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Sunday 27 July 2014

A bit of an update

Not had a lot of time for radio this weekend, however on Friday evening I waterproofed to some degree all the components to be used for the scooter CB that I already have, namely the modified headset wiring and the Midland Alan 42's car adaptor (at both ends, the radio itself is still not waterproof and would need waterproofing), the cigarette lighter socket on my scooter was done earlier in the day, to do all the work required three packets of Sugru, black was chosen as it matched well with the cables and the cigarette lighter socket on my scooter as well as the surrounding plastic, the socket was originally sealed with silicone sealant which did not stay on well enough.

I couldn't find anywhere locally that I could see that did telescopic fibreglass poles, it may be that I need to order one from eBay but finances are tight until I next get paid, also the T2LT has yet to be completed, which may not get done for a couple of days as I've got a bit sunburned and am trying to avoid sun exposure (the measurements may need to be taken in an open space outside on a dry day), hopefully I will still be set to go to Tan Hill in August, though a dry run of the T2LT setup will be done from a car park just up the road from me, helpfully up a hill, whether I use the Grant 2 or the Midland Alan 42 remains to be seen, the latter can run off my scooter battery without risking completely discharging it, the Grant 2 has a lot higher current drain than the Midland handheld on transmit

Also this coming weekend if I get paid I may get the parts I need to build at least one battery box and a replacement fuse for the longer of the cigarette lighter cords to accommodate the Grant 2 (the fuse in the plug is lower than the one in the Grant 2's lead and would blow with the Grant 2 at transmit under normal conditions, thus needs to be about 10A, the fuse on the Grant 2 is 6A, and current draw should not exceed 3A, the 10A fuse allows the lead to work with higher radios.

The shack computer had to have an OS reinstall after an issue occurred preventing a few programmes working properly, all resolved but yet to reinstall the RTL-SDR software, also I am yet to do the oil cooling for the SDR stick

That is all up to date and another post should be on it's way sometime soon :)

73 de 26CT730

Sunday 20 July 2014

T2LT progress

The choke is now wound, the PL259 plug is fitted, and the top of the plug where it meets the cable has had a small amount of Sugru applied to it.

On doing a Google search for "PL259 plugs and Sugru" it turns out that there is no record of anyone doing this which means either one of two things, I am the first person in the world to watertight the cable entry of a PL259 plug with Sugru or others have before me and not really made it public

The RG58 I used is reasonably good quality, it has good braid coverage and a good dielectric, I just now need to measure from the choke to the point in which I will be cutting off the braid, I then need to measure from that point to what will be the top of the antenna (so 8.5ft and another 9ft respectively as per 26CTX104's YouTube video, the 9ft top section allows for some tuning down, folded over and not cut as the VSWR may vary from location to location)

So I look forward to getting the next bit done, then perhaps this antenna will be up and I'll be on air soon :)

73 de 26CT730

T2LT choke dilemma

Now as you know, I am planning to build at least one T2LT antenna, using the design outlined in 26CTX104's video on his UKCBTV YouTube account, but I had a dilemma, what to use as the former for the choke, an important component that separates the antenna and coax as this antenna is not only a dipole for all intents and purposes, it is also made from the coax, I had a look at a few ideas, B & Q sold long lengths of soil pipe that had a slightly wide diameter and I could not transport on my scooter, Homebase were no good at all.

So I thought to myself "what do I already have that I could use?" after carefully measuring the diameter of various round objects (cocoa tin, golden syrup tin, fizzy drink bottle, cider bottle and empty marshmallow fluff tub) I then remembered that I still had the two pieces of tube I used for the choke on the ill-fated inverted-V dipole I was intending to use in the loft but for many reasons didn't, I measured this, bingo, 4" diamater, a quarter of an inch shy of 26CTX104's findings but should be fine if the turns are the same (around about 5, I've seen 5 turns on 4" former reported to work fine).

So, I intend to begin today by running out a short length of the coax I have, which is 100m of RG58 which I bought partly to do this, today, winding the choke, fitting a PL259 on the other end, sealing the plug up with some Sugru where the coax leaves it to stop water ingress (I have heatshrink but of the wrong diameter for the PL259), it will take around 24 hours for the Sugru to fully cure and I don't know if any operators have used it on their PL259s, perhaps this is a first, but perhaps not.

So, I'll let you know how I get on, also just need a fibreglass pole and some means to fasten the antenna to it, and I should be on the air very soon.

73 de 26CT730

Friday 18 July 2014

Feeling kind of nostalgic (well 12 or 13 years in the past anyway)

Now I am too young to remember the original legal day in 1981, I wasn't born until a little over 5 months later, I didn't get onto CB until the very early 2000, I got my CB license at the time, and I borrowed from a now former friend (the reasons to why he is no longer my friend I won't be getting into) an Audioline 341, a power supply, and an antenna on a magmount which was just stuck to a radiator, it worked but not very well, I could hear the stations my former friend could hear from his home QTH on UK7 in Northallerton, and they could hear me, but I could not hear my former friend, being the fool that he is he came over again, took the cover off the Audioline, and fiddled with the adjustments inside of it, not helping the situation.

The reason I think back to this particular rig is because it, like my President Grant 2, is a Uniden product, and since getting the Grant 2 I've been thinking about picking up an Audioline 341 for nostalgic reasons, might check out local car boot sales and see if there are any of these rigs about, I know there's a few on eBay now and again, of course I'm not going to buy one immediately after purchase of the Grant 2, though I have a Uniden wired mic spare from my TTI TCB-550 because I don't use that rig, I'm not totally sure it would work with the Audioline 341, it might, it might not, so I may be better making sure it comes with a mic and power lead.

So perhaps sometime in the future my Moonraker FA5000, my TTI TCB-550, my Midland Alan 78 Plus Multi B, my Intek H-520, my Midland Alan 42 Multi and, of course, my President Grant 2, will be joined by an Audioline 341, it may be a 27/81 rig but it was the first rig I used, albeit very briefly after the owner decided to mess with it without knowing what he was doing, if I get a working one you may hear me on the UK40 with it, though of course I'll be testing it into a dummy load and looking at it's emissions on my RTL-SDR.

73 de 26CT730

Thursday 17 July 2014

Grant 2 first look video

As promised, albeit a little belated, here is my first look at the President Grant 2, the day after I took delivery of it.

It took a little longer to get uploaded to YouTube than I thought, it's not meant to be a serious review as the radio has been out for a while now and it has been reviewed by others, this video is mainly my views on it out of the box.

Another video will be done when I get the radio on air

Hope to get this on air very soon.

73 de 26CT730

Tuesday 15 July 2014

Grant 2 in pictures

I have a picture of my President Grant 2 in situ on my desk, however I took the picture on my phone so it's not brilliant, there are better pictures of this rig out there and I'll try and get a better picture later

But for now, here is my Grant 2, connected to a dummy load and power meter on UK35 after I'd been having a look at the features the rig had.

Hope to get this on an antenna very soon and on the air and see how well it works.for myself

73 de 26CT730

Monday 14 July 2014

G2 day

Well it's Monday and they're usually boring for most but today I took delivery of the President Grant 2, and even though I have not been on air with it yet I am liking it already.

Firstly, it is bigger than I initially thought it was, probably car stereo sized if anything, secondly it has a solid feel, like it's been well put together, which I would expect from a Uniden product (the Grant 2 is made by Uniden for President, some have said it looks a lot like a Uniden Bearcat rig from the US, however it appears the Uniden Bearcat rigs are made in China, the Grant 2 is made in Vietnam).

I received the radio in EU mode so I had to set it up to UK mode, in order to do this you have to turn off the radio, press "F", turn on the radio, and select the UK ("U" on the display), press "F" to save it, turn off, and back on, now if you press "AM/FM/USB/LSB" you get the UK40 along with the new modes on midband, on existing equipment if you want AM you have to set the rig to think it's in Spain, I did this with my Midland 42 over the weekend.

The power lead had, as predicted, bare wires on both leads so I plan to rectify that soon, the rig puts out the expected power on all modes, I tested this with my combo SWR and power meter, I also examined the audio quality of the radio's transmissions on my RTL-SDR while it was on the dummy load, AM and SSB sounded pretty good, though bear in mind that I have never had an SSB rig before, FM was a little quiet but that's ok

Now to test receive, get an antenna on it soon and I'll let you know.

73 de 26CT730

Sunday 13 July 2014

Another shack desk tidy up

With the imminent arrival of the President Grant 2 (this will be tomorrow all being well) the shack desk was in need of a little bit of a clear up, it wasn’t bad but there were things on there that really weren’t needed to be there as I was not using them such as tubes of solder, knife, veroboard track cutting tool, some screws, a hopeless coax stripper (I need a new one) and a roll of electrical tape, as well as my second of my two portable power leads, I decided to leave my Midland Alan 78 Plus Multi B on the desk just in case I may need it on for whatever reason.

I will be recording a “first look” video of the President Grant 2, like I mentioned in previous posts (though I didn’t mention this on the Tan Hill video, but it’s good my YouTube account is getting some use again), on-air tests will come later when I build a T2LT or get a car, whichever comes first(I of course I still cannot install my Sirio GPE 27 5/8 wave as I live in a rented flat and it isn’t a very portable antenna)

So hopefully about 7pm-ish tomorrow my President Grant 2 will be here, a review video should be on here and YouTube by about 9pm at the very latest.


73 de 26CT730

Tan Hill pre-DXpedition evaluation - video

Here is the video I took up at Tan Hill, it's taken me a while to get it ready for putting on here but I got there, it should give you some sort of idea of what I was talking about in my last post.

73 de 26CT730

Saturday 12 July 2014

Pre-DXpedition evaluation of Tan Hill

I took a ride up to Tan Hill today to evaluate how good a DX spot it really is, for PMR446 use I’d still advise on an external antenna mounted as high as possible, for CB a proper antenna would be beneficial, though I had stations incoming on a handheld, in this case the Midland Alan 42 Multi, notably some foreign stations on channel 8 midblock using AM. I did have a brief flick around on FM and also on 27/81 but AM appears to show more promise, SSB may also be very promising when I can finally give it a go, which may well be at Tan Hill.

I took some video footage on my phone and while I type this I am awaiting it to process before I upload it to YouTube, a later post will be that very video, which includes my very first call on AM, although because I was using a handheld I doubt anyone was able to hear me but with radio you just never know.

All I am left to do is sort out a shelter, build a T2LT and some suitable battery packs, acquire a pole to mount my antenna to, and hopefully I can get back to Tan Hill and keep DXing, I’d like to be up there in August on a Sunday.

So, a video is to come later one when it is finally uploaded to YouTube, and on Monday the President Grant 2 should be here on my desk.


73 de 26CT730

Friday 11 July 2014

President Grant 2 arrival–an update

My new President Grant 2 is due to arrive on Monday, as I’ll be out most of that day I have made alternative arrangements for it’s delivery, it will be arriving with a couple of PL259 plugs and 100 meters of RG-58 coax, a lot of this will be used for the construction of a T2LT antenna.

As luck will have it, the courier company responsible for delivering the shack computer’s new motherboard, CPU and RAM will also be delivering the Grant 2, so they should not struggle to find my address.

The first thing I will be doing when I get the package is bringing the radio, in it’s box, into the shack, I will have to clear a few things off the desk first but that is no hard feat.

Now I have a whole weekend of something to look forward to :)


73 de 26CT730

President Grant 2 on it's way

In just a few days time the President Grant 2 will be the latest radio in my shack.  The Grant 2 seems to be the most popular radio for the new legal modes, though in export it can only do frequencies ending 0 or 5.

So, watch this space, my own first look at what is my very first President radio, though not my first Uniden as that was an old Audioline 341 that I borrowed in the early 2000s (who's owner messed with all the adjustments inside in front of me, that same indvidual probably thinks SSB is still illegal), will be on here soon

73 de 26CT730

Wednesday 9 July 2014

First post from rebuilt shack computer

I have taken the time to install Windows Live Writer on the shack computer now it is running fine, this will allow me to post to the blog without having to actually log in to Blogger, however I may still do that when I am not at this computer, for example I am at my laptop.

All appears to be working well, as noted in my earlier post. the ShackCam is also under test again to ensure that it works fine with this computer so it will be running overnight for a little while, so you may see the shack but not me in it, though I am at time of posting given the title of this post

So, perhaps now I will be in the shack a bit more, I left the Internet chat rooms that were causing me some serious issues with my health, the time may as well be put to better use.


73 de 26CT730

Shack computer rebuilt

The shack computer has been rebuilt and the stop-gap hard disk installed and an OS running on it, though this was not without it's problems

Firstly the boot loader on the hard disk failed to work as it should have, rendering it useless, so I reinstalled Windows 7, however once I had Windows 7 and the network card drivers installed I went to open Internet Explorer to download Google Chrome, which is perfectly normal, however something went wrong and the system ended up infected with what appeared to be ransomware (along the lines of your system is locked until you pay a £100 fine for looking at things you should not be), it was easily determined that it was ransomware by virtue of atrocious grammar used in the "warning", and incorrect naming of certain organisations, as well as the fact that my other windows systems were not suffering the same issue.

Solution, reformat the hard drive and let the swines that caused the infection just be £100 out of pocket, however this time I decided to err on the side of caution and not open Internet Explorer, and won't be doing so ever again on any system that has been freshly installed, I also have since disabled Internet Explorer.

After that, I installed the FRN client, some logging software, and all that is needed for the RTL-SDR to function as it should, I have yet to install the programming software for my Wouxun KG-UVD1P but will be doing this after dinner.

The old motherboard may be donated to my work as I no longer have a use for it, and it will just be taking up space otherwise, the new board is in fact smaller than the old one surprisingly, I also got a sticker with the CPU which I attached to the front of the case

All in all a hectic few hours to get the system operational but I got there in the end, perhaps next will be the President Grant 2

73 de 26CT730

Tuesday 8 July 2014

Shack computer update

The shack computer's replacement internal components should be arriving at some stage tomorrow, which I rescheduled, however I could have kept it today had I known I'd be stuck in the house today due to ill health.

Sadly however the conversion board for the hard disk has not surfaced, in fact it has not been marked as dispatched, so what I will have to end up doing is using a spare drive I have lying around that is unreliable until the part I need arrives, it does have a suitable version of Windows 7 on it but as the drive is starting to fail (though it does appear to boot) I have little faith in it working properly, it will be fine a stop-gap until the adaptor for the more reliable drive already in the system arrives

Edit: 9:20pm: Maplin have just marked the adaptor to convert the existing Western Digital WD800BB hard disk to work with the SATA ports on the new motherboard as despatched, it will be arriving via normal post and should be small enough to fit through my letterbox so I do not need to be home, if it arrives tomorrow (unlikely but it is possible they sent it but did not mark it as despatched until later) then I will be good, however I suspect it will not arrive here until Thursday or Friday, the computer rebuild will continue as planned regardless of the arrival of the part, the other hard drive being used as a stop-gap.

Judging by the state of my health, I may not be making it out tomorrow either unless I absolutely have to, but with the parts arriving then I won't go mad and will have a better computer in the shack and be able to spend my time there, though I may be fit to leave the house, I also hope that I am not waiting around for the delivery because that is something I seriously dislike.

What will happen is something like as follows

  • Prior to the parts arriving the PMR446 gateway will be shut down and removed, it is on top of the shack computer and it's previous case, the radio will remain in situ, the empty case will also be removed and the shack computer will be unplugged and disassembled.
  • The entire existing innards of the shack computer except the power supply, DVD drive, and hard drive will be removed from the computer and an assessment of the inside of the case made, original RAM from the shack computer will be removed from the original motherboard and set aside for the PMR446 gateway computer as it would act as a suitable replacement, the CMI8738 sound card from the shack computer will be retained
  • The shack computer will then be rebuilt, put into place before the other systems, and configured headless, due to a lack of optical drive (it's incompatible with the new board without the same £12 adaptor the hard drive is due) the drivers will be moved to a flash drive and installed from it.
  • Once configured the empty case will be placed on top of it, following this the RAM from the old board will be installed in the PMR446 gateway computer, hopefully improving performance.
And that should be it, I will, of course, have to remove everything again when the adaptor arrives, my SDR will then perform as it should do, the FRN will work nicely, so will Zello, the ShackCam feed, and whatever else I may need, I'll obviously have to clear everything else off the temporary hard disk first before connecting the network as it's horrifically out of date not being in a live system for some time,

Next to come will be the President Grant 2 all being well (as well as all the things I need for my DXpedition to Tan Hill).

73 de 26CT730

Sunday 6 July 2014

DXpedition preparations, parts list and rough measurements for T2LT antenna, and a possible cheap and light power supply

As I am hoping to order a 100 meter drum of coax, specifically RG58, I have taken some measurements for the T2LT antenna, I may make a second antenna for home if the design proves itself in service, the measurements are those used by YouTube user UKCBTV, a fellow Charlie Tango station (though can't remember the callsign), with a working centre frequency of around 27.500MHz, should cover the legal 80 channels with little in the way of trouble.

Another thing I found while watching UKCBTV's videos was his excellent idea of a portable power supply, which uses 10 1.2v rechargeable batteries, which range in capacities up to 2500mAh, that would be roughly 25Ah at 12v DC, so something I may cobble together, as well as get hold of a decent battery charger plus some new batteries, he also fitted a volt meter, a good idea to ensure voltage is stable and a cigarette lighter line socket, the battery box and cigarette lighter line socket can be sourced from Maplin Electronics, the voltmeter appears to be an eBay purchase.  This idea was compared to the Midland 77-805 Portapak CB radio, which had a battery box with it, handhelds are another option but the battery life in most is usually pretty dire and the rubber duck antenna is usually hopeless.

The current draw for my Midland Alan 78+ Multi B is around 1.1A on TX, presumably at full modulation, the 42 handheld (which includes a car adaptor) is slightly shy of 1A on TX, the President Grant 2 is 3A on TX with modulation. my Moonraker FA5000, which I now hardly use, I do not know the current draw for as I've lost the manual.

So if I can get the T2LT antenna built and tested in the next couple of weeks, I can focus on a suitable power supply, the battery pack idea above from UKCBTV sounds ideal and is cheaper and lighter than the car jump starter I was originally going to use and will get me started, a telescopic fibreglass mast, and, importantly, a shelter, a collapsible tent may suffice, and a means to carry it all on my back while riding my scooter (I don't have a car yet) then I'm  all good to go, and can get on the air portable at Tan Hill hopefully come August time, if you're on air the day I am up there then we may hear each other on air that day, I'll be using the usual callsign

So, progress in the right direction, power lead, a possible electrical supply, and the measurements for the T2LT written down.

73 de 26CT730

Saturday 5 July 2014

President Grant 2 to be ordered soon maybe? (also a shack computer update)

I may place an order for a President Grant 2 next week if my finances look good, this will allow me to operate on SSB, in particular on my DXpedition to Tan Hill, however I will see what's what.

The reason I chose the President Grant 2 is several reasons, it is the first legal rig that allows you to switch between the new modes in the UK band (this is a recent update to the firmware in the radio), the radio is fitted with a power socket on the rear that the power lead plugs in to, this is similar to my Moonraker FA5000, a rig I hardly use now.

The President Grant 2 is easy to open up to export mode, inside there's a white wire and a jumper block, simply snip the wire and move the jumper, at the loss of your warranty and and your own risk, you also would lose the UK setting but you can get this back by moving the jumper back to it's original position.

It support's President's Liberty wireless microphone, a great idea that no one really thought of in the past, means you are not tied to sitting in the shack or your /p station, you can take a wander if you like, up to 100 meters I think it is, much like a DECT phone or a bluetooth headset.

Another nice feature of the rig is a choice of two backlight colours, orange and green, which also includes a dimmer so you're not blinding youself with a bright backlight at night.

There are other features as well on the rig but I'll do a full write up when I actually get hold of one, hopefully in a couple of weeks all being well

My shack computer has had a new motherboard, RAM, and CPU ordered for it, this would help with performance with regards to SDR use, there are incompatibility issues with the hard disk, optical drive, and existing graphics card, the hard drive has had an adaptor ordered for it to allow it to continue to work, the optical drive will be rectified later as it's not important at this time, the power supply should be sufficient for the new board, the only card that will be fitted is to be the CMI8738 sound card that the machine already has and that is compatible with the board.

Performance with SDR# has been dire with the RTL-SDR operating, the FRN client does work... just, the shackcam feed isn't really reliable on the machine (it's controlled by it both hardware and software, though I intend to replace this with a network camera,, which will make it software and link), and with plans to do the Amateur radio foundation exam as well I want the machine to reliably handle the Echolink software.  Another radio software installed on the machine is Zello, this runs reasonably OK but I tend not to use it as I use it on my phone more than I do on the computer.

Programming my Wouxun KG-UVD1P has proven unreliable with this machine, upgrading the internal hardware may be sufficient to remedy this (the official software, that is practically incomprehensible, works fine, the easier KG-UV commander doesn't read the radio properly, though it could be a bug with the software rather than the computer).

I should be taking delivery of the motherboard and it's ancillaries by Wednesday at the latest, for fitting that evening, which will take out the 446 gateway for a couple of hours but this is no real issue, the RAM on the existing board, if compatible, will be used in the 446 gateway computer to hopefully try and improve things, the GPU in that machine will also be swapped out with the one in the shack computer as I feel the one currently fitted to it is wasted in it and would be useful in another installation.

So, a better shack computer and maybe, just maybe, a President Grant 2 will be sitting on my shack desk soon, but we will see :)

73 de 26CT730

Thursday 3 July 2014

Planned DXpedition to Tan Hill, an update

I have looked on Google Street View for suitable spots to set up a /p station up at Tan Hill, in front of the pub itself is a car park, with large fields all around, my aim is to set up somewhere out of the way of the pub so I don't upset the landlord and landlady, there is a side road just down from the pub, so I could use a spot just past there, provided I can find somewhere dry, boggy ground could upset various components.

I was thinking a quick to erect tent would make a suitable shelter, of course I'd need to ensure that my antenna coax would reach sufficiently to the radio and my temporary mast wouldn't fall down (I plan to get one that has stays on it that would just fit in the ground much like tent pegs which can simply be removed quickly at the end of the day), as I've already completed a pair of power leads for portable power I simply need a portable power supply, mast, shelter, and antenna, the antenna wouldn't be too difficult to source as it's the T2LT I mentioned in my last post that I will be making, I found a suitable mast on a site that specialises in this kind of equipment, and I can pick up a small, easy to erect, tent from either Yeomans or Mountain Warehouse, the power supply may come from Halfords or Maplin, as a jump starter for car batteries would suffice as these tend to have cigarette lighter sockets, the radio I will use for now will be my Midland 78, as mentioned on my previous post, later I will be investing in a President Grant 2 but whether I use it for this remains to be seen.

My home made power lead is a cigarette lighter plug, a short run of cable (which was already fitted), a ring terminal with a bolt through it for negative, and a terminal block for positive, this would make it exceedingly difficult to reverse the connections as the vast majority of rigs have a ring terminal on their negative line, and I usually fit one to rigs that do not anyway.

I include a picture of the lead in question
This picture was taken in the "shack" not long after I put it together, the radio it is on top of is the same Midland Alan 78 Plus Multi B that I will be using, the bolt came from the metal frame my scooter was delivered in, the terminal block and the power cord itself were both lying around, also on the desk is a coax cable stripper and roll of electrical tape that I did not use and the solder that I used to tin the wires to prevent copper oxidisation occurring.  The "CB 27MHz label on the rig is there so I know what the rig operates on if I don't take a good look at what the rig is but all my mobile type rigs are CB anyway, though the picture shows the radio has  PL259 plugged into it, this goes to a salt water dummy load via an SWR meter.

I made a second lead using the plug off the car kit that came with my early (2007) Intek H-520 Plus, the newer H-520 has one with it and it didn't appear to work as well when I tested it so I figured I may as well, there is no picture of this however but it is similar to the first one except it has a black and red wire per pole.

So, preparations are underway, hopefully I will be up on Tan Hill sometime in August all being well.

73 de 26CT730

SDR improvement, an update

I have taken delivery of the two connectors needed to fit to the top of the lid of the metal container that will hold the RTL-SDR stick and the coolant (which will be vegetable oil), and have set up the USB port to be a type B on the outside of the case, in line with USB specifications and to allow the connector of the RTL-SDR to connect.

The next job I have to do is drill two holes in the lid, one to accommodate the USB connector (which turned out to be a little smaller than I initially thought) and the BNC connector, these will be sealed up with silicone sealant to stop oil escaping through the connectors, the RTL-SDR stick will then be placed inside the can, connected to USB and antenna first, then the can will be filled with oil as far as possible, the lid fitted, and the edges sealed up to prevent leaks.

As I plan to upgrade the motherboard in the machine to a more recent model the shack computer will be used, the board swap will mean a port change and reinstallation the drivers for the stick, this is not a problem for me, I have at least 3 compatible antennas for this new setup, or 4 depending on how you look at it, these are my Nagoya NA-771 2/70 antenna, 2 Intek KA-520 antennas (one is a bit bent but I think it works), and the stock antenna of the Midland 42 (I do not know the manufacturer's designation for it).

The RTL-SDR should run cooler after this and should not drift or require the offset to be changed, also reception without an antenna should be either heavily reduced or eliminated.

so, I can start to get this thing built and will try and order the parts to upgrade the shack computer this weekend, which I have already chosen.

73 de 26CT730