FT-817 interface for digimodes

Some time ago I bought one of these small and light 2 in 1 tablets with Windows 10. The device was very small in size but the battery lasts very long. With only 1,7kg the weight was not too high for my portable ops. I did not take it into the field yet. The reason was simple: The tablet has one USB-port only. I need one port for the USB cat lead and another one for the USB-soundcard to connect my existing PC-interface made by Alan, M0AQC. After a long search on the internet I did not find a simple FT-817 interface with one USB lead, CAT-control and built-in soundcard. So what did I do? I built an interface that meets my requirements by myself.

SOTA: DM/RP-400 Großer Adelberg

Auf dem Weg zur Rheintal Electronica habe ich noch den "Großer Adelberg" (DM/RP-400) bei Annweiler am Trifels aktiviert. Dieser lag direkt auf dem Weg, ich musste einfach nur von der Bundesstraße abfahren. Da zwischen 06:30h und 08:30h UTC das Band Richtung Australien und Neuseeland öffnet, bin ich entsprechend früh los gefahren. Auch wenn die Chance auf ein QSO mit VK oder sogar mit ZL nur sehr gering war, habe ich den Rucksack entsprechend gepackt. Neben dem FT-817 habe ich auch meine kleine Endstufe (MX-P50M) und entsprechend "dicke" Akkus eingepackt. Als Antenne setzte ich meinen "Schrottkisten-Dipol" aus altem Lautsprecherkabel ein.

Built FT-817 android interface

Some time ago I came across the Wolphilink Interface. It's a small box which connects an smartphone to a Yaesu FT-817/857/897 transceiver. I was about to buy one, but the interface was quite expensive, especially if you include the optional cables and the shipping to my QTH in Germany. I googled a bit and found an interface built by Christian Petersen, DD7LP. I made the decision to take a closer look on his schematic diagram and built my own interface to use APRSdroid and PSKdroid on my FT-817. Luckily Christian also provided a buying list besides the schematic diagram. As I don't have any knowledge and also no tools to etch a circuit board, I first planned to build the circuit on a simple stripboard.

Built 3S1P 18650 pack

In this article I will describe how I built a cheap DIY 18650 Lithium-Ion battery pack for my Yaesu FT-817. After 65 SOTA-activations and other outdoor operations like IOTA, WWFF I had to reduce some addional weight of my „go-bag“. I already went from RG-58 coax to RG-174 and also scaled-down the diameter of the antenna wire, but this is a different story. So I looked what is on the regular market and found a lot of people in the amateur radio scene who are using Li-Po (lithium polymer) packs. Those packs are usually made for RC purposes and in the first moment I thought that they perfectly matches all of my needs. They are cheap ($15 per 2500mAh pack) and a 3S pack (3 cells in series) gives 11.1V nominal output.

ARRL Lizenzprüfung

Nachdem ich dieses Jahr auf der Ham Radio die Prüfungen für die US-Amerikanische Technician- und General-Class absolviert habe, wollte ich natürlich zeitnah auf die Extra-Class, welche die höchste US-Amerikanische Klasse darstellt, upgraden. Problematisch ist dabei die "Karenzzeit" von genau 365 Tagen, danach verfallen vorher bestandene Elemente. Ich müsste also nach einem Jahr von vorne beginnen. So kam es mir dann sehr gelegen, dass Eugen, DK8VR - unser Distriktsvorsitzender hier im Saarland - mir davon erzählte, dass Planungen laufen, um bei unserem Distrikt-Service-Tag eine US-Lizenzprüfung anzubieten. Mit Mike, KK7CW war der erste Prüfer (VE) schnell gefunden, Jean-Luc, AC8QS war der zweite und Arnaud, AC2NK kam extra aus der Nähe von Straßburg angereist, nur um die US-Lizenzprüfung abzunehmen.

EFHW tuner almost build

I used the sunday last week to built the SOTAbeams Mountain Tuner kit for 40-17m. After I built my own tiny EFHW-tuner, I ordered the SOTAbeams kit in the UK, which arrived 7 days after my order here in Germany. I needed a little bit more than 60 minutes for everything including testing. I used the instructions some weeks ago to built the same tuner out of stuff I had in the junkbox. I wanted to compare my work with the commercial tuner and also I liked the design with the plate. You see my construction on one of the photos. The SOTAbeams one was much easier to built, it has a very smart design. For some 18 bucks this tuner is a must have. I went to my local GMA summit (DA/SR-059) to test the tuner with my ultralight linked endfed, which I posted some days ago here in the group.