Archive for February, 2012
I’ve been using WordPress for my weblog for years now and just turned on a mobile version of the blog. The WordPress plugin WPtouch makes this very easy to do. It took about 5 minutes to get it up and running.
The WPtouch plugin automatically detects when the user is browsing with a smartphone and implements the mobile interface. The user has the option of turning the mobile presentation off.
73, Bob K0NR
There was a discussion on Google+ the other day about how a particular handheld transceiver has an SMA connector, instead of the venerable BNC connector. I noted that many of the newer HTs are going with SMA, presumably because of the smaller size. In fact, I started thinking about it…I didn’t think you can buy an HT anymore with a BNC.
I took at look at some of the ham radio dealer websites to see if I was right. These radios all have SMA connectors: Alinco DJ-175T, DJ-C7T, DJ-G7T, DJ-G29T, DJ-V17T, DJ-V57T; ICOM IC-80AD, IC-92AD, IC-T70A, ID-31A: Kenwood TH-D72A, TH-F6A, TH-K20A; Yaesu FT-60R, FT-250R, FT-270R, VX-3R, VX-6R, VX-7R, VX-8R. The Wouxun radios are SMA but with a male connector on the radio (opposite gender compared to the other manufacturers…a topic for another day.)
The trend line is clear…the BNC is on the way out for amateur radio handheld transceivers.
Do I care?
Well, yes, I do.
I have a collection of extended length antennas that are much more efficient than the standard
dummy load rubber duck. These are great for portable operation, mountaintopping, etc. I have not found very many of these antennas available with SMA connectors. Even if they were available, I am not sure I’d want to attach them to an SMA connector on an HT. For example, a 1/2-wave 2-Meter antenna is about 38 inches long — I am skeptical that an SMA provides enough mechanical strength to support it. Even with a BNC, I have always been very careful to not put too much strain on the connector.
We will have to see where this leads but it seems that the BNC will fade away for amateur use. Most mobile and base rigs use PL-259 and/or N connectors so HTs have been the main application for a BNC.
Goodbye, BNC, I am going to miss you.
73, Bob K0NR
Update on Feb 24: I’ve had several people suggest to me “just use a BNC-to-SMA adapter.” This certainly takes care of making a good electrical connection but mechanically they are generally weak.
The Fi-Ni Report did their usual outstanding job of educating the ham community, this time via A Short History of QSLing. Just because something is fictional,doesn’t mean that it’s not real.
The ARRL announced that the Logbook of the World is going to support the CQ Awards. This is great news for the ham community. The more awards that are supported, the more usage LoTW will get, making it more useful for additional awards.
Buried in the minutes of the July 2011 ARRL Board of Directors Meeting, the Board “authorizes staff to proceed with planning and negotiating a vendor agreement for a Digital QST edition, to be approved by the CEO, General Counsel and the Administration & Finance Committee.” So QST will be available in digital format soon.
You know, I think this internetz thing is starting to catch on!
73, Bob K0NR
The information packet for Field Day is now available on the ARRL web site.
- Bob K0NR