Some Number Stations Sunday Morning

This morning I thought I’d search for number stations on the bands. According to Priyom.com, Number stations are shortwave transmissions from foreign intelligence agencies to spies in the field of foreign countries. They carry encrypted messages in form of groups of numbers or letters, using either automated voice, Morse code, or a digital mode. Here are a few number stations I heard this morning thanks to Priyom.com‘s schedule: M12 station (Moscow) on 13.379MHz in morse code at 16:40 UTC. For those who don’t know CW, it is repeating “931” over and over with occasional breaks of “TTT” which Priyom says means “000”.   E11 station (Warsaw) on 12.229MHz in upper… Read More

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What is Wrong with #hamradio?

In response to Ria Jairam N2RJ’s question on Twitter: Tell me what’s wrong with #hamradio and how you’d fix it. If you’re uncomfortable responding on twitter, email me ria@n2rj.com I’m not normally one to call out organizations but the ARRL is all we got as hams, really. People have argued with me on the merits of being a member, and I say “they’re all we have to represent us”. No other org lobbies the interests of hams and protects our bands– not ragtag petitioners, nor even conglomerations of clubs. Given that, the ARRL is our only hope. Yet it is a very slow and disconnected organization. Our “newsletters” are mostly… Read More

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Battery Components List

I’ve been sharing each of my LiFePO4 DIY battery builds on Twitter, and inevitably people want to know what parts they need. They’re too many to list in a tweet, so I thought I’d keep a running page here to refer people to. These things have been acquired over many months, and are not all inclusive. The reason I keep making them is to try out new things. Typical 6.5Ah to 7Ah 32700 build: LiitoKala 32700 LiFePO4 cells: ~$3.50/ea, ~$14.00 per 12v 4S1P battery. 100A 4S LiFePO4 BMS: $7.10 per batt 32650 battery holders: $1 for 4 cells Wiring (12ga, 16ga, 22ga in bulk, multiple batts): ~$50, ¢ /ea batt… Read More

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SOTA with AI6XG on Wragg Ridge

Dan AI6XG has been doing SOTA for a couple years, and we were in CWOps Level 2 class together in 2018. He graciously offered to go on a SOTA hike with me, and picked this great spot mapped out by Jeff AA6XA around the Lake Berryessa area. Enjoy watching my struggle as I get into this new facet of ham radio.

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First QSO on AO-92 Satellite

I received an Arrow II antenna from N9BAV today, a very generous gift after I tweeted that I needed to buy said antenna. After I put it together, I looked on GoSatWatch app to see the next pass of well-known amateur satellites. I immediately recognized that AO-92 was going to pass very well overhead in about 2½ hours. So I prepped my Kenwood TH-D74A with the VHF downlink frequency (145.880MHz) on sub band A, and the UHF uplink (435.340MHz) on sub band B. My previous attempts at satellite with a HT whip antenna and my HVU-8 vertical have met with no success, so I was half expecting this Arrow to… Read More

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Getting Tired of Battery Posts Yet?

I know I am getting tired watching myself talk about batteries. But it’s just fascinating to me to refine the build and power management process of readily available LiFePO4 cells. There are so many kinds! And they keep improving. I guess I have China to thank for that, so much of Maker / electrical components can be found from inexpensive Chinese distributors, making it easier and easier to have your own DIY projects. Anyway, here’s the latest in my series of portable battery builds. I found some really cheap 7Ah cells on Aliexpress, and had to try them out. I don’t want to become “the Battery Guy” since there are… Read More

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