RAN Technology
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Posted: 03/25/2021
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More hamfests return to WI-IL-IA in 2021

it's about time! Hamfests return in 2021 to Illinois, Iowa, and Wisconsin! South Milwaukee Hamfest - Oak Creek WI - July 10KARSFest at Will County Fairgrounds - July 18 - (no flyer yet)Tri County Radio Club Hamfest - Jefferson WI - Aug 7Cedar Rapids Hamfest and Iowa ARRL convention - Aug 7-8The 2021 DeKalb (Sandwich) and Starved Rock hamfests were great successes!   This was the first time for Starv...  READ MORE
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Posted: 01/08/2021
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W9RAN wins MCRN 7th place

Midwest Classic Radio Net The Midwest Classic Radio Net has been conducted on 3885 kHz AM since 1987 as a salute to classic AM rigs and operation.    The net remains one of the most popular AM nets in the country and sometimes last for well over an hour.Harry N9CQX took over the net after long-time NCS WA9ZTY became a silent key and instituted record-keeping to know how many stations participated.  Befo...  READ MORE
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Posted: 09/21/2020
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The Old QSL Card site is back

who doesn't love old QSL cards? After the old Google+ site was shut down by Google, the amazing online collection of old QSL cards maintained by Bob Green, W8JYZ, has a new home - at his website.     Browse thousands of vintage QSL cardsIt doesn't take long to find a memorable name or callsign - maybe even someone you know!Please share your appreciation with W8JYZ at the link on the home page for providin...  READ MORE
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Posted: 09/12/2020
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Spartanburg Hamfest - sanity in the age of COVID-19

Intelligent risk-management by attendees Sanity!  Individual responsibility!From the BRARS webpage:Welcome to the Blue Ridge Amateur Radio Society (BRARS) HamfestBy purchasing a Hamfest ticket, You are acknowledging that an inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present, “While attending the BRARS Hamfest you and any guests that you may bring voluntarily assume all risks related to ex...  READ MORE
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Posted: 09/11/2020
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Beaker Street returns to the air!

If you remember it, you were there! If you remember "Beaker Street" it's about the best news ever!   Otherwise this will seem like going to someone else's high school reunion...In the late 60s, for kids living in "flyover country" in most small towns in the midwest, there were not many local rock and roll radio stations that could be heard during the day.   But with sunset came the ski...  READ MORE
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Posted: 06/08/2020
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Hamfests Return!

A quick look at the Wauseon OH swap on June 6, 2020 Thanks to Rex WA6GYC for this short video of the Wauseon OH swapfest - one of the first to be held in what is otherwise "the summer without hamfests".   Bryan KB8ELG, club president and promoter, put an AN/GRC-9 field radio on the air, hand-crank power and all!   Full information can be found at the club's website  http://k8bxq.org/hamfestAccording to Rex,&nb...  READ MORE
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Posted: 02/24/2020
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Soviet Spy Radio found in forest

(oh yeah, I put that there...I'll take it now thanks!) COLOGNE, GERMANY—According to a Live Science report, archaeologist Erich Classen of the Rhineland Regional Association and his colleagues were looking for a Roman villa in western Germany when they unearthed a Soviet spy radio that had been sealed in a metal box and hidden along a path through what was the Hambach Forest, just a few miles away from a nuclear research center and military air ...  READ MORE
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Posted: 02/11/2020
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Announcing the W9DYV Radio Society

honoring SSB pioneer Wes Schum W9DYV Nick Tusa, K5EF,  longtime friend of Wes Schum and organizer of the W9DYV-Central Electronics Technical Symposium for a number of years, has announced that the W9DYV callsign will again be active, as the club callsign of the W9DYV Radio Societ NFP. Congratulations to Nick and friends for memorializing Wes Schum's contributions to amateur radio in this way!...  READ MORE
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Posted: 08/26/2019
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WBBM-AM tower moves to Bloomington IL

watch the old tower fall (video link below)  The WBBM-AM radio tower has moved out of Itasca and found a new home in Bloomingdale.After 77 years, the over 680-foot WBBM-AM radio tower came down Thursday in Itasca. The property sold for development and WBBM Newsradio's new tower will now be located in Bloomingdale, at the same site as its sister station,WSCR (670 The Score), and will be diplexing off of their tow...  READ MORE
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Posted: 07/21/2019
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Apollo 11 and Collins Radio

“Every American voice transmitted from space was via Collins Radio Co. equipment” Those who may be interested in the technical details and the history of the space program leading up to Apollo should find plenty of interesting reading at this site:https://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/pao/History/SP-4204/contents.htmlUsed with permission.The Manned Space Flight Network antennas operated in the S-Band, on frequencies around 2.2 GHz. The system employed was known as the "Unified S-...  READ MORE

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Posted: 06/07/2021
Category: Vintage Ham Radio
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Hallicrafters AT-10 Antenna Tuner

One even Dachis doesn't know about!  A while back I acquired a six channel HF transceiver made by the Radio Industries division of Hallicrafters, probably in the 1960s, called an SBT-20.    It is capable of 20 watts SSB or 5 watts AM (or CW with an optional board) in the range of 2-12 MHz and thus was probably aimed at commercial and light-duty military applications.   The radio could by ordered with fu...  READ MORE
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Posted: 05/29/2021
Category: Vintage Ham Radio
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The Clegg Interceptor receiver and Allbander converter

It's not just for VHF!  I'm always thinking about interesting combinations of equipment to try out on the air.   One day while rearranging the shack I was getting ready to connect my Globe Scout Deluxe back up with a Collins 51S-1 receiver when the LED (the energy-efficient version of the old light bulb) came on.When I first started playing with DVB-T dongles back in 2012 I wanted an upconverter so I ...  READ MORE
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Posted: 05/21/2021
Category: Vintage Ham Radio
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6AG7-6LG Novice Transmitter

Classic circuit with some modern twists  There's a good chance that more homebrew ham transmitters have been built using a 6L6 than any other tube, and when combined with the superior performance of the 6AG7 oscillator, it's a hard combination to beat (click here for an explanation of the 6AG7's benefits)I'll be adding more info about this project soon, but one of my goals was to reproduce what was a budget-friendly...  READ MORE
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Posted: 05/18/2021
Category: Vintage Ham Radio
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Trio Multibander TX-88A

A time capsule from JA-land  All who operate AM in the midwest know and probably have talked to Masa, AB9MQ, who is a very active AM operator.    Having become interested in ham radio while still living in Japan in the early 1960s,  Masa's memories of the "dream rigs" is a bit differen than most US hams, and because the markets were still quite regional at the time, much of the ham gear...  READ MORE
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Posted: 05/02/2021
Category: Vintage Radio
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Hudson American Corporation

Manufacturer of marine radios in the 1940s  I enjoy playing with old marine radios that operated in the AM mode between 2-3 MHz.    This was the standard for "ship to shore" radio and telephone service from marine radio operators from after WWII until about 1970 when SSB was phased in and AM became obsolete.     Through this era a number of manufacturers were major players including RCA (Ra...  READ MORE
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Posted: 04/29/2021
Category: Technical
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Restoring Aluminum Knobs

Bead blasting is the secret  I've always thought that knurled aluminum knobs were a high-class option for radio gear, and while they are more durable than plastic they do accumulate tarnish, corrosion, and grunge from dirty fingers over the years and start to look poor.   Fortunately it is easy to restore them to a new attractive appearance using a bead blaster. Mine is a Harbor Freight floor-standing...  READ MORE
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Posted: 04/23/2021
Category: Technical
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Replacing C-frame fans

Boatanchor parts from the home improvement store  It's not often that you can buy a replacement part for a vintage transmitter or amplifier off the shelf at the home improvement store, but this is one example.   And since it's not a perfect drop-in replacement, here's now I adapted a new Broan-Nutone BP-27 bathroom-kitchen exhaust replacement fan to fit into a Johnson Desk Kilowatt.These small shaded-pole "C frame...  READ MORE
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Posted: 04/13/2021
Category: Vintage Ham Radio
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My SWR Dilemma

Learning about trap dipoles and SWR  When I got my Novice license in the fall of 1965, my dad had also decided that as long as he was taking me to the classes at Blue Valley Amateur Radio Club in Seward, Nebraska, he might as well try for his license too.    I was fortunate that not only were my parents supportive of my ham radio interest, but my dad could build anything.   So the first thing was a 40 f...  READ MORE
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Posted: 03/27/2021
Category: Vintage Ham Radio
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The WRL Duo-Bander 84

An "only 50 cents per watt" transceiver   Go Mobile!  That was an attractive marketing message to 1960s era hams who were enjoying the fun of operating SSB mobile, and WRL knew a low-cost rig that didn't have to be hauled back and forth to the car would be a winner.   Heathkit and Swan had already proven that with their single (mono) bander transceivers, but what if you're heading out in the middle of th...  READ MORE
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Posted: 03/24/2021
Category: Vintage Ham Radio
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The Jelectro QRO 60

 After the conclusion of World War II, there were only about 300 radio amateurs in Japan.   In the  year 1952, the JARL reported that only 30 provisional licenses were granted.    Realizing the value of ham radio in developing a technological workforce, Japan introduced its entry level Class 4 licence in 1959 -  it would prove to be the world's most succ...  READ MORE