I was looking for a good demo on how to adjust the AGC or "Automatic Gain Control" on my radio and came across this good information from Bob Heil K9EID. Good information especially with the tip to LOWER your RF Gain. I tried it today on some 20m signals and it really worked and made the received audio much more readable. And the bonus is that the first segment he played was taken from my favorite 40m net "The Hole In The Wall Net" which is daily at 9pm on 7.188 mhz. Get your radio fired up and test this... it worked great on my FT-DX1200.
Here is an informative video from one of our favorite sources. Ham Radio Concepts has a fantastic channel on YouTube. You can find it here ----> HRC on YouTube
The new Yaesu FTDX10 is a nice addition to the brand. It's lower price than the FTDX-101D but using the same "bones". Early reviews are good. Check out this nice comparison review. Also look to the SEKARC email list for a review from Morgan NJ8M. Great information and thanks Morgan.
With the recent spike in solar activity and the Solar Flux Index being over 100 for the first time in years I thought this would be a good time to give myself and those interested a refresher in Propagation. Enjoy and get on the air.... the bands are waking up!
SEKARC for several years has met at Harry's Cafe every Wednesday at 9am.... then Covid came along. Some have expressed interest in getting back together so we thought we would try something a little different. Let's have a BYOC or Bring Your Own Coffee QSO Wednesdays at 9am.
Also, while we are at it maybe have a little tailgate/trade at the same time. While reducing boxes and tubs in my garage I came up with a tub of stuff I don't need but someone might so if you have something to pass on, giveaway, sell or trade while we are drinking our to go coffee and eating breakfast in a paper wrapper. Not the same as Harry's fresh breakfast on a hot plate but under the conditions this might be a good bet.
Of course masks and social distancing will be requested so bring a lawn chair or sit at the picnic tables at Lincoln Park. We will meet just West of Kiddieland. Heck if you want to and the weather cooperates bring a radio and antenna and set it up!
So grab breakfast and coffee on the way, dig through your stuff and find some stuff to bring along to see if someone needs it. I have a tub full, and I bet a lot of us do. We understand if you are not up to it or would rather not. Let's all stay safe but still have fun if we can.
Hamshack Hotline is a private VoIP telephone voice network for Amateur Radio. This could be a very valuable tool for emergency communications to take some of the load off of radio networks. Setup was extremely easy all that was needed was a supported device which at this time are only Cisco VoIP phones. I purchased my Cisco SPA504G from eBay for $35 free shipping. Please make sure the phone you order is UNLOCKED!!! This is very important.
Setup was super simple i followed the instructions and started a support ticket with my phones MAC address, connected my phone to my network via Ethernet and noted it's local IPv4 address. Once i received the response from HamshackHotline.com i plugged the IP address into the URL in the instructions and BAM!! the phone reset and my callsign and number showed up on the phones display!
I know some hams have a thermonuclear meltdown when talk of using the internet for emergency communications comes up! My opinion on the matter is having as many forms of communications as possible is key in an emergency. The likelihood of the the internet being down everywhere is very low now days and this system could help reduce the load on radio networks in time of emergency. Amateur radio and the internet will become more and more intertwined as time goes on just as freezers and light bulbs become connected to the internet.
As ARES EC for Crawford County, KS i plan on getting these phones for all of my AECs and as many members as we can. The one BIG thing that is missing from Hamshack Hotline in my opinion is mobile access to the system. Mobile access could be mobile SIP app or even a bridge number you can call a public number and enter a PIN to access the system. A similar system Government Emergency Telecommunication System (GETS) does just that. You have a GETS card with a PIN number that you can call it will give your phone priority over others for emergency communications. People with GETS access could even use GETS to call a bridge number for access to HamshackHotline in an emergency!
The ultimate selling factor for me for Hamshack Hotline the fun / cool factor of having this cool IP phone on your desk in the hamshack! It's cost less then taking the family out to dinner in the $20-40 range! Operating the Hamshack Hotline network requires money so please support them if you want to use this system just a few dollars per year per user is all that's needed!
Other ARES members received phones and got them setup so far the system just works. I went through and setup voicemail and in the message i put my Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) number so people could call me if they need me outside of the shack.