• Win-Test - Problems in Wine under Linux with newer CPUs

    I recently bought a HP Stream 11 laptop for my portable operations. It’s a reasonable priced 11.6” laptop with a net weight of 1 kg and only the most important features, like USB ports, headphone jack and a microSD card reader. It has a 64 GB eMMC storage device and comes with Windows 10 Home in S mode. Because I banned Windows from my shack long time ago, I directly installed Xubuntu 20.04 LTS on it and also the Wine runtime environment with all kind of ham radio software, which is only available for Windows, like 4NEC2, VOACAP, Ham Cap, IonoProbe and of course the Win-Test contest logger für contest operations.

  • TS-590SG - Slow speed cooling fan startup problem revised

    From a recent discussion on the TS-590 about firmware upgrades, I just got aware of one upgrade, which revised the TS-590SG slow speed startup issue of the cooling fans. With the power supply voltage set to the nominal voltage of 13.8 volts, the cooling fans seem to not start reliable at slow speed, when the TS-590SG gets warm. At one point, when a certain temperature has been reached, the fans kick in at mid-speed suddenly. This affects also the TS-590S. A quick workaround is to set the power supply voltage to something close to 15 volts, which causes the cooling fans to start also at slow speeds, but this is no durable solution and might not be suitable, if other devices are connected to the same power supply, which can’t handle higher voltages than 13.8 volts.

  • TP-Link Archer C6 Firmware 1.3.0 Downgrade

    The TP-Link Archer C6 is a cheap and overall reliable 2.4 and 5 GHz WiFi Router, but the firmware version 1.3.0 has a major flaw:
    After a few hours all connected 2.4 GHz devices are dropped and not able to re-connect, although the 2.4 GHz WiFi is visible to all devices all the time. The only way to solve the problem is to reboot the Archer C6. The 5 GHz WiFi seems to be not affected, but as most smart home devices have 2.4 GHz WiFi only, the whole smart home becomes a dumb home through TP-Links crappy firmware. Besides that, the mesh technology is activated with version 1.3.x on both bands and two hidden WiFis are created, whether you want to use the mesh feature or not. The user is not able to deactivate it.

  • YFKlog on a Raspberry Pi for portable logging

    If you ever wanted a simple application for logging QSO while being portable or operating from an other station with your own callsign, this might be for you.

  • Inductance of the QCX 20m low pass filter inductors

    At the end of 2017 I’ve ordered two QCX QRP TRX kits from QRP Labs. The QCX is a 5 watt CW single band transceiver with WSPR beacon and built-in alignment/test equipment. QCX kits are available for the 80m, 60m, 40m, 30m, 20m and 17m bands. I’ve ordered the 20m and 40m kits.

  • TS-590SG - Cooling fans installed the wrong way

    On my TS-590SG, purchased in October 2016 at Martin Lynch & Sons, both cooling fans are installed the wrong way. The serial number of my unit is B65xxxxx, which means it has been produced in May 2016. My fellow ham Hans DC1RJJ has a unit from July 2016 (S/N B67xxxxx) which has the very same flaw.

  • Contest Audio Recorder for Ubuntu

    Recording a contest may either be useful to check unclear QSOs afterwards (the log-first-worry-later approach), or even necessary as stated by the rules of the contest. The latter may be applicable for top scorers only (see CQ WW rules, XII C.), nevertheless it’s also nice to rehear remarkable QSOs, like a P5-on-first-call QSO or a great pile-up handling by a fellow ham.

  • Win-Test LUA Scripts for TS-590S(G)

    The Win-Test Contest Logger has an application programming interface (API), which allows the user to control the radio or Win-Test functions with LUA scripting language scripts. This can be used e.g. for clearing the RIT after a QSO, switching filters or for usage of TRX built-in voice keyers.

  • TelePost Inc. LP-100A Accuracy

    In late 2015 I’ve ordered a TelePost Inc. LP-100A Digital Vector Wattmeter at Difona. Because I wanted the dual coupler option, the delivery took quite some time, as it was not in stock. End of January the LP-100A finally arrived. I really like the decent look, ease of use and versatility.

  • Help me! Low Power on my TS-590S(G)

    Once in a while I get emails with the very same questions:

  • Efficiency of the TS-590S(G) Speech Processor

    Ever since the TS-590S and TS-590SG has been sold, people are complaining about the speech processor. The “punch” is missing and the “talk power” is weak, they say. I must that admit, that you will never get an ICOM-like brute force modulation out of the TS-590S, but the speech processor is exactly doing what it was made for.

  • TS-590S Scripts for Contest Logging Software

    I’ve been asked to convert my TS-590S LUA scripts for Win-Test into scripts suitable for the Contest Logging Software. With a template provided by Chris 9A5K this was quite easy, although I don’t really have a clue about C# programming. They work for both the TS-590S and the TS-590SG.

  • For the record: Prices for used TS-590S

    With the TS-590SG being sold around 1.500 € by several vendors in Europe, you find more and more old TS-590S in magazines and online flea markets. Some sellers think, they can get as much as the former invoice price minus 15 % or so for their old TS-590S. Really, this is ridiculous.

  • Running Win-Test Contest Logger in Wine under Linux

    Back in 2006 I’ve started the step-by-step replacement of Windows PCs at home and in my shack. Replacing Windows at home was not a big deal. What my XYL and I needed: a browser, an email client, some kind of office suite, players for various audio and video formats and some other minor tools. Ubuntu 6.06 LTS (Dapper Drake) was the Linux distribution of choice and except for some issues related to graphics adapters, all went well.

  • TS-590S ALC Modification by Kenwood

    Last week my TS-590S has been at the official Kenwood Service Center Sarikaya Funktechnik in Bochum/Germany for the ALC modification provided by Kenwood Japan. This modification eliminates the ALC overshoot, also called power spike, which may cause power amplifiers to fail or break. The modification itself was free of charge, but shipping had to be organized and sold by me.

  • TS-590S ALC Overshoot Solution

    It seems Kenwood has finally listened to the complaints from all over the world about the TS-590S ALC issues:

  • TS-590S audio hiss/noise

    With high impedance earphones plugged into the audio jack on the Kenwood TS-590S or TS-590SG, you can hear a really annoying noise even with the AF volume set to zero. This audio hiss has a constant level, is added to the audible RF noise and can prevent one from hearing weak CW signals on an otherwise quiet band.

  • Kelemen DP-8040201510

    Some weeks ago I’ve purchased a preowned, but unused Kelemen dipole DP-8040201510 for fielddays and other portable operations. It has a Balun at the feed point and 4 coax traps on each side. With 22 meters length it is a rather short dipole. During the 2013 IARU Region 1 SSB Fieldday I’ve put the dipole up and measured the impedance on the specified bands with the FA-VA 3 vector antenna analyzer.

  • CQRLOG, TRX control and /dev/ttyUSB0

    Last weekend I made an upgrade on my shack PC from Ubuntu 10.04 LTS to 12.04 LTS. Basically it was a clean new installation, because the distribution update from 10.04 to 12.04 didn’t work very well. After the upgrade I added the the PPA from Petr OK2CQR and Ubuntu Hams to the software sources for a new installation of CQRLOG and FLDIGI.

  • TS-590S measurements - ALC Overshoot, PAR, MDS and IP3

    In January 2012 I bought a new Kenwood TS-590S TRX. It’s quite a nice radio with great features such as the really good RX, a USB port for CAT with an integrated USB soundcard and a small and light-weight case.

  • Locator Database discontinued

    I’ve quit serious VHF contesting and DXing quite some time ago and sold my entire VHF equipment. The work on the Locator Database has been discontinued in 2010. The files for CQRLOG, Lux-Log, N1MM Logger and Win-Test are not available anymore.

  • Yaesu FT-990 CAT Problem

    If you ever wonder why a CAT-Interface does not work proper with a Yaesu FT-990, you may find the following information helpful.

  • Kelemen DP-1608040-H

    Due to the limited space for all the radials of a 160m vertical antenna I decided to put up one of the shortest available 160m dipoles on the market: Kelemen DP-1608040-H. This dipole has a lenght of 54 m which is twice the length of my old 40/80m dipole. One dipole leg fits straight between my two masts about 12 m above the ground, the other leg goes down from 12 to 9 m to a power pole. After some tuning the final SWR for the SSB segments looks like this (likewise on CW with additional wire):

  • Remove Excessive Wax ...

    The Icom America Knowledge Base is really helpful if you want to repair or just inspect your Icom Radio. Some weeks ago I’ve bought an old Icom IC-765 for the club station at the university where I’ve studied. This IC-765 has a typical failure. Some plastic trimmer capacitors on the PLL unit are faulty and have to be replaced by ceramic ones. There is a document about this in the Knowledge Base which states “Remove excessive wax from around replacement trimmers to prevent wax contamination”.

  • 20m 2-element light-weight Yagi

    This antenna was designed for the CQ WW CW 2009 at EA8URL. The Bavarian Contest Club took part in the M/M class with a team of German operators. The antenna plans included a second 20m antenna to work both USA and Europe in the day time. Because EA8URL has only one 20m yagi we had to bring another 20m yagi with us.