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Ham Community
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Say thank you by visiting their website or special Ham Community page.

Our Picks

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

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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Repeaters: sufficient backup power?
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?
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Hamvention 2020: CANCELLED
CANCELLED: The reference amateur radio event is Hamvention and in 2020, Ham Community will make its first visit with our very own booth (booth # TBA). We hope that you will join us and remember, all booth visitors walk away with one of our unique, double sided, ham band plan!

Hope to see you there and, of course, use the link on this page to go right to the Hamvention website.


Email for information: tickets@hamvention.org

Club: Dayton Amateur Radio Association

On site testing?: Yes

Conferences / Workshops?: Yes

Flea market: Yes

Indoor / Outdoor: Indoor,Outdoor

Cost: 26

Ham Community attending?: We will be exhibiting,We will exhibit indoors

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Covid-19 (2020) and hamfests...
I'm starting to hear rumors about certain hamfests and the Covid-19 (aka coronavirus). Some hamfests are considering closing. Not sure what my feelings are with this. As with all public health emergencies, caution is critical. But we never shut anything down for the flu and yet every year thousands, tens of thousands in the US and Canada, die.

Thoughts? Anyone considering 'not' going to a hamfest in coming weeks/months because of Covid-19? Anyone avoiding Hamvention? (Full disclosure: Ham Communication currently has booths reserved at Winterfest in Annandale, the Masassas hamfest, and we're in booth 6206 at Hamvention!).
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Virginia QSO Party 2020
I'm wondering who is going to take part in the Virginia QSO Party... My little gang is, that's for sure. Last year was a blast, and the weather was perfect. Here's hoping the weather is good this year. This said, the band conditions on 20m and 40m, as I recall, were as bad as could be.


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Our very own @W4OLV has his own YouTube Channel that has a really fresh take on amateur radio. A must view!!
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Log-Periodic Dipole Array Calculator
Calculator to be used when constructing a log periodic antenna. By Serge Stroobandt, ON4AA and Michael McCue, W7YZT - Copyright 2014–2018, licensed under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA
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HamCation 2020... done
HamCation 2020 was our first large hamfest. We are told that we did well; what's sure is that we're happy. We met some amazing people and signed up plenty of new members. We also entered into some really exciting partnerships that you will be hearing about soon. And yes, we will be back at HamCation next year, hopefully in the exact same spot.
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You need to look at your available bandwidth for connecting to the digital network of your choice. DMR does require about double the throughput bandwidth of D-STAR due to the inherent coding (DMR is a ~9600 baud throughput while D-STAR is about 4800 baud). Fusion is dependent on the mode you are using and can vary. Fusion has become popular because Yaesu seeded the market with low cost repeaters and many clubs jumped on the bandwagon hoping to replace agin repeaters at a bargain price. The initial entry into the Fusion environment had its startup problems and now after a few years of operation, the Fusion product/protocols are well established  and the networking issues have been worked out.

With the advent of the newer hotspots which support multiple modes, the choice of what type radio is pretty much up to you and who you wish to QSO with. Many of the newer hotspots allow you to utilize a feature called "cross-mode" where your radio can be DMR and you can "cross-mode" to Fusion or NXDN. The newest hotspots can actually "cross-mode" to any and all of the modes from any other mode! This feature (software magic) has made the choice of which mode (and by association- the choice of radio) a moot point. Obviously, each OP will have personal brand choices for many reasons, but you are now able to join any network with almost any radio.
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W4KRL Puzzle
Feel like learning a little something while having a little fun? Check out the W4KRL Puzzle and let us know what you think!
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Anyone else studying for the Extra Class exam?
I studied hard last fall but wasn’t passing my practice exams by the week of the exam so didn’t go.  Then the holidays came around.  Now, I’m wanting to get back into studying and hoping I didn’t forget what I had learn so I can take the exam in March.

 I have no background in electronics so this is a challenge for me, for sure.  I’m using an extra class app on my phone, the arrl extra class book, and the study book by Gordon West.

Anyone else out there hoping to upgrade this year?  And any words of advice?
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Thank you Frostfest

Blog post category: About the Community

Frostfest 2020 has come and gone. RATS did a great job, thank you to the whole team. Early on, the line went as far as the eye could see and, from all appearances, lots of money changed hands. One of the highlights of Frostfest was when one of the announcers came on and told us that someone had lost over $500 in cash. The great news is that somebody else – an honest soul – found that money and brought it to the front office.

As for Ham Community, we were very pleased to make some fantastic contacts with over 60 new members registering on site. Our new band plan was also very well received. We, of course, look forward to comments and corrections so that we can make this the most useful band plans possible.

Next it's on to Orlando for HamCation 2020. We hope you will all join us there; we will be in Booth 099.
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Winter Field Day 2020
I'd love to hear people's experiences on Winter Field Day 2020. In our case, it's going to be wet!! It'll be raining all day today (Saturday). We expect the field to be one big puddle. To be continued...
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Band Plan
Ham Community has opted to design its own amateur radio band plan for the United States and Canada (other plans will follow). This plan covers all frequencies used from 2200 meters up to 1mm and beyond. Band plans are complex with many specific-use frequencies left to interpretation. In the U.S.A., F.C.C. Part 97 provides limited guidance. For instance, the U.S. VHF/FM National Calling Frequency – 146.52 MHz – is not mandated by Part 97. It has become an accepted frequency. Therefore, while there may be actual errors in this, or any, band plan, chances are that some of the frequency uses cited may simply be disagreements between operators, clubs, associations, or other. This said, Ham Community welcomes suggestions and corrections!

Attached to this article, are the latest versions of the Ham Community band plan for the U.S. and Canada. This version may be more up-to-date than our printed version. Ham Community aims to reprint the printed version annually, or more often as necessary. Check the version number when ordering yours.



US-Canada Ham Band Plan Master V2.0 (2020).pdf




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FCC Callsign Lookup
We'd love to hear what you think about our new FCC Callsign Lookup tool. Like it? Don't? Want something improved or changed? We do have future plans for it, but we're hoping that you like what we've done with Phase 1.

Please note that unlike some other lookups, ours is updated daily with the FCC daily dumps.

A big thank you to Michael Edwards for programming this baby from scratch. I especially love the local time dial, perfect to know what time of day it is at my contact's QTH.
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What is PlanetCalc?

Planetcalc is a free online calculator collection.


Planetcalc contains 736 online calculators. You can leave a new online calculator request here. If you describe your requirements in detail, one of Planetcalc’s authors can create the calculator for you. Any Planetcalc online calculator can be installed on your website.

Planetcalc authors

47636 users registered on Planetcalc. 124 of them became authors. To become a Planetcalc author, please provide one of the following:

Create a new calculator.

Write a calculator description article.

Translate the calculator, article or site interface into (or from) a foreign language.

Here you can find information about a new calculator development..

Our plans

Implement more online calculators.

Improve calculator editor.

Translate site interface into other languages.

Create Android and iOS applications.
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Ham Community at Frostfest in Richmond
Ham Community will be attending and exhibiting at Frostfest 2020 in Richmond, Virginia. We hope that you will come out and see us.
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10-80M ALPHA DX EMCOMM Antenna For Portable HF
10-80M ALPHA DX EMCOMM Antenna For Portable HF
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2020 New Year's radio resolutions
So, does anyone have any New Year's / New Decade radio resolutions? Mine are to build at least one new, full antenna this year, and to possibly build a new go box with a different HF/VHF/UHF setup than I have now. Oh yeah, and to participate in the Vienna QSO Party with my buddies @K3HLT, @W3JRD, @KW4TO, and @W4DOI. In fact, let me take this opportunity to wish you all a very happy new year!!! And remember, you don't have to buy stuff to be happy, you can also make stuff!!
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American Radio History
This is a non-profit web and non-commercial  site created for educational and historical purposes with an amazingly rich collection of publications dating back decades.

Other than where indicated, the operator of this web site does not claim copyright or ownership of any photographic images contained herein. Such images are reproduced in low or medium resolution and consist principally of unclaimed or "orphan" images where the copyright owner is deceased or unknown. They appear on this site under the "fair use" doctrine of United States copyright law, which permits the use of copyrighted material for scholarship, archiving and research purposes. Any persons wishing to duplicate or otherwise make use of the images on this web site do so at their own risk. If you believe to own any copyrights for materials on this site and do not wish them to be viewed as part of a historical collection, you may request them to be taken down. Please see our "Take Down Notice" for more details.
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Christmas gifts
Every year it's the same thing, someone who knows a ham asks me if I have any ideas on what to gift. I noticed that DX Engineering even produced a video giving suggestions. It's a tough one. For instance, their first suggestion was a headset. Well, if you don't know the exact radio, and most non-hams won't, then you will possibly buy a headset with the wrong mic or adapter. A book? Tough one also. I actually believe that buying something for a ham, as a non-ham, is likely one of the hardest tasks. I'm curious if anyone has any advice. Did I mention that I am a Ham and that Christmas is coming up?? 😃
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Contest University
So, last year I went to Contest University with @W4DOI. That was Alan's second year, the year before he had gone with @W3JRD. I must say, I enjoyed it. This said, I did find that it was a little more skewed to general operating than I would have thought. I was expecting something far more focussed on contesting per se. Would I recommend it, even to experienced hams? Actually, I would. You meet interesting people and you do learn new things, no matter how proficient you are.

If anyone else has been to Contest University, I invite you to chime in. And if anyone has any questions I might be able to answer, feel free also.

In case you're interested, this is the link: https://www.contestuniversity.com
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I have a couple blind ham friends who are interested in trying FT8 and possibly other modes offered by the WSJT-X software package. One of these friends recently discovered a logging program called QLog that includes support for the visually impaired.  Qlog works with WSJT-X and provides a command set and audio prompts.  It does not require a screen reader such as JAWS.  There are commands, for example, to search for an open audio frequency, call CQ, call a specific station, or call any station that is calling CQ and passes a test defined by filters such as DX, new state, never worked before, etc.  Setup is best done with the help of a sighted assistant, as several parameters need to be set in QLog, WSJT-X, the rig used for operations, and possibly within the operating system on the computer.  

The QLog program and setup instructions can be obtained by joining the QLogusers group on the groups.io web site and navigating to the Files section.  Among the files is a detailed description of the setup steps that the sighted assistant should help perform.  

One of my friends made his first few QSOs this past week.  I'm still working on setup with the other.  The assistive features in QLog seem to be well designed and effective, but, of course, there is a learning curve.

As of this date (November, 2019) there seems to be one significant item not covered in the documentation.  QLog will work properly when calling CQ only if the RRR message, and not RR73 is sent.  The sighted assistant may need to set up WSJT-X in this mode via a double left click on the TX4 button.

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Fourth Annual American Legion PGCERA
Ham Community will be attending and exhibiting the Fourth Annual American Legion PGCERA a.k.a. SantaFest this coming December 7, 2019 from 08:30 to 12:00. We hope that you will all join us!

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