FT8 WSJT-X ALC einstellen

Ich habe 2015 mit JT65 angefangen und auch ein paar Monate primär JT9 gemacht. Es kamen so mehrere Tausend QSOs zusammen. Anfangs ging es dort sehr gesittet zu und die empfangenen Signale waren allesamt sehr sauber. Für mich war das damals die ideale Betriebsart, um mit meinem FT-817 und 5W "ungestört" mit QRP schöne Verbindungen zu machen. Irgendwann kamen dann die dicken Stationen mit immer mehr Leistung dazu. Man konnte sagen, dass das Spektrum mit zunehmender Leistung unsauberer wurde.

Rein technisch ist es natürlich möglich, auch mit hohen Ausgangsleistungen ein sauberes Signal zu senden. Ich habe das Gefühl, dass seit der FT8-boom eingesetzt hat, einfach nur drauf los gefunkt wird, ohne dass die wichtigen Einstellungen geprüft werden.

Chinese Power Cable for Yaesu FT-450 FT-891 FT-991

I bought my Yaesu FT-891 to use it on SOTA-summits when I need some extra power that my FT-817 can't deliver. When I am out portable, I have the battery very close to the radio. Unfortunately for me (fortunately for the mobile users) the FT-891 comes with a massive and bulky 3m or so power cable. It's very sturdy and something you definitely do not want to carry. The weight is 270g. Just before I decided to cut the original cable in pieces and solder it together again I found a nice offer from China on Ebay. A short 4 pin Yaesu/Kenwood plug with a cable and fuseholder. It was only 4 Euro shipped (!) from Shenzhen. Delivery took about 3 weeks and I did not expect too much. First thing was that I check the resistance on all 4 pins. 0 Ohms. That was good. The fit is also like the original plug. No complaints there. I just fit Anderson Power Poles and tested the cord. Works perfect and now weights only 86g. I also do not consider the smaller AWG number (diameter) a downfall.

26" bicycle rim magloop

I was out for a walk in my city when I found this old 26" bicycle rim in the brushwood close to the rail tracks. I removed all the crusty stuff and added a  variable capacitor with around 15-120 pF. Some time later I was able to work RA3BL in Moscow 2.200 km way on 30m. The efficiency on 10 MHz is only 5% on such a small loop but it worked. I later worked LA9NKA on 12m, K8JDC on 17m, DK3KUD on 60m and highlight was VP8LP in Falkland Islands on 17m who was 12.700 km (7.900 mi) away. Unbelievable. I like this antenna a lot and can highly recommend it. I try to source some old 24" and 28" rims to compare them. 28" should be the best option there performance-wise but you need a capacitor with a low starting capacity, otherwise you probably lose 10m.

Yaesu FT-65 FT-25 FT-4XE FT-4VR

Some time ago I received a Yaesu FT-4XE. Programming, especially if you have to set a CTCSS, is a pain. I can tell you this is no joy. In the time that you spent in programming one chanel you can easily convert an old baofeng programming cable into one for the Yaesu FT-65, FT-25, FT-4XE or FT-4VR. I found a nice video on Youtube and needed only one minute to complete the project. With this easy modification I was able to programm all my local repeaters into the radio. As of today (Feb 2019) chirp does not support those new Yaesu handhelds yet. But luckily Yaesu has a free programming tool on their website. You can modify all parameter such as QRG, CTCSS, DCS, Power Level, etc. I had no spare 2,5mm plug so I just removed the 3,5mm plug from the Baofeng original one. GND was already correct, TX and RX had to be changed over and one diode (0,6V drop on my one) had to be soldered in. Life can be simple - sometimes.

Motorola MC Micro Umbau

Am 21.Oktober 2017 habe ich auf der Rheintal Electronica einige Motorola MC Micro gekauft. Gegen Ende der Messe bekam ich den ganzen Posten so günstig von einem netten OM, so dass ich die Geräte einfach kaufen musste. Nachdem ich bereits einige Ascom SE540, Nokia RD40 und Motorola GM1200 bzw. MC2100 so modifiziert hatte, dass ich die Geräte im Amateurfunk nutzen kann, bot sich das auch mit den MC Micros an. Eines der neuen Geräte war ein MAU14EZA9J13AK und bereits mit 8 Kanälen auf Amateurfunk programmiert. Man braucht ein reines DOS-System mit einem 386er, um das Gerät zu programmieren. Mit DOS Box läuft die MC Micro Software nicht. Bisher konnte ich die Frequenzen daher nicht anpassen. Bei den anderen Geräten handelt es sich um MAU14EVA5G22BU. Diese sog. EVA5-Geräte können mit einer alternativen Firmware von DG1YFE auf ein echtes Amateurfunkgerät umgebaut werden. Man kann nicht nur die Frequenz direkt auf der Tastatur eingeben, man kann auch Repeater-Shift frei einstellen.

Pixie on the Spectrum Analzyer

Two weeks ago I ordered the S-Pixie kit for 4,79 Euro on Ebay incl. shipping and case from Hong-Kong. It took exactly 2 weeks to arrive. The kit came in a plastic bag as usual and included no instruction and no manual. I also got 7 more resistors and 5 more capacitors than needed. I found the schematics and part list online, so the assembling (with double-checking everything) took me about 2 hours. It worked on the first attempt and I received morse code on around 7023 kHz. While hooked up to my bench power suppy I checked the output power vs. the input voltage. 300mW output are reached with 11V only. For me that sounds like a good sweetspot and as the transistor Q02 will get very hot on TX, this is a good value for the battery voltage. I later googled and found out that the Pixie is oscillating also while it is in receive-mode so I hooked it up to the spectrum analyzer to see if this is true and to also check the transmit spectral purity. My Pixie is pushing 6mW on 20m, while sending morse code on 40m. Not a good value.