Monday, 20 February 2017


I haven't used my TS2000x for some time. Today I reconnected it to the 70cm yagi mentioned previously. I had forgotten why I really like the TS2000. Although I have both a K3 and a IC7300 (as well as an FT817) the TS2000 is still the easiest to use, even though it doesn't have a built in spectrum display and at present I can only connect to the 10.695MHz IF with my SDR-IQ for a very restricted 30kHz span display and waterfall. Even so this has proven quite adequate for digital modes.
I've also connected my spare SignaLink sound card unit for audio input for digital modes.
The TS2000 is quite deaf on 70m, but I plan to connect a PGA432 preamp through a 12v transfer relay to improve sensitivity. If I can be bothered, with the low level of 70cm activity, I will move the preamp to masthead in due course. 0.8dB system noise figure is far better than 6 or 7dB!
Maybe conditions will improve and I'll get to work a few stations outside the county........


Saturday, 18 February 2017


I thought I might put my 70cm yagi back on the mast. It's a 21 element Wimo and did me good  service for some years.
I want to see what 70cm is like now. It may have become a lot noisier than 4 or 5 years ago when I last had 70cm 'DX' capability. 
Ideally I want to build a new 70cm transverter, but before expending (more) time on the development of a transverter I though it might be better to just connect up my TS2000 again, but with a PGA432 preamp to lower the noise figure to something a bit better than the TS2000 can achieve!
I have a reel of M&P 15mm flexible coax and that ought to allow me to mount the preamp in the shack, initially, and yet still achieve a reasonable system NF.
I also have a 500W SSPA for the band, so that ought to help any DX hear me. However, driven by the TS2000 it is limited to 350W max out or 200W for a good IMD due to the poor TS2000 TX IMD. The SSPA was originally designed as a TV transponder amplifier. 


Friday, 17 February 2017


It has now been a little over a week since Dave passed away. It seems it was a massive heart attack that took him from his family and friends. Dave was apparently fit and enjoyed his Scottish country dancing as his main activity. Indeed, he was dancing the evening before his attack.
It was only a few weeks ago that Dave went down to London to pick up his new kilt in the family tartan.
He got to wear it a few times.

The raw feelings I had when I heard about Dave have now subsided a little, but even so, until his funeral next month it will be hard to think about much else. I already miss our little chats about our products and how best to market them. Dave was just getting into his stride with HUPRF. For now the company has suspended trading, pending a decision on its future.

I have no doubt that some of the product lines will continue, but there is no guarantee as to what. I'd like to see the DG8 continue and maybe even employing the new low noise device now being used in the Anglian transverter.


Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Some Anglian updates

Before Christmas I asked SM5BSZ if he would like to do a set of confirmation measurements on one of my Anglian 3 transverters. Leif quickly identified a shortcoming of the main MMIC I had used in the Anglian 3. After some toing and froing it became apparent that a second source SPF5043 was superior to the original RFMD ones. I am currently trying the replacement devices and some other changes that Leif suggested and if all goes well, and there are no adverse affects on the Anglian's performance, I will upgrade the kit to include the new devices and the other changes. The initial indications are that the performance will show a worthwhile improvement in noise (not a change in noise figure) performance. You should look at Leif's Youtube channel videos for more information.

For the moment I have run out of kits and before releasing the new version (possibly the Anglian 3L) I will need to restock with the changed parts. 

Can I emphasise that the existing Anglian 3 is an excellent performer, with many users, and it has been used in a fair number of 2m contests to good effect. There is no point in upgrading unless you are after even better performance......

The changes, if adopted, will make the Anglian 3 even better. For the cost of the transverter kit it would be difficult to find anything that performs as well.

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Post Scotex

Back from the Scottish Microwave Round Table. I spoke on the subject of my Anglian 3 transverter.
However, the social aspects of the meeting were what it was all about. This is one of the smaller Round Tables and has a limit of just 50 attendees because of limited space in the Burntisland Communications Museum in which it is held. 
The evening meal was held in the Kingswood hotel, some 1.5 miles from the Museum and around a mile from my hotel. I was able to walk from the hotel to the Kingswood in about 20 minutes in the good company of G3AAF. We were joined by G4BAO on the way back. The excellent company and interesting chat made the cold walk quite bearable!
I have to report that the food was excellent and was extremely well prepared and served.
3/4 of the 'Microwave Band' entertained us after the meal, with some interesting and unusual musical instruments. I am completely unable to remember their names (the instruments, that is) except for the accordion and that was a bit smaller than usual.......I'm sure it has a special name as well.

As for radio since returning, well I have been back on the moon, using digital modulation on 23cm and collaring several more initials (#) for my growing 23cm total. QRA64 was very effective at allowing me to QSO G4BAO off the moon for the first time. Our dishes are just 1.9 and 2.3m diameter.

I've also been preparing to launch the PGA432 preamp kit. This is a low noise, high dynamic range, preamp with effective input filtering and bandpass output filter. Gain is adjustable and powering over coax is an option. I will announce on my web page when the kits are ready for sale.

73 de Sam

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Anglian update

Sales of the Anglian 3 144MHz transverter have been going well. I have mainly been limiting sales to the UK and Europe whilst I clear my backlog of orders.
Many of my customers have been buying the 8W PA short kit as well as the transverter.
For now I am able to hold the price of the Anglian 3 to £120 but after the noticeable increase in the cost of parts for the transverter I will have to increase the price in the New Year. The increase is mainly due to many of the parts being sourced outside the UK and priced in USD which is approximately 20% higher against the GBP than before the Referendum result caused the GBP to slide to a more realistic value. 
I will take kits to the GM Microwave Round Table next month, where I will be giving a talk on the Anglian. I also plan to take kits to the Heelweg (Dutch) meeting in January. The ferry trip is already paid for!


So how did the SDRPlay, play?

I've now got the SDRPlay connected to the Lenovo notebook and the 13cm transverter 2nd IF output. Switching the transverter LO to give 2300MHz coverage and tuning the SDRPlay to 164.830MHz I can copy several 2320MHz beacons and the local one at Martlesham, although very strong, does not cause any discernible strong signal problems. This is reverse operation of the system.
I will use it as a more conventional parallel 2300MHz receiver this evening during the UKAC/NAC 13cm and up when the main system is on 2320MHz. It should be an interesting test.
200W out to a 67 element yagi.