Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Find A Nice Amplifier For Your Ham Shack From Ebay For Christmas

 If you are looking for a nice Amplifier to add to your Ham Shack I would suggest checking out Ebay for some deals on new and used equipment this year. Okay so what is a good brand of ham radio amplifier ? The answer is there isn't any one good brand. In fact they are all good brands. If you collect the common ham radio catalogs you will generally find the ameritron amplifiers are the most popular. They have been around for quite awhile and do a good job. They usually come in a 600 watt version, 800 watt version, 1500 watt version and I believe a 2500 Watt Amplifier.
 Okay so the question is do I need a amplifier for my ham radio. The simple answer is yes and no. What I mean is if you are in a big pile up that extra power will allow you to break up the pile and make some good contacts. The other excellent point is if you are in an emergency situation you need to help and be heard. That is when an amplifier comes in extremely handy. Now for the other side of the coin. If you like the challenge of making contacts with very little power, then work without the amplifier. My advise is if you can afford the ham radio amplifier then by all means get it and use it when necessary.
 Do Not be one of these ham radio operators that just love to blast away so no one else can have fun. I love the people that push the watts to the highest and have a very audio output. You could always tell by the nose pinch sound. You always knew that they would not be around for long. Yes all that power is going up the antenna, back down and right into your ham radio. Next you blow the finals and it's off to the ham radio repair shop. So if you are going to run a ham radio amplifier do it properly. Always be respectful of others on the ham bands.


Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Laptop Computer For Christmas To Run Your Ham Software On

 Yes it's getting closer and closer to Christmas, so why not plan on a nice Laptop Computer for Christmas. You could set it up as a dual boot system and run your favorite Linux distribution. There are some distros like Andy's Ham Radio that has lots of ham radio programs. You can find it at this link . Another favorite place is DX Zone at here you can find a few different pieces of software for ham radio and Linux.  Some of these are live discs where you can just boot off the cd and run it.
 As far as laptops go I would just make sure you have a extended warranty and a accidental damage warranty. Most of the time you can pick these up for an additional fee. I work as a computer service technician and I can't tell how customers wish they had done this. As far as brands go you can purchase dell, msi, hewlett packard and many other laptop computers. Just make sure to read the reviews before purchasing and you can save yourself alot of headaches.
 My advise is pick a Laptop Computer with at least a 15.6 inch display. That way it will be easier to see. Otherwise you could go with a 14 inch display and use a flat panel lcd display or as it's call an external monitor. Things to consider today are at least a 1tb hard drive and 4gb to 8gb of system ram memory. Also remember to back up your system just in case Murphy rears its ugly head and ruins your day. I have been there a few times and it's not fun.
 So get out there and buy a good laptop today for Christmas and Linux.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Pick A Nice Computer To Run Linux On For Your Ham Shack

 You can build your own computer to run your favorite Linux Distribution on. It takes a little bit of know how, but you can do it. There are plenty of websites out there that can provide information about putting together a excellent computer. I would go on Amazon and look for the parts you will need. Here is a brief list below.
  1. Computer Case
  2. Motherboard (Intel or Amd) amd tends to be cheaper in price.
  3. Microprocessor ( Intel or Amd depending on the Motherboard)
  4. DDR3 Memory or newer. I would suggest 4gb of Memory or more.
  5. 1tb Sata Hard Drive or Solid State Hard Drive.
  6. Monitor, Mouse and Keyboard
  7. Speakers
  8. DVD Burner or Blueray Optical Drive.
  9. Linix Distribution such as Mint, Ubuntu, Zorin or Many Others
  10. Printer (Optional)
 Now if you do not want to build a computer there are many excellent computers at Amazon to pick from. I would just make sure to check out the reviews first before purchasing. Just because a computer comes with Windows 7, 8, 8.1 or 10 you can always wipe it and run Linux. There is also the option of setting it up as a dual boot system. I would just make a back up of the system before doing this in case you change your mind. Make sure to have an external hard drive to place the back up on.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Software For Linux And Ham Radio

 I came across this video on youtube and I thought it was interesting. Maybe if someone is looking for free software to use with their Ham Shack they may find it helpful. So I hope you enjoy the video.


Sunday, October 4, 2015

Vertical Ham Radio Antennas

 There are plenty of good Vertical Ham Antennas to choose from these days. The nice thing about the vertical antenna is that it does not take up a lot of air space. The only drawback is that you will need some kind of counterpoise for the ground plane. If you have the room you can place wires in various directions around the base of the antenna. If you could only get 4 20 foot wires down that is better than none. They can be laid out in different patterns to fit the area. You can use the clips to keep the wires below the grass line so they don't end up in your lawn mower. I have seen some people use a lawn edger to make a shallow trench and bury them just below the surface. I would probably use insulated wire, which may help from deteriorating too quickly. I have read that the insulated wire may change readings from using bare wire. The choice is up to you.

                            Vertical antenna 60m to 6m with remote ATU by dx2hunt  My thought is to experiment with ground counter poises. Maybe lay down some flat galvanized metal and use hinges so you can fold it up if needed. The other idea is to use a hustler antenna like the 6btv, mount it on a roof and lay your wires on the roof. This makes it an elevated antenna and may give some excellent results. There are some manufacturers like Diamond and MFJ that sell Vertical Antennas that have the counterpoise so it can be made for an elevated antenna. My advise is before you choose a vertical antenna check out and read the reviews. Here is a link to their website . Now the other idea for a Vertical Antenna is to build one yourself. You could build it out of aluminum tubing and use a good antenna tuner. There are plenty of excellent antenna calculators like this one at or . There are so many I would check them out and pick the one that suites your needs. Here is another good website with lots of helpful information . I would also check out youtube for videos on building various antennas .

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Back Up Your Computer/PC or Lose It All

Linux Back Up Software
 It does not matter whether you are using a Linux based system, Windows based system or a combination of both. That would be a multiboot operating system to get the best of both worlds. You never know when disaster will strike. It may be a virus that encrypts your hard drive or a virus that totally corrupts your operating system. You definitely need a backup system so you don't lose your data.
 Now there are a few different ways to back up your entire system or just your data. You could just copy and paste your data such as documents, music, pictures etc... to a flash drive or a external hard drive. Another option is to use a back up system such as carbonite, which is done through the cloud. Newer windows operating systems such as windows 10 has the file history back up that will run on a set schedule and back up data. If you upgraded from windows 7 to 10 the system still has the windows 7 back up program. If you went from windows 8.1 to windows 10 then you have just the file history and a manual image back up program.
 Carbonite may be a good way to go for the normal computer user and the person using their computer for business. Here is a link to the carbonite website where you can find the important information . Now there are other programs offered on the internet for backing up a system. My advise before downloading any program is use google and check to see if there are problems with the program. Generally you can find forums where there is good and bad information about a given program.  Here is a webpage for some interesting back up programs for Linux .
 There are many things that can take your system down, but remember to protect yourself. One thing I should mention is that if your motherboard goes bad and you have to replace it you most likely will not be able to re-image the entire system. The only way is if you can get the exact same motherboard. The problem is due to differences in chip-sets. I have had customers where someone neglected to explain that to the customer only to make a sale. Now you have a angry upset customer, because they were led to believe that the back up and restore would work on any windows system. Now I had to be the bearer of bad news and explain that it is best to make sure the data is backed up.
 Thank You for reading and keep your data and system safe.

Saturday, September 5, 2015



 The three BIG Names in Ham Radios these days are Icom, Kenwood and Yaesu. I have my Kenwood TS2000 and I love it. Although I do like the big boxy look of the Icoms and Yaesu Ham Radios. The only drawback is that there are so many controls I won't remember them all. If you check out you can find out whats good and what has problems. From all my reading they all seem to have some pretty good reviews. If you are looking for a used ham radio click on this link HAM RADIO TRANSCEIVERS.
  The common denominator in all these ham radios is that they are all awesome. There are some ham radios that are more of a starter radio. In other words they are not as expensive as others. Icom for example makes their IC-718, which is in the $600 dollar range and it does a good job. If you are into Yaesu then I would recommend the  FT-450D, which is in the $800 dollar range. Now if you prefer Kenwood then I would look at the TS-480SAT, which is in the $900 dollar range. Each of these radios offer some awesome features. If you have the budget then I would look at some of the more expensive ham radios such as the Kenwood TS-2000. I myself have the Kenwood TS-2000 and it is one awesome ham radio.

                             Icom IC-7600 First Time Power On

 Now when you are looking for a Ham Radio you do have a couple of choices. What I am talking about are either the NEW HAM RADIOS or the USED HAM RADIOS. There is nothing wrong with a used ham radio as long as you read the fine print and check out the reviews on the seller. That way you are protecting yourself from the possibility of a crooked seller. If you read reviews you will learn that not everything is as it would seem. Now there are other brands of Ham Radios out there such as Alinco, which make some nice radios. If you choose the used ham radio you can find many awesome older ham radios. There are alot of people or ham radio operators that like to collect older ham radio equipment and fill their ham shacks with it. If you have the money and the space I say go for it.
 Thank You for stopping by from Dan KC2YTI  73 !!!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Linux Help

LINUX 2015
 Every time I talk to someone about Linux they don't really know much about it. They are always comparing it to Windows 7, 8 , 8.1 and now 10. Well the honest answer is you really can not compare it to any of the Windows Operating Systems. It is just another operating system with different advantages that other operating systems don't have. It seems to be less prone to getting a virus than the windows operating systems. This is mainly due to the fact that they keep changing and updating the various distributions . That sometime can be a good thing, but the problem is that you generally can't update or upgrade to the newest version. You will mainly have to maybe make a multiboot system , so you can boot off your preferred version. I would hope that at some point in time they would build a way to be able to update to the newer version.
 So I generally look around the Internet for interesting information on various Linux Distributions. Maybe I can find something involving Linux that may help someone learn more about Linux and learn to appreciate it. Here is a link to a tutorial that will provide a good amount of information . Here is another excellent website with information on various topics involving Linux .
This may be a helpful link for those involved in ham radio . All you need to do is search the internet and you can find all kinds of free tutorials, videos and other excellent help for linux. Here is one last website that may help .
 Thank You For Stopping By From Dan KC2YTI  73!!!

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Linux Distributions That Look Like Apple Mac

  A friend at work mentioned that there must be some Linux Distributions that resemble or look like Apple Software. So after looking around the internet i found there are at least seven that I came across. Here is a list below of nine Linux Distros that resemble a mac operating system that I found.
  1. Elementary OS LUNA
  2. MAC OS Linux
  3. Pear Linux
  4. Ubuntu with a Macubuntu Look
  5. Dream Linux
  6. gOS
  7. Elive
  8. MacPup
  9.  Linux Mint OS X

                      Thank You for stopping by and Happy 4th Of July !!!

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Weather Forecast

   Summer is here and that means those nasty thunder and lightning storms are all around us. One of the ways that you can protect your expensive Ham Radio Equipment or Computer Equipment is by knowing if a storm is approaching. So what I would suggest to do is invest in a good weather forecast station. The outside equipment can be installed on a mast or a leg of your antenna tower. There are many different kinds of weather forecast station styles to choose from. Some are not too  expensive and then the more professional weather forecast station can be very expensive. It all comes down to what you can afford for your individual budget. Here are some examples of weather forecast stations that you can click on.


These are just a few of the weather forecast stations to choose from. If you are looking for a different weather forecast station just click on this link WEATHER FORECAST STATIONS

 Thank You For Stopping by from Dan KC2YTI  73s and STAY SAFE.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Working On A Amateur Radio Antenna Project This Summer

  If you are like a lot of us Amateur Radio Operators you are probably working on some kind of antenna project. It may be a simple antenna or it may be a really involved antenna. Either way I would suggest a few tools to have in the Ham Shack for just this purpose. I would buy a good Antenna Analyzer, SWR Meter, Various Hand Tools, Solder and Soldering Iron Station, Antenna Wire, Coax Cable and  Coax Connectors. I would also invest in various screws, nuts, washers and bolts. Of course there are other materials you can use such as aluminum tubing, pcv electrical conduit tubing and anything else you can think of. There are also plenty of books on antenna building that can be an excellent resource. Here are a few of those items below.

If you are looking for more tools use the store below the posts. If you are looking for books check out my bookstore at this link

  Thank You for stopping by from Dan KC2YTI  73s

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Build A New PC For Your Linux Distro

  There are plenty of places to learn about how to build a good PC. There are also plenty of places on the internet to buy the parts to build yourself an excellent computer to run your favorite Ham Radio Programs such as your Log Book. Maybe you are thinking of a computer to run your Ham Radio Remotely. I would do a little research online to determine if you want to run all Intel or go with an AMD system. Yes you can always buy a pre-built computer and there is nothing wrong with going that route. I would check out all the reviews on the computer and seller. Also check out any ratings on the system before buying. There are plenty of dealers on the internet selling computers and there are plenty of local computer service centers selling new computers. I do have to say that I have checked out Amazon and Ebay. I have found that are some really good deals on computer systems as well as the parts to build your own computer. It's really not that difficult to build the computer. Just make sure that all the parts work together.


     As far as installing Linux on your new computer goes it's not that difficult. Decide on which Linux Distribution you want to go with. Download the iso file and burn it to a cd. Boot off the Linux Live Cd and follow the directions to install it. There are plenty of websites with the how to so you can install Linux.

                              Thank You for Stopping by from Dan KC2YTI  73.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Linux Dual Boot Tips


  If you are thinking of making a Linux Dual Boot System with Windows and one of the Linux Distributions I would use a few precautions first. I would back up your windows system to either a external hard drive first or to the cloud with something like carbonite first. I my self like the external hard drive method using the back up program that comes with windows 7, 8,8.1 or 10 Beta. You will save yourself a lot of headaches if your Linux dual boot system becomes badly corrupted.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Andy's Ham Radio Linux

KB1OIQ - Andy's Ham Radio Linux is still going pretty strong. It has a lot of excellent features built on Linux Ubuntu. It was just updated a few days ago and packs some excellent programs for Ham Radio. Here are some of the features below.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Your First Ham Shack

  This post is actually from my other blog and it seems that it is well liked so I thought I would share it on this blog of mine. The link to the other blog is off to the right of the posts and is called The Ham Shack Shop.
  Setting up your first Ham Shack may seem a little scary at first, but it does not have to be. I would start out with the basics when deciding on a Ham Shack for all your Ham Radio Equipment . There are some Ham Radio Operators that may have a separate building or maybe a room out in their garage. I would just make sure it's heated for the cold weather and cool in the hot time of the year. Other considerations for locating your Ham Shack is a fairly quite place in your house. In my house that isn't an easy task. Right now it is next to the family room and at times it can be somewhat noisy. I have moved it to quite a few different locations in the house and now I am right back where I started.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Simple Moxon Antennas

20 Meter Moxon Antenna

  If you are looking for a simple Antenna to use with your Ham Radio in your Ham Shack you may want to build a simple Moxon Antenna for your desired Ham Band that you transmit on. There are many good websites and videos on youtube for building Moxon Antennas. There are Moxon Antenna Calculators on the internet that you can use to design a Moxon Antenna. The Moxon Antenna Project website is one of the best websites for Moxon Antennas and here is a link to it . Here is a link to one of my other blogs on my 17 meter moxon antenna project .

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Linux Distros


  A lot of people always ask what are the best Linux Distros . They also ask which Linux Distros work best with Ham Radio. Below is a list of the 12 best Linux Distros on the internet.
  1.  Zorin
  2. Ubuntu
  3. Linux Mint
  4. Debian
  5. Fedora
  6. Red Hat Enterprise Linux (Server Software)
  7. SUSE Linux Enterprise
  8. Mandriva
  9. Arch Linux
  10. Slackware Linux
  11. Puppy Linux
  12. Linux Bodhl
  Now of course these are not the only Linux Distributions available on the internet. I myself have only used Linux Zorin, Linux Mint, Ubuntu and Fedora . I do not use Fedora all that often. I stick mainly with Linux Zorin, Mint and Ubuntu. I have all these installed on my multiboot computer that also includes windows 7. So I generally switch to which ever Linux Distro I want or to windows 7.
  Of course some of the Linux Distros are easier to use than others. I have found that Linux Zorin, Linux Mint and Linux Ubuntu are easier to use than say for example Fedora. You will find that after you work with one of the Linux Distros it will be easier to use for most functions.
  There are some special Linux Distros out there for Ham Radio Amateurs. Generally they have  quite a few different programs in them for Ham Radio Operators. Some of them may just be a live cd where you don't actually install it. Basically you just run off the cd. Here is a short list of them below.
  1. Andy's Ham Radio Linux
  2. Shackbox
  3. Harv's Hamshack Hack
  4. Debian Dxpedition Disk
  5. Digipup Based On Puppy Linux
  6. Slackware Linux
  7. Ham Radio Linux Live DVD Ver 14
  Of course Linux Ubuntu is always listed as the top Linux Distro for Ham Radio Applications. My advise is to look these up on the internet and read about them.
  Thank You For Reading from Dan KC2YTI 73s.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

HP Hewlett Packard Is Introuducing A New Computer In 2015

                             HP COMPUTER USING LINUX++
  So what is this new computer Hewlett Packard is introducing this year in 2015. Well it is a computer using a Linux Operating System. It will be called Linux++ and will have nothing to do with Microsoft. There will be no part of Windows in this either. I am sure all the gurus out there that always have bad things to say about Linux will be biting there lips. I always hear someone say oh Linux is the poor mans operating system. Another popular thing the Know It All s say is that there isn't any help with Linux. That just shows they really don't know much about it. Just like the old saying goes we always mock what we don't know and that's always true.

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