Sunday, May 25, 2014

It's Time To Talk About A Good Ham Radio

   I bought my first Ham Radio shortly before I had my Technician license. I also bought a dipole antenna, mfj cross needle meter and a mfj 949E antenna tuner. The Ham Radio I bought was a Kenwood TS-2000. It has so many different controls it can be somewhat confusing, but I love the radio. I did it this way so I could listen to the Ham Radio Operators talk. This way I could get used to how to use the Ham Radio properly. I did finally get my Technician License and then in June 2010 I got my General License. I do not talk so much with plenty of things to keep me busy, but I am always listening in just in case someone needs my help.
   There are quite a few different brands of Ham Radios to choose from. My advise is to check out Amazon and Ebay for different radios. If you can afford a new Ham Radio I say go for it. On the other hand starting out you may want something used. Going this way can be a little cheaper and you still get in on the fun. There is nothing like talking or listening to someone in a different country when you are using a wire dipole antenna. I am always amazed by this sort of thing. There are plenty of Ham Radio Clubs around to join, Field Days and Ham Radio Hamfests to go to.
   There are some radios I myself prefer over others. Even though I went for the Kenwood TS-2000, I like the looks of the Yaesu Ham Radios and the Icom Ham Radios. I just like the look of the big boxy Ham Radio with lots of buttons, displays and controls. I think it goes back to my CB Radio days when the radios were that style. Of Course Kenwood does make some Ham Radios that have that look as well, but for now I am satisfied with my Kenwood TS-2000.
   If there is a Ham Radio that you are interested in I would check out a website called Eham.net. It has a lot of good information and reviews on Ham Radios and all kinds of Ham Radio Equipment. I used Eham when I was deciding on what Ham Radio to buy. You can also check out some of the Ham Radio Dealers on the internet as well. Some of my favorites are Ham Radio Outlet, DX Engineering, Universal Radio, MFJ, AES Electronics and R&L Electronics. You can find out about all kinds of other equipment that you may purchase along the way through your journey into the hobby of Ham Radio.
  My other advise to everyone and this goes for whatever someone buys off the internet is to check out the reseller before buying anything. I have heard too many horror stories where someone has gotten junk when it was supposed to be in very good condition. They may have paid the money and never got the item sent to them. The best thing is to read the reviews on the seller and look at their percentage rating. You can also check out a website called resellerratings.com and you may find a particular reseller. This way you can check out good or bad things before making a bad purchase. There are plenty of other places on the internet for reviews on all kinds of Ham radio equipment.
  Well that's all for now so stay safe and Thank You for reading from Dan KC2YTI 73s. 

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Updated Ham Radio Software Programs For Linux Operating Systems

CQRlog
CQRL Log Program
  CQRL Log 1.7.4 has come out with some new updates etc...  For example F keys to CW type window added and address to RBN server can be changed in Preferences. You now have full date  supported in membership files, so it's not just the year and the month. When you have a successful upload you can close the status of log upload window. Things have been moved to new LoTW url and updated upload routines as well. You can also edit the band button description where the preference is TRX control to change the default frequencies. This newest version can be downloaded at http://www.cqrlog.com/download . If you are just a casual user it may be a little over the top. I would advise to download it and check it out to see if it's for your current situation. CQRLOG will install on Linux Ubuntu 12.04 as well as Linux Debian Unsupported and Linux Ubuntu Unsupported. CQRLOG will also install on Linux Mint and Linux Fedora. It may install in other Linux Operating Systems as well. I would just look for install instructions.


Example Of Shackbox

Shackbox is another full featured Ham Radio software package that you can download. It looks like they came out with a new beta version CR 0.105 , which can be downloaded at their website. It basically is an iso file you can download and burn to a cd to create a live cd you can boot off of. The website address is http://shackbox.net/downloads/ . They do indicate that there are more than 150 Apps for the Ham Radio Operator. The only charge is for membership support. This program is mainly made for the Linux Ubuntu Operating System.


Another very nice open source program that has many options is KB1OIQ Andy's Ham Radio Linux. Being that is is open source it is absolutely free. It can be downloaded at http://sourceforge.net/projects/kb1oiq-andysham/ or directly from http://kb1oiq-andysham.sourceforge.net/ . There are 32bit and 64bit versions available. Some of the programs included are  Fldigi, NBEMS, Gpredict, earthtrack, xcwcp and qrq, XLog and cqrlog, flrig and grig, xnec2c, fl_moxgen, aa-analyzer, owx, VOACAP, glfer, Xastir, gqrx, gEDA, GNU Radio Companion, quisk, direwolf, linamc, FreeDV, wsjt-x, Micro-Fox 15 Config, and a TinyTrak3 . It also has a smith chart capability. The nice thing is that you can change things within the program or add to it if you like.
  If you are looking for various different kinds of software I would go to DX Zone at http://www.dxzone.com/catalog/Software/Linux/ . They have a wide variety of programs for Ham Radio programs for Linux. Here is an interesting website for Linux Ham radio http://www.linuxjournal.com/ham . 
  Thank You for reading from Dan KC2YTI 73s.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

It's Always Good To Have A Shortwave Radio In The Ham Shack

  I thought it would be a good idea to talk a little about my love of shortwave radios. That is kind of where my long distance radio listening started. It also started my interest in Electronics and what radios do and how they function. I also learned a little about parts in a radio. I just like listening to people in other countries and far away places while I am working on things. I hope you enjoy my information.
               

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