Monday, December 13, 2010

Satellite Earth Station System in 1963 Explained very well.

Quite interesting film from the 60's, showing in quite good detail, how the earth station in Goonhilly works.
The MASER had to be refilled with liquid helium, every 15 hours!
Satellite Operating Beacon was centered on 4080MHz.


Thursday, December 9, 2010

IC-92AD or IC-E92D After Mod

These pictures prove that the modification shown in this blog, works fine!
Peeling back the black plastic label underneath the battery, and removing the silver colored diode marked 'MU', enables TX from 137-174MHz and 400-470MHz.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Stewie asks about Brian's Novel - Family Guy

Google Unveils It's New Nexus S Android Phone with NFC (RFID reader)

Google has made its second bid for a slice of the mobile phone market, with the launch of its Nexus S phone.
The Samsung-built device comes less than 12 months after the launch of the firm's Nexus One, built by HTC, which failed to win over many consumers.
The Nexus S will initially be launched in the UK and US, and will be available "from the end of the month" (December).
It is the first phone to feature the latest version of Google's Android operating system known as Gingerbread.
It also comes with new hardware such as Near Field Communications (NFC).
This short-range wireless technology is used predominantly in places like Japan and allows people to use their phone as a travel ticket, make small payments and scan their phone over adverts, for example, to get more information about a product.
"NFC allows the Nexus S to read smart objects" said David Burke of Google's mobile division.
These objects must have a small, unpowered NFC chip in them that is activated when the phone is held near.
"When you put the phone on top, it energises the circuit," explained Mr Burke. "It can echo information back to the phone and the phone can send information to the chip.
"So, you can swipe a movie poster and watch the trailer automatically," he said.
NFC is a growing trend in mobiles and will start to become more pervasive in the New Year, said Shaun Collins, managing director of research firm CCS Insight.
"NFC is going to be the technology of 2011, in my opinion," he told BBC News. "Most of the BlackBerries will have it and a big swathe of mid to high-level Nokias will have it."
The next version of the iPhone is also rumoured to contain the technology.
Net calls
The Nexus S was first shown off by Google boss Eric Schmidt at the Web 2.0 summit in San Francisco in November.
The 16GB, touchscreen device has been built in cooperation with Samsung and is part of its Galaxy S family of phones and tablets.
Mr Collins said it would compete with other "flagship devices" such as Nokia's N8, the BlackBerry Torch and the HTC Desire HD.
This is great news for Samsung," said Mr Collins. "It becomes the de-facto flagship product for Android."
The search giant dismissed claims that it was showing any favouritism towards Samsung or that it was going into competition with other handset manufacturers that produce phones using Android.
"Our objective is not to compete with partners," said Mr Burke. "Our goal is to push the mobile ecosystem forward."
Mr Collins said that Samsung's window of opportunity with the device was small.
The phone claims to have the "world's first" 4in (10cm) curved display and has front and rear-facing cameras.
Inside it has the same processor as the Nexus One, but with increased memory bandwidth to make it more responsive, according to Mr Burke.
The phone is also the first handset to introduce the latest version of Android - known as Gingerbread.
The software is the fifth major revision of the firm's software and will be rolled out to most Android phones in the "coming weeks or months", said Mr Burke.
It includes a new user interface, support for new hardware such as gyroscope - used for gaming, for example, and internet calling.
This allows anyone to set up a VOIP account that can be used to place and receive calls over the internet.
The phone can be configured to use this feature as soon as it is in range of a wi-fi hotspot, allowing people to by pass the network operators.
Mr Burke said that he didn't expect any resistance to this feature from the networks, particularly as many of them customise the android software and could " remove the feature if they want to".
Phone promise
The phone also has a greater emphasis on voice control.
"In the US, one in four searches done on Android devices is done with voice," said Mr Burke.
The phone comes with existing software that allows people to control navigation on the phone with their voice as well as conduct searches.
A new set of commands also allows people to send text messages, e-mails and set alarms on their phone, amongst other things.
These will initially only be available in the US, whilst the firm build the voice models needed for its software to cope with other regional accents.
The phone will initially offered for sale by Carphone Warehouse in the UK and Best Buy in the US. It will not have its own Google web store like the Nexus One, which was shut after less than 5 months after Google admitted that it "remained a niche channel for early adopters".
"That didn't work out for Google," said Mr Collins. "But Carphone Warehouse is a different ball game - they have the distribution, brand and presence."
Mr Collins said that Carphone Warehouse was "setting themselves up as the place to go to for Android".
"They see that the operating system is increasingly becoming the differentiating factor for consumers and they are aligning themselves with Android," he said.
Mr Burke admitted the firm was "going for volume" by partnering with Carphone Warehouse.
In the UK, the Nexus S will come free with £35 per month contracts or will be offered unlocked - to be used on any carrier - for £549.
The Google blog said it would be available after 16 December in the US and 20 December in the UK.
However, a spokesperson for Carphone Warehouse said that it would take pre-orders from 1600 GMT today, but it would not be on sale "until later in the month".
The firm said it was still negotiating contracts with "all of the UK operators" and could not say when a phone ordered today would be delivered.
"We don't want to promise anything to customers that we can't deliver," she said.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Yaesu VX-7r Service Mode Setup

If you are fairly competent, AND have the correct test gear (spectrum analyzer etc), it is quite a straightforward task to put the Yaesu VX-7r into 'Service Mode', to make any adjustments.
From the service menu, you are able to make adjustments to power levels, modulation levels, deviation levels and several others.
When the service menu first appears, the window will show 'PLL REF'.

If you intend to make any changes to default levels on your VX-7r, it goes without saying that you MUST write down ALL settings BEFORE adjusting them!

A quite common complaint of VX-7r users, is the CTCSS, or rather it's nasty habit of being slightly overdeviated, appearing as an annoying hum on TX.
This value can easily be set in the service menu.
If you feel that the low power setting is too high or low, you can adjust the setting for all 4 power levels, band by band.

Service menu includes :
PLL reference frequency
Squelch Hysteresis Adjustment
Squelch Preset Threshold
Squelch Preset Tight
s1 adjustment
S meter full scale adjustment (S9)
Wide FM S meter S1 adjustment
Wide FM SMeter
full scale adjustment (S9)
TX power levels, all 4 bands
******TX DEVIATION ADJUSTMENT**** which is, by the way,
set at the factory to 4.2 kHz for the USA and to 4.5kHz
everywhere else
CTCSS TX level adjustments
DCS TX level adjustments

Picture courtesy of XU7ADQ

Picture courtesy of XU7ADQ





If you own a Yaesu VX-7r and feel the need to enable wideband TX/RX - Here's how!
Please note that there are several different models on the market, and you will need to choose which mod suits the model you have.
After modification, the VX-7r has a VERY wide TX range, and therefore it is up to you to display common sense to ensure that you don't transmit on bands for which you are not authorized!
Also note that the modifications will take the radio well outside of it's specification, and may put the finals under significant stress, especially if transmitting into an untuned antenna (eg. the stock rubber-duck is no use at 150+ or 455+MHz).
You undertake the following mods at YOUR OWN RISK!

That said, I have done the mod to my own VX7r with no problems at all

Picture courtesy of XU7ADQ Flickr

Picture courtesy of XU7ADQ on Flickr

VX-7r (USA Version)

Author: Rick Jones -
  1. Remove the battery pack.

  2. Remove the sticker/cover seal for the pressure sensing unit (SU-1), in the battery compartment. This is the black strip above cellular warning label and is where the SU-1 option goes (see XU7ADQ's pictures above).

  3. Locate row of eight jumpers. They are numbered.

  4. For Mars/Cap, remove solder jumper 5.

  5. For Freeband, remove solder jumper 4 and 5.

  6. Reset microprocessor. (Press and hold in the 4, band, and v/m keys while turning the radio on. (alternative reset method is shown below)

  7. ENJOY
TX Frequencies:
Freeband: 40-224.995Mhz and 300-579.995Mhz
Mars/Cap: 50Mhz-54Mhz, 140Mhz-174Mhz, 222Mhz-225Mhz, and 420Mhz-470Mhz. 

This is to inform you about the European version VX-7R modification. I own the B1 European/Export version (Label outside the box indicates DST:EXP / TYP:B1). Prior to any modifications the transceiver’s jumpers was soldered on positions 2,4,5,7 (factory setting) and the unit was capable of working on the following frequencies ONLY!
- 50-52MHz (RX ONLY, NO TX Possible!)
- 144-146MHz (RX/TX)
- 430-440MHz (RX/TX)
Reception was NOT possible anywhere outside these limits!

In order to modify it you should:
- Unsolder every jumper
- Reset the transceiver by holding down MON/F + HM/RV + Internet Key and power up the transceiver. This will display the Vertex Standard logo instead of Yaesu. Bear in mind that resetting the transceiver by using the method for the USA version (holding down 4 + BAND + V/M and powering up the transceiver) WON’T work! It will just enter a curious set up:
- RX on all bands
- No WX Channels
- Menu Item Misc Setup 20: BEAT SQL (Instead of WX Alert)
- Menu Item Special Memory 6: JR (Instead of Marine)
- Menu Item Misc Setup 17: Japanese (Instead of English)
- Transmission on 40-224.995Mhz and 300-579.995Mhz

After the aforementioned modification you will have continues RX coverage from 504KHz up to 999MHz (including analogue cellular frequencies - NO GAPS!)

Many thanks to Simeon Leriou, SV2GNM for his patience and his will.

73’s to all.

Icom IC-92AD Wideband Mod

Here's a modification that allows the IC-92AD to TX from 137-174MHz VHF and 420-470MHz UHF.
Please note that I am NOT the author of this mod, and therefore, cannot be held responsible for any damage caused while performing the modification.

That said, the author claims that he has done the mod, and has had NO PROBLEMS!

Enjoy 'freebanding' responsibly (is that a contradiction in terms)?