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    27Mhz - Radio Ideas

    C-3PO
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    27Mhz - Radio Ideas - Page 8 Empty Re: 27Mhz - Radio Ideas

    Post  C-3PO Wed Apr 19, 2023 12:54 pm

    Hi David,


    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antenna_tuner

    Regards
    Jonathan
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    27Mhz - Radio Ideas - Page 8 Empty Re: 27Mhz - Radio Ideas

    Post  C-3PO Thu Apr 20, 2023 8:41 am

    I typed a response here yesterday, I detailed that is was not well thought out and I might regret content.

    I deleted the post as some of what I typed did not make sense and made me doubt my understanding of the basic principles of antennas.

    So I pondered - did I ever know this stuff (yes I think so), have I forgotten what I knew (don't think so) - am I certain in my understanding - No.....

    Net result is I thought I would delve into the world of VNA's and see if practical experiment(s) can shore up the connections in my brain

    I used to have a very capable antenna analyser made by MFJ £500+ but sold it for peanuts along with the addition of free dust.

    So whilst I can see a steep learning curve ahead - I am looking forward to loosing more brain cells...

    Regards
    Jonathan

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    27Mhz - Radio Ideas - Page 8 Empty Re: 27Mhz - Radio Ideas

    Post  david f Thu Apr 20, 2023 2:06 pm

    Shame you sold it!

    Rob from Holland writes to recommend an "MR300 antenna analyzer which should contain an AD9851 chip."

    I wonder if one used (say) a CB transmitter on low power to try to transmit to the underwater antenna that an ordinary SWR meter would work??

    But yes antennas are a bit of a "black art" and I am only at Foundation level!

    David

    M7DYP

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    27Mhz - Radio Ideas - Page 8 Empty Re: 27Mhz - Radio Ideas

    Post  C-3PO Fri Apr 21, 2023 10:32 am

    That was mighty quick service - delivered in less than 24 hours from point of ordering...

    Regards
    Jonathan

    27Mhz - Radio Ideas - Page 8 Vna11

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    27Mhz - Radio Ideas - Page 8 Empty Re: 27Mhz - Radio Ideas

    Post  C-3PO Fri Apr 21, 2023 10:34 am

    david f wrote:Shame you sold it!


    I wonder if one used (say) a CB transmitter on low power to try to transmit to the underwater antenna that an ordinary SWR meter would work??



    Might fire up my FT736R 10M | 2M | 70cms | 23cms and use the very capable 10M (11m) module for experimenting...

    Regards
    Jonathan

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    Post  david f Fri Apr 21, 2023 12:07 pm

    Very nice!

    27Mhz - Radio Ideas - Page 8 Ft736r10


    I am also impressed that you have gone for a VNA.


    Good luck and don't forget to try an underwater dipole! (About 535 mm overall length by all accounts.)


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    27Mhz - Radio Ideas - Page 8 Empty Re: 27Mhz - Radio Ideas

    Post  geofrancis Sun Apr 23, 2023 11:45 pm

    I just came across a very interesting video regarding experiments using the 27mhz toys, we always knew they could be made to would work if we could get the pulsing to stop and transmit continuously, it looks like someone figured how to do it on one of the 27mhz toys, the chips might still be useful for a low cost version even with the current code. I even see a regular 27mhz crystal in there!. From what I can tell we should be able to use the transmitter modifications pretty much directly for a ppm test, the only thing is I'm not sure how we can modify a receiver chip to get a raw signal back out but at 5x pairs of chips for around £2.50 delivered it's very cheap and worth looking at.


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mijxbYfPCq0

    https://upverter.com/datasheet/97685b43476ad62a2450315e7f924625c8c8f6c7.pdf

    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLA5a2xPRSrB1mLQvgf5ILMeTcRMuDtcNa

    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005002505371749.html

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    Post  C-3PO Mon Apr 24, 2023 10:41 am

    Is this example using same chip TX2?

    https://github.com/carbofos/avr-pc-radio-control-27mhz

    Regards
    Jonathan

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    Post  geofrancis Mon Apr 24, 2023 12:35 pm

    C-3PO wrote:Is this example using same chip TX2?

    https://github.com/carbofos/avr-pc-radio-control-27mhz

    Regards
    Jonathan

    that looks like the same chips he is referencing in the russian post,

    TX-2 chip output pin is 8. So you can remove buttons and TX-2 chip or leave it and use your transmitter board as is by connecting the AVR output pin to the pin 8 of TX-2. Do not forget to connect VCC+5V and GND to your transmitter board.

    thats makes a very simple 27mhz transmitter. but im not sure if there is a raw output pin on the RX chip.

    https://skootsone.yolasite.com/toy-rc1.php

    https://skootsone-yolasite-com.translate.goog/toy-rc1.php?_x_tr_sl=auto&_x_tr_tl=en&_x_tr_hl=en-GB



    found a few other pages about those chips.

    https://www.instructables.com/Arduino-controls-cheap-RC-car-transmitter/

    https://forum.arduino.cc/t/rc-car-project-help/355557/15#msg2544112

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    Post  david f Sat Apr 29, 2023 11:02 am

    The NARSA (Northern Amateur Radio Societies Association) Rally at Blackpool  had some useful stuff at reasonable prices.

    I  invested in  a NanoVNA - H4  network analyser (About £80 from Mirfield Electronics) to hopefully do some underwater antenna development. (The spec says it can measure up to 900 Mhz)

    27Mhz - Radio Ideas - Page 8 20230442

    The book from the RSGB (Radio Society of Great Britain looks useful too.

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    Post  geofrancis Sat May 06, 2023 1:01 am

    im currently shopping for a sub and went looking to get the radiometrix modules but i cant find where sells them? what site did you order them from?
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    Post  david f Mon May 08, 2023 12:31 pm

    Well, I was about to say don't bother and save your money until yesterday when I tried my E11 sub fitted with Radiometrix 27Mhz modules with the latest version of the underwater antenna. It actually worked quite well. So it shows promise, I would say.

    This photo shows the underwater dipole with an overall length of 534 mm. The foam, in the middle,  covers a 1:1 Choke Balun on a ferrite ring. I have used foam to try and avoid putting the Balun in a bulky, waterproof box. A blue LED at the stern is triggered by a "surface planes" command.

    I am very grateful to Rob  Schuckman for pointing me in the right direction:

    https://www.robschuckman.nl/

    Rob recommends using a trimmer capacitor. But as a very rough initial trial I put a 22pF capacitor in one leg of the dipole and this seemed to improve matters (range, glitching etc). For approaches to a more precise approach see the end of this post.

    27Mhz - Radio Ideas - Page 8 20230511

    27Mhz - Radio Ideas - Page 8 20230510

    This gives an idea of the range (on the surface but with antenna immersed.)

    27Mhz - Radio Ideas - Page 8 20230513

    This photo perhaps shows the direction of future development - the use of a nanoVNA to optimise the underwater antenna:

    (I managed to measure and store "S Parameters" for this antenna in air and water. If anyone would like to have these (and hopefully understand what to do with them more than I do!) then please PM me.

    27Mhz - Radio Ideas - Page 8 20230514

    Various video clips showing yesterdays trial. (The trials were untethered but without diving. Small steps! ) :

    https://youtu.be/bvnZf2CLhzQ

    https://www.youtube.com/shorts/fpwXxoxftMY

    https://youtu.be/Gy7s8oT-c_M

    https://youtu.be/IjNQdDVIzcU


    My Arduino software version I am using is here:

    https://github.com/rdforrest/27MHz--Radiometrix-module

    Radiometrix-RX-3.8 and Radiometrix-TX-3.2 are the current versions.

    Sorry Geofrancis, I forgot to give the ordering information for the modules. I phoned:

    Jim Pareathumby
    Sales & Admin Department
    Radiometrix Ltd
    Hartcran House
    231 Kenton lane
    Harrow
    Middlesex
    HA3 8RP
    England.

    Tel: +44 (0) 20 8909 9595

    The modules are not cheap and I wonder if the project could be done more economically by purchasing a TX module (which gives the advantage of CE approval) and using it with a cheaper RX ?

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    27Mhz - Radio Ideas - Page 8 Empty Re: 27Mhz - Radio Ideas

    Post  SimonH Tue May 09, 2023 11:06 pm

    what the S parameters could allow you to do is design a matching unit; assuming the Tx/Rx are optimised for the 'air' then the Tx/Rx impedance should be almost the same as the 'air' to maximise the power transmission.
    The ATU then matches 'water' to the 'air' again to maximise power transmission.
    If you want some real brain freeze look up 'smith chart' its a way of displaying this information and more usefully, design matching pads graphically rather than maths formulae.
    For adjusting I suspect an SWR meter is better as it directly measures forward/reverse power flows, but if you measure the pad+water antenna with the VNA the aim would be to get it as close to the 'air' values as possible.
    Mind you, that would mean getting the VNA close to the water!

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    Post  david f Mon May 15, 2023 1:58 pm

    I had to laugh at this one.

    We had the Furness MBC Regatta this Sunday. I tried the 27Mhz testbed (My E11 sub) again.

    Paul Brassington was a guest and we were talking together whilst sailing and it turned out that he was also on 27MHz , fortunately on different frequencies! (The Club pegboard was thrown away years ago but the fact that we both had great big aerials should have been a clue.)

    Paul's home made (in the days when you could) TX on 27Mhz:

    27Mhz - Radio Ideas - Page 8 20230516

    A video of us both sailing on 27Mhz (Sorry the video is occasionally out of focus - those blummin big aerials again, upsetting the autofocus) :

    https://youtu.be/TJ2OaX-ICBo

    So 27Mhz is not as defunct as we may think?

    A postscript to this.
    Paul has just sent me copies of the original article describing his TX & RX. (Radio Control Models & Electronics July 1979) It makes for interesting reading. The TX is FM, 8 channel and transmits at 600mW with a crystal. The encoding system uses an NE555 as a pulse generator followed by an MC14017 decade counter. The RX uses a crystal and an MC3357P as a radio chip and an MC14015 as a decoder. There are some hand wound coils but I suspect that many components e.g the IF transformers would be hard to obtain now.
    Important information is that the aerial is just 9 inches long - not sure if it is inside the WTC or in water. (I have sent this question.)
    Later edit. Paul confirms that he uses a vertical aerial insulated from the water, 9 inches long from RX to tip.

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    Post  david f Thu May 18, 2023 3:04 pm

    Well I have just been trying this 9 inch simple aerial in my small test tank with the nanoVNA with promising results. An SWR of about 5 at 28Mhz.

    Some caveats:

    - It is only a small test tank not a large body of water.
    - I am still getting used to using this nanoVNA and I may be  guilty of misinterpreting it completely!

    But:
    - A 9 inch aerial in water forms a very practical antenna for our use. It could simply be fed forward out of the WTC to bow or stern or periscope (Like Paul's). The 0.5 metre dipole with Balun was awkward to use on models. (See my photos)
    - It has to be worth a trial when next I go to the Lake.

    27Mhz - Radio Ideas - Page 8 20230519

    27Mhz - Radio Ideas - Page 8 2023-020

    27Mhz - Radio Ideas - Page 8 2023-021

    27Mhz - Radio Ideas - Page 8 20230518

    Later edit:

    For anyone wanting to find out more about using nanoVNAs i found this YouTube video very helpful (among lots of poor videos on the topic) by Andreas Spiess. (NanoVNAs are complex devices and seem to come without any form of manual!):

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=91ZRTFZ40rw

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    Post  david f Mon May 29, 2023 12:39 pm

    Well that was a failure!

    The photo shows the maximum range.

    I ended up having to  be rescued. Thanks Guys! Mind you the sight of a Russian sub breaking down lifted my heart. Slava Ukraini !

    27Mhz - Radio Ideas - Page 8 20230521


    This one shows the 12 inch aerial enclosed in the 4mm OD nylon tube. (Useful stuff):


    27Mhz - Radio Ideas - Page 8 20230520

    It is a shame  because the 12 inch antenna would be very practical for model subs compared with the dipole, which did give usable range.

    458Mhz was sooooOO much easier to get workable results with!

    Maybe Paul's better range was down to 600mW of TX output?

    I think I will get back Rob in Holland and see if he provide a COMPACT dipole with antennae matching circuit.

    Later Edit for the Techies out there:

    A Smith chart and SWR measurement made on a 12 inch antenna immersed in the lake (i.e a large body of water as opposed to me test tank.):

    27Mhz - Radio Ideas - Page 8 Screen11

    This is showing resonance at 90MHz so maybe 12 inches is too long?

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    Post  geofrancis Wed Jun 07, 2023 9:47 am

    can you slow down the transmission any more?

    what about a test program that just sends some fixed data repeatedly but slower each time. I wonder if there is a magic number out there that it will start behaving like the analogue system.

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    Post  david f Wed Jun 07, 2023 1:59 pm

    Thanks for the suggestion.
    However I think the problem now is getting a working and practical antenna for model subs. (The software isn't bad - in my opinion anyway!)
    I think I will roll-back to the dipole with balun and a series capacitor. That fits within Rob's suggestion and worked quite well.
    I intend to give it another test in a sub on Sunday.
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    Post  david f Tue Jun 13, 2023 2:18 pm

    I am  pleased to say that going back to the 550mm dipole got the range back. Quite a workable range, in fact.

    27Mhz - Radio Ideas - Page 8 Image120


    27Mhz - Radio Ideas - Page 8 20230618

    Antenna details :
    -  RG174 coax.
    - Used  a Balun or common mode choke, if  you prefer. (Good explanatory video at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s_JHPDA7k5Y) 4 + 4 turns of the coax wrapped round FT82-43 ferrite ring. Sheathed in silicone rubber - probably not necessary.
    - 22pF capacitor in series.

    Hardly optimised yet. It is hard to do bench trials when you need to immerse the antenna in a tank of water! I am not sure if a tank models a large body of water. (Rob suggests not.)

    27Mhz - Radio Ideas - Page 8 20230619

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    Post  david f Tue Jul 11, 2023 12:29 pm

    Some more underwater antenna developments for 27 MHz carried out last Sunday on the Charlie class "test-bed" submarine.

    - Antenna horizontal on side of sub about 6 inches deep,
    - 550mm dipole with Balun but also an extra inductor (2 turns around an FT82-43 Toroid in series at the RX (and TX!) end.)

    {Rob is doing some interesting work on optimizing underwater antenna, hopefully to be published soon.}

    Typical and acceptable range:

    27Mhz - Radio Ideas - Page 8 Image121

    The next experiment was interesting and involved "dunking" an identical antenna at the TX end.

    And the underwater TX antenna worked with this (admittedly shorter) range:

    27Mhz - Radio Ideas - Page 8 20230711

    I am indebted to John Robinson for proposing the original idea of transmitting underwater back in 2011 on here:

    https://www.theassociationofmodelsubmariners.com/t505-antenna-under-water

    https://www.theassociationofmodelsubmariners.com/t614-antenna-under-water-part-2


    It does raise some interesting ideas. Does underwater communication fall under existing telecoms regulations? If so can we use different frequencies and power outputs. The simple answer is I don't know!

    David
    M7DYP

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    Post  david f Tue Jul 18, 2023 11:30 am

    Last Sunday's trials with TX antenna in air and water.
    My thanks to John (for his original suggestion in 2011) and Rob for his ongoing work in Holland:
    https://www.robschuckman.nl/
    Rob's calculation and description guide here:
    https://www.robschuckman.nl/over

    Measuring the Lake water conductivity. 488 micro Siemens/m. (Sadly there was no shortage of "plastic measurement containers" floating in the Lake!)

    27Mhz - Radio Ideas - Page 8 20230712

    NanoVNA and RX antenna. (550mm dipole without Balun but with an extra inductor (2 turns around an FT82-43 Toroid in series at the RX and TX end.)

    27Mhz - Radio Ideas - Page 8 20230713

    NanoVNA and TX antenna photographed just before the antenna is "dunked" in the Lake. (See the screen grab SWR plots at the bottom of this post.)
    27Mhz - Radio Ideas - Page 8 20230714

    Radiometrix RX with RSSI display and RSSI data logger which stored value every 5 seconds.

    27Mhz - Radio Ideas - Page 8 20230718

    TX ANTENNA IN AIR
    First measurement. TX in air with Telescopic Antenna. Range 15m. Average RSSI -75.

    27Mhz - Radio Ideas - Page 8 20230717

    Second measurement. TX in air with Telescopic Antenna. Range 30m. Average RSSI -76.

    27Mhz - Radio Ideas - Page 8 20230716

    Third measurement. TX in air with Telescopic Antenna. Range 40m. Average RSSI -80.

    27Mhz - Radio Ideas - Page 8 20230719

    TX ANTENNA IN WATER
    First measurement. TX antenna dunked in water. (I forgot to collapse the telescopic antenna! Range 5m. Average RSSI -73

    27Mhz - Radio Ideas - Page 8 20230724
    Second measurement. TX antenna dunked in water. (I forgot to collapse the telescopic antenna! Range 15m. Average RSSI -88

    27Mhz - Radio Ideas - Page 8 20230723
    Third measurement. TX antenna dunked in water. (I forgot to collapse the telescopic antenna! Range 30m. Average RSSI -83

    27Mhz - Radio Ideas - Page 8 20230722

    Fourth measurement. TX antenna dunked in water. (I forgot to collapse the telescopic antenna! Range 40m. Average RSSI -80
    27Mhz - Radio Ideas - Page 8 20230725

    Plot from the spreadsheet. This shows RSSI versus time during the trial. (Note the high (low?) RSSI values when antenna was disconnected.

    As I understand RSSI , -70 is OK but -80 is not good. So the underwater TX antenna needs more efficiency or power input.


    27Mhz - Radio Ideas - Page 8 Image122

    COMPARISON OF TEST TANK WITH LAKE:
    Home test tank. (Wine bottle (empty!) shows scale.) It would be much easier and quicker for trials if a test tank was representative of a large body of water. The next few nanoVNA plots test this.

    27Mhz - Radio Ideas - Page 8 20230715


    This is a nanoVNA plot for the RX antenna in the Lake:

    27Mhz - Radio Ideas - Page 8 Vna_2310

    This is a nanoVNA plot for the RX antenna in the test tank:

    27Mhz - Radio Ideas - Page 8 Vna_2313

    This is a nanoVNA plot for the TX antenna in the Lake:

    27Mhz - Radio Ideas - Page 8 Vna_2312

    This is a nanoVNA plot for the TX antenna in the test tank:

    27Mhz - Radio Ideas - Page 8 Vna_2314

    SWR (Standing Wave Ratio) is the key measure for the antennas because it shows how well the antenna is (impedance) matched to the RX and TX.

    Rob's comments, after reading this post:
    "Try to get the SWR figure below 1.5 You're currently in the range of 2.5 to 3.5 which is too high."

    The plots look quite similar which means that test tank results are comparable.

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    Post  david f Mon Sep 04, 2023 11:46 am

    An update on aerials  together with SWR plots taken in the Lake.

    Aerials 2 and 3 are dipoles with a 360 nano Henry inductor in series. Antenna 4 is an off  the shelf car DAB antenna with silcone rubber waterprofing. (Thanks  for the DAB suggestion Rob.)

    The trials are  showing much more respectable SWR values.

    Next step will be to go back to TX and RX trials.

    27Mhz - Radio Ideas - Page 8 Aerial12

    27Mhz - Radio Ideas - Page 8 Aerial11

    27Mhz - Radio Ideas - Page 8 Aerial14

    27Mhz - Radio Ideas - Page 8 Aerial13

    27Mhz - Radio Ideas - Page 8 Aerial16

    27Mhz - Radio Ideas - Page 8 Aerial15

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    Post  david f Wed Oct 11, 2023 1:25 pm

    Some more trial information.

    The first one was done on Sunday 1st October. This was a range test with the antennas described in the previous post (with the small inductor in series.
    The RX was housed in the submerged pipe and used antenna 2. The TX used a telescopic antenna in air and also a submerged antenna No. 3.

    The Rx setup:

    27Mhz - Radio Ideas - Page 8 20231011

    The TX antenna which was submerged:

    27Mhz - Radio Ideas - Page 8 20231012

    This photo shows the range for BOTH the TX antenna in air and the submerged antenna (The figures include David J looking at the RX - thank you):

    27Mhz - Radio Ideas - Page 8 20231010

    This is the second trial with an actual model. (CSS Pioneer) The antenna coax is fed through a cable gland.

    27Mhz - Radio Ideas - Page 8 20231018

    This is the TX setup with the submerged antenna:

    27Mhz - Radio Ideas - Page 8 20231017

    The range with the TX telescopic in air:

    27Mhz - Radio Ideas - Page 8 20231016

    The range with the submerged TX antenna (about the same really.)

    27Mhz - Radio Ideas - Page 8 20231019

    I would define "range" is where the model is still clearly under control. (There was  some twitching of the rudder surface from time to time but, from what cause, I don't know. I did check for any interference on 27 MHz with my handheld and there was nothing noticeable. I regularly check 27 Megs at Barrow and home and it is generally very quiet.)

    So some conclusions:

    - It works with just about a usable range.
    - The submerged TX antenna does work and with about the same range.
    - I am not going to continue with any trials, for the moment, because it is not as reliable or easy to use as my existing  OpenLRS and LoRa gear working on 458 Mhz and I don't want to risk my subs any more.
    - I know that Rob in Holland is working on much better RXs and much more efficient antennas* and so I will leave development up to him, for the time being.

    * In his personal reply to this post Rob, stresses the importance of antennae. And everything I have learned so far as a "Ham" reinforces this.

    SimonH likes this post


      Current date/time is Tue Jul 23, 2024 2:51 pm