Who we are: We are a group of students and faculty with backgrounds in engineering and physics,who are interested in putting theory into the practice of building working radios.
The current club project is to assemble, test, and operate Small Wonder Labs
transceivers as part of the sequence of projects recommended by Doug
Hendricks, KI6DS, in his article 'What Kit to Build' (see links).
We have also just begun to try out ways of quickly putting up a portable
dipole antenna at various locations on campus such as the top of the Student
Union and the upper level of the parking garage. It's amazing what can be
done with PVC pipe segments, a roll of duct tape, and pre-cut wire
extensions that can be attached to the basic 20 meter dipole to convert it
to 40 meter operation. I bring in my Yaesu FT817 to hook up to the antenna.
Our two favorite locations have power outlets nearby so that we can run the
FT817 from a power supply rather than from a battery. When the Small Wonder
Labs transceivers are ready to go, we will send one group out to the beach
to communicate with another group on campus. That way we will be guaranteed
to have a QSO even though we are QRP.
Another project in the works is to build a marker generator. Not only is this a good starter project to get familiar with available layout software (see software), and to hone our pcb building and soldering skills, but it serves a practical purpose as well. The marker generator generates a series of square waves to 'mark' the frequencies of interest and thus allow HAMs to tune their radios to the right trasmitting frequency(ie. 20meters).
Currently we are using a 'light' version of Eagle as well as Orcad's PSPICE. We have found that Eagle's light version is much friendlier to use than Orcad's light version. First of all you are only allowed to use a limited number of nodes and components in Orcad's Layout. In addition we have found that Orcad's PSPICE only allows certain components to be simulated. One problem we had when laying out the marker generator to be simulated in PSPICE was the crystal. While Eagle's layout has a select number of crystal components available on they're library, Orcad's layout requires you to create an equivallent circuit. In addition, the ripple counter used for this project is not available for simulation in PSPICE.
For general information on obtaining an amatuer license, code practice, and other related material go to: www.arrl.org
For the origins of the word HAM go to: www.qsl.net/sars/the_origin_of_the_word_ham.htm
For Doug Hendricks's article, 'What to Build' go to: www.qsl.net/westfla/kits