Ten-tec Corsair Ii

Photo J. Margaret LtPage NIFBC operates the emergency packet station just after a New Hampshire snow storm, ft pays to be prepared.

Photo J. Margaret LtPage NIFBC operates the emergency packet station just after a New Hampshire snow storm, ft pays to be prepared.

Supplies

Paper, logging forms, pencils, and erasers!

Atso take along manuals and'or command *'cheat sheets" for all the equipment that's commonly used in the area in question. Photocopy the essential instructions out of manuals. In many emergency situations, an Operator may be relieved from his station by someone far less familiar with both packet and the equipment.

Get a list of all the available frequencies in the area. Get also a list of tone-codes and instructions for any computer-control led voice repeaters in the area. Don't forget packet system maps, lists of Q-codes. and ARL numbered messages. Bear in mind that, in an emergency, one will likely be using unfamiliar procedures and facilities and may be called upon to provide information for others that the operator wouldn't himself may not need.

Take also state road maps, and copies of local area Coast Sc Geodetic Survey Quadrangles (topographic maps). A number of organizations (such as Civil Air Patrol and, in this area, the New Hampshire Forest Fire Service) have their own grid overlays for maps that allow them to specify map locations by alphanumeric groups. It s helpful to have keys for these locating schemes. Typical of government (or government-related) organizations, CAP is not generally aware of the Fire Service grid, nor is the Fire Service aware of CAP's!

Many newer VHF and UHh rigs ias well as the ubiquitous scanners) are able to monitor the adjacent public service bands, so it helps to have frequency lists Tor police, lire dispatch, utility and similar services, as well as other disaster helpers such as the Red Cross and CAP,

Of course, it's always wise to have a listing of phone numbers, boih for area public services (ci\il defense, tire, police, hospital, utilities, etc.). Often one can also get {and should keep confidential) unlisted numbers for town/county/state disaster officials and coordinators.

It an emergency group has installed just in case antennas on any buildings that might be used during disasters, they should also have a listing of exactly where io find the radio end of the coax (it'll probably be hidden from the normal building occupants} and hou to tell which is which if there 's more than one.

This information constantly changes. Someone should be responsible for the periodic updating and distribution of the information in the "emergency book." The middle of an earthquake or a tornado is not a good time to try to deliver a year's worth of revision sheets!

All of this literature can go into a slim Accopress Binder that s kept in a plastic zip-top envelope along with some folded light plastic. Many disasters are accompanied by such inclemencies as wind and rain! Those really prepared will take along a flashlighL candles and matches. There's also a greai "soft-case" First Aid kit that's available from any American Red Cross Chapter House for only $25.

Case for a Case

All of this material (with the obvious exception of an automobile storage banery) fits into an attache case found in many local discount stores. I've used one of these, and for many situations, it's ver> effective. I am also apt to respond to an emergency situation in a surplus military field jacket,, the kind with BIG pockets! When called on in most emergencies, one can get some idea of the nature and duration of the sen ice that s needed, and fill these pockets accordingly ,

Finis

A lot of fine equipment for emergency use is wonderful, but it's not enough if an operator doesn't know how to operate it. Hams have the advantage here in that, in an emergency, they do something they normally do every day: communicate. To exploit qualifications and equipment properly, hams must plan and drill, even if only informally.

When the emergency packet station is set up js described here, try it oui under varied, simulated emergency conditions. Pay particular attention to transmit and receive audio levels settings, w hich are covered in the manuals. Find out before the emergency that the plu^s don't mate or the SSIE) of the big digi on a little-used frequency. With some thought and practice, hams can maintain and improve iheir repuiation as a valuable national disaster resource!

References Equipment/Accessory Sources

GLB Electonics, inc. 151 Commerce Parkway Buffalo NY 14224 PH: (716) 675-6740

I CO\/ A mimca. In c. 23801i6th Avenue, N*E. Bettevue WA 98004 PH: (206) 454- 7619

NEC Borne Electronics f USA) Inc ¡401 Est es Avenue Elk Grove Village IL 60007 PH: (3121 228-5900

Aftermarket Equipment

The Lithium battery pack kit for the 1COM is available for $99 (US) from:

MoliKit PO Box 2460

N< Burnaby BC Canada V5C-5ZI PH: (800) 663-6658

The ■4Ham Sack*" is a padded carrying case for a hand-held. It's nicely-made with zipper compartments for spare battery pack and antennas and connectors. It's available for $12 from:

Frank and Linda Reed 15 Daniel Webster Highway Hudson NH 03051

The RA M expansion for NHC 8201A or Radio Shack M-100 for $20/8K, and the battery-operated printer for$99, are available from:

Purple Computing 420 Constitution Avenue Camarillo CA 93010 PH: (800)732-5012

The "SafeSkiiT flexible waterproof keyboard cover is available for S30 from:

Merrill Computer Products, Inc 2925 LB J Freeway T Suite 180 Dallas TX 75234 PH: (214)942-1142

i by Bill Clarke WA4BLC

Kenwood TS-140

Trio-Kenwood Communications 1111 West Walnut St. Compton CA 90220

Price Class: TS-140S YK-455C-1 CW filter TU-8tone unit IF-10C interface Kit:

Photo A. The business end of the TS-140S (courtesy Kenwood USA).

Top-of-the*line radios are expensive, and the prices seem ever increasing. Kenwood-Trio, however attacks the high price of high quality HF gear with the TS-140S,

The TS-140S is the first low-cost HF transceiver produced by Kenwood in several years. It is light weight, small-sized, full featured. and all solid-state. Although a fine rig for mobile operation, many 140s will find warm homes in shacks.

First impressions

The TS-140 js Kenwood gray, of course it weighs in at just 13 pounds Its 36 front-panel controls are laid ou: in a handy manner, and the display is much more than just digital frequency read-out.

The nice features include RTTY, Packet. AMTOR and optional FM operation; UP/ 00WN microphone buttons for scanning and tuning; full-break keying; selectable AGC: 20-dB attenuator; speech processor; VOX; and adjustable RF power output control.

The built-in speaker, although quite small provides very nice audio

Operating Impressions

Before operating the TS-140, I read the entire instruction manual especially concentrating on the memory operations. I htghly recommend a new 140 owner to do this.

Every button and control operates easily and crisply on the TS-140S. At first the mam knob tuned too lightly for my taste, but a simple twist of the knob's collar weighted properly

The rear panel has the VOX controls, antenna and ground connections, key and external speaker jacKs. and several accessory plugs for remote control, optional antenna tuner, and other functions.

Receiver

The blue-cotored digital frequency read out is pan of the 140 s display panel lifind iteaster on the eyes than some of the red LED or green

LCD displays seen on other radios. Other information (VFO in use. memory position. RiT, modeT scan, etc.) shows on the main display in an assortment of red, blue and yellow colors. All are very readable.

Kenwood still includes the option of a 1O-Hz read-out on the digital frequency display. The user can select this from the front panel.T here is no need to open the rig and make any internal modifications.

The tuning rate Is 10 kHz/revolution of the VFO tuning control This seemed too fast, and five kHz per turn would be suitable. Fast tuning is done by using the Memory Channel knob, Tuning rate for the Memory Channel knob is 10 kHz per click, which is 240 kHz per turn. At first the idea of using two knobs for tuning seemed complicated After the initial

Ndc 63323 806 Fentayl

Photo B< The RF deck folds out from the main chassis for service. Note the large heat sink.

30 minutes of use, however, I found ft quite natural

The memory scheme used on the 140 is a little complicated. There are 31 memoriest broken into banks of single frequency, split frequency, programmed band marker, and scan. The manual explains clearly their use. I had no problem programming them from the very first entry.

The TS-140S has almost al! the necessary filters built-in, Only the 500 Hz CW filter is optional IF shift is included which works well to augment filtering for interference reduction. It is detented at the zero point.

The receiver is very quiet and doesn't get loo excited by background static, it is almost as quiet as the Ten-Tec Corsair I found reducing the RF gain made receiving quieter when conditions were very noisy. This is normal with all sensitive receivers, and the 140 is very sensitive.

The 140 has two noise btankers The first attenuates wooapecker" noise, and the other attenuates other pulse interference, like ig nition noise. They both are very effective, even with household noise generated by fluorescent lamps and some light dimmers.

The TS-140 has both band and memory scan. Scan speed is adjustable from the front panel The operator can also manually scan memories by pushing the UP'DOWN buttons on the mike.

USBfLSB selection is made by the rig but may be over-ridden by the operator. The user can afso select fast or slow AGC action.

Transmitter

Like most current rigs, the TS-140 has two VFOs, a nice touch for working SSB and CW splits The two VFOs also allow split-band operation, Also, the 140 is easily modifiable tor use on MARS frequencies. Modification is required. since the CPU doesn't ahow transmitting outside the ham bands.

The TS-140S sports semi- or full break-in keying. QSK operation was great Jt could be broken with a dit or two The CW note had good reports,

I received consistently good audio reports on SSB. Each indicated excellent quality voice transmissions. None stated I was overdriving the rtg. All contacts were made using the standard microphone supplied with the radio,

Tve Got Memories

The TS-140S has 31 memories to complement the two VFOs. The memories are changed from a knob on the front panel or with the microphone UP/OOWN buttons, A user can program the mode in ail memories.

There are four types of memories •Eleven single frequency memories are used for receive and transmit.

Photo C Bottom board of the 140 shows the computer-like layout.

• Split frequency There is a frequency in this memory for transmit and another for receive. This is most useful for 10-meter FM repeater operation, and split DX Jf the same frequency is entered for both transmit and receive, then a spin memory will function as a normal memory. There are 10 split memones-•The programmed band marker. The user enters upper and lower band limits in this memory A Novice, for example, may wish to enter 28.300 MHz and 28.500 MHz as the two band limits. From that time forward, when that memory is selected, turning the VFO knob will change frequency, yei excursions will automatically be kept within the limits of the programmed band markers. Continuous tuning will cause the frequency to stop at the end of the programmed limit and restart at the other end of the limit. There are ten programmed band marker memories.

•The last memory contains band scan limits These are the highest and lowest frequencies thai will be scanned. Of course this memory may be used as a standard memory if both frequencies entered are ihe same. There is only one scan memory.

Hewlett Packard 651A Audto Generator Bird 43 Wattmeter

Hewlett Packard 8551B/851B Spectrum

Analyzer Cushman CE-5 Monitor Tectronics 475 Oscilloscope Remember that the performance of currently available amaleur transceivers generally exceeds the capabitities of the human ear, propagation and atmospheric conditions.

Drawbacks

The instruction manual for the 140 is complete and contains many charts and diagrams. It's generally easy to understand A few instructions. however, are written incorrectly ii was particularly disturbed at the incorrect instructions for IF SHIFT, Tunmg Knob VFOt

Inside the 140

The inside oi the TS-140 is a complete departure from aU Kenwood HF equipment built to date The unit is made of two circuit boards and an RF deck. The latter hinges away from the main chassis for service

The first thing I noticed upon opening the 140 was ihat there were very few interconnect wires Mosi interconnections are handled with ribbon cable This results in a very uncluttered mtenor At the side of the top board is a place to install the optional CW filter,

The computer-style interconnections and well-planned circuit board will ¡ead to excellent reliability. At the very least ihey promote easy service.

Bench Testing

Bench testing is Ihe onty method of checking a transceiver s specifications against those published by the manufacturer. I completely checked the 140, and it met or surpassed all published specifications (see sidebar)

The following equipment was used in checking the performance of the TS-140S: Leader LDC 8243 Frequency

Counter Marconi Instruments 2022

Signal Generator Hewlett Packard 606 H F Signal Generator

KENWOOD TS-140 SPECIFICATIONS (as stated in the manual)

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