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
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
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
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
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
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
(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
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
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
“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
where's the copper subchassis from?
I didn't set out to buy this homebrew CW transmitter, it was included in an auction lot that I wanted so I had to take it to get the desired item. But even though I always like to see good quality homebrew gear, this one is just a mystery.Most of the transmitter, including 6CL6 oscillator and buffer stages and a 6146 PA are built on a sub-chassis that is clearly part of a com... READ MORE
last gasp from Swan/Atlas founder Herb Johnson
Most hams are aware that Herb Johnson W6QKI founded Swan in Benson Arizona to make single-band SSB transceivers and then moved his operation to Oceanside CA where Swan thrived throughout the 1960s. Swan merged with Cubic Corporation in 1967, and Johnson managed Swan as its subsidiary until 1973. Johnson founded Atlas Radio in 1974, with the assistance of Southcom International fo... READ MORE
Speculation about a mystery receiver
The Harvey-Wells Company was formed through a partnership between Clifford Harvey W1RF, and John Wells W1ZD in 1939. Cliff Harvey had earlier founded Harvey Radio Labs in 1933, and prior to that, he was associated with the Hendricks and Harvey Company, another partnership. Producing police radios, transceivers, transmitters, and crystals. Their most popular product was the TBS-50 trans... READ MORE
introducing hams to SDR
I became aware of a few hams playing with a thing designed to receive digital TV in Europe on your laptop - a little plug-in dongle that used an RTL-2832 IC and sold for $20 or so. Some clever fellows had determined that it could be put into "radio mode" in which it would generate an IQ stream over USB, and by writing to control registers in the tuner IC, it could... READ MORE
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
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
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
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
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
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