Review of the PAC-12 Portable Antenna System

Ham Radio antenna review 3D Printing
Since my old and proven antenna is only resonant on 20m and I did not like the fact that the mast does not fit into any backpack, I decided to give the PAC-12 antenna system a go. I’ve ordered the following from Aliexpress: 5,6m long stainless steel whip earth spike with feed point (part of the set linked above) radials coil for 40m band All in all the antenna system cost me ~100 EUR. Read more...

MX-P50M Modifications

Ham Radio amplifier mod
I’ve recently purchased the famous chinese MX-P50M 45W amplifier as an addition to the X5105 for portable use. The amp is small, lightweight and does a decent job but I did not like the SO-239 sockets. I also did not like that there is a PTT cable permanently attached to the amplifier. This post describes briefly the steps to modify it to BNC and a dedicated PTT jack. The MX-P50M before the modification: Read more...

Interfacing the BX-184 Microphone with the Xiegu X5105

Ham Radio Xiegu mod
I wanted to use my BX-184 microphone which has a built-in voice keyer with my new Xiegu X5105. It was used with the FT-817 until now and I enjoyed the parrot very much during my POTA activations. I’ve read that the Xiegu would use the same wiring as the IC-7000 so I followed the instructions of the manual (, page 3, bottom right). The mic itself worked but PTT was not. Read more...

POTA activation of DA-0020 Neckartal-Odenwald Nature Park

Ham Radio POTA
Today I successfully activated POTA park DA-0020 Neckartal-Odenwald Nature Park. It was cold and wet and I only made 10 contacts (20m, SSB, 5W) but the scenery was very nice. It was also the first time with the Xiegu X5105 and I am quite happy with it so far. Ergonomics and battery life are excellent and I also got some good audio reports.

My gear for portable operations

Ham Radio POTA
The following is a picture of everything I am taking with me to portable operations: The gear consists of the following: Yaesu FT-817 with the following modifications 3D printed Power Pole connector 3D printed VFO knob 3D printed side rails 3D printed protection cover Inrad 2000 Hz 455 kHz SSB 8-pole Collins filter TCXO DIY 6600mAh 4s LiPo battery power cable modified mic with built in voice keyer (BX-184) self made 1/4 wave vertical antenna for 20m wrapped around a 3D printed winder and a 3D printed mast tip 7m Spiderbeam mini mast tension belt ear phones pen and logbook coax cable A picture of everything packed and ready to go (banana for scale): Read more...

POTA activation of DA-0034 on the Feldberg

Ham Radio POTA
Yesterday I was able to succesfully activate POTA park “Taunus Nature Park” on the Feldberg near Frankfurt. The following was my gear during the portable operation: Yaesu FT-817 DIY 6600mAh 4s LiPo battery modified mic with built in voice keyer (BX-184) self made 1/4 wave vertical antenna for 20m 7m Spiderbeam mini mast Due to the weather conditions, I only operated for one hour in total but I’ve made 22 SSB contacts on 20m from which four were DX and one was a park 2 park to Iceland. Read more...

Vim Syntax Plugin for Fast Log Entry Log Files

Software Vim Ham Radio
I wrote a Vim syntax plugin for writing Fast Log Entry compatible log files in Vim. This allows me to write extensive logs with a lightweight Linux laptop on the console in Vim while operating portable without the need of a Fast Log Entry install but still with the very helpful syntax highlighting. This plugin does not convert the log into ADIF files. The idea is to copy/paste the log later on into FLE and to the convertion there. Read more...

How I do Email

I’ve used one single mail address for over a decade until it was involved in some breaches and thereupon has been sold to spammers. This address has been rendered unusable for me because I was drowning in spam since then. I’ve then decided to start over with a custom domain, unique mail addresses per website/account and to update all my online accounts to the new addresses. In fact, I am now using 200+ mail addresses. Read more...

FediHams Digital Voice Network

Ham Radio
I’ve created a multi mode digital voice network which allows its users to communicate with each other via various different digital voice modes. These include at the moment DMR, YSF, Peanut, Echolink and AllStarLink. From the FediHams page on this website: “This project combines different digital voice technologies with the aim of creating a virtual space for voice communication between like-minded people. In the end, it should not matter which technologies individual participants use. Read more...

Battery Pack Building

DIY battery
I have inherited the following collection of battery packs, which were already at least 5 years old at this time: Two battery packs should now be built from them: One as power supply for my Yaesu FT-817 during portable operation and another bigger one from the remaining cells. For this I took all packs apart, charged each cell and then measured their capacity: I also needed do order a spot welder kit for this. Read more...
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