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Messages - cockpitbob

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Radio Reviews, Questions and Comments. / Re: KX2 First Impressions.
« on: October 17, 2017, 10:58:28 AM »
Gil, I think I'm about to get a KX2.
The company I work for gives you a $750 gift of your choosing on your 15th anniversary with the company.  Strangely, I'm at a point if life were I don't want much, except spare time to play with the toys I have :P.  Even though I don't have much time for operating, I've always wanted a KX2, and it's just the right price.  So, now that you've had yours a while, what are your thoughts, especially on their accessories, which are pretty expensive.

Did you get the internal tuner, or are you sticking with the T1 external tuner?  Is there any real advantage to the internal tuner, other than fewer pieces and wires and probably a simpler tuning procedure?

What are your thoughts on batteries.  I like fewer wires, but I also like the idea of having a standard battery pack and charger that I use for all my QRP rigs.  If I get their internal pack($60) then I think I need their charger($25).  And I don't like that you have to open the radio and remove the pack to charge it.

What about the RTC real time clock.  At +/-2 seconds a day it doesn't seem like much of a clock.  Is it needed for digital modes, or is it just a convenience for date/time logging?

CB / Re: Best CB radio for inside a jeep
« on: October 17, 2017, 10:42:58 AM »
Many radios tend to offer a WX receive ability. And it seems that many people end up not using WX ability for some reason or another. I am one of those people.
Cell phones is my guess. 
I'm that way.  I still have a little Radio Shack weather radio, and I used to bring it on most trips.  Now my cell phone provides me with all the Wx info I need.  But I'm glad my UV-5R and FT-60 get NOAA Wx.  If the SHTF and the cell towers are down there's a chance NOAA will still be broadcasting, or will be back on the air much sooner than the cell system.

Technical Corner / Re: New Steve Weber Project.
« on: October 17, 2017, 10:37:23 AM »
Shhhhhhhhhh! ;)
I've been following Steve's progress on this digital capable SSB rig for weeks but haven't posted here hoping that when he's ready to take orders the feeding frenzy won't consume all available radios before I get my order in ::).
I'm only half kidding since the last one of his kits I got in on was the first build of the MTR-3B three years ago.  They sell out so quick I keep missing them.

I've always wanted a tiny SSB radio that can do digital.  I'm thinking I might get some teenagers interested in ham radio with digital texting on a cell phone or tablet.

Steve's an amazing guy and a talented engineer.  I just wonder where he finds all the time :D

Morse Code / Re: Heavy Metal Morse.
« on: October 17, 2017, 10:03:19 AM »
Didn't want to start a new thread and this seems like an appropriate palce.

I was browsing through an add filled slide show on 55 celebrities that served in the military and found this on Johnny Cash:
Johnny Cash was born in 1932 in Kingsland Arkansas and died at the age of 71 in Nashville after an outstanding career as a country and blues song writer and performer. He is a leading artist of the last century and one of the best-selling musicians of all time selling more than 90 million records worldwide. He is primarily known as a country singer but also known for his songs that include rock and roll, the blues, gospel and folk. In 1950 Cash enlisted in the US Air Force where he was assigned to the 12th Radio Squadron Mobile of the United States Air force Security Service in Germany. He functioned in the position of Morse Code operator intercepting Soviet Army transmissions. He served until July of 1953 and was honorably discharged. He returned to the States to begin his music career.quote

Net Activity / Re: Radio Vacation and Update.
« on: October 05, 2017, 08:58:43 PM »
Yup, stay air cooled.  Not only is there more weight and more to go wrong in a water cooled engine, but those Model-A engines aren't that reliable and I have to wonder if there's anyone in your part of the world that knows about them, like how to pour new babbit main bearings.

Aside from that, to me the biggest negative would be the radiator right in front of me.  Besides making spotting traffic a problem (constant s-turns as I fly?) I fly to sight-see.  What I love about parasol planes is you have all the fun and style of a bi-plane, but without that bottom wing getting in the way.

Net Activity / Re: Radio Vacation and Update.
« on: October 05, 2017, 03:31:09 PM »
everybody needs something to dump their money into

I know I'll eternally be broke, but kicking the bucket with more than $100 on my account would be worse :o

Building the plane will SAVE you money.  Wood, Dacron and fasteners aren't very expensive.  It's going to take so much time to build it that it will prevent you from doing all sorts of other things that cost money :D.

Net Activity / Re: Radio Vacation and Update.
« on: October 05, 2017, 11:32:06 AM »
Mmmmm.  I so jealous.

I assume you've checked out the International Pietenpol Association.

Their archive of news letters has  lot of great building info.

Technical Corner / Re: New QRP Labs 5W CW Transceiver Kit.
« on: October 04, 2017, 10:39:37 PM »
Anyone already have plans for the enclosure?  I signed up for the QRP-labs group(like a yahoo group) and someone there found a metal enclosure that's a perfect fit.  There's pic in the link below, but I'm not sure you can see it without joining.,,,20,0,0,0::recentpostdate%2Fsticky,,,20,2,0,6080634

Here's the link to the box:  $11.46 shipped from China

I'm toying with the idea of designing a 3D printed box.  It won't be metal/shielded, but it will be lighter and I can incorporate a battery compartment or make room for an EFHW coupler.  I also don't feel like trying to put a neat, perfectly square hole for the display in an extruded box or fuss with getting the length of a bunch of standoffs just right :P  OTOH, I've found 3D designing an enclosure is very time consuming and tedious (at least for me ::))

Technical Corner / Re: New QRP Labs 5W CW Transceiver Kit.
« on: October 04, 2017, 03:32:08 PM »
I just got a box from Tokyo 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8)

Lately I've been working my a$$ off nights and weekends.  I think I'll take some time for myself this weekend and build it (even though I have an un-built Frog Sounds and a Pixie that needs debugging.)

    serial number

Batteries & Solar / Re: MY CB GO BOX
« on: October 02, 2017, 02:18:48 PM »
Very nicely done!

Technical Corner / Re: New QRP Labs 5W CW Transceiver Kit.
« on: September 26, 2017, 10:05:43 AM »
I got the email that my kit shipped yesterday
The email asks that I email them when it arrives so they can track shipping time statistics.  I like these guys.

    serial number

General Discussion / Re: Where Ham Radio Shines -
« on: September 23, 2017, 12:37:22 AM »
Thursday I was listening to the Salvation Army's  SATERN net for Puerto Rico.  At first there were zero hams on the island able to operate.  The Salvation Army kept trying to get information on the condition of the airport to see if the Red Cross could start flying supplies in.  Late in the day and today some PR hams were finally on the air and the net was passing a lot of traffic, mostly condition reports.  This is the first time I've heard with my own ears the great value ham radio has in disaster situations.

General Discussion / Propagation Predictors: Will my signal get there?
« on: September 22, 2017, 04:33:00 PM »
Who uses what to see if their signal will get there?

 For HF, I've been using the app DroidProp. It's a little clunky, but I love how it presents the information because it tells you what band will work now plus later in the day. It grabs the latest ionosphere info from the web before making its prediction.

 Below is the output for the following setup:
 Tx: Home
 Rx: Houston, Tx
 Mode: CW
 Power: 100W

 Horizontal Axis: Time (24hr GMT). Vertical line is the time right now.
 Vertical Axis: Frequency MHz

 Red means Very likely to make the contact. It looks like 20 and 17 meters are rock solid right now.

For VHF/UHV I just found
 You input the Tx and Rx antenna height and polarization, power, frequency then click on the map the Tx location and pull a box for the Rx area you want to see. Here's my home for 50W on 2 meters.

 One thing it doesn't seem to do is account for the 100' hill across the street from me. Still, it's pretty nice and in general seems to agree with my experiences.

So, what do you use?

Net Activity / Hurricane, EmComm and Interesting Nets On The Air Now
« on: September 21, 2017, 04:33:19 PM »
Let's use this as a place to post interesting nets and activities currently on the air.

On the air now:
14,265 SATERN Net for Puerto Rico has been active with net control readable in to MA all afternoon. 

Until just a couple hours ago there were NO ham operators on the air in PR.  Among other things Net Control was asking for a condition report on the airport to see if the Red Cross can start flying in supplies.  I guess those with back-up power had to re-build their antennas.  Net control now is talking to someone in PR and taking traffic.

New To Radio / Re: HT Programming With Chirp
« on: September 19, 2017, 09:22:31 PM »
Hi Mark, and welcome to the board! :)

I assume the quote below from is what you mean.

The Tones are like a key your radio transmits to unlock a repeater that is "locked" with CTCSS(continuous tone coded squelch system).  In some areas there are repeaters that share the same frequency and are close enough that one will hear the other and re-transmit it.  Or some areas just have a lot activity on the frequencies, some of which happens to be on the repeater's frequency.  Repeaters with Tone Squelch require the incoming signal to have a specific frequency (continuous tone) along with the voice before it will re-transmit the signal.  These tones are always below 250Hz.  Since voice bandwidth is 300Hz - 3KHz, the radio filters out everything below 300Hz and you never hear the tones, but the repeater does.

All modern HTs will not only broadcast the tone you program into them, but you can set it so it will ignore incoming signals without the tone you programmed it for.  That can be handy if the band is full of chatter.  Some repeaters put out a tone, so you can set your radio so it's squelch will only open with the repeater's tone.

Here's a Wikipedia page on CTCSS.

Tone ModeThis sets the mode used to transmit or receive squelch tones (or related selective calling technologies). The following explains what the options means:
  • (None): No tone or code is transmitted, receive squelch is open or carrier-triggered.
  • Tone: A single CTCSS tone is transmitted, receive squelch is open or carrier-triggered. The tone used is that which is set in the Tone column.
  • TSQL: A single CTCSS tone is transmitted, receive squelch is tone-coded to the same tone. The tone used is that which is set in the ToneSql column.
  • DTCS: A single DTCS/DCS code is transmitted, receive squelch is digitally tone-coded to the same code. The code used is that which is set in the DTCS Code column.
  • Cross: A complex arrangement of squelch technologies is in use. See the definition of the Cross Mode column for details.

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