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{ Category Archives } Amateur Radio

A focus on the technical and social activities related to radio frequency two way communications

CI-V simplified by modern tech for Icom radio control

There’s a simple eighth inch jack on the back of most Icom radios that provides a communication interface for control purposes. If you look around for how to tie this into a computer, most of what you’ll find is about converting to a standard RS-232 serial port. That is soooo old tech! I like what Guy […]

HRD and Amateur Radio Software Ethos

You’d think Amateur Radio and FOSS devotees would be sympatico but, alas, most hams are appliance operators and this means Windows and commercial software.  That goes back to Bill Gates’ famous letter about piracy of his intellectual property and the evolution about software licensing, ownership, and business models. Ham Radio Deluxe (HRD) just hit a […]

SWL in the modern era

Back in the day, a short wave radio with a decent antenna was needed if you wanted to listen to foreign broadcast stations. Now all you need is a computer connected to the I’net. Radio Garden provides a globe you can scroll with green dots for radio stations. Click on a green dot or scroll […]

RTL SDR reference

The Hobbyist’s Guide to the RTL-SDR: Really Cheap Software Defined Radio (affiliate link) by Mr. Carl Laufer is a compendium and compilation that makes it a good reference and an eye opener about what you can do with the inexpensive TV dongles based on the RTL2832U for modern short wave listening. One aspect is software […]

6 Baud, 60 WPM, Say What?

I’ve seen several reports from hams who have tested the FSQ “digital chat mode” described in the September 2015 edition of QST. That illustrates just how easy it is to implement a new digital mode with a modern Amateur Radio station. The article also provides an example of just how hams can experiment with new […]

Retro radio? Amateur Radio

The Wall Street Journal says For These Vets, Amateur Radio Remains Alive. “Satellites killed the military radio star operator long ago, but military veterans keep the art alive in competitions testing their ability to bounce signals off the ionosphere and contact amateur radio stations a half world away.” Retired Navy Vice Adm. Scott Redd is […]


First link was to an Antenna Analyzer by Beric Dunn, K6BEZ via DxZone. That lead to SierraRadio’s Hamstack and that to KJ6HFR’s PIC18F4620 Cookbook (PDF). When I find a microcontroller website that doesn’t fall headlong into the Arduino craze my interest goes up. Hamstack does seem to be mcu agnostic and even language agnostic. There […]

Solar propagation indices

VE2XIP had a problem I’ve encountered  but he did something about it. Understanding HF propagation reports provides a good summary about solar indices that mean something for the hf radio amateur. The Solar Flux and Sunspot numbers measure solar activity and higher values indicate better hf conditions. “High SFI values has almost no influence on […]

NavSpark – GPS microcontroller development board

SkyTraq is raising funds for an Arduino compatible GPS development board that they can sell for $20 or less. This one is at indiegogo, a crowd funding website. The NavSpark funding is at $7,686 of a $27,000 goal with 24 days left to go as of 1/14/2014. SkyTraq, a “a fabless semiconductor company which develops […]

Keyer timing regimes

A keyer is an interactive device. It needs to respond to the paddle in a timely manner and produce transmitter keying that results in a clean and easy to understand signal. Timing is a big issue in any keyer design and each part of the device runs in its own time scale or time regime. […]