Sponsors for the Homebrew Heroes Award for 2020 Announced

Ridgeland, Mississippi— September 15, 2019 — The newest sponsor of the Homebrew Heroes Award Program is the QSO Today Podcast, hosted and published by Eric Guth 4Z1UG. “I am most willing to pitch in. Thanks for this kind of ham radio activity. It’s the kind of thing that is needed to shed light on the heroes who push the boundaries of this great hobby of ours.”

Steering Committee Chair, Frank Howell K4FMH of Ridgeland MS, welcomed the new sponsor with “Eric’s coming on board with a first class soldering station for our 2020 Hero expresses his commitment to our vision for this program. We welcome other sponsors who share his enthusiasm.” Eric 4Z1UG is also the host of the recent QSO Today Virtual Ham Expo which is being continued twice per year after the highly successful launch.

QSO Today Podcast

All sponsors for the 2019 Award are continuing for the 2020 cycle.

Jason Chonko of Siglent Ltd said, “We would love to sponsor the program again for 2020! Siglent will again give an SDS1202X-E oscilloscope to the Hero for 2020. Hans Summers’ use of that instrument to diagnose and redesign a circuit for his popular transceiver was a perfect use case for our test equipment.”

Kaitlyn Franz of Digilent, a National Instruments Company, added “This Award Program is so much in sync with what we are doing at Digilent that we are definitely interested in sponsoring again!”

Richard Stubbs of MFJ Enterprises responded with, “We are in for the Homebrew Hero Award for another year. MFJ was founded and continues to innovate on the basis of homebrew design, manufacturing and availability of parts for this community. Mr. Jue was an original pioneer in successful homebrew design with the CW filter kit back in the 1970s.”

Heil Sound founder Bob Heil K9EID complemented the other continuing sponsors by saying, “This program was so necessary that Heil Sound is on board for the long haul. We will donate key parts for great audio work by the 2020 Hero winner.”

George Zafiropoulos KJ6VU of the Ham Radio Workbench podcast, said, “Jeremy Kolonay KF7IJZ and I are more than happy to continue our sponsorship again this year. The Award is a great activity to highlight people who contribute the homebrew arts and science that our show emphasizes.”

This year’s Hero for 2019, Hans Summers G0UPL, has benefited from sponsor donations a great deal:

The sponsor prizes that get absolutely DAILY use are the Siglent ‘scope and the Heil headphones which sound great on my QCX kits. I have also made good use of the MFJ antenna analyzer and the Analog Discovery2 puck. The Benchduino PCBs did get here but I have not had much chance to think about what to do about them yet but they will be great with the Digilent AD2. These products have been a real benefit to my workbench.

Hans Summers Hero 2019

The promotional partner is the ICQ Podcast where Martin Butler M1MRB and Colin Butler M6BOY are the proprietors. Frank K4FMH is a Presenter.

Martin Butler M1MRB in London UK, a member of the Steering Committee, said, “It’s been a fast year since the Homebrew Hero Award was conceived at Hamvention in 2019. The sponsors, especially with the addition of our fellow podcaster in Israel, Eric Guth 4Z1UG, have been tremendous assets in furthering our mission of identifying and rewarding those in the homebrew and maker space.”

Another Steering Committee member, Colin Butler M6BOY, furthered that thought. “It’s clearly in the sponsor’s interests for the homebrew community to grow. What has long been missing is this program, one whose focus is to lift up those Heroes out there who are pushing, educating, demonstrating and being successful in many different ways.”

The third Steering Committee member, Frank Howell K4FMH of Ridgeland, MS, concluded, “We have received and accepted the recipient of our 2020 Award from our anonymous Selection Committee. Martin, Colin and I are preparing for the formal announcement during October 2020. Stay tuned to our website at homebrewheroes.org for that forthcoming celebration and the ICQ Podcast for relevant news!”


For more information, press only:

Frank M. Howell
Contact page on Homebrew Heroes website
@frankmhowell (Twitter)

For more information on the Hombrew Heroes Award: https://homebrewheroes.org

Graphic Logo: https://homebrewheroes.org/index.php/about/

Frank Howell, K4FMH, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from Mississippi, USA. Contact him at [email protected].

LHS Episode #367: Shot Across the Bow

Hello and welcome to Episode 367 of Linux in the Ham Shack. In this episode, the hosts tackle some interesting topics from the death of IRLP to higher FCC fees for licensing, an FT-817 add-on project, open source from Huawei, patent trolls, flmsg, flrig, a controversial topic and much more. Than for listening and have a wonderful week.

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].

ICQ Podcast Episode 333 – Hams Celebrate Healthcare Heroes

In this episode, Martin M1MRB is joined by Leslie Butterfield G0CIB, Dan Romanchik KB6NU and Edmund Spicer M0MNG to discuss the latest Amateur / Ham Radio news. Colin M6BOY rounds up the news in brief and this episode’s feature is Hams Celebrate Healthcare Heroes.


We would like to thank Scott McDonald (KA9P), Annemarie Nugent (EI9KW) and DAVID LEBLANC (KF7JAF) along with our monthly and annual subscription donors for keeping the podcast advert free. To donate, please visit - http://www.icqpodcast.com/donate

- ARRL Board elects new CEO - Trans-Atlantic Opening on 144 MHz between the Canary Islands and the Caribbean - FCC Proposes Charging Amateur Radio License Fees - ISS 437.800 MHz Cross Band Repeater Activated - Brazil Proposes End of All Amateur Radio Exams - Six Metre Group AGM Goes Online - Battle of Britain 80th Anniversary - EURAO Party - Summer 2020: working on 80m and 40m bands

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

AmateurLogic 147: A September to Remember

AmateurLogic.TV Episode 147 is now available for download.

Eliminate logging hassles. Emile shows how to integrate QRZ online logging with Logbook Of The World for a simple, quick single log entry across platforms.
Mike presents our friend Chip, K9MIT’s Enigma Machine.
Pull out those floppy disks and relive the days of early PCs and DOS. George goes old school DOS on the Raspberry Pi with Dosbox.

Announcing the AmateurLogic.TV 15th Anniversary Contest. This perfect QRP package includes the Icom IC-705 all band all mode transceiver and Utility Backpack, MFJ-2289PKG Big Ear Antenna package with tripod and carry bag, MFJ-4115 portable power supply, Heil Sound BM-17 headset, and the collection of Forrest Mim’s Engineer’s Mini Notebooks. Help us celebrate. Visit amateurlogic.tv/contest today for details.



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 #366: The Weekender LVI

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].

My Comments On The Proposed FCC License Fees

You have probably heard about the FCC proposal to establish a $50 application fee for Amateur Radio licenses. This is part of an overall redesign of the FCC’s fee structure, affecting many radio services, not just amateur radio.

The Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) is found in Docket 20-270.  The public is invited to submit comments on the proposal via the Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS). It is relatively easy to do. You can upload a document with your comments or use “express comment” to just type in your comments.  If you are short on time, you could simply submit a few sentences supporting or opposing the licensing fee along with your reasoning. The only tricky thing you need to know is the proceeding number: 20-270.

I thought this was important enough that I put together my thoughts and submitted them.  The short version of my comments are:

  • The $50 fee seems excessive, compared to the cost of relatively simple amateur radio license transactions. (If it really costs the FCC $50 to do this, they need to redesign their system.)
  • The $50 fee will be a barrier to getting an amateur radio license for many potential licensees. That’s my opinion based on interacting with a large number of new licensees coming through our club’s Technician license class.
  • I support charging a smaller fee, in the range of $15 to $25.

You can read my complete comments here:
Robert Witte K0NR Comments MD Docket No. 20-270

73 Bob K0NR

The post My Comments On The Proposed FCC License Fees 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].

Just One More dB!


*** The following blog was originally published in 2016 but is still very applicable in 2020! ***

How often have you struggled to pull a weak signal out of the noise? "Just give me one more db", you tell yourself.

A recent posting to the Topband reflector by Frank, W3LPL, sent me to the interesting webpage of Dave, AB7E. Dave had been pondering two antenna systems, one of which would provide a 2db improvement in forward gain but at a much higher cost ... he wondered if the extra expense would be worthwhile and could he even hear the difference that 2db would make? He created a series of CW files, incrementing the signal level in 1db steps to see for himself!

Now I've always been told that you need to increase signal strength by at least 3db before your ears can detect any difference ... but listen carefully and you may be in for a surprise, as AB7E discovered.

It's probably best to listen to this signal with headphones but, even on my I-Pad's tiny speaker, the demonstration is clear. The first recording starts at "zero db", which is sent twice while the next signal is "one db", sent twice. See if you can hear the difference between each 1 db increment as he steps up to "six db":

Try going the other way, from "six db" down to "zero db":

The following recording has two signals, one of which is one db louder then the other. Can you hear the difference?

Although I was able to hear one call slightly better than the other, it was difficult. How about two signals again, one of them being 2db louder this time ... this one is much easier:

Lastly, AB7E demonstrates the problem with sending too fast when conditions are very marginal. Here, several signals are sent at 20, 25, 30 and 35 WPM. Sending calls at high speed can often seem effective, even under poor conditions but this seems to demonstrate that slowing down just a bit would make it somewhat easier:

One of the more interesting comments posted regarding these recordings was from Bob, N6RW who cited his work in satellite communications:

"I spent part of my engineering career designing satellite command FSK
demodulators - including the deep space Pioneer Venus orbiter. To test
the performance of them, we would mix the test signal with white noise.
When you look at the FSK Bit-Error-Rate (BER) curve (bit errors versus
signal to noise ratio in a bandwidth equal to the bit rate), you can see
the BER improves by a factor of 10 to 1 for every dB in S/N ratio. In
other words, for every dB improvement, you get one tenth the errors."

Now Dave never did tell us if he bought the bigger antenna or not but I'm betting that he did ... it looks like "just one more db" may really be just enough after all.

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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