EMRFD Message Archive 14366

Message Date From Subject
14366 2017-09-28 16:22:12 Jim Strohm Maybe a little OT -- my new microwave project
Hi all

This may be a little off-topic.

I've gathered some microwave test gear with the intent to do some base-station microwave comms, likely moonbounce.

I have a 12' (4 M) dish and some smaller dishes to use.  My RF source is an HP CW sig generator for 2 - 18 GHz.  I have a 2 - 4 GHz amp and a 7 - 12 amp.  Both are spec-ed at 6 watts or thereabouts.  I also have a spectrum analyzer good for 0.1 to 21 GHz to watch what I am doing.  These all live nicely in a surplus rack on casters.

I can build transverters as needed, and use the spec an as a receiver.  Expected mode is CW only, but the amps will take a modulated input so I could do voice AM with just a mic and audio amp.  There's not a lot of folks doing AM moonbounce ... it might be fun.

Now, what I am wondering about is -- all I need to get the signal to the dish is some nice hardline (which I have), but I am wondering about the plumbing between the sig gen, the amps, the spec an, and whatever transverters I use.

I have 1U (1.75")  left in the top of the rack that I intend to use for a control panel for everything.  I am thinking -- would SMA coaxial relays be my best choice for signal steering?  Yes, I have some of those -- this little project has been years in the making, and I've been collecting junk since forever for it.

My questions to this group: 

What about a dummy load for GHz?  What about a 40 dB tap at this frequency?  And of course, whether SMA coaxial relays are a good choice.  And anything else you might think of.

Suggestions?  All thought are welcome, even laughter.

Oh -- you may see this post on other groups, so please don't complain about the velveeta.  Because -- it melts in the microwave  ;)