30 October 2012

Bluetooth CAT for Yaesu FT1000 mark V

A HAM contacted me to have one of my CAT-to-bluetooth dongles for his Yaesu FT1000 mark V. Well, that's a transceiver I have only heard of, never seen either in real-life or pictures. I looked up the user's manual online and studied it a bit.

The "one thousand" has a CAT interface with RS232 levels (-12V/+12V), opposed to pseudo-TTL of FT8x7's (5V/0V), so my dongle cannot work on it.

But this characteristic makes the FT1000 easier to interface over Bluetooth, because there are ready-made adapters on the market. Their price varies from about 18USD to 70USD, depending on the source and packaging (you need a "slave" one, that's most common anyway). Those devices need a power supply, usually of 5 volts, that can be easily derived from one of the unused accessory ports on the back of the FT1000: I suggested to take 9V from the DVS-2 port and convert them with a 78L05 and a couple of decoupling capacitors. That's it.

Well, don't forget to configure the RS232-to-BT dongle at 4800 baud, 8N2, as detailed in the Yaesu manual. How-to do it depends on the Bluetooth adapter you've got.

And no, I am not going to build these adapters for FT1000, unless someone sends me a similar transceiver to test them on :-)

23 October 2012

Toshiba Tecra M2 recovery disks

Contact me if you need the recovery disks for a fine Toshiba Tecra M2 laptop.

Edit: the resulting system will speak Italian.

16 October 2012

Raspberry Pi from RS shipped, at last

Last night, while I was about to cancel my #2 RasPi order, RS wrote me:

"If you ordered a Raspberry Pi board as part of your order we are pleased to inform you that we have sent you the upgraded 512MB Revision 2 board to thank you for your continued patience."
That's a pleasant surprise, especially if this means I can run GCompris and Childsplay on it without noticeable slow downs.

15 October 2012

Counterfeit ICs—the Serious Problem that Only We Can Make Go Away - Tutorial - Maxim

Lately the Maxim-IC newsletter delivered to my inbox carried a link to an interesting document about Counterfeit ICs—the Serious Problem that Only We Can Make Go Away.
While as hobbysts we cannot do much about the phenomena, we are certainly pushing components to their limits and beyond (here I am thinking of the CW TX based on 74HC240 run at 7V, IRF510's as HF PA, ...): counterfeit components can be the cause of an unexpected failure.