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Topics - Sparks

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Morse Code / Learn Morse Code in 20 Lessons (Koch Method)
« on: September 20, 2017, 12:53:07 AM »
You want to learn Samuel F. B. Morse's (shown above) most famous code. The South Canadian Amateur Radio Society (SCARS) wants to help. Mark Kleine N5HZR developed this series of web pages to help you learn the 40 characters of the International Morse Code in about 20 lessons. Additionally, you can continue to practice hearing your code for another 20 lessons. In the first lesson we introduce two characters, the letters K and M. Think of this as if you're learning the sounds 'momma' and 'dada', as an infant. You'll listen to these characters, learning to hear, and differentiate their two sounds. Then, you'll come back each, and every day (or two) and listen to 2 new characters in 5 lessons of 5 minutes each. You don't have to listen to all 5 at one time. You can listen to a couple the 5 minute sessions at breakfast, one at lunch, and the last two in the evening. Make each lesson enjoyable, and you'll have a better experience.

Each day you'll build on the characters you already know. During the first week, you may feel frustrated or you may have trouble hearing each individual character. However, by day 5 or so, you will start to notice that the characters are 'slowing down', and you can differentiate the characters. In reality, you're simply learning to hear these tones quicker.

You should concentrate on how each character sounds, and don't rely on a visual representation of the code. Listen to the characters, and hear the rhythm of each one. You will hear Morse Code sent at 20 Words Per Minute (WPM), sent at full speed, from the very first lesson. These tones are purposely sent too fast to count the beeps. You should be training your ear to hear the sound of the character, like you hear the sound of a word. Listen when you are able concentrate on what you're doing, and not overburdened with other activities. Remember, this should be fun. Enjoy the process. So, when you're ready, sign up for the free reminder emails right here, and start with lesson 1, we hope you'll make it through the 40 lessons, and LearnMorse!

Email Notifications
The best way to learn Morse Code is to spend 30 minutes a day listening to code. The best way to make that happen is to have someone else remind you to do it. Enter your email address, and click SUBMIT to start receiving these messages.

General Discussion / U.S. Navy unit discovers HF radio communications
« on: August 17, 2017, 10:26:14 PM »

The Commander of Task Force (CTF) 75, Fleet Combat Camera Pacific (U.S. Navy), has recently discovered that HF Radio across the Pacific actually works …

Commander, Task Force (CTF) 75 successfully completed communications systems tests using high-frequency (HF) radio waves to broadcast voice and data 6,050 miles from Naval Base Guam to Port Hueneme, California, July 27, 2017.

The assessment tested the capabilities of expeditionary forces to use HF waves to deliver data over the Pacific. HF has become a viable alternative for military forces when more common forms of communication, such as satellites, are unavailable.
Common communication devices used by the U.S. military incorporate satellites. CTF-75 has been testing HF systems in the case of satellite communication failure. HF is a frequency wave broadcast that is transmitted around the curvature of the Earth. Unlike other forms of frequencies, such as very-high frequencies and ultra-high frequencies, the transmission is not distorted by terrain or physical obstructions.

“We may not always have access to operational equipment or the latest assets, but as communicators we should have a backup plan that is ready to be executed,” said Carmon.

Well done, boys! — Next: The Wheel. And then: Gunpowder …

Radio Reviews, Questions and Comments. / ELAD FDM-DUO Transceiver
« on: August 13, 2017, 12:39:06 AM »
I cannot find this Italian radio mentioned anywhere in this forum. Anyone here familiar with it?

I am asking because Norway's major ham outlet runs a summer sale with a 25% discount on this one, and I am considering selling my unused Yaesu FT-817ND to acquire the ELAD FDM-DUO instead.

Some links concerning this radio, mostly reviews:  (Several reviews; mostly very favorable.)  —  (Manufacturer's site.)  (U.S. shop.)  (Where the summer sale is.)

[K1 vs. KX1] If only they had a K1 with a DDS VFO and SWL! Or a surface-mount KX1 for even smaller size! Elecraft should combine the two radios and call it a KX2.

New KX2 radio to be announced this Thursday at the Dayton Hamvention 2016

Hello to all,
We are please to announce a new radio to complement the KX3 and the KX-Line.  Here are the details.

What:  Elecraft announces the KX2, Ultra-portable radio                   
 When:  Thursday, May 16th, 1300Z                   
 Where:  Four Days In May QRP event, part of the Dayton Hamfest activities
 Elecraft is excited to announce a new radio targeting the Ultra-portable market with a Fit-In-Your-Pocket size.  Please see the attached brochure for details.
 - KX2:  $749.00
 - Options and accessories:  Please see the table below for pricing.  Also see the FAQ for details.
 Distributors are encouraged to order both the KX2 and accessories now.  The KX2 is already in production and early ordering will ensure your position for deliveries.
 Note that the KX2 will be available in full, factory-built form only.  There will be 2 internally-installed options available immediately.  See the FAQ for more details.

— This week's Thursday, however, is not on May 16, but on May 19 (2016). A typo I guess?

Morse Code / History of Radiotelegraphy
« on: December 11, 2015, 02:24:17 AM »  — There is so much in here, days of reading:

• Maritime Radio History
• Landline Telegraph
• On Topic Books

• Learning to Use Morse Code
• CW Internet Resources

• Q & Z-Signals and Prosigns
• CW Skill Events (high speed)
• Collections of Keys
• Popular CW Operating Groups
• Available Production Keys
• Key Maintenance
• Key Building
• Building Parts Sources
• Electronic Keyers
• Radio Room Clocks
• QRP Information
• General Ham Radio Links

Morse Code / CW Morse Code for Dummies
« on: December 05, 2015, 04:35:48 AM »
This is a Facebook page where interesting links are being added about every week:

… Description

CW MORSE CODE for Dummies.
Learners, experts, tricks, materials, contacts ... radiotelegraphy
(Some of this information is collected in internet)

Example of recent link:

Morse Code / 'Morse Code as a Language'
« on: October 28, 2015, 10:16:43 PM »

This playlist was put on YouTube last week, perhaps of use to some of those who are learning Morse Code?

Hi everybody. Justin here from the Morse Code channel.

I’m doing this video to introduce this new playlist which is learning ‘Morse Code as a Language’. Morse code really is its own language, with its own words, grammar, structure, conventions, slang, and so on.

I’m going to present short dialogs between two hypothetical people. I’ll be sending Morse code using different tones for the different people. After the dialog, I’ll break it down, what they were saying, including things to look out for, and things specific to Morse code.

The playlist is going to be geared at newbies and intermediates. I assume the listener knows at least some or all of the letters and numbers. It would be great if the listener has a Morse code key they can use as well to practice, or an app, or computer program, but one of the practical things about Morse code is that you can even just tap with your finger, say dit and dah with your voice, etc. to participate.

I would encourage people to NOT use computers or apps to decode the Morse code you hear, but rather keep it a skill, a human activity, as much as possible. I think you’ll learn more Morse code this way.

And we’ll go from there!

My background is I’ve been interested in ham radio and Morse code since about 2013, and have been doing Morse code practice on and off the air since then. I upgraded to my Extra license a few weeks ago. I love languages in general, I can speak some Espanol (Spanish) and Putonghua (Mandarin Chinese).

Thanks for having an interest in languages, Morse code specifically, and checking out this channel, and this new playlist ‘Morse Code as a Language’.

I will see you next video, bye bye.

Finally, no more depending on batteries or solar power or fossil fuel generators?
Portable wind turbine has sparked a craze and lets you harvest renewable energy almost anywhere

Janulus, a company based in Minnesota seems to have nailed a need that society has been craving.  They have built a portable wind turbine/battery combo that can charge your smart phone or your electric car.

The turbines come in one of four sizes and strengths.  The smallest, weighing in at 1.4 pounds, will give you 50 watts of power.  They scale up in size from 50 to 400 to 1,000 and finally to 2,500 watts, the largest of which can still fit in the trunk of your car.  The Kickstarter for these new models exploded on day 1 and has almost reached their goal of $50,000 as of this article being written.

General Discussion / A 'magic tent' for mountaineers?
« on: September 28, 2015, 10:02:21 PM »
An "all-in-one" shelter system has been developed for mountaineers. Inside the shelter conditions remain comfortable whatever the weather outdoors, thanks to a sophisticated dehumidifying system and a fine-tuned temperature control mechanism.

I have been waiting for something like this to replace tents and sleeping bags. Must be fine for QRP / SOTA expeditions into the mountains? Maybe also for certain other contingencies?

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