Feb 19, 2018

She's a 10, or 11

The other day, my girlfriend Alexa, you know, the sweet thing that works over there at Amazon, was teasing me by trying to show what she's got for me. Well, it's about all I can do keep myself in line. Just ask my wife. Right?

So there it was, the littlest thing I ever did see. At first I couldn't believe it, but sure enough, there it was. A dinky little 4" x 4" x 1" thing that she said was the real deal. Yes, it was the tiniest, I mean the tiniest 10 meter radio I have ever seen. Wait, what? Yes, a dinky little radio described as a 10-11 meter Ham/CB radio. And now she has my full attention.

The short-story version has me doing some focused web surfing, a lot or research, and in the end finding that several roads all lead to one place. The Albrecht AE-6110, the Anytone Smart, and a few other sticker names are all stuck on the same radio. Prices were as high as $170, and as low as eBay's cool $58, with free shipping. Yes, that's right, short-story. Oh yeah.

So what's the big deal? No big deal! In fact, it's the tiniest deal I have ever seen for what's purported to be a worth-every-dollar-and-then-some transceiver that operates on both the 10 meter Amateur band for those of us with a ticket, and with a tiny mod either way, runs square on the "11 meter" or Citizens Band for those without a ticket. Whaaat? Yup. For $58 bucks, I decided I just had to try this.

During my research, I found several links to making the tiny - go figure - mod. There are some good YouTube videos and at least one or two really good blogs on this. Then I got to thinking about it and surmised that with a little help from a Digi-Key KAS2102ET DIP switch, the radio might be able to do either/or with just a "little" hood-pop, click, click, and she's a 10 or 11.

My research on this little radio also led me down another path. Is there such a thing as an antenna that works on both 10 and 11 meters? In the US, it seems solid options are hard to come by. Since the radio has a number of European frequency settings to choose from, I did my data digging around Old Blighty.

Blimey! What's that, Guv? The prized Les Wallen Modulator antennae. Seems Les and now a few other chaps have been making the Modulator for decades, and you can spot one for only about 20 quid. Crikey! Ends up this config is the cat's pajamas for this sort of thing. Now just get one on the way, and Bob's your uncle! I'll keep you posted.