Wednesday, December 24, 2014

MERRY CHRISTMAS To All My Readers

  Yes it's almost Christmas here in New York. I just wanted to say thank you to all my readers. Most of all Merry Christmas !!!!!

        FROM DAN KC2YTI MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR !!!!!!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Building A Scanner Antenna For My Uniden Bearcat Scanner

  I am building a antenna for my Uniden Bearcat Scanner. It is just a simple vertical antenna. I am going to insert it into a pvc tube with an eye bolt at the top so I can hang it off of something outside. I could hang it off my mast mounted to my chimney. That is where I have the peak of my dipole antenna mounted. That would probably be the highest point. It is nothing fancy, but it may just do the job.
  I did have to use a SO239 Chassis Connector to solder a heavy gauge wire into. The wire is the vertical element and it approximately 22 inches long.  I got the idea from this website http://garcohio.net/anten.html . I did also go to http://www.ve3sqb.com/ to look for information. There are plenty of other websites on the internet as well to locate antenna calculators. You do want to use a good gauge wire heavy enough so it does not bend over. If you want it to stay steady in the pvc tube use some memory foam filler that come in a spray can.
  Attach the SO239 to a 1 1/2 inch pvc end cap. You will have to drill various holes. One large hole for the barrel of the SO239 to go through. There are 4 screw hole in the SO239 and you can put bolts through to hold it in place. You could also use these to attach 4 ground plane radials. I may just use rubber silicone and some small sheet metal screws to keep the end cap in place. If you use pvc cement you can not take it back apart. I will use pvc cement on the top cap and some rubber silicone to seal around the top end cap.
  One I get it together I will test it to see how it functions. I will try to take some photos, but it is a very simple antenna. This makes for a nice easy project to try.
  Thank You for reading and Happy Holidays.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Ham Radio Books For Studying And Learning

  One of the best books I ever bought was the 1986 ARRL Handbook. I bought that way back in 80s when I was in college in Electrical Engineering. Back then I was not in Ham Radio, I was using it for Electronics in college. I was always looking at all the information on Ham radio and thinking about going for my license. Well I was young, married and had my first daughter. I was so busy with everything I just never got to it. I finally got my Technician License and then my General License in June of 2010. So as you can see I have not been a Ham all that long. I am always learning something new or thinking or building some kind of antenna.
  So if you are looking for good books on Ham Radio, Studying for your License, Building Antennas or whatever you are doing look into one of the ARRL Handbooks. If you are studying for one of your Ham Radio Licenses I would definitely recommend one of the books by Gordon West. I had bought some through Radio Shack years ago and I still have them. I do like the newer books by Gordon West, because they are easy to read and learn from. I intend on buying one to use to study for my Extra License pretty soon.
 

  There are plenty of other books available through Amazon, Ebay or from one of the local Ham Radio Dealers on the internet. Some of my favorites are Universal Radio, DX Engineering, Ham Radio Outlet and AES Electronics. Of course there are other very good Ham Radio Dealers out there as well to choose from. You can also find good books on building Ham Radio Antennas if that is what you like to do. I would also suggest books on shortwave radio as well. The list of books just goes on and on. If you find a book I would look at the reviews on it and then decide if you want to buy it.
  If you are looking for a book or license manual check out the stores below the posts.
  Thank You for reading and Happy Holidays from Dan KC2YTI 73s.
       

Sunday, December 14, 2014

The Solar Storms Are Still Affecting Transmissions and Propagation

  I was checking over facebook and noticed that they are expecting another big solar storm from the sun. I have noticed that it is affecting other fellow Ham Radio Operators when they are transmitting and receiving signals. I always here someone say how they can hear another Ham Radio Operator that they usually can't hear. The only problem with this solar storm is that they are saying it may knock out power in certain areas. If you are looking for a website on solar activity here are a few links http://www.solarham.net/ and http://dx.qsl.net/propagation/ . Of course there are plenty of other websites out there with information on Ham Radio and these types of events. Here is a link to one of those websites http://www.radio-electronics.com/info/propagation/ionospheric/solar-flares.php .

                                     
                                        20110607_193304_combo_small.mov                                                                           by SDO | Solar Dynamics Observatory

Friday, December 5, 2014

Christmas Is Only A Few Weeks Away


  Christmas is only a few weeks away and that Ham Radio Equipment is waiting just for you. Some of the pieces of Ham Radio Equipment I would recommend of course is a good Base or Mobile Radio. There are plenty of awesome radios depending on your budget. The popular brands are yaesu, icom and kenwood. Remember you don't always have to go with a new Ham Radio. There are plenty of used Ham Radios to choose from. If you are looking that way I would recommend to use Ebay. There is an abundance of really good Ham Radios and Ham Radio Equipment to choose from. The other place online is through Amazon.com and there are some excellent deals. If you do not want to go that way I would check out the ham radio dealers like Ham Radio Outlet, Universal Radio and DX Engineering.
  The other Ham Radio I would put on tour list is either a good SWR Antenna Analyzer especially if you are going to build an antenna like a yagi or moxon antenna. Also don't forget about a good Antenna Tuner and a good SWR Meter to go with it. There some SWR Meters that are more expensive than others. MFJ does make some nice meters for the price. If a meter is not on your list then how about a nice microphone.
  Some other items I would get on your list is a nice Ham Radio Amplifier. Once again amplifiers can be bought new through amazon.com and you can also find used amplifiers. Yes you can also go through Ebay for used and new Ham Radio Amplifiers. But don't forget about that power supply for your Ham Radio Shack. This is another item where you have got a lot to choose from. My best advise is to find a model and check out Eham.net for tons of information and reviews. That goes for whatever piece of Ham radio Equipment you are looking for.
  Just remember there are many more items to choose from for your Ham Radio Shack.
  Thank You for reading and Merry Christmas.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thankgiving 2014

                                                                    Just wanted to say 
                                                       HAPPY THANKSGIVING 2014
                                                        FROM DAN KC2YTI

Monday, November 24, 2014

Awesome Kenwood Ham Radio Transceivers

  Thinking of a special Christmas Present this year. I would look into one of the Kenwood Ham Radio Transceivers. They do have a few different models to choose from. I believe considerations would be decided on whether you are just starting out in the Ham Radio Hobby or have been in the ham radio hobby for a few years. I myself have a Kenwood TS-2000 and I love it. Yes it does have quite a few different gadgets on it, but that's why I love it.
  One of the Kenwood Ham Radio Transceivers that I have kept my eye on is the Kenwood TS-590S. It is High Frequency HF Transceiver that will transmit from 6 meters to 160 meters. This would give an excellent number of bands and frequencies to choose to transmit and receive on. There are plenty of menus and a nice big lcd display for easy viewing. What I like is that it has that big boxy look like a radio should. Well that is just my preference and I say if you like a different look that is okay too.
Kenwood TS-590S Transceiver


  • Superb RX Performance: Excellent Dynamic Range Even with Powerful Off-frequency Interference • Powerful 500Hz / 2.7kHz roofing filter
  • DDS offers superb C/N (Carrier to Noise ratio) characteristics, significantly cutting noise generated by adjacent unwanted signals
  • Wide Range of Features Thanks to 32-bit Floating-point DSP • Advanced AGC with digital signal processing from the IF stage onward
  • Stable operation guaranteed. Designed for high reliability. • 100W heavy-duty design
  • User-friendly menus, outstanding operating ease • Large display with 2-color LED backlight • USB connectivity for PC control

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Ham Radio Study Material and Other Books On Ham Radio

  Now may be the time to get your next study manual for your next ham radio license. Maybe you have decided to go for your first Technician License. Either way there are plenty of good study manuals available. Yes there are plenty of free websites that offer free study material. I have done that myself and it was very helpful. I did have some old Ham Radio Study Manuals from radio shack quite a few years ago when I started thinking about going for my first Ham Radio License. My favorite choice now is to purchase the Gordon West Study Manual for the Ham Radio Extra License.


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Christmas Is Coming So Whats On Your List For Ham Radio Equipment

  To all my Ham Radio friends out there do you have anything special your thinking of for Christmas this year. There are all kinds of Ham Radio Equipment to choose from. I might make a few suggestions for some awesome gift ideas. For example there are some nice wire dipole antennas out there. If you do not want to purchase one why not buy the supplies and build your own for whatever frequencies you may want to transmit on.
  If you are looking for a Ham Radio Transceiver , why not look at some of the portable base ham radio transceivers. Generally you will find Icom, Yeasu and Kenwood make some nice portable base  ham radio transceivers. The nice idea is if you are traveling you can run this type of Ham Radio Transceiver easily from you mobile home. They are big enough and have all the features you will need. Some are also waterproof, so if you are using it in the field it will not be destroyed. Generally they are not as expensive as one of the big contesting Ham Radio Transceivers.
  I did checkout Eham.net and the reviews are very good for this type of Ham radio. One of the first in this group is the Icom IC-7200. My second choice is the Yaesu FT-450D and my third choice is the Kenwood TS-480HX . All three are in the portable base transceiver class. Check out the picture link below for more information.




ICOM IC-7200

  • The latest IF DSP technology is employed in the IC-7200. While the IC-7200 is an entry-class transceiver, advanced digital features are comparable to higher class transceivers.
  • Waterproof protection technologies that are used in Icom's marine radios are applied to the buttons and knobs on the front panel to provide a measure of protection against water intrusion. *IC-7200 is not waterproof.
  • AGC loop management Distortion and blocking from strong nearby signals are prevented by placing DSP functions inside the AGC loop. The AGC time constants are selectable from fast, slow and off for each operating mode.
  • Digital IF filter Optional filters will never be required for the IC-7200. The built-in digital filter allows you to flexibly select the filter width and shape from soft and sharp* and provides cutting-edge filter characteristics. *Filter shape is selectable for SSB and CW modes only.
  • Manual notch filter The manual notch filter delivers more than 70dB of attenuation. Strong interring tones will be eliminated without adversely affecting the AGC loop performance. ON the bottom right of the front panel, a dedicated control knob adjusts the notch filter frequency.
  

Friday, October 17, 2014

Looking For Some Ham Radio Videos To Watch Or Learn From On The Internet

  While at work testing and repairing computers I found Ham Nation on Twit. I needed a video to test with and listened to Twit Ham Nation. I was not only doing my computer repair job, but also learning things about my favorite hobby Ham Radio. So if you are a beginner, intermediate or expert I am sure you will find some useful information listening to their videos. You can watch them on youtube. Just type in Ham Nation and you will find the current up to date video or one from the past. Either way they are worth listening to. Here are a few examples below so just check them out.

               

  


               
   
  One of the things I like about listening to the show is learning about various types of equipment used in the Ham Radio Hobby. I also learned some information about the products from MFJ. I know some individuals do not like MFJ from various reviews I have read. I myself own some of their equipment like my MFJ Antenna Tuners and my Cross Needle SWR meter. They all seem to work very well for the cost. Yes I did have the dreaded power switch problem, but did rectify it by installing a toggle switch which is holding up just fine. I do have an earlier post on the subject.

             


  You will also be able to learn from the best like Bob Heil and Gordon West. The subjects they cover for example like building a dipole antenna will be extremely helpful. There is even some information in one of the videos on the Last Man Standing television show starring Tim Allen. Once again the information just keeps going on and on.


            

  Well That's all for now so Thank You for reading. I hope you enjoy the videos and go to youtube and look them. Once again Thank You from Dan KC2YTI  73s.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Why Not Make A Dipole Or Beam Antenna Out Of Hamsticks

  In my search to look for some kind of antenna that would have the turning capability to null out the noise, have some gain and not take up too much room I came across some information on using Hamsticks in a dipole configuration. I have seen some  Ham Radio Operators take Hamstick Antennas for various frequencies and make a dipole antenna out of them. I like the idea due to the fact that they do not take up a lot of room. They also seem to break down pretty easy. This would be very helpful if I were camping, so I could make a fast set up and get some decent responses from it.  From what I have read they seem to work pretty good. I have also seen some where they use four or more to design a two element to four element beam antenna. There are different brands besides hamsticks by Lakeview Company. There are also antennas like these made by Jetstream and MFJ. These would only be fore the Ham Radio Frequencies.  I would definitely suggest to use a fiberglass mobile antenna for this kind of dipole or beam antenna. All of the mobile antennas have different ways of tuning the antenna. If a desired swr reading is not obtained, I would try using an antenna tuner. The lower cost brands seem to be MFJ or Vectronics. There are many different dealers or resellers on the internet. If you looking into that choice I would check on http://www.resellerratings.com/ . I have used them many times and saved myself lots of headaches.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Big Solar Storm Heading To Earth


                  

   The past few days every time I looked at the internet while working on computers at work was the stories about the big solar storm heading towards earth. It was supposed to hit Saturday, which is today. Well so far so good in Rochester new York. I woke up this morning and neither the power went off and the clocks were all okay. I went to the barber shop to get my hair cut and they were watching the television sports channel on the satellite dish with no interference or loss of signal. Needless to say I am happy the power did not gout during my hair cut or I really would look funny. Then it would be time for a brush cut.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Ham Radio Antenna Design And Simulation Software

                   
                             Antenna simulation tutorial 1 - 4nec2 user interface
                                                                   by dx2hunt
  When I started think about designing my own ham antennas I looked around the internet for any free software I could find. Yes there are quite a few good ham radio antenna calculators out there. Some of them are very good for Yagi Antennas, Dipole Antennas, Quad Antennas and many more. Most of the time like me I have to think of something that will fit in my small backyard. I do have my 10 to 80 meter dipole going from the backyard over the house to a tree in the front yard. The apex is on a mast on the chimney at about 35 feet. It does a very good job with the end points about 16 feet off the ground.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Let People Know You Are A Ham Radio Operator

  Once in awhile I will be driving down the road and I see a license plate saying something about Ham Radio. It may have the persons call sign on the plastic frame that holds the license plate. I also see the license plate with the call letters on it. Most people may not pay attention to what the letters mean. Maybe if the plastic license plate holder said something then people would know that is what the letters are your call sign letters. I just feel it would be another way to share the hobby and let other Ham Radio Operators know who you are out there on the open road. So get yourself a Ham radio License Plate holder today and show your call sign. If you are looking for a nice gift idea for a birthday or holiday I would look at some of the beautiful Ham Radio Plaques . I made my own Ham Radio Plaque and it is in one of my posts, so you can see how I designed it.
  Another way of letting people know that you are an Amateur Radio Operator is by wearing the ever popular baseball cap. I don't think there is any place that I have gone where someone is wearing a baseball cap. A baseball cap with your call sign or just some saying about Ham Radio would make a nice gift. I know over the years my kids have given me various baseball hats. They range from worlds greatest Dad, lucky Dad or even Off Duty Dad. Then I have my favorite DX Engineering baseball cap. On our recent trip to the Buffalo Zoo and Niagara Falls I could not count the number of people with baseball caps on. There are lots of other types of Ham Radio Clothing ideas to choose from to show that you are proud of being a Ham Radio Operator.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Plastic Storage Containers For Your Ham Radio Equipment

  Do you need a place to keep all your Ham Radio tools and accessories for building your parts for your antenna projects . I have found it very handy to use PLASTIC STORAGE CONTAINERS for the various things I have for Ham Radio. I would recommend using some kind of a Plastic Storage Container. If it is for electronic components keep the integrated circuit chip in a esd foam or in an esd static bag to protect the component from static electricity. I know I have collected various tools and equipment in my Ham Radio Hobby so far and have parts from other projects.  I kept some things in old metal toolboxes or any kind of box I might have come across.  I do have a small metal storage container with 25 little plastic drawers. This came in very handy for holding the small components such as resistors, capacitors, transistors and many other parts and components. I never know when I might to have to fix something. I also had all my noise generators and electronic projects that made lots of different sounds stored in this parts holder.

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