Author: Razvan

Red Pitaya Hamlab – HF/6m 10W SDR transceiver and much more

Red Pitaya Hamlab has just been announced at Friedrichshafen Ham Radio 2016 expo. It is a dual-receiver dual-transmitter DDC/DUC HF/6m 10W SDR transceiver with extended measurement capabilities, based on the popular Red Pitaya development board. The RF is converted to the digital domain with a LTC2145-14 125Msps 14-bit ADC (comparable to what an Icom IC-7300 uses, for example), so performance should be pretty good. Receiver coverage is 0-60MHz and +15dB preamp and -6/12/18dB attenuators are available for different levels of frontend gain settings. The transmitter has currently 10W and is optimised for the 160m-6m bands. A higher power amplifier...

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Yaesu FT-891 video

Got the chance to play a bit with the Yaesu FT-891 at Friedrichshafen 2016 Ham Radio expo. The radio is pretty menu-driven, even some of the most important menu options (like ATT or IPO) are hidden behind a few button presses. The expected price for the FT-891 would be around EUR 600, which is suprisingly low; the way Yaesu looks at it is FT-891 + FC-50 tuner costs around the same as a...

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Yaesu FT-891 update

Update: The Yaesu FT-891 is the smallest at lightest 100W HF transceiver ever built, at 155x52x218mm and 1.9Kg. Unfortunately the 2A current draw on standby makes it unsuited for truly portable operations. Among other features worth mentioning would be the 3kHz wide roofing filter (yes, at the 69MHz IF) and the USB port that supports CAT, PTT keying and RTTY data. Yaesu FT-891 is on public display at Dayton 2016.       It covers 30kHz to 56MHz on receive and transmits in the amateur bands from 160m to 6m with 100W output, has a 69.450MHz 1st IF and...

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MRF1K50H – new 1500W LDMOS from NXP

LDMOS technology allowed huge improvements in RF power transistors in the recent years, bringing much better performance and efficiency at a lower price point than ever before. A pair of top-of-the-line MOSFETs of the late 80’s such as the MRF157 are specified at 1.2KW with 45% effciency in AB class up to 50MHz and would set you back almost US$ 1000 even today. Compared to that, the new generation LDMOS offer more power than that at 70+% efficiency and 1/4 the cost, while they work up to 500MHz. MRF1K50H is the name of the latest and greatest LDMOS RF...

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ESDR – new portable SDR HF transceiver

ESDR is a portable SDR transceiver with HF coverage that is supposed to be released in August. The ESDR features a large color display, digimode decoder/keyer, 2x USB ports and micro-SD card. The required supply voltage is 12.6V and the maximum output power is 30W. ESDR‘s large color LCD shows supply voltage, current draw, battery level and final stage temperature, are all very important parameters when working portable. Time and date are a nice addition too. ESDR‘s size and ergonomics seem to be inspired by the Elecraft KX3. Not the ideal concept for a rugged field radio, but provides...

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Romania (YO) gets 60m access

Following the conclusions of the World Radiocommunications Conference 2015 regarding the 5MHz band, supported by two local Romanian amateur organisations, the Romanian authority for communications (ANCOM) is granting temporary access for radio amateurs to a channel in the 5MHz band (60 meters). The spectrum to be granted is 3kHz wide (from 5363.5kHz to 5366.5kHz) and will be made available on a secondary access basis, with no privileges. The access is temporary – it will come under review after one year, with the possibility to add a second channel. The main purpose is so that Romanian amateurs study propagation in...

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Icom IC-7300 and spectrum / waterfall on the PC

Icom IC-7300 is a great feature radio, but the main complaint about it is there’s no I/Q output (or at least video output like in the IC-7000) so you can see the spectrum/waterfall display on a larger screen. Icom IC-7300 waterfall I kept telling people the Icom IC-7300 already has an internal soundcard available through the USB port and the spectrum/waterfall display is available in the Icom RS-BA1 software, also via the USB connection, so there’s no need for I/Q (which is very sensitive to zero-hertz interference and amplitude/phase mismatch). Until I saw these videos:   It seems the...

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Yaesu FT-891 – new HF/50MHz transceiver ?

Yaesu FT-891 is the latest equipment the japanese manufacturer is working on. Although the details are extremely limited, it seems we are talking about a HF/50MHz mobile radio similar with the FT-857 in size. Update: Yaesu shows the FT-891 at Dayton 2016, seee the following link for more details: Yaesu FT-891 update A test report suggests the Yaesu FT-891 has 30kHz to 56MHz receive coverage, with TX being enabled in the amateur radio bands. We don’t know exactly what type of architecture is used and it may very well be possible not to share the same design with the...

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