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Categories | QRP Accessories | Ham Central Terminal (HCT) Help

Show all reviews of the Ham Central Terminal (HCT)

You can write your own review of the Ham Central Terminal (HCT).

N4KGL  Rating: 5/5 Jul 16, 2013 06:03  Send this review to a friend!
PSK with no laptop required  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The Elecraft KX3 is capable of decoding and transmitting CW, PSK and RTTY without a computer. The KX3 modes that achieve this are CW, PSK-D and FSK-D. Eliminating the computer is an advantage to portable operation. There are some caveats to be aware of. The success on decoding CW varies with the sender but it is still useful. The display of decoded signals on the KX3 is on a short scrolling display. Note, you won't have a waterfall display on PSK. But this does not mean you can have fun with these modes. The input for PSK-D and FSK-D is via the paddle inputs. For me, I have yet to fully master the paddles.

Perhaps a portable computer such as a laptop, tablet or smart phone could provide a better display and a keyboard. However, I can't read their display in direct sunlight. The Ham Central Terminal (HCT) comes has an excellent sunlight readable display that works at night as well. The display can provide 80 characters at a time with scrolling memory. The HCT also accepts a PS/2 computer keyboard so paddle inputs are not required.

I paired my HCT with a mini keyboard. I find it fits in my backpack with the KX3, Alexloop and external battery. This is major as I would not like to have more bags to handle.

I am now enjoying PSK QSOs without a "computer." I also enjoy the logger. It captures frequency and mode from the KX3 and logs up to 1200 QSOs. There are has some limitations in fields but the essentials are there. The time of day is automatic if you install a CR type cell internal to the HCT.

The unit has ten memories for messages usable for CW, PSK and RTTY. You access them with one press of a function key. This is better than the two presses required on the KX3. You can also stack the memory messages not just the same message but combinations. I don't think the KX3 will let you stack mixed memory messages yet but it is on Wayne's list. It will also substitute a call or serial number in the messages. I am not a big time contester but I could see the memory capabilities as very handy for Field Day.

I am impressed with the job QRPWorks has done with the HCT. I prefer a firmware approach over the mix and match of software and interfaces. I have not covered every detail but I am having fun with mine out in the field. My blog is www.N4KGL.info




 
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