Baby Steps in the Second Century of Radio

Everyone is talking about where the hobby is going in this “Second Century” of amateur radio and big ideas are falling like rain. Here’s something fairly simple that I’d like to see come to fruition. It should go without saying that these are fictional press releases…

January 3, 2015

Chinese electronics manufacturer WunDuko announed today the immediate availability of a new VHF/UHF handheld transceiver for the amateur radio market. The device supports a thousand memory channels with alphanumeric display. The advanced communications device includes low-power Bluetooth communication permitting it to be programmed and upgraded via Bluetooth from a smartphone or personal computer. The handheld is expected to retail for $159 US.


January 4, 2015

Internet Labs today announced the availability of a suite of Android applications intended to work with the new dual-band amateur handheld from WunDuko. The software enables Bluetooth communications between a smartphone and the transceiver. One of the apps included provides easy access to the full menu of options in the handheld, including the ability to program the memory channels, via the phone interface.

One of the other apps provided in the suite enables GPS data from a capable smartphone to be transmitted periodically via the handeld transceiver while position data from the radio appears on the phone via Google Maps. A company spokeman said, “it’s the perfect mobile APRS solution. There’s no klutzy hardware interface required between the devices and no reason at all to carry multiple GPS receivers.”

He also noted that the GPS in the smartphone works regardless of having a cellular connection. “Pairing the smartphone that you carry everywhere you go with the new handheld transceiver is the kind of sensible innovation we’ve been waiting on from the Japanese manufacturers for years”.

The Android app suite is available now in the Google Play Store for $9.99 US. Look for it to also be available on iOS in the coming months.


Filed under: Ham Radio Tagged: aprs, fiction, future, hr

Jeff Davis, KE9V, is a regular contributor to and writes from Indiana, USA.

Amateur Radio Newsline Report 1928 July 25 2014

  • FEMA and the ARRL announce a new Memorandum of Agreement 
  • IARU Region 2 Executive Committee meets in Connecticut
  • 2 meter channels in the UK being used for the Commonwealth Games
  • Australian launched ham radio balloon reaches South America 
  • WA1ZMS named to receive the first Triennial Brendan Medal
  • Last big Collins shortwave transmitter saved from the scrap heap

Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF, is the co-founder and producer of Amateur Radio Newsline. Contact him at [email protected].

TX Factor from Friedrichshafen 2014

Episode 4 from the TX Factor team is a Ham Radio special, filmed entirely on location at this year’s convention in Friedrichshafen on the shores of Lake Constance.

Bob and Mike report on ham radio technology old and new, including a look at the new System Fusion DR-1 144/430 Dual Band C4FM/FM Digital Repeater from Yaesu, and an amazing transceiver from Hilberling.

There’s also a chance to win a Yaesu FT-60E dual-band handie in our first free-to-enter competition.

Visit the website to see the latest episode.

Happy viewing!

Nick Bennett 2EØFGQ co-hosts TX Factor with Bob McCreadie GØFGX and Mike Marsh G1IAR. Contact the team at [email protected]

WRTC Radio and Software Data

wrtcThe World Radiosport Team Championship 2014 team has posted data on the radio equipment and software used by the teams.  There are a few interesting take-aways for me:

The top two radios used are no surprise, the Elecraft K3 by a wide margin at 64%, and the Yaesu FTdx5000 at 7%. The third choice surprisingly was the modest Kenwood TS-590 at 6% usage.  I’ve often thought this rig is one of the best in amateur radio today based on the price, features, performance, and value.  Despite Kenwood getting the number 3 spot with the TS-590, there was only one other Kenwood rig used, a single TS-850.  Ten Tec had a meager showing with two Orion II rigs.  Various other Icom and Yaesu rigs rounded out the statistics.  I find it sad that Kenwood doesn’t have more product offerings in these statistics.  The data suggests that there’s an opportunity in the market for another high performance $2.5K to $3K USD compact rig.

For software I expected the N1MM contest program to be the most popular choice, however Win-Test was used in 68% of the stations and N1MM garnered only 25% usage.  Perhaps it’s time I try Win-Test.  Despite the price of the N1MM program being attractive, the lack of source code for this freeware program has concerned me.  Win-Test costs 50 Euros or about $67 USD, however with the features listed it may be worth it.  There must be some “secret sauce” in the program that hardcore contesters like.

Anthony, K3NG, is a regular contributor to

DXCC Manager Injured

DXCC Manager Bill Moore, NC1L, was seriously injured in an automobile accident about two weeks ago. His neck was broken, leaving him paralyzed from his upper body down, with limited movement of his arms. Recovery will be difficult and slow, and is not expected to be total.

Bill would like to hear from his friends. He is currently in the Mount Sinai Rehab Hospital in Hartford, but cards and well wishes should be sent to 92 Reservoir Rd, Newington, CT 06111.

Filed under: Ham Radio

Jeff Davis, KE9V, is a regular contributor to and writes from Indiana, USA.

This Spewed Out of the Internet #28

0511-0701-3118-0930More important things have spewed forth from the interwebz:

HamRadioNow interviews the Ham Hijinks guys and has the nerve to actually publish the video. Later the Hijinks crew posted this article about changes being made to Field Day.

Baofeng is going to change its name. Or is this just another Ham Hijinks article?

WE2F writes: 146.52 Reasons to Monitor VHF Simplex but whatever you do, do not use 146.52 MHz on Field Day. Mike AD5A posts Why Operate QRP from Summits? The FCC kicks the butt of a cell phone jammer manufacturer, to the tune of $34.9M and also fines a couple of 14.313 MHz problem children.

A Broadband Over Powerline (BPL) provider bites the dust. Did I mention that it is a really dumb idea to transmit bits over AC power lines?

I did a little explaining about those antenna connectors on handheld radios. Randy (K7AGE) has a neat video showing some basic 2m FM portable operating.

I knew it: Digital is overrated and vinyl is making a comeback. Really.

Due to popular demand, I updated the VHF QRP page. Yes, some radio hams do operate QRP above 50 MHz…apparently for the same reasons that people operate HF QRP. Which is to say we really don’t know why.

I also found that the domain name for the Colorado 14er Event was broken, so I fixed it. See  This event is the most fun you can have dorking around with radios in the Colorado mountains. Also, be sure to check out these operating tips.

73, Bob K0NR

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

10m WSPR – excellent across Europe this afternoon

WG2Z (5600km) copied me just once at lunchtime - he may have copied me more times if I was operating on the correct frequency initially - but this afternoon 10m has been in excellent Es shape today with stations from across the continent copyable after lunch with a few G stations copied out to 184km by tropo or plane reflection.
10m WSPR unique reports since lunch today (repeats not shown)

Roger Lapthorn, G3XBM, is a regular contributor to and writes from Cambridge, England.

FOBB this weekend!

I wonder if this is what Rich KI6SN had in mind as a high tech Bumble Bee when he started this contest years ago? (Looks a bit on the QRO side to me - grin!)  

Just a gentle reminder that the Flight of the Bumble Bees is this coming Sunday!  When I last checked the roster, only about 100 folks have signed up for Bee numbers.  That number seems low to me as compared to years past.  This is an excellent sprint and is so much fun - it's almost illegal in this day and age to be able to have this much fun!

So sign up to be a Bee - lets give Rich some work these last few days and get that Bee number up there! And then get out on Sunday with your favorite QRP rig and get some fresh air and get your fun tanks topped off!

Bumble Bee Roster -

Da Bee Rulz -

72 de Larry W2LJ - Bumblebee #17
QRP - When you care to send the very least!

Larry Makoski, W2LJ, is a regular contributor to and writes from New Jersey, USA. Contact him at [email protected].

The Solar Superstorm of 2012

As we hams bemoan the fact that sun spots are sparse currently we can't forget the power of the sun. Below is a link to an interesting article, recently published, and  a video on what could have been a disastorous Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) in April of 2012.

It never hurts to have a back-up plan.

Mike Crownover, AD5A, is a regular contributor to and writes from Texas, USA. Contact him at [email protected].

The Old Man

Hiram_Percy_Maxim2The several times I’ve read the writings of the Hiram Percy Maxim, I get the feeling I would have really liked this guy in real life.  I think a lot of his writings could be republished today with some minor editing of language and figures of speech that are no longer around, and the content and arguments would easily apply to current modern day situations and problems within amateur radio.  It’s amazing that as much as things change, things are still the same.

This article, Rotten Damped Spark Stuff, is a Maxim gem.  Considering Maxim’s feelings at the time about damped spark, I think Maxim would have been equally vocal during the AM versus SSB and code versus no-code test battles in favor of more progressive trends and technology in amateur radio.

Something interesting to note about the article, Maxim ends it with “So long and 73’s to the gang. “[emphasis added].  Any time a boob on the two US ham moron forums wants to argue about the inappropriate use of 73′s, quote this article and tell him to go away.

Anthony, K3NG, is a regular contributor to

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