Tuesday, 18 July 2017

FT-817 brackets & more thoughts

With some inspiration I got from OH8STN Julian's videos. Julian has brackets on his FT-817 from a company named Chameleon antenna. They make very neat products for the FT-817 and many other accessoires for the ham radio operator that likes to get his radio outside and use it in the field. Now, I don't have the money to buy such a bracket as it would cost me over 150 euro just for some pieces of Aluminium.






Although I am not a skilled machinist or metal worked though I built this militairy style brackets myself. Costs about 20 euro, includes 1 meter of 30x30 Aluminium angle section, RVS bolts, nuts and rings, aluminium primer and matt black spray. The "legs" are made from a scrap piece of RVS. Don't ask how much time it costs to cut the aluminium and filing everything in shape, but be assured it took some hours. Ok, they will not be as rugged and excellent like the Chameleon ones and I don't have the nice strap to hang it on to my shoulder. But it works fine for me.


 I like the way I now have some place for the 12V cable. At the front I have a piece of foam for when I have it in the bag. I secure everything with a piece of velcro.

As some operators have problems with the 12V connector breaking from the printboard I mounted the cable directly at the ground screw. That means that the 12V cable cannot be removed easily, But for my needs that doesn't matter as I don't plan to use it on the internal battery. Hopefully the 12V connector will be safer like this.

I've seen Julian's setup with some digimode modems on top secured,. A great solution which I probabely copy. There goes my idea of a USB stick modem. It also occured to me that I really need to have control over the volume of input/output sound outside the computer. So I'm thinking of rebuild the modem I use so it will fit on top of my FT-817.  It will contain two knobs now to regulate the volume.

Thinking about computers. I really need something else to get on air digital. My old Windows XP laptop was small and light in the past but it isn't anymore. It is slow and the screen is not bright enough to work outside. I was thinking about a tablet with Android. The only problem is that you have to pay for software like PSKdroid etc. If I would have a small laptop with Windows all digi software is free! Besides that you need a special modem to work with a tablet, costs money again which is a problem for me.Besides that I really like to make my own gear.

Just some thoughts...

12 comments:

  1. Dell outlet has some cheap scratch and dent stuff. Don't know what shipping to you would cost but they have a small laptop for $110. http://outlet.us.dell.com/ARBOnlineSales/Online/InventorySearch.aspx?c=us&cs=22&l=en&s=dfh&brandId=2201

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    1. Thanks Noel, have been searching for those models here in the Netherlands but unfortenately not found that cheap. Ordering from the US would be too expensive. 73, Bas

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    2. Neem een kijkje in de refurbwereld Bas! Goede laptops voor relatief weinig. Vaak ook gewoon met 2 jaar garantie.
      https://www.computeroutlet.nl/product/hp-elite-2560p-2-5ghz-4gb-en-250gb-2de-generatie/

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    3. Al gedaan Kees, heb er 1 gevonden voor 184 euro met nog betere specs. Nu nog sparen. 73, Bas

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  2. Geweldig idee Bas! Je hebt het prachtig mooi gemaakt en scheelt je inderdaad een hoop geld. Ik had ook al op internet gekeken (Zero etc)maar schrok van de prijzen en daarbij komt ook nog verzendkosten bij en naderhand PostNL of andere vervoerder. Nee dat werd een veel te dure grap. Ik heb dat van jou en Julian eens nader bekeken en met die hoekprofielen is dat inderdaad goed te maken. Niks voor jou Bas om ze te gaan produceren? 73 Hans, PE1BVQ

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    1. Hallo Hans, nee hoor ga dit nooit meer herhalen. Je kan je niet voorstellen hoeveel werk hier in zit. Dit was een uniek project. 73, Bas

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  3. Hi Bas, pse look first in WSJT-X user guide for computer specifications needed: "1.5 GHz or faster CPU and 200 MB of available memory. (MSK144 especially benefits from a multi-core CPU)" 73 de SV1GRN

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    1. Hello Panagiotis, I agree. My old laptop is 1,6GHz, 1Gb RAM and more then anough memory. It's a single core computer and that might be the problem. However it still does fine with JTDX and FLdigi. HRD/DM780 is a problem, the CPU runs hot in a few minutes. And it's slow, startup time about 5 minutes. I'm looking for another one, prefereable small (8 or 10 inch) multicore and SSD. 73, Bas

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  4. Ik heb het geheel nog eens nader bekeken en vooral op de details gelet en ik moeten toch bekennen dat je een echte vakman bent.
    73 Hans, PE1BVQ

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    1. Haha Hans, nee hoor, het nog wel beter gekund. Alleen heb ik niet zoveel geduld. Ik wou het binnen een paar dagen af hebben. Een vakman hoef je er niet voor te zijn. Goed kijken naar het ontwerp van Chameleon en een beetje de maten inschatten is alles. Zagen en vijlen kan iedereen. 73, Bas

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Thanks for your comment. Bedankt voor je reactie. 73, Bas