Friday, February 28, 2014

Baofeng HT Radios

Baofeng HT Radios. (UV-5RA) 2m (136-174Mhz) and 70cm (400-480Mhz) with a additional FM broadcast band Rx only (65-108Mhz) (the Transmitting power is (1 Low/4W High).
This radio should be ideal for Satellite work but it is not full duplex ;-(

Baofeng UV-5RA
Transceiver is available from
I have heard a lot about the small Baofeng HT radios and I was wondering how well they work.
Firstly when I looked around on the internet I found a whole range of the Devices with minor differences between them.

Here is some comparison differences I could found.

Radio Model Dual band Memory Channels Frequency range(s) Battery Power Tx Power Battery
UV-5R Yes 128 136 to 174 MHz and 400 to 480 MHz 12 hours 4/1W 1800-mAh
UV-3R Yes 99 136 to 174 MHz and 400 to 480 MHz broadcast band 68 to 108 MHz(RX) 10 hours 3 W 1800-mAh
UV-5RA Yes 128 136 to 174 MHz and 400 to 480 MHz broadcast band 68 to 108 MHz(RX) 12 hours 4/1W 1800-mAh
BF-888S No 16 400 to 470 MHz 8 hours 4W 1500-mAh
UV-100 Yes 99 136 to 174 MHz and 400 to 470 MHz Broadcast band 65 to 108 Mhz(RX) 10 hours 2W 1200mAh
UV-B5 Yes 99 136 to 174 MHz and 400 to 470 MHz 12 hours 5/1W 1800-mAh
UV-5RC Yes 128 136 to 174 MHz and 400 to 480 MHz broadcast band 68 to 108 MHz(RX)  ?? 4/1W 1800-mAh

Well I was surprised with the UV-5RA that I got and was reasonably easy to configure and program.
I got the repeater split set-up in no time after watching a YouTube video.

Here is the Microphone and external speaker connection details.

Both the modules is available from Giga Technology

Programming cable assembly.

Programming cable assembly.

Programming your Baofeng radio (UV-5R?)

Frequency Mode vs. Channel Mode
These two modes have different functions and often confused. 

  • Frequency Mode - Used for a temporary frequency assignment, such as a test frequency or quick field programming. 
  • Channel Mode - Used for selecting preprogrammed channels. 

All programming MUST be initially done in the Frequency Mode using the Upper Display only. From there you have the option of assigning the entered data to a specific channel for later access in the Channel Mode if desired.

IMPORTANT: Programming done using the Lower display cannot be saved and will be lost.  

Programming a Repeater Channel with Standard Offsets (600kHz minus offset)
This example is for:  146.700 MHz
600kHz minus offset
into channel 99
CTCSS tone 123.0

1.    Set radio to VFO Mode   (Frequency Mode)
      a.)     UV5R series - Press VFO/MR button
      b.)     UV82 - Turn radio OFF, then Press/Hold MENU button during PowerON.

2.    Select   Display A    (this is a must)
      a.)     UV5R/GT3 - Press     [A/B]      and select the Upper Display.
      b.)     UV82 - Press [EXIT A/B] and select the Upper Display.

3.    Disable TDR (Dual Watch/Dual RX) which toggles between A and B.
          Press  [Menu]   7   [Menu]
          Select OFF
          Press  [Menu]   [Exit]

4.    Delete Prior Data from the channel to be programmed.
          Press  [Menu]   2 8   [Menu]
          Enter   9 9   (Memory Channel to clear)
          Press  [Menu]   [Exit]

5.    Enter the Repeater Offset.
         Press [Menu]   2 6   [Menu]
         Enter  0 0 6 0 0
         Press  [Menu]   [Exit]

6.   Enter the Transmit Frequency Shift.
        Press  [Menu]   2 5   [Menu]
        Enter  2  for Minus shift. ( or    to  - )
        Press  [Menu]   [Exit]  

7.   Set CTCSS or DCS codes for Transmit. 
         ( example = CTCSS TX tone 123.0 Hz )
            Press  [Menu]   1 3   [Menu]
            Enter  1 2 3 0   [Menu]   [Exit]

8.   Enter the repeater output frequency,  1 4 6 . 7 0 0 

9.   Store RX frequency
        Press  [Menu]   2 7   [Menu] 
        Enter   9 9   (Memory Channel)  ( 000 to 127 )    
            This is the channel that was cleared in step 4. 
        Press  [Menu]   [Exit] 

10.  Press the [ * Scan ] button.     
         This activates  Reverse Mode and displays the TX frequency.

11.   Press  [Menu]   2 7   [Menu] 
         Enter the same Memory Channel entered above. 
         Press  [Menu] 

12.   Press the  [* Scan] again to exit the Reverse Mode.

13.   Press  [Exit]

This will now appear it in the channel list when you switch to Channel Mode. (MR)
Boafeng UV-VF5 Circuit diagram


Radio programing details
here is a link to the Chirp program

Which antenna is best?

 It's all personal preference, but a good rule of thumb is:
 The longer the radiator, the better the range, especially on transmit.
 Short stubby antennas use a coil to match TX to 50 ohm, not radiate.
 The closer to 1/4 wavelength in the air, the better the performance.

      A field test was performed between 31 popular antennas.
     The results can be found HERE.   

Sunday, February 23, 2014

How to run Android Applications on your windows Desktop (BlueStacks)

How to run Android Applications on your windows Desktop

Don't you have a favorite applications on your Android phone / Tab and you wish you could run it on your windows desktop. Well you can. ;-).

Bluestacks Android Desktop.
So how do you do it ?
1) Install the application from 

Click on Download xp visa windows green icon
Install the downloaded Application called  BlueStacks-SplitInstaller_native.exe

Here is the direct URL

You will the see this screen. (except conditions and select continue)
Select continue

You will need the first two options to install your favorite application on the BlueStacks desktop.

Installing the BlueStacks form internet. (some flashing adverts while installing)
I the got a worming about screen driver that was outdated and needs to be updated.

Graphics Warning menu

Installing Graphics driver.

Graphics driver install menu
After you have installed the application you should have a menu item in your start menu Start BlueStack

Run the Start BlueStacks menu item

You will then get a Android Tab desktop on your screen.

BlueStacks Tab Desktop

Wait a white the Desktop connects to the internet to download the default applications.

Install your Apps 

Enable your Google sink and apps-store functionality in stetting.

Install your favorite applications. (in my case Pocket RXTX from app store)

Here is my favorite webSDR Application where I listen to my HF stations on my desktops.

Pocket RXTX SDR radio on your virtual TAB
Here is a link to this app

If you want to connect you RTL dongle or VNA device to your PC and make it work you can here is the details.

Because Bluestacks currently do not support the USB or Bluetooth devices, you need a COM redirector application, a trail version of tcp2com program which can be downloaded for free from here: (a trial for 45 days).
Some other free redirectors are available too.

Then you need to run BlueVNA in WiFi mode and connect to the local host, using the port configured in the COM redirector.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Installing Zadig USB driver for RTL_dongle on windows 7

Installing Zadig USB driver for RTL_dongle on windows 7

Download the Zadig USB driver file from
If you don't have 7zip unzip program also download it from
Here is where I install the 7Zip program

Here is where I use the 7zip program to unzip Zadig file that I have downloaded.

Unzip die the zadig_v2.0.1.160 (1).7z file and you should be left with the following file Zadig.exe
Plugin your RTL USB dongle.

I then Ran the Zadig.exe program

Select the Option menu and then all Devices.

Then select the Buil-in Interface (interface 0) and then replace driver or install driver

You will the get a warning  select the Install driver software anyway.

You should see a dialog box saying the driver was installed successfully,

Then unplug the USB RTL dongle wait for 5 seconds and reconnect the dongle.

Download the ExtIO_RTL.dll and copy it to the sdrSharp directory. ( I think the new SDRSharp version comes with the DLL)

If you haven't installed the sdrSharp program before follow my instructions here in how to do that.

If you have installed the SDRSharp software before then just select the RTL-SDR/USB in the option menu and you then  select start.
if all went well the SDR# should work now. ;-) "Have fun"

Here is the video of the SDR# connecting to RTL_TCP on Raspberry Pi.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

New Amateur radio Cubesats will be launched from the International Space Station on Thursday, February 6, 2014.

New Amateur radio Cubesats will be launched from the International Space Station on Thursday, 6 February 2014. ( 18:07 UTC) new date (February 28 at 07:30 UTC)

1) LituanicaSat-1 (

  • Onboard VGA camera
  • GPS receiver.
  • UHF CW beacon 100mW, 9k6 AX25 FSK telemetry TX 2 watts.
  • FM Mode V/U transponder 150mW Voice Repeater.
  • 145.950 Mhz Uplink FM transponder.
  • 435.180 MHz Downlink FM.
  • 145.850 MHz AX25 Uplink.
  • 437.550 MHz AX25 Downlink.
  • 437.275 MHz CW Beacon .
2) LitSat-1

  • Beacon/TLM down link 145.850 MHz
  • Beacon RF packets are AX.25 UI frames Main parameters of the beacon frames are: TX baud rate 9600 bps (G3RUH), repetition period ~4.5s, beacon duration ~0.5 s, source call address – TNC, destination call address – LY1LS.
Linear Transponder details
  • Uplink 435.150 MHz LSB 
  • Downlink  145.950 MHz USB 
  • Bandwidth ±15 kHz from centre
  • CW beacon   435.1375 MHz (LY1LS/B)
  • Normal mode – transponder, beacon OFF
  • 437.550 MHz AX25 Uplink.
  • 145.850 MHz MHz AX25 Downlink.
  • LitSat-1 on Facebook


4) ArduSat-2

5) UKube-1
The Ukube-1 Satellite was lunched on 8 July at 18:32:42 UTC. kep details at CW was confirmed over Europe ;-)

UKube-1 communications subsystem:
• Telemetry downlink 145.840 MHz
• FUNcube subsystem beacon 145.915 MHz
• 400 mW inverting linear transponder for SSB and CW
- 435.080 -435.060 MHz Uplink
- 145.930 -145.950 MHz Downlink
• 2401.0 MHz S Band Downlink
• 437.425-437.525 MHz UKSEDS myPocketQub Downlink