Sunday, 20 November 2016

New link HF Signals added

A new link for Ashhar Farhan's new BITX40 production website, HF signals added to the right hand side column of my blog. Sites that do it for me.


You can guess what I am going to write about next?



Thursday, 3 November 2016

CQ CQ CQ from a beach using a Baofeng

Last week we took our late holiday to North West Wales (GW land), of course I had packed a Baofeng UV-82 at the side of my toothbrush.  Most of the week when we had been around, I had not heard much break the squelch while the rig had been left switched on and left on the table inside our caravan.


Later on in the week getting a bit bored, I decided to take the Baofeng down on the beach.


Our temporary QTH was situated mid way on the Cambrian coast, making it ideal for contacts over to the North (Abersoch and Cricceth area), and to the South of the bay which lies the seaside town of Barmouth.


I must admit after nearly a week of hearing nothing but noise on 2m I wasn't too hopeful of hearing anything.

But the first CQ I put out, straight away an instant reply! MW0RHD came back and give me a 5/5 reporting wind noise on top of my modulation, however we managed to exchange names and QTH's,  he was about 6 miles NW across the bay from me as the crow flies, near the coastal town of Pwllheli, using an Icom from an homebase with an excellent take off towards the South where I was situated.



The sun was begining to set, and so was my battery,  the radio started beeping low and interupted the short QSO. I had left the radio on all week in standby mode with no thought of topping it up on the charger.



What this does prove you might not think there is any one around when the band is so quiet, so do always try a CQ. Always make sure the battery is well topped up, or better still take a spare charged pack and you won't get caught out like I did.



Saturday, 1 October 2016

MDT40 progress

It has been sometime since I bought the MDT40  (Minimalist Double Sideband Transceiver) kit from OZQRP.

Progress has been slow due to family commitments. But slowly it is now starting to take shape:


Hopefully in a few weeks time I will have it all boxed and complete.

Exciting times - Baofeng DM-5R arrives in the UK.

There has been much talk about the Baofeng dual band VHF/UHF DMR DM-5R recently.

I noticed while viewing ebay today, that one seller now has it available, but only ready out of the box for Tier 1, although I understand it can be easily upgraded to Tier 2. The price makes it even more exciting, at half the price of a single band model currently offered from TYT. Typical of Baofeng to get into the act at the right price!



I am in no rush to buy one yet, as there are very few DMR repeaters in my area, although one is due soon a few miles North of me at Stafford. So for the time being I will just sit back and await the many reviews to appear, before I decide.




Sunday, 21 August 2016

Hand-carried QRP antennas VK3YE

The maestro of the Ham video VK3YE has written his 2nd ebook for the kindle. Peter kindly sent me the details as below:




Summary of Hand-carried QRP antennas


Whether through choice or circumstance, more radio amateurs than ever before are enjoying portable operating. 

Suitable equipment is widely available but what about antennas?  Manufactured antennas exist but only some suit lightweight portable activity.  And, it’s easy to overpay for something that’s too heavy and too lossy for successful QRP.  

Hand-carried QRP antennas takes the mystery out of portable antennas.  After inviting you to assess your needs, it discusses the pros and cons of popular types.  Its style is brisk and practical with almost no maths.

Many ideas for cheap but good materials suitable for portable antennas are given.   Beginners and those returning to radio after a break should especially find this section handy. 

Finally there’s construction details on a variety of simple but practical antennas and accessories suitable for portable operating.  All have been built and tested by the author over almost 30 years of successful QRP activity.  

Hand-carried QRP antennas is an ebook readable on most devices.  It’s the author’s second book, following on from the top-selling Minimum QRP, released in 2015. 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Peter (mis?)spent his youth at rubbish tips, taking apart given radios and TVs and building electronic projects that mostly did not work.  He avoided soldering until figuring out that new solder works better than reusing solder from terminal strips in valve radios.  

Milestones included the construction of a crystal set in 1980, discovering shortwave broadcasting on a valve receiver in 1981 and a simple ‘electronic organ’ in 1982 from a Dick Smith Fun Way book.  Hours were spent putting wires into springs on a Tandy 150-in-1 electronics set.  Amazingly some wires could be pulled out and the project would still sort of work with only half the parts in circuit. 

Two back to back AM/shortwave radios led to the discovery of amateur SSB activity and a novice licence in 1985.  The following year was spent building transmitters no one heard.  A one valve crystal controlled CW transmitter from the 1973 ARRL Handbook provided the first contacts – mostly CW/SSB crossmode on the 3.579 MHz TV colour burst crystal frequency.   The value of frequency agility was an early lesson and various VFOs were built, most of them drifty.  

The 1990s brought more bands, more modes and smaller gear.  Projects included a 7 MHz VXO CW direct conversion transceiver, 2m FM portable transceiver, and a 14 MHz CW transmitter for Cycle 22, then near its peak.  Later favourites included HF DSB and SSB transceivers (often using ceramic resonators, ladder crystal filters, NE602s and BD139 transistors) and phasing SSB equipment.  

Limited space led to experiments with magnetic loops and HF pedestrian mobile.  The joys of the latter (along with the perils of a trailing counterpoise) were first discovered with a converted Johnson Viking CB on 28 MHz.  This was mounted in a carpeted chipboard box with battery and 1.5 metre whip.  A move to a bayside suburb brought further HF portable and pedestrian mobile activity which remains an interest to this day. 








 More details from the VK3YE website http://home.alphalink.com.au/~parkerp/handqrp.htm


Tuesday, 31 May 2016

BM-800 Mic support group opened.

Due to the intense traffic and interest in the BM-800 Microphone modification, and the amount I have noted sold since the last Blog.  I have opened a support group on Facebook for anyone interested using them for Amateur radio purposes..

https://www.facebook.com/groups/116507002103281/

Please note this is a Closed group. Anyone can find the group and see who's in it. Only members can see posts.




As well as the the G4IZH modification, it will be interesting hearing your own thoughts and modifications plus any further ideas.  Even if you just run a BM-800 into a simple audiomixer please join the group to help others.

73 Steve


Saturday, 21 May 2016

Really cheap cheap BM-800's!

For those of you who read my BM-800 microphone, G4IZH modification Blog I wrote early April. A UK ebay seller is currently selling the BM800 at a silly price of £6.99 ($10) including UK delivery! These are branded Floureon BM-800 which are the same specification as the 48V ones I have already mentioned, making them ideal for conversion as the details on the link above or for using straight into an audiomixer.

The price proved so irresistable, I decided to purchase another pair and they arrived boxed with all the accessories within a couple of days of clicking the mouse: 





Really the price is so stupid, you could fill the cupboard with a load. If you make a mistake with the mods or a slip with the soldering iron you are not going to end up red faced or feel it on your pocket. The G4IZH project is now really viable for a club, to get your heads together, purchase a shed full and have a modification night.

Link to seller:

(3/7/16) The offer has now ended, so I have removed the sellers link. Hope you got yours? 

* Please note this is a UK seller and I don't know if they ship internationally? I have no connection with this company only to spread you Amateurs with the news.