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Surfin’: Tricks Are for Hams

06/15/2012

By Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU
Contributing Editor

This week, Surfin’ demonstrates how ham radio can be a tricky, but well worth it.

Tricking Out A USB TV Tuner

I have been exploring the world of experimenters who have been combining inexpensive USB TV tuners with Software Designed Radio (SDR) technology to come up with inexpensive SDR receivers.

This is a hot subject. There is a lot of stuff on topic on the Internet to wade through and the novice can easily get overwhelmed by it all.

To help sort things out, Balint Seeber has begun a series of videos on YouTube titled GNU Radio Tutorial Series. So far, there are five videos in the series and more will come if viewers find the videos helpful -- and let Balint know that is the case.

Balint also has an Ultra-cheap SDR Series on YouTube demonstrating “things to do with a $20 SDR dongle,” specifically the RTL2832 DVB-T USB stick.

In addition, Balint has a website with links to his blog and various wikis related to his SDR work.

Tricking Out A GPS

Like many people, I own a GPS. In fact, I own more than one GPS. I lost count how many, so I cannot give you an exact number. And do I count the ones that no longer work and the ones that are in various states of repair/disrepair?

I keep my GPS up-to-date with a subscription for quarterly map updates. While uploading the latest update last week, I discovered a way to personalize the GPS by having it display an image of my own vehicle, rather than the stock vehicle images bundled with the GPS.

So as not to bore all of you with this nerdy trick, here is the link that describes how I did it.

Until next time, keep on surfin’!

Editor’s note: Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU, seeks the unusual in radio. To contact Stan, send e-mail or add comments to the WA1LOU blog.



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