WB4IUY's Random Blog
Sunday, December 26, 2010
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Friday, November 26, 2010
Connect to W4RAL-7 on 147.54 in Zebulon. Type:
Next, connect to W4RAL-5 by typing:
That is a multiport node near Roleaville. Once connected, type:
C 4 ROLDX VIA WB4IUY-3
That will connect you to the ROLDX DXCluster node on my home tower. Give it a minute to send everything to you before you proceed. You should get a message back that looks like this:
ROLDX:WB4IUY} DX Connect Bye Info Nodes Routes Ports Users MHeard
You're there! Type DX and hit enter. If you've never connected, it'll ask you a few basic questions (your name, location, and such). Once completed, it'll always remember you and you'll see the DX Spots rolling through.
The DXCluster node ROLDX has been operating on my home tower about 4 years. Users within range of my station can connect directly to it by switching directly to 145.07 and connecting to ROLDX. Using the W4RAL-7 node in Zebulon will allow those who are somewhat farther away to connect.
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Those of you into motorcycles, too...
A few non-Ham Radio things I've done that might interest some of you...
A few of us put some bikes in a local show yesterday (11/20), and here's what happened...
1- My youngest son, Brandon, took 1st place in 'Best Custom' with his bike (Bones), He's 26 years old, works at my motorcycle company, and this was his first full build. He did it with help from me, Dave KR4TP, and another friend named Jon over about 1 year of nights and weekends.
2- Jon Earp, our custom painter, took 2nd place in 'Best Custom' and also took 'Amy's Choice' with his bike (Low Life)
3- Bryan Long (good friend) took 'Best Stock' (non-modified frame) with his bike (RawHide)
You can see all of these bikes' builds online at: http://www.scootworks.com/projectbikes.htm
Next - I just finished editing, resizing, culling, organizing, etc over 500 pics from Daytona beach Biketoberfest 2010. The pics were taken with 3 different devices used by some of us, so getting everything grouped more-or-less in the correct order and of similar size took a bit of work. At the end, you'll see some smaller pics I pulled from my facebook page's mobile posts, that's why there's such a size difference.
There's 4 little video's the Iron Horse on there. If they don't play for you when you click on the links, right-click the link and save it to your desktop, then play them from there.
You can see them at:
Friday, November 19, 2010
Ham Radio Nation is a Social Networking Site, sorta like Facebook and such, but specifically for Ham Radio. It has loads of things to do, along with meeting lots of other hams, like blogging, forums, an awards program, classified ads, propogation info, an always current contest calendar, chat rooms, product reviews, and more.
I stumbled into it by accident, but have been logging in and doing something on it every day or so. Check it out! You can find it at: http://www.HamRadioNation.com
Friday, October 29, 2010
Here's an idea for those of you who use eQSL... I keep copies of all my digital qsl cards from eQSL and load them into one of those little electronic picture frames that are so inexpensive these days. I then display them in my shack and enjoy watching them scroll by while operating. A neat way to display cards without taking up more wall space in the shack!
Dave Hockaday WB4IUY
Live from my handheld...
Monday, October 25, 2010
After reading the piece on Sciencemag.org, I'm beginning to wonder if folks our age will ever see another cycle with wild propogation like we did in the 70's and 80's...and even the 90's. I recall making contacts into Turkey and China on a converted CB @ 10 watts output from my truck, and working my 10m WAS from an indoor apartment antenna. My 10 meter repeater would begin transmitting an hour or so before sunrise, and work hard all day until midnight or later. Read this piece in Sciencemag for a real 'eye-opener'. You can google "No Sunspots" for loads of additional info on the topic...
Friday, October 8, 2010
Here's a $2800 IC-756 radio with a bad display. Icom recognized that it was an issue. Rather than support it, they recommend to BUY A NEW RIG from them to replace it. WTF??? There's lots of these out there, stuck with this problem. As much as I like this rig, i'll never spend another penny with Icom.
Dave Hockaday WB4IUY
Live from my handheld...
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
I've been doing a bit of work on 80m at night of late. There's a group of AM ops down in the area of 3.705 nightly. Lots of fun and not nearly as congested as the old AM freqs around 3.885. C'mon down and give it a try!
Dave Hockaday WB4IUY
Live from my handheld...
Monday, October 4, 2010
Saturday, September 11, 2010
Not lots of activity in my area at the moment, but I've worked out about 3 grid squares away (around NC & VA), and heard a station up in FN21 in NY a few minutes ago.
Check out http://www.arrl.org/september-vhf-qso-party for more details, and I hope to see you on the bands!
Thursday, September 2, 2010
Thursday, August 5, 2010
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Sunday, July 4, 2010
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
You can see the whole project online at:
Sunday, June 27, 2010
My take on the N&O piece was the portrayal of ham radio as an old, noisy hobby enjoyed by a dwindling bunch of us with grey hair and using 2-3 story antennas that aren't wanted as a result of suburbanization.
Oh well, that's just my opinion. You can read it for yourself at:
Monday, June 21, 2010
When operating at 25 watts carrier from my 756, I was producing about 25 watts pep when modulated at 100% (because the power output would drop to about 8 watts!). My amp (AL-82) would run about 350 watts carrier, and would fall back to about 85 watts or so when I would speak (still about 350 watts pep).
I built the little curcuit from W8JI's page this afternoon. I now operate the rig at about 10 watts carrier, which drives the amp to about 150 watts. When modulated the amp produces about 600 watts pep, but runs very cool.
Listening to it on my Yaesu 901, it seems much cleaner, but I can't hear any difference on my Heathkit SB-301. I guess this is partly determined by the detector used in the receiver of the receiving station. The amp is much happier, though, and runs much cooler. I can run a much higher PEP with a lot less heat!
I've posted info about it on my AM Mode page at:
Sunday, June 13, 2010
You can see the info on this weekend's VHF contest on the ARRL website at:
Monday, May 24, 2010
Saturday, May 22, 2010
To preface this...I collect vintage Amateur Radio gear. There are lots of people like me, who collect older amateur radio equipment, restore it, and enjoy operating it on occassion. Many of these old rigs are crystal controlled and have been locked to these frequencies for decades, especially since these frequencies were widely known as the frequencies to operate AM on. Most of these rigs operate on AM.
The "AM Windows" have been around since before I became a ham in 1974. One such example of windows are the two frequencies 3.880 & 3.885 mhz in the 75 meter band. There are only a handful of such frequencies in the entire HF portion of our allotted amateur radio spectrum. AM has a typical bandwidth of at least 6 khz, and most of the older receivers were designed to accept this bandwidth for proper reception and reproduction of transmitted audio.
I'm always amazed at the number of people who tune either just outside of the window (or right smack in the middle of the window!) and operate SSB. Their arguements are often "I don't hear the AM'ers" or "I was here first and _they_ can move". I guess either they don't understand the design of their own receiver including it's more narrow passband and ability to null carriers from the oppsite sideband, don't understand that many of the AM Vintage rigs can't move to another frequency, or they simply just don't care where the window is.
AM'ers, for the most part, stay in the windows to enjoy the company of other collectors, experimenters (many AM ops build and/or modify their own gear), and others with similar interests. There are lots of us...the numbers are quite large. There are publications, businesses, and even entire hamfests dedicated to this facet of the ham radio hobby. We don't _HAVE_ to stay in these tiny slivers of spectrum called the AM Windows, but we choose to do so out of respect for the other modes scattered across the bands (among other reasons). We can operate anywhere those of you who operate SSB can operate...but we don't. We keep to ourselves and try to minimize our interference to others by operating in these widely known and universally understood "AM Windows".
Imagine if all SSB operations were be herded into a few tiny slices of spectrum called "SSB Windows", while AM operations ran across the entire phone bands. Imagine if AM'ers decided to "take back" a fair amount of spectrum and began having AM contests, calling CQ, holding nets, etc on AM all across the phone bands with our wider signals. Now imagine if those of you who operate SSB actually behaved as most of us do and gave AM a little "elbow room" around the windows so your SSB signals (and many of them are quite wide as well!) didn't jam the few frequencies that we relegate our own selves to.
I started typing this on this Saturday morning while working (or rather, trying to) the AM Military net on 3.885. A group of hams in the southeast US constantly obliterates operations on 3.885 Am by operating on 3.888 LSB. Their lower sidebands splatter all the way down to below 3.880. One of the guys is regularly heard on a rants that he will jam AM anytime and anywhere he hears it, simply because _he_ doesn't like it. This happens all the time, and is a perfect example of what this blog is about: People who either don't know or don't care how their operations in and around the windows impacts a much larger group of people who are operating in a manner as to minimize their impact on everyone else.
Please folks...stay out of and away from (by few khz) the AM windows with your SSB signals, so AM'ers can also enjoy their favorite part this awesome hobby!
Monday, May 17, 2010
Sunday, May 16, 2010
Monday, May 10, 2010
UPDATE... Just worked FO4BM in French Polynesia again on 10m at 28.4198 mc, which is 6000 miles from my location. Yep, things are looking up!
Sunday, May 9, 2010
Example: If I were working you and you were my 30th contact in the event, my exchange with you would be: 599-030-05 (I'm in CQ zone 5). You can find your CQ zone at: http://www.mapability.com/ei8ic/maps/cqzone.php . You can also learn more about this event at: http://www.contestvolta.com/