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Getting your hands on the new Icom ID-5100 is going to be pretty easy within the coming weeks. The first shipment is due to arrive in May and we will have good stocks. Peter Waters, G3OJV, is shown here during his operation with a pre-production ID-5100E.
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His verdict – - Great! I want one

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Icom ID-5100E Arrives In UK   April 16th, 2014

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Most of you will have read about the new Icom ID-5100E, but few will have actually seen one in the flesh. So we were pleased to be able to get our hands on one for a brief period of operation, and to see how it operated. The screen is huge by most people’s standards, and is lovely and clear. It is touch screen but not colour – that was just a rumour.

As dual band radios go, it packs an awful lot of punch, offering D-Star as well as FM, plus GPS capability, voice recording, SD card, and there is even an Android App that enables you to program your radio and send photos and other tricks. It is all very exciting.

OK, so what everybody want’s to know is the price and delivery. Our best guess on price is between £650 and £700 and the delivery will be at the beginning of May, son not very far away. We will be offering some great part exchange deals and also a great no deposit and no interest package.

So give our sales department a call and get your advance orders in now. 01702 203353 for further information.

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Elecraft KXP3 Panoramic Adaptor   April 11th, 2014

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Elecraft have announced the introduction of a panoramic adaptor for use with the KX3 transceiver. Delivery is expected in July.

  • Preliminary information
  • Our new PX3 Panadapter adds a visual dimension to signal hunting, with fast, real-time spectrum and waterfall displays of band activity. Its small size and weight make it ideal for travel or field use.
    The PX3 is fully integrated with the Elecraft KX3, utilizing its serial control port and RX I/Q signals*. The panadapter tracks the KX3’s VFO frequency and filter settings via on-screen cursors. You can point and click on signals by rotating and tapping the PX3’s SELECT knob.
    With its very wide dynamic range and frequency span of up to 200 kHz, the PX3 offers better performance than most PC sound cards. It’s also one of the most sensitive panadapters available, detecting signals down to the noise floor of the KX3. A PC or Mac can still be connected to the KX3 (via the PX3) for use with logging and control programs.

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    HFC-3015 Vertical Antenna   April 10th, 2014

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    Here;s a new antenna that is coming our way that will be of interest to those with small gardens or no gardens. It is a short vertical, and when we say short we means short. It is just 6ft long. With your radios’s internal ATU it will operate on 30, 15, 12 and 10m. And with an external ATU, (or if you are the owner of KX3 or K3 with internal tuner) it will also operate on 40m and 20m. It will benefit with some form of radial system or can be mounted just above the ground. The cost is £69 and will be available as from 14th April.

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    It’s Spring and the time when many ham operators turn towards portable and mobile operation in a serious way. I recently had an enquiry referred to me by the USA manufacturers of Hustler antennas. The ham operator had heard that I had developed a way of using the well known Hustler mobile antennas in a slightly different and more user friendly way.

    The Hustler mobile whip has not changed in ages, and essentially comprises a base vertical section, a loading coil and a top adjustable whip matching unit. In other words it comprises the familiar centre loaded whip format. This design dates back to the days when mobile antennas were frequently mounted on or around the bumper area of the vehicle.

    Well today that is rarely possible and the preferred way is to use a magnetic mount on the roof. Unfortunately that presents a problem if the antenna happens to be over 6ft tall. So my method is to simply remove the lower section so that what was a centre loading coil, now becomes a base loading coil. This is achieved by using a 3/8 inch length of screwed thread which enables the coil to be mounted directly onto a standard magnetic mount. The resulting antenna is around 3ft tall and mounts easily on the roof of a vehicle.

    The question I am often asked is how does this affect the performance and the VSWR? The answer is that it has virtually no affect at all. Resonance of the antenna is primarily dictated by the coil and the top resonator. Removing the bottom section, which is normally a very tiny fraction of the total electrical length, therefore has almost no affect. The efficiency seems to be just as good and the antenna is much safer, even for high speed driving. Try it, you will be pleasantly surprised. CLICK

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    Elecraft Dominate DXpeditions   March 21st, 2014

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    It is interesting to see what the various DXpeditions use in the way of equipment, because operation and transportation under these kind of conditions requires reliability. reading the latest edition of CDXC, I see that 5W8A, operating from Samoa, used Elecraft equipment for almost all the operation. This included 3 x K3s, 2 x KPA-500 amplifiers and 2 x KAT-500 ATUs.

    The very next article in the magazine described a DXpedition to Wake Island, K9W and then I hunted for the gear they were using. Yes you have guessed it; they were using Elecraft entirely. In fit they were using 5 x K3 transceivers and 5 x KPA-500 amplifiers. That is a pretty good product endorsement by any standards.

    And the next report after that included the K3 transceiver.

    It seems the whole world is turning towards Elecraft and the best sale men are the users! There are plenty of those around.

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    YAESU BARGAINS TO END SHORTLY   March 18th, 2014

    Here is a reminder that the Yaesu special deal will come to an end on the 31st of March. This is a cash back offer on certain models and there are full details on our web site. These super deals can be combined with our INTEREST FREE NO DEPOSIT arrangements. That really is a very big saving and financial deal. Just call one of our sales guys for the full details.

    The latest additions to out weather station range is the W-8681 Pro and the W-8682 Mk II. The former noes boasts a colour display and the latter offers really amazing value. Both are proving very popular.

    We are building Elecraft KX3s as fast as we can. I guess the very early Spring like weather is bringing portable operation forward this tear. I am reminded that this time last year we had snow on the ground! Quite a contrast.

    Peter G3OJV

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    There is now a second video from G7CNF, that shows a real life demonstration of how Pre Distortion can dramatically clean up a signal. This is a very well put together video and very educational. Apache Labs ANAN-100 certainly makes this interesting form of processing very easy to implement.

    The LINK is here.

    Peter G3OJV.

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    Pre Distortion, or Pure Signal, whilst not a new idea, is certainly new to ham radio. You can spend a lot of time explaining how it all works, but there is nothing like a practical video. Apache-Labs have introduced this feature into their software and this will enable owners to significantly clean up their signal. All you need is the latest software HPSDR and a few connections.

    So here is the LINK to a very interesting video.

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    30KHz and Below.
    I was interested to read about, what is believed to be a first, the crossing of the Atlantic by amateur operators on the LF band, just below 30kHz. This in fact were one way signals transmitted from the USA at the beginning of this month and received by UK hams. The mode was slow CW.

    I have never operated myself, below 1.8MHz, which by LF standards must seem like SHF! But it is great news that ham radio is still pushing the boundaries. The full information is available on the TSGB news site. I could not find any information as to power output, or ERP, but I guess that this will be published shortly.

    And talking about 160m, it reminds me of the time that I used to spend on that band as a newly licensed ham. I think many G3 operators cut their teeth on that band. How things have changed. The trend has been to move up to 2m FM. I doubt that these 30kHz contacts will change things, but it is yet another area for experimenting and shows that in radio there is always something new coming along.

    NEW WEATHER STATION ARRIVES.
    Today we received the first batch of our new weather station, the W-8682 MK II. This is a remarkable device and is great value. As well as all the usual functions, it measures, wind speed, direction and rain fall. All this at an amazing price of £49.95

    Peter G3OJV

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