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Recent Posts

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1
General Discussion / Death By Microprocessor
« Last post by RadioRay on September 05, 2019, 10:51:04 PM »
Well, not 'death' actually, more like 'DEAF by microprocessor'. 

We all know that radio communication in voice is quite power hungry, so Watt-for-Watt, digital modes are more robust in tough conditions.  Of course, Morse code sent via CW is extremely robust, yielding between 13-18 dB 'system gain' compared to voice modes, depending upon who's math you're using. 

The timing with this 'deafness' is 'educational':  About the time that Hurricane Dorian , a category >5< HURRICANE was pounding Bermuda and forecast to come up the coast and do the same to us, I received a Windows update, after which my laptop would not operate.  I went to SAFE mode, and it worked for a little while, then nothing....  This is the ham shack laptop with all my cool radio gimmicks on it, including weather satellite software to download my own images - directly, WINLINK (for emergency status checks with family and friends) & etc.  Windows is still deader than a bag-of-rocks to this day, until I have time to reload Windows from disc & all the software , then reconfigure it all.  I am in no hurry.

Why am I NOT in a hurry to fix my laptop so that I can communicate? Because my straight key and my 1939 McElroy 'bug' work flawlessly, cannot be virused, dDOS'd , have no 'back-door' vulnerabilities, and never have updates and yet work well below the noise level, require ZERO power, leaving only my transceiver(s) with their many battery back-up systems, which I am well prepared for. I have to ask myself:what would I do, if I had never learned Morse, and had to DEPEND upon a computer to communicate for me? If we loose power for the long term  , and iI decide to send 'health & welfare' messages to key friends, I can easily do that in Morse code, either casually through random hams outside of the area, or as formal message traffic via the various National Traffic System / RRI Morse traffic nets. And I can do it with very little power in CW - very, very little power.

A skill like Morse code will serve you for life. Skills take-up no room in your rucksack, weigh nothing and can be enhanced with a cup of coffee,

and brother, do I love good coffee!

Fortunately, Hurricane Dorian has dropped to a -still dangerous- category 2, and it's track indicates that it will only offer this area a glancing blow as it heads-out to sea. At least, that's the forecast. I'll know more tomorrow when I'm looking at it, or not.




de Ray  ..._ ._



2
General Discussion / Re: Hello! (again)
« Last post by raybiker73 on September 03, 2019, 11:30:25 AM »
Thanks Gil, and by the way I really enjoy your YouTube videos.

RadioRay, sounds like a plan. I've been playing with a KX-1 that has an 80m board in it, so we'll see what I can do with a watt or two.


Ray (or maybe the Other Ray, who knows?)
3
General Discussion / Weather Satellite Reception Example - Be Your Own Forecaster
« Last post by RadioRay on September 01, 2019, 07:29:33 PM »
We have a MAJOR Hurricane approaching (It's a CAT 5 right now)  .  If you ever wondered how difficult it is to capture weather satellite images without the internet, it's not difficult, but does require the software and a bit of practice. There are MANY YouTube posts with excellent instruction about this, so I will not repeat what they've done. 

Here is an image received within the hour using an inexpensive SDR and no automatic satellite tracking or LNA: (attached)


de RadioRay
4
Antennas / Balanced Line Linked Dipole
« Last post by Andriy on August 28, 2019, 01:03:52 PM »
Good Morning everyone,

Thanks for the warm welcome and I'm happy to be apart of your group.  I have lots to learn about QRP Operation in the field.

So I'm starting out in this neck of the woods and I have heard about linked dipoles after reading and wondering if it is worth feeding them with latter line (450 Ohm) for a backpacking operation/ camping / Prepping? What size container can get a linked dipole into? Space is a premium and I often can carry a KX3 or any one of my monoband Kit CW Only Radios with me.

As far as a balanced line compatible tuner, i have a 4SQRP 4S Tuner, a Elecraft T1 w/ banana jack standoffs, and a discontinued SOTABEAMS Hilltopper tuner (40-17). I believe I am ok there, unless anyone else thinks otherwise.

I'm interested in this route since efficiency is also at a premium and i like to experiment.  ;D

I do like EFHW's and plan on building a linked EFHW for my SOTA HillTopper 40-17 tuner with some 26Ga wire unless the dipole you all think would work better. 

I like Gil's Tea Tin setup, that really won me over! The ATS3 fits that bill since it has wide band receive.

Looking for some ideas and a great discussion.

5
General Discussion / Re: Hello! (again)
« Last post by RadioRay on August 27, 2019, 07:50:30 PM »
WooHoo!great to have you back.  Btw I am back home on the Southern Bay , so an easy 80m shot for CW.   PERHAPS WE CAN MEET ON THE AIR to discuss whether I am “the other Ray” or you are ??

73 de Other Ray ( provisional )
6
General Discussion / Re: Hello! (again)
« Last post by gil on August 27, 2019, 02:55:58 PM »
Welcome back Ray :-)
Gil.
7
General Discussion / Hello! (again)
« Last post by raybiker73 on August 27, 2019, 11:41:25 AM »
I was formerly a member of this forum, then sort of wandered away for a couple years. I came back and had to start a new account, but that's OK! Greetings to everyone! I'm still in Western PA, still an Extra, still do mostly CW, but now I'm sort of getting into DMR as well. Look forward to reading my way through the forums!


Ray
8
Morse Code / Re: west coast, beginners CW practice group?
« Last post by RadioRay on August 26, 2019, 11:22:00 PM »
Hi Brian,

I don't know whether you know about the group, but Straight Key Century Club (SKCC) hangs aboud 7055'ish and they are desicated to using straight keys, 'bugs' and other non-electronics keying, SOOOO they are a  prime place for slower code with an emphasis on having fun while practicing.  I have several conversations around their hang-out frequencies.  I'm not much of a 'joiner' but I joined SKCC early on, because I like their way of doing thing and how they serve as a platform for people to improve their on the air Morse skills.


73 de Ray  ..._ ._
9
General Discussion / Re: Hi from the Baltimoron
« Last post by RadioRay on August 26, 2019, 11:16:11 PM »
"...sail and play radio..."

That sounds familiar.  No more sailing for me, but I have to say, that on the hook in some little out of the way place on The Bay, I could hear EVERYTHING !  I remember being over on the Eastern Shore listening to two station in Africa while they had a regional conversation on 40 meters - not so local for me.  I didn't transmit, just enjoyed hearing them.

Also, there's something reassuring about knowing that you can cast off lines, and run self contained for a very long time - and distance.

73 de Ray  ..._ ._
10
Morse Code / Re: west coast, beginners CW practice group?
« Last post by bkmoore on August 25, 2019, 11:45:06 PM »
Thanks Gil,

When the solar cycle picks back up, I'll be here. Or I may move back to Germany and you won't need the solar cycle to reach me. But it all depends on how my future career develops.... Right now Germany makes no sense for my professional future.

73,

Brian
KM6ZYC
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