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Messages - RadioRay

#1
General Discussion / Re: Which radios
October 31, 2022, 01:15:19 PM
The KX2 or KX3 were excellent receivers, very low current consumption and I made form fitting protective cases for them.  I do wish that I had never sold them, but I tend to sell radios that I have to buy radios that I 'want'.  This has not always been a good decision.

- RadioRay
#2
Antennas / Re: Do you feel robbed?
September 28, 2022, 01:09:10 AM
Well, I do understand that priCes are high and increasing, but there are ways to be a ham with a quite useful and enjoyable station without spending a lot of money.  This I know, because I am a pensioner, but do fine:

1. Skills are free and stay with you for life.  For example, learning Morse code is VERY much more efficient than voice communication on HF.  Hams who use Morse code requires less power, less expence and I find that even simple equipment, maybe kit built, works very well.

2.  Learn to build your own transceivers and antennas.  Most of these 'tacti-cool' antennas are made for people who will not make their own.  The company DOES understand their business model and what they are able to charge. A simple and efficient home made dipole or end fed half wave wire works very well, can be made for very little money and I've used them for decades in wild country.

3.  Many people, ESPECIALLY Gil, will show how do do this on the Youtube channels.  This is a real advantage.

No, I cannot imagine myself spending this much for an antenna like this. but, that's because I'm not the target customer base, but YES they do have many customers interested in their products.  OTOH, I don't need it, my antenna kits cost me less than a half week of coffee at a cafe'. because I make them myself. Wire and maybe some reasonable coax, and a little time, that's all.

Time for a sip of cognac and sleeeep.

- RadioRay

#3
I received my second one today.  Set the frequency standard and it's quite good, right out of the box, from the AUTHORISED Chinese manufacturer. It's not a bad shortwave broadcast receiver in sideband and tuned to zero beat.  Great for keeping up on international news. Tested on the Reverse Beacon Network, This was the mix of 40 & 20 meter with a quick 1x3 CQ call in Morse (CW).  QRP CW into a simple dipole is quite reliable.  The fact tht this also works in SSB, for the rare occasion where I might want to check-in with a voice net - superb.  Now for me to design and make a METAL enclosure with room for paddles on top/front and more. For a field transceiver  fewer additional external cables, the better.

You cannot view this attachment.

de RadioRay  ..._ ._

LATER:  I used the SSB to check-in to my weekly 40 meters , regional Preppers Net and it all went well.  Net control was amazed that I was only "about 5 Watts" and we had a nice conversation.  As Gil mentioned, 'perhaps an ideal prepper's radio transceiver?'. 
#4
Net Activity / Radio Relay International
June 15, 2022, 01:43:21 PM
Did you know that there really IS and has been, a radio relay organization that actually DOES realy radio messages? Radio Relay International has many traffic every day and maintains surge capacity incase of higher need/emergency situations. I have passed some small amoung ot traffic through their Morse network(s) and the message arrived at my friends ear in under one day.  RRI is a mix of Morse and digital (winlink like) stations and very professionally and yet, friendly to new people.

Here is a recent announcement on their website:

RRI Announces Training Class Schedule July 1 to December 30, 2022

Radio Relay International is pleased to announce its 2022, Third and Fourth Quarter Training Schedule. This is your opportunity to obtain official, peer-reviewed training covering emergency communications and traffic handling subjects based on professional emergency management practices and radio communications standards. This training is open to all radio amateurs. An RSVP is necessary to hold a place in these classes. The training schedule can be found here: http://radio-relay.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/RRI-Training-Classes-3Q-2022.pdf
#5
A second one is a good idea. I also have a second one on order and it cleared Chinese exit shipping today.  I hope to have it in a week or two.

Seriously, if not for your reviews on YouTube, I would not have bought one.  Now I've bought two from one of the 'approved vendors' mentioned.

Your aluminum enclosure is certainly on my 'to do' list, to up-armor it and to reduce the external cables to a bare minimum.  Basically, I want the rig to require the antenna coax and earbuds - nothing more. A internal battery, to moounted key/paddles, internal main battery and a way to use external 12 vdc as desired.

73 de Ray ..._ ._
#6
After seeing Gil's review of the (tr)uSDR transceiver on his YouTube channel, I decided to get one.  I took a month to arrive in my mailbox, all the way from P.R. China, but in fairness, over half that delay was in the US postal system,.

When arrived, the only adjustment I made is to calibrate the frequency standard and that is very easy: find the menu item and turn the main dial to zerobeat WWV or other standard frequency station, then press ENTER to save it.  I plan to peak the torroids in the final sections for best power, after I find my QRP dummyload/Watt meter.

First Ham Contacts:
Being an old sailor, my first real test of a two way conversation was on 14.300USB , the Maritime Mobile Service Network. Net control station came right back to my call IN THE MIDDLE OF A PILE-UP of many stations calling him.  The transceiver was operating on a nominal 12 volts, so power was likely 3 to 5 Watts. We chatted for a few minutes before I let him know that I was QRP using a 'handheld QRP transceiver.  He was amazed and frankly, so was I.  QRP for me is normally CW/Morse code so that it is quite reliable.  Voice QRP on HF has not been a favorite for me, though this little transceiver REALLY has it's place im my equipment now.

Shortwave Listening:
This makes a fine shortwave broadcast receiver when you use either USB or LSB and tune to zero beat.  Open the filter selection all the way and you might be surprised how well it works as a general coverage receiver. I listened to all the usual SW broadcasters and caught some news , music and ravings.

CW QRP:  3 to 5 Watts (estimated) Easy-peezy!  Nothing says efficient radio communication like CW Morse does.  Even at the 3 - 5 Watts output, I had solid conversations with more than a few hams.  I am used to this type of high performance in CW though.  The adjustable 'IF' filters make for a very selective transceiver if you like that sort of thing, and I do. Filters go as narrow as 50 Hz bandwidth.  I don't have test equipment for measuring such things, but my old radiotelegrapher's ears said it was all 'quite good'.

CW QRPp:  200mW per the manual, using the rig's USB port and a USB battery/light I commonly keep available.  This USB battery/light is easy to recharge from a car or solar panel with USB adaptor. That the transceiver operates flawlessly on the 5.x vdc from the USB port is impressive.  I answered a loud "CQ" late afternoon, using my minature straight key and he came right back from Central Florida which is over 600 miles away.  We chatted for a while and then I let him know that I was QRPp at aproximately 200mW.  We were both amazed.  He had a top notch station with a log periodic beam at 50 feet whic of COURSE means a lot, but any contact at 200mW not using a computer is simply amazing, thus proving the point that:

"THE BEST COMMUNICATIONS COMPUTER IS THE ONE BETWEEN YOUR EARS!"

This is definately center stage in my Prepper's radio selection. I now have a fine CW/SSB transceiver with included general coverage SWL and 'utility' broadcast receiver, which easily fits into my shirt pocket.

I'll be trying it on my regular weekly sked in a few hours and hoping to compare it on 12 volts to my BIG home rig as a side-by-side comparisson test.  The home transceiver though /small/ draws 2 Amps on receive - not suitable for man packable use.


73/72 de RadioRay ..._ ._
#7
I bought a few NEW one gallon paint cans, sanded the lid edge and can rim for good electrical contact and made Faraday cages for electrocics I want to TRY to protect incase of an EMP. I painted them in U,.S. Civil Defence YELLOW so that - at a glance - I know it's part of my 'Nuke Kit' and have a VERY GOOD Radiation survey meter inside as well. 

Paint cans contain:
SPARE GLASSES!
Radio receivers AM/FM/SW broadcast, US NOAA Weather/safety band...
QRP transceiver
old Calculator, solar powered
old GPS (reciever only - no cell/wifi functions at all, 25 years old)
batteries, both alkaline and rechargable
Battery chargers,
Folding solar panel
Broadband radio scanner (Information is valuable!)
and anything that might be useful post-EMP.
My old slide rule is EMP proof, but I barely remember how to use it  ;-)


de Radio Ray  ..._ ._

Keep PAPER MAPS and spare perscription/reading glasse in your vehicle.  Here in the USA a Topographic 'gazateer' map book is available for every U.S. State from Amazon. I keep one in the vehicle along with pick axe, shovel and manual 2+ ton chain hoist'winch. ALWAYS DRIVE ON THE   T O P 1/4 of your fuel tank!!!  When gas stations stop, you will probably not have ANY warning. 
#8
General Discussion / Re: How prepped are you?
April 09, 2022, 12:39:11 AM
Here in Virginia , USA, my NURSE Wife is a country girl and we live very close to salt water, connected to the huge Chesapeake Bay. We live in VERY rural farming and fishing country, have NO highways 'passing through' because we live on a penninsula and ALL roads to the mainland 70 miles away, end in deep salt water .I improve the garden soil every year, fish for the occasional meal, have crabs, oysters and many, many kinds of fish. In winter, we heat using our iron woodstove, with wood from our 1 acre property and massive local woods, using hand axes and bow saw - the old way.
// My people came to North America from Normandy and before Normandy from Norselandia, so sailing and axe work are in the genes  ;-)   //

Salt water on three sides of us means FOOD/protein, and transportation.  I'm an old sailor, I have experience navigating with paper charts, compass and sextant. No fuel "required" for old sailors: oars and an ersatz sail are powerful tools when the expensive power boats are out of gas, have no computer GPS and the owners live in major cities, like Washington DC which is the world's number one TARGET!

No place is perfect, but we are in a little cottage to retire in place. Oh and RADIOS, with wire antennas in TALL trees.

73 de Ray
#9
https://static1.squarespace.com/static/58f4e114be6594c2f9bcc9f6/t/594ae675893fc03d52ba3304/1498080889272/Road_to_CW_de_W4ALF.pdf

A very good booklet to read for new and 'seasoned' operators. Have a look at page 12, second half of the page, where it explains the reasons why a 5 Watt Morse signal is equivalent to an SSB signal of 100W for conveying the same message. No computer required, other than the one between your ears ;-)

73 de RadioRay  ..._ ._
#10
Gil is safe in the home port. Now time to RECOVER from his 'vacation'.

-RadioRay  ..._ ._
#11
SAFE @ 02:51 , in a marina 8 km south/east of Toulon. Sailing across in rough weather and navigating into an unknown small marina in the dark, >solo<, with little or no sleep... VERY difficult.

Well done Gil! 

de RadioRay  ..._ ._

Ps.  It may take some time to feel normal to walk on UNmoving land after those days in a bumpy sea.
#12
I agree!

It looked like a rough night out there. Satellite weather last night indicated constant 27kt winds with gusts to 40kt ,  quartering/beam seas average wave-height of 2 meters with occasional larger waves (up to 2x) . On-watch in the cockpit must have been exhausting. Today's forecast looks a little better.

73 de Ray  ..._ ._

#13
If anyone makes contact via radio ( I am too far away in the USA) please post details here :-)

RadioRay ...- .-

#14
Gil said : ..."there are three high-db reports of me on 10118 on the 11th. Those are fake."

That explained those huge signals in the Canadian/US Pacific North-West, yet nothing in Europe at that time.

I hope that you get some good rest tonight and a continuing fine sail.


>Ray
#15
Reverse Beacon Network showed the following.  // Gil reported that these are fake, not him. //

F4WBY   10118.0   CW CQ   31 dB   17 wpm   2033z 11 Jul
F4WBY   10118.1   CW CQ   50 dB   17 wpm   2033z 11 Jul
F4WBY   10118.0   CW CQ   34 dB   17 wpm   2033z 11 Jul