So here I am setting up memories on a new (to me) radio. It’s always useful to program the 60m frequencies into memories as the UK bandplan consists of 11 chunks of spectrum. OK, I have the frequencies listed and they’re in the radio. But being an old school UK 60m user, I had a NoV when they first came out, I tend to think of the frequencies in their old UK names like FE, FL etc. and the new ones.
Can I find a list of names <> frequencies? No I can’t! So does anyone have the list of names <> freqs for the UK?
Secondly, most are already entered in my KX2 but a few a missing. There’s an Elecraft memory utility for the KX2 but it wants some prehistoric .NET libraries installing. Is it any good before I enter the world .NET dll hell? And is there a Linux version? I only saw Windows version on a quick Google.
I have 2x FT-817 that were used for SOTA since 2006. But since I bought a KX2 and some QCX radios I do not use the 817s. I do need a 2m/70cm multimode to drive transverters. I do not need 12 HF radios, so the plan was to sell the 817s and an IC-706 and use the money to buy a 705. So this way it’s 1 in and 3 out and wont cost me much.
But the 705 appeared for sale 20miles away for a silly price and I bought it immediately.
Did you follow my system of putting in the memory the UK legal frequencies in one kHz steps plus intermediate frequencies for the Fox channels? Its convenient for tuning the band using the select knob.
My 705 didn’t get much use after I got the KX2, I am enjoying its internal ATU and silky smooth QSK too much.
A few words on the ATU are warranted, since it fundamentally changed my chasing activity: every other vendor seems to think that recalling a tuning solution from memory on transmit is good enough, while Elecraft tuners do that on receive, as a chaser (or small time S&P contester) it gives you unparalleled band agility, I don’t understand what’s keeping others from doing it.
Chirp only supports V/UHF HTs and Mobile radios, not HF ones as far as I can see.
UPDATE: Correcting myself - CHIRP does support some ICOM HF radios and many Yaesu ones but not the IC705 from the list of models in the latest version of the software and Elecraft is not even listed as a supported vendor. Shame as it would have perhaps been possible for Andy to transfer his FT817 channel configs to the IC-705 or Elecraft KX2.
Nah! Just the USB centre frequencies for the channels listed in the UK bandplan. There’s 16 of them. And there are 16 in the 705’s memories and only 14 in the KX2. When I noticed I missed 2 out ICNBA to shuffle and add the missing ones. And I’m too OCD to have them on the end out of order
But here’s my 60m Modus Operandi Brian.
Decide to activate on 60m
rig antennas tune radio to FE
if it’s in use try FM
if that’s in use QSY to 40m and return to 60m later
Maybe I see a spot for 60m and I whizz through the memories to find that freq or just tune to it and chase.
So TBH I don’t need them all in order and labelled apart from OCD issues. I plonked the Shannon and RAF Volmet frequencies in as well (5.505, 5.450, 8.957, 11.253) I also carry a laminated UK 60m bandplan with all the bandlet ranges.
It depends what the activation is Carlo.
For a normal UK activation, KX2, battery some antennas.
For lightweight SOTA activations typically when I am on vacation with the family it’s just a pair of QCXs. The whole setup (2x QCX, paddle, batteries, SWR meter, antenna tuner, phones) fits in a box 18x18x16cms leaving just a 40cm pole when collpased and the antenna winder.
uWaves, 705, transverters, batteries, uWave and HF antennas. Normally there is some 2m / 60m coordination and talkback then uWaves finishin with some HF. I used the 817 before for this but that’s the 705’s job now.
Yes, the KX2 ATU does work wonders. Depending on the antennas I have the ATU in bypass or active. But it is brilliant and I would be ever so upset if I had not ordered an ATU.
What’s noticeable from having carried the KX2 around is how heavy 817 and 705s are. The 705 weight in comparison is startling. However, I think the UI is easier to use than the KX2. I’ve only needed the manual for the 705 for labelling memories and something else you don’t do every day. There are a billion things it can do buried in the menus. Of course I learnt today how to label KX2 memories and that has a general coverage receiver. Well I got it last May, figured out how to make it send CW, learnt that programming the CW memories without a PC is impossible and that was it. Oh I had to look up how to put the ATU in and out of bypass.
I see the KX2 doing 90% of the operating. I’m keen to see how the 705 compares as an HF radio though mainly it will be on VHF/UHF. So buying it is an indulgence. But it was so cheap it was silly not too.
I’ve been up in the loft and found 817 boxes, manuals, battery boxes and all the tat you stuff in the box never to be seen again as you rush to play with your new toy. Now to find all the other parts they come with.
I was wondering if there was a 3rd party tool but Ed suggests not. I use Windows and Linux and have done for years. I’m weening myself of Windows only solutions because Win11 is the pits for standard UI design and it wont run on this reasonably performant desktop. I don’t feel the need to buy a new PC just to run a dog of an OS. This will get a new SSD and the Win10 setup will become a VM under Linux. All I need to do can be done from Linux bah a few Windows only things which a VM solution will do perfectly. I do have two reasonably high end laptops running Linux. So for me, a Linux solution would be nicer. The KX2 setup utility works on both Linux and Windows. Probably the memory tool will work under Mono but I just can’t be bothered to play about.
But Elecraft do make the API available (downloaded) and it doesn’t look too hard to access it over a virtual COM port (USB → COM7 in my case). I think a bit of Python and I’ll be able to read/write the KX2 and read/write the data to a CSV file. Use any old spreadsheet to edit the memories. And as they say, “my name’s Robert, I’m your father’s brother.”
Grrr… sending commands and getting responses is easy. But the memory command doesn’t do what I want. If the radio is tuned to Memory 8 and you send “MC;” the reply is “MC008;” i.e. the radio is tuned to memory 8. If you send “MC008;” it tunes the radio to memory 8. What I can’t yet see is if how to get it to tell me what memory 8 is tuned to
It must be feasible as the memory utility does what I want. Maybe time to make it work and eavesdrop on the comms…
I haven’t used the memories on my 705 for HF only for VHF/UHF where I’ve added frequencies for an FM satellite. I’ve also added the local FM repeaters although I’m not sure why as I never use them!
But thanks for highlighting how the memories can be used for HF, especially 60m. That’s a good tip.
I’ve found a stylus works very well on the touch screen of the 705. I don’t use one on a summit as I know I’d just drop and lose it but for setting say a summit reference into the CW memories before an activation a stylus is much better than my fat fingers.
Andy, what do you think of the 705’s performance as a transverter driver?
I bought mine 2 years ago and it has very little use. I am underwhelmed by it’s performance as a transverter driver.
If I am trying to work a weak station, then often I cannot hear them clear enough on the 705, but no problem if I swap over to the 817.
It may just be me not driving the radio correctly, but difficult to play around when sitting in the dark and cold and in contest mode.
I also miss the 817’s dual antenna sockets, which allow connecting up 2 different transverters and switching bands just by changing band on the radio. (144 from the rear and 432 from the front)
I don’t know it’s not been tried yet. I used to faff about swapping the 817 front socket between HF and transverter so a single socket wont be an issue except it’s not so conveniently located on the 705.
I wonder if your issues stem from maybe overdriving the 705 from the transvserter on RX? Or it doesn’t like the impedance the transverter offers? Have you tried something like a 3 or 6dB pad in the feed? There’s more than enough RF out from the 705 to overcome that loss and drive all my transverters to full power as they need between 0.5 and 2W max. And most transverters have far too much output drive. Even the built in 20bD attenuator may make a difference but could be too much. I’d also make sure all the NB, NR etc. is off and the filter is wide open to start with.
If it turns out to be a poor choice I know I can sell for it for a substantial profit and pick up an old 817. I will be keeping the 817’s 300Hz CW filter when the 817 goes… it’s too unobtanium now to consider selling. The last one I saw sold for $320US.