Inrad HF Triplexer more news…

The news is… there is no news. 🙁

On august 30. I received an e-mail from Appellofunk (the dealer where I bought the triplexer) stating: “if you like please open the TriPlexer to see what happend.”

So that’s what I did and that same day I sent them pictures of the inside of the triplexer showing at least 2 burned (probably more) SMD capacitors.

Since then, no more news.

E-mail between Germany (Apellofunk) and the US (Inrad) must be going by boat I guess…

Pretty frustrating!


Inrad HF Triplexer

My new contest secret weapon worked very well… for exactly 1 QSO.

For the moment I have only these (permanent) antennas for contesting: a Fritzel FB33 3-element tribander at 16m and homemade inverted V dipoles for 40 and 80m at 15m.

So for SO2R I have always used an extra Fritzel GPA404 vertical for 10-15-20-40m. But to avoid the hassle of installing this antenna before the contest and taking it down after the contest I recently decided to purchase an Inrad HF Triplexer so I could use the FB33 on 2 bands simultaneously.

Last week I had the specs of the Triplexer tested by Luc ON7KZ and all seemed to match the specs as in the Inrad web page.

I installed the triplexer between my Sixpak and the FB33 the day before the contest but I didn’t have enough time to thoroughly test it. (I did check all connections twice though!)

Once the SCC Rtty championship started I made a S&P QSO on 20m and during the QSO I saw the SWR on 20m going up to alarming levels :-(.

Continue reading Inrad HF Triplexer


Ever tried to work SO2V using this trick? You’ll no doubt have run into the problem that windows doesn’t want you to share a serial port between 2 programs.

So, when working SO2V with N1MM and 2 instances of MMTTY it is not possible to connect the 2 MMTTYs to the same FSK interface through software.

The solution: this interface as shown on the K8UT website.

All you need is 2 com ports (one for each MMTTY instance) and 4 diodes.

Don’t forget to work me in next RTTY contest!

PL259 made in China

Today I installed a few PL259 connectors of this type:

PL 259 Connector (picture from Wikimedia)

I should have known better… the ‘barrel’ is too long so the plugs can not be tightened on most SO239 sockets… Only 25% of the price of a ‘European-made’ (???) plug but what are they really worth?

5 days left to find a good solution before next contest (SCC RTTY Championship).

I guess I’ll have to try and file/sand off some material and see if these connectors can be saved.

Again a lesson learned!

Most of the time I use N-connectors for everything, even for frequencies below 30 MHz but of course there is still some gear that is manufactured with SO239.

=> update: I grinded down the barrel 1,5mm. Now the barrel is ok but the pin is too long… {SIGH}

Working split in digi mode with the FTdx5000 (or any other transceiver with 2 separate receivers)

Do you want to work split in digi-modes using both receivers in your FTdx5000?

Pretty easy: use 2 instances of MMTTY each with its own soundcard or its own Signalink USB and configure one of them to ‘listen’ to receiver A and the other one to ‘listen’ to receiver B. Working that dx station in digi mode becomes as easy as in SSB.

Don’t forget to reread the DX code of conduct before trying to bust that pileup!

My K1EL Winkeyer USB is on its way (I hope…)

Exactly a month ago I ordered a Winkeyer USB from K1EL. It was shipped through USPS (with tracking) on July 28.

A few days later the track got lost… at the moment Bpost, the belgian postal service, took over.

Today, 13 days after shipping in the US, nobody seems to know where the package is. I can guess it is stuck in Brussels Airport and the BPOST bureaucracy needs a lot of time to send me a letter for paying the import duties.

Note to myself (and to whom it may concern :-)): BPOST sucks when you have to get a package from abroad.

Update: after being lost in cyberspace somewhere my keyer has arrived. Extra costs: €30,84 => 21% VAT (= some €12,60) and the rest for the BPOST and customs bureaucracy.
Finally my Winkeyer costs about 50% more in Belgium than in the US.

FSK RTTY with Signalink USB? Yes you can!

According to this page on the Tigertronics website you can’t do FSK with the Signalink.

Of course you can, you just have to be a little creative…

Use the Signalink for RX and make this interface from Don AA5AU’s site for keying your transceiver.

It takes only a few euros and a few minutes of work for the hardware.

Configure MMTTY for transmitting FSK through your serial port et voilà!

Do you really want to pay €49 to be able to program your (mobile) radio through your computer?

For years I have been struggling to manage the 1000 memories on my FT-7800 mobile radio. Memory channels, subtones, memory banks ==SIGH==

Recently a friend (thanks Jan ON4KB) gave me the kit he bougth from Yaesu for the FT-8800 and of course, the cable was correct for my FT-7800 but the software didn’t work ==shame on you Yaesu!==.

That’s when I decided to get some help from Google and I found CHIRP, a free, open-source tool for programming your amateur radio. It supports a large number of manufacturers and models, as well as provides a way to interface with multiple data sources and formats.

I tested it for my radio and it works very well indeed! Downloading the data already in the radio, modifying it on the pc and uploading it to the radio again all in a breeze!

CHIRP supports over 60 different radios from 5 or 6 brands (including the ‘big’ ones of course) and is available for Windows, Mac and Linux.

Programming cables can easily be found on Ebay (for some €12) or you can make your own.

I doubled, even nearly tripled the number of CW QSOs in my log…

Some 18 years after I passed the Belgian 12 wpm morse exam I decided to dust of my 1995 Schurr Profi 2 and start making some CW QSO’s again. So last weekend I worked 42 stations during the IARU HF contest.

With only 33 qso in the log until last friday this more than doubled my qso number in CW 🙂

I guess it’ll take me some years before I will be contesting at the speeds I heard this weekend though… Some of those stations seemed to be working at some 3000 wpm. One station used some trick to slow down about 1 CQ-call out of 3. Probably some clever usage of the macros in N1MM?

Anyhow, I had a lot of fun and I’ll keep practicing to get my speed and accuracy up!