Month: April 2013

Codan Envoy – SDR-based HF transceiver

The marine radios manufacturer Codan has a new series of radios called Envoy, wich seems to be a very advanced HF transceiver. It is based on SDR technology and has 2 types of modern interfaces (one for use as a base station and a more compact one for use as mobile), it is IP capable and can be reprogrammed remotely via internet and has an internal software modem that supports high-speed data, chat and email.  The list of specifications as well as other details about the Codan Envoy can be found on the Codan website, but here are the specs for the RF side: Frequency range– Transmit:    1.6 to 30 MHz– Receive:    250 kHz to 30 MHzFrequency Stability: ±0.5 ppm from –30°C to +60°CModes    Single sideband (J3E), USB, LSB, AM (H3E), CW (J2A), AFSK (J2B), F1B (FSK) (software controlled filter bandwidth)   Output power: 125 W PEP ±1 dB (two-tone or voice), user-programmable (low / medium / high)   Duty cycle: 100% Voice / Data with optional Fan   RF output impedance: 50 Ω   Filter bandwidths: 2.4 kHz standard (500 Hz, 2.7 kHz optional)Wideband software programmable filters available on EnvoyTM X2 model   Transmitter specifications– Spurious and harmonic emissions: Better than 64 dB– Intermodulation products: 33 dB below PEP– Carrier suppression: Better than 60 dB below PEP– Sideband suppression: 70 dB below PEPReceiver specifications– Sensitivity:    0.12 μV, –125 dBm for 10 dB SINAD–...

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My first contest – CQ WPX SSB 2013

Last weekend I have participated for the first time in an amateur radio contest, just to get an idea about how it is: the CQ WPX SSB 2013 contest. I only had about 4 hours of continuous operation, and I just preferred to search and pounce as it seems the most effective way for a low power station. I entered the rookie / QRP / 20M category using the SDR transciever set at 5W output and the ground plane vertical, and had no problem working most of the stations I could hear; maybe just 3 or 4 did not reply at the first 2-3 calls so I decided not to waste time and move on. I still managed to make 91 contacts that include a few new entities for me as well (hope they EQSL!), and the claimed score is 7371. It is way too low to think about any noticeable result, but I think with full 48h dedication it could have been rather competitive; I’m already making some plans for next year. Maybe a good sleep before the contest and a better antenna – wich might be useful in the second day, are all I need for...

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