Monday, August 22, 2016

CY9C St Paul Is.

This is a close in DX pedition in Nova Scotia 

Worked him on 40 and 30 in only a couple calls.  Very good ops.  They are running 2 station sites on the island

Tidy pileup  I'm trying now for 160M  I do hear them but QSB is killer

73  W9OY

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

6700 Panadapter Hints

I was fooling around today on 40M and decided to add some macro controls to DDUTIL that controls the panadapter on my 6700 (also works on the 6500 and the 6300).  DDUTIL has a macro feature which allows one to access the radios API with simple code stored in a database

The code can be simple or complex to do one thing or several things simultaneously.  It is easy to write, just basically stringing some commands together 

9 DDTG19:083:084;

The above command allows me to toggle button 9 between memories 83 and 84

83 DD6PBW0:.019;DD6PCF0;
84 DD6PBW0:.011;DD6PCF0;

Programming is basically cut and paste with a little fine tuning to the command to make it do exactly what you want.  83 sets the first panadapter (A) to 19khz bandwidth and  centers the slice in the panadapter.  B sets the bandwidth to 11khz for a more zoomed in view

And button F9 in the DDUTIL macro box llows me to toggle between the 2

This is very powerful.  I have a macro that views 200khz of the band, 35khz, and 19khz and 11khz.  If I was a 6M guy (or any other band that covers up to 14mhz) I could write a macro that shows 50.0 to 54.0 mhz, the entire 6M band in a button press.  The waterfall acts as a memory that remembers something like 19 minutes of band data, so at 50-54 mhz I could look back at 19 minutes of history of the entire 6M band.  

I made a little video of some of the features of the panadapter demonstrating how useful, powerful and easy it is to use.


73  W9OY

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Flex 6700 Full Duplex mode Flex is going to Bouvet

It appears Flex is going to Bouvet!!  In 2018 8 Flex radios with Maestros will head to the "the most isolated island on earth".  In a recent discussion Flex was being knocked for its receive latency on CW so I decided to make a video demonstrating latency in full duplex mode.  Full duplex is how QSK was originally done.  There was a transmitter plant and a receive station and the 2 were often separated by 10 or 20 miles.  

My setup is more modest.  My TX was connected to my W5GI antenna at 50 ft in he front yard and my RX antenna was connected to my full size end fed half wave vertical over 4000ft of ground plane.  The slices were about 3 khz apart and I was running about 0.72W to keep QRM down.  Band was 40M in the daytime.  I used 100hz as my filter to give a relatively worst case scenario re: latency

FDX under various power levels

Pretty cool

73  W9OY

My Calibration Routine for the Flex 6xxx Radios

I recently bought a used 6700 and noticed it was off frequency at 15 mhz.  I never really did a calibration before but the radio was off about 40hz, too much to tolerate.

I tried to figure out a calibration routine.  Looking at the Flex Community I couldn't find any formal calibration routine except to tune to zero beat around 15 mhz and hit the calibration routine start button.  

The radio has a very good internal freq source, but also can be tied to an external GPS source that trains the oscillator to very high accuracy.  My radio does not have the external source.  If you have GPS turned on but don't have the GPS oscillator installed the radio will default to 0 in the ppb calibration window every time you reboot.  The solution is simple, hit UNINSTALL in the radio setup > GPS window

I first set the freq offset to 0 in the receive calibration window.  Erase what's in there and enter 0 

Since the 6xxx radios have multiple slice receivers I decided if I created 2 slices and set one to USB and one to LSB I could superimpose the 2 slices and when both USB and LSB slices were zero beat with WWV that would be the freq to which I would calibrate to create the offset

I have 2 Flex controls which made tuning easy but if I had no controls I would simply use direct entry in each slice window of freq's until zero beat was attained.

I next hit start on the receive window

And the calibration routine calculated the correct offset 

I then double checked and set each slice was zero beat at 15 mhz

Houston we have zero beat!!  This worked great.  I did a few iterations and my error was always +40hz, so since I now know my error, if I ever want to re calibrate, I can simply tune my radio to 15.000.040 and hit start.

I made a video for your viewing pleasure 

Easy as Pi 

73  W9OY

Note: if your radio does not remember the correct offset between reboots you may need to do a hard reset of the radio's database  Press and hold OK then power on and wait for the countdown in the 6700 or 6500 or long press power in the 6300 and then go through the calibration routine.