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Category used to tag all setup instructions at NK7Z.NET

Adding an external keypad to the K3

The Genovation keypads have either forty eight or twenty four keys on them depending on which model you purchase. Each individual key can be programmed to send a single character, or a series of characters. Further, each key has a removable plastic cover so you can put a label under the plastic. All of this allows you to program a key, then label it, then use it to send a macro trigger to the P3. Like the P3, the Genovation also needs to be programmed in advance of use. Fortunately Genovation provides a rather nice piece of software with each keypad for just this task. Once a key is programmed, if you tap that key, the Genovation sends out the character(s) you pre-programmed into it via the USB port. This lends itself well to the function of sending macro triggers to the P3. Continue reading »

Categories: Elecraft K3, Info, K3: External Keypad, Reviews, Setups, Software information, Station | 32 Comments

I have RFI, now what– Locating it

This allows me to verify I am working with the same RFI source. I record the audio from the FT-900, and then I can play it back into Spectrum labs, and see if it matches the RFI I am hearing at home. Once I have a match, I know without a doubt I have the same source. I then look at the map, and it becomes pretty obvious where the RFI is most of the time. I next start running the frequency up as high as possible and still hear the RFI. I then grab a Google Map of a smaller area, around where the signal is strongest, and do the drive around again. I repeat this process moving ever higher in frequency. Continue reading »

Categories: ARRL, Direction Finding, DX, I have RFI: Series, Info, Legal Actions, MFJ: MFJ-856, Quantification, Reviews, RFI Mitigation, Setups, Software information, Station, W8VVV: S-meter Lite | 2 Comments

Review of Ameritron’s ALS-1306 Amplifier

I decided that I wanted an auto tuning amplifier, as opposed to the manual tune, AL-82 I was using. So I sold the old AL-82, (see my review here), and purchased an Ameritron ALS-1306. I was a bit worried when I bought the ALS-1306 for several reasons– to be totally honest, my main reason was that MFJ was the owner of Ameritron– the quality, and service reputation of MFJ worried me. Continue reading »

Categories: Accessories reviews, Ameritron: ALS-1306, Info, Radios reviews, Reviews, Service reviews, Setups, Station | 31 Comments

MixW Telnet DX Cluster Setup

MixW is an old, and unsupported program, save for the Yahoo MixW group. MixW is also the best program I have ever used for RTTY contesting, bar none, and around 4000 other users agree if the membership of the Yahoo MixW support group is any indicator. I moderate that group, and of late (2014), DX Summit changed it’s format and has broken some functionality of MixW for using DX clusters. I thought it might be good to put together a guide for how to set up MixW to use Telnet, as opposed to web based DX cluster population of the cluster selection window thus freeing the MixW user from external web page changes breaking the MixW software in the future. Continue reading »

Categories: Info, MixW Contest Setup, Reviews, Setups, Software information | 7 Comments

I have RFI, now what– House Cleaning

I then brought up each circuit one at a time… Remember I had all the major appliances unplugged, so this test is looking for the various vampire devices that suck electricity all the time, pretty much anything with a wall wart on it. First I brought up the kitchen. That caused no issues, so I started turning on lights, and plugging things back in. The first source of RFI I found was a set of LED lights I got from Walmart. They are the ones that look like a 100W light, and put out about as much light as a 100 watt light. I heard nothing from them on 80, 40, 30, or 20. However on all bands above 20, they put out a horrific spray of RFI. Had I not checked all bands between testing I would have missed this. OK I noted this in my log book, and put a note there to change them out later. I turned them back off, and plugged in the refrigerator, I got a bit of RFI, so I added a few 31 mix ferrites to the power cord, and that RFI did not return. Next the Microwave got plugged back in, again, a small amount of RFI, and again a ferrite or two took care of this. There were no wall warts in the kitchen, so that pretty well took care of things for the kitchen. Continue reading »

Categories: Cleanup, Construction, I have RFI: Series, Info, RFI Mitigation, Setups, Station, Tools | 13 Comments

I have RFI, now what– Quantification

Over the past few years my RFI problem has been getting worse and worse. 40 Meters was unusable due to QRM last year, I am only now beginning to be able to use 40 meters again. Other hams in the area, (1/2 mile away), closer to the source of the RFI have lost the entire HF spectrum. See the movie above. Hit play, and all looks well until about 22:30 GMT, which is about 3:30 PM in my local time zone. As you can see, the RFI goes off scale at that time. The S Meter reading for that signal is around 10 db over S9. It is also affecting three other hams in the area. One poor fellow is so close to it that all ham bands are wiped out, 160 Meters through 10 meters are unusable during this time frame. There is another ham located about 1/4 mile from the source, he has just moved in, and was unaware why his use of 40 meters was precluded due to RFI. So there are folks who have it worse than me in this! Note this is an older recording, currently the start time for the RFI has changed to 01:36, or 7:36 PM local time. All in all there are 4 and possible 5 hams affected by what is a single source, over one or two square miles, all from a single source. We have the general area pinned down, and this summer, (2014), we are going to locate the house, and either contact the owner, or request FCC assistance. Continue reading »

Categories: Cleanup, Construction, I have RFI: Series, Info, Legal Actions, Quantification, RFI Mitigation, Setups, Software information, Station, Tools | 4 Comments

Phased arrays for 40 and 30 Meters

As you can see, even though it would fit, the compromises would be too much for 40 Meters… The radials in the North/South direction would be compromised, to say nothing about being up againset a chain link fence on the south side, and an eight foot metal fence my neighbor to the North put up… So… Change of plans! Continue reading »

Categories: Antenna Reviews, Construction, Info, Reviews, Setups, Station | 2 Comments

Review of Ameritron’s SDC-102 Screwdriver Controller

This review of Ameritron’s SDC-102 Screwdriver Controller was written as a result of perhaps 5 months of use of a new Ameritron SDC-102, in a 2004 Tahoe four wheel drive sports utility vehicle. The Tarheel 100HP antenna is mounted on the stock Tarheel antenna mount, which in turn is mounted to a Tarheel trailer hitch mount, which lives on the rear of the Tahoe in the trailer hitch receiver I am working on a quick weatherproof disconnect for that setup. When finished I’ll add it to the review section, or start a new section on homebrew stuff… Continue reading »

Categories: Accessories reviews, Ameritron: SDC-102, Antenna Reviews, Info, Reviews, Setups, Station | 3 Comments

Review of N6FN’s Nifty Mini-Manuals

Like many aids I suspected that I would not really use them… Turns out I was wrong, the cards are handy to have in the car, as well as the books. I keep the Kenwood card on me when I take out the HT, and the book for the 2720 in the glove box of the car. The fonts look as if they were selected to be readable, and the use of Bold for headings, and non bold for the actual information is well thought out. Major Categories are in Bold Red, while sub categories are in Bold black, while the actual data on how to do something is in normal black text, all on a white background. all in all it looks very much like an index in a book, and is easy to follow. For instance, in the Kenwood card, the section om Memory programming is titled “Memory Programming”, in red, under that are 6 steps, (in blue), each step further broken down into actions, (in black), covering exactly how to program the memories. It sounds complicated, but if you look at it, your eyes just go where they need to… Very well thought out, and very easy to use. Continue reading »

Categories: Accessories reviews, Info, Reviews, Setups, Station | Leave a comment

MixW Help Files for version 3.x

Here you will find the current MixW help files for inclusion within the MixW software package. These files are in Windows Help Format, .chm. Download the file below, and then expand it, and follow the directions. MixW help files were last updated for V2.19. However the latest version is V3.1 and some of the data in the help files is out of date. These these files have been updated to reflect the changes in V3.1 and other, hopefully useful, information added. Continue reading »

Categories: Info, MixW Contest Setup, Setups, Software information | 2 Comments