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Hambone - Tech Class

The return of Hambone College is here. David Kerl is planning a Tech Class soon. Sign Up Today!

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Hambone College – 2016 Technician Prep Class Organizing!

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We are in the process of organizing for a Technician Exam Prep Class starting soon. At this time, we haven’t chosen a date or time, but are looking to see who would be interested in taking this class.

Please sign up for this class today to get first chance at taking this class.


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Russian WW MultiMode Contest

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The organizer of contest is the Russian Digital Radio Club. The Russian contest on radio short waves communications Russian WW MultiMode Contestby using the BPSK63, CW, RTTY and SSB modes is conducted according to the present Rules annually in November. We invite all fans of all modes to take part in 3rd RUS-WW-MM from 12.00 UTC on Saturday 30th April till 11:59 UTC on Sunday 1st May, 2016 . Types of modulation: CW, BPSK63, RTTY45, SSB. The repeated contacts are permitted on different bands and different modes providing that a contact will be made not earlier than in 3 minutes. The output power should not exceed the resolved power according to the radioamateur license of the participant. The operator may change the bands no more than 10 times within calendar hour (with zero on 59-th minute of each hour). Only one transmitted signal is permitted at any time. Bands: 160 m, 80 m, 40 m, 20 m, 15 m, 10 m. A separate category for the Russia and foreign participants.

Schedule RUS-WW-MM in 2016-2020:
2016 – on April, 30th and on May, 1st
2017 – on September, 30th and on October, 1st
2018 – on March, 31st and on April, 1st
2019 – on November, 30th and on December, 1st
2020 – on February, 29th and on March, 1st


FCC Invites Comments on Petition to Eliminate 15 dB Gain Limit on Amateur Amplifiers

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The FCC has put on public notice and invited comments on a Petition for Rule Making (RM-11767), filed on behalf of an amateur amplifier distributor, which seeks to revise the Amateur Service rules regarding maximum permissible amplifier gain. Expert Linears America LLC of Magnolia, Texas, which distributes linears manufactured by SPE in Italy, wants the FCC to eliminate the 15 dB gain limitation on amateur amplifiers, spelled out in §97.317(a)(2). Expert asserts that there should be no gain limitation at all on amplifiers sold or used in the Amateur Service.

“There is no technical or regulatory reason [that] an amplifier capable of being driven to full legal output by even a fraction of a watt should not be available to Amateur Radio operators in the United States,” Expert said in its Petition.


QSO Today Ep 58 – Chuck Adams – K7QO – CW at 145 WPM

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Chuck Adams, K7QO, is working the world with his single channel 20 meter transceiver just to show that he can. CW is Chuck’s mode of choice because of its efficiency and as a gateway to making ham radio affordable to anyone. Chuck shares his ham radio life, his Manhattan Muppet board construction method, and how to copy call signs at 140 words a minute, with Eric, 4Z1UG, on this episode of QSO Today


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Many of us tried the old “Two tin cans connected by a string” experiment as kids. [Michael Rainey, AA1TJ] never quite forgot it.  Back in 2009, he built “El Silbo”, a ham radio transmitter powered entirely by his voice. El Silbo is a Double Side Band (DSB) transmitter for 75 meters. While voice is used to excite the transmitter, it doesn’t actually transmit voice. El Silbo is a CW affair, so you should bone up on your Morse Code a bit before building one. Like many QRP transmitters El Silbo’s circuit is rather simple. A junk box loudspeaker is installed at the bottom of the can to convert voice power to electrical power. The signal is passed through a step up transformer, and used to excite a 75m crystal. Two NPN transistors (in this case MPS6521) pass the signal on through a second transformer. The signal is then routed through an LC network to the antenna..…READ MORE -OR WATCH VIDEO

NCDXF Announces Publication of Martti Laine, OH2BH, Article on Working DX Pileups

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The Northern California DX Foundation is pleased and proud to announce that it has published a Special Edition of the NCDXF Newsletter consisting of an article by legendary DXer and DXpeditioner Martti Laine, OH2BH on working DXpedition pileups.  Martti’s article, entitled “It Takes Two to Tango,” reflects Martti’s lifetime of DXpedition experience, including the activation of 12 all-time new entities, and sets forth his thoughtful advice and  reflections on how best to handle the pileups of DXers calling from Europe as well as other parts of the world.  In today’s environment of stations calling out of turn and deliberate QRM, Martti’s advice could not be more timely and is destined to improve and enhance the DX experience for all.  The article is available at the NCDXF website— or see below:


Radio Incident Command Kit by N1RFD

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What is my definition of a Communications Go-Kit?
A Communications Go-Kit (or Radio-Ready-Kit) is made up of a portable “Amateur radio” station and assorted personal gear that can quickly be assembled to respond to a “Call To Service”. What the kit will consist of depends on the type of incidents being responded to and potential extent of the events. Being Prepared and Equipped to serve, enables rapid deployment! A responders Go-Kit should be tailored to their needs, (Radio type), expected assignments and expected length of assignment. Sometimes it is necessary to go equipped with more than QRP (low power) equipment to achieve reliable communications. It is good practice to use no more transmitter power than required, but it is also necessary to have enough power available to complete the communications. This has led me to build a Go-Kit which is capable of more transmitter power than a HT. The additional transmit power does not have to be utilized, but if needed, it is there. Also with the radio installed in my go kit, the ICOM ID-880H, with the appropriate MARS & CAP ICOM approved modifications, the Go Kit can be used to effectively communicate or provide communications for services between 136-174 MHz and 420-470 MHz Analog / Digital including Digital D-Star. Another feature this radio provides is the ability to transmit and receive encoded, digital data via a direct connection to a computer / laptop…

Read Full Article:


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Hello Contesting Friends,

The 2016 Florida QSO Party is *this weekend*; we sure hope you'll join us. All 67 counties will be active.

Please check out the 2015 FQP results and much more at our Web Site:

The Florida QSO Party
Object: Everyone works Florida, Florida works Everyone
Activate and work ALL Florida counties
Have as much FUN as possible!


I’m EXTRA Ignorant

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On Sunday, I received the following e-mail from a reader:

"Just wanted to let you know I passed the General exam using your study guide. It was very helpful. I am now generally ignorant whereas before I was only technically ignorant. Ha!"

My reply to him was:

"Well, if you're generally ignorant, I guess that makes me EXTRA ignorant!"


New posts coming soon.

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Been out of town, and haven't had a chance to update the website by remote. was hoping to just now, but qrznow seems to be down at the moment. Will try again tomorrow.

Radio Amateurs Asked to Keep 7.060 MHz Clear for Ecuador Earthquake Emergency Traffic

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In the wake of the April 16 earthquake in Ecuador, the Amateur Radio community is being asked to keep 7.060 MHz clear for “Cadena HC” emergency traffic. DXpeditions operating RTTY on 40 meters are requested to keep pileups below 7.060 MHz. The 7.8 magnitude earthquake has resulted in dozens of deaths and many more injuries.

Most earthquake damage has occurred in the Guayaquil (HC2) and Portoviejo/Manta (HC4) areas of Ecuador. Well-known DXer Lilian de Ayala, HC4L, in Portoviejo — the capital of Manabi province — is safe, but some structures in Portoviejo and Manta suffered severe damage, with many victims reported to have been buried in the rubble of collapsed buildings and homes. Electrical power and commercial telecommunication systems have been either destroyed or knocked out in the affected area, and hams in the HC4 district have been operating by using mobile stations or battery power. Many roads have been rendered impassable because of earthquake rubble.

The Cadena HC emergency frequency is now active and running 24 hours per day on 7.060 LSB. Hams in Ecuador have been reported very busy coordinating search-and-rescue activities. — Thanks to Rick Dorsch, NE8Z/HC1MD via The Daily DX

World Amateur Radio Day!

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Every April 18, radio amateurs worldwide take to the airwaves in celebration of World Amateur Radio Day. It was on that day in 1925 that the International Amateur Radio Union was formed in Paris.

Amateur Radio experimenters were the first to discover that the short wave spectrum — far from being a wasteland — could support worldwide propagation. In the rush to use these shorter wavelengths, Amateur Radio was “in grave danger of being pushed aside,” the IARU’s history has noted. Amateur Radio pioneers met in Paris in 1925 and created the IARU to support Amateur Radio worldwide.


Stealth Apartment Antenna for 20m and 40m!

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I have no money for a HF antenna, and even if I did my apartment complex wouldn’t allow it! This is my story, and while I’m no expert I hope that sharing my experience will help encourage others to try crazy things in the spirit of invention. A friend loaned me a Century 21 HF CW-only transceiver which puts out ~20W. As far as an antenna, I was limited to what I could build. I tried a bunch of different designs, including a trash-brew 40m base-loaded vertical, but it didn’t work that well.

I found that a “contorted dipole” (I heard it’s officially called a zig-zag design) strung up on my ceiling works surprisingly well. I’ve only had it up a few days, but from Florida I’ve talked to New York on 40m at 20W and Maine on 20m using 20W. Keep in mind that I’m brand new to CW, and that 99% of the conversations out there are way too fast for me to copy, so my greatest limitation is finding a CQ slow enough that I can respond to it…..READ FULL ARTICLE


Mic Wiring Diagrams

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39 useful links to Microphone wiring diagrams collected in the Technical Reference/Mic wiring yb the DXZone

DBARA Third Annual Tailgate Party a Success!

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20160416_083109All hams are welcome. Free to buyer and sellers. Only one table per seller permitted. Donations for seller space will be welcomed. Coffee and donuts will be available.

For more information, contact Tom Bilello (NW0LF) at 386-690-9412.

Talk-in on K4BV 147.150 (+127.3)

T2R Tuvalu Amateur Radio Club and DXpedition

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John (KK7L) and Jared (N7SMI) will activate amateur radio DXpedition station T2R from Tuvalu September 27th – October 4th, 2016. Tuvalu is #75 on the Club Log most wanted entities list. We will operate 80-10 meters on SSB, CW, and RTTY from Funafuti Atoll.
Outreach Efforts
This is not a typical DXpedition. Through the efforts of many before us, including Bob (VK2RG), Dean (KW7XX) and the RF Junkies team, and others, there are currently several licensed amateurs in Tuvalu. We will provide training to the local amateurs and ensure equipment is in place with intentions to establish a permanent and active Tuvalu Amateur Radio Club. Your donations go directly to supporting local amateurs getting on the air.
How You Can Help
While radio equipment for a basic station is currently in Tuvalu, additional training and support is needed to help get the station on the air. We kindly invite you to donate to the cause and support us. Any amount will help. Those who donate $10 or more will be provided priority QSL status and will be subscribed to the T2R Insiders Newsletter which will provide regular behind-the-scenes insights into the DXpedition and Tuvalu Amateur Radio Club plans. All sponsors and supporters will be listed on the Sponsors page.

Silent Key – AB4PG – William Sherman Latham

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-- Just submitted --

William Sherman Latham, also known as Bill Latham, 90, of Deland, passed away February 17, 2016. Bill leaves behind his daughter, Billie Jo Horton, his son, Frederick G. Latham and 3 generations of Grandkids. Bill moved to Florida in '79 after retiring as a motorcycle officer with the California Highway Patrol. He served as a Chaplin at the DeLand Hospital as well as becoming involved with the Civil Air Patrol, and Amateur Radio Assoc. He loved flying and was a member of the Local EAA. Attended Trinity United Methodist Church where he was very active. A memorial service was held on March 6, 2016 at 4:00 PM at TUMC in DeLand. You were invited to share your memories with the family at

9M0S Spratly Islands AS-051

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Mike DF8AN will be active from Layang Layang Island, IOTA AS-051 – Spratly Islands, 19 to 29 April 2016 as 9M0S.

QSL via home call.

Mike DF8AN Announcement:


The “Other” Heard Island DXpedition — VK0LD

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The just-ended Heard Island VK0EK DXpedition logged more than 75,000 contacts, but the under-the-radar, contemporaneous VK0LD operation also put a new one into a few more logs. VK0EK logistics team member Mike Coffey, KJ4Z, operated as VK0LD from California, remotely controlling one of the VK0EKElecraft K3S operating positions. He used a K3/0-Mini and the RCForb client and remote server software to work 41 stations on 20 meters.

“More than a year before the Braveheart set sail, I knew I wanted to try to operate a remote ham radio station from Heard Island during the VK0EK DXpedition,” Coffey said. “Co-organizers Bob Schmieder, KK6EK, and Rich Holoch, KY6R, were enthusiastic and gave me the green light.” From Tennessee, Coffey, who was off the air from 2003 until 2014, is once again active from California, and, he said on his profile, “eager to make up for lost time.”


Skycraft Surplus celebrating 42 Years!

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Skycraft Is Celebrating 42 Years This Month. Take 20% off orders over $30 now until Sunday the 17th.
Use Promo Code 

This Discount does not apply to the following Wire Products or In store Purchases:
DLO, THHN, SO & SJ, Multi Conductor, Welding, Entertainment, and Fire Alarm Cable 

Portable Ops -Veterans Park

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World’s Best Hobby

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Producer and amateur radio operator Dave Bell (W6AQ) has written a memoir with a twist that hams will enjoy.

In its 302 pages, “World’s Best Hobby” chronicles Bell’s personal and professional history, with a special focus on his amateur radio history and his interactions with Hollywood (and Washington) celebrities as a documentary and reality show producer.

“World’s Best Hobby” is available via ARRL,, and

“When I was writing “World’s Best Hobby” I didn’t realize that I was writing a book about old-timers (of course they weren’t old timers, most of them, when I first met them). I wasn’t an old timer either. But, of course I am now, and filled to the brim with the wisdom of the elderly.


First-Ever D-STAR Satellite to Launch in April

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The first-ever satellite to carry a D-STAR (Digital Smart Technologies for Amateur Radio) Amateur Radio payload into space is expected to launch on April 22 from Guiana. The OUFTI-1 (Orbital Utility For Telecommunication Innovations)CubeSat is one of three CubeSats developed by student teams under the European Space Agency (ESA) Education Office “Fly Your Satellite!” program, which is aimed at training the next generation of aerospace professionals. The satellites arrived in South America on March 25, followed by the student teams a few days later.

On March 30 the students pulled the so-called “Remove Before Flight” pins and successfully verified that their CubeSats were ready for launch before replacing the access ports on the P-POD, which will secure the CubeSats prior to and during launch and then will release them into orbit. The next time the students will have contact with their respective CubeSats will be through their spacecraft’s communication link, once the CubeSats have been deployed into orbit. Once thermal-optical tape has been applied to the P-POD to shield the CubeSats from extreme thermal radiation during the launch phase, the P-POD will be integrated with the Soyuz launch vehicle.


Why an Amateur Radio Operator is called a HAM by WD4BIS

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(This was previously published in the Amateur Radio Communicator MARCH/APRIL 1994)

Have you ever wondered why we radio amateurs are called "HAMS"? Well, according to the Northern Ohio Radio Society, it goes like this: the word ham was applied in 1908 and was the call letters of one of the first Amateur wireless stations operated by some members of the HARVARD RADIO CLUB. There were Albert S. Hyman, Bob Almy and Peggie Murray. At first, they called their station Hyman-Almy-Murry. Tapping out such a long name in code soon called for a revision and they changed it to HY-AL-MU, using the first two letters of each name.

Early in 1909, some confusion resulted between signals from Amateur wireless HYALMU and a Mexican ship named HYALMO, so they decided to use only the first letter of each name and the call became HAM.

In the early pioneer unregulated days of radio, Amateur operators picked their own frequency and call letters. Then, as now, some Amateurs had better signals than some commercial stations. The resulting interference finally came to the attention of congressional committees in Washington and they gave much time to proposed legislation designed to critically limit Amateur activity.


Massive solar storm would pose considerable dangers – are we ready?

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Across the globe, the scientific community and governmental bodies are preparing for the threat posed by the potential of a massive geomagnetic solar storm striking Earth. These space weather events have the capacity to cripple vital technology-based infrastructures, and of causing a cascade that could lead to unforeseeable dangers.

Since the birth of modern technology, space weather has been responsible for large scale blackouts, technical faults in deep space exploration missions, and severe interference in flight-control systems for commercial aircraft.

One of the most powerful solar storms in history, known as the Carrington Event, occurred in 1859 and succeeded in disabling the global telegraph system. Whilst the Carrington Event was indeed impressive, humanity has yet to be struck by a truly massive solar storm.

Numerous orbital and ground-based telescopes, such as the Big Bear Solar Observatory, California, and NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, are tasked with observing the Sun, and unravelling the mechanisms that create space weather.

The SDO is charged with maintaining a near-constant vigil on our star, and acting as an early warning system for potentially hostile space weather. Alongside providing insights into solar mechanics, the observatory has allowed for the creation of stunning time-lapse videos of our Sun, which work to convey the powerful stellar processes occurring on a daily basis....READ MORE

Who says moonbounce is out of the reach of most hams?

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On Saturday, April 9th, the first EME contacts in the ARRL National Parks on the Air event were made from Lake Dardanelle State Park in Arkansas, a NPS Certified Trail of Tears site (TR12). The two ham radio operators, Dennis Schaefer, W5RZ and George Cotton, WB5JJJ, set up near the lake and ran 50 watts into a K1FO design 22 element yagi on 432 MHz, using the digital operating mode JT65b. Power was supplied by eight sealed lead acid (SLA) batteries donated by Luke Williams. They ran for about an hour and a half and worked four European stations; DK3WG, OK1DFC, HB9Q, and DL7APV. Dennis said, "I've planned this for a couple of months, so it was gratifying to see it work!"

For Sale – GMRS Vertex/Standard Radios by N4GMU

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World Amateur Radio Day 2016 Will Celebrate Amateur Radio’s Contribution to Society

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World Amateur Radio Day (WARD), observed every April 18, marks the founding of the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) in 1925. As they do every year, radio amateurs worldwide will take to the airwaves to celebrate Amateur Radio’s contribution to society.

“April 18 is the day for all of Amateur Radio to celebrate and tell the world about the science we can help teach, the community service we can provide, and the fun we have,” the IARU said in announcing World Amateur Radio Day 2016. “We hope you will join in the fun and education that is World Amateur Radio Day!”

Taking note of the increased activity around the world for WARD 2016, ARRL Media and Public Relations Manager Sean Kutzko, KX9X, pointed out that WARD 2016 coincides with National Parks Week in the US, so listen for amateurs on from NPS units for National Parks on the Air. “ARRL is happy to list coordinated activity from WARD stations worldwide. Send me your activity information, and I will postit to the IARU WARD page.”


World’s Largest Crystal Radio K9QD

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Crystal Radio constructed with unusually large passive components with the goal of obtaining an extremely high Q. Variable capacitor from a B-17 Bomber’s antenna tuner and the final tank coil from a 50KW AM Broadcast transmitter once used by Chicago area WMAQ Radio’s Continental equipment are employed for outstanding performance.

Lightning Protection for the Amateur Radio Station

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Web Links


The CDAA Antenna and the Wullenweber

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A CDAA  of which the Wullenweber is a type, consists of a group of omnidirectional antennas symmetrically spaced about the periphery of a circular reflector screen. The location of each antenna with respect to the screen and to the adjacent antenna is such that by using a suitable antenna output scanning system, the array provides high unidirectional gain in all directions of azimuth. The scanning procedure results in sweeping the horizon with a direction-finding beam through a continuous arc of 360 deg. A CDAA can also be connected to fixed-lobe-forming devices that provide fixed directional beams for receiving signals in any desired direction of azimuth. The array is capable of creating either a wide or narrow beam by selecting antennas in the array.

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DB1NTO APRS Transceiver

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After a few months of development, I can now imagine the presumably world’s smallest APRS transceiver. It is not only able to send a tracker of position data, but also a receiver can which releases other APRS APRS decode and display TV channels!

This includes APRS position reports incl. Comment (even mic-e), messages (SMS) and status messages. In position reports the distance and direction in “degrees” to the transmitter will be displayed.

My greatest thanks go to Mark -> of me with his “Micro Modem” and the free software “LibAPRS” -> has enabled this tracker ever.

The core of the transceiver is a ATmega 328P (“Arduino”).

The transceiver is about as small as a matchbox (only 2 x 3 x 5.7 cm!), Weighs incl battery & casing (without antenna) only 38 grams and includes the following components.:


Implosions bring down 48 VOA towers in Beaufort County

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BEAUFORT COUNTY, NC (WITN) – A series of implosions is all it took to bring down 48 radio towers that have been a part of U.S. history for over 50 years.

It happened Monday morning at the old Voice of America Site A in Beaufort County.

Not used since 2006, the VOA site was sold to Beaufort County as surplus U.S. property.

Environmental Holdings Group of Morrisville teamed up with Controlled Demolition Incorporated to implode and haul off the 48 towers.

It took less than a minute for it all to come down.

Voice of America still broadcasts from Site B to Latin America, Cuba, the Caribbean, and Africa.

5 Ham Radio Projects with Diana Eng

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From 2009-2010, Make: had the pleasure of hosting a series of ham radio articles by fashion designer, hardware hacker, and ham radio enthusiast, Diana Eng. You may also remember Diana from season 2 ofProject Runway. Besides writing ham radio how-tos, she also wrote about the ham scene in general, high-tech fashion, and even how to make a Bluetooth-based Star Trek Communicator. Here are five of Diana’s best radio project posts. Some of the technology may have changed in the past five years, but the amateur radio world doesn’t move nearly as fast as the computers, so these pieces are still relevant to today’s budding ham.…READ MORE

Multiple Stations on One Antenna

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This video explains how they ran multiple stations using a single antenna. Watch and see how Rick engineered the radio system.

This video played on Ham Nation, show #219 Oct 21, 2015.

Amateur radio club is still making waves after 50 years

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The letters MNOVFW might not mean anything to the average observer - but to a select group of local folk, they signify something quite vital.

Those letters are the call sign for the Mid-Ulster Amateur Radio Club (MUARC), which has just celebrated fifty years on air.

Based on the Mahon Road, Portadown, the Mid-Ulster Amateur Radio Club has grown significantly since it was founded in 1965 - now boasting fifty members. The club has been extremely busy over the past fifty years, too, covering everything from motor shows and marathons to Scouts and space travellers.


CE0Y/LU4DXU – Easter Island

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Henry, LU4DXU will be signing CE0Y/LU4DXU when in Easter Island from 16 through 29 April.

Equipment: Yaesu 897, PA 500W, Antenna Diamond CP6A, 80-6 mts & dipoles. Mode SSB.


Life inside the National Radio Quiet Zone

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Six Biggest Tower Climbing Mistakes

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The Six Biggest Tower Climbing Mistakes… and How to Avoid Them!

Climbing communications towers that are hundreds and sometimes thousands of feet in the air, is a very dangerous job! Most towers have no mechanical lifts, so getting to the desired height means scaling rungs hand-over-hand, usually while wearing bulky safety gear and carrying an equipment bag.

While the risk of falling is great, the much bigger problem while working on communications towers is the risk of exposure to unseen radio frequency (RF) radiation. Specialized towers are designed to transmit and receive RF signals via antennas at various levels on the tower. Thus, working on a tower means installers always will always be close to an antenna, and potentially exposed to RF radiation.

Following are the six most common mistakes or fail-to-do’s that tower climbers unfortunately make when working on a tower… READ MORE