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/hamradio/ - Electronics

For the discussion of electronics, tinkering, radio, amateur radio, and related electromagnetic phenomena and communications.


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Welcome to /hamradio/


Have an excellent day.



List of some Ham Radio activities:



Youtube channels:




Component and parts sources:


Flat rate shipping. Great for transistors.



^ Good prices on silver mica caps/ 1N34A diodes/ if American.


You can order from a dealer or your local radio shop


Good mixers/ amplfiers/ etc.

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Are you brave enough to dox yourself and give out your call sign?

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Ernie, KC4SIT / WI2XQU. I post online as LodeRunner and wrote "The Inverted L Antenna and NVIS" article at N4LRS's site (https://brushbeater.wordpress.com/2018/01/20/the-inverted-l-antenna-and-nvis/). Check out HAM SIGNAL (www.hamsignal.com), a blog N1DAY and I share.


Small interwebz dolf. GoodPrepper (@sb) here, KM4ADY. Check you're PM's there 2.



K4SAT/WPXM352/PG1819647/RFI-EMI-GUY online



Huh, I might have read something by you in the past.


KC9WLF, previously KC9WIM, but you can call me Mr. Sockpuppet. 73's

File: d066d1137d78d89⋯.png (201.89 KB, 1026x400, 513:200, SDRetard.png)


I'm trying to make an SDR setup that can get the best possible reception on HF while simultaneously being something that I can bring with me on travel without having to dedicate much luggage space. It seems the best option would be a Spyverter and a random wire plugged in to either a RTL-SDR or HackRF. Using a SDRPlay would probably be better, but Spyverter doesn't list it as a supported SDR; not sure if it's due to obscurity or actual lack of support.

Obviously I'm going to experiment and figure out what the best setup is, but what's a good way to set up the wire if I can't pack any poles, and may not necessarily have trees around to tie off the wire? I imagine I'd just have two ground wires if I left them sitting around on the ground, right?



Just use a web sdr


Or any of those SDRplay devices.

The new ones have built in baluns and filters for using longwires.

High performance at a decent price.


First of all, you don't tie the wire elements to trees. Use guy rope for this. You should also have insulators between the guy rope and wire elements. Your reception will be absolute trash laying the elements on the ground. It needs to be up in the air, preferably as high up as you can get it.


You don't have to buy it here, but some kit like this would be well worth it.


Lightning arrester, 10ga ground wire, and short copper rod that you can fit into a backpack will help you get better gain and keep your equipment from getting fried.

You could quite possibly shove all of this shit with a short length of 50 ohm coax inside of a backpack. This would be the best possible reception for travel.

If you don't care about best, a mobile HF whip would do.

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I'm getting my tech. license soon, so I decided to build a 2m (maybe 70cm too) antenna for my ((Baofeng(Please see sticky for more information on this radio))(Please see sticky for more information on this radio)), it consists of 75 ohm RG-59 (supposed to use 50 ohm coax but w/e) and heavy gauge solid copper wire, 2 16" (cut them to 20.5 innastore) long segments from insulator to insulator (pex tubing). I just used eyelets I blued to give the wire stability, and then I soldered the wire to the coax. I haven't really been able to test it, since I am waiting on a coax-BNC adapter to arrive innamail.

I had a question on improving the performance. Would it be beneficial to strip the copper wire, or would the gain be too minimal, making no meaningful difference to such a hodgepodge dipole?

Also, I wrapped the center insulator in electrical tape after I took the picture.

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Try putting a coax choke near where the feed line connects to the antenna.


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I made a shitty dipole by wrapping a couple wires onto a banana plug -> F-BNC. I was very excited that my first antenna was able to get perfect reception from the local repeater and NOAA station.

Then I went to unplug the antenna and realized that just pointing the bare coax plug towards the repeater gets me almost the exact same reception. I'm not very good at this hobby.



Well you are learning.

That's what we do in this hobby.



I can top it– I tried to run the 70cm band through 20 metres of RG58. A mate 10kms away could only just hear me…




Sene people claim their HF antennas are awesome on 70cm "I get 1:1 VSWR across the whole band"

No shit, you are feeding it with 50meters of RG58.

So don't hit yourself over it, its a common mistake.

On the other hand I have held 70MHz and 145MHz QSO's to approx 12km away with my 80m-10m OCFD, it is fed with HFX50 low loss coax so it's not a pure restive match.

I guess I'm burning the RF to heat at the balun instead of coax and that radiates enough.

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Testing out xchan and dumping some optical communications images.
Picture kind of unrelated.
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Optical coms are cool.

I have been interested in doing cloud scatter WSPR and JT65 with infrared leds.

How's that for a covert channel.


File: 95980cd1999ef36⋯.png (174.2 KB, 1048x1500, 262:375, ar201012-optical-1.png)

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I was just reading about this in a hand-me-down copy of AR yesterday…

CDROM burners (not DVD burners) used a ?5W IR laser IIRC.. I'm on the lookup for large A4 Fresnel lenses now..

>How's that for a covert channel.

Them Gungrabbers will still detect your FT817.

(Zero indication of Preppers or the like here in the VK Ham scene.)


File: 54db41d72aad5a0⋯.png (566.54 KB, 1115x1500, 223:300, ar201012-thz.png)


In the same issue of the mag.

"474 THz"



Maybe 5W peak, for a few microseconds.

But most definitely not 5W CW on near-IR.

50-200mW MAX.

Interesting article, thanks.

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Heh. Very 1997.

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The Yaesu FT-818

The 8Chan hivemind is sighing at Vertex putting any effort into making a QRP radio for the 21st Century, correct?

- pissweak NiMH internal battery

- no SDRness,

- no 'easy' DSP features like software roofing, instead /still/ requiring that expensive Collins mechanical filter bullshit.

- no USB, either for CAT, or recharging.

I /get/ the belief that superhet radios are Real Radios, but chuck that into the extra-enthusiast market, not as the mainline products of CURRENTYEAR.



>pissweak NiMH internal battery

The more I learn about cell technology the less I'm impressed with lithium. If you want a battery you can rely on, nimh is still your best bet. Just as an example, you can charge them 24/7 and it won't matter one bit, which is ideal for a high-availability setup like a radio.


It's just a slight upgrade to get rid of EOL parts.

FT-817 is Yaesus all time best seller.

Estimated more than 250 000 units sold, which is a lot for a ham rig when there's around 1.5million hams total in world.

And the chinese are eating the japanese manufacturers lunch in where they used to have steady sales of handhelds and mobile radios. The basic FM rig segment is almost completely taken over by chinese manufacturers.

But no USB-CAT and other modern stuff is a bit shit.

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How is the baofeng UV5RA Radio for getting started, and learning the basics for a Radio Licence? Is there a better one for that price?

I am just expecting to listen to all the frequencies and understand ham radio stuff, not to talk.

and by better, I meant one that you can progress your knowledge quite far with, and or has many features to potentially explore.

Thank you

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>$600k fines

Here you go again with the claims



My hypothesis is that those people who only get an entry level baofeng are less invested in the hobby, and are therefore more likely to put it down.

Just some fuel to stoke the flames. :)

I wonder if there is a way to test this hypothesis?



>>978 claim, not mine.



or just poor



Ya baofeng is a fine entry level rig, when one is aware about it's short comings.

Had a lovely demo on an licensing course.

Wouxun (cheap, but traditional superhet receiver) next to a UV-5R baofeng (with it's low-if DSP receiver) Both on 433.550MHz

And then keying up with a TETRA handheld on 427MHz. Lovely TDMA of the TETRA transmission made the baofeng give out all kinds of funny noises while the wouxun did not.

The 4x in price does mean something.

That does not mean I don't own any boafengs.

I have two of them.

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recently licensed technician here, I need help figuring out just what I want for my home base upgrade.

locally, I have about 4-7 repeaters I can reach on VHF/UHF. I live in a rural area, so I don't think I get much simplex activity on those bands.

HF is starting to interest me, I've been mostly listening on my sony, but I'm having trouble deciding what I want.

I want to upgrade my base station, I've currently got a leixen VV-898S w. a 12w power supply, but I want to be able to prepare myself for HF listening and transmitting. I'm leaning more towards yaesu models since I've got a VX-6R, and the cables needed for programming with CHIRP.

my point is, I want to upgrade from my cheap chinese crap transceiver, but I'm afraid of tossing my money away.


More or less all the modern big-3 (Icom, Yaesu, Kenwood) HF transceivers are decent these days.

No absolute garbage.

So it's more of a question about features and ergonomics. Imo.

I'd suggest just getting a relatively modern 100W HF rig with good reviews.

Read the reviews and look at videos to see how they are operated.

Most of the "cheaper" rigs (1000-1500usd) have tons of menus.

If the rig does not have a built in tuner, get an external one. Be it manual or an autotuner.

If you want to invest on something right away, get a decent power supply that can supply around 40Amps of 13.8V. You can likely get away with less. Most cheaper rigs don't come with internal powersupplies, instead they accept 13.8V (the nominal 12V you encounter in cars).

That means that you can easily run them off batteries or in your car for mobile use.

>> but I'm afraid of tossing my money away.

That I cannot really fix.

What do you want to do?

I like building things and hackign things. Operation is secondary to building.

Some folks chase DX.

Some folks contest.

Some folks contest on 10GHz on a hilltop.

Some folks QSO via LEO satellites.

My first bough HF rig was an Icom IC-735. It was fine and all. Sold it to a friend and bought a Yaesu FT-897, as it had 6m, 2m and 70cm SSB and used it for 2m and 70cm contesting.

I still have it and feel that it's good enough of a base rig for myself.

But I operate quite little HF.

My current most used radio is my AR-8200 scanner and Wouxun kg-uvd2p 70MHz/435Mhz dualbander.

Building a mcHF by M0NKA. It's a small portable HF rig that's SDR based. and a kit.

Also working on my own versiPost too long. Click here to view the full text.


I have a UHF-VHF handheld and have been looking into getting a base transceiver. The two models I'm interested in are the icom IC-718 which you can get for around $500-$600 USD and Yeasu FT-450D for $600-700 USD. The icom is pure HF and doesn't support FM. The Yeasu is HF+6m with FM. Kenwood has some nice base transceivers as well, but they're all expensive as fuck.



Unless you are interested in 10m FM repeaters or chasing 6m sporadic-E in the summer. I see no need for 6m or FM.

But I do hear good things about FT-450D, none of my friends have gotten annoyed with it and it's a good solid radio.

The built in antenna tuner is also nice, which the IC-718 lacks.

When you count in possibly getting an external antenna tuner (even if external antenna tuners are much more capable than the built in units) the difference starts to evaporate.

If you are planing on getting a multiband antenna like G5RV then the built in antenna tuner will benefit you.



both good radios. In my experience the vast majority of hams are HF or VHF/UHF, and almost never both.

What is more appealing to you, carrying an all-mode rig, batteries, antennas, and computers up to the top of a mountain and making a 200-mile contact for a rare grid square, or being the only guy in a hundred miles who has a good enough antenna to hear a portable setup on the galapagos islands and get a rare qsl in the mail?

I bought an all-band all-mode rig and realized that it isn't quite a great HF radio and it isn't quite a great VHF radio. It's OK for both purposes but not the ideal choice for either. And yeah it's all expensive as fuck.

You could always build a transverter to run FM on 10m.. but digital is kind of where all the exciting stuff is nowadays. All you really need is SSB.

File: 0c986cbc86e7c3e⋯.jpeg (10.2 KB, 291x197, 291:197, 1.jpeg)


>FM radio station


>ATSC broadcast


>slowscan porn


>shit talking


>Advancing skills in the technical and communication phases of the radio art

>Spreading international goodwill


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Yep. The pessimists consider that just a matter of time.

Amusingly most transmit capable low cost SDR's are sold as laboratory equipment. As they have a snowballs chance in hell to pass any FCC regulations.

Flex & Co. are licenced as traditional amateur transceivers.


What can you get away with in canada?




I once had a good qso with him. Then there was a flood of abuse directed to him.





You may be more interested in pirate radio/tv than ham, honestly. The FCC doesn't really go after pirates on the broadcast bands unless they're causing enough interference to be noticed. Digital TV is so sparse there are gigantic gaps of unused spectrum you can just slip into with a low power signal.

Or you can get a relatively affordable microbroadcast license if you meet a few qualifications. I think the most costly part is acquiring a working EAS receiver.

The point of the ham restrictions is not to eliminate fun, it's to stress the difference between communication and broadcasting. You can have a net every night at the same time. You can transmit a QST every night at the same time. You just can't run a radio/TV show. You can't play shows or music because that's what broadcast stations are for. You can, however, have a formatted net where you show your latest ham-related discoveries to anyone who's checked in and listening/watching. It just has to be two-sided and of a "chit-chat" nature. If it starts to smell like commercial programming then it's not allowed.

WRT the "fun factor


sorry, … the "fun factor," some people actually do think it's fun.

I get discouraged when 90% of the communications out there are about gas pain and doctor appointments and arthritis but I have had some truly fascinating conversations that went much deeper than weather and lunch.

I think most people just stick with the format of the old code exams and never try to improvise. "Well, the XYL says dinner is ready so must 73…"

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What's to keep someone from shitting up all the radio airwaves by broadcasting "Rick Astley Never Gonna Give You Up" on every frequency, at maximum volume, indefinitely? I mean on the internet they could just find who you are because of IP addresses, but the radio waves are anonymous and there would be no way for the radio police to ever find you.

I don't know anything about ham radio by the way, but this is a question I wonder frequently.

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you probably get the same fine as everyone else. Good luck on paying off fines greater than a liberal arts Major's debt.




>Mr Guernsey’s violations included the deliberate playing of music on top of the transmissions of other amateur operators in order to obstruct their ability to communicate on the frequency,” the FCC recounted in the July 22 Forfeiture Order. “Mr Guernsey further used various animal noises to prevent the communications of other stations with whom he had a longstanding and well-documented dispute.”

that's pretty funny.


The issue is that the radio waves aren't just populated by HAMS but by the Military, Emergency Services, and Local Law Enforcement, as well as old Boomers who have the righteous fury of a thousand suns.




Back in the "good old days" you would do this by driving around with directional antennas and using teamwork to triangulate a source. On HF this isn't so easy if you're picking up a signal that's skipping in off the E layer.. but now that there are thousands of cheap SDR receivers connected to the internet it's pretty easy to find a transmitter even thousands of miles away. It's pretty hard to stay hidden.

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What kind of radio receiver can I mount in my truck so I can listen to ham radio?

Do I still need a license to listen even if I dont have any intent or installed hardware for broadcasting?

3 posts omitted. Click reply to view.



CB handhelds are quite rare, so it's ok.

Then there are also the Tokyo Hy-Power 15m/10m/6m HT, the MIzuho HT's from 80m and up. KX2 is the size of a HT from 1979 and has built in mic and speaker.

But yea. HF HT's are rare.



My local shop has some Uniden models with CB, but I don't think they go past 70cm. Not that there's much need to.



Maybe handheld scanners. but not transceivers.

It's quite common for scanners to go down to 20MHz or 25MHz.

Many handhelds from japanese manufacturers also have wideband receive from 0.5MHz to 999MHz or 1300MHz.

Btw most CB handhelds can be opened up to cover 12m and 10m.

Or vice versa 10m handhelds can be opened up to cover 11m.

Done that to a friends albrecht HT.



I've been thru this crisis.

CB isn't really HF's ass end. It's more like VHF's ass end. HF doesn't really start being HF until you get down to 20m IMO.

The problem with HF mobile is twofold. One you don't have frequencies and channels like you do above 30MHz so there's no set-and-forget. You are always fiddling with the dials and inviting an accident. And I have two mobile HF rigs but would never even think of leaving one in my car overnight. Someone would jack that shit.

Depending on where and when you drive you could always join a net but nets are not really very interesting without a license to transmit.

Scanners will often go below 30 MHz but their selectivity is usually shit down there and you'll just get noise and broadcast splatter unless you're listening to something a mile away. The same problem exists with HT's that can tune HF, and HF base stations that can tune MF/LF. It's like trying to put bass strings on a Fender Stratocaster and tune it down to low B. The oscillator and detector can handle the frequency but the whole rest of the radio was designed to work on different bands.

CB is really a very appropriate band for a truck, and if you get an "export" model like a Galaxy or Connex you will be able to tune it up into the 10m band. Oddly, a radio like this is OK to use as a ham on 10m but illegal in the USA for anyone to use on CB channels… but ask any trucker and you'll hear that it's the best radio you can get. (They call them export models because they're made for other countries where the band limits and power rules are different.)

You also have to prep your vehicle for HF. You can't just slap a radio in like you can with a scanner or V/U mobile and get good results. You may have to go as far as welding things onto your body panels and installing braided ground cords between all the doors and fenders and trunk lid etc. And you may do all that and find that your transmitter fucks with your cruise control or fuel injection (I haPost too long. Click here to view the full text.


I mean if you *only* want to listen and never ever want to transmit get a scanner. They will tune everything and if you want HF too you can connect a transverter. But in some areas scanners are illegal without a ham license, weirdly.

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Does anybody have the King Schools HAM radio course? It was this fantastic 6 hour long VHS tape that introduced HAM to an absolute beginner. It used to be on Youtube, but it got set to private and the copy I downloaded has gone missing.


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Don't know if this is it for sure, but surely it could be helpful.



YouTube embed. Click thumbnail to play.


Bingo! Thanks a ton. I watched it when I was knew nothing about either King Schools or ARRL so I just assumed they put it out under the King Schools name. Turns out it got reuploaded.

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Let this be the Ham jokes thread (aka an excuse for me to post this)

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'cause everyone's just hamming it up, hi hi hi.


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Does anyone else cringe at the overuse of "73"? :/

A large chunk of the reason why I hate going on air is the likelihood of a situation where I'm expected to respond like a parrot. And it always sounds so forced when other people do it..


I don't use it that much myself.

But that's just me. Many folks I know don't either.

Depends on the locale I guess.


Here in VK, "YL" is overused to the point of cringe too. Specially in the weekly WIA broadcasts, where it gets dropped in to any sentence mentioning females regardless of context or appropriateness..

"Malcolm, VK3FZZZ, and his son Mike, and little YL Sally and XYL Carolyn …"



I intentionally overuse it, I enjoy hamming it up.

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