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Messages - Sparks

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Military Radios / WW II Radio Receivers restored and demonstrated in Norway
« on: December 14, 2017, 07:59:04 AM »

Helge Fykse  [LA6NCA] — Published 30 Nov. 2017

I show here two of the best radio receivers made during WW2.
E52b and Lo6K39a.
Lo6K39a is probably the world's best TRF receiver.
E52b is the best receiver made during the war.

General Discussion / Re: 3.818MHz Net on Sunday nights
« on: November 14, 2017, 07:29:42 PM »
BTW - is there a place to look up SW transmission information? That is a list of transmitters on the air.

There certainly is! I bought my very first edition of this outstanding book some 55 years ago:  —

General Discussion / Re: Lost at sea 5 months without comms
« on: November 02, 2017, 06:08:06 PM »
Many questions to ask about this story, and questions are also being asked in this group:!forum/radio-officers!aboutgroup/radio-officers!topic/radio-officers/4nSrzwXe-LQ
(Radio Officers › 2 American women at sea adrift for over 5 months).

CB / Re: Palomar Digicom 100 SSB transceiver
« on: October 21, 2017, 08:18:56 PM »
I needed to see what it looks like. Nice overview here:

Owner's manual (PDF) may be downloaded from this site:

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.

Radio Reviews, Questions and Comments. / Re: ELAD FDM-DUO Transceiver
« on: August 31, 2017, 12:41:36 PM »
Summer is soon over, and I finally decided against buying this fine radio, even at the 25% discount.

Main reason: I don't (yet) fully understand this SDR-stuff, and feel I don't need it (yet).

On top of that, ELAD delivers PC/Windows-only solutions, and I have used Mac only on a daily basis since 1989.

Technical Corner / Re: Simple 5 band antenna and L network tuner
« on: August 30, 2017, 11:36:42 PM »
The transceiver used in there is a Hendricks PFR-3A, and I wanted to know more about it:

First: Interesting background on the PFR-3:

These are about the PFR-3A:

Seems the current version is Hendricks PFR-3B, which I found here:

Morse Code / Re: QUESTION: Why Do Men Love Morse Code?
« on: August 23, 2017, 09:29:07 AM »

Funny site but very annoying popups that were impossible to dismiss until I gave them a fake email address.

Thanks cockpitbob for the picture, I have seen it a few years ago, this time I stored it for future reference.

Technical Corner / Re: New QRP Labs 5W CW Transceiver Kit.
« on: August 21, 2017, 03:55:16 PM »
… I assume they are in the U.S., but I can't find where they are located.

I also wondered about that. This is what I found out. The owner of QRP Labs is a British ham:

G0UPL Hans Summers. — Email:

Check Podcast Episode #125 here:

As a 2009 QRP ARCI Hall of Fame inductee - Hans Summers, G0UPL, is an electronic experimenter and amateur radio innovator extraordinaire. Hans pays careful attention to compact and minimal parts count to achieve the design goals of his homebrew projects. Hans is the owner of QRP Labs joins Eric, 4Z1UG, in a conversation about QRSS slow data transmissions, high altitude balloon transmitters, and shares his ham radio and electronic builder story.


Edit: I removed his complete home address, found on All other information is publicly available.

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 …

Sparks, where are you located? Is your BALUN a 4:1 or 1:1 type? You would use it to feed a dipole or Windom.. Do you have two support points high up to string a wire, only one? None? Trees?

Thanks to the three of you who have replied. Sorry for not responding until now! Life's unforeseen circumstances and family responsibilities forced me to leave the radio and the paraphernalia packed and stored with a friend in southern Norway, until further notice, so I haven't been able to look closely at the balun. I planned to use the set for portable QRP (CW only) on hiking trips in forests and mountains. I now consider selling the FT-817ND and instead acquire this radio:,1327.0.html  ( ELAD FDM-DUO Transceiver )

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.)

General Discussion / Re: Backpacks
« on: June 11, 2017, 06:45:01 PM »
All my ham radio gear is into this 5.11 moab 6 backpack, leads, rig, antennas, batteries, solar pannel, chargers etc.

(My emphasis.) There is a large empty space after this sentence and before the two concluding ones, but I see absolutely no link(s) nor pictures or any other kind of illustration in between.

Morse Code / Re: Vibroplex Code Warrior Juniors CODEWARR-JR
« on: June 09, 2017, 11:20:54 AM »

Here is the link Vibroplex Code Warrior Juniors CODEWARR-JR

No link there, so here is the link to the manufacturer's site:

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