Category Archives: Ham Radio

Elad FDM-DUO: now available in camouflage!

The Elad FDM-DUO (Photo: Dennis Walter)

Many thanks to Dennis Walter who shares the photo above from the 2017 Ham Radio Friedrichshafen convention.

I’ve always thought the FDM-DUO was a cool transceiver, but I must admit it looks even better in camouflage.

I did warn our buddy Clint (Oxford Shortwave) that he should stick with his stock black FDM-DUO. You see, he takes his FDM-DUO to the field…literally. Can you imagine how he’d feel losing his top-notch camouflaged DX rig in the rough? 🙂

Icom IC-R8600 pricing and availability

The new Icom IC-8600 at the 2017 Hamvention

At the 2017 Hamvention, I spent a little time checking out Icom’s latest wideband communications receiver: the IC-R8600. Check out the photos above and below.

The IC-8600 Back Panel

I spoke with Icom North America at Hamvention–the representative told me the MSRP of the IC-R8600 would be about $2,999 US, but that retail pricing would be lower.

Universal Radio now has the IC-R8600 in stock with a retail price of $2599 US. HRO has the IC-R8600 in stock as well and selling for the same price.

No doubt, at this price point, the ‘8600 is not ideally placed to compete with other receivers and SDRs. I do, however, believe this product will do well with government sales. No doubt, it should deliver benchmark performance (at least one would expect benchmark). Icom has offered to send me an IC-R8600 on loan for a review–it is tempting to see how it might stack up against some of my SDR arsenal.

I’m very curious Post readers: assuming benchmark performance, how many of you would purchase the IC-R8600 at $2,599 US? Please comment!

Ham Radio: 2017 Eclipse Experiment

A map of the United States showing the path of totality for the August 21, 2017 total solar eclipse. (Source: NASA)

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Colin Newell, who shares a fascinating 2017 eclipse experiment outlined on the website HamSCI.

Here’s the summary of the experiment:

On 21 August 2017, a total solar eclipse will traverse the continental United States from Oregon to South Carolina in a period of just over 90 minutes.

Previous research shows that the shadow of the eclipse will impact the ionospheric state, but has not adequately characterized or explained the temporal and spatial extent of the resulting ionospheric effects.

HamSCI is inviting the amateur radio community to contribute to a large scale experiment by participating in an Eclipse QSO party and further developing automatic observation networks such as the Reverse Beacon Network.

Data resulting from these activities will be combined with observations from existing ionospheric monitoring networks in an effort to characterize and understand the ionospheric temporal and spatial effects caused by a total solar eclipse.

Click here to read the full detailed experiment at HamSCI online.

Video: TX Factor Episode 17

(Source: TX Factor)

TX Factor goes digital as Mike Marsh gives Bob McCreadie an introduction to operating on DMR, Yaesu Fusion and D Star as part of his digital fun. In part one of a three-part series, they take a trip to a local farm to see how an amateur has set up his own Fusion Gateway.

Ever wonder why QSL cards take a long time to complete their journey? Bob finds out what we can do to help speed up he process.

Pete visits Norwich to spend a day with the Norfolk Amateur Radio Club at their annual field day event, Radio Active to discover why they won the coveted prize of RSGB Large Club of The Year.

Click here to view Episode 17 on TX Factor’s website, or click here to watch on YouTube.

This is another excellent TX Factor episode well worth your time. I was especially impressed with the in-depth feature about the Norfolk Amateur Radio Club–truly a case study for other amateur radio clubs who struggle with outreach.

A very clever radio go-box using the Gator GR6S shallow rack case

(Source: Southgate ARC)

Young radio amateurs Zechariah WX4TVJ, Faith Hannah AE4FH, Hope KM4IPF and Grace KM4TXT have released a video about their Go Box

Many people have asked us to make a detailed video about our Go Box, so we decided to make one. We show you what is in the Go Box and how we installed all of the equipment. There is also some funny stuff in the video, too!

The case we used was a Gator 6 rack unit shallow case:
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/252763-REG/Gator_Cases_GR_6S_GR6S_Shallow_Rack_Case.html

The shelves are simply vented rack mount shelves. Here is a link to where you can get them:
https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/RkShelfU1

Watch A Close Look at Our Ham Radio Go Box and How We Put it Together:

Click here to view on YouTube.

Lea Family
http://hamradio.world/

These girls do an amazing job with the video–bravo!

I love this setup. While I typically pack very lightly for portable radio work, building a system like this makes for very quick deployment when you require a full 100 watt system with multiple radios and multiple accessories. Radio clubs could easily put systems like this together for events like Field Day or Emergency Comms. It’s grab-and-go at its best!

Of course, a field DXpedition/SWLing station could also be easily built into this portable system. In fact, I bet an SDR with computer, keyboard, and monitor could be mounted and accommodated in this space.