Softrock Lite II build day 1

Finally made some time to start building the Softrock Lite II SDR
receiver. The original plan was to build it as a pan adapter for my
TS-940S which has an IF out port. Since I no longer have this rig,
and my K3S has a different first IF, I decided to build it for 30m as
a WSPR receiver.

20160117_235335715_iOS (2)
First test of the oscillator stage

Checking on the frequency counter confirms everything is working as
it is supposed to be.


Next up was the divider stage. All went fine, except with some need to
tidy up my soldering of SMD parts. First time I used a hot air rework
station for SMD parts. Not as easy as I thought, but turned out OK.

20160119_001549348_iOS (2)

Again tested all the steps and made sure the voltage readings for example
were correct. It is really important to do this for each stage to make sure no
errors sneak in and then are harder to find later.


The divider provided the expected signal at the test points with the expected
frequency. So on to the next stages ….

K5TRI Ardukeyer complete

Finally finding some time to post the completed keyer I designed
the board for a while ago.

The populated board



Now I can finally use paddles with my TS-940S. Next version will be the deluxe
edition with USB and LCD display.

2015 Salmon Run

Salmon Run is over. The salmon have arrived and what can I say, conditions were
piss poor, especially on Sunday. Most contacts were made on Saturday as SOHPCW.

This was the first time I added an amp to contest operation. Certainly made a difference.

Band     QSOs     Pts  Mul
   3.5      64     186    5
     7     152     456    9
    14     203     606   44
    21      45     135    6
Total     464    1383   64
Score: 89,012
1 Mult = 7.3 Q’s

My goal was to make at least 500 Qs. After a very bad start on Sunday I eventually called
it quits as it was simply not going anywhere. Of course conditions improved after the fact
but such is life.

Some more statistics below:

QSO Party – 2015-09-19 1600Z to 2015-09-20 0000Z – 472 QSOs
K5TRI/7 Runs >10 QSOs:

2015-09-19 1650 – 1855Z,   14058 kHz, 70 Qs, 33.8/hr K5TRI
2015-09-19 1926 – 1953Z,   21046 kHz, 15 Qs, 32.7/hr K5TRI
2015-09-19 2003 – 2036Z,   14054 kHz, 22 Qs, 39.5/hr K5TRI
2015-09-19 2050 – 2111Z,   21042 kHz, 17 Qs, 49.1/hr K5TRI
2015-09-19 2123 – 2158Z,   14051 kHz, 33 Qs, 56.7/hr K5TRI
2015-09-19 2205 – 2227Z,    7055 kHz, 13 Qs, 35.8/hr K5TRI
2015-09-19 2236 – 2254Z,   14060 kHz, 19 Qs, 61.8/hr K5TRI
2015-09-19 2339 – 0001Z,   14056 kHz, 20 Qs, 53.9/hr K5TRI
2015-09-20 0010 – 0042Z,    7056 kHz, 26 Qs, 49.6/hr K5TRI
2015-09-20 0046 – 0312Z,    7050 kHz, 91 Qs, 37.2/hr K5TRI
2015-09-20 0322 – 0415Z,    3555 kHz, 54 Qs, 61.0/hr K5TRI
2015-09-20 0421 – 0445Z,    7057 kHz, 18 Qs, 45.8/hr K5TRI
2015-09-20 1715 – 1747Z,   14057 kHz, 12 Qs, 22.5/hr K5TRI
2015-09-20 1945 – 2010Z,   14057 kHz, 12 Qs, 29.2/hr K5TRI

QSO Party – 2015-09-19 1600Z to 2015-09-20 0000Z – 472 QSOs
K5TRI/7 Max Rates:

2015-09-19 2003Z – 3.0 per minute  (1 minute(s)), 180 per hour by K5TRI
2015-09-20 0332Z – 1.7 per minute  (10 minute(s)), 102 per hour by K5TRI
2015-09-20 0236Z – 1.0 per minute  (60 minute(s)), 61 per hour by K5TRI

Sections per band


Sections per hour

Ardukeyer board progress

After I botched the build of the K3NG based keyer for my TS-940S using perfboard,
I decided to do it right (and better looking) and make a real PCB.


In the process I had to learn Eagle and also of course get to play with nasty chemicals.
For this board I used the photo resist method as the toner transfer method I used for
previous boards didn’t yield the results I was after.
All that’s left now is drilling and soldering …


Made the board for the K5TRI Ardukeyer based on K3NG’s code so that
I can use paddles with the TS-940S.


I used Eagle for the schematics and PCB layout and then transparencies
printed in the laser printer and heat to get the layout onto the board. Some
time bathing in Ferrite-Chloride Acid does the rest.

Cheap paddle switch

So with the arrival of a new rig for SO2R operation (TS-590SG) the need arose for switching
keys between radios. There are expensive ways, and there’s the ham way. Total cost less than
$8 including parts from the junk box. These old PC switches are still of good use.