Codec 2

I thought that this might interest someone. This is a video of one of the first tests of codec 2. This is an audio compression codec meant to be an open source replacement for the AMBE codec used in D-star radios. It's currently running at 2500bps, while AMBE runs at 2400bps with 1200bps error correction. Codec 2 and AMBE are incompatible and cannot talk to each other. Noone currently knows if Codec 2 will replace AMBE as the voice compression for D-star or if there will be a competing network transport that will replace D-star and carry the Codec 2 audio. There are some Icom radios that don't come with D-star support but you can put an addon card in to add it. There's speculation that it may be possible to make a Codec 2 addon card instead of using the AMBE one.

The audio quality of Codec 2 seems really good in this video. Plus it's small. A 1hr conversation would fit on a 1.44mb floppy disk. It's in alpha stage, so there's still a lot of work to do.

James Hall

My first rig N9XLC

The Realistic HTX 202 was my first radio, I got it in 1994 brand new from Radio Shack. I used that thing everywhere for a few years after I got my license. I had it hooked up to my Ringo Ranger 2 antenna at home and used it as a base radio. After awhile I got a PK-12 packet modem and used it to get on the PBBS systems that existed. I had a gel cell battery from a hospital emergency light that I could run it off of until I finally got a power supply. Probably one of my fondest memories of it was when I got a contact that I even question today. We were in Whitewater state park and I talked to a guy who purported to be in Terra Haute or near it. 5 watts into a rubberducky on the gelcell power. I never really knew about QSL cards back then, I wish I had one to confirm the contact.


I recently got my TS-520S operational.. I don't have an antenna that I trust to transmit on yet, but the other day I was listening to the RTTY roundup on 40m and hearing a lot of people. NY, MI, MO, AZ, VA, TN, GA, etc. I was able to decode at least one side of each of those contacts with my netbook using a program called fldigi. My receive antenna? A CB magmount my dad gave me a while back, stuck to the top of the radio in my basement.. Wow!

What rig was your first contact made with?

    Looking back at the rigs we used over the years, is always fun. I would love to hear about the rig each of you used during that first Amateur Radio contact or HF contact.

    Mine was a Heathkit DX100B transmitter and a Hallicrafters SX 110 receiver. I got it from a neighbor when I was 15 years old, he was a ham, his last name was Larman, lived on Cart road. I got the TX and RX plus a Hallicrafters T.O. Keyer and a vibroplex key. I paid $50.00 for the whole works; he knew I had an interest in it and 5 years later in 1980 at age 20 I got my novice ticket. I used that setup for a few years, and it was some of my best times since I had to always be tinkering with it to keep it working. 

   I am slowly rebuilding my first station, I have the SX110 and the T.O. Keyer, I still need the DX100B,


Here are what they look like for those who may not know..


Learn CW Online

 Here's a good website to learn morse code on:

I'm currently trying to learn morse code on that site. They've got a bunch of different practice sessions and an entire 40 lesson KOCH method training. If you create a user account on that website then it will save your progress. There's options to download practice files in mp3 format (which I believe Windows can burn to an audio cd if you want it to). The website has a neat feature where you can create and join groups for the purpose of discussion and competition. Each group will let you compare your highscores with the other users of that group.

Let me know if anyone else uses this website. I've started a group "Whitewater Valley Indiana" on the website if anyone would like to join me.

James Hall

Field Day 2010

The video of our 2010 Field Day is finally immortalized online. Thanks to Leon, KD8BO for the camera work, editing and DVD.

73s, James Hall N9XLC

Results of the November 6th Test Session

From the email of Steve Shank, KB9HQX: 

Fellow Members:

Here are the results of our final test session of the year.



Did you hear the crickets chirping?

Well, your VE Team had fun swapping stories.

Those on hand were: Fred Adelsperger, W9PBY;Mike Chambers, W1IDX; Don Cook, K9GT; Charles Philhower, WA9KZC; Steve Shank, KB9HQX & Ron Showalter, KA9EEA. Lending moral support, Jerry Bussen, KC9NPQ.

Our next Test Session will be on Saturday, February 5, 2011. As always, breakfast beforehand at the VFW.

Thanks Steve!


Veterans day parade

 Thanks to Steve Shank, KB9HQX, Mike Chambers, W1IDX, Leon Jobe, KD8BO, Ed Anderson, N9NEI, Dave Sloan, N0EOP, Ralph Bane, KC9PKF, Fred Adelsperger, W9PBY, Ron Weadick, K9WE  and Terry Mathews, KC9ITS for all your help at the Veteran's parade. Without all your help it wouldn't have been a success..

Give yourselves a big pat on the back. Great job!!! I hope I didn't leave anyone out.
Mark, WN9L


(Mike emailed me a couple that were missed, so I added them. 73's James Hall N9XLC)

1929 QSO party

  Thought some people would be interested in this.. It's a contest where you built a tube transmitter in the style of those used in 1929 or before and then make contacts with it. The actual on-air portions run Dec 5/6 and 10/11. I guess most of the activity will be on 80m.

See this link for more details. Here is a Youtube video of one transmitter made by w0vlz.


Veterans day parade

 Hey guys, I've been told we need more help for the parade this Saturday, 6 Nov 2010. Apparently we're a few people shy. Anyone who wants to volunteer can contact Mark Lasley via email or phone 993-2166.


Final Thursday at J's

   Sadly, this is the last Thursday lunch at J's Restaurant. They are closing at the end of business on Sunday, 7 November 2010. I know I'm going to miss the food! The group has decided to try Joe's Pizza starting next week. Gary, K4IFA has reserved a table for us for the next couple of months. From what I gather the meeting time is the same.


See you guys at J's on Thursday and Joe's next week!


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