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Latest Topics

Topic Created Posts Views Last Activity
Award Winners Mar 31st, 22:20 2 476 2 weeks, 5 days ago
Best Practice Mar 20th, 17:46 3 397 4 weeks, 2 days ago
Balun: top or bottom of ladder line? Mar 4th, 01:00 3 152 on 4/3/14
Yaesu, Icom, and Linux Feb 14th, 23:36 4 152 on 24/2/14
NCVEC Feb 7th, 14:55 1 108 on 7/2/14
Computer Hardware Ideas? Jan 20th, 18:34 8 192 on 12/2/14

Latest Posts

Topic Author Posted On
Award Winners K7RMA 2 weeks, 6 days ago
The Hiram Percy Maxim Memorial Award gets a lot of well-deserved attention, and at the bottom of the page ( ) there are links to see previous winners.

This is not the case with the Herb S. Brier Instructor of the Year Award, nor with the International Humanitarian Award. I'm especially interested in the humanitarian side of amateur radio, so was hoping to find some inspiring stories of past winners, sort of an ARRL Awards Hall of Fame on the web site.

Unfortunately it doesn't look like there's a list of award winners anywhere on the site. The closest you can get is a search of the award name on the ARRL site and then plow through countless news item results asking for nominee submissions.

Seems like an ARRL Awards Hall of Fame would be a great idea in ARRL's centennial year. The winners and their stories would inspire hams for years to come.
Best Practice K7RMA 4 weeks, 2 days ago
Thanks Steve. I suppose it depends on the legal definition of transmitted recordings when section 5b "one-way communication" is considered.

I'm not interested in getting a fellow ham in trouble, just in learning more about what's allowed and not allowed. If it helps, the frequency in question is 28.425, and sure enough, the endless loop recording is playing again right now. Just seems weird, I haven't seen anything like this anywhere else.
Best Practice K7RMA on 20/3/14
Have a question here for anyone interested in "best practice."

Over a period of weeks now I have noticed a particular ham "occupying" a frequency. It sounds as though he plays a recording calling CQ for several hours every day, with the recording repeating every three seconds. This ham interrupts his broadcast only when someone responds to the call. I don't use the term "broadcast" lightly. He is playing a recording, repeatedly, for hours at a time.

To further complicate matters, the person in question is an Amateur Extra, and is transmitting within the narrow 10M HF bandwidth allowed to Technicians. Repeatedly playing a recording is bad enough; doing so with a powerful rig likely to drown out those being run by newly licensed Technicians seems both rude and predatory.

I've been a listener for forty years but am newly licensed as a transmitter. I'll be the first to admit then that I have little experience with operational etiquette, so maybe I'm reading this incorrectly. I feel like there's something wrong though when I can tune to the frequency in question and reliably hear the same voice reciting the same words in the same tone and cadence over and over. It's like finding the atomic clock broadcasts, but on an amateur frequency - and one of the rare frequencies that should be available to the newest hams, ones just building their shacks.

From that ham's point of view, I understand the health benefit of not using his actual voice to call CQ, and the contesting benefit of automatically calling CQ every three seconds. But if we go down that road, why not just automate the whole contact? Why not just allow our radios to contact to one another electronically? This would allow that ham to further spare his throat and to rack up even better contest numbers.

But then where is the human element in amateur radio?

I'd appreciate your thoughts on this. I don't know if what he's doing meets the legal definition of "broadcast" or if it offends anyone else's sense of "best practice." As I build my own operational etiquette I'd just like to find out more.

Thanks and 73,
Rob / K7RMA
Balun: top or bottom of ladder line? K7RMA on 4/3/14
Thanks Martin, that says it all.
Balun: top or bottom of ladder line? K7RMA on 4/3/14
Hello all,
I've listened on portables for years, but just passed my tech exam and upgraded my equipment. A HOA restricts what type of antenna I can use, so I'm running a Cobra Ultralite Senior dipole as an inverted V, hoping the HOA won't spot it. The Cobra comes with fantastic weatherproof ladder line, which I'm thankful for given the two environments I call home (rainy Oregon and scorching Arizona). Now here's the question: I know a dipole will need a balun, but I've seen conflicting advice on where it should be placed. Here are my three options as I see them:

1) Place the balun at the apex of the inverted V I could put it in series with the ladder line, then run the ladder line indoors to a PL259 and my low-pass filter.
2) Place the balun indoors at the end of the ladder line, so it is between the ladder line and a length of coax to the low-pass.
3) Place the balun at the apex of the inverted V and run coax all the way up to it, eliminating the ladder line altogether.

Clearly Option 3 is not the way I want to go. Among other advantages, I can run ladder line under a window without drilling any holes in the wall. But placement of the balun, at top or bottom of the ladder line, is the question of the day. I appreciate any suggestions!

Thanks and 73s.

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