This FAQ pertains to all versions of the Ham It Up Upconverter currently available in our webstore - versions 1.3 and Plus. If you are looking for information on a different product line, please refer to the FAQs listed on the left.
What is the difference between the Ham It Up v 1.3 and the Ham It Up Plus?
- A 125MHz TCXO, custom built exclusively for NooElec by our Japanese partner, is included and pre-installed, providing more accurate and stable tuning in any environment;
- Ultra-low distortion ceramic capacitors, custom built exclusively for NooElec by our Taiwanese partner, allowed us to extend the range of the Ham It Up Plus all the way down to 300Hz;
- The separate noise source circuit is fully assembled, which can be used for a number of RF projects, including calibration and tuning of filters, amplifiers and attenuators;
- Form factor was kept identical to the Ham It Up, which means the same enclosure can be used (note a new end panel may be required to accommodate the additional SMA connector of the noise source circuit)
How do I set up the Ham It Up with my NESDR?
We recommend setting up the NESDR first, using our Installation Guide. Once you have the SDR working as expected, you can then connect the Ham It Up.
- Connect your antenna to the RF input;
- Connect your SDR to the IF output;
- Ensure your toggle switch is in the enable position;
- Plug your USB power source into the USB jack;
- Fire up your favourite SDR software, tune to 125MHz + (+/- the tuning offset from the tuning procedure) + your desired frequency and enjoy!
Where can I download the schematics for the Ham It Up?
The Ham It Up was designed and manufactured in part by Opendous Inc., an open-hardware design company. Full project documentation, including schematics, PCB design files, and assembly information is freely available here, as well as on the product pages.
How long is the warranty on the Ham It Up?
Ham It Up Plus: 2 years;
Ham It Up v1.3 or older: 1 year.
What is the upconvert range of the Ham It Up v 1.3 vs. Plus?
The v1.3 range is approximately 100kHz-60MHz in upconvert mode. For the Plus, it is approximately 300Hz-65MHz.
The LO frequency is 125MHz for both upconverters, so you will need to use an offset of negative 125,000,000 in your software.
What is the appropriate input voltage for the upconverter?
The appropriate input voltage is 4-6VDC.
What is the optimal P to P voltage for the input of the up converter?
+7dBm, which is about 0.5V RMS or 0.7V P to P
My Ham It Up is not working in upconvert mode, only in passthrough.
When your upconverter is in passthrough mode, it is only passing the signal straight from the antenna to your SDR, with no conversion. When in upconvert mode, it will convert the signal from the antenna up by 125 MHz. In order for this to work in your SDR software, you must offset your tuning frequency by negative 125,000,000 Hz (-125,000,000). You can do this by either enabling offset tuning, or manually adding 125 MHz to your tuning frequency. For example, if you are trying to tune to an AM radio station like 620AM, you would tune to 125,620,000 Hz (125.620 MHz).
It is also important to note the upconvert range of this device (which differs, depending on the version):
- 300Hz-65MHz for the Ham It Up Plus
- 100kHz-60MHz for the Ham It Up v1.3
When tuning to a frequency outside of this range, you must switch the upconverter into "passthrough" mode, otherwise you will not be able to receive the signal.
When I run the Ham It Up in upconvert mode, I lose more than 10dB signal strength when comparing to passthrough. Is this normal?
Yes, this is exactly right; all upconversion involves a certain amount of signal loss. You can refer to the technical information available on our product page if you're interested in learning more about the upconverter.
Is the Ham It Up capable of transmitting as well as receiving? Even on lower frequencies?
Yes, it is bidirectional, so you can transmit and receive on any frequency within range, provided that you have a compatible transceiver, like the HackRF One.
Does this device provide any amplification of incoming signal?
No, there is no amplification on the Ham It Up. Amplification in HF ranges generally causes more issues than it solves. Further, the Ham It Up is designed to be near the SDR, and amplification really should be near the antenna if used.
If you do add amplification, we would recommend starting with a small amount, somewhere near 10dB max, as overload can quickly cause problems with performance and can even cause the device to malfunction permanently.
What does the upconverter noise kit consist of?
The upconverter noise source kit is for a separate wide-band, noise-generating circuit on the Ham It Up PCB. It is usually used for testing RF gear, or anywhere where you need to inject noise into an RF circuit.
There are full details of the noise source, including a schematic, located here.
How do I enable the noise source on the Ham It Up?
The noise source is a completely separate circuit meant for testing RF equipment by emitting broadband noise at a known level. To enable the noise source, all you have to do is populate the 'EN' jumper, either with a 0 ohm resistor, jumper wire, or anything else that bridges the connectors. You can activate the noise source on the Ham It Up v 1.3 by using the enable jumper and attaching to the output (either with a wire lead or a right-angle SMA).
Check out the Opendous wiki for more information.
Can both the Hack RF One & Ham It Up have a common reference 10MHz clock?
The Hack RF One absolutely can be run from a 10MHz clock. Unfortunately, you will not be able to run the Ham It Up from a 10MHz reference without some modification. The LO frequency is 125MHz and though you can apply an external clock, a mixing frequency of 10MHz would be too far out of the ideal range and there is no prescaler. Of course, it is still possible, but you'd need to scale your clock to 125MHz, so it would be a bit of a project if your clock can only output 10MHz.
Do you have instructions for assembling the Ham It Up enclosure?
The Ham Radio Science blog has published an excellent step-by-step guide for mounting the Ham It Up inside the enclosure. These instructions are based on an older version of the Ham It Up and the accompanying enclosure, but the process is still the same.
Please note that there are multiple versions of the Ham It Up on the market and the enclosures are not always interchangeable! Ensure that you have selected the correct enclosure to go with your upconverter before attempting to mount the board to the enclosure. If you are unsure, please contact Customer Service for assistance.
Go to our webstore to see our full Ham It Up product line, including fully assembled models, barebones boards, enclosures, and accessories!
Can't find the information you're looking for? Be sure to check out all of the open-source content on the Ham It Up! If you're still unsure, contact our Customer Support team using the Support chat window in the bottom corner of the page. One of our Customer Support Specialists would be happy to assist you!