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Strange CW Keys, a collection of interesting and totally unique Morse Code keys made by Jari Vainio, OH6DC in Finland.

Strange CW Keys, a collection of interesting and totally unique Morse Code keys made by Jari Vainio, OH6DC in Finland.
posted by jackspace on Dec 3, 2010 - 10 comments

Web Radio

A WebSDR is a Software-Defined Radio receiver connected to the internet, allowing many listeners to listen and tune it simultaneously.
Websdr.org offers a list of such SDRs,
such as this one at the University of Twente Amateur Radio Club in Enschede, NL.
Tune in! The 80-meter AM band is currently hopping over there, the Germans are talking about oil spills and XYLs.
posted by dunkadunc on Jun 5, 2010 - 23 comments

myQSL

"QSL cards confirm either a two-way radiocommunication between two amateur radio stations or a one-way reception of a signal from an AM radio, FM radio, television or shortwave broadcasting station. They can also confirm the reception of a two-way radiocommunication by a third party listener. A typical QSL card is the same size and made from the same material as a typical postcard, and most are sent through the mail as such." Here's a substantial collection of them.
posted by dersins on Oct 7, 2009 - 43 comments

Building the ParaSet

I first heard of a 'Paraset' when I saw a message on the QRP-L reflector announcing an upcoming 'June 6th Paraset D-Day' activity. A search for more information soon revealed that the Paraset was a small vacuum-tube transmitter-receiver unit built during WWII in the UK at the Whaddon Hall headquarters of the Secret Intelligence Service Communications Unit. Known officially as the 'Whaddon Mark VII', the units were either air-dropped by parachute or carried, by the jumpers themselves, into many of the occupied countries of western Europe. . .
posted by jackspace on Nov 5, 2008 - 13 comments

We'd lava to stay, but...

Stop me if you've heard this one. An Icelandic sea captain, an Alaskan reporter, and a bunch of Russian amateur radio enthusiasts try to get to a remote island in the Aleutians to set up a ham-radio outpost as part of a DXpedition (wiki). From the preliminary report, it sounds uninteresting. They landed on the island, and the resident volcano, Mount Cleveland (wiki), erupted. Solution? Bring on the vodka and big bags of croutons. (WMV or RealAudio)
posted by greatgefilte on Aug 9, 2008 - 11 comments

Ham Radio and Antennas

It's no secret that amateur radio operators, or hams, often build their own equipment. Especially with the aid of antenna tuners, most anything can be used as an antenna. One group of hams took this to the extreme, using ladders and shopping carts as antennas as they started an annual competition that would eventually see trucks, train tracks, a tree, and even a pair of exercise machines and a football stadium used. I stumbled across the site last night, and it turns out that this year's competition is this weekend! Ham radio, by the way, no longer requires a Morse code exam, just a set of questions on electrical and operations theory. Those curious can take practice tests online, since the FCC releases the question pools.
posted by fogster on May 22, 2008 - 23 comments

And You Thought HAARP Was Just Tinfoil?

The HF Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) (a Google Video) radio signals are clearly heard in the 40 meter band, echoing off the Moon. This video shows S-meter readings as seen on a Yaesu FT-1000MP amateur radio (ham radio) transceiver located in San Jose, California. And of course a thorough explanation of what you are watching/hearing can be found on About the HAARP - LWA Moon Bounce Experiment.
posted by jackspace on Jan 23, 2008 - 7 comments

QSL Cards ahoy!

Slats.org's awesome gallery of QSL cards. QSL cards were like business cards for ham radio and CB nuts. They'd hand them out and trade them with other operators and featured their location and contact info. Bighappyfunhouse bought a boatload at a swapmeet and scanned them in. Great, crude, amusing, folksy art from a bygone era. [via projects]
posted by mathowie on Oct 15, 2007 - 13 comments

Hamming it up for fun and profit

One might think that in today's world of cell phones, text messaging and the Internet, you shouldn't write off ham radio just yet. Not only can Morse code be faster than text messaging, but when when you need it most, you can still communicate with the world [PDF]. If you're lucky, and the conditions are right, you might be able to chat with operators hundred of miles away thanks to tropospheric ducting. There's more to ham radio than just the old chatter, though: you can use the ham radio bands to operate radio-controlled planes, send and receive TV [PDF] (sort of), wirelessly connect to networks, or talk with astronauts.
posted by Godbert on Aug 1, 2006 - 44 comments

Talk to The Hand

Talk to The Hand. They say you should always sing from the heart, but no one ever said anything about what do to with the hands. Enter Robert A. Wilson, N6TV, manualist extraordinaire. If you thought the Human Beatbox from Spearhead was great, wait until you see Robert perform the Theme from Hawai'i Five-O or for Classical music lovers, there's The Toreador Song, from Carmen and The William Tell Overture (Lone Ranger Theme).

Robert is no stranger to talking with his hands. He's also a ham radio operator, a hobby and public service which is not only celebrating 100 years of wireless voice communication, but also makes excellent use of another mode of communicating with the hands: Morse Code. As old and seemingly antiquated as it seems at first glance, Morse Code has been used to allow those with physical challenges communicate with those around them.
posted by jackspace on Apr 24, 2006 - 21 comments

Welcome To IOTA NA-178 Mission Control

Welcome To IOTA NA-178 Mission Control On behalf of IOTA Ham operators WorldWide, the SouthEast Farallon Island - Project NA-178 HAMS HELPING HABITATS project (conducted by K6VVA & K9AJ) will assist the Farallon National Wildlife Refuge ("The Refuge") by transporting materials and equipment via helicopter from the mainland for an important habitat restoration project on SouthEast Farallon Island ("SEFI"), as well as the return of old unwanted infrastructure water pipe from the Island for disposal.

If you thought Eco-tourism was passe, try a DX-pedition! Of course hams have also put their personal concerns aside for other things, such as helping provide emergency communications during natural disasters. One thing you might not realize is our penchant for broadband Internet via BPL (Broadband over Power Lines) may interfere with this hobby of radio enthusiasts.
posted by jackspace on Feb 15, 2006 - 34 comments

FCC Wants To Revoke Kevin Mitnick's Ham Radio License.

FCC Wants To Revoke Kevin Mitnick's Ham Radio License. Don't they have better things to be worrying about right now? (from Politech)
posted by tpoh.org on Dec 26, 2001 - 35 comments

The Amateur Radio Relay League (ARRL)

The Amateur Radio Relay League (ARRL) was founded in 1914 to support amateur radio experimenters (hams) that the U.S. began licensing in 1912. The ARRL's 163k+ members refer to each other by strange codes, speak in arcane abbreviations, and do extremely cool things like talk to the space shuttle and international space station via ARISS/SAREX (in the news recently), do two-way EME (earth-moon-earth) communication, and ragchewing (chin wagging) with folks in other countries via commercial and homebrew equipment. And their handbook is a great reference for anyone interested in the nuts and bolts of electronics. Sounds like fun.
posted by jplummer on May 8, 2001 - 20 comments

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