Activity Report – HF SuperPacker Pro V3

The last report indicated that the circuit boards for the QVGA Controller/Display module were in fabrication. I received them a week ago and discovered to my horror that I had not “turned on” the Power and Ground layers of these 4–layer boards. Nothing to do but reorder. So I corrected and re-ordered. I should have them again in a few more days. A mistake that I wish never happened but it did. It is the consequences of insufficient checks and balances.

I continue working on the software for the QVGA Controller/Display module. The major pieces in development right now are:

  • Interface with VGDD to allow screens to be developed and incorporated in the QVGA Controller/Display program. This function has reached a milestone in that we have a working “round-trip” method where we can create a screen, incorporate and run it on the QVGA Controller/Display and then make changes and repeat the process as necessary.
  • The Firmware structure of the QVGA Controller/Display
    • Initialize the UART
    • Creation of a data base for the sending/receiving of messages.
    • Create a table-driven CRC function.
    • Serial Receive Interrupt Routine.
    • Serial Transmit Interrupt Routine.
    • Receive a MODBUS packet, test for proper CRC.
    • Save a packet data into data base. (still working on some function codes)
    • Create a SCANNER function to extract data variables from the Amp Module data base and keep the Screen updated.
      • Create transmit packets.

I am continuing to flesh-out function codes for received packets. I discovered that the CRC function has a bug for a certain message data combination. I must resolve this. It is a pretty tough problem to find.

I hope to have an assembled QVGA Controller/Display in the next week or so. I plan to get the above mentioned software finished so I can concentrate on the actual application screens and communicate with the amp.

HF Projects sales is slow and continues as a small trickle. It requires that I spend more time away from the project to keep everything moving forward.

73 K5OOR –  Virgil

 

One thought on “Activity Report – HF SuperPacker Pro V3

  1. Beginning of the year I built the HF Packer-Amp Version 4 to give my Yaesu 817 ND a little more boost, especially operating out of the greater Atlanta area. Virgil did a great job with the assembly manual and the assembly went pretty smooth. In the testing phase two problems occurred: Low output power and blown finals. The first problem seemed to point the filter board and I decided to send the amp to Virgil for further inspections. Virgil performed a tune up on the board and also replaced the transformer wire with silver plated wire for T1. After he did final tests on his Icom qrp rig I received the amp two weeks later.
    I connected the amp to my 817 and performed the same testing procedure. I put the amp on a 100W dummy load, measured PEP with a Scope in PKT mode (constant carrier) and SSB mode. The constant carrier PKT mode delivered nice results, but as soon as I put the 817 in SSB and talked in the microphone the finals blew again after 2 – 3 minutes.
    In all of my conversations with Virgil, I forgot to mention that I modified my Yaesu MH-31microphone with Joachim Münch’s (DF4ZS) HF Clipper. (http://www.jwm.de/afu/0ft817eng.htm). According to Achim, the clipper can deliver additional 10 db. I decided to put a regular MH-31 microphone on the Yaesu. Now the amp was holding nicely and delivered nearly 50 W on 160m, but fell off sharply to only 10W for the remaining bands. After a brief conversation with Virgil it seemed that I bought cheap IF510 on eBay. I ordered a new set of finals from Virgil put them in and voila the amp performed nicely.
    In my first on the air test last Sunday afternoon, I did 3 DX contacts on 20m in less than twenty minutes (Slovenia, Switzerland and Guatemala). I used the amp on my portable PAC12 vertical travel antenna with four ground radials stuck in my backyard lawn.

    I just wanted to say that is has been a great pleasure to work with Virgil. His amp, boards, parts, tech support and service are first class and he certainly is a true enrichment to our radio amateur community.
    Thank you again Virgil for your patience and fantastic help with this project.
    73
    N3NU, Andreas Burkart

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