VE7XEN's electronics blog

Quansheng TG-45UV Protocol Reversing

Quansheng TG-45UV
On a whim, I recently purchased the apparently new Quansheng TG-45UV to replace the Quansheng TG-UV2 I lost this last summer. A review and/or video might be forthcoming, but in the meantime I spent some time reverse engineering the serial protocol / data structure. If you have one of these radios and want programming software, the Quansheng TG-K4AT UV software works and is what I based my efforts on.

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Recording NBFM Scanner with RTLSDR

Old School Scanner
Ever want to use your $20 RTLSDR dongle as a simple FM scanner to listen to your local public safety or ham radio repeater traffic? @nottheoilrig on my local hackspace’s mailing list inquired about how to record analog FM off the air to a file. After some fiddling, I found this is quite simple with the rtl_fm tool included in the osmocom rtl-sdr distribution. The dongle and software does quite a good job scanning too, its pickup time is very quick even monitoring many channels.

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Project Start: tinyCounter low power HF frequency counter

I've ordered myself an EA3GCY ILER-20 kit, and being a single-band QRP hand-tuned radio, I want a convenient counter. I'm going to be using this in the field on battery power, so it's got to sip the juice and be small (tiny!) and light. The design should be suitable for any small HF rig (and maybe 6 metres) with an easily accessible point to measure the VFO. I put together a design and just ordered PCBs. Read more →

Workman WEP2000 - killed!

A couple posts ago I mentioned the WEP2000 I'd purchased to give mobile VHF a try, contrary to my original plan to just use it for APRS. For a while, I was reasonably happy with it; it was a pain to tune, but I was getting good signal reports and receive was good enough for my purposes. In the past week or two though I'd noticed that while it was working, the receive power was much lower than it should have been, so I went to check the tuning on the through-the-glass box on the rear window. Read more →

Antennas Ordered & Future Projects

Shortly after getting my ham license I started fooling around with antennas. Built myself a very shoddy 2m ground plane 1/4 wave just to get an antenna outside for use with my HT, as the whips can't get anywhere from inside. Then I decided to upgrade to a proper antenna - a coaxial dipole design by W6NBC published in the July 2009 QST. This worked fantastically well for a couple of months, then a solder joint broke between the antenna connector and the radiator element. Read more →

Out of Band Power Control in the Motorola Radius M100 VHF

I recently purchased a Motorola Radius M100 radio used on eBay, intending to use it for an APRS tracker or perhaps a digi. The radio arrived in perfect working order, making its 25W rated power across the rated band split (146-174MHz). It was a couple KHz low in frequency, but easily “warped” up to within a few Hz.

However I ran across some trouble when testing it with the local APRS frequency of 144.390MHz; the 25W rig was making nearly 45W and the software power control made no change at that frequency! After doing some research I found several articles detailing the issue with MaxTrac radios. Essentially the problem is that the power output of these radios is controlled by the microprocessor, which is given a series of tuning values during alignment that establish a power output control curve. However the tuning values only cover the band split the radio was built for, so when operating outside the normal band, the microprocessor just runs the power amp at full bore. Not healthy!

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DIY 50Ω dummy load w/ peak detector

Having ordered a used mobile radio from eBay, I felt that I needed a dummy load for tuning and testing. While I was at it I figured I'd add a peak detector to get a reasonably accurate power measurement at the same time. I pulled two bits of heatsink that came from an old PC power supply, an AC filter capacitor and a couple of signal diodes from the junk bin. Read more →

Quansheng TG-UV2 Update

Last weekend I took the TG-UV2 out on a weekend road trip and exercised it a bit - periodic car to car traffic for 4 days. By and large it performed admirably, I didn't charge it all weekend and still had 2/3 indicated battery life upon returning home. One problem I did encounter was transmitting on a hot day in the UHF band. For a while the transmitter was very finicky, when keyed with the PTT it would beep and display 'LOST' on the screen, not actually transmitting anything. Read more →

Quansheng TG-UV2 Dual Band HT Review

The Quansheng TG-UV2 is a fairly straightforward 5 watt, dual band 2m/70cm handheld radio of Chinese origin. It's a fairly direct competitor to the other popular Chinese radios like the Wouxun KG-UVD1. With a street price of approximately $85 USD shipped, it's one of the cheapest dual band handhelds available anywhere. The feature set is pretty complete, and for the price it's really tough to beat. Read on for my full impression of this HT. Read more →

Passed the test! Basic+ earned!

I finished my Basic qualification exam last weekend with a 95%, earning me access to all the Canadian ham bands. I've got a power limit of 250W DC transmitter input power and can't build my own transmitters, but I imagine that will keep me going for some time. The test was pretty straightforward, all the questions are available ahead of time and Industry Canada even provides a practice test generation tool using those questions. Read more →