Tech Day – Ham Radio Education Event

Black Forest, Colorado
Sat Oct 13th, 2018 (8:30 AM to 3:30 PM)

Location: Black Forest Fire Station 1
11445 Teachout Road, Colorado Springs

Come to our one-day ham radio education event.

  • Improve your radio knowledge and skills
  • Learn from informative presentations on amateur radio topics
  • Have your handheld radio programmed with local repeater and simplex frequencies
  • Have fun messing around with ham radio stuff!
Time Activity Presenter
8:30 Doors Open
9:00 How to Assemble a 2m J-pole Antenna Adam White, K4SPB
10:00 Portable High Frequency (HF) Operating Shel Radin, KFØUR
11:00 Basic Radio Operating and Net Procedures Barrett Poe, WØASB
11:45 Lunch
12:30 DX with a Technician License Using Satellites Vince Vella, KI6ASW
13:30 VHF Station: Beyond the Handheld Transceiver Bob Witte, KØNR
14:30 Your First HF Station Stu Turner, WØSTU
15:30 End of event

Lunch will be provided.

Sponsored by the Tri-Lakes Monument Radio Association

Check the website for updates:
(some details may change)
There is no registration, no fee, just show up, learn and have fun. Contact: Stu Turner, WØSTU, [email protected]

Download event flyer: Tech Day 2018 Flyer

The post Tech Day – Ham Radio Education Event appeared first on The KØNR Radio Site.

Bob Witte, KØNR, is a regular contributor to and writes from Colorado, USA. Contact him at [email protected].

Amateur Radio Weekly – Issue 219

Beta version WSJT-X 2.0 boasts major changes
Support for standard ARRL Field Day exchanges, such as 6A SNJ and “significantly better sensitivity” (about 1 dB) for the WSPR decoder.

Fundraising campaign for critical ISS radio infrastructure upgrade
AMSAT and ARISS are currently supporting a FundRazr campaign to raise $150,000 for critical radio infrastructure upgrade on ISS to enable students to talk to astronauts in space via amateur radio.

SOTA and Mental Health – how it’s helping
SOTA, Amateur Radio, and how it is helping me fight depression and anxiety.

A Step by Step Tutorial to Receiving GOES-16 Images
A step-by-step guide to setting up a GOES weather satellite receiver with an RTL-SDR dongle, Raspberry Pi and the goestools software.

Getting on HF: The Fiddle Factor
The Fiddle Factor is the interaction of multiple barriers to getting on HF.

Where a choke chokes
Common mode current suspicions. Various tests of the venerable N9TAX dual band ladder line J antenna suggest the coax becomes rf hot at UHF. It was time to quantify this behavior in the lab.
Magnum Experimentum

Run a Raspberry Pi Program on Boot
Our newest (sorta-Python-related) tutorial shows you a few ways to run a script whenever a Raspberry Pi boots up.

Yellowstone Parks On The Air Adventure and Lessons Learned
Cell service is very, very limited in the park. Data service is non existent if you use AT&T like I did. Therefore there was no way for me to self spot on the cluster.

About Microphones
A primer on mics for Ham Radio

Tesla Opens with Precomputed Key Fob Attack
This hack precomputes a ton of data, looks for a collision in the dataset, and opens the door. Here’s how it works.
Hack A Day

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Amateur Radio Weekly is curated by Cale Mooth K4HCK. Sign up free to receive ham radio's most relevant news, projects, technology and events by e-mail each week at

Hunting For NDBs in CLE 236

AP-378 Mayne Island, BC

How time flies. Once again it's a CLE weekend. It seems like the last one was just a week ago!

 'CLE's are 'Co-ordinated Listening Events, and NDB DXers around the world focus their listening time on one small slice of the NDB spectrum.

This time the hunting ground is the 15 kHz slice from 370.0 - 384.9 kHz.

This is a somewhat dreaded range for me since my local blowtorch NDB, 'AP' (378 kHz), sits right in the middle of the range. 'AP' is located at the entrance to Active Pass, the main ferry route to Vancouver Island, and the antenna is about 3/4 of a mile down the beach from me. Needless to say, the beacon is about 40db over S9! With careful loop nulling, I can reduce this by about 25db but it's still an enormous signal to deal with.

Hopefully you can put 'AP' in your own log this weekend but its 25-watt signal will be much weaker for you. It's been logged as far east as Illinois and with your receiver in the CW mode, can be found on 378.399 kHz.

All too often our CLE weekends get hammered by geomagnetic disturbances, possibly because our monthly schedule syncs up nicely with the Sun's rotation and the disturbance from the previous month once again rotates into position. Conditions this time surely can't be much worse than for our previous event and today's mid-week check looks promising.

courtesy: NOAA
courtesy: NOAA

Things seem geomagnetically quiet at the moment so lets hope they stay that way. LF and MF propagation can often be amazing in the fall and as summer storms start to dissipate, the band can become much less noisy.

From CLE coordinator Brian Keyte (G3SIA), comes the following CLE info:

Hi all,

Please join us in our 236th coordinated Listening Event which starts
this Friday and celebrates the arrival of the Equinox this weekend.
CLEs are not contests - if you enjoy taking part you will be a winner!

    Days:    Friday 21 September - Monday 24 September
    Times:   Start and end at midday, LOCAL TIME at the receiver
    Range:   370 - 384.9 kHz

Just log all the NDBs that you can identify with their nominal (listed)
frequencies in the range (it includes 370 kHz, but not 385 kHz)
plus any UNIDs that you come across there.

Please send your CLE log to the List in a plain text email if possible
(not in an attachment) with CLE236 and FINAL at the start of its title.
Show on each log line:
    # The date (e.g. 2018-09-21, etc., or just 21) and UTC
          (the date changes at 00:00 UTC)
    # kHz  (the nominal published frequency, if known)
    # The Call Ident.

Show those main items FIRST - other optional details such as Location
and Distance go LATER in the same line. 
If you send interim logs, please also send a 'FINAL' (complete) log.

As always, tell us your own location and brief details of the equipment
that you were using during the weekend.

Joachim or I will send the usual 'Any More Logs?' email at about 17:00
UTC on Tuesday - you can then check that your log has been found OK.
All logs must arrive on the list at the very latest by 08:00 UTC on
Wednesday 26th September.  We hope to complete making the combined
results within a day or two.

To help you to plan your listening, seeklists and maps for your part of the
World are available via the CLE page

Good listening - enjoy the CLE.
From:     Brian Keyte G3SIA         ndbcle'at'
Location:  Surrey, SE England       (CLE coordinator)

If you are interested in some remote listening - maybe due to local difficulties - you could use any one remote receiver for your loggings, stating its location and with the owner’s permission if required. A remote listener may NOT also use another receiver, local or remote, to make further loggings for the same CLE.

These listening events serve several purposes. They:
  • determine, worldwide, which beacons are actually in service and on-the-air so the online database can be kept up-to-date
  • determine, worldwide, which beacons are out-of-service or have gone silent since the last CLE covering this range
  • will indicate the state of propagation conditions at the various participant locations
  • will give you an indication of how well your LF/MF receiving system is working
  • give participants a fun yet challenging activity to keep their listening skills honed
Final details can be found at the NDB List website, and worldwide results, for every participant, will be posted there a few days after the event.

The Yahoo ndblist Group has been moved to and The NDB List Group will now be found there! The very active group is a great place to learn more about the 'Art of NDB DXing' or to meet other listeners in your region. There is a lot of good information available there and new members are always very welcome. As well, you can follow the results of other CLE participants from night to night as propagation is always an active topic of discussion.

You need not be an NDB List member to participate in the CLEs and all reports, no matter how small, are of much value to the organizers. 

Remember - 'First-time' logs are always VERY welcome!

Reports may be sent to the NDB List Group or e-mailed to CLE co-ordinator, Brian Keyte (G3SIA), whose address appears above. If you are a member of the group, all final results will also be e-mailed and posted there.

Please ... give the CLE a try ... then let us know what NDB's can be heard from your location! Your report can then be added to the worldwide database to help keep it up-to-date.

Have fun and good hunting!

Steve McDonald, VE7SL, is a regular contributor to and writes from British Columbia, Canada. Contact him at [email protected].

Getting on HF: The Fiddle Factor

We’ve had a steady stream of new licensees come into our radio club driven mostly by our highly-successful Technician license class. Many of these licensees have gone on to get their General license so they can have fun on the HF bands. I’ve given advice and aid to a variety of people as they get their HF station set up and I’ve come to appreciate that for Average Joe Ham this is a big step. I’ve also noted some recurring problems that get in the way of success on the HF bands, which I’d like to explore here. Recently, I asked my twitter followers for input and got some great ideas from them, too. Thanks!

A basic wire antenna for the high frequency (HF) bands.

Here’s what I came up with as the four main barriers to success on HF.

Antenna restrictions

The first barrier that pops up are antenna restrictions which can come in the form of zoning regulations, protective covenants (homeowners associations), spouse’s opinion, potential objections from neighbors and your own sense of aesthetics.  Any of these can limit the type and size of antennas you can or will install. More to the point, this can be a showstopper for some folks. They may decide that they simply can’t have an HF antenna on their property.

Of course, HF antennas tend to be large due to the longer wavelengths used (compared to simple VHF antennas). But there are some compact antenna designs that use magnetic loops, loading coils, etc.


The second issue that often pops up is radio frequency interference (RFI) from sources such as power lines and consumer devices. These issues can be very frustrating because you have to do two things: identify the source of the noise and eliminate it. If the problem is power line noise, your local utility is supposed to be capable of finding and correcting the problem. Some are better than others. Consumer devices are a huge problem due to the common use of high-speed digital circuits. If the interfering device is in your home, that makes it a bit easier to deal with…if it’s somewhere in the neighborhood, then its harder to diagnose and fix.

My twitter followers mentioned that solar electric systems often radiate RF energy (and they are a growing trend). Here in Colorado, we are seeing more problems with cannabis grow operations that use RF-ugly industrial grow lights.  But Part 15 consumer electronics are a big and growing problem…too often they are little RFI generators.


I hesitate to add cost to the list but I do think it’s a factor. A starter HF station costs something like this (your mileage may vary): $750 for a new transceiver (think Yaesu FT-450 class), $100 for a power supply, $100 for wire antenna (homebrew) and coax => ~$1000.  Yes, you can buy used gear and get this cost down…maybe to half ($500)?

Comparing this to a Baofeng HT purchase ($30), it is a lot more money. However, it is on the same level as other significant consumer electronics purchases such as a high end smartphone or mid-range notebook PC. As someone correctly pointed out to me, the utility of a notebook PC is very clear…you will get value out of it…but success with HF is still a gamble. What if you spend $1k on an HF station and never have any success with it?

Now let’s say the lot is not that big and there are only a few supports available to hang the antenna. Now you need to fiddle with the antenna design to perhaps shorten it and compromise how it is being hung. So we have an additional fiddle factor which results in an F2 (or F squared) situation.
Now suppose we decide to use a more finicky antenna design…perhaps a magnetic loop or a multiband dipole. (A magnetic is inherently narrowband, so you have to tune it for the specific operating frequency. A multiband dipole will need to be tuned for each band of operation and they usually interact.) This adds another fiddle factor bring us to an F3 level challenge. Next we consult our homeowners association rules and find out that there are physical restrictions on how we can mount an antenna…and they might be vague and arbitrary. This gets us into F4 territory.
Now put yourself in the position of a radio ham getting on HF the first time. These issues, especially the fiddle factor, can really get in the way of successful radio operating. In my next post, I’ll look at some ways of dealing with these issues.
73 Bob K0NR

The post Getting on HF: The Fiddle Factor appeared first on The KØNR Radio Site.

Bob Witte, KØNR, is a regular contributor to and writes from Colorado, USA. Contact him at [email protected].

LHS Episode #247: Linux Audio Deep Dive

Welcome to Episode 247 of Linux in the Ham Shack. In this episode, we take a deep look at audio routing in Linux. We examine topics from the different audio servers and subsystems in Linux, to applications for audio routing, broadcasting, digital audio workstations and more. To help us in our quest for deeper understanding, we have enlisted Noah Chelliah, KC0SKE, of the Ask Noah Show who lets us know just how little we know about audio on Linux. At least until the end of this episode. Thank you for listening!

73 de The LHS Crew

Russ Woodman, K5TUX, co-hosts the Linux in the Ham Shack podcast which is available for download in both MP3 and OGG audio format. Contact him at [email protected].

Weekly Propagation Summary – 2018 Sep 17 16:10 UTC

Weekly Propagation Summary (2018 Sep 17 16:10 UTC)

Here is this week’s space weather and geophysical report, issued 2018 Sep 17 0146 UTC.

Highlights of Solar and Geomagnetic Activity 10 – 16 September 2018

Solar activity was very low throughout the period. Region 2722 (S07, Lo=215, class/area Bxo/10 on 11 Sep) produced the strongest flare of the period, a B1 flare at 11/0759 UTC. The region decayed to plage in the following days. No Earth-directed CMEs were observed in available coronagraph imagery.

No proton events were observed at geosynchronous orbit.

The greater than 2 MeV electron flux at geosynchronous orbit ranged from normal background to high levels. High levels were reached on 12-16 Sep and moderate levels were reached on 10-11 Sep. All enhancements in electron flux are associated with the influence of a positive polarity CH HSS.

Geomagnetic field activity ranged from quiet to G2 (Moderate) geomagnetic storm levels. The onset of a CIR ahead of a positive polarity CH HSS on 10 Sep increased geomagnetic activity to G1 levels. As wind speeds increased to around 550 km/s on 11 Sep, geomagnetic activity further increased to G2 (Moderate) geomagnetic storm levels. Total magnetic field strength (Bt) peaked at 15 nT late on 10 Sep. Bt then decreased to near 5-6 nT by mid-day on 11 Sep, which decreased the geomagnetic response to mostly quiet to active levels. One additional period of isolated G1 (Minor) geomagnetic storming was observed early on 14 Sep. Wind speeds persisted at elevated levels through 16 Sep, with a notable increase to a peak around 650 km/s observed early on 15 Sep. As wind speeds decreased, quiet to unsettled levels on 15 Sep gave way to quiet levels on 16 Sep.

Forecast of Solar and Geomagnetic Activity 17 September – 13 October 2018

Solar activity is expected to be very low throughout the outlook period.

No proton events are expected at geosynchronous orbit.

The greater than 2 MeV electron flux at geosynchronous orbit is expected to be at moderate levels on 06-08 Oct and at high levels for the remainder of the outlook period. All enhancements in electron flux are expected due to multiple, recurrent CH HSSs.

Geomagnetic field activity is expected to range from quiet to G2 (Moderate) geomagnetic storm levels. G2 (Moderate) geomagnetic storm levels are expected on 08 Oct; G1 (Minor) geomagnetic storm levels are expected on 07 Oct and 10 Oct; active conditions are expected on 17 Sep, 23 Sep, 02 Oct and 11 Oct; unsettled conditions are expected on 18 Sep, 24 Sep, 01 Oct, 09 Oct and 12 Oct. All levels of elevated geomagnetic activity are due to the anticipated influence of multiple, recurrent CH HSSs.

Don’t forget to visit our live space weather and radio propagation web site, at:

Live Aurora mapping is at

If you are on Twitter, please follow these two users: 1. 2.

– – – – – – – – – – – – –

Be sure to subscribe to our space weather and propagation email group, on

Spread the word!

– – – – – – – – – – – – –

Links of interest:

+ Amazon space weather books:

Space Weather and Ham Radio YouTube Channel News:

I am working on launching a YouTube channel overhaul, that includes series of videos about space weather, radio signal propagation, and more.

Additionally, I am working on improving the educational efforts via the email, Facebook, YouTube, Tumblr, and other activities.

You can help!

Please consider becoming a Patron of these space weather and radio communications services, beginning with the YouTube channel:

The YouTube channel:


Tomas Hood, NW7US, is a regular contributor to and writes from Nebraska, USA. Tomas is the Space Weather and Radio Propagation Contributing Editor to 'CQ Amateur Radio Magazine', 'The Spectrum Monitor', and 'RadioUser UK Magazine'.

ICQ Podcast Episode 276 – Antennas for Portable Amateur / Ham Radio Operation

In this episode, Martin M1MRB is joined by Leslie G0CIB, Edmund M0MNG, Matthew M0NJX and Bill N3JIX to discuss the latest Amateur / Ham Radio news. Colin M6BOY rounds up the news in brief, and this episode’s feature is - Antenna for Portable Amateur / Ham Radio Operation bu Ed Durrant DD5LP


We would like to thank Neil Connor (M6CUE) and our monthly and annual subscription donors for keeping the podcast advert free. To donate, please visit -

  • 100th Anniversary of the First Radio Contact Between Australia and United Kingdom
  • MB7PBR DAPNET POCSAG Pager Gateway Licensed
  • Teenage Amateur Radio Operator Makes Contact with Spanish Royalty
  • UK Amateur Radio Licensing History
  • Lunar Satellite Transmits Pictures to Radio Hams
  • 100th Anniversary of Poland's Independence
  • Brazilian Access to Amateur Radio Bands Increases
  • Introduction to Amateur Digital Television Booklet

Colin Butler, M6BOY, is the host of the ICQ Podcast, a weekly radio show about Amateur Radio. Contact him at [email protected].

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