New Technology for 2020 ~ The tumultuous year of 2020 is fast closing. Buy an HL2!
The Why you should Buy! Get an HL2.
November 20, 2020 ~ Some Musings.
This is not about radio stuff! Next week we will start the Holiday Season with Thanksgiving and in about a month will be Christmas. Please follow the CDC advice about Holiday gatherings. Simply stated, DON'T travel or have large gatherings.
But I want to reflect about a Holiday gathering on December 24th 1945. It was a celebratory day as just a week before I turned four years old and on that day, my Dad and four Uncles had all returned home from the war -- all were alive and looking forward to restarting their lives.
The first question I asked my Dad was if I was going to get a "knife gun" for Christmas which was the next day. He said something to me which I have never forgotten: "He said Petey, (the name I was always called, as his name was Pete too) you never want a knife gun, as it has only one purpose and that is to kill others."
Fast forward exactly 20 years and in December 1965 there I was in Chu Lai, South Vietnam surrounded by knife guns. It was only 20 years from that special Holiday gathering and in between we had the Korean Conflict.
Today we have Donald John Trump, while not using a "knife gun" is attacking the foundations of our Democracy. He never served this country either as a part of the military or what he is doing today as Commander in Chief. He is just a sore, one term LOSER! History will not treat him kindly.
Trump -- Numbers Don't Lie! You Lost, so now get out of the way and make way for a real President! Stop Golfing and Concede!
Emily Murphy -- get a pair and certify ascertainment. Your 15 minutes of fame are over!
Finally, Rudy you need to get new brand of hair dye --and your 15 Minutes were over a very long time ago.
Be safe: Wear a Mask, Social Distance, Wash Your Hands, Avoid Gatherings.
Late breaking news.. I have now downloaded a different software to control the HL2. It is called OpenhpSDR-PowerSDR and a free download. (Updated 11/18/2020)
If you have used Power SDR it is based on that platform. I do not have all of the boxes checked; but it is receiving, It uses a Windows 10 platform but I think there is a Linux Variant. I have a small Windows 10 machine that was mostly useless -- but no more.
I have definitely moved to the dark side of this hobby with my taking up the SDR baton (cudgel is more like it) full time; but that actually goes back to over four years ago. The Hermes Lite 2.0 (HL2) is one of the New Technology Devices for 2020.
SDR is here and an uptown HL2 SDR real world transceiver can be had for about $300. Here are some points to ponder as to what tilts the decision to this excellent radio.
- Firstly it is not a kit where you have to solder almost invisible SMD parts. There is some assembly required like drilling one hole is the case to attach a heatsink and to install the two boards inside the case -- 8 screws. [When purchasing the HL2 get the main board, the N2ADR filter board, the assembly ($1) and the case. That comes to just shy of $300. With the shipping by air --about $330 turnkey.]
- After installing the FREE SDR software such as QUISK you open up a whole host of options such as the Spectrum Display and the colorful Waterfall. I can look at a slice of a ham band (384 kHz) or one button lets you look at the whole HF spectrum with the Band Scope. This is important for seeing if the band is totally dead or you are simply in a dead spot.
- The rigs specifications are impressive in that you have a real 5 watt radio that is multi-band, multi-mode and comes complete with all of the filtering you could ever want
- It works especially well with the digital modes and I have been enjoying FT-8 operation on many bands. In fact I am seeing FT-8 signals on 12 Meters. I have made both FT-8 and SSB contacts on 17 Meters using only 5 watts!
- Some bonus features added to the QUISK dashboard. Built into the HL2 and the QUISK software is the capability to measure the Power Output and the SWR. I find that very useful.
- You have many options for the computer to drive the HL2 ranging from the Big Box supercomputers to the diminutive Raspberry Pi3. BTW for the RPI3 --it is cranking, so add the external cooling fan. I have used three SBC's with the HL2 including the RPi3, Asus Tinker Board and the amazing $40 Atomic Pi. They all work! My really big set up has a supercomputer with two screens --should have bought the 72 inch screen! With a wireless mouse with a scroll wheel I recently discovered the wheel is like a tuning knob with a 50 Hz step tuning rate. So cool. You cannot operate the HL2 standalone --you must have a computer!
- You will also need a router or network switch to interface between the computer and the HL2. The one in the photo above can connect four separate computers to the HL2 and was (gulp) only $15. So you can operate the HL2 from four different locations in your home. One 6 Land ham is working on sitting a his local Starbucks with his I-Phone and using the HL2 at his home shack-- still experimental but shows promise. His I-Phone running the HL2 will soon replace the beret as a chick magnet.
- But the real test --how does it hear and how does it sound? High marks for both. In fact I had a 1/2 hour QSO on 17 Meters with a ham running a FLEX 6700, a big amp and a big beam. He picked and poked at everything and then said --you really sound good and hard to believe you are running only 5 watts. Having a creditable signal on the higher HF bands separates the Big Dogs from the yelping puppies!
- Additional functionality includes a port for control of an external linear amp and I do believe the HL2 can run as a VNA --a couple of ports on the front panel to do that. I have not explored that --but in time.
- Check out the Hermes Lite Google Group as that is an excellent source of information and current information of availability of the HL2. This radio comes from China and is built in blocks. The last block release #9 was in October so you might have to wait for the next release. But get one!