(Now a bi-weekly program)

October 29, 2013

Making the 2013 Xmas Wish List

An informal roundtable discussion of cool new ham products that Santa could bring this year!



The topic this time is our usual one for this time of the year:  "Making the Xmas Wish List" ... aka, an informal roundtable discussion of all the cool new projects on the market (station accessories, tools, antennas, rigs and gadgets) that we might be interested on putting on the Wish List this holiday season.  Should be fun discussion and maybe you'll find a couple of must-haves for your own stocking hung from the chimney with care come December ... it's never too early to order these things! ;-)

73, George N2APB & Joe N2CX

Audio Recording ... (Listen to the MP3 podcast)

Discussion Notes:

<20:02:18> "Joe N2CX": How is your receive audio working Alan?
<20:02:35> "Al - N8WQ": great
<20:07:51> "Joe N2CX": KR1ST
<20:07:54> "Terry WB4JFI": Alex KR1ST?
<20:08:09> "Joe N2CX": Yup!
<20:10:51> "Ray K2ULR": Elecraft is highly recommended!!
<20:16:11> "George - N2APB": Ahhhh, Wayne N6KR
<20:20:24> "Ray K2ULR": Nice!
<20:27:28> "Mike N5JKY": Ten Tec distributes the HB-1B
<20:28:08> "Mike N5JKY": I have the HB-1B - very nice receiver
<20:28:40> "George - N2APB": Cool. How many watts in Tx?
<20:28:52> "Mike N5JKY": 4-5 w
<20:34:44> "Joe N2CX": Juma 100 URL http://www.jumaradio.com/shop/index.php?act=viewProd&productId=13
<20:37:20> "Mike N5JKY": Could this be hombrewed? Maybe with an Arduino?
<20:38:31> "Frank N3PUU": ublox?
<20:38:52> "Joe N2CX": Various schemes for locking oscillators to GPS. Do a Googol search for "Disciplined oscillator"
<20:40:55> "George - N2APB": Yessssss! The uBlox LEA-6T GPS module. Outstanding performance.
<20:47:14> "George - N2APB": AIM 4170 antenna analyzer ... http://www.arraysolutions.com/Products/AIM4170.htm
<20:49:07> "Mike KD5KXF": Whiteboard error on the tentec rebel... it is 20 and 40 meters
<20:49:22> "Mike KD5KXF": n2pka lots of surface mount...
<20:50:03> "Mike KD5KXF": not sure if software for the vna was ever upgraded to new versions of Windows
<20:51:40> "Joe N2CX": Thanks for the correction on the Rebel. And yest ther is lots of chatter about software on the N2PK analyzer reflector.
<20:52:25> "Mike KD5KXF": cool... I have the kit, bought off qrpl and have only mounted the smt dip devices so far
<20:59:27> "Alan W2AEW": aliasing!
<21:01:32> "Alan W2AEW": http://www.youtube.com/w2aew  - over 8000 subscribers and over 770,000 total video views!
<21:07:34> "Ray K2ULR": I've had very nice results with that antenna.
<21:08:00> "Ray K2ULR": Best bands are 20 and 40
<21:09:55> "Joe N2CX": Ray, what length wire and feedline do you use with the EARC matchbox?
<21:13:57> "Ray K2ULR": I use the stock 30 foot wire. One of these days, I'll try something longer.
<21:14:13> "Ray K2ULR": feed line is 25' RF-58
<21:14:25> "Joe N2CX": Elecraft mini-module kits
<21:14:45> "Joe N2CX": try that next time.ks, Ray, I
<21:15:30> "Joe N2CX": Whoops, mistyped. I meant to thank you and say that I will try your lengths next time.
<21:20:04> "Pete - WB2QLL": The idea is to download via wi-fi.
<21:22:19> "Terry WB4JFI": Yahoo Neo == gripe away!
<21:22:51> "Ray K2ULR": Only the group owner can change images.
<21:23:16> "David KC4ZVW": I used it since the onelist.com days and not happy either
<21:23:29> "George - N2APB": Yes of course. But as a group owner, it took me loads of time to figure out the way to get images posted as desired.
<21:27:25> "Pete - WB2QLL": http://www.thespectrummonitor.com
<21:31:49> "George - N2APB": Class E AM Radio ... This is my current project!
<21:31:57> "George - N2APB": http://www.classeradio.com/

Dear Santa,

I've been such a good ham this year!  It would be great if some of these nifty gadgets could find their way to me this December 25th!




KX3 ... http://www.elecraft.com/

- Useful accessories

            - Side KX end plates and cover

                        - http://gemsproducts.com/covers.html

            - Pignology remote control modules

                        - http://pignology.net/


- Accessories coming soon:


            - 100W amplifier

            - 2 meter module

            Ten-Tec Rebel Open Source QRP Transceiver

                        - 80  and 40 meters

                        - Uses Arduino

                        - http://www.tentec.com/rebel-model-506-open-source-qrp-cw-transceiver/


SDR Cube Transceiver  ... www.sdr-cube.com


            SDR PowerCube ...
20-Watt RF power amplifier based on TAPR's solid PennyWhistle design, plus unique features optimized for use with the SDR Cube.

Youkits HB-1B
MK2 4 band QRP CW transceiver ... http://www.youkits.com/


                        - http://www.youkits.com/

                        - HB-1B 4 band QRP CW xcvr

                   - EK1A and EK1B 3 band QRP xcvr



                        - TJ2B handheld 5 band SSB xcvr



Test & Measurement


Rigol Guided Reference Oscillator 
RSGGO10T3G GPS-guided reference oscillator is ideally suited for mobile equipment and wherever it is important to have a frequency reference which can be turned off when not in use yet be precisely on frequency within a few minutes.  It gives 100ppb stability locked to a 1 pulse per second (1pps) signal from an integrated GPS receiver.  A combination of novel circuits, special firmware algorithms, conformal-coating, and patented nanotechnology provide a low-current miniature unit with very high performance at an attractive price. 

Poor Ham's Scalar Network Analyzer

            - A simple scalar network analyzer employing an Arduino UNO, an inexpensive AD9850 DDS module, and an AD8307 RF power detector

            - Homebrew HF DDS analyzer to show swept impedances

            - Uses Arduino and Ebay DDS boards

                        - http://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/PHSNA/info



Handheld Antenna Analyzer

- Tunable 1-60 MHz

- Graphical display of SWR and impedance

- Youkits FG-01 $249

            - http://www.youkits.com/

- Also available through Ten-Tec

            - http://www.tentec.com/fg-01-antenna-analyzer/


Rigol DS2072 -- 70 MHz, 2-channel Digital Oscilloscope ... http://www.rigolna.com/products/digital-oscilloscopes/ds2000/ds2072/
The DS2000 series digital oscilloscope is another Best-In-Class instrument from Rigol offering an unmatched feature/value package. The DS2000 is a fast and versatile scope covering frequencies up to 200 MHz with two channels and a wide vertical range (500uV/div-10V/div) to deliver an extremely low noise floor to help you capture smaller signals. Add a 2 GSa/s max. sample rate and 14 Mpts. of standard memory depth to its user-friendly interface and 8 inch WVGA display and you've got a scope that outperforms the competition in a wide range of bench-top and field applications.




SOTAbeams – G3CWI

- http://www.sotabeams.co.uk/

- Products for lightweight portable operation

- Also has videos describing use of their products

            - Lightweight wire dipoles

                        - http://www.sotabeams.co.uk/supa-lite-halfwave-dipoles/

                        - http://www.sotabeams.co.uk/band-hopper-ii-two-band-linked-dipole/

            - 33 foot travel pole

                        - telescoping pole that collapses to 26-1/2 inches

                        - http://www.sotabeams.co.uk/travel-mast-10m/

            - Wire Winders

                        - http://www.sotabeams.co.uk/wire-winders/


EARC End-Fed HF Antennas Matchbox - $49

            - http://www.earchi.org/proj_homebrew.html

            - Claims 40-6 meter operation

            - Requires antenna tuner

            - Many report excellent results

            - Complete details for rolling your own



Linduino ...
http://www.linear.com/solutions/1851 Linduino is Linear Technology’s Arduino compatible development platform. Linduino is a package; it is a complete solution. Linduino has a board, the Linduino One. The Linduino One is a Arduino Uno compatible development board, with a twist, it comes with a LTM2884 uModule that provides full USB isolation. Even more importantly the board also comes with a 14 pin QuikEval connector that allows the Linduino One to directly connect to hundreds of LTC QuickEval compatible demo boards, already in existence.



            X-TRONIC" MODEL #4040 - 4000 SERIES Soldering Station
... http://www.amazon.com/X-TRONIC-MODEL-4040-Soldering-MAGNIFYING/dp/B003TC8EQS ...
            SMD - ESD SAFE - 2 in 1 Digital Hot Air Rework & Soldering Iron Station - 4 Hot Air Nozzles - 10 Asst. Solder Tips - 1 Extra Hot Air Heating Element & 1 Extra Solder Gun Heating Element - 1 5X MAGNIFYING LAMP!!!



            Elecraft XG3 -
- http://www.elecraft.com/ ...
Programmable Signal Source (1.5-1400 MHz)


Books & Magazines

        Monitoring Times .
.. http://www.monitoringtimes.com/  ... Good closeout deal on past years' issues



Elecraft service

- Dedicated to satisfied customers

- Direct access to factory service techs

- Principals are active on email lists

            Elecraft general list - http://www.elecraft.com/elist.html

            KX3 specific list - http://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/KX3/info  

            - They respond directly to list members

            - Accept trouble reports and product improvement suggestions

            - Advise when beta versions of software is available



Digital QST apps

- Apple iPad

            - http://www.arrl.org/news/em-qst-em-there-s-an-app-for-that

- Android tablet

            - http://www.arrl.org/news/view/new-free-qst-app-available-for-android-devices

            - Smooth operation but each issue of QST is > 300 Meg!

            - Consists of three jpegs for each page




Yahoo Groups Neo “new look”

- Does not handle HTML properly

- Some mail clients can't post to list