Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Eurosonic ES200LCD

Eurosonic ES200LCD CB handheld (video).
I bought one of these in 1995 at Tandy in Kendal and remember going a walk up Whitbarrow Scar on the way home.
Like most CB handhelds of the 80s and 90s, it used no fewer than 10 AA cells, before we could get 5 watts from a 7.4v Li-Ion battery.
One thing about this radio was the extremely low S-meter, I measured the bar graph segments as:
S1 = 6uV
S3 = 15uV
S5 = 50uV
S9 = 150uV
S9+ = 1mV
This was actually quite useful as not everyone was 9+
There was also an ES200 with a LED display and no signal meter.

Monday, 13 October 2014

10 Metres JT65

28MHz is getting better now, and I've been trying JT65 on 28.076 for the last few days. My antenna at home isn't very good for this band but even with 5 watts I've been getting quite a few reports via PSK Reporter.
Compared to WSPR, JT65 seems to have a lot more activity on the higher HF bands, especially on 21MHz. Also, with WSPR I was getting out further than I was receiving, which I put down to background noise at my house. But on JT65, I'm receiving stations from the Far East of Asia and West Coast USA. Maybe it's the extremely low power being used on WSPR by a lot of stations or JT65 being more popular.
If I put a CQ call out on JT65, I can get 10 stations spotting me via PSK Reporter, but not one single reply to the CQ call. If there hadn't been a network of stations automatically spotting then I could have called CQ, got no reply and given up.
If someone does reply to my CQ call, the QSO is often never completed because conditions have changed over the 5 minutes it takes to finish a JT65 exchange of reports and RRR.
I don't really mind if nobody does reply to the CQ call and often I'm not even at the radio so it's a bit fiddly clicking stuff through TeamViewer on my phone to reply to people. 
Is it worth sticking with the traditional idea of a 'QSO' for certain data modes, or would it be better to try for the most transmit or receive reports your station allows (maybe the lower of the two if it was for some contest or award).

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Nagoya NA701

Arrived today. This isn't exactly the same as the last one I had - performs a lot worse on 160 - 170 MHz but not bad on the amateur bands. Also more flexible. They are probably all fakes but the packaging looks quite fancy on this one.

The real Nagoya NA-701 doesn't look quite like this. This is a copy of a Watson WSMA801.

Saturday, 19 July 2014


Using Alinco DJ-G7 and Nagoya NA771 antenna.


 2014-07-19 10:00  M1AVV  28.126165  -6  0  IO84ic  5  LB9YE  JP54  1402  29 
 2014-07-19 10:00  M1AVV  28.126148  -27  0  IO84ic  5  OZ7IT  JO65df  1008  77 
 2014-07-18 14:40  M1AVV  28.126160  +4  0  IO84ic  5  DB0ZDF  JN49cx  909  116 
 2014-07-18 14:40  M1AVV  28.126148  -18  0  IO84ic  5  DL4MFC  JN58qb  1221  117 
 2014-07-18 14:40  M1AVV  28.126154  -8  0  IO84ic  5  DK6UG  JN49cm  939  118 
 2014-07-18 14:40  M1AVV  28.126151  0  0  IO84ic  5  DF2LV  JO44rs  827  80 
 2014-07-18 14:40  M1AVV  28.126160  -2  0  IO84ic  5  DK0SC  JN59mf  1124  113 
 2014-07-18 11:40  M1AVV  28.126152  -15  1  IO84ic  5  LA3JJ  JO59bh  1000  49 
 2014-07-17 18:24  M1AVV  28.126137  -19  0  IO84ic  5  G4HZW  IO83uh  110  143 
 2014-07-13 09:58  M1AVV  28.126194  -18  0  IO84ic  5  F1AYO  JN33bd  1399  147 
 2014-07-13 09:58  M1AVV  28.126146  -21  0  IO84ic  5  HB9TPL  JN36sc  1176  135 

Monday, 30 June 2014

Alinco software (2)

Tried changing some things to try and get Alinco programming software to break.

Prolific serial driver works best. This is confirmed on the web on quite a few sites, for other cables and sofrware.
An earlier (V2.0 from 2005) also worked.
Driver V3.3 appeared to be OK in Device Manager but gave a Port Error.
Driver V3.4 installed but Device Manager said it could not start.
I had 3 different versions of the programming software installed, but only 2 worked. Both of these were from 2010, the oldest (2009) version gave an error message when trying to read (not Port Error), this could have been a mismatch of firmware or different regional model.

Sunday, 29 June 2014

More Alinco DJ-G7 programming

After over 4 years, I've still not quite figured out the PC programming of my Alinco DJ-G7 handheld.
Usually the software refuses to do anything except display a "port error" message. But I'm not sure whether this is a 100% hardware fault as the error message is different when the radio is switched off.

At the moment I've got it working well enough to do a complete read. Here are some things I've worked out:
The baud rate of the COM port does NOT need changing to 57600.
My cable has 2.8V on the ring of the 2.5mm jack plug (it's not an original Alinco cable).
The cable can be connected before the radio is turned on.
Then the radio can be turned on before starting the software.
My programming software is V1.3.3 (the splash screen says 1.4).
I'm using the 32-bit version of Windows 8.
USB to serial driver is Prolific V3.2.0.0 (date 31/07/2007). Windows 8 tries to install a newer driver.
If the software says it is no longer responding when reading all memories (after about 23%), leave it to carry on, it takes a long time but will complete (after a Port Error!).
I'm not sure whether it works at all with 64-bit versions of Windows, I tried recently with Windows 8 64-bit and I couldn't get it to work at all.

Now to try and break it.