Sunday, August 19, 2018

And yet *another* new kit from G0UPL

Hans G0UPL has just announced that the PA used in the upcoming QSX kit will be offered as a stand-alone kit for those who might want to use it with an existing QRP rig.

In his own words:

This PA board is so GOOD that it will be made available also as a standalone 10W HF Linear PA kit. It is ready for production and should be the first of the QSX modules ready for sale.

The requirement for expensive Mitsubishi RD16HHF1 etc transistors in a decent amp is an absolute misconception. In reality they are very very expensive and not necessary in HF applications such as this.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

More details about the upcoming QSX40 QRP kit from G0UPL

If you don't have time for the video:

  • 24-bit SDR architecture
  • The QSX40 will initially be a monoband (40m) CW/SSB/digital transceiver
  • A future filter module will allow 10-band operation (10-160m, including 60m)
  • Monoband version will cost (about) $75; 10-band will be about $150 (including optional enclosure)
  • Two mic jacks: Android/iPhone type and RJ45
  • USB jack for direct keyboard and CAT control
  • CW, PSK31 and RTTY decoding w/o computer
  • Built-in sound card for FT8 and other digimodes
  • SMD parts are pre-installed
  • 90 page very detailed and illustrated manual
  • Built-in test equipment for alignment
  • Drilled, punched and labeled enclosure will be an option

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Beginning construction of MiniKits 80m-630m transverter

UPDATE: Construction on hold awaiting replacement parts from MiniKits.

My 630m antenna is down for the thunderstorm season and won't see RF again until October. In the meantime I have received my transverter kit from MiniKits in Australia and have decided to begin construction despite not having an antenna for the finished product.

The plan is to use it with my Apache Labs Anan-10e for WSPR, JT65 and other digital modes once winter arrives.

Monday, July 16, 2018

FA-VA5 antenna analyzer received, built

I received my FA-VA5 in the mail today after a week-long delay in Chicago. Customs? USPS? Interference from Putin? Who knows, but it arrived today and went together in just under an hour.

The FA-VA5 is almost identical to the FA-VA4 that it replaced. The main difference in construction are the new analyzer's USB jack and the use of a cardboard spacer used when installing/soldering header pins.

The USB jack's small circuit board is insulated from the main board by an almost-transparent mica insulator. The circuit board is then soldered to the main board by flowing solder across 16 pads to their corresponding pads on the main board. Be sure that each pad has a solder bridge to its corresponding pad and that no unintentional bridges exist between adjacent pads.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Flex 6300 Vs. Apache Labs Anan-10e on FT8

Since buying the Anan 10E a few weeks ago I've been comparing it with the Flex. The KH1/KH7Z DXpedition provided a great test for each rig's software regarding noise mitigation, especially on the low bands with summertime QRN.

For a description of the test set-up, click here.

As might be expected, each radio/software has advantages over the other. I like SmartSDR's (Flex) presentation and ability to zoom in on a signal (or pile-up) and see detail with great resolution. openHPSDR (Anan) can zoom in as well but visual resolution seems to become a bit grainy at some point, at least compared to SmartSDR. This may seem like a small detail but it is important in how I go about working a rare DX station on CW. I like to see the pile-up in as much detail as possible in order to determine exactly where to place my TX VFO.