First 10 Meter QSO!

This is probably old hat to the veteran hams out there but this evening I finally, successfully, made clear contact on 10m SSB phone! A milestone for me, after tons of antenna research and tuning around on the frequencies forever. Stockton Delta Amateur Radio Club (SDARC) has a weekly informal net on 28.457 MHz SSB, and whenever I could be at my radio on Thursday evenings, I’ve tried to make contact during this net to no avail. This evening, I decided to move my poorly-placed (6 ft off the ground against a wooden fence) 10m dipole a few feet outward toward the open air, and waited. I should also mention… Read More

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Being a Ham Means Figuring Things Out

A setback day today, as I finally received a USB audio cable for my attempts to use fldigi with my mac laptop (one of the few SDR programs that works on macOS). I was so looking forward to CQ’ing on my available bands with CW in an automated sense, but no luck. The USB audio cable I ordered (manufactured in Greece, no less), doesn’t seem to work. It is quite frustrating to wait forever for the requisite parts only for me to once again face the world of failure and non-support on Apple Mac computers. The ham software world is very driven by Windows software, something hams really need to… Read More

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Ham Code Guide

Spurred by the previous post, I’m using the Koch method for learning Morse code (CW). I’m attaching here a document I made back when I first became a ham in 1999 that is a quick reference for prosigns and Q-Codes. Morse is also there, but I do not recommend CW by sight, has to be reflexive by sound. A good iOS mobile app for this is Ham Morse by AA9PW. Here is my reference document: Ham Code Guide by KF6UJS.

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Found a Beacon on 2m

I briefly heard someone on 10m single-sideband (SSB) saying goodbye to his QSO friend, and that he was going to tune around on 2m SSB. Although I knew 2m SSB existed, never occurred to me that now that I have an all-mode rig, I could also tune around there instead of being bound only to FM by a handheld radio. I started sweeping from 144.100 MHz and started hearing morse code at right around 144.282 MHz. I switched to CW mode and tuned further to 144.282.23: I recorded it, and was fascinated. Note, this was received while connected to my 10m dipole antenna that is pretty poorly mounted against a fence… Read More

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Great California Shake-Out Earthquake Drill!

It was a quick checkin on the W6SF repeater from Folsom, CA today. In participation with The 2017 International ShakeOut Day, today Oct. 19, 2017 at 10:19am, we had a QST to check in to the drill. Most checkins had “no damage” but there could have been mock damage appended with “this is a drill” at the end of the transmission. Hitting the 147.165+ repeater (located by Fiddletown, CA some 30 miles away) from Folsom was difficult on my 5 maximum watts with mobile-mount antenna in a business parking lot. My radio tests 10 minutes before the drill got reports back of “no copy” with lots of noise, low audio. I… Read More

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Hello world!

Hi folks! I got into ham radio in 1999, but mostly just worked in VHF hitting SF Bay Area repeaters on 2 meters. I wanted ultimate portability, but never knew what it would be like to have a powerful rig. In 2017 (yes, 18 years later of my handheld talkies gathering dust), I finally got moved to find out more about HF and higher-wattage rigs, and got a Yaesu FT-857D. This opened up what hams have known all along: There’s a big world of radio out there to learn about and explore! This site will have some of my learnings and notes about new contacts, as well as some of… Read More

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