Category Archives: Amateur (Ham) Radio

Digital Mode Samples

If you tune around certain parts of each band you are likely to hear several digital modes.  Refer to the ARRL Band Plan to determine where you should operate digital modes for every band.  I recorded the following examples in a few minutes on 20 meters this afternoon just to show how easy it is to find operators using these modes.  Many of these modes are available through free or inexpensive software and you probably have the equipment to hand that you will need.  I use the sound card in my PC to produce the transmitted audio but I have used USB devices made specifically for using digital modes. Continue reading Digital Mode Samples


A Fix for LoTW Password Problem

A few days ago my LoTW password stopped working so I tried the “Forgot Password” option but got no reply from the system.  On September 25 I emailed their help desk and got a response on September 29.  A new password checking routine, implemented on September 19, is to blame for the problem.  Here is the email reply from Continue reading A Fix for LoTW Password Problem


Why I Enjoy RTTY Contests

I enjoy RTTY contesting because it’s fast-paced and I can easily contact many stations from a wide geographical area in a single contest.  That’s not to say that I don’t enjoy a good ragchew but sometimes I just want to rack up the contacts.  As I write this I am calling CQ in the CQ WW DX RTTY Contest and have worked three European countries and a few stateside stations in the last five minutes. Continue reading Why I Enjoy RTTY Contests


Latest Antenna: 135-Foot Dipole

Just before the CQ WW DX RTTY Contest I found time to assemble the time-tested 135-foot dipole.  It is fed with ladder line almost all the way to the coax switch in the shack.  I had avoided using ladder line because of numerous stories about RFI causing all kinds of problems in the shack.  Also I did not know how to connect the ladder line to the coax switch.   Continue reading Latest Antenna: 135-Foot Dipole


Huntsville Hamfest 2014

I just returned from Huntsville Hamfest and had a great time. I attended the presentation “Arduino and You: Let the Fun Begin” by Glen Popiel (KW5GP) and learned about all of the cool projects you construct for around $50. Interestingly I had not met Glen before this presentation and was surprised to learn that he lives about an hour away in Southaven, MS. ARRL is publishing a book authored by Glen named  Arduino for Ham Radio and it will be available for purchase soon.

The second presentation was “Understanding and Customizing Arduino-Based Transceivers” by Glen and John Henry (KI4JPL) from Ten-Tec. They explained how to modify the code on the Arduino-based Ten-Tec Rebel (a CW only rig) to do JT-65.

I have programmed an Arduino to drive a relay to tap out a CW beacon message by modifying the classic LED blinking light program and now I’m interested in doing more after seeing all of the possibilities of the Arduino platform.