Many thanks to Dave (N9EWO) who notes that Ray Novak with Icom America recently announced price increases we’ve already started seeing in 2022. Dave shares the following video from DX Engineering queued up to the point where Ray makes the announcement:
Of course, this price increase likely applies to the entire Icom range, not just the IC-705 and probably applies internationally since all Icom products are produced at the same facilities. It appears the increase is roughly 5 to 6 %.
A few Discovery TX-500s in stock
Speaking of Ham Radio Outlet, I received a message from Owen (KB2QQM) with HRO who notes:
If you know anyone that wants a TX-500 we have 4 ready to ship.
Just a heads up. I’m enjoying your videos of POTA and the website.
Thank you for the heads-up, Owen. As I post the link this morning, I see that HRO may already have sold these units (that was fast!). If interested in one of these units, you may wish to call HRO and confirm if you’re interested.
POTA this morning!
As a side note, Hazel and I are hitting the trail in a few minutes and plan to activate both Pisgah Forest (K-4510) and Pisgah Game Lands (K-6937) as a two-fer.
We’ll be taking the new Xiegu X6100.
It may be too late by the time you read this (it’s 12:30 UTC, January 6, 2022 now), but readers have asked me to announce when I might be doing part of an activation in SSB and since I was making a QRPer Notes post, I thought I’d add this.
I plan to include some SSB time this morning,if I can get spotted. The area where I plan to set up has no Internet coverage whatsoever–it’s in a very deep valley–but I hope to send a text via my Garmin In-Reach Mini to have friends spot me.
Listen for me in/around 7188 kHz (+/- 5 kHz depending on available frequencies) around 14:15 UTC (+/- 30 minutes). I’ll start the activation on 40 meters CW.
Here’s the product description from Elecraft’s website:
The AX2 is small enough to take anywhere – just in time for lightweight field ops during the new solar cycle. Use it HT-style with a hand-held, like the KX2; on a picnic table with an AXB1 whip bipod; or with a tripod and AXT1 tripod adapter. The AX2’s rugged, nylon housing is water-resistant, with low wind resistance and our new anti-wobble design.
Experimenters will love the AX2’s versatile design. A snap-off cover provides access to the high-Q inductor. Simply remove turns and re-solder one wire to cover your favorite band. Clip-off tabs are provided for band identification.
The table below shows how the new AX2 20-meter mini-whip compares to our original AX1 multi-band whip. Both are designed for lightweight portable operation. The versatile AX1 covers multiple bands via a selector switch and can handle up to 30 W continuous TX power.
The ultra-compact AX2 has a new anti-tilt base design that minimizes BNC connector wobble – ideal for hand-held (HTstyle) use. While the AX2 covers 20 meters as shipped, it can be modified by the user to cover any single band from 17 through 6 meters. The base unit includes small tabs that can be clipped off to identify the target band.
NOTE: Both whips are intended to be used with an ATU to compensate for terrain, body capacitance, height, etc.
A reader recently asked if I’d be selling my AX1 after learning about the AX2, but that isn’t going to happen. The AX2 is a 20 meters and up antenna and I see it as being a brilliant SOTA companion since its lightweight, stable design should do well on windy summits.
For POTA and WWFF, however, I really rely on the 40 meter band for most of my contacts. The AX1 covers 40 meters brilliantly (and 20M and 17M) so I’ll still rely on it quite heavily.
It’ll be hovering around 32F-36F (0-2C) on the summit and likely a bit windy. Although I usually do well in cold temps, this will be the coldest activation I’ve done in months, so expect some sloppy CW. 🙂
I’ll try to make a video of this activation, but I’m not entirely sure how well it’ll work out. Much will hinge on if I can find my small amplified speaker for the QCX-Mini (which lacks an internal speaker). I’m going to find a spot within the SOTA activation zone to set up, but not on or near the summit observation area as it gets so busy there.
We’ll see how this goes. I am really looking forward to using the QCX-Mini in the field. I’ve used it a bit at the QTH and am incredibly impressed with its performance.
I’ll only be on 20 meters this time (obviously) but hopefully I can at least make enough contacts to validate both the summit and park.
FYI: I just received this announcement from Chameleon Antennas. They will be sending some samples of these antennas for me to test in the field.
(Source: Chameleon Antenna)
INTRODUCING THE CHA POCKET ANTENNA SERIES – PRE ORDER
The CHA Pocket Series are a series of single and multi-band HF antennas that can literally fit in your pocket when not in use. There are THREE models available: a 40-6 Meter Off- Center Fed Dipole (OCFD), 40 Meter Dipole, and a 20 Meter Dipole.
This series of antennas are designed for ultra-light (all are 7 oz. or less) low power (QRP) portable operation. When running low power, an effective antenna is essential to actually making contacts – these are full-size antennas with full-size performance, but built with lightweight materials and miniaturized components. They were designed to complement the exciting new lineup of lightweight, battery operated, HF portable transceivers.
STARTING TO SHIP AT THE BEGINNING OF SEPTEMBER 2021
It seems folks are now finding out about the new Xiegu X6100 HF & 6 meter portable transceiver.
There have been a few rumors about it, so I thought I’d share some of the few details that have been confirmed.
What is the X6100?
If the Xiegu X5105 and Xiegu GSOC had a baby, it would look like the X6100.
The X6100 is a completely self-contained SDR QRP transceiver much like the X5105. The X6100 sports a 4″ high-resolution color capacitive touch screen and is built on on a quad-core processor, 4G ROM, and 512MB RAM. I assume this will run on a similar Linux version/distro as the GSOC.
The X6100 will include an internal automatic antenna tuner (ATU) and a 3500 mAh internal rechargeable Lithium Ion battery pack.
Power output will be 5 watts when using the internal battery pack and 10 watts when connected to an external power source.
Modes: USB/LSB (J3E), CW (A1A), FM (F3E), RTTY (F1B), AM (A3E)
Pricing and availability have not been determined at time of posting. I will post an update when that information can be confirmed.
I can only assume bringing this new radio to fruition will take time. Most radio manufacturers are struggling to keep up inventory levels as we work our way out of the C-19 pandemic supply chain issues. Parts availability has become a real issue.
Here is a compact but powerful 2-band CW transceiver kit that uses no tiny pushbuttons, and without those seemingly endless and hard-to-remember back menus. There is a knob or a switch for every function!
Size 5 ½ X 3 ¼ X 1 ½ less protrusions, weight 10.6 Oz
Full band coverage of 40 and 20 meters
About 10 watts output with a 14 volt power supply
5 Watts minimum output with a 10 volt supply
4 Watts output with an 9 volt supply
Optimized for operation from 3 series-connected 18650 Lithium cells
RIT tunes + and – 5KHz
Blue OLED display reads frequency to 10 Hz and RIT offset
Built in Iambic keyer is adjustable 5 to 35 WPM with front panel control
Separate jacks for straight key and paddles; Always ready for SKCC contacts
Operates on 9 to 14 volts, < 90ma receive, about 1 Amp Xmitt at 10 volts
Selectable tuning resolution steps of 10, 100, and 1000Hz
Low battery indicator with internal adjustment 9 to 12 volts
Front panel adjustable RF gain control
Front panel TX power control; Adjustable from 0 to 10 watts (@14V)
Rugged TO-220 FET RF amp can deliver 5 Watts key down for 5 minutes
Signal quality blue LED, RIT warning orange LED, Low battery red LED
More than enough audio to fill any room with an external speaker
Excellent receiver sensitivity with MDS of -132dBm (0.06 microvolt)
Very effective receive AGC prevents ear damage with strong signals
Transmitter harmonics and spurs -58dB, meets FCC specs
CW sidetone is the actual transmitter signal as heard by receiver
Match the received signal tone to the sidetone for perfect zero beating
Sharp IF filter; Better than 300 Hz at the -6dB point, plus 700 Hz audio filter
Over 200 machine placed SMT parts, and about 55 user installed parts
All critical circuits are factory pre-aligned and calibrated
No endless “back menus”; There is a control or switch for every function
Options include pre-wound toroid coils, precision optical tuning encoder, and complete factory assembly
Price is $250 or you can add pre-wound toroids for $18, a precision optical encoder for $30, or for $310 you can purchase this kit fully assembled and tested. Click here to check it out.
TR-45L is a 4-band 5-watt CW transceiver covering the 80-75, 40, 30, and 20 meter bands.
Full band coverage is provided, with the transmitter optimized for the CW band portions.
The receiver is provided with both narrow and wide band IF filters, and CW and SSB detectors.
An illuminated front panel meter shows “S” units on receive, and power output (forward or reverse) while transmitting. The meter also will display the battery state of charge.
A “High SWR” warning indicator will illuminate if the antenna SWR exceeds about 2:1.
The transmitter power output is adjustable from less than ½ watt to 5 watts with a front panel control.
RIT is provided to adjust the receive frequency up to + or – 5 KHz from the transmit frequency.
Two VFOs for each band are provided with recallable memories.
A built-in keyer is adjustable from about 5 wpm to 35 wpm with a front panel speed control.
Separate straight key and keyer paddle inputs are provided on the front panel.
A front panel adjustable sharp notch filter is provided to null out interference.
A front panel receiver RF gain control is provided.
Operates from a 12 volt nominal power source requiring up to 1.3 amperes on transmit, and about 130 ma on receive. A front panel power on – off switch is provided.
Tuning speed is easily settable from 1 Hz to 1 KHz per step.
A selectable dial lock is available to prevent inadvertent frequency changes.
There is a knob or switch for every function – no confusing back menus!
Size 8-1/2” wide, 5” high, 3” deep Weight about 2.8 lb with Internal Batteries
Beta testing is continuing…73 de WA3RNC
No pricing or availability has been noted yet.
I life the look of both of these kits. I love the fact that you can buy pre-wound toroids as this is often one of the more complicated parts when building radios. Also, I’m pleased to see that all SMD components are pre-installed and that all critical circuits are factory pre-aligned and calibrated. That will make this kit accessible to a much larger kit building audience.