Controlling the LNA’s Power

I just can’t leave well enough alone. What started out as tweaking the resistor value ended in building a small board to control the LNA to compensate for the radio’s missing voltage on the accessory pin; as well as to turn the LNA off when the radio is transmitting. It’s really stupid simple too; basically a transistor AND gate.

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Mortty & RF Tapping The IC-7100

When I decided to buy the IC-7100 I had one major modification in mind; some kind of panadapter tap. I won’t lie about missing the waterfall on the IC-7300, I do in fact miss it. But I also have an original SDRPlay laying about, which has an even nicer waterfall. There were two ways of accomplishing this; and I basically modified one way to invent a third.

I also wanted to build something so I could start running all my RTTY using actual FSK. I managed to get both of these accomplished in the same day and now I don’t know what to do with myself except write about it.

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Just How Much Is This Foxhunt Going To Cost Me?

I’ve been spending money on radio stuff. Holy shit have I been spending money. I think I’ve spent upwards of $1000 in just the last month. I keep finding things to upgrade. I was out of work for 2 months, but the vacation money and government check offset most of it; I went back to work in better short-term shape than I was.

Then I started blowing money on radio stuff again.

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Radioddity GD-55/TYT MD-398: An Unbricking Experience

So as you may or may not have gathered from this page; I am a bit of a nut about the digital mode hotspots. Some don’t like the idea and saying internet isn’t ham radio, but I look at it this way; the internet is just plugging me up to multiple repeaters. Am I still actually using my license? Yes. I need it to send the RF From the HT to the hotspot; and that means we’re all nice and legal for coming out of whatever repeaters are linked to a group. I do look at this hobby from multiple angles; HF is fun for the hard-core experimentation…things like DMR and D-Star are fun for less-stressful ragchewing. Plus it gets in a hefty dose of networking and IT infrastructure.

With that being said..I’m gonna tell a story about a particular lousy DMR radio I managed to salvage.

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NQ4T Field Day Setup

Due to the downfall of society and shit hitting the fan; I have been forced to operate Field Day as a Class D from home rather than going out and enjoying it with friends. I focused my anger in to getting a station setup:

iCom IC-725:

The good ol’ IC-725 I promised I’d never get rid of. After having to get rid of the 7300 it was a good decision as it still left me a radio. The radio’s RX section is a total embarassment and it’s going to make FD so much more difficult since SSB stations 16khz each side of you bleed through.

TenTec 715:

This is an RF Speech processor…it’s just proving the screaming DX sound that boosts my average talk power.

$10 PC Headset:

I modified this PC headset to plug in to the TenTec; a second cable from the rigs headphone jack provides the audio. It’s cheap, but effective.

Clipper Foot Switch:

If I can’t make QSOs with it, I can bludgeon someone with it. A stupidly over-engineered footswitch…it’s cast iron body and heavy duty construction means it’ll put up with even the angriest of QSOs while fighing a pileup.

“Generic Sandwich Cookie” Interface:

This is the digital interface I built 5 years ago. Sound card, isolation transformers, opto isolator.

Simple Level Converter for CI-V

A simple 7404 based level converter that allows me to take an Arduino Uno board (sans ATM328) and do CAT/CI-V.

Software wise I’m running N1MM logging integrated with MMTTY, 2Tone, and WJST-X. This should allow me to oprerate both phone, RTTY, and FT8/4 during the contest.

I’m going to try and work all 24 hours. It was a tradition that I stay up and work the night shift for FD; I broke that last year along with everything else. But running solo as a Class D; well, it’s all on me.

Yes..this was a quick post; but FD starts in 30 minutes. I’m largely already set. Everything is wired; everything is configured. It’s hot…man is it hot. 90 degrees with humidity to match in an unairconditioned shack. I have a fan blowing on my legs and up my body…people are going to have to deal with the background noise. One person I did a QSO with already said they couldn’t hear it.

Oh well. Good luck everyone.

Upgrading Hotspot & MMDVM USB Tricks

I’ve been a fan of screwing around with the MMDVM hotspots ever since I picked up a ZumSPOT with my D74. Though I remember them being around when I got in to ham in 2015; they’ve gotten a lot cheaper and a lot more universal.

Anyway; I upgraded one of my hotspots and did a neat little trick with my now spare MMDVM HAT.

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