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Showing content with the highest reputation since 07/11/2019 in all areas

  1. 3 points
    Hi Angie, I took a look at the bio you posted on qrz and you have a variety of interests and you appear to be the type of motivated new ham licensee that we like to see entering the hobby. I can echo what Jim/K3MRI said in his previous post and agree with his advice. I too am already an extra so as Jim said, maybe not the best to be giving advice to someone just taking steps to pass the extra exam. Plus, my ham story is fairly typical today..... started in ham radio as a teenager by joining a high school radio club back in the day when everyone started as a novice and morse code was required. I upgraded to General about a year after my novice (that license expired after one year with no renewal option at the time) -- in those days, we had to go to the FCC office to take exams (the VE system didn't exist yet) and first pass a 13wpm code test before we were allowed to attempt the General theory exam. Becoming an extra back in those days almost seemed out of reach. Besides the 20wpm code test, there was a requirement for a certain number of years of experience as a General, plus the very theoretical written exam (and there was no question pool to use back then -- you had to study the manuals and guides and learn the material). At any rate, after becoming a General I operated for about 3 years, graduated from high school to a college with no radio club and, of course, college life took over followed by the normal distractions of the after-college life and my license expired. I was unlicensed for about 15 years then retested as a novice... although inactive for another 30 years. Then upon my retirement from work, I decided to re-enter the ham ranks and take the tests again. Of course, everything had changed -- VE system, question pools with answers, and no morse code, and no going to the FCC office to take the exams. Now, I have mentioned all of this to give you a frame of reference.... because, now I'm going to tell you how I studied for my exams. I had to pass all three exams again since I didn't have the documentation to be grandfathered into any class. So, first I took and passed the Tech exam one month, then studied for one month and took both the General and Extra exams in one session. I believe my method worked for me because I already had some background in ham radio theory from my previous licenses. But there was a lot of new material, especially in the extra exam. To me, the step from Tech to General had more overlap in knowledge and was a smaller step then going from General to Extra. In addition to the advice of K3MRI and what you are already doing in your study, there's one other tool I would recommend that you take a look at to see if it works for you. Its an online tool that does a combination of teaching the subject material for the exam questions and also drills on the question pool. However, its also a software "system" that tracks your progress in the background and learns your weak areas and reviews those areas more often then ones you already know. However, it is not free like some of the online tools but they do give you a guarantee that you will pass the exam or they refund the cost. You don't need to install any software, everything is done through a browser so you can login and study from any computer with internet access. You can go to the following link to read about this tool (hamradiolicenseexam.com) and they also have a free 50 question demo/trial. From that information, you should be able to determine whether their method is right for you. It would supplement what you are already doing and should give you the confidence you need to go and take the exam. I would say that for those that need a human instructor providing the information and available for feedback, this online method may not be ideal since it requires you to read and study the material on your own -- on the other hand, that's an advantage since its available 24/7 and you go at your own pace. As Jim said, in an ideal world we want extras that understand the material and can apply the concepts but on the other hand, the learning and skill development does not stop with the exam but most of it occurs after you have the license and keep learning more and apply it to your actual operating experiences.
  2. 3 points
    A 5/8 wave 2m whip will look similar in length to a 11m mobile whip, though the 11m whip will have a loading coil in the base. The coil may be visible if the base can be disassembled a bit. Do you have a SWR meter? That would provide some indication as to where the antenna is resonant. Also, you can also do some brief A/B testing between a known resonant antenna and the unknown, and see how well your signal propagates. (Receive characteristics won't necessarily be sufficiently different to form a judgement of an unknown.)
  3. 3 points
    Over the Labor Day weekend I checked into the Cherry Tree Net and made several QSOs with this Heathkit HW-101. It's back on the air after being idle for some time. It needed some work on the VFO and alignment of the transmitter. Currently, I'm using a D-104 mic with this transceiver.
  4. 3 points
    Why did the Op-Amp cross the road? Because he kept receiving negative feedback... (might be more of an EE joke...)
  5. 3 points
    It was good to be introduced to hamcommunity today at the hamfest. I look forward to the community and opportunities here!
  6. 3 points
  7. 2 points
    You're afraid of having an open book exam? From my experience of taking many hundreds of exams in my life, open book exams were were the most difficult ones I've ever taken. Both, in class and take home. And I'm all for open book exams. Properly designed they really test knowledge, not memorizing skills. What you think is simple replacement of paper forms with online forms. Properly designed online exam will look completely different than what we have now. Coming back to current exams. I passed all 3 elements in one session. What do I think about them? They are pointless. Complete waste of time. I did spend some time on studying and understanding the material, but I could as well memorize the answers and pass all of the tests with flying colors without having even a tiny bit of knowledge. And doing exams just to keep people busy is a waste of resources. I wouldn't fear that ham bands will turn into another CB. To get on 2m or 70cm all you need is a Technician license, and I know people who got it just after skimming through the the book. If CBers haven't flooded UHF/VHF bands it's only because they don't want it, not because they can't. Anyway, how many people use CB radio today? Jacek kw4ep
  8. 2 points
    https://flickr.com/photos/clind/albums/72157713158060647
  9. 2 points
    Yes that one is current until June 2020.
  10. 2 points
  11. 2 points
    Since November 2019 after participating in the first DHS AUXCOMM class in Virginia in over 4 years a committee led by John Roberts, Virginia Section Emergency Coordinator was formed and after tireless effort and keeping in line with the ARRL's National Strategic Plan, Virginia now has a plan of it's own. Here is a link to that plan and to follow developing stories along these lines - point your browser to: https://aresva.us/ The Commonwealth of Virginia Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES®) Strategy and Implementation Plan Containing the 2020 Vision, Mission, Goals, and Objectives https://aresva.us/files/plans/ARES VA Strategic Plan Complete (FINAL191221-Signed).pdf 73, Brendan - KM4HRR ARES VA Strategic Plan Complete (FINAL191221-Signed).pdf
  12. 2 points
    VWS took 3rd place in category 5A
  13. 2 points

    From the album: Trophy Case

    Just received an endorsement for contacts with 200 DXCC entities using digital modes (a combination of FT8, FT4, PSK31, RTTY, JT65, JT9).
    • 1.26 MB
    • 1340x1005
  14. 2 points
    My current choice would be DMR. I love the fact DMR is open source, with inexpensive mass produced hardware. The proprietary modes by specific manufacturers limits the scalability, and interoperability. Recently I see lots of DMR growth, probably for these reasons.
  15. 2 points
    It would be interesting to take a poll to see what other VWS members are using for logging software. Years ago I surveyed the various options and tried several, finally settling on Log4OM. While Windows only (no Linux) and currently in maintenance mode while the authors work on a complete revamp, I've found that it integrates very well [LoTW, QRZ.com, FLDigi, rig control, antenna rotors, DX clusters, etc] and is extremely feature packed [award tracking, contest logging, SQL log querying, QSL management, etc]. For serious contesting, I ditch it and use N1MM but otherwise it exceeds my needs. Mike
  16. 2 points
    22 years of service in the U.S. Air Force..... 15 years as a B-52 aviator - Copilot, Pilot, Instructor Pilot, Training School Instructor Pilot, Instructor School Instructor Pilot, Instructor School B-52 Chief Pilot.....7 years as a Strategic Air Command then Air Combat Command B-52/B-1 Training manager.
  17. 2 points
    Great cover art; who's that cool guy on the motorcycle?
  18. 2 points
    The members of the Shenandoah Valley ARC, hosts for the Berryville Hamfest, were delighted to have you with us. We look forward to further conversations and I hope you made lots of good contacts. The vision of what you have in mind is exciting.
  19. 2 points
    Thanks Mark and great talking today! If you need me to come give a presentation, I would love to. First hamfest!! Fantastic. Make it a point to go to Hamvention in Xenia one year as well. That's the ultimate hamfest, so to speak. Fantastic and thank you all for being early adopters. We're hoping to deliver on our promise.
  20. 2 points
    I went to the hamfest today as well. This was not only HamCommunity's first hamfest, it was my first one as well. I had a great time and i am glad i stopped by and meet with you all today. This is exciting and new and i have a feeling it will take off. I will be telling my club members about this. Best of luck to you all. 73 de AC3EO
  21. 2 points
    It was great meeting you guys at Berryville today, love the site. Went to the home QTH when I left the Hamfest and signed up. The meeting of the Page Valley Amateur Radio Club is Thursday August 8, I am hoping to sell the Club on hamcommunity.com, I can't imagine it will be any trouble, sells itself:) "73" Mark-N4YSA
  22. 1 point
    I'm a big fanboy of the IC-7100 as it's one of the only radios that offers VHF, UHF, HF all band all mode plus DSTAR. I have 2 of them - one for the car, and one for home shack. However, one weakness to keep in mind for portable operations is that the IC-7100 in my experience is very sensitive to voltage, it does not seem to tolerate fluctuations, and will shut down. Remember it was primarily designed as a mobile rig, so it likes a steady 12.7 volts. IF you could provide a reliable power source with constant steady voltage, I think the 7100 could make an excellent go kit type radio. If not, there may be other radios designed for field use that tolerate wider voltage ranges. My yeasu ft-817 (QRP radio) for example easily works from 13v down to about 9 volts happily. Best of luck and let us know what you decide.
  23. 1 point
    Hi Tom. It's actually far easier than you think. For one, the RM Italy 305V won't fry, it'll just cut at 10W in. If you give it 11 W, it cuts, period. I'd love to show you how I have it wired up in my car, it's sweet. I have two buttons labeled QRP and QRO. The QRP just PTTs the TXC. When the amp does not receive a PTT, it just lets the signal bypass, so I can tx up to 100W without the amp. If I want to go QRO, I reduce my TXC power to 10W and hit my QRO button which activates both my TXC and my RM Italy... sweet. I'm actually going to transmit my first car signal this Saturday at 8:30 AM from Gaithersburg. I'll be getting on 80M to join the Cherry Tree Net (regional net on 3920). If you'd like to see my setup, glad to meet up (social distancing, of course). Otherwise, I can take some photos and show you. As for shots of Alan and James' rigs, I think we have some on the site somewhere. I'm going to look for them. I'll also ask @W4DOI and @W3JRD to post some of their own, if they have any. In their case, they drive the amp with a 7300. I used to, but I sold it. Like I said above, I'm thinking of testing out the Icom 705 when it finally arrives. **Edit** Here you go. Alan's is the first setup, and James is shots two and three.
  24. 1 point
    I went with 10/45 and got everything from gigaparts. One stop shopping. No, haven't figured out how to get through the firewall yet, shouldn't be too hard to find a spot. I am going to figure that out and how to take apart my center console once everything gets here. Thanks for the help.
  25. 1 point
    Well great. If I make it through this pandemic alive I'll give you a call. -- Tom W3TDH
  26. 1 point
    I'm wondering how much backup power is available to most VHF/UHF repeaters around the country and around the world. I'm also curious to know how many repeaters have battery only /vs\ solar+battery /vs\ generator? Is it one-hour – to avoid losing the repeater during a quick power drop or failure – or is it several days in the case of a major power outage like after a storm or during a pandemic when, potentially, workers might not show up to a power plant to fix an outage?
  27. 1 point
    Wow, lots of gear to charge. I really don't think that you'll be doing all this charging for $70 to $100. Rather than give you a long list of actual items to buy, that's research that you can do, I'll give you paths to take from many years of rights and wrongs setting up solar. I'll also invite @W4DOI to chime in because, he too has much experience. The most versatile setup is going to be solar panel + charge controller (mppt or pwm) + battery + any step up or down transformers you might need. Solar panels run different wattages and different prices. I have several different types but my favorite is probably https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B06WWQHV2T/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1. Note that this is only 50W, not mega power, but good enough to charge a battery and run gear. As you will note, the price is $145 and that's just for the panel. Good news is that it comes with a PWM controller. Note that solar controllers tend to give off RFI (more impact on HF than VHF/UHF). Say you get this, now you still need a battery. A reasonable size battery is 50AH. Are you sitting down? A 50AH LiFePO4 battery will run you over $400!!!!! Okay, forget Lithium... if you go for AGM, you're still looking at ±$100. Micro issue... the PWM that comes with this panel has two outputs: 12V and a USB 5V output. What about your Lenovo?? That's likely 19V!! So if you want to power it, you'll need a transformer like this one: https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B01N0PVENT/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1. This is also one that I use. Good news is that it's only $13. So Kyle, I know you were hoping for both a cheap and simple solution, but you won't find it easily. Hate me yet??
  28. 1 point
    I have talked to many around the country, and some operators are very worried, others not so much. in the central Texas area, I have heard lots of activations in emcomm community in an effort to keep people informed. I hope that this virus is over soon. 73, KI5DZU
  29. 1 point
    Thanks for being at HamCation. Site looks great and has a modern look and feel. Happy to be here and looking forward to great future!
  30. 1 point
    At our 10 January 2020 meeting said thank you to three outstanding club officers who are stepping down this year: Terry Lowe as Treasurer, Howard Benton as Vice President, and Bill Mims as President. You can see their Certificates of Appreciation here. Please give them a Like, add a comment, or add your own photo of their adventures.
  31. 1 point
    Made eleven QSOs. The first one was a full blown rag chew. The rest were little more than a contest type exchange - signal report, QTH, name, type of key. Worked seven on 80 meters and the other four on 40.
  32. 1 point
    Unfortunately, I will be getting ready for a 4 day photo/video workshop with Doug Gardner(Wild Photo Adventures TV show) the following weekend.
  33. 1 point
  34. 1 point
    Here's a link to short movie from 2006 VWS balloon flight, courtesy Pete Hadley, K6BFA . https://drive.google.com/file/d/1D2W48AFeHY7T5KTlV5VQa_mFmL4BM23L/view?usp=sharing
  35. 1 point
    Hi Jim, Apologies for the delay...I just noted your query. RE: OSX Catalina compatibility, I run Aether on my Macbook with 10.15.1 with no problems observed. Aether is an easy to use, and nice looking, MAC OS logging program. I run Win4K3Suite on Intel NUC running Windows 10 at my shack, so I have not tried it on MAC OS but it is a great program and gives me the luxury of two distinct panadapters (in concert with my P3) with the K3s. I leverage an SDRplay RSP for a broad look at the band (with nice ClubLog-fueled annotations on display) while my P3 provides a narrower look at any signal of interest and adjacent activity. I'll try to make some time to take a short video of my shack to illustrate how I use the equipment with the bare bones wire antenna I have here. 73, Mike
  36. 1 point
  37. 1 point
    I have experienced a small number of extended power failures at home. My station power supply is a 12V/100Ah lead-acid battery that is charged by a ProMariner ProNautic 1220P battery charger. This high-performance charger includes critical safety features like temperature compensation and shorted-cell detection. And in a pinch, with the flip of a (virtual) switch, it becomes a 12V/20A regulated power supply - no battery needed. I have a 3 kW inverter/generator that provides enough power to keep my station battery charged, power my telephones and refrigerator, and run a small portable heater that is sufficient to keep the pipes from freezing (we have radiators!). This is a labor-intensive arrangement, but it has proven effective on those rare occasions where I have needed it, and costs a lot less than a whole-house backup generator.
  38. 1 point
    You do realize that those cards are supposed to become wall paper in you house?
  39. 1 point
    You're welcome to send email using any signal you want so long as the signal modulation and encoding are documented such that anyone can build a demodulator and decoder for it. If the source code for the modem is available, then the modem is usable on amateur radio frequencies. Pick any mode you want from FLDIGI and you're good. John
  40. 1 point
    Hey Bill, antenna analyzer!! Bring the antennas to the next K4US meeting and I'll bring my analyzer. Just try to remind me beforehand.
  41. 1 point
    I recently completed a D4D kit for 20 meters and it worked first time power was applied. This is a neat little DSB transceiver designed for FT-8. It is fixed on 14.074, however versions are available for 40, 30 20 and perhaps others. This is never going to be your only FT-8 rig, since it is DSB, but what a blast to put together. It plugs directly into the sound card input of your laptop running WSJT-x and puts out a watt or so. I made a couple of Qs on 20 and haven't had this much fun in ages! 73 Tom/W4OKW
  42. 1 point
    I’ve been using an ICOM IC-7100 exclusively in my truck since 2014. It excites an Ameritron ALS-500M amplifier. Let me know how I might assist. Jack
  43. 1 point
    Yes, used for both HF and VHF in the mobile, love it. Feel free to ask questions. Glenn KW4TO
  44. 1 point
    Yeah. The one on the top left.
  45. 1 point
    NAQP RTTY was hosted by Pete, K6BFA. We had planned two stations, with K4HTA local and K4XY remote into Doug's station. We never got Pete's rig working on RTTY, so we operated only the remote.,
  46. 1 point
    Hello all in PA! I'm currently in Waynesboro, PA, within sight of the MD line.
  47. 1 point
    Don't you mean "even if the floor were 20 wpm!!!"? That would imply a starting point of 20. When we had the code, the ceiling WAS 20.
  48. 1 point
    I fully agree. At first I was hesitant to spend money on each radio, but their package is good and their support well worth the investment. I do, I admit, wish they had a package license that would be good for unlimited radios, but they do not.
  49. 1 point
    I've found the ease of using RT Systems, especially the capability to import geographical and/or route areas of repeaters from RFinder and Repeater Book, to be well worth the cost.
  50. 1 point
    You've definitely taken a large step with this community. I jumped onboard this early because I see its potential...
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