From my Twitter feed: attic fan dipole, ADIF 3.0.4, ARRL Centennial


MW0IAN's avatarIan @MW0IAN
Attic Dipoles… similar to what I use here with surprising results #hamr

This is an interesting twist on the fan dipole.


colinbutler's avatarColin Butler @colinbutler
Amateur Data Interchange Format (ADIF) Standard 3.0.4 released – #ham #hamr #amateurr

One Tweeter commented that they should have just used JSON. That might be a good idea for the future.


RigolHam's avatar

Steve Barfield @RigolHam\
* Share Your Knowledge at the ARRL Centennial Convention! | @arrl amateur radio
I was actually thinking of attending the Centennial celebration. Maybe I’ll propose a talk on the one-day Tech class.

From my Twitter feed: Rigs for Ethiopia, Sun’s bizarre behavior, mobile apps


RigolHam's avatarSteve Barfield@RigolHam
Yasme Foundation Funds Transceivers for New Ethiopian Hams | @arrl amateur radio


RadioGeek's avatarKKØHF @RadioGeek
LA Times – Sun’s bizarre behavior: Weakest solar cycle in 100 years


HamTubeJp's avatarHamTubeJp @HamTubeJp
Mobile Apps for Ham Radio: Mobile Apps for Ham Radio This video will… #YoutubeHam3 #hamr

From my Twitter feed: N1MM, good-looking hams, ham-radio growth

New Version 13.05.00 of #N1MM is available from website #hamr#hamradio #cqwpx #cqww #ure @ure_es

WHY HAMS SO GOOD-LOOKING? Miracle Mask secret coverup shocker #hamr #hamradio#RSGB #QRP #CQWW

Ham Radio Growing In The Age Of Twitter : NPR - #nerd #hamradio #hamr -

From my inbox: VE7VC, Tonewriter, World Amateur Radio Day

Tiffany and her grandfather, Victor, VE7VC (SK).

What a Wonderful World. Tiffany remembers her grandfather, VE7VC (SK).

Use a Hammond B3 to send CW. Forest, WB0RIO, has developed Tonewriter—an experimental system that uses an Arduino and a Hammond B3 organ to encode text as a series of audio tones. The messages can then be displayed on a spectrogram, which is used by ham radio operators to visualize the audio that is received by a radio receiver.

April 18 is World Amateur Radio Day. The International Amateur Radio Union has selected the theme “Amateur Radio:  Entering Its Second Century of Disaster Communications” for this year’s World Amateur Radio Day (WARD).

From my Twitter feed: ham radio apps, pirate radio QSLs, and more

My “Amateur Apps” presentation was a big hit at the #hamr club meeting last night. Its available for anyone to use.

This looks like a good presentation. I might suggest that we give it at our club.

Shortwave QSL Cards – Pirate & Clandestine Radio #pirateradiouploaded to flickr mostly 1990′s era

SWL QSL card fun

Woo-Hoo! 275,000 views on my little YouTube channel about ham radio, electronics and test & measurement.

Alan does great videos.

From my Twitter feed: QRP rigs, logging program, SW digital text

@Stefano_NVR Have you seen G3XBM’s simple transceivers? mod to be on other band than 10m.

These really do look like fun little projects.  The G3BXM website has lot of other cool stuff, including a one-transistor regen receiver project and reviews of the QRP gear that G3BXM uses.


Check out DX Logger, looks to be an excellent logbook for portable use etc. #hamr #dx

A friend and I had talked about doing something like this several years ago. Kudos to the DXLogger people for actually doing it!


More shortwave digital text (and the reason behind it)
Interesting idea. I guess if amateur radio operators can use digital modes, why shouldn’t broadcasters? I’m still wondering exactly what they’d send, though.

From my inbox: Morse Code, WWV, Raspberry Pi

Here are three interesting items that I found out about by reading my e-mail:

  • Original Morse Code with Phillips PunctuationMorse Code Chart, including Phillips Punctuation. At right is a chart, showing the American Morse Code with Phillips punctuation. According to the book, A treatise on telegraphy, published in 1901, “The Phillips punctuation has superseded the Morse for punctuations, and and is much more complete and systematic. Except for submarine telegraphy, the Morse code for letters and numerals and the Phillips code for punctuation are used throughout the United States and Canada.” Click on the image for a larger, more readable chart.
  • At The Tone is the first comprehensive audio survey of NIST Radio Stations WWV and WWVH: two legendary shortwave radio broadcasters whose primary purpose is the dissemination of scientifically precise time and frequency. Offered here publicly for the first time, the set represents a huge cross-section of the stations’ “life and times,” including recordings of obsolete formats, original voices and identifications, special announcements, format changes, “leap seconds,” and other aural oddities from 1955 to 2005. Produced, compiled, and edited by Myke over a 20-year period (1992-2012), At The Tone is alternately strange and mundane, monotonous and compelling, erudite and obscure. Recommended for fans of The Conet Project, The Ghost Orchid, and other radio-related ephemera.
  • Raspberry Pi 4 Ham Radio.  This mailing is for amateur radio operators using the Raspberry Pi in ham radio applications. Looks interesting, but am not sure I want to subscribe to yet another ham radio mailing list.

Gray Line Notifier

I’ve always been kind of fascinated by gray-line propagation. The gray line is a band around the Earth where night is turning into day and day is turning into night. Theories differ as to why, but radio propagation along the gray line is often very efficient. NA5N has one explanation of the phenomenon.

This morning, while walking to our ham radio club breakfast get-together, I got to thinking about how I might be better able to take advantage of gray-line propagation.Because this phenomenon is so short-lived, it’s easy to miss the gray line. How cool, I thought, would it be if I could come up with a program that would inform me when my QTH was beginning its transit through the grayline.

I thought up several ways to get my computer to do this. Then, it occurred to me that I should be able to write a Web application that hams could sign up for that would either send them an e-mail or send them a Tweet when their QTH was about to enter the gray line. And, coincidentally, I might be able to sell some advertising to pay for this and maybe make a few bucks off it.

I’m tentatively calling this application the Gray Line Notifier. I talked up this idea a bit at our breakfast this morning, and the guys noted that there are already may gray line maps on the Web, but none of them can be programmed to send you notices. We chatted a bit more about this, and came up with a couple of features for this app, including:

  1. Will send either an e-mail or a Tweet, when a ham’s QTH is about to enter the gray line.
  2. Include information about other countries/grid squares that are also along the gray line.
  3. Perhaps interface with a DX spotter to see if there is good gray line propagation at the time.
  4. Beam headings to take advantage of gray line propagation.
What do you think? Would you sign up for this service? Can you think of any other features that I might include?

What the ham radio world needs

On Google+, Frank, W2FDB wrote: “Looking for a cross platform call logging application. One that can be used on an Android mobile system as well as on a desktop.” As someone who uses both Macs and PCs, and who is contemplating purchasing an Android tablet, I also think that this would be a good thing for ham radio.

This got me to thinking about other gadgets or software that we need in ham radio. For example, I think that we need an entry-level microwave setup. The ham radio frequency bands most vulnerable to takeover by other services/interest are the UHF and microwave bands. An entry-level setup that’s easy for a beginner to purchase and use would go a long way to increasing our use of those bands.

Can you think of any other gadgets or software that would be good for ham radio?

Circuit Simulator Options

Recently on the qrp-l mailing list, there was a thread on circuit-simulation software appropriate for amateur radio use. George, WD0AKZ, replied with two URLs:

Scott, KB0KFX, also chimed in:

I’d recommend checking out LTspice for the free route. It is widely used by engineers in industry and also popular in the hobbiest community. The documentation is decent and doing a google search you should be able to find many ham radio related examples. The LTSpice Yahoo Group is also a huge repository of examples and howtos. Use their file index system in the Files section of the Yahoo group to search and download examples. I’ve evaluated many of the spice simulators for my work a few years ago and this is just about as good as the rest for linear circuit simulation. You can easily include other vendor models besides the included LT ic’s. (see Yahoogroup examples)

Random Notes:
I attended a TI Motor Controls seminar this past year that talked about complex motor control schemes and DSP algorithm development. The TI app engineer had all of his example simulations in LTspice….go figure.

Once you’ve used it, I can build up qrp circuits like a multistage sallen key op amp filter in 10-15 minutes. (TI has some good free software for designing active filters). A few weeks ago I was playing around with a sallen key filter for something to add to the Rockmite and I wanted to get a better idea what it would actually sound like. I used a PC mic to record various wav files from my HF radio speaker with the radio bandwidth at max (~3.5kHz). It had multiple CW signals in the passband. LTspice allows the use of a wav file to be linked to a voltage source. This voltage source was fed into the sallen key filter with the output writing to another wav file. The post processed wav file was filtered by the op amp circuit and could easily hear the ringing because I was too aggressive of using a narrow bandwidth. I should have an online repository to post such experiments to share with the group, but I don’t at this time.

So, there you have it. If you’re interested at all in doing some circuit simulation, that should keep you busy for a while.