Category: amateur radio

Amateur Radio: Grid Squares

So one of the things we hams to is to make our locations somewhat cryptic. For example when I lived in RI my grid square was FN41GT. Now I’m in EM73XR. And lo and behold I found out Google Maps doesn’t know grid squares

Getting ones Amateur Radio License in the United States

I got my first amateur radio license in 1992 – it was the no-code Technician class. I’d studied the Gordon West books found at Radio Shack back then. In fact my Tech and General I used those books.

For my advanced class license I used the ARRL Study books. The one I used took a deep dive into theory which I loved. Loved it until a buddy pointed out the pattern in phase angles.

For my Extra class license I drilled on the question pool. You can download them for free if you search on the web.

Programming a TYT MD-380 from the keypad

It can be done. You just need to know the passcode to get into programming.

Press the green key on the left. Press the down arrow twice to get to Utilities.

Press the green key again to Confirm.

Press down arrow twice to get to Program Radio.

Press the green key again to Confirm

The passcode is 00000000 – that’s eight zeroes.

Now keep in mind you’re modifying the memory channel you were on when you first went to program the radio. Everything is pretty self explanatory. Just know that CTC is CTCSS codes for non-digital repeaters.

 

 

The Radio I most often carry with me

I love my little TYT MD-380. It’s the 70cm version and I’ve got a different antenna on it. It’s shorter than the stub duck that comes with it.

Plus there’s precious little DMR here in RI. But I do have the New England Code plug installed on the radio so when I travel into Boston I’ll have to see how DMR plays.

A QSO per day

If I can I try to have one amateur radio contact per day. That’s what a QSO is. I also like operating QRP – low power. My QTH is Providence, RI. FN41GT which is my grid square location.

So there you have it amateur radio speak.

One thing about being a HAM

You end up on a lot of roofs. I was mentioning how we’d been up on top of Bradford House in Providence (It’s known I believe as Sister Dominica Manor) and on top of a college building putting up repeaters.

So we were asked if we’d like to see the setup on the roof. A picture was snagged of course I’m the 2nd from the right facing toward the church tower. The gentleman in the striped shirt he does the national weather service announcements you hear on 162.400MHz in these parts.

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Field Day 2018 Notes

So this was my first Amateur Radio Field Day in years. I got there around 11AM and stayed until about 5:30PM. I couldn’t get there for the test session at 8AM though – I’m told there was only one person who took the test.

Here’s the setup:
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That was the 6m band setup. I was somewhat chagrined that there was no CW work this time round. Perhaps next year I sort of prefer Morse Code for contest work. And a decent set of headphones. That’s a must for CW.

Got to be the person responsible for logging 20m band contacts. Then I got to work 40m phone. And being 40m requires a general or above – I was good with my extra class license.

I did get to show I was an amateur radio dinosaur though – and instructing in the fine art of noise reduction using the old Squelch control and then the Noise Reduction button on the Kenwood TS-2000. DSP noise reduction is interesting. I do like the radio though and may purchase on in the future.

And as is the case with lots of things, even with food being there we only got about a dozen or so people there today. Even got to experience drift in phonetics – with a Mike/Mario swap. Didn’t say anything though just chalk it up to personal flair I guess.

Got to see the rooftop setup for PEMA – all I can say is first they’ve got a decent set of antennas and the grounding system for lightning arresting is awesome.

Did see some old friends – there’s Brian K1PVD who I know from my years at the Attorney General’s office – he was doing IT for the RI State Police. Then Mike N1BEE .