Quick Review – Wouxun KG-UV8E Tri Band HT

Wouxun KG-UV8EBought the Wouxun KG-UV8E based on the good experience I had with the KG-UVD1P.

The Color display is very good and rather large for an HT.

The 2600 mAh battery life is exceptionally good and does not drain when powered off as the KG-UVD1P does.

A group of us locals have access to a 1.25 meter repeater and performance on the band is very good even on low power.

The channel / VFO Knob gets tight in spots and the screw holding rubber side cover was so loose it was ready to fall out.

Very loud reception causes the speaker to be distorted.

After purchasing the radio, I found out that there is and E and T version. The difference is that a factory reset of the E version causes the firmware to reboot to Chinese while the T version reboots to English. Of course flipping through the Ching-lish manual will save your day with the E version.

Since I only had an old (pain in the ass) Prolific chipped programming cable I also purchased the Red programming cable. The Red cable was hassle free with Windows 10. No monkeying around with the old drivers from the stone age as is the case with the old Prolific chip. Unlike the expensive RT Systems cables, the red cable was around $15. By the way, the Red cable also works for Baofeng and I’d imagine some Kenwood HT’s as well.

Again no radio is perfect but for the price it was a decent buy for the additional 1.25 meter band. If you are looking for specs or videos, Google it. There is no point in regurgitating the same information that’s already available on countless other Web sites.

KX3 Sees The Light of Day!

Ke2yk's Elecraft KX3

 

 

After being told by a fellow QRP’er that 15 CW has been up recently, I managed to drag my KX3 out of its Pelican case this morning.

Its been awhile since it has seen the light of day. Didn’t see much point to powering it on since my main antenna has been down for some time and the amazing Par End Fedz that I jury rigged in the yard some time ago has been beat to hell by the lousy winter and the high winds here in the Northeast.

After being very surprised by the fact that the auto-tuner was able to tune without moaning and groaning, I thought what the hell.

I tuned down to 21.025 and started hearing Europe. What was even more of a surprise is that I was able to work stations @ 5 watts on the first attempt.

That doesn’t say much about my skills but it says a HELL OF A LOT about that Par End Fedz antenna.

Another Flaky iTunes Install…

iTunesIn all the years I was forced to conform to the corporate Windows standard, I had never been comfortable with the instability of the OS’es spewing forth from the bowels of Redmond WA. As a ‘NIX engineer on global financial systems, the PC always felt like a toy waiting to log its very next MTBF. (meantime between failures)

Now that I am retired, I don’t have to rely on the continuous faux pas coming from Redmond which I then needed to create conforming reports and slideshows.

Having no desire to drop two grand on a Mac (my preference is LinuxMint on an old Intel Dual Core PC) causes me to use Windoze 7 for various Ham Radio and other software products. Enter iTunes for the 64 bit Windoze 7 Platform.

Since I am not an iTunes power user, I don’t keep up with the latest and greatest iTunes updates. On occasion I will use it to back up and sync my iPhone. I don’t play music, read books or watch Movies on my iPhone 5. Never did, never will.

Recently I wanted to try out an app which required me to sync my iPhone via iTunes. That’s where the trouble began. It had nothing to do with the app itself by the way. In its infinite wisdom, iTunes wanted to perform yet another self update.

To start with, I am adamant about a squeaky clean Windows PC. With every hacker in the world interested in penetrating the operating system, I have 3 levels of protection from viruses and malware on constant vigil. I use Avast, Malwarebytes and run CCleaner on occasion.

This time the iTunes update left me in the gutter. After installing the self update and rebooting the Windoze 7 wonder of the world, I received one of those error messages stating that MSVCR80.dll no longer resides within the clockwork of the Windows directory.

Like anyone else with this of issue, my first attempt was to Google It to determine if this is a well known and perhaps documented problem. Bingo! Typing in msvcr80.dll is missing yielded over 69k results. As expected with the Windoze world there was every imaginable type of response to the problem.

The method I found the most amusing was to install a fresh copy of Windows! At that point I began to LMAO. After searching the file system I found that I had multiple copies of MSVCR80.dll installed.

The fix was plain as day. No didn’t install a fresh copy from the recovery drive or roll back to one of those system created restore points which are usually missing the last 50 or so Windows updates.

Should you run into this problem, bring up the control panel, under Programs, select uninstall a program, sort the entries by publisher name and then delete everything owned by Apple Inc. except the iCloud control panel.

Next download and perform a fresh install of iTunes. Reboot and with any luck  your PC will resume life as mine did before the iTunes self update corrupted the system registry.

Finally, for safety’s sake reboot once more and if successful, manually create your own restore point.

HTH! YK

Vintage ARRL Video – “Enjoy The Flicker”

Vintage ARRL ham radio movie. Converted from 16mm film to video tape many years ago, and now from that ancient VHS to digital. Enjoy the flickering screen, and especially the funky organ music backgrounds! heavy focus on Morse code, which of course is no longer a requirement.

From the desk of Russ, KH6JRM:

Many thanks to KF5OEF for finding this little gem. This vintage film takes me back to the days of my old HW-101, the D-104 mike, and the trusty 40 meter dipole strung between two pine trees near the old sugar plantation in Honokaa (along the Hamakua Coast of Hawaii Island). When I worked cw (which was most of the time), I used an old J-38 key (which I still have). Things seemed simplier and more civil in those days 36 years ago. How time flies. Amateur Radio is still fun, despite the few obnoxious operators I run into on 75 and 20 meters. Thanks for the memories! Aloha de Russ, KH6JRM.

Do You Shop For Ham Gear On eBay?

eBay Shopper’s Guide for Ham Radio Ops

 Now in its 5th year of operation, eHamStore.com is still offering the best of what eBay has to offer when it comes to Ham Radio and Police Scanner gear. Since many of you have probably not considered looking over The eHamStore as a place to bid on or purchase Ham Radio and Police Scanner gear, I wanted to put a quick buyers guide together to help buyers  navigate around the  eBay listings at eHamStore.com and to help potential  buyers realize that eBay offers buyer protection not found on other sites. Please take a few minutes to check out this buyers guide to eBay and take my short poll at the end of the article. Also please feel free to comment on your eBay / Ham Radio shopping experiences.  Thanks!

The Quick eBay Buyers Guide:

  eBay bills itself as an auction site.  The reality is that it’s more of a giant yard sale or never-ending Hamfest.  Go straight to the search bar on the eBay main page, type in anything you might be looking  for, and odds are pretty good that you will find at least one for sale. It’s rare when you don’t come up with at least one of what you are looking for. The downside is that spelling errors in listings can be a bit frustrating from time to time.

There are two types of eBay listings.

  Auctions feature an end time of anywhere from a few days to a week.  Entering a maximum bid is OK but the site only shows the maximum bid you need to win the item. Don’t do this unless you want to pay the top dollar for the item or it’s something you cannot live without. The best way to get the item you want is to become an auction sniper and pounce on the item during the last-minute. Place your final bid during the last few seconds of the auction.

  The other type of listing (the more popular these days) is Buy It Now.  These are basically simple for sale listings where you agree to buy the item for a specific price. There’s no drama, just a quick and smooth transaction. One thing to be aware of is to review shipping costs prior to placing a bid or buying an item.  Shipping costs vary wildly from listing to listing. It’s possible to purchase an item at a higher price and actually save a few dollars when you factor in the potential savings on shipping costs.

  Always remember that you are buying from a seller not eBay. Fortunately, eBay has a feedback system. What that means is that you can quickly review the seller’s trustworthiness.  The seller can leave feedback on you as the buyer as well. Once you submit payment, the type, size and location of the item will determine how fast you receive it.

  Since eBay owns PayPal, all credit card transactions are processed via PayPal. For reasons that are unknown to me, people don’t like opening a PayPal account.  My personal experience over the years has been 100% positive. Perhaps one time buyers see no need to open a PayPal account and think negatively about something they don’t understand. I have found it to be safe, secure and convenient. PayPal also offers extra protection on purchases when PayPal is used as the payment method.

  Using eBay as reference for prices is a huge reason to think eBay. If you want to know what an item is going for and you just want to shop around, what better place to look online than eBay.  Again, you need to have some idea of  what an item is really worth and what you are willing to spend before you start digging around on the site.  Patience is often rewarded with a reasonable price. Read all listings carefully , remember to keep your head and you’ll be fine.

  Like any system, eBay has its imperfections but remember that people all over the world buy and sell millions of items each and every day via eBay / PayPal. As a buyer you may pay a bit for an item but it’s far better to be protected that taking a chance and buying an item from a site like Craig’s List or other Ham Radio sites which offer no buyer protection whatsoever.


Controversial and Thought Provoking!

A Ham’s Christmas Poem!

A Ham's Christmas

‘Twas the night before Christmas, And all through 2 meters, Not a signal was keying up Any repeaters.

The antennas reached up From the tower, quite high, To catch the weak signals That bounced from the sky.

The children, Tech-Pluses, Took their H-Ts to bed, And dreamed of the day They’d be Extras instead.

Mom put on her headphones, I plugged in the key, And we tuned 40 meters For that rare ZK3.

When the meter was pegged By a signal with power. It smoked a small diode, And, I swear, shook the tower.

Mom yanked off her phones, And with all she could muster Logged a spot of the signal On the DX PacketCluster.

While I ran to the window And peered up at the sky, To see what could generate RF that high.

It was way in the distance, But the moon made it gleam. A flying sleigh, with an Eight-element beam.

And a little old driver Who looked slightly mean. So I thought for a moment, That it might be Wayne Green.

But no, it was Santa, The Santa of Hams. On a mission, this Christmas, To clean up the bands.

He circled the tower, Then stopped in his track, And he slid down the coax Right into the shack.

While Mom and I hid Behind stacks of CQ, This Santa of hamming Knew just what to do.

He cleared off the shack desk Of paper and parts, And filled out all my late QSLs For a start.

He ran copper braid, Took a steel rod and pounded It into the earth, till The station was grounded.

He tightened loose fittings, Re-soldered connections, Cranked down modulation, Installed lightning protection.

He neutralized tubes  In my linear amp. (Never worked right before; Now it works like a champ).

A new, lowpass filter Cleaned up the TV. He corrected the settings In my TNC.

He repaired the computer That would not compute, And he backed up the hard drive And got it to boot.

Then, he reached really deep In the bag that he brought, And he pulled out a big box.

A new rig? I thought!  A new Kenwood? An Icom? A Yaesu, for me?! (If he thought I’d been bad, it might be QRP!)

Yes! The Ultimate Station! How could I deserve this? Could it be all those hours that I worked Public Service?

He hooked it all up And in record time, quickly Worked 100 countries, All down on 160.

I should have been happy, It was my call he sent. But the cards and the postage Will cost two month’s rent!

He made final adjustments, And left a card by the key: “To Joe, from Santa Claus. 73.”

Then he grabbed his H-T, Looked me straight in the eye, Punched a code on the pad, And was gone with no good-bye.

I ran back to the station, And the pileup was big, But a card from St. Nick Would be worth my new rig.

Oh, too late, for his final came over the air. It was copied all over. It was heard everywhere.

The Ham’s Santa exclaimed What a ham might expect, “Merry Xmas to all,And to all, good DX!”

Author: Unknown

Way Off The Beaten Path!

If you remember the 60’s then you are at least as old as I am. I was in high school and the east coast was a wild place to grow up.

Rather than bore you with non ham radio related stories, I thought you might like to take a walk down memory lane with an extremely well designed Web presentation.

You Just Have To Check Out -> Take Me Back To The 60’s

A Chinese Invasion ???

The TYT TH-UVF1

TYT TH-UVF1

Now we all know that the Chinese government is buying up our government’s debt these days but it seems that the Chinese have no intention of stopping there.

I recently noticed that some of the better known Ham Radio stores like AES and Universal Radio now sell the TYT and the WOUXUN (pronounced Oh- Sheng) HT’s. I was also a bit surprised to see a full review of one of the WOUXUN radios in a recent QST.

So you might ask yourself; why are these radios gaining traction in the Ham Radio stores and what is so attractive about these radios anyway? I have to fess up and say that I don’t actually own one of these HT’s but have spent a fair amount of time chatting with Joe, w2ofd about his recent purchase. Joe recently bought the TYT TH-UVF1 dual band HT and has favorably commented about its features and functionality on several occasions.

Joe’s recent purchase from Lentini Communications included the desk charger, car charger (for a limited time), software and programming cable for under $150 (shipping included). When listening to his TYT, the audio is strong and sounds very natural. Joe happens to also own a few Yaesu HT’s and as far as I am concerned, the audio of his TYT is superior to those radios.

Like most (if not all) new radios sold these days, programming is best done via the computer. I own the Kenwood TH-F6A and find that the advantage of programming it with the computer adds a new dimension to the term “user friendly”.

Programming via the computer makes frequency updates and adding alpha-numeric id’s a snap. Loading different, preprogrammed (profiles) into the radio  is a real asset when away from the home QTH.

Rather than repeat the radio specs here, I have included a few links for your review.

http://universal-radio.com/catalog/ht/5565.html

http://universal-radio.com/catalog/ht/5541.html

http://universal-radio.com/catalog/ht/5547.html

Pros:

Wide Band Receive, Clean Design, Solid Construction, Included Extras, Programming Software, Audio Quality, Low Cost

Cons:

Poorly Written User Guide

Wrap Up:

If you are looking for a nicely designed radio (with extras) for a very reasonable price and you have the patience to decipher the user manual, then, in my opinion the TYT TH-UVF1 is a great buy for the money.