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Messages - solaris0121

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Ive just built the 40m QCX kit from Hans - and it was a pleasure to do (my 1st proper kit) , the instructions are so well thought out and the support forum is so helpful.  It worked 1st time.  I messaged Hans to ask about current draw on the new QSX, but he wouldnt divulge, except to say he was looking to keep it low where possible, but to bear in mind that its SDR based, so wont be flea power.....   I might order 3 !!!!!

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Radio Reviews, Questions and Comments. / Re: Got my 1st CW rig
« on: December 21, 2018, 03:57:39 AM »
ok thanks  - I read the manual but it isnt very clear and YouKits arent replying to my messages.  Hopefully VWflier will know.... :o

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Radio Reviews, Questions and Comments. / Re: Got my 1st CW rig
« on: December 20, 2018, 08:35:23 AM »
so Ray  (just double checking  ;) )  I can leave the battery in place, switch the unit on and let it power up with the internal battery - and then also plug in an external power source (eg. car battery 13.9volts) and it will be happy ?

Sean.

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Radio Reviews, Questions and Comments. / Re: Got my 1st CW rig
« on: December 19, 2018, 01:00:57 PM »
I might pick up an MTR3b for the weight saving if climbing..... the hb1b is pretty hefty with the internal battery and a touch bigger than the MTR4b - but as you say, the benefits of 80m and the SSB and power options are more important to me.

One question, can the HB1B be powered through the external 9-14volt connector if the internal battery is installed (it has a separate charge port) ?

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Radio Reviews, Questions and Comments. / Re: Got my 1st CW rig
« on: December 18, 2018, 11:39:30 AM »
Ive sold the mtr-4b on Ebay and swapped it out for a used You Kits Hb1b.    the mtr-4b is a nice radio, but it cant take more than 12volts DC input power, which limits its use in the car or in an emergency.   The hb1b has the same bands, but also adds SSB receive across 80m band through 20m which is a real plus too.   Add to that an internal battery (that seems to last for ages) and the fact that it was 100 cheaper than the one I just sold and its a win win.

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https://qrp-labs.com/qsx.html
I'm officially excited - I emailed Hans at QRP labs about current draw - although he wouldnt commit to an answer he did say he was working on getting it as low as possible.

The perfect prepper radio ?

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Antennas / making a 40 to 10 end fed half wave resonant on 80m ?
« on: December 18, 2018, 06:01:11 AM »
Ive been thinking (dangerous I know !)  - I'd like a QRP portable end fed halfwave thats reasonably short - so the 40m band to 10m band ones seem perfect for when I'm out camping and hiking (being about 20 metres long).   Very manageable and easy to sling up over a tree or with a mast.   But I also really want to be able to work 80m as well.......  So now Im wondering is there a way to get a 20metre wire resonating on the 80m band ?

Maybe a bypass switch on the feeder box that ?  maybe a coil that can be switched into the circuit.   If the end is high up wired to a tree then the match box will be closer to the radio, so flicking a switch is quite easy.  So , over to you technical bods to discuss the possibilities !!!  I dont mind a bit of higher SWR, as long as its about 2.5:1 or lower, I can fix the rest with a z match tuner.   Interested to hear your thoughts if something like this is possible.

 

8
Morse Code / Re: The One-Watt Magic Number.
« on: June 15, 2018, 10:40:12 AM »
Some interesting points there Gil - Id really like to see some of the rigs (MTR's QCX's and so on) have the option to redcuce power output.  If all I have is a 12volt battery and the transeiver is putting out 5 watts, id personally like the option to drop the power (and save some battery life ?) on the fly.   I might not always want to reach out to other continents.

As to your question about power threshold for a SURVIVAL radio then I really only need a few hundred miles distance - that might necessitate using a low, horizontal antenna for NVIS or ground wave if im high enough.

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Batteries & Solar / Re: Kingsolar Panels -- Any good for emcom?
« on: June 06, 2018, 12:40:43 PM »
Whats special about the coating Gil ?

Hi Andy. I don't know about KingSolar, but I will be looking at Lensun for myself, because of the better coating they use on the sunny side...

Gil.

10
Radio Reviews, Questions and Comments. / Re: Got my 1st CW rig
« on: May 25, 2018, 02:52:08 AM »
We got to test it in anger last night at radio club, they helped me set up the 20m end fed and one of the experienced CW operators guided me through it.   Then one of the other guys set up a HF rig inside and confirmed they were receiving a good signal - so at least I know it transmits.

I called cq for a while but no response yet ...... will try the large Multiband end fed at the house today.


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Radio Reviews, Questions and Comments. / Got my 1st CW rig
« on: May 22, 2018, 04:46:22 PM »
Nabbed an eBay bargain I think - 207 for a mint mountain topper mtr4b, a new palm paddle, SOTABeams mountain tuner, qrp guys tuner kit, mini speaker, 20m SOTABeams efhw 20m antenna and a 7m SOTABEAMS pole..... phew... and after all that, he threw in a wonder wand tuner and telescopic antenna.  Chuffed to bits.... the guy lost interest and wanted rid of it all.

The radio is a lot smaller than it looks in the photos and easy to use..... Im still learning the code so more of a push now to get on and have a 1st qso.

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Technical Corner / Re: Modding MTR4b for 13.8 volts..... possible ?
« on: May 18, 2018, 08:48:47 AM »
Thanks Gil,  id want something wired internally to run directly off car batteries/battery terminals  - im keen to have it all self contained if possible - I might even remove it all from the original box and re-box it with a ZM-2 (or similar)  in a single (more solid) case.... and a little active loudpspeaker and a switchable keyer.....along the lines of those project boxes youve been using lately.   Then I get options for resonant antennas, random wires and much more.

THe lithium Ion batteries - are they the 18650 you have been using.....   that was the plan for portable generally and the screw terminals for "emergency" power when required.

With an adjustable 7812 regulator I suppose I can adjust the transmit power as well.

13
Technical Corner / Modding MTR4b for 13.8 volts..... possible ?
« on: May 18, 2018, 02:46:15 AM »
So Ive decided I really want an mtr4b...... but Im struggling with the fact that it wont take over 12 volts like most others do.  Being able to plug into a car battery would be a key factor for the prepper side of my brain

Can it be modded easily ?  I was thinking I could add a second power socket for 13.8 volts but not sure exactly what parts are needed to drop the voltage.  Id like to add a couple of banana plug/screw terminals for easy field use.  Id keep the original power socket for smaller batteries and maybe add a switch to flip between them ?

Love to hear your thoughts.  Regards, sean.

14
Antennas / Re: Mounting Antenna for NVIS vs DX operation ?
« on: May 03, 2018, 03:41:58 AM »
I came across the "grasstenna" - a regular long wire or dipole laid out on the grass...... the drier the ground is apparently the lower the losses.  Sorry I cant find the link now, but it may be worth testing...... probably similar to your video Gil where you had your wire laid over the bridge.  Sean.

15
Morse Code / Finally Started learning CW
« on: May 02, 2018, 03:57:03 AM »
I passed my Foundation several weeks ago and seem to be drawn more and more towards CW (I notice when the bands look dead on my PRC320, theres always some CW down there in the mix).  Ive ordered a QCX 40m kit that should arrive very soon.  No going back now.

I should say its been largely encouraged from watching Gil's videos and seeing the logical arguaments laid out - and of course his clear passion for the mode.  But lets not blow too much smoke up his derriere  ;D 

I also picked up a free key ( a nice solid WW2 vintage) at radio club last week, and also from Ebay a couple of used keys, oscillators and the little MFJ practice box , with the built in speaker and LCD.

So far, i know several letters by sound - ive set the letter speed to 25wpm (hardcore!! lol )  and delivering around 15 wpm (lightweight) total to give me enough space in between.  The MFJ trainer is quite useful walking around the park, it just plays and plays (unlike my iPhone apps).  Ive been listening at bedtime while reading, not with a view to deliberately trying to pick out the letters, just letting my brain take in the speed of the dits and dahs...... tuning my ear in to the speed.  Its a niuce surprise when a letter pops into your head without thinking about it.  My little tecsun receiver sits on the office table if im working from home during the day and i tune in on 40m to the CW bands and have a listen.

I play classical guitar (badly self taught) and its a little like that - 2 months ago I decided to learn Cavatina (the deer hunter).  Its way above my level but I wanted a challenge and the first few days my brain just didnt know where to put my fingers and everything was a muddle.  I thought at 1st , this is impossible !  Its just not physically possible to move your fingers to those positions and do it at any kind of speed.  But several weeks later, I can just do a passable version of the song (someone listening would recognise it, but probably ask me to stop playing  :) )   Now my fingers just drop to the right place, my brain is thinking 3 steps ahead, the fingers are almost doing their own thing in the background - good old muscle memory !

So learning CW is the same I'm betting - its just a case of taking that "its impossible - how can I ever do this ?" brain set and just slowly working through it..... bit by bit..... letter by letter...  From the chaos, order will come.

I'll update in a few weeks where things have progressed to.

Atb, Sean.

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