Showing posts with label 6 Meters. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 6 Meters. Show all posts

February 4, 2018

Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #14 - Antenna

Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT

This is an article in a series regarding the vintage Azden AZ-61 6m FM Transceiver.

The Azden AZ-61 comes with 50 Ohm BNC antenna connector and a rubber duck style antenna.  An excellent way to get more out of this radio is to upgrade the antenna.  There are several 6m BNC antennas on the market or you could build your own.

KC0BIN (Rob Johnson) contacted me recently to share that he has had very good results with the Diamond RH-205 BNC antenna on his Azden AZ-61.  The antenna telescopes out to about 52.75 inches, and this length coincidentally resonates well on the FM portion of the 6M band.  Thank you Rob for this helpful tip.



Good DX and 73, NJ2X


Other related articles on NJ2X.COM:
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #1 - How to program the radio
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #2 - disabling "the beep"
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #3 - 1993 review article
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #4 - rebuilding the battery pack
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #5 - how to reset the radio
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #6 - Automatic Power-Off
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #7 - VFO Mode
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #8 - Frequency Step
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #9 - Scanning
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #10 - Dual Watch



© Michael W. Maher and NJ2X.COM, 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Michael W. Maher and NJ2X.COM with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

February 7, 2017

Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #13 - Specifications

This is an article in a series regarding the vintage Azden AZ-61 6m FM Transceiver.

In its day, the AZ-61 provided a unique product to radio amateurs.  Radio collectors love specifications.

AZ-61 Specifications

  • Reception frequency range: 46.000 - 54.000MHz
  • Transmission frequency range: 50.000 - 53.995MHz
  • Antenna Impedance: 50 Ohms
  • DC Power Input Voltage: +3VDC to +16VDC, negative ground
  • Current consumption (receiving): ~150mA; when squelched: ~48mA; in the Battery Saver mode: ~28mA; in APO mode: ~100uA
  • Current consumption (transmitting): High power: ~1.5A; Low power: ~500mA
  • Dimensions (with BP-11 installed): 65mm x 174mm x 33mm
  • Weight: ~550g (including BP-11, antenna, hand strap, and belt clip)
  • Operating temperature: -20 deg. C to +60 deg. C
  • Transmitting power output: High: 5W; Low: 0.5W
  • Modulation: Variable Reactance Modulation
  • Maximum Frequency Deviation: +/- 5Khz
  • Spurious Output: -60dB or less
  • Built-in Microphone: Electret capacitor type (Impedance: 2k ohms)
  • Receiver method: Double conversion super-heterodyne type
  • RF Sensitivity: FM: Better than 0.16uV for 12dB SINAD
  • First IF Frequency: 16.9MHz
  • Second IF Frequency: 455KHz
  • Squelch sensitivity: 0.1uV or less
  • Selectivity: +/- 6KHz min. (-6dB); +/- 15KHz max (-60dB)
  • Audio Output: 250mW min into 8 ohms with 10% distortion


Photo of the Azden AZ-61 hand held transceiver
Azden AZ-61 HT


Good DX and 73, NJ2X


Other related articles on NJ2X.COM:
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #1 - How to program the radio
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #2 - disabling "the beep"
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #3 - 1993 review article
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #4 - rebuilding the battery pack
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #5 - how to reset the radio
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #6 - Automatic Power-Off
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #7 - VFO Mode
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #8 - Frequency Step
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #9 - Scanning
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #10 - Dual Watch



© Michael W. Maher and NJ2X.COM, 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Michael W. Maher and NJ2X.COM with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

January 23, 2017

Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #12 - Optional Accessories

This is an article in a series regarding the vintage Azden AZ-61 6m FM Transceiver.

Back in the day, optional accessories were available for the Azden AZ-61.  Collectors sometimes like to locate accessories for their original vintage radios.  Here is the list for the AZ-61:

  • BP-11 (12VDC, 600mh) NiCd battery pack
  • LC-16 Soft carrying case
  • SDX-514W Waterproof speaker/microphone
  • AD-16 DC cord
  • ARD-6M Rod antenna for the AZ-61(A)



Photo of the Azden AZ-61 hand held transceiver
Azden AZ-61 HT


Good DX and 73, NJ2X


Other related articles on NJ2X.COM:
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #1 - How to program the radio
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #2 - disabling "the beep"
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #3 - 1993 review article
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #4 - rebuilding the battery pack
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #5 - how to reset the radio
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #6 - Automatic Power-Off
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #7 - VFO Mode
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #8 - Frequency Step
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #9 - Scanning
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #10 - Dual Watch
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #11 - Battery Saver
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #12 - Optional Accessories




© Michael W. Maher and NJ2X.COM, 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Michael W. Maher and NJ2X.COM with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

January 3, 2017

Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #11 - Battery Saver

This is an article in a series regarding the vintage Azden AZ-61 6m FM Transceiver.

During normal standby or priority operations the battery saving function can be enabled thereby reducing power consumption.  The battery saving function cannot be enabled during pager, code squelch, or scanning operations.  The initialized value is 500ms.

The battery saver mode reduces receiving current consumption from ~48mA squelched to ~28mA.

The various functions on the vintage AZ-61 are a challenge to operate without instructions.  Hope the information below helps AZ-61 owners master the battery saver on their AZ-61.

Battery Saver

  • To activate the battery saver press the "FUN" + "SAVE" key.

Photo of the Azden AZ-61 hand held transceiver
Azden AZ-61 HT


Good DX and 73, NJ2X



Other related articles on NJ2X.COM:
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #1 - How to program the radio
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #2 - disabling "the beep"
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #3 - 1993 review article
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #4 - rebuilding the battery pack
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #5 - how to reset the radio
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #6 - Automatic Power-Off
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #7 - VFO Mode
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #8 - Frequency Step
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #9 - Scanning
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #10 - Dual Watch
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #11 - Battery Saver
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #12 - Optional Accessories


© Michael W. Maher and NJ2X.COM, 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Michael W. Maher and NJ2X.COM with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

December 27, 2016

Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #10 - Dual Watch

This is an article in a series regarding the vintage Azden AZ-61 6m FM Transceiver.

The AZ-61 has dual watch capability which is also called priority operation.  Priority operation can be used with either the VFO model or memory mode.  Dual watch is of the frequency being received and the MA0 channel.  The MA0 channel is scanned approximately every four seconds.  Receiving a signal on the MA0 channel produces a beep sounds and "S" is displayed.

While using the dual watch mode, pressing PTT allows immediate transmission of the channel set in the VFO mode or memory mode.

The various functions on the vintage AZ-61 are a challenge to operate without instructions.  Hope the information below helps AZ-61 owners master priority operation (dual watch) on their AZ-61.

Priority Operation (Dual Watch)

  • To enable or disable priority operation press the "PRI" key.
  • Note: "PRI" lights up on the display when the priority operation is enabled.

Photo of the Azden AZ-61 hand held transceiver
Azden AZ-61 HT


Good DX and 73, NJ2X


Other related articles on NJ2X.COM:
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #1 - How to program the radio
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #2 - disabling "the beep"
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #3 - 1993 review article
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #4 - rebuilding the battery pack
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #5 - how to reset the radio
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #6 - Automatic Power-Off
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #7 - VFO Mode
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #8 - Frequency Step
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #9 - Scanning
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #10 - Dual Watch
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #12 - Optional Accessories


© Michael W. Maher and NJ2X.COM, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Michael W. Maher and NJ2X.COM with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

December 13, 2016

Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #9 - Scanning

This is an article in a series regarding the vintage Azden AZ-61 6m FM Transceiver.

The AZ-61 has two scanning modes: VFO mode scanning and memory mode scanning.  The various functions on the vintage AZ-61 are a challenge to operate without instructions.  Hope the information below helps AZ-61 owners master scanning on their AZ-61.

Scanning Overview

  • VFO mode scanning is between two frequencies and is programmable
    • A-bank scanning - scanning is conducted between the receiving frequencies stored in memory channels A19 and A20 using the configured frequency step.
    • B-bank scanning - scanning is conducted between the receiving frequencies stored in memory channels B19 and B20 using the configured frequency step.
  • Note: VFO mode scanning is from low frequency to high frequency.  Be sure to program the lower frequency in A19 when setting up A-bank scanning.  Be sure to program the lower frequency in B19 when setting up B-bank scanning.
  • Memory mode scanning allows scanning of memory channels and is programmable
    • A-bank scanning - scans the memory channels A01 to A20.
    • B-bank scanning - scans the memory channels B01 to B20.
    • A-B bank scanning - alternates scanning of the memory channels, A01 - A20 and B01 - B20.
    • Memory channel skill (lock-out) is possible on all memory channels.

VFO Mode Scanning

  • Make sure the radio is in VFO mode.  If the radio is not in memory mode, press the VFO key.
  • To start scanning, press the SCAN key.
  • When a signal is received, scanning stops.

Memory Mode Scanning

  • Make sure the radio is in memory mode.  M.MODE will blink on the display when in memory mode.  If the radio is not in memory mode, press the MEM key.
  • To start scanning, press the SCAN key.
  • When a signal is received, scanning stops.
Photo of the Azden AZ-61 hand held transceiver
Azden AZ-61 HT


Good DX and 73, NJ2X



Other related articles on NJ2X.COM:
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #1 - How to program the radio
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #2 - disabling "the beep"
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #3 - 1993 review article
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #4 - rebuilding the battery pack
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #5 - how to reset the radio
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #6 - Automatic Power-Off
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #7 - VFO Mode
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #8 - Frequency Step
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #9 - Scanning
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #10 - Dual Watch
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #11 - Battery Saver
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #12 - Optional Accessories

© Michael W. Maher and NJ2X.COM, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Michael W. Maher and NJ2X.COM with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

November 29, 2016

Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #8 - Frequency Step

This is an article in a series regarding the vintage Azden AZ-61 6m FM Transceiver.

The AZ-61's initialized frequency step is 5kHz.  The frequency step can be set to either 5kHZ, 10kHz, or 12.5kHZ.  The various functions on the vintage AZ-61 are a challenge to operate without instructions.  Hope the information below helps AZ-61 owners get the most from their their AZ-61.

Frequency Step

  • To change the frequency step value press: FUN + STEP
  • Note: A double beep will be heard.  The display will not change.
  • Use the UP or DOWN keys to confirm that the frequency step has changed.
Photo of the Azden AZ-61 hand held transceiver
Azden AZ-61 HT


Good DX and 73, NJ2X



Other related articles on NJ2X.COM:
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #1 - How to program the radio
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #2 - disabling "the beep"
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #3 - 1993 review article
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #4 - rebuilding the battery pack
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #5 - how to reset the radio
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #6 - Automatic Power-Off
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #7 - VFO Mode
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #8 - Frequency Step
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #9 - Scanning
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #10 - Dual Watch



© Michael W. Maher and NJ2X.COM, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Michael W. Maher and NJ2X.COM with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

October 4, 2016

Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #7 - VFO Mode

This is an article in a series regarding the Azden AZ-61 6m FM Transceiver.

Scott, K6PYP, sent me an email asking for help with VFO on his AZ-61.  The AZ-61 has two receiving modes: VFO and memory.  The various functions on the vintage AZ-61 are a challenge to operate without instructions.  Thank you Scott for your question.  Hope the information below helps AZ-61 owners master the VFO mode on their AZ-61.

VFO Mode

  • To change from memory mode to VFO mode simply present the VFO key.
  • To change the frequency to 52.520 MHz press the follow sequence of keys:
    • 52*52
  • NOTE: If you don't press the next key within 1.5 seconds after pressing the * key the displayed figure becomes 52.000

UP key and DOWN key

  • You can use the UP key and DOWN key to change frequency.  The frequency will increase or decrease each time you press the UP key or DOWN key.
  • If the frequency difference is large present the FUN + UP or DOWN to change the frequency by 1 Mhz.
  • High speed frequency changes can be made by pressing and holding the UP key or DOWN key.  When the frequency nears the desired value, release the key.  The feature is called TRIUP and TRIDOWN.

Photo of the Azden AZ-61 hand held transceiver
Azden AZ-61 HT


Good DX and 73, NJ2X


Other related articles on NJ2X.COM:
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #1 - How to program the radio
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #2 - disabling "the beep"
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #3 - 1993 review article
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #4 - rebuilding the battery pack
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #5 - how to reset the radio
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #6 - Automatic Power-Off
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #7 - VFO Mode
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #8 - Frequency Step
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #9 - Scanning
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #10 - Dual Watch
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #12 - Optional Accessories


© Michael W. Maher and NJ2X.COM, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Michael W. Maher and NJ2X.COM with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

February 6, 2016

Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #6 - Automatic Power-Off

This is an article in a series regarding the Azden AZ-61 6m FM Transceiver.

Joey, W5TFW, sent me an email asking is there is a timer on the AZ-61 and how to disable it.  The functions on the AZ-61 are a challenge to operate without instructions.  Thank you Joey for your questions.  Hope the information below helps you master the automatic power-off function on your AZ-61.

Automatic Power-Off Overview

  • The automatic power-off function, when enabled, will automatically switch off a preset amount of time after the last transmission.
  • One minute before the switch-off, an alarm is given.
  • The automatic power-off delay is adjustable: 10 minutes, 30 minutes, 50 minutes, 60 minutes, or 120 minutes.
  • The initialized power-off delay is set to 60 minutes.
  • After the automatic power-off function has switched off the radio, the radio can be turned back on by turning the power off, waiting 5 seconds, and then turning the radio back on.
Activate Automatic Power-Off Function

  • Press FUN + APOF to activate the automatic power-off function.
  • APO will be displayed if automatic power-off is activated.

Disabling Automatic Power-Off Function

  • Press FUN + APOF to disable the automatic power-off function.
  • APO will not be displayed if automatic power-off is disabled.

Azden AZ-61 hand held transceiver
Azden AZ-61 HT


Good DX and 73, NJ2X


Other related articles on NJ2X.COM:
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #1 - How to program the radio
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #2 - disabling "the beep"
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #3 - 1993 review article
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #4 - rebuilding the battery pack
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #5 - how to reset the radio
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #6 - Automatic Power-Off
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #7 - VFO Mode
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #8 - Frequency Step
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #9 - Scanning
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #10 - Dual Watch





© Michael W. Maher and NJ2X.COM, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Michael W. Maher and NJ2X.COM with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

February 4, 2016

Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #5 - how to reset the radio

This is an article in a series regarding the Azden AZ-61 6m FM Transceiver.  John VK2XGJ, recently sent me an email asking how to reset the AZ-61.  Like many of the functions on the AZ-61 resetting the radio is easy to do but near impossible without instructions.  Thank you John for your question.  We hope this information helps you get your AZ-61 back on the air soon.

To reset the AZ-61, turn on the power source while pressing the CLR key.  This  erases all the stored information and returns the radio to the initialized state.



Azden AZ-61 HT


Good DX and 73, NJ2X


Other related articles on NJ2X.COM:
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #1 - How to program the radio
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #2 - disabling "the beep"
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #3 - 1993 review article
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #4 - rebuilding the battery pack
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #5 - how to reset the radio
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #6 - Automatic Power-Off
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #7 - VFO Mode
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #8 - Frequency Step
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #9 - Scanning
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #10 - Dual Watch




© Michael W. Maher and NJ2X.COM, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Michael W. Maher and NJ2X.COM with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

June 13, 2014

Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #4 - rebuilding the battery pack

This is an article in a series regarding the Azden AZ-61 6m FM Transceiver.  One of the weak points of vintage handy-talkies (HT's) is the battery pack.  It is a fact that Ni-cad batteries (or any rechargeable for that matter) have limited useful life.  It is also a fact that radio manufacturers love to create proprietary battery packs for their radios.  If you buy a vintage HT you will likely end up having to replace or refurbish the battery pack.

Azden AZ-61 6m FM Transceiver

Replacing the battery pack on the AZ-61 with new old stock (NOS) is unlikely.  It is possible to rebuild the battery pack yourself.  The process involves carefully cracking the case (a Dremel can help with this task), replacing the batteries, and then resealing case with tape.

Good DX and 73, NJ2X



Other related articles on NJ2X.COM:
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #1 - How to program the radio
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #2 - disabling "the beep"
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #3 - 1993 review article
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #4 - rebuilding the battery pack
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #5 - how to reset the radio
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #6 - Automatic Power-Off
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #7 - VFO Mode
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #8 - Frequency Step
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #9 - Scanning
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #10 - Dual Watch


© Michael W. Maher and NJ2X.COM, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Michael W. Maher and NJ2X.COM with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

May 31, 2014

Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #2 - disabling "the beep"

This post is in a series regarding the 1990's vintage Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT.

Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT

So you have dusted off  your Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT and powered it back to life.  Congratulations for giving this neat old radio a go!  One of the things you may have noticed when pressing buttons is an annoying, "beep" after each key press.  The good news is that the beep noise can be toggled off and on easily (if you know the trick).

How to toggle off and on the key press beep

Step 1) Press and hold the "FUN" key while powering the radio on.


Yes, it is that simple.

Good DX and 73, NJ2X




© Michael W. Maher and NJ2X.COM, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Michael W. Maher and NJ2X.COM with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

May 24, 2014

Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #1 - How to program the radio

The Azden AZ-61 6m handi-talkie (HT) can be found from time-to-time at hamfests for a relatively low price.  Buying one without the manual; however, can be a rather frustrating experience since the radio's design is far from intuitive.  This isn't the kind of radio that you can put in your hand and program without looking at a manual.  Almost anyone who has owned one would agree that it is downright difficult to program the AZ-61 (even with the original manual).

Azden AZ-61 6m FM Transceiver
After searching the Internet, we discovered that there are rather few resources to guide the manual-less Azden AZ-61 owner in programming the radio.  As a consequence, there are probably more than a few fully functional units out there just sitting on a shelf collecting dust for lack of ability to program.  If you are one of those owners, we prepared this short tutorial on programming the Azden AZ-61 for you.  We hope it inspires you to dust-off your Azden AZ-61 (or snap one up at a hamfest), program a repeater or two, and get it back on the air.

How to program a repeater into the Azden AZ-61

In the following step-by-step example, we will program a local 6m repeater located in Ben Lomond, California (WR6AOK, output = 52.800 MHz, offset = -0.500 = 52.500 MHz, PL = 114.8) to the Azden AZ-61's memory address "MA0".

"MA0" is the main memory channel and can be recalled quickly via the dedicated MA0 button on the front left of the radio.  This is a pretty handy feature.

Step 1: Turn on the program mode

  • In order to program the radio you need to first enable the programming mode. 
  • Press "FUN" + "0" (at the same time) and hold for 1 second
  • The LCD display will show a blinking "PR"
  • Note: The programming mode is automatically turned off when the radio is left idle for 10 seconds or more.  This is an irritating "feature" since it forces you to repeatedly re-enable the programming mode (unless you are fast at going through the programming steps).  Be prepared to get a lot of practice on turning on the program mode.

Step 2: Select the memory address to program

  • For our example, we are going to program the memory address "MA0".
  • Using the up or down arrow buttons (located to the right of the LCD), select the memory address, "MA0".
  • "MA0" will appear in the upper left hand corner of the LCD when selected.
  • Press the "#" key

Step 3: Enter the receive frequency

  • For our example, we are going to program a receive frequency of 52.800 MHz.
  • Note: The AZ-61 does not have a decimal key.  Instead, use the "*" to denote the decimal when entering the frequency.  
  • Enter the frequency by pressing the keys, 52*800
  • Press the "#" key

Step 4: Enter a receive CTCSS frequency

  • For our example, we do not want to use a CTCSS frequency (not sure if the repeater transmits the CTCSS) so we are going to program this memory address to disable that feature.
  • Using the up and down arrow buttons (located to the right of the LCD), select "C00:"
  • Press the "#" key

Step 5: Enter transmit frequency

  • For our example, we are going to program a transmit frequency of 52.500 MHz.
  • Note: The AZ-61 does not have a decimal key.  Instead, use the "*" to denote the decimal when entering the frequency.  
  • Enter the frequency by pressing the keys, 52*500
  • Press the "#" key

Step 6: Enter transmit CTCSS frequency

  • For our example, we are going to program a transmit CTCSS frequency of 114.8 Hz.
  • Note: The CTCSS frequencies are stored in the AZ-61 in a table.
  • Using the up and down arrow buttons (located to the right of the LCD), select the "C16: 114.8"
  • Press the "#" key
Voila!  We have programmed a repeater into the Azden AZ-61 in just six easy steps.  Armed with these steps you can repeat the same procedure to program any of the other 40 memory addresses.  Hope this article has inspired you to put  your AZ-61 back on the air.

Considering its age, there are a surprising number of other features that can be programmed into the Azden AZ-61.  Perhaps this is a good example of how more can be less.  In the case of the AZ-61, more features seems to have led to less usability / programmability.  We may cover additional programming topics in a future article if there is interest.  Drop us a line and let us know.


Good DX and 73, NJ2X


Other related articles on NJ2X.COM:
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #1 - How to program the radio
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #2 - disabling "the beep"
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #3 - 1993 review article
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #4 - rebuilding the battery pack
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #5 - how to reset the radio
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #6 - Automatic Power-Off
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #7 - VFO Mode
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #8 - Frequency Step
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #9 - Scanning
Azden AZ-61 6m FM HT - Tip #10 - Dual Watch



© Michael W. Maher and NJ2X.COM, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Michael W. Maher and NJ2X.COM with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

October 28, 2012

Considerations For A New Antenna - Part 2: Installing a 6m Antenna

In "Considerations For A New Antenna - Part 1" we discussed the criteria and considerations for setting up new antennas in our new location.  In this article, we share how we went about setting up our first antenna in the new location.

We decided our first effort would be to set up a 6m ground plane antenna on a mast mounted on top our chimney.  6m is a wonderful band offering DX possibilities along with access to local repeaters.

For this project we would need:
  1. 6m ground plane antenna
  2. Chimney mast mounting kit
  3. Standard 1.5 inch x 5 foot antenna mast
  4. Low-loss 50-ohm coaxial cable (we use Bury-FLEX 1.1 dB of attenuation /100 FT at 50 Mhz)
  5. UHF connectors
  6. 8-foot copper clad steel ground rod
  7. Lightning arrestor (we use ICE coaxial lightning/EMP suppressors)
  8. Solder
  9. Soldering iron
  10. Electrical tape
  11. Self-sealing silicone rubber tape
  12. Ladder
  13. Rope and bucket
  14. Crescent wrench
  15. Leather work gloves
  16. Pair of HT's (optional)

Parts

In days gone past, items such as chimney mast mount and masts were commonly available in local hardware or electronics stores serving the needs of customers with TV antennas.  We went shopping in local area stores and found none had chimney mast mounts or even 5 foot antenna masts; though, they did have an 8-foot ground rod.  The ubiquity of cable TV seems to have reduced the need for TV antennas.  Thankfully, these items are still available through Internet retailers.

We ordered a Ronard chimney mast mounting kit and Winegard 5 foot mast and they arrived quickly.  The Winegard mast was more substantial than expected.  The mast was 18 gauge steel tubing without any visible seem.  The Ronard chimney mast mounting kit included stainless steel straps and heavy duty hardware.  The chimney mast mounting kit included very basic instructions for setting up the straps.

We had picked up an older 6m ground plane antenna brand new in the box at a ham fest several years ago for $20.00.  We had used this antenna with a 18 foot painters pole for an easy-to-setup ARRL Field Day antenna.  We used our MFJ-269 antenna analyzer to cut the antenna centered around the SSB DX calling frequency of 50.125 Mhz (see 6m band plan below).

We also had a lightning suppressor, electrical tape, self-sealing silicone tape, coaxial cable, UHF connectors, and the tools already available in our shack.

Safety First

Amateur radio is generally a very safe activity.  There are potential risks to consider and take the necessary precautions.  Among these is coming in contact with high voltages and currents, falling from heights, and having something fall on you.  Our motto is, "safety first" and this mindset helps us avoid accidents.

Installation Preparation

The first step was call the local utilities and request them to identify buried cables and gas lines.  They came out within a few days and marked everything clearly with spray paint and flags.

We next surveyed the work areas looking for hazards. It is critical before starting to make sure that any new antenna installation cannot come in contact with overhead wires or buried utilities.  We confirmed that no hazards were present.

We assembled all the parts and tools at the base of the chimney and enlisted a helper.  This job could be done by one man; however, two hams are better than one.  It is considerably safer to work with a helper since ladders and heights are involved.

We also brought out a pair of 2m HT's to aid with communication between the roof-top work and the ground-work.  This is so much effective than yelling back-and-forth at the top of your lungs and being misunderstood.  We are hams after all.  There is typically a fair amount of wind noise up on a roof that can interfere with being heard without the aid of a radio.  This helped avoid a comedy exchange, "I said, send up a WRENCH not go sit on the BENCH!!!" or "What was that?  Did you say, GO! or NO!?"



Installing the Chimney Mast Mount

The Ronard chimney mast mount included directions for fastening the stainless steel strap to the strapping clip.  However, no other directions were provided.  The mount itself is a fairly simple device and perhaps assembly is self evident.  Installation is another matter.  Installing the mount took a bit of trial-and-error to get it right.  Here are a few things we learned:
  • Wear leather gloves when handling the stainless steel strap.  The strapping is razor sharp.  We didn't think to bring gloves to the roof top and by the time the installation was complete our hands had a dozen or so nicks.
  • Pre-bend the strapping into shape before placing around the chimney.  The strapping wants to return to its coiled shape unless you counter this with new bends.  It is much easier to handle the strap when it is in the approximate shape of the chimney than if it is in the approximate shape of a tightly wound coil.
  • Wire cutters won't cut stainless steel strap.  Perhaps there is a better tool?  We didn't discover this until we were on the roof so we ended up using metal fatigue to break the strapping in the desired place. 
  • Prepare the strap and strapping clips on the ground.  If we had it to do over again we would pre-cut the strap to the desired length and pre-install the strapping clips all on the ground.  This would avoid the possibility of losing one of the small clips on or over the side of the roof.  It would also be easier and provide more convenient access to tools in the workshop.
  • We kept our hands free while climbing the ladder and roof and used a rope and bucket to hoist up parts and tools from the ground.  Here is our helper made the biggest contribution.


Installing the 6m Ground Plane Antenna

Attaching the mast and ground plane antenna was the easiest part of the installation.
  • Build the antenna on the ground.  The antenna has 5 main parts that needed to be assembled.  Once assembled the antenna is light and somewhat bulky.  We choose to build the antenna on the ground for ease and safety.
  • Hoist up tools to the roof with the aid of a bucket and a line.  Communicate with the helper on the ground with an HT.  Make sure the helper stands well away from the roof line or where anything could fall.
  • Hoist the mast from the ground to the roof with a line.  We passed the line through the mast from one end to the other.  We tied a wooden dowel to the rope at the end of the mast and hoisted it up.  This kept the mast in the same orientation as the line and made it very easy.
  • Hoist the antenna from the ground to the roof with a line.  We tied the rope to the bottom of the antenna and also at the top.  This allowed for an easy hoist in a vertical orientation to the roof.
  • Hoist the coaxial cable from the ground to the roof with a line.  We tied the rope to the coaxial cable and hoisted it up with ease.  Take care there are no twists in the coax that could turn into a kink (bad for coax) while hoisting.
  • Seal the coaxial connection.  Some people prefer coax seal.  We prefer applying a couple of tight layers of good quality electrical tape followed by a wrapping with self-sealing silicone tape.  This will prevent water intrusion and corrosion. 
  • Secure the coax to the mast with electrical tape or cable ties.  This prevents the coaxial cable from bouncing around against the mast in high winds.  Provides some strain relief as well.
6m Ground Plane Vertical Antenna Close Up

Installing RF Grounding System

We used a step ladder to stand on to drive the 8ft ground rod with a 8 pound hammer.  This made it easy to keep the hammer on-target as it went into the ground.  We switched to a larger sledge to drive the last foot or so.

We attached an ICE suppressor bracket with 2 ICE lightning suppressors mounted to the top of the ground round.  One lightning suppressor for use on 6m and the other for an HF antenna.

We placed the lightning suppressor and cabling within an enclosure to provide some protection from the elements.

Lightening arrestor system

First 6m QSO

We connected the cabling to our Kenwood TS-480SAT and powered up.  We had a local Pittsburgh 6m repeater already programmed into memory (51.740 Mhz with a PL tone of 100.00 Hz) so we dialed it up and found a group of hams in a ragchew.  So far so good on receive.  We were wondering if the antenna would tune up and transmit?  We hit, "tune" and sure enough it tuned immediately.  This was a good sign that everything was in order.  We waited for a pause and then transmitted giving our call.  One of the hams came back immediately acknowledging our call and inviting us into the group.  Voila!  6m ground plane vertical antenna project success!

6m Ground Plane Antenna mounted on chimney

Since our first QSO, we have enjoined joining into the Pittsburgh 6m repeater net and finding a few other local 6m repeaters we can reach.  We are also eagerly awaiting a 6m opening when we can give 6m DX a workout with the new antenna and make progress toward our ARRL 6m DXCC award.

The 6m band is the "magic band" and has something to offer everyone - from DX'ing, repeaters, ragchew, CW, digital, ...

ARRL 6 Meter Band Plan, 50.0-54.0 MHz 50.000-50.100 CW and beacons
50.060-50.080 Automatically controlled beacons
50.100-50.600 SSB 50.125 SSB DX calling frequency 50.200 SSB domestic calling frequency (Note: Suggest QSY up for local & down for long-distance QSOs)
50.600-51.000 Experimental and special modes 50.700 RTTY calling frequency
50.800-50.980 Radio Control (R/C) channels, 10 channels spaced 20 kHz apart (new)
51.000-51.100 Pacific DX window
51.000-52.000 Newly authorized FM repeater allocation
51.100-52.000 FM simplex
52.000-52.050 Pacific DX window
52.000-53.000 FM repeater and simplex
53.000-54.000 Present radio control (R/C) channels, 10 channels spaced 100 kHz apart

Shortwave Reception

An unexpected side benefit was the antenna's receive capabilities.  While tuning around HF we discovered the antenna performed nicely as a shortwave receive antenna.  We were surprised how well it received shortwave stations.  We attribute the quiet performance to having a good RF ground and installing the antenna above the roof line.  In the past, we have always used horizontal wire antennas (i.e. long wire, dipole, and fan-dipoles) for shortwave reception.  This antenna has given us a new appreciation for a VHF vertical for shortwave reception.  This is also something to keep in mind when in an emergency situation - a VHF antenna is an asset for both VHF and HF reception.

73,

NJ2X


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© Michael W. Maher and NJ2X.COM, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Michael W. Maher and NJ2X.COM with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.