AmateurLogic 189: Headset Hacks

AmateurLogic.TV Episode 189 is now available for download.

George hacks a gamer headset for radio use. Emile has video from Swamps On The Air. Mike begins his BitX 40 build.


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].

Spend less to end up spending more!


There have been times when as a ham I have needed things for the shack. As I look online and see the options out there and the cost I have my frugal within me kick in. I have had this internal argument in the past and it has worked out and saved me money other times it has cost me money. To be honest most of the time it has cost me money. 

What am I referring too you ask..let me give you some examples. At one time I needed a coax switch and there was the Alpha Delta and the other ones. The price point was almost 1/2 and I decided to go with the non-Alpha Delta brand. Bad move as in short order I started to have issues with the coax switch and ended up spilling the beans for the Alpha Delta. As a side note, the Alpha Delta was fantastic and NEVER an issue. 

Then there was the mobile antenna mount and I ended up getting the Larson and also a Diamond mount after a failed cheaper mount. Then the bargin power supply which was noisy and garbage was replaced with an Astron supply and I have never looked back. The cheap snap-on toroid chokes were replaced with quality toroids. 

I have learned my lesson over time and know that the pain of spending a bit more removes the larger pain when you have to spend again but I have to admit it took a few purchases for me to see the big picture. As a side note the brands that I mentioned are not by any means the only quality products just the products I purchased to replace the mistakes that I bought.

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

LHS Episode #529: Deep Freeze

Hello and welcome to Episode 529 of Linux in the Ham Shack. In this short topics episode, the hosts discuss the removal of HF symbol rate limits for amateur radio data, solar eclipse studies, new TLE data for ISS tracking, a new release of Linux Mint, a new Linux kernel 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].

Thank goodness it’s Monday….


When I was working Mondays were not often looked forward to unless it was a long weekend and Monday was a holiday. Now being retired Mondays have a new meaning and one of the things I look forward to is the ICWC medium speed (MST) CW 1-hour contest. The times for mini test here in Atlantic Canada are 9-10 am and 3-4 pm local time. 

In the mornings I hug my mug of coffee, warm up the room and get the radio and PC up and running. Most of the time in the morning event I search and pounce for a time to get my head into the CW game. I enjoy the company and the speed is maxed at 25wmp. Not to worry if you are considerably slower as the op's will tone down the speed to match. It's one of the ways Mondays are more of a joy....a cup of java and a radio.

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

An Easy HF Antenna

When radio amateurs get ready to put an HF station on the air, they often have questions about what antenna to use. The good news is that there are many options to choose from. The bad news is that there are too many options to choose from. It can be overwhelming. This post describes an antenna I just installed that is easy to put up and works well.

The ponderosa pine tree supports the endfed wire antenna.

Having 30-foot tall pine trees on our property, my usual approach for HF antennas is “wires in the trees.” I have several ropes strung up over these tall trees so that I can raise and lower wire antennas as needed. These ropes were installed using a slingshot to launch a fishing line over the top of the tree, and then pull up a lightweight rope.

The 9:1 UNUN provides the matching at the end of the wire antenna.

End Fed Long Wire

The antenna is the EFLW-1K from, which is an End Fed Long Wire Antenna. (This should not be confused with an End Fed Half Wave antenna.) This antenna is intentionally cut to not be a resonant length on any of the bands. The 9:1 UNUN transforms the high impedance at the end of the wire down to something closer to 50 ohms. The match is not perfect so an antenna tuner is required to cover all of the bands. MyAntennas offers this antenna with different lengths of wire, with longer wires required to support the lower HF bands. I purchased the 53-foot version but decided to shorten the wire. My interest is working 20 meters and higher and I wanted the antenna to be mostly vertical, so I shortened the wire to about 30 feet. The MyAntennas products are good but any 9:1 UNUN on the end of a wire will work.

An endfed antenna like this needs some kind of counterpoise to balance out the antenna operation. Many people have written about this and there are many different approaches. The MyAntenna UNUN has a connector intended to support adding a short length of counterpoise wire. A decent length of coaxial cable lying on the ground can function as this counterpoise and that’s what I decided to use. I have a 50-foot length of LMR 400 connected to this antenna, lying on the ground.

The B11ISO isolation transformer is inserted in line with the coaxial cable.

I also added an inline isolation transformer to minimize the common mode currents getting back to the transceiver. I don’t know that this is required but I had one available so I used it. The antenna has 50 feet of LMR coax to the inline transformer and then another 25 feet of RG-8X to the transceiver. The internal antenna tuner in my Icom IC-7610 handles this antenna quite well, tuning up on 20m, 17m, 15m, 12m and 10m. This means I can instantly switch between the bands and be ready to go.

I’ve been running SSB, FT8 and FT4 on this antenna, working many stations in all regions: Europe, Asia, Oceania, Africa, North and South America. Conditions are great and I keep telling newer folks: now is the time to be on HF! This basic antenna is a great way to get on the air and work some DX.

73 Bob K0NR

The post An Easy HF Antenna appeared first on The KØNR Radio Site.

Bob Witte, KØNR, is a regular contributor to and writes from Colorado, USA. Contact him at [email protected].

ICQ Podcast Episode 421 – New Year Ham Radio Hints and Tips

In this episode, we join Martin Butler M1MRB, Chris Howard (M0TCH), Martin Rothwell (M0SGL), Frank Howell (K4FMH), Bill Barnes (WC3B) Ed Durrant DD5LP 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 New Year Ham Radio Hints and Tips.

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

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 315

Amateur Radio Weekly

ARRL responds to FCC proposals
ARRL concluded that the FCC should also remove the bandwidth limits that apply uniquely to the data modes on the subject bands.

In praise of old meters
There were two obviously burned resistors and a leaking battery—an easy repair to put this meter back into service.

SDU-X: Software defined data transmission with ultrasonic transducers
SDU-X uses two ultrasonic transducers mounted on 3D printed parabolic dishes.

open890 is a web-based UI for the Kenwood TS-890S Amateur Radio, and features good usability, clean design, and high-speed bandscope/audio scope displays, among other features not available either on the radio itself, or in the ARCP remote control software.

144 MHz EME Newsletter
Since 2003 I’ve produced the monthly 144 MHz EME Newsletter focusing on 2m EME activity. The newsletter comes free of charge and is my personal courtesy to the Ham community.

What’s new at DLARC January 2024
On January 1, 2024, content published in 1928 in the United States entered the public domain. But what about the Amateur Radio content?
Zero Retries

Investigating creeping ground fault
I decided to make a device that could monitor the residual current of my mains installation over time to see if the if it would uncover anything.
Dzl’s Evil Genius Lair

Top 5 Parks on the Air tips for activating a park
The top 5 tips to help you make the most of your park activations and ensure a successful and enjoyable experience.


External meter display and tune button for Yaesu FT-991a
Build a Yaesu external meter display and tune button yourself with an Arduino NANO.

Build a Ham transmitter with a Raspberry Pi Pico
Using only a few external components build a Ham Radio transmitter covering 0.5-30 MHz.
101 Things

Handheld spectrum analyzer review
The Jstvro spectrum analyzer covers 240-960 MHz on the first port and 15 – 2700 MHz on the second port.
Tech Minds

Meet the students using radio waves to contact the ISS
A high school club in Pennsylvania is making waves — radio waves, that is.

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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

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