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Technical Corner / Re: Modding MTR4b for 13.8 vol...
Last post by gil - September 27, 2019, 04:42:14 pm
Correct Jon, I forgot about that... I am sure there are much better options today, but my electronics schooling dates back to 1985!

General Discussion / Re: Death By Microprocessor
Last post by RadioRay - September 27, 2019, 05:34:48 am
Aaah Bushy!

Good to hear from you, my old friend.   You'll be happy to know that I too am now a pensioner - never thought I'd see the day ;-) 

Like you, the sounds of Morse is also comforting to me, and I usually have a receiver with a wide filter to hear Morse conversations in the background when I'm in my little shed, working on projects. Your practice process provides you a skill-set for life.  Unpretentious, simple, accurate Morse is a workhorse that can be depended upon, and enjoyed even when I've been down to my last copper.

You Morse regimen sounds quite reasonable. To communicate at an accurate 8-10 words per minute in a robust mode like Morse is far superior to 'sometimes' being able to communicate at thousands of baud > if everything is running correctly  and electrical power is plentiful < ( and IF Windows does not kill the system with an infernal update ;-) As the saying goes: "In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is King."

GReat to hear from you !

> Ray

Ps. I once had a girlfriend who -quite literally- could not open a can of food without electricity...  that didn't last long.
General Discussion / Re: Death By Microprocessor
Last post by Pensioner Prepper - September 27, 2019, 04:34:13 am
Thanks for that Ray very interesting. I do Morse practice every day when I can. I would not say that I am good in any shape or form but I am good enough to get by with a patient station should I need to.

I have to say I like the sound of Morse, sort of relaxing.
Take good care old friend.

Technical Corner / Modding MTR4b for 13 8 volts p...
Last post by Indisyday - September 25, 2019, 04:50:32 am
It is interesting. Tell to me, please - where I can read about it?
Morse Code / Morse Code Class 01 & 02 by KN...
Last post by Sparks - September 24, 2019, 11:04:15 pm
69 plus 75 minutes of Morse Code classroom instruction for beginners, well worth viewing for those who want to learn [Learn Morse Code with KN4GB and the class]: [Morse Code Class 01] [Morse Code Class 02]


YouTube channel, many Morse videos:

W4EEY linked to a 31 pages long PDF:
[Introduction To Morse Code -- By Melvyn Robinson -- KN4GB]
General Discussion / Re: Lab599 Discovery TX-500
Last post by bkmoore - September 21, 2019, 09:58:44 pm
Gil - maybe if there's someone on this forum who happens speaks Russian, or Ukrainian, they could contact them on your behalf???

RadioRay - please let us know when you get your Hallicrafters Nine-Zillion. But it doesn't look very portable.  ;)

General Discussion / Re: Lab599 Discovery TX-500
Last post by gil - September 21, 2019, 05:50:08 pm
The working prototype is out... Very interesting indeed with the rugged construction. I contacted the company and got a reply suggesting a collaboration but the message wasn't very clear. I don't think they speak English very well. On paper it looks very promising; much more so than the new Icom 705, from an outdoors perspective. That big color screen on the Icom looks currentophage (yep, just made that word up ;-) Lab599 chose a much more efficient LCD screen. Now, I'm not a big fan of LCDs because of cold weather problems, but that said, I don't like cold weather... Even here in the South of France, it can get really cold when you go up the pre-Alps mountains in the winter though. I also don't like big screens because it's just more vulnerable surface.

Now, we need to look at the utility of having a band spectrum display for SHTF... To be able to see a signal is a big plus in finding someone to communicate with. I usually prefer radios without a screen at all but I can see how watching a whole band at once could be very useful. Big screens are liabilities though, and care should be taken in protecting them against impacts.

Ruggedness is big on my list of must-have features, or characteristics... I can't help but compare my commercial radios to my PRC-320. I can throw that radio in my truck without a second thought. If it starts raining while I'm operating outside, I'll just hop in my Toyota and forget about the radio on the camping table outside until the rain stops... It just isn't a hobby-radio... It's a life-and-death radio... Amateur radio manufacturers haven't yet grasped that concept, and again, the market might be small, but something like that would sell like hot cakes because of the cool factor and capabilities. This is why the TX-500 is making a lot of noise right now. There is a demand. Maybe for the same reason we see prepper shows and zombie movies popping up on TV like popcorn in a hot skillet.

If the TX-500 lives up to the hype, I might get one. I loved my KX3 and KX2, but in the end, I sold them. Not because of the lack of performance, they are on top of the food chain in receiver sensitivity, but I was afraid of using them outside! The KX2 is full of holes. I also love my K1 with its superb performance, and I built it myself, so I will never sell it, but the last time I took it out, ants got it it! I still need to open it up and get the bodies out, LOL. Elecraft has never embraced the watertight or ant-proof concept... I am curious about the TX-500 CW performance, because with 10W, SSB contact are not as easy as when using CW. I also like that it has 6m, since that will allow using it with my PRC-351s, PRC-350, VX6/VX7 and VRM-5080, if need be, in FM. A little bit of 6m CW fun can't hurt either ;-) As to 160m, I think it has limited use for prepping due to antenna length. 80m portable is much easier than I thought, but 160m, I have some doubts... I might be wrong... There are fewer people on 160m though, while 80m is the goto band for regional comms.

I am also still waiting for the QSX kit from QRP-LABS. It's a year late... That will be a high performance affordable radio with 160-10m capabilities, and including a computer interface. i am starting to wonder if it will ever be released, but It think it wll... QRP-LABS is a one-man-band and Hans did well with the QCX, of which I built two, a 30m and an 80m version. Ruggedness will depend on the case you put it in... The TX-500 looks better on paper but the price will be high, though probably not as much as an IC-705; more like an FT-818, or a bit more, around $800. Not in the same league though, as 110mA beats 450mA any day... If that number turns out to be accurate...

Another 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... Ray, do you know more about DC receivers? The PRC-319 has one, to operate behind enemy lines...

There are always Pelican cases, and I love those, but in the end, you are going to have to open that case, unless the radio lives in it and has watertight connectors to the outside...

Anyway, I am watching the TX-500, looking for new videos on YouTube... We'll see...

General Discussion / Re: Lab599 Discovery TX-500
Last post by RadioRay - September 21, 2019, 07:08:21 am
The KX2 is a superb transceiver.  The ability to run highly portable at relatively low current drain - well, that's priceless.  Like you, Gil and others have mentioned, having a more 'hardened' construction would be much appreciated, yet, you are correct, the market is very small for such a ham transceiver , with it's extra costs.  Few hams are physically active.  A 100 Watt transceiver drawing many amps, with a huge lead-acid battery, driven by car to a Park for contest/"Radio Sport" style operation seems to be the goal.  Naturally, when grid-down communication is the focus, points and awards are less than meaningless.  I really don't care if I win the Worked-All-Shoe-Sizes award, as long as my actual needs and a few wants are handled.

Related to that is the dependence upon computers. They do a lot of marvelous things, but are generally a significant burden in size, weight and power and are the first to die. As much as I appreciate Winlink, having used it since the AMTOR days, depending upon MS Windows is a REAL problem.  Exapmle: mt laptop just decided that my Windows 7 is not genuine.  Why, after all these years it has done this - and begun the countdown to killing my USB ports & etc. I do not know, but all this began as the last hurricane was approaching... 'nuf said, I'll stick with Morse and to pass formal traffic, use Radio Relay International / NTS nets, of which there are MANY every day. I can't send pictures and file extensions, but health & welfare messaging is their speciality.

Please keep us posted.

73/72 & GL with the KX2/Lab599.

de Ray  ..._ ._
General Discussion / Re: Lab599 Discovery TX-500
Last post by bkmoore - September 21, 2019, 12:46:49 am
Quote from: Sparks on September 20, 2019, 10:18:03 pm
The Lab599 Discovery TX-500 has been widely discussed in the ham sphere for some months now. Nobody has found any substantial information, and some label it 'vaporware'.....

I guess it may be too good to be true. I know from personal experience that going from a demonstration prototype to a market-ready product is extremely difficult, and I can only wish these guys success and hope they get their radio out the door.

OTOH I probably wouldn't put off getting a KX2. But even if this radio never reaches market status, the design may influence others in building better portable radios in the future. I would love to see a ruggedized KX2 or KX3 for example. But I'm sure the market for such a radio is very small and it's probably difficult to justify the non recurring development cost and still be able to offer such a radio at a consumer-friendly price point. I don't see a market for. $10,000 + QRP radio, outside of the military for example.
General Discussion / Re: Lab599 Discovery TX-500
Last post by RadioRay - September 21, 2019, 12:09:13 am
Well, I am still waiting for my Hallicrafters Nine-Zillion, from 1962, but I was one of the lucky ones who managed to put down a deposit, so now it's ALL OVER, except the waiting... (image attached)

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