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1
Radio Reviews, Questions and Comments. / Re: KX2 First Impressions.
« Last post by cockpitbob 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?
2
CB / Re: Best CB radio for inside a jeep
« Last post by cockpitbob 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.
3
Technical Corner / Re: New Steve Weber Project.
« Last post by cockpitbob 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
4
Morse Code / Re: Heavy Metal Morse.
« Last post by cockpitbob 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:
http://www.oydad.com/and-more/celebs-served-military/20/
Quote
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
5
CB / Re: Best CB radio for inside a jeep
« Last post by NF822WNY on October 17, 2017, 09:05:50 AM »
I am a big fan of the Uniden 980SSB.  It may not be the most compact or rugged radio but the features and price point make it a great radio.  Besides the obvious advantages of utilizing SSB the weather features on this radio are great.  A full 7 NOAA weather channels with a weather alert feature, so you can be in CB mode and if there is a severe weather alert a loud tone sounds and automatically changes the WX so you can hear the announcement.  It works flawlessly and came in handy when we had some severe wind storms this past summer.  I have set this up as a base radio in the past, it is in my truck as my mobile rig, and have my go box set up with one.  At around $150 you will be happy with this radio. 
6
Technical Corner / New Steve Weber Project.
« Last post by gil on October 17, 2017, 05:38:10 AM »
From the AT_Sprint Yahoo group:

Quote
I just ordered proto boards for a SSB reversion of the Soda Pop, tentatively named "slop bucket".

It's based on the Survivor SSB rig design, but with a Si5351 VFO and of course, mostly SMT parts. It is slightly bigger then the soda pop board, but not by much.(92 x 100 mm). It includes a VOX circuit so it can be connected directly to a sound card for digital mode operation.  I decided not to board mount the jacks this time for two reasons. 1) to keep the board smaller then 100 x 100 mm and 2) it allows more flexibility of enclosure choices. 

My plan is to initially offer just 50 kits, all of the same band and only to US address. I know this will disappoint a lot of people, but it makes my life easier.  ETA is before Christmas.

The main reason for offering just one band is because the IF frequency is different depending on the band to keep unwanted mixer products well away from the operating frequency.

A 20 M version will use a 9 MHz IF and a 40M version will use a 11.059 MHz IF. The 20M version will likely require a more expensive PA then the 40M version to get decent power output and that could impact the price of the kit, but probably not by too much. The price will be in the ball park of the Soda Pop kit.

Gil.
7
Radio Reviews, Questions and Comments. / New Elecraft KX2 Firmware for MH3 Microphone.
« Last post by gil on October 17, 2017, 04:56:13 AM »

Gil.
8
Batteries & Solar / Re: Man Portable Off-Grid Power for Amateur Radio
« Last post by gil on October 17, 2017, 04:48:45 AM »
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Where are we going to find fresh 18650 batteries, when the entire region is scrounging for them!?

I like 18650s. They have a good capacity and can easily be found for free. You would of course have your stock ready before a situation develops, not count on finding them in the field, although there are plenty of laptops floating around. I also use them for flashlights and USB power banks. Those 38120s look very interesting for more current-hungry radios. A pack of seven would make a great Clansman battery, and give the PRC-320, which only draws 175mA, a lot of operating time, but at $32 per cell, ouch! I have a 7S LIPO but if one cell goes bad the whole pack is gone; no such problem with separate cells. The trick is of course is being able to charge them, and Julian, you are the expert here :) I'm following in your footsteps.

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Can you, walk out the door, even only 100 feet away and be on the air in HF in five minutes?
Excellent question Ray; I can fortunately answer yes.
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Are you able to recharge your own station in the wild?
Yep, that too, tough I do not have a backup solar panel nor a way to recharge batteries via mechanical means, wind or muscle driven...

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Forget ARRL Field Day and other contests: this is about sustained communication with zero infrastructure, not giant motor homes, generators and photo-ops during a weekend.

As I've said before, Field Day is not about getting out of the shack but getting the shack out... Every Field Day should start with a five-mile hike carrying your equipment to the field. We would see very different gear then...

Gil.
9
Batteries & Solar / Re: Man Portable Off-Grid Power for Amateur Radio
« Last post by RadioRay on October 15, 2017, 02:50:14 PM »
The Caribbean communication infrastructure failure is a terrible event, but a superb example of WHY stand alone, rapidly portable stations are so important.  The question I had put to friends as well as myself was:

"Can you, walk out the door, even only 100 feet away and be on the air in HF in five minutes?

The follow-on question is addressed here:

Are you able to recharge your own station in the wild?


Forget ARRL Field Day and other contests: this is about sustained communication with zero infrastructure, not giant motor homes, generators and photo-ops during a weekend.


Good thread -


>RadioRay  ..._  ._
10
Batteries & Solar / Re: Man Portable Off-Grid Power for Amateur Radio
« Last post by STN on October 14, 2017, 11:46:24 PM »
Here's the playlist for the portable power for ham radii series.
http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLKMrdrsNkFA43q0POuXM-5-49yOd3t4CP
There's also another battery build incoming http://oh8stn.org/blog/2017/10/12/4s2p-5ah-lifepo4-with-bms/ based on A123 26650 LiFePO4 cells. It's a 5Ah 4S2P protected pack with simultaneous charge and discharge in the field.

I have really started to move away from this idea of counting on using what I can find in the field (eg 18650 batteries) versus  building my gear the best way that I can in the first place. Puerto Rico and the island country of Dominiqu are perfect examples of a real preparedness or survival event. During the first week of the event, people were reaching out to ham radio operators through social media for news and information into and from the region. The biggest problems in Puerto Rico were ham radio operators lost their fixed operating locations, were forced to evacuate, had no grid power, and were lacking portable field renewable power sources. Where are we going to find fresh 18650 batteries, when the entire region is scrounging for them!?
Now I focus on building my knowledge and skills on portable power, while simultaneously building my own reliable gear. This last part was just thinking out loud.

Julian
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