Updated November 1, 2021
All Things Yaesu
At the October 14 general meeting, Yaesu’s John Kruk, N9UPC, shared some of the philosophy behind the designs of System Fusion, and Wires-X, and how they came to be. He explained some of the innovative features of digital/analog interconnections that the latest rigs can accomplish and are of interest to all hams.
Random QRM from the President’s Shack
“New toys for the Shack”
With Christmas just around the corner, here are some toys to put on your Christmas list!
Breaking News! New QRP Kit!
For the FT8 QRP enthusiasts who have been looking for a low-cost kit to build, the elves at QRP-Labs have come through for you! It’s the “QDX – Digital Transceiver” kit, a 5-watt, four band (80, 40, 30 and 20m) digi-modes transceiver. Included is a 24-bit, 48 kHz USB sound card, CAT control, and synthesized VFO. The QDX is designed for use with WSJT-X.
The CAT command set in the QDX emulates the Kenwood TS-480/TS-440 which allows it to be compatible with other digital communications software. Note that the QDX transmits pure digital signals; it does NOT contain a full SSB transmitter. This allows for a far simpler design, outstanding performance, and incredible value. All surface-mount devices have already been pre-assembled on the board by the factory; the remaining assembly includes through-hole components, winding transformers and toroids. The kit includes lifetime firmware upgrades! The instruction manual is very detailed and includes color photographs.
The QDX kit is an incredible value at $60!!! Shipping to the US is about another $12. Kits go on sale Monday 10/11 at 1:00 PM CDT. http://qrp-labs.com/qdx
YouTube Video on the QDX: https://youtu.be/j6Vnh8eiEpg
You can look at the incredible assembly manual here: http://qrp-labs.com/images/qdx/manual_1_00.pdf
Would you like an Antenna with that?
You might want to take your completed QDX to a park, or TXPOTA, or maybe an easily accessed SOTA, but your ham budget can’t quite cover a $275 Buddistick PRO™ or $399 Buddipole™ Deluxe package. You might want to investigate some good old “ham sticks.” They are nicely portable, very inexpensive, and can be set up in a variety of configurations.
MFJ sells their version of ham sticks. Check out a recent review: https://youtu.be/j9K-8hlFe9Q
Our buddies at Main Trading Company now handle the RadCom brand of ham sticks. These are very well priced and “Made in USA!” https://www.mtcradio.com/radcom/
So put some “ham sticks” on your Christmas list; maybe they will end up in your stocking!
73, David Gilpin, K5GIL
Hams Work Texas Contest
MARS hams gathered at Fort Richardson State Park the weekend of September 18–19 to work the Texas QSO Party. Ron Reeves, NN5R, Kevin Grantham, N5KRG, Andy Parcel, KE5KOF, David Duke, KM5YQ, Tom Yenny, K5LOL, and John Hill, KF5VO, operated under special event call sign N5T.
Tom Yenny reports that it was a terrific event and the team managed a great score. For the complete story, please go here.
Antennas for the Field
—Ron Reeves, NN5R
Recently, there was a Winlink Wednesday survey on the best antennas for Field Day and remote operating. The criteria were a vague subjective “best.” I wandered through the results and tallied a list ’cause inquiring minds want to know!
If you group all the dipole variations together, dipoles were the winner. EFHW came in second with caveats: the longer the better and you must have a good counterpoise. Yeah, we knew that. Beams were way down in the list and had an important comment: they take more effort to setup but are more effective than other antennas. Yup, knew that too. The best comment submitted: “The best field day antenna is whatever YOU can set up the fastest. Beams and portable towers are impressive, but often have a really long setup time. Don’t forget a 2-meter antenna for 200 points of radiograms!”