Amateur Radio Weekly – Issue 263

Amateur Radio Weekly

SKYWARN Recognition Day set for December 3
The annual SKYWARN™ Recognition Day (SRD) on-the-air activity will take place Saturday.

Digital Library of Amateur Radio & Communications surpasses 25,000 Items
DLARC has quickly grown to more than 25,000 items, including Ham Radio newsletters, podcasts, videos, books, and catalogs.

Survey: How do you find new nets?
We’re researching how the Ham Radio community discovers nets. All information is anonymous.
Amateur Radio Weekly

HF & VHF Ocean Radars – 26 MHz to 43 MHz
Ocean radars measure ocean currents by emitting radio waves from shore-based transmitting antennas.

Decoding the Artemis I Orion vehicle
Seven hours after launch, I used two spare antennas from the Allen Telescope Array to record RF signals from Orion and some of the cubesats.

Lithium batteries in the cold: A guide
As a lithium battery cools, the chemical process that creates electricity slows down and the internal resistance of the battery goes up.
Off Grid Ham

The Luxemburg-Gorky effect
A phenomenon of cross modulation between two radio waves.
The SWLing Post

Stand alone SSTV camera
Despite the crude nature of SSTV it works surprisingly well.
Dzls Evil Genius Lair

FUNcube-1 (AO-73) now celebrating nine years in orbit
It has now transmitted more that 16 million data frames.


Exploring a 1 million Watt FM tower
Tour the super tower in Crestwood, MO, serving the entire St. Louis metro area.
Geerling Engineering

DIY sand battery
The theory, practice, and use
Robert Murray-Smith

Iowa Marine Mobile
Had a lot of fun experimenting RMOOTA (Random Metal Objects On The Air) with the boat today.

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CQ WW CW DX contest this weekend!


 This weekend the bands will be alive with CW for the CQ WW CW DX contest. If you are not a contester this still is a great weekend to grab some DXCCs for your log book towards an award. If you are a CW contester then hold on and enjoy. Today I spent some time making sure the Hustler 4BTV vertical was ok, updated my contesting software N1MM+, ran a check on the macros and made sure the trusty Icom 7610 and the 9AN5 touch keyer are ready to go. I am hoping Murphy will stay far away this weekend and allow me to enjoy the music of morse!

Mike Weir, VE9KK, is a regular contributor to and writes from New Brunswick, Canada. Contact him at [email protected].

LHS Episode #490: The Weekender XCIX

It's time once again for The Weekender. This is our departure into the world of hedonism, random topic excursions, whimsy and (hopefully) knowledge. 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].

Rothamel’s Antenna Book: An Authoritative Source

As an academic researcher, the term “authoritative source” is reserved for works deemed to be the standard by which other scholarship in an area is judged. As a U.S. ham, I’ve purchased the ARRL Antenna Book (both new and used) since I’ve been licensed. Good reading and reference. It’s been a go-to document not only for me but for many State-side hams. There is a new Sheriff in town.

There’s a new sheriff in town for antenna handbooks!

I’ve read about Rothammel’s Antenna Handbook in other publications—Practical Wireless and RadCom, for instance—but it was in German. Alas…Ich spreche kein deutsch! Since 2019, there is an English translation.

On eHam, there is but a single review. James AD0YO says, “This book is amazing! It should be on the desk of any ham interested in antennas. And, that should be all of us. The first 270 pages cover theory. The rest cover all types of antennas.” OK. James loves it. What about others?

A website I often read, the Reeve Observatory near Anchorage AK, has a review: “The information in Rothammel’s Antenna Book appears to be taken from both amateur and professional literature and patents from around the world. Having this book generally will save readers considerable time when looking for details on a particular antenna type or for ideas on what antenna to build for a certain
application. Each chapter has an extensive list of references, so it may be possible to get to the original source document.”

The popular commercial vendor in the U.S., DX Engineering, carries this volume (although out of stock as I write this). It also has only a single review. Two years ago, Juan (no call) wrote, “This is a 1,600 (page) treatise on Antennas! It is more theoretical than the ARRL Antenna Book, but quite less than John Kraus classical textbook. It has a ton of data and practical information. It is a very good comprehensive reference book on antennas.” Another onesy but rave review. No gotchas yet.

Another source I enjoy, Radio User magazine, had this announcement. “The famous Rothammel’s Antenna Book is now, at last, available in English. At the 2019 Hamvention, DARC announced the availability of the wonderful Rothammel’s Antenna Book into English. This translation is of the 13th edition of Rothammels Antennenbuch.” Now I recall my friend, Scott K0MD, telling me that he picked up a copy of this impressive book at Hamvention. Great international reviews. A close friend who bought it and is impressed. Wow! This is getting close to my wallet.

The standard ham radio antenna reference.

James AD0YO, eHam Review

Rothammel. Who is (was) this guy? Wikipedia advises “was” is unfortunately the correct tense as he is now a Silent Key (1914–1987). After reading a short biography on Rothammel, it strikes me that he would be in league with Lawrence Cebik W4RNL, a professor of philosophy at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, long revered for his antenna work and writing. From the German Wiki, translated to English by Google Translate:

“Rothammel had been a radio amateur since 1932 with his call sign “DE3040/L”. During World War II he served as an Air Force radio operator. Little is currently known about his stay after the war, except that he settled in the Soviet occupation zone – the later GDR.

Karl Rothammel

After the war, he initially worked as a guest and farmer before moving to the postal service of the GDR for ten years. At the post office, he looked after the radio and television transmission systems. After ten years, Rothammel moved to the information and documentation center at the radio equipment factory Stern-Radio in Sonneberg, which later became VEB Stern-Radio Sonneberg . He did this job for 25 years until he retired. Since 1954 Rothammel was active as a radio amateur under the call sign “DM2ABK”, since 1980 under the call sign “Y21BK” or “Y30ABK”.

In addition to his professional activities at the post office and at VEB Stern-Radio, Rothammel was a long-time club station manager in Sonneberg, a member of the examination committee in the Suhl district and an authorized person for the radio performance badge in gold. For five years he wrote articles on VHF topics for the magazine Funkamateur. In addition, he contributed as an author to various publications on the subject of radio, for example the books “Ultra Short Waves”, “Practice of TV Antennas Part 1 and 2” and the “Handbook for Short Wave Amateurs”, etc.”

I ordered a copy of the 1st Edition English translation, copyrighted in 2019, directly from the DARC. Easy order. It took several weeks to arrive via DHL and final delivery by the US Postal Service. I was researching HF loop antennas for an article. I was thrilled at the depth of coverage and the detailed citations and patents included. It greatly helped me organize my thinking on how to improve the design and deployment of an HF horizontal loop antenna. More on that article in the near future as it nears publication in Practical Wireless magazine.

Here’s an illuminating example on a relatively unknown niche type of antenna. Here in the States, due mostly to posts on, the reader would conclude that fractal antennas were wholly invented by Nathan W1YW. As the sportscaster Lee Corso is fond of saying, “not so fast!”. Look at what I read on pp. 948-9:

Rothammel’s Antenna Book entry for fractal antennas

In the same year (1995), two researchers filed patent applications for something they called, fractal antennas. In May, Dr. Carlos Puente in Spain filed his application which was approved in 1998. Later, in August, Dr. Nathan Cohen filed his patent application in the United States but it was not granted until 2000. As Rothammel states, the priority goes to the first filing. This small point may only matter on legal issues but it’s both enlightening and historically correct for the amateur radio community to know that there were indeed two “inventors” of the fractal antenna line. Lots of good stuff like this in the Rothammel Antenna Book.

So does this book replace the need for the very popular Antenna Handbook by the ARRL? Not at all, as the ARRL book is geared more toward pedagogy and far less on being an authoritative reference. Rothammel’s book, for instance, does not include supplementary software, data files (antenna models, propagation projections, etc.), and such. Editions of the ARRL book do overlap greatly across adjacent editions so that’s caveat emptor for the buying ham. Me? I have quite a number of the ARRL Antenna Handbooks, as well as most things written by Joe Carr and other antenna scholars. Now, the Rothammel’s Antenna Book is on my bookshelf right beside them. I won’t have a problem finding it at 1,600 pages in length!

I can add my own superlative review to those quoted above. It’s not been fully read thus far but the spine and pages are certainly creased quite a bit! I’ve read deeply on loop antennas and through the theory section. It’s now my authoritative resource for amateur radio antennas.

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

ICQ Podcast Episode 390 – Restarting HamFests

In this episode, we join Martin Butler M1MRB, Martin Rothwell (M0SGL), Frank Howell (K4FMH) and Leslie Butterfields (G0CIB) to discuss the latest Amateur / Ham Radio news. Colin Butler (M6BOY) rounds up the news in brief and in the episode's, feature is Restarting Hamfests.

We would like to thank our monthly and annual subscription donors for keeping the podcast advert free. To donate, please visit -

  • Reaching Youth Through Amateur Radio in the Classroom
  • Beware of Counterfeit Icom Products
  • Germany's Proposed New "N" Class Entry-Level Licence
  • RSGB Construction Competition
  • QSO Today Virtual Ham Expo Heads to YouTube
  • RSGB ESC Publishes Annual Report

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

Amateur Radio Weekly – Issue 262

Amateur Radio Weekly

Ever heard of the Heathkit SS-8000 Digital Transceiver?
The reason that very few Hams have heard of it is that it was never released.

CW Hotline
Think The Bat Phone for CW.
Ham Radio Solutions

DATV Trans-Atlantic experiments
Successful Digital Amateur TV tests on the 29 MHz band across the North Atlantic.

FediHams Digital Voice Network
This digital voice network is intended as a place to hang out for all the Fediverse Hams.

Pride Radio Group
Pride Radio Group is a virtual radio club set up to demonstrate and promote acceptance within the hobby.
Pride Radio Group

Solar powered Meshtastic network
Austin Mesh is a community group working to build a mesh network of solar-powered Meshtastic radios.
Austin Mesh

Why do I want to buy so many Ham Radios?
What is it with this obsession of collecting radio gear?

The enduring Yaesu FT-817 and FT-818 series transceivers
Why choose a legacy design like the 817/818 when newer QRP transceivers have better overall field specs and features?

Book: War Diaries – A Radio Amateur
What it’s been like for a radio listener and Ham Radio Operator living day-to-day in Kyiv since Russia invaded Ukraine earlier this year.
SWLing Post


When secret government numbers stations go wrong
Automated stations are prone to errors.
Ringway Manchester

A.I. and Amateur Radio
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning and the future of Amateur Radio.
Open Research Institute

W6MRR balloon launch
High altitude balloon launch, Pasadena California. W6MRR, KN6KZF, and K6EAU.

RX888 MK2 16BIT Software Defined Radio
64 MHz real time bandwidth on HF.
Tech Minds

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LHS Episode #489: 2CW or not 2CW

Hello and welcome to Episode #489 of Linux in the Ham Shack. In this short-topics episode, the hosts cover the future of morse code in amateur radio, more grants from the ARDC, pipewire, Xanmod, Nitrus and much more. Thank you for listening and we hope you have a great 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].

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