propagandize them.

But although Wikipedia’s articles are neutral, its existence is not. As Wikimedia Foundation board member Kat Walsh wrote on one of our mailing lists recently,

We depend on a legal infrastructure that makes it possible for us to operate. And we depend on a legal infrastructure that also allows other sites to host user-contributed material, both information and expression. For the most part, Wikimedia projects are organizing and summarizing and collecting the world’s knowledge. We’re putting it in context, and showing people how to make to sense of it.

But that knowledge has to be published somewhere for anyone to find and use it. Where it can be censored without due process, it hurts the speaker, the public, and Wikimedia. Where you can only speak if you have sufficient resources to fight legal challenges, or if your views are pre-approved by someone who does, the same narrow set of ideas already popular will continue to be all anyone has meaningful access to.

The decision to shut down the English Wikipedia wasn’t made by me; it was made by editors, through a consensus decision-making process. But I support it.

Like Kat and the rest of the Wikimedia Foundation Board, I have increasingly begun to think of Wikipedia’s public voice, and the goodwill people have for Wikipedia, as a resource that wants to be used for the benefit of the public. Readers trust Wikipedia because they know that despite its faults, Wikipedia’s heart is in the right place. It’s not aiming to monetize their eyeballs or make them believe some particular thing, or sell them a product. Wikipedia has no hidden agenda: it just wants to be helpful.

That’s less true of other sites. Most are commercially motivated: their purpose is to make money. That doesn’t mean they don’t have a desire to make the world a better place – many do! – but it does mean that their positions and actions need to be understood in the context of conflicting interests.

My hope is that when Wikipedia shuts down on January 18, people will understand that we’re doing it for our readers. We support everyone’s right to freedom of thought and freedom of expression. We think everyone should have access to educational material on a wide range of subjects, even if they can’t pay for it. We believe in a free and open Internet where information can be shared without impediment. We believe that new proposed laws like SOPA and PIPA, and other similar laws under discussion inside and outside the United States, don’t advance the interests of the general public. You can read a very good list of reasons to oppose SOPA and PIPA here, from the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Why is this a global action, rather than US-only? And why now, if some American legislators appear to be in tactical retreat on SOPA?

The reality is that we don’t think SOPA is going away, and PIPA is still quite active. Moreover, SOPA and PIPA are just indicators of a much broader problem. All around the world, we’re seeing the development of legislation intended to fight online piracy, and regulate the Internet in other ways, that hurt online freedoms. Our concern extends beyond SOPA and PIPA: they are just part of the problem. We want the Internet to remain free and open, everywhere, for everyone.