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Schmitzi

TI-99/4A - HAM Radio (Hamsoft/Kantronics/MFJ Enterprises)

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Hi I am been looking for that stuff.

  I have been license for 42 years in ham radio and I use to see this stuff in the day.

Now I really want it to be able to use with my computer/

 

Wow brings back memories

 

 

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1 hour ago, INVISIBLE said:

Well, if you think you'll be getting into Amateur Radio, and you want a great radio, blow your ENTIRE stimulus check on the ICOM 7300!  You can listen now, and get on the air later.

 

1343405145_IC7300.thumb.jpg.d97b66368b4164d279942e457cfd6096.jpg

 

<< AMAZON LINK >>

 

Back in the day the JRC NRD-545 really got my attention, but it was way out of my price range.  Now days, SDR's with all the interface activity taking place on the computer's monitor is replacing many of those higher end radios.   And yeah, sadly many of the old favorites have gone off the air.  ☹️

 

Beautiful machine, but I would rather build a transceiver from a kit even if it's super basic. I don't know if I would need that much technology for a ham hobby even if I did qualify for a stimulus check :) 

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A stealth antenna for SWL is pretty easy. I used cheap speaker wire in dark colors, split the wires into single conductors and soldered them end-to-end to make a longwire antenna of about 80 feet. I tied a weight onto the end and slung it up into tree branches. A little ladder work was helpful to get more height, loop it around a branch to keep it in place, or sling the remaining length into the next tree. Leave plenty of slack in the wire for wind swaying the trees. From South Dakota, I receive SSB from the Left coast, down to Texas/Mexico, up into Canada and east to Kentucky, Ohio or Illinois. Being in a forest, I had no way to avoid the trees, so I used 'em as my masts. The wire is hard to spot unless you know where to look and get some clear sky behind it. Most wives wouldn't even notice it if you didn't point it out. The wire end is easy to snake indoors, just leave a sag or loop of wire outdoors so rain won't follow it in.

 

Add the excuse of a new diversion to relax from these day's "current events" and what wife could refuse? Or just put it up when she's not around and wait for her to mention it. "What's that wire in the yard for?"

 

It's a good idea to put a .01 ceramic disc capacitor inline between the long wire and your radio. Disconnect your longwire when not in use or if there may be a lightning storm. An old sparkplug can be made into a serviceable lightning arrestor. I connected a foot or two of wire to my radio's antenna connection and terminated it with an alligator clip. That made it easy to clip it to my longwire when I wanted to tune in and unhook it afterwards.

 

"Antennas of chance" are also useful. Like the proverbial bedspring from the old crystal radio days, a metal fence, rain gutter or roof edging can sometimes work surprisingly well. Or string a bunch around in your attic or even around a room's ceiling trim. Nothing to be lost for the trying. Some people have used an old landline phone wire with good results. Just try almost anything and have fun! From there, you can get as fancy as you like and there's volumes written on the subject.

-Ed

 

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On 4/10/2020 at 7:57 PM, INVISIBLE said:

Well, if you think you'll be getting into Amateur Radio, and you want a great radio, blow your ENTIRE stimulus check on the ICOM 7300!  You can listen now, and get on the air later.

 

1343405145_IC7300.thumb.jpg.d97b66368b4164d279942e457cfd6096.jpg

 

<< AMAZON LINK >>

 

Back in the day the JRC NRD-545 really got my attention, but it was way out of my price range.  Now days, SDR's with all the interface activity taking place on the computer's monitor is replacing many of those higher end radios.   And yeah, sadly many of the old favorites have gone off the air.  ☹️

 

Hungry Homer Simpson GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

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I prefer Yaesu radios, but ICOMs are just fine. I have an FT-991 as my main radio at home now, and I love it. Its DSP is incredible and makes operating in a noisy RF environment (suburbia) tolerable again. It used to be plasma TVs that got on hams' nerves, but nowadays there are so many RF-emitting gadgets/chargers in people's houses that operating on HF can be challenging, especially on the lower bands.
I have an FT-857 in my truck and a screwdriver antenna for mobile operations, and an FT-817 for portable/backpacking. 

 

ft817.jpg

ft857.png

ft991.jpg

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7 hours ago, ElectricLab said:

... Its DSP is incredible and makes operating in a noisy RF environment (suburbia) tolerable again. It used to be plasma TVs that got on hams' nerves, but nowadays there are so many RF-emitting gadgets/chargers in people's houses that operating on HF can be challenging, especially on the lower bands.

Yep, DSP can save your sanity using, AM or SSB on the HF bands, but the older I get, the less tolerance I have for issues like fading and RFI.  If I ever went back to the hobby, it would be strictly FM on VHF and UHF with a liberal use of the squelch knob.

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Hmmm, if the RPI had a USB connector for a 2m rig, I suppose a guy could use an 80 column terminal program for packet activity.   NO, no, no, I have to quit thinking like this!

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1 hour ago, INVISIBLE said:

Aww K-Rap, I gotta quit reading stuff like this.  Honestly though, I'd want to use my TI as the terminal program.  

The Rasppi has been great for ham radio, and I've done a lot of projects with it. Anything from converting ASCII->Baudot and bit-banging a current loop on an old Teletype from the 30s, controlling a DDS chip to make a crystal-controlled radio be able to move about the band, running a local instance of Xastir for APRS, Encoding/Decoding PL and DTMF tones, etc, etc.
A buddy of mine runs Packet BBSes from a Rasppi and has used Direwolf to emulate a TNC. 

 

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Kantronics Interface II modem and "Mystery Black Box" (looks like TI-99/4A Hamsoft box) on ebay. The cable looks like someone was trying to make it connect to something with a DIN jack. Too much for my budget, though.  https://www.ebay.com/itm/114140484465?boolp=5&ul_noapp=true

No connection to seller.  I know this should probably go in the ebay thread, but it seemed relevant to the discussion.

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On 4/11/2020 at 12:04 AM, Vorticon said:

Beautiful machine, but I would rather build a transceiver from a kit even if it's super basic. I don't know if I would need that much technology for a ham hobby even if I did qualify for a stimulus check :) 

That's the fun part for me too.  My first "rig" was a home-brew tube receiver. It was my crazy design. It used a regenerative IF stage. It only worked on 80 meters.

The transmitter was from a Lancaster Bomber. :) 

I had to build a power supply for it and modify it to handle a telegraph key.

What a blast.

(Actually there was one time I touched the 300V receiver B+ supply. That was a blast too)

 

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3 hours ago, HOME AUTOMATION said:

...Page 21.

 

Sorry, I don´t have. I have posted all what I have, and that´s not a lot :(

 

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3 hours ago, HOME AUTOMATION said:

...Page 21.

 

Uuups, did I misunderstand ? Is there a pinout (page 21) ? I don´t see it

 

 

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5 hours ago, Schmitzi said:

 

Uuups, did I misunderstand ? Is there a pinout (page 21) ? I don´t see it

 

 

Page 21 of the Hamsoft Manual, Schmitzi. The pinout for the 15-pin parallel connector is there. Importantly, Page 22 also shows the signals on the TU connector (identified by wire color).

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Hello,

 

I have a Kantronic interface that I don't use.
Are any of you looking for an exchange?

 

Jean louis

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35 minutes ago, humeur said:

Hello,

 

I have a Kantronic interface that I don't use.
Are any of you looking for an exchange?

 

Jean louis

I'd be interested! What is the model number?

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On 4/6/2021 at 10:49 PM, ElectricLab said:

I'd be interested! What is the model number?

I probably expressed myself badly, this is just the interface I have.

20210407_183502.jpg

20210407_183526.jpg

20210407_183535.jpg

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