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

Hurricane Ian (2022)
Our thoughts go out to all Floridians, and to all of our Floridian amateur radio operators who are bracing, as I write, for Hurricane Ian. This image from my radarscope is so scary.
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Own old gear?
I wonder how many of us own old gear. I'm talking transceivers, transmitters, receivers, and maybe linear amplifiers. Let's pick a random date: 1990. Who still actively uses gear from pre-1990 and what type of gear?
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Miklor Radio Information Site
Not sure how to best describe this website but it’s very informative on DMR and GMRS. IMHO, it’s worth the click.

K3MRI
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Cross-Potomac BBQ 2022
21 August 2022 at Seneca Creek State Park, Gaithersburg, MD.
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CTR2-Mini
I call the project I've been working on 'CTR2-Mini', short for 'Control the Radio too - Miniature' and you can read a little about it in this months' QST (Sept. 2022). It's a much simpler take-off of a larger system I built last year called 'CTR2'. That project was published in the Sept/Oct 2021 and Jan/Feb 2022 issues of QEX. CTR2 was a pretty complicated system that allowed you to select up to 16 different radios and control them from a small display or a Node-RED flow. Unfortunately the global supply chain issues killed the project as many of the components I used on it are still unavailable.

I redesigned CTR2-Mini to be much simpler, easier to build, and a lot cheaper.

Here's a few photos of the unit.  The first shows the right-hand version. I can supply a left handed enclosure if that works better for you. The second photo is the small Radio I/O interface that connects the Mini to your radio. For size reference those are 1/8" phone jacks and a CAT5 connector on the board. The third photo shows two Minis in a dual enclosure with their Radio I/O units. The last photo shows two Minis operating an FTdx101 in Dual VFO control mode. The Mini on the left is controlling the Main VFO and the one on the right is controlling the the Sub VFO. Only one CAT connection to the radio is required. The Minis can be located anywhere in your shack (I like them just in back of my keyboard) so I can easily change radio settings. The Mini works with many other radios including FlexRadios where you can have one Mini controlling each slice in the radio. Of course the Mini includes a contest keyer too.

You can read more about the Mini in my blog, https://ctr2.lynovation.com  I also have a YouTube channel, https://youtube.com/lynovation where I demonstrate the various features of the system.

I can supply PCBs with the SMT components pre-installed for all the boards in this project. I can also supply assembled acrylic stands as shown in the photos. I have project lists on Mouser that allow you order all the through-hole parts and the Wio Terminal to build the project with just a couple of clicks. I can also supply custom built, complete, tested, ready to use systems if you don't want to build your own.

In addition to the Mini I'm working on a companion antenna switch controller that can control single and dual port antenna switches and an SO2R controller that shares mics, headphones, paddles, function buttons, and a remote PTT switch between two Minis and their radios. The information on those options is also on my blog.

Let me know if you have any questions,

73, Lynn, KU7Q
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Ham History
First, a listing of interesting Amateur Radio history websites:
Ham Radio History, A century of Amateur Radio, by W2PA, W1JA, W2SQ: http://w2pa.net/HRH/
Ham Radio History (from ARRL😞https://www.arrl.org/ham-radio-history
A history of amateur radio license changes, by Eastern Massachussetts ARRL: https://ema.arrl.org/a-history-of-amateur-radio-license-changes/
Brief History of the Radio from 1900 to 2022, by Radio4All: https://www.radio4all.org/history-of-the-radio/
Timeline of Radio, from Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_radio
History of Amateur Radio, from Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_amateur_radio
Ham History 3D Visualization
To see this interactive tool full screen, click here
In either case, whether below, or on the full page version there are two ways of navigating this visual:
Use your space bar to activate the timeline and then use your left and right arrows to navigate it, or
You can also click directly in the yellow bar at the bottom of the tool, and click the arrows with your mouse to advance.
You can then click anywhere in the yellow bar to advance to that part of the timeline.
We highly recommend that you view this interactive Ham History visual on a computer or a large tablet, not on a smartphone.
Note that all images are believed to be without copyright, that all dates are believed to be accurate, and that this tool is regularly updated.

Comments are welcome.
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Do you scan?
Who among us also scans? I have not had a personal scanner for years. I used a pro scanner for work for several decades, but my last 'civilian' scanner dates back to the nineties. I have been looking at the Uniden SDS 100 but have not yet committed. I know that @W4DOI was looking at the SDS 200 (the base version of the 100; or is the 100 the mobile version of the 200 🥴?

Curious how many others actively scan?
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The KWM-1
If you owned one, you knew you had something special:

https://www.collinsradio.org/cca-collins-historical-archives/the-equipment-of-collins-radio/the-grey-boxes/kwm-1/

 
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Official US writing rules for metric symbols
A benefit of the International System of Units (SI) is that written technical information is effectively communicated, overcoming the variations of language, including spelling and pronunciation. Values of quantities are expressed using Arabic symbols for numbers paired with a unit symbol, often with a prefix symbol that modifies unit magnitude. International SI style and usage publications focus on written communication. Verbal pronunciation of SI terminology is purposefully not addressed in the BIPM SI Brochure (French is the primary language, English is secondary), NIST SP 330 (uses American English spelling), NIST SP 811 (uses American English spelling), or IEEE/ASTM SI 10.

NIST SP 811 provides an editorial checklist for reviewing manuscripts' conformity with the SI and the basic principles of physical quantities and units.
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Morse decoder/encoder
Okay all, especially @WA2WMR, what do you think?
https://www.preppcomm.com
They have two new products. Let's be clear, morse decoders are not new, but this one is! 
Overall thoughts? Philosophy? How about this one, worth the price?
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How was your 2022 Field Day?
Had a good time? Bands were good? How was the food? The weather? Everyone went home safe and without too many cuts and bruises? As important, lots of QSOs?

I'll start by saying that ours was very good. All went well. I think everyone had a great time, the weather I must say was awesome for us; it was a little less hot than we feared and the rain came, literally, ten minutes before we had finished tearing down, so just in time to cool us off. All were safe, except for one tiny nose cut on, of all people, our safety officer (oops). And yes, as visible in the photo, we concluded the day with our traditional ice cream outing.

How about you?
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What is Field Day?
For years I’ve tried to define Field Day, not in an absolute, definitive or comprehensive way but rather, in a personal one. What does it mean to me? I have narrowed it down to two key added values, again, for me.

First of all it is the camaraderie. I spend Field Day in a group setting. I do not operate alone. Secondly, more than the ‘contest’ aspect, even though it is technically not considered one, I find that Field Day is an exercise in ‘aggregation.’ Individuals, with different radios, different feedlines, antennas and power supplies, show up on the Friday or Saturday and are expected to magically make it all work together. Except for the most avid contesting clubs, there is little to no real preparation. Sure, so and so will bring the CW station, and so and so will bring the SSB station, but is there really any real pre-matching? Not really, and yet, it works.

I’m sitting here at this year’s Field Day, with a group that has been together for 51 years, and yet, it’s as disparate as I describe above. Multiples of each needed item show up, and maybe because they’ve done it for years, everything somehow connects and they get on the air.

If you think about it, this aggregation characteristic provides a foundation for many aspects of amateur radio. Of course, emergency responses are made possible by this quasi-instantaneous aggregation. So too do the more mundane public service interventions. Every year I participate in the Marine Corps Marathon. Over the past few years I’ve been attached to Net Control. Here again, ‘stuff’ shows up, and like magic, we have a net control station able to transmit to and coordinate with over one hundred portable and mobile operators.

That’s it for now, I guess I should get ready for my own Field Day. And yes, I better remember what I ‘brought’ so that I take home what’s mine and not what’s everyone else’s.
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Interview with Maritime Radio Officer
A fascinating interview with a Maritime Radio Officer who worked for the Marconi company (and subsequent companies) for 41 years.
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Bye bye Xenia
Another show done. This was our first Hamvention as exhibitors, and it was wonderful. Thank you to all who came by the booth, especially all the Ham community members who came by to just say hello. Thank you also to all those who are supporting Ham community by purchasing our desk pads and mouse pads. We were also very lucky to meet some great potential partners for Ham Volunteers, which we are getting ready to launch June 1.

What's next? We will definitely be back to Hamvention 2023 and this time even bigger. And yes, we will try to make it to Hamcation. As for the smaller hamfests around the country, if you run a hamfest, let us know about it, we will try to come!!
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Ham Radio 2.0
WHAT IS NEW IN AMATEUR RADIO? Hi, my name is Jason, callsign KC5HWB, and I've created this channel to talk about everything that is new in Ham Radio. I review new radios, new products and new modes for the modern ham operator. I like audience engagement and viewer feedback, so please subscribe and check out my new videos. My most popular videos are my tech and general classes, and then after that, radio reviews. New radio broadcasts, tests, review, programming, etc, that's what this channel is mainly about. Amateur Radio Reviews, DMR Radio Reviews, Yaesu System Fusion, WIRESx, DSTAR, Flex Radio, Icom, Elecraft, Hamfests (Dayton Hamvention, Huntsville Hamfest and Orlando Hamcation) Love it all. 73 and thanks for watching.
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HC+ @ Hamvention 2022
Hamvention is back! And yes, Ham Community will be there, but not alone, so to speak. Two new projects and some fun stuff will be unveiled.

The projects present are:
Ham Community
Ham Volunteers - NEW!
Ham Census

We are in booth 5103! That is in building 5, as per the attached plan.

And, as with every show we attend, expect some freebies! This year we have a fun surprise (remember last Hamcation we had the door hangers...). We also have a few 2021 band plans left to give away.

We also have a new line of products... mouse pads, but not just any mousepads, ours go up to XXXL in size. They're really shack pads. Plush, high quality pads, only available ad the discounted price during Hamvention and one week after. (Special additional 10% discount when you come to the booth and get the code!).

That's it for now. We hope you'll join us this coming 20 to 22 May 2022.
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Hamvention 2022
Hamvention will be held May 20, 21 and 22, 2022 at the Greene County Fairgrounds and Expo Center. For more information, please select the tabs below or use the navigation menu above to visit pages of interest. If you have a specific question that isn’t answered on the site, please contact us.

Ham Community | Ham Volunteers | Ham Census will be exhibiting. Come see us at booth 5103 in the Hertz Building.

The entire staff of Hamvention volunteers is working hard behind the scenes to make our fourth year at  Hamvention’s new home at the Greene County Fairgrounds and Exposition Center even better. Details will be posted when they become available, so check back often. In the meantime, enjoy this photo tour of Hamvention’s new home: 

Where it all started…Since 1952 Hamvention® has been sponsored by Dayton Amateur Radio Association (DARA). For many years it has been the world\’s largest amateur radio gathering, attracting hams from throughout the globe.About 1950, John Willig, W8ACE, had asked the Dayton Amateur Radio Association to sponsor a HAM Convention but was turned down. John wanted to have a quality affair. Speakers and prizes would be a drawing point. John finally found a champion in Frank Schwab, W8YCP (W8OK), the newly elected president of the club. A meeting was held and the DARA Board allocated $100 to get started. The first organizational meeting was held in January 1952.The Southwestern Ohio Ham-vention was born. The first committee consisted of: John Willig, W8ACE, General Chairman Al Dinsmore, W8AUN, Arrangements Bob Siff, W8QDI (K4AMG), Prizes and Exhibits Frank Schwab, W8YCP (W8OK), Publicity Bob Montgomery, W8CUJ, Finance Clem Wolford, W8ENH, Program Ellie Haburton, W8GJP (W4ZVW), Women\’s Committee. The next year the name became “Dayton Hamvention®” and was registered as a trademark.April was determined to be the best time but the Biltmore Hotel, in downtown Dayton was booked. March 22 was the chosen date, .....
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Manassas Hamfest 2022
Their 48th Year!
Manassas Hamfest Basic Information
AMATEUR RADIO and MAKER TECHNOLOGY SHOW
Manassas Park Community Center
99 Adams Street, Manassas Park,  Virginia
An ARRL-Approved HAMFEST Presented by:
The “OLE VIRGINIA HAMS” Amateur Radio Club, Inc.
(A non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion and enhancement of Amateur Radio)
NORTHERN VIRGINIA’S LARGEST HAMFEST
VE Exams given 08:00 to 12:00 PM ($15 fee per Examinee)
4th Call Area QSL Bureau Representatives will be present
DXCC QSL Card Checking will be available
Forums / Presentations at the Hamfest to be announced
Plenty of free parking!  Click here to see the assigned parking areas.
Prizes
Major Prizes are
Yaesu FT-891 HF/50MHZ All Mode Transceiver
Yaesu FT-2980 2M – 80 Watts
Diamond NR770HB Dual Band Mobile Antenna.
Click For A Picture Of The Prizes
You need NOT  be present during drawings to win.
Other Prizes and times still to be determined – check back often!!
The Hamfest Sponsor: The Ole Virginia Hams
Website:
https://w4ovh.net/admission/
Email for information: chairman@manassashamfest.org
Club: The Ole Virginia Hams Amateur Radio Club, Inc.

On site testing?: Yes
Conferences / Workshops?: Yes
Flea market: Yes
Indoor / Outdoor: Indoor,Outdoor
Cost: $10 at gate
Ham Community attending?: We will be attending as visitors
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Winterfest 2022
The 46th WINTERFEST will bring hams and equipment vendors together on Sunday, March 27th for a traditional hamfest (indoors and outdoors/ tailgating) and ARRL VA Section Convention for 2022. WINTERFEST is an ARRL approved hamfest.

Location: WINTERFEST 2022 will again be held at the Northern Virginia Community College Annandale Campus. Enter the Campus off Wakefield-Chapel Rd, at the large Parking Lot B.  Click here for more detailed directions and a campus map.

Attendance Ticket:  Tickets are required for entrance to the Market Fair and the Convention Auditorium.   $10 attendance tickets may be purchased online here.   (with a $0.97 surcharge per ticket and a an additional $.30 charge per order). Be sure to print off your ticket and bring it with you.  Tickets may also be purchased at the door for $15.  The price of the ticket includes one door prize ticket.

Schedule for March 27th: Outdoor/Tailgating Parking Lot B3– Opens at 6:00 am.  Indoor hamfest (Gym) — Opens at 8:00 am.  ARRL VA Section Convention Forum (Auditorium)– Starts at 9:00 am.  License Exams (Bldg CN) — Starts at 10:00 am.  Door prize drawings — hourly 9:00 – 2:00 pm   All indoor events in Building CE, Ernst Community Cultural Center and Bldg CN (License Exams).

Tailgating:  WINTERFEST 2022 will feature an outdoor tailgate area with 150 paved tailgate spaces. Tailgate space selection will be available on a first-come first-served basis. We have never run out of tailgate space.  Tailgating begins at 6:00 am, Sunday, March 27.  The college does not permit overnight parking prior to the event.  The first parking space is $20 and any additional spaces are $10 each.  One attendance ticket is included.

Website: https://viennawireless.net/wp/events/winterfest/
Club: Vienna Wireless Society
On site testing?: No
Conferences / Workshops?: No
Flea market: Yes
Indoor / Outdoor: Indoor,Outdoor
Cost: $15 at the door
Ham Community attending?: We will be exhibiting,We will exhibit indoors
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37th Annual Charleston Area HAMFEST and ARRL WV SECTION CONVENTION
Saturday, March 19, 2022 from 9 AM to 2 PM
Charleston Coliseum & Convention Center
200 Civic Center Drive
Charleston, WV 25301
Easy access off the interstates!

Admission:  $8

Tables:  $12 (electric $10 if you need it)

For table reservations, contact Russ Dean
ke8dmb@gmail.com   304-362-5888

MAIN PRIZES:

First:  $500 CASH!
Second:  Alinco DR135 Two Meter Mobile
Third:    Jetstream 25 Amp Power Supply

Plus—Portable World Band Radios given away and other great prizes!

Forums : ARRL 10AM;  POTA 10AM;   ARES 11AM
VE Testing at 12 Noon
DXCC, CQDX, WAS, VUCC Card Checkers

For more info: w8gk.org 
or 
E mail n8tmw@arrl.net

Email for information: n8tmw@arrl.net

On site testing?: Yes

Conferences / Workshops?: Yes

Flea market: Yes

Cost: $8.00

Ham Community attending?: We will be attending as visitors



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Hamfests 2022 - Going?
Curious to know what people's hamfest plans are this year. As I write this, it seems like many events are indeed taking place. In my region there is Vienna Wireless' Winterfest, I know Hamcation just finished, and Hamvention is a mere few weeks away...
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ISO 8601 Time duration standard
I'm guessing that few of us use the ISO 8601 duration format. For those who might find use for it, here is some info.

ISO 8601 Durations are expressed using the following format, where (n) is replaced by the value for each of the date and time elements that follow the (n):

Where:

P is the duration designator (referred to as "period"), and is always placed at the beginning of the duration.


Y is the year designator that follows the value for the number of years.


M is the month designator that follows the value for the number of months.


W is the week designator that follows the value for the number of weeks.


D is the day designator that follows the value for the number of days.


T is the time designator that precedes the time components.


H is the hour designator that follows the value for the number of hours.


M is the minute designator that follows the value for the number of minutes.


S is the second designator that follows the value for the number of seconds.




For example:

Represents a duration of three years, six months, four days, twelve hours, thirty minutes, and five seconds.

If you'd like to check out the Wikipedia article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISO_8601
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VarAC
Who is behind VarAC?
My name is Irad Deutsch, 4Z1AC.
I'm an amateur radio operator since the age of 13 (30 years now). I was always fascinated by digital modes such as PACKET RADIO, AMTOR, PACTOR, GTOR, CLOVER, FT8/4, PSK and others... and love chatting using those modes rather then just exchanging reports. 
When VARA emerged into our lives I adopted it as in my opinion it provides the protocol robustness of PACTOR coupled with the ability to handle challenging SNR levels like FT8. So I have decided to create a chat application with lots of cool features to chat with my fellow hams.
But I am not alone. There is a great team of supporters and testers that play a major role in this project. You can read more about them here.
I am in touch with VARA creator (EA5HVK) about feature requests and bug fixes, but I have NO business relations with him. I am doing this purely for fun.
What operating systems are supported by VarAC?
VarAC is written in C# which means it can only run on windows for now. You can try use some C# emulators for Linux and if it works - I'll be happy to know and provide the community with a cookbook.
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TMS Lightning arrestor tester
A unique tester for the Shack:
Can test any lightning protection device or component to ensure its proper functioning and capability to protect RF equipment
Completely portable (ideal for field use)
Two terminals (N male and N female)
Can test surge protectors with any other interfaces by using commonly available RF adaptors
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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.
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