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MY FIRST RADIO AS A NOVICE N9XC

MY FIRST RADIO WAS A DRAKE 2NT CRYSTAL CONTROLED 75 WATT TRANSMITER. THE RECEIVER WAS A RADIO SHACK DT 160. I HAD 2 CRYSTALS 1 FOR 80 METERS 3900 , THE OTHER WAS 1 FOR 40 METERS 7250 I HAD AN OLD SINGLE PADDLE NAVY CODE KEY. ABOUT 6 MONTH AFTER I GOT ON THE AIR THE FCC CHANGED THE RULES AND WE WERE ALLOWED TO HAVE A VFO. I FOUND ONE AT GRAHAM ELECTRONICS IN INDY. IT WAS AN EICO. I ATTACHED IT TO THE DRAKE WITH TELEVISON WIRE PLUGGED IN TO THE CRYSTAL SOCKET.I MADE 3970 CONTACTS. AND GOT MY WAS (WORKED ALL STATES) AWARD. I HAVE BEEN LICENSED SINCE 1972. HAVE MADE COUNTLESS FRIENDS ALL OVER THE WORLD. I WOULD NOT TRADE KY HOBBIE FOR ANY THING. 

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
N9XLC

My first rig N9XLC

 http://www.rigpix.com/rs-realistic/htx202.htm

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..

 
 

Finals

 Hopefully I didn't blow any!

 

If you guys have noticed that the website hasn't been updated very much lately, I've been busy with class and homework the past few weeks. My classes are officially over for the Fall semester this week. Yay! So far, I've finished 3 classes and have 1 to go. It's barely worth mentioning since there's no question that I'll pass it. Last week on 12/8 I took my first A+ certification test and passed it. 860 points out of a possible 900. I obliterated it. I take my second test next week on 12/21, I'm pretty confident. The A+ certification covers the basics of computer servicing, not only troubleshooting but also customer service. It's considered the basic cert many employers require to hire for IT jobs.

In the time off I have between semesters I'm planning on working around the house a little. I've got a Softrock RXTX kit to build. It's a QRP SDR (Software Defined Radio) transceiver. I could put it anywhere on HF but once I build it, it's stuck there. I'm intending on building the 40m-30m-20m option. Wish me luck, there's quite a few SMT components to it, plus winding coils which I've never done. Output should be 1-2w, maybe a future kit I could build would be a 50w amp. :) I've also got a bum TS-520s I want to work on and get going. I've identified a switch in the front panel with a disconnected wire between a couple of it's wafers. I just gotta work out how to get the front all the way off so I can remove the switch, figure out where the wire connected and replace it. Then test and cross my fingers that was the only thing wrong with it. I'm also sitting on the order button at thewireman.com for some stuff to build a 40m dipole. Still trying to see if I can build something for cheaper.

I have a ton of projects I can do over the course of the next few weeks, snow won't get me down!

James Hall
N9XLC

Learn CW Online

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

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 lcwo.net website if anyone would like to join me.

73s
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.

 

North American Repeater Directory

Hi All,

    I just found this on-line repeater directory. Indiana repeaters have not been populated. I have volunteered as an admin for Indiana. I should get information this evening on the tools that I will have available as an admin. Individuals can make entries or send them to me and I will add it for you. Try to provide as much information about any repeater that you want added. To see what I will be trying to enter see the Colorado state page.

   The URL is http://www.repeaterbook.com/index.php

This site includes the most up-to-date amateur radio repeater listings (updated by you and our admins) for the US and Canada. We are adding repeaters everyday, but need your help. Please submit new updates to repeater data whenever you see something outdated or incorrect.

What makes this site different than others? We use admins located in the states and provinces that we cover to collect repeater data and add it to the site. This is not just some outdated and stale repeater directory with copied information from the ARRL.

Repeaterbook is more than a repeater directory. We also cross-reference with EchoLink and IRLP status to give you a comprehensive view of a repeater. There are also many export functions for Google Maps, Google Earth, Excel, or your favorite rig programming software.


Any questions please contact me desloan @ earthlink.net (take out the spaces).

73,

Dave NØEOP

Digital modes?

 Anyone in the area run any digital modes? I hear some APRS packet but that's pretty much it. At least unless you count Dstar, apparently I've heard one of the Cincinnati Dstar repeaters. I have a MFJ 1278B Multimode Data controller and an AEA PK-12 packet modem that are going fairly unused so far. I used my PK-12 a lot back in the 90s when packet was still pretty hopping. Looks like that's all dried up and all anyone cares about anymore is APRS.

I'm thinking about building a sound card interface for software digital modes. I found one here. Pretty simple, I think. Just gotta order the parts from somewhere like Mouser or Digikey and then build it up. Shouldn't take more than an hour to build. PSK31 looks interesting to try. I've been listening on 2m ssb for anything and I hear nothing. Guess I need to build up my Softrock RXTX or get my ts520 going. :)

73s
James
N9XLC

IRLP

Anyone using the IRLP on 444.025 Mhz + offset and 74.4 CTCSS? Curtis has information about his system at http://2590salem.webs.com/4106.htm Nice way to talk to an area when their is no direct propagation available.

73,

Dave N0EOP

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