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KH6JRM's Amateur Radio Blog
Amateur Radio--news, analysis, discussion, and antennas
Curated by Russ Roberts
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Former Ham-Astronaut Gets Back into Ham Radio

Former Ham-Astronaut Gets Back into Ham Radio | KH6JRM's Amateur Radio Blog | Scoop.it
The American Radio Relay League (ARRL) is the national association for amateur radio, connecting hams around the U.S. with news, information and resources. (Former Ham-Astronaut Susan J.
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Former astronaut and now Lt. General, USAF, Susan Helms (ex-KC7NHZ), has returned to the world of amateur radio as KK6HNZ.  She was inspired by a recent JOTA (Jamboree on the air) event and decided to re-enter ham radio.  Helms thrilled Field Day participants in 2001 with amateur radio contacts from space as NAISS.  Welcome back!  Aloha de Russ (KH6JRM).

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Geyer - Tangled Web of Intrigue Links the Kennedys and Castro - Ponca City News

Geyer - Tangled Web of Intrigue Links the Kennedys and Castro - Ponca City News | KH6JRM's Amateur Radio Blog | Scoop.it
Geyer - Tangled Web of Intrigue Links the Kennedys and Castro Ponca City News At that time he was monitoring radio communications between CIA agents and infiltration teams, and, out of the blue, he was instructed to redirect his antennas from...
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An intriguing, somewhat off-beat study of President Kennedy and the tenuous connection between amateur radio and the failed attempts to kill Cuban President Fidel Castro.  The newspaper concludes that Kennedy and his advisors played a risky game of "chicken" with one of the cleverest leaders in Latin America and lost.  Perhaps we'll never know the real story.  Aloha de Russ (KH6JRM).

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Radio Tower Destroyed in Sunday Night's Storms - WRGT TV Fox 45

WRGT TV Fox 45
Radio Tower Destroyed in Sunday Night's Storms
WRGT TV Fox 45
"And then we heard anther thud and we opened up the back door and looked and here's my 100-foot H.A.M.
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A cautionary tale for all amateur radio operators.  Apparently winds from a powerful tornado took down John Kovacs's tower and spread antenna elements all over his yard and through his bedroom window.  As Kovacs said later, "The main thing, the house can be repaired, the tower can be replaced."  John was lucky this time.  Aloha de Russ (KH6JRM).

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Amateur radio “wallpaper” a bright addition to the shack

Amateur radio “wallpaper” a bright addition to the shack | KH6JRM's Amateur Radio Blog | Scoop.it
One of the more amusing aspects of amateur radio is the number of awards and certificates that you can earn.
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Another interesting article from Dan Romanchik. This time around the shack, Dan discusses the various awards and certificates amateur radio operators can earn while pursuing their hobby. Collecting "wall paper" is an fascinating aspect of amateur radio. A few certificates such as the popular Worked All States, Worked All Continents, and awards from various state contests can really spruce up the walls of your shack. Add these certificates to your collection of hard copy and electronic QSL cards and you've got a brief history of your time in amateur radio. Aloha de Russ (KH6JRM).
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ISS Ham Radio CubeSats deploy Tuesday/Wednesday - Southgate Amateur Radio Club

ISS Ham Radio CubeSats deploy Tuesday/Wednesday
Southgate Amateur Radio Club
As well as the ISS deployment next week also sees two mass launches of satellites on Minotaur-1 and Dnepr rockets.
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This coming week will be a busy week for amateur radio satellite launches. The International Space Station will deploy four CubeSats with amateur radio payloads on Tuesday and Wednesday. In addition to the ISS deployments, there will be two mass launches of small satellites on Dnepr and Minotaur-1 rockets. A total of 37 amateur radio satellites could be deployed next week if launch conditions are good. Exciting times ahead! Aloha de Russ (KH6JRM).
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Claims vs. actual performance - Hardware.Info

Claims vs. actual performance - Hardware.Info | KH6JRM's Amateur Radio Blog | Scoop.it
Claims vs. actual performance
Hardware.Info
Ham radio and powerline adapters. We've been told several times by ham radio operators that powerline adapters have a very negative impact on their hobby in the form of interference.
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Here's another side to the broadband over power lines (BPL) issue from the standpoint of Hardware.Info, a UK company that manufactures the Homeplug series of powerline adapters.  While the manufacturer admits that "notching out" amateur radio frequencies is a problem, improvements in the latest Homeplug model (AV-2) minimize the problem of noise on the ham bands.  Aloha de Russ (KH6JRM).

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Last Man Standing now boasts 17 radio hams - Southgate Amateur Radio Club

Last Man Standing now boasts 17 radio hams Southgate Amateur Radio Club NN6JA also notes that the Thanksgiving episode, which airs on Friday, November 22nd features Tim Allen as Mike Baxter, KA0XTT, again on his amateur radio station as a part of...
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Here's the latest information on the popular tv sitcom "Last Man Standing."  The show is quite good and presents amateur radio in a positive light.   Aloha de Russ (KH6JRM).

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SkimCC11

SkimCC11 | KH6JRM's Amateur Radio Blog | Scoop.it
a small utility that allows cw skimmer spots to be correctly passed to ham radio deluxe logbook and appear as spots and bandmap items under Software/Utilities (SkimCC11: A small utility that allows CW Skimmer spots to\r\nbe correctly passed to Ham...
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An interesting utility for cw enthusiasts.  Aloha de Russ (KH6JRM).

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Autobiography Captures Era Gone By - Radio World

Autobiography Captures Era Gone By - Radio World | KH6JRM's Amateur Radio Blog | Scoop.it
Autobiography Captures Era Gone By
Radio World
One if these involved installing a loop antenna that was concealed beneath the checkout counter in his shop and connected to a large, long wire outdoor antenna.
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"Surviving Technology" by the late Bruce Vaughn should be a valuable addition to your radio library.  The book recounts the "Golden Age" of consumer electronics by one who was there, both in a broadcast engineering and servicing career and in the field of amateur radio.  This sounds like a fascinating book, especially for those of us who once worked in the commercial broadcast industry.  Aloha de Russ (KH6JRM).

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Czech Statocaching APRS ham radio balloon - Southgate Amateur Radio Club

Czech Statocaching APRS ham radio balloon - Southgate Amateur Radio Club | KH6JRM's Amateur Radio Blog | Scoop.it
Czech Statocaching APRS ham radio balloon
Southgate Amateur Radio Club
Stratocaching which launches Saturday, Nov. 16 at 0800 UT aims to combine amateur radio stratospheric balloons with the popular pastime of Geocaching.
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Amateur radio operators in the Czech Republic will launch a special high altitude "stratocaching" balloon on Saturday, 16 November 2013, 0800 UTC.  The goal of the project is to combine stratospheric balloons with the popular hobby of Geocaching.  After the radio equipped modules are released from the balloon, amateur radio enthusiasts will begin a hunt for the stratocaches.  For details, visit http://tinyurl.com/Stratocaching. ; Aloha de Russ (KH6JRM).

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Essex Ham visits the Kempton Park Rally - Southgate Amateur Radio Club

Essex Ham visits the Kempton Park Rally
Southgate Amateur Radio Club
Essex Ham visits the Kempton Park Rally. The popular West London Radio Rally at Kempton Park took place on Sunday the 10th of November 2013.
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According to Pete (M0PSX), the Kempton Park Rally on 10 November 2013 was a great success for amateur radio operators in the UK.  You can view a video of the event by visiting http://www.essexhamco.uk/kempton2013. ; Aloha de Russ (KH6JRM).

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Radio club focuses on emergency response - Aiken Standard

Radio club focuses on emergency response Aiken Standard Amateur Radio Emergency Service – or ARES – members are trained to communicate clearly in local emergencies, which includes learning about the different radios and equipment they are licensed...
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An informative article outlining some of the activities of the North Augusta Belvedere Radio Club.  The club has a strong emphasis on emergency communications and participates in activities of the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES).  In light of recent natural disasters around the world, such preparation is prudent and necessary.  Aloha de Russ (KH6JRM).

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Ham Emergency Radio Operation (HERO) - Philippine Amateur Radio Association

#TyphoonHaiyan #TyphoonYolanda #typhoonrelief Information on Amateur Radio activity can be found here http://t.co/xYGXLcEImX
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Here's the latest update from the Ham Emergency Radio Operation (HERO)-Philippine Amateur Radio Association on efforts to restore communications in the typhoon-wracked areas of Cebu and Leyte.  As you can imagine, the hams on duty are short on sleep, food, power, and other necessities, but, in the finest  tradition of the Amateur Radio Service, Philippine amateurs are doing the best they can to pass health and welfare traffic to families separated by the catastrophic storm.  PARA is using the HF frequency of 7.095 MHz and the 2 meter VHF frequency of 144.740 MHz to pass emergency traffic.  Relief aid is being hampered by the loss of roads, power, and other infrastructure.  PARA officials say some cellular service is available, but it will take time to restore this service to the affected area.  Aloha de Russ (KH6JRM).

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Top 10 Raspberry Pi Myths and Truths - Scott Hanselman

Top 10 Raspberry Pi Myths and Truths - Scott Hanselman | KH6JRM's Amateur Radio Blog | Scoop.it

First, let me go on the record as saying I'm a huge Raspberry Pi fan. If you haven't heard already, a Raspberry Pi is a small but complete $35 computer (or $25 without Ethernet)...


Via Trevor Devalle
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Some interesting insights from technical writer Scott Hanselman concerning the "ins" and "outs" of the popular Raspberry Pi mini computer.  The Raspberry Pi is a favorite of amateur radio operators and finds many uses in the "shack."  Aloha de Russ (KH6JRM).

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Ham radio operators back up FMC in emergencies - Lancaster Eagle Gazette

Ham radio operators back up FMC in emergencies - Lancaster Eagle Gazette | KH6JRM's Amateur Radio Blog | Scoop.it
Ham radio operators back up FMC in emergencies
Lancaster Eagle Gazette
“We partner with our local amateur radio club during many events through the year,” FMC Police Chief Steve Anderson said.
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A well balanced, decent article about the Fairfield, Ohio Amateur Radio Club and its support of medical, police, and community events.  Aloha de Russ (KH6JRM).

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Top tips to protect your PC against viruses - itsusefulstuff

Top tips to protect your PC against viruses - itsusefulstuff | KH6JRM's Amateur Radio Blog | Scoop.it
Top tips to protect your PC against viruses.Learn easy tips to Save your computer from Viruses

Via GrahamL
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Amateur radio operators use computers for a variety of purposes.  From logging programs to antenna design, amateurs have found computers a welcome addition to their radio rooms.  Because many amateur radio operators use their computers as an extension of their stations, it behooves them to keep this valuable tool free of malicious programs and viruses.  This brief article provides some helpful hints on keeping your computer free of damaging malware and other undesireable programs.  Aloha de Russ (KH6JRM).

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SteppIR Antenna's CrankIR Goes Global! | Steppir, Inc – Antennas ...

SteppIR Antenna's CrankIR Goes Global! | Steppir, Inc – Antennas ... | KH6JRM's Amateur Radio Blog | Scoop.it
Robert, N7QT and Grant, KZ1W take two CrankIR Antennas across the line into the South Pacific for a successful operation from Raivave Island, French Polynesia. Robert and Grant “Cranked It” as TX5D October 2-14 2013 ...
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Steppir antennas are becoming more common in DXpeditions these days. During the 02-14 October 2013 TX5D operation from French Polynesia, these Steppir beams performed flawlessly. Look for more DXpeditions with Steppir antennas in the future. Aloha de Russ (KH6JRM).
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Going digital? All you need is a coathanger - Waikato Times

Going digital? All you need is a coathanger - Waikato Times | KH6JRM's Amateur Radio Blog | Scoop.it
Waikato Times
Going digital? All you need is a coathanger
Waikato Times
... transmission in New Zealand and overseas.
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A little ingenuity, an inexpensive balun, some coaxial cable and connectors, and a metal clothes hanger were all that New Zealand resident John Richards needed to help his neighbors receive digital tv signals.  John's step-by-step instructions are easy to follow.  This project may be of interest to those of us who are dissatisfied with the high cost of satellite or cable-delivered programming.  If you can receive over-the-air tv broadcasts, this simple antenna may be the alternative to more costly options.  Aloha de Russ (KH6JRM).

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Hams increase their Philippines typhoon disaster role - Southgate Amateur Radio Club

Hams increase their Philippines typhoon disaster role Southgate Amateur Radio Club The Philippines Amateur Radio Association (PARA) and its Ham Emergency Radio Operation (HERO) network continue providing emergency communications, and at the request...
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Ramon Anquilan, the vice chief operations officer of the Philippine Amateur Radio Association (PARA) says Philippine hams are continuing to provide emergency communications, and will, at the request of government officials, will expand their efforts to other hard-hit areas affected by Typhoon Haiyan.  The ARRL is sending radio equipment of facilitate emergency communications in storm damaged areas.  Anquilan (DU1UGZ) thanks the worldwide amateur radio community for keeping 7.095 MHz clear for emergency traffic.  Aloha de Russ (KH6JRM).

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Accidental discovery: 400-fold increase in electrical conductivity of a crystal through light exposure

Accidental discovery: 400-fold increase in electrical conductivity of a crystal through light exposure | KH6JRM's Amateur Radio Blog | Scoop.it
Quite by accident, Washington State University researchers have achieved a 400-fold increase in the electrical conductivity of a crystal simply by exposing it to light.

 

WSU doctoral student Marianne Tarun chanced upon the discovery when she noticed that the conductivity of some strontium titanate shot up after it was left out one day. At first, she and her fellow researchers thought the sample was contaminated, but a series of experiments showed the effect was from light. "It came by accident," said Tarun. "It's not something we expected. That makes it very exciting to share."

 

The phenomenon they witnessed—"persistent photoconductivity"—is a far cry from superconductivity, the complete lack of electrical resistance pursued by other physicists, usually using temperatures near absolute zero. But the fact that they've achieved this at room temperature makes the phenomenon more immediately practical.


And while other researchers have created persistent photoconductivity in other materials, this is the most dramatic display of the phenomenon. "The discovery of this effect at room temperature opens up new possibilities for practical devices," said Matthew McCluskey, co-author of the paper and chair of WSU's physics department. "In standard computer memory, information is stored on the surface of a computer chip or hard drive. A device using persistent photoconductivity, however, could store information throughout the entire volume of a crystal."


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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A fortuitous accident by Washington State University researchers may be a major breakthrough in developing "standard computer memory."  The researchers found that exposing certain crystals for a day in sunlight increased conductivity in the crystals by "400 fold."  The phenomenon of "persistent photoconductivity" opens up "new possiblilities for practical devices."   If this work proves conclusive, look for improved computer memory, cheaper production costs, and new applications in electronics.  Aloha de Russ (KH6JRM).

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Philippine Amateur Radio Volunteers Fill Communication Gap: - eHam.net

Philippine Amateur Radio Volunteers Fill Communication Gap:
eHam.net
He reported that ham radio volunteers there are using HF to handle outbound traffic on 14.277 MHz.
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Here's the latest update on amateur radio activity in the Philippine cities affected by super Typhoon Haiyan.  The Philippine Amateur Radio Association (PARA) says cell phone and other communications service are gradually being restored in the hardest hit areas.  PARA officials believe amateur radio operators will continue handling health and welfare traffic for at least another week.  Philippine hams are using two frequencies to send emergency traffic--7.095 MHz and 14.277 MHz.  There are indications that Philippine government officials are willing to give more support to amateur operators, having seen how the HERO network is helping restore communications in storm-devastated communities.  Aloha de Russ (KH6JRM).

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Ham radios still relevant today - Fort Wayne Journal Gazette

Ham radios still relevant today - Fort Wayne Journal Gazette | KH6JRM's Amateur Radio Blog | Scoop.it
Ham radios still relevant today
Fort Wayne Journal Gazette
The century-old science of radio transmissions and antennas seem archaic compared with the cellphones and tablets of today.
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An indepth article on the state of Amateur Radio today from reporter Keiara Carr of the "Fort Wayne Journal Gazette."  Her article is part of the publicity for this weekend's 41st Annual Fort Wayne Hamfest and Computer Expo.  Ms. Carr did an especially fine job of interviewing James Boyer (KB9IH), who dispelled some of the misconceptions concerning Amateur Radio.  This quote hits the "nail on the head":

"The public may not be aware that we are at the forefront of technology...we reinvent modes of communication all the time...amateur radios are essentially the original cellphones--that's where the technology came from."  'Nuff said.  Aloha de Russ (KH6JRM).

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Amazing Adaptable AM Radio - Electronic Design (blog)

Amazing Adaptable AM Radio - Electronic Design (blog) | KH6JRM's Amateur Radio Blog | Scoop.it
Amazing Adaptable AM Radio
Electronic Design (blog)
It is amazing what you can hear at night on the AM band with a good radio and a wire antenna. You can hear coast to coast AM stations with ease and even some foreign stations.
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Excellent, informative article by Lou Frenzel on the history and possible future of AM radio.  Many amateur radio operators, including yours truly, got their start by DXing the AM broadcast band.  I still enjoy programs I hear from the U.S. mainland (I live in Hawaii).  I use my amateur radio 40 meter loop and an old Hallicrafters SX-62A to "pull in" those elusive stations over 2,000 miles away.  Aloha de Russ (KH6JRM).

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Teen takes lead on call to International Space Station - San Jose Mercury News

Teen takes lead on call to International Space Station - San Jose Mercury News | KH6JRM's Amateur Radio Blog | Scoop.it
Teen takes lead on call to International Space Station
San Jose Mercury News
Many watched in rapt anticipation for one of the two 14-foot antenna towers perched atop one of the school's buildings to tilt into motion.
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This must have been quite a thrilling experience for the 100 students at the Rancho Romero Elementary School.  The lead engineer on the ground side of the project was amateur radio operator Rebecca Rubsamen, who helped set up the equipment for the ARISS contact with astronaut Mike Hopkins.  It's nice to see inquisitive teens involved with amateur radio.  To see a video of this contact, visit http://www.RebecaRubsamen.com.  Aloha de Russ (KH6JRM).

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Hams still involved in Philippines typhoon disaster - Southgate Amateur Radio Club

Hams still involved in Philippines typhoon disaster Southgate Amateur Radio Club Ramon Anquilan DU1UGZ, of the Philippines Amateur Radio Association (PARA), said its Ham Emergency Radio Operator or HERO network is working inside the disaster areas,...
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Current disaster update from Ramon Anquilan (DU1UGZ) of the Philippine Amateur Radio Club (PARA).  Philippine hams continue to support emergency communications needs in the affected areas.  Aloha de Russ (KH6JRM).

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