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Welcome to TekMaker

TekMaker is a channel designed to help people of all ages and abilities to learn about and build projects for Computers, Electronics and now Amateur Radio too. Having witnessed many poor quality and badly informed channels I decided I could do better. I previously worked in Electronics for 25+ years including design work and been involved in computer servicing, networking and programming for over 20 years. I hope to produce projects and videos and instructions that are simple enough for any age or ability. That said some projects are main voltage powered and should be built with extreme caution and supervision. You do this at your own risk! Rather than just making projects to use once and then put on the shelf I will endeavour to make projects that will connect or work together and for useful things if you want to set up an electronics or single board computer lab at home. All images, videos and content are copyright, YouTube, (myself Ralph Beardmore or as credited and mus
Recent posts

Getting into Amateur Radio

 It is possible to partake in Amateur radio for FREE! Yes, you can dip your toes in the water for no money at all and research which area you eant to go further with. Of course it can be an expensive hobby and the sky is truly the limit but you can SWL (Short Wave Listen) or Monitor VHF/UHF and a lot more for free! In the next few paragraphs I will take you through the stages of slowly rising costs that can get you started for minimal funds. FREE!   we all love that word, well if you have an internet connection and a web browser then you can get started. Note: A lot of these websites are not secure, don't worry as we are not going to be entering any sensitive data. Just click the button as shown if it appears. Web SDR is free to use, you can even set up your own WEB SDR server. WebSDR - the starting point.   Some of the UK's favourites are  Hack Green - Jodrell Bank (The site not the telescope)  For HF Bands

Anytone D878 UV2 audio breakup on strong/wide modulated signals

I was part of a local FM net tonight on my Anytone D878UV2 super and as has happened before with strong signals 5+ the audio was dropping in and out even through to signal was S9+. So I swapped for my Baofeng UV-S9  and no much problem. A few minutes of Googling lead me to Reddit r/amateurradio. There   is a setting that is incorrect by default, on on UV2 it is in Menu, Settings, 1-Radio Set, 4-Other Func, 26-No signalSTE,  turn this to 1-OFF and you should be fine! I have had this problem since it was released almost a year ago!

Creating YouTube videos and audio recording process

 This is in three parts so you can skip sections if you are only recording audio or only ever use a mobile phone.  Check out the accompanying videos to this article  Part 1 Part 2 Part 3   1 Equipment and useful accessories Camcorder - these generally give more predictable results than mobile phones, a necessity if you want shake-free scenes. Buy one within your budget, sturdy enough to be shake-free and light enough to take out with you. Microphone and Mic stand/anglepoise bracket. Sound can make or break a great video, even a budget (£20) condenser mic like mine can give great audio (used with 45V power supply or mixer) or a budget moving coil mic. Use a stand, split shield and cradle to eliminate unwanted sounds. Headphones - check your test recordings and footage regularly, headphones guarantee that you can hear everything and are cheaper and more portable than studio monitors. Great for outdoor

Things to do with an SDR, using Linux

    Things to do with an SDR, using Windows 10 or 11, a Macbook or Linux PC or laptop What is an SDR? (orignally posted on Compelecbox) A Software Defined Radio is the front-end of a radio receiver built in hardware. It was originally designed to allow people in caravans and leisure homes and boats to have a low cost way to receive digital video broadcasts (DVB) or digital television. Those same chips have more recently been repurposed to be used for radio reception and due to their flexibility can be used to decode many types of demodulation and signal processing which can be done in software and customized to what the user desires. These can generally  be bought for less than 30 GBP and often come with aerials which will give basic reception but are best thrown away asap. I have made my own folded dipole aerial from coaxial cable and scrap plastic pipe that have performed 15 dB better! SDR are incredibly versatile and low-cost radios and can be used with an SBC or Raspberry Pi or may

What does a Hot Spot do and why do I need one?

 Reasons why you might consider buying or building a Hotspot My MMDVM hotspot runing Pi-Star The control panel Enables reception in areas of the house and around it that may be poor reception otherwise. Many people live in flats or cannot mount antenna due to housing or local council regulations, this provides them with a link, via the internet to multiple digital voice systems and talk groups. Allows easy access to additional talk groups. Some repeaters may provide access to talk groups, possibly on a schedule. This is great but also can be limiting if your local repeater is dedicated to TG91 worldwide and you wish to use TG2350 UK. Having your own node allows you to be in control on-demand.   Allows Multimode operation from different radios. You can have a single node and select from DMR, C4FM/Fusion, YSF, P25, NXDN, POCSAG. The node is generally capable of switching automatically once a transmission has ceased for a selected time period Allows mobile operation - You can set your mob

Setting up a PI-Star MMDVM hotspot node with a Raspberry PI

 The first thing is to download the Pi-Star software from , at time of writing the current version is ,but you should get the latest available. I used a Raspberry PI 3B but it is possible to use a PI Zero W or other model. You should then use either Etcher, or the Raspberry Pi imager to copy the image to your SD card, which should be at least 4GB and Class 10 or better, I used a 16GB simply because they are available for little money these days. Simply put the SD card into your PI and attach a monitor and keyboard via USB connection. The PI should boot with the usual rainbow screen, the default login is pi-star and the password raspberry. We will change these soon. To find out what IP address your pi is on type ifconfig and hit return. If you are connected via ethernet you will be able to type http://pi-star.local into a browser and access the dashboard as below - This will redirect after 10 seconds and you will be pre

My HF Transceiver Projects - Yaesu FT-101 and Sommerkamp FT-277E

So, having completed the Foundation exam in April 2021, the Intermediate exam in May and the Advanced exam in June  and got my callsigns M7RBE, 2E0HGA and M0RLF (RaLF) I figured one of my next steps was to look at HF Transcievers and see if I could get one at an affordable price. So I had a few watches on Ebay week after week and learned about a few of the more popular classic models. I had a short-list of Kenwood, Icom and the value favourite, Yaesu. Most where selling as mostly working and complete for around 400 - 600 GBP. I knew I would be happy to do some work and use that experience to feel my Youtube channel as I have done other projects like recondition a Yamaha Pacifica Electric Guitar and Marshall practice amplifier before I started the channel and had worked in Electronics for 25 years includinh a stint at Racal Communications on, yes, HF Transceivers. Then on Thursday this week my eyes lit up, a Yaesu FT-101B in 'unknown' condition but appearing complete, i.e. all k