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Latest Posts

Topic Author Posted On
Picking a Call sign Lucky56 3 days, 21 hours ago
Some folks keep their assigned call sign, because they like it, they get to be known by it, or they just aren't interested in "gaming" the system for a desirable call.

These days, you are not restricted to a particular numerical call district, so you could just as well ask for K1KPT, K2KPT, etc. (I have kept my call sign -- not a vanity call -- even though I've moved from 6- to 1-land quite a while ago.) Sometimes, people are confused by a "6" call from Connecticut, but so it goes. Your assigned call sign will always have the number of your actual FCC district (i.e. 7) if that matters to you.

My advice (worth what it costs you) is to see what you get assigned and then decide if you want to go "vanity". For one thing, the calls available to you as a Tech may be restricted. (I'm not sure, but you may only get a "2x3" type call.) You might decide you want to upgrade to General or Extra and get access to the "premium" calls. But be aware that it will be a struggle to get one of the top tier calls - like 1x2 format - there's a lot of competition.

73 Martin AA6E
inverted v leroy271 5 days, 16 hours ago
As with other dipole-type antennas, if you're feeding them with coax, the "correct" thing to do is to use a balun to transform from the unbalanced coax cable to the balanced dipole. But many people will say that a balun is unnecessary. That's right in the sense that you will still get results that may be satisfactory for you. But without a balun, you're going to have currents flowing back to the shack on the outside of the coax shield. Those currents are actually part of the antenna radiating system and will distort your antenna's pattern in unpredictable ways. They will also cause "RF in the shack" problems, with increased RFI potential, noise pickup on receive, distortion on your audio, and (in extreme cases) making a shock hazard for the operator. Even with a balun, you can get some of these problems if the coax is not well enough isolated from the antenna -- by running it parallel and too close to the antenna, for example.

73 Martin AA6E
Question about "db" KC2TZC 1 week, 1 day ago
The decibel always relates to the logarithm of a ratio of two quantities. Usually, it is a ratio of two power values, such as dB gain for an amplifier [10 times log10(output power divided by input power)]. But it is possible to use dB for a ratio of anything (volts, dollars, weights, etc.) If it's something other than power (the usual situation in radio systems), the writer needs to specify that very clearly.

If you see a power level referred to by "dB", it is only correct when referred to a specific reference power. E.g., 0 dBm equals 1 milliWatt, +10 dBm is 10 milliWatts, and +20 dBm is 100 milliWatts. Sometimes, you see dBw, for power relative to 1 Watt, but mostly we use dBm.

Check for the hoary details.

73 Martin AA6E
Fldigi on Ubuntu adif data merge K0AZ 2 weeks, 3 days ago
fldigi is not really intended to be a serious logging program, as I understand it. So it's not surprising if you are running into a capacity limit. It probably can't handle so many QSOs.

I generally log fldigi contacts in the built-in logger, but then transfer them to another logging program via adi files. Under Linux, I've used cqrlog and xlog with reasonable results.

73 Martin AA6E
Stamping on WSPR - an appeal to the ARRL MW1CFN 3 weeks, 2 days ago
I agree that there is a problem. The question is what to do. There are quite a few informal "allocations" for special modes these days, including JT65, PSK31, image modes, digital voice, not to mention QRP and what have you. I doubt that government regulators are going to create exclusive sub-bands for each of these, and it's not clear that we'd really want these things cast in concrete.

I don't see any solution except education -- promoting awareness of special frequencies and encouraging operators to stay away.

Contests are a special problem. You could imagine contest rules excluding certain frequencies, but how could that be enforced? In practice all the CW or voice bands are trashed during contests, except for the WARC bands (mostly). As a non-contester, I don't like it, but it seems to be a lost cause.

The good news is that WSPR and JTxx modes, in particular, are quite resistant to interference -- up to a point. And if you allow yourself to use QRO on these modes (horror!), they would be practically unstoppable. Just saying.

73 Martin AA6E

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