I’m in Osnabrueck north germany and playing with my RtlSdr dongle scanning VHF
IW5EIJ Leonardo, yesterday night showed me a nice App running on Android, named SDR Touch.
Connecting the Samsung Galaxy S3 to the RTLSDR dongle will turn your smartphone into a nice wide band receiver.
Leonardo is however experiencing an unwanted and unexpected phone vibration during reception. Could not gave him any hint since, I don’t onw a Galaxy S3 and neither an Android device.
In any case this is a very cool solution, to have always your software defined radio receiver along to you.
Looking to see a similar app even on my iPhone.
My QSL Cards including last months contacts that will be delivered via the bureau are ready.
It took a couple of evenings to verify, select and print all QSL reports on the back but it worth the effort. Tonight, sorted by QSL burearu, will be placed in the proper boxes at the local Ham Club.
Hey OMs…. PSE QSL.
Today, having finally a sunny week-end, I’ve got the opportunity to bring my portable equipment outdoor.
I decided to setup a random wire, but after a short query on wire antennas for 50Mhz I ended setting up a delta loop antenna for the 6 meters. I opted for the Delta loop design, on single element also because had not much wire along with me.
I’ve setup a triangle with a total lenght og 6.10 meters, and joined it at the top angle with a 1:1 Balun I had in my bag.. a 10 meter RG58 feed line completed the setup.
I’ve used my 10 meter fiberglass fishing pole as support mast, and and old MFJ antenna tuner.
Well, had not much time to test the antenna, that needed tuning, but I’ve been able to work a bounch of UK stations that were sonding strong including GU4CHY and G3KWY.
About the antenna, well honestly can be improved, but time restriction and availbale material has been a great limitation. In any case I’ve even noticed that this antenna can be tuned in 17 meters band, even if it’s efficiency should not be great.
I’m going to investigate on Moxon antennas or folded dipole for 50 Mhz, since, time and weather permitting, I will repeat this experiment soon.
An RTL-SDR RTL2832U-based DVB-T dongle is my latest gift.
I’ve been introduced to RTL SDR by IZ5XRC that talked to me about this interesting recycling capability of DVB-T Dongles.
If you are curious to know, in few words, with a common dongle used to watch TV on your PC, you can easily use it as a Radio Receiver o a Radio scanner.
Frequency range can be very wide, covering from HF to UHF.
Dongle I bought can cover from 26 MHz to 1700 MHz.
So far is possible for you to use it to listen to Amateur Radio communications on 144-146 Mhz or 430-440 Mhz range, as well as listen to all comunications done in clear in a very wide range of the radio spectrum.
By running in conjuntion to the dongle, an SDR software like SDR# an open source application that allow to wave on the radio frequencies changing modes and setting, like a real digital radio.
I bought the dongle, RTL2832U-based DVB-T dongle with R820T tuner, on ebay from UK and for less than 18 euro, got the dongle and all connection cables, needed to connect the USB stick to an external antenna that is very important when you want to start listening properly to a wide spectrum.
Some interesting sites to follow when aproaching to RTL SDR are:
Things you may know:
Not all dongles are compatible and can act as an SDR.
Only dongles with Elonics E4000 or Rafael Micro R820T can work. Not all dongles cover same frequencies.
Chipset determine also a difference in frequency range:
- Elonics E4000: 52 – 2200 MHz
- Rafael Micro R820T: 24 – 1766 MHz
Moreover if you look for them at your favourite electronic shop, verify also that in the box to be clearly written “DVB-T – DAB – FM” because it will work only if they have FM.
Both chipsets will work under Windows, Linux and MacOSx, and you can run several SDR software to play with your stick.
A new IU prefix has been just announced.
The new IU Prefix will be added to the already in use prefixes for ham radio operators, I IK IW and the IZ.
In Italy, we have several other Ham Radio Callsign Prefixes like:
IR that are assigned to FM Repeaters
IQ Are tipically assigned to club stations
but as you probably already know in italy we already have some special prefixes for hams living in particular regions:
- IA5: Tuscany islands (Elba , Giglio etc)
- IB0: islands of Lazio Region (Ponza, Ventotene, etc.)
- IC8: islands of Campania Region (Capri, Ischia, etc.)
- ID9: Eolie and other minor islands of north-east Sicilia Region
- IE9: Ustica island (Sicilia Region)
- IF9: Egadi and other minor islands of west Sicilia Region
- IG9: Pelagie and other minor islands of south Sicilia Region
- IH9: Pantelleria island (Sicilia Region)
- IL7: Tremiti islands (Puglia Region)
- IM0: all minor islands of Sardegna Region (Maddalena, San Pietro, etc.)
- IN3: Trentino – Alto Adige (special-statute Region)
- IS0: Sardegna island mainland
- IT9: Sicilia island mainland
- IV3: Friuli – Venezia Giulia (special-statute Region)
- IX1: Valle d’Aosta (special-statute Region)
So who will use the new IU Prefix ? all new hams not living in the above special areas.
It’a compact 600W output RF Amplifier working from 1.8 to 30 Mhz.
Automatic Transistorized Linear Amplifier
No Tune Inside Computerized
Reduced size of this amplifier make it suitable for portable operations, easy to store in a trolley bag.
Can be driven with a 10-90 watts, but tipically with 50. Current drain is 20A.
Price is around 1800 euro.
Today I’ve been in Montichiari ham fest and visiting the DAE’s stand I’ve been able to play a little with the new Kenwood TS-990S.
Had also a few pleasant minutes talking to Ing, Marco Mascherpa, italian Kenwood representative.
Well the very first impression is that the new top of line Kenwood product is defintly a very large radio, but not larger than what I expected. Command access looks easy to access and the main display is really attractive and informative.
Could not make many tests with reception due to large queue of interested hams waiting for me and also because the ambient QRM was very loud.
I’ve taken a small movie close to the Kenwood ts-990s display.
note the Florence HamFest cards on the desk.
Here embedded the Official TS-990S Kenwood presentation
We have been told by the Italian Kenwood importer, that during the upcoming Florence HamFest on next 6th April, will be presented the new Top-Line Kenwood HF transceiver the TS-990s.
Right in these days has been announced the final price in Italy thas is aprox 7500 Euros !
With this 4 ways mixer I can connect up to 4 radios and use a single external speaker, can mix volumes, and with an Y cable I’ve also connected my new Yamaha CM500 headsets.
Mixer output is Mono so is perfect for ham radio usage.
Got used for 20 euros.