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Messages - Andywragg

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VHF and Above / Re: New Toy - TYT MD-380
« on: February 19, 2018, 10:55:04 AM »

Quite a few of the guys at my local club have them already. It may take me a while to get one as I need to equip the shack for HF ops first. I can use the local repeater GB7SR until then.

VHF and Above / Re: New Toy - TYT MD-380
« on: February 17, 2018, 12:15:28 PM »
OK I got through to the Lille repeater on TG 20859 but it was in use. My French is very rusty and certainly not up to holding a conversation, so I didn't break in.

VHF and Above / Re: New Toy - TYT MD-380
« on: February 17, 2018, 12:05:16 PM »
Calling now.....

VHF and Above / Re: New Toy - TYT MD-380
« on: February 17, 2018, 11:03:58 AM »
Hi Gil,

I'm just trying to figure out how to add the Lille TG to my radio, and understand how it all hangs together.

VHF and Above / Re: Digital Voice, Why?
« on: February 16, 2018, 02:59:27 PM »
Hi folks

I just got my MD-380 so apologies for the thread necromancy.

One thing that hasn't been raised yet is that of DMR hot spots. So, what's a hot spot?  Essentially its a small DMR transceiver that relays via the internet. Typically you can use either a PC or more widely used over here, a Raspberry Pi or ATMega device to interface the radio to the 'Net'.

Hot Spots have a limited range, having only 10 mW output power but this should be enough to run a couple of radios over a small area. We have one in the club house so folks can make calls if they wish.

One of the guys uses his mobile phone with his hot spot (via wifi) so he can take the digital network with him wherever he goes. Powered off a USB power bank recharged via a solar panel.

VHF and Above / New Toy - TYT MD-380
« on: February 16, 2018, 02:38:30 PM »
My MD-380 (non GPS Variant) arrived today via the slow boat from China. Ordered and dispatched on 19th January.

First impressions.

It's built pretty solid, although I don't care for the belt clip being mounted to the battery pack so much. If I buy another battery, I'll need to buy another belt clip also, so I'm not swapping them over all the time and wearing out the screw threads.

I've loaded the KD4Z MD-380 tools (firmware) to enhance the GUI and applied a code plug developed by one of my club members.

I've tested access to my local digital (DMR) and analogue repeaters and all seems to be in order. Good clear n crisp audio, and good reports into the analogue repeater front end (via the guy that hosts the unit).  These repeaters are co-located about 10 miles away on the other side of the city. Signal in the house on the hand held is poor unless I go and sit on the other side of the house to where my shack is. I could plug the HT into my X50 col-linear but I don't want to mess about unplugging my Leixen vv-898S. 

I may invest in a hot spot at some point to improve coverage in the house.

One of my club mates demo'd his hot spot the other night. His hot spot runs off a USB power bank with a solar panel attached and uses the data connection on his phone. The phone links to the hotspot via wifi. All in all a nice little set up and it uses very little data from his allocated tariff.

If any of you overseas chaps fancy a chat at some point let me know and we can arrange something. I'm still learning about Zones,  time slots and colour codes, so please be patient.

Technical Corner / Re: The $4 Chinese Pixie Transceiver.
« on: February 14, 2018, 07:18:17 AM »
Thanks for the heads up Gil. I've also sent for a CW Keyer and beacon kit from Ukraine. The pixie should be here by the end of the week, the Keyer, who knows.

If you are into putting makeup on a pig (kind of fun actually),

I found this phrase funny, it reminds me of a phrase we have here.

You can't polish a turd, but you 'can' roll it in glitter.


Technical Corner / Re: The $4 Chinese Pixie Transceiver.
« on: February 12, 2018, 08:33:44 AM »
I just sent for a Pixie - The 8 version from an english supplier complete with clear acrylic case, whilst I wait for my uBITX to arrive from India. I'll be using this kit for my Intermediate/2E1*** license practical submission. I still need to build my QRPGuys Iambic key, and come up with a straight key to go with the Pixie. Oh and learn morse so I can use the thing.

General Discussion / Had my first solo /P contest yesterday
« on: February 05, 2018, 12:44:52 PM »
Hi Guys

I took part in the RSGB 70cm AFS Super League contest yesterday. Using a borrowed FT817 and a ZL Special 12 element beam yagi with one of the 3m tripod stands I use with the band for the lighting gantry.

I managed 33 QSO's in the session with my furthest QSO 120kms away. Had a great time but made a few mistakes along the way. I was 417m ASL. I know many of you don't like or partake in the contests, but since joining the local club it's been good experience for me, helping me with civilian radio etiquette and to get to know the local operators in my area and beyond.

Here's a short video I made of the experience.

Antennas / Re: My Take on The NVIS X-Pole
« on: January 22, 2018, 09:09:36 AM »
Quick video I did over the weekend.

Just need to mod the hole in the middle as its a bit too big and it sits at 13 feet not 15 as per the design.


Antennas / Been Given a Windcamp WA-4 Balun.
« on: January 22, 2018, 07:21:11 AM »
I was at my Radio Club yesterday helping to troubleshoot some interference issues we have on certain bands, and I've been given a balun for the Windcamp WA-4.
The antenna elements and winder are missing but the banana plugs are still there so all I have to do is make a couple of wires up, and terminate them on the balun. The website gratuitously shows the measurements for the elements on its product page.

Does anyone have any experience with this specific antenna?



Radio Reviews, Questions and Comments. / Re: Hambuilder review? Anybody?
« on: January 22, 2018, 06:43:45 AM »
Another vote for the UBITX. I have one on back order.

General Discussion / Re: Ordering from QRP Guys
« on: January 22, 2018, 06:42:09 AM »
Iambic Mini Paddle w/Base

And its literally just arrived through the mail. I now have a paddle to play with.

Antennas / My Take on The NVIS X-Pole
« on: January 19, 2018, 05:37:04 PM »
Hi Folks

Finally finished my attempt at an NVIS antenna for use in the field. Based on a mashup of designs from the military, Commsguy (via another social medium) and a paper by DX Engineering, here it is...(see attachments)

The X-Pole as I'm calling it is good for 80 and 40m and is self supporting. The mast (a lightweight fibreglass 6m telescopic flag pole) threads through the hole in the middle and stops at 15 feet where the diameter of the pole equals the hole in the middle. The 2 inverted V dipoles at 90 degrees support the mast when pegged out at 42 feet from the mast centre.

Made from 6mm Perspex (from my radio club), M6 stainless wing/nuts and bolts, and some bits from SOTABeams, plus a bit of 2mm Grizly Cub cord. I've got 30m of feeder cable to go with it as well, just need to put the BNC ends on it.

I hope to test it out once the weather calms down and gets a little warmer.

Design Doc from DX Enginneering can be found here...



General Discussion / Re: Ordering from QRP Guys
« on: January 18, 2018, 09:26:08 AM »
Hi Guys

I got a Paypal update last night saying that the item had been notified and is now in the USPS tracking system. Good news.

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