Thursday, February 11, 2010

It seems to me....

Of the three ham magazines I received this week, zero really of interest in QST. Big surprise.... however the editors Eclectic Technology column titled "The cost of Codecs" did catch my eye. It's a pretty rudimentary quick explanation of what a codec is, but goes on talking about cost issues and mentions that we are fortunate to have access to some free "Open source" codecs.

CQ-VHF has two articles on Digital Television. Sub-described as the new ham frontier. So these get my "promoting something different" seal of approval. There is also a Digital Wattmeter Element for the Bird Model 43. This is how Mark, WA8SME replaced the analog meter with a digital meter.

Lastly the RSGB Radcom magazine has an account of David, G4ULF's homebrew D-Star repeater. It's a nice summary of everything he has blogged about at

One of the "news" items in QST is how the ARRL website has been revamped. "More than two years in the making, the new ARRL website is finally here...."

Big whoop..... Speaking of websites:

I and several other locals are getting excessively annoyed by the annual paper trail ritual of repeater coordination. You'd think this could all be done online... streamlined to make the volunteer coordinators and systems owners jobs easier. What a novel concept. Unfortunately once again, it seems there is no guiding hand from a national level in this area. Yet we all know is can be done, just look at the Log of The World website. All done online.

Speaking of coordination.

What is going on with the ARRL Microwave Band Planning?

The committee was established two years ago and a chairman named a year ago. I helped submit data to Will Payne a year ago for his trend graphing. Other than that I haven't really heard anything more about this band-planning.

Apparently the board is to busy Ramping Up Focus on EmComm Issues.

Here is a pop quiz for any ARRL board member or officer in the event they read my drivel. In the above "To Go Kit" or "Jump Kit" pictures, what key thing is notable absent? Here is a hint, it is also not mentioned in Chapter 10 "Preparing for Deployment" of the ARRL Emergency Communication Handbook. Answer: A soldering iron.

Lastly, I am making a request for feedback on this blog. I have been blogging for a while, and simply put, I really don't know if ham radio these days is worth the effort I put into it. :-( My email address is on my website and on QRZ.


Bill Chellis said...


don't give up man.
I haven't had a lot time for radio lately, but your pages keep a lot of good ideas going in my head. Guess people like me need to do more for people like you to let you know we are out here reading, thinking, planning, and doing. You do good work here, don't give up.


Pete said...

Can't give up now! Streakwave will have the Nanostation3 in April/May!


Anonymous said...

Great post as for me. It would be great to read something more concerning that topic. The only thing I would like to see here is a few photos of any gizmos.
Jeff Watcerson
Cell phone blocker

Mike Chapman said...

Your blog has become a favorite of many EE students at Virginia Tech (So don't quit now!). Without high speed digital modes and experimentation, amateur radio will die out. My generation has a different idea of "code", and I'm not talking morse. When you want to take your iPhone beyond the crappy confines of Apple and AT&T, Part 97 HSMM and APRS comes into play to link a Bluetooth dongle into the GeoCaching app you've just coded. No kidding, it's been a side project for our lab group the past few months. Now I just need batteries to fit into the altoids can with the byonics digi. The "hobby" aspect may be dying, but rights to spectrum is always valuable for education and experimentation.

kb9mwr said...

Thanks Mike and others. I guess I should have been more specific. I'm interested in feedback on interesting things that you the readers can pass along.

Anonymous said...

Posting just to say you are being read in Europe too. Great blog, excellent ideas. Keep it up.

Anonymous said...

I enjoy reading your blog!