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Shortcuttng the SS exchange Nov 7th 2011, 20:56 3 1,624 on 8/6/12
QST feedback forum? Sep 15th 2011, 12:04 4 1,463 on 22/9/11

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40 meters SSB K2ADK 5 days, 1 hour ago
I see the term nets used here and no mention of roundtables. As I see it, and I could be wrong, a 'net' consists of a Net Control Station (NCS) and various assistant stations taking check-ins and passing traffic or doing whatever the net is chartered to do. I see these operations as distinct from a roundtable where a group of operators are chatting in a semi-random fashion. Some roundtables do keep an order of stations and pass it around so everyone has a chance to speak while others are of the "loudest or quickest" gets the soapbox. The latter often has a lot of 'doubling' (two or more stations transmitting at once) going on. Both groups are generally protective of their frequencies for better or for worse.

The positive side of these operations is that friends and interested parties know where and when to meet. The negative side is that as noted there is often not a lot of territory available between the groups for calling CQ and having a casual one on one contact.

On 40m, at least out here in the middle of the continent, there are openings between the SWBC where contacts can be made. These openings are easier to find during this time of the year when the band doesn't open to Region 1 until much later in the evening.

Persevere! These are just a few of the challenges amateur radio presents and take heart, we all face them, not just the new ops.

73, Nate
Software suggestions for controlling a Yaesu FT-920 N1EDM on 10/12/13
The FT-920 has a standard RS-232 serial port built in and all that is needed is a normal serial serial cable with a DE-9 at the radio end (male on the cable, if I recall correctly--check your manual).

Full remote control is likely not possible, power on and off, as an example, and there are certain oddities with the main and sub VFO handling as I recall. The manual doesn't document a command code for PTT but in my experimentation I found that the same command code used for PTT on the FT-890 also worked on the FT-920 so I enabled PTT control for the FT-920 in Hamlib and never received a complaint/bug report about it. The one I had was made in '97 so the firmware was likely consistent throughout the run. I don't recall if the built in antenna tuner was controllable or not, and so on.

Many programs, such as loggers, only control VFO frequency and mode. A small program that gives a generic control GUI is grig available on nearly all Linux distributions.

Good luck!

73, de Nate
Vanity Call; should I change? K1TA on 5/12/13
For many of us a vanity call only makes sense to us. Asking someone else who has no vested interest in your choice of call, unless they covet your current call, probably won't be all that helpful in your decision making process. :-)

That said, all sorts of things will need to be changed from QSL cards, any apparel sporting you call, club memberships, etc., etc. In some cases these things will be done anyway to reflect your new address. Changing your call concurrent with your move is probably as good of time as any. Not to worry, though, your current call will likely be snapped up shortly after it is available.

I will say this, I changed my call once. That was enough! :-D

73, de Nate >>
Rig control under Linux AB5XZ on 2/12/13
Hi Tom.

There are Python bindings built for Hamlib that are in the Raspbian package archive. Sadly, it was discovered several months ago that some of the function calls are broken and won't work. They've been corrected since but only in the development branch of Hamlib.

The idea is reasonably straight forward, import Hamlib and then call the functions. Note that Hamlib itself is not thread safe so when using threads, all the Hamlib code should reside in its own thread.

It is not that difficult to build the Hamlib sources and then create your own Python bindings. The procedure is outlined in the INSTALL, README.betatester and README.developer files included with the source tarball. A daily source snapshot is available from:

73, de Nate >>
Allowed Callsigns KB1XI on 2/12/13
As far as I know, so long as you are or have been the holder of the callsign, the QSL will be accepted so long as the distance criteria is met. I have a WAS with both my former call, KA0RNY, and my current call.

73, de Nate >>

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