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12
votes
2answers
21k views

What do “QRM” and “QSB” refer to?

An answer on Basic QSO format? mentions things like "QRM" and "QSB". What do those terms mean?
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Is there a way to modify my Yaesu FT-60 to transmit on all 4 ham bands it can receive?

I have a Yaesu FT-60, and it can transmit on 2m, 70cm, and receive 1.25m and 33cm bands. I would really like to find a way to get it to transmit on 1.25 and 33cm. Is there a way to make this happen?
9
votes
3answers
1k views

AIS and RTL-SDR Dongles

I am looking for an Windows-based AIS Decoder for RTL Dongles. Currently, there is a solution available using GNU Radio and SDR# but it is complicated to set up and keep running. ADSB has a dedicated ...
5
votes
1answer
432 views

Secure communication over Amateur-band HSMM / 802.11 in the United States

I'm quite interested in 802.11 over amateur radio frequencies; however, all I have done at this point is reading (I don't have a ham license yet). The conventional wisdom (espoused in this ham.SE ...
2
votes
3answers
453 views

What's the purpose of a soundcard in digital communication?

If I get involved in digital communications do I need to buy a soundcard? If so, why, what does it do?
-1
votes
2answers
1k views

Basic QSO format? [closed]

What is the basic format for a QSO? How should I answer to "CQ", how do I know when it is my turn to answer, when should I give the report, etc.?
9
votes
5answers
453 views

Is a Technician license enough to assist in times of emergency?

Is a Technician license enough to assist in times of disaster/emergency or do I need General or higher?
5
votes
1answer
223 views

Can I modify my radio to transmit on frequencies that I can currently only listen to? [closed]

I bought a radio that can receive 4 ham bands, but only transmit on 2. Can I modify my radio to transmit on these frequencies legally?
17
votes
8answers
29k views

Should I chose a vertical or a horizontal HF antenna?

If I only have the budget for one HF antenna, should I chose a vertical or a horizontal antenna?
0
votes
1answer
97 views

Can wood be used to build 6m quad? [closed]

Could I use wood to build 6m quad? If not, what material(s) would be better/more useful?
5
votes
2answers
3k views

Pros/cons of the PL259/SO239 connector (M type)?

What are the pros/cons of the PL259/SO239 connector (M type), and why is it used preferentially on civilian rigs vs military?
5
votes
1answer
376 views

How do I determine antenna spacing?

How do I determine antenna spacing so that I don't end up overdriving the front end of a receiver when transmitting?
14
votes
5answers
44k views

Good wire for wire antenna?

What properties should I look for in a good wire for building a wire antenna? Could anyone recommend something specific for me?
5
votes
2answers
126 views

Abilities to limit antenna use?

What kinds of abilities does a Home Owners' Association (HOA) in the United States have to limit the use of antennas placed on a roof to an owner of a home in the area?
5
votes
3answers
4k views

What frequencies am I not allowed to use north of line A in the USA?

What frequencies can I not use if I live north of line A in the USA?
60
votes
16answers
7k views

Why is Morse Code still in use?

Why do people still use Morse Code? What are its advantages over newer Voice or Data communication modes?
2
votes
5answers
700 views

Metal for antenna construction?

What do I need to consider when choosing metal for an antenna? How do I determine what thickness to use?
7
votes
1answer
2k views

Power limit of 50 ohm BNC connector?

Is there a limit to the power a 50 ohm BNC connector can handle?
4
votes
2answers
8k views

Antennas I can effectively use in an apartment? [closed]

What are some antenna designs that balance manageable size/shape with effectiveness for use in an apartment?
8
votes
3answers
991 views

Vertical antenna on HF?

What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of using a vertical antenna on high frequency? Are there any better antenna types that I should use?
4
votes
3answers
7k views

How and why sunspots affect propagation in HF bands?

How and why do sunspots affect propagation in HF bands?
2
votes
3answers
2k views

GNU/Linux contest logging software? [closed]

What contest logging software exists for the GNU/Linux operating system?
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Battery capacity vs. weight for portable transceivers

What kind of battery has the most capacity for the weight? I want to take my transceiver backpacking, so I care about weight.
9
votes
4answers
4k views

Can I operate in the United Kingdom with a US license?

Can my license from the United States be used to operate while I'm in the United Kingdom?
16
votes
5answers
3k views

Can a licensed ham use or modify CB equipment to work the 10 Meter Amateur bands?

Can a licensed ham use or modify CB equipment to work the 10 Meter Amateur bands? If so, are there any advantages/disadvantages to this?
10
votes
1answer
274 views

What is Jamboree on the Air (JOTA)?

What does this term mean? I'm not good with radio terms at all, but I was especially curious about this one...
2
votes
1answer
95 views

What kind of additional privileges or access do I get with each successive US license?

Just for additional information, I live in the United States.
14
votes
2answers
5k views

50 Ohm coaxial cable vs 450 Ohm or 600 Ohm ladder or window line?

What are the relative advantages and disadvantages of using 50 Ohm coaxial cable as opposed to 450 Ohm or 600 Ohm ladder or window line?
5
votes
2answers
101 views

What organizations in the USA can I join to participate in emergency preparedness?

I want to get involved in emergency preparedness. What organizations, if any, are there in the United States that support disaster recovery and emergency management?
2
votes
1answer
943 views

What antenna to use for medium frequencies in an apartment building?

I'm living at the 6th's and top floor of an apartment building. I have a balcony with a metal balustrade. Above the balcony there is a metal roof rail. I need an antenna which won't be noticed by the ...
18
votes
1answer
4k views

How does moving a feedpoint off-center in a dipole affect the resonant frequency and resistive load?

Specifically, I understand that OCF dipoles change the SWR, but does it do this via reactance or resistance, or both?
8
votes
1answer
119 views

Are ionospheric predictions useful in practice for ham radio operators?

A number of government agencies around the world provide ionospheric predictions, such as vertical foF2 or oblique path useable frequency range advice. Examples include IPS, SWPC and DIAS. Typically, ...
5
votes
4answers
172 views

When should an adapter be used to marry a coax to a connector?

A quick follow-up to What should I consider when choosing a coaxial cable? Most commercial rigs come with a PL259/SO239 connector for use with something like the RG8/RG11. In the event the diameter ...
5
votes
1answer
118 views

How would I go about setting up my own repeater in the UK?

How would I go about setting up my own repeater in the UK? For instance, what license category would I need, what equipment would should be looking to purchase, and do I have to register it anywhere?
22
votes
7answers
2k views

Encrypted traffic and amateur radio

Am I allowed to send encrypted traffic via any medium or any frequency, or is this completely barred (and thus everything has to be open with no exceptions?)
7
votes
1answer
4k views

How big can an antenna be before I need planning permission in the UK?

Presumably setting up a 1m high antenna in a back garden isn't going to be an issue, but setting up an 80m high antenna would likely cause complaints! How high an antenna can I legally construct in ...
10
votes
4answers
381 views

Is use of the phonetic alphabet mandatory?

The phonetic alphabet is often used on amateur radio to spell out names and callsigns more clearly, especially when the clarity may be poorer. However, there are cases where I simply forget certain ...
13
votes
3answers
6k views

How do I prevent radio signals from tripping a GFCI?

My wife woke up several nights by a metallic "thunk". It happened to be while I was talking on 10 meters and turned out to be the ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) on her hair dryer cord. ...
4
votes
2answers
104 views

How do I evaluate the features and performance of radios?

A recent phenomena in amateur radio has been the influx of inexpensive handheld 2m/70cm radios from companies such as Baofeng. These claim to have the primary features like power output and frequency ...
4
votes
1answer
75 views

What factors (out of operator control) can affect the range?

Some factors, such as the antenna type and power output can be easily adjusted by an operator to manipulate the range of a radio signal. However, others (such as the weather) are out of operator ...
48
votes
5answers
5k views

How do I report an emergency using ham radio?

If I'm in the wilderness with ham equipment but no phone signal, how would I report an emergency? Is there a particular frequency I would use, a particular protocol or suchlike?
18
votes
3answers
8k views

Why do I need to tune an antenna?

I've heard that when an antenna is set up, it needs to be tuned to reduce reflective power back into the radio. Is this always necessary, and if so how would I go about tuning it?
19
votes
5answers
8k views

How can I protect equipment against a lightning strike?

A lot of aerials (almost by design) would be rather good attractors of lightning. What steps do I need to take in the field to keep my gear safe against a lightning strike? I'm presuming the obvious ...
6
votes
1answer
215 views

Using more than 400W in the UK

With a full amateur license in the UK, up to 400W can be used - however, there are cases that might call for higher power, such as bouncing signals off the moon. Is there any way I can obtain ...
9
votes
1answer
175 views

What privileges do I gain with each addition step of the license (in the UK?)

The UK has 3 licensing levels, foundation, intermediate and advanced. Aside from the allowed power output going up each time (10W, 100W, 400W) are there any other privileges one would gain?
13
votes
2answers
7k views

When is RF grounding necessary, and when is it not?

I've seen many installations, particularly at field day and also in second-floor installations, where RF grounding is ignored entirely. What are the drawbacks to this and when is it absolutely ...
31
votes
11answers
3k views

Are there well-known methods that can help improve my CW copying speed?

I've been having a hard time getting my Morse Code copying speed above 7-10 words per minute. Are there any techniques I can use to improve my skill?
26
votes
11answers
29k views

What's a cost-effective way to boost the range of my cheap 2m/70cm handheld?

I'm a very casual/beginner level ham and as such have mostly avoided committing too much in the way of financial resources - I have a UV-5R for a personal radio, anything else I do I've used others' ...
15
votes
4answers
3k views

Are there federal laws (US) protecting antenna installation?

Are there any federal laws or FCC guidelines that allow ham radio operators to install antennas? I live in an apartment building in a large city that bans outdoor antennas. I recall reading that the ...
14
votes
4answers
2k views

What should I consider when choosing a coaxial cable?

Given a middling-power rig (up to 100 W) requiring a 50 Ω antenna, a few options for the coaxial cable with a 50 Ω impedance are RG-174 RG-58A/U RG-8 RG-213 Apart from cost, what factors are ...

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