Tag Archives: QRPer Notes

QRPer Notes: IC-705 Firmware Update, New YouTube Channels, and ARRL Handbook 100th Edition

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.

Click here to download the firmware from the Icom website.


New CW YouTube Channels/Videos

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.

What’s Inside

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.

Key topics:

    • Radio electronics theory and principles
    • Circuit design and equipment
    • Signal transmission and propagation
    • Digital modulation and protocols
    • Antennas and transmission lines
    • Construction practices

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.

Click here for more information and to place an order.

QRPer Notes: Simon’s World Map Update, RG-316 Assemblies, My-Key-Mouse (USB), and Canary Islands VCAN

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!


Simon’s World Map

Many thanks to reader, Mike Bott, who notes that Simon’s World Map has been updated to V1.2.3.

Click here to download Simon’s World Map.


RG-316 BNC to BNC assemblies

Don (W7SSB) shares two announcements.

First, he notes that Chameleon Antenna is now selling RG-316 assemblies with in-line RF Choke options and BNC fittings . They have a number of lengths available:

https://chameleonantenna.com/shop-here/ols/products/cha-50-coax-with-integrated-rfi-choke-cha-50-cx-wth


My Key Mouse

Don also notes that CW Morse is now offering a USB-CW keyer/ device interface called the My Key Mouse. Check out the product description:

New for 2022! Morse Code Key to USB Adapter!

Did you know that there is an ever growing list of Software and Apps that allow you to practice and/or learn Morse Code using Computers, Laptops, Tablets, Android and other devices? Truly a great idea, but, if you’ve ever tried using a mouse to send Morse Code, I am sure you’ll agree that it is makeshift at best. But why?

Because It takes the right tools for the job!
To Send Morse Code it takes a Proper Built Key Or Paddle.

Now You can practice with a host of software and apps using your own device!

Click here to read more.


Many thanks to Jesus Alberto de Lorenzo who shares a link to a fascinating field activity based in the Canaries: VCAN — a Volcano program!

Click here for full details.

Thanks to everyone for the tips!

QRPer Notes: HB9HCI’s FT8 Box, TX-500 Covers, and Maxpedition BOGO Sale

Welcome to QRPer Notes, a collection of links to items making waves in the world of radio!


HB9HCI’s FT8 Box

Many thanks to Jean-François (HB9MCZ) who writes:

I just wanted to mention a very interesting little box [available from Lutz Electronics:

Page in German.

Page translated into English.

With this magic FT-8 box and a little power bank, all you need to make FT8 in SOTA expeditions is your smartphone.

I don’t own this product, but found it might interest many people visiting your excellent website.

Best 73′ from Switzerland,

JF (HB9MCZ)

Lab599 Discovery TX-500 Covers

Many thanks to Mike (KG4MTN) who writes:

Hi Thomas,

I have just received a nice set of 3D screen/keyboard covers from KB7MDB for my TX-500. Along with these covers he included 5 screw-on plug covers. All appear to be nicely made and fit my rig just fine. Cost was $15, which includes shipping. I have the 2-cover set, I believe he also makes a single-cover unit. Mine is black but I think he also makes them in orange. Shipping is very prompt. His Etsy site is Brewer 3D Design LLC.

Stay warm!
Mike Serio
KG4MTN

Click here to view/purchase on Etsy.com.

Maxpedition Pocket Organizer BOGO Sale

The Maxpedition EDC Organizer holding my MTR-3B and accessories in this photo.

Many thanks to Ray (K8DRT) who reminds us of an ongoing sale at Maxpedition’s main website. The sale includes a number of popular Organizer Pouches including the Fatty which I use for my Elecraft AX1 antenna, and their smaller EDC organizer that I’ve used for a number of radio accessories, logging pads, and EDC items over the years.

Click here to check out all of the items in the BOGO sale.

QRPer Notes: Price increases from Icom and a few TX-500s in stock at HRO


Icom America 2022 Price Increases

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:

 

The price of the Icom IC-705 seems to have already increased to $1,369.95 at DX Engineering, and to $1,399.95 at GigaParts.

If you’ve been considering the IC-705, you may still be able to order it for the 2021 price from a couple of Icom authorized distributors.

We’ve noted that both  R and L Electronics and Ham Radio Outlet are still advertising the IC-705 at the 2021 price of $1,299.95.

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.

They $949+ tax. Free shipping in 48 states.

Click here to check it out.

Just a heads up.
I’m enjoying your videos of POTA and the website.

73

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.

You might check spots on the POTA.app website.

Thank you and have a brilliant day!

73, Thomas (K4SWL)

QRPer Notes: sBITX Prototype, Updated Icom Control Software, and Jim Stafford (W4QO) SK

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!


sBitx Prototype

Many thanks to Pete (WB9FLW) who sends a link to this article on It’s Ham Radio:

Ashhar Farhan VU2ESE demonstrated Hfsignals upcoming SDR transceiver – sBitx today at Lamakaan Amateur Radio Meet.

VU2ESE was working on this SDR Prototype for some time now. sBitx is the latest iteration of the popular homebrewer transceiver Bitx series started a couple of years by Farhan.

Keynotes

    1. Raspberry Pi instead of Arduino – No more Arduino Code, sBitx code is written from the scratch for Raspberry Pi.
    2. Power Output: 40 Watt ~ 20 Meters, 15 Meters ~ 25 Watts, 10 Meters ~ 10 Watts
    3. Ditched IRF 510 for IRF Z24N for Finals
    4. $250 for global buyers. Indian buyers would have to wait for now.
    5. Display: 7″ Raspberry Pi Stock Display
    6. Easy Digital Modes – FT8, RTTY, Free DV etc. No extra wiring is required.
    7. Simple Integration with existing Linux Desktop or Remote Login via SSH or VNC

Here’s the Github for sBitx: https://github.com/afarhan/sbitx

Click here to continue reading full article.

 

New control software for IC-705 and IC-R8600

Many thanks to Markku (VA3MK) who writes:

Icom has released new Control software for IC-705 and IC-R8600 and it is available on their Icom Japan website now.

Jim Stafford, W4QO SK

Photo of Jim (W4QO) from his QRZ page.

This week, we learned that Jim (W4QO)–a noted fellow in our QRP world–passed away.

Jeff Davis (KE9V) wrote a wonderful tribute on his blog. Jeff writes:

Jim Stafford, W4QO became a Silent Key yesterday. That news wasn’t unexpected, I had been closely following the North Georgia QRP mailing list these last few weeks dreading the announcement that arrived yesterday morning.

I had known Jim for more than 20 years. We first met in the late 90’s during a Four Days in May event back when the conference took place at the old hotel south of Dayton. I think we hit it off because we both were native Hoosiers, but his infectious enthusiasm for the hobby made everyone want to be around him.

He became my guide into the world of low-power radio and over the following years we regularly renewed our friendship on the air, via email, and in person almost every year during FDIM at Dayton. [Continue reading on Jeff’s blog…]