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SDR Technology in a Box – no, really a Cube – the SDR-Cube 28 - September - 2010

Posted by k9zw in Amateur Radio, K9ZW.
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Coming soon …

SDR Cube

A Portable Software Defined Radio Utilizing An Embedded DSP Engine for Quadrature Sampling Transceivers
by George Heron, N2APB and Juha Niinikoski, OH2NLT

SDR-Cube Prototype with Cover Off

SDR-Cube Prototype with Cover Off

The SDR-Cube is a companion project to the NUE-PSK Modem I’ve reviewed before.

Website where details are slowly being added is at:

http://sdr-cube.com/

73

Steve
K9ZW

The Social Topband 26 - September - 2010

Posted by k9zw in Amateur Radio, K9ZW, K9ZW Just Rambled, K9ZW Operations.
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Was discussing 2m repeater usage, and how I’m so very seldom on the local repeaters (where IS that HT these days, much less is it even charged).

At first I supposed that I didn’t participate in Social Nets, but as the discussion went on I realized that I do participate in Social Nets.

Just that they are on Topband (160 meters) rather than 2m repeaters.

Over the last several years I have found it a pleasure to fire up the rig & amp, and work SSB nets on the 160 meter band.

The quality of conversation is really not all that different, though it tends to not have the coarseness of some of the 80m and 40m nets.

Distances are modest, with my limited antenna farm able to hear to the East Coast on a good night, but usually just a couple state & province circle.

It does take a bit more doing – the 160 meter antenna is my longest wire outside, and working without the Alpha 78 amp to help overcome my station’s antenna compromises & the nature of 160m is a bit futile.  Barefoot 160m with my half-sloper is not “reach out and touch somebody” SSB operations.

On occasion I’ve worked Topband digital, with good success.

For myself, I often check into the 0000z “Every Night 160m Net” at 1.895 and sometimes a less formal net at 1.872.

In various regions of the country Topband net time & frequency will vary, often centered on Civil Twilight in the center of the typical net footprint.

If you can put together the gear I would recommend giving the “Gentleman’s Lounge” Topband nets a try!

73

Steve
K9ZW

Digital Modes Club (DMC) and Feld Hell Club (FHC) 21 - September - 2010

Posted by k9zw in Amateur Radio, K9ZW, K9ZW Just Rambled.
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DMC Logo

DMC Logo

FHC Logo

FHC Logo

There are a number of on-line Radio “Clubs” that promote Digital Modes and two that I am member of are:

DMC Banner

Digital Modes Club

DMC #03379 K9ZW Certificate

and the

FHC Banner

Feld Hell Club (I am FH00169)

In each case they have awards, contests and add to the fun!

(I’ve written about PODS 070 where I am #432 before).

73

Steve
K9ZW

Autumn Routine at K9ZW 18 - September - 2010

Posted by k9zw in Amateur Radio, K9ZW, K9ZW Just Rambled.
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It seems the days are very busy here – my work, youngest Vic KC9NWB playing High School Football, middle Winston KC9FVR doing the college search as he starts his senior year, and Tom KC9JGD working hard at University on his engineering degree. Travel for the XYL to visit her family and the myriad of little things that come up (Cars needing service/replacing, Household projects and more) make for a temporary period short on Radio Operation Hours.

No point in outlining good intentions (like today’s Hellschrieber Sprint set aside for the need to test drive a replacement car for our soon to be retired 960 Wagon).

Penciled together an Outside Antenna & Task list that simply must be squeezed in before Winter. The DX Engineering Tip-Over Base and feedline installation for a remote locate of the GAP Titan DX Vertical needs to be completed now that it “after-Mosquitoes” and “before-Snow.”

Whether I can squeeze in an installation of the K9AY Listening Array I would like to add. Not even going to order it unless I can clear enough time for an installation.

Once Winter comes I have oodles of inside projects – kits to build, station upgrades, upgrades to the Rb-Freq Reference and more!

Posts here may be a bit sparse as I focus on the outside tasks!

73

Steve
K9ZW

Wrap-Up Report from the W9DXCC Convention 2010 12 - September - 2010

Posted by k9zw in Amateur Radio, DX Interests, K9ZW, K9ZW Just Rambled.
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A Wrap-Up Post having returned from the W9DXCC Hotel QTH in Elk Grove Village, Illinois.

W9DXCC Logo

W9DXCC Logo

An easy Sunday Morning drive discussing the events & ideas picked up at the W9DXCC with George W9EVT made for an excellent finish to my first W9DXCC.

At the Banquet I couldn’t have asked for finer table companions. The people behind the Battle Creek Special DXPedition antenna (Charlie W0CD, George W8GG and George W8UVZ), George W9EVT, Casey W9LP & his lovely XYL Lynnette, and Craig (I can’t read my own handwriting on his call – sorry!) made for an excellent banquet table discussion group!

Over and over I was surprised what a small world it is – one speaker had served on the same post as I had in a little place in Germany, another was going to a wedding in a spot in Northern Spain where we have family connections, a guest speaker was from a small village less than 10 miles from where my XYL lived, another speaker has worked Sigint/Elint in a unit type which gave us plenty to share, and having been to a good number of the new DXCC countries being formed from the Netherlands Antilles recently gave me a common interest with a number of people heading off to Sint Maarten, Bonaire and Aruba in a few weeks.

I particularly enjoyed chatting with Bruce W6OSP as he explained patiently to me the workings of the NCDXF. I’ve just made a membership donation today to support this fine effort to support DXing.

Of my information gaining/learning goals I did come away with a clearer understanding of the skills needed, time commitment and monetary costs of someday becoming a DXpedition participant. This looks very doable, once I get my ducks in order & my children through their education.

I didn’t get much chance to talk with the other area hams who came down for the presentations. They may have skipped the banquet as I only spoke with Tom K9CJM from our NEWDXA club.

On a personal level it was excellent to get my mind off my work by being engaged in thinking about our hobby for a few days.

The W9DXCC is definitely on my wish list for my 2011 calendar!

73

Steve
K9ZW

Second Report from the W9DXCC Convention 2010 11 - September - 2010

Posted by k9zw in Amateur Radio, DX Interests, K9ZW, K9ZW Just Rambled.
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End of Presentations Post from the W9DXCC Hotel QTH in Elk Grove Village, Illinois.

W9DXCC Logo

W9DXCC Logo

Quite a nice group of presentations – very much enjoyed Alpha Amps, the NCDXF PJ7E Presentation and the IOTA T32 presentations as special standouts.

For the NCDXF PJ7 Expedition’s team leader Craig K9CT, with NCDXF’s President Bruce W6OSP did a great team presentation on the K4M Midway DXpedition and an update on the coming PJ7E DXpedition.

Very interesting was Bob W9KNI’s talk on “A Year of DX” and the CQ Magazine DX Marathon Contest.  Will have to look more at this as a fun way to get involved.

On the more technical side Peter G3RZP had interesting Antenna Tuner presentation, Larry N8LP covered his TelePost products and Carl K9LA talked on Solar Cycle-24.

More when I return to home.

73

Steve
K9ZW

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