YAESU FT-891 Current Draw at 13.8V

The Yaesu engineer who put the brochure together obviously has not used the radio

I tested the following current draw figures

Yes, it is very high at 5w due to the finals inefficiency at low outputs but I can rock it up to 80 watts and add 2  units to my signal for those receiving station using poor antennas

You cant do that with a FT-817/818 or KX2/KX3. Just think of the 891 as what the FT-818 should have been with a built in amplifier in a single form factor

FT-891 Current Draw at 13.8V

Receive                1.0 A

5 Watts                5.7 A

10 Watts              6.9 A

20 Watts              8.3 A

30 Watts              9.3 A

40 Watts              10.5 A

50 Watts              11.5 A

60 Watts              12.2 A

70 Watts              12.9 A

80 Watts              13.7 A

90 Watts              14.4 A

100 Watts           15.2 A

I uses several Bioenno batteries for this and other radios. The 9AH battery will peak to 20AH for B use

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Launch of the Icom IC-9700 – Yawn

Launch of the Icom IC-9700

Icom has a new VHF/UHF/23cm SDR transceiver called the Icom 9700

Icom is now announcing radios a year in advance of release.The IC-9700 has several unique aspects that I have provided below:

WOW! $$$$$$ You would not buy this radio to chat on the local repeater unless you have pension money to blow

The 1.2Ghz/23cm band comes as standard. Great for Japan and Germany but not so much for the Toronto area that has no 1.2 repeaters except for a single D-Star one. It stacks on top of your 7300 and 8600

D-Star included as they replaced the 7100 with this radio. Many hams bought the 7100 for D-Star as the HF side of the radio was not that great so now you either get a 5100 with the wishy washy display or go full tilt clour boogie on this radio

This transceiver covers the 2m, 70cm and 23cm bands. Power levels are 100/75/10W respectively. The radio uses the latest SDR technology with direct sampling on both 2m and 70cm, echoing the underlying technology of the IC-7300 and IC-7610. There is a touchscreen with waterfall and spectrum display. Modes include SSB, CW, AM, FM, RTTY, DV (D-STAR).

Satellite operation is the real reason to buy this radio with dual-watch and duplex facilities, plus normal and reverse tracking (to take account of the problem with the Doppler shift).
Interfaces include USB and the usual Icom C-IV for rig control but also a LAN port – remote operation can be achieved without a PC connected directly to the transceiver. A 10MHz reference signal input allows very accurate frequency control, important for some low-signal data modes and satellite activity.

If you are an active satellite operator then this radio is for you.

A fan of the magic band  NOT as 6m is not included

If you are tired of the Icom 7100 and need a stackable radio on your 7300 then the 9700 is for you.

If you operate on one analog repeater and can’t figure out the programming for D-Star then this radio is NOT for you.

The 9700 I out in the field and Icom has already issued software patches due to the lack of proper testing before release as seen by the bug fixes:

Changes from Version 1.04

  • Faster boot-up time.
  • Improved TX/RX Call Sign Display function.
  • Realigned the display layout when using the DR function.
  • Fixed an issue where “MY CALL SIGN” may not be properly transmitted.

CS CS-9700 Version 1.01

  • Fixed the problem that the wind speed of the reception history is displayed as “mph” even if it is set to the display unit “km / h” of the wind speed

http://www.icom.co.jp/world/news/180903/img/IC-9700_ENG.pdf

 

The Icom IC-7610 HF/6m Software Defined Transceiver – Additional Thoughts

The first true Icom designed SDR was the Icom IC-7300 and was then followed by the IC-7610.

The IC-7610 has similar digital architecture transceivers such as the Elecraft, Apache Labs and FlexRadio Systems.

The  idea of the IC-7610 with its dual receivers being like two IC-7300s is incorrect. The 7610 is designed from scratch

The front-end filtering on each 7610 receiver is superior to the IC-7300, with better bandpass filtering and the Digi-Sel preselector module,  greatly improving the out of band rejection of strong signals that can cause annoying interm.

The ability to listen to two receivers simultaneously on the 7610 when it comes to working DX works better than the 7300, with its single receiver and dual VFOs, you can toggle back and forward between the receive and transmit frequencies

Dual receivers enable you to know exactly what is happening in the DX pile-up and on the transmit frequency.

The 7300 has  the 14-bit version and the 7610 has the 16-bit version in each of the  receivers. The 16-bit ADCs are used in the vast majority of high-end computer-assisted digital sampling SDRs, such as Apache Labs ANAN series  and Flex-Radio’s 6000 series.

IC-7610 has solid-state relays switching with no clicks from a mechanical relay.

The 7610 comes with the awesome audio peak filtering, adjustable in frequency, width and gain and available on both receivers. The 7300 does not have this important feature. I had this feature on the Yaesu FT-1000MP

The high definition touch screen (7in) is larger and easier to use than the one on the 7300 (4.3in) and you have the additional ability to use an external VGA monitor

Other advantages of the IC-7610 over the IC-7300 are its larger physical size and its easier to push the buttons. You also get two PL-259 antenna ports, plus a BNC receive antenna input and output, which can be switched between the two receivers or add additional preamps.

Packtenna in The Field – Linked Dipoles

I find linked dipoles are better and more efficient than any compromise antenna and NO tuner is needed.

This means you can run your FT-817 in the field without needing to bring a tuner. Dipoles are quick to set up as an inverted V but they do need 3 tie points.

It’s very useful to have various PackTenna tools in my antenna kit bag.

If its too cold or snowy and you cannot put up the dipole then a single wire antenna is perfect.

winter shack.jpg

I used the PackTenna 9:1 UnUn variant today to make a dozen contacts in the CQ WPX SSB contest as I had a single tree to use as a support pole.  I threw a Paracord rope with a hockey puck into the tree and was operational in less than 5 minutes.

Good signals on 40m and 20m into PJ, Z, TM and KP4

packtenna mini    packtenna dipole.jpg

Except for the shower of snow coming down from the tree limbs the whole process was super easy.

No problem making contacts with my backpack Icom 703@10 watts with the PackTenna antenna system.

I was a bit worried about water/snow getting into the balun so I am looking into a way to just ziplock the balun when weather conditions warrant it.

http://packtenna.com/
73s
John VE3IPS

Sure wish I was in Oakland

packtenna-mini-hro-oakland-2.jpg

SOTA W6/CC-05 MOUNT UMUNHUM

I operated the summit on October 7, 2018 in the afternoon.

Its a simple drive up the mountain and a short hike to get to the summit area. The area is being improved with proper trails, signs and sitting areas. I think this is becoming a popular spot.

You cannot enter inside the radar building itself which probably would not have anything to see but it would be awesome to operate from the top level if the building ever gets refurbished.

I managed to make 10 contacts on 2m FM and was glad to work the SOTA regulars like Rex KE6MT and Vic AB6SO.

Vic was in Redwood City at the San Mateo bridge and may have been the farthest simplex contact and its funny as I had come through there to get to the summit. At one of the

I operated the summit on October 7, 2018 in the afternoon.

Its a simple drive up the mountain and a short hike to get to the summit area. The area is being improved with proper trails, signs and sitting areas. I think this is becoming a popular spot.

You cannot enter inside the radar building itself which probably would not have anything to see but it would be awesome to operate from the top level if the building ever gets refurbished.

I managed to make 10 contacts on 2m FM and was glad to work the SOTA regulars like Rex KE6MT and Vic AB6SO.

Vic was in Redwood City at the San Mateo bridge and may have been the farthest simplex contact and its funny as I had come through there to get to the summit. At one of the CalQRP meets , I recall Vic telling me its a great area to work from due to the marshy water providing some enhanced signals on HF.

I was using my trusty Yaesu FT-817 with a 5/8 wave whip antenna. These are easy to find at hamfests as most don’t use the BNC mount any more.

I also was using a PackTenna prototype of an antenna mount that worked out very well for antenna mounting as an initial trial for SOTA. I used it in different configurations.

I also had the MFJ-1820T whip antenna with a 13 foot counterpoise. I did manage to wedge the antenna into a crack to get it to stay upright.

My thrill was working RM0L/p from the Russian Adriatic sea on 20m SSB. They have a very unique QSL card https://www.qrz.com/db/RM0L/MM

There was a grass fire nearby in San Jose making everything smokey and at times a bit worrisome. When I did San Bruno, the Santa Rosa fires were in full force with lots of smoke in the valley and even though I was many miles away The ash in the air was very apparent.

This is a family friendly summit and you can play radio for 30 mins while the wife and kids check out the area.

IMG_20181007_165155

The PackTenna antenna using the 5/8 wave 2m antenna

 

IMG_20181007_165139

IMG_20181007_162918

 

IMG_20181007_165015.jpg

Antenna with radials to improve the signals

W6IPA 20m Portable Antenna Design using Buddipole Whips

John W6IPA created a 3D project for the 20m portable antenna coil. Its on Thingiverse

https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3197539

I used the Buddipole Featherweight whip that has a 1/4 thread on the base. These antennas are cheap.

http://www.buddipole.com/fetewh.html

Get a couple of BTS IT adapters as it will allow a FW whip to fit onto a 3/8″ stud mount.

You dont need it for the project but its useful to create other antenna designs.

I  use the BST IT adapter at the base of the antenna and a mount in my design

You do need a counterpoise to get best SWR and its possible to lower the whip elements and shorten the counterpoise for use on 17m and 15m

w6ipa 20m portable antenna.jpg

Cheers

John VE3IPS

see ya’ll at Xenia at the Buddipole BUG Meet Up

C4Labs Zum Pi Case Quick Review

I love my ZumSpot and tried a 3D printed case but was disapointed in its looks.

I found the C4 Labs case from HRO

Get one from Dustin as well at http://www.C4labs.com and view his list of other 3D primnted cases for various single board computers.

You will be very happy with the extreme high quality of the plastic used and the laser cut precision.

The gum pack power stick will run the Zumspot for several hours making it a small and light kit

img_20190121_120131img_20190121_120051

Canadian National Parks on the Air Activation – ON06 Rouge Natural Urban Park – Firtst CNPOTA Contact and Activation

As many know the CNPOTA is a new program to have hams visit and activate the Nation parks and Historic Sites as per the web site https://cnpota.ca/

It is also a chance for Chasers to seek out and work these portable operators

Please check out the web site for rules and information. This is a volunteer run operation.

I believe I am the first park activation for 2019 with more to follow.

I will post some details shortly about my experience.