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Welcome to my HAM Radio Blog.

On this Blog you will find the Amateur Radio projects I am working on or have been working on in the past.

Kind regards and 73s,
Daniel de DL6FZ / AF6FZ.

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Achied the eUK-6 eQSL Award today!

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OpenGD77 on the TYT MD-9600 / Retevis RT-90

I always like the MD-9600 as a radio but disliked the firmware. Therefor I got really excited that I read that OpenGD77 got ported to this radio. I started with a v2 hardware radio and installed the Alpha version that got released early march. Without any expectations (as it was an alpha version firmware) I was very very impressed.

I was so impressed I searched for a v5 firmware radio which I got a couple of weeks ago (after long long searching). Not having had much time I got to unpack the radio for installation of the OpenGD77 firmware.

To my surprise I learned last night the first beta-build was available already. It took me 20 minutes or so to install the firmware and load the OpenGD77 codeplug and contact list.

All information on the OpenGD77 firmware for the MD9600 can be found here:


The installation manual here:


The Beta-Firmware here:


Someone made a very nice overview on the mapping of keypad controls (OpenGD77-MD9600).

Overall I’m really excited about this firmware – I love the OpenGD77 codeplug editor, and now the MD9600 is a true HAM Radio DMR radio. I use it in my shack as a fixed station radio only.

73 – Daniel de DL6FZ

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Building a 23cm NBFM transceiver!

after I installed 2 Diamond X5000 antennas on my roof and I played a bit with my 23cm transverter from SG-Lab ( http://www.sg-lab.com/TR1300/tr1300.html ) I wanted a dedicated 23cm FM transceiver. On E-bay there was no real offering and the Kenwood (tm741) I got from a friend unfortunately died (controller) before I could even test it ;-).

So I found the 23cm NBFM TRX project from Bas PE1JPD from Holland:

This is a really nice kit for a very good price ( €157 )and I decided to order it. Very well packaged I received the kit very quickly and Bas even added an additional PCB which takes the display, mic connector and all other switches and buttons (for mounting behind the front display) – this saves wiring.

So today (01.06.2019) I got both the receiver and transmitter working correctly and I tested succesfully on a couple of 23cm relais in the region. So the following is open:

  • tune the PA to get ~ 1W output
  • add a 1750 Hz tonegenerator
  • replace the linear pot with a log pot – DONE
  • replace the BC547 with a BS170  (and a 100k resistor) – DONE
  • Build everything into a nice case
  • Build a 23cm PA (I would like >10W output)
The kit
SMD components installed
First non-SMD components installed
Most PA components and RF-Chokes (3 windings on 5mm drill)
Nearly done!

Tips and Tricks:

  1. Dont follow the BOM from the 4.0 documentation. Build the kit from the schema – the BOM is not completely updated.
  2. When ordering this kit, also follow the AO92 update – this is the updated PLL, installs the 3,3v voltage regulater etc.


  3. From the above link, the text ” remove R29 and connect C43/R29 to +5V via a resistor of 1k. ” is wrong. Connecting the 5v through a 1k resistor drops the Vp to the PLL to approx. 4,5 volt, which prevents you to cover the whole band up to 1300mhz for transmit. With 4,5v you can only tune up to 1282mhz. So connect the 5v without the 1k resistor.
  4. The MAR-8 is hard to get, the successor is the MAR-8A which operates on a lowered voltage, 3,5v instead of 7v. If using the MAR-8A instead of MAR-8 you need to increase the values of the two bias resistors R2 and R33 from 150ohm to 270ohm.
  5. A lot of other good tips, tricks and modifications are found here:








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eQSL eDX 50 Award achieved!!

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eQSL eDX 25 Award achieved!!

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eQSL Authenticity Guaranteed (AG) Program

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DL6FZ eQSL Profile

So after a couple of years I logged into my eQSL profile again. I ran into this as I was starting to use FT8 again with WSJT-X and JTDX, two fantastic pieces of software.

Surprisingly,as I logged in after many years, I found many QSL cards in my inbox!

So I took the effort to upload my German License and got admitted to the Authenticity Guaranteed Program within one day.

eQSL Member Profile for DL6FZ Daniel Dibbets

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Radioddity GD-77: This is a wonderfull DMR radio for a fantastic price!

I ordered this radio as soon as it became available without any expectations. The price was so low that I did not expect much. Also as I already had a RT-82 I did not really need it, I was just thinking if the radio works it would be a nice dual-band spare radio. Boy, was this radio a surprise! Its a real dual-band radio, a real Tier-II radio, it performs really well (good receive performance, even with the stock radio), it is a lot lighter and slimmer than the RT82, even thinner than the MD380. Also I like the display of the GD77 better than the flashy display on the RT82. And the GD77 doesn’t have a stupid track-ball 😉 The GD77 has a decent Promiscuous Mode in the current firmware (just enable the monitor function). The great thing is that Radioddity is constantly improving the firmware and the CPS software, so you’ll get pretty regular updates (you can find all this documented on the Radioddity Facebook groups).
The only downside today of the GD77 compared to a RT82 or another DMR Radio with experimental firmware is that the GD77 cannot store the full DMR database (user.csv).
But.. today the GD77 is the radio I use most of the time and I’m ordering a second GD77 soon.

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BITX40 build progressing nicely!

Last month I did progress nicely on building my BITX40.

I’ve ordered a nice case from India (https://amateurradiokits.in/product/bitx3b3c-fll-case/) and added a s-meter I bought at the HAM-Fest in Friedrichshafen.

The result is quite nice!


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