RAN Technology

Technical Articles

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why 50 ohms?

 Why do we use 50 ohm cables?    If you're like most hams the answer is:  "I dunno!"In fact, it's a compromise (like most things in life) - between lowest loss when handling power and voltage breakdown, as Belden engineer Steve Lampen explains hereA pdf copy can be found below as well.   And now you know!...  READ MORE
ranickels
09/06/2020
Technical
Bias control of Class E amplfiers

Micro SDR innovator Guido PE1NNZ has implemented polar modulation using an Arduino MCU and a class E PA.   For more informartion on this fascinating project, join the discussion group at https://groups.io/g/ucxInitially, Guido's design implemented the polar or EER modulation scheme using modifications to the QCX CW transceiver hardware in the traditional way as described by Leonard K...  READ MORE
ranickels
06/20/2020
Technical
Class E Notes

 There is a lot of misunderstanding about how a Class E amplifier works.     As the result of studying the literature and experimenting, I thought I'd share what I have learned over the past several years.   Below is an example of a test amplifier I used to optimize my 2 watt wspr transmitter boards.   It can be visualized as two circuits - the...  READ MORE
ranickels
06/06/2020
Technical
Communications Associates Inc. SSB-125 marine radiotelephone

What can I say, I like oddball radios!    There was already a different version of this CAI SSB-125 on my shelf but it had the remote control head, and this one was cheap, well under $100 including shipping, and I'm easily amused.   VIDEO DEMO HERECommunications Associates Inc. was a supplier of commercial, military, and marine radios based in Huntington Station, ...  READ MORE
ranickels
05/14/2020
Technical
"B" Bench update

 Like most of those reading this, I've upgraded and added to my test equipment inventory over the years, starting with the Heathkit VTVM I built when I was 15 or so.   There's no "right" piece of equipment, just personal preferences, and while I'd be the first to say my work habits are anything but "right" they are what they are, and I'm old enoug...  READ MORE
ranickels
02/03/2020
Technical
The best cleaner/degreaser on the planet!

I have no interest or affiliation with the company and discovered this product when I was looking for a good degreaser to clean my jukebox.   IT IS THE BEST!I like data, so I put confidence in the test results that can be viewed in the infographic below.I also like RESULTS and this stuff delivers.   Greasy dirt and grime are instantly dissolved and wipe away.   You ca...  READ MORE
ranickels
12/09/2019
Technical
My experience with the Nouveau 75

Mini-review of the Nouveau 75 by W9RANI like it, warts and all!OK, maybe not quite that "mini"...here's a few of my impressions of this innovative kit from the 4 State QRP Group.I've been interested in amplitude modulation of a class E PA for some time and after Dave Cripe said to stay tuned for the next 4SQRP offering, I wasn't too surprised to see what it was, and bought on...  READ MORE
ranickels
11/12/2019
Technical
Phasing SSB transmitter alignment - the easy way!

Equipment manuals and handbooks of the 1950s and 60s were filled with complex oscilloscope screens and discussion of ripple and as a result proper alignment of a phasing rig eluded most hams.    But a clever New Zealand ham, Fred Johnson ZL2AMJ was able to see what everyone else had missed, and published a short note in the NZ ham magazine in 1972 that makes the process simple and r...  READ MORE
ranickels
07/20/2019
Technical
Bearing puller for pennies

 Finding myself in need of a tool to remove a bad bearing on a blower from a linear amplifier I first tried the usual automotive type gear puller but it wasn't able to get underneath this small 5/8" OD bearing.   So I improvised a tool that took 10 minutes to make, cost a few cents, and had the job done in no time at allThe secret is wedges sold at the home improvement stor...  READ MORE
ranickels
07/16/2019
Technical
W9RAN Field Radio

In the early days of aviation radio, transmissions originated from the ground using the longwave transmitter also used for homing,  and pilots acknowledged by wagging their wings.  It didn't take long to realize the benefits of having transmitting capability onboard the plane as well, and the first generation of aircraft radio used the low HF band.    Given today's...  READ MORE
ranickels
05/11/2019
Technical
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