The Barrett 2050 is a versatile and rugged 1.6 MHz to 30 MHz, 125 W PEP, field proven HF transceiver that can be easily configured to customers’ exact operational requirements.

The Barrett 2050 provides all common modes of HF transmission, all currently used Selective Call formats, MIL-STD 188-141B Automatic Link Establishment, and a new generation, simple to operate, Frequency Hopping option. The 2050, housed in a lightweight, extremely strong sealed aluminium chassis, meets MIL- STD 810G for drop, dust, temperature, shock and vibration.

Teaming the 2050 transceiver with other 2000 series products provides email, fax, telephone and data connectivity within an HF network and onwards to both the international telephone network and the internet.


Paul Leicester | MØFOX | Chesterfield UK | IO93HE | Icom IC-7300

Icom IC-7300 : Amateur Radio (Ham) Base Station

HF/50/70MHz Transceiver

The IC-7300 is a revolutionary compact radio that will excite HF operators from beginners to experts. This new model has a high-performance real-time spectrum scope and employs a new RF direct sampling system. The IC-7300’s real-time spectrum scope provides top-level performance in resolution, sweep speed and dynamic range. While listening to received audio, the operator can check the real-time spectrum scope and quickly move to the intended signal. The combination of the real-time spectrum scope and waterfall function improves the quality and efficiency of HF operation.

The new RF direct sampling system employed by the IC-7300 realises class leading RMDR (Reciprocal Mixing Dynamic Range) and Phase Noise characteristics. In addition, the IC-7300 features the 70MHz band (European versions only), a large touch screen colour TFT LCD, convenient multi-function dial knob, automatic antenna tuner, voice recorder function and more.

Class Leading Real-Time Spectrum Scope
You no longer have to choose whether to listen to the audio or have the spectrum scope sweep for signals as the IC-7300’s real-time spectrum scope offers the simultaneous operations found in higher tier models. This means you can use either the spectrum scope or the waterfall to quickly move to an intended signal while listening to the receiver audio. The IC-7300’s touch screen introduces a “Magnify” function. So, when you first touch the scope screen around the intended signal, the touched part is magnified. A second touch of the scope screen changes the operating frequency and allows you to accurately tune.

High-Resolution Waterfall Function
The combination of the waterfall function and the real-time spectrum scope assists in maximum receive performance of the IC-7300 and increases QSO opportunities without missing weak signals. The waterfall function shows a change of signal strength over a period of time and allows you to find weak signals that may not be apparent on the spectrum scope.

Audio Scope Function
The audio scope function can be used to observe various AF characteristics such as microphone compressor level, filter width, notch filter width and keying waveform in the CW mode. Either the transmit or receive audio can be displayed on the FFT scope with the waterfall function and the oscilloscope.

RF Direct Sampling System
The IC-7300 employs an RF direct sampling system. RF signals are directly converted to digital data and processed in the FPGA (Field-Programmable Gate Array), making it possible to simplify the circuit construction. This system is a leading technology making an epoch in amateur radio.

New “IP+” Function
The new “IP+” function improves 3rd order intercept point (IP3) performance. When a weak signal is received adjacent to strong interference, the AD converter is optimized against signal distortion.

Class Leading RMDR (Reciprocal Mixing Dynamic Range) and Phase Noise Characteristics
The IC-7300’s RMDR is improved to about 97dB* (typical value) and Phase Noise characteristics are improved about 15dB (at 1 kHz frequency separation) compared to the IC-7200. The superior Phase Noise characteristics reduce noise components in both receive and transmit signals.
* At 1 kHz frequency separation (received frequency: 14.2MHz, MODE: CW, IF BW: 500Hz)

Large Touch Screen Colour TFT LCD
The large 4.3 inch colour TFT touch LCD offers intuitive operation. Using the software keypad of the touch screen, you can easily set various functions and edit memory contents.

Multi-Dial Knob for Smooth Operation
The combination of the multi-dial knob and the touch screen offers quick and smooth operation. When you push the multi-dial knob, menu items are shown on the right side of the display. You can select an item with a touch of the screen and adjust levels by turning the multi-dial knob.

SD Memory Card Slot for Saving Data
The IC-7300 can store various contents into SD card such as received and transmitted audio, voice memories, RTTY/CW memories, RTTY decode logs and captured screen images. Personal and firmware updating data can also be stored to the SD card for easy setting.

15 Discrete Band-Pass Filters
The IC-7300 has 15 discrete RF band-pass filters. The RF signal is only passed through one of the band-pass filters, while any out of range signals are rejected. High Q factor coils are used to minimize the loss in the RF band-pass filters.

Built-In Automatic Antenna Tuner
The antenna tuner memorizes its settings based on your transmit frequency, so that it can rapidly tune when you change operating bands. The Enforced Tuning function* allows a wide range of temporary antennas to be tuned.
* Do not use the Enforced Tuning function except in case of an emergency. Transmission power may be reduced.

Superior Sound Quality
To offer superior sound quality, a new speaker unit has been incorporated and is allocated dedicated space in the aluminium die-cast chassis.

Other features 
• New HM-219 hand microphone supplied
• Effective large cooling fan system
• A Multi-function meter
• 101 memory channels (99 regular, 2 scan edges) • Optional RS-BA1 IP remote control software (the spectrum scope with the waterfall can be observed)
• CW functions: Full break-in, CW reverse, CW auto tuning

Paul Leicester | MØFOX | Chesterfield UK | IO93HE | Icom IC-7300

FlexRadio Systems FLEX-6400

FLEX-6400  A Real SDR for Every Operator

Both the FLEX-6400™ and FLEX-6400M™ offer the latest direct sampling SDR technology at an economical price for the general HF/6m operator yet they offer excellent performance for chasing DX and contesting. The FLEX-6400 model is designed for the Ham who wants to operate the radio exclusively as a server from PC, laptop, Maestro, Mac, or iOS clients – whether local or remote. Both models share the same game changing band awareness, industry leading phase noise performance, brick wall filters, and legendary audio performance to deliver you the most fun across a wide variety of operating styles.

With a PC, laptop, or Mac client you can utilize up to two 7 MHz spectrum/waterfall displays and independent receivers to revolutionize your view of the bands. Its two receivers can be placed simultaneously on any band and mode with instant QSY between VFOs. Digital mode operation is a dream with no sound cards, cables or boxes needed.

The FLEX-6400M places the most used controls right at your fingertips. Controls are labeled for intuitive operation and designed to minimize hand motion for the most common operations. Occasionally used controls are easily accessible on the large touch screen display bypassing the complexity of multi-function buttons and multi-level menus found on other transceivers. Like modern smartphones and tablets, capacitive touch control is provided on the large LCD display for intuitive pan, zoom, tune, and menu operation.

FLEX-6400 Feature Highlights

  • Native Remote Operation: Using Maestro, PC, Laptop, iPad or iPhone
  • SDR Architecture: Direct Sampling
  • Reciprocal Mixing Dynamic Range (RMDR): 116dB
  • Independent High Performance Receivers: Two (2)
  • Maximum Panadapter Bandwidth: 7 MHz
  • Radio Control Surfaces: Ergonomic tactile controls with touch screen interface
  • Integrated Display: 8-inch 1920×1200 IPS Display
  • External Display: 1920×1200 WUXGA via HDMI interface
  • Antenna Connectors: SO-239×2, BNC XVTRx1, BNC RX-INx1
  • Wideband Frequency Coverage: 30 kHz – 54 MHz
  • Transmit Frequency Coverage: 160-6m amateur bands, 100W nominal output
  • Transverter IF Frequency Coverage: 100 kHz – 54 MHz
  • Full Duplex Operation: Yes
  • Digital Audio Exchange (DAX) Channels: Two (2)
  • DAX IQ Channels/Bandwidth per Channel (DAXIQ): Two (2)
Paul Leicester | MØFOX | Chesterfield UK | IO93HE | Icom IC-7300

FT-8 New digital mode 8-FSK modulation

It’s still in beta testing, but FT8 — the latest digital bauble to capture the imagination of the Amateur Radio community — has been luring away many of those already using the popular JT65 “weak-signal” mode. FT8 is included in a beta release of WSJT-X, version 1.8.0-rc1. Among its biggest advantages is a shorter transmit-receive cycle, meaning quicker contacts. The notes for the “candidate” release say that FT8 offers “sensitivity down to –20 dB on the AWGN channel.” Contacts are four times faster than with JT65 or JT9, and an entire FT8 contact can take place in about 1 minute.

The new mode is named after its developers, Steven Franke, K9AN, and Joe Taylor, K1JT. The numeral designates the mode’s 8-frequency shift keying format. Tones are spaced at 6.25 Hz, and an FT8 signal occupies just 50 Hz. Unlike JT65 or JT9, transmit and receive cycles in FT8 each last about 15 seconds. Like JT65, FT8 requires accurate time synchronization. An auto-sequencing feature offers the option to respond automatically to the first decoded reply to your CQ.

“FT8 is an excellent mode for HF DXing and for situations like multi-hop Es on 6 meters, where deep QSB may make fast and reliable completion of QSOs desirable,” Taylor’s release notes assert.

The beta release came out just days before the July CQ VHF Contest and proved to be a boon to many operators who took advantage of FT8 on 6 meters. In a limited outing for the CQ VHF, Frank Donovan, W3LPL, made 22 FT8 contacts on 6 meters, “during which the FT8 software reported SNRs from my receiver below –10 dB (measured in a 2,500-Hz bandwidth). Some of the 22 QSOs may have been difficult to complete on CW.”

Enthusiasts will have to wait a little longer for Logbook of The World (LoTW) to accept FT8 contacts as FT8 contacts. Because FT8 is still in beta, it has not yet been added to the ADIF tables. Configuring TQSL to automatically map FT8 contacts to “DATA” will enable users to upload FT8 contacts now, and confirmations will be valid for DXCC Digital, VUCC, WAS Digital, and WPX Digital awards. A new TQSL configuration will be released once the new mode has been accepted to ADIF, which could happen within a week.

Important characteristics of FT8:

– T/R sequence length: 15 s
– Message length: 75 bits + 12-bit CRC
– FEC code: LDPC(174,87)
– Modulation: 8-FSK, keying rate = tone spacing = 5.86 Hz
– Waveform: Continuous phase, constant envelope
– Occupied bandwidth: 47 Hz
– Synchronization: three 7×7 Costas arrays (start, middle, end of Tx)
– Transmission duration: 79*2048/12000 = 13.48 s
– Decoding threshold: -20 dB (perhaps -24 dB with AP decoding, TBD)
– Operational behavior: similar to HF usage of JT9, JT65
– Multi-decoder: finds and decodes all FT8 signals in passband
– Auto-sequencing after manual start of QSO

*Comparison with slow modes JT9, JT65, QRA64:* FT8 is a few dB less
sensitive but allows completion of QSOs four times faster. Bandwidth is
greater than JT9, but about 1/4 of JT65A and less than 1/2 QRA64.

*Comparison with fast modes JT9E-H:* FT8 is significantly more
sensitive, has much smaller bandwidth, uses the vertical waterfall, and
offers multi-decoding over the full displayed passband.

*Still to come, not yet implemented:* We plan to implement signal
subtraction, two-pass decoding, and use of “a priori” (already known)
information as it accumulates during a QSO.

Three extra bits are available in the message payload, with uses yet to
be defined. We have in mind special message formats that might be used
in contests, and the like. Your considered suggestions for use of these
bits are very welcome!

K1JT, K9AN, and G4WJS have conducted on-the-air tests of FT8 with
excellent results. We’re now at a stage where tests under a wider range
of conditions are desirable. If you can build WSJT-X from source code
revision r7750 or later, and would like to help, please do so and report
your results to us! Pre-built installation packages will be made
available after further testing is completed.

FT-8 New digital mode 8-FSK modulation

Paul Leicester | MØFOX | Chesterfield UK | IO93HE | Icom IC-7300