Month: November 2014

ICOM 703 vs FT 817

ICOM 703 vs FT 817

ICOM 703 versus YAESU FT-817

Let’s start saying I have both:  an FT-817 a an IC-703+.

Icom 703

The Icom IC-703 Plus all-mode transceiver delivers efficient QRP operation on HF (160-10 meters) and 6 meters. Output can be set for 10, 5, 2.5, 1 or 0.5 watts. Energy conservation is realized by lowering the power source voltage and this rig draws only 300 ma in Standby mode, not 2 amps like some other radios. Many features, usually extra charge, are built-in including: automatic auto tuner, AF DSP,  memory keyed and TCXO (± 0.5 ppm). A large high contrast, backlit LCD keeps you informed. An easy-to-use menu system allows you to tailor many aspects of the radio’s operation to your preferences. Other features include IF shift, AF speech compressor, spectrum scope, and SWR analyzer. Four types of scanning are supported. Includes:  OPC-1229 DC power cable, spare fuses, key plugs, acc cable and HM-103 hand mic.

Pro of ICOM 703: 
I think it is more user-friendly, great display, wit more front panel controls.  It transmits with 10W (Yaesu Ft 817 5 watts) and has better voice modulation on SSB mode. Decent speech processor.
But I think the best feature of the Icom 703+ is its  internal automatic antenna tuner that is fast, quiet and reliable.
If your aim is to have just a HF rig : the 703+ is what you need!

Cons:
Weight.
No internal batteries.
Click on the arrow down for the comparison video Yaesu vs Icom

Yaesu FT-817
The Yaesu FT-817ND includes 60 meter coverage plus the new high capacity FNB-85 battery. The radio is a fully self-contained, battery-powered, low power amateur MF/HF/VHF/UHF transceiver for portable/camping/mountain top use. Providing coverage of of the 160-10 meter amateur bands including 60 meters, plus the 6 meter, 2 meter and 70 cm bands, the FT-817ND includes operation on the SSB, CW, AM, FM and digital modes. This radio is designed for use either from an external DC source or internal batteries and provides up to 5 watts of power output when on external DC power. When using the battery pack or 8 AA cellsStill in production.

Pro
It is very light! It operates on HF plus VHF (2meters) and UHF (70cm) even if he trasmit only with 5 watts.  Very good internal battery: 2 hours of receiver / Transmission allowed when you’re outside. Good CW.

Cons:
Very difficult to interpretate display.
Know very difficult to manipulate.
Low power. (but true QRP)
No ATU
NO TxCO
No good speech compressor.
Click on the arrow down here for the comparison video ICOM vs YAESU

73 de IZ0JOJ 

 

 

 

Yaesu FT 817 for sale

Yaesu FT 817 for sale

Yaesu FT 817 for sale

Dear Ham radio Operators,
if you are here is because you are looking for an Yaesu FT 817 for sale – Qrp Radio:

Here you have some hints / clues where to buy a used one (yaesu ft 817 for sale):

1) Obviously you can start searching on www.ebay.com

2) Try on swap ham radio – website dedicated to ham radio users

3) You can also find good deals on QRZ FORUM ham radio gear for sale

4) Also Ham radio outlet (specially if you live in the states)

5) If you live in Italy you can find precious resources on ARI FIDENZA forum. Some of them can also post to Europe.

Never forget to pay via paypal. As you may know there are a lot of fakes around or yaesu ft 817 for sale that are not good.

I hope these informations may help you finding your FT 817 ND QRP radio.

Best regards  &  73
IZ0JOJ

Remote (bluetooth) control of Loop Antenna (Alexloop)

Remote (bluetooth) control of Loop Antenna (Alexloop)

This video is about a prototype (OPEN SOURCE) –> more info here to control remotely any loop antenna. I.e. Alexloop.

It works via Bluetooth. and it can be controlled via an Android mobile device.  It could be useful specially if you are inside your shack and your antenna is 5 – 6 meters away from you (on the balcony or roof) and you would like to quickly tune it by your android device!

It sounds cool! Tune any loop antenna with this tiny device.

Check the video!
It should be available in Summer 2015 !

and

 

Wonderwand Antenna

Wonderwand Antenna

The Wonder Wand Whip looks similar to a Miracle Whip. It mounts directly on the back of the radio using its integral PL-259 connector, and has two controls that face forward for ease of access.
The lower control is a bandswitch which has eight positions, marked 1.8-3.5, 7, 10, 14, 18-21, 24-28, 50 Mhz.  These positions select taps on an inductor, according to the amateur band you want to use.
The upper control is a rotary control that is continuously calibrated from 1 to 10. This is a tuning capacitor that is used to tune the antenna for maximum signal and minimum SWR on the selected band. The tuning is quite sharp and this control allows the antenna to cover a wide range.
On top of the antenna is mounted a 7-section black telescopic whip 125cm (50 inches) in length.
The whip antenna in the last version is removable.
A counterpoise is required for best results it is not particularly critical. A wire can be used to ground the antenna to the copper pipes of a central heating system. When used out of doors, a few metres of wire laying on the ground is generally all that is needed.
FT 817 hidden menu

FT 817 hidden menu

FT 817 hidden menu

Wanna know how to access to a Yaesu FT 817 hidden menu?
It’s very simple: just push and hold A, B and C simultaniously while putting the rig on, and you’re in the hidden menu with about 57 settings.

Now that you entered the FT 817 hidden menu you can interpretate these values following this table.

Menu No. Name Memory address (HEX) Description
01 HF1RXG 7 IF gain setting for HF band 1 (0.1-<2.5 MHz.)  This adjustment sets a bias current into D1063 in the 1st IF.  This changes the attenuation of this stage and has an effect on AGC, S-Meter, and noise blanker operation as well as having an effect on the “apparent” sensitivity of the FT-817.  Higher numbers = less attenuation (which equals higher gain – but not necessarily greater sensitivity.)
02 HF2RXG 8 The same as HF1RXG, except that it adjusts the IF gain setting for HF band 2 (2.5-<10.5 MHz.)
03 HF3RXG 9 The same as HF1RXG, except that it adjusts the IF gain setting for HF band 3 (10.5-<33.0 MHz.)
04 50MRXG A The same as HF1RXG, except that it adjusts the IF gain setting for the “50 MHz” band (33.0-56.0 MHz.)
05 VHFRXG B The same as HF1RXG, except that it adjusts the IF gain setting for “VHF” (108.0-154.0 MHz.)
06 UHFRXG C The same as HF1RXG, except that it adjusts the IF gain setting for UHF (420.0-470.0 MHz.)
07 SSB-S9 D This adjusts the amount of signal required for an S-9 reading in the AM/SSB/CW modes on all bands.
08 SSB-FS E This sets the amount of signal required for a full-scale reading in the AM/SSB/CW modes on all bands.
09 FM-S1 F This sets the amount of signal required for an S-1 reading in the FM mode.  (Does not apply to WFM in the FM broadcast band.)
10 FM-FS 10 This sets the amount of signal required for a full-scale reading in the FM mode.  (Does not apply to WFM in the FM broadcast band.)
11 DISC-L 11 This sets the lower threshold for the “Discriminator Center” detection in the FM-N and FM modes.  This threshold is typically set for 3 KHz below the display frequency.  (Does not apply to WFM in the FM broadcast band.)
12 DISC-H 12 This sets the upper threshold for the “Discriminator Center” detection in the FM-N and FM modes.  This threshold is typically set for 3 KHz above the display frequency.  (Does not apply to WFM in the FM broadcast band.)
13 FM-TH1 13 This is believed to set the “bottom end” of the squelch range threshold.
14 FM-TH2 14 This is believed to adjust the amount of hysteresis in the squelch response.
15 FM-TI1 15 The precise function is unknown, but it appears to affect how the squelch operates in the presence of a received signal.  (Possibly an adjustment for a squelch time constant.)
16 FM-TI2 16 The precise function is unknown, but it appears to affect how the squelch operates in the presence of a received signal.  (Possibly an adjustment for a squelch time constant.)
17 VCC 17 This sets permits calibration of the voltmeter.  The voltmeter will display a voltage equal to 1/10th the displayed calibration value whenever the voltage being applied to the radio (at that moment of “calibration”) is applied.  (See calibration info on this page for information on adjustment.)  The actual calibration value used to calculate the displayed battery voltage is stored in the EEPROM at memory location 0x53.
18 HF1-IC 18 This sets the maximum amount of current that the radio can draw when transmitting in the HF1 band (0.1-<2.5 MHz.)  This is overcurrent protection for the radio’s finals and is measured by monitoring the voltage drop across one of the windings of T1035.  Higher values = higher current.
19 HF2-IC 19 The same as HF1-IC except that it applies to the HF band 2.
20 HF3-IC 1A The same as HF1-IC except that it applies to the HF band 3.
21 50M-IC 1B The same as HF1-IC except that it applies to the 50 MHz band.
22 VHF-IC 1C The same as HF1-IC except that it applies to the VHF band.
23 UHF-IC 1D The same as HF1-IC except that it applies to the UHF band.
24 HF1-HI 1E This sets the RF output power in the HI power setting for HF Band 1 (5 watts.)  Lower value = Lower power.
25 HF1-L3 1F This sets the RF output power in the L3 power setting for HF Band 1 (2.5 watts.)
26 HF1-L2 20 This sets the RF output power in the L2 power setting for HF Band 1 (1 watt.)
27 HF1-L1 21 This sets the RF output power in the L1 power setting for HF Band 1 (0.5 watts.)
28 HF2-HI 22 Same as HF1-HI except for HF Band 2.
29 HF2-L3 23 Same as HF1-L3 except for HF Band 2.
30 HF2-L2 24 Same as HF1-L2 except for HF Band 2.
31 HF2-L1 25 Same as HF1-L1 except for HF Band 2.
32 HF3-HI 26 Same as HF1-HI except for HF Band 3.
33 HF3-L3 27 Same as HF1-L3 except for HF Band 3.
34 HF3-L2 28 Same as HF1-L2 except for HF Band 3.
35 HF3-L1 29 Same as HF1-L1 except for HF Band 3.
36 50M-HI 2A Same as HF1-HI except for the 50 MHz Band.
37 50M-L3 2B Same as HF1-L3 except for the 50 MHz Band.
38 50M-L2 2C Same as HF1-L2 except for the 50 MHz Band.
39 50M-L1 2D Same as HF1-L1 except for the 50 MHz Band.
40 VHF-HI 2E Same as HF1-HI except for the VHF Band.
41 VHF-L3 2F Same as HF1-L3 except for the VHF Band.
42 VHF-L2 30 Same as HF1-L2 except for the VHF Band.
43 VHF-L1 31 Same as HF1-L1 except for the VHF Band.
44 UHF-HI 32 Same as HF1-HI except for the UHF Band.
45 UHF-L3 33 Same as HF1-L3 except for the UHF Band.
46 UHF-L2 34 Same as HF1-L2 except for the UHF Band.
47 UHF-L1 35 Same as HF1-L1 except for the UHF Band.
48 HF1TXG 36 This sets the gain of the transmit IF for HF Band 1.  This is done by adjusting bias current on D1017.  Lower value = Lower TX IF gain.
49 HF2TXG 37 This is the same as HF1TXG except for HF Band 2.
50 HF3TXG 38 This is the same as HF1TXG except for HF Band 3.
51 50MTXG 39 This is the same as HF1TXG except for the 50 MHz Band.
52 VHFTXG 3A This is the same as HF1TXG except for the VHF Band.
53 UHFTXG 3B This is the same as HF1TXG except for UHF Band.
54 HF1POM 3C This calibrates the RF Power meter for HF Band 1.
55 HF2POM 3D This calibrates the RF Power meter for HF Band 2.
56 HF3POM 3E This calibrates the RF Power meter for HF Band 3.
57 50MPOM 3F This calibrates the RF Power meter for 50 MHz band.
58 VHFPOM 40 This calibrates the RF Power meter for VHF Band.
59 UHFPOM 41 This calibrates the RF Power meter for UHF Band.
60 ALC1-M 42 This is believed to be a no-signal calibration setting for the ALC Meter.
61 ALC-M 43 This is believed to be a signal-reference calibration setting for the ALC meter.
62 HF1-RV 44 This adjusts the sensitivity of the reverse-power detector for purposes of VSWR protection for HF Band 1.  The higher the number, the less sensitive the ‘817 appears to be in response to high-VSWR (i.e. higher power under high VSWR conditions.)
63 HF2-RV 45 The same as HF1-RV, except for HF Band 2.
64 HF3-RV 46 The same as HF1-RV, except for HF Band 3.
65 50M-RV 47 The same as HF1-RV, except for the 50 MHz Band.
66 VHF-RV 48 The same as HF1-RV, except for the VHF Band.
67 UHF-RV 49 The same as HF1-RV, except for the UHF Band.
68 CW-CAR 4A This sets the level of the keyed CW carrier.  Lower value = Lower power
69 AM-CAR 4B This sets the level of the AM carrier.  This is typically set for a carrier level 6db below that of the peak power output.  Lower value = Lower Power
70 DEV-W 4C This adjusts the gain to the Frequency modulator in the “Normal” FM transit mode to adjust the clipped (peak) deviation level – typically +- 5 KHz.  (Note:  This is not the same as FM-MIC gain and should not be treated as such!)  Lower value = Lower peak deviation.
71 DEV-N 4D This adjusts the gain to the Frequency modulator in the “Narrow” FM transmit mode to adjust the clipped (peak) deviation level – typically +- 2.5 KHz.  (Note:  This is not the same as FM-MIC gain and should not be treated as such!)  Lower value = Lower peak deviation.
72 M-MTR 4E This calibrates the sensitivity of the MOD meter.
73 CTCSS 4F This sets the amount of deviation provided by the CTCSS (subaudible) tone – typically +-700 Hz or so.  Lower value = Lower deviation.
74 DCS 50 This sets the amount of deviation provided by the DCS (Digital Coded Squelch) code – typically +-700 Hz or so.  Lower value = Lower deviation.
75 LSB-CP 51 This sets the center of the passband of the SSB filter in the LSB mode for both receive and transmit.
76 USB-CP 52 This sets the center of the passband of the SSB filter in the USB mode for both receive and transmit.

 

Number 5 for the 2 meterband will increase sensitivity while increasing he numbers; Default setting / 79.

To leave the FT 817 hidden menu just push and holf the F function .

We decline any responsibility of using this FT 817 hidden menu. We believe this should be used only if you know what you’re doing. Please share any results you get with us on the FORUM

If you want more informations please visit these LINKS
KA7OEI page – best resource for YAESU FT 817 mods
MODS for YAESU FT 817 – another resource for you.

 

 

73 de IZ0JOJ Antonio

Alexloop HF antenna review – cost, considerations and tips

Alexloop HF antenna review – cost, considerations and tips

Alexloop HF antenna review – cost, considerations and tips

Here you find PY1AHD describing and introducing us his great antenna that I personally tested with my two QRPs ( Icom 703 and Yaesu FT 817 ND).  What can we say on this loop antenna? Only one word: excellent. Let’s review together Pro & cons.

Pro:
– very portable, light.
– excellent reports
– magnetic antenna (low QRM)

Cons:
– price (more than 300$)
– no remote tuning available yet

alex_1The Alex loop antenna is inside this bag ! 🙂

Before there were two versions of the AlexLoop (a kit using copper tube for the radiating element with the cost of $199 US.) The other and now definitive version is the so called “WalkHam“, which uses stout coaxial cable (RG 213) for the main loop and comes ready built in its own custom made carrying case similar to a laptop case. The price of the AlexLoop WalkHam is $349 US.

alex_2-2 Alex loop antenna – as soon as you open the zip !

The loop is 1 metre in diameter and tuned using an air spaced variable capacitor with a 3:1 reduction drive giving a 4 : 1 tuning range: 10m – 40m. Most magnetic loops including home-made ones only manage a tuning range of 3:1: 10m – 30m or 15m – 40m.

Once again Alexander PY1AHD showing off his antenna!
The antenna is designed for QRP operations (max 25 watts SSB or 10 watts AM/FM) and can be hand-helded and tuned with the thumb during walks on pedestrian operation. You can also make it supported on a tripod and turned freely to kill noise sources. The AlexLoop will work perfectly only 1 meter above the ground, so you can support it on a tripod an operate confortable seated on a camping chair.

The AlexLoop is the perfect company for your camping, travel, hotel, ship as well it will work perfectly on balconies and windows presenting a omnidiretional radiation pattern. If you like to see an excellent VIDEO on how to improve performance of this great antenna (Alex loop antenna hf) please click down here on the arrow.

 

 

What do you think about this antenna?  have you ever used it? 

73 de IZ0JOJ

FT-817 Yaesu – Forum & Groups on internet

The FT-817 is Yaesu’s unique, tiny, MF – UHF low power amateur radio transceiver. On this page I’ve posted notes on various things related to it which may be of interest to fellow users. If you’re interested in more information about using the FT-817, however, I’d recommend joining the FT-817 group at Yahoo. This group has an FAQ which is worth reading if you’re a new or prospective FT-817 owner. It contains answers to most of the questions you may wish to know.

Also another reference website is G4ILO (we miss you, 73!)

http://www.g4ilo.com/ft817.html
Here his comments on the FT 817:

“Good points

  • Small size. This is probably the FT-817’s most important attribute. There’s nothing smaller, apart from FM-only HT’s and one-or-two band QRP CW-only radios. It’s small enough that you can slip it in your rucksack or even a pocket just in case you feel like having a few QSOs while you’re out. This is something you wouldn’t be tempted to do with the Elecraft K2 (which I also own.)
  • “All-band” coverage. The FT-817 covers all amateur bands from Top Band to 70cm (excluding the UK-only 4m band and the US-only 222MHz band.) It also has pretty extensive general coverage capabilities. This makes it an ideal “do-anything” radio, suitable for whatever kind of operation you feel like doing.

Bad points

  • High power consumption. The FT-817 consumes around 400mA even on receive. This is pretty poor, especially given the limited capacity of the battery pack (see below). Yaesu could surely do better. The Elecraft K2 draws about 240mA on receive, normally configured, but this can be reduced to about 140mA for portable use by invoking various power-saving options.

  • Low battery capacity. Eight AA-size cells are too weedy. The original factory-supplied rechargeable NiCd pack had a capacity of just 1,000mAH. The current FT-817ND model has a NiMH pack with 1,400mAH capacity. This is barely enough for three and a half hours of listening, with no transmitting. Yaesu should either have increased the size of the radio to permit a bigger battery pack to be used, or offered a Lithium-Ion battery option (as used as standard in the VX-5R) to permit greater capacity in a small size. This would also allow 5W to be used when running from battery power.

  • Only 2.5W on battery power. The FT-817 is advertised as a 5W radio. But on battery power the maximum output power is normally 2.5W. This canbe overridden, but bearing in mind the limited battery capacity this may not be a good idea. But it’s disappointing. Let’s face it, out portable you are probably going to be using a pretty inefficient antenna, so being limited to 2.5W as well isn’t going to help.

  • Poor receiver. A contest-grade receiver isn’t expected nor required in a radio of this type, but the FT-817’s receiver seems poorer than it need be. Even using an inefficient short whip, strong local stations can overload it. The main problem seems to be bleedover (apologies for the CB term, but it sounds just like a cheap CB radio) due to the inadequate IF filter fitted. A better filter is available as a (pretty expensive) option, but you can only fit one accessory filter, which is a problem if you want a narrow filter for CW.

  • No ATU. The FT-817 has no internal ATU. Originally I thought that this was a reasonable design compromise. However, having experienced how hard it is to get small portable antennas to match in the varying environments in which they may be used, I began to realize that an ATU would be very desirable. Most ATUs are the size of the FT-817 or larger, which negates a lot of the benefits of the radio’s small size. However, Elecraft has recently introduced a tiny portable QRP auto-ATU, the T1. Read my review of it.

  • Poor ergonomics. Many commonly used functions are accessed from one of the three buttons below the display, which have about 11 different sets of functions. This means a lot of button pressing and knob twiddling just to do something like turn the noise blanker on or off, change the output power or toggle the meter between SWR and power out. Although to a great extent this problem is inevitable given the small size of the 817’s front panel, I’m sure Yaesu could have fitted a slightly bigger LCD panel, with less of a surround, and this could at least allow the current selection of the three buttons to be permanently displayed. Perhaps some functions could have been made accessible from a key-pad mike, as well? Direct frequency input would have been nice.

 

Nice review in this video

Yaesu FT-817 Review on Vimeo

by SQ7BCE

 

73 de IZ0JOJ