Everything for Electronics

FM Reception with the GNU Radio Companion

The complexity and sophistication of the electronic hardware required to recover composite baseband signals in the FM band is beyond the capability of most experimenters. However, modern digital signal processing software, capable PCs, and inexpensive software defined radio (SDR) hardware can now be easily combined to receive the information in these broadcasts. Learn how to combine this hardware, software, and your PC to build SDRs to receive FM radio broadcasts and more.


Static Discharge Helps “Cure” Audio Amplifier

After trying different things to troubleshoot an intermittent problem with my MicroBITX kit (multi-band, software-defined ham radio transceiver), it turned out static discharge was the answer to my problems


The Quantum Integration Ecosystem

Embedded engineering is about burying a microcontroller inside a product to turn an everyday object into a smart object. When the smart object is also connected to the cloud, it’s instantly an Internet of Things (IoT) device. Quantum Integration recently introduced a product family designed to create IoT hardware applications quickly and easily. I had a chance to play with an initial release of their starter kit. Once I got over the initial learning curve, I was able to build two simple IoT prototypes to demonstrate cloud connectivity in about five minutes. Here is my experience.


Battery Pack Failure Modes I Have Known

Keeping your batteries ready for action in your ham radio hobby is something we all have to deal with. How much does “memory effect” come into play with recharging? Does it really exist? Let’s look at some different failure modes and what might really be behind them.


1920s Radio Applause Cards

Early commercial radio stations valued listener reports, as they were the major means by which broadcasters could tell if and where their programming was being received. The reports helped station marketers develop demographics for the station in general, and for specific programming. Since telephone calls were a bit pricey at the time, the penny postcard — or applause cards as they became known — quickly became the preferred medium for listener reports. 


Dirt Cheap Wireless Control

I’m a sucker for cheap electronic parts, especially wireless stuff. Just recently, a catalog from one of my favorite parts distributors (All Electronics) came in the mail and was promoting some wireless modules: a transmitter (TX) and a receiver (RX) for just a few bucks each. I ordered immediately. Now that I had these wireless modules, I wasn’t sure what to do with them. I had no plan or goal in mind. So, I decided I would just experiment for fun. This article sums up what I did and what I learned.


Four-Position HF Antenna Switch with PC Control

Meet the SW-4U: A four-position ham radio antenna switch with PC control via a USB connection. The switch is controlled by an application program running on the PC that allows you to select any of four antennas, ground all for safety, and to power the switch on and off.

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