Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Radio Kit Guide


Welcome to RadioKitGuide.com

Some time ago, I attempted to research sources for kits on the Internet, only to find out that there wasn't a one-stop-website for Ham Radio kit suppliers.

I decided to put together a good list of sources for kits that are currently available. Many of these are for
Etherkit CRX1 Receiver


QRP operation, but a few are full-featured professional transceivers (Elecraft, DZ). On the beginners side there are a few sources that stand out: Hendricks has a great assortment of kits, including some SSB QRP equipment. QRPme offers the inexpensive, easy-to-build tuna-can products, and I would like to make special mention

Monday, May 04, 2015

Heathkit?

Some of you might remember me talking about the return of Heathkit.


There has been a lot of mystery surrounding the status of Heathkit, as they popped up a couple of years ago and announced that they were returning.  There was a survey posted online for a long time asking people what they wanted to see from a new Heathkit.  The new Heathkit management hosted a Q and A session on Reddit speaking more about their plans to return.  Then, nothing.  No announcements, no news.  There was brief mention in December when the folks at Adafruit (a company that supports the MAKER community) were briefly in touch with the new Heathkit, and were told that things are still progressing, and there will be no information on what the products will be until they are ready.  All through this, I have been skeptical, as many people would be, since we have heard this story before.

Now, there are changes over at Heathkit.com.  They are clearly gearing up for products, and support.  They have even started an eBay store where they are selling parts, and some classic equipment.

Cross your fingers.

--Neil W2NDG

Friday, March 13, 2015

Larkfield ARC and LIMARC meeting presentation Handout

Here are the links from the handout:
NEW LINKS AT THE BOTTOM!!



Heathkit FAQ

Quicksilver (soldering iron, tools)

The Ham QRP DIY Kit Shack

Bitx kits from India

4SQRP

Clifford Wareham

Sotabeams

SkyPi

Peaberry SDR

Mikes Electronic Parts (AM chips and Fahnestock clips

Evil Mad Scientist

Great list of remaining surplus suppliers

Magazines

Peebles Originals (Crystal and Regen kits)



Here are a few more useful links:

I was talking about the 3-lead AM radio chips, and also a source for Fahnestock clips and other AM radio parts.  It turns out that it's the same guy:

Mikes Electronic Parts

This is the site that has the giant 555 IC timer kit that we saw at the meeting:

One man's obsession with crystal radios.  Worth a look!

Great list of remaining surplus suppliers:

Just found this site which has archives of Elementary Electronics, Popular Electronics, Radio Electronics, etc etc.  Great resource!
http://www.americanradiohistory.com/index.htm#Technical

Here's another interesting kit source I forgot about that I need to add.  Peebles Originals.  They make a nice line of Crystal and Transistor radio kits:
http://www.peeblesoriginals.com/catalog/45.php

Unfortunately I was not able to find the generic p-boxes, but you can still build the designs on a regular perf board.


 Be sure to send anything new you find that is not on the website to me.

Neil Goldstein W2NDG
neil(at)neilgoldstein(dot)com

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Alternative Operating Systems. LIMARC Presentation from January 14, 2015

Alternative Operating Systems
Limarc Pre-Meeting presentation
January 14, 2015

AMIGA INSPIRED:

Atheos (Syllable) http://syllable.org
MorphOS  For OLD PowerMacs  http://www.morphos-team.net/

SUPER EFFICIENT:

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Linux For Ham Radio - Ham Radio University Forum - HRU 2015

Welcome to all HRU attendees, and visitors to this website.  I would like to thank HRU for inviting me to be a presenter this year, and also to everyone who attended my forum.  Here are the notes I promised, as well as a link to the presentation.  This subject really requires more than the 45 minutes we had.  I had wanted to demonstrate my RTL-SDR dongle running in Linux, and to spend a little time explaining the best way to set it up.

If any metro-area Ham Radio clubs would like me to do this presentation for them, please contact me at: W2NDG(AT)ARRL(DOT)NET.

First of all, lets look at some of the main subjects from the presentation.

Here is a link to the small presentation

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Tecsun PL-880 Hidden Feature Chart


Here is a consolidated version of the Hidden Feature List for the Tecsun PL-880.

Thanks to Thomas over at The SWLing Post for publishing all of the hacks in one list.

Function Key What to do Radio State
Synchronous Detection USB/NORM LSB/NORM Hold button in until change occurs. One push to change back. ON
Muting Threshold for AM/SSB, also sets FM Threshold on some versions 9 Select mode to adjust first (AM, SSB, FM). Press and hold, then adjust with either tuning knob. Press 9 again when done to save. ON
DNR (Automatic adjustment of bandwidth, etc?) 6 Press and hold till display says 'ON' and again for 'OFF'. ON
Display Firmware Version, and date AM/BW With radio OFF: press and hold until display turns on. Then press and hold again to get firmware. Press one more time for date OFF
FM De-emphasis 5 Press and hold to toggle between 75 (USA) and 50 (Europe) ON
Line-Out Level (only works on FM?) 7 Press and hold till current level begins flashing. Adjust with either tuning knob. Press again to save ON
Adjusting Seconds on Clock 8 With radio off, press and hold, and then adjust seconds OFF
Calibrating on AM (MW) Snooze Tune a strong MW station. Turn on SSB mode (USB/LSB). Move fine tuning till zero-beated and pitch matches non-SSB. Press and hold the snooze button till correction value appears in display, then press snooze again to save. ON
USB/LSB Calibration 0 PRESS and HOLD the 0 button. Look at the UPPER RIGHT corner of the display. A 2-digits number is BLINKING as well as the Hz digits of the tuned frequency. RELEASE the 0 button, and adjust the FINE TUNING. Tune, de-tune and re-tune before calibration is perfect. Play a bit with it to understand how it works. Change is effective AFTER you press 0 again. Do for both USB and LSB modes. Check the tone when tuned to xxx.95 USB and xxx.05 LSB. They should sound exactly the same. ON
Forcing External Antenna on MW/LW Several Visit http://goo.gl/AXSgMI for instructions and video ON

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Ramp Season (with a recipe)

It's that time of year again.  Ramps are rampant in the woods (sorry).  For those of you that don't know what
Flickr:Jessica and Lon Binder
a ramp is, the pictures here will help you identify them.  They are the wild relative of the cultivated leek that springs up in the Northeast towards the end of April.  Usually growing in moist woods.  If you know of a place where there is a lot of skunk cabbage, chances are that there are ramps nearby (usually a short distance in the opposite direction of the wet area that the skunk cabbage is near).  Pull the whole plant out by digging underneath it a bit, and you'll have something that resembles a lily of the valley on top, and a scallion on the bottom.  It should have a nice, pronounced garlicky-onion odor.  Drop these in a bag as you harvest, and try not to take too many from one area.  I usually bring a cooler to put them in once I get back to the car to keep them fresh until I can prepare them.
Ramps in the woods. Flickr:Bev Currie

To prepare, cut off the small roots along with the bottom eighth-inch or so of the bulb.  Strip the outer layer or two of the translucent skin off and throw in a colander.  Wash thoroughly in cold water.  Then, chop the ramps into small pieces, tops and all, and re-wash in the colander in cold water.  You are now ready to prepare.

You can use them as you would leeks, with obvious consideration to the size difference, and the addition of an almost greens-like vegetable with the tops intact.  One popular use is in omelets.  I use them in place of the leeks in my leek latkes:

-A bunch of ramps, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces at the top, and smaller near the bulb.
-Eggs
-Almond meal (this makes them a bit healthier.  You can use bread crumbs instead.)
-Salt and Pepper
-Olive oil
-Frying oil

I use Trader Joe's almond meal.  Best for the dollar I think, and I usually saute the leeks in extra virgin olive oil, and fry the pancakes in regular olive oil, canola, or Trader Joe's rice bran oil.

Saute the prepared ramps in some olive oil until limp and fragrant, set aside to cool a bit, and wash the pan out for the next step.  Once they are just warm still, add a few eggs.  I had about 8 cups of chopped ramps to start with and used 3 jumbo eggs, so use your best judgement here.  You can always add more, so start low.  Mix well till the eggs are beaten, and add enough almond meal to make a thin pancake-consistency batter.  I think I ended up using about a cup this last time.  Add salt and pepper, and mix well.  Drop batter from a large serving spoon or ladle into hot oil (see above) and cook until golden brown on both sides.

These are fantastic as is, or with some sour cream, and/or applesauce.

I think next I'm going to try them in this recipe.

Happy foraging folks!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

LIMARC Linux Presentation 11/13/2013

Link to the presentation files:  https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B-IHI8SRouquUExCbHdqa1BLclU&usp=sharing

DISTROS

Site for Distros:  www.distrowatch.com

Debian:  Volunteer maintained.  Uses the popular apt package system used as a base for many other Distros

RedHat:  Commercial.  Used by large corporations, governments, and schools. Related to Fedora (open source branch), and CentOS (free version).  Uses the rpm package system
  Why pay?  SUPPORT!

Slackware:  One of the oldest. Not for beginners

Ubuntu:  Based on Debian.  Very popular, and used on some commercial desktops.  Easy to install and use.  Recently headed in a direction that alienated many users. 

Linux MINT: Evolved from Ubuntu. Much more polished and usable.  Keeps a more conventional desktop like Ubuntu used to.  Better out-of-box-experience.


Puppy:  Lightweight, and fast.  Great on older systems.  Has own proprietary packages, but some versions support Ubuntu, or Slackware packages.

CentOS:  Built from RedHat source.  Essentially RedHat without support

FreeBSD:  Not Linux, but UNIX.  Worth a look for comparison, but I recommend GhostBSD for beginners.  OS X, and iOS are based on BSD variants

GhostBSD:  FreeBSD for beginners

Damn Small:  Started the mini distro movement.  Always less than 50M

Tiny Core:  Full GUI operating system in a 14M download. Amazing!

Multimedia:  OpenElec, XBMC, GeexBox
  Make your own ROKU. 
  OpenElec and XBMC run on the Raspberry Pi

Security – Forensics:  Kali, BackBox
  Recover files, test network security.

Disk Utilities:  Parted Magic, Clonezilla
  Free alternatives to Partition Magic and Ghost
  Hirens Boot CD includes both

PBX (phone systems): AsteriskNOW
  Make your own phone system

Ham Radio:

HOW TO TRY

Live CD/DVD:
  boot from CD/DVD.  Does not touch your operating system!
  Can install later
  There’s one on HIRENS

Install into VM:
  VirtualBox, Parallels, VMWare

Install on an older computer

Make a bootable USB

Install to USB
  Use a large USB stick, and a live CD/DVD

AVAILABLE TONIGHT

Linux Mint MATE 32 bit
Linux Mint MATE 64 bit
CentOS 32 bit
Puppy LUPU
TinyCORE
Or, download your own ISOs and burn

Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Spectrum Monitor - Picking up where Monitoring Times is leaving off!


Great post by Thomas over at The SWLing Post about a new e-magazine that is being published by former MT managing editor Ken Reitz.   Read all about it here.  Thomas will also be contributing to the new publication, which is a good thing, since he has what is arguably the best SWL blog online.

I can't tell you how glad I am that someone is picking up where Bob Grove left off.

http://swling.com/blog/2013/10/the-spectrum-monitor-a-new-radio-magazine-finds-a-home-in-the-digital-world/?utm_source=feedly

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Nissequogue River State Park QRP expedition

I’ve been to this creepy state park several times since moving to Long Island.  Why creepy?  Mostly the abandoned buildings from the previous tenant on this property; The Kings Park Psychiatric Center.  So, crumbling scary buildings, and a great view of the Nissequogue River Inlet?  Is there a better place for a Sunday afternoon QRP outing?  I think not!

While I was here last time, I spotted a great spot for a QRP setup.  At the top of the long hill, and past the courtyards is a nice grassy area that terminates at a fence at the top of a 40 foot cliff over the water.  There are a number of trees for antenna hoisting, two picnic tables, and a great unobstructed view into the inlet and the Long Island Sound beyond.

I set up on one of the tables, and raised a vertical antenna high into the nearest tree using my twine and water bottle/counterweight, and later I put up a nice high end-fed.  I’m using a Xiegu X1M radio, with an Emtech XM-2 tuner.  Along with the main components are a small amplified speaker, mic, key, different counterpoise and/or ground methods, a 7″ Android tablet, and a portable jumpstart battery for power.  It was a perfect day.  I made 6 phone contacts with 5 Watts on 10, 15, and 17 Meters.  UK, Scotland, Mexico, Italy, The Azores, and Austria.  Not bad.  The weather was great, and I only got a few funny looks from walkers, bikers, and dog walkers as they heard me speaking into the mic.  The ghosts of patients past left me alone too.  One nice surprise was that there was an Optimum Wifi hotspot somewhere nearby, with enough signal to get me online without using my phone as a hotspot.  Great for QRZ lookups.  I have an Empire Park Pass, so admission was free, although I’m still amazed that they charge people to walk around this strange place.

Here’s a few pictures of the setup: