Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Mailbag 2024 January

New mailbag with items from AliExpress
Items received end December 2023 and January 2024
In this mailbag some different USB Wifi devices as i want to experiment with them.

Some battery clamps


HDMI and Ethernet Wall socket


Tube type terminal set

USB Wifi connector with antenna




USB Wifi Connector




USB Wifi connector



You can never have enough memory cards.


Memory card reader / writer




Another Memory card reader and writer. This version is for USB C
Not only for memory cards, you can also connect a 'classic' USB device.


A set with 5 male and  female 3.5mm connectors



Some wired 2.5 mm 3 pin female audio connectors  

As i found this one meter RF cable for only € 0.01 and some Aliexpress point i could nor resist buying it.
("Normal price € 7.42 including 45% discount and additional 5% with points)



Shielded wire 3 core 10 meter. 




A 'Kenwood type' extension cable.







This cable is sold as "speaker mic headset earpiece",
NOT all the pins are connected! 

Small BNC extension cable.









I want to use this for a non RF application where i want to put a PCB with BNC connection in an enclosure and want the BNC output on the enclosure.
SMA antenna extension cable.




5pcs 3.5mm 3 Pole Mono Audio Connectors Jack Plug Headphone Male Adapter Jack Plug Male Jack Plug Wire Terminals Speaker


Cable to split a 4 wire connector in a the audio input and audio output part. 

Y Splitter Cable 3.5mm 2 in 1 Male To Female AUX Audio Cable MP3 MP4 Stereo Plug Adapter Jack For Headset Headphone computer

 

Sunday, January 14, 2024

Quansheng K5 ( Intro & Chirp )

The Quansheng K5 plus and K5(8) has 200 memory slots to configure station names, frequencies and other settings. 

This is the first of a series of posts about changing or adding frequencies (or other other setting) in this Quansheng K5 memory slots. In this and my upcoming posts i will use the word "Quansheng K5" however i only have the K5 plus and K5(8). Probably it will also work using a K5 or K6. 

You can change frequency settings on the radio itself or copy the frequency list from one Quansheng K5 to another. Also it is possible to use your Quansheng to do a scan and used a received frequency as a new entry. However another easy and common used method is using some computer software to edit and create the frequency list. (This process is also called creating a code plug).

I am no expert on this and there are many tutorials about this topic. However i want to share some of my experiences with some software.

You need to connect your Quansheng K5 to your computer. Most times this is done using a programming cable. There seems also to be plug with Bluetooth that you can put in your radio, however i have not seen using the Bluetooth plug with a Quansheng.

Problems often reported are

  • Not pushing the plug firmly enough in the radio. There are even posts about people who scaped of some of the plastic of the radio to make the plug fit better.
  • Not having the correct USB driver for the cable.
  • Not having the radio in the right mode. (See several tutorials, different things needs to be done for uploading new firmware  or upload/download settings.)

To load and edit the channels several software is available. In this post some info about one often used program.

Chirp

Chirp also connects to some databases with frequencies and when installing it also puts some frequency lists in the install directory.

I used and tested "CHIRP next-20231016 on Python 3.10.8 wxPython 4.2.0 msw (phoenix) wxWidgets 3.2.0". The Chirp software can also be used with many other radios. (Unfortunately not with my Anytone 878 UV III).

The Chirp source code can be found on GitHub and often a new releases are made available.

There is much information available including YouTube instructions from people who know the Chirp software better. See their instructions and watch their videos as most can explain it better than me. 

Chirp screenshot 
Besides editing the frequencies in Chirp it is also possible to import and export this information to a *.csv file. Unfortunately i could not find all the fields that i see on the screen in this export *.csv files.  Especially the settings for the scan lists that can be edited in the program. I also tried the 'Show extra fields' and the  'developer mode'. This also limits the possibilities to do some of the editing in Excel. 
Several other settings of the Quansheng K5 can also be edited in Chirp and it is possible to load and save all the settings using a  *.img file.

There are some items in Chirp that could be improved;

  • Copy and past of multiple items.
  • Better editing possibilities.
  • Import and export of all columns including the scan list information.

however Chirp is a great and relative easy to use program.

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

My Quansheng K5 radios

Currently i have 3 Quansheng K5 radios.
The Quansheng K5 radios are relative cheap and nice to play with (when you know and keep to the rules, e.g. being a licenced Ham radio operator).

The first one was a Quansheng K5 plus. It did not have a USB (emergency) power port however it included the USB data cable.
Therefore (and to do some experiments) i did buy second one a Quansheng K5(8) that had the USB emergency charge connector.
Later i did win a third one in a lottery. This is also a Quansheng K5(8),

On the outside you can easy see the difference between the K5 plus and the K5(8). Besides the (missing) USB emergency charging connector and the color of the display, there are some easy to see differences. My two Quansheng K5(8) radios look exact the same.
The Quansheng K5(8) has some metal screws on the front and the speaker area looks different. My two Quansheng K5(8) have an orange volume on/off knob and my Quansheng K5 plus has a black knob. My Quansheng K5 plus has a colored M and Exit button and a metal shining Quansheng logo. Also some other small differences between are visible.

As i do experiments with all of these radios it would be nice to make the two Quansheng K5(8) radios a little different. For example at the moment i have loaded different software on each of these radio's.
Until now i could only see the difference as i did not add the belt clip on my last Quansheng  K5(8). However today i must say the looked exact the same as did a little hack to see the difference more easy.

The new situation :

Radio

Metal screws
on front
Knob

K5 plusNoOrange
K5(8)  YesOrange
K5(8) "second"
(december 2023)
YesBlack

The italic values (black and orange) in this table are not the original values:
I swapped the black 'volume on/off  knob' from my Quansheng K5 plus with the orange knob of my newest Quansheng  K5(8) radio and now they are all more different from each other.


Wednesday, December 13, 2023

Mini 2 port RJ45 Network switch

Some remarks about the mini 2 port RJ45 network manual switch in my mailbag 2023 Q4-4 post
Why did i not use a normal switch or router so i could connect two network devices at the same time.
Yes if you want to operate multiple network devices at the same time other (most times better) options are available!
However i did buy it for special applications.
The manual switch is relative cheap (i did pay Euro 3.45) and can also be used for other things  

You can switch anything that goes over the wires, not only network (using an adapter to RJ45). Also you get a real physical separation of a device when disconnecting. Below some more picture of this device.



Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Mailbag 2023 Q4-5 (Quansheng)

Part 5 of my 2023 Q4 Mailbag post

This part of the Q4 mailbag post  is dedicated to Quansheng and accessorizes (Some can also e used with other radios. 


Quansheng Radio.

Yes, i could not resist the Quansheng portable transceiver.
They are relative cheap and it is also possible to hack this radio by uploading modified firmware.
The first one did not have a USB (emergency) power port however it included the USB data cable. Therefore (and to do some experiments i did buy later a second one that had USB C.
The third one i did win in a lottery.
I expect i will put some posts about this device as it is interesting what you can do with it.
As they are not expensive, you can easy take them outside even to rough conditions.
And yes, i am a licensed HAM radio amateur, so for me (in The Netherlands) it is (currently) legal to own and use it.
Battery eliminator for Quansheng. In the charging station the Quansheng (and other porto's) should not be used (especially NOT for transmitting).
With this battery eliminator it can be used without a battery by connecting it to a 12 volt car plug (or another 12 volt power source). 



This is a cheap small Baofeng microphone
It can also be used the Quansheng. However according to posts on internet sometimes a small modification is needed.


In fact it was below 2 euro's so i did buy 2.

This headset was not sold for the Quansheng however i want to use it with my porto's and it was also very cheap.
The main advantage compared with a separate microphone is that you can listen without spreading all the sound in your surrounding.




APRS cable to connect a porto to an audio device (e.g. a smart phone.) With this cable you can e.g. do APRS radio (another interesting topic for a blog posts.)
"Relay (repeater) box" with cables to connect 2 transceivers to act as a repeater, Not only the device in the box is interesting. Also the cable with the two kenwood type plugs to connect to the transceivers 


Waterproof plastic bag / case (for Quansheng)

RH770 Dual band 144/430 MHz Antenna

Don't know if it is really worth the ten euro's, however it is always nice to play with.
Cheap Abbree AR771 SMA Antenna