Jump to content

Our Picks

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

Shortwave listening - recently?
Does anyone still listen to shortwave broadcasts? When was the last time you actually sat and listened to a transmission by a national broadcaster, a private one, a faith-based one, or other? I am guilty as charged. Last time I actually sat and listened to a broadcast was about ten years ago.
  • 2 replies

Best regards.
All right.  I'm a purist. I admit it.  I'm one of those obnoxious people who becomes annoyed when a ham signs off with "best regardses."

The complaint goes something like this:  "73" means best regards so when you use "73's" you are making a plural into a double plural.  Regards becomes regardses.  The same is true for 88.  Adding an "s" to 88 turns "love and kisses" into "love and kisseses."  This is the kind of thing which rancors fussbudgets like me. 

At least it used to.  Now, I'm a reformed nit-picker.  You see, one day I ran into a ham who happened to know a little more than I did and he educated me on the subject.  The fellow pointed out that The Old Man, the discoverer of the rettysnitch, one of the great amateur radio pioneers, the founder of the ARRL, Hiram Percy Maxim W1AW himself used "73's" on his QSL cards.  Who am I to fault the remarkable Hiram Percy Maxim?

So it no longer bothers me when I hear "seven threes" on a sign-off.  If truth be told, it's a gentle reminder of the legacy the early hams left us with, and that makes me smile.

73 es 88
MaryAnn NS7X
  • 5 replies

CARA's annual Junk in the Trunk ham swap meet & sales will take place October 9th at 08:00 at the Culpeper Agricultural Enterprises on Rt 29 in Culpeper. We expect vendors as well as a bunch of hams with equipment to sell, swap, or buy. Come on out and enjoy the day. Bring your radio "junk" to sell / swap - admission is still just $5 per car. Hope to see you there!



Email for information: k4mvm@arrl.net

Club: Culpeper Amateur Radio Assn (CARA)

On site testing?: No

Conferences / Workshops?: No

Flea market: Yes

Indoor / Outdoor: Outdoor

Cost: $5.00 per car

Ham Community attending?: We will not be attending

    • Like | Congratulations
  • 0 replies

Is it time to rename the hobby?
It used to be that an "Amateur" was someone who was not paid for something they did. The Olympics were Amateur Sports.  The best of the best but no one got paid to train and compete.  The definition of amateur was:"noun 1. a person who engages in a pursuit, especially a sport, on an unpaid rather than a professional basis."  Then somewhere along the line a second definition was added: "2. a person who is incompetent or inept at a particular activity."  this seems to be the more accepted definition.  

Should we be renaming ourselves to "Volunteer Radio Operators" to shake that definition of incompetence from our hobbies name?  
  • 33 replies

Feedback please: Homebrew grounding system
After having spoke with several seasoned hams about my setup, I've come to the conclusion that I need a grounding system for my rigs and antennas for safety purposes. For the past few days I've been doing some research and I've come up with a system that I think will work and will last, but I have some questions and I would like some feedback. Thanks in advance!
  • 30 replies

Do you operate in the heat? Want a hat or cap that will keep you cool? Want breathable masks and gaiters? Check out Mission.
From their website:
Mission® was created to help you lead an active lifestyle so that you could do more and enjoy more in the heat. With thoughtful design and state of the art technology, we’ve developed a broad portfolio of instant cooling gear which includes hats, neck gaiters, towels and more. They cool instantly and keep you cool for hours so you can do more of whatever it is you love.

We take pride in creating products that support your passions and enhance your experiences from going on a run to doing work in the yard. That is why all of our cooling gear is made from lightweight, ultrasoft, proprietary fabrics with cooling technology that enhance the natural process of evaporation. Additionally, they are always chemical free and will never wash out. 

When the heat challenges you to do less...

Cool More. Do More.™
  • 0 replies

K3MRI at QSO Today 2021
Hi Ham Community. This coming weekend I'll be giving a presentation on 'Shaping the Future of Ham Radio' on QSO Today. My presentation is on Saturday August 14 from 2200 to 2300 UTC 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM Eastern. If you'd like to attend, here is the link to register at QSO Today.
If you'd like to discuss anything I say or have any further questions, feel free to do so here.
  • 0 replies

Horizontal V - AKA Vee Beam
@KW4TO and I have been discussing the horizontal V. It's a really interesting antenna. Thinking of building one and trying it out. Needs quite a bit of space but, in theory, if well set up could do very well. Here is an article by Andrew Roos ZS1AM from 2004.

  • 0 replies

Civility on the air
As many of you know, Ham Census has been gathering impressions from operators... what do we think about various aspects of the hobby. More importantly, being solutions-oriented, Ham Census asks them to send a message to various constituencies, among them, other hams.

One operator said this:

I would therefore like to both start a mini poll here and a discussion around civility in amateur radio. Also, if you believe there is a lack of civility, how do we improve things?
  • 3 replies

Operating in the field
This was actually a 'test' setup prior to my motorcycle trip to the Arctic Ocean. As you can see, I was testing my electric fence to, hopefully, keep grizzly and polar bears at bay (it works). Behind the tent you can see the mast for my antenna and right next to me is the battery pack / radio combo. All this, and the tent, on the bike you see in the 'garage'!
  • 2 replies

A well produced map (ICOM) showing both the ITU and the CQ DX Zones of the world.
  • 0 replies

A question that may remain unanswered. I direct it mostly at CW ops because we use Q-codes more than talkers. QRI?? Depending on the source of your definition, it broadly asks the question: "How is the tone of my transmission"? The answers I have found seem to agree that 1=Good, 2=Variable and 3=Bad. In every other evaluation scale in ham radio, the higher the number, the better, not the worse. 5/9 means what it means; it's better than 2/6. So why is QRI in reverse order? Anyone have any idea?
  • 6 replies

ARRL Insurance Program
Risk Strategies Company sole focus is helping each client achieve its aims and meet risk challenges, large and small. We work aggressively to protect assets, strive to prevent losses, and innovate to reduce the cost of risk. After collaborating to develop a solution - or a choice of several - we are equally diligent in executing the chosen strategy, ensuring that our client has access to the optimal resources to manage and reduce risk.

While our capabilities are wide-ranging, you will find that the approach in all corners of Risk Strategies is similar. We are a passionate advocate for our client's needs ... consultative, client focused, always bringing to the table a keen financial perspective, grounded in the economics of risk.

Innovative Solutions

Risk Strategies Company delivers unique expertise to analyze, recommend and implement the optimal balance of risk and cost.

Focused on client risk management challenges, we deliver pragmatic, cost-effective financial and business solutions.

We understand risk and how to manage it. We are creative in approach and practical in execution. Most importantly, we care passionately about our clients and are fully invested in their success.


To Contact us by Mail:

Risk Strategies Company
Attn: ARRL Insurance Program
333 W. Wacker Drive, Suite 1200
Chicago, IL 60606

To Contact us by Phone or Email:

(866) 819-0209 (Toll Free)
(312) 506-8857 (Main Office)
(847) 501-2563 (Facsimile)
sbrelie@risk-strategies.com (Email)

  • 0 replies

The Radio Club of America
Uniquely, RCA brings under one umbrella professionals from every segment of the wireless industry, including:  antennas, broadband, broadcasting, cellular, consumer, distribution, education, legal/regulatory, manufacturing, marketing/sales, microwave, military, patents, public safety, satellites, semiconductors, transportation, and towers.  As a result, synergistic relationships are created across industry lines. RCA’s Mission: “The promotion of cooperation among those interested in scientific investigation in the art of Radio Communication.”
  • 0 replies

One day activation to IOTA EU-101 / OHFF-0846 Kvarken Archipelago 13.5.2021
Annoucement of activity:
ON AIR from Iota EU-101 island, OHFF-0846 flora&fauna area tomorrow.
Callsign: OH6V (operated by me and OH6EZU)
Starting time: 0900 UTC.
Bands: 80-6m
Modes: SSB, Data (FT8/4)

Battery powered activation so ON AIR as far the battery keeps going.
  • 3 replies

Cube 2M antenna
Got the plans in QST. Honestly works like a charm. Good omni antenna and I could swear, with gain. I know, not likely, but it gets me to a repeater I could not make with my j-pole.
    • Like | Congratulations
  • 0 replies

Ham Census is born
Would amateur radio operators engage? Would they give up ±45 minutes of their day to answer over 200 questions about our passion? We were not alone, did it make sense to launch another? And we were told, by a very influential, well-known amateur radio business person, that we would likely fail because there was no way that amateur radio operators would give up that much time to answer that many questions, if there was no reward at the end. Guess what, it's here, it's getting great traffic, hams are answering the questions, and the data is amazing. As expected, some of the questions are providing anticipated results. For instance, no surprise, most hams are transmitting HF at 100W. Duh, most of today's transceivers have a 100W output so it's not wonder. But then there are questions about RFI, band usage, and interference that were surprising. For instance, 72.1% of operators do some kind of operating (D-Star, etc) using the internet. Another surprising one was the number of operators who have four or more HTs. 48% of operators who took the Census said they had at least four HTs. 15.1% said that they had over 6 HTs!

As I write, the Census is in its early days but if early response is indicative, Ham Census may become a reference tool for all those wanting to know how the practice of amateur radio is faring worldwide. To date, we have responses from 24 countries. Our goal is 150!
  • 2 replies

Are manufacturers supporting gear?
Quote from Ham Census participant:

Do you agree? Are manufacturers putting out equipment but not providing sufficient support.

Another participant agreed:

  • 1 reply

KF7P Metalwerks
Your one stop shop for grounding/bonding, lightning protection, tower equipment, and custom made entry panels.
  • 1 reply

KB6NU No Nonsense Study Guides
In 2005, I was cooling my heels at the public-information table at our club’s Field Day site, when up walked Bruce, W8BBS. In his hand, he had a copy of his Tech license exam study guide. What he had done was take each question in the question pool, reworded them as statements, and then reorganized them into paragraphs, adding text where appropriate to tie it all together and help it read more like a book.

We talked about how several folks had successfully used the study guide to get their licenses and how much they seemed to like his approach. Then, we talked about how he might get the word out so that more people could use his study guide. After quickly paging through the study guide, I volunteered to post it on our club’s website.

In 2006, Bruce was unable to update his study guide, so he gave me permission to to do it. That version was the first issue of the No-Nonsense, Technician-Class Study Guide. In 2007, I produced the first No-Nonsense General Class Study Guide. In 2012, after much coaxing, I came out with the No-Nonsense Extra Class License Study Guide. All three study guides have been updated as time has gone on and are current with the latest question pools.

In additions, all three of these study guides are now available as PDF files, Kindle files, and ePub files.  I planned to also produce  iPhone and iPad versions, but I can’t seem to get Apple to straighten out my iTunes developer account. 😞 You can certainly purchase the Kindle version, though, and read it on the iPhone or iPad with the Kindle app.

I can honestly say that I have helped thousands of people get their amateur radio licenses. If you are one of them, thanks for downloading or purchasing one of my study guides.
  • 0 replies

  • Create New...