RAN Technology
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WWII Command Set radio checkout in a P-47 Thunderbolt

Radio Mechanic Jones...bring your screwdriver, you have a lot of Dzus fasteners in your future!
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Ham Radio and Disaster Preparedness

A California ham's vintage radios featured in EMCOMM video
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Controlling external devices using VERSA-TR

VERSA-TR can be used as an RF-actuated switch to control external devices such as a linear amplifier.
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Panadaptor with VERSA-TR

Add big rig features like panoramic/waterfall display and DSP audio with muting using the VERSA-TR

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Posted: 03/23/2019
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The Coolest Rig in the World!

(this week...or until I say otherwise!)  Borrowing from Little Steven's Underground Garage on SiriusXM,  I will be featuring "The Coolest Rig in the World" on this very website!By what criteria?   MINE!    But rest assured, each featured rig WILL be cool...Check out the Gallery section for The Coolest Rig in the World (this week)!...  READ MORE
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Posted: 03/12/2019
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Making A Transistor Radio

in memory of Rev. George Dobbs G3RJV (SK) In memory of G3RJV, here is a link to the excellent book he wrote in 1972 titled "Making A Transistor Radio".   It is in e-book form so you can view it in high resolution color online:https://archive.org/details/MakingATransistorRadioRev. Dobbs started the G-QRP club and wrote countless articles promoting homebrewing, simple radios, and QRP operation.  His absence will lea...  READ MORE
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Posted: 03/12/2019
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Rev. George Dobbs G3RJV, SK

"Mister QRP" to many, a sad loss for the homebrewing and QRP community  The founder of the GQRP Club and Amateur Radio author the Rev. George Dobbs, G3RJV, of Littleborough, England, died on March 11. He was 75. Dobbs was reported to have been in ill health for some time and had been living in a care facility, where his condition deteriorated quite rapidly over the past few days. He was the honorary secretary of the GQRP Club (G5LOW), which he founded in 1974 to...  READ MORE
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Posted: 03/08/2019
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Febr. 4 solar activity aka "Rotten Conditions"

if this ain't the bottom...you can see it from here! Anyone who operates HF has no doubt channelled "The Old Man", muttering about "Rotten Conditions!" lately.A look at the spaceweather.com site last weekend made it abundantly clear where we are in the current sunspot cycle:The month of Febr. was the first since Aug. 2008 without any sunspots at all.   Fortunately, one has appeared since, so March will hopefully be a li...  READ MORE
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Posted: 12/22/2018
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K9QET Update

AM stalwart net control op and all-round good guy needs your thoughts and prayers Febr. Update: Our AM pal K9QET has left the hospital and prsently is in an rehab facility.   Please continue to include John in your thoughts and prayers for his continued recovery and rehabilitation.  Hopefully he will be able to return home and rejoin the airwaves.Thanks to Jerry W9JMK for keeping us informed of John's progress and to all the midwest hams who have sent cards and no...  READ MORE
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Posted: 12/16/2018
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DX-60 and Mighty Elmac Nets on 75 meter AM

Great AM fun!  UPDATE:   Steve W8TOW from near Lansing MI and a long-time friend of N8ECRs has taken over responsibility for the "N8ECR Memorial DX-60 Net" on 3880 kHz, Sunday mornings.   All rigs are welcome, but this net has a long tradition of encouraging the use of low-power AM transmitters like the DX-60.As does the Wednesday night "Mighty Elmac Net" that Mike s...  READ MORE
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Posted: 12/12/2018
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The Mighty Elmac Net continues

Wednesday is Elmac Night!  NEW NET CONTROL:   Rex WA6GYC from Troy MI picked up the Elmac Net on Febr. 27 and did a Fine Business job!   Hopefully he will be willing to continue in this role, as the lack of a primary net control and difficult propagation at this point in the solar cycle have made it challenging in past weeks.   Please turn your radio on - Wednesday is Elmac Night!  (...  READ MORE
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Posted: 12/09/2018
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DX-60 Website Announced

Celebrating the fun of low-power AM While everyone who knew Mike N8ECR is shocked and saddend by his untimely passing, we commemorate his legacy of promoting low-power AM operation with the new DX-60 Net website:  https://dx-60.net//index.cfm?key=mainMike gave tirelessly of his time and energy to provide an opportunity for AM operators in the midwest part of the country to have fun, make friends, and play radio every Sunday mor...  READ MORE
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Posted: 12/04/2018
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Bob Paquette, microphone collector, passes away

The Microphone Museum, Milwaukee WI Bob Paquette's microphone museum in Milwaukee was known internationally and he will be missed.   This photo shows only a part of his vast collection, in a 2001 visit by Harry N9CQX and Jim K9RJ (SK).   Here is the announcement from the Wisconsin Antique Radio Club:Subject: Bob Paquette Sr. 1929-2018Friends of WARCI, It is with great sadness that we announce the passing...  READ MORE
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Posted: 12/04/2018
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Mike Beachy N8ECR - SK

"If there's a ham radio heaven, they've got a hell of a net control operator" Dedicated AM operator and long-time net control for the DX-60 and Mighty Elmac nets,  Mike Beachy N8ECR became a silent key on Sat. Dec. 1, 2018.     This is very sad news for all of us who have enjoyed talking with Mike for many years.   I've never met Mike in person but through the bonds of ham radio he was a good friend.  RIP Mike. Mike’s S...  READ MORE

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Category: Vintage Ham Radio
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Whatever happened to Globe Electronics

and the Globe Mobiline Six...  In his book "In Touch with Leo", the success and growing backlog of CB-100 orders is what drove Leo to his banker, Lou Ross, who asked him why he didn't anticipate the number of orders and required capital.  Leo responded "Lou, never on God's green earth could I have believed such an influx of orders!".    More funding was needed than the bank ...  READ MORE
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Category: Crystal Replacement
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Spectral Purity using Epson Programmable Oscillators

Do harmonics matter if there's no way for them to be heard?  In the 5 or so years I've been using the Epson oscillators I've looked at the spectral output many times.   Without a doubt the harmonic output from the Epson oscillator is high as would be expected  from a square wave device.   The question to me has always been "does it matter"?PLL controlled digital oscillators have long been used as LOs in recei...  READ MORE
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Category: Vintage Radio
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The Foxhole Radio

aka "Razor Blade and Safety Pin Radio"...from the Boy's Fun Book  When I was a kid, my dad gave me a thin hardcover book called "Boys Fun Book - Things to Make and Do".   It was printed during WWII on very thin paper as a wartime conservation measure, but was chock-full of interesting projects, ranging from hobbies and magic tricks to sports, puzzles, camping...and the chapter I was drawn to:  "Unusual Radios You Can Build You...  READ MORE
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Category: Technical
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Using rectifier diodes as varactor/varicap substitutes

Modern-day solutions for RF part obsolescence As anyone who likes building radios knows, it's getting harder and harder to buy RF components.   One of the last casualties was the 3-section pi-wound RF chokes made by Hammond, a company that has done more than most to support the vintage radio and audio hobbies.    The Toko variable inductors long favored by QRP enthuisiasts have become all but unavailable, and vari...  READ MORE
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Category: Historic
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Harlan Andersson, computer pioneer and co-founder of Digital Equipment Corp.

A native of my town, Freeport IL The following obituary appeared in the Freeport Journal-Standard on Febr. 9, 2019.      I attended a lecture by Mr. Anderson in the late 1990s after moving to Freeport and working for Honeywell where despite being a supplier to DEC, few realized the local connection existed to the founder of what once was the second-largest computer company in the world.   Mr. Anderso...  READ MORE
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Category: Technical
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The Case of the Phantom Voltage

“When you have eliminated all which is impossible, then whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.” A Heathkit HW-12 gave me a troubleshooting challenge the likes of which I've not seen before - or even heard of!A few days ago the transmitter wouldn't produce output, and in checking voltages and I measured -75 volts on the ALC line which should be -20.   But it corrected itself and I figured it must have been a solder splash or something that cleared by itself.  That theor...  READ MORE
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Category: Historic
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The Solvay Conference, 1927

The Smartest Photograph Ever Take The Solvay Conference, founded by the Belgian industrialist Ernest Solvay in 1912, was considered a turning point in the world of physics. Located in Brussels, the conferences were devoted to outstanding preeminent open problems in both physics and chemistry. The most famous conference was the October 1927 Fifth Solvay International Conference on Electrons and Photons, where the world’s most...  READ MORE
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Category: Vintage Ham Radio
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Heathkit Singlebanders...cheapest SSB radio made? Or just one of the best?

Slightly insane about singlebanders... Put yourself in 1963...A stamp was a nickel, bread was 22 cents a loaf, and you could buy 3 gallons of gas for a buck.   The average wage in the US was $84 a week.  If you were a ham, you might have been able to build and trade your way up to a really nice AM/CW station - maybe a Valiant or DX-100 transmitter with an NC-300 or HQ-170 receiver - a huge improvement over the S-38 you s...  READ MORE
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Category: Vintage Ham Radio
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Astro...Don Stoner's legacy

How many of these rare transceivers have you seen? A recent post on the Cubic-Astro mail reflector noted the similarities between the rare CIR Astro 200 and the much more common Cubic Astro 150 transceivers.   And therein lies an  interesting story...I have done a little research on the CIR Astro 200, and the commenter was right - it is the progenitor of the Astro line we are much more familiar with as a result of Swan (already owne...  READ MORE
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Category: Vintage Ham Radio
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The DX-60 Family

what hath Benton Harbor wrought? When an engineer at Heathkit in 1962 turned his attention to designing a replacement for the somewhat flawed DX-40 novice transmitter, little would he have expected the DX-60 to remain in the Heathkit catalog for 14 years.    From the new solid-state power supply to the streamlined apeperance and dependable performace, the new transmitter was instantly popular with novices who had t...  READ MORE