Second TM-D710

second TM-D710After I bought my first Kenwood TM-D710 in 2012 I discovered this was the ideal rig for me, mobile as well as stationary. I use it primarily in the shack and took it with me in the car when went mobile. I figured it would be convenient to have a second TM-D710 main-unit in the car, then I only have switch the front panel between shack and car. In order to help me trace a second TM-D710 unit, I set a Google Alert on Kenwood TM-D710.
Forget totally about this alert until a few weeks ago I received a mail there was a new entry for my search term. I clicked it and it was an ad on a local sales site. After a short bid I got a message from it’s previous owner Rudy PD1RVM. So a long story short: a few days later my second TM-D710 arrived. It was still in it’s original box and in mint condition. After some short tests the rig seems fine and I had to determine which one to put in the car and which one stays in the shack.
I did some modifications (adding GPS to the display-unit, swapping the noisy fan of the main-unit). After some thinking I decided to use my old front-panel (with GPS-module) and the main-unit from the second TM-D710(with slightly more noisy fan) in the car. The front-panel of the second TM-D710 went to my old main-unit in the shack. No sooner said then done I tested the config in the car. Worked excellent!
But when testing the setup in the shack, it fails to connect to my weather station. That’s weird! Tried different things but nothing helps. I suspected the GPS-port on the front-panel of the second TM-D710. It had to do something to do with the port. Finally I took apart the front-panel from my old radio, connected the GPS-module to the standard Kenwood wire and connected it to the new front-panel. Indeed, also nothing.
Next step: take apart the new panel and find something blackened. But to my total surprise it wasn’t broke; there was a beautiful build in GPS-module as well! That explains a lot, when there is a GPS-module in it, the serial port is occupied from the inside. I’m never able to see any device I connect from the outside.
Tested the new front-panel in the car to see which GPS-module performed better. No doubt about it: it’s the one in the second TM-D710! It has a fix within 2 second where I had to wait at least a minute for my old GPS-module to get a fix.
Disassembled the GPS-module from my old front-panel and connected the weather-station again. Now it plays immediately.

Now I’m a proud owner of two TM-D710’s. One for mobile and one for my shack.

JARTS WW RTTY contest

JARTS WW RTTY 2013 scoreThis weekend I was all prepared for the JARTS WW RTTY contest. Propagation is great at the moment, around 9 am 10 meters is wide open. Saturday morning around 5:30 I was in the shack making QSO’s. Balancing between family time and contesting the whole weekend, Sunday evening at 10 o-clock I was done with it. With 303 QSO’s in the log the contest was done for me. Finally I’ve worked a great deal of Japanese stations (even on 15 meters were my FD-3 isn’t resonant) and some other new DXCC’s like Hong Kong, United Arabic Emirates and a few I didn’t have yet.
My set-up works great on 20, 15 and 10 meters. On 40 meters I must power down to around 20 watts to not have too much RFI in the shack. My homemade FSK-cable is not working at higher power levels and my keyboard is going nuts causing N1MM doing all kind of crazy things.
I think the shack is a little too close under the antenna. The fact that I don’t have a earthed wall outlet in my shack don’t help either I guess.

I’ve got to find out how to fix this before the next contest (coming weekend, CQ WW SSB). Nice quest for this week!