AD9850 Daughter Board for the Arduino by WB4CHK

A lot of people have been contacting me about my Arduino and AD9850 VFO project. I never knew DDS VFO’s were so popular! Go figure? Anyways… I digress!

A couple of days ago Dave (WB4CHK) contacted me with a few questions. He was on a quest to build a daughter-card that would plug in as a shield to the UNO. After a few back-and-forth items Dave finished his project. Rather than let me explain I’ll just post what he sent me below:

Hi Rich: I finished the Sig Gen board and it works great. The board plugs into the UNO, I hate batteries so I added a 5 volt regulated supply for the board and a 9 volt regulated supply for the UNO. Might be overkill but I can hook it up to my 12V+ bench supply and run all day. The outputs are the two 2pin connectors just below the 9850 module. The one on the right is sine wave the one on the left is connected to the square wave output (if it is ever added).

He also sent over a few photos of the finished unit. Pretty cool! Note: You won’t see the Arduino in any pics but it’s there. In fact, it’s underneath the board in the 3rd picture.

Dave has been so nice as to also provide the design and schematics he used to create his PCB. You can download the PCB design’s here. Using a laser printer and the toner-transfer method you should be able to duplicate Dave’s work. If you have any questions Dave gave me permission to post his email so go ahead and send him a note: Davewb4(at) Obviously replace the (at) with the @ and you’re on your way.

InstaMorph Antenna Repair

I have been using a music stand to hold my SuperAntenna MP-1 for some time. With the music stand “tripod” base I get the antenna feed point up off the ground a few feet and also I end up with elevated radials. You can see the stand in use in this video at about the 4:30 mark.

I was never very happy about the down-and-dirty way I attached the antenna to the music stand.  I basically used an old CB style mount and just clamped it to the metal stand.  See the ugly mess below.SuperAntenna MP-1 Antenna MountAll week I kept trying to thinking of a better way to mount the 3/8×24 SO239 adapter to the music stand.  You notice above that I also have a wood stick between the mounting plate and the metal tube.  This keeps them electrically separate (non conductive).  I didn’t want the stand to be a part of the antenna counterpoise… or at least directly a part of it.  I had some great ideas but everything I came up with was just too complicated.

Tada!  I remembered my InstaMorph.  So a little hot water and a small handful of pellets turned into a just the mount I wanted.  Since I use this QRP and outdoors every ounce of weight reduction really helps.Picture 138You can see the size difference between the two.
SuperAntenna MP-1 Music MountI still have a couple more items to fabricate to finish the project but I like where it’s going.  I just need to drill another hold and use a screw to attach it to the music stand base.  Fairly simple.

If you haven’t tried InstaMorph you do a search on YouTube and check out all the great thing you can do with it.  I’m not involved with them in anyway but just love their product.

Nothing Beats A Good Antenna

I just got back from Hawaii and some QRP operating. The antenna that I wanted to bring with me never made it and I ended up running just a random wire with a tuner. Not the worst setup but definitely not the best. I figured that being close to the saltwater would make compromise antenna an ‘OK’ antenna. WRONG!

Result = only 6 contacts for 2 days of operating.

…. more details and a video to come soon.

Operating Portable from Hawaii

My wife and I are going to Hawaii for a week so I am going to bring along my QRP station and do some radio while away from home.

Hawaii presents an interesting challenge.  I’d love to take a full 100w rig and full size antenna along with me but weight and size make it an impossibility.  Besides, I am supposed to be on vacation and taking it easy… not struggling along with radio gear.

My portable setup is fairly simple. I’ll use my FT-817, Elecraft T1 tuner, some long spools of wire to setup either a dipole or an L, some coax, and extra NiMH batteries.  I am able to pack just about everything into a little carrying case I found at a discount store.Portable SetupI’ve used this setup before.  You can watch it here.  In fact, I am going to the exact same beach again.  With a little luck I’ll be able to make some nice DX contacts.  Hopefully the location will make it easier to get into the South Pacific or something exotic and beyond what my home QTH DX has turned up so far.


QRZ.COM unavailable

I know that websites go down but it has been quite often for lately.  It appears to me that the more features I see on the more I have noticed the website has been unavailable.  Not sure but I can tell you that the next time my subscription comes due I’ll be thinking a lot about using another site for call sign look-ups.