Monday, February 20, 2017

"Soda Pop" QRP transceiver kit from KD1JV

Never one to sit still, Steve Weber KD1JV is putting the finishing touches on an upcoming CW QRP kit, the Soda Pop - a play on words for the kit's intended audience of SOTA ops.

Like Steve's previous kits, the Soda Pop will feature surface mount components and will emphasize efficiency in both physical size and electrical consumption. Unlike his previous designs, this one will be a monobander with the builder determining the band.

A few particulars:

Sunday, February 19, 2017


When I first started using my Raspberry Pi as a WSPR beacon transmitter I was surprised at how quickly reports from across the Pond started showing up. I was only using 100 mW of power, solar conditions are the worst they've been in ages and yet, I was easily spotted by DX stations in numerous countries.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Affordable antenna analyzer for VHF to 2.7 GHz

Until my employer lets me bring home our Agilent vector analyzers, network analyzers or other $$$ test equipment, I'll have to content myself with MFJ-like gear.

Recent forays up to the thin air at 1090 MHz and the requisite web-surfing have made me aware of a new antenna analyzer that is reportedly accurate and inexpensive for what it offers.

Monday, February 13, 2017

A panadapter for the KX2 - two options

The value of a pan display is obvious to anyone who has ever used one. Elecraft produces them as add-ons to the K3 and KX3 but not the KX2 (yet).

Below are two work-arounds.

They offer a solution to those who own this little radio and want the big picture of who's where on any given band. I have no desire to try either of these myself as I have a strong preference for an integrated solution and would be more likely to choose an Elad FDM-DUO if I wanted KX2-like field portability with a pan display for home use.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Real-time plotting of aircraft positions with $35 Raspberry Pi and $12 SDR dongle

A few emails in response to my previous post about my Raspberry Pi led me to FlightAware. I've known about aircraft tracking hardware available to hobbyists from RadarBox and a few other manufactures that, until very recently, was quite expensive.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Now using JTDX

Many decodes per transmission cycle
Bas PE4BAS recently wrote about his results using JTDX instead of WSJT-X for JT9/65 modes. JTDX is written by Igor UA3DJY and seems to be gaining in popularity among users of this mode.

Bas mentioned that multiple decodes are possible on the same frequency at the same time. In other words, a CQ may result in multiple answers when operating JTDX whereas WSJT-X might only decode one of those stations responding.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

WSPRing with Raspberry Pi, step by step

Raspberry Pi 3 and filter boad (shield) from TAPR
An article by Scotty Cowling WA2DFI in the January 2017 issue of QRP Quarterly gave me just the push I needed to buy a Raspberry Pi. I'd been thinking about it for a while, not because I'm into that sort of thing, but just the opposite. I know nothing about Linux, Python, Ubuntu or any other similar flavors of computer-speak I frequently hear tossed about. But at the staggeringly low price of $38, Raspberry Pi seemed a way to learn on the cheap.

I still don't know much (if anything yet) about those languages but I received my Pi 3 in the mail from Amazon three days ago and a $20 WSPR shield from TAPR an hour ago and am already on the air with 100 mW on 20m WSPR and have been spotted all over the US and Canada after less than an hour's worth of transmissions in my early afternoon.