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I had my doubts; shall I buy a DMR radio or not? Is this the new development in hamradio? Will it survive DStar? And if I would buy a DMR radio would it be an handheld transceiver or mobile radio?

At the Radio Fleamarket in Rosmalen I've been looking at the Hytera gear as well as the CS-701, a reasonably priced handheld transceiver. I became more and more interested in the world of codeplugs, tone slots, color codes a.s.o.

And last Friday I've decided to go for an Hytera PD-785G.

First step before actually programming the transceiver is to install the USB drivers. According to the document three new devices should become visible in the device manager, but no matter what I tried only two devices showed up. And guess what driver was required for the firmware update...

Not being able to update the firmware means not being able to import a codeplug, a file containing repeater definitions and all kinds of settings.

In the end I found out that there is a DMR Facebook group with many helpfull people; since I couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong I decided to ask a question and within the hour I got some suggestions like "Did you install the USB drivers?" and "Did you switch the HT to firmware update modus?" 

Aha, so there is a seperate firmware update modus. But how to boot up the handheld transceiver in firmware update modus? This morning after searching the internet I got an answer again via the Facebook group. Hold PTT, the alarm button (orange button on top) and switch on the transceiver.

Guess what happened when I did it? The missing device driver was installed and I was able to update the firmware and load a codeplug. Let the fun begin...

Not, because my ID was not registered yet on the global network. So I had to wait for it and like a miracle it happened within 15 minutes after the firmware update that I was able to receive some DMR users. Yeeeeeeeeeeeehaaaaaa!

So I am in learning mode now...  

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It has been quiet for a while but this doesn't mean I have not been active.

Two weeks ago I thought it would be a good idea to fire up the Flex 1500 and run WSPR; the result was surprisingly good...

TimestampCallMHzSNRDriftGridPwrReporterRGridkmaz
2014-02-06 08:36 PG2P 14.097111 -26 0 JO22pj 1 VK2QN QF56hf 16573

67

So 16573 km with 1W output power!

Last week I was off and the XYL and I went for a short break at a holidaypark in 't Loo Oldebroek (JO22XK). As usual you always take too much stuff, but what I was using for the hobby that week was a Wouxun handheld transceiver, the FT-817 and an end-fed wire for 10, 20 and 40m. Though my expectations were low conditions on 10m were surprisingly good. The first station I heard was a station in Cuba; unfortunatelly he was not able to hear me yet. So I continued and was able to work WB2REM and K8CW (by the way when I mention QRP it means I do not have a lineair hi!).

After several attempts the Cuban station (CO6LC) could hear me and we made a very fast and short QSO... Next station I worked was KF4QXG who was awaiting his new transceiver. All by all 4 SSB QSOś with distances varying from 6461 up to 7791 km with only 5W of output power.

The next day I didn't have any luck at all. But based upon the way the antenna was hanging (one end connected to the window handle at the first floor, the other hand connected to a 40 cm wooden pole behind the house in the woods) I'm happy with what I achieved.

When we returned home there was a message that there was a package waiting for me at the local postoffice. Of course I already knew what was coming, the AA0713 Antenna Analyzer from Fox Delta. This analyzer should be connected to your PC. Together with the software (which can be downloaded free of charge) youŕe able to create beautiful SWR diagrams of your antenna situation. Very nice if you have multiband dipoles and want to know exactly where the dip is.

To conclude this recap I'm now busy trying to get my FT-950 and Microkeyer II to transmit CW from DM780. Up until no luck... That is I have implemented the recommendations from Microham but no matter what I try the transmitter refuses to switch to tx automatically. If I press the MOX button on the transceiver before I want to start sending CW I do see and hear the morsecode being transmitted but the interface somehow doesn't trigger TX/RX. Should be simple, something with DTR/RTS settings but up until now I haven't figured it out yet... Anyone having the same experience?

 

 

 

 

 

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Since I acquired a Heil Proset Plus with the HC4 & HC5 elements I must say I’m very happy with it; together with my Yaesu FT-950 it makes a good combination for contesting, DX QSO’s (both HC4 element) or just ragchewing (with the HC5 element).

The reason for buying the Proset Plus was because I wasn’t completely happy about the Yaesu MD-200 microphone, especially when it comes to contesting and DX QSO’s. It looks like the punch in the middle of the spectrum is somehow not high enough. Of course I can change it by adjusting the equalizer settings in the FT-950 itself but I don’t want to keep on changing these settings for contesting/DX-ing on one side and ragchewing on the other side.

So I tried to improve my audio quality by acquiring a W2IHY 8 band equalizer and W2IHY EQPlus. By the flip of the On/Off button on the equalizer I could switch between contesting/DX and ragchewing. But my current antenna setup led to RFI on the audio signal. W2IHY states that their products are built to be used in transmitting environments where RFI and less-than-perfect ground systems can compromise the performance of audio equipment.


And that’s where I left it and got the headset. I’ve never really used it since last Saturday I was in the shack and decided to give it another go. By going through the manuals step by step I setup the equalizer and EQPlus. One of the good things of the EQPlus is, without a doubt, the Downward Expander which should be turned up that far until no noise is being heard. In this case the adjustable compressor doesn’t pick up noise and starts amplifying it. No input signal means nothing to do for the compressor and thus no noise transmitted.

After I setup everything I decided to monitor myself on my good old FT-817 but this was not a good idea; it sounded very bad so I decided to use the monitor output of my FT-950. And that was a much better indication.

The 2nd QSO I made (with a French station) lead to an unsolicited comment about good audio. So that makes me wonder if it really makes such a difference. Then I decided to try to break a pile-up for an English special event station. One call and he heard me above local English stations… Nope, I wasn’t running a lot of power and my antenna situation isn’t perfect (indoor multiband dipole). I wonder if it has anything to do with the setup as it is right now or just pure luck. Coming weekend there’s a Spanish contest. Maybe it’s a perfect moment to test the setup a bit further.

And the RFI is still there (on 40m and 80m). It could well be it’s the microphone cable which is connected to the 8 bands equalizer. Time to replace that one as part of the chain I would say.


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Only watch this youtube video when you're alone in the shack....

 

 

 

 

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  • I will listen, and listen, and then listen again before calling.
  • I will only call if I can copy the DX station properly.
  • I will not trust the DX cluster and will be sure of the DX station’s call sign before calling.
  • I will not interfere with the DX station nor anyone calling and will never tune up on the DX frequency or in the QSX slot.
  • I will wait for the DX station to end a contact before I call.
  • I will always send my full call sign.
  • I will call and then listen for a reasonable interval. I will not call continuously.
  • I will not transmit when the DX operator calls another call sign, not mine.
  • I will not transmit when the DX operator queries a call sign not like mine.
  • I will not transmit when the DX station requests geographic areas other than mine.
  • When the DX operator calls me, I will not repeat my call sign unless I think he has copied it incorrectly.
  • I will be thankful if and when I do make a contact.
  • I will respect my fellow hams and conduct myself so as to earn their respect.
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