ICOM IC-7610 “Contest Grade” SDR Transceiver introduction

Recently ICOM UK were able to experience  a pre-production sample of the new IC-7610 HF/50MHz SDR transceiver and took the chance to  produce a short introduction video giving their first impressions.

The video classes the transceiver as “contest grade” and demonstrates that it has a significant number of additional features compared to the widely acclaimed and significantly cheaper IC-7300, including digital front end selectivity, dual receivers, multiple antenna sockets and inbuilt server.

Windows 10 updates and device drivers

Ian G3NRW has posted a new HOWTO on installing wanted versions of Windows 10 drivers which applies to anyone using Windows 10 to control any rig

Ian reports that several people have experienced issues lately with device drivers being silently replaced with different versions following Windows 10 updates. In particular this has sometimes stopped serial link drivers (for example, for FTDI USB adapters or Silicon Labs USB drivers) working properly.

The problem is that Windows searches suppliers’ sites for their latest drivers. Most times this is the sensible thing to do, but occasionally the latest driver has a bug that prevents it working properly. In this case you may want to retain an earlier version that does work, and wait for the supplier to fix the bug.

So, all you need to do is remove any old drivers from the system, then re-install the version you want. Then tell Windows not to override your wanted version.

Ian has now added a HOWTO to his Resources site with step-by-step instructions explaining how to do this. Click on HOWTOs
<http://g3nrw.net/TS-590/?page_id=256>, and download HOWTO #30: “HOWTO install Windows 10 Device Drivers”.

Automatic Antenna Switch for ICOM IC-7300

Since the ICOM IC-7300 transceiver came on the market one of the wish list items for the rig is that it had more than one antenna socket.

The Funk Amateur website has recently introduced a kit which, through an external unit, provides the IC-7300 and most other ICOM rigs with the  facility to automatically switch between four antennas.

The FA-AS comes as a complete kit and makes it possible to connect four different antennas and to choose them automatically depending on the operating frequency. Operation and programming are simple and intuitive, the operating status is indicated with multi-colored LEDs. It is possible to operate with a separate transmitting and receiving antenna.

A separate socket is also provided for the connection of a transverter.

The FA.-AS can be controlled with the band voltage or via the CI-V interface of the Icom transceiver.

In addition to the circuit boards and the machined and printed housing, the kit contains all the components required for assembly. (Only wired components are used.)

The cost of the kit within the European Union is 115 Euro (which includes 19% tax)

Shipping costs to European countries is 15 Euro

Price for US and non-EU overseas countries is US $ 105

Te kit can be ordered from the Funk Amateur website

EURAO DMR meeting on the air Fiesta de EURAO

The European Radio Amateurs’ Organization announces a new party on the air, this time with the motto: “DMR meeting on the air“. Remember this is not a contest, it is just a radio meeting with a few simple ‘rules’, better to call them recommendations. The party will be held the weekend September 23th and 24th, 2017, 00:00-24:00 UTC

El fin de semana del 23 y 24 de septiembre tendrá lugar una nueva fiesta en el aire, convocada por la Organización Europea de Radioaficionados (EURAO). En esta ocasión está dedicada al DMR. No se trata de un con­cur­so, sino de pasarlo bien, ex­pe­ri­men­tar y hacer radio.

Purpose: DMR (Digital Mobile Radio) is an open standard widely used by radio amateurs in the last years. A lot of repeaters around the world are networked. The most popular DMR network is BrandMeister (BM) which dedicate the Talk Group (TG) 9201 to EURAO. Try to connect to this TG to have fun and meet other hams, or just do SWLing.

Date & time: September 23th and 24th, 2017, Saturday and Sunday, 00:00-24:00 UTC.

Bands & modes: in this Party there are no recommended frequencies for DMR. You have to find the repeater(s) in your area linked to the BM network. You can use this map to find yours. Or just listen to its stream.

Call: “CQ EURAO Party”.

Exchange: because this is a QSO event, not a contest, you can talk about whatever you want, in any language (choose one that everyone in this TG can understand), but posiby for a limited time, remembering this is a shared resource. Here are some topic suggestions to get the conversation going: name, city, locator, weather, antennas, rigs, etc.

Also talk about QSL interchange. Tell the truth. Say “no, thanks” if you are not interested in QSL cards. But if you would like to have a memory of your contact, feel free to use our EuroBureauQSL (see below).

Logs: for statistic purposes only, we ask participants to submit their logs in ADIF format to party@eurao.org, where the filename should be your callsign (e.g. EA3RKF.ADI).

There will be no results or league tables, only statistical information about number of QSOs, countries, callsigns, OMs/YLs/Clubs, etc.

Certificate of Participation: for those sending the log and with a minimum of 10% QSOs confirmed.

EuroBureauQSL: you can use it to interchange QSLs even if you are not member. In this case, just send the QSL to the entry point in the country of contacted station.

Fiesta de EURAO – Verano 2017: encuentro DMR en el aire

El fin de semana del 23 y 24 de septiembre tendrá lugar una nueva fiesta en el aire, convocada por la Organización Europea de Radioaficionados (EURAO). En esta ocasión está dedicada al DMR. No se trata de un con­cur­so, sino de pasarlo bien, ex­pe­ri­men­tar y hacer radio.

Fiesta de EURAO – Verano 2017: encuentro DMR en el aire

La Organización Europea de Radioaficionados anuncia una nueva fiesta en el aire, esta vez con el lema: “encuentro DMR en el aire“. Recuerda que esto no es un concurso, es sólo un encuentro por radio con unas pocas ‘reglas’ muy simples, casi mejor llamarlas recomendaciones.

Objetivo: DMR (Digital Mobile Radio) es un estándar abierto ampliamente usado por los radioaficionados en los últimos años. Un montón de repetidores de todo el mundo están interconectados. La red más popular de DMR es BrandMeister (BM) que dedica el Talk Group (TG) 9201 a EURAO. Intenta conectar a este TG para divertirte y conocer otros radioaficionados, o simplemente haz radioescucha.

Fechas y horarios: 23 y 24 de septiembre del 2017, sábado y domingo, 00:00-24:00 UTC.

Bandas y modos: en esta Fiesta no hay frecuencias recomendadas para DMR. Tú tienes que encontrar el repetidor (o repetidores) de tu zona que esté enlazado a la red BM. Puedes utilizar este mapa para encontrar el tuyo. O simplemente escuchar por streaming.

Llamada: “CQ EURAO Party”.

Intercambio: como se trata de un QSO, no de un concurso, se puede hablar de lo que uno quiera, en cualquier idioma (elige uno que todos en ese TG puedan entender), y durante el tiempo que se desee tiempo limitado, pues es un recurso compartido. De todas maneras, sugerimos algunos temas típicos de conversación: nombre, ciudad, locator, tiempo, antenas, equipos, etc.

También habla sobre el intercambio de QSLs. Di la verdad. Di “no, gracias” si no estás interesado en las tarjetas QSL. Pero si te gustaría tener un recuerdo de tu corresponsal, no dudes en usar nuestro EuroBureauQSL (ver más abajo).

Logs: sólo a efectos estadísticos, pedimos a los participantes que envíen sus logs en formato ADIF aparty@eurao.org, donde el nombre del archivo debe ser su indicativo (ej. EA3RKF.ADI).

No habrá resultados o clasificación, sólo información estadística sobre el número de QSOs, países, indicativos, OMs/YLs/Clubs, etc.

Certificado de Participación: para aquellos que envíen el log y tengan un mínimo del 10% de QSOs confirmados.

EuroBureauQSL: puedes usarlo para intercambiar QSLs aunque no seas socio. En este caso, envía la QSL alpunto de entrada del país de tu corresponsal.

InnovAntennas and MFJ Enterprises Announcement

InnovAntennas and Justin G0KSC have become well known in recent years for their innovative, quality antenna design.

They have just announced that a large part of their antenna range is to be made available through MFJ Enterprises, possibly with some modified models produced by MFJ designed to appeal to a market not currently met by InnovAntennas (this has been referred to elsewhere as the “mass-production area”).

The press release also indicates that new Yagi models will be released under the Hy-Gain and Cushcraft brands.

It is also understand that the former relationship between InnovAntennas and Force 12 has ceased.

MFJ / G0KSC Press release

MFJ Enterprises, 300 Industrial Park Rd, Starkville, MS 39759, USA and InnovAntennas Limited, Unit 1, Fitzherbert Spur, Farlington, Portsmouth, Hampshire PO6 1TT, United Kingdom

MFJ Enterprises a manufacturer of a broad range of products for the amateur radio industry specializing in station accessories, antennas and antenna tuner units and InnovAntennas Limited a designer and builder of modern computer optimized directional antenna systems, today announced a partnership which will increase the availability of InnovAntennas smaller antennas in addition to providing a new and up to date range of computer optimized directional antennas for Hy-Gain and Cushcraft, two of the legacy brands of MFJ Enterprises.

Justin Johnson G0KSC, owner of InnovAntennas Limited (a member of the International Ham Store Group) who is also a contributor to the ARRL Antenna Book 2016 provided the following statement.

‘’This is really exciting news for both companies. InnovAntennas have not been able to fully service the US market due to an inability to meet global demand. The MFJ facility in Starkville MS will be building some of the smaller antennas we produce under the InnovAntennas label and I have already visited the factory last year to established production methods using MFJ/Hy-Gain and Cushcraft tooling.’’

Justin continued by saying ‘’most of our popular models will be covered by MFJ, including the LFA (Loop Fed Array) Yagi and OWL (Optimized Wideband Low impedance). Additionally, new computer optimized and yet unreleased HF and VHF mono and multiband Yagis will be released through the Hy-Gain and Cushcraft brands, neither of which have released new Yagis in quite some time’’.

Justin Johnson G0KSC has become well-known for his innovative variants of the common Yagi which boast direct 50Ω feed points and low-noise patterns and feed arrangements. Dubbed the ‘urban antenna’ the LFA is well suited to city lots where noise prevents the hobby being as enjoyable as it once was. More recently, G0KSC has transitioned into HF multiband and monoband designs where he has embraced the compact ‘trap-less’ concept with the InnovAntennas CP-6 being an excellent example, providing 6 bands with a single feed in a package just 12’ by 28’.

It is expected that the first in this new line of antennas will be available by the spring of 2017 on a direct and distributor supply basis and it is advised that interest is place with MFJ Enterprises as soon as possible.

About IHSG

IHSG was formed in 2016 by three major ham and hobby radio companies in the UK, Nevada Group, Waters & Stanton and InnovAntennas. IHSG provides a one-stop-shop for the serious ham and hobbyist providing both the best equipment and solid, unbiased advice.

Contact any of our stores for further details or Email info@innovantennas.com or sales@mfjenterprises.com for more information.

ISS Slow-Scan TV Schedule 8-9 DEc 2016

Slow-scan television (SSTV) transmissions from the International
Space Station (ISS) are scheduled for December 8-9. The SSTV images
will be transmitted from RS0ISS on 145.800 MHz FM as part of the
Moscow Aviation Institute MAI-75 Experiment, using the Kenwood
TM-D710 transceiver in the ISS Service Module.

MAI-75 activities have been scheduled on December 8, 1235-1800 UTC,
and December 9, 1240-1740 UTC. These times correspond to passes over
Moscow, Russia. ISS transmissions on 145.800 MHz FM use 5-kHz
deviation, and SSTV transmissions have used the PD120 and PD180

The ISS Fan Club website at http://www.issfanclub.com/ can show when
the space station is within range of your station. On Windows PCs
the free application MMSSTV can decode the signal. On Apple iOS
devices, use the SSTV app available through iTunes.

DXplorer from Sotabeams – website now live

DXplorer™ is a unique web-based system providing facilities for on-air antenna system testing and comparison as well as real-time HF propagation analysis.

DXplorer™ is available for all radio amateurs to use but has been designed to be used with the new Sotabeams WSPRlite™ product..

WSPRlite (pronounced whisper-lite) is a low power transmitter designed to act as a standalone WSPR beacon on 30m (10 MHz) or 20m (14 MHz). Using a simple computer interface, you program the WSPRlite with your callsign, QTH locator. Once set up, the WSPRlite does not need the computer to operate. Just connect it to a USB power supply (e.g. mobile phone charger), press the “sync” button at the start of any even minute, and off it goes! WSPRlite will make regular transmissions that are automatically received by stations around the world.

WSPRlite™ users gain conditional access to additional features through DXplorer Premium™ which provides enhanced reporting features as well as a powerful real-time antenna system comparison feature.


D-Star News from Scotland

It could be said that, at least in parts of Scotland, the D-Star mode has had a chequered history.   However, there appears to be renewed interest in the D-Star mode.

MB6IDF D-Star Node Dunfermline  434.50000MHz

MB6IDF in Dunfermline on 434.50000MHz can now be linked to XRF600A Reflector (September 2015)

GB7DA-C GB7DA-B D-Star Repeaters Airdrie

A new D-Star Repeater situated near Airdrie is now licenced for operation on 2 metres and is expected to come on air in the near future. The repeater will transmit on 145.7750 MHz with the input being 145.1750 MHz

The repeater is also expected to operate on 70cm subject to approval.

Predicated Coverage for GB7DA-C D-Star Repeater

Predicated Coverage for GB7DA-C D-Star Repeater near Airdrie, Scotland

Above predicated coverage map from the UK Repeater site

GB7DE D-Star Repeater – Fife, Edinburgh, Lothians

GB7DE is the D-Star Repeater covering Fife, Edinburgh and the Lothians.

  • 2m – Port C / 145.6375 MHz -0.6000 DTMF 40973
  • 70cm – Port B / 439.600 MHz -9.000 DTMF 40972
GB7DE-C D-Star Repeater Coverage Map

GB7DE-C D-Star Repeater Coverage Map

GB7GD D-Star Repeater – Aberdeen – 145.6875 MHz

GB7GD is the D-Star Repeater for Aberdeen and surrounding area and outputs on 145.6875MHz with the input on 145.0875. The repeater is  linked to XRF600A Reflector. GB7GD became operation on 27th July 2008

GB7DK D-Star Repeater – Stranraer – 145.6875

The GB7DK D-Star Repeater is located near Stranraer and gives coverage over an area of southwest Scotland . The repeater outputs on 145.6875 MHz with the input on 145.0875 MHz, GB7DK became active on 3rd April 2009