Net aims to promote amateur radio at colleges

Amateur radio seems to be enjoying a renaissance on college campuses around the country. Here in Ann Arbor, home of the University of Michigan, the U-M Amateur Radio Club was revived about ten years ago, and it's still going strong. They hold regular … [Continue reading]

2014 version of Tech study guide now ready!

I'm really excited to announce that the 2014 version of the No-Nonsense, Technician Class License Study Guide is now ready for publication! I want to thank everyone who reviewed it, including: Dave, W8RIT Walt, K6WRU Charles, KE5AHE Jerry, … [Continue reading]

Amateur radio in the news: TV on the Space Station, neighbors clash over tower

Ham video premiers on space station. Astronauts on the International Space Station can now talk with people on Earth with video using simple transmitters. 'Ham TV' has been set up in ESA's Columbus laboratory and already used for talking with ground … [Continue reading]

Velocity factor? No, capacitive loading.

Most hams who build dipoles know that 468 is the magic number when it comes to building dipoles. That is to say, the length, in feet, of a half-wave dipole antenna is: L (ft) = 468 / f (MHz) That number is about 5% shorter than what you'd … [Continue reading]

From my Twitter feed: SDR showdown, ground rods, end of the world?

R3UAA @R3UAA Taylor Killian: SDR Showdown: HackRF vs. bladeRF vs. USRP…   Andy Holmes, K5PO @K5PO K5PO Shows the *right* way to install ground rods... Even in rocky soil! #powertools #hamr … [Continue reading]

From the trade magazines: Beagle Bone add-ons, DIY 555, using digital scopes

Giant 555

Build Your Own Giant 555. This is definitely not practical, but it is fun. It's educational, too! BeagleBone: 9 Add-Ons That Power It Past Raspberry Pi. I have a BeagleBone, and while I haven't played around with it a lot yet, I am liking it. I … [Continue reading]

A Practical Guide to EMC

This appeared in the April 2014 issue of IEEE SEM Chapter newsletter, Wavelengths. They're electrical engineers, so they must know what they're doing, right? Put everything in metal boxes. No, make that two lead boxes, in fact. Don’t make … [Continue reading]

KB6NU wins the Alabama QSO Party


I got a surprise in the mail a couple of days ago. Apparently, I was the high scorer from the state of Michigan in the latest Alabama QSO Party. My score was 2,639, with 48 total QSOs. This goes to show you that you don't have to spend a lot of time, … [Continue reading]

Operating Notes: MI QP, a coward on 2m, Nerd Nite

Nerd Nite Ann Arbor. A week ago yesterday, I spoke to a bunch of nerds at Nerd Nite Ann Arbor. I shared the limelight with two other nerds, a bonsai (which I learned is pronounced "bone-sigh") nerd and the organizer of the Ann Arbor Mini-Maker Faire, … [Continue reading]

Help for New Hams

In a box of stuff recently donated to WA2HOM, our amateur radio station at the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum, there was a book by Doug DeMaw, W1FB, titled W1FB's Help for New Hams. This book hits on just about all the topics that a new ham in the late … [Continue reading]