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 Expedition communications, overland navigation, teamwork challenges

Portable HF Digital Station

  • 14 Nov 2017 8:28 PM
    Message # 5586866

    This past weekend at Savahia, several of us spent a fun time testing and discussing HF in relation to Land Ops.  One topic bounced around was the idea of a very portable digital station.  Generally, we've been using W8KO's setup as a base for comparison.

    We chatted about using a simple, inexpensive laptop (e.g. HP Stream) or even a tablet, some sort of interface (e.g. Signalink), and a transceiver setup.  So, I started going "down the rabbit hole" surfing the internet.  And this post hopefully will stimulate some more ideas.

    One important note:  CW is by definition a digital mode. I'm not completely ignoring CW, but simply setting it aside for now for this discussion -- leaning more toward Contestia or other similar modes.

    So, here's what I'm thinking for my first digital-only station:  HP Stream running Win8.1*, ozQRP MTD 40m DSB transceiver, RigBlaster nomic*, 40m dipole.

    I already own the items with the (*).  The dipole is easy to make.  The ozQRP transceiver is chosen because it's SSB, and generally speaking an SSB transceiver is needed for most digital modes.

    Well, I'm going to stop there for tonight.  There are probably other options, and I'm more than interested in thoughts.

    Cheers de NR6T

  • 16 Nov 2017 2:23 PM
    Reply # 5590049 on 5586866
    Chris Doering (Administrator)

    Clint, thanks for this post.

    We are looking for a very portable (very light weight) HF radio with NVIS antenna (wire probably) for the hike to Old Woman Meteorite.

    Please keep looking for options. We have to hike and climb. Are you up for it? We need a few more on the summit team. I think 1400 feet climb (hike not actual climbing). Need sherpas, lol

  • 19 Jan 2018 11:57 AM
    Reply # 5691783 on 5586866
    So, I didn't make the trek up the hill to the meteorite site.  However, I've been keeping the idea of a minimal (portable) HF digital station in mind these past weeks.  Backpack CW would probably be the smallest/lightest option.  I have an MFJ Cub 40m rig.  W8KO has an excellent pocket-size dipole that I need to copy.  Now all I need to do is finish learning CW!


    For other digital operations, as well as adding 75 meters, I ran across the μBITX site today (http://www.hfsignals.com/index.php/ubitx/).  VERY interesting!  $109 for up to 10W SSB & CW.  That opens up a huge variety of digital modes AND covers 3-30 MHz.  Along with some sort of interface (Rigblaster, sound card, etc.), computer, power source, and resonant antenna, this may be the proverbial "too good to be true" solution for portable/mobile HF digital.  I think I'm going to pre-order this week....

  • 20 Jan 2018 12:33 AM
    Reply # 5692517 on 5586866
    Jim Biram (Administrator)

    You might want to check out this new QRP transceiver from Xiegu Link to Xiegu X5105

  • 22 Jan 2018 9:34 AM
    Reply # 5695935 on 5586866

    That is some cool new stuff!  

    I am running the classic Elecraft KX3, Signalink, and a coil loaded 40/80 inverted vee NVIS antenna.  The laptop end is the tough part.  Can you post a picture of your HP Win 8 machine?

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