*NEW* Elecraft KX2 Firmware 2.81 / DSP 1.52 Final Release

Hi guys, a new official firmware version is now available for the enthusiasm Elecraft KX2 user !

There is the firmware notes revision :

  • MH3 MIC EXTENDED RADIO CONTROLS: See “KX2 Manual Errata A6-1” describing Remote Control Using the MH3 Mic.”
  • MH3 PTT DOUBLE-TAP FREQUENCY REPORT: Tapping PTT twice quickly reports the current operating frequency as 3 digits in Morse code audio. For example, if you’re on 14.285 MHz USB, the report will be “U 285”. This is useful in conjunction with MH3 extended radio controls (see above), as well as during mobile operation.
  • A KX2 owner’s manual errata describing set up and operation with the MH3 extended controls is available.

Updated 2017-11-13 : See E740282E KX2 Owner’sManErrata for more information.

The firmware is now available  *by using the Elecraft software utility.

Meanwhile, do not forget to follow me on Twitter @VA2SS, and subscribe to my blog and my YouTube channel as well.

Have fun and stay tuned!

73

de Jeff | VA2SS

Posted in Elecraft, firmware | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

WSJT-X release 1.8 *FINAL* is out!

To all enthousiasm digital users, the *FINAL* WSJT-X release 1.8 is out now for all major platform.

 

Release: WSJT-X Version 1.8.0
October 27, 2017

– Right-click on the Wide Graph now pops up a Context Menu. Select the item *Set Rx & Tx Offset* to complete a one-handed setting of both red and green frequency markers.

– Several clarifications and additions to Tool Tips and the User Guide.

We recommend that all users should upgrade to WSJT-X Version 1.8.0.

If you upgrade from v1.8.0-rc1 it may be necessary to do a one-time reset of the default list of suggested operating frequencies. Go to *File->Settings->Frequencies*, right click on the table and select *Reset*.

Joe Taylor, K1JT

The download is available at :

http://www.physics.princeton.edu/pulsar/K1JT/wsjtx.html

Do not forget to follow me on Twitter @VA2SS, and subscribe to my blog and my YouTube channel as well.

Have fun and stay tuned!

73
de Jeff | VA2SS

Posted in Digital Modes, HF Digital Modes, WSJT-X | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Elecraft AX1 Ultraportable 17/20 Meter Antenna System

Hi guys! I just received an email from Wayne N6KR a few hours ago related to a new antenna system that will be offered by Elecraft later this year. We really hope! At the moment, all specifications could change without notice, but it seems to be a brand new product that will be soon offered by Elecraft.

The AX1 is a dual-band (20 and 17 meter) compact antenna system based on an optimized 2-piece whip. It intended for use with lightweight transceivers such as the Elecraft KX2 an KX3 that are equipped with an internal antenna tuner. The AX1 can be configured for HT-style or right-angle use as shown below.

What type of operation is the AX1 designed for?

The AX1 is ideal for pedestrian mobile (/PM), where the radio is used hand-held (HT), or for lightweight “HF Pack.” It can also be used during table-top or trail-friendly (TFR) operation, thanks to the supplied BNC-L and anti-rotation bail. No poles, trees or other supports are required, so the AX1 can be deployed in seconds. 17 and 20 meters are excellent bands for this purpose. With 5 to 10 watts, moderately good propagation, and some patience, 1000 to 2000 mile contacts are commonplace, and DX contacts can also be achieved. We’ve made many contacts with Europe and Japan from Northern California using the AX1 attached to a hand-held KX2 or KX3.

Wayne
N6KR

The AX1 comes with:

  • 3” base/loading coil with male BNC connector and
  • counterpoise wire socket (for mini-banana plug)
  • rugged 44” telescoping whip with 3/8”-24 threaded mount; collapses to 6”
  • anti-rotation bail for table-top use
  • BNC-L adapter for table-top use
  • mini-banana plug for use with a counterpoise wire

We do not know yet when the antenna will be available for sell, but it will be presented at the next Pacificon’s antenna symposium tomorrow (Friday, Oct. 20th) by Wayne Burdick N6KR himself…. What a lucky audience!

The antenna FAQ sheet can be downloaded here in my blog :

Click here to download Elecraft AX1 FAQ

 

Meanwhile, do not forget to follow me on Twitter @VA2SS, and subscribe to my blog and my YouTube channel as well.

Have fun and stay tuned!

73
de Jeff | VA2SS

Posted in Antenna, Elecraft, Elecraft AX1 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Digital Modem from BG5ROJ… R.I.P.

Hi ! I received a lot of questions related to this modem, but I would like to inform all of you of 2 things.

First, when I bought my Elecraft KX2 back in May 2016 at Dayton, I stopped using the modem and start using the Elecraft internal decoder for CW, PSK and RTTY. I also combined the use of the KX2 with the K-Board from QRP Works, that is indeed giving me a lot of fun and satisfaction.

Second, earlier this year, I was looking to use again the BG5ROJ modem, but, not so lucky I was, the modem died, I have never found why, and it never turned on again since that time.

To be honest, I do not have the skill to repair the modem, neither planning to buy another one. I’m still having my NUE-PSK as a spare digital modem, but did not use it either.

So, probably I will not be able to answer more technical question about the BG5ROJ modem. You will understand, as time go by, memory do so.

I really hope all people who having this modem or planing to buy one will have great time with it.

Meanwhile, do not forget to follow me on Twitter @VA2SS, and subscribe to my blog and my YouTube channel as well.

Have fun and stay tuned!

73
de Jeff | VA2SS

 

Posted in BG5ROJ, Digital Modes, Hardware, HF Digital Modes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

WSJT-X 1.8 RC3 is out! – UPDATE

To all enthousiasm digital users, a new WSJT-X release candidate 3 is out now for all major platform.

The “RC3” release also includes many minor bug fixes and an
extensively updated WSJT-X User Guide.

We strongly recommend that all WSJT-X users should upgrade to this new
release.

73, Joe, K1JT, for the WSJT Development Group

The download is available at :

https://sourceforge.net/projects/wsjt/files/wsjtx-1.8.0-rc3/

 

Do not forget to follow me on Twitter @VA2SS, and subscribe to my blog and my YouTube channel as well.

Have fun and stay tuned!

73
de Jeff | VA2SS

Posted in Digital Modes, HF Digital Modes, software, WSJT-X | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

WSPR…. Have you ever tried this mode ???

Hi all! Sorry for not giving you updates recently… quite busy at work!!

Have you ever try to use this mode ? Yeaaa… this is not for QSO, I know. But have you ever tried this mode for antenna testing purpose ??? All of you will be agree that testing an antenna system could be a very “qualitative” task. By having a software to to analyze and calculate the RX result at the other end could be a lot more effective with real and more trusted result.

I will not take more of your time for today… I will be back with some results…. but here a few for now.

Meanwhile,  for people who like to compare antenna system performance, and you are reading my blog, please really consider using digital mode to rely on credible results and reports…. Hi Hiiiiiiiiii ‼️🎉😜  

Switching an antenna system with an “A & B” antenna switch  and posting your qualitative taught on a Youtube channel… Please do remember that your ears are obsolete today, and more relevant technique exist.

See you soon !!!

Do not forget to follow me on Twitter @VA2SS, and subscribe to my blog and my YouTube channel as well.

Have fun and stay tuned!

73

de Jeff | VA2SS

Posted in Digital Modes, HF Digital Modes, software, WSJT-X | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

*NEW* Elecraft KX2 *official* Firmware 2.79 *UPDATE*

Hi guys, a new official firmware version is now available for the enthusiasm Elecraft KX2 !

There is the firmware notes revision :

 

* SIDETONE VOLUME CAN BE SET LOWER:  MON=1 is now about 12 dB lower in volume than it was originally. MON=50 is about the same as the original maximum.

* AUTO-OFF TIMER RANGE IS 5 TO 100 MINUTES:  Auto-power-off (MENU: AUTO OFF) allows the radio to turn itself off if no controls are touched for the specified length of time. (The original range was 3 to 20 minutes.) If auto power-off is not desired, set the menu parameter to INFINITE (default).

* VFO A LOCK DISABLES COARSE VFO A TUNING WITH OFS/B CONTROL: This is intended to prevent accidental frequency changes due to touching the OFS/B control. As long as VFO A is locked, the offset-tuning feature will also be locked. (RIT, if used, is still *not* locked. RIT may be needed to fine-tune received signals even if the VFO itself is locked on a given transmit frequency.)  Note: Coarse tuning of VFO A using the OFS/B control is enabled using MENU: VFO CRS.

* FILTER BANDWIDTH & ULTIMATE ATTENUATION FIX:  Filter bandwidth settings ending in x00 Hz are now increased internally to x50 Hz to ensure excellent ultimate attenuation (stop band). For example, a setting of 400 Hz becomes 450 Hz. This is a temporary workaround for a DSP algorithmic issue with the x00 settings that will be corrected in a future release. Available bandwidth settings are now 50 Hz, 150 Hz, 250 Hz, 350 Hz, etc. These are entirely adequate for virtually all operating purposes.

 

The firmware is now available  *by using the Elecraft software utility.

Meanwhile, do not forget to follow me on Twitter @VA2SS, and subscribe to my blog and my YouTube channel as well.

Have fun and stay tuned!

73

de Jeff | VA2SS

Posted in Elecraft, firmware | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Happy summer break!

Summer-Break-slide

I would like to wish to all of you a great summer! Have fun and take care. I will be back after my summer vacation at the end of August with more great news!

Meanwhile, do not forget to follow me on Twitter @VA2SS, and subscribe to my blog and my YouTube channel as well.

73

Jeff | VA2SS

Posted in Events | Tagged , , , , , , ,

Using RUMlogNG for iOS with an Elecraft KX2 over Bluetooth [Part 2]

 

I finally found some spare time today; the weather was not so good outside, and I’m on vacation this week… that’s help a lot! 🙂 My main objective today was to build a functional prototype, a proof of concept.

Step 1 : Install and power the Bluetooth module on a breadboard using a small 5V power breadboard supply.

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Step 2 : First I used my logic analyzer probe with the software Logic from Saleae on MacOS to verify if all communication parameters were well set. Hooray! I transmitted the word “TEST” between the iPad Adafruit app running on the iPad Pro and the Bluetooth module.

Then I established a link between the Bluetooth module and RUMlogNG To Go iOS app running on my iPad Pro. The Bluetooth module needed to be recognized first before going further.

IMG_0148

Step 3 : Another step was to install a MAX322 chip needed to «translate» the information using the RS-232 protocol between the Bluetooth module and the Elecraft KX2. Note the MAX322 must be powered at 3.3V. The Bluetooth module can provide such voltage output. But for this prototype, I  powered the chip using a 3.3V voltage line from the breadboard power supply.

Step 4 : Every components are now properly hookup. RUMlogNG To Go iOS app on the iPad Pro and the Elecraft KX2 are ready to establish a link. Note the baud rate must be set properly on the transceiver at 9600 bauds. As you can see in the picture below, I entered the CAT command IF; and the KX2 returned me the frequency on VFO A 14.210.

IMG_0150

There is a short video below I captured from my iPad Pro with the Elecraft KX2 and RUMlogNG To Go controlled by the Bluetooth interface in action!

Note that I captured the initial footage with the new capture function available in iOS 11. Then I completely edited the video and did all effects with my iPad Pro using the iOS LumaFusion. A great app!

My goal still to build the project for under 35$ USD. I’m also planning to design my own PCB board and offer it as a kit; Fritzing is already running on my Macbook Pro.

More to come in my next post!

Meanwhile, do not forget to follow me on Twitter @VA2SS, and subscribe to my blog and my YouTube channel as well.

Have fun and stay tuned!

73

de Jeff | VA2SS

Posted in Bluetooth CAT Interface, Building projects, Elecraft, Hardware, RUMlogNG for MacOS | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Using RUMlogNG for iOS with an Elecraft KX2 over Bluetooth [Part 1]

Hi everyone! It is not a surprise for people who knows me well, I am an addicted fan of all Apple products. I am also the kind of guy who is always searching for a way to get more of his gears and enhance the overall experience; especially for my iPad Pro!

My project is to build a Bluetooth interface and let me connect my Elecraft KX2 to my iPad Pro while using my favorite logger RUMlogNG To Go for iOS. At the moment, RUMlogNG To Go support only 2 methods to connect to a transceiver : Bluetooth or Piglet. (I know, this is a known iOS limitation to access external devices). 🙂

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I really do prefer a connection over Bluetooth for many reasons, but at first for energy efficiency. I like this logger app, even the MacOS version. It is a very powerful iOS app with a lot of nice add-on features like a versatile DX cluster, world map with grey zone, logbook import and export using Dropbox, and much more! The developper Thomas DL2RUM really pay attention for all feedbacks received from users. Cheers to Thomas! 🙂

I will use for my project the Adafruit Bluetooth LE interface. It is really a polyvalent  board, compatible with Apple iOS, that can be easily integrated inside all custom built projects. I bought mine at DIGIKEY store; their iOS app is also really cool! Everything is done using my iPad Pro. I am even writing this blog using exclusively my iPad Pro. Hi Hiiiiiiiiii ‼️🎉😜

I will also use a wide known and available MAX3323 chip for the serial communication between the Bluetooth board and the Elecraft KX2.

The project will cost under 35$ USD to build. I’m also planning to design my own PCB board and offer it as a kit. It will be almost a plug and play experience, easy to assemble to everybody!

More to come in my next post!

Meanwhile, do not forget to follow me on Twitter @VA2SS, and subscribe to my blog and my YouTube channel as well.

Have fun and stay tuned!

73

de Jeff | VA2SS

Posted in Bluetooth CAT Interface, Building projects, Elecraft, Hardware, RUMlogNG for MacOS | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,