Micro Controller Projects

for Radio Amateurs and Hobbyists

designed by
Murray Greenman ZL1BPU

On this web site you will find a series of projects of interest to Radio Amateurs and other hobbyists. If you are interested in home-brew micro controller projects, this is the place for you!

A typical project prototype All the projects use the AVR family of controllers from Atmel. Some use the older AT90S4433, now replaced by the ATMEGA8, a really powerful 28 pin device which sports a six channel A-D converter, RAM, EEPROM, a UART and two timers. Other projects use a simpler, cheaper, but even faster device, the AT90S2313, now replaced by the ATTiny2313, a 20 pin device that will operate at 20 MHz, ideal for speed-conscious applications.

Many of these projects have been very widely built. Most of these projects shown here have been featured in BREAK-IN Magazine as they were released.

Click here for more information about project For more information about each project, click on this icon next to the project name.
Download archive now! For FREE download of complete project archive, click on this symbol where available.
Click here for ordering information For some projects this icon is displayed, indicating that there is a charge for the firmware.
Click on the icon to find out how to order the firmware.

TEST EQUIPMENT
Click here for more information about project Click here for ordering information TE.1 High Accuracy LCD Frequency Counter
High performance 8 digit HF frequency counter - TCXO reference - LCD display - only three chips - simple to use.

TE.2 Embedded Single Chip Frequency Counter
High performance 8 digit HF frequency counter - single chip to 6MHz - LCD display - 12, 24 and 1200MHz options - designed for use in receivers and signal generators. Prototype working - waiting for documentation to be completed.

SIGNAL GENERATORS
Click here for more information about project Click here for ordering information SG.1 Synthesized Function Generator
Direct Digital Synthesis - simple but high performance Signal Generator zero to 250 kHz in 0.05 Hz steps - stable, low distortion sine, square, triangle and ramp - includes precision sweep generator- same hardware as Signal Generator.

Click here for more information about project Click here for ordering information SG.2 Synthesized Signal Generator
Direct Digital Synthesis - simple but high performance Signal Generator zero to 250 kHz in 0.1 Hz steps with decimal programming. Generates sine, square, ramp, two-tone, and includes very versatile precision sweep generator.

Click here for more information about project Click here for ordering information SG.3 Sine/Noise/Pulse and Sweep Generator
Direct Digital Synthesis - same hardware as Signal Generator - zero to 400 kHz in 0.08 Hz steps - stable, low distortion sinewaves, with sweep function - includes a pseudo-random noise generator to 400kHz - highly versatile pulse generator - square wave or pulsed RF.

AMATEUR RADIO
Click here for more information about project Click here for ordering information AR.1 Synthesized 1W LF Exciter
Direct Digital Synthesis - high performance multi-mode LF Exciter from zero to 400 kHz in < 0.1 Hz steps - very stable, low phase noise signals - precision sweep generator - remarkable five mode internal beacon generator - only uses four inexpensive chips - PC controlled and calibrated, or stand-alone!
  • This is the world's first and only stand-alone beacon transmitter to offer JASON mode.
  • The latest 32-bit version has GPS carrier synchronisation for Clicklock operation.
  • With a 16MHz crystal you can use this Exciter on the new 500kHz band!

    LF Exciter Front Panel Controller
    Long awaited front panel for above LF Exciter - LCD display of frequency, mode and time - "VFO" frequency control - mode, beacon schedule, hand keying options. Coming soon!

    Click here for more information about project Click here for ordering information AR.2 Super Beacon Keyer with Telemetry
    Advanced keyer for HF or VHF - 10 telemetry channels, six analog - easily changed messages with telemetry and multiple Morse and Hell modes - audio or digital output.

    Click here for more information about project See author for details AR.3 Mini-Keyer with Telemetry
    Simpler keyer for HF or VHF - digital telemetry - easily changed messages with telemetry and multiple modes. Free to licenced Amateurs.

    Click here for more information about project Click here for ordering information AR.4 Automatic Rotator Controller
    Adds automatic computer control to widely used manual rotator controllers, such as the KENPRO KR-400, Yaesu G-400, CDR CD-44 and HY-GAIN HAM IV - send rotator to favourite heading, or control from logging or digital mode software (such as MIXW)! Free to NZART members.

    Click here for more information about project Click here for ordering information AR.5 Super-Stable Exciter for HF
    Small 40mW transmitter, optional 2W amp - AM and CW modulation - 2 to 10MHz using TV sync or GPS reference - carrier frequency precision of 1 part in 107! Real time UTC clock, seconds ticks and ID message included. This is an older project, but simple and inexpensive to build and very useful as a reference transmission or propagation monitoring source.

  • TIME & FREQUENCY
    Download archive now! UTC Superclock
    UTC (GMT) and local time clock with LCD display - precision reference accuracy 3 seconds per year - internal calibration technique - battery backup and power fail alarm - inexpensive with recycled parts, comprehensive manual. Free download.

    Click here for more information about project Click here for ordering information TF.1 GPSClock
    GPS Disciplined reference with UTC and local time clock and LCD display - internal 10MHz reference with 10-9 performance short term, 10-11 long term - clock accuracy 1 second per century! - uses GPS to self calibrate phase-locked reference - battery backup and power fail alarm. Can be built from recycled parts and if required, used as a simple but accurate clock without GPS.

    Click here for more information about project Click here for ordering information Precision Frequency Exciter for HF
    Small 40mW transmitter, optional 2W amp - AM and CW modulation - micro-powered synthesizer - 2 to 10MHz using TV sync or GPS reference - carrier frequency precision of 1 part in 107! Real time UTC clock, seconds ticks and ID message included. This is an older project, but simple to build and very useful as a reference transmission or propagation monitoring source.

    Click here for more information about project Contact the author for software -
this one isn't free! Phase Comparator for Frequency Standards
    Monitors phase and computes frequency offset for non-controlled reference sources - similar design to High Performance Frequency Standard, but without phase locking - special PC program to monitor phase and frequency performance. Resolution of 1 in 1012 in just a few minutes.

    Click here for more information about project Contact the author for software -
this one isn't free! High Performance Frequency Standard
    Achieves 1 in 1012 performance using high quality controlled OCXO and GPS 1PPS reference. LCD display. Similar design to GPSCLOCK, but all new software. Will control +ve or -ve slope voltage controlled OCXO. Includes new improved dual display PC software.

    Click here for more information about project Click here for ordering information TF.2 'VNG in a BOX'

    GPS Disciplined Reference and time code generator for V-TCXO or V-OCXO - uses GPS 1pps signal as reference - will lock a reference any 2kHz step frequency 2 - 15MHz. Generates carrier synchronous 1kHz subcarrier and 1kHz ticks in famous VNG format - sending time of day and carrier phase. Time code can be recorded and/or decoded by PC. Use with GPS Monitor/Display for GPS Disciplined Reference with Holdover.

    Click here for more information about project Click here for ordering information TF.3 GPS Monitor/Display

    Companion device for the 'VNG in a Box' reference. Uses a Motorola GPS timing module, and monitors the GPS fix quality. Puts the 'VNG in a Box' reference into HOLD if fix is less than 3D, checks receiver as well as fix quality. Can have time/date/fix/position display, and can be used independently. Generates Morse ID for use on air with 'VNG in a Box'!

    Click here for more information about project Free Download! TF.4 Control Software for FE5650A/FE5680A Rb Synthesizers

    Software specifically designed for controlling the Frequency Electronics, Inc FE-5650A Opt 58 or FE-5680A Rubidium Synthesizers. Uses 32-bit maths and correctly rounds up or down the requested frequency to within 0.005 Hz. Free download!

    Click here for more information about project Click here for ordering information TF.5 Beacon/Exciter for FE5650A/FE5680A Rb Synthesizers

    Software specifically designed for controlling the Frequency Electronics, Inc FE-5650A Opt 58 or FE-5680A Rubidium Synthesizers. Similar to project TF.4, but has additional capability. It uses easily written script files to run a frequency programmed sequence for exciter, beacon or sweep generator applications. Can generate many ASK, FSK, MFSK and DFSK modes, including QRSS3 graphics and Sequential MT-Hell. Comes with example scripts.

    Click here for more information about project Click here for ordering information TF.6 Simple GPS Reference
    GPS Disciplined reference which uses a high performance OCXO. Provides a real-time clock, 10MHz and regenerated 1pps output. The 10MHz reference has short term stability much better than 10-11, and long term accuracy about 5x10-11. Holdover performance (i.e. when GPS is lost) exceeds 1 in 10-9/day. Will lock to any 1pps source.

    Click here for more information about project For more information about each project, click on this icon next to the project name.
    Download archive now! For FREE download of complete project archive, click on this symbol where available.
    Click here for ordering information For some projects this icon is displayed, indicating that there is a charge for the firmware.
    Click on the icon to find out how to order the firmware.


    ORDERING INFORMATION

    - PLEASE READ:

    Firmware and Software - Two types of programs are provided - embedded code for the micro controller (called firmware), and some projects also have PC code, so you can talk to or monitor the micro (PC code is called software). These programs are provided in two forms - executable code, binary files that you simply load and operate, and source code, text files which contain the programming instructions from which the executables are compiled.

    Executable code cannot be modified, only programmed into a micro and used as supplied. Although some programs are configured so that parameters can be set in EEPROM, the programs themselves cannot be adapted without the source code and the compilers required to make the executables again. You do not own, or receive any rights to the code and design, which remain with the author.

    Source code gives away all the design secrets and programming ideas, and tells the world how good (or bad) the programmer is. The source programs can be adapted by editing the source code and using the compilers required to make the executables again. The licence given with the software allows purchasers to adapt and recompile for their own use, but not to redistribute the code in any form, original or modified. You do not own, or receive any rights to the code and design, which remain with the author. The embedded source code for these projects is in ATMEL WAVRASM syntax, and the PC software source code in Microsoft Quick Basic 3.2 compiler syntax.

    Free Projects - For some projects, the code is available free on the web site. There may also be comprehensive design information and a user manual. What you see is what you get. These designs are free not because they are inferior or less popular projects, but so you can gauge what you would get with other projects. Please help yourself! What you get is a free licence to use the code and design for private use. You do not own, or receive any rights to the code and design, which remain with the author. See Legal Notes for details of rights and restrictions.

    Where the software is free, support comes at a price. I am happy to quote for such support. However, at present I am not in a position to undertake customer-specific code or hardware design changes, or completely new commissioned designs. I only undertake self-directed Atmel AVR-based processor designs at present.

    Supported Projects - For those projects marked with a Contact the author for software -
this one isn't free! symbol, while the hardware design is freely available from the web link, you need to send MONEY to the address below to pay for the micro/PC firmware/software. There is a fixed price - for each project:

    • US$20 or 20EU (NZ/AU$25 is OK) for executables (so you can program and run the project)
    • US$50 or 50EU (NZ/AU$60 is OK) for source code (so you can understand how it works, and perhaps modify the project for your purposes)
    Posting banknotes wrapped inside a letter is the easiest and most reliable way to pay. US$, NZ$, AU$, UK£, EURO and other major currencies are also acceptable. Personal checks, bank checks, internet pay services and money orders are not accepted.

    In return I will send the requested code immediately by email, and support your development by answering all your questions. The price gives you a licence to multiple-use of the firmware, but not the right to modify it, sell it or give it away. More importantly, you also get completely unlimited email support for the purchased project to the best of my ability. The prices reflect time spent answering questions, not the value of the firmware. See Legal Notes for details of rights and restrictions.

    • Where there are multiple versions of the code, you get all versions for the one price.
    • Where there is appropriate PC software, you get that too.
    • If there are later upgrades than the version you have, you can have an upgrade free of charge.
    • When you request source code, you also get any appropriate PC source code as well.
    • All micro - PC communications protocols are fully documented, so you can write your own PC code if you wish.
    Clubs and Group Projects - Really good deal for clubs! Just pay once, share the software, and spread the cost among all participants (Support is only provided via the club project coordinator, who pays only once for the code).

    Hardware and Micros - No components, micros, kits or hardware are provided for any of these projects. It is not possible to program your micro for you. It is also very difficult to provide hardware debugging advice by email, and usually impossible to support your modifications. It is also not practical to offer component source advice, since your sources are inevitably different to mine. These are the areas where YOU have to commit some effort to the project!

    Further Projects - The development cost of micro projects can never be recovered solely through sales. Donations to cover development costs and to encourage further development are especially welcome. Suggestions for further projects are welcome, and those accompanied by generous donations will likely receive the greatest attention! Send donations (and orders with money attached) to the address below. Enquiries can be made to the email address at the bottom of this page.

    HOW TO ORDER
    Send a letter containing the appropriate amount of currency to:
    Murray Greenman
    13 Totara St,
    Waiuku 2123
    NEW ZEALAND
    1. The letter must contain your real name and return address.
    2. The letter must contain appropriate currency for the item requested.
    3. The currency must be inside the letter so is not obvious from outside the envelope.
    4. The letter must contain a valid email address to which zipped executables and binary code can be emailed without being rejected or bounced.
    5. You must explicitly state which project you are ordering, using the number next to the project name.
    If these conditions are not met, your order will be delayed while details are verified. If you have any questions at any time, contact the email address below.

    Copyright Murray Greenman 1997-2009. All rights reserved. Contact the author before using any of this material.