This FAQ pertains to all versions of the Ham It Up Upconverter currently available in our webstore - versions 1.3, Plus and the newly released Nano! If you are looking for information on a different product line, please refer to the FAQs listed on the left.
What are the differences between each of the models of the Ham It Up?
A comparison chart of the major characteristics of each model can be seen below. Full product details can be found in the datasheets linked above.
|Ham It Up v1.3||Ham It Up Plus||Ham It Up Nano|
|Upconvert Freq. Range||100 kHz - 65 MHz||300 Hz - 65 MHz||100 kHz - 65 MHz|
|LO Frequency||125 MHz||125 MHz||125 MHz|
|LO Stability||25 PPM||1 PPM||1 PPM|
|Required Input Voltage||4.0-5.5 VDC||4.0-5.5 VDC||4.0-5.5 VDC|
|Current Consumption (upconvert mode)||55-75 mA||135-155 mA||60-70 mA|
|Nooelec SKU||100555||100721, 100769||100825|
|Warranty Period||1 year||2 years||2 years|
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!
How do I account for the LO frequency in my SDR software?
The LO frequency is 125MHz for all versions of the upconverter, so you will need to use an offset of negative 125,000,000 Hz (-125 MHz) in your software, in order for the signals to be converted correctly. Alternatively, you can manually add 125 MHz to your tuning frequency, if you do not wish to use the offset. 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).
What is the optimal P to P voltage for the input of the upconverter?
+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 mode.
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 MHz), as described above.
It is also important to note the upconvert range of this device (which differs, depending on the version):
- 100 kHz-65 MHz for the Ham It Up Nano
- 300Hz-65MHz for the Ham It Up Plus
- 100kHz-65MHz for the Ham It Up v1.3
The upconverter can only convert signals within its upconvert range. If you are tuned to a frequency above this range with the upconverter in "upconvert" mode, it will not work. You must first 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.
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).
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.
Where can I find more information on the Ham It Up upconverter?
We have now released a comprehensive data sheet for each of the Ham It Up models! Please see them linked below:
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? No problem! Just contact our Customer Support team using the Support bubble in the bottom corner of the page. One of our Customer Support Specialists would be happy to assist you!