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Messages - Sparks

Quote from: gil on September 21, 2019, 05:50:08 pmAnother contender in my book is the QRPVer Minion, either the Mini or SDR version. It is much cheaper. The case doesn't look very rugged but it has few buttons and a small screen. 120mA for the mini and 220mA for the SDR. The mini has a direct conversion receiver, so presumably much more discreet as far as unwanted emissions even on receive ...
Quote from: gil on March 11, 2020, 11:20:26 amFor HF, I just ordered a QRPVer Minion SDR! That will be mainly for SSB.
Quote from: gil on March 23, 2020, 05:33:00 amI just ordered the QRPVer Minion SDR. The G1M was the other option. In the end, it's the surface-mounted jacks problem on the G1M that made me go for the unknown Minion. I ordered without the LPF, but last night emailed Yurii to ask him if it wasn't too late to add it.. The G1M also burns more current. The minion has all bands between 160 and 10m and also apparently does transmit on CB frequencies. If the Minion SDR turns out to be great, for only a little more money, I think it would be worth saving up for it.
We'll see... I should get in in about a month.

I am eagerly awaiting your review of this radio. I'd like to see a video from the moment you open the parcel from Ukraine. And what kind of antenna will you recommend (and actually use)?

QuoteFree Morse Code Training Course for Beginners
Learn Morse Code from a professional
by Ham Radio Veteran & Morse Code Instructor: Richard C. Fitch (W5RCF)

Lots of useful stuff for beginners:

• Complete Chart of Morse Code Characters with Audio
• List of commonly used Morse Code Abbreviations & Shorthand
• CW Q Codes
Morse Code / Re: Morse Code Apps
February 02, 2020, 06:11:28 am
Quote from: GNU_Ninja on January 31, 2020, 09:17:58 amI use an Android app on my mobile called Koch Morse Trainer Pro, which I find very useful.

That app has been mentioned  a couple of times before, especially by Gil. See this thread, for example:,1068.0.html  [Learning Morse on Android devices.]

Quote from: gil on January 21, 2016, 04:16:22 pmThe app is Koch Morse Trainer Pro (KMT Pro), for $3.13 if I recall. No other app that I saw seemed to play news feeds... It has a lot of features on top of the Koch method.
New To Radio / Re: Best Prepper Mobile Setup
January 11, 2020, 09:20:40 pm
Quote from: Drls on July 12, 2019, 06:18:14 am2.  (Comming soon?)

Not yet. Updates here:,1507.0.html
[looks interesting - QRPlabs QSX all mode, all HF bands, 10 watts - $150 !!!!]
Quote from: gil on July 19, 2019, 04:15:38 pmI think everyone is waiting for the QSX kit from QRP-Labs...  ::)

Updates here:,1507.0.html
[looks interesting - QRPlabs QSX all mode, all HF bands, 10 watts - $150 !!!!]
Since my previous post (21-06-2019), there is one update at

QuoteUpdate 20-Aug-2019: I know this is taking longer than expected, but there are still a number of details to sort out. I do not want to release it before it is properly ready. It needs to work perfectly first. It's a huge complex project... so please bear with me, patiently...
Morse Code / Re: Waiting for a Norcal 40!
January 09, 2020, 12:02:44 pm
Quote from: gil on January 09, 2020, 05:19:35 amThe Norcal 40, precursor of the Elecraft K1, was designed by our member Wayne, co-founder of Elecraft; or was it K8IQY? I can't remember.

Quote from: undefinedThe club is probably best known for its many kits, which started with the NorCal 40, designed by Wayne Burdick, N6KR, that is credited with giving the club a huge boost when we were getting started. Wayne later designed a couple of other famous kits for us, including the 49er and the Sierra.

The following are the most recent events of the Northern California QRP Club.
November 23, 2004:
Added the 49er construction manual to the manuals page
Also added the K8IQY Iowa QRP 10 Transceiver to the Projects area.

Those two last quotes from here: 
Quote from: bkmoore on December 18, 2019, 01:53:05 pmThe experts say, throw away the pencil and learn to head copy.
The trick is to learn to copy from behind. That is you wait until you recognize the word before writing it down, and while writing, you're listening for the next word. It's not easy, but it's kind of fun.

1. Who are these experts? I never heard such advice during my Morse training or during my decade as a Merchant Marine Radio Officer.

2. Quite unusable in professional contexts. I learned the hard way not to do that. Every so often, when I believed I could forehear exactly what word was being transmitted to me, and then, in the end, it was another word starting with the same succession of letters. I got confused and lost the next word(s), so I had to break the transmission and ask for a repeat. Quite embarrassing. So I stopped guessing and just wrote down, letter by letter, what was actually coming in.
General Discussion / Merry Christmas from Norway!
December 14, 2019, 03:27:06 am
I recently found this Norwegian Christmas card, I guess it's up to a century old. Merry Christmas!

For the folkloristic background of these guys, see:
Quote from: gil on December 11, 2019, 05:12:11 amWriting on Paper is a double-edge sword... Above 15wpm you better just try to form words in your mind... Writing IMHO is for just about 12-15wpm... I would never suggest learning the code any slower...

Now to me as a former professional Merchant Marine radio operator (radio officer) (1963-73) that's a strange statement. In the service we had to write down radiograms, weather reports, news, what not. Often handwrite, and then type it for delivery to the addressee. Under good conditions I'd copy directly to my typewriter, which I often did with weather forecasts and news transmissions.

The minimum speed for obtaining my 2nd Class License was 20 WPM. Later I passed the 1st Class License exam at 30 WPM. Under ideal conditions, I succeeded receiving and transmitting (with an electronic keyer) up to 40 WPM.

At Radio School we started training real slow, and gradually increased speed till we reached 20 WPM. Then we stayed there until we were proficient and error-free at that level.
General Discussion / Rig Expert Ukraine Ltd.
November 27, 2019, 04:41:25 pm
Quote from: gil on November 14, 2016, 09:57:33 amI use UHF here more than VHF, so I really would like the RigExpert AA-600 ...  --

QuoteThis is the official page of Rig Expert Ukraine Ltd. company, which is the owner of RigExpert brand. This trademark is registered in Ukraine as well as in the USA.

We produce antenna analyzers, transceiver interfaces, ARDF equipment and amateur radio software ...

This company has been referred to only once before in the forum. Now Norway's largest vendor of ham equipment is offering several Rig Expert products. So I guess they produce high quality goods?  --

Anyone in here with user experience of any Rig Expert products?
Quote from: gil on November 17, 2019, 02:12:59 pmI made a video about this... Something I call "knowing your RF landscape."
I guess it must be this one:
"Preppers, Know Your Radio Frequency Landscape."
Military Radios / Re: The UK PRC 316 / A-16
November 12, 2019, 07:19:21 pm
Quote from: RadioRay on November 12, 2019, 02:29:13 pmThe Paraset !  I could certainly a video of you making contact with England while using a Paraset from France ...
The beautiful photos in the previous post show the French Cold War spy radio set TR-TG-2A. See:

Background info and photos of the World War II Paraset spy radio (good links in all articles):
Morse Code / Morse Mania
November 12, 2019, 11:09:40 am
Quote from: vy2js on November 11, 2019, 08:40:42 pm
Using a great phone app called Morse Mania ...

Puzzled to find that this great software hasn't been mentioned in the forum until today. Here is the developer's site:

I started using Morse Mania on my desktop Mac more than 20 years ago:

The desktop/laptop version is Mac only, but for cellphones they have made it for both dominant systems:
Military Radios / Re: The UK PRC 316 / A-16
November 09, 2019, 09:36:21 pm
Additional information in the Wikipedia article about the British Clansman military radio system:

QuoteClansman HF radio sets
UK/PRC 316
A late introduction to the Larkspur range, its original designation was A16 Lightweight HF Radio Station. Deployed in tropical or high temperature climates, it was powered by either a standard 12V battery that connected directly to the set or if issued, a Leclanche Battery that connected directly to the set. It was compatible with most D10 or R4 copper stranded antenna systems that were fielded at that time, examples being the Shirley, Jamaica, Half Jamaica and Yagi.

Despite not being of the Clansman family, its late introduction to service coupled with its Clansman equivalent, the PRC/RT320 not being ready, meant the PRC 316 survived for just over five years after Clansman was introduced. Once the PRC/RT320 was completed and fully fielded, the PRC 316 was rapidly withdrawn. Another reason cited for its retention was that it was relatively easy to operate and was inter-operable with the other HF Radios in the Clansman family.