Shed Workshop Sunday 3 July – IC7300 Tips Part 2

iCOM IC7300 Hints and tips – Second session

1pm – 3pm Venue to be confirmed

Those with IC7300’s will give a follow up talk on remaining topics not covered in the first workshop in early June.

This includes more detail on modes of operation for the spectrum scope and waterfall display, how to bring up the audio spectrum displays for RX and TX, storing settings on the SD-Card and using it to record voice messages for use in contests or to record QSOs.

There will also be further discussion and demonstration of software using the USB-B port including logging software, and software to support digital modes such as FT8.

It is hoped to also demonstrate network communications that provides remote operation of the IC7300 over ethernet using WFview’s server/client functions.

ALL WELCOME.  Tea, coffee and biscuits to follow workshop.

June Meeting – RemoteDX ENAMS monitoring equipment & shared lunch

When: 1pm – 3pm on Tuesday 21 June

Where: The Collective Community Hub, 1/33 Johnsonville Rd.

Members enjoyed our annual shared lunch to celebrate the shortest day and got to catch up with Brian ZL1AZE/VK3MI who was back in Wellington briefly on holiday after more than 10 years living in Melbourne. Brian is an honorary life member of Wellington Branch 50 NZART and continues to follow the club’s activities with interest.

At around 1.40pm John ZL2JPM gave a presentation on the ENAMS equipment purchased and operated by RemoteDX Inc. He described the challenges of noise levels and the formula used by international authorities to determine the noise floor in different locations, before discussing the ENAMS hardware, data collection and access system and the potential opportunities for the future. He clearly argued the value to the amateur ccommunity of having standardised RF noise monitoring systems.   The ENAMS equipment is operating in Wellington (now on the Kapiti Coast) and is part of a larger IARU experiment.  The RemoteDX ENAMS monitoring unit is currently the only one in the Southern Hemisphere. John’s presentation was well received.

June Shed Workshop – Tips and tricks for the iCOM IC7300

A number of members have the iCOM IC7300 transceiver as their primary base transceiver. One member has an iCOM IC705 which has a similar user interface.

This workshop provided an opportunity for members to share their tips and tricks in using the IC7300. Even those who didn’t own this rig, were able to learn more about iCOM’s user interface and its strengths and weaknesses. While the iCOM is straight forward to use, there are a number of traps that people discover as they go along. For example, if you have been using the rig on 10m FM (or similar) you may have adjusted the squelch control (which is shared with the RF volume control). When you switch back to 7.055 MHz for the Branch 50 NZART net on Sunday, you may find you can’t hear anything. Not even any band noise. You panic! What has gone wrong with my $2000 appliance? You may find the same result by turning both the RF Gain up full…. The answer is simple, always check the RF gain setting if you can’t hear anything. It needs to be set at about 11 o’clock if you want to hear something!

Presenters included Malcolm ZL2UDF, Frank ZL2TTS, John ZL2XJ, Bernard ZL2BD, and Mike ZL1AXG.

The presenters covered a range of topics including, pre-operating checks, simple controls (Gain controls, band switching, changing frequency on the waterfall display, using the attenuators and pre-amps, etc). They also delved a bit deeper into less frequently used features, including interfacing the rig to a computer, how to use the accessory outputs (e.g. to provide band-switching on a linear amplifier) and how to build a small interface to switch between pre-recorded voice messages for contest calling, and an explanation of various display modes (e.g. seeing RX and TX audio spectrum graphs on the display).

The shed meeting was held at John ZL2XJ’s QTH . A follow up session may be organised to cover things that we did not have time to cover – such as saving settings to the SD-card, software options for digital modes, and using the networking features of WFview software for remote operation.

May Meeting: Evolution of hardware data transfer protocols

Everybody is welcome to attend our regular meeting on Sunday 17 May 2022 from 1pm to 3pm at The Collective Hub, 1/33 Johnsonville Road, Johnsonville. Mike ZL1AXG will be speaking on the topic of serial and USB ports and their evolution over the years to the current USB-C standard, and it’s ability to provide up to 100w of power (PD100) to a device. Malcolm ZL2UDF will demonstrate his USB cable testing unit.

Tea, coffee and biscuits will be available following our meeting.