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First link was to an Antenna Analyzer by Beric Dunn, K6BEZ via DxZone. That lead to SierraRadio’s Hamstack and that to KJ6HFR’s PIC18F4620 Cookbook (PDF).

When I find a microcontroller website that doesn’t fall headlong into the Arduino craze my interest goes up. Hamstack does seem to be mcu agnostic and even language agnostic. There are projects for repeater control as well as station control and accessories.

KJ6HFR’s cookbook is an exploration into fundamental chip configuration. The YouTube video says

“Most of the experiments are done without compiling any code. Instead, the Configuration Word Editor in the PICkit2 application is used to set and investigate chip configurations, such as oscillators and the Watch-Dog Timer. Additionally a tiny amount of hand-assembled instructions are used.”

That means it provides a good insight into the kind of learning often bypassed in may mcu project books with experiments that you can do to learn yourself.

The original stimulus was the antenna analyzer. The questions were about what it used as a signal source and what sort of measurement bridge it used. Those two items and something like the ChipKit or that GPS development board could make for a quite potent analyzer upgrade to VK5JST’s kit. AD9850 based DDS boards are all over EBay for under $10, many with the interesting note that “The after harmonic becomes bigger and bigger when the frequency is between 20-30MHz,and the wave form becomes unclean.” so getting up to 6m or higher isn’t SOP with these devices.

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