Lately I have lots of problems with my home made 23cm transceiver. But before I will go hunt for solution I decided it was time to replace the 19-inch casing with something more decent. The 19-inch housing was way to big and not practically because of the thick steel.
So I wanted a somewhat smaller case, preferable made of aluminum. I always liked the cases of MicroHAM so I looked up the dimensions. It could fit in the same dimensions as the USB micro Keyer II.
So I made a design based on those dimensions and cut and fold some aluminum at the club. A lot of drilling and filing had to be done to fit everything. But I’m pleased with the end result. Unfortunately the problems with the transceiver didn’t disappear with the old housing, so I still have to find out what is wrong with it. Since the LF-sound screams when I turn on the volume, I assume it has something to do with the LF-amplifier (LM386) or the radio-chip (MC3362). I tried to reach out to the designer of the transceiver (Bas PE1JPD), hopefully he can help.

Double quad 23cmWith the 23cm transceiver still in development, I need a 23cm antenna. I got interested in a double quad for 23cm.

Advantage of a double quad for 23cm over other designs is a great front/back-ratio and a large opening angle. I will use the 23cm transceiver mainly for chatting on a local repeater PI6NOS. There is a free-line-of-site from my roof to PI6NOS. No need for a huge gain to open the repeater. I’ve chosen a fixed antenna position.

A few guys at my local club build a 23 cm double quad themselves. It isn’t a very difficult job. Only thing I didn’t like about it is it has to be placed in a plastic container to be weather proof.
Last radio market I attended I walked by a stand of EPS-antennas. The owner Paul PA3EPS, builds beautiful antennas for HF and higher bands. In his line-up Paul PA3EPS sells a double quad for 23cm. It’s a bit pricey in comparison with DIY. But then again, if you focus on construction, used materials and the fact that is weather proof as is…. anyway,it wasn’t a difficult choice. I prefer excellent quality antennas on my roof in order to avoid unnecessary presence there. That has something to do with a fear of heights.

Before I attach the EPS double quad for 23cm on its final position in the mast, it might interesting to see if there is a significant difference in performance between the DIY double quad (not yet tuned) and the EPS double quad. Unfortunately I don’t own much measuring equipment for 23cm so the only way to roughly compare the two is to check the signal of PI6NOS on my 23cm transceiver with both antennas in the same place, connected with the same cable.
The result you can see in this video.

4u-95-inch-half-rack-200mm-stackable-rack-cabinetAs I moving on with my 23cm transceiver project, I started to look for a need case for it. I’m fully aware of the fact that the case determines how your finished project will look. So I need to find a case that is highly customizable but the same form factor for all projects. Something like a 19″-case but 19″ is way too big for most of my projects.
Searching the web I found a 9,5″-solution. Same idea as 19″ but half its width.
Sounds like an ideal solution for my Do-It-Yourself projects! A little 9,5-cabinet on your desk doesn’t take a lot of space and the form factor is flexibel enough to house several projects (such as the 23cm transceiver and the Arduino keyer).