I’m spending about eighty percent of my time on Alpha’s new A4040 Autotuner. It’s great to get back to engineering – my true love.
It’s picture time!
This was shot as we were assembling the first article and things look really good. A few holes in the wrong place, but all and all, things are looking really good for shipment at the end of the quarter. The tuner is very mechanical, and very heavy duty. In this picture you can see the two vacuum variable caps, and the Alpha designed inductor, all direct driven by the stepper motors near the bottom of the picture. The caps and inductors are sitting on a huge piece of Glass Epoxy board, supported by rubberized mounts so we can isolate the noisy stuff from the metal cabinet. The gears are driving geared potentiometers that are used to sense the position of the elements. Notice the silver plated flat stock wound on edge. I’d tell you how this inductor is made – if I knew. Our vendor said he’d have to… well suffice it to say, I told him I didn’t want to know. We designed our own heavy duty switches and pad cap. You can see the three switches near the back of the unit, and the pad cap is right behind the middle capacitor.
For the computing platform, we’ve chosen the Beagleboard XM running Ubuntu Linux, with a custom driver board plugged into a 7? color LCD display. It’s up and running and we’re busy writing code.
They’re selling quickly. We’ve already received orders for almost two hundred tuners! If you want to get one before Dayton, you should put your order in the system. We’re taking orders with no deposit necessary, so get on that list! As soon as we start shipping, we’re going to start taking deposits to get in the queue.
Over the last couple years, I’ve met some of the nicest hams. It’s a wonderful hobby, isn’t it?
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