Amateur Radio Weekly – Issue 327

Amateur Radio Weekly

Utah students use Ham Radio to connect with astronaut during eclipse
A Utah school district participated in an international program that helps students connect with astronauts using Amateur Radio.
Desert News

The Zombie Apocalypse
Exploring the feasibility for radio communication during an actual SHTF situation.

USB-C charger for the MD-(UV)380/RT3(S)/GD-77
Using a 2S 2A USB-C charger PCB.

Simple guide to meteor scatter MSK144 contacts
If you are using FT-8 you are already half way there.

International Ham Radio events calendar
Add your event.
QSO Today

Lightning scatter at 144 MHz
Making use of the short scatter signals from lightning strikes.

Building HamClock on an old Raspberry Pi
This is a great addition to any Ham shack.

Comparing prices of two 20AH LiFePO4 batteries: $60 vs. $265
The $60 battery delivers the goods.

Crystal substitute using si5351
An inexpensive substitute for the 1647kHz LSB crystal.
Owen Duffy


A novice’s guide to radio astronomy
SDR all the way.
Society of Amateur Radio Astronomers

DIY spark gap transmitter
Assembly and analysis of a DIY spark gap transmitter.
Baltic Lab

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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

ICQ Podcast Episode 427 – Dover Rally with SDRPlay

In this episode, we join Martin Butler M1MRB, Chris Howard (M0TCH), Martin Rothwell (M0SGL), Frank Howell (K4FMH), Bill Barnes (WC3B) and Leslie Butterfields (G0CIB) to discuss the latest Amateur / Ham Radio news. Colin Butler (M6BOY) rounds up the news in brief and the episode's feature is Dover Rally with SDRPlay.

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

  • World Amateur Radio Day 2024
  • International Marconi Day 2024
  • POTA Begins Park Prefix Updates
  • FCC Implements Two-Factor Authentication For Registration System
  • BBC Radio 4 Dropping AM/Medium-Wave in April 2024
  • Chris Whitmarsh, G0FDZ receives RSGB Lifetime Achievement Award
  • RSGB AGM – Vote and ask a Question
  • HamTV Returns to International Space Station
  • New Training Course Offered by the ARRL Puerto Rico Section

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 326

Amateur Radio Weekly

HamSCI solar eclipse events
Monday: Solar Eclipse QSO Party and Gladstone Signal Spotting Challenge.

ROC-HAM Solar Eclipse QSO Party
Monday: W2E special event takes place over HF.

How to DX the 2024 solar eclipse
DXing the mediumwaves promises to be an exciting event on April 8.
SWLing Post

Get involved using LoRa APRS on 433 MHz.

Performance of trees as radio antennas
Conventional whip antennas compared with the performance of Hybrid Electromagnetic Antenna Couplers (HEMAC) in conjunction with jungle trees as antennas.
United States Army Electronics Command

Ham mobile install–A few suggestions for dealing with noise issues
RF signals can emanate from your vehicle ignition system, fuel pump, fans, electric motors, onboard computers, and many other sources.

Spain opens up the 40 MHz (8m) Amateur Radio band
Spain is the first big country to allow Radio Amateurs access to the 8m band.

Eavesdropping on security camera via unintentional RF emissions
Eavesdrop and wirelessly recover images from security cameras via RF unintentionally leaking from the camera electronics.


Icom IC-7300 twins for DX hunting
The poor man’s 7610.

What is the bandwidth of a CW signal?
Morse code signal is primarily dependent upon the keying speed (Words per minute) and the rise/fall time of the RF envelope.

Activating five new POTA parks in a day
Joe and I hit the road to activate five newly added Parks on the Air entities in Central Wisconsin.

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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

Ham College 111

Ham College episode 111 is now available for download.

Extra Class Exam Questions – Part 49
E9G The Smith chart


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 #538: Blinded by the Light

Hello and welcome to the 538th episode of Linux in the Ham Shack. In this short-topics episode, the hosts discuss higher security for CORES users, amateur radio during the upcoming solar eclipse, more legislation on HOA restrictions, Gnome 46 and much more. Thanks for listening and 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].

Amateur Radio Weekly – Issue 325

Amateur Radio Weekly

The most hackable handheld Ham Radio yet
The UV-K5 can be modded at the click of a mouse.
IEEE Spectrum

Designing a physical satellite tracking widget
Satellite tracking widget in a single small display.

Whats going on with Morse Code?
CW seems to be on the rise within our ranks.

M17 project announces ‘repeater in a box’
M17 aims to provide a comprehensive FM/M17 repeater for remote sites or masts.

Set up your own WIRES-X PDN
Operate a WIRES-X digital node station by directly connecting a compatible C4FM digital transceiver with a Windows PC.

Ham Radio films
Films featuring Ham Radio.

HF APRS with JS8Call
How to configure JS8Call to report your location into the APRS network.
Lonneys Notebook

Welcome500 Network
A friendly, multi-mode digital Amateur Radio network.

HamTV returns to International Space Station
AMSAT expects the equipment to be operating in the coming weeks.
Amateur Radio Daily

Pirate Hunt 2024
Log as many pirate stations as possible between March 29th and April 1st.
Sisä-Suomen Radioaktiiviset


I toured a Radio Shack
Video tour of one of the last Radio Shacks.

A cool APRS feature you probably don’t know about
APRS group messaging.

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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

Whats going on with Morse code?

   It would seem from the blog reading I have been doing that CW seems to be on the rise within our ranks. I am not sure what it has to do with but Parks on the air, summits on the air and so on are getting popular these days and maybe folks are realizing you may get more bang for your buck with CW. If you have read my blog for any amount of time you know that I am "into" CW. Way back CW was a must if you wanted your ham licence to get onto HF. At that time I forced myself to learn CW to get my licence and that was it. I hit the needed 12 wpm for advanced and then put CW on the sidelines. 

I moved into a townhome and had to operate stealthily as the HOA cops were always out and about and antennas were a BIG no no. I set up an antenna in the attic the Alpha Delta DX-EE and it worked great. I was operating SSB in the Canada Day contest and having a blast. Later that day my next-door neighbour said she could hear "CQ contest" from her speakers!!! If I wanted my love for ham radio to continue I had to change things up. I had to drop the power and in doing so SSB was going to be tough for contesting. It was then I decided to take up CW again and go QRP with it. 

This meant basically relearning the code, I did it before but this time it was for keeps! Below is my journey with the code and some of the pitfalls and joys. I found the second time around learning the code was not like the first. This time I wanted to learn it and not have to and that made a big difference. 

Certain letters came easy such as M, O, T, E, C, Q and then there was J, H, B, S, F, L. As I started out I thought my frustration would subside as I learn more of the code. It did but I found it reared its ugly head for various reasons. Frustration comes with most learning and is not specific to CW. Learning a language, playing an instrument, or driving a car they all come with frustration but we press on. When learning anything one must understand that you may not become a pro. You may not be Peter Frampton, Mario Andretti or top-end CW ops. We may not be wired that way but we have to be thrilled with where our ability, hard work, work and family constraints fit us onto the scale of skills. 

What is the best way to learn the code....well it's personal and the short answer is we have to ferrite out the method that works for us. Understand this can be one of the most frustrating parts and if you are not committed to learning the code this could be your excuse to give up. Through trial and error find the way that greases your wheels to learn the code. I tried code-learning CDs in the car at home and so on that was a flop for me. Getting on my laptop for short sessions and having the program throw letters at me and I had to type in the correct letter did it. 

Things you will run into while on the journey: 

- Moving 3 steps forward and sometimes 4 steps backwards. Get ready for it will happen and understand it will pass. 

- You feel there are certain characters you will never get. Hold on and I guarantee you will get them some just take longer than others. I see parents who are all concerned that their little one is not walking at the same age as everyone else. I tell them to look around and see how many adults are not walking but crawling ...some take longer than others but we all will get there. 

- Counting the dits and dahs, I found this more so with the numbers learning. Understand it will happen and later I will tell you what I did to break this habit.

- So you know all the letters and numbers but why then all of a sudden are you have issues with certain letters or numbers that you had mastered? Understand this is part of learning and will happen. Remember 3 steps forward and 4 steps back. As you increase your speed this for sure will happen. 

- As you begin to listen to words or QSOs's your going to hear a letter and not get what it is. You then will stop to think about it and then get behind in your coping and frustration. This happens to all of us you have to learn what they said in the movie The Goodfellas "forgetaboutit", It's time to train your brain to skip over it and move on.
- As your speed increases you will have a tendency to assume the next letter and when it's not that letter you will be thrown off. Guessing the next letter is normal and you are going to have to ignore it and wait and see. This is very true with copying call signs. For me, it was I hear V and I think VE and it's VK. I hear D and I think DL and it's DF. Guessing ahead with CW will get you further behind. Let me be clear thinking ahead is not the same as listening ahead. 

Ok, enough of that for now let me go back to counting the dits and dahs and how I overcame that. I increased the sending speed to a point where it was impossible to count any part of any letter or number. This trained me to listen to the complete sound of the letter or number. With this over time came instant character recognition. We all know CQ in Morse and most of us don't hear individual C and Q but we know the sound of it and know it's CQ. 

For me, morse code is an adventure and my understanding is to get to your happy place with it in regards to speed and understanding. Why are you learning the code POTA, SOTA, Contesting or general QSO's or a combination of them? Depending on what you will be doing with the code will determine your learning path. For example, I love contesting. So accuracy, speed, letter and number recognition and being able to keyboard without looking at the keyboard. Other Morse code adventures require word recognition, sending code via a key and adjusting to weather and operating.
Enjoy the journey, have fun and keep expanding on the art of Ham radio.


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

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