QRV Tech – Education Series

Shawn KI5PXG is kicking off an new Education Series for RWK – We’re calling it “QRV Tech” (h/t to Don KG5CK). It will be (mostly) monthly, usually on the third week of the month (check the calendar). We will start out on Zoom but we have plans to get together in person when there is a “build” type project.

The goal for this series is primarily education – teaching something new to those that are interested – but we plan on building things too (as part of the learning). We realize that not everyone will be interested in each subject (which is why we’re not making them presentations for General Meetings) – we’re aiming for 10-20 people or so each session.

Our topics will range from test equipment to microcontrollers to SDRs to antennas. This series is something that we’ve wanted to do for a long time. We hope that you enjoy and learn! QRV Tech?

  • QRV Tech – July 2024 – The Versatile Quansheng UV-K5(8)

    Our July 2024 QRV Tech program will be a discussion and demonstration of the popular Quansheng UV-K5(8) HT. This $20 HT has caused a stir in the ham community because of one critical reason – it’s reprogrammable! Unlike the ubiquitous Baofengs, this radio has firmware in flashable memory, which has led to several developers creating different “improvement” variations of the radio firmware that add many unexpected capabilities: expanded frequency coverage, SSB/AM, Spectrum Scope, Spectrum Scan, Scan Groups, just to name a few. There are also many UI variations that add useful information to the display, such as real-time RSSI (very useful in foxhunting). Come see a brief demo of some of the modifications and see how easy it is to reprogram one of these cheap but capable radios.


    Click on the image to view the recording

    https://files.k5rwk.net/s/C63SqAeKc4fgmRg

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    Session Resources

    Link to Amazon to purchase a UV-K5(8): https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0CL939BVY

    The Quansheng UV-k5 Wiki: https://github.com/ludwich66/Quansheng_UV-K5_Wiki/wiki
    A collection about info on the UV-K5, including parts lists, 3D models, schematics, modifications, etc.

    List of Firmware and developers working on UV-K5 firmware: https://github.com/ludwich66/Quansheng_UV-K5_Wiki
    Feel free to try several versions to see what features you like.

    My current favorite – F4HWN Firmware: https://github.com/armel/uv-k5-firmware-custom
    The “Best of the Best” compilation of popular features from several other developers. He has a full description of the changes and improvements, as well as pictures of improved screen/UI display options.

    Direct link to the F4HWN Flash page: https://github.com/armel/uv-k5-firmware-custom/releases/tag/v3.0
    If you want to flash F4HWN v3.0 (the current version as of this writing), start here (using a Chromium-based browser like MS Edge or Chrome).

    Here’s a video of an overview of the 2.5 version of the F4HWN firmware:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=duNB2xS208E

    This video is a bit out of date but a good overview of the radio and custom firmware (the older egzumer version)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2k6OfJtl234

  • QRV Tech – May 2024 – APRS

    Our May 2024 QRV Tech program will be a discussion of APRS – the Automatic Packet Reporting System. This is widely used on VHF and UHF for position reporting but that’s just a small part of what it is capable of. Most higher-end mobile radios support APRS, so come see how it works and how to use it.


    Meeting Details

    Topic: QRV Tech

    Time: Third Tuesday 07:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)

    Join Zoom Meeting

    https://zoom.us/j/93467541992?pwd=RjJqWkFPd0VjeSt2U21QL2hKc0QwZz09

    Meeting ID: 934 6754 1992

    Passcode: 307016

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    Session Resources

  • QRV Tech – April 2024 – Get Ready For POTA

    Our April 2024 QRV Tech program will be a discussion of what you need to know and do for your first POTA (Parks on the Air) outing. Let’s get prepared for this weekend’s RWK POTA outing at Spring Creek Forest Preserve. What to bring, how to set up, how to operate, deconfliction with other stations, logging, and what to do after the event. If you’ve missed our previous POTA outings but want to get in on the fun, this QRV is for you!


    Meeting Details

    Topic: QRV Tech

    Time: Third Tuesday 07:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)

    Join Zoom Meeting

    https://zoom.us/j/93467541992?pwd=RjJqWkFPd0VjeSt2U21QL2hKc0QwZz09

    Meeting ID: 934 6754 1992

    Passcode: 307016

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    Session Resources

  • QRV Tech – March 2024 – HF Bands Behavior and Propagation Tools

    Our March 2024 QRV Tech program will be a discussion of the HF bands (10m-40m) and their characteristics.  We will discuss how the seasons and times of day affect each of the bands so you can plan your DX activity accordingly.  We will also demonstrate different online propagation calculation tools (such as Hamclock, PSKReporter, and VOACAP) so you can get an approximation of how the bands are behaving in real-time and how they are forecasted to behave over the next few days.


    Click the image to view the recording

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    Session Resources

    PSK Reporter: https://pskreporter.info/pskmap.html

    VOACAP: https://www.voacap.com/hf/

    HamSpots: https://hamspots.net/history/

    DX Maps:

  • QRV Tech – February 2024 – Software Defined Radios (redux)

    Our February 2024 QRV Tech program will be a redux of the Software Defined Radio overview from July 2023 (which didn’t get recorded due to a zoom issue). So we’re going to do it again and record it this time!

    Software Defined Radios have become popular with Hams for a number of reasons. 1) They’re cheap (as low as $25), 2) They’re very flexible (they can receive almost any modulation type), and 3) They’re fun to play with. What can you do with an SDR? Almost anything you can think of (with a few limitations). All it takes is some knowledge of computers (it is “software” after all) and some simple radio bits (you still need an antenna).

    This month we are talking about Software Defined Radios (SDRs).  We’ll talk about the various types of SDRs, how they work, and their good points and bad points.  We’ll talk about the hardware and software available, and how you can get started using these useful tools.  We’re assuming a certain basic knowledge with computers (it is “software” after all) and we don’t have time during the session to do things like install software, but if you’re interested and need further help, we should be able to make that happen.  Join us and see what all the excitement is about.


    Click the image to view the recording

    Session Resources

    Here are the presentation slides.

  • QRV Tech – January 2024 – HF Antenna Shootout

    Our January 2024 QRV Tech program will be Shawn KI5PXG and Adam KE5MMK’s “Antenna Shoot-out”.  They recently compared 3 antennas at the same time and location to see if there were any advantages of one over the others.  Come see what they found out!


    Meeting Details

    Tuesday December 19 7pm

    Topic: QRV Tech

    Time: 07:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)

    Join Zoom Meeting

    https://zoom.us/j/94737740567?pwd=QllKd1Ava0lma3FtbDVwdDZKVGlMUT09

    Meeting ID: 947 3774 0567
    Passcode: 081381

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    Session Resources