This evening at our local Club Station, ARI Firenze, we had a special event on SDR technology and in particular a Genesis SDR has been presented and tested with behind our club main radio the Yaesu FT-950.
At the event there were aproximately 20 persons, everyone almost interested and curious.
We were not able to make detailed measurements as happened before for the K2 vs K3, but rather has been a good occasion to play with that radio, switching antenna with the FT-950 and comparing signal reception.
First impression has been that selectivity and sensivity of that SDR receiver looks if not superior, at least equal to the FT-950 receiver.
We have also decided to buy a stock of those SDR kits at Genesis SDR and assemble the kits all together. During the event 8 hams joined the builder group and agreed to buy a full 160-6m Kit.
Furthere SDR events will follow in next months, so I will probably keep this blog updated.
Franco asked my help to setup the Winrad software, having just finished to assemble the PMSDR Kit.
This SDR comes in a disassembled kit, and is very small as you can see from the picture. It is connected to the PC via USB for remote control and via the PC soundcard for the audio output while Antenna of course use a standard BNC socket.
Well, I’ve been quite surprised of this toy, since it really works with the 5 volts coming from the USB and is capable of nice filtering capabilities and quick tuning.
We have ecountered some troubles on Winrad setup, even if we have opted for the more clean design on WinradHD.
For those of you that do not know, both software are free windows programs that “define… radio”, the first one is provided to the community by an italian ham I2PHD who also released the code for free, while the second is a remake of the original Winrad by DG0JBJ.
A new Power Meter is arriving in my shack.
I was looking for an accurate and readable SWR Meter for my station, that could cover HF and six meters band, and could support 1,5 – 2 KW.
Budget limitations prohibites high level Array Solutions Power master or Bird Technologies Bird wattmeter, while limited distribution of Autek products in Italy made desist me on evaluatinv the well reviewed VM1.
The choice has been restricted to a couple of products.
The DAIWA CN-801 and the Palstar PM2000 A/M, price are similar, but generally Daiwa product is cheaper.
I choosed the Palstar for the followin features:
True PEP Reading
Average and True PEP Reading Meter in Forward and reflected, looks like the CM-801 offer only Forward and not reflected.
According to reviews the PM2000A offer eccellent accuracy, compared to a Bird meter, while CM-801 looks like accuracy percentage to be higher than what’s documented.
CM-801 is missing the switch so, light is always on, and it’s really annoying. PM2000AM offer a front switch.
The PM2000AM offer an extra cord, permitting to place the Meter almost everywhere in my desk, where room is always rare thing.
Now maybe you are wonderin how much I paid it and where I bought… well I looked among Amateur Radio Dealers in Europe and found a German Dealer offering the product at a very special price, the lowest in the net.
I will reveal the name of the dealer, as soon as the transaction will be completed… you never know.
After evaluating HF vertical antennas I’ve finally choosen and ordered my new vertical hf antenna.
Gap Titan DX is the choosen one.
According to characteristics and price the Titan resulted the one with the best price / performance ratio.
I ordered at Wimo (german ham radio dealer) and it arrived in 3 days via UPS.
Best price and fast delivery, thanks folks at wimo.
More posts will come about antenna setup
After a long research on antenna makers websites I’ve produced a quick reference chart to compare most popular HF multiband vertical antennas.
This table will help me on choosing my next vertical antenna.
Populatrity of antennas has been decided by visiting eham reviews, qrz.com forums, and other local ham radio communities.
Price comparison has been done by quering eruopean dealers, and asking for better quotations without considering delivery costs but including VAT where needed.
Attached to this post you will find a PDF file with the full technical comparison.
Links to official web sites:
Download myÂ Vertical Antenna Comparison Chart
I’m currently evaluating these two handheld transceivers and before to buy one I’ve tried to understand pros and cons of both rtx.
I will summarize here the work of my last two days, since I’ve not found any usefull review that could compare these two portable transceivers. Following comparison is the result of third party opinions i’ve collected on the net, so use this article with caution.
Dimensione and weight
They are pratically the same, Icom first introduced in the marked this model that many other have followed. Kenwood looks lighter.
Audio sound quality
Concerning the onboard audio speaker, Kenwood quality is amazing for clearness, really excellent.
Here ICOM works better, since Kenwood keys are very small and people with large fingers may find problems. Back lighting is good in both transceivers.
Ease of use
The Kenwood is extremely user friendly and easy-to-use. The icom is difficult to setup expecially for newbies
Both will output 5 Watts. Icom offer also 0.500W but the Kenwood offers also the 1.5 W ! Batteries have same amperage, but kenwood outperform for battery duration and recharging time, only 6 hours vs 12 hours of the ICOM
Both comes with their antenna, tuned for the bands they need to operate.
ICOM is much better here, since cover 50/144/430, while TH-F7E is limited to 144/430
Kenwood, outperforms Icom since allow 0,500/ 1300 Mhz while Icom cover only 0,500/999.
Kenwood TH-F7T allow you to listen in both frequencies simultaneously ( dual watch ) Both works in FM/AM/FM-W but Kenwood allow also LSB/USB/CW !
Here in europe price is almost comparable for both transceivers, at the moment of writing this article, flows from 250-350 euros, depending on special prices and offers.
As published in antennex Dec. 2001
The 40 Meters band stealth vertical antenna by K7ZB
“You’re 30dB over 9 here…” So goes the consistently fine signal reports received from around the USA and beyond – on 40 meters at the peak of Sun Spot Cycle 23. The most common antenna used in ham radio mounted over poor desert soil conductivity still performs beautifully!
Original article by K7ZB
The simple 15′ vertical antenna shown mounted on the railing of our second floor deck has produced almost 200 countries worked around the world… VQ9’s in Chagos and 3B8’s on Mauritius in the Indian Ocean, TX0DX on Chesterfield Reef, VK0MM on Macquarie Island in the Antarctic region, BQ9P on Pratas Island off Taiwan, ZM7ZB on Chatham Island in the South Pacific along with FO0AAA on Clipperton, 9M0OO on Spratly Island in the South China Sea, JT1CO in Mongolia and on and on. What I hear, I can usually work with this little wonder and the small size and profile make it feasible for use in deed restricted neighborhoods.
A radio amateur friend and antenna designer came up with a simple design for a 10 meter vertical, which another friend and I modified to make work for the 14, 18, 21, 24 and 28 MHz ham bands. Its performance surpised us, and I’ll share it with you, in case you too are looking for a simple, inexpensive DX antenna that really performs well.
Main Antenna ConceptÂ
The basic concept is to put up a piece of aluminum tubing with a telescopic section held by a small hose clamp to adjust the height. By attaching the center conductor of a coax feedline to the tubing, and the shield of the coax to a couple of radials from the base of the tubing you can load the vertical across quite a broad range of frequencies.
Of course, with a vertical element of approximately 15′ this is a non-resonant antenna for the 10, 12, 15, 17 and 20 meter bands. I chose this length on purpose to allow the system to be tuned to resonance with an antenna runer.
Since the SWR in an antenna system of this type will be relatively high, an antenna tuner unit will definitely be required. You may need an external ATU if the one in your transceiver can’t handle the impedance mismatches involved. Here at K7ZB, I drive my TS570 (which has a built-in ATU) thru the amplifier, which then drives a high power ATU to the antenna. I put the SWR/Power meter between the amplifier and ATU to ensure a good match for the amp, and in cases where I run barefoot without the amp, I can still use the ATU to assist the transceiver’s ATU in ensuring a good match.
In this way, everything is matched for maximum power output: from the transceiver to the amp, and amp to the antenna. And, even though the SWR’s are high at the feedline and the antenna, it doesn’t matter because the system is matched with the ATU.