DAN ac6ao / g3ncr, Combo PICaSTAR build

Last updated on:October 19, 2011

October 19, 2011 { created }

Dan's update. Dan found a very nice case to use:

2nd march, 2010

Hi Glenn,

The thing as it is today. You can get an idea of the case from these pics I think. Lots of empty space on the top, but I like that and some of it will get filled. I am looking for another case to rebuild one of the old ones with a TfT display eventually, as well as the PA3AKE front end like Ian's. I have these built, but they don't go that well with the combo, so it will be better to attack one of my early ones.

Also planned is a 400 MHz clock source with an ovened 100 MHz low noise source to start with, which I do have the bits for. That will help to fill up the top a bit!

So I am not short of things to do while waiting for TfTA.




Pictures further down page:-

Jan 02, 2010

Hi Glenn,

A couple of pictures that don't really do it justice but anyway...

Toroids galore and not a Toko in sight. I found an incomplete sample box of the Coilcraft "Slot 10" coils at the swap meet, and they worked fine for the bands you see them in. 30 metres would have been toroids anyway as per my earlier build, and lacking the coils for the top two bands I thought it was easier to wind toroids for those than to do the surgery on Tokos, and this indeed proved to be the case. Quicker and much higher Q and lower loss as a result. The toroid for the IF filter has a Q of 220 and the 30 metre filter ones are even higher at 240 or so, measured on my -hp- Q meter. Small toroids for the lower bands are difficult because of the large number of turns needed, but 20 would certainly have been easy enough. I've always used them for the LO injection chain also, so that explains the others.

I would not necessarily recommend the Coilcraft stuff, although it is an alternative. One sample box would do the lot I think. And they are reputed to supply free refills. But the ferrite cores are hard to use and very fragile, also the ferrite sleeves are impossible, I broke the first two trying to fit them. You need to stick with the iron dust ones.

Now to find a box for it all!

Happy new year to you all down under,

Dan, ac6ao / g3ncr

2nd March:


19th October, 2011: Dan decided toupdate his #2 build which is based on the original modules, with a TFT colour display. Not an easy task as space was limited. <vk3pe>

Hi Glenn,

A couple of low res pix of the old Star No.2 with it's new front panel, as threatened. I have for the moment fitted a big Lithium RTC back-up battery that I had lying around, velcroed to the back of the panel behind the tuning knob. The keypad buttons are illuminated with white leds but are a bit bright, so need to be dimmed a bit more; but they do make for a really nice keypad.

Still a few things to sort out, like the SWR metering, PA disable and so on and on... But it's working at least. I had a real pig of a fault
with the DDS, which turned out to be bad soldering at the Atmega pin. Beeping didn't show it up, because of the probe pressure. I should know by now!



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Created on 4th Jan, 2010