VHF ApolLO Available

The VHF ApolLO board is in production now and will be available on March 1st for shipping.  We are taking online preorders for the board here and our distributor, Downeast Microwave, is taking phone orders.  The VHF ApolLO is the same design as the ApolLO-32 strap-programmable microwave oscillator, but it operates in the VHF region, 70-450MHz (some frequencies may require an inductor change).  More details and documentation will be posted in the next few weeks, but the oscillator has mounting holes for popular transverters and locks to 10MHz just as the ApolLO-32.


VHF ApolLO PCB currently in production

Tree Avoidance Map for US Rovers

If you’ve ever been roving with a big dish or microwave antennas that are not on a mast, you know that locating an area without trees can be very important.  A hilltop that looks good on an elevation map is not worth nearly as much if is is covered in trees.  Most rovers survey locations in advance of operating to find out which locations are actually as good as they might appear to be on a topo map.

Scientists at the Woods Hole Research Center (WHRC) have now produced a “biomass map” (read trees) from a number of sources including the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) data and other data from the USGS and the USFS.  The map has 30m resolution and so presumably could help a rover determine which areas are “tree infested” and which are not (I love trees, just not when roving).  I’ve not yet had a chance to look at the real usefulness of this data down to that resolution, but just glancing at the map gives you a very good idea where densities are best and worst.

Locating trees around the US using data from SRTM, USGS and USFS

United States Biomass Map © 2011 WHRC

Clicking on the map above to enlarge it and the map on the WHRC website can be zoomed and panned for even greater resolution.

VHF ApolLO Update

The VHF ApolLO board which can produce frequencies in the 80-250MHz range (details TBD) is currently in manufacturing.  We expect to have the boards by March 1 at which time they will be available on the Products Page and through Downeast Microwave.  The board is strap programmable just like the ApolLO-32.  A frequency list and documentation will be available in the next 30 days.  If you have specific frequencies that you would like to have supported in the board, please drop us a note or reply to this post with the frequency and any details (IF/LO/RF frequency so others will understand the use when it is in the table).

apolLO I kitting in progress …

We’ve received a number of orders for apolLO I programmable synthesizers so we had to enlist Katie’s help to get them all put together.  Here she is after the kitting carrying a stack of the apolLO I box #2 with the synthesizer and most of the ICs.

Katie carries a boxs for apolLO I synthesizer kits

Katie carries boxes for apolLO I synthesizer kits


Moved again!

As noted in a previous post, my family picked up and moved to Austin.  Well we’ve finally found a permanent residence so we made what is hopefully the last move for a while.  The new address is:

2806 Fountain Grove Cv
Round Rock, TX 78665

During the move, there were periods where the products/store section of the website were non-functional.  Hopefully all of these have now been corrected.  Also keep your eyes peeled for a new VHF oscillator coming out in the next couple of weeks.  I’ll have more details here when the boards are complete.  For now, here’s a picture of a prototype:

apolLO VHF

apolLO VHF oscillator prototype