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Amateur Radio Projects and Software Defined Radio

SmartSDR for macOS Video Overview

The video for SmartSDR is now available on the YouTube channel. This video is primarily an overview of the various functions and features available in the recently released SmartSDR for macOS software for Flex Radios.


Flex Radio 6400M Video Quicklook

In the spring of 2017 Flex Radio announced an upgraded version of their 6000 line of SDR based transceivers. These models were labeled the 6400,6600,6400M, and the 6600M. In a nutshell, the 6400 series is an upgrade of the dual slice receiver 6300 and the 6600 is an upgrade of the four slice receiver 6500. The M series adds an 8 inch color touch screen display plus knobs and buttons for “no computer needed” operation. The chassis has gotten larger on the new 6000 series also. With exception of the size change and the builtin displays most of the changes are internal such as better filtering. The new 6000 series also come with the latest version SmartSDR which features an improved remote over internet component called SmartLink. Flex also managed to keep prices down on the new 6000 series. The 6400 starts at $1999 without the optional built in antenna tuner. This makes the 6400 very competitive with most midlevel 100 watt legacy transceivers currently on the market. This makes the 6400 a good solid choice for those who would like to upgrade their equipment to the higher performance of SDR technology on a budget. The 6400M for $2999 adds …

Rumlog 7300 Scope Feature Demo

If you have an Apple Mac and an Icom IC-7300, you may want to take a look at DL2RUM’s Rumlog NG software. Aside from being a very nice logging software package it offers a resize-able spectrum / waterfall scope that can fill your entire PC screen if you wish. This is a nice improvement over Icom’s RSBA-1 software that limits the display of the spectrum / waterfall when connected to an Icom IC-7300 to a fairly small area. The scope drawing performance is pretty similar to RSBA-1 due to the rather slow serial communication rate of 115200 baud. To get this working, you must download and install the Scilab VCP driver on your Mac and under Rumlog’s preference use the following settings for TX1:







On the Icom IC-7300 got to Menu/Set/Connectors/CI-V/CI-V USB Port/ and set Unlink from [Remote]. While there set the CI-V Baud Rate to 115200. On Rumlog’s IC7300 control screen you should see a Show Scope button. If everything is working ok, you should have a the IC-7300 scope shown on your Mac’s screen.  There are several tweaks you can experiment with relating to the scope on the scope screen itself as …

Best Holiday Gifts for the Radio Hobbyist for 2012

Well, it’s that time of year again where we pick the top radio related gifts for 2012. This year offered up some pretty interesting technologies related to the radio monitoring hobby and ham radio.  If you are looking for something this year to give yourself, ham radio friend or radio monitoring enthusiast here are a few suggestions. Ham Radio Science has used or reviewed most of these products and found them to be pretty darn cool. The other great thing is that most of these items are fairly inexpensive, which is a nice  for a change. Here are our top picks for the 2012 Holiday Season.…

New Alinco DJ-X11 Firmware Update Out

One of our readers gave me a heads up (Thanks Mark!) that version 2.60 firmware update is now out for the Alinco DJ-X11 is now out. As far as what it does is pretty cryptic. The descriptions says “Three minor bugs fixed. (Squelch level changes after Flash-tune, Programmed-scanning / band-transition parameter relation and a small inconvenience in display)” Maybe someone will know what those issues were. I tried to update my DJ-X11 and had very little success. The problem is that when I start the firmware update program, I get an error message that says something to the effect that MSCOMCTL.OCX is not registered. This is very similar to the problem that we ran into with the control software problem that was mentioned in an earlier article here. Apparently, Alincos software must be developed on a Windows 98 platform.  If you are running anything newer  than 98, you may very well run into this issue. If anyone has any luck with it, let us know!

The firmware can be found at Alincos Website.

Discuss on Alinco DJ-X11 Forum

Control PowerSDR with the Hercules DJ Control MP3 E2

If you have been reading Ham Radio Science, you will notice that a lot of the articles featured here are about taking existing technology and applying them to Amateur Radio. Rather than reinvent the wheel, why not take an existing technology and get a little more mileage out of it. This is something Amateur Radio operators are good at, as well as coming up with completely new technology. Amateur Radio operators are known for their ability to find new ways to use stuff just laying around to benefit their hobby. Nowadays, we have a lot of technology laying around, so why not finding ways of recycling it for Amateur Radio use. Thats just what Tobias, DH1TW did with marrying an off the shelf midi controller with PowerSDR. Utilizing Midi as a control language maybe a little to foreign to Radio Amateurs unless you also happen to be a musician. Midi has been utilized for many years as an interface language between electronic instruments, sound modules, and computers. Midi controllers can come with a wide variety buttons, knobs, and sliders for controlling PC music processing programs. So why not use these as input devices to Amateur Radio software?  The biggest reason …