Need a speaker to give a talk to your ham club or microcomputer club? Below are some topics that I’d be happy to present and discuss at local club meetings. I do most presentations via my own laptop which provides a standard HDMI output. If your club has access to an HDMI projector we should have smooth sailing.
Low Cost Digital Mode (Sound Card) Interfaces
I’ve been working for a couple of years on several sound card interfaces that make use of a low cost sound dongle, and published an article about this project in the October 2018 issues of QST magazine. I have several versions that provide different features, features that I think are important to the way I like to operate.
Firmware Development on Arduino HW Platforms using Microchip Studio 7
I’m no expert on Studio 7, but I’ve gotten past most of the common initial stumbling blocks to get started debugging code with Studio 7. I show others how to get up to speed on the basics of using Studio 7 using the ATmega328P Xplained board, a $9 board that is substantially similar to an Arduino Uno and *includes* an on-board In-Circuit-Emulator (ICE) with break-point debugging.
Short Range Ebay UHF RX/TX Data Modules
On Ebay there are an abundance of sub $3 transmitters and receivers for 315 MHz and 433 MHz data transmission, mostly using ON-OFF transmitters (just like CW) and super-regenerative receivers. These devices can easily be controlled with Arduino and Raspberry Pi processors to transmit and receive telemetry and other data over a short range. I give an overview of how I used them in my own applications as well as the pitfalls to avoid.
Radio Selective Calling
Selective calling is a bit counter-culture for ham radio, since hams rely mainly on voice calling on repeaters or net frequencies, but radio selective calling has always been a special interest of mine, probably due to my experience with college jobs involving MTS and IMTS VHF Radio Telephone Systems. I describe several selective systems that have been used in the commercial services that may be of interest to hams. They include Motorola Quik-Call II (two tone pagers), Bell 106A (MTS Dial Pulse from way, way back in history), DTMF (Touch-Tone), SITOR B and even CW. FYI AT&T’s Maritime HF stations used CW and SITOR B back in the day for HF selective calling.
CHIRP is open source software that’s used to program (primarily) VHF and UHF radios. I demo how to use the system and show a universal programming interface I’ve developed. I should say that the programming interface is “universal so far”, but I’m always looking for test cases where it does not work, so I can modify the hardware to accommodate those particular radios, if possible.
TinyCad is open source software that’s intended to be used to create schematics, but it can also be used as a general drawing system. It’s free, easy to use, and I find it to be very helpful in documenting ham radio projects.