Tag Archives: Amateur Radio

MagPi Issue 80 features Ham Radio Projects for the Raspberry Pi mini computer

Thanks to a hat tip from the Southgate ARC, I discovered that the excellent MagPi magazine has featured a number of ham radio projects in this month.

I’ve outlined below a list of the projects with page numbers–note that many are simply summaries that link to full project notes in previous editions:

  • Page 52: Pictures from space via ham radio
  • Page 71: ADS-B flight tracker (we also have a short tutorial here)
  • Page 72: WSPR transmitter
  • Page 73: Remote SDR scanner
  • Page 74: Digital voice hotspot
  • Page 75: Satellite tracking
  • Page 75: APRS IGate

Issue 80 of MagPi is free (click here to download as a PDF). You can also pay for a print subscription via post as well.

I highly recommend downloading each issue of MagPi–it’s a brilliant, informative magazine and is chock-full of projects and ideas for Pi fans of any age.

One of my Raspberry Pi 3Bs in service.

I’m a big fan of the Raspberry Pi and use it for a number of applications. This issue has encouraged me to give WSPR a go and perhaps even build a DV hotspot in the near future.

Raspberry Pi kits are quite affordable–Amazon has a massive selection from bare-bones units to full packages which include everything you need to get started. I’m a fan of both Canakits and Vilros.

Click here to search Amazon.com (this affiliate link also supports the SWLing Post).

I also purchase Pi systems, accessories, and hats from AdaFruit.

Post Readers: Are you a fan of the Raspberry Pi or other mini computers? Please comment and share your projects/ideas!

Spread the radio love

US Navy finds ham radio training makes “workers better at their jobs”

(Source: Southgate ARC via Mike K8RAT)

Can learning amateur radio make for better engineers and software developers?

Writing in C4ISRNET – Electronic Warfare, Eric Tegler says:

When a group of [US] Navy engineers and software developers took time away from their day jobs in December, they spent the time pursuing a task long considered passe: they became licensed amateur radio operators.

Some 23 employees from Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division (NAWCWD) took a week-long class in amateur radio at Point Mugu, California culminating with an FCC amateur radio license test. All passed and are certified at the “technician” level for amateur radio operation [permitted 200 watts on some HF bands, 1500 watts above 30 MHz].

Now, Navy officials say the move may make the workers better at their jobs. The staff gained an understanding of radio frequency (RF) propagation that’s essential to what they do, said Brian Hill, electromagnetic maneuver warfare experimentation lead and collaborative electronic warfare supervisor at NAWCWD.

Hill, who earned his amateur radio license in high school, noticed that while most of his department’s recent hires had degrees in computer science, many had little background in RF theory or operation.

“You can explain antenna patterns and concepts like omni-directional vs directional using Smith charts, but it’s helpful to add a demonstration to really convey the concept,” Hill said. “You can explain modulation as a concept, but for a demo… let them listen to how modulated digital signals with audio frequencies sound… For those who never knew the joy of hearing a 2400 bps modem connect over a telephone line, it was a new concept!”

These concepts are central to electromagnetic maneuver warfare.

“We need to be able to have awareness of all threats and opportunities from [zero frequency] to light within an integrated system,” Hill said. “Our adversaries are looking at the entire spectrum to use against us, and we need to do the same. Having awareness of how the atmosphere changes from daylight to night and how that affects propagation of [high frequency] is important.”

This can be critical for young developers/engineers whose experience is typically limited to the UHF/EHF-based systems now in vogue across communications, guidance and ISR technologies.

Read the full story at
https://www.c4isrnet.com/electronic-warfare/2019/02/06/can-learning-ham-radio-make-for-better-engineers-and-software-developers/

Spread the radio love

Video: “The Fort and the Field Day”

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dennis Dura, who shares a link to this short video highlighting amateur radio at the 2017 Fort Wayne Field Day:

Click here to view on YouTube.

YouTube description: A 10 minute documentary investigating why people still do ham radio. Shot at the Historical Fort Wayne in Fort Wayne, Indiana, during ARRL Field Day in 2017.

Spread the radio love

ARRL takes minor exception to wording of FCC Enforcement Advisory regarding uncertified two-way radios

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Eric McFadden, who shares the following ARRL response to the FCC Enforcement Advisory we posted last week. The following was published in the ARRL News:

ARRL has taken a minor exception to the wording of a September 24 FCC Enforcement Advisory pertaining to the importation, marketing and sale of VHF and UHF transceivers and is in discussion with FCC personnel to resolve the matter. The Enforcement Advisory was in response to the importation into the US of certain radio products that are not FCC certified for use in any radio service, but identified as Amateur Radio equipment.

“While much of this equipment is actually usable on Amateur bands, the radios are also capable of operation on non-amateur frequencies allocated to radio services that require the use of equipment that has been FCC-certified,” ARRL said. “Such equipment is being marketed principally to the general public via mass e-marketers and not to Amateur Radio licensees.”

[…]“In several places, the Enforcement Advisory makes the point that ‘anyone importing, advertising or selling such noncompliant devices should stop immediately, and anyone owning such devices should not use them,’” ARRL pointed out. “The Advisory broadly prohibits the ‘use’ of such radios, but our view is that there is no such prohibition relative to licensed Amateur Radio use — entirely within amateur allocations — of a radio that may be capable of operation in non-amateur spectrum, as long as it is not actually used to transmit in non-amateur spectrum.

ARRL has had extensive discussions about this issue with FCC Wireless Bureau and Enforcement Bureau staff, and those discussions are ongoing.[…]

Click here to read the full news article.

Spread the radio love

New Zealand prohibits unrestricted two-way radios

(Source: Southgate ARC)

New Zealand’s regulator RSM reports:
In August, we mentioned creating a prohibition notice for unrestricted two-way radios. This was to limit the availability to the general public for radios that don’t meet the Radio Standards.

The prohibition notice is ready to gazette and will come into effect on 18 October 2018.

The notice will affect the supply of two-way radios like Baofeng, Pofung and Wouxun to the amateur market, but not equipment factory locked to the Amateur bands.

Amateur radio operators or suppliers need to hold a ‘Licence to supply radio transmitters’ to import and supply this equipment.
When you’ve received your Licence to supply number, email us at supply@rsm.govt.nz. We’ll add special conditions to your licence to allow the import and supply of this equipment.  You’ll need to supply us monthly returns of your imports and sales, including nil returns.

Application for licence to supply radio transmitters – Individual

Application for licence to supply radio transmitters – Organisation

Click here to read a similar announcement by FCC Enforcement.

Spread the radio love