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Topics - mysticstar

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   Hey all. I've taken some time and really got to know my SDR and SDR Console and I really want to get into some utility monitoring. I'm a little vague on installation of the different software. I obtained VSP Manager from K5FR and also obtained VB Cable to try and integrate all the above. I realize that my decoding program (FLDigi) requires a separate set of COMS and my logging program requires a separate set of COMs along with my Control Program also. Do I use Omni Rig to control SDR Console or CAT? I'm having a difficult time syncing all these together and have a feeling that I am making it way to hard. Can someone please assist me? I use DXtreme for logging and it offers either CAT or OmniRig control via Kenwood TS-2000. I want to use that in conjunction with FLDigi and SDR Console, SDR # or HDSDR.

Equipment / Computer Run Shortwave
« on: October 31, 2018, 0035 UTC »
I don't know whether you would consider this question SDR or computer controlled shortwave. I have been out of the loop since 2010. I came back into radio last month and realized that TNC's are a thing of the past and it's now software defined. My question is, where can I find something very similar to the PCR-1500 by Icom? Is there a reason why they stopped making them? I want something around the same price, not like WinRadio. Also I want something that runs off my system, my antenna. ("It's not the kill, it's the thrill of the chase") I want to do it on my own. I also checked out 2 other companies, Ten Tac and RF Space, both companies now not making those any longer. For all you experts out there, I know it is SDR but I wanted to pose this question to the Equipment Forum because even though it is SDR it is also major hardware also. One can't perform without the other. Something tells me that these companies stopped making these for a reason, whether it be cost, software glitches or maybe nobody liked them. Would love to hear some answers. 8)

Equipment / Great Limited Space Antenna
« on: October 28, 2018, 1725 UTC »
     Back in the early 90's I started listening to shortwave and collecting QSL cards from all over. It was a difficult time as I was still living in an apartment with my wife and I didn't have a lot of money to put into my hobby. Necessity is the mother of invention. I bought a Knight R-100 receiver used at Ham Radio Outlet for next to nothing. All I needed was a decent antenna, but where would I put it? At that time I was living in a third floor apartment with a balcony and didn't have the big money to try an active antenna. So I decided to build something that I thought made sense to me in my mind. Fortunately, I was working as an electrical apprentice back then and always kept my eye open for scrap "anything". I grabbed a 6-8' piece of 2-1/2" PVC pipe and went out and bought a 500' roll of #12 black solid wire. I started at the end of the pipe and drilled a couple holes to secure the end of the wire, set up the wire so it would pull off evenly and began to closely wind the wire onto the PVC making sure that the wire was close, tight and neat. When I got to the approximate middle, I drilled a couple more holes to secure it again, leaving a little extra and then cut. I then repeated the process on the other end ultimately ending up in the middle again. I made sure that whatever I had on one side was equaled on the other. Now it was time to attach whatever I was going to use as feed line, whether it be RG8, RG-58 or RG-8X. Basically what you have in the end is a close helically wound dipole that you can just sit on the balcony at night and take down when you are done. I wasn't prepared for the outrageous reception I got using this antenna. Granted, I was up three floors, but looking back, even after I moved from there, it continued to be a great antenna. Years later I was using it as a second antenna and sometimes it was the better signal.
     So if you are looking for a decent antenna that will fit almost anywhere, isn't affected by HOA's, and is easy on your pocket, try this out. It works better if you have an antenna tuner or even build one yourself. At the time, I was living in Newark, DE and I would get up at 2 in the morning sometimes to try and log some decent stations. One card I received was from Radio Luxembourg who was broadcasting with only 10kW of power and it was considered a domestic station. So don't get discouraged. You don't need the best rig and best antenna system to make good contacts. You just need determination, patience, creativity and perseverance.

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