Flex-6500 2m Transverter and D-Star

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I have a Flex-6500 and have just purchased a ThumbDV to allow me to use D-Star.  I only have a little Icom handheld for 2m/70cm so have decided to buy a 2m transverter as well.

Once I get the transverter working, will I be able to use D-Star on 2m on my 6500?  I do not see any reason why not but I would just like to check!

As a supplementary question, I wood appreciate recommendations for a 2m transverter which is known to work well with the 6500 AND is freely available in the UK or at least in the EU.  

The Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs in the UK charge a lot of import duty (even on the shipping costs) and then 20% sales tax (VAT) on items coming from outside the EU so I do need one I can buy over here.  

Right now I am leaning towards the Elecraft XV144 but it is expensive (GBP500!).

David G4NRT
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David G4NRT / Z21NRT

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Posted 4 years ago

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Steve - N5AC, VP Engineering / CTO

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Official Response
You will be able to use the radio for D-STAR on 2m with a transverter.  Heck, you could make D-STAR contacts on 3.4GHz with a 3GHz transverter if you can find someone else with the same setup ;-)  The three common transverters I see are DEMI (Downeast Microwave), Kuhne and Elecraft.  Kuhne is in Germany -- not sure if this offers a price advantage or not.  All should work fine.
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David G4NRT / Z21NRT

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Thanks Steve!  Just confirms what I thought ... DEMI seem not to be available here without importing them.  Kuhne are price on request so I will see what they say .. this may have to wait until I am in Friedrichshafen! 

David
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Steve - G8KNC

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Just a note about import duty, David, it should be zero for transmitting equipment. VAT still hits you of course, but I do have the HMRC code at home somewhere if you need it.

Steve
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Clive - G4KCM

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Dave,

Just FYI I have been in touch with Kuhne in the last week or so regarding a transverter to use with my 6500. I was informed that they are currently reworking their 2m transverter and so are out of stock until the new version is released. I was told it would be about a month before release.

73 Clive
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David G4NRT / Z21NRT

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Thanks Clive,

I had the same reply from them this morning!

David G4NRT
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George Molnar, KF2T, Elmer

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I'm using the XV144 with my 6500 quite successfully. Not on D-Star, but no reason why it wouldn't work. Hoping a future version of SSDR supports digital coded squelch.
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Keith Ferguson

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David,

I bought  a used Spectrum Comms 2m transverter via eBay about a year ago to "try out" my 6500 on 2m before spending more money on something with a bit better spec.

12 months later I'm still using it. It works fine, not the ultimate performer but for a "casual" 2m user like me it does the job.

Keith
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David Warnberg

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David.... I have and built the Elecraft XV144 as well as the XV432, I too have a thumbDV plugged into my FLEX-6500 and yes you can use DSTAR with the transverter.  Keep in mind the only thing that will not function correctly is VOX with this configuration, so when I'm using my headset I just hit the MOX button to talk..

I have found that the Elecraft Transverters work well and I am working on getting them to work SATS at this time.

If you like building electronics the kits are very enjoyable to build.

Good luck

Feel free to send questions if you have any, look me up on qrz.com for my e-mail address.

73's

David
KK4QOE
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David Warnberg

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David, I see you state your eye sight will not allow a kit build, Elecraft does have a list of builders that will build and align the kit for you... just FYI

KK4QOE
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David G4NRT / Z21NRT

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Thanks David - Oh yes!  I have had to use them in the recent past!  
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Paul Bradbeer

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David, I use a Kuhne TR-144H +40 with my 6500, and I'm delighted with it. It will be even better when my GPSDO eventually turns up...then I can feed a 10mhz reference to the transverter. It is expensive, but nothing else will touch it. I've had (built and used) an Elecraft transverter but didn't like the frequency stability or heat management. Paul M0CVX
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Kent Hufford

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You will also be able to do DSTAR on HF bands. There is a DSTAR HF net, 5 times a week. When the bands are open, it is easy to make DSTAR HF Voice contacts between the USA and GB.
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David G4NRT / Z21NRT

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I used to have HF D-Star QSOs when I owned an Icom IC-7100!
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Richard - MW0XDT

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I have the same plans here David, with my 6500 in the UK, so I'm very grateful to those responding, thanks guys.


73 Rich MW0XDT
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David G4NRT / Z21NRT

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I have sent an email to Kuhne asking for a price - they just say "Price on Request" on their website.  I will let you know what they come back with. 
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Paul Bradbeer

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David, I'm sure it'll be about the same as the 432mhz version. Not sure why it is price on request..they always used to have a price against it. For me, it is so versatile (antenna and IF configurations) and with a power meter and easy to used drive control on the front panel, it is great for either barefoot or driving a QRO amplifier. What's the saying... 'buy cheap, buy twice'....

Paul M0CVX
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David G4NRT / Z21NRT

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Received today from Kuhne:
Unfortunately our TR 144 H +40 is no longer available.

 We are currently working on a new version of our transverter.

 As soon as the new version is available I’ll send you an information.

 It is planned to finish the development in May 2016.

David G4NRT

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Richard - MW0XDT

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Yes, I just received the same email...my XYL's birthday in May...I always like to buy myself something for her birthday! Lol ;-)
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Brian Morgan VK7RR/4

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Hi David, You have a very fine 2 metre  transverter that is made in the UK, known as the Anglian. Check out the URL below:
http://www.g4ddk.com/Anglian144v1_1.pdf

73 Brian
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David G4NRT / Z21NRT

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Thanks for the info Brian.  I now longer have the eyesight for kits but this does look interesting!
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Paul Bradbeer

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Actually, I'm not convinced that this design is anything special...the NF and IIP3 figures are rather average. To be honest, was hoping for something better.... Paul M0CVX
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Steve Gw0gei

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David,
I used a spectrum 4m tvtr with my flex 6300 and it worked well but did drift a bit too much for wsjt ms work. After I upgraded to the 6500 I decided to concentrate on 4m last year and bought a Kuhne 4m tvtr direct from the manufacturer. Very speedy service, and quality of the packaging reflected the quality kit inside - it really was a step up on rx and it matches the 6500 well. I am planning on buying the 2m tvtr from Kuhn unless I upgrade to the 6700 this year - at which point I will import one of the Demi 2m Amps that suit the low output on 2m from the 6700. I paid around £900 for the 4m one after conversion from Euros but I think you get the quality and performance for the extra money. It makes such a difference being able to see the whole of 6 and 4m bands in VHF contests and see the signals pop up as people turn their beams briefly this direction.
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Rob G6EIH

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Try this site, I got a 2mtr tvtr from them and it works great on my 6700, it was here in a couple of days by tracked mail, no import duty or VAT.

You don't need the attenuator board when using the Flex 6 series.

http://transverters-store.com/144mhz.htm

This is also well worth looking at, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w8JQ0SIUlI8&feature=youtu.be

At the price they sell for it's worth trying.
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David G4NRT / Z21NRT

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Thanks Rob.  I had watched the video.  I am not into putting boards into boxes etc. so I need a ready-built solution!  I will probably wait until nearer to the Friedrichshafen show and order to collect there.  Or, I may just go for a Down East Microwave one and swallow the postage and VAT.  
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Rob G6EIH

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Hi David, DEMI is a 6 month wait if your lucky plus all the import problems, it's easy for me as we have regular monthly shipments from the USA and I have them included in the same container. I have a liner on order from DEMI and not even an update email from them to say how it's going, ordered about 4 months ago. Kuhne is excellent but very expensive, you could buy a used Flex 6 series for the same money. I'd like a Kuhne tvtr but for now the cheap one does the job on local nets.

If you go down the import route have it shipped by post, most times RM don't ask for VAT, ham tvtr's and transceivers are duty free from the USA, if you use the big name carriers like UPS or DHL you will pay VAT for sure.

My building skills are not what they used to be and I got a local guy to mount it in a box for me, does the job very cheaply.
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Paul Bradbeer

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You must have been lucky Rob.  I used to get lots of Elecraft stuff delivered direct from USA (wish we could do that with Flex!), even with the cheapest shipping option, at the UK end the package is delivered by ParcelForce...and I have never had a package that wasn't trapped for VAT payment.  of course, it isn't the delivery agent that govern this - it is the UK Customs.
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David G4NRT / Z21NRT

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I have been reading some very complimentary things about transverters made by Gabi HA1YA (http://www.ha1ya.hu) in particular his 4m MA4T and 2m ME2T ones. 
They are quite pricy (around Eur700-750) but I have had some very strong recommendations.

Does anyone have any experience of them?  
Thanks in advance,

David G4NRT
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Lee Maisel

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The radio or dongle, or software, whatever is TRUNCATING the beginning of the transmission, in other words, your ID string at the beginning of transmit is being generated, but the radio is late in transmitting, so that portion ends up not sent.   The repeater rejects it because there is no ID.  Hence the ************  AN aggravating problem that I would love to see resolved.  Maybe flex can fix this top where there is a short 1/2 second delay buffer to ensure all is transmitted?????
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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I have entered this problem report into our bug tracker as issue #4613 for additional investigation. Thank you for the defect report.

No need to cross post this again.
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Lee Maisel

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Thanks Tim!

And to clarify, if someone would setup the waverform to buffer a bit, a half second even.   So in other words, activate transmit just a bit before sending the actual data.  Maybe tickle the transverter hihi
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Lee Maisel

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has this been looked into yet?  I know there's all manner of NEW products vying for attention, but I sure would like to use the D-star dongle I bought from you to use with my 6500
Thanks!
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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It has been investigated but not resolved.  It is slated to be addressed in a future version of SmartSDR.
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Lee Maisel

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Thanks Tim!