My Icom IC-736 has arrived! I’ve been doing listening over the past few days, and aside from some attempts at tuning to a horrible quasi-dipole I threw out my window (and one or two ill-advised, barely-reasonable SWR CQs) I haven’t done any real transmitting.
What I *have* done, however, is listening, and a little bit of homebrewing. It was wonderfully gratifying take this:
- Parts of an old alarm system ‘brain’
- A 1994 Microsoft Serial Mouse
- 1970s Lead-acid charge controller
- Some ‘bargain drawer’ stuff from a Radio Shack I visited in 2005 that was shrinking their parts department
And turn it into:
- Serial-to-CI-V. (controlling my rig’s front pane from my PC, more or less)
- Serial-to-PTT (What I need to ‘send’ from my digital modes)
I’ve even got an audio interface running, and managed to decode some PSK31.
I’ve had a bit less luck with my Baofeng UV-5R handheld. Not a ton of fun to program w/o the cable. (I have one on the way, but it’s not here yet). That being said, I’ve managed to chirp at, and listen in on a local repeaters, and one in the Boston area when I was visiting, but I haven’t gotten any replies. (I’ll be testing this later against my RTL-SDR to see if I’m actually transmitting audio).
Now – Boston area? Indeed! I was down, visiting some friends of mine, and was lucky enough to be in the area of the last M.I.T. flea of the season. Wow. that was well worth the $4 admission price just to experience. I do regret not coming home with some of the stuff, but I bought some cables, and some copper & aluminum wire at a decent price. I could have used some SO-239 connectors, but for some reason I didn’t buy any out of the endless piles of them.
With some luck, my Ultimax-100 antenna will be arriving today, and while I don’t think I’ll have time to set it up, I might be able to do so tomorrow. We’ll see!