Saturday, November 16, 2013

Repairing Your Ham Radio Equipment

  There comes a time in every Ham Radio Operators life when some piece of equipment fails. The next decision is whether to send it out for repair or repair it yourself. If you are going to repair it yourself I would recommend that you have some electronic background. You will need to understand what various components are and what they do. There are some websites on the internet to get some electronic training for free. One such place is http://101science.com/Radio.htm they have a lot of information on quite a variety of topics. Another place I have found some interesting videos and lectures is at learner tv http://www.learnerstv.com/Free-Engineering-Video-lectures-ltv024-Page1.htm . There are many more sites on the internet providing lots of information. I would also check out free college courses at places such as MIT http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/electrical-engineering-and-computer-science/6-002-circuits-and-electronics-spring-2007/video-lectures/ .
  The next item you are going to need is the schematics for the piece of equipment you are going to repair. I have found that schematics are usually available from the manufacturer using the internet. I like to download the schematic and then use it through a program such as adobe reader, so I can view it as a pdf file. I like this program ,because I can make the schematic larger so it is easier to read. It can be found at http://get.adobe.com/reader/ . Just make sure to remove the check mark, so you don`t end up with the  free software they may try to give you such as mcafee security scan.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Shortwave Radios Today

  This is another side of radio that I like, because it came in handy when my Kenwood TS2000 went down. I started out with a small radioshack realistic DX-350. It is a fairly simple radio with a slider type selection for bands and then your tuning knob. It actually did a pretty decent job for not being expensive. I was able to listen to some stations at some faraway places. It was interesting to hear news from other countries.
 
Older Shortwave Radio

  I eventually advanced to a newer shortwave radio that would also pick up ssb ham bands. I wanted to listen to the ham bands before I got my Technician license. I wanted to understand how ham radio operators spoke. I was only used to the cb radio 11 meter band. That`s a different story. The shortwave radio I bought was a Sangean ATS 505. I did some looking on the internet and at some of the various suppliers such as Ham Radio Outlet http://www.hamradio.com/  and Universal radio http://www.universal-radio.com/ . I also liked AES Electronics http://www.aesham.com/ . This radio had much better features than the dx350 and the receive is awesome. I would suggest going to the manufacturer and look at information and specs.
 


By Doc Searls from Santa Barbara, USA (sonos_radio.JPG  Uploaded by Partyzan_XXI) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Oona Räisänen (w:User:Mysid) (Photographed by uploader.) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC-BY-SA-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5-2.0-1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
  I did decide on this also by going to Eham.net http://www.eham.net/ and looked at all the reviews. Everything seemed to look good and it fit my budget at the time. I was definitely satisfied with it. 
  Well as usual the radio bug got me again and I wanted something better. I had some extra income tax money to spend. That does not happen too much these days, Ha Ha. I did some research by looking at my catalogs, searching the internet and looking at eham. I saw the Grundig Satelit 750 and fell in love with it. It had the look in radios that I like and the features were unbelievable. The best thing is it was in my budget. I checked the reviews and they were good at Eham. I can connect an external dipole antenna to it and I hear stations all over the world. This includes the shortwave frequencies as well as the Ham Bands. The sound quality out of the radio is very good as well. I would check out the features and specs at Grundig at http://www.grundig.de/en/products/audio/radios/ .
   I did buy another shortwave radio for my son for Christmas. It is the Grundig S450DLX field radio. He is not into ham radio or shortwave radio, but he loves the radio. He always has it with his headphones on listening to something. Hi Hi.
   I have to say that one of the main reasons I like the shortwave radio is when there is an emergency situation going on somewhere in the world. I have to add that there is an abundance of different makes and models of shortwave radios out on the market with different looks and features. There are some base type shortwave radios out there that are more sophisticated and can be expensive. One that I have seen is the Palstar R30a. That may be my next adventure in the future if the budget allows.
   One other type of shortwave radio is the PC or Computer controlled radio. One of the new ones out there is the Bonito 1102s Radio Jet PC Receiver. It combines the small electronic unit and it controlled by the computer. There are also some websites out there that you can log into and listen to many different bands and frequencies. One is SDR Space http://sdrspace.com/ where you can listen to an online receiver for free. Global Tuners is another website where you can listen online at http://www.globaltuners.com/ . I would check out dxzone at http://www.dxzone.com/ because they have a pretty good listing of websites for shortwave listening online. Some of the sites may require some software to be downloaded and installed.
  Always remember to keep your antivirus software up to date and running to protect your self from infections.
 Thanks for reading and 73s from Dan KC2YTI







 

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