Part 6 of ham radio and condo life and unwanted RFI.

My son and me Back in the day without HOA, condo's an complicated city living.
Good afternoon and it's time to post the final segment regarding ham radio and the condo life. Today I will be looking at the grief living in the city, close neighbors and poor quality control on electronics. You don't have to live in a condo to experience any of the above mentioned issues but condo dwellers may not be able to setup a separate listening antenna, rejig their antenna or change the antenna. Living in a condo has it's ups and downs........other than the elevator that is! No snow to shovel and no lawn to cut and sometimes some decent height to mention a few things but there is very limited antenna real estate and very close neighbors who's LED bulbs, Plasma tv's and other electronic gizmo's that may be are very close to you and your antenna. If you are having an issue with noise first it's very important to find out whether it's man made or natural. The ARRL has a great page on just this were they offer up recorded examples of RFI.
Once you have identified the RFI the trick now is to figure out where it's coming from, it is from your neighbor or from your own QTH? In my townhouse I had a crazy issue with a plasma TV and the great news was it was coming from our own TV. When you have RFI and it's your own that is easier to deal with than when from others around you. Lets have a look at some devices out there that can help out with RFI. The first item that comes to mind is made by MFJ and it's the MFJ-1026 noise canceller. It comes with an internal antenna (the antenna that picks up the noise) The best way to see how this unit works is to provide you with a link to my YouTube page were I posted a video regarding the MFJ-1026   If you have an Elecraft K3 radio I posted a second video using the MFJ-1026 plus the noise reduction on the K3 and I imagine this can work with most modern transceivers Welcome back and I hope you enjoyed the videos and I do believe there are more out there if you care to Google them. 
In the condo I am in now as you know I have the MFJ mag loop and a mag loop has a great way of  nulling out noise. I had a comment on one of my ham radio condo posts from a gentlemen using a loop as a receive antenna and a separate but noisy transmit antenna.
Another product out there that I personally have not tried but a reader of my blog brought to my attention is the  CMC-130S-3k from My Antennas. 
It's a Common Mode Choke, RF Choke and RF Isolator all in one go to the link and have a look there is also a video of the unit in action.
Well there you have it some ideas on how to reduce or illuminate issues that may be giving you some grief in regards to close quarters ham radio. This is the final segment of Ham radio and the condo life. I hope you have enjoyed it and found some useful information.

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

Weekly Propagation Summary – 2019 Apr 15 16:10 UTC

Weekly Propagation Summary (2019 Apr 15 16:10 UTC)

Here is this week’s space weather and geophysical report, issued 2019 Apr 15 0125 UTC.

Highlights of Solar and Geomagnetic Activity 08 – 14 April 2019

Solar activity was very low throughout the period. Region 2738 (N06, L=297, class/area Cho/300 on 12 Apr) produced numerous B-class flare activity and low frequency radio burst activity. No Earth-directed CMEs were observed.

No proton events were observed at geosynchronous orbit.

The greater than 2 MeV electron flux at geosynchronous orbit reached high levels thoughout the period.

Geomagnetic field activity was at quiet to unsettled levels on 08-13 April due to negative polarity CH HSS influence. Isolated active levels were observed early on 08-10 April. Quiet levels were observed on 14 April.

Forecast of Solar and Geomagnetic Activity 15 April – 11 May 2019

Solar activity is expected to be at predominately very low levels throughout the outlook period. A slight chance for low level activity is possible through 24 April from Region 2738 and again from 04-11 May upon the return of old Region 2738 (N06, L=297).

No proton events are expected at geosynchronous orbit.

The greater than 2 MeV electron flux at geosynchronous orbit is expected to reach high levels from 15-18 April and again from 02-11 May due to CH HSS influence. Normal to moderate levels are expected for the remainder of the outlook period.

Geomagnetic field activity is expected to reach unsettled levels on 24-25, 27-28 and 30 April and 01-02 and 05-07 May, all due to negative polarity CH HSS influence. Quiet conditions are expected throughout the remainder of the outlook period.

Don’t forget to visit our live space weather and radio propagation web site, at: http://SunSpotWatch.com/

Live Aurora mapping is at http://aurora.sunspotwatch.com/

If you are on Twitter, please follow these two users: 1. https://Twitter.com/NW7US 2. https://Twitter.com/hfradiospacewx

– – – – – – – – – – – – –

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

https://groups.io/g/propagation-and-space-weather

Spread the word!

– – – – – – – – – – – – –

Links of interest:

+ Amazon space weather books: http://g.nw7us.us/fbssw-aSWSC
+ https://Twitter.com/NW7US
+ https://Twitter.com/hfradiospacewx

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:

https://www.patreon.com/NW7US

The YouTube channel:
https://YouTube.com/NW7US

..


Tomas Hood, NW7US, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com 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 291 – The S-Meter

In this episode, Martin M1MRB is joined by Chris Howard M0TCH, Martin Rothwell M0SGL, Dan Romanchik KB6NU and Frank Howell K4FMH to discuss the latest Amateur / Ham Radio news. Colin M6BOY rounds up the news in brief and this episode’s feature is The S-meter by Martin (M1MRB).

ICQ AMATEUR/HAM RADIO PODCAST DONORS

We would like to thank William Heckleman (KC3HZU) and Kevin Rupp (WN7Z) and our monthly and annual subscription donors for keeping the podcast advert free. To donate, please visit - http://www.icqpodcast.com/donate

- FCC Asked to Allow All-Digital on AM Band - MagPi Features Ham Radio - New Packet Radio - Hamnet over 70cm - Petition Seeks to Limit Digital Modes to Open-Source Software - 2019 State of the Hobby Results - Take In National Voice of America Museum of Broadcasting During Hamvention - Amateur Radio SSTV Art Expo - Successful Club Expands Training Team


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

AmateurLogic 129: Peanut Voice Octopus


AmateurLogic.TV Episode 129 is now available for download.

Tommy demonstrates the free Peanut D-Star app. Emile shows how to use the Raspberry Pi as a voice keyer for his Icom ID-9100. George erects the MFJ Octopus Antenna and details some tips to do it quicker and precise. Plus the usual fun and your viewer email and posts.

1:07:31

Download
YouTube


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].

LHS Episode #281: The Weekender XXVII

It's time once again for The Weekender. This is our bi-weekly departure into the world of amateur radio contests, open source conventions, special events, listener challenges, hedonism and just plain fun. Thanks for listening and, if you happen to get a chance, feel free to call us or e-mail and send us some feedback. Tell us how we're doing. We'd love to hear from you.

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].

About That (Expletive) ARRL Proposal to Give Technicians The Whole World

It is my observation that by enabling someone a taste of what can be accomplished on HF (shortwave) spectrum, especially using one of the newer digital modes, that someone has an opportunity for inspiration, perhaps enough to catch the HF fever that is required to move that someone from entry-level to experienced, skilled expert. Right now, the regulations limit the Technician-level license holder to digital operation only on bands that barely propagate (if at all!) during the weak solar cycles. It is a far stretch to postulate that having privileges on dead bands will inspire exploration and tempt the operator to upgrade to a higher license class.

I believe that Technician-class priveledges should be expanded so that entry-level amateur radio operators can get a practical taste of effectively-propagating HF signals on lower frequencies than those frequencies currently available to them for digital operation. And, the allowed mode on these subbands should include digital modes. This “would encourage a sustained interest in Amateur Radio and encourage further development of knowledge and operating skills,” a concept already proven by General-class operators that get enough of a taste that they then pursue the Amateur Extra license.

Comments to me are below the following video section. I also include my response.

In the following video, I share my opinion regarding the ARRL asking the FCC to grant more operating privileges across the many amateur radio allocations on shortwave (HF, or, High Frequencies). The video is my brief takeaway of ARRL’s petition: What is the issue, as a whole, and what the ARRL is addressing–the lack of desire by most current Techs to upgrade. The logic of my perspective concludes that if you give them a taste of lower-shortwave propagation and excitement, then they will want to upgrade. This logic is already proven as applicable by the fact that the General class exists. All this proposal will do is allow the tech to experience what could be very attractive. Just like for the General.

The next two videos are addendums to the first video:

I made a few technical mistakes in the first video. The last video contains corrections and further comments.

Comments Received, and My Response

I have received many responses–some in opposition, some in support. Here are example contrarian responses along with my reply:

[Dear] Tomas David Hood[:] Something for absolutely nothing has never taught anyone anything good, but to want another free lunch. 35 multiple guess easy questions was all that was asked to get general class privileges, but that’s just too hard for the current class. Something for nothing is what sell today, and the ARRL, and probably half the country thinks socialism is the way to reach the new hams I guess. But the ARRL will never get another dime from me. You want a trophy or additional privileges, Get them as everyone else did,, Work for them, study, just a little is all that was asked. Remember, If it didn’t cost anything, it probably isn’t worth anything!

If they are not willing to take a simple test, and yet they want to upgrade, then yes they are the same as saying that we are asking too much, but would participate, you are suggesting, as long as it didn’t require any work or effort on their part, Its a shame.. And I am embarrassed on their behalf… Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez could pass that test, but she would probably agree with you, that people are asking them to be smart and study, and that’s somehow probably racist and just over the line for you.

At this point the ARRL should just say, we are not protecting the spectrum, but about selling the ham radio spectrum to the highest bidders. In this case, they be;live that will be the techs who will purchase HF gear, and of course, the ARRL will benefit hugely from the equipment makers desire to market to the group.

My response is:

What the heck is wrong with selling radios?

But, seriously, which of the many Technicians say that they want to upgrade? That’s the point: the majority of Technician-class amateur radio operators are not upgrading. They get on VHF and above, and are stationary, with few realizing that there’s so much more than the aspect of the hobby evident in their local community.

With little to no exposure to other aspects of the hobby, the typical ham in the current ham-radio culture settles for what is presented by local mentors. Weather spotting, DMR, etc.

Because they have current HF privileges that have so little practical use (CW only on lower frequencies; voice on 10 meters which doesn’t propagate well during this period of no sunspot activity…), they see no incentive to delve into what appears like a waste of time.

The proposal is not giving away the farm. It simply adds a small slice on a limited set of HF bands (but where a signal has a better chance of propagation), allowing for Technician-class operators to get a real sense of the potential waiting for them if they pursue the General.

Then, once upgraded to General, they get even more exposure, and hopefully, see why it is great to be an Amateur Extra.

Tomas David Hood what’s wrong with selling radios. Nothing at all, but if I removed the test that drivers take to show they understand the rules and how to drive, then I can sell more cars and more insurance to poor drivers. Do you or anyone else think that’s a good idea. A few tech’s putting their hands on the plate of those high voltage amps, and maybe, just maybe, someone will believe me when I say some basic testing should be required for HF privileges. Now, all they will have is a cereal box license in my book, and in the opinion of many of my friends, so it;s not just me. If I am wrong, then there are a lot of people that are wrong like me, and they will fight for there hobby. I am a ARRL VE, but I will never test another Ham if this goes through, and I will spend the rest of my days making sure any newcomers realize what the ARRL did to what once was a good hobby, and how a few people didn’t seem to understand why giving away free privileges is always bad for our society, and always bad for our hobby.

Actually I have a real case study that is local,, and yes the guy doid put his hand on the plate, and yes he hit the floor.. and yes, after I found out he was ok,, I think it’s plenty funny,, Yes, they need to study more than that.

Me:

Your argument that Technician-class operators will kill themselves because the test is so easy that they will end up electrocuting themselves is yet another Red Herring. Technicians play with dangerous VHF, UHF, SHF equipment, with ominous dangerous aspects deserving respect. If you really think that the General test is the difference between life and death, why even worry? The number of technicians will be nicely reduced to a more acceptable, comfortable number.

I’ve seen Amateur Extra-class operators do the same sort of dangerous, life-threatening stunts.

The issue you are highlighting is a different problem that must be solved separately from the idea of creating a more practical incentive; all tests should be improved in such a way as to foster greater technical knowledge and awareness of all aspects of the hobby.

Better mentoring. Less us-vs-them. More education. More community. All of these should be explored and enhanced. Solve the problem, instead of ostracizing. And, realize that this proposed change is NOT a dumbing-down maneuver to give away the ham radio hobby to the unclean.


Tomas Hood, NW7US, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com 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'.

Radio Direction Finding using KerberosSDR

Traditionally we’ve seen radio direction finding (RDF) in the form of Doppler kits and tone meters, however with the proliferation Software Defined Radio (SDR) we’re seeing a new form of direction finding.

Essentially if you take four software defined radios and coherently link them together, you can then compare the signals from four separate antennas to get a bearing of your target signal’s location.

I recently came across a project on Indigogo which offered this in a complete package called the KerberosSDR. Here is a video of my setup and a demonstration of this radio.

The KerberosSDR is still under development, but from my tests it works fairly well. Unfortunately, I don’t have any traditional RDF gear to compare it to but from what I’ve seen it’s certainly a potential way to go if you’re looking to have some fun with RDF and want some more modern gear.

If you’re interested in the KerberosSDR, you can find more information about it here:

https://indiegogo.com/projects/kerberossdr-4x-coherent-rtl-sdr


Harold Giddings, KRØSIV, is a special contributor to AmateurRadio.com. He is a Ruby programmer and maintains the website Signals Everywhere. Contact him at [email protected].

Subscribe FREE to AmateurRadio.com's
Amateur Radio Newsletter

 
We never share your e-mail address.

Please support our generous sponsors who make AmateurRadio.com possible:

KB3IFH QSL Cards

Hip Ham Shirts

Georgia Copper

Ham-Cram
Expert Linears

morseDX

Ni4L Antennas

N3ZN Keys

West Mountain
R&L Electronics


Do you like to write?
Interesting project to share?
Helpful tips and ideas for other hams?

Submit an article and we will review it for publication on AmateurRadio.com!

Have a ham radio product or service?
Consider advertising on our site.

Are you a reporter covering ham radio?
Find ham radio experts for your story.

How to Set Up a Ham Radio Blog
Get started in less than 15 minutes!


  • Matt W1MST, Managing Editor

Sign up for our free
Amateur Radio Newsletter

Enter your e-mail address: