Saturday, November 21, 2009

Learning Morse Code

Last night, I watched a movie with my family. There was a scene where the boy sends some code to his friend, and I was able to decode most of it. This showed me that it isn't really hard once you get the morse characters in your head. I have now installed a program on my Ubuntu box (some things are hard to get working in Linux) called Kochmorse to help me learn it. I would encourage others to learn it as well. Good luck! 73 from KI6STK /AG.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

My Introduction to Amateur Radio

After our grandparents and Nathanael [Nate] got there license I thought it was so cool, especially during the snowy weather at my grandparents! I studied and waited for 3 grueling months until I finally got to a test session. I passed with 100% in a breeze, didn't try the general. Nathanael [Like he said] tried for the general at the same time but didn't pass. So it became a race to get general class. I bought 2 vhf uhf radios, Ft-60 5-watt and a FT-7800 50-watt, latter on a good friend, Cameron WA6VVC gave me 2 mx300 and a FT-1000 that he programed for me, as well as a 6-meter rig which is Fm and cant seem to get it to work. During the '09 CQP contest I worked DX as well as local from my friends station, N6HK and worked 40m on 100watts as well as 20m on 1kw. That even more pushed me to my general class, then on September 11 '09 I went to a session and passed, but failed the extra by just a few. I was given a TS-440S with a tuner external tuner and power supply by a man that lived next door to my aunt in Oakland. I am going to pick it up on the 20-22 November 09. I pulled some strings with my friend and got a TS-530S for Nate as a surprise for passing [Not much of a surprise anymore], that way he could get on the air ASAP and maybe even beet me onto HF. I have recently bought the components to build a computer controlled interface to the rig. Soon you might hear me as well as KI6STK on the air via SSB and/or various digital modes including cw.

License Upgrade

Hello, I am Nate, KI6STK. I got my ham license back in July of 2008. My journey started years ago when I met some friends of my grandparents who are hams, and that is how I heard about the hobby. I was very interested about the technical stuff about it. I wanted to get my ticket, but didn't really do anything about it. When my grandparents got their licenses, I decided to apply myself and study. When an exam came close, I went to take it. I passed on my first try, and very excitedly waited for my call to show up in the database. It wasn't until a few months later that a friend loaned me a station to use at home. At this point my cousin Ed, KJ6CEA, had got his license and I had failed the upgrade to general, because I didn't study hard enough. Once I put my antenna up, I was almost over the microphone fear. I started talking on the radio when Eddie got on the local repeater through Echolink. Soon I was joining the nets and getting into the hobby.

Jumping forward a bit, I took my general class exam on November 14th of 2009 and passed. I also took the Extra just for fun, to see that I got 27 out of 50 right. I also convinced my dad to get his license. He took the tech then right after took the general and passed with 74.3%, which is the minimum required. Now it's a race to get to Extra class.

73, KI6STK /AG

Friday, November 6, 2009

RSS Feeds

I use Google Reader as a RSS feeder. I have subscribed it several feeds, the most interesting are QRZs and HamFeed.
  • AA9PW FCC Practice Exam
  • ARRL Amateur Radio News
  • Chelmsford D-STAR talk
  • Echolink
  • Ham Radio Forum
  • Ham Radio Delux Support
  • Ham Feed
  • KB6NU's Ham Radio Blog
  • QRP Ham Radio Club
  • QRZ forums
  • The DXZone
  • K2DBK
  • The K0NR Weblog
  • With Varying Frequency 
Good news, I may be going o pick up the radio 2 weekends from now (20-22 November 2009) so the qrp radio will go on the back burner and an 200watt antenna is next (i plan on stealing, not literaly, some coax and some bare wire and make a dipole style antenna with the tree i have in my backyard.). It should be fun.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

HF Transmitter Schematics

Seeing as i have not the money to buy a full functions super kick-butt radio, i have been looking for schematics and fell across this page,, as i browsed the links i found this link, I found several good xsevers and many DSP and multi-band rigs, but i still want a extremely easy to build radio that i can fit in a small project box or in an altoids can, and an antenna with a small footprint when packed and one that is easy to put up. The idea for the whole project is to get a lightweight xsever and antenna for under $50 and hopefully less.

First and Worst

This is the first post or many to come. This blogger is going to be completely about ham radio and our experiences (which happens to be near to none as we am new to the hobby). We plan on making a podcast as well, but this is first.