Multifunctional, digital, portable amateur radio station for HF, 144 + 430 MHz and SDR 10kHz to 2GHz
Since December 2020, I have been using a tripod as the base for my portable amateur radio station. To this I have attached a unit made of self-bent aluminum sheets which serves as a carrier for monitor, computer and radio equipment. Both on the table in my radio room and on the road with the possibility to attach a LogPeriodic or Alex Loop antenna to it, this setup has proven itself and also looks very good.
Occasionally I carry out smaller updates in the hardware. So I had added a Mobilinkd TNC3 and a FT-70DE last time. The two previous articles and more info about me, software and hardware can be found on my homepage www.dl1gkk.com. So far the digital heart of the system consisted of a Raspberry PI 4. With the great Build a Pi Script from Jason KM4ACK one is fast QRV in all digital modes.
In my first GOBOX I had used a mini WIN10 PC. The performance was not very satisfying. The Raspi was much better, but with the problem that not all programs are available for Linux and firmware updates, uploads and downloads of system settings of the radios are not so easy. Curious about Windows 11, I looked around to see what Mini PCs are currently available and what performance they have. After some searching I found the Mini PC – CSL Narrow Box Ultra HD Compact v4 Pro. This one runs on 12 volts, has an Intel® N4120 QuadCore processor, 128GB internal eMMX memory and 512GB M. SSD. A really small, office and 4K media PC. Initial tests show that my expectations were even exceeded. All the programs I use, even SDR programs like SDRuno run completely smoothly. Thanks to the included VESA mount adapter, I was able to attach the Mini PC to the back of the monitor very easily. High frequency radiation is no problem at all thanks to uniform grounding (mounting of all devices on the aluminum plates) and ferrite cores over all connection cables.
TNC3 and FT-70DE I replaced by a TH-D74 because it already has an internal KISS TNC. With my IC-705 I work mainly in digital modes, if I use then nevertheless times language a Bluetooth microphone is used. The 705 is connected to the PC via a USB cable because then I can also transfer the GPS data, which is not possible with RS-BA1 via WLAN. I need the GPS data for the time synchronization when I am off grid and for the location determination for APRS. I use the TH-D74 to be reachable in FM or DSTAR and at the same time for Packet Radio and APRS. The TH-D74 is connected to the PC via Bluetooth. The interface to the programs I use is AGWPE. Packet Engine Pro from SV2AGW works really well here. For Transceiver Control and Logging i use Ham Radio Deluxe.
For ADS-B and weather satellite reception I use a SDRplay RSP1. On the way I use a small Bluetooth keyboard with trackpad. The Mini PC is now also my main PC in the radio room. There I connect it to a big monitor and a big Bluetooth keyboard with mouse.
So I have a universal multifunctional setup that gives me a lot of pleasure.
VY 73, all the best, stay healthy. Karl-Heinz, DL1GKK.