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Paul F

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About Paul F

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    Hero Member

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  • Location
    Northern California
  • About
    Independent film maker.
  • Interested in Sound for Picture

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  1. What a different experience we are having. Printed on the dongle was the website to use. I went to the SDR-RTL.com. site and followed their instructions. When I first looked it over, I started rolling my eyes as it was going over all kinds of information. But when I actually stepped through it for the installation, it was simple and straightforward. It was like any other software installation - download, extract, install, and run it. There were no hiccups of any kind. There was no misleading or incorrect instructions. The software they recommended is SDR#. I'm using Windows 10. I needed no help to get it working and detecting FM radio stations. It was all there. Yes, there is a lot of things that are on the left side of the screen that had me scratching my head. I didn't need to know about any of it. After playing with it, I did want to know more, so I read through the guides they provided and learned about all of the other stuff. I didn't find scanning a problem. I was able to type in a frequency and then I could see a 6 Mhz span - limited for sure. But then I was able to scroll though the spectrum by dragging the mouse left or right. I clicked on a carrier and the AGC locked in on it, displayed the audio waveform, played the audio, and recorded the audio without me doing anything but clicking on the carrier and the FM demod button.
  2. An Ebay vendor just sent me an RTL-SDR V3 instead of a dipole and did not want it back. So I played with it. While I found the instruction page to be a bit daunting, in actuality, reading through it and following the instructions, installation was easy. I didn't find the software to be a problem. It works well. It's real drawback as borjam says is the limited span that is displayed. This one had a maximum display of 6 Mhz. It's easy to scroll up and down the spectrum, but I'd rather see 50 - 100 Mhz for an initial scan and then zoom in from there. It's ok. It does the job and you get to listen to whatever it is you see on the spectrum and record it. If someone is looking for a cheap solution to try for just a few bucks, it works.
  3. Yes, the meter has the 12V to 5V converter built-in. I was looking for USB ports I could build into a BSD that ran off 12V and found this device. Notice that the ports are also Quick Charge ports for faster charging. It fits in my bag. My small cart is just a bag holder so it's for both.
  4. I'm looking into this as well. I was going to use solid spring wire, but I remembered that I have stranded stainless steel wire in a very small gauge and I tried that. I like it a lot more than solid spring wire as it is very flexible - like rubber. It springs right back even if you bend it quite a bit. The solid spring wire tends to develop a bend much easier than the stranded wire when it is bent. If your going to make antennas for the 500 Mhz and up range, the stranded stainless wire is the way to go. To make it stand up 13" for 216 Mhz that I'm doing for an IFB, I tried putting two layers of marine heat shrink tubing on it (has a glue coating on the inside). It works well. I'm more likely to use a dipole up on a pole for the 216 Mhz, but I wanted to have a whip solution as well. I don't have anything to show yet as I'm still testing and getting parts. The stainless wire I have is .030" 7 strand. You should be able to get it at better hardware stores or maybe a marine store (trolling cable?). I'm able to get at least 6 of the 7 strands in the pin.
  5. I came across a marine voltmeter with two USB ports and I knew I had to make a BDS with it. I've been using batteries with a USB port built-in. I thought why have the ports in the battery and have to duplicate them (plus having to swap cables during a battery change) when they should be external. You may have seen this, but it's new to me. I bought it more for the USB ports than the voltage meter. But the display a nice bonus. The toggle is a locking switch so it won't accidentally switch off. The input is on the side. I use non-locking connectors. The 5.1/2.1 connectors make very solid connections and I'd rather not mess with the lock if I don't need to, which I believe is the case here. I've included a 5 amp manual reset breaker. You can see it in the little port hole on the side. I don't like breakers that reset by themselves. I'll be adding a 12v to 3v converter and six ports for my receivers/transmitters. I haven't decided if I will use Velcro or a belt clip to mount it.
  6. Excellent. Thank you Jason and Larry.
  7. Thanks. My question is, why did you run a piece of RG-58 to the back of the antenna? Why not just directly connect the receiver with one cable from the front as shown in my sketch? I want to know if there is a technical benefit to adding this short stub of coax.
  8. I see that everyone is dressing the coax to the back of the antenna. Are you doing this for looks or some other reason? I talked to Kent about his LPDA pcbs and he said I can mount a right angle SMA connector on the front and just drop the coax straight down and then dress to the pole. I'm thinking there's no particular reason to have the mount towards the back. It can just as well be more towards the front. I'm thinking of doing something like shown in the sketch. This way, I don't need a stub coax. I can just connect the coax coming from the bag to the antenna without the stub cable.
  9. My concern is losing or not being able to solder C8 back on if I'm not satisfied with the change. I'd rather cut a trace. I'll poke around and see if there is another way to make the C8 disconnect without removing C8. I won't pull the plastic plug until I'm sure this works decently.
  10. This can be done for the transmitter or receiver. Their instructions provided a way to add a wire antenna directly out of the case or a way to add a BNC coax cable wired directly to the board and out through the battery case. I didn't care for either of those. Here are my modified instructions. I haven't tried this yet. I'm waiting for the SMA connector. LT-700 Instructions: 1. Open the case by removing 4 screws under the battery cover. 2. Remove the back cover. 3. Disconnect the transmitter board from the main board. There are no fasteners. It is held on by connector friction. 4. Remove C8 from the transmitter board. The board is marked LT700-TXRF. C8 is located next to the larger of the two connectors (J1, see picture) 5. Remove the plug of plastic covering the antenna hole. (see picture). This location is used for an antenna on the -863 version of the LT-700 5a. I'm assuming an SMA connector is going to fit in there, but I won't know until I get it. 5b. Install the SMA connector in the antenna hole. 6. Attach coax center lead to the back side of pin 1 of J1, which is the pin closest to C8. Connect that lead to the SMA connector. 7. Attach coax shield to the ground plane of the circuit board near pin one and to the SMA shield. The back side of the transmitter pcb board is the ground plane. You'll have to scratch off some of the green mask according to them, but I haven't looked for a better location. 8. Reassemble the unit. Receiver instructions are the same except instead of removing C8, remove L8 which is next to J2. I don't know if receiver cases are the same and have the antenna plug. I'm too lazy to go to the shop and look.
  11. And first thing this morning, I had the answer from Listen Technologies. They are providing me instructions on how to do it. Good folks.
  12. Thanks. I had that same thought earlier today. Indeed, they are very responsive.
  13. I have both a portable and rack unit IFB transmitter. I use a dipole on the rack unit. The portable unit uses the microphone/line input as the antenna. I am feeding line input from a Zoom F8 to the transmitter. The portable unit's range is poor (unusable). Is there a way for me to make up some type of T connection that would allow me to add a dipole antenna to the line input to the transmitter?
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