Posts Tagged ‘Ham’


This year I ventured up to Dayton Hamvention and had my sights set on getting a new radio. I was able to purchase a Connect Systems CS800D dual band FM/DMR radio. I naturally removed the cover to get a peak under the hood as seen in the photo above. Once I was done understanding the basic layout of the PCB (note the UHF PA mounted to the back of the case, top of the image, and VHF PA at the front of the case, bottom of the image). I found it interesting how they fit so much radio into such a tiny package.

After some bench testing, I decided it was time to figure out how to mount it in my car. With a remote control head, I can simply mount it with the same setup as my Yaesu 7900R control head (which has since been sold). One problem, the remote control head mounter supplied with the radio does not match the mounting plate I have in my car. To fix this, I need to create a new mounting plate (or at least an interface plate). I started up Autodesk Inventor. Follow me after the break for more details or check out the part on Thingiverse!

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Test Setup

This past summer my brother and I ventured to the Bahamas for a short vacation. As amateur radio operators, we thought it might be fun to work from a different country. Several weeks before our trip, we received our reciprocal licenses from the Bahamas. Assigned the suffix “/C6A”, it was then time to figure out my rig.

Traveling with a radio is hard. Antennas for HF typically require lots of area, and people ask lots of questions.I wanted to have a small radio that I could operate from the beach. My brother brought his Elecraft KX2, but my Icom 706MKII would be too bulky. Follow me after the break to learn more about my solution.

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Been a while since I lasted posted, but I have been super busy! My latest project is a magnetic loop antenna. This past fall I got my amateur radio license. My callsign is KK4LWR and I am an Amateur Extra Class operator. I run an Icom 706MKII.

Anyways, back to the loop. I live in an apartment and space is limited. To counter this I have been looking at magnetic loop antennas (magloop). A Magloop is an electrically small loop antenna. The loop is feed by a smaller loop connected to the coax and the large loop has a capacitor to tune it for various frequencies.

I found an air variable cap on ebay for $18 and it has a range between 15 and 260 pF.

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Once I got the cap I went to Lowes and picked up some copper tubing. I bent it into a circle and then soldered and crimped some wires on the end to attach to cap.

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I had some scrap material that I used to mount the loop and cap to. Using zip ties I was able to mount the loop and cap.

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For the coupling loop, I used some 8 gauge wire my grandfather game me and connected it to an SO239 connector as seen below.

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Once all the parts were constructed, I attached it to a PVC pipe and placed it in a mount. The mount is a steel pipe in cement. I am planning to use this on my Cushcraft R7 that I am working on getting up and running again. As you can see below, the loop is quite small and I am able to tune it to a SWR of 1.1:1 or better on 20, 30, and 40 meters. I plan to take it out for field day this weekend. Only thing left to do is add some gearing to the cap so it is easier to tune. Right now it is very hard to get it right on a signal. I will post more as I get it on the air.WP_20130620_002