AmateurLogic 126: Blue Thumb DV & 1/4 Wave Stubs

AmateurLogic.TV Episode 126 is now available for download.

Tommy reviews the Blue Thumb DV. George and the crew pull out the test equipment and experiment with 1/4 wave stubs. This live demonstration helps clear up some of the mystery. Mike, VE3MIC sits in for the Cheap Old Man to help keep expenses under control.



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].

The 2019 Winter “Classic Exchange”

W7OS - Radio Club of Tacoma working the CX
This winter's running of the CW "Classic Exchange" will take place on Sunday, January 13 and on Tuesday, January 15. The following month will see the Phone "Classic Exchange", on Sunday, February 24 and on Tuesday, February 26.

The "CX" encourages participants to use older vintage gear including any homebrew equipment, both receivers and transmitters. A unique scoring system provides bonus points for various equipment and combinations as well as encouraging 'repeat contacts' when you switch to different equipment.

W8KM and his wonderful vintage station

No vintage gear? ... no problem! All amateurs are invited to participate and get in on the fun no matter what they are using and submit their scores.

K3MD's Heathkit AT-1 and Hallicrafters HT-37 ready for the CX

The CX is a low-key relaxing affair and the 'extra' Tuesday operating period should encourage a lot of midweek activity from the vast numbers of retired operators who cherish and run older gear.

Lots of combos ready at W4BOH's CX setup

K6ZI, Las Vegas - WWII ARC-5s ready to go

A summary of the Fall 2018 CX and soapbox comments, along with some wonderful vintage-station eye candy, may be found here.

For complete details of the upcoming event, see the web site announcement here.

If you've never entered the Classic Exchange, why not give it a try this year as it truly is a case of 'the more the merrier' ... and eastern operators, make sure to keep the porch light on for those out west!

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

Effective Radiated Power, APRS and HF Transmitter Hunting

Stories you’ll find in our January, 2019 issue:

Exploring the Mysteries of Effective Radiated Power (ERP)
By Richard Fisher KI6SN

Why is it that some amateur stations you hear on the high frequency bands sound like they are international broadcasting stations? Sure, some may be running the full “legal limit” but many claim to be running just a few hundred watts. The secret is in their antenna—the higher the gain, the greater the Effective Radiated Power (ERP). This month Richard shows us that not only antenna gain but transmission mode has a lot to do with how big your signal sounds on the air and it doesn’t even require a lot of higher math to understand.

APRS and Other Related Digital Communications—Part II
By Cory GB Sickles WA3UVV

As a follow-up to Part 1, which appeared in the August 2018 issue of TSM, this month Cory takes a look at some of the interesting digital modes available that are used for more than simply communicating between stations. While packet radio may seem like a relic of the 1980s and 90s, it’s still widely used in a variety of applications—including communicating through the International Space Station. Cory shows us how this is done and what kind of equipment you need to do it—hint: it’s not all expensive gear with a steep learning curve and you don’t have to have a ham ticket to monitor the action.

HF Transmitter Hunting using KiwiSDRs and TDoA
By Tony Roper

The proliferation of the globally connected and remotely operated KiwiSDRs (software defined radios) has proved a boon to shortwave listeners the world over. It’s also providing an intriguing platform for high-frequency transmitter hunters. Where are those numbers stations originating from? What is the location of those Over-the-Horizon Radar installations causing havoc on the band? Longtime HF sleuth (and professional Air Traffic Controller), Tony Roper, a regular contributor to TSM walks us through the process of using these convenient radios to help answer these age-old shortwave questions.

Winter Shortwave Reading: TSM Reviews the Top Three Shortwave Guides
“Klingenfuss 2019/20 Guide to Utility Radio Stations” and “2019 Shortwave Frequency Guide”
Reviewed by Bob Grove W8JHD

This year Joerg Klingenfuss celebrates his 30th anniversary of publishing his “Guide to Utility Radio Stations” and his “Shortwave Frequency Guide.” Both publications have become indispensable guides to radio hobbyists around the world.

Gayle Van Horn’s “Global Radio Guide”
Reviewed by Ken Reitz KS4ZR

This year marks the debut of Gayle Van Horn’s “Global Radio Guide,” a 456-page compendium of global broadcasting as an e-book available only in Kindle format. The Global Radio Guide replaces her very successful “International Shortwave Broadcasting Guide.”

“World Radio Television Handbook”
Reviewed by Gayle Van Horn W4GVH

The 73rd edition of the World Radio Television Handbook is a wealth of vital information for any radio or television hobbyist and remains the most comprehensive exemplary reference book and a must-have for your listening post.

Scanning America
By Dan Veeneman
Nevada Shared Radio System

Federal Wavelengths
By Chris Parris
Hiding in Plain Sight: Federal Communications Systems

By Larry Van Horn N5FPW
Monitor’s Guide to NAS Whiting Field and Training Wing Five

Utility Planet
By Hugh Stegman
Cuban and Russian “Numbers” Continue

Shortwave Utility Logs
By Mike Chace-Ortiz and Hugh Stegman

VHF and Above
By Joe Lynch N6CL
Space and Near Space Communications

Digitally Speaking
By Cory GB Sickles WA3UVV
Double Vision

Amateur Radio Insights
By Kirk Kleinschmidt NT0Z
New Year, New Milestone, New Tidbits

Radio 101
By Ken Reitz KS4ZR
AIR in DRM and Understanding RDS

Radio Propagation
By Tomas Hood NW7US
State of the Union, er…High Frequencies (An Outlook for 2019)

The World of Shortwave Listening
By Jeff White, Secretary-Treasurer NASB
European SW DXers Meet in Slovakia and Austria

The Shortwave Listener
By Fred Waterer
WRNO’s Powerful Return; WRMI’s International Programming: BBC Lineup

Maritime Monitoring
By Ron Walsh VE3GO
Snow, Ice and RF

Adventures in Radio Restoration
By Rich Post KB8TAD
Part 15: Radio as You Like It

Antenna Connections
By Dan Farber AC0LW
Stealth: Fighting Antenna Oppression

The Spectrum Monitor is available in PDF format which can be read on any desktop, laptop, iPad®, Kindle® Fire, or other device capable of opening a PDF file. Annual subscription is $24. Individual monthly issues are available for $3 each.

Ken Reitz, KS4ZR, is publisher and managing editor of The Spectrum Monitor. Contact him at [email protected].

ICQ Podcast Episode 284 – Workshop Projects

Hello fellow Amateur / Ham Radio enthusiasts - and welcome to this, the 284th episode of the ICQ Amateur / Ham Radio Podcast, supported by Luke Aurich (AD0KI), Bob Terry, David Reid (W6KL) along with our monthly and annual subscription donors.

In this episode, Martin M1MRB is joined by Edmund Spicer M0MNG and Bill Barnes N3JIX to discuss the latest Amateur / Ham Radio news. Colin M6BOY rounds up the news in brief and this episode’s feature is Workshop Projects.

  • Germany on 70 MHz in 2019

  • ARRL Petitions FCC to Incorporate Parity Act Provisions into its Amateur Radio Rules

  • Youngsters On The Air Bulgaria 2019 Amateur Radio

  • US Radio Amateurs Help to Make YOTA Month Happen in Ethiopia

  • G5 plus 3 Letter Amateur Radio Callsigns available

  • Swiss 90th Anniversary Special Event Callsign

  • 2019 Marks 50th Anniversary of Worked All Britain Award

  • EU Directive on Car Radios

  • $900,000 Settlement in Unauthorized Satellite Launch Case

  • G3TXQ Silent Key

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

RAC contest and the new IC7610

I was finally able to get on the radio and give the RAC contest about 2 hours and I had a blast with the new rig. I made only 32 contacts as the  Christmas season is a busy time of the year for all of us but Julie and I both agreed that the weekend after Christmas it was going to be a relaxing weekend. As always Murphy very briefly showed up in the shack. I tuned my MFJ 1788 loop to a great SWR of 1.3 using my MFJ antenna analyser. I then flipped it over to the IC7610 and the perfect match went to 3.0!! After some trouble shooting it turned out to be a short coax jumper between my antenna switch and the 7610. I replaced it with one I had on hand and all was good. As I thought about it I do
Won't make that mistake agian.
remember at one time there was an issue with one of my patch coax cables.....guess I never fixed or tossed it out.
I was thrilled with the Icom 7610 I didn't as of yet get the time to set up N1MM+ contest software so during  the contest I was old school with a paper and pencil. The audio was crisp and clean, I stayed with the 250Hz filter and had not even one issue with very close adjacent stations bothering my contact station. The touch screen is very responsive and an absolute joy to use. I took advantage of the 2 independent receivers, I turned on dual watch and had one VFO on an RAC station such as VE7RAC who was very popular and the other VFO I search and pounced. With one simple button push I muted the VE7RAC station and could unmute to check on the pileup. Once things slowed down I was able to put VE7RAC in the log.
Dual Watch on 
Another feature I found very handy was as you spin the VFO faster your tuning steps increase so you can move up and down the band quickly. One issue I found was that as the shack got a bit darker the bottoms on the Icom are not illuminated. This being a new rig resulted in some incorrect push button selections.

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

2019 Technician License Class

Black Forest, Colorado; Sat March 16 and 23; 8 AM to 5 PM

Black Forest Fire Station, intersection Burgess Rd. & Teachout Rd.

The Technician license is your gateway to the world-wide excitement of Amateur Radio, and the very best emergency communications capability available!

• 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

Registration fee: $30 adults, $20 under age 18

In addition, students must have the required study guide: Technician License Course Third Edition, effective 2018 – 2022, $22.95 print, $19.99 Kindle

Advance registration is required (No later than two weeks before the first session, earlier is better, first-come sign up basis until class is full.) To register for the class, contact: Bob Witte KØNR Email: [email protected] or Phone: 719/659-3727

Sponsored by the Tri-Lakes Monument Radio Association For more information on amateur (ham) radio visit

The post 2019 Technician License Class 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].

Radio Bench Fun!

Every once in awhile I’m reminded of the magic of radio and why this hobby is so much fun!

For the past week and a bit, in between power outages of up to four days, I’ve been optimizing a circuit from the December ‘36 ‘Radio’ magazine.

It looked like it might be something that would be fun to use during the weeknight NRN (Novice Rig Nights) activities ... a Jone’s-style push-pull crystal power oscillator using a pair of 6V6s. The original article called for 6L6s but my power supply can probably not provide much more power than is already coming from the 6V6s and these will likely be easier on my few precious novice-band crystals.

The circuit is lashed-up on my very well-worn 'aluminum breadboard', which is peppered with numerous convenient holes punched or drilled for mounting various crystal sockets, tube / coil sockets, variable caps etc ... it really looks awful but allows easy parts swapping to test out different configurations.

This afternoon I had the thing perking to my satisfaction, along with a very sweet-sounding CW note, using my WWII - era 7121kc crystal. Everything looked good into the dummy load so I connected the 40m antenna through the tuner, clipped the bug to the cathode resistor and at about 40 minutes before sunset, sent a short ‘CQ’, hoping for a nearby local but not really expecting a reply ... now this is the magic part. 

My CQ was immediately pounced-upon by John, N2BE, on the other side of the continent, in New Jersey! I shook my head at the dangling pile of clip leads and just-barely soldered components clamped in the bench vice and had to smile when he gave me a 589 report! John was working the AWA's Linc Cundall CW Contest, where rigs must be pre-1950 designs or builds. I was happily able to give him a legitimate point, using my 1936 Jones oscillator!

At 400V on the plates,  the little lash-up puts out 18 watts and seems to be about 45% efficient ... not too bad for a power oscillator. As well, the crystal current must be low as it keys nicely and doesn't sound stressed. 

I’ll soon be rebuilding the little transmitter into something more presentable, probably similar to my Tri-Tet-Ten, using the short-lived but visually attractive mid-30’s building style that mated a shiny aluminum plate to a nice wooden base.

Stay tuned ... I’ll hopefully have it completed over the next few weeks and will be looking for some 80 / 40m  NRN Monday night fun!

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

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