Armchair ham radio at it’s best!

The armchair setup
There have been evenings when Im relaxing and icing on the cake to the evening would be the added flavour of ham radio. Having said that I do have a "shack" in the condo but there are times when you are in the Lazy boy chair and sitting in the cold hard wooden chair at the radio desk just does not turn my crank! While relaxing in the chair and thinking of radio I came up with a nice solution to bringing ham radio to the Lazy boy chair. On a side table I am able to comfortably place my Elecraft KX3 and the MFJ 1788 control head. I ran a shorter piece of RG8X coax from the MFJ 1788 loop to it's control box. From the control box to the KX3 the RG8X is rather bulky so I used a piece of RG58U coax that came with BNC connectors on each end. The MFJ control box require a voltage source from 9 to 16 volts to work. To make things more simple I used a 13 volt DC power pack that I can recharge. The KX3 is powered by my Astron power supply back at the radio desk, in the condo that is not to far
A closer look 
away. The key Im using is my Palm radio mini Paddle since the KX3 is on a side table to my left using the KX3 paddle would be awkward. The Palm paddle can nicely sit in front of me and I have a 3 ring binder with a metal plate on it the palm paddles magnets hold it secure. I brought along my iPad mini as I can look calls up on QRZ.COM and am looking into a logging program for it, one that I can upload to LOTW and club log.  During my short operation on Saturday evening I was able to contact VE1BA in Nova Scotia my RST was 589 with some QSB and our QSO was a KX3 x KX3 and QRP x QRP contact. It was a nice QSO as we chatted about the weather, antennas and rigs. On Sunday I was almost able to complete a contact with W9MIC as the conditions on 20m were not all that great. I really can't log W9MIC as the contact really was not completed as we both faded into the noise floor. Another benefit of this setup is I have the opportunity to use my KX3 and become more familiar with it. There have been times when I have been using my KX3 out in the park and forgot how to do certain functions……maybe those moments will be far and few between.
The op desk with Palm paddle

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

Announcing the January 2015 WØTLM Technician License Class

W0TLMHam Radio Two-Day License Class

Sat Jan 31 and Sat Feb 7 (8 AM to 5 PM) 2015
Location: Black Forest Fire Station 1, Black Forest, CO

The Technician license is your gateway to the world-wide excitement of Amateur Radio …

  • Earn your ham radio Technician class radio privileges
  • Pass your FCC amateur radio license exam right in class on the second day
  • Multiple-choice exam, No Morse Code Required
  • Live equipment demonstrations
  • Learn to operate on the ham bands, 10 Meters and higher
  • Learn to use the many VHF/UHF FM repeaters in Colorado
  • Find out how to participate in emergency communications

There is a non-refundable $25 registration fee for the class.

In addition, students must have the required study guide and read it before attending the two-day class: HamRadioSchool.com Technician License Course $20.95
(make sure you get the most recent edition of this book, updated for the new FCC exam questions)

Advance registration is required (no later than one week before the first session, earlier is better! This class usually fills up weeks in advance.)

To register for the class, contact: Bob Witte KØNR
Email: [email protected] or Phone: 719 659-3727

Sponsored by the Tri-Lakes Monument Fire Radio Association
For more information on amateur (ham) radio visit www.arrl.org or www.wedothat-radio.org

The post Announcing the January 2015 WØTLM Technician License Class appeared first on The KØNR Radio Site.


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

MST SSB transceiver kits

See http://www.ozqrp.com/index.html

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/B2o8mpYIgAAX6Pc.png:large
A nice line of SSB QRP transceivers for 80, 40 or 20m with power up to 5W.  These kits come from Australia and payment is by PayPal. I have no experience of these kits so have no idea how they perform when bands are busy as in Europe.

It looks like these are easy to build kits.

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

ARRL propagation forecasts

For those of you who subscribe to the ARRL (not everyone does and I have no plans to renew my subs next year),  the weekly propagation forecasts make interesting reading.  Even more interesting are the archived old forecasts, so we can see just how good conditions are compared, for example, with the same time in 2007.  As I mentioned before, if you are not an ARRL member you will not be able to follow the link, I believe.

ARRL members see http://www.arrl.org/w1aw-bulletins-archive/ARLP054/2007 .

Why am I not renewing my digital subscription with ARRL? 
Earlier in the year I could not use my password and it took a week to sort it out. The online help was no help at all. It took several emails before anyone actually helped me. Most of QST seems to be ads similar to those in UK magazines. I cannot see the value in continuing ARRL membership. In summary, the ARRL seemed a pretty useless organisation. I was NOT impressed.

GQRP Club membership is much better value in my view.

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

DStar and Digital Networks

If your pockets are deep and your mind open then DStar offers some useful opportunities to connect to other amateurs via a very robust network. I on the other hand am a cheapskate with very shallow pockets and a healthy distrust of proprietary stuff. So how does one get involved in a changing view of amateur radio? There seem to be a few options that are more that dongles for your PC.

FreeDV is one way. It promises a way of connecting up your existing analogue radio to the digital networks. A very brief look at it this afternoon gave the impression that if there was a signal to be heard (On 14.236Mhz) then it would decode it and display the QSO on the screen. Trouble is there where no HF signals.

DV3000 bridge is another way to connect your radio to and existing set up (Analogue VHF)

Jonathan Naylor, G4KLX also has spawned a range of hardware and software that makes use of digital voice that appears through the link.

All these little bits of knowledge came from an a hour or so when the kids were at their quietest (which is not often) so there’s clearly a bit to learn. I hadn’t paid much attention to DStar or its friends as at face value it was asking me to buy more stuff at £300+ . That was a turn off. But if there are options at a lower price point then I could be persuaded to join in the digital voice game.


Alex Hill, G7KSE, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from Cumbria, UK. Contact him at [email protected].

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