All posts by bdonova1

System Fusion News

The lower cost single band UHF 440 transceiver is now available. The FTM-3207 should be order-able from most retailers.
The interesting news is they have made this radio capable of controlling a Wires-X node. That is, from the front panel and microphone keypad, you can connect to a Wires-X node and connect to other nodes and rooms. This feature was not previously available on the lowest cost C4FM radios, the 2 meter FTM-3200 and FT-70 HT. But as of today, both of those radios are now upgrade-able with a firmware update.

All of these radios are under $200, and the FTM-3200 was going for $135 earlier this year.

The link below has a video on how it works on the UHF FTM-3207.

Put one of these on your gift to yourself list
-Brian K2AS


You might have read about a new digital mode in QST this month.  Apparently it was part of a pre-release version of WSJT-X, but it is already in wide use.  If you saw our program on JT65 last fall, or have used JT65, this is very similar.  In JT65 each exchange is 1 minute, and a full QSO takes 5 minutes.  In FT8, an exchange is 15 seconds, and a QSO takes about 1 minute and 15 seconds or 1 1/2 minutes.

JT65 obviously allows contacts with weaker stations, but FT8 is substantially quicker to complete a QSO.

Because of the minimal time allowed between decoding a transmission a the start of the next one (2 seconds), FT8 usually requires auto-sequencing of the standard exchanges.  This makes the QSO almost automated (except for choosing the station to contact or calling CQ).

This might make FT8 more fun, or less fun, depending on your point-of-view.

If JT65 was boring for you because of the length of each transmission, FT8 is a mode you might want to try.

Search WSJT-X, and download the latest version (currently a version 1.8 Release candidate.  The released version doesn’t have FT8)

XARC Spring 2017 Fox Hunt Results

The XRX Amateur Radio held our spring Fox Hunt on Saturday May 17th.  The skies looked as if it might rain at any minute, but only a couple of short sprinkles were felt.  Five teams took part in the hunt, with the only solo effort this time being Chris KC2VCK.

Four 2 meter FM transmitters were hidden for this hunt.  Fox #1 was located off a trail in Gosnells Woods near Vosberg Road in West Webster.  It was at the top of a ridge and surrounded by some deep gulleys and ended up being quite a challenge, even for experienced hunters.  Fox #2 was running a bit more power, and was not too far away at Irondequoit Bay Marine Park.  This site was not that difficult, as it was bounded by Irondequoit on one side and a road on the other, but the route coming from the other side of the bay is a bit roundabout.  So to speak.  Fox #3 was on a hill off Orchard Park Blvd in Irondequoit Bay Park West.  Fox #4 was at the southern end of the bay, just a couple hundred yards into Lucien Morin Park, and conveniently located by McGregors.

First place went to the father and son duo of Bill Kurrasch K2WEK and Paul Kurrasch KC2GTO.  2nd place went to Jon Dickason N2JAC and Bob Karz K2OID.  3rd place went to Chris Warner KC2VCK.

Though this hunt ended up being more difficult than anticipated, I think every team found at least one fox, and probably learned what not to do next time!  See you again this autumn.

YouTube Channels for Radio/Electronics Repair

Here are some of my favorite channels:

Mr. Carlson’s Lab

Mr. Carlson is VE7ZWZ.  He has an amazing shop full of test equipment.  It seems like his videos are intended for a wide audience, so depending on your point of view, it may be too basic or too advanced.  But most people will probably learn something.

D-Lab Electronics

Terry Dayton N6TLU specializes in tube equipment, either vintage guitar amplifiers or ham equipment.  Good info on restoring and troubleshooting.

TRX Bench

I’m s sorry I don’t know who this is.  His videos are mostly repair of ham radio gear.  He sounds German, or from that area of Europe.  His English is very good.  The videos are fairly slow paced but quite thorough.  His explanations of his troubleshooting strategies is excellent.


A wide variety of topics.  Repair, tutorials, test equipment.  Some great stuff.

The Radio Shop

Another channel with a bunch of ham radio repair videos.

Uncle Doug

Not really any ham radio content, but vintage electronics stuff. Mostly guitar and audio tube amplifiers.


Lots of general electronics stuff for a hobbyist.