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Messages - cockpitbob

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CB / Re: Palomar Digicom 100 SSB transceiver
« on: October 21, 2017, 09:27:57 PM »
caulktel, I have a flea market CB and mag mount antenna somewhere in the basement specifically because if/when the SHTF there's going to be a LOT of people on CB.  Sure, I could wide-band my FT-857 and do 11meters that way, but now I have 2 rigs that can do CB. 

There's one more beneficial thing about CB.  Spend a few hours listening.  You will feel so much better about yourself, your level of intelligence, education, vocabulary and the life choices you've made ::).  The last time I put it in the car and listened as I drove around, 11M was skipping like crazy so I was hearing stations from 100s of miles away, and most of them were foul mouthed low-lifes that I wouldn't want to even talk to :o

The convenient thing about CB is since it's only 4watts, I simply put a cigarette lighter plug on the radio.  I just set it on the passenger seat, plop the mag-mount on the roof and shut the cable I the door and I'm operating.

Technical Corner / Re: New QRP Labs 5W CW Transceiver Kit.
« on: October 21, 2017, 06:11:25 PM »
Mine (which I still haven't started assembling) also came with 1.00b firmware.  I think I've got a spare Arduino Uno kicking around somewhere from when the boys were doing that in high school.

I'm on the fence for sockets.  I usually use them because they make me feel good knowing I can swap out a chip, and I've never had a problem using sockets.  On the other hand I can't count the years since I've had to replace a chip on something like this.  For this kit I  think it will depend on my mood ::)

Radio Reviews, Questions and Comments. / Re: KX2 First Impressions.
« on: October 21, 2017, 02:12:17 PM »
Ray, great, great info.  Thanks!

I guess I will go with the internal battery.  I really do like an uncluttered station.  For that reason the internal tuner may happen too, but I really want a T1 for all my other little rigs.  I guess part of my problem is I'm having a hard time coping with the idea of having about $1,000 tied up in a little box that fits in the palm of my hand LOL.

Technical Corner / Re: New QRP Labs 5W CW Transceiver Kit.
« on: October 20, 2017, 01:52:43 PM »
My kit was returned to Japan! Sent again a couple days ago... Now I have to wait another two weeks!  :(

Nuts!  Sorry to hear that.  It seems they have a problem with their supplier's shipping.  Not the first time this has happened, I believe.

Antennas / Re: New Elecraft AX1 Antenna.
« on: October 20, 2017, 01:50:50 PM »
Interesting.  MFJ and others have a lot of similar products, but they are all 1 band.  To me the most unique thing is that the telescoping part collapses from 3.5' down to just 6".  The 3/8"-24 mounting stud seems too beefy. 

I'm having a hard time envisioning making any 20meter contacts on an antenna 1.2meters tall, but then, the MFJ Hamsticks I use on my car work great and they are only about 2.25meters long and mounted 3/4meter below the roof.

Radio Reviews, Questions and Comments. / Re: KX2 First Impressions.
« on: October 20, 2017, 10:46:14 AM »
Hi Gil,

Thanks for the voice of experience!
I dithered back and forth between the FT-817 and KX2 and decided on the KX2.  The 817 is getting to be pretty ancient technology, it's heavy, battery hungry and (from all I read) doesn't perform nearly as well as the KX2.  I can live without 2m/70cm in an HF rig.  Also, I've been wanting to get into digital-portable and the KX2 seems perfect for that.

I'm not going to get the internal battery.  From what I read it doesn't last as long and I came across one comment that sounded like after an hour you have to turn the power down because it droops during Tx.  Besides, it's expensive and I don't like that I have to open the radio and remove it to charge it.

I'm also going to not get the internal tuner.  I'll get the T1 instead.  Then I'll have an auto-tuner I can use with all my other little rigs.  What I really wish is Elecraft would adapt the KX2 to interface with the T1 the way the T1 will interface with an FT-817.  But then, Elecraft would sell fewer internal tuners, so I can see why they don't do that.

I know what you mean about the emotional attachment.  I think that kind of thing is earned by building or modifying or doing something great (operating from the top of Mt. Blanc, etc.) with the rig.  Even if I go deaf, I'm keeping the MTR-3B that I built and modified with an internal touch-keyer and touch pads on the outside.  I'll just hang it on the wall ::)

Technical Corner / Re: New QRP Labs 5W CW Transceiver Kit.
« on: October 20, 2017, 10:03:14 AM »
Hi Steve, and WELCOME aboard the board! ;D
That's a great selection of radios you have.  The only thing missing is a Pixie, 49er or Frog Sounds so you can claim you've made HF contacts on a radio you built for less than $20 ::)

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 ::))

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