Programming Baofeng UV-5R

Baofeng_UV5RI’ve ordered a Baofeng UV-5R to do some experiments using a Raspberry Pi to encode an audio stream. Today I ran against some issues programming the device. Using a Wouxun cable which has the same pin lay-out as the Baofeng (Kenwood compatible) and installing the latest driver the problem was that when reading out the radio this process stopped after xx blocks of data. Nothing special in the error so I start Googling on  read from radio + Baofeng and it was likely the driver version from the USB2Serial adapter was to new. Downgrading this to v3.2.0.0 was the solution, found on this website.

Another new antenna: MFJ-1788 loop

I should stop ordering stuff. Really. The antennes I’ve ordered a month ago aren’t in yet (shame on you vpa-systems.pl) but today I’ve ordered an MFJ-1788 loop-antenna for the 40-15 meters band. Let’s see how this works, in particular on 40-meter, where my day-to-day QRM is always S9 till S9+10, thus quite unworkable.

Now wait a week or so till Wimo in Germany will deliver. I hope they have the antenna on stock, because a local supplier in the Netherlands didn’t.

Update 23-06: Mail from Wimo, not on stock. Will have to wait one month. Suppliers, really: if you don’t have stock, report this on your website!

MFJ-1788X

Ordered some new antennas

This week I’ve ordered some new antennas. A dual-band Moxon antenna for 28 Mhz with a 2-element antenna for 50 Mhz. A simple antenna to make, but I’m just to lazy for that. besides that, I’d rather spend my free time on something else than cutting aluminium. I simply can’t stand it and get rash from the iron powder. So I’ll just stick on building my own HF-antenna’s.

Dual-band antenna. An Moxon for 28 Mhz and 2-element for 50 Mhz. Boom=1,5 meters, total width=4 meters.

Dual-band antenna. Moxon for 28 Mhz and 2-element for 50 Mhz. Boom=1,5m, total width=4m.

The other antenna I’ve ordered is a dual-band yagi with 5 elements on VHF and 8 on UHF. The boom-length is 1,50 meters and the design is from DK7ZB. The gain should be around 11 dBi on both bands and it has a single coax feed. Let’s see if we can catch some BHF-tropo or satellites with this one.

Dual-Band Yagi DK7ZB 144/430 MHz 5+8el. 150cm

Dual-Band Yagi DK7ZB 144/430 MHz 5+8el. 150cm

New website: Hamnieuws.nl

Hamnieuws(Dutch only). De afgelopen dagen ben ik bezig geweest met de lancering van hamnieuws.nl, een website die een overzicht moet geven van verschillende nieuwsbronnen voor de Nederlandse zendamateur. Dit kunnen special event stations zijn, nieuws van Agentschap Telecom of van de verenigingen. Ik ben deze website begonnen omdat er eigenlijk nog geen soort initiatief is. En wekelijks langs 100 verschillende websites van de diverse verenigingen is natuurlijk geen optie.

Daarnaast is Hamnieuws.nl gekoppeld met Facebook en Twitter, dus mocht je een van beide social media gebruiken kun je jezelf abonneren en zie je wanneer er een nieuw bericht geplaatst is. Doen dus, kijken op www.hamnieuws.nl.

Combine HRD and Cloudlog

In my last post I mentioned migrating the Ham Radio Deluxe database from Access to MySQL. The next step would be to replicate the table from my desktop to the server in the datacenter. Browsing around in GitHub today I noticed a nice project: Cloudlog. Tough the application isn’t being developed the last year, one nice thing about GitHub is that you can fork repositories with a single mouse-click and since there are enough HAM’s who work as developer – professional or hobby – that’s what happened.

Today I’ve installed the PHP application and did a manual import of the database. This is how it looks like. You can click around to see it live over here.

Cloudlog

Moved HRD database to MySQL

HRD_logoLast week I’ve moved the Ham Radio Deluxe (HRD) database from the internal Access to a MySQL database. Since more and more QSO’s are being logged Access became quite slow. Since a MySQL server was already running on my servers in the datacenter switching to MySQL was a logical step.

To transfer the database from Access to MySQL I’ve used the freeware tool Bullzip MS Access to MySQL. After installing the MySQL OBDC driver this was quite a straightforward operation. The only issue I had was the HRD database. Seems like after the upgrade from HRD v5.x to the (paid) version 6, the location changed.

HRD v6.x location: C:ProgramDataHRDLLCHRD LogbookHRD My Logbook.mdb
HRD v5.x location: C:UsersxxxAppDataRoamingSimon Brown, HB9DRVHRD LogbookHRD My Logbook.mdb

The next step would be to create some queries and a WordPress plugin to automatically update the DXCC and WAS counter on the upper right pane on this weblog. To be continued…

New toys: Icom IC-7700

Since last weekend I’m the proud owner of an Icom IC-7700. This rig is a trade-in of the first owner who bought an Icom IC-7850. Hamshop.nl offered me the chance to test the rig a few days – in particular the filtering – to see how it handles the PowerLine noise caused by my neighbors.

The results are superb! Half of the noise is cancelled with the Digital PreSelector. The other half with the noise blanker. Weak stations which I could not hear before are workable now. Compared to the Icom IC-9100 all-in-one this is soooo much better.

The Icom IC-9100 will be dedicated for VHF and UHF now.

icom_ic-7700

New DXCC: Iraq

After you’ve part the first 100 DXCC it’s get more complicated to work new one. With tools like JT-Alert in combination JT65-HF and the DX-cluster in combination with Ham Radio Deluxe v6 (which shows new and unconfirmed DXCC in the cluster) you have nice help. Yesterday I’ve worked Iraq and today it’s been confirmed via LoTW and eQSL.

YI1RZ

Mixed WAE certificate

Worked All Europe

Worked All Europe

Mixed DXCC certificate

Mixed_DXCC_PD1AKL

Worked All Continents

I’ve already worked all continents but never requested the WAC certificate before. The main reason for this is that you can’t apply with LoTW credits. You need to have paper QSL. Via the DARC Contest Logbook however, had the possibility to import both eSQL (AG) and LoTW credits and you can apply for the certificate over there. For free, as it will be delivered as PDF. How nice!

WAC_PD1AKL

GlobalQSL

GlobalQSL_logoI’m using GlobalQSL to send out batches of QSL cards if needed, tough my normal policy is only to reply cards since I’m not a collector. GlobalQSL works quite easy. Just upload your (ADIF) logfile, select QSO’s to be confirmed and they’ll print and send them in batches direct to your local bureau once every three months. For pricing that’s quite equal with regular suppliers of QSL-cards. With two main differences:

  1. You can track QSL online in your inbox, to see what’s upcoming
  2. Cards are send direct to your local QSL bureau so it saves some months time
GlobalQSL_inbox

Your online QSL inbox to see what’s upcoming.

If you don’t have an account yet, I’d suggest to create one at globalqsl.com to see if any cards are waiting for you. The only thing missing is some pre-paid system where you can send money to GlobalQSL and they’ll send the QSL direct once every other month or so, so you still have to rely on your (slow) local QSL bureau. A good example of this is the incoming QSL bureau of ARRL where you just send SASE (Self Addressed Stamped Enveloppe) and they’ll send your cards direct to you with a certain interval.

Nice QSL card

I’m not a collector of QSL cards and prefer LoTW. But sometimes you need them for let’s say IOTA and WAC certificates. Some QSL’s are clear and simple, some very shine. I like the card received today from Australia: VK3BM.

QSL_VK3BM

Toys for boys: Yaesu FT-2000d

Bought a new (well, second hand) rig: the Yaesu FT-2000d. Complete with DMU-2000 unit, MD200 microphone and SP-2000 speaker. The first impression: Where do I leave all this, since the set is about 1,5 meters / 5 ft. width. And that’s it for now. Didn’t found time to play and test, yet.

FT2000d

Worked All Europe

darc_logoDARC, the German Ham Radio Association, offers several certificates. Among others, one of them is the Worked All Europe award. You can apply for it on a special website called DARC Contest Logbook. Good to see you can verify via your LoTW account (tough Im learned *never* to give away your password to someone else).

 

Another cool feature is that DARC is one of the few who are accepting eQSL.cc QSL-cards as verification tool. From the eQSL-website, you can push data to the DARC website.