5 days ago •
Hi everyone! I got 3rd place! I'm the 3rd best hacker in the world! Thanks everyone for your support! Congratulations to the other finalists, in particular SatNOGS! I have an unused, wooden garage that would be perfect for housing one of their antennas trackers. I'll need to get on that. Also, I would love a tricorder and spectrometer. I'd like a chipwhisperer too, but I think it's a little over my head.
So where have I been? (Sorry about that, btw) Well first, after all the stress of the contest, it was nice to kinda do nothing for a while. But mostly I've been trying to figure out how to get the PSDR produced so you can have one!
I've poured over the survey data; very interesting stuff! There are a few things in there that are encouraging; so many people said they'd buy a PSDR2 AND a future version! There are also a few things that people aren't going to like. Maybe it was the BaoFeng comparison, but a pretty large number of people said it would only be worth say $50-150 to them (some even less!). There's no way that can happen, it's made of expensive parts and.... how can I compete with a big Chinese company!
Right now I am finding places that can do the manufacturing for me, particularly the metal housings and PCB assembly. When I have some quotes back, I'll be able to determine what I can charge and not go broke (a very real possibility if I'm not careful).
I hope to have a Kickstarter project up in about a week. Thanks for your patience everyone! I haven't forgotten about you!
Also another religious thought, skip if you aren't interested.
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18 days ago •
Today, in the interview post about the RamanPi, Brian says, "If you're wondering who the winner of The Hackaday Prize is, even I don't know. [Mike] and a few Hackaday overlords do," Thinking of it now, of course the results would be known before the announcement, but it hadn't really occurred to me until I read that. For some reason it seemed weird to me. Whether I have won first place or not is known, but not to me. So in a weird way, I am in the superposition of both having taken first, and not. That is, until Thursday morning (for me 5 am :/ ) when the wave function will collapse. I think it would be fun to be in their position, to know that you were about to change someone's life, and you knew it, but they didn't. Good luck to my fellow finalists! No matter the outcome, I'm happy to have made it so far.
Pictured above is Girl Kitty, she's been our cat since I was a teenager (which makes her about 18 years old) but, unlike Schrödinger's cat, Girl Kitty is, thankfully, alive.
In other news, the response to the survey has been MIND BLOWING! The PSDR has about 650 followers, not everyone is going to respond, I guess I expected about 100 responses. Right now I have 1,106! (Which is, by the way, probably enough) THANKS EVERYBODY! It's been amazing to see such an overwhelmingly positive response! I'm still going through the data and want to devote a proper post to it. Give me a few days. I'm really learning a lot by going through all of this.
23 days ago •
I shot this before the Final Overview Video, but didn't get around to posting it. Basically, it shows that my first attempt at an amplifier board for the PSDR2 was unsuccessful, also, I need filtering. I think that what I showed in the video might not have been that meaningful because I had already damaged the amp at that point. Nevertheless, it seems that filtering before the amplifier is going to be required. I have a circuit I want to try that would be a digitally variable low-pass filter. I think it will work, just not sure if will work at RF frequencies.
I was also lucky to bump into a pretty seasoned RF engineer and picked his brain about designing this amplifier (I only picked the surface though, since I could only take about 5 minutes of his time) basically, it sounds like MMICs will probably only get me to 1 W. Which is not terrible. Beyond that, I'll probably have to design a discrete circuit. BUT he also suggested a trick I'd read about, where you use a power splitter, then, say, 5 MMIC amps, then a combiner, and there you go. I'm interested in trying that. That would also make it easy to step down power, and even provide some redundancy...
THANK YOU SO MUCH EVERYONE FOR DOING THE SURVEYS! I've received over 600 responses! (500 today alone, thanks to being featured on the front page. Thanks Brian!) Next time I'll give a breakdown of the responses and what it will mean for the PSDR moving forward.