Category Archives: HAM Radio

Articles that pertain to HAM Radio such as HF operation, contests, new equipment, etc.

Westinghouse 42F430S / 47F430S Power on trouble

Recently started having trouble with our Westinghouse 47F430S TV where the TV either would immediately power off or refuse to power on.  Seems this is due to a faulty capacitor.  On some models this is TC51, however it was TC31 on mine.  This is a 470uF 16v capacitor.

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Illinois DMR Codeplug for MD380

Hi folks, I recently took a trip to Illinois and needed an MD380 codeplug for the trip.

I used as the foundation the code plug available at the Chicago DMR group homepage: http://chicagoland-cc.org/

Then I modified the codeplug to replace the WI talkgroup with Iowa 3119 on all zones.

You can download my modified codeplug here: MD380 030317 All

Thanks to chicagoland control center (DMR group) for their awesome codeplug.

Monitoring Outdoor Temperature with RTL-SDR

If you’re like me you’re interested in knowing the outdoor temperature.  If you’re also like me, the prospect of spending $$$ for a computer weather station doesn’t sound too appealing.  Once again, the wonderful $30 RTL-SDR dongle to the rescue!  In today’s blog post I will show you how you can use the RTL-SDR to intercept the wireless signals sent from your neighbors outdoor weather stations, and how to use these to know the weather around your home.

First, you will need an RTL-SDR dongle, connected to an antenna.  I am presently using my TV antenna to feed my RTL-SDR dongle, which is connected to my VMWare server and assigned to a virtual machine.

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SDR Based Flight Tracking

I recently had the need to track the arrival of a flight into the airport near my house.  Of course, I could use any of the online services available for this, but being a HAM radio operator, I wanted to track this data myself.  I discovered that with a $30 RTL-SDR dongle, this can easily be done.

First, I built a co-linear antenna for this.  This is a simple antenna made by connecting stub pieces of coax together.  I opted for a 4 element co-linear which is not the best configuration.  I will at some time build an 8 element and place it within a PVC pipe.  This is just a proof of concept.

Using the plans here https://www.balarad.net/ I made a 4 element antenna.

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Ultra Cheap 440 MHz HAM Radio Yagi

I’ve recently been playing with a pair of low-power 440MHz UHF data transmitters (side note these are very cool and ultra cheap 100mW UHF radios) and needed to build a pair of 440 MHz directional yagi antenna to extend the range.

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I stumbled upon this write up on Radio Reference about a guy who built a yagi antenna from old clothes hangers and a broom stick.

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