The Mitigation of Radio Noise from Internal/External Sources at Radio Receiving Sites
Radio Noise from Internal/External Sources at Radio Receiving Sites is a set of free E-Books created by the Department of the Navy. I finally located the Internal RFI source suppression link to this public domain document. I looked at the pdf for help in tracking down the RFI at my home QTH. Both of these documents strikes me as one of the nicer pair of items I have seen over the past few years dealing with RFI and how to deal with it. These documents cover all aspects of RFI created within your environment, and external to your environment. The two books are a very good fit for each other. They also cover some basic RFI location techniques. These book starts with a background and general approach chapter, and progresses forward in a clear and easy to read process, showing you how and where to look for RFI. Here is a brief excerpt from the internal sources book. Read more
Icom IC-2720H VHF/UHF Mobile Transceiver
This review of the Icom 2720H VHF/UHF mobile transceiver is not going to be a highly technical review, it will be a review on use of the radio, I am a fan of Icom rigs, so there is also a bit of bias in this review… I have owned and used two Icom 2720H’s for several years now, one in each vehicle .. It is a good rig, but it does have it’s faults… One of them being the programming. If you have a computer, all is well, but if you are on the road, and need to change anything, (anything at all), get out your Nifty Mini-Manual for it… You will need it.
The rig also has some intermod problems as well… Well, lets be honest, I live in a smaller town, around 150K people, and I get intermod here… The radio is VERY sensitive to anything else in the immediate area as far as intermod is concerned. It also suffers from desense as well… This may not make the 2720H sound like a good radio, but it is… Sort of… You have to get used to the issues above to enjoy it. The rig for all of it’s faults, puts out a respectable amount of power, (oh yes rumor has it there is a final issue with early serial numbered rigs as well), and once programmed is really easy to use, and has two complete receivers in the chassis. The rig will put out 50 Watts, which is pretty good in today’s world. It also has a removable control head, so it mounts up well… Read more
IC-2820 Nifty Manual
In this Review of N6FN’s Nifty Mini-Manuals I will cover construction, and use. I am always looking for a good portable manual to take with me on trips for the two meter rig, or some piece of hardware. My wife and I recently took a three week trip to Arizona. I decided that I should take the manuals for all the mobile rigs with me in the event I got things set up wrong… So I dutifully took my PDF files of all the manuals I needed and sent them to my Kindle for use if needed. After I got them uploaded to the Kindle I took a look at them. While the Kindle will display PDF files, it does not display them like an eBook… The entire page is presented on the small screen. One has to expand each part to see the text. This runs the text off the edges, and forces one to not only expand, but scroll horizontally to read anything in PDF format. All in all the PDF presentation of the Kindle was not too good… I thought about copying the pages of the manual I might need, and bringing them with me… I thought about bringing the manuals with me… None of those solutions really appealed to me as I did not want to bring several notebooks of manuals with me on a three week trip… Read more
This review of the Challenger DX Antenna by GAP Antenna will not be a highly technical review, it will be performance based, using my existing antennas for comparisons First off, what is the GAP Challenger, and how does it work? You must be an ARRL member to get the QST article covering that, it is in the January 1995 issue. I would provide the article, but copyright forbids me from doing so. You will have to go to the ARRL’s web site and get it. Once you read that story, you will understand a bit more on the GAP. Basically it has a very limited number of radials, and still work well. Why so few radials? Because it is not the traditional 1/4 wave vertical, it is a vertical dipole, this gives it several advantages over a standard 1/4 wave vertical. Chiefly the reduced number of radials… I also have a 30 Meter Mono Gap, (see review here), and it has the same number of radials needed, three, and they are short.
My setup has the Challenger ground mounted, in the middle of a large field with a metal fence running along one side perhaps 30 feet away. Other than that, there is nothing within 50 feet of the antenna. It is on the side of a very gentle slope slightly sloping downwards towards the North maybe 20 feet down in the first 100 feet from the antenna, and sloping up perhaps 20 feet to the south at the 100 foot mark from the antenna. It is mounted in a small hole, using the insulating post supplied with the antenna. It is not on a tilt base, nor does it need a radial field, which is the number one reason I bought it. I primarily operate on 40 through 10 meters, so any discussion of 80 Meter operation is useless from my point of view. Read more
MixW Main display screen
Here you will find the current MixW help files for inclusion within the MixW software package. These files are in Windows Help Format, .chm, and replace all other help files for MixW. If you install them as per the instructions below, they will be available from within MixW, by selecting HELP.
Download the file(s) below, and then expand them. 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 files have been updated to reflect the changes in V3.1 and other, hopefully useful, information added. For more information on MixW, see either the Yahoo Support Group, or the review on this site. Read more
iMate for Icom
This review of the iMate by BetterRF was prompted by my entering the last SS contest, and getting really, really tired of saying my call sign over and over… This device allows for remote triggering of the four memories in my Icom 756 Pro 3. Triggering is accomplished by simply pressing a button on the iMate, which is labeled for which memory you wish to trigger. The iMate does not allow for programming, only triggering the playback of a previously recorded message. It also does not store the messages, you only get four messages, four for CW and four for voice. The iMate inserts between your Microphone, and your radio, after any level conversion hardware for digital. This allows for an easy install, without re-wiring your entire station audio chain. The device is a small plastic box, with controls mounted on the top of it. This allows for easy placement on your working surface. Once installed, you just press a button leaving the Icom radio controls set as you normally would. I leave my Band scope up at all times, and after the last SS, (first phone contest for me, I normally do RTTY and CW), I realized that I could not live without the band scope, (the 756 PRO 3 will not show the band scope if you are in memory playback mode without the iMate), hence the purchase of the iMate. Read more
This review of Hamlog by Pignology was prompted after a three week trip to Arizona, and one heck of a lot of QSO’s all kept on paper. The entry time involved, and the possible loss of the little scraps of paper which I kept the log on convinced me that I needed a better mobile logging program. I looked for a decent logging program for mobile use. It had to be able to run on my phone. (Android Bionic), and my iPad, as well as be able to export the contacts via an ADIF file. I tried a few progrmas, then found “Hamlog” by Pignology LLC. Hamlog, runs on pretty much all platforms, (IOS, Android, and web interface), and generates the needed ADIF file. It is easy to use, and seems to work fine for my mobile uses. The user interface was important to me, it had to be easy to use, and have large type. Hamlog is simple enough to use, my wife will fill it in for me while driving, all I need to do is to tell her what to put in what field. During our trip I used an iPad 1 as the input device. When the battery on the iPad ran down, I used my Android phone… That feature is what sold me on Hamlog, the ability to have a cross platform logging program. Having the same log on iDevices, and on Android devices is wonderful. Best of all it is free! Read more
S-Meter Lite display window
I have a very bad RFI problem at my home QTH. This necessitated my looking at S-Meter values across time in order to quantify when the start and end times for my RFI issues were taking place. After looking around for software, I discovered S-Meter Lite by W8WWV. This software is installed under Windows XP on my home setup and does exactly what I needed, plus a lot more… After taking a look at this software I thought I would provide a review of W8WWV’s S-Meter Lite. S-Meter Lite will graph S-Meter readings in real time, save spreadsheet ready files over very long time frames of your S meter values, assist in generating a pattern for your beam antenna, show RF levels in S units or in dB, and show signal level differences in dB between one signal and another on the same graph. In short S-Meter Lite does a lot of things, some of which I have not tested yet, but look forward to testing. See RFI at my Home QTH, every graph of S meter values there was made using S-Meter Lite.
S-Meter Lite talks to your radio using a data connection to your radio provided by the manufacturer. In some cases the radios do not provide data connections, so S-Meter Lite is unable to talk to those radios. If you are set up with radio control using your computer, you are probably already set up to use S-Meter Lite.