STAR Builders using 'Modules'
If you stumbled across this page and are looking for more information, see also www.carnut.info
A few pictures sent in by builders of these PCB's.
Many builders have their own page created on this site, with links from here.
Gicu's home brew PCB's April 2013
Alex AI2Q now on air with 2nd STAR 4th July, 2013
13th Feb, 2013:- G4LFU update, pics added
Dec 2007 NEWS!!! 1st of these STAR's is now on air !!! move down the page.
March 8th, 2010 Józef, SP9HVW has made a superb build of his PICaSTAR
Mar, 2008, My own is on air also ! (VK3PE)
May, 2008, Elia sent some pictures.
June 16, 2008, Dan sent some pics of BPF with toroids
June 25th, 2008. Some pictures from Jay
July 25th, 2008, Paul M1PVC, now has his STAR on air, with 140W! 090808 more pics added
Aug 18th, 2008, Dave VK3DSB (ex vkfuel) now has his STAR on air with 12w.
Aug 22nd, 2008, Very interesting variation on STAR build by Mats SM0RJV
20th Aug 2008 Bob, 5B4AGN, now has his 2nd STAR up and running.
Sept, 25th, 2008 Les sent some pictures of his home built (pcb's) STAR
Jan 28th 2009 Viv has sent in some shots of his very nice STAR build.
Jan 29th, 2008, Jeff GW3UZS has his STAR on air also.
Feb 2009, Michel, F1CHM is nearly finished. see pictures (also built Combo PICASTAR)
Feb 17th, 2009, Chris, GM4YLN is almost finished.. New pictures added
March, 2009, Paul M1PVC, now has his SECOND PICaSTAR on air!
April, 2009 Hugh is winding BPF coils. Getting near end of the build.
June 9th, 2009 Charlie, VK3NX reports nearly finished, see new page at end
July 27th,2009: Paul, M1PVC, has now built a new 30a supply for star #2
and on 5th Oct, 2009, started to integrate graphics screen also.
July 31st, 2009: Gerald is going colour !
5th Oct, 2009: Bob, G3PJT sent in some pics.
4th April, 2012 Pete, G0TLE's excellent STAR build using pcb case
Sanyi HA2NJ has updated his STAR with Trxavrb and TFT NEW 13th May 2012
July 2012:- More builders pics, Roger and Steves at the end of page
Click for larger size.
May 28th, 2012: And built another one also..... many mods, PA3AKE BPF etc Sanyi HA2NJ
LINK to hombrew PCB and other versions:
Page may take a while to load with lots of pictures.
VK3DSB (EX vk3fuel)
3rd Nov. Pictures sent by VK3FUEL of his Picnmix mounted on temporary chassis. Note the brass opto wheel. See pictures below also.
First time "On Air" was last Tuesday (12-8-08) night with Paul VK3DPW in Langwarren on 80M. All in all a fantastic feeling, with many thanks to you and Chris for all your hard work. Hope we can hear each other tonight if your going to be on.
August 12th 2008, Dave is now on air with his star ! See Dave's excellent build pictures HERE.
June 2012: Dave has been busy building a "C2a" version Combo board.
Chris, GM4YLN, says the DSP was easier to solder than he thought it would be.
Feb 17th, 2009, Chris, GM4YLN is almost finished.. New pictures added on link below.
See Chris's build right here.
5th Nov: My PCB checker, Chris S., has been very busy having assembled nearly all the PCB's So busy in fact he has decided to take a rest in Spain !
“VK3BKO STAR BUILD AND Shaft Encoder INFORMATION”.
Feb, 2010: Roderick is now VK3YC and is STAR has now made it's 1st QSO
enclosed you find pictures of the DSP and PICnMIX with your boards.
Both have been working. from the first moment. Best regards Manfred, DK5RM
Just scared myself. I put together the DSP PCB and DSP motherboard. All ready for a first power on test. NO Flashing LED!!! The LED just came on and that was it. Could see no bus activity with the scope, so I thought "I've buggered the DSP chip". Then I pulled the EPROM and got bus activity:o I checked the EPROM (an Intel D27C512) on the programmer and it verified OK. Programmed another, same type and no go. Found an AMD 27C512 and programmed that. Everything is fine now!! Got the famous or infamous flashing LED and current draw is exactly as you specified on the schematics. Don't know what the go is with the Intel EPROM's. They check out OK on my programmer, but refuse to work on the DSP Board. All the EPROM's are 150nS types regardless of brand. Might be something for people to watch out for, or it could be just the ones I have got here.
Cheers Dave VK3FUEL
Glenn Just a quick note to let you know my PCB's aren't sitting in a drawer. They're 90% assembled and waiting for delivery of extra parts. I expect these next week but have CQWW CW coming up, so I won't get to do anything more until the week after. I hope to be able to get the modules ready for test by the end of the month. I'll keep you informed of progress.
Cheers, Bob, 5B4AGN 16th Nov 07
Bob has now turned this into a working STAR. Aug 2008
20th Aug 2008 Bob, 5B4AGN, fittingly, had his 2nd STAR up and running with the 1st 20M QSO to G3XJP
See Bob's STAR right here.
6th Dec Paul has emailed in his current progress. Going very well so far. Paul used the ITT crystal filter.
NEWS 11th Dec 2007
I made it on the air today with STAR and got really good reports. Lots of tidying up work to do and more LPFs to make together with some better T/R switching. Many thanks indeed Glenn for all your help and for the fantastic work you did with the boards and the documentation. A real labour of love for which I will always be grateful. Maybe one day when a path is open between UK and Oz we’ll have a QSO with our STARs!
The QSO was on 3.727 MHz with G4HMC, G4YYD, G3XJS, G0SEY and G8IBR. It was the regular daily homebrew net at 1300 GMT.
Regards Paul G4WJH
Russ K0QJ has been hard at work and has a very interesting display. Russ uses a graphics LCD and his own controller software.
SEE MORE PICTURES HERE.
updated on 22nd Sept 2008
Viv shows the way to solder the DDS chips. Pictures tell a thousand words !
25th March, 2008. Viv is now in the testing phase of the buildup. Viv also has a very clever way of making the Opto Encoder with ball bearings, with minimal metal work being required.
8th Jan 08 Bob Miller is making excellent progress. Mechanical work i think takes the longest time in these projects and Bob's is looking great !
March 2008, Ron Breukers has made his own version of Picnmix with DDS also on board. Nice job.
120408 Paul M1PVC has sent me an update of his STAR build. His work is first class, a credit to him and an inspiration.
Hi Glenn, Since mid March I have been quite busy with the constructing.
I found a metal instrument case in my collection which is only slightly smaller than Peter's picastar, a little narrower. It's proving to be a bit of a shoe horn job but at last I think that I've cracked it.
I have attached some photos for your information. Progress is as follows - All boards populated apart from 20W PA FET's The DDS carrier is complete but not fitted yet ( soldering that chip got me going!). Encoder constructed and tested OK - I am a model engineer with a well equipped workshop so I was in my element here.
I also machined the aluminium/brass knob which also acts as a flywheel. The encoder runs with ball races back and front and a long bronze bush carries the shaft though the front panel and gives some slight friction to improve the "feel" DSP/IF carrier constructed from double sided PCB material and the PCB's integrated. Case sub-divided with aluminium screens and partitions. The spaces shown left in the pictures are there to accommodate the PA and LPF Prior to receiving your boards, I had already constructed the 150W PA and the BPF modules.
The next jobs are to carry out the inter PCB wiring, populate the rear panel, screen the Butler osc., complete the PA and LPF modules and continue with the testing and commissioning regime. All great fun but the Summer, holidays and the XYL will probably now slow me down.
Kind regards & 73 Paul M1PVC
Here is just a sample picture. Click here for many more. Well worth a look I can assure you. (Glenn)
9th August, Paul advises he has almost finished and has G6ALU's 140W PA installed also.See link above
July 25th, 2008, Paul M1PVC, now has his STAR on air !
July 27th, a new 30A supply for star #2
Another excellent STAR build from Elia:-
I am sending some photo's of my make shift workplace, the PCB's in various stages of population/completion and the most recent stage of my STAR.
What remains is to wire all the PCB's, fit the PA's and find a good way of distributing power to everything. Not shown on the photos is the optical encoder assembly, that is nearly finished and waiting to be fitted in the case.
If all goes well there should be one more STAR on the air added to the list pretty soon.
Best 73's Elia M3ZHN / 2E0ZHN
See Elia's pictures HERE. May, 2008
I was just sending these to a friend and thought you might like to see them also.
The BPF brick with 30 metre and IF trap using toroids. Looks like they were supposed to be there!
17th June 2008 Details of toroids: (this is NOT an official mod. but is shown for interest)
T50-2 x3 for the thirty meter filter, 16.7 µH from the calculator should be 58 turns, but I had to remove two or three from all of them in the event, to get the filter spot on. T68-2 for the IF trap. I dunno how many turns, I just more or less filled it up and then resonated it at 10.7 MHz with the combination of trimmer and fixed mica cap. Ceramic trimmer in this one and air spaced the first time, not a lot of difference.
Toroids that are not full can be trimmed by moving the turns in or out, but that ain't possible when they are pretty much full up of course, as is the case with the 30 metre ones. The main thing is that the much higher Q of the toroids on 30 metres brings the insertion loss down to something reasonable from the more than 10 dB I was getting with the Tokos.
The IF trap gives a nice notch at 10.7 (50 plus dB) and less skewing and distortion of the wanted pass band on 30 as well. For those who don't use 30, which includes most of the ssb mob, it isn't of any interest of course, but I do like 30, myself... The only other thing I altered was to move the IF in / out feed to the 160 metre end with a bit of hard line, it's hidden under the brass strip.
... Cheers, Dan
1st September, 2008, ........sneek preview of Dan's STAR........
Here are some pix as promised...as you can see, I've yet to master the art of digital photography. ............................................................
Haven't taken exams and applied for a US licence yet, anyway, so for now I am concentrating on getting a working Rx.
Congrats to you and Chris...the boards were a joy to work with and build time as of yesterday was exactly 3 months.
See Jay's pictures here.
22nd August, 2008
A very interesting variation on STAR by Mats SM0RJV who has made his own PCB's (ie redesigned) to suit parts at hand etc.
Please take a look at his handiwork and later, Mats will update me with some more pictures.
Mats has built two PICASTARS.
My name is Les GW3PEX , and have produced all PC boards from the drawings using the iron -on method.
. I have attached a couple of pictures of my own PICASTAR in the hope they are suitable for display.
Les GW3PEX (Sept 25th, 2008)
Viv's update: Text shortly.......... see many more pictures here. Jan 2009.
29th Jan, 2009: Jeff GW3UZS has had many QSO's with his new PICaSTAR since yesterday's qso with the homebrew net on 3727 with very good reports including one from Peter G3XJP.
See Jeffs excellent pictures of his build HERE.
Feb 2009, Michel, F1CHM sent some pictures. Unfortunately my French is none too good so pictures only for now.
March, 2009, Paul M1PVC, now has his SECOND PICaSTAR on air! Excellent work Paul.
Click here or on the picture for more pictures and information.
April, 2009: Hugh S is up to the BPF coil winding stage. Most of the PICASTAR is now finished also.
I have now wound the Toko coils. As you can see, each band except 160M has been installed.
Cannot put on the required number of turns with the enameled wire available (#34) so I have ordered 3 of Digikey's Toko coils which are described as 68uH. Will take off turns to achieve the desired inductance. 160M is not a burning priority....in the 53 years I have been a ham have had fewer than a dozen QSO's on that band. Never had the space for an adequate antenna.
Prior to jumping into this effort, winding the coils seemed to be the major hurdle. But quickly it became clear that soldering those microscopically small capacitors was the more difficult task. Fortunately, I have a fair amount of experience with the 1206 size SMD's (which now seem elephantine); otherwise it might have been an impossible task.
Next task is to construct a test jig to facilitate tuning prior to wiring this board into the system. Am blessed by having a TEK 495P spectrum analyzer picked up at my place of work before I retired.
Here we (me and my friend Eugen YO3FXN) are still working on the two Star trx. The progress is slow, as gathering the parts is not so easy here because they have to be bought from many different external sources (which mean expensive), and no much spare time for it.
TNX & 73 from Bucharest, Traian, YO9FZS/p
See more of Traian's pictures here.
June 9th, 2009 Charlie, VK3NX reports nearly finished, see more pictures here and report.
Gerald, VK3GJM has his Star on air and is also going colour screen using the TRxAVRB interface soon.
30th May, 2012: Jeff GW3UZS update to Jeff's STAR build.
See Jeffs excellent pictures of his build HERE.
June 2012, Tony has built a beautiful STAR.
I responded to your post on the picastar users group and said that I would send you a picture of my Picastar, in case it is of interest for your web site. So, that is attached. You may recall that I contacted you late last year to see if you had any boards left from the run that had been completed, but I missed out. In the event I bought a set of BB boards from Seamus, G7ITT, and that is what my Star is built on.
Thanks for your enthusiasm for the project, and for providing so much information on your web site, plus the boards, plus the drawings, plus the links ..etc If you have had ten thousand hits on the site in the last six months, five thousand were from myself!
73 Tony G4LFU
click picture for larger size
The PA boxes are Hammond boxes from Farnell (may be cheaper elsewhere) 3061851 for the 150W and 1876753 for the 20W PA. The boards just fit into the lid of each box with maybe a bit filed off the corners. For the LPF I have found a better (shallower) box than the one built into the rig at present (which is actually my BB board one). Photos attached. See eBay item 170939124884 its a multi listing and the box is 188x119x37.5. I think it may actually an Eddystone box. A photo of this is attached I decided to keep this shallower box for the P1 project. (Im not going to build up P1 boards for PAs or LPF as I have others now hanging around). These boxes are not the cheapest option, but for those of us with limited facilities, it works fine.
Thanks and Regards
June 25th, Dave, VK3DSB is building a C2a version Combo board.
Click on the picture to see more of Dave's build.
26th June 2012:- Rogers Combo build. Click for more info. here
July 31st 2012, Steve, G7WAS modular Combo build. Excellent build and finish
This page last updated on July 5, 2013