Review of the MFJ-856 Directional Noise Finder W/ 3 El. Beam
Overall it was useful to me in locating a few sources of RFI, you point it in the general direction of a noise source, and wave it around until you get a peak in the meter. Once you have that, you walk towards the source, waving the antenna around, following the peaks.
The device is reasonably well constructed, MFJ quality control seems to be good, as the unit I got has no defects in it. It came boxed nicely, and was simple to construct. There were a few items to note… Continue reading
Review of Ameritron’s AWM-30 Wattmeter
This review of Ameritron’s AWM-30 Wattmeter is short, as this device is designed to do one thing, measure output power, and it does it well. I use the AWM-30 in my shack between the AL-82, (Ameritron amplifier), and the AT-1000 tuner made by LDG. That way I see what the Amplifier sees with regards to SWR. I do not bother to power up the AWM-30 Meter often, as my Ham Shack is in a lighted environment and I don’t need the back lights.
The meter is constructed of heavy gauge metal, painted Ameritron Black, to match the rest of the product line. It has a removable SWR sensor, so you do not have to run your RG-8 coax to the meter, you can just add it where it is most convenient. This allows the control head of the unit to be placed in the shack and not a pair of heavy coax cables around the back wiring of your shack. Continue reading
Review of Afreet Software: HamCap
HamCap is a very simple front end for a very complex piece of backend software called VOCAP. What VOCAP does would be a paper in and of itself, so just click here to see an overview of VOCAP, if you don’t want to read the nine sections on VOCAP, just assume it is one of the best pieces of software available for prediction of current propagation conditions. In any case, HamCap uses the VOCAP engine to make propagation predictions, and then presents it to the user in a very simple view. Continue reading
Review of Afreet Software: FAROS
Afreet Software has a suite of programs out for the Amateur Radio Operator, which are very useful, and in some cases work together swapping data between themselves, I have a few of them and will review them all over the next few months. I will start with FAROS.
I like to see when the bands are open and have been using a program called HamCap, that program provides a nice little map of the predicted propagation, and it is free! I wanted real time data, not predictions, so I researched the available options for this, and found two programs which looked promising, FAROS, and BeaconSee. After downloading BeaconSee, and FAROS, I set about to see which one was best for my purposes of seeing real-time propagation. Continue reading
Review of West Mountain Radio’s Rigblaster Pro
West Mount Radio has a device called the Rigblaster Pro. This device is designed to connect your radio, to your computer in a safe and effective way. This device does exactly what it says! The Rigblaster Pro comes with a truly amazing set of cables, and is quite intimidating upon unpacking. Fortunately the manual is written clearly, and concisely. If you try and second guess the manual you will find that things don’t go well… If you just turn off your brain, and do exactly what the manual tells you to do it works. I know because I tried to get ahead of things and not read the manual. Continue reading
Review of N3FJP’s Amateur Contact Log 3.0
Amateur Contact Log version 3, has been in use here at NK7Z for many years. ACLog is a general purpose Amateur (Ham) radio logging program. It is designed to perform just a few functions, and perform them well. The author has selected the needed functions carefully, and the logging program does those functions well. Overall it is a good logging program for general use. If you want a contest logging program, get one of those, if you want general logging, get ACLog.
Many years ago I decided I needed an electronic log, I wrote a few, downloaded and tested many, and selected ACLog. Amateur Contact Log seemed to fit the bill for my needs. I do not want a contest logging program, (I use MixW for that), and the author has correctly decided to not make ACLog a contest log. He has created twenty other logging programs designed for twenty different contests, thus not attempting to make ACLog all things to all people. Continue reading
Review of MixW Multimode Software V3.x
MixW is a multimode digital decoding/logging/contesting software package. MixW was initially released in the year 1998. It has gone through many revisions, and still continues to be useful today. Although the updates have been sparse over the past few years, the software may be coming back to life with updates coming from the authors recently. Continue reading
Review of Kenwood’s TH-F6 Handheld Radio
The TH-F6 is very compact handheld three band transciver for radio amateurs. It can be MARS modified, allowing extended transmit ranges. The radio is NOT type accepted for commercial use. The radio comes with a reasonable sized battery pack, a wall charger, and no case. I’d recommend getting a larger Battery Pack, there are some really large packs available, some last days. Continue reading