RF Experiments

Discussion in 'Wireless & RF Design' started by Sparky49, Jan 1, 2013.

  1. Sparky49

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Jul 16, 2011
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    Hi everyone.

    I've got a bit of christmas money, which I thought I would plough into some interesting literature. I've been thinking about what I want to go into when I go to university, and if I'm really honest - I want to do it all!:D

    However, telecommunications really interest me. I know it's fairly broad, but the theory behind antennas, comms, amplifiers, and then mashing them together really excites me.

    I was wondering if anyone could point me to some resources which have clear, practical examples of experiments which I could get into?

    That would be really good, if you could.

    Thanks very much for your time, and I wish you all the best for 2013!

    Sparky
     
  2. MrChips

    Moderator

    Oct 2, 2009
    12,446
    3,361
    Happy New Year Sparky.
    Though not RF, why not get a raspberry pi?
    It's only £27.21 at Farnell.
    Plus get the 4GB SD Card for £9.56 with the operating system on it.
     
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  3. THE_RB

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 11, 2008
    5,435
    1,305
    Instead of books you could spend the money on some useful kits, which will give you some pieces of test equipment.

    If you check out the HAM radio guys many of them sell cheap simple kits for useful things like frequency meters, test gear, transmitters receivers etc and you are also helping the community giving a few dollars back to the little people who create stuff.
     
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  4. bertus

    Administrator

    Apr 5, 2008
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    Hello,

    Did you already have a look in my RF related links thread?
    In there there are also info on books that might interest you.

    You can also take a look at the local RSGB meeting, to have a talk with some hams (radio amateurs).
    You can contact the RSGB via thier website: http://www.rsgb.org/

    Here are a couple in your area:
    Cambridge Univ. Wireless Soc, G6UW (4.7 miles)
    Tel: 07749879759
    Cambridge & DARC, G2XV (6.2 miles)
    Tel: 01223 501712
    Cambridgeshire Repeater Group, G3PYE (6.8 miles)
    Tel: 01353775298
    Huntingdonshire ARS, G0HSR (9.7 miles)
    Tel: 01480 431333

    Bertus

    PS this is post nr. 10000
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2013
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  5. Sparky49

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Jul 16, 2011
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    Thanks guys.

    Mr. Chips, I'm waay ahead of you. :D I got a raspberry pi and have been playing around with it already. It's pretty nifty! I got the SD card too, with it came Linux (not sure what type though).

    RB, I like that idea. I will have to look for kits in the UK. I can't afford postage for things much further.

    Bertus, I already go along to CDARC. :D I'm hoping to take my first exam once my January exams for school are over.

    Thanks again guys.
     
  6. Sparky49

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Jul 16, 2011
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    See something like this website has some cool looking projects (the astonomy one looks really cool), but all the links are broken.

    arrrrgh!!!

    http://www.foxdelta.com/projects/
     
  7. bertus

    Administrator

    Apr 5, 2008
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  8. Brownout

    Well-Known Member

    Jan 10, 2012
    2,375
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    Hi Sparky,

    A few years ago, I built a TV transmitter kit. It used common 2n3906/08 transistors for the RF oscillator, modulators, etc. I decided to try to design my own RF transmitters from scratch. I got a bag of 06's and 08's, an RF coil kit and some soldierless breadboards. I used some of the ideas from the TV kit, and some knowledge of colpitts oscillators to build several models. None were excellent performers, but I learned a ton by trial and error. Mostly, I learned how to tune a short antenna to the output stage, extending my transmissions from a few inches to several feet for a low power transmitter. Careful though, you will need to stay within the confines of the allowable radiation distances. Basically, I made sure my transmissions didn't have significant power beyone my own property. How? I used a common receiver to test the limits of the transmitted signal. If you use a short antenna, you typically don't need to worry about transmitting RF harmonics, the matching network filters them out.

    If I wanted to do a useful RF project, I'd just use one of the many RF modules on the market. I wouldn't bother to do my own again.
     
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  9. Sparky49

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Jul 16, 2011
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    Thanks bertus!

    I have a problem that I like too many things. :)

    Funny how telecommunications turns into radio astronomy. :D
     
  10. Sparky49

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Jul 16, 2011
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    Can you reccommend a kit please, Brownout?
     
  11. Sparky49

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Jul 16, 2011
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    Thinking about things...

    Would folks be happy to help me if I were to try making a meteor detector?

    I've been looking at lots of websites, but they aren't very easy for me to understand. Too many colours and numbers.
     
  12. Brownout

    Well-Known Member

    Jan 10, 2012
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    This is a fun little kit http://www.amazon.com/Ramsey-TV6C-VHF-Transmitter-Kit/dp/B0002NRINW Not the greatest performer, but a good way to learn. Also, see this: http://www.ramseyelectronics.com/downloads/manuals/TV6.pdf

    PP 17 & 18 talks about how to avoid running afoul of the FCC when experimenting with transmitters.

    PS: This kit works best if you use an older TV for a receiver. Not good to use with a digital tuned TV.
     
  13. Sparky49

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Jul 16, 2011
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    Ah yeah... I don't have an older TV. That died last year.
     
  14. Brownout

    Well-Known Member

    Jan 10, 2012
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    You can probably get one for free if you ask around. I'd give you mine, if there wasn't a shipping charge to your location.
     
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  15. bertus

    Administrator

    Apr 5, 2008
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  16. Sparky49

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Jul 16, 2011
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    Thanks guys. :)
     
  17. bertus

    Administrator

    Apr 5, 2008
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