Posts Tagged ‘QRP’
Thinking back to when I was a kid, I used to love riding my bike. My friends and I would get up early every morning and go riding our bikes for about an hour before school started. Then after school we would leave and ride our bike for another two hours or so until it was time to go home for supper.
I wasn’t a ham back then, but I sure loved that bike. Fast forward a few years to my junior year of high school when I got my ham license. I didn’t ride my bike so much anymore, because I didn’t live in town anymore and would’ve been a seven mile ride to and from school and on roads that probably were not the best roads to ride on.
I did start to merge the hobbies somewhat around this time though, however it isn’t anywhere near what Mike and the rest of his club does on theirs. I would clip an HT to my belt and the speaker mic to my shirt and that was the about it.
In today’s episode, Mike talks with me about how he does it, how he operates while being Bicycle mobile. We talk about some of his experiences and some contacts he has made.
Do you want to get back to the original roots of Amateur Radio? Maybe you are a new ham and you have a DIY side? Maybe you just want to try something new? There are so many things that you can do with an Arduino that cost only $4 or so! Anything from a morse code keyer to a 40m QRP CW Radio and a whole lot in between. You can even do things with an Arduino that has nothing to do with amateur radio but you will find a use for.
In this episode with talk with Glen Popiel, KW5GP the author of the ARRL published books, Arduino for Ham Radio and his new book that just came out, More Arduino for Ham Radio. He is also the author of the ham mesh networking book, High Speed Multimedia for Amateur Radio.
We had a great conversation and it made me literally go to the ARRL website and buy his new Arduino book while we were recording! Check out the show notes of this episode to listen and to get more information about what we talked about. There are also links to his books that you can go to to buy one for yourself.
The biggest hamfest is over, but the biggest ham radio on the air event is quickly approaching! Yes I am talking about Field Day 2017! Back in episode 67, I had Ian on and we talked about PSK31. During that interview he mentioned that he was the Field Day Chair for his radio club, the North Fulton Amateur Radio League, so I asked him to come back and talk to us about Field Day.
We had a great conversation about what Field Day is, some general information about it, what its like to be the Field Day Chairperson and be in charge of planning the event for your club and wrap it up with things that his club does during Field Day and what goes on afterwards.
Check out the show notes of this episode for more information about things that we talk about, links that we mention and probably some that we didn’t. The show notes can be found at:
I added a bungee cord on each end to prevent damage from the radio accidentally falling off the table.
The cord does not touch the buttons.
View from the back
All in one, QRP seat, table, umbrella and antenna anchor! The bottle on the table is bug spray! LOL
The table is a cutting board attached to the existing shelf.
The cutting board is bigger than the existing shelf, so I have more room for logging and a sturdy place to attach the antenna!
A bungee cord takes up the slack from the antenna in the wind. In a real world test, I found that one radial is all I need.
I tried an experiment, adding two, then four radials. There was no detectable change in signal level by ear on or the S meter.
One radial did the trick, and 4 radials didn’t improve the signal at all.
Note the guy ropes. This is to hold the chair in place. The golf umbrella is stuffed into a piece of PVC pipe.
The PVC pipe is tied to the chair with cable ties.
Wind and the antenna pulling on the table would easily turn the chair over.
Satisfaction! I can’t wait for the next ham radio outing with my QRP buddies.
Just before the 4th of July, several sunspot regions rotated into view. Today, they are significant players in elevating the solar output of Extreme Ultraviolet energy — the energy helpful in ionizing the F-region of our Earth’s ionosphere. That, in turn, means better propagation conditions, even on higher shortwave frequencies.
73 and best DX!
Why would an amateur radio operator be interested in space weather? Is it worth the time and resources to forecast propagation, in the daily operation of a typical ham radio station?
Gary, host of the popular ‘Ham Radio Now’ video podcast, talks with Tomas Hood (NW7US), propagation and space weather columnist for CQ Amateur Radio Magazine (and in the late ‘Popular Communications Magazine’ as well as ‘CQ VHF Quarterly Magazine’) and The Spectrum Monitor Magazine. Gary discusses with Tomas how scientists forecast space weather, and how the average ham radio operator can also make predictions, and what propagation forecasting can bring to the daily operations of an amateur radio enthusiast.
Watch on YouTube: ‘Ham Radio Now’ Episode 156: Propagation…
Are you looking for some aids on learning Morse code, or to increase speed and skill? Let’s look at some great information and some software aimed at making your efforts successful.
(Note: I am not associated with any of the software. I just want to help you…)
I encourage you to look at the time-proven Koch method of learning Morse code. Below, we’ll look a little closer at this method of learning and honing your Morse code skill. In the meantime, if you just wish to skip the details, here are some software links for learning tools using the Koch method:
+ For the PC, I prefer the G4FON Morse code ‘Koch Trainer‘. It is a slick program that is set up to help you learn and enhance your skills with Morse code: http://nw7us.us/g4fontrainer – and his web site is at: http://www.g4fon.net/
+ For the iPad and iPhone: On these devices, I use the ‘Koch Trainer’ by Nick / N3WG, found in the store here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/koch-trainer/id405137883?mt=8
+ For the Android: I use the same software as for the iPad and iPhone, the ‘Koch Trainer’ by Nick / N3WG, here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.n3wg.kochtrainer – however, note that it is not compatible on the S4.
+ Some other Android possibilities that I have not tried:
Again, I have not tried those last few.
Now, let’s talk about the Koch Method of Morse code training!
From my page on the Koch method (text was used by permission from the author):
Koch’s method is a simple, direct way of building reflexes. However, it requires either a computer and Morse software or a personal trainer. That’s why it was overlooked for so many years. Now that computers are commonplace, it should become the standard Morse training method. Here’s how it works:
You start out by setting up your computer (or a microprocessor-based code tutor machine) to send you Morse characters at 20 wpm and at an overall sending speed of at least 15 wpm. You then get out your paper and pencil and have the machine start sending — but only two characters. That’s right, for your first sessions, you’ll only have two choices. Copy on paper for five minutes, then stop the machine and compare what you copied with what the machine sent. Count characters and calculate your percentage of correct copy.
If your score is 90 percent or better — congratulations! You just learned your first two characters, and, importantly, you learned them at full speed. You’ll never have to learn them over again. If you didn’t make 90 percent, practice some more. As soon as you can copy the first two characters with 90 percent accuracy, add a third character to your practice. Your accuracy will drop as you work on assimilating the new character, but it will rise again to 90 percent or better. Then you add the fourth character, and so on.
This method does not allow you to build that lookup table in your brain. To copy at full speed, you must build the reflexes in order to achieve 90 percent accuracy. And that’s what you’re spending your time doing — building reflexes. Think of it as a parallel to perfecting a tennis swing or mastering a gymnastic routine; you’re practicing until you get it right. The Koch method of building code proficiency character-by-character is similar to standard methods of teaching touch typing, another skill that must be reflexive.
While the Koch method is the fastest method of Morse training, speed alone is not its principal advantage. Its principal advantage, and a major difference from other methods, is that it provides you with constant positive reinforcement. This begins with your realization, after mastering the first two characters, that you can copy code at 15 or 20 wpm, because you just did it. After that, each new character mastered is further proof of your progress. Contrast that to slowly trying to build speed up from 4 or 5 wpm, then hitting the plateau at 10 wpm and seeing no progress for a long time. With the Koch method, frustration is at a minimum.
Constant testing is necessary to ensure that you maximize the effectiveness of the Koch method. You must copy on paper, so you can grade yourself. Remember, if you score 90 percent accuracy or better, add another character. If you score any less than that, try again. By constantly testing yourself on continuous copying of at least five minutes, you know exactly how you’re doing and exactly when you should add another character. This results in the fastest progress possible.
As you proceed toward your goal, remember that some days are just going to be better than others and some characters will take longer to assimilate than others.
(Read the entire article: the Koch method).
Again, here’s the PC software link: http://nw7us.us/g4fontrainer
And, here’s a web-based way to learn Morse code.
Good luck! If you have questions, please share them – I’m @NW7US