Raspberry Pi used as a beacon transmitter

rpi-beacon-transmitter

[m0xpd] got his hands on an inexpensive AD9850 DDS Module from eBay but needed a way to control it. He took inspiration from the projects that used a PIC microcontroller, but decided to add his own twist by using a Raspberry Pi to build a multi-mode beacon transmitter.

At the center of this breadboarded circuit lies the green AD9850 module. To its left is a level converter he built to get the 3.3V levels from the RPi board to work with the rest of the 5V hardware. The signal then feeds into a QRP amplifier and a low pass filter.

He didn’t start from square one when it came time to write the code for the RPi. Instead he grabbed an Arduino sketch for the very same DDS and ported it over to Python. The first test signal was his call sign sent in Morse code at QRSS speeds. But he also managed to get Hellschreiber messages working, making it a multiple-mode device.

[via Solder Smoke]

Comments

  1. Fallen says:

    I was really disappointed when I realized it said beacon and not bacon.

  2. MikeK says:

    A microcontroller would have consumed far less power and avoided the need for a level converter. The author used an RPi because he doesn’t understand microcontrollers. The RPi is way overkill.

    • Iron says:

      Grow up.
      Next time read the link before posting comments like this. He clearly states he has experience with microcontrollers.

      “Rather than follow the rest of the flock with a PIC controller (having already played with a PIC controller for DDS devices), I thought I’d like to use my new Raspberry Pi, so I had a further sniff about the ‘net and found Ron, nr8o’s blog, where he presents an Arduino sketch for setting up the AD9850..”

      Guess what I have lying in my desk drawer now. An unused arduino and a raspberry pi covered in dust. The next project I come up with will be more than likely built on one of these two because they are readily available and easy to work with.

      • MikeK says:

        Yep, he played with it and didn’t understand it. I hope he doesn’t become an engineer. These are the people who do stupid shit like put a virtual machine inside a DVD player because they can only write Java.

        • Justin says:

          Eherm, his side bar states that he is an engineer, his well documented projects do include micro controllers and there is even a post where he takes MICROCHIP to task for poorly implemented features enumerating the issues.

          I know I’m feeding the troll, but I’m hoping that he will get fat and die of complications from diabetes.

          • JB says:

            “I know I’m feeding the troll, but I’m hoping that he will get fat and die of complications from diabetes.”

            +1 LOL!

    • Justin Sabe says:

      I know for a fact that he understands microcontrollers. His site is kinda awesome with projects.

  3. Manuka says:

    Well done, but indeed a humble US$3 PICAXE-08M (PIC12F683) can do pretty much the same. Some years back I persuaded one into both CW beacon duties & Sequential Multi-tone (SMT) Hellschreiber – the later decoded visually via the likes of Spectran. See =>http://www.picaxe.orconhosting.net.nz/hellsmt.htm Stan. (ZL2APS)

  4. I wonder if I’ll get published if I use my 32-core xeon server to make a beacon transmitter, with the excuse that while i know a microcontroller is more appropriate, i only had a 32-core xeon server lying around? :) Where’s the line?

  5. James says:

    I need to look into the AD9850… Always up for learning new things!
    Won’t be in use on HF though, anything coming off my Peaberry will be synthed on the PC side.

  6. kf5rsx says:

    I need to look into the AD9850… Always up for learning new things!
    Won’t be in use on HF though, anything coming off my Peaberry will be synthed on the PC side.
    I’m sure a hardware synth will come in handy at some point anyway.

  7. Chris says:

    If you notice, the gentleman earned a PhD in engineering.

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