Many thanks to Jonathan (KM4CFT) who shares the following guest field report and video:
Chatfield State Park (K-1212)
January 20, 2022
by Jonathan Kayne (KM4CFT)
The honorable Yaesu FT-817/818. You all know it and love it. I had been wanting to get myself one for a while but after just buying myself a shiny new ICOM IC-705, I had been planning on getting myself an 818 in the spring to play around with. December came and I find out that Yaesu was going to discontinue the 818, so I went and bit the bullet and bought one from Ham Radio Outlet.
I had been getting into CW for portable operations lately after wanting to learn CW for a while and my friend Zach Thompson (KM4BLG) had pushed me to learn it. I learned it over the course of two months through an app called “Morse Machine” and listening to Thomas’s YouTube videos while working so as to get used to the exchanges and pick up words. Then I activated and all the rest is history! (If you want to see my 3rd time activating see this video here.)
Why is this important? Because the FT-818ND does not have a narrow 500 Hz filter for CW operation by default, and since I consider myself to be still a newbie I wanted to install a Collins Filter before I take my new 818 into the field. Since these filters are hard to obtain, I went with the build your own route. The method I used has been outlined in this blog and I have made a video of it here.
Now that I had my radio all ready to go with a filter, side rails, and Windcamp Battery, I wanted to get it in the field as soon as possible. Unfortunately due to a snow storm, the temperature in the Denver area was quite cold.
Because I receive so many tips from readers here on QRPer, I wanted way to share them in a concise newsletter format. To that end, welcome to QRPer Notes, a collection of links to interesting stories and tips making waves in the world of radio!
IC-705 Firmware Update
Many thanks to Uli Zehndbauer who notes that Icom recently released a new firmware update for the IC-705.
Here are the details/notes about this firmware version from Icom:
Changes from Version 1.27
– Displays the Receiving (or Transmitting) route icon (RF or TM: Terminal mode) on the RX History Log and QSO Log
– Displays the Receiving (or Transmitting) route icon (RF or TM: Terminal mode) to the chunk information in the QSO audio file
– Displays the Receiving route icon (TM: Terminal mode) to the following screens;
RX HISTORY screen
GPS POSITION (RX) screen
QSO audio, PLAY FILES screen
QSO audio, FILE INFORMATION screen
– Improves the WLAN access point list so that you can delete the connected or saved access points
– Improves the CI-V command 1F 01 (DV transmit call sign) so you can set only the “UR” call sign without the other call signs.
In the past two weeks I’ve received a number of video links from QRPer readers who are featuring CW activations in their YouTube videos.
First up is Steve (K9NUD) who has started a new channel featuring his CW activations primarily using a cootie/sideswiper. Steve is doing something I wish I had the time to do which is add CW closed captions to his videos. This makes it easy to follow along. Check out this video:
Jonathan (KM4CFT) recently noted in the comments of my YouTube channel that he made a video of his third ever CW POTA activation. I had to check it out and am glad I did. You get a very good idea of what it’s like on the air as a CW newbie. In other words: not that bad at all! Incidentally, when I looked up Jonathan on QRZ, I discovered we have a mutual friend in Zach (KM4BLG).
Keep up the great work, Jonathan!
Chris (KD2YDN) sent me a link to the following video on his new YouTube channel. In the video I actually get to hear what my signal sounded like during his SOTA/POTA activation. He certainly captured some amazing morning scenery and a gorgeous sunrise from Westkill Mountain:
I think you should consider checking out these videos and subscribing!
The ARRL Handbook 100th Edition
The ARRL has announced pre-orders for their new ARRL Handbook. I feel like everyone should have a copy of the Handbook. It’s simply chock-full of useful information–much of which is simply timeless. I still reference the 1994 handbook my buddy Mike (K8RAT) gave me shortly after I got my license in 1997. I feel like it’s important to have reference material like this in paper.
As a side note, I’ve been to a number of shortwave radio broadcast transmitting stations and at each one of them I’ve seen the ARRL Handbook on the Chief Engineer’s shelf. Lots of great radio principles inside.
The book is $80 on pre-order. That’s a lot for a book, but it’s also a LOT of book!
Here’s the announcement from the ARRL:
We have arrived at a milestone. The 100th edition of The ARRL Handbook for Radio Communications is here: Handbook 100. How do you celebrate the most widely used one-stop reference and guide to radio technology principles and practices? By continuing to fill the pages of another edition with the progress and achievement of radio amateurs. Handbook 100 is written for everyone with a desire to advance the pursuit of wireless technology. Here is your guide to radio experimentation, discovery, and innovation.
Each chapter is filled with the most up-to-date knowledge representative of the wide and ever-expanding range of interests among radio amateurs. There are practical, hands-on projects for all skill levels — from simple accessories and small power supplies to legal-limit amplifiers and high-gain antennas.
Radio electronics theory and principles
Circuit design and equipment
Signal transmission and propagation
Digital modulation and protocols
Antennas and transmission lines
Updated with new projects and content, including:
An all-new chapter on radio propagation covering a wide range of bands and modes
New and updated sections on electronic circuit simulation
New cavity filter and high-power HF filter projects
New coverage on digital protocols and modes
New material on RFI from low-voltage lighting and other sources
Revised sections covering new RF exposure limits
New content on portable station equipment, antennas, power, and assembly
New material on ferrite uses and types
New section on how to use portable SDR to locate sources of RFI …and more.