Articles and Blog Posts about all things Technical, Ham Radio and General Reviews

Disclaimer:

The authors, and all associated individuals hereby declare that they are not responsible for how the information provided on these blogs and articles is utilized. In the event of accidents, damages, or any other negative outcomes resulting from the application or implementation of the contained information, the authors, and all related parties will not be […]

THE POWERFUL KYDERA CDR300UV DUAL BAND GPS / GPRS MINI DMR MOBILE RADIO

Mobile for the modern car Marius Lubbe ZS1ML INTRODUCTION: The Kydera CDR300UV Dual Band GPS Mini DMR Mobile Radio is a powerful and versatile small mobile receiver that offers exceptional performance and features. It is designed for use by amateur radio enthusiasts who demand the best in terms of scope, clarity, and reliability. This review […]

MFJ-1794 Portable HF Vertical

Unleashing the Power of Compact Performance Marius Lubbe ZS1ML Lee Bezuidenhout ZS1GWL Technical and tuning As the sun rises on another day of Ham radio exploration, enthusiasts like myself are constantly on the lookout for equipment that offers a perfect blend of performance, versatility, and affordability. Enter the MFJ-1794 Portable HF Vertical, a beacon of […]

Kydera CDR-500UV Dual Band DMR Mobile Radio Review

The Perfect Blend of Traditional Ham Utility and Modern Technology In today’s rapidly evolving world of communication technology, the Kydera CDR-500UV stands out as a beacon for both amateur and professional radio enthusiasts. This dual-band DMR mobile radio promises a perfect mix of versatility and high-performance, tailored for the needs of the modern communicator. Let’s […]

Navigating the Shift to Sodium-Ion Batteries:

A Path to Sustainable Energy Storage Author: Marius Lubbe zs1ml@outlook.com The evolution of energy storage technology has reached a pivotal juncture with the advent of sodium-ion (Na-ion) batteries, promising a significant shift away from the conventional lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries that have dominated the market. This transition is not just a matter of technological innovation; it […]

Redell Rising: Pioneering Quality and Innovation in Handheld Two-Way Radios.

Author: Marius Lubbe ZS1ML www.learnminds.co.za During my exploration for premier OEM manufacturers in the domain of high-quality handheld two-way radios, I was drawn to Redell (Fujian) Electronic Technology Co., Ltd. Located in Quanzhou, Fujian Province, known as China’s “Handheld Two-Way Radio Town,” Redell stands out for its manufacturing excellence and foray into its own brand […]

THE YANTON T-360UV EXPERIENCE

Marius Lubbe ZS1ML www.learnminds.co.za Available at http://shop.bombastik.co.za  for users in Southern Africa. Also available worldwide, but please email info@bomnastik.co.za for details. First Impressions Let me tell you about the moment I unboxed the Yanton T-360UV. It was love at first sight. This radio isn’t just another piece of tech; it’s a masterpiece of design and […]

CONQUER THE AIRWAVES:

Unleash the Power of Yanton T-680UV in Your Ham Radio Adventures Marius Lubbe ZS1ML www.learnminds.co.za Let me share a bit about my journey with the Yanton T-680UV, a device that has truly redefined my amateur radio experience. From the moment I unboxed this rugged beauty, I knew it was something special. It’s not every day […]

DISCOVERING THE CHARM OF THE MFJ-564B IAMBIC DUAL PADDLE

Author: Marius Lubbe ZS1ML Technical advisor and tester: Dr Emil Böhmer ZS1XB www.learnminds.co.za The First Encounter Let me tell you about my recent experience with the MFJ-564B Iambic Dual Paddle. As someone who’s been dabbling in ham radio and Morse code for a while, I’ve always been on the lookout for equipment that not only […]

WATT WARS:

THE MFJ-880 AND MFJ-884 BATTLE FOR SUPREMACY Author: Marius Lubbe www.learnminds.co.za MFJ-880: THE HERCULEAN POWERHOUSE Spotlight Features Muscle Power: Capable of handling a colossal 2000 Watts, perfect for those who aren’t afraid to go big in their ham radio endeavours. Frequency Range: Covers 1.6 to 60 MHz, catering brilliantly to HF band enthusiasts. Build Quality: […]

MFJ-892 GIANT CROSS NEEDLE SWR/WATTMETER

“THE MAESTRO OF FREQUENCIES: MFJ-892’S LABORATORY PRECISION IN HAM RADIO” Author: Marius Lubbe www.learnminds.co.za In the intricate ballet of ham radio, where precision is the pirouette, the MFJ-892 Giant Cross Needle SWR/Wattmeter stands as the lead dancer. This isn’t just any instrument; it’s a laboratory-quality maestro, orchestrating the harmony between power, frequency, and clarity. Design: […]

MIRAGE B-34 AMPLIFIER – MAGIC IN A SMALL BOX!

Author: Marius Lubbe ZS1ML www.learnminds.co.za Let me take you on a journey with a piece of equipment that has revolutionized my mobile ham radio adventures – the Mirage B-34 amplifier. This compact yet powerful device has become an indispensable part of my ham radio kit, especially when I’m on the move with my handheld transceiver. […]

MAXIMIZING MOBILITY:

A Ham Radio Enthusiast’s Take on the MFJ-345S base and MFJ-1422 antenna as a functional dual band Antenna System. Author: Marius Lubbe ZS1ML Tech: Dirk Lotz ZS1X Embarking on the journey of enhancing my mobile ham radio setup, I meticulously combed through an abundance of options before finally deciding on the perfect match: the MFJ-345S […]

Yanton T-360UV: The Ultimate Ham Radio for the Modern Gentleman

Compact Titan: The Yanton T-360UV Radio, Small in Size, Big in Features! Introduction As a seasoned ham radio operator and a tech enthusiast, the Yanton T-360UV caught my attention for its unique blend of compact power, elegant design, and robust functionality. This radio isn’t just a communication device; it’s a sophisticated accessory for the modern […]

THE MFJ-267 DUMMY LOAD & WATTMETER – PRECISION, SAFETY, AND VERSATILITY IN ONE.

Author: Marius Lubbe ZS1ML www.learnminds.co.za As an experienced ham operator, I have encountered various tools and devices in the world of amateur radio, but the MFJ-267 Dummy Load & Wattmeter stands out as a transformative piece of equipment. This device is not just another addition to the ham radio toolkit; it represents a significant leap […]

REVOLUTIONIZING MY HAM RADIO EXPERIENCE:

A PERSONAL JOURNEY WITH THE MFJ-836H Author: Marius Lubbe ZS1ML www.learnminds.co.za I’m excited to share my journey with the MFJ-836H, a device that has truly transformed my ham radio activities. As a versatile SWR/Wattmeter with an integrated RF Ammeter, operating in the 1.8-30 MHz range, it’s been a game-changer for me. WHY I LOVE THE […]

ELEVATING YOUR SIGNAL:

A PERSONAL ACCOUNT OF THE MFJ-1910 TELESCOPIC FIBERGLASS POLE Author: Marius Lubbe ZS1ML 7www.learnminds.co.za INTRODUCTION: As a dedicated ham radio enthusiast, I’ve had my fair share of experiences with various types of equipment, and one of my go-to tools for field operations has been the MFJ-1910 Telescopic Fiberglass Pole. This handy piece of gear has […]

MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE WITH THE REDELL UV97

A RADIO AMATEUR’S TALE CATCHING WAVES WITH THE REDELL UV97: A HAM’S TRUSTED COMPANION Introducing My Reliable Journeyman: The Redell UV97 From the moment the Redell UV97 arrived, it promised to be more than just a piece of equipment—it was a companion ready to explore the vast world of amateur radio with me. With a […]

PART 1: ON THE HUNT FOR THE PERFECT ANTENNA – THE MFJ-1794 STORY

My Antenna Adventure: Discovering the MFJ-1794 Author: Marius Lubbe ZS1ML www.learnminds.co.za Hey there! I’ve been on this quest for the perfect antenna, and guess what? I stumbled upon the MFJ-1794. Let me walk you through my find, especially since I know you’re also on the lookout for something that hits the sweet spot between affordability […]

MAXIMIZE YOUR RADIO ADVENTURES:

The MFJ-225 Unleashed! Author: Marius Lubbe ZS1ML www.learnminds.co.za Hey there, fellow radio enthusiasts! Let me tell you about my experience with the MFJ-225, a nifty little device that has truly been a game changer for my ham radio projects. First Impressions: When I first got my hands on the MFJ-225, I was immediately impressed by […]

THE MFJ-223 ANTENNA ANALISER.

AN EASY TO USE, POCKET SIZE INSTRUMENT FOR EVERYONE! Dear Amateur Radio operator colleague, let me take you through my journey with the MFJ-223 Antenna Analyzer. It’s been quite the adventure with this little device, and I’ve had a few instances where it really shone. First Experience: Field Day Fun My first real test with […]

RIDING THE RADIO WAVES WITH THE SDRPlay RSPdx

Author: Marius Lubbe ZS1ML www.learnminds.co.za As a tech enthusiast with a penchant for radio exploration, I recently got my hands on the SDRPlay RSPdx, a device that has redefined my radio adventures. This compact yet powerful SDR receiver, with its continuous coverage from 1 kHz to 2 GHz, has been a game-changer in my explorations […]

A PERSONAL EXPLORATION OF THE MFJ OCTOPUS ANTENNA:

Insights from a Ham Radio Operator Author: Marius Lubbe ZS1ML Research – tech: Lee Bezuidenhout ZS1GWL www.learnminds.co.za Introduction As an experienced ham radio operator, I’ve often found that the effectiveness of our transmissions greatly depends on the quality and design of the antenna system. Among numerous designs, one that has repeatedly caught my attention is […]

MY EXPERIENCES WITH THE MFJ-16010.

A Compact Giant in Amateur Radio. Author: Marius Lubbe ZS1ML www.learnminds.co.za When I finally got my hands on the much-anticipated MFJ-16010, its compact size stood out; in fact, it is tiny, not much bigger than your hand, and lightweight. This aspect was particularly impressive, catering perfectly to my need for portable and efficient radio equipment. […]

UNVEILING THE VINTAGE MAGIC OF THE MFJ-16010 RANDOM WIRE TUNER.

 A Tale of Surprise   Author: Lee Bezuidenhout ZS1GWL www.learnminds.co.za In the vast world of Amateur Radio, there are moments when a piece of equipment unexpectedly becomes the unsung hero of your setup. Such is the case with the MFJ-16010, a random wire tuner from the ’70s that I impulsively acquired on a whim. Its […]

THE MFJ-1708B SWITCH

A Game-Changer for Seamless SDR Integration. Author: Marius Lubbe ZS1ML www.learnminds.co.za    In the world of amateur radio, the right equipment can significantly enhance the operator’s experience. The MFJ-1708B switch, developed by MFJ Enterprises, stands out as a versatile and essential tool, especially for those venturing into the realm of Software Defined Radio (SDR). This […]

SDRCONNECT UNLEASHED:

Revolutionizing Radio Control Software! www.learnminds.co.za Author: Marius Lubbe ZS1ML Hey there, fellow enthusiast and experimenter! Let’s dive into the SDRPlay SDRconnect software, which has been creating quite a buzz in the software-defined radio (SDR) community. First Impressions So, SDRPlay released SDRconnect Preview 1 on August 10, 2023, and, let me tell you, it’s been an […]

EXPLORING THE RADIO SPECTRUM WITH SDRPLAY RSP1A: AN ENTHUSIAST’S ULTIMATE GUIDE

www.learnminds.co.za Author: Marius Lubbe ZS1ML Introduction Hey there, fellow radio enthusiasts and curious minds! I’m excited to share my journey and insights into a fantastic piece of technology that has revolutionized my experience with radio communications – the SDRPlay RSP1A. This device isn’t just a tool; it’s a ticket to an adventurous exploration of the […]

MFJ-333BS REVIEW:

The Unshakeable Anchor for Your Mobile Antenna Array Author: Marius Lubbe ZS1ML www.learnminds.co.za Within the vibrant realm of mobile ham radio, the MFJ-333BS magnet mount is nothing less than the cornerstone of my mobile setup. It brings unmatched stability and adaptability for an array of antennas such as dual-band options, HF antennas like hamsticks, and […]

MAXIMIZING MOBILITY:

A Ham Radio Enthusiast’s Take on the MFJ-345S base and MFJ-1422 antenna as a functional dualband Antenna System. Author: Marius Lubbe ZS1ML www.learnminds.co.za Embarking on the journey of enhancing my mobile ham radio setup, I meticulously combed through an abundance of options before finally deciding on the perfect match: the MFJ-345S lip antenna mount coupled […]

EMPOWERING THE AIRWAVES:

The MFJ-1128 Power Strip and MFJ-4245MVP Power Supply – A Ham Radio Operator’s Dynamic Powerhouse Author: Marius Lubbe ZS1ML www.learnminds.co.za When I first considered the MFJ-1128 power strip, I must confess, it was with a mixture of anticipation and practicality. The device seemed like a compact yet expansive bridge for the various components of my […]

SYNCED TO PERFECTION:

The MFJ-148RC Dual Time Zone Clock – An Amateur Radio Operator’s Trusty Timekeeper” Author: Marius Lubbe ZS1ML www.learnminds.co.za When it comes to integrating new gear into my ham radio setup, I approach it with a blend of curiosity and scepticism—does it serve a purpose, or is it just another gadget? The MFJ-148RC, however, has firmly […]

DECADES OF DEPENDABILITY:

The MFJ-4245MVP Story – Energizing Ham Radios Across Generations Author: Marius Lubbe ZS1ML www.learnminds.co.za The MFJ-4245MVP Deluxe Switching Power Supply isn’t just another piece of equipment in my ham radio shack; it’s a true veteran that has stood the test of time. In a hobby where technology rapidly evolves and the demand for reliable equipment […]

TUNING EXCELLENCE

The Essential MFJ-269DPro Analyzer Author: Marius Lubbe ZS1ML www.learnminds.co.za Greetings, fellow ham radio enthusiasts! Today, I’m excited to chat about a piece of gear that has become an indispensable ally in my radio endeavors—the MFJ-269DPro SWR Analyzer. This isn’t merely a tool; it’s a stalwart companion that’s ready to accompany you on your amateur radio […]

COMPREHENSIVE REVIEW: MFJ-1702C 2-POSITION ANTENNA SWITCH

Introduction Welcome to an in-depth look at the MFJ-1702C, a 2-position coaxial switch designed for amateur radio use. This switch has become a notable tool for ham radio enthusiasts, appealing to both hobbyists and seasoned operators with its compact efficiency and versatile features. Key Features and Benefits User Experience and Reliability Users have commended the […]

HOW TO INTEGRATE A PANADAPTER INTO RADIOS WITHOUT BUILT-IN SOUND CARDS

Author: Marius Lubbe ZS1ML www.learnminds.co.za Greetings to all radio enthusiasts! Today, we’re embarking on a rewarding journey to integrate a panadapter into radios without built-in sound cards. Our focus will be on the Kenwood TS590, the Icom IC-7000, and similar transceivers. By using a USB sound card interface like the DigiRig, we can add a […]

NAVIGATING THE CYBER SEAS

Your Compass for Spotting and Dodging Online Scams Author: Marius Lubbe ZS1ML www.learnminds.co.za Ahoy, digital voyagers! In the vast ocean of the internet, there are more than just friendly waves and fellow sailors—there are pirates lurking, too, known as scammers and phishers. They’re out to plunder your personal information, but don’t worry! I’m here to […]

REVIEW OF THE TYT TH7800

Spoil yourself this Christmas with a great purchase! Marius Lubbe ZS1ML www.learnminds.co.za As a devoted ham radio enthusiast and a long-time user of the TYT TH7800 dual-band mobile radio, I feel able to provide a comprehensive and balanced review of this fantastic piece of equipment, including the important programming cable. Having experienced the TH7800’s performance, […]

MY EXPERIENCE WITH THE TYT TH-8600: HANDS-ON REVIEW

Author: Marius Lubbe ZS1MLwww.learnminds.co.za My Experience with the TYT TH-8600: Hands-on Review. As a seasoned ham radio operator, I’ve had my fair share of experiences with various radios, but the TYT TH-8600 has been a delightful addition to my experiences. Let me walk you through why this compact powerhouse has become a favourite of the […]

MFJ-2990 A JOURNEY WELL DONE:

Author: Marius Lubbe ZS1MLwww.learnminds.co.za  The Complete Story of my MFJ-2990 Antenna, MFJ-1903 Tilt Base, MFJ-2910 Switching Unit, and Radial Installation IntroductionGreetings, fellow radio enthusiasts and curious minds! Today, I’m going to share with you an epic saga: A comprehensive, step-by-step guide on how I and a few very valuable friends, successfully installed the MFJ-2990 Antenna, […]

THE FANTASTIC MFJ-993B: A TUNER FOR EVERY HAM

Author: Marius Lubbe ZS1MLwww.learnminds.co.za A LIFETIME INVESTMENT FOR NEW HAMS Hey, let’s kick things off by talking about something that’s close to my heart: helping new hams get started. You know, diving into the world of ham radio can be a bit overwhelming. There are so many gadgets, gizmos, and technical jargon to wrap your […]

MY JOURNEY WITH THE MFJ-336T GOLIATH TRI-MAGNET MOUNT

Author: Marius Lubbe ZS1ML www.learnminds.co.za I remember the day I first laid eyes on the MFJ-336T Goliath Tri-Magnet Mount. With its three super-strong 5-inch (12.7 cm) magnets bolted to a 1/4 inch (0.64 cm) triangular mount and 17 feet (5.18 meters) of coax cable, it was a sight to behold. The 3/8″ connector and the […]

A PORTABLE DREAM: FIELD TESTING MFJ TELESCOPIC ANTENNAS FOR SOTA AND POTA

Author: Marius Lubbe ZS1ML Pictures and testing: Lee Bezuidenhoud ZS1GWLwww.learnminds.co.za Introduction Hello, fellow ham radio enthusiasts! If you’re anything like me, you’re always on the lookout for the next great portable setup, especially for those SOTA (Summits on the Air) and POTA (Parks on the Air) outings. Well, I’ve got some good news for you. […]

A HIDDEN MFJ GEM – THE MFJ-4713 REMOTE ANTENNA SWITCH SYSTEM.

Author: Marius Lubbe ZS1ML www.learnminds.co.za Greetings, fellow ham radio enthusiasts! Today, I’m thrilled to share with you my journey of integrating the MFJ-4713 into my ham radio setup. This little known but fantastic solution is a 4-position remote antenna switch that caught my attention, and it has revolutionized the way I manage my antennas. Let’s […]

THE MFJ-2286 BIG STICK:

A TIME-TESTED MARVEL FOR PORTABLE HF OPERATIONS. Author: Marius Lubbe ZS1MLwww.learnminds.co.za A Hidden Gem I Recently Discovered Ah, the MFJ-2286 Big Stick, my trusty companion on countless HF adventures! I stumbled upon this hidden gem in MFJ’s extensive catalogue recently, and it was love at first sight—or should I say, first transmission? If you’re into […]

MY JOURNEY WITH THE MFJ-2289 BIG EARS:

Portable – Simple Setup – Exceptional Performance. Author: Marius Lubbe ZS1MLwww.learnminds.co.za THE BEGINNING: HOW I STUMBLED UPON THE MFJ-2289 BIG EARS Hello, my fellow ham radio aficionados! Gather around, because I’ve got a tale to tell—a tale of an antenna that has completely transformed my ham radio experience. I’m talking about the MFJ-2289 Big Ears, […]

HAM RADIO AND PREPPERS: A HAM OPERATOR’S PERSPECTIVE

Author: Marius Lubbe ZS1MLwww.learnminds.co.za Introduction Hey there! Let’s chat about something that’s often discussed in both the ham radio and prepper communities: Do these two worlds really mesh well together? Now, full disclosure, I’m a seasoned ham radio operator but not a prepper. So, I’m approaching this from the angle of someone who knows the […]

GROUND-MOUNTED RADIALS FOR ANTENNAS: UNVEILING THE MYSTERIES

Author: Marius Lubbe ZS1MLwww.learnminds.co.za Introduction Hello, my fellow radio enthusiasts and ham operators! Setting up an antenna is a fascinating journey, a blend of art and science. But let’s talk about the unsung hero of this setup—the ground-mounted radials. What are they? Why are they important? How can you make the most out of them? […]

THE VERSATILE WORLD OF MFJ HAMSTICKS

Marius Lubbe ZS1ML www.learnminds.co.za If you’re a ham radio enthusiast, you’ve likely heard of the MFJ Hamsticks. These high-power mobile ham radio antennas are a popular choice among operators due to their performance, convenience, and versatility. They can handle up to 600 Watts and are available in several band versions, including 10m, 15m, 17m, 20m, […]

HOW TO FIT POWERPOLES AND WHY THEY’RE A TOP CHOICE FOR HAM RADIO OPERATORS

Marius Lubbe ZS1ML Powerpoles have become synonymous with reliability and ease of use in the world of ham radio. As a seasoned operator, I’ve seen firsthand the transformative impact of these connectors. In this guide, I’ll walk you through the process of fitting Powerpoles and shed light on the reasons behind their widespread adoption. 1. […]

SETTING UP YOUR RTL-SDR WITH SDR SHARP

Marius Lubbe ZS1ML Introduction: The Magic of Software-Defined Radio Imagine a world where the invisible becomes visible, where the silent frequencies buzzing around us become audible. This isn’t a sci-fi movie plot; it’s the captivating realm of Software-Defined Radio (SDR). Now, you might ask, “Why would I want to dive into this world?” Well, let […]

THE EVOLUTION OF HAM RADIO

Marius Lubbe ZS1ML let’s dive into the fascinating world of ham radio, starting from its very roots. Picture this: it’s 1895 and an Italian inventor named Guglielmo Marconi is about to change the world. He’s just demonstrated the first practical use of radio waves to send messages over long distances without wires. This was a […]

MY JOURNEY WITH THE MFJ-1917 FIBREGLASS ANTENNA POLE: A HAM RADIO OPERATOR’S TALE

Marius Lubbe ZS1ML Hello, fellow ham radio enthusiasts! Today, I’m excited to share with you my experience with a piece of equipment that has become a staple in my ham radio operations – the MFJ-1917 Fibreglass Antenna Pole. This isn’t just a review; it’s a story of discovery, versatility, and reliability. GETTING TO KNOW THE […]

MFJ-1898 A TRUELY ASTOUNDING LITTLE ANTENNA

Marius Lubbe ZS1ML As a ham radio operator, I’ve had the pleasure of using a variety of antennas over the years, but the MFJ-1898 has truly stood out. This compact, portable antenna has become a reliable companion for my outdoor operations, and I’m excited to share my experiences with it. The first thing you’ll notice […]

UNLOCKING THE POWER OF SDRS: A COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE TO THE MFJ-1708B

Marius Lubbe ZS1ML Hello there, fellow radio enthusiasts! Today, I want to talk about a nifty little device that’s been a game-changer in my shack – the MFJ-1708B. Now, if you’re like me and you love playing around with Software Defined Radios (SDRs), you’re going to find this gadget particularly interesting. It’s designed to automatically […]

HOW TO FIND UNKNOWN DEVICE DRIVERS

Marius Lubbe ZS1ML In most cases, when I install new hardware on my PC, Windows recognizes it automatically and I can start using it right away. It’s really convenient because it applies to both internal components like network or graphics cards, as well as external devices like scanners and unknown USB devices. Usually, the operating […]