ARRL EC-001 Emergency Communications Course

Today marks the day I took the final for ARRL’s EC-001: Emergency Communications Basic/Level 1 course. It’s a 9 week course that I started in November and covers a wide range of EMCOMM topics: From the organizational structure of emergency communicator groups to traffic net etiquette to digital modes to message handling to deployment preparation and expectations. It is designed for those who want to volunteer in ARES or another emergency communications group. The 9 week course is comprised of 29 lessons, with an estimate of taking 45 hours to complete. Along the way, there are assignments/activities for each lesson, and frequent check-ins with a designated mentor of the class.… Read More

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Tuning SWR with an Antenna Analyzer

If you’re at all into antennas aside from your handheld rubber duck antenna, you should try to get an antenna analyzer. Here I am using a RigExpert AA-600: Before using this device, I would just go by the radio’s SWR reading (a poor display of SWR “bars”) to determine if I was close to resonance. The quad-band vertical antenna I have supposedly works with 10m, 6m, 2m, and 40cm. I never had much success with adjusting the end tip of the antenna for 10m until I started evaluating readings using the AA-600. My target frequency was 28.400 MHz for the LARC weekly 10m net, and 28.457 MHz for the SDARC… Read More

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80m RTTY

I found a load of RTTY on 80m band on Sunday night (1/7/2018). I tuned to 3580 kHz and found a particularly strong signal, so I hooked up my USB soundcard to my laptop, fired up fldigi and made attempts to reply, but I guess my QRP setup didn’t get heard in all the pileup chatter. Turns out, January 6-7 was “ARRL RTTY Roundup“, a nationwide contest to make contacts in the digital format, so it was easy to catch the conversations on almost all HF bands. I found the CQ‘s in this format a bit odd, and didn’t really know how to format my responses or how to call… Read More

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New Callsign: AD6DM

The FCC has granted my request for new vanity callsign: AD6DM Why the new callsign? I wanted something easier to transmit in Morse code. But also, the initials make it a true “vanity” callsign. Truth be told, I applied for a 2×1 callsign and AD6DM was my second choice. But I got beat by a club for that shorter callsign. Those 2×1’s are really in demand! The migration to this new website domain is complete. The old site kf6ujs.net will remain for posterity while this site continues and grows as I do as a ham. Thank you for visiting!

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More CW Practice

Merry Christmas! Today I landed upon a video by KJ4YZI Eric of HamRadioConcepts (https://youtu.be/Jls-PiR-dBI) entitled “How I learned Morse code fast and easy”. I found the title suspect because CW is neither fast nor easy, but he did help me a lot with this simple video. He learned with the help of an Android app called Morse CT that allows him to practice by tapping the alphabet and numbers on his phone. It never occurred to me that I could tap on my phone screen to learn sending. I have been so slow going because the Koch method is tedious and very hard in the beginning. I was thinking I… Read More

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What is this transmission?

I checked in to W6VVR Vaca Valley Radio Club net this evening and they said post-net they’d be hopping on to 7.190MHz. Quickly set up my bugcatcher for 40m and listened, but nothing heard, except for a QSO in progress on 7.192 from Arizona to Los Angeles. So I thought I’d tune around on the new Extra sections of 7.075-7.100MHz (Hawaii and Alaska can use this for voice, but we mainlanders can’t.) Was expecting CW and perhaps some blurty digital sounds. Instead I found this: What is this? I imagine it’s a digital mode (somewhat like Olivia) but I’ve never heard anything like it. Makes me think of a harmonic… Read More

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Passed the Amateur Extra exam

It took a while of studying, and a HamCram at the end, but I got my Extra class ticket this afternoon with W6SF Stockton Delta Amateur Radio Club. I missed one out of the 50-question exam. This is the last level of amateur radio licensing. Now I have no excuses… I need to just focus on actual radio practice and experimenting with all the different things that have opened up at this level. I will have the ARRL Band Plan on hand at all times till I memorize it, and can now pretty much transmit on all available FCC amateur bands without worrying if I’m in the wrong operator allocation.… Read More

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