Tag - projects

Installing Feedlines

After having been off air for a number of years due to an impending house move, I finally moved to my new location last summer. The house is very much a project house so most of last year was spent working on the property. This year however I decided it was time to begin getting my station built and getting back on air.

The new property has an excellent section of land which is ideal for antennas however given that the shack is in an upstairs bedroom getting coax and control lines to it would be a challenge, especially as i’d have to get these through the garden without upsetting the XYL too much.

I decided the best approach was to bury the cabling under the garden. I chose to use Messi & Paoloni BROAD-PRO 50 Double Jacket coax, it provides excellent performance at a fairly reasonable price and with the double jacket can be direct buried if needed.

Despite having the option to direct bury the coax, I decided to use conduit, this would allow me to run some additional cabling and in the event any of the cabling needed replacing, I could do so without having to dig another trench. I used 40mm waste pipe as the conduit, it’s pretty cheap and works nicely for this application, the conduit was laid on a bed of sand to help protect it from any stones or rocks. It was only buried about 8-10 inches from the surface.

Feeding the coax through the conduit was a challenge as I had a few bends, I first ran a string line through using a shop vac to suck the line from the other end (this was surprisingly effective), however feeding the cable through 20 meters of conduit was quite a struggle.

I ended up with 2 runs of coax and 2 runs of externally rated CAT6 cable (all antenna switching control, tuning control etc. will be done over ethernet). I installed an intermediate junction box before the cabling entered the conduit, this will allow me to add additional switching and/or replace any damaged coax without the need to remove the runs that go all the way to the shack.

The cabling exits close to where the antennas will be located and will eventially be terminated in a large IP65 wall cabinet which will house all the antenna switching gear and matching systems, however for now I have them hooked directly into a DX Commander multi band vertical that my good friend Callum M0MCX kindly donated (http://www.m0mcx.co.uk).

I’m very happy with how it all turned out and the trench is now barely visible in the garden.


Easily Install Windows 10 on Raspberry Pi 2 from Windows 8

Having recently purchased a couple of Raspberry Pi 2’s to play with, I was intrigued to see what the recent Windows 10 IoT version was like running on it. Being able to run a windows platform on something like a Raspberry Pi would open up a lot of opportunities to put these great little computers to work.

I faithfully downloaded the image from Microsoft (you need to be registered to download it, but you can find details on how to do this on google pretty easily). Once downloaded I set about writing the image (in this case an FFU file) to an SD card. This is a fairly simple process using the DISM tool. This is where my problems started, when running the command to write the image to the SD card I would receive the error “The /applydrive option is not recognized in this context”. It seems that you can only use the Windows 10 version of DISM and I’m running Windows 8.1. Not having a spare machine to install Windows 10 Preview on I began the usual Google search to figure out how to install Windows 10 IoT on the Pi using windows 8.

There are a few guides out there, but none of them are that simple, so I figured I’d put together this simple guide to help anyone else in my position wanting to try the Raspberry Pi Windows 10 release if they only have an earlier version of windows.

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ACOM Director – Thanks everyone

Following the initial release of the ACOM Director beta the feedback has been excellent and it appears to have been very well received by the ACOM 2000 user community.

Thank you to everyone who downloaded a copy and tried it out, your bug reports, comments and opinions are invaluable in moving the software forward.

I am now working on the next beta release which i hope to make available soon and will be putting up a dedicated page on my site for ACOM Director, this will contain information on what type of cable is needed to connect to the ACOM 2000 and information on what type of interface is needed to support the remote power on features.

Thanks again to everyone who has tried out the software.