Looks like members have been busy constructing again. Last evening, 24 Jan. we held the annual Construction Contest and had a total of nine entries. The projects were judged according to an agreed score sheet; the judging being done by the members who were present on the night.
In total there are four classes, the Novice Class, for those who have never entered our contest before, the Weekend Special, a class for a project that can usually be done in a weekend, the Kit class, which is self explanatory, and Major Project, a class for construction that is more involved and might include the entrant’s own design as well as complex building.
The winners were: Weekend Special, Dennis, M0JXM, who entered a Desktop Active Loop Aerial. The Kit class, was won by Victor, G3JNB who’s project was a Double Audio Filter, and the Major Project, was won by Stewart, G3RXQ, who showed a Great Circle Map with LEDs to show beam headings as the antenna is rotated. The winners will receive their cups, and plaques at the annual Club Dinner.
Richard, G3NII, said that after looking at several potential new project ideas, a digital antenna analyser was chosen. This would have a two line display showing three pages: the start-up, the battery test voltage and the antenna measurements. It will also be possible to use a small AC power supply to save the nine volt battery. It is expected that the current drawn will be about 70 to 80 milliamps, giving a battery life of about three hours of actual use. An interjection from the floor suggested we might get spare batteries from Boeing!
A block diagram was shown which indicated the use of a PIC and a three line LCD display. The frequency range is expected to be Top Band to 30MHz but it was noted that measurements could be made down to 400 kHz. to include the new Low band allocation. Some maths followed to explain the calculations to be done by the PIC. An idea of the front panel layout was given and it was noted that the connector could be of the builders’ choice. In light of other work, Richard said this should be considered as an Autumn 2013 project, as there is still some design work to be finalised. It was hoped that this project would cost about £38 in total and the project will only be offered to existing club members.
Last week’s meeting – 10 Jan 2013
Members were welcomed back fron the Christmas/New Year break and a general discussion followed.