Arduino controllers are great – they offer a cheap and easy way to “do things”. The C++ code is simple to learn and there’s a great deal of resources and example projects online. The Uno model offers 32kB memory, 14 I/O pins and can run not only off USB but a 6-12v “wall-wart” PSU. Oh, and the clock speed (16MHz) is faster than my first PC (an 8088 XT) – What’s not to like…
I wanted to start with something a little more complicated than a simple LED blinker – So I decided to convert a pulsing LED flash to some audio beeps so added a Morse Code lookup table. Result: CW Beacon… Programming these boards is simple – just add a USB cable and download the FREE development software from the Arduino website. The devices offer an unlimited range of possibilities when you consider that Bluetooth, GPS, WiFi and other “Shields” and sensors are readily available.
Project : Morse Keyer and Macro Sender for PZTLog Pro
Currently work-in-progress but under test in my Shack. Allows you to connect a Paddle (or straight) Key and also send macros from PZTLog Pro – great for contests or even standalone use as a practice oscillator or for /P ops.
After several months of having the thing gathering dust on the shelf as a breadboard prototype, I’ve finally put it into a box, added a rotary-encoder (for speed adjustment) and made use of the push-button on it – Push to CQ! It also features a small buzzer for use as an off-air practice oscillator or for when your radio (like the 40m Pixie) doesn’t have a sidetone facility.
PZTLog Keyer Macro Sender [updated 16th April 2015]
This code is, allegedly, work in progress (but there’s not been much lately!)
Project : Morse Code Beacon
A rather simple yet great first-time project – and useful to have running if your licence permits you to run a beacon. A basic config for the beacon text (eg: Callsign+Locator) plus a simple delay command to pause the beacon – Because it’s not reacting to anything external, a delay will suffice. I’ve added a PTT output as well as a sidetone which means (with filtering), you can run it on an FM transmitter, too. The Morse routine will be used in the Repeater Controller.
CW Beacon [updated 23rd December 2014]
This code uses the built-in LED (Pin13) for keying in order to give you a visual indication during testing.
Projects : KISS TNC
Most of this project is based-upon the firmware from Mobilinkd but some discrete parts and some soldering (or breadboard) is required to get things working. By re-flashing an Arduino-compatible microcontroller, it’s possible to turn it into a KISS TNC for use with APRS/AX25. Depending upon where you get your ‘duino boards from, you can be ready to go on APRS for around £10 – see my product on Ham Goodies for pre-programmed solution.