Sunday, August 24, 2014

SDR Software Defined Radio For Ham Radio Operators

             
                Free Software + $20 USB Dongle = Software Defined Radio, Hak5 1524
                                                          by Hak5

  I had seen various websites talking about an SDR Radio. I had found one SDR Radio for shortwave listening. When my Kenwood TS-2000 went down and had to be sent out for repair I was looking for something to at least receive signals on. I did not have my Grundig Satelit 750 at the time, which is an awesome radio for shortwave listening as well as listening to the Ham Bands. I installed the SDR Radio Software on my windows xp computer and it was awesome. I was listening to quite a few different Ham Radio Operators. I also found the program for my Linux Ubuntu and Mint systems. This software installed properly and worked just as well and even better than the windows xp system. Of course today with the non support for the windows xp operating system I would be very Leary of going on the internet. My best advise for using Linux is to download the current iso distribution or update whatever you are using, whether it is Ubuntu, Mint, Zorin, Fedora or whatever you are using.


Sunday, August 3, 2014

One Of These Days You Will Have To Repair That Laptop Or Desktop Computer



  One of these days you desktop or laptop computer is going to break down in one way or another. So I would recommend for anyone to have a good computer repair kit. It may also come in handy if you are going to do any repair on any of your Ham Radio Equipment. Small screwdriver bits have come in handy for me when I worked on my MFJ 993b Antenna Tuner. I replaced the on off push button switch with a toggle switch and have had no more problems. These tool kits will almost always have a soldering iron as well as other tools. The tool kits can go from being very simple to a more advanced tool kit with a digital voltmeter and a whole variety of tools.  
  If you are going to repair computers you are going to need a good tool kit. The same thing goes if you are planning on being an Electronic Repair Technician.  I presently work as a computer repair technician and a tool kit is very important. Even when I worked as an Electronic Technician I had my own tool kit. If you are just going to learn to repair your own computers I would recommend a have a tool kit that has various screwdrivers, soldering iron, solder, magnetic telescoping screwdriver and a flashlight. I would also recommend that you have some tweezers in your toolkit as well as a desoldering tool to remove the solder. Another good tool is some of the dry wick for removing solder. You will find that the screwdriver with various bits especially torx bits can be an important item for working on laptop computers. You should also have a esd wrist strap to protect the computer you are working on from damage by static electricity.
  If you are working on your own computers it can be extremely important. All of us big kids have our grown up toys, such as the Ham Radio and various computer equipment that we may be using in our Ham Shacks. So I guess in a way you could consider the tool kit a toy for a big kid to repair our toys when we break them. There are quite a few different ways to buy a tool kit. You can buy locally, off amazon or ebay. You can also buy other tools to put in your tool kit off amazon, ebay or from your local home depot or lowes. Another nice item is a tool box or tool brief case. You can keep all your tools in this case and it will make it easier to carry on your on site repair calls. There are some tool kits that come in this type of case and have an excellent variety of tools.
  In the computer repair service you generally do not repair by troubleshooting the actual circuit. Most of the time it is a repair by replacement or a board swap situation. So the most important item in the tool kit for me is the screwdriver. The main time you may need the soldering iron and solder is if for example you are working on a laptop. This is generally when you may be replacing the dc jack for example.
 Thank You for reading from Dan KC2YTI  73s.

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