The Drift Buoy project is much like sailing is for me: The destination is quite secondary to the journey. But in addition to enjoying the scenery along the way, I have also been making progress on actually building the thing. Here is some evidence:
Power Amplifier Under Test (thermal measurements)
Power Amplifier Output Spectrum (with 30dB attenuator)
I still have two more PC boards waiting for me to build and test; a little power/SWR bridge that will be monitored by the Buoy controller, and a solar panel-input battery charger, combined with a 3.7V -to- 12V boost switching regulator (for the amplifier power supply).
I’m also probably going to hack a wireless NRF24L01 transceiver module onto the controller, giving me the ability to remotely access the controller debug interface (up to about 100 meters distance). This will not be activated when the buoy is actually at sea, but will let me keep tabs on things when the buoy is floating close to home.
I will be providing details here, covering the more interesting (I hope) aspects of the Buoy.