Tag Archives: Ham Radio

FT4 digital mode now available in WSJT-X release candidate 5

Joe Taylor presenting FT4 at the Fair Lawn Amateur Radio Club

(Source: Southgate ARC)

The new amateur radio digital mode FT4 is now available for download as part of WSJT-X Release Candidate 5

You can download wsjtx-2.1.0-rc5-win64.exe (or for other O/S) from near the bottom of the page at
http://physics.princeton.edu/pulsar/k1jt/wsjtx.html

FT4 Protocol document
http://physics.princeton.edu/pulsar/k1jt/FT4_Protocol.pdf

See the WSJT Group at
https://groups.io/g/WSJTX/

For more information about FT4, check out this previous post.

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Armed Forces Day Annual Cross-Band Test – May 11, 2019

(Source: USAmyMARS.org via Harald Kuhl)

(11 May 2019)

The Army Military Auxiliary Radio System will host this year’s Armed Forces Day (AFD) Crossband Test on Saturday May 11, 2019. This annual event is open to all licensed amateur radio operators, and will not impact any public or private communications. For more than 50 years, military and amateur stations have taken part in this event, which is only an exercise scenario, designed to include hobbyist and government radio operators alike.

The AFD Cross-band Test is a unique opportunity to test two-way communications between military communicators and radio stations in the Amateur Radio Service (ARS), as authorized in 47 CFR 97.111. These tests provide opportunities and challenges for radio operators to demonstrate individual technical skills in a tightly-controlled exercise scenario that does not impact any public or private communications.

Military stations will transmit on selected military frequencies and will announce the specific ARS frequencies monitored. All times are ZULU (Z), and all frequencies are Upper Side Band (USB) unless otherwise noted. The frequencies used for the test will not impact any public or private communications, and will not stray outside the confines of the exercise.

Additional Information is provided on the 20190424-AFDCT-final.pdf file available for download [by clicking here].

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Ham Radio Digital Modes: Joe Taylor talks FT8 and introduces FT4

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Pete Eaton, who shares the following note and video:

Here is a You Tube Video of a presentation given by Joe Taylor last night at the Fair Lawn ARC Club Meeting on FT8 & Beyond an introduction to FT4.

Click here to view on YouTube.

Thank you for the tip, Pete!  FT4 looks like a fascinating iteration of the popular FT8 mode.

Post Readers: Any fans of FT8 out there?

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The ALT-512: A new general coverage QRP transceiver

There’s a new QRP transceiver on the market: the twelve band ALT-512 by Aerial-51.

At first glance, you’ll see a similarity between the ALT-512 and the LnR Precision LD-11/Aerial-51 SKY-SDR. The LD-11 and SKY-SDR, are very similar, save the LD-11 is marketed to North America (via LnR) and the SKY-SDR to Europe. The SKY-SDR had several iterative upgrades, most importantly the dual-threaded software used in the firmware, which cut CPU latency in half. Both the LD-11, SKY-SDR and now the ALT-512 are made in Europe.

Click here to read my review of the LnR Precision LD-11.

ALT-512 Waterfall display (Photo: DJ0IP)

According to Aerial-51, the new ALT-512 is built on the LD-11/SKY-SDR platform, has the same chassis design but has many improvements over the SKY-SDR:

  • 4m Band
  • 2.4 in. Color Display
  • Improved receiver pre-amplifier
  • 2 transistors in the transmitter PA (was 1)
  • Waterfall in addition to the Pan-Adapter Bandscope
  • 4 additional front-panel buttons
  • User friendly front-panel adjustment of often used parameters (formerly embedded within the software menu)
  • FULL TS-2000 command set implementation
  • Built-in Sound Card; Digi Modes run using only one USB-2 cable connected to the PC. No additional hardware required.

If the ALT-512 performs as well as or better than its predecessor, it’ll certainly be a great little QRP radio and an excellent general coverage receiver for HF broadcast listening.

Pricing has not yet been posted, but Aerial-51 plans to make this transceiver available in the next few weeks.

Click here to check out the ALT-512 on the Aerial-51 website.

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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!

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