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Messages - solaris0121

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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.

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...


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.

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..... Iím still learning the code so more of a push now to get on and have a 1st qso.

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.

Technical Corner / Modding MTR4b for 13.8 volts..... possible ?
« on: May 18, 2018, 02:46:15 AM »
So Iíve decided I really want an mtr4b...... but Iím struggling with the fact that it wonít take over 12 volts like most others do.  Being able to plug into a car battery would be a key factor for the ďprepperĒ 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.  Iíd like to add a couple of banana plug/screw terminals for easy field use.  Iíd keep the original power socket for smaller batteries and maybe add a switch to flip between them ?

Love to hear your thoughts.  Regards, sean.

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.

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.

Antennas / Re: Stealth antenna using your tv aerial feedline
« on: May 01, 2018, 03:17:01 PM »
Only the same risk your television loves with most days :)

Antennas / Stealth antenna using your tv aerial feedline
« on: April 30, 2018, 07:47:54 AM »
I tried a little experiment yesterday - I made up a little wire from my clansman radio that connects into the outer braid of my tv aerial socket, so I can use the co-ax cable that runs up the side my house onto the roof as an HF antenna.

It worked - kind of...... I didnt have enough time to try any contacts.   But more importantly,  its good to have it as an option in case a time ever came when i might need to get rid of the antennas in the garden that can be seen by everyone.  Or a time when I might be out and about or staying at a relatives house.   I'd be interested to hear if others could try it and let us know what results you get - maybe arrange a CW or SSB sked one morning or evening with everyone plugged into their tv aerial stealth antennas !!!! that would be a blast.

(PS - make sure your aerial isnt plugged into any kind of distribution system (active or passive) in case you pick up some nasty voltage or static that fries your radio)

Iíve already had a brief chat with Hans about that (waiting for my 40m kit to arrive )  he also suggested using an OLED display (as I wanted a green display for my project) to save a little extra power.  He is planning on changing the displays to the green/yellow type as they can be read in the daytime with the backlight turned off.

I have cleaned out the internal electronics from a broken clansman hand crank charger and that will be the case for my new QCX kit, using a drop down converter for the 24 volt Nicad batteries.  It will have a small speaker built in as well as itís own keyed, so completely self contained.  I also have a second spare case and will probably build an emtech tuner into that.

Gil, I wonder what savings might be made by adding a little switch to to let you turn off the lcd display and led back light..... maybe a little push micro switch so you can check the charge level every now and then.

Antennas / Re: Mounting Antenna for NVIS vs DX operation ?
« on: April 28, 2018, 08:17:51 AM »
Nice link Andy, something g like that could be made up, rolled around your support mast and be slung in the car, ready made to guy out.....

I wonder what itís also like for dx when pushed up higher - and the wires are more vertical ?

Antennas / Re: Mounting Antenna for NVIS vs DX operation ?
« on: April 26, 2018, 10:37:47 AM »
Thanks Gil, i was hoping that lowering a short EFHW almost horizontal to the ground (a few feet , tied to stakes or a tree) might force it into operating NVIS  on 40 and 20.....  the reality is I should just get out there and try it...... im just a little new to all the theory.

I have 2 of the 320's, one of them is the thick finned version.  Ive just purchased some capacitors for the power supply modification which I need to do very soon.

The past few days since the antenna went up ive been calling out on 7187.5 (prc320) as well as 14348 and 3793.   Are you guys using these frequencies ?  Would be great to have a 320 to 320 QSO over the channel !!!     73's Sean.

Antennas / Mounting Antenna for NVIS vs DX operation ?
« on: April 26, 2018, 05:54:48 AM »
Hi guys, my 1st post here as newly licenced ham in the UK (M6OLR).  I have a couple of PRC-320 radios ive had for a while and with the new licence i installed a 5band EFHW antenna from the chimney to a pole down the garden.

I noticed on 20m and 40m i dont really pick up any local stations in the UK and I understand to do this I need to mount the antenna for NVIS use.  As I understand it, is this simply a case of LOWERING the antenna and ensuring its horizontal ? *eg to fence height, a metre or so off the floor. 

Im thinking that when im out and about portable i will get a 3 band EFHW and use a fishing pole with it mounted vertically for DX and horizontal (low down) for NVIS - or is it more complex than this ?  Tactically, I like the option to change my radiation pattern when out in the field portable.

Interested to hear your thoughts...... M6OLR

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