Raspberry Pi Pico

The rise of the micro controller has one new board out today. The Raspberry PI foundation has release and micro controller called the “Pico”.  What is the difference between a micro controller and a micro computer is that is has no operating system.  The code is loaded into the processor and it run just that one program 24 hours an day.  They are mostly used in controlling device such as car engines, thermostats, dishwashers, and other singular device running a single task.

What difference with the device the the foundation created there own silicon processor the RP2040 which has its spec’s below.  The board has a USB jack built on top of it which if you hold down the button while plugging it in turns it into a USB drive where you can simply drag and drop your software into memory.

  • RP2040 microcontroller chip
  • 264KB on-chip SRAM
  • 2MB on-board QSPI Flash
  • 26 multifunction GPIO pins, including 3 analogue inputs
  • 2 × UART, 2 × SPI controllers, 2 × I2C controllers, 16 × PWM channels
  • 1 × USB 1.1 controller and PHY, with host and device support

The other difference is that like the Arduino it can run the “C” programming language it can also run “Micro Python” which is a subset of the Python language.  Micro Python is getting a very popular in the micro controller boards.  It is a higher level language that is easier to learn and to work with.  Below is an example of a Morse code program written in Micro Python which is only 53 lines long.  And some hardware to interface to your radio and it will transmit Morse code all day long.

from machine import Pin, Timer
import time
led=Pin(25, Pin.OUT)
#----------------------------------------
# Morse code dictionary
#----------------------------------------
morse = {
    'A':'.-','B':'-...','C':'-.-.','D':'-..','E':'.','F':'..-.',
    'G':'--.','H':'....','I':'..','J':'.---','K':'-.-','L':'.-..',
    'M':'--','N':'-.','O':'---','P':'.--.','Q':'--.-','R':'.-.',
    'S':'...','T':'-','U':'..-','V':'...-','W':'.--','X':'-..-',
    'Y':'-.--','Z':'--..', 
    '1':'.----','2':'..---','3':'...--','4':'....-','5':'.....',
    '6':'-....','7':'--...','8':'---..','9':'----.','0':'-----',
    '.':'.-.-.-','/':'-..-.',' ':' '
}
#----------------------------------------
def dah(t):
    print("-", end=" ")
    led.value(1)
    time.sleep(t*3.0)   #Dah
    led.value(0)
    time.sleep(t*2.0)   #Char spacing
    
def dit(t):
    print(".", end=" ")
    led.value(1)
    time.sleep(t)       #Dit
    led.value(0)
    time.sleep(t*2.0)   #Char spacing
    
def space(t):
    print("  ", end=" ")
    time.sleep(t*3.0)   #Letter spacing
#----------------------------------------
def Transmit(message):
    timing=0.150        #Timing Value       
    Transmit_Code=""
    print("\n")
    for letter in message:  #Break message into code
        print(letter," ",morse[letter])
        Transmit_Code=Transmit_Code+morse[letter]+" "

    print("To be sent: ",Transmit_Code,"\n")
    for character in Transmit_Code: #Transmit the code
        if character == "-": dah(timing)
        if character == ".": dit(timing)
        if character == " ": space(timing)
#----------------------------------------
while True:
    Transmit("W3KWH FOX HUNT")
    time.sleep(5)
    

 

Winter Field Day – Going to work it?

Hello Members,

Are you planning to work Winter Field Day?  This is a good contest to do as your first contest since it tends to be pretty laid back. Give a listen then try working a couple of people.  This will help you get ready for the big field day this June!


Winter Field Day Association (WFDA) is a dedicated group of Amateur Radio Operators who believe that emergency communications in a winter environment is just as important as the preparations and practice that is done each summer but with some additional unique operational concerns.

 We believe as do those entities of ARRL Organizations like ARES & RACES that maintaining your operational skills should not be limited to fair weather scenarios. The addition of Winter Field Day will enhance those already important skills of those that who generously volunteer their time and equipment to these organizations. This is why WFD is open to all licensed amateur radio operators worldwide.

Home Page: https://www.winterfieldday.com/

Official Rules: Click Here

 

NWS Pittsburgh Ambassador Newsletter

Good Morning Ambassadors, Please find the attached winter edition of the NWS Pittsburgh WRN Newsletter.
Newsletter features:  Jan Newsletter <- Click to read

  • A look back at our snowy, record-setting December 2020
  • Introduction to the Polar Vortex
  • SIGN UP: Virtual River Ice Spotter Training: January 26th at 10 AM.
  • This event is hosted by NWS Cleveland, but NWS Pittsburgh will serve as a panelist and be available for questions.
  • Spring 2021 Outlook

As always, we love hearing about the work you are doing to promote weather safety in your community. Please send us an email with your story!
Stay warm,

Myranda Fullerton & Jared Rackley
Weather-Ready Nation Ambassador Team
National Weather Service Pittsburgh
192 Shafer Road
Moon Township, PA 15108
www.weather.gov/pittsburgh

Online Training Today

Contest University Presents:
“The 2021 Propagation Summit”
Sponsored by DX Engineering and Icom America.
January 23, 2021 (Saturday) from 11 AM – 3 PM (all times are EST)
via Zoom Webinar.

Presentations:

11 AM – “Update on the Personal Space Weather Station Project & HamSCI activities for 2021” – Dr. Nathaniel Frissell, W2NAF

Noon – “Solar Cycle 25 Predictions & Progress” – Carl Luetzelschwab, K9LA

1 PM – “Maximizing Performance of HF Antennas with Irregular Terrain” – Dr. James Breakall, WA3FET

2 PM – “HF Propagation:  what to expect during the rising years of solar cycle 25” – Frank Donovan, W3LPL

Drawing for an Icom IC-705 donated by Icom America and DX Engineering – both CTU sponsors.  Winner must be present on Zoom to win. To register for this free CTU Propagation Summit Webinar CLICK HERE

FCC Reminder

The Enforcement Bureau (Bureau) of the Federal Communications Commission issues this Enforcement Advisory to remind licensees in the Amateur Radio Service, as well as licensees and operators in the Personal Radio Services, that the Commission prohibits the use of radios in those services to commit or facilitate criminal acts.

The Bureau has become aware of discussions on social media platforms suggesting that certain radio services regulated by the Commission may be an alternative to social media platforms for groups to communicate and coordinate future activities. The Bureau recognizes that these services can be used for a wide range of permitted purposes, including speech that is protected under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Amateur and Personal Radio Services, however, may not be used to commit or facilitate crimes.

Read Full Document:
https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-21-73A1.pdf


If you would hear any conversations like this.

  • Try to record the conversation and notate the frequency
  • Contact the FBI Pittsburgh Office
  • If they use SCARC equipment contact Tech Committee to shut down
  • DO NOT TRANSMIT monitor only

Drake TR-4C

The Drake TR-4C is an HF amateur band transceiver covering 80 through 10 meters (some sources say 160-10 m) in seven 600 kHz ranges. Modes include USB, LSB, CW and AM. Input power is 300 watts PEP SSB, 260 watts AM/SSB. The accurate VFO provides 1 kHz analog dial. VOX or PTT may be selected. Other refinements include: CW side tone oscillator, crystal calibrator, VFO indicator light, CW semi break-in, VOX or PTT for AM or SSB, heavy irritated cadmium plated chassis, separate USB and LSB filters and 1.7:1 filter shape factor. The right panel has various jacks including: headphones, mic and key.

 General characteristics

HAM bands
80m  40m  20m  15m  10m
Frequency stability
Overall drift after warm-up: less than 100 Hz

 Receiver

RX-range
80-10 m (no WARC)
Modulations
AM   CW   USB   LSB 
Sensitivity
<0,5 µV (10 dB S+N/N)
Selectivity
2.1 kHz (-6 dB)
3.6 kHz (-60 dB)
Receiver system
IF-frequencies
1st: 9 MHz
Image rejection
> 60 dB

 Transmitter

TX-range
80-10 m (no WARC)
Modulations
AM   CW   USB   LSB 
RF-output
SSB: 300 W PEP, AM: 260 W PEP (both input)

Ham Radio University 2021 Presentations

Ham Radio University {HRU}  are now on line you can see their 14 informational presentations by local experts in a broad range of Amateur Radio activities including: Amateur Radio Emergency Communications; Basics of HF Operating; Communicating Through Amateur Radio Earth Satellites; Remote Station Operating Over the Internet; Software Defined Radios; HF and UHF Digital Communications; and Using RaspberryPi Computers in Amateur Radio.

You can find there there presentations from Jan 9th listed below.
You-Tube Videos: https://www.youtube.com/c/HamRadioUniversityNLI
Presentations Papers: http://hamradiouniversity.org/past-presentations/  

Check out their homepage: http://hamradiouniversity.org/

Breezeshooters Groundwave Announced

Save the dates! And warm up those radios…

2021 Breezeshooters Groundwave Contest
CW – Saturday February 13th
Voice – Saturday March 6th
Digital – Saturday March 13th

For more information:
https://breezeshooters.org/ns/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Breezeshooter-Ground-Wave-2021.pdf

Social Meeting Talk – SETI @ Home

In case you missed the talk from last night social meeting here is the recording. We thank Dr David Anderson for giving a great talk about SETI @ Home.


The UC Berkeley SETI team has discovered that there are already thousands of computers that might be available for use. Most of these computers sit around most of the time with toasters flying across their screens accomplishing absolutely nothing and wasting electricity to boot. This is where SETI@home (and you!) come into the picture. The SETI@home project hopes to convince you to allow us to borrow your computer when you aren’t using it and to help us “…search out new life and new civilizations.”