Anyone who reads this blog or follows my Twitter could well be excused for getting a little fed-up of my constant references to wanting to build a K2. I’m very good at delayed gratification, and my usual technique in order to avoid spending money on unnecessary things is to wait a while and see if I still want it. Well, I’ve wanted to build a K2 for quite a while now – perhaps as much as 2 or 3 years, and with the current excellent band conditions on the upper HF bands, I need to move towards giving myself access to this part of the spectrum before this sunspot peak just becomes a memory and a source of great ham radio fishing tales “I worked him with an LC oscillator powered by 2 electrodes stuck in a lemon and he gave me a 599 from 12,000 miles away.”
I’ve been looking around for things I can sell, to at least raise part of the funds, so here are the latest two items that I will most likely post on the Yahoo FT817 group as soon as I can figure out how much I want for them. The first is the W4RT One-Touch Tune for the FT-817. This device, no longer in production, plugs into the data socket on the back of the 817. When you press the push-button, it changes the mode to packet and emits a carrier for tuning purposes. When you release the button, it switches the 817 back to whatever mode it was in before. Here’s how it’s described in the OTT instruction leaflet:
Another important design consideration of One-Touch Tune was to make OTT transparent to the operation of the FT-817 and to the operation of any external devices attached to the FT-817. When OTT has been activated, it
immediately disables the communication lines to/from any external device attached to the ACC port, determines the status of the FT-817, commands the FT-817 to switch to the PKT mode, activates the PTT in order that the radio transmits the desired carrier for the time you (or the autotuner) want, deactivates the PTT, restores the FT-817 to its prior status, enables the communication lines to/from any external device attached to the ACC port, and returns itself to its monitor mode. The power output of the carrier is the same as you had set using the FT-817 PWR Operation Function (Row 9).
It’s particularly useful if you operate voice modes, as it saves you the step of changing the mode to one of the constant-carrier modes (or to CW and pressing the key down), then changing back once you’ve tuned the antenna system. If you use it in conjunction with a modded Z11 tuner, it will also activate the tuner for you and do an auto-tune without you having to anything further. LDG’s new tuner for the 817 has this feature already built-in, hence the reason for W4RT electronics not producing the One-Touch Tune anymore.
The OTT unit has a small strip of velcro stuck on the back of it which came with the unit for fixing it to the back of the FT-817. The only thing that’s missing is the other strip of velcro (because it was stuck to my FT-817). A quick trip to the hardware store would put that right.
I also have a Z11 tuner modded by LDG for use with the One-Touch-Tune, but last time I checked, it wasn’t tuning on all bands. It might need a new relay or two. If you want the Z11 as well, let me know. LDG will repair it. The tech from LDG told me that no Z11 repair costs more than $50. Make me an offer. Right now it tunes on 40, but haven’t been able to check the higher bands.
The other thing I have for sale is another accessory for the FT-817, a set of protective cases for the FT-817 and LDG Z11 tuner. These were made by Mountain Ops Communications, long since out of business:
From left to right, first is a carry-pouch with shoulder strap for putting extra accessories in. I used to use it for my Morse key and antenna wire. Next is the TacPack for the FT-817 and LDG Z11 tuner. This wraps around the wraps holding the 817 and the Z11 and has an extra pouch on top for accessories. Then come the wraps for both the Z11 and the FT-817. I’ve shown a Z11 in it’s wrap, but not the 817, as I don’t have it anymore.
Famous last words. I just found this picture of the Z11 and 817 wrapped up in the TacPack and ready to go out on a trip:
Not a great picture, but you can see the Z11 with the 817 sitting on top of it, both in their protective wraps in this next picture. The Z11 wrap has two velcro tabs that stick the Z11 wrap to the 817 wrap:
Once I’ve done a bit of research and figured out how much I want for this stuff, I’ll be posting it on the Yahoo FT817 group but thought I’d give my blog readers a “sneak preview”. Plus it’s always good to have something to blog about.
EDIT – All items in this post have now sold. Thank you guys for getting me a bit closer to getting a K2!