RFinder M1 Android/DMR/LTE [part 2]

The RFinder M1 uses a USB cable with a special propietary connector to charge and to communicate with a PC.  The cable that comes in the box with M1 is the one that hold itself securely on M1 using a small thumb screw, like we could see very often on business grade handheld like a Hytera or a Motorola. It is possible to buy a spare USB cable that stay connected to the M1 using a nice magnetic connector instead.

To all technical users, I’d like to share these two pictures showing the pinout for the proprietary connector. The first picture is the pin out when using the cable to charge or communicate with a PC. The second one is when the cable attached is an external microphone.

I will post more information on the RFinder M1 in my blog soon…. I’m still digging into it everyday…. a great DMR handheld so far!

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 Digital Mobile Radio | Tagged , , , , , , ,

RFinder M1 Android/DMR/LTE [part 1]

Hi every one! I recently added in my gears the *no code plug needed* UHF DMR transceiver RFinder M1. Previously announced during Hamvention 2017, my first feeling, when I seen it at that time, I was impressed, curious… but I was not conviced to make the jump and break the bank to buy it. But a month ago, after reading good comments ont it, I changed my mind! When I received it a month ago, and now let me tell you that I am very conviced! 🙂

rfinder-m1-original.png First of all, the M1 is running under a customized Android OS version 6.0… not the latest release of Android OS, but a very stable one, and no bloatware are installed; only the essential and needed software. All users will be able to later install every sofware they need… so this is a good news! The LTE modem is also compatible with mostly all today’s LTE bands, at least here in North America, especially in Canada; I’m using Rogers Wireless service and it is working flawlessly so far.

Physically, the RFinder M1 is built like a tank… and I mean it! I already dropped it by accident, and nothing happen, not a sctach or dent… Nothing at all!! 🙂 Plenty of physical buttons, PPT for DMR radio, PTT for apps like Zello, another PTT for futur add-on feature and a red button located atop for futur feature add-on also.

rfinder-m1.jpg

The M1 also has a nano SIM slot and a micro SD slot for storage up to 32 GB. Both slots are protected by a waterproof cover. The 6,200 mA battery is also removable and protected by a waterproof battery door also, and offers plenty of power to work all day long on a single charge; spare battery can also be purchased at a later time.

The M1 is capable to deliver 1W at low power and 4W at high power and can be easily compared to any standard UHF handheld.

I will not go through all softwares features offered by the M1 for now. There are also plenty of reviews and videos on the Internet showing all the details of the great device!

It is very important to mention that all users or futur users must understand, the M1 is a well mature product ready to be purchased and ready to use, but it is also a great work in progress. The technical support is excellent, outstanding! And developpers are also listening the ham community for suggestions. This is very important to understand, because the M1 is getting better and better every week or so.

Developpers are very active and pro active to offer to all M1 owners the best experience with their device. The Facebook group is also active, and provide quickly the first support level : RFinder M1 Facebook Group links. I strongly invite every one to join the group!

The shipping is also extremely fast…. Ordered mine from http://rfinder.shop/. Shipped from China, it took only 3 days to my house in Canada!

So far now, I stronly recommend the RFinder M1 to all fellow hams who would like to have a versatile DMR transceiver and an Android phone into 1 device….. and also to avoid essentially dealing with DMR code plug that change very often.

I will post more information on the RFinder M1 in my blog soon…. I’m still digging into it everyday…. a great DMR handheld so far!

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 Digital Mobile Radio | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

*NEW* Elecraft KX2 Firmware MCU 2.84 / DSP 1.52

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

 

There is the firmware notes revision :

Information 2.84 / DSP 1.52 SW TONE SETTING BUG FIX

Corrected a problem that prevented Morse audio tones from being turned off once turned on using the SW TONE menu entry

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 , , , , , , , , , , ,

My VHF/UHF FM/DSTAR/DMR mobile installation

Hi, I just want to share with all of you my new mobile radio installation. The setup consist in an ICOM ID-4100 running on FM and D-Star on the VHF band, and a Hytera MD-652 running on FM and DMR on the UHF band. Both transceivers are connected to a duplexer, then to the Larsen dual band NMO antenna. We must admit that we do not have much space left in vehicule now, so we must take care to select proper equipments.

For the Hytera mobile, I am using a Hytera Bluetooth speaker microphone model SM27W1 to avoid the need to bring cables inside the car.

The microphone holder can also charge the internal Lithium battery while it is in place on the microphone holder. An USB charging cable bring 5 volt when the mic is place.

Both ICOM and Hytera transceivers are installed inside the car trunk. This way, no fan noise in the car, no need to find a place and also by keeping the RF cable path shorter than possible to minimize the RF loss. Both are easily accessible to let the operator to program both transceivers when needed. The duplexer offer sufficient isolation for a mobile use. The ICOM only works on the VHF band, and the Hytera only works on the UHF band.

I installed the ICOM ID-4100 transceiver controller head by using a homemade bracket made myself. I also use magnet to hold the controller in place, and it is easily removable.

I hope my installation will inspire a few hams… 🙂

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 Mobile Radio | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

*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 , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,