Operating Notes

I’ve worked Arun twice this past week, once from home and once from the Hands-On Museum. What’s notable about these contacts? Well, for one thing, Arun is someone I’ve cyber-Elmered. He contacted me by e-mail about getting his Tech license, and after swapping a couple of e-mails, I found out that he passed the test on Saturday, July 11. This was a bit easier for him as he’d held a VU license in the past.

The second notable thing is that both contacts were CW contacts. Again, this was easier for him because he had learned code to get his VU license, but even so, it shows that some Techs do make use of their CW privileges on the low bands.

Arun lives here in Ann Arbor, and I’m sure I’ll meet him face-to-face soon. In fact, I’ve already signed him up to speak to our ham radio club in November.

More stations whose call signs spell words:
Tuesday, while waiting for my XYL, I turned up the volume on the rig and tuned around the phone bands. Who should I hear, but N3ELK! Now, I can say that I bagged an ELK.

Yesterday, on 40m CW, N4AX replied to my CQ. He was a real sharp operator, too!

You Can’t Tell the Digital Modes Without a Scorecard

Unless you work the digital modes a lot, how do you tell which signal is PSK 31 and which is Feld Hell? By going to K2NCC’s YouTube page, of course! Frank has posted examples of nine different modes, including Domino, Feld Hell, SSTV, and MFSK16. What’s cool about these posts is that you not only hear what they modes sound like, but what they look like on a waterfall display.

Here’s what Domino EX16 sounds like and looks like:

Frank says, “Stay tuned for more!”

Yet More Links

Here are more websites that I’ve come across that could be of interest to amateur radio operators:

  • MIT Open Courseware. Want to get an MIT education without moving to Cambridge or paying high tuition? Take courses online! Of course you won’t get an MIT degree, but I bet you learn a lot. One place you might start is 6.071 Introduction to Electronics.
  • W5LET’s Bare-Essentials Transmitter. 1968 was a simpler time. That’s the year this one-tube transmitter project was published in Electronics Illustrated. It’s articles like these that got me interested in ham radio. Find a 50C5 and build this rig.
  • W5GI’s Mystery Antenna. I found this antenna while looking for a design for an 80m antenna that would fit on my lot. I haven’t built this antenna yet, but it’s on my list of things to do.
  • Amateur Radio Special Events. I like working special events stations, both operating them and contacting them. Here’s a website devoted entirely to special event stations. For example, it lists the following taking place in November:
    • XE2BC – Nov 10 – XE2BC , founded in 1946, will celebrate the founding date on November 10th 2006
    • K6PV – Nov 12 -15 – mini IOTA DXpedition to Santa Catalina Island (NA-066) California
    • ARMAD – Nov 13 – Amateur Radio Golden Corral Military Appreciation Day
    • W6OI – Nov 25- 26 – 10 -10 International Club Station Special Event
  • Ridge Equipment Company. This company sells both new and used test equipment, including dummy loads and attenuators. The prices for the used gear looks pretty good.