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Author's posts

Sporadic E opening towards IM76

Today there were some nice Sporadic E openings on 144 MHz from my locator (JO22) towards IM76. I’ve worked 2 stations about 2.000 kilometers away. Normally I always mis Sporadic E openings on 144 MHz but today I was lucky to be in the shack on time to prepare for the 144 MHz NAC this …

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GridTracker from N0TTL

I stumbled across a nice program for grid hunters on the VHF and above bands, reading an article on the local radio club’s website. The program is called GridTracker and is written by N0TTL. Versions are available for Windows, Linux and Mac OSX. Perfect to see if new grids are workable via digimodes like FT8.

VUCC (144 MHz) update, June 2019

The more maidenhead grids you collect, the more difficult it gets. While I’ve collected enough grid squares for the 50 MHz VUCC via LoTW I’m still in need for the last 17 on 144 MHz. It should be doable all via tropo using SSB or FT8 (of Meteor Scatter during the september Perseids shower). Anyone …

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IARU R1 50/70 MHz contest (part 1)

This weekend the IARU Region 1, 50 and 70 MHz contest took place. For the first hour I was trying to work some local hams in FT8 VHF-contest mod since this is an allowed mode in the contest. and worked some UK stations via Tropo. Then for about 1,5 hour I worked some stations in …

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Icom IC-9700 firmware update v1.11

Less than a week after releasing firmware v1.10, Icom just released v1.11. This update fixes an issue where the IC-9700 may hang up on a multifunction dial operation. Two Icom users reported issues with me with there IC-9700 frozen up. I hope this will solve the issue they’ve experienced. Firmware IC-9700 v1.11 can be downloaded …

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Icom IC-9700 firmware update v1.10

Icom just released new firmware for the IC-9700. The version is bumped from v1.06 to v1.10 and should fix the ‘drift problem’ which some experience. Icom also added a new function: The 10 MHz ref. input can now be used to permanently sync the external 10 MHz source to the internal oscillator, instead of only …

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May 2019 NAC contest on 432 MHz

Due to a lack of time I was only in the shack for about an hour to work 12 stations. ODX was SK7MW (764km) as always. I worked 10 grid locators.

IC-9700 mod: enable AF out on mic

To enable the AF output on Pin 8 of the MIC socket (AFO line), solder a bridge across test point CP421 on the DISPLAY board. Schematic: Service manual, p. 10-17.Board layout: Service manual, p. 7-10, to left of R421

May 2019 NAC contest on 144 MHz

Only worked 3 hours. 37 QSO’s in 20 grids. ODX: SK7CY (639km). My result: 3th place in the Netherlands

May 2019 VHF/UHF contest

Spend some hours in the shack. The (temporarily) results (I wasn’t active on 1296 MHz this weekend):

Icom IC-9700 Service Manual

The IC-9700 Service Manual is available. Download it here. The document is in English, dated March 2019 and contains specifications, inside views, interface information, the adjustment procedure, the part list, mechanical parts, board layouts, the wiring diagram, the block diagram and a schematic diagram. In total the document is 93 pages and about 10 Mbyte …

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IC-9700 Fan mod stabilizes TCXO

Another interesting post appeared today on the IC-9700 reflector. It describes how to improve frequency stability. I have modified my IC-9700 to keep the fan continuously running at a reduced speed by fitting a 6.8V Zener diode across the appropriate switching transistor. (N.B. I have documented the process with pictures of where I installed the …

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Spring in the shack

Easter. It means a long weekend off. Time for me to be busy in the shack. I started with a ride to SM/Ikea to buy some cupboards. One to the left of the desk to house the VHF and UHF amplifiers and rotators, the other one on the desk to make more room for radio’s. …

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The FT8 farmer

Did I already mention rule 1 till 3 if you transmit in digimodes? 1. Check your ALC 2. Check your ALC 3. Check your ALC Don’t be a farmer spreading out harmics on the complete spectrum like the guy below. Your ALC shout *not* come in red. Or even better: not giving a bar at …

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Icom IC-9700 Firmware v1.06

Icom just posted a new firmware version for the IC-9700. The version is v1.06 and has these improvements: Improved accuracy of the automatic reference frequency calibration. Fixed unintended indication on the DR screen. Eliminated RX audio gap when changing the IF filter in the DV mode.