Tuesday, May 21, 2024

QDX and QMX for sale

Click for larger
QDX (digital only)

My recently-received QMX has made my QDX redundant, so the QDX is for sale.

It is in excellent condition and was built (by me) for 12V operation on 20-80 meters. This is a digital-only rig, no CW.

Contains the latest firmware and aluminum case.

$80 includes shipping within the US.

Zelle, Money Order or check.

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Click for larger

            SOLD

QMX (CW & digital)

My QRP Labs-built QMX has now been made redundant as well due to the announcement of the QMX+ so it is for sale as well. Baby needs a new pair of shoes...AE5X needs a QMX+.

It is for 20-80 meters, both digital and CW. The latest firmware is loaded and this radio is also in excellent condition, wired for 12V operation.

Installed in aluminum housing.

$120 includes shipping within the US.

Zelle, Money Order or check.

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Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Potential replacement for a past mistake?

My old SDR twins
I'll bet everyone reading this - both of you - has, at one time or another, sold a rig and then regretted it.

Being an over-achiever, I've accomplished this feat several times. One of those radios was an Apache Labs Anan-10e.

No equivalent has been made since (by any manufacturer) and the 10e's are as scarce as hen's teeth on the used market. A bit similar was the Flex 1500.

Both of these radios are QRP SDR transceivers that require an attachment to a PC in order to operate. Both Flex and Apache Labs still make such radios (though not QRP) but they are spec'd and priced at more than what I want from such a radio.

Flex and Apache Labs differ in two distinct ways:

  • Flex is "thin pipe"; Apache Labs is "thick pipe"
  • Flex uses proprietary software; Apache Labs is open-source

Tom M7MCQ recently posted news of what may allow me to recapture the benefits of what it was like to have my old 10e.

Screenshots of the software used to run the upcoming OL-SDR are vaguely reminiscent of openHDSDR used with many Apache Labs rigs.

I'll be keeping a close eye on any news regarding the eventual availability of the OL-SDR and hope to be the first kid on my block to have one, as long as they aren't "crazy-money proud of it". 

I know Flex is rumored to have a new rig ready to be announced in a few days in Dayton; hopefully, OL-SDR will too.

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Monday, May 6, 2024

Success! Thump suppression in the QMX

On 1 May, Hans G0UPL released new firmware for the QMX.

The primary goal of the update was to suppress the thump on CW that many users experienced on several bands.

In my case, 80m was the most affected band.

I'm happy to report that the new firmware does what it was written to do. Even before enabling the thump suppression feature, the new firmware seems to have fixed 80% of the thump generated when keying my QMX. I don't know if that is coincidental or not - and the enabling of the feature reduced the thump entirely.

In the video below, I go through each band three times:

  • Once with 1.00.017
  • Once with 1.00.018 thump suppression disabled
  • Once with 1.00.018 thump suppression enabled

Others on the group.io are reporting similar good results.


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Saturday, April 27, 2024

Weaning myself away from rental software and Windows

A recent issue with my Dell laptop has inspired me to experiment with other solutions lately - solutions that allow me to break away from business practices that I'd rather not participate in.

In the vernacular of The Day, you could say that "I'm transitioning".

To Linux, that is - probably via Ubuntu, but I've been reading good things about Mint.

My Windows PC has apps on it that I cannot delete (bloatware) and I pay monthly to use Adobe's Photoshop, Lightroom and Premiere apps. An amount that exceeds their value for a hobbyist like me.

Thursday, April 11, 2024

Comparing prices of two 20AH LiFePO4 batteries: $60 vs. $265

A higher capacity battery was on my mind when I saw a posting on a POTA forum by Will K4BDA. Will noted the huge price difference between a 20AH Bioenno and a 20AH Nermak. With one being over 4 times the price of the other, I decided to give the Nermak a shot. 

For a bit over a year now, I've had a Bioenno and a Nermak battery - both are 12AH - and have used them at least weekly for POTA activity and as my in-shack 12V power supply.