LHS Episode #182: You May Experience Browsiness

In this breathtaking episode of Linux in the Ham Shack, your quasi-intelligent and always goofy hosts discuss new Boy Scout merit badges with a ham radio twist, sending balloons into space, Hamvention, Web browser you may not have heard of, a bunch o' Linux distros, upcoming cons, pineapples, great new music, Scotch and more. Thank you for tuning in and Happy New Year for 2017.

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].

North American CW QSO party contest

Oliver keeping a close eye
I was able to take part in the North American CW QSO party contest on Saturday, it was only a part time effect with only putting in 5 hours. With the solar conditions in the downward turn I like the local contests as the DX is just south of the boarder. I was operating single operator, QRP power at 5 watts and with no spotting assistance. The two bands I operated on were 15m and 20m, the reason for this was... my MFJ 1788 loop does not go up to 10m and on 40m it's like a wet noodle. Starting on 15m was a very slow go it took me 25 minutes for the first contact! From 1800 UTC to around 1930 CW op's south of the boarder we just above the noise floor at times and when they popped up to S7 it was only for a very short time before fading. Switching over to 20m around 2000 UTC proved to be more fruitful. The conditions on 20m were much better and I was able to work my 5 watts into Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Bermuda as well as all through the U.S.
Part time summery
The P3 in action
Contacts          31
Sections            8
Multi                 4
Total points    372
My setup for the contest was as mentioned the MFJ 1788 loop antenna, The Elecraft K3 the rig has the 8 pole inrad filters 500,400 and 250 which I installed. These filters work great in contest conditions when signal are very close to each other. The Elecraft P3 Pan-adapter   , my new Elecraft K-pod which allowed me to have VFO control right beside my keyboard and as well programed macros.  My key is the Begali contour a very smooth key and  makes CW even more of a pleasure to send. The Win4K3 rig control software, N1MM+ contest software and finally MRP4064 CW decoding program for when the CW is at 40+.
software was

Mike Weir, VE3WDM, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from Ontario, Canada. Contact him at [email protected].

AmateurLogic 100: Episode 100!

AmateurLogic.TV Episode 100 is now available for download.

It’s the 100th episode of AmateurLogic.TV.
Peter makes a quick photo frame. Tommy shows why and how to secure your Microsoft account. Emile demonstrates how to evaluate your Wifi economically. And George experiments with 433 MHz transmitter and receiver modules for the Arduino. Plus the usual unplanned hijinks and shenanigans.



George Thomas, W5JDX, is co-host of AmateurLogic.TV, an original amateur radio video program hosted by George Thomas (W5JDX), Tommy Martin (N5ZNO), Peter Berrett (VK3PB), and Emile Diodene (KE5QKR). Contact him at [email protected].

Portable Station Build – Part 3

I am sitting here watching the NFL playoffs and remembered that I never posted my final post about my portable station build. I completed the build last year. I say completed, but of course that does not rule out future modifications. I am a ham after all right? 

The major change from the last post to this one is the addition of a front panel on the lower portion that allowed me to add connectors for power and antennas easily in the front of the box. 

There are two antenna connectors on the left for the FT-857D, one for HF and the other for VHF/UHF. The HF jumper actually is connected to the antenna tuner and there is another jumper goes to the radio. There is also a VHF/UHF connection on the right for the FT-8800R. The power connector I salvaged from a computer power supply and made a power cable that plugs into the Powerwerx power supply. 

The last picture is the setup in action at Field Day. I was running PSK31 with my club on 20m and had a good time. You can see that the radio on the left is running and there is no power connector in the front. In this picture, I have a 35 amp/hour battery under the table feeding power into the RigRunner mounted in the back of the rack. I was able to run low power digital modes all day and into the night. I still had power left over when I went home.  

I have been happy with the rack that I built. Lately I have thought about splitting the radios apart into their own rack as I have found that I don’t use both at once usually. There are also events where I need just the FT-8800R and don’t need the HF gear. Having the FT-857D along for the ride does give me a spare radio if something were to malfunction with the FT-8800 during an event I suppose. So for now, this is the result. 


Wayne Patton, K5UNX, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from Arkansas, USA. Contact him at [email protected].

Amateur Radio Weekly – Issue 142

Winter Field Day should bring two worlds together
Deliberately stepping away from a comfortable home operating position to practice ham radio in poor conditions is not an idea too many amateurs find appealing, yet it is a situation that radio amateurs should be familiar with before it actually happens.
Off Grid Ham

5 Reasons to get an Amateur Radio (Ham) License
Amateur (Ham) radio is a service and a hobby. People use it every day as a means of communication around town and around the world.
Average Guy Tech

My TenTec Eagle sounds better than my Elecraft KX3
The KX3 is more fatiguing to listen to than the Eagle because it presents more noise in the audio.
Ham Radio QRP

Remote Ham Radio operation through a Raspberry Pi
I set up remote operation on my ham radio through a Wifi network, over a VPN, and around the world using a Raspberry Pi.
Standard Thoughts

Why even good antennas need good coax cable
The difference is noticeably audible and can bee seen in the spectrum.
Bonito Newsroom

WxBot: An APRS weather forecast auto responder
Send an APRS message to WXBOT and receive back a weather forecast for your location.

PyQSO: A logging tool for Amateur Radio Operators on Linux
PyQSO provides a simple graphical interface through which users can manage information about the contacts/QSOs they make with other operators on the air.

hamClock for OS X
Displays your local time, UTC time, and ID timer.


The Art of Making a Nixie Tube
I discovered nixie tubes in 2011 and since then, I’ve devoted all my time to studies of nixie tubes and its manufacturing processes.
Dalibor Farny

120 watt foldable solar panel setup
Today we setup the PowerFilm 120 Watt Foldable Solar Panel and Sunsaver 10 solar controller in the field and made a contact on the 20 meter band.

How to use a multimeter
Digital multimeters are indispensable tools that allow you to analyze circuits and diagnose problems in your electrical design.
SparkFun Electronics

Ham Radio smartphone
An Android smartphone with built in VHF or UHF transmitter.

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 http://www.hamweekly.com.

630m Thriving

Fritz Raab, the ARRL's 600-Meter Experimental Group coordinator, recently released his quarterly report, with highlights being reported in the ARRL News.

In it, Raab tell us:

"Band activity has been very high, and there are often more WSPR stations — more than 110 stations — on 472 kHz than on 80 or 160 meters!"

"In a sense, 630 meters has become a mainstream ham band, in spite of not being authorized in the US".

"The paths to VK and JA have remained good. This was not the case last year, so perhaps it is an effect of the coming solar minimum. Many reports have been received for WSPR transmissions with relatively moderate power. There have been a number of polar and high-latitude openings to LA2XPA from North America. Many long-time operators say that they have never seen anything like that. There have also been a number of openings from the US west coast deep into Europe."

The ARRL's full report can be read here.

Also touched upon was the upcoming "Midwinter 630m Operating Activity", the second such February event ... this year to be held February 4-5th.

Stay tuned here for further details. Highlighting the event will be another opportunity for U.S. and Canadian amateurs to attempt CW crossband contacts with six Canadian stations operating on specified frequencies in the 630m band. Canadians will listen for callers on specified frequencies within the 160, 80 and 40m bands. Previous events have had much success, with Transcontinental and Transpacific CW crossband contacts being completed by many stations.

A detailed schedule of frequencies and times will be published as the event draws closer but in the meantime, see if you can keep February 4th (Saturday night) open for some 630m crossband excitement!

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

See You In The ‘Linc’!

courtesy: WØVLZ
This coming week will provide two great opportunities to fire-up your older radios and enjoy some pleasant CW exchanges with other like-minded vintage radio users!

The Antique Wireless Association's (AWA) annual roll-out of the Linc Cundall (W2LC) Memorial CW Contest takes place this coming Wednesday and Saturday. Activity starts at 2300Z on both days and continues for 24 hours. Linc Cundall was one of the the three founders of the AWA, back in 1952, along with Bruce Kelley (W2ICE) and George Batterson (W2GB).

Over the decades, the AWA has been one of the chief proponents for the preservation of radio history, in all of its forms ... including the restoration and active use of vintage radio equipment. The AWA celebrates vintage amateur radio with several 'on-air' events each year including the premier event, the '1929 Bruce Kelley Contest'.

The annual 'Linc' CW party encourages all amateurs, including non-AWA members, to utilize their pre-1950 radios ... those designed and built before 1950 as well as homebrew reproductions of popular pre-'50's designs. Participants are encouraged to call 'CQ AWA AWA' on 160, 80 or 40m CW... suggested 'window frequencies' are outlined in the rules page which can be found here. Active discussion and promotion regarding the upcoming event may be found on Yahoo's AWAGroup reflector.

If you have an older radio (receiver or transmitter) that qualifies ... this includes any of your WWII surplus! ... hopefully you can spark-up for the event.

No older gear? Don't let that stop you from getting in on the fun, as modern rigs can be used as well, with the object of working as many AWA vintage stations as possible ... no excuses!

The above photo illustrates some of the beautiful homebrew work being done by Neil, WØVLZ, who was the chief inspiration for my own involvement in '29 activity. It will be hard to visit his amazing pages without getting hooked, so you have been warned!

My present 'vintage on-air' shelf beside the main operating table has been occupied now for several years by my Tri-Tet-Ten but with the likely demise of further 10m work, it's time to exchange it with something that I can use more often.

I hope to set up my homebrew 'Longfeller', shown below, inspired by the original design published in July, 1946 QST. My Longfeller operates on all bands from 160-10m, and should be ideal for the upcoming activity nights.

Please do consider getting on the air for this annual event, no matter what radios that you have ... it's especially nice to hear the sounds of these old radios that are fast disappearing. Events like this keep these great sounds alive.

See you in the 'Linc'!

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

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