All Questions

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
10
votes
3answers
5k views

Is it legal for a non-profit to use ham radios for emergency purposes?

I've been tasked to help update my organization's emergency contingencies and ham radios were brought up. We provide residential services to the mentally handicapped and we are looking at ways to make ...
10
votes
4answers
3k views

Can a ham license be used for a job?

If you get a ham license, can you, later on, get a job with that license, or at least display it on a resume? Or are there further licenses after ham radio licenses?
10
votes
5answers
2k views

Will electrically joined dipoles of different lengths, at right angles, behave as a multiband antenna?

I haven't seen this done, (which, after more than a century of amateur and professional radio development, is probably a bad sign), but I had an idea the other day for simplifying the setup and feed ...
10
votes
3answers
8k views

What is the effect of using different number of radials with ground plane antenna

I'm new to electronics and telecommunication at all, I having trouble with understanding the difference between 2, 3 and 4 radials, as I've searched online I've learned that I can use only 1 radial(...
10
votes
4answers
387 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 ...
10
votes
5answers
424 views

Does an amateur radio licence work worldwide? [closed]

Lets say that I get my amateur radio license in country A and then some time later I move to country B. Will I need to get a new license on country B or does the license obtained in country A works ...
10
votes
5answers
858 views

How did hams manage to tune their antennas before VSWR meters?

In the early 20th century --back when the hobby was still new-- before VSWR meters and antenna analyzers were invented, how did radio operators know whether they were tuned for maximum power out? ...
10
votes
4answers
969 views

What is the highest US amateur license I can get in one sitting?

If I start with no current license, can I take all the exams in one sitting to get to Amateur Extra?
10
votes
5answers
3k views

What is the definition of DX?

I always believed that DX meant out of one’s own country, and in the continental US that can be pretty far. However, tooling around on the bands I’ll often hear people calling DX inside the US receive ...
10
votes
2answers
326 views

What is the decimal in Morse Code?

The ITU's International Morse Code recommendation ITU-R M.1677-1 specifies a "Full stop (period)" as ".−.−.−", however it falls short of specifying a decimal point. Even the examples, though they ...
10
votes
1answer
2k views

Why would you need a signal generator to receive early satellite transmissions?

I recently watched, on You Tube, a NOVA program about the British school masters and students who were the first to publish the news that the Soviets had started launching satellites from a new launch ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

What does the spark-gap do in a spark-gap transmitter?

I read the Wikipedia article about spark-gap transmitters and I have to admit that I’m even more confused as to what the spark-gap actually did. The article references this simplified circuit ...
10
votes
1answer
1k views

Fastest Speed allowed for CW FM repeater ID in USA

What is the fastest legal WPM I can use for my repeater's Morse code identification? I am in the USA.
10
votes
1answer
11k views

What is a waterfall display?

High-end transceivers apparently come equipped with a water-fall display - something to do with improved spectrum visibility. This is supposed to lead to potentially higher QSO count and rate. What ...
10
votes
5answers
3k views

What is an antenna tuner? Why bother with resonant antennas in the first place?

There are a lot of antenna tuners on the market that have various capabilities in terms of how they can allow random radiators to work with our transceivers. What exactly do they do? My ...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

How to do APRS in real wilderness?

I'm a relatively new ham (licensed a couple of years ago, occasional activity on 70cm and 2m, mostly repeaters). I'm looking to extend my ham experience and am interested in digital and packet modes. ...
10
votes
8answers
18k views

Is packet radio possible on Baofeng UV-5R and similar HTs?

I am curious to know if it is possible to do packet radio on VHF/UHF using the UV-5R... I have seen some invasive hardware hacks, but without modifying the radio itself (firmware, hardware) it's my ...
10
votes
3answers
5k views

Why prefer LC oscillators rather than RC oscillators in RF design?

I don't recall ever seeing an RC oscillator driven RF transmitter or receiver. What prevents people from choosing RC oscillators in RF design?
10
votes
1answer
276 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...
10
votes
2answers
999 views

Multiple simultaneous tunings with SDR

I just found out about WebSDR, and I was wondering how is it possible that many listeners listen and tune to different stations simultaneously. Which components/technologies allow this, and how does ...
10
votes
1answer
342 views

Confusion about SDR

I've just written code for the RTL2832 to receive and decode ADS-B packets (very cool!). I had some confusion about what is actually happening: Is the raw data coming from the USB dongle literally ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

My neighbor is complaining about my transmissions, what can I do?

My neighbor has indicated that they can hear noise from their computer amplified speakers when I'm transmitting. We've done a few tests and it does appear that it's my transmitter that's causing the ...
10
votes
3answers
406 views

Does modulation affect propagation?

Does the modulation scheme, whether OOK, SSB, AM, FM, a digital mode, etc, affect the propagation of a signal?
10
votes
2answers
1k views

Why say “break” and “over” on walkie-talkies instead of an automatic chirp?

My understanding of why movie characters say "break" and "over" during radio conversations is based on this answer, which says that people using half-duplex devices often will want to let others on ...
10
votes
1answer
351 views

Why does the FCC put restrictions on symbol rates?

This answer claims that Mostly, on HF, the FCC has chosen to limit modes of transmission and symbol rates rather than bandwidth Why does the FCC limit symbol rates?
10
votes
2answers
324 views

How do I find a frequency to call CQ on during a contest?

I know that in many contests, sitting on a frequency and calling CQ is a very effective strategy to rack up points. However, during very popular contests it can be very difficult to find an open ...
10
votes
4answers
296 views

What sources of power are useful in emergency situations?

Situations that call for emergency operating usually have some hams working in field conditions. Relying on the mains grid could be problematic. A lead-acid battery would probably be heavy to lug ...
10
votes
6answers
232 views

Practical limits to maintaining coherence in an HF channel

Lately I've been thinking about weak signal communication on HF. Very weak, like weaker than even WSPR could achieve. It would be nice if one could simply take any existing modulation and slow it ...
10
votes
1answer
336 views

Dominant speeds of Morse Communications

5 wpm is easy to learn and better than nothing in emergency. Speed Morse Coding is fine for "sport competition" I am trying to find out which is the typical speed for what I call "conversation" and ...
10
votes
2answers
12k views

How does the baofeng radio eliminate squelch tail?

All tests are performed in Carrier Squelch mode on all radios without any sub-audible tone or digital squelch involved. Scenario 1: The Baofeng handheld radio Keys up. Another Baofeng is listening. ...
10
votes
2answers
94 views

Where on the web can I find a calendar of upcoming contests?

For years, I have been using SM3CER Contest Service for HF contests. It is always good to have a backup, so I am looking for more or better. What do you recommend?
10
votes
2answers
4k views

How much RF energy do trees and branches absorb?

For the 20m - 10m and 6m bands, will having my dipoles below the tops of trees (I live in redwood forests) drastically affect the RF power out or radiation patterns of my dipoles if I can still get ...
10
votes
1answer
562 views

How can I calculate the effects of an LNA, antenna gain, etc. on noise performance?

There are many things I might do enable my station to hear weaker signals that would otherwise be buried in noise. Just a few possibilities: Install a nice LNA Increase antenna gain Reduce feedline ...
10
votes
1answer
515 views

Tuning a wire antenna by folding

Last weekend we tuned a quad loop for 80 m and 40 m. Instead of cropping, we folded the isolated wire using cable ties as shown in the picture below. After folding several quite large sections of the ...
10
votes
6answers
2k views

While backpacking, is it worth mounting the antenna to the backpack frame (above my head)?

I am planning a trip with a large group in 6 weeks. We will be spread out in small groups on a trail in a mostly desert plateau landscape perhaps 5 miles apart, but mostly in a straight line. I'm new ...
10
votes
1answer
2k views

Why is dynamic range relevant for an SDR?

Sometimes I see dynamic range mentioned as a figure of merit for an SDR. For example, I know that the bits per sample used by the analog to digital converter can affect the dynamic range. Why do I ...
10
votes
2answers
4k views

How do I troubleshoot a Baofeng UV-5R that won't receive?

I have a couple of Baofeng UV-5R radios. I have a profile in Chirp that works great on one of them, and I foolishly pushed that profile straight over to a UV-5R without checking firmware versions. ...
10
votes
4answers
5k views

How do I find out what bands are open?

Say the deck is stacked. I'm out in the country with an all-band QRP home-brew rig, and an active antenna. Or say ship-wrecked and marooned on that desert island. The battery only has enough juice ...
10
votes
1answer
2k views

How to combine two 50 Ω antennas such that they appear as one 50 Ω load?

I'm looking for a simple way to impedance match an array of two 50 Ω antennas so that when they are combined they appear as one 50 Ω load. Assume that both antennas are identically constructed, are ...
10
votes
3answers
386 views

Do I need to actually lock up my station?

Per §97.103, one is responsible for the proper operation of one's station, which of course includes that no unlicensed person uses it to transmit. I have heard suggestions (no link handy, sorry) of ...
10
votes
3answers
583 views

What is the best practice when tuning an antenna on air?

I have a magnetic loop antenna that takes a long time to tune and of course, while tuning it, I need to be transmitting. What is the best procedure for tuning on air? I understand I need to check ...
10
votes
2answers
672 views

Can an amateur use cellular technologies with SDR?

Software Defined Radio is opening up many new possibilities for amateur digital modes. One family of technologies that interests me is cellular. 2G GSM voice/sms and 2.5G GPRS data has been proven to ...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

Buddipole model comparison

Can anyone give me some insight into the different Buddipole models available? They look pretty similar to me except for the sizes. What would make you choose one over the other?
10
votes
3answers
456 views

Using MIMO in Amateur Radio?

MIMO, Multiple Input, Multiple Output, is used widely in commercial data transmission. 802.11n and LTE devices use it to increase throughput, link reliability, and channel usage without increasing ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

Where can I find the official definition of ITU Zones?

I've been looking around for a spot that has the official definition of what the various ITU Zones are, but can't find one. What is the official definition? I'm hoping for more than just a map, unless ...
10
votes
2answers
251 views

Which qualities/features does an SDR radio device need to be usable for Amateur Radio?

I know what things to note when selecting an analog amateur radio, but SDR devices have completely different specs, e.g. sample rate and resolution. What do I need to know about the device to make ...
10
votes
1answer
2k views

How does a “chip antenna” work?

How does a tiny surface-mount "chip antenna" for the 2.x thru 5.x GHz frequency bands work? What allows such a tiny item to radiate or receive RF with some amount of efficiency? What allows a chip ...
10
votes
2answers
831 views

What is meant by “poles” when discussing filters?

I was looking over the product page for the K3 (dreaming I know) and noticed that they offer a variety of crystal filters. Some are 5-pole and some are 8-pole, other than price, what is the ...
10
votes
2answers
722 views

Scoring quality of Morse Code “fist”?

When learning, teaching oneself, or training a class in Morse Code sending using a hand key, how can acceptable quality be scored (other than the letters being correct terms of dot-dash sequence)? ...
10
votes
1answer
1k views

What Part 97 rule allows unattended, automated transmissions, such as APRS weather stations and beacons?

What rule allows Amateur Operators to establish and operate remote, automated stations like APRS weather stations or beacons? Are there different rules specifically for beacons, or do they all fall ...

15 30 50 per page
1 2 3
4
5
72