Power me UP Mr. Scotty! – FT-817ND power cabling

Here is my power cable setup for 817, in the picture missing 5000mah 4S lipo which power out 16.7V max so need voltage regulator. Starting from down to up:


#1 plug to rig 

#2 fuse cable

#3 wattmeter

#4 12VDC ubec (voltage regulator)


Connectors are xt60 which can handle atleast up to 65A continuous! All the special parts are from RC-hobby and are much cheaper than any HAM spesified part-sellers. I have bought all my stuff from http://www.hobbyking.com.  As you can see the cables are made as “modules” so you can decide will you run the cable with wattmeter, ubec, or even fuse.  If any questions im happy to answer 🙂


73 de OH2FXD


IMG 2711


Parts list:

Ubec:  http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewitem.asp?idproduct=18787&aff=913086

Wattmeter: http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewitem.asp?idproduct=10080&aff=913086

XT60 connectors: http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewitem.asp?idproduct=9572&aff=913086


Good Moooorning Chiiina! TYT UVF-9

Mywpedit image 1359411998

Testing my new blog-app and best way to start is with this cool TYT UVF-9 review :–) I have been testing various of chinese handhelds (vhf/uhf single/dual) in past few years since I got my radioamateur licence and today I am positively suprised for the TYT handheld im holding in my hands.

Handheld itself feels nice, sturdy and finished feeling. One thing what is missing is again the real SQUELCH control as in all chinese

handhelds, so it is done via software. Both receive and transmit audio seem to be very nice. Menus are logical and I was quite fast familiar with the whole setup. TYT’s antenna could be a bit better but you can always replace it with “rat-tail antenna” as nagoya-701. First thing which made me to order this radio was the nice screen and sturdy look (hey im fan of rugged-rigs and ht’s) hi. There is thought ofcourse some negative parts also to be noted: ht seems to pick up rf quite easily, so proper shielding of internal components feels a bit unfinished. I have two examples allready: driving around a car and ht picks up noise, also walking around the neighbourhood and it does the same @certain places.. actually this was inspected further on next day and radio is just so sensitive on RX!. Radio also has 2x 128memories (for both banks) and this is COOL feature among the nice screen too 🙂 I like to use my handheld for RX (scanner like) so the banks were filled up quite fast, too bad it misses AM-mode so no air traffic for me.


Here is tech details from http://tyt888.com manufactures site:

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Here is some pictures about the HT, and programming software (best ive met on baofeng/quansheng/tyt/wouxun):

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Cons and pros for the end:

look/feel ++++

working menu/programming software++++


73 de OH2FXD/TYT


XT60 – To Connect Or Not?

From time to time  on the fields of radio-amateurs you heard about discussions about banana connectors vs powerpole connectors and both parties tend to prove their views to be better than other. I have myself  been using banana connectors as the overprize of powerpole has been too much for me. Also as mostly being a QRP or 100W user bananas (also the eatable) were more than OK. Until now! Happily Im still among friends, and few of those are rc-hobbyists. Slowly they are brainwashing me to the RC-world and while stumbling as a rookie, there is alot of good stuff you can and should use on the HAM side too :–). XT60 connector is the one which im propably at first going to use on my field installations. Here is a short description of the connector and url to sparkfun as the image and description is from their website.


and here is where I bought mine!


Be extra caution where do you buy the connectors, some sites do sell cheap copies which are not filling the requirements. I have myself using lately http://www.hobbyking.com and price per one pair was about 0.64eur (including postal fees).

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73 de OH2FXD & keep the bands sane!

Building a HAM-DRONE

HAM-DRONE v 0.1x

Mission:  Listen, Transmit and Inspect

Target: Sky, alt. max 150m

Estimate time of finished project :  03/2013

IDEA: To be used for inspecting antennas, longwire tests, analyzers.

Codename: He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named and You-Know-Who

Parts: (mainly thanks to HobbyKing!)

Flight Controller: Crius All In One Pro V1.0 ebay

Servos: 4* pcs  NTM 2826 1200kv http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewitem.asp?idproduct=17345&aff=913086

Servo fitting kits: http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewitem.asp?idproduct=16719&aff=913086

Propellers: 8x4R http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewitem.asp?idproduct=11331&aff=913086

Frame: x666 http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewitem.asp?idproduct=24227&aff=913086

Transmitter: Spektrum DX7 used

Receiver: AR7000 used

Turnigy Accucel-6 Charger:  http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewitem.asp?idproduct=7028&aff=913086

Battery: 2x 5000mah turnigy 4S http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewitem.asp?idproduct=9277&aff=913086

ESC: Turnigy plush 30A: http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewitem.asp?idproduct=9277&aff=913086

ESC: turnigy programming card: http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewitem.asp?idproduct=2169&aff=913086

GPS: Crius CN-06  ebay

12 in 1usb simulator dongle ebay

gopro craddle: http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewitem.asp?idproduct=27153&aff=913086

servos for craddle: http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewitem.asp?idproduct=9392&aff=913086

xt60 connectors: http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewitem.asp?idproduct=9572&aff=913086

xt60 harness: http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewitem.asp?idproduct=10265&aff=913086

polymax connectors: http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewitem.asp?idproduct=68&aff=913086

5V UBEC: http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewitem.asp?idproduct=16663&aff=913086




Mission Planner

Simulator software ie. Phoenix


D2-D13 = motor connections

AR7K need to be on 90degree angle


MegapirateNG+Crius programming: http://www.multi-rotor.co.uk/index.php?topic=380.0

DX7 spesific: http://diydrones.com/profiles/blogs/setting-up-6-different-flight-modes-on-a-spektrum-dx7-using-just


Flight control parts and the x666 frame.


More part pictures.


Installing the “bed” for the Crius All In One flight Controller


FC installed.   


Prepping up the frame and LG (landing gear)         


Side of the LG’s   




LG installed.          


Frame built, thought missing few aluminium spacers, so res of the LG’s will be connected later.        


Crius All In One       


He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named and You-Know-Who is Alive!      


Starting up Mission Planner after succesfull flash of the MegaPirateNG.


OK ready to go.. wait! wheres the motors          


 DX7 controller arrived and some extra items hooray!


 Landing Gear finished with some homebrew components :–) (bolts and plastic tubes)          


Crius ALL-IN-ONE V1.0 in all its might!




Wiring the Crius CN-06 V2.0 GPS module:

GPS-module has 4pin (black/gnd, green/rx/, yellow/tx, red/vcc)

USE i2c port to get power (pin3/5V, pin4/gnd)

USE Serial Port to get TX/RX for GPS (pin3/tx2 –> wire green/RX, pin4/rx2 –> wire yellow/TX from gps-module)

Here is some pictures with the gps-module +installation:



GPS is on, but no fix yet! Will test it outside tomorrow



UPDATE: And we have the FIX! 🙂


Jewellery Box case mod for GPS


Madlab Industries protective casing is way over COOL aspect!



battery installed + voltage buzzers ! 🙂



Got today the PWR wired up and messed up with the receiver! 🙂 It starts to look like insect!

IMG 2743


IMG 2744




IMG 2751



To be continued.. 73 de OH2FXD/QUAD

Im so BLUEtooth today.

Testing BLK-MD-BC04 Bluetooth Module +Demo Board

Thirtyseven (37) days ago I made an order from EBAY to an item I found rather interesting to test out. Finally today it arrived via  airmail from Hong Kong :–).  Bluetooth module set is via Bolutek and here is the specifications for the bluetooth module itself:

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The BLK-MD-BC04-B is a Bluetooth serial module for OEM manufacturers who want to implement Bluetooth functionality with their products cost effectively and also in timely manner. The BC04-B supports UART, USB, I2C, PCM, PIO interfaces for the communication with the OEM products.

The BC04-B is provided with Bluetooth v2.0 compatible firmware runs internally for SPP (Serial Port Profile) applications by default. It based on CSR BC04 External chipset with an antenna integrated and with the firmware provided by our company, it could be easily used for kinds of Bluetooth products.

The BC04-B is fully qualified with Bluetooth v.2.0+EDR specification so OEM manufacturers can save cost and time for overall OEM product certifications, which makes the BC04-B ideal solution for larger volume and cost sensitive applications.


Bluetooth protocol: Bluetooth Specification v2.0 + EDR

USB protocol: USB v1.0  2.0

Frequency: 2.4GHz ISM band

Modulation: GFSK (Gaussian Frequency Shift Keying)

Transmit power: ≤ 4dBm, Class 2

Sensitivity: ≤-84dBm at 0.1% BER

Rate: 2.1Mbps(Max)/160 kbps(Asynchronous);1Mbps/1Mbps(Synchronous)

security features: Authentication and encryption

Support profiles: Bluetooth serial port (master & slave)

Power Supply: +3.3 VDC 50mA

Operating temperature: -20 ~ +55 Centigrade

Dimensions: 26.9mm x 13mm x 2.2 mm


Personal Digital Assistants

POS Terminals

Data Logging Systems

Audio Gateway applications

GPS receiver

Industrial control

MCU projects

Bluetooth module is hooked up to serial (RS232) demo-board which is very useful on many forthcoming applications I have in my mind. With the demo-board you can either choose the Master/Slave/Off modes and programming the interface itself with AT-commands is easy via RS232 interface.

It took some time to go through different types of serial programming applications to get AT-commands running as they should. By default the BC04 is configured with this setup: PIN: 1234 NAME: Bolutek  SPEED: 9600  .. So if you are fine with default settings you can start hooking this tiny device on rig, firewall, anything which has a serial port actually. Just keep in mind that you need external power 5VDC for device to work. You can choose to use USB-port on device or either solder  5VDC power source as accu/battery. Here is the instructions for setup BT-module on OSX, but the principles will be the same no matter of the Operating System: First make sure the module is set to “Slave”. Then connect it via serial cable to your computer, and use your default serial terminal application to access it via following settings:  COMx (where X your COM-port), baudrate: 9600, parity: none, bits 8, stop bits 1, none for hardware flow control. Turn the module on (USB-cable plugged in for power), open your serial terminal software  and hopefully you will be able to start typing AT-commands.

Then comes the best part (AT-commandline) Start with AT: AT -> Should Respond “OK” AT+HELP

Command Description

AT Check if the command terminal work normally

AT+RESET Software reboot

AT+VERSION Get firmware, bluetooth, HCI acess code

AT+ROLE Get/Set master or slave mode

AT+STATE Get current state

AT+SENM Get/Set security and encryption mode

AT+IPSCAN Get/Set page and inquiry scan parameters

AT+SNIFF Get/Set sniff power table parameters

AT+LOWPOWER Start/Stop low power mode

AT+UARTMODE Get/Set uart stop bits and parity

AT+ENABLEIND Enable/Disable Indication print

AT+LSP List Paired Device List

AT+RESETPDL Reset Paired Device List

AT+REMOVEPDL Remove one entry from Paired Device List

AT+SUPERVISION Get/Set supervision timeout

(M)AT+AUTOINQ Start/Stop auto inquiry

(M)AT+AUTOCONN Start/Stop auto connection

(M)AT+INQM Get/Set inquiry parameters

(M)AT+INQ Start inquiry

(M)AT+INQC Cancel ongoing inquiry

(M)AT+CONNECT Connect to a remote device by BD address

Note: (M) = The command support master mode only, other commands

support both master and slave mode.

For more information, please visit http://www.bolutek.cn

Copyright@2011 http://www.bolutek.cn. All rights reserved.


+BOLUTEK Firmware V2.42, Bluetooth V2.0, HCI V2.1, HCI Rev37, LMP V4, LMP SubV37








–> change to 115200 on terminal app & test once more (close and reopen)


+BOLUTEK Firmware V2.42, Bluetooth V2.0, HCI V2.1, HCI Rev37, LMP V4, LMP SubV37

Then poweroff  the module and plug it back into your favourite serial port accessible machine 🙂

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73 de OH2FXD, Mikko 

Yaesu FT-250e – Its Rugged Baby!

Some weird radio-bug bit me on the last Field Day event and I was destined to get me a new VHF handheld.  My ham radio friend Harri (OH7HL) had Yaesu VX-150 (premodel of FT-250e) and instantly when I got home I started to look same kind of rugged and simplified radio. To my luck Yaesu had pushed in the market newer model which had a bit stronger audio output and added some features related to memory banks. I was ofcourse straight away hooking it up to the computer to notice only software available is something you pay for.  Earlier paying for ft-60, ft-817nd, ft-270 software from same coder I decided that I wont waste my bucks for piece of software and try to do it old way and manual program I did.  Took me up 2 minutes to configure handheld memory banks with simplex and repeater information, naming them would take a bit longer hi.

Here is some info I leeched on Yaesu’s webpage:

– 0.5/2/5W VHF handheld
– 1400 mAh battery
– 700mW of Loud Audio
– Wide/Narrow selection
– Nine DTMF Auto-dialer memories
– Two Front Panel programmable keys
– RF Squelch
– Battery Voltage Display
– TX Deviation Level (5 kHz or 2.5 kHz)
– Transmit Time-out Timer and Automatic Power-Off
– AR- Water resistant case construction
– Automatic Repeater Shift
– Memory-Only operating
– Scanning Mode: VFO / Memory / PMS / Dual Watch
– Busy Channel Lock-out
– ARTS (Auto-range Transponding System)

For short review this is very nice one band handheld to own if you like simple, made to last type design. One thing I would myself do a bit better is the back light on the screen, it is very very dim. Maybe future brings some modification suggestions who knows hi.

More info found on Yaesu’s site:


73 de OH2FXD

First impressions of the Kenwood TM-281



Kenwood TM-281

Kenwood’s small mobile rig is packed with some nice features including:

  • Frequency Coverage: 144-146 MHz TX, 136-174 MHz RX
    201 Memories (100 with alpha-tagging)
    25/65 Watts RF Output
    High-Quality Front Mounted Loudspeaker
    Built-In CTCSS/DCS Encoder/Decoder
    Rugged, Compact Design to MIL-STD 810G

Rig needs 14A on High Power and 8A on Low Power. RX Drain is near 1A. 

Dimensions:  160 mm (W) x 43 mm (H) x 126 mm (D) – excluding projections

After the necessary (need to know) information lets move for the first impressions and the usability of the rig.  After unpacking the rig first I noticed the N-connector behind the radio.. okay this wouldn’t be a problem as everyone have N to UHF adapters @home right?  So for me the N-connector was not an issue, but for some people it may come as a surprise. Wish every connector would be at least N.. hi.   Mounting the rig under my desk was easy and fast, no extra bolts or anything which required rocket science engineer to finish these tasks. It took about ten (10) minutes to get on air after the package was opened on my desk. 

After the mounting it was time to power up this beauty. Firstly I noticed the very clear RX Audio which was very pleasant to listen to (no need for external speakers) Also the position of the speaker (front) would make this rig nice to install on in example  DIN-spot @mobile installations. Next step I noticed (well actually I heard from fellow HAM) was the TX audio which he gave thumbs up. “very clear Mikko, 59”.  After some ragchewing I was running around opening the repeaters and going through of various of the menu-items.

For the first impression only cons I’ve found (depends do you get used to it or not) was that Squelch was behind Function+Rev button and changeable only via software menu. Actually Squelch seemed working quite well on level one but time will tell.. also stuff like “Smartsearch” on Yaesu was not found on Kenwood.

Last time when I blogged about Yaesu FT-1900 I went through programming rig manually fully but this time I ordered programming cable separately. I will update this blog entry after I have received the cable and dwelled into the abyss of programming this tiny monster.

Few links:

More talk about TM-281: http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/9994

Manual: http://www.kenwoodusa.com/UserFiles/File/UnitedStates/Communications/AMA/Manuals/TM-281A_Manual.pdf



I promised to get back within the blog after I tested the software programming on this tiny rig. Software itself is called MCP-1A and it is made by Kenwood.  It only works under Windows (slight maybe for virtual or wine) and to make things easier I honestely suggest you run it on native WinOS. Cable is either easy to make yourself (rs232 +usb adapter maybe) or you buy one, I chose the later. First starting the MCP-1A you notice big difference compared to made in china software for rigs like baofeng and wouxun. Program is stable, rather fast and it didnt die while configuring the rig. Programming is very clear and you are up and running in 5-10 minutes. I used kind of same idea for programming as with Yaesu’s ft-1900 and filled banks with HAM simplex, repeaters and then some stations for pure RX enjoyment.  You can get more information on the links below, I hope you good times with tm-281!



UPDATE: after succesfully running this for some time im having some problems with the factory made mic. Problem is related to TX which for some reason is not activating at all the time. Seems I am forced to get me a new mic.



Keep the bands safe!

73 de OH2FXD