Fun with CQRlog and MySQL

Once again, I needed to find something out about my QSO count with certain criteria.
The last time I had to determine how many QSOs I had with SKCC members to see if I
reached Centurion status.
This time it was similar but with a twist. The next step up from Centurion status is
Tribune which is awarded when a member who is already a Centurion completed 50
QSOs with other Centurion or Tribune members. In the previous post I was able to simply
query the database by contacts with just any SKCC member number, this time it has to be
more specific as only those ending with C or T count.

The following query does the trick to see how many Tribune members I worked already:

select distinct qsodate, callsign, club_nr2 from cqrlog_main where club_nr2 like “%T” and qsodate > “2013-04-28” order by qsodate;

club_nr2 is the column in which CQRlog stores the membership information for SKCC in my case.
qsodate needs to be on or after 4/28/2013 as this was the date I got Centurion status.
%T is simply a expression to show every value that ends with T

Turns out, I have about 20 more to go which should be doable since it’s SKCC Weekend
sprint today and tomorrow.

TS-2000 display mod

I recently acquired a TS-2000 again to be more active on VHF/UHF (Satellite, EME and other weak signal fun). One thing I never liked about the TS-2000 was the display. Especially after seeing the various images on the web with modified displays to have a nice light blue color. Searching for more info, I came across a few folks who are selling “kits” for $24+. We are talking about 6 LEDs and 3 resistors. Since I was not going to pay that much for parts worth $4 max. I moved ahead in the true spirit of amateur radio/ hardware hacking: If you can’t open it, you don’t own it. So let’s go and break stuff ;).

Note: If you are not comfortable opening your radio, looking inside and find out how things work, please stop reading. I will not be responsible if you damage or destroy anything beyond repair! For the rest: let’s get some solder melted, shall we?

The LEDs are 3mm in diameter and I used cool blue LEDs from this eBay seller. Note they are flat headed instead of round which gives a more even light distribution. The resistors are standard 150 Ohm 1/4W.

for the first time in my many years of playing with electronics played it safe and used a anti-static mat. It appears I’m getting old and risk the danger of growing up :).

You can pull off all the knobs from the radio and also remove the rubber ring from the VFO knob.

Next, remove the top and bottom cover. Start with removing all screws and then gently lift off both covers. The front panel is held by 4 screws on the sides. Only remove the top ones and loosen the lower screws. This allows you to tilt the front panel forward. I put the radio next to the edge of the desk and let the panel hang down.

Next unplug those two cables on the left side of the panel. Be gentle, take your time!

The flat ribbon cable that connects the front panel control board to the main board can slowly and gently be pulled out. BE CAREFUL!
Now you can remove the remaining two screws and remove the entire front panel assembly. Set the radio aside on a safe spot making sure nothing is underneath it that could damage the main board!

Use a hex wrench to loosen the VFO knob and pull it off.

Once the VFO knob is removed, you’ll have access to the rotary encoder for the VFO. Remove the nut and lift off the resistance mechanism. Remove the screw that attaches the front panel cover to the board. Once those two are removed, you can loosen the plastic latches on top and bottom of the panel cover and carefully remove it. Be careful not to break them. Slow and steady wins the race.

Now you should have the front panel board lying in front of you. This is also a good time to clean the knobs depending on the age of your radio some dust may have accumulated. Loosen the 4 screws marked in the image to remove the display. DO NOT LIFT IT OFF FAST!

Carefully lifting the display up will reveal the flat ribbon cable that attaches the display. Unlike me, you were smarter and unplugged it before loosening the 4 screws. But this is now the second chance to do so. Again, very carefully pull it out. Make sure not to bend it as you want to get it back in once we’re done.

Place the display board in front of you and you’ll see the 6 lamps and three resistors. Do not use solder wick to remove them! This is the one time in this job where you can really suck! Use a solder suction pump and remove the solder. Be careful not to overheat the traces. Take multiple steps. The resistors can be tricky so take your time.

Place the LED into the hole. The anode goes towards the side facing the resistor. Double check before soldering! I cut the legs about 4mm short and bent them over.

Once done, this (or better) is what it should look like. Make sure you don’t have cold solder joints. If in doubt, quickly re-heat and make sure your solder joints are nice and shiny. Repeat the steps for all 6 LEDs and the 3 resistors making sure everything lines up, no solder bridges and polarity of the LEDs is correct. Then it’s time to assemble everything in reverse as you took it apart. Be careful when pushing the flat band cables back into the sockets. Slow and steady! You have to make sure they are in the right angle. Also make sure you push them all the way in to have proper contact. I did not do it with the one connecting the front panel to the main chassis and subsequently the radio wouldn’t turn on. Also make sure that no wires are touching the fan (which I should’ve replaced at the same time with a less noisy one).

If you’ve done everything right, this is what your first smoke test should look like. A nice cool blue display greeting you and NO smoke coming out anywhere. Congratulations. Now put the rest back together and enjoy your new much more pleasing IMHO display.

She’s alive – Or how I finally finished a project

It finally has come to an end and I was able to clear my workbench

last night after finding the last bug in my build. Turns out that indeed
a proper contact to ground can help a transistor to work :). So without
further ado, I present you the K5TRI RotorDuino 3-wire rotor computer
controlled interface.
Now all that’s left to do is to make the schematics look nice so that I can actually share the whole project including source code.

Fun with CQRlog and MySQL

After last nights SKCC sprint I wanted to see how many more QSOs I would
need to reach Centurion status with the group. For thos who don’t know it, the
Centurion status is given to those members who made contact with 100 SKCC

Thankfully CQRlog has MySQL in the backend so what easier way to find out
than a quick SQL query.

Here’s what it looks like:

select distinct callsign, club_nr2 from cqrlog_main where club_nr2 > 0 and mode = "CW";

Seems I have to make a few more contacts, but am not far away either. 14 more to go.

And the results are in NAQCC 100th sprint

What a surprise. I did score indeed 1st place in
the W7 division in the 100th NAQCC sprint. It was 
fun, but now some work to do to get more Qs in the 
log during the next one.
SWA Category - W7 Division
Call   QSOs Mbrs Pts  Mul  Sco Bon Final  80-40-20 Antenna
K5TRI    20   19  39   10  390  x2   780  OCF Dipole @30 ft.
K9JWV    15   15  30   11  330  x2   660  43' vertical; seventy elevated radials
W7GAH     8    8  16    8  128  x2   256  240' Rand Wire @ 60'
W7TAO    11   10  21   10  210       210  575' loop at 40' 
NU7T      9    8  17    5   85  x2   170  Fence top 80m dp
WB7EUX    6    5  11    6   66  x2   132  Windom@30 ft
KE7YTE    5    4   9    5   45  x2    90  Vertical Dipole, 18 ft. @ feed point
AA7CU     7    6  13    6   78        78  Mobile vertical @ 12'
NU7Y      6    6  12    4   48        48  Attic Dpl@25'
WU7F      3    1   4    3   12  x2    24  Vert mounted nr gnd w/2 radials
K7DJO     3    2   5    2   10  x2    20  Gnd mtd vert
K7HAP     1    1   2    1    2  x2     4  Vert@10'
K7EX      2    1   3    1    3         3  Trapped dipole in attic @20'
@WD7Y    19   19  38   12  456       456  88 ft Dublet 30 ft high

ARRL DX CW Contest & Linux

This weekend was the ARRL DX CW contest. I played a little bit to get a
few new countries and just for fun. I started with N1MM but looked if
there was a way to do it on Linux. There is. The combination of xlog
and eepKeyer was working quite ok. Export of the Cabrillo file and also
scoring was a different story though. But it’s a start. eepKeyer uses
cwdaemon for keying, so the interface I built a few weeks ago worked as

More Arduino fun on Sunday

What better way to spend a Sunday afternoon than to debug some code in your project.
Got around to hooking up the Adafruit LCD display via I2C bus to save some connections,
and also got rid of the garbled text when load was applied to the relays (a 10uf cap did the
trick). In addition I also solved the reset issue when rotctl re-connected (another 10uf cap)
and now need to figure out where some of the weird readings come from and how to make
the buttons work for manual control. Progress is being made.