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Author Topic: Building a Shack, "Shack In A Box?"  (Read 56099 times)
NZ4ZN
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Posts: 188




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« Reply #15 on: December 02, 2014, 04:12:16 AM »

My suggestion is this... Wait for the TS-590SG to come out in real soon now. A lot of guys will be upgrading from the TS-590S and putting them on the market.

I looked at the TS-590S, and unless I missed something in the various docs out there it doesn't do anything at all higher than 6-meter - and I use 2-meter a *lot* for local digital and APRS so far.

Is that correct?
The TS590S and TS590SG are both limited to frequencies 6m and below.
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WX4LTG
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Posts: 15




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« Reply #16 on: December 02, 2014, 08:36:46 AM »

The TS590S and TS590SG are both limited to frequencies 6m and below.

That's what I thought. I'm still pondering the FT-857D, IC-7000, FT-991, and TS-2000 - the latter three getting more weighting because they appear to be easier to interface for computer-driven modes over the FT-857D's CAT interface.
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AD5TD
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Posts: 152




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« Reply #17 on: December 02, 2014, 09:07:05 PM »

Here  is a link to a PDF of what I built:

http://tinyurl.com/mk2y2qt

I have since removed the 18ah batteries, the thing weighs over 80 pounds with the batteries!

It works well. BTW, I don't do EMCOMS anymore so it's for sale, make me an offer.

AD5TD
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K4ISR
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Posts: 222


WWW

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« Reply #18 on: December 03, 2014, 12:34:21 PM »

Jpole is a common new user antenna, but I've learned these Baofengs do not like the common mode and active RF created by the Jpole. I have had a LOT better luck with a simple solid sire copper ground plane with my Baofengs.
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de K4ISR
N8XI
Member

Posts: 304




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« Reply #19 on: December 19, 2014, 08:20:46 AM »

Started reading this thread and realized it is very cold outside   Sad
But, decided to put together a QRP Go Kit...
The quickest way without having to work in the cold garage was to grab one of my
several milk crates and see what could be done.

Well, my Elecraft K2 is probably the largest of my QRP rigs.
Then I added an old MFJ-901 (200W Ant Tuner) and a WM-2 QRP Wattmeter.
I used it as is connected to my rotary 40M dipole with an 8 AMP Power Supply. I am awaiting a 7AH SLA battery.
The Go Kit will include three freezer bags to hold  paper, pencils, keyer/paddle, zip cord antenna, etc.

I can see using this setup with some of the smaller HF Rigs.
In fact, one could be a HF Go Kit and another milk crate set up for VHF/UHF.
I am using small bungee cords to hold the gear in place.



73, Rick - N8XI
« Last Edit: December 19, 2014, 08:24:01 AM by N8XI » Logged
K5TED
Member

Posts: 242




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« Reply #20 on: December 19, 2014, 11:32:00 AM »

Not sure what all the concern is over the Yaesu CAT interface. It's as standard a modern ham radio interface as any other.

I have three Yaesu 'shack in a box' radios, the FT-847, 857D and 817ND, and all software I use, including HRD, FLDigi, MMSSTV, EasyPal, VoiceKeyer, DXLabs Commander, OmniRig, HDSDR, Chirp, and the list goes on, run fine with the Yaesu, and allow them to be synced up with my Flex 3000, Icom PCR-1000, and even the venerable old TS-140S.

Is the DIN connector is somehow frightening? Not sure why it would be, but it is a connector, not a religion. Serial DB9 to Yaesu DIN cables are dime-a-dozen. So are Yaesu DIN to USB. Ok, they actually cost around $15 on eBay. I use them all. The FT-817ND travels with a USB to DIN. the FT-857D is my shack 2m/70cm main rig, and uses the DIN to DB9, and the FT-847 is on a straight DB9 to DB9, actually sharing a 4 port serial to USB converter with a PCR-100, PCR1000, and the Kenwood TS-140S.

The USB interface used on Icom, Kenwood and Alinco is not inherently better than a CAT cable. In fact, it's not as versatile.

You say you don't plan to use the ham radio much, so with that said, know that you'll rarely find any activity on 2m and 70cm SSB. 6m ssb is something you will appreciate more. For the price of a FT-991, you can have a brand new FT-450D that hase HF and 6m, plus IF DSP, and a brand new FTM-400DR, which gives you the 2m/70CM, plus same C4FM capability as the FT-991, which is really the only 'new' feature it has, other than the nice display, which, if I read you concern with the CAT interfacing, you don't much care about since you obviously plan to use CAT on a PC.

In the same price range would be a Icom IC-7200 for HF/6m, in conjunction with a ID-5100A for 2m/70CM.

For that matter, TS-590's are about to flood the market.

Or, back to a FT-991, a great radio on paper.  I don't expect a ton of FT-857D owners to dump them for a FT-991 at more than twice the price any time soon. First of all, it doesn't have a removable faceplate, and it's bigger, and looks to be much more fragile, certainly not a mobile rig for most folks.


TS-2000 is probably the value leader in shack-in-a-box, even though it is dated.  IF DSP, nice size, proven track record, satellite capable (you will use this approximately as much as you use 2m SSB, unless you plan to invest in a large or complicated antenna system)


Good luck

« Last Edit: December 19, 2014, 11:40:40 AM by K5TED » Logged
W8JX
Member

Posts: 13268




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« Reply #21 on: December 20, 2014, 07:10:44 AM »

Not sure what all the concern is over the Yaesu CAT interface. It's as standard a modern ham radio interface as any other.

I would not say that. A direct USB plug in would be a standard modem interface.

TS-2000 is probably the value leader in shack-in-a-box, even though it is dated.  IF DSP, nice size, proven track record, satellite capable (you will use this approximately as much as you use 2m SSB, unless you plan to invest in a large or complicated antenna system)

The 2000 is okay but lacks on HF performance and VHF/UHF sensitivity for weak signal work. Also its IF DSP is primitive and lacking. The mere presence of IF DSP does not guarantee good performance. Many analog rigs will outperform 2000 on HF.   
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Ham since 1969....  Old School 20wpm REAL Extra Class..
WX4LTG
Member

Posts: 15




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« Reply #22 on: December 21, 2014, 03:19:01 PM »

In the same price range would be a Icom IC-7200 for HF/6m, in conjunction with a ID-5100A for 2m/70CM.

In the split-radio configurations, is there any particular bonus to the ID-5100A over, say, a Kenwood TM-D710GA? D-STAR isn't looking all that attractive to me, while I definitely have applications for APRS - and the Kenwood is certainly a bit less expensive.

The CAT interface doesn't exactly "scare" me, but I've had very poor experiences with a number of USB-to-Serial interfaces (notably with FTDI clones) - direct USB would simply be preferable.
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K5TED
Member

Posts: 242




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« Reply #23 on: December 21, 2014, 04:42:36 PM »

"The CAT interface doesn't exactly "scare" me, but I've had very poor experiences with a number of USB-to-Serial interfaces (notably with FTDI clones) - direct USB would simply be preferable."

Direct USB is great. However, to discard an entire product line because one is unable to make pirated clone hardware work with it, is, well, bad advice. To discard an entire product line for want of saving $20 on an entire ham station is ridiculous.

Use Tripplite or comparable LEGAL Serial to USB adaptors with LEGAL hardware and drivers, and there is no issue.

The fact that illegally pirated hardware devices cause problems on an individual PC is no fault of Yaesu or any other radio manufacturer.






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K5TED
Member

Posts: 242




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« Reply #24 on: December 21, 2014, 04:49:17 PM »

"D-STAR isn't looking all that attractive to me, while I definitely have applications for APRS - and the Kenwood is certainly a bit less expensive."

I personally am not at all interested in D-Star or any other digital FM mode for 2m or 70CM at this time. My opinion is that they all sound like crap. They don't equal or better the coverage afforded by good old analog, which even at its scratchiest, static ridden best is still better than no signal at all, which is what you get with digital. However, in the interest of price comparisons, I offered that combo station as an example.

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W8JX
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Posts: 13268




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« Reply #25 on: December 21, 2014, 04:57:26 PM »

In the split-radio configurations, is there any particular bonus to the ID-5100A over, say, a Kenwood TM-D710GA?

Icom has a touch screen, GPS, ability to add Bluetooth support and a android app to remote control it via Bluetooth. As far as on air performance Kenwood has a wider receiver as it will cover 23cm/1.2ghz
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Ham since 1969....  Old School 20wpm REAL Extra Class..
WX4LTG
Member

Posts: 15




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« Reply #26 on: December 21, 2014, 07:53:23 PM »

Direct USB is great. However, to discard an entire product line because one is unable to make pirated clone hardware work with it, is, well, bad advice. To discard an entire product line for want of saving $20 on an entire ham station is ridiculous.

I've had one TrippLite-labeled cable come up "bad" as a clone. No joke. There's an awful lot of crap out there with not just pirate hardware, but pirate labels.
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WX4LTG
Member

Posts: 15




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« Reply #27 on: December 21, 2014, 07:55:25 PM »

Icom has a touch screen, GPS, ability to add Bluetooth support and a android app to remote control it via Bluetooth. As far as on air performance Kenwood has a wider receiver as it will cover 23cm/1.2ghz

The Kenwood has a built-in GPS - no need to add one. I've little interest in adding a Bluetooth connection, either. So if I were to go with a dedicated 2m/70cm radio, the Kenwood is beating the Icom on my list right now - and the equivalent Yaesu just looks and feels goofy (I played with one a few weeks ago.)
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K5TED
Member

Posts: 242




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« Reply #28 on: December 21, 2014, 08:11:23 PM »

Direct USB is great. However, to discard an entire product line because one is unable to make pirated clone hardware work with it, is, well, bad advice. To discard an entire product line for want of saving $20 on an entire ham station is ridiculous.

I've had one TrippLite-labeled cable come up "bad" as a clone. No joke. There's an awful lot of crap out there with not just pirate hardware, but pirate labels.

Sounds like user error or buying from shady sources. I use Tripplite Keyspan adapters on the shack PC, and on several satellite phone kits across an assortment of different laptops, even a Macbook Air i7 running Windows in Bootcamp, with no issues at all.

This horse is dead.

« Last Edit: December 21, 2014, 08:19:17 PM by K5TED » Logged
WX4LTG
Member

Posts: 15




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« Reply #29 on: December 21, 2014, 09:09:59 PM »

Sounds like user error or buying from shady sources. I use Tripplite Keyspan adapters on the shack PC, and on several satellite phone kits across an assortment of different laptops, even a Macbook Air i7 running Windows in Bootcamp, with no issues at all.

This horse is dead.

As you say. I wasn't the buyer, just the guy who had to try to wire the system together on a cut-rate contract job. Just pointing out that there *are* some pitfalls even with a label on the gear.

I am still shopping, though. The ability to download user manuals prior to purchasing has been quite useful.
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