20 Jan 2013

E-field probe mag-mount now built

This morning I decided that it would be better to build the E-field probe for 137kHz RX at the base of the whip directly on the mag-mount base rather than inside the vehicle and having to tune out the cable capacitance. This way,  the cable capacitance is no longer an issue. I built the E-field probe into a small plastic box and arranged it so the whole unit attaches to the mag-mount using a PL259 plug in the bottom of the unit. Radio 4 on 198kHz is an S9+ signal with the mag-mount sitting on the bedroom window-sill with around 10 inches of whip. It appears to be working well.

The present design is a poor man's PA0RDT probe but using an MPF102 and a 2N3904 rather than the better devices used in Rodolph's high IP2/3 design. I may put a tuned circuit in the FET drain to increase the gain at 137kHz and reduce the gain outside the band. I will experiment with this before going out in the car.

Currently it is snowing continuously here, so road testing the EFP and checking coverage of my QRP 137kHz CW and QRSS3/30 beacon will now have to wait until later in the week.

UPDATE: I have modified the EFP so that the FET output comes from the drain with a drain tuned circuit tuned to 137kHz. I have the source resistor not decoupled initially but will consider adding this if I need a little more overall gain as the barefoot FT817 is very deaf on 137kHz.

No comments: