Hubnet Repeater List for Quansheng UV-K5

A couple of days ago I sat down and programmed all Hubnet repeaters and gateways into my Quansheng UV-K5 via Chirp, taking the details from to make sure everything’s fresh.

In the spirit of sharing I’m making this file available for download as a Chirp IMG file as well as CSV. If you’re grabbing the former then I’d advise you to download data from your radio first before pasting in the repeater list, then re-uploading the file from your radio. Like most people I’m using custom firmware and taking this approach minimises the chances of you importing something other than the list of repeaters and gateways. The usual caveats apply…

“Cannot create unknown radio component”

Getting Motorola CPS to run on recent Windows in VM

I’ve had some difficulty in getting my Windows 10 virtual machine to run the CPS software from Motorola which I need in order to program a GM340 for an upcoming project, and thought I’d document the steps taken in case it helps somebody else. The general feeling appears to be that you need an older version of Windows like XP, and/or a physical machine, but with a few tweaks you can convince the CPS to run in a Windows 10 VM, in my case Parallel Desktop on MacOS. Here’s what I did:

  1. Install CPS software, in my case GP300_Application_EMEA_EN.exe which turned out to be version R03.11.16 dated 01.07.2012.
  2. Find the installed executable, right-click, and change compatibility mode to Windows XP SP 3. You can do this via the Troubleshoot Compatibility wizard or via the Properties menu.
  3. Download and install PL2303 Legacy Driver Updater. Run as Administrator and change the driver and roll back the PL2303 driver to version
  1. Reboot the system. It’s a lame thing to do, but makes all the difference here.
  2. Use Device Manager to check that whichever port your USB-to-Serial cable is plugged into is now using the legacy driver which you specified in step 3 above.
  3. Run the CPS software as administrator. The window frame and menu buttons should look like good old XP, and you should see Reading Radio instead of the previous error message.

New Antenna for Home QTH

Ever since picking up my IC-705 in October 2021 I’ve been dining out on location rather than configuration, at least where the home antenna is concerned; a random-length end-fed with a 49:1, slung up into a tree next to the shack. I’ve had some pretty good contacts using this setup, working QRP far into Europe and occasionally pinging the ding-dong repeater in New York on 10m, but it was always a suck-it-and-see first attempt, a cheap way of finding out which bands I want to focus on before spending more money. I was still chasing my first transatlantic contact when I heard Russ VE9FI one evening in December but, unable to work him on my EFLW I quickly uprooted the IC-705 to the back patio, where my home made EFHW was doing WSPR duty. Blow me if I didn’t get an S5/5 @ 5W, nearly three thousand miles across the pond, on battery power.

An obvious solution would be to throw some more power down the wire, but at the back of my mind it was clear that the wire was the problem. And the power. But mostly the wire. So here I am two months later, with some very nice fibreglass poles and a hastily flung resonant 80m HW, buzzing with excitement at the changes brought about by some fairly simple guying.

Yesterday’s initial attempt at stringing the 40m long stealth wire across the garden in a rotated L configuration produced more of an inverted V, thanks to the luxurious flexibility of my new poles, but adding some guy lines today actually enabled the vertical part to be truly vertical, and I think that’s what’s made the difference between the RF fizzling out at the horizon and providing a truly great take-off angle. All I know for sure is that I’ve not had any WSPR spots from Central America, West Coast US, or China until today.

Going forward I’ll probably add a second 2-section pole to hold the blunt end of the wire, replacing the far too flexible single section that I used as a stop-gap in fading light yesterday.

Another Go with 20m EFHW

I’ve now had three outings with my first self-built HF antenna, an end-fed half-wave on 20m twirled around a 10m squid pole. The main reason for this design was that I’ve got easy access to the kind of salty beaches that are supposed to work well as groundplanes, but with weather being what it is right now I’ve not had much of a chance to get out.

IC-705 with 20m EFHW on the beach at Garwick Bay

Today could have been such a day, but instead I decided to work portable from the car, perching myself on the Druidale Road above Ballaugh. There was zero noise floor and I was able to work pretty much every station I heard at 10W, with many of them giving me better reports than I was able to give them. The Swiss guys in particular were very strong with me, sounding as clear and loud as traffic on the local repeater.

DA22WRTCWangen, Germany20mS5/9 @ 5W
HB9GVWHans-MartinBurgdorf, Switzerland20mS5/5 @ 5W
EI3ISBJohnDubli, Ireland20mS5/5 @ 5W
SM5ZCJDirkFinspong, Sweden20mS5/9 @ 5W
OH3GZJackToivakka, Sweden20mS5/7 @ 10W
F1GOWJean-MarcNancy, France20mS5/5 @ 10W
DK5KNRudiKönigswinter, Germany20mS5/9 @ 10W
SD7XJorgSweden20mS5/5 @ 10W
DL7GPAchimBerlin, Germany20mS5/9 @ 10W
GI0AQDDavidPortavogie, Northern Ireland20mS5/8 @ 10W
DL1ROTThomasBerlin, Germany20mS5/6 @ 10W
DH0GMEElmarVillingen, Germany20mS5/7 @ 10W
SQ3SHIMekGrabow, Poland20mS5/9 @ 10W
HB9SHIDanielGruet, Switzerland20mS5/8 @ 10W
HB9BFYPeterGossau, Switzerland20mS5/9 @ 10W
IN3HUYGiorgioSan Bovo, Italy20mS5/9 @ 10W
DK1MHWHansAltoeting, Germany20mS5/5 @ 10W
SP8DRDarekLubelski, Poland20mS5/5 @ 10W
IU2PKQSimoBareggio, Italy20mS5/9 @ 10W
F/DL4FLYTimmKarlsruhe, Germany20mS5/5 @ 10W
Selection of contacts made using EFHW from Druidale Road, IO74rh

There was a strong temptation to hang on a few hours and wait for the long skip to come in, but temperatures had dropped to 4℃ as the sun went down and I didn’t relish taking everything down without gloves and a torch. Maybe next time.

Quick tour of the portable location; Druidale Road near Mount Karrin

WSPRing Success

Who knew that WSPR could be so easy to set up and so much fun? I took delivery of a Desktop WSPR Transmitter from ZachTek last week, and had it set up and running within 30 minutes of unpacking. Configuration is straight forward via Harry’s own software (Windows only) and apparently the box doesn’t care about SWR since it’s only running 200 mW.

Pint-size Power: ZachTek’s WSPR Desktop Transmitter

Right now I’m using the transmitter via my EFLW antenna when it’s not connected to my IC-705 in the shack, and I’ve discovered that you can use the AH-705 to tune the antenna and then remove the batteries before disconnecting, thus preventing the latching relays inside the AMU from returning to their default positions. In this way the WSPR box thinks it’s talking to a resonant antenna, at least on one band. I’m not sure if it makes any difference, but it’s a lot of fun seeing where I’m being heard in the world via the website.

Antarctica on 200 mW, anyone?

Icom ID-52 Screen Protector

Since buying the ID-52 I haven’t been using it much outside of the shack because I’ve not been able to find a suitable screen protector, which is pretty much the first accessory that I add to any portable toy with a display. Especially when that display marks as easily as it does on Icom’s latest greatest handheld – minor scratches are already visible after 6 weeks of indoor use when all I’ve done is wipe off the occasional fingerprint with a clean microfibre cloth. But I digress.

Close, but no Cigar

Brotect AirGlass

The challenge in finding a good screen protector isn’t so much that the product is new or that there isn’t enough choice, it’s more to do with that strangely curved screen: a gentle Y-axis curve is compounded by a slightly more pronounced X-axis curve near the top of the display, which means that a protection film needs to bend simultaneously in two directions while also sticking evenly to the screen. That’s a pretty tall order, and the two films that I’ve tried so far (one made from thin glass, and one from plastic) have both started to peel off at the top within a couple of hours, allowing debris particles to enter the gap and get stuck on the underside of the film, where they’re then pressed against the screen. Not ideal.

And the Winner is …

This morning I received a replacement film from in Germany, having previously given them feedback on the Brotect AirGlass product which didn’t work out, and I must say that I’m very impressed so far. The replacement isn’t made from AirGlass or from any other material I’ve previously encountered as a screen protector. With the backing in place on both sides it feels kind of rubbery, and although it’s shipped in a flat envelope it retains any curve that you apply to it when you bend it with your fingers.

Brotect Flex

The backing is removed in three steps, where the first peel gives you enough of a strip to position the film on the screen, the second peel uncovers the rest of the film for application now that it’s positioned, and the third peel removes a protective layer from the front of the film to reveal a glossy finish that doesn’t feel rubbery at all, but doesn’t feel like glass either. During application you can see why the initial backing is removed in two stages, because the film itself feels very flexible and the adhesive unusually strong, which would make it tricky to fix in one go and trickier still to re-align. Doing it in stages presents no problem at all, but if I were to be picky I’d prefer the first stage to be along the base of the screen rather than at the top, because it’s that first stage which is responsible for good alignment, so using the longest edge as your datum is a no-brainer for me. I’d also provide a margin of error by making the film fractionally smaller. Right now it’s exactly the same size as the screen underneath, and if you’re a fraction of a millimetre out with the initial alignment (using the screen’s shortest edge) then that translates to a greater error at the opposite end, where you’ve now got some overhang that may or may not nag at your OCD.

Finally, the material from which this film is constructed claims to be self-healing, and after scoring the surface gently with a fingernail you can indeed watch it ‘repair’ itself over the course of several minutes. That’s a great attribute for a screen protector which can’t be made from glass because it needs to adhere to a curved display, and I congratulate the guys over at Brotect for coming up with such a cool solution.