Radio Preppers

General Category => Technical Corner => Topic started by: KK0G on April 21, 2014, 09:59:33 pm

Title: Weber MTR
Post by: KK0G on April 21, 2014, 09:59:33 pm
WOO HOO!! Just reserved my MTR!  ;D ;D
I've been patiently watching the reflector waiting for it to be released, now just need to wait a little longer for them to ship.
Title: Re: Weber MTR
Post by: gil on April 21, 2014, 10:02:31 pm
Awesome! I hope to get one too!

Gil.
Title: Re: Weber MTR
Post by: KK0G on April 21, 2014, 10:30:35 pm
Gil, I'll try not to make too much noise about it so that there will still be some left to order 8) .

This will be my first attempt at SMT so I probably won't finish it at my usual break neck kit building speed of one or two days.
Title: Re: Weber MTR
Post by: gil on April 21, 2014, 11:01:27 pm
Are you going to try the solder paste method or use your soldering station?
I used my soldering station with mine.. Worked fine, though the ICs were pretty hard.

Gil.
Title: Re: Weber MTR
Post by: KK0G on April 21, 2014, 11:24:23 pm
I've heard guys that swear by the paste method but I plan on going with what I know and am good at which is my solder station. I have an extremely fine needle tip that will hopefully work well, I used it once to replace four SMT resistors in the display of my old TS-2000 so technically I've done SMT parts before but four resistors is a far cry from an entire kit. 8)
Title: Re: Weber MTR
Post by: gil on April 22, 2014, 12:15:37 am
I really like the SMT kit building with a soldering iron.. It isn't as hard as it looks, the difficulty of course being the microscopic size of the components.. I use 2x glasses and a magnifying lens. I put a little solder on one pad then place the component and melt the solder, then solder the other side. I like the fact that you don't have to cut component leads, which always end-up everywhere..

This new MTR will be awesome. I love mine. Fortunately it still works after the "fire" incident.. Still no idea what that was about and which component fried itself open.. Oh well. I hope to build the latest model the same way, with my soldering iron. It would be great to have 30m in case I go camping and it turns out to be a contest week-end. I hope to go camping soon by the way, not this coming week-end, but probably the next one, for three nights. The MTR will come with me of course, we'll see if it will be the two-bander or the three-bander, let's just hope. I doubt it would be there on time though, as I'd need a couple days to build it, marathon style like you do! That's how I built all my other kits. They all worked 8)

Rigs like the KX1, MTR, even the Rock-Mite (I have a 30m RM on order!) are awesome. What else fits in your shirt pocket and allows global communications? Thanks to CW! Building them ourselves is the cherry on the cake! When someone asks "Where can I get one," you can smile and say that 1. They're rarely for sale (MTR), and 2. You must build it yourself. A little self aggrandizing, but oh well.. ;)

Everyone should at least build a Rock-Mite. Maybe I should get a Radio Preppers special model with a specific crystal so we can all find each-other.. Now that's an idea! It could have a special silk-screened box with our logo! :o

If we both build it, no competition! But we'll have to manage a MTR-to-MTR QSO. Which we can do with my older model anyway.. Let's try sometimes to find out what bands and times would work for us.. I chat with Ray a few times a week on 20m at 11AM EST.

Good luck, but if you ordered that early, you'll probably get it!

Gil.
Title: Re: Weber MTR
Post by: KC3AOL on April 22, 2014, 06:28:01 am
I ordered one too. I'm going to try to order a second one later today once he opens up ordering to everyone.

I've also never done SMT soldering, but I'm a member of the local maker space, so I figured I could get someone there to show me how.

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Title: Re: Weber MTR
Post by: KK0G on April 22, 2014, 08:56:51 am
Yeah, I'm not too worried about the fact I have very limited experience with SMT, I'm betting that most of the tales of caution heard on forums is nothing more than tiny grains of truth blown way out of proportion by folks that have never done it, combined with some peoples natural human reaction of resisting change and fear of the unknown.  You hear the same type of scared reaction to winding torroids which anyone who's done a few will tell you is a piece of cake. I will be investigating visor mounted magnifiers though. 8)
Title: Re: Weber MTR
Post by: cockpitbob on April 22, 2014, 09:05:47 am
I've been watching like a hawk but was gone all day yesterday (working comms in a first aid tent at the Boston Marathon) and didn't place my order at about 9:30(eastern) last night.  I guess I have to wait to see if I was too late.

Title: Re: Weber MTR
Post by: KC3AOL on April 22, 2014, 12:29:18 pm
Sorry Gil, all sold out.  :(
Title: Re: Weber MTR
Post by: cockpitbob on April 22, 2014, 12:54:07 pm
Quote from: KC3AOL on April 22, 2014, 12:29:18 pm
Sorry Gil, all sold out.  :(
Yeah, they went quick.  I got my order in about 5hrs after the announcement so I'm hopeful.
I'll be putting my board together with a soldering iron.  No coffee allowed.
Title: Re: Weber MTR
Post by: KC3AOL on April 27, 2014, 09:31:36 am
Sent my check the other day and watched a few videos on doing SMT soldering. The soldering really does not look that difficult. I did order some magnifiers to help out though.

So now the question is which frequencies? Two of them will definitely be 20 &40. I was thinking of 80 for the third, but if I go with the end fed tuner from qrpkits, that would take a second tuner. Plus, I was reading about how noisy 80 is and not sure how well that would work for QRP. So 17 or 30? Which do you guys think is better and why?

I guess I should start learning Morse ;-)


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Title: Re: Weber MTR
Post by: cockpitbob on April 27, 2014, 09:59:35 am
I'm going through the same indecision process.  I really want 30, but most daytime Dx happens on wavelengths shorter than 20.  Maybe one of our propagation experts can give advice.  I'm thinking 30 fills a big hole between 20 and 40 while there isn't much difference between 20 and 17.
Title: Re: Weber MTR
Post by: KK0G on April 27, 2014, 11:08:05 am
Personally I'll be going with 40/30/20 for mine. 80 meters is out for the simple reason that this is a highly portable rig that I'll be using out in the field and there's no way I'm lugging around enough wire for an 80 meter antenna. In addition, 80 meter propagation is not very hot during summer months and especially not during day time hours in the summer which is the main time I will be using this rig.

I seldom venture much above 20 meters mainly because propagation can be less predictable/reliable on the higher bands although highly efficient, compact, light weight antennas are an advantage here.

Which leaves us with my choices:

40 meters - How could you possibly have a portable, multi band, QRP CW rig and not include 40 meters? It has good daytime propagation for relatively close in contacts that can stretch out quite nicely in the evening, it's usually not too noisy, there's always plenty of CW activity there practically 24 hours a day and antennas, while starting to get somewhat large, are still very managable.

30 meters - The great reprieve from contesters and other than a little digital activity we have the entire band to ourselves for CW. The 200 watt PEP limit also makes for a more level playing field for QRP. Being almost smack dab in the middle between 40 and 20 meters, it perfectly fills in the propagation gap between those two bands.

20 meters - The DX band that is open to somewhere in the world 24 hours a day and always has lots of activity. Unlike bands above it, propagation is usually fairly predictable, plus highly efficient antennas are still pretty compact and easy to deploy.




Title: Re: Weber MTR
Post by: gil on April 27, 2014, 11:33:11 am
I'll second Chris here, 40/30/20 is the best combination.

So, how many here bought the MTR, three?

That's a lot of MTRs for such a small forum :D

Gil.
Title: Re: Weber MTR
Post by: NWARadio on April 27, 2014, 02:05:59 pm
What I can't understand is this: just today I found a tutorial on printing your own circuit paths, ironing them into pc boards and then etching them.  SMT posts are readily available on Amazon, so why is this MTR kit so rare? Why is it no one has photographed this board and posted it and a schematic online for others to homebrew? Laugh if you will, but today I've ordered electronics for dummies, an SMT soldering practice kit, an AM radio kit that has schematic symbols and circuit stages labeled on the board so students can learn where each stage is and have downloaded a book whose name I can't remember. Something about From Crystal Sets to something else. I'm determined to learn how a radio works. Well, much better than I do now. A Rock Mite or pixie will also be ordered today when I leave this Chinese buffet. I don't see why this MTR can't be more accessible than it currently is.

So long and thanks for all the fish.

Title: Re: Weber MTR
Post by: gil on April 27, 2014, 02:18:54 pm
It isn't more accessible for one simple reason: The schematic is Steve Weber's intellectual property. He worked hard at it, spent his time and money to develop it. It isn't free for the taking. He should be the one getting paid for his efforts. Copying the design is stealing, the same way you would steal it in a store. Some people are certainly going to get inspired from his schematics and come up with neat stuff, but that is different. It requires knowledge and efforts, and it helps develop better systems. We all get inspiration from somewhere. However, outright copying is theft, pure and simple. Imagine if you knew someone was going to copy the design you spend a year developing, hoping to pay a few late bills with the profits, and some guy released files of the copied PCB.. Right.. That's why the MTR files are not free to download. If Steve would have known for instance that someone would copy his design (which might still happen) and he would lose a big chunk of his profits, he might have decided to not bother design the next model, and that would be a real loss to all of us.

Gil.
Title: Re: Weber MTR
Post by: NWARadio on April 27, 2014, 02:38:50 pm
You're right. Guess I've just gotten to used to everything being free and available on the internet that I don't even think about it anymore.

So long and thanks for all the fish.

Title: Re: Weber MTR
Post by: cockpitbob on April 29, 2014, 02:09:36 pm
I know what I'm doing this weekend.
(http://i120.photobucket.com/albums/o170/cockpitbob/Emoticons/party_zps2d69794f.gif)


(http://i120.photobucket.com/albums/o170/cockpitbob/3493e3c6-b622-44df-a23c-b6f7f0f9b2d1_zps71f41098.jpg)
Title: Re: Weber MTR
Post by: gil on April 29, 2014, 02:29:24 pm
Great! the case looks barely larger than mine, bt quite a bit thiner...

Gil.
Title: Re: Weber MTR
Post by: KK0G on May 01, 2014, 06:56:23 pm
Woo hoo, it's here!

I knew this was a very small rig but you don't quite get the true perspective until you hold it in your hand.
Title: Re: Weber MTR
Post by: KC3AOL on May 01, 2014, 08:28:06 pm
Got mine today too. Of course, it's going to be a couple weeks before I can get started on it.

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Title: Re: Weber MTR
Post by: KK0G on May 01, 2014, 10:02:22 pm
I just finished soldering all the resistors to the top side of the board........ holy crap, they ain't kiddin' when they say theses are tiny components! I think I pretty well got the hang of it but it sure is a totally different animal than thru-hole. Pics to follow later.
Title: Re: Weber MTR
Post by: cockpitbob on May 01, 2014, 10:07:34 pm
I won't be building this weekend.  I have to do some business travel.  It looks like it will be another week :-(.

Anyone look to see if there's room to use a BNC instead of RCA for the antenna connector?  I don't like the non-locking RCAs or having to use an adapter for all my BNC stuff.
Title: Re: Weber MTR
Post by: KK0G on May 01, 2014, 10:41:59 pm
Quote from: cockpitbob on May 01, 2014, 10:07:34 pm
Anyone look to see if there's room to use a BNC instead of RCA for the antenna connector?  I don't like the non-locking RCAs or having to use an adapter for all my BNC stuff.

I'll let you know once I reach that point. I'd prefer BNC also but I suspect Steve used RCA for a reason....... like there's not enough room for a BNC. 8)
Title: Re: Weber MTR
Post by: gil on May 01, 2014, 10:48:49 pm
On mine, I replaced the RCA with a BNC, but the two-bander has a slightly taller case..

Gil.
Title: Re: Weber MTR
Post by: KK0G on May 02, 2014, 12:35:44 am
I finished about 80% of the SMT resistors, capacitors, inductors and trimmers tonight but it's getting late so I'll hit it again tomorrow. I predict I'll complete sometime Saturday barring any life surprises that come up. I'd post some pics but honestly there's not much to see at this point, just a PCB with a bunch of tiny specks on it.
Title: Re: Weber MTR
Post by: KK0G on May 03, 2014, 12:16:01 am
All the SMT components are installed............. those tiny things take lots of concentration and strong magnification but now I'm on to the stuff I'm very familiar with - thru hole, winding torroids, jacks, hardware, etc. I should be done with it by sometime tomorrow but I gotta give my eyes a break, hitting the rack now.
Title: Re: Weber MTR
Post by: NWARadio on May 03, 2014, 10:29:07 am
Did you use a soldering iron or a heat gun and paste?

So long and thanks for all the fish.

Title: Re: Weber MTR
Post by: KK0G on May 03, 2014, 10:39:01 am
Quote from: NWARadio on May 03, 2014, 10:29:07 am
Did you use a soldering iron or a heat gun and paste?

Soldering iron with my smallest needle tip. In some ways SMT is easier than thru-hole; no constant flipping the board over, bending leads to hold the component in place and trimming hundreds of leads. In other ways it's more difficult; tiny parts are difficult to handle and position in place. In a nut shell it's not really better or worse from a building standpoint, just different.
Title: Re: Weber MTR
Post by: NWARadio on May 03, 2014, 12:30:54 pm
I've bought an SMT learners kit off of Amazon, you might've seen the pic on Facebook. What size iron did you use? I'm very new to this and want to buy a smaller one if I need to.

So long and thanks for all the fish.

Title: Re: Weber MTR
Post by: KK0G on May 03, 2014, 01:28:15 pm
Quote from: NWARadio on May 03, 2014, 12:30:54 pm
I've bought an SMT learners kit off of Amazon, you might've seen the pic on Facebook. What size iron did you use? I'm very new to this and want to buy a smaller one if I need to.

This is what I use: http://yihua-soldering.com/product-5-4-constant-temperature-soldering-station-en/147699 (http://yihua-soldering.com/product-5-4-constant-temperature-soldering-station-en/147699)

They're all over eBay and Amazon for around $60. You'll need a very small needle tip but not much power for doing SMT which works well since the Yihua can easily change tips and maintain a constant temperature so it doesn't burn the tip up.
Title: Re: Weber MTR
Post by: KK0G on May 03, 2014, 06:05:24 pm
She's done! What very little I've played with it, it seems to work well although I haven't even ventured into the menus yet.

The only modification I made was to substitute a BNC connector in place of the provided RCA so that it will match all my other rigs, tight fit but not difficult at all. The only other modification I'd like to do is to change the power connector to the QRP standard 2.1mm so that once again it matches all my other rigs and batteries. That one might be a little tougher but I bet I can get it shoehorned in there somehow ;D .
Title: Re: Weber MTR
Post by: KC3AOL on May 04, 2014, 06:21:09 am
Nice. I'm hoping to get started on mine in about two weeks... if my magnifier glasses show up before then.

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Title: Re: Weber MTR
Post by: KK0G on May 04, 2014, 10:03:02 am
Quote from: KC3AOL on May 04, 2014, 06:21:09 am
Nice. I'm hoping to get started on mine in about two weeks... if my magnifier glasses show up before then.

Yes, you'll definitely need them, I have excellent eye sight and I still needed a magnifier.
Title: Re: Weber MTR
Post by: gil on May 04, 2014, 10:39:22 am
Hello, what kind of BNC did you use? The flange type or regular?


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Title: Re: Weber MTR
Post by: KK0G on May 04, 2014, 10:50:15 am
Quote from: gil on May 04, 2014, 10:39:22 am
Hello, what kind of BNC did you use? The flange type or regular?

I used a standard threaded bulkhead type connector. I wouldn't bet there's enough room for a flanged connector, the threaded one ends up being very close to the edge of the enclosure.

I thought about filing out the hole to make flats for the connector to engage to prevent it from turning in the hole, but instead I just drilled it out and torqued the hell out of the nut........ suffice it to say it's tight, I don't think it's going anywhere. ;D
Title: Re: Weber MTR
Post by: gil on May 04, 2014, 11:18:52 am
Looks good. That's what I did for mine. Any contacts yet?

Gil.
Title: Re: Weber MTR
Post by: KK0G on May 04, 2014, 01:23:14 pm
Quote from: gil on May 04, 2014, 11:18:52 am
Looks good. That's what I did for mine. Any contacts yet?

Made a few contacts, no exotic DX, just stateside.

One thing I've noticed, and maybe you can provide some input since you have quite a bit of MTR experience, is that the keyer sounds sort of "funny" as if the weighting or ratio is off. It sounds normal when it annunciates characters from the menu or frequency read back, etc., and it sounds normal when sending via the memories. It only sounds wierd when I'm keying with the paddles and of course I'm only hearing it through the sidetone. Does yours do that?
Title: Re: Weber MTR
Post by: gil on May 04, 2014, 02:50:37 pm
QuoteOne thing I've noticed, and maybe you can provide some input since you have quite a bit of MTR experience, is that the keyer sounds sort of "funny" as if the weighting or ratio is off. It sounds normal when it annunciates characters from the menu or frequency read back, etc., and it sounds normal when sending via the memories. It only sounds wierd when I'm keying with the paddles and of course I'm only hearing it through the sidetone. Does yours do that?


No, I have never heard anything like that.. I saw yout post in the Yahoo group. Has anyone said they experienced the same? The keying circuit is probably the same as mine.. Maybe a faulty component..

Gil.
Title: Re: Weber MTR
Post by: KK0G on May 05, 2014, 10:44:20 pm
Wes was out of town for a couple of days so tonight was the first time I tried out the MTR during our nightly sked............. wouldn't you know it, band conditions on 40 meters was in the toilet. We both went through our prearranged  QSY routine and ended up making contact on 80 meters, but alas my MTR doesn't do 80 meters so I had to switch to my K2.  :( Oh well, I'll try again tomorrow night.
Title: Re: Weber MTR
Post by: KC3AOL on May 06, 2014, 07:10:19 am
My magnifiers showed up yesterday, so I'm planning to get started on the build next Friday.

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Title: Re: Weber MTR
Post by: KK0G on May 06, 2014, 08:11:30 am
Quote from: KC3AOL on May 06, 2014, 07:10:19 am
My magnifiers showed up yesterday, so I'm planning to get started on the build next Friday.

Just get a good pair of tweezers (I commandeered a pair from the XYL........ she hasn't noticed............yet ;D ), the finest needle tip you can find for your iron, slap those magnifiers on your head and go for it. It really wasn't a difficult kit at all, just different since it was my first time with SMT. Good luck.
Title: Re: Weber MTR
Post by: gil on May 06, 2014, 09:43:22 pm
I'd suggest anyone to wait before soldering the processor, since there is a timing glitch in the firmware! Not a show-stopper, but annoying. Steve said he didn't think it was important enough to replace everyone's processor, but I suspect a lot of people are going to be unhappy about this.. He might have to offer a processor replacement or flashing service. Someone else with a programming device might do that as well, we'll see...

Gil.
Title: Re: Weber MTR
Post by: KC3AOL on May 07, 2014, 02:31:42 pm
Looks like he is going to send out new processors.  Hopefully I will get it before next Friday.
Title: Re: Weber MTR
Post by: KK0G on May 07, 2014, 03:59:05 pm
Quote from: KC3AOL on May 07, 2014, 02:31:42 pm
Looks like he is going to send out new processors.  Hopefully I will get it before next Friday.

You lucky dog ;D


I guess this is what I get for assuming a kit is actually ready to build when I buy it. :o >:(
Title: Re: Weber MTR
Post by: KK0G on May 09, 2014, 10:00:19 pm
I think I'm done modifying my MTR for a while (at least until I can get the new firmware flashed). Today I added integrated paddles and finalized the battery box. The paddles are pads made of copper clad board super glued to the RF corner of the enclosure that are wired into the touch keyer board I also installed today.

The touch keyer kit was without a doubt the fastest and easiest kit I've ever built. It literally took me less than 15 minutes to stuff the 10 components into the board then solder and trim the leads. This would obviously be pretty easy to replicate with a homebrew circuit but with the kit costing $19 delivered to my mailbox in 3 days, why bother? The board has a pot for each paddle to adjust its "touch sensitivity" and the adjustment is just that, very touchy, going from constant keying with out touching it at all, to not keying with full finger pressure on it at all in a very small range of pot motion, but I think I have it where I want it now.

The second battery box arrived and even though it's slightly larger than the other on I much prefer it. The lid is much more secure and the built in power switch solve my previous problem of having to remove a cell from the box in order to hook up external power via the coaxial jack, now all I have to do is shut off the battery box switch - it's almost as if I planned it that way. 8)
Title: Re: Weber MTR
Post by: KK0G on May 09, 2014, 10:02:42 pm
More pics.
Title: Re: Weber MTR
Post by: KC3AOL on May 10, 2014, 08:29:55 pm
That's a pretty slick setup with the touch keyer. Nice work.

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Title: Re: Weber MTR
Post by: cockpitbob on May 14, 2014, 04:04:42 pm
Very nice work!  How you handled the touch keyer pads is so simple it's brilliant.

Keep us posted on how you like the touch keyer please.  I may do that too, but with the sensitive pot adjustment I'm now worried that it will be finicky:  not work on dry or cold days or something like that.

I got called away on a long business trip on short notice so I haven't started building mine.  I guess that's lucky with the processor needing to be replaced.  The boys are gone on a Scout canoe trip this weekend so maybe I'll have time to start.
Title: Re: Weber MTR
Post by: KC3AOL on May 16, 2014, 05:19:28 pm
I didn't have the whole day to work on it as I had hoped, but I did make progress on it. I got all of the IC's on and a most all of the resistors on. It'll probably be a few weeks before I can get back to work on it. Funny how after doing U8 and U10, everything else looks HUGE!

Magnifiers, good tweezers, and good lighting are must-haves.

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Title: Re: Weber MTR
Post by: KK0G on May 16, 2014, 06:34:22 pm

Quote from: KC3AOL on May 16, 2014, 05:19:28 pm
I didn't have the whole day to work on it as I had hoped, but I did make progress on it. I got all of the IC's on and a most all of the resistors on. It'll probably be a few weeks before I can get back to work on it. Funny how after doing U8 and U10, everything else looks HUGE!

Magnifiers, good tweezers, and good lighting are must-haves.

Sent from my Venue 8 Pro 5830 using Tapatalk

Yeah, the leads on those two IC's are TINY aren't they!? Did you solder them all simultaneously and then use solder wick to clean it up?



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Title: Re: Weber MTR
Post by: gil on May 16, 2014, 06:50:17 pm
Chris, any luck on reprogramming your soldered microcontroller?

Gil.
Title: Re: Weber MTR
Post by: KC3AOL on May 16, 2014, 09:21:24 pm
Quote from: KK0G on May 16, 2014, 06:34:22 pm
Yeah, the leads on those two IC's are TINY aren't they!? Did you solder them all simultaneously and then use solder wick to clean it up?



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


Yeah, it was pretty much a big blob of solder and the wick cleaned it up. The only thing is that it almost looks like the wick took too much solder because many of the pads look like there's no solder. I'm just hoping that there's solder between the pin and the pad.
Title: Re: Weber MTR
Post by: KC3AOL on May 16, 2014, 09:22:56 pm
BTW, I noticed while I was at the maker space that they had a couple launchpads. So I guess I have access to equipment if I ever need to reprogram.


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Title: Re: Weber MTR
Post by: KK0G on May 17, 2014, 01:04:08 pm
Quote from: gil on May 16, 2014, 06:50:17 pm
Chris, any luck on reprogramming your soldered microcontroller?

Gil.

I'm still waiting on a Windows laptop from my boss. I love my Mac but admittedly it's a pain in the ass when the very rare times come up that I need to do something that requires MS. 
Title: Re: Weber MTR
Post by: cockpitbob on May 21, 2014, 10:04:53 pm
How you guys doing with the MTR V2s?  Any QSOs yet, or still not finished building?

A work emergency with a 1 week trip and all the associated peripheral lost time means my kit is still sitting in its virgin state.  It's killing me to look at the box, but there's chores, kids, piles of paperwork,...  I'll just have to operate vicariously with your rigs for a couple more weeks.
Title: Re: Weber MTR
Post by: KK0G on May 21, 2014, 11:48:59 pm
Oh yeah, I've had several QSO's with my MTR, although all of them from my shack, I really want to get it out in the field for some portable work where it truly belongs.

The good news is my keyer now sounds normal like it should. Since I built mine long before Steve sent out the replacement IC's to fix the keyer firmware problem, I was going to flash it with a Launch Pad to install the firmware update but I had some problems getting a hold of Windows laptop (ick :P ) to do it with since there is no suitable Mac software. Long story short, I just desoldered and removed the old IC and installed the replacement Steve sent............. much better now.

Quote from: cockpitbob on May 21, 2014, 10:04:53 pm
A work emergency with a 1 week trip and all the associated peripheral lost time means my kit is still sitting in its virgin state.  It's killing me to look at the box, but there's chores, kids, piles of paperwork,...  I'll just have to operate vicariously with your rigs for a couple more weeks.

Look at the bright side; all the bugs and inconsistencies should be worked out by all of us early builders by the time you get to yours. Let us know when you get it built, good luck.
Title: Re: Weber MTR
Post by: gil on May 22, 2014, 12:09:02 am
I had an unconfirmed one with the Island of Tuvalu, T2UN. Also a few with Eastern Europe, Hungary, Slovenia... All with about 3W into my PAR end-fed. If only they were willing to chat a bit, it would be so interesting, but no, it's 599-73  :(

Gil.
Title: Re: Weber MTR
Post by: KC3AOL on May 22, 2014, 04:40:06 pm
It'll be a few more weeks before I can get back to work on it. But after the email flurry about S/N, I looked and mine is #357. I'm thinking that I'll make up a decal for the back that's a drawing of a revolver with S/N 357 "Magnum" on the barrel and my call sign logo on the grip. ;-)

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Title: Re: Weber MTR
Post by: KC3AOL on August 22, 2014, 10:59:16 am
Making progress today. I'm done with all of the surface mount stuff (yay!). Time for a lunch break and then onto the through hole soldering.

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Title: Re: Weber MTR
Post by: gil on August 22, 2014, 11:01:18 am
Looks good! Those ICs are hard to solder. I remember having to go over the processor again with my soldering iron before it finally fired up...

Gil.
Title: Re: Weber MTR
Post by: KC3AOL on August 22, 2014, 03:44:08 pm
It's ALIVE! I did the initial power up checks without the big toroid hooked up (as per the directions) and it came up on the first try! All the voltages were as they were supposed to be. Everything looks good so far. But I'm done for now. I need to read up on the calibration and might have to get some local help for that.

Oh and I had to "borrow" a 9V battery from a multimeter and had to use computer speakers because I didn't bring headphones. But at least I was able to scrounge what I needed to get it done.

Sent from my VS985 4G using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Weber MTR
Post by: gil on August 22, 2014, 04:13:05 pm
I calibrated mine by ear... Frequency was spot-on.

Gil.
Title: Re: Weber MTR
Post by: KK0G on August 22, 2014, 11:11:58 pm
Quote from: gil on August 22, 2014, 04:13:05 pm
I calibrated mine by ear... Frequency was spot-on.

Gil.


Same here. In fact, all the QRP rigs I've built (other than my K2 with its complex and very tight filters) I calibrated by ear in reference to known good source, usually W1AW bulletins and/or another radio that I know to be accurate.
Title: Re: Weber MTR
Post by: cockpitbob on November 10, 2014, 11:56:59 pm
I finally finished mine!  I need to flash the latest firmware into the uP.  My T.I. Launchpad is due in a few days. 

I dithered on what to power it with.  Considering it's a shirt pocket radio, an 8-pack of AA NiMH batteries looked too big.  I'm going to power it with three LiFePO4 3.2V, 600mAH batteries.  They are AA size and should last a casual weekend, and make a tiny battery pack.

I also went with KK0G's idea to put a touch-keyer in it.  I haven't built that kit yet but will right after flashing the new firmware. 
Title: Re: Weber MTR
Post by: gil on November 11, 2014, 10:35:00 am
Congratulations Bob!

So, how many MTR owners do we have here now, four?



Any other? Given the number of kits in circulation (300 now), that is a rather high number!
Ray is waiting for the next release.. Hopefully there will be one..

Gil.
Title: Re: Weber MTR
Post by: cockpitbob on November 11, 2014, 10:40:02 pm
4 MTRs in this little community? :D   Gil, your site must attract the cream of the crop 8)

Today I got the T.I. Launchpad.  However, all of today and much of tomorrow I'm at my bench building & modifying test fixtures for the new product we are about to put in production.  I'm kinda burned out on the sweet smell of solder flux :o .  I doubt I'll mess with the MTR for a few days.  Probably this weekend though.
Title: Re: Weber MTR
Post by: KK0G on November 11, 2014, 11:35:53 pm
Photos Bob........ we need photos.  ;)
Title: Re: Weber MTR
Post by: gil on November 12, 2014, 12:40:49 am
We need a video.
Gil.
Title: Re: Weber MTR
Post by: cockpitbob on November 12, 2014, 09:15:53 am
I went with 40/30/20, but I'm thinking that might change to 40/20/17.  I like the Dx the shorter bands can do during the daytime.

(http://i120.photobucket.com/albums/o170/cockpitbob/SAM_1171_zpsf86b1879.jpg)



Little Touches:
* Labels from my Brother label maker.
* BNC:  note that I shortened it a bit by cutting the insulator down flush with the threads and then shortening the center terminal.
* Not visible is a little dab of RTV at the base of each inductor so they are less vibration sensitive.
* Tiny dab of RTV where wires cross for mutual support.

I haven't even opened the touch-keyer kit, so I don't know how much wiring I'm going to have to re-route to make it fit.

I'm thinking of changing the DC power jack to a 5.5mmx2.1mm size since that's what everything else in the world (including my KX1 and MFJ-9420) seems to use.

(http://i120.photobucket.com/albums/o170/cockpitbob/SAM_1174_zps72706ab2.jpg)
Title: Re: Weber MTR
Post by: KK0G on November 12, 2014, 09:23:28 am
Good job Bob, looks nice.
Title: Re: Weber MTR
Post by: gil on November 12, 2014, 11:29:59 am
Very nice indeed! Now we need to have some MTR-MTR skeds...

Gil.
Title: Re: Weber MTR
Post by: cockpitbob on November 12, 2014, 06:24:23 pm
The radio is perfect in every way....but one.  No volume control.  For some reason this really bugs me.  I just received this in-line control (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008DJTB32/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1).  It will do the job nicely, but for some reason I hate added cables.  Just my little pet peeve.
Title: Re: Weber MTR
Post by: gil on November 12, 2014, 06:32:50 pm
QuoteNo volume control.


Never bothered me... I use a Veho 360 USB powered mini speaker which has two volume settings or earphones.. With the earphones, I slide them slightly off my ears to reduce volume.

The MTR is indeed the almost-perfect portable radio. That inline volume pot will serve you well. I might get one myself..

Gil.
Title: Re: Weber MTR
Post by: cockpitbob on November 13, 2014, 10:29:06 pm
I flashed the new SW into it tonight.  Once I figured it out it was super easy.  I also measured a few things.

MEASUREMENTS:
Output power vs. band and battery voltage

Band      9V           12V

40M      2.7W       4.7W
30M      4.2W       4.3W
20M      3.3W       5.2W

Rx Current = 32mA  regardless of band or battery voltage.  My 600mAH LiFePO4 batteries should last plenty long.


To store my KX1 and Ten-Tec R4020 I've been using $4 plastic pencil boxes.  Tonight I decided I would splurge on a Pelican for the MTR.  I laid out what I wanted to put in the case.  What surprised me is how SMALL the MTR is compared to the other stuff.  My SOTA EFHW tuner takes up as much room.  I'm going to use 3 AA batteries (LiFePO4, 3.2V each) and that battery pack is almost the size of the MTR.  I have a tiny amplified ball speaker and it is half the size of the MTR.  My Te-Ne-Key with its base is bigger and twice as heavy.

I dunno, it just seems wrong that the radio is dwarfed by the pile of support equipment.  At least the key will go away once I put the touch-keyer inside the MTR's box and attach pieces of copper clad on 2 corners for the touch pads.
Title: Re: Weber MTR
Post by: KK0G on November 14, 2014, 09:19:27 am
Quote from: cockpitbob on November 13, 2014, 10:29:06 pm
I flashed the new SW into it tonight.  Once I figured it out it was super easy.  I also measured a few things.

MEASUREMENTS:
Output power vs. band and battery voltage

Band      9V           12V

40M      2.7W       4.7W
30M      4.2W       4.3W
20M      3.3W       5.2W

Rx Current = 32mA  regardless of band or battery voltage.  My 600mAH LiFePO4 batteries should last plenty long.


To store my KX1 and Ten-Tec R4020 I've been using $4 plastic pencil boxes.  Tonight I decided I would splurge on a Pelican for the MTR.  I laid out what I wanted to put in the case.  What surprised me is how SMALL the MTR is compared to the other stuff.  My SOTA EFHW tuner takes up as much room.  I'm going to use 3 AA batteries (LiFePO4, 3.2V each) and that battery pack is almost the size of the MTR.  I have a tiny amplified ball speaker and it is half the size of the MTR.  My Te-Ne-Key with its base is bigger and twice as heavy.

I dunno, it just seems wrong that the radio is dwarfed by the pile of support equipment.  At least the key will go away once I put the touch-keyer inside the MTR's box and attach pieces of copper clad on 2 corners for the touch pads.


Yeah, I've also noted the irony that my SOTA tuner is almost as big as the my MTR, but yes, building a touch keyer into it helps tremendously to reduce bulk.
Title: Re: Weber MTR
Post by: gil on November 14, 2014, 11:51:57 am
Quotebuilding a touch keyer into it helps tremendously to reduce bulk.


I yet have to do that, even have the kit here ready to install...

Gil.
Title: Re: Weber MTR
Post by: cockpitbob on November 14, 2014, 12:12:45 pm
I might ge to the touch-keyer this weekend.  I'll post photos when I get to it.  I haven't opened the kit's bag.
Title: Re: Weber MTR
Post by: KK0G on November 15, 2014, 09:18:20 am
Quote from: cockpitbob on November 14, 2014, 12:12:45 pm
I might ge to the touch-keyer this weekend.  I'll post photos when I get to it.  I haven't opened the kit's bag.



It's been a while since I did mine, but as I recall the touch keyer kit was dirt simple and went together very quick. I spent far more time integrating it into the MTR and fiddling with all the adjustments to get it working just right. It's not rocket surgery but you do have to hold your tongue just right to get it all working together smoothly.  ;D [size=78%] [/size]
Title: Re: Weber MTR
Post by: RadioRay on November 15, 2014, 09:08:26 pm
(http://blog.glennz.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/combined_skills.jpg)

Some rocket surgery is worse than others...


>RadioRay ..._  ._
Title: Re: Weber MTR
Post by: cockpitbob on November 24, 2014, 09:06:57 am
This guy re-packaged his MTR_V2 (http://www.qrpbuilder.com/) and included a SOTA tuner and lithium charger. 
Click on the Repackaged Weber MTR  link  (http://i120.photobucket.com/albums/o170/cockpitbob/Emoticons/Bow_zps5e1f4f3c.gif) (http://i120.photobucket.com/albums/o170/cockpitbob/Emoticons/Bow_zps5e1f4f3c.gif)

(http://i120.photobucket.com/albums/o170/cockpitbob/untitled_zps754495ef.png) (http://i120.photobucket.com/albums/o170/cockpitbob/untitled_zps754495ef.png)

Title: Re: Weber MTR
Post by: KK0G on November 24, 2014, 10:36:26 am
Quote from: cockpitbob on November 24, 2014, 09:06:57 am
This guy re-packaged his MTR_V2 (http://www.qrpbuilder.com/) and included a SOTA tuner and lithium charger. 
Click on the Repackaged Weber MTR  link  (http://i120.photobucket.com/albums/o170/cockpitbob/Emoticons/Bow_zps5e1f4f3c.gif) (http://i120.photobucket.com/albums/o170/cockpitbob/Emoticons/Bow_zps5e1f4f3c.gif)

(http://i120.photobucket.com/albums/o170/cockpitbob/untitled_zps754495ef.png) (http://i120.photobucket.com/albums/o170/cockpitbob/untitled_zps754495ef.png)



Dammit Bob! Now I'm gonna have to tear my MTR apart and start over....... thanks a lot! 8)

[/size]That thing is awesome! [size=78%]
Title: Re: Weber MTR
Post by: cockpitbob on November 25, 2014, 12:21:18 pm
It's done! I've had quick QSOs with Arkansas, Finland, Nicaragua and the Canary Islands using my 1/2 wave end fed antenna.  The filter is a little tighter than I like, and I'm still getting used to the minimalist user interface, but what a GREAT LITTLE RIG!

I really want to thank KK0G for the idea of adding the touch keyer.  Having a non-fragile key that takes up no room or weight makes this rig perfect!  My whole rig, with key, batteries and ear buds weighs less than 9oz!!!!
(That's an in-line volume control on the right.)

I lost the piece of black felt, but my wife had some blue felt that's a pretty good match.  If any fashion conscious owner wants some, let me know.  I've got tons.

(http://i120.photobucket.com/albums/o170/cockpitbob/SAM_1191_zps77929029.jpg) (http://i120.photobucket.com/albums/o170/cockpitbob/SAM_1191_zps77929029.jpg)


To keep stray capacitance low, I made my touch pads smaller than KK0G's and attached them with 0.05" thick clear double-sticky tape.  I also rounded the edges and painted the edges black for a finished look and feel 8) .
(http://i120.photobucket.com/albums/o170/cockpitbob/SAM_1192_zpsce8012d8.jpg) (http://i120.photobucket.com/albums/o170/cockpitbob/SAM_1192_zpsce8012d8.jpg)


(http://i120.photobucket.com/albums/o170/cockpitbob/SAM_1193_zps1017809d.jpg) (http://i120.photobucket.com/albums/o170/cockpitbob/SAM_1193_zps1017809d.jpg)

Misc. Notes:

*  I changed the power connector to a 5.5 x 2.1mm one since everything I have including the KX1 uses that size.  The new one installs from the back so that's one less thing to unsolder if I have to remove the board.

*  The batteries are three 3.2V, 600mAH LiFePO4 in standard AA size.  With the rig in beacon mode into a dummy load (15s CQ Tx and 45s listening) they went a full 5hrs.  The batteries with holder weigh 3oz.  That's a lot of operating for me.

* Touch Keyer **Warning, Technical Content**
After hearing KK0G's complaints about how touchy the adjustment was, I reverse engineered it to see what I could learn (see schematic below).
The seller tries to keep his design proprietary.  He painted over the 2 chips so you can't read their markings.  On the schematic he doesn't label the chips or the key components.  I figured it out though.  I do this kind of stuff for a living.  The chips are Atmel touch sensors.

Key things I got from the chip's data sheet:
1) The stray capacitance of the touch pads needs to be kept low.  It likes to see 5pf-20pf.
2) C2 & C3 are normally 2nF - 50nF depending on the stray capacitance of the touch pad.
3) High stray capacitance of the touch-pad decreases sensitivity.
4) To increase sensitivity, increase C2 & C3
5) The pot's resistance acts with C2 & C3 to form a low pass filter.  This helps prevent false touches.

Because I spaced my touch pads off the box with thick tape and made them fairly small(0.5" x 0.75"), I have 18pF of stray capacitance to ground.  Setting my pots was easy and I have a fairly wide sweet spot.

KK0G, I calculate your touch pads are more than 30pF.  That's above the data sheet's recommendations and will reduce sensitivity.  I'm guessing you had to turn the pots pretty far CCW to reduce their resistance enough for the chip to notice your touch.  If it works reliably, great.  If you have trouble you could try increasing C2&C3 by 2x or 3x. 
(http://i120.photobucket.com/albums/o170/cockpitbob/untitled_zpscfc6ea49.png) (http://i120.photobucket.com/albums/o170/cockpitbob/untitled_zpscfc6ea49.png)
Title: Re: Weber MTR
Post by: KK0G on November 25, 2014, 01:42:50 pm

Wow Bob, nice work, looks beautiful.

Quote from: cockpitbob on November 25, 2014, 12:21:18 pm
KK0G, I calculate your touch pads are more than 30pF.  That's above the data sheet's recommendations and will reduce sensitivity.  I'm guessing you had to turn the pots pretty far CCW to reduce their resistance enough for the chip to notice your touch.  If it works reliably, great.  If you have trouble you could try increasing C2&C3 by 2x or 3x. 

Thank you very much for the advice. Honestly I don't remember if I had to turn the pots far or not, I just remember it being a bit of a chore getting everything working just right but I suspect you're correct. It's all working fine now but maybe when I get bored during the upcoming winters long nights I'll tear into it to incorporate my SOTA tuner and possibly change C2 & C3. Thanks.