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Our Picks

Top content from across the community, hand-picked by us.

How was Field Day 2020?
How did you fare during Field Day 2020? Did you meet up? Did you operate portable? Did you go 1D?

As for myself, we ended up in the field. I operated with the Randalstown/NIH group at Washington Monument State Park. We operated under N3IC as a 3A. We practiced mask-wearing, most of us, anyway. We did have one rogue, but he was respectful of distancing. I feel confident that we were safe.

Setup-wise, I attempted to setup my 40-meter, four-element, wire beam but I was not as successful as I would have hoped. Many lessons learned for next year 🥴
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SOTABEAMS Antenna Wire Winders
Sotabeams Antenna Wire Winders: read the reviews if you need to wind light wire, frankly they're quite amazing.
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MTC Radio
We are Main Trading Company. We are a real brick and mortar retail store located at 2707 Lamar Ave in Paris Texas (about a hundred miles North East of Dallas). We are Christine and Richard Lenoir. 

We Started in 2009 when Richard Lost his job in sales due to a stuggling economy. We Started selling on ebay. We would drive to DFW and bring back small pick up loads of surplus and closeouts. Our neighbors were really proud of us when we received our first truckload delivery at our home! In just a few short months the volume got out of hand and our living room and patio looked like a warehouse. We rented a small store front in Beautiful downtown Paris Tx in June of 2009. We out grew that location and moved across the street to 139 Bonham st. In January 2010. Times got even tougher when Christy lost her job as a radio announcer. She came on full time as well.
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LuckGrib
Craig left Seattle, sailing down the West coast of America for the first time in August of 2011. That trip ended up lasting one year, returning to Seattle via Mexico and Hawaii. A second trip lasted three years, sailing from Seattle to Mexico, French Polynesia, Niue, Tonga, New Zealand, Tonga, Fiji, New Zealand and then back to Seattle, again via Hawaii.

While out cruising, and using a variety of GRIB viewers on a regular basis, Craig had become dissatisfied with what was available. With a background in Computer Graphics and Computer Science, and with 20 years of professional software development in those areas, he felt that there was a possibility of creating a new, modern GRIB viewer that would be able to be much more informative while being highly responsive.

Craig started work on LuckGrib while sailing on his yacht, s/v Luckness, in New Zealand during December, 2014. Version 1.0 of LuckGrib was released on the Apple Mac App store in early August, 2015.

LuckGrib takes full advantage of the multiple CPUs offered by modern hardware, as well as the high performance graphics hardware they contain, their GPUs. By efficiently utilizing the available hardware, LuckGrib is able to produce high quality renderings of the weather, in real time. GRIB files are loaded almost unbelievably quickly. When stepping between different time intervals in a GRIB file, the changes are animated at a high frame rate, yielding smooth transitions. All of this speed and quality helps you to understand the GRIB file content and how it changes over time.
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DIY Solar Power with Will Prowse
Want to build an awesome off-grid solar power system? My videos will teach you everything you need, no experience necessary 🙂
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Net useage
I'm curious to find out a bit more about net attendance both in the HF and the VHF/UHF space. Discuss and answer the poll!!
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My Medic
Not all beginnings start with happiness. A tragic accident that took the life of a family member was the motivation that started MyMedic. Several years ago a normal day turned dark after a car accident occurred. Bystanders without First Aid equipment or training watched for 40 minutes as a family member of ours bled to death. That’s how long it took EMS services to arrive on scene due to the remote location the accident had taken place. Help is further than you may think.

As a family we came together and started MyMedic with one objective in mind, to save lives. Our goal is to prepare everyone with equipment and training for the unexpected emergency.

We discovered that most people are not prepared for emergencies. It’s an unfortunate reality. Life can be gone in an instant, but if you had the power to prevent a loss, you would take it in a heartbeat. Whether you’re driving to and from work, enjoying the great outdoors, or staying home, the solution is peace-of-mind knowing that you have instant access to a MyMedic First Aid Kit.
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Bioenno Lithium Iron Phosphate LIFEPO4 Batteries
Bioenno Lithium Iron Phosphate LIFEPO4 Batteries
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Radiohaus America
"Dear Customer,
You are the main reason and incentive for our work, so we will always endeavor to meet your needs quickly and efficiently. Be sure we will always strive to offer the best deals and ensure your satisfaction when you shop with us. In case of any problems, questions, complaints or suggestions, please contact me directly. I will be glad to assist you. My email is erwin@RadiohausAmerica.com
Erwin Hübsch Neto, PY2QI | KK4CGD
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The SWLing Post
The SWLing Post is a community of shortwave radio and amateur radio enthusiasts sharing shortwave radio reviews, news, broadcasting, pirate radio, numbers stations, interviews, and much more.

If you have any questions or comments, please respond within the blog posts or obtain our email address (via Captcha) on our Contact page.

Contributors/Authors

The primary contributor on the SWLing Post is Thomas Witherspoon (K4SWL / M0CYI). He has been a passionate supporter of shortwave radio and international broadcasting most of his life.

Additionally, the SWLing Post has other contributors (identified in each article when applicable) and occasionally employs a professional editor.

Become an SWLing Post contributor/writer

If you would like to share your story or article on the SWLing Post, simply email us your proposal (thomas [ at ] swling.com). We’re all about sharing our passion and love of radio, so we are happy to share your articles.

If you’ve been a reader for long, you’ll see that the majority of our articles focus on the world of shortwave, mediumwave, and amateur radio. We tend to stay on-topic here.

We only ask that the work be your own original writing and that any short quotes or passages taken from other work are correctly cited and documented. In other words, we strictly prohibit plagiarism. We require the same of any images you use to support your article–either they must be your own image or you have written permission to use them.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us!

Sponsorship

We have begun a sponsorship program and will serve relevant and non-obtrusive ads on our various SWLing.com sites. In the beginning, it will be by invitation only. If you would like to promote your product, company or service on our sites, please contact us for information. Please note: if your organization is not directly associated with shortwave radio or international broadcasting, do not bother to inquire about sponsorship. We want our ad content to enhance our site offerings, not detract from the reader experience.

 



 



 
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GPS Visualizer
GPS Visualizer is an online utility that creates maps and profiles from geographic data. It is free and easy to use, yet powerful and extremely customizable. Input can be in the form of GPS data (tracks and waypoints), driving routes, street addresses, or simple coordinates. Use it to see where you've been, plan where you're going, or quickly visualize geographic data (scientific observations, events, business locations, customers, real estate, geotagged photos, etc.).
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RFMap
What is beeing displayed on DJ2LS RFMap?
Realtime RF Spots of the last 24 hours
Spots which are transmitted inside a radius of 200km of your location

What are the data sources?
Spots from DXCluster ( https://www.dxcluster.co.uk/ )
Spots from WSPR ( http://wsprnet.org/drupal/ )
Spots from PSKREPORTER ( https://pskreporter.info  )

Which modes will be displayed?
Everything, whats beeing reported by hams

How many spots are in the database?
More than 1.000.000 for 24 hours

Is every country available?
Yes, but depends on spot reports of hams
Most common areas are USA, Europe, Asia, Russia

Is there an auto refresh?
Yes, data will be refreshed every 60 Seconds without reloading the entire webpage

Which visitor data will be stored by DJ2LS?
Nothing. 
Yes, Nothing!
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Tamitha Skov
If you are here for the first time, my name is Tamitha Skov. You may recognize me from TV shows I've done for The History Channel and The Weather Channel. I've been featured in Popular Science Magazine. I even do regular Space Weather broadcasts on TWiT TV. I want to open your world to a new kind of weather that's going to become very important to your daily life sooner than you think. Sound hard to believe? Think of all the technology we take for granted, like GPS and traffic apps on mobile phones, robotic drones and UAVs that have begun flying above our heads, high-altitude airline flights, satellite internet, satellite phones, Direct TV, even Sirius Radio -- all of these things are affected by Space Weather. As we become more reliant on smart, wireless technologies, our dependence upon Space Weather grows. Even today, emergency radio communications used by disaster relief agencies like the Red Cross depend upon what Space Weather is doing. Imagine, with no power and no cell phones, not being able to get through to your loved ones when its most important. Yet despite our growing reliance on Space Weather, very few people are even aware of it. I want to change all that. Im working to make credible Space Weather forecasts as common as the weather forecasts you see on the evening news. I would love for you to join me on this journey!
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Heywhatsthat
A variety of map based tools including topographic profiles. Check it out!!
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Medical Emergency
Dr. Albert A. Greenfield, an obstetrician, was about to retire for the night. He sat in his pajamas in a small room off his bedroom in Potomac, flipping through medical journal on pediatric and adolescent gynecology.

Two blocks away, his friend, Richard W. Hayman, was tuning the dials of his ham radio. He had just been talking to someone in Japan because he is planning a trip there in May.

You can read about it: https://jonestown.sdsu.edu/?page_id=92807

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K5ND
In the early 1960s my Dad purchased an antique, roughly 1940s era, Philco console radio. It had a shortwave band and a pretty good built-in loop antenna. I discovered HCJB in Quito Ecuador and was hooked on the magic of radio.

Morse code, however, with the records of the time, completely eluded me. The theory was fine but I just could not get the code. I did continue with shortwave listening and really enjoyed collecting QSL cards from around the world.

After my U.S. Air Force stint, I ended up in Merriman Nebraska where a kind ham helped me with the code and gave me the exam for the Conditional Class License, since we were well over 125 miles from an FCC examination location. My first call sign was WBØJXY in 1973. My activities were a few CW contacts, building some gear, and experimenting with 2 meter quad antennas.

On moving to Michigan and working for Heathkit, I traveled to the Chicago FCC office and took the exam for Advanced Class. With that, my new call sign was KB8CE in 1978. At that time my activities were RTTY with teletype machines.

After a long hiatus, I passed the Extra Class exam in 2006 and managed to snag the call sign K5ND. My early activity was running QRP CW and then entering a few contests mostly to chase DX. That transitioned to an entirely new approach to RTTY and contesting. Right now I’m focused on VHF-UHF contesting as a rover as well as satellite operations.
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Thoughts on virtualizing Ham license exams?
I'm curious what people think. Should there be an option/method available, either in times like Covid-19, or any other time, during which we should be giving hopeful amateur radio operators the option of testing online? I believe that the Anchorage Amateur Radio Club VEC (https://kl7aa.org/vec/) is doing it.
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With all that is happening in this world, COVID-19 has been getting the majority of the news and headlines. Nevertheless, Mother Nature is still at work and we do have a Hurricane Season that is soon approaching.

This morning, Dr. Philip Klotzbach released his first forecast for the 2020 Atlantic Basin Hurricane Season. “We anticipate that the 2020 Atlantic basin hurricane season will have above-normal activity. Current warm neutral ENSO conditions appear likely to transition to cool neutral ENSO or potentially even weak La Niña conditions by this summer/fall. Sea surface temperatures averaged across the tropical Atlantic are somewhat above normal. Our Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation index is below its long-term average; however, most of the tropical Atlantic is warmer than normal. We anticipate an above-average probability for major hurricanes making landfall along the continental United States coastline and in the Caribbean. As is the case with all hurricane seasons, coastal residents are reminded that it only takes one hurricane making landfall to make it an active season for them. They should prepare the same for every season, regardless of how much activity is predicted.”
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Mission:
• To disseminate hurricane advisory information to marine interests, Caribbean Island nations, emergency operation centers, and other interests for the Atlantic Tropical Cyclone Basin as promulgated by the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida, and when required, the Canadian Hurricane Center in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.
• To obtain weather information from reporting stations and observers who are not part of the routine network for the National Weather Service, or the World Meteorological Organization, and forwarding it to the National Hurricane Center, and when required, the Canadian Hurricane Centre.
• To function as a backup communication link for the National Hurricane Center, the National Weather Service Field Offices, the Canadian Hurricane Centre, Emergency Operation Centers, Emergency Management Agencies, Non-Governmental Organizations, and other vital interests, which can involve military relief operations, involved in the protection of life and property before, during and after a hurricane event.
• To relay initial damage assessments of hurricane damage to the National Hurricane Center, and when required, the Canadian Hurricane Centre.




 
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Green Hero Engineering
Green Heron Engineering, LLC is dedicated to bringing amateur radio operators the best in sensible automation products, while providing the best customer support experience in our industry. Although we do have some commercial application, we treat everyone the same. Hams do not take a back-seat with Green Heron.

We are dedicated to providing solutions to common issues facing the radio amateur in integrating amateur equipment from any vendor. The RT-20 was introduced in May of 2005 and was an instant success as the first of a kind, totally unique product that solves real world station problems. The current version, the RT-21 v4, has evolved based on customer feedback, as well as our own innovations. It has features that contesters will love, remote station owners will wonder how they did without, and even the casual operator, with one rotator, will want to own and operate. The latest unit has an optional Wi-Fi embedded web server. It’s was rather obvious to us, that rotator manufacturers were ignoring the user view (the controller) of their products. We developed an easy to use, fully programmable, and good looking controller that works with any manufacturer’s rotator. We made it easy to integrate the software side by making our unit compatible with the Hy-Gain DCU-1 protocol with enhancements to provide many more modern features.

Over the years, we’ve added the Deluxe RT-21, a DC powered unit aimed at mobile or solar powered applications, and a universal Az/El controller that can’t be matched for versatility, performance and looks! We control everything from simple entry level rotators, to complete rotating tower multi HP motor systems.

Our “Green Heron Everyware” is a complete product family of modules, software, and devices that solve another set of problems facing us in our own station integration efforts, targeted to the absolute best in Remote Station control and automation. We needed to share station resources, eliminate the myriad of cables and many different antenna switch control boxes cluttering the operating positions and provide wireless “last mile” connection to switches while adding internet or local control with zero change in operating interface. We use standard IP protocols and human readable XML configuration files. There is no proprietary LAN or “secret sauce” mixed in. We are constantly discovering new and useful applications and are now can supply many of our own switching devices with built-in GH Wireless Control.

Our primary focus though, is not on our products.  We believe that if you buy from us, you deserve to get our full support as well.  This means that you can call or e-mail, that you will get a person or a response as soon as possible.  This doesn’t mean “within 2-3 business days”!

We continue to design, test and manufacture in the USA.
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WN3R Remote Station
WN3R

I started trying to remote my Frederick HF station back in 2006. I was way ahead of the technology. Just a few years ago, I was finally successful in duplicating my local operating style remotely from Rockville.

The "Frederick" remote station consists of the following: Elecraft K3, KAT500 - ATU, and KPA500 Amplifier, RemoteRig, PC + TEAMVIEWER, and Green Heron Everywhere system.
The "Rockville" remote operating position consists of the following: Elecraft K3/0, Laptop, second monitor, CW paddle, headset, RemoteRig, and TEAMVIEWER - Remote Desktop software.

Antennas: 160M inverted "L", 80M sloping dipole fed with Ladder Line (Multiband), 40M dipole, Tribander, 6M beam, and 40M 4-square.

73, Dick, WN3R

 
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Power failures
My first back up is a 5000 watt Engine Alternator Set (Generator to most folks).

Second back up is a Honda EU2000i Inverter Generator, over 400 feet of various outdoor cords, with weather proof connection covers.

Third is a "Pup" generator. That is a small engine mounted on a steel plate and fitted with an A pattern industrial belt pulley. That drives a high capacity vehicle alternator, using a A belt to another A pattern industrial pulley, which produces an effectively unlimited supply of 12 volt DC; i.e. more than I'll ever need. That will be supplemented with a large capacity sign wave inverter, once the stay at home order is lifted and I can prowl the wrecking yards for one out of a total loss service van or truck. I already have a source for a riding mower engine which is higher horsepower than the present one in case the one I have will not carry the inverter I hope to get. I plan to put together cord sets with the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) standard connectors for 12 volt DC, to run to a Schlocky Diode battery isolator and a charge controller for the battery.

Fourth is the 2 Absorbed Glass Mat Valve Regulated Lead Acid 100 Ampere Hour batteries. Those are under continuous charge by the station's 50 Ampere linear power supply.
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HAM Jokes?
Does anyone out there know any amateur radio jokes? I know my dad knew several, obviously I don't remember a single one. Anyone?
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Solar Charging an HT?
I’d like to find an opinion for powering my HT via solar. The radio I’d like to charge with solar  is a Kenwood TH-D74a. I’m looking for a solar system for power  that is super easy and under 70$ if possible. Thanks!
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Crisis 2020: how is it affecting ham radio?
I'm curious what people are seeing on-air during this shelter-in-place period. Is there an increase in HF traffic? VHF/UHF? Repeaters? Nets? Also, are we spending more time talking about the virus than about anything else? Or, is everyone just sitting around making puzzles????
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