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Cheap USB interface to connect Ham radios and other devices to the PC October 14, 2011

Posted by GuySoft in Crictor, diy, Electronics, Hamakor, ITU, linux, open source, wireless.
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12 comments

Ham radio PC interface

Hi all,
As promised in my last post, I have finally finished designing and building a cheap interface to connect ham radios or any other audio device that does not share audio common ground to a PC, including a PTT interface. Price should be around $17 or 60 NIS.  The control is done using a USB interface, so unlike most ham radio hardware that uses serial connections, this one is plug and play in modern PCs. The neat thing is that it uses them same commands as a RigBlaster. So this interface works out of the box with common ham radio programs like Echolink and Svxlink. The interface should also work with soundmodem which can be used for X.25 packet digital communications, without any extra hardware (I am still trying to get this to work). This interface could also be used to connect to other devices that don’t share a common ground. For example like phone lines.

Parts you will need

  1. TTL USB Serial interface – The main part is a simple CP2102 $4 controller that can be percussed from ebay. It simulates a serial device, meaning you can still work with older pieces of software with it. Note though you need to solder a cable from the RTS pin on the board, because normally they don’t come with a pre-made pin.
  2. Audio line isolation transformer – This can be easily salvaged from any old dial-up modem. That’s how I get mine, it seems to be much easier to get them off old modems than finding them in electronics shops, plus they are so easily identifiable (just make sure not to break the contacts when you take them out, happened to me twice). If you can’t find any old dial-up modems you can get it from ebay. (more…)

Bumble-B and an ADC with OpenGL make an oscilloscope February 22, 2010

Posted by GuySoft in Crictor, diy, Electronics, Hamakor, ITU, linux, open source, programming, python.
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2 comments

Hi all,

During my small semester break I managed to connect my Bumble-b chip to an analog-digital converter (ADC).

With this I can read voltage changes and send the information to the computer to plot live.

Here is a demonstration video:

How its all connected

(more…)

Introducing the Bumble-b and using it to control a LED matrix October 8, 2009

Posted by GuySoft in Crictor, diy, Electronics, Hamakor, ITU, open source, programming.
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4 comments
The Bumble-b

The Bumble-b

Hi all,

The past week I have been playing around with my new Bumble-b, as I mentioned in my last post. Basically what I did with it is control an LED matrix. After doing that I made it in to a USB Device! Thanks to the simple library LUFA. Now I can use a simple echo > /dev/ttyACM0 command to send a text message to the display. Meaning that I have now /dev/matrix!

In this post I hope to explain how to use the Bumble-b, a  programmable USB chip, including its own built in programmer, for just $20. I would also like to encourage people here in Israel to start playing with this, since its cheap and easy to order way to get started with amateur electronics.

Here is a quick introduction video (followed by a detail post):

bumble-bWhat is the Bumble-b?

The bumble-b is a USB programmable AVR chip with a programmer built in to it (called a breakout board). It is an AVR chip, meaning that its based on something that is widely used (the model is at90usb162). Moreover, since it has a USB connector right on it , this makes the creation of USB devices really simple. But not only USB devices alone.
(more…)

Connecting a programmable chip to a remote Controlled Car September 11, 2009

Posted by GuySoft in Crictor, Electronics, Hamakor, ITU, linux, open source, programming, Uncategorized, wireless.
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35 comments
Car and the controller breadboard

Car and the breadboard

Hey all,

I have been playing with electronics the last few days, and I thought I might show you the outcome.

I basically took a remote controlled car, and connected it to a 16F84 programmable chip, and now I can control the car using C code.

Although I am using a car in this guide, you should be able to close and open any kind of switch. Anything under 15 volts.

For people who have don’t feel like reading all this (and also for those who do), here is an action-packed video of the outcome:

After you saw that, here is how I did this.
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