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!Dekalb Hamfest at Sandwich IL Fairgrounds  May 5Starved Rock Radio Club Hamfest - new location in Mendota IL - June 6South Milwaukee Hamfest - Oak Creek WI - July 10KARSFest at Will County Fairgrounds - July 18 - (no flyer yet)Antique Radio Club of Illinois RadioFest - (tentative Aug 6-7) Cedar Rapids Hamfest and Iowa ARRL conventi...  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: 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
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Posted: 03/20/2021
Category: Historic
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The NBC Chimes

G-E-C! Every radio aficionado can recognize at least three notes of music:   G-E-C - the famous NBC chimes!In fact there is so much history about the chimes it deserves it's own website, and someone has put a great deal of effort into creating one: The NBC Chimes Museum A Celebration Of Old–Time Radio’s Most Famous SignatureCLICK HERE TO VISIT THE NBC CHIMES MUSEUMIt is wel...  READ MORE
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Posted: 03/20/2021
Category: Vintage Ham Radio
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The Codar AT-5

A long-sought addition, enabling my mid-60s UK ham station   For many years I have wanted to add this cute little AM transmitter to my collection, but since it was never sold in the US,  the number that came up for sale were few and far between.   And there was usually a buddy waiting in line, or a reluctance for UK sellers to bother with the hassle of shipping to their former colony when local buyers were close to hand.However I&...  READ MORE
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Posted: 03/06/2021
Category: Historic
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Christmas Wishbooks

Great fun from https://christmas.musetechnical.com/ How many got their start in radio with a Christmas gift?    And how many times did it come from the Sears or Mongomery Ward "Christmas Wishbook"?Mine did...the little crystal radio in the upper right?   Didn't work very well but was really cool!    The Remco Crystal radio was memorialized in this photo from about 1958 - age 7:  T...  READ MORE
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Posted: 02/28/2021
Category: Technical
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Restoring the B&W 850 Plate Inductor

or similar Airdux-type coils The B&W 850 is a kilowatt-rated tank assembly that was used in the company's linear amplifiers and sold as a component for many years.  Unfortunately most of the plastics available were not capable of surviving for 50-70 years and thus have deteriorated to the point they no longer support the coil turns properly and must be repaired.    Here's a typical example from...  READ MORE
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Posted: 02/26/2021
Category: Vintage Ham Radio
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Lakeshore Industries and the Phasemasters

SSB pioneer company from Manitowoc, WI Lakeshore Industries of Manitowoc WI was an early follower of Wes Schum and Central Electronics to supply single sideband transmitters to early adopters of the new mode in the mid-1950s.   Both companies used the phasing method developed by Don Norgaard at General Electric and made popular through articles in QST, CQ, and GE Ham News.  Like most companies, Lakeshore sought to c...  READ MORE
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Posted: 02/19/2021
Category: Vintage Radio
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International Crystal and the crystal synthesizer

How a crystal company reduced the number of crystals needed I have always been intrigued by the International Crystal CB radios which had a unique appearance with a channel selector that resembled a telephone dial.    The high end "Executive" models were big and expensive and sported an aluminum trim ring that no other radio had.    So I had to buy one to play with.     It was cheap, like $25 and ...  READ MORE
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Posted: 02/11/2021
Category: Historic
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KBCX - US Forest Service Regional Radio

from Missoula Montana to the northwest Hams, especially those who enjoy operating AM and QRP should be aware of the pioneering efforts of the US Forest Service to adopt and advance the radio art in the early decades of the 20th century.The history of radio in the USFS literally takes a book to cover, but an interesting example can be found in station KBCX, the Region 1 Radio Operations Center in Missoula Montana.    It w...  READ MORE
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Posted: 02/09/2021
Category: Vintage Radio
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The R-1451 HF Manual Receiver aka WLR-6 "Water Boy" System

ESM-ELINT receiver from the 1960s Working on various vintages of equipment gives one a better appreciation for what we have today.    Example - this is a frequency counter from the "HF Manual Receiver" which was part of a wideband surveillance receiving system that extended from VLF to microwave frequencies using a bank of front-ends to cover the range.    It was designed as "ESM":...  READ MORE