Archive for category QRP

Trail-Ready Portable Station

After finishing, revising and size-reducing my HamPi, I decided to continue on and finish assembling a new revision of a portable station.

Since I actually have plans to use this in the field, I wanted to pack things up as small as practical while loosing as little functionality as possible.

 

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Ham-Pi

I’ve been using Raspberry Pi mini computers for lots of little dedicated purpose tasks over the last couple years (VPN servers, print servers, D-Star controllers, arcades, etc) and I decided I’d like to make one to go with my KX-3 portable setup. I’ve had several questions about it and since it’s been about 2 years since I made one, I decided it was past time for a blog post!

My basic desire was to assemble a low maintenance portable peripheral that could be used in the field with my KX-3. I’m calling this a peripheral, and not a computer because I really wanted more of an appliance feel, without the burden of having another computer to manage and care for. I also wanted something that was dedicated to the purpose, so it could live in the bag with my KX-3 and I wouldn’t feel the urge to rip it apart and use it for other projects.

The Raspberry Pi, currently at version 3, is ideal for this purpose. It’s not the fastest or the lowest power, but it’s by far the best known and supported platform. It runs a version of Linux called Raspbian and a desktop environment called Pixel.

Because the Pi is based on Debian Linux, it has a host of ham radio applications available for use. My primary interest is in FLDigi and WSJT-X, but various other programs like Xastir, Direwolf, Chirp, D-Rats and even some panadapters are available from the built in software package manager.

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Elecraft KX-3, 2yr Pitstop

It’s been just shy of 2 years since my KX-3, one of the first kits to roll off the line, arrived in my shack. In that 2 years we’ve seen many firmware enhancements, a few accessories, and some bug fixes to the KX3. If serial numbers are to be believed there are now well over 5000 of these little guys in the field.

There have been a few production changes so far in the KX-3’s lifecycle, and I figured with so many in the field the hardware platform was fairly mature and now was as good time as any to do some routine maintenance on mine. As my friend says, it was time for me to pay my Early Adopter tax.

4 items from the Elecraft Appnotes and Mod kits jumped out at me as issues I have experienced.

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