Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Martian

All my "for fun" reading has been set in space recently... I finished The Martian by Andy Weir not too long ago.

Apparently some people need to read the book to understand how difficult it would be to live on Mars.

QYT KT8900: Software

You may download the software here. (Thanks to John for the link.)

After installing the software, it defaults to something besides English. Go to the second to last set of questions marks and click it. You can then select "English" from the drop down.




FCC Fee Changes

FCC Eliminates Amateur Radio Vanity Call Sign Regulatory Fee
“The Commission often receives multiple applications for the same vanity call sign, but only one applicant can be issued that call sign,” the FCC explained. “In such cases, the Commission issues refunds for all the remaining applicants. In addition to staff and computer time to process payments and issue refunds, there is an additional expense to issue checks for the applicants who cannot be refunded electronically.”
FCC Eliminates GMRS Regulatory Fee:
"The fee, which was previously assessed at $5 per year, added $25 to the total cost of a GMRS license, which has a term of five years. While it does not eliminate the cost of a license altogether, the complete elimination of the regulatory fee brings the total cost of a General Mobile Radio Service license from $90 down to $65."

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

QYT KT8900: First Review

This review of the KT8900 is a bit too stream of consciousness for me - making it hard to follow, but I've grepped that saving settings to memory is not working. He's got some pictures of the boards at the link along with a list of current issues in his radio. Hopefully others will get their KT8900/JT-6188 radios soon and we can see if they have the same problems.

Blackbox (Baofeng) Base Station

A while back I posted about what I called the Blackbox Baofeng Base Station. The guys over at BuyTwoWayRadios discuss the Blackbox base station on their podcast. They've watched the video from Richard Klein (see below). There isn't a ton of information, so they speculate a little, ask some questions, and offer some opinions. I pretty much agree with everything they say - interesting idea, mounting to the wall would be odd unless the antenna rotates, either this is a repackaged Baofeng or they are taking advantage of popular (thus cheaper) components, and the $239.95 price tag means few amateurs will be interested.

What I don't understand is the comment left on their post - the name displayed with the comment is Richard Klein:
"You should ask questions before you post ignorant comments.
Yes we use a Baofeng keypad and screen due to low cost, but the entire thing from there is custom.
The power supply is modified to accept AC.
The speaker output is 3X a portable radio (4 Ohm speaker with amplifier).
The housing is custom.
The circuitry is completely modified with high quality shielding, voltage protection, and coil mod.
So you think it's a Vega from the headlights, but we wrapped it in a Ferrari body, and put a Maserati engine inside."
Drop the first and last lines and you've got a helpful response. I really don't think anything said in the podcast was as harsh as the response.

Juentai JT-6188

I saw this post on about getting a Juentai JT-6188 (aka QYT KT8900). The interesting note was that the specs for the transceiver showed it as a tri-bander (2m, 220, 440) on the Amazon page. I say "showed" as the post has seen been changed. I suspect it is only a dual-band, but I'm always happy to get a bonus band.


Via David Burge / @iowahackblog

Thursday, May 21, 2015

2 Gbps

Because my 100 Mbps connection isn't enough... Comcast to bring 2 Gbps to Knoxville.

Wouxun KG-UV9D: $179.99 at

Use the promo code "179UV9D" to get the special pricing.

That's a lot better than the $245 price I'm seeing at the 409Shop.

Saturday, May 16, 2015