Crowd Funding The Perfect Survival Radio?

Started by gil, August 22, 2017, 01:51:20 pm

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gil

August 22, 2017, 01:51:20 pm Last Edit: August 22, 2017, 01:56:19 pm by gil
Hello,

You know I've been thinking about the perfect survival radio for a while, first proposing a CW-only transceiver. Only fools never change their mind, so here is what I have come up with now:

  • Quad band, 20, 30, 40, 80m transceiver.

  • CW and DSB modes.

  • Keyer optional but real CW with full QSK.

  • 3kHz and 400Hz filters.

  • General coverage receiver.

  • 10W output.

  • Low current draw on receive.

  • Watertight case and connectors.

  • Battery in the case.

  • Built-in battery charger (3x 18650?).

  • Military handset or speaker-mic.

  • SWR indicator.

  • High SWR protection.



The choice of DSB is dictated by the need to interoperate with military radios which use USB only. I am thinking of a minimalist concept, less is better.

I wonder if a radio designer could be hired after a crowd funding campaign... What are your thoughts on this?

Gil.

paul5.wolf

Quote from: gil on August 22, 2017, 01:51:20 pm
Hello,

You know I've been thinking about the perfect survival radio for a while, first proposing a CW-only transceiver. Only fools never change their mind, so here is what I have come up with now:

  • Quad band, 20, 30, 40, 80m transceiver.

  • CW and DSB modes.

  • Keyer optional but real CW with full QSK.

  • 3kHz and 400Hz filters.

  • General coverage receiver.

  • 10W output.

  • Low current draw on receive.

  • Watertight case and connectors.

  • Battery in the case.

  • Built-in battery charger (3x 18650?).

  • Military handset or speaker-mic.

  • SWR indicator.

  • High SWR protection.



The choice of DSB is dictated by the need to interoperate with military radios which use USB only. I am thinking of a minimalist concept, less is better.

I wonder if a radio designer could be hired after a crowd funding campaign... What are your thoughts on this?

Gil.
The perfect survival radio would work for anyone.  He may not know code.  If it's survival, it's protection of life or property hence emergency-- legal regardless.  I like your idea to take a punch at a perfect survival radio.  Those who don't know code may know "SOS.". ANOTHER idea might be a few perfect survival radios each mimimal for their purpose.  Before I knew much about JT65, my thoughts ran to whether radios all set to a few  channels that were capable to transmit/receive as self contained units could do about anything in anyone's hands.  But, then behold those tiny messages and all the technicalities.  You are on to something good.

Sent from my Pixel XL using Tapatalk


swxx

Quote from: gil on August 22, 2017, 01:51:20 pm
Hello,

You know I've been thinking about the perfect survival radio for a while, first proposing a CW-only transceiver. Only fools never change their mind, so here is what I have come up with now:

  • Quad band, 20, 30, 40, 80m transceiver.

  • CW and DSB modes.

  • Keyer optional but real CW with full QSK.

  • 3kHz and 400Hz filters.

  • General coverage receiver.

  • 10W output.

  • Low current draw on receive.

  • Watertight case and connectors.

  • Battery in the case.

  • Built-in battery charger (3x 18650?).

  • Military handset or speaker-mic.

  • SWR indicator.

  • High SWR protection.



The choice of DSB is dictated by the need to interoperate with military radios which use USB only. I am thinking of a minimalist concept, less is better.

I wonder if a radio designer could be hired after a crowd funding campaign... What are your thoughts on this?

Gil.
I think it is a great idea. Perhaps even made in China provided proper QC is done and it keeps costs down. But QUALITY is KEY as it has to be reliable. I'd add to the above:

* Balanced output and built in tuner -- PFR3 does this and I think that's great as doublets (double zepps) work well, even vertically
* In the tropics, I think 40m acts like 80m does in Europe. So having 15/20/30/40 would be good for such locations.

I'd also like to see an Auto Alarm built. I may make a separate thread on that in the forums. If that can be incorporated in a CW Surival Rig I think that would be very cool, but even if it is a plug in addition or option.

The lack of being able to find any one rig that meets the above specifications on your list is what has prevented me, along with impecuniousness have prevented me, to date, from doing what I consider a priority. I have pretty much everything else communication wise: well versed in Morse, able to copy signals -13dB SNR by ear, home brew antenna experience, keys, but what is lacking is the RIG.

All I have at present is one of those current-guzzling ones that needs a car battery, and that battery won't last for long.

km4mcm

October 31, 2017, 03:24:59 am #3 Last Edit: December 12, 2017, 04:22:33 am by gil
Quote from: paul5.wolf on August 22, 2017, 03:26:57 pm


i think its a great idea. but would the ability to atleast monitor the air bands or marine bands be important? offering an ability to know if someone who may not be on hf could be close enough to see a visual signal or close enough to keep your eyes open to avoid being found if thats is needed.

gil

October 31, 2017, 03:44:18 am #4 Last Edit: December 12, 2017, 04:21:34 am by gil
Quote from: km4mcm on October 31, 2017, 03:24:59 am
Quote from: paul5.wolf on August 22, 2017, 03:26:57 pm

i think its a great idea. but would the ability to atleast monitor the air bands or marine bands be important? offering an ability to know if someone who may not be on hf could be close enough to see a visual signal or close enough to keep your eyes open to avoid being found if thats is needed.
Yes, that's what a "General coverage receiver" does. Air band would be difficult to do but no problem for marine HF.

Gil

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Andywragg

Have you seen the UBITX? Just released for sale, and would appear to hit a lot of the features you are looking for. I look like having to sell another kidney......
Once a 'STAB in the Dark'
M6UAW

caulktel

Hi Andy,

I was just going to suggest the same thing. I ordered one and will report on how well it works.

Joel
N6ALT

Andywragg

I was just reading the BITX40 group pages and they've already sold out the first batch of UBITX kits. It's going to be a minimum of 3 weeks before any more are available.
Once a 'STAB in the Dark'
M6UAW

cockpitbob

Does anyone know how much power the uBITX draws during receive?  Battery life is important and nearly an obsession in this forum 8).

gagcon

Sounds like the KX3 in a waterproof box.


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caulktel

Quote from: cockpitbob on December 11, 2017, 05:10:26 pm
Does anyone know how much power the uBITX draws during receive?  Battery life is important and nearly an obsession in this forum 8).

+

I'm not sure anybody knows yet Bob, but I'll bet it's not that good with a Arduino and a 16X2 display on top of what the radio itself draws. I will ask on the Bitx Group and see if I can get a answer.

Joel
N6ALT

Andywragg

I did some digging on the group, it's already been posted.

From Farhan himself....

"Rx draws 150 ma on zero volume. It can go up to 200 ma on peaks.the tx draws south of 700ma without modulation, peaks to 2.5A on modulation."


Hope this helps
Once a 'STAB in the Dark'
M6UAW

NWARadio

Does the Yaesu 817 not meet all these needs?
So long, and thanks for all the fish

gil

The 817 does not qualify in the most important aspect of any survival radio, current draw on receive, which is the only reason I haven't bought one yet. Now, with the advances in battery technology and solar cells, the problem isn't as acute as before, but today it is possible to do much better, like the KX2, which unfortunately fails in the ruggedness department, especially regarding water ingress.

Gil.

scarr

January 01, 2018, 04:10:20 pm #14 Last Edit: January 01, 2018, 04:14:19 pm by scarr
For me (ymmv) the 817 is a great compromise due to its low cost, small size, available bands and modes.

Yes current draw is an issue if it's your sole radio - but, I think the issue is somewhat overstated: current draw in my experience is around 350mAh. Compared to a MTR trx, this is absolutely huge, but, the FT817 is not an MTR. How about comparing it to the Clansman RT320?

RT320 = 24 volts * 175mAh = 4.2 Watts for RX. Pro: 30 Watts out. Extremely rugged. Con: Big and weighs 5kg without battery or other options. 
FT817 = 12 volts * 350mAh = 4.2 Watts for RX. Pro: Small and weighs 1kg. Con: Max 5 Watts out. Not nearly as rugged.

In short, the 817 is a lot easier to carry around on your back - it's far from perfect, but given the choice it's what I have picked.

If I really was concerned about having a long term, portable, backup HF SSB rx capability, I'd have a relatively inexpensive radio like the Tecsun PL660, which will run off AA's for an eternity.

Elecraft radios are lovely but they cost a fortune in the EU. If I was taking part in SOTA, I'd grab an MTR.

I will be picking up a ubitx shortly, the plan being to put it in a rugged case and make a poor mans PRC320 :)

(A more detailed description of the 817's RX power consumption is available here: http://www.ka7oei.com/ft817_pwr.html - which demonstrates that it's possible to power the 817 on RX at 7.5V, with 290mAh drain, for an effective power consumption of just 2.18W.)