Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Updated Station List & Timetable for Shortwave Broadcasters 2022 Version A and B

Here is the 2022 version of the HFCC broadcasters list for shortwave. It was last updated in late 2022 and lists the station details such as frequency, time, and transmitting location. This should help you find something on the dial to enjoy!

http://hfcc.org/data/a22/index.phtml

http://hfcc.org/data/b22/index.phtml 

 

Happy DXing!

JJ, W9JES

Sunday, December 11, 2022

HDSDR Setup for RS-918 MCHF Clone

 How to connect to connect your mcHF or clone radio to HDSDR for additional functionality? There are videos on YouTube which can provide some information, however I prefer to have written instructions available. Feel free to use my guide.

The file is available in PDF form.Simply click the image to view.download.




73,

JJ - W9JES


Saturday, December 10, 2022

Shack Pics

 Here are some pictures of my shack over the years. More to come!


Swan Cygnet 260 and Yaesu FT-107B were my primary HF stations in 1996


Here is my HF operating station in 2022. It sure seems that I like Icom radios.. My Kenwood is off the bench for repair.





73,

JJ - W9JES


Icom IC-7100 Remote Separation Cable

 Do you ever get a sinking feeling when this happens after you reconfigure your shack layout?

 

I had to unplug the control head cable of my IC-7100 in order to move it on a different shelf. I fired up the radio after reconnecting everything back together and was baffled why the touchscreen, buttons, and control knobs stopped working. I re-seated the cables and tried again. Same result. Would a bad cable allow the radio to power on? The answer is yes. It depends on which pins in the RJ45 connector are making contact. Either pins 7/8 or 1/2 were not making contact in my cable anymore.

The original cable consists of 8. shielded, twisted pair wires and have a straight through wiring configuration like a standard ethernet cable, but the cable braid and RJ45 connectors are also shielded.

 

Icom's OPC-2253 is a very expensive part to replace on the radio at @ $75 plus shipping so I was on the hunt for a cost-effective route.

 

You can buy replacement RJ45 connectors with a shield and replace the ends if you have a crimper tool or you can buy another cable meeting/exceeding the standards of the OPC-2253 cable. 

Why would you want to do this instead of using Icom's cable? Several reasons.. You can buy or make cables that meet your length requirements or have a spare on hand. The cables are also a fraction of the cost and work just like the original.

If you plan on replacing the damaged ends of your original cable, then you need to look for shielded RJ45 Cat6, Cat7, or Cat8 8P8C modular connectors for FTP/STP Stranded Ethernet Cable & Solid core cable. STP stands for Shielded Twisted Pair and FTP stands for Foil Twisted Pair. Make sure you have a 8 pin crimper die and ensure the foil shieled has conductivity end to end.

 

If you want to simply buy a complete cable, then you will need to find 26AWG Cat6/7/8 networking cables with shielded RJ45 ends. Ensure the pins and shield are wired straight through or you could damage your radio. I recommend this cable since I've tested it https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08BFH3Z36

 


73,

JJ - W9JES



 





Thursday, December 8, 2022

Recent RS-918 MCHF Clone

 Here are some pictures and videos of my RS-918 SDR transceiver.
















Sunday, December 4, 2022

Kenwood TM-2550A

 Here are some pictures and video of my TM-2550A transceiver. An upcoming project is to convert this into a digital radio amplifier.

 

 



 










 

Thursday, June 2, 2022

DV Labs Internet Dongle

The Internet Labs DV Dongle was one of the first offerings to connect to the DSTAR network without using a radio. This handy dongle incorporates an AMBE chip which uses software on your computer for worldwide communications.



When a Internet Labs DV Dongle is connected to a PC or Mac and used with DVTool software, an amateur radio operator can connect to the international D-Star gateway network and receive/transmit just like a D-Star radio user. There is no fee, but users must be licensed and registered in the gateway system. The DV Dongle uses three chips, oscillator, led’s, and discrete logic to implement it’s functionality. The chips are the FTDI FT232RL serial to USB converter, the Atmel AT91SAM7S256 ARM7 based CPU, and the DVSI AMBE2000 vocoder. Each D-Star radio includes an AMBE2020 voice compression chip provided by Digital Voice Systems, Inc (DVSI). The DV Dongle includes an AMBE chip and logic to connect it to a USB 2.0 port on a PC or Mac. This allows the computer to “speak” the same voice protocol as D-Star. The DVTool software connects to participating gateways and encodes/decodes the voice using the DV Dongle.

The DV Dongle has four LED’s which indicate the current operating status:

  • The blue LED shows data is being transmitted from the PC/Mac to the device.
  • The yellow LED shows data is being transmitted from the device to the PC/Mac.
  • The green LED shows the mode of operation, slow pulsing indicates idle and fast blinking indicates running.
  • The red LED shows overruns or underruns between the PC/Mac and the device and should normally be off.

Frequent red LED activity indicates your PC/Mac may not be sufficiently fast to operate with the device or you may have other programs running that are taking CPU cycles away from the DVTool application.

DV Dongle System Requirements:

  • PC or Mac with 2.0 GHz CPU
  • 1 GB or RAM (or more)
  • USB 2.0 Full Speed Port
  • High Speed Internet connection (DSL, Cable, 3G, 4G)
  • Microsoft Windows XP/Vista/7/8/10, Mac OS X10.5 (Leopard), or Linux (most distributions)
  • PC Microphone and speaker/s (headset preferred)


The DV Dongle is a high speed, real time device. It communicates with the PC/Mac at 230Kbps and needs adequate CPU speed and time to operate properly. Many operations on the PC/Mac can interfere with normal operations. These include screen savers, web browsers, instant messengers, etc. For best operation, avoid running CPU intensive applications when operating the DV Dongle.

More information about the DV Dongle can be found at http://www.dvdongle.com/DV_Dongle/Home.html

One of the challenges is finding the software to use with this amazing dongle since the website no longer has it. I've been fortunate to find two software packages for Windows OS and MacOS that can be used with the Dongle.

The first one is called DVTool by Internet Labs. This software works well with the dongle easily. The links to download it are here..

The second app is called  WinDV. This software only runs on Windows and needs updated host files to connect to some reflectors. The link to download the files are here..

 Updating the host files for WinDV is fairly easy. This website has the most current version http://arrg.us/HF/index.htm Scroll down to the bottom of the page to download the three text files. Now go to your WinDV installation folder "C:\Program Files (x86)\MicroWalt Corporation\WinDV" and find dcshosts.txt, dxhosts.txt, and dphosts.txt. Delete those files. Now rename the three files you just downloaded and place them in the WinDV installation folder as follows:

  • DCS_Hosts.txt  to  C:\Program Files (x86)\MicroWalt Corporation\WinDV\dcshosts.txt
  • DExtra_Hosts.txt  to  C:\Program Files (x86)\MicroWalt Corporation\WinDV\dxhosts.txt
  • DPlus_Hosts.txt  to C:\Program Files (x86)\MicroWalt Corporation\WinDV\dphosts.txt

Now you can run the software and enter your callsign and dongle details.


73,

JJ W9JES