Amateur Radio Weekly – Issue 82

The Yellow Box of Power
The Yellow Box of Power is a very yellow Pelican box (size 1550) loaded up with 36 amp-hours of 12-volt battery capacity that can be charged by way of normal 120V household power or through one or more solar panels.

Use of 146.52 MHz FM simplex frequency cleared for ARRL contests
The committee felt that permitting the use of 146.52 MHz would allow new/curious contesters possessing only FM-mode radios to stumble upon more contacts.

How do lacquered boards stand up over time?
A query I hear from time to time about using copper-plated boards for construction is what they look like after a few months or years.

Unscientific spectral analysis of two Baofeng radios
This transmitter is all over the place. Tons of spurious emissions, some as little as 30dB down from the fundamental. This transmitter is definitely misbehaving or not properly filtered.

Digital Voice Balkanization
Wouldn’t it be cool if we had one digital communications format for the VHF/UHF amateur bands?

All your modem are belong to us
Closed source and proprietary chipsets are nasty, a glaring problem in a cool geeky field that is otherwise open source. It’s got to be fixed.

Spoken command injection on Siri, Google
It is possible to trigger Siri remotely by emitting an AM-modulated signal containing voice commands at 103 MHz.
University of Pennsylvania

Try FSQ for fast, simple QSOs
FSQ is a Fast Simple QSO mode designed specifically for HF. It works well under NVIS and sunrise/sunset conditions on the lower bands, and also works well for short skip and grey-line on higher bands.

Scripting Fldigi on OS X
With excellent support for executing external scripts, it is easy to set up Fldigi to log all recorded QSOs directly to one of the three major OS X logbook programs.
Mac Ham Radio

Good SWR and antenna resonance
Standing Wave Ratio (SWR) is an important concept that describes how good of a match exists between a transceiver and antenna system.
Ham Radio School


VHF propagation timelapse
This is a timelapse of NG0E’s APRS VHF Propagation monitor.

Fox 1A satellite beacon
“Hi, this is amateur radio satellite Fox 1.”

Amateur Radio Weekly is curated by Cale Mooth K4HCK. Sign up free to receive ham radio's most relevant news, projects, technology and events by e-mail each week at

4 Responses to “Amateur Radio Weekly – Issue 82”

  • peter kg5wy:

    The ARRL cannot control frequencies. The FCC can only do this.
    If someone is licensed to use a VHF frequency, contest or not, that person is free to use it as long as there is no intentional interference.
    If VHF contesters do not like it, I recommend the users record their QSOs for possible submission to the FCC.
    It is my belief that contests are out of control, fueled by the ARRL.
    When contests are in effect, there is a lot of animosity on the air for frequencies.

  • Goody K3NG:

    Contests are fueled by contesters. ARRL isn’t the only entity that sponsors contests; CQ Magazine sponsors several big ones and there are numerous other entities sponsoring many small contests.

  • David:

    Simplex calling frequencies are intended to be used for exactly that; call your station and coordinate a QSY to a different frequency. This way the calling frequency is clear for others to use, especially someone who needs urgent help.

    Not any more! Now when there’s a contest, some big-gun contest jerk will park on the calling frequency and render it useless to everyone, except himself.

    Thanks ARRL!

  • peter kg5wy:

    Well said Dave

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