Sunday, 10 June 2012

Visit to Hamcom 2012

Just returned from the annual Hamcom Hamfest which was held in Plano, Texas.  As usual it was hot and clashed with the ARRL 50MHz to Light Contest

Elecraft were in attendance showing the recently released KX3 transceiver. They were currently still sending out kit radios ordered on the day that orders started being taken. Unfortunately mine was ordered on the 2nd day!

One interesting demonstration was using the I/Q data supplied by the KX3 to drive an IPAD to produce a panadaptor display using the ISDR app. As the 3.5mm audio input to an IPAD is mono and the I/Q requires a stereo input it cannot be used. This was overcome by using the I-MIC interface connected to the IPADs 30 pin connector via the IPADs USB camera adaptor

Unfortunately the ISDR software doesnt track the mode and frequency that the KX3 is tuned to.  However there is an app called HAMLOG which can track the frequency, but it currently doesnt interface to ISDR. The issue of how to connect the RS232 output from the KX3 to the IPAD which doesnt have an RS232 connector is solved by a device called a Pigtail available from Pignology LLC. This is an RS232 to WIFI converter which allows the IPAD to see the KX3 device. All I need now is the KX3 to arrive to try it out!

I also got to see the new Elecraft KAT500 500W Auto ATU which was smaller than I visualised. It only has the same footprint as the K3. It will be available from August.

I did finally give in and ordered the RemoterigII pair to allow me to remotely control one K3 with another K3 over the Internet without a computer. Sufficient RJ45 cables were found at the Hamfest to make the necessary interface cables.

To help the construction of a 472kHz bandpass filter for my 10MHz to 472kHz Transverter the opportunity was taken to stock up on a range of silver mica capacitors  on one of the outside stalls. The only other purchases were a speaker/mic for my IPAQ and an active GPS antenna for $5 each

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