Ultimate 2 Ultimate 3
Ultimate 3s - A Swiss Army Knife for Radio
you have a shack you need an Ultimate 3s (U3s). No I am not on a
commision, it is just I find new uses for this device all of the
time. Need an RF source? Need accuracy between 100khz to 140+mhz?
Need a standalone CW/Wspr/PI4/JT65/Opera/etc.? Need a GPS
disciplined shack clock? Do you like experimenting? If you can
answer yes to any of these questions then you probably need a U3s.
You will notice it in many of the projects in my notes.
This page is just an overview. There is plenty of 'How To' on the
Display showing GPS Info
I first came across the Ultimate 2
online. It sounded too good to be true - especially at the price
of <£30. An easy to build standalone Wspr transmitter. No
computer required. The U3s superseded this and is even better.
In fact it, in some ways, perfectly compliments the Red Pitaya
in Wspr RX mode. I can run the two together and leave alone. The
Red Pitaya will listen and update all spots on 8x bands of Wspr
at once. The U3s will transmit on any of six bands at a time
period of your choosing. It is very QRP so no chance of damaging
your sensitive receiver so long as you run seperate antennas.
And on Wspr its nominal 200mw will travel the world over if
conditions are right. And that is just its Wspr use.
If, like me, you have some equipment which drifts a little -
especially on VHF. It is possible to run the U3s as a frequency
standard. A quick press on the right button and GPS corrected,
oven stabilised RF can appear on your Wspr screen to ensure you
really are within, say, the 4m Wspr window.
If, like me, you like to try different modes but you are not in
range of, say, a PI4 beacon. Then you can set up your own test
beacon into a dummy load and watch PI-RX decode it. In fact EI0SIX uses a U3s I
believe. Recently I have succeeded in spotting it. I was
confident it could be done because I had confirmed everything
was working here with my own U3s dummy load beacon.
And if, like me, you are interested in how things work then the
U3s is the perfect way to get into basic construction. The basic
U3s is cheap and easy to build. No smd. You get one band (one
LPF at least) and it is quite possible to be on the air with it
quite quickly. Of course there is no multiband capability or GPS
discipline, or OCXO
just yet. These you have to add. And you probably will. With the
exception of the OCXO (still no smd but requires quite accurate
soldering) it is all straightforward and you can add to the kit
as you go. There is even a case to make it all look very
The basic U3s on test (The LCD with the white screws is it!)
You can also keep up to date with the very active Forum. There
are plenty of people who can offer advice and other resources
(photographs, mods etc.) as well as Hans himself who is always
ready to help.
A fully specified U3s with internal GPS board, OCXO and a full
bank of band LPF
Finally as new developments come along Hans releases updated
Eeproms so the thing never goes out of date. If you are
adventurous you can invest in a cheap AVR Programmer and
download the updated files from the website for free and update
it yourself. This is what I do, too impatient to wait.
In short a vital part of the G0MJI shack.
A stack of U3s I have built into different boxes