HamCall.net Callsign Lookup:

Friday, June 07, 2019



"Sandbagging" (listening in on others without talking or making one’s presence known, for entertainment or for collection of information on others.), "Copying the mail" (listening with little, or No talking.), or "On the side" ( just listening), is one of the "Great American"
pastimes (although, if you were literally "copying the mail" the USPS would certainly disapprove). 

(Are you a "sandbagger"? Or, Do you know one?)

Well to continue, I was (insert one phrase from above) on 11m and came across some QSO's of interest....

Some guy on an AM frequency (27.285 MHz) was wondering what it meant when someone replied to a radio equipment for-sale post with nothing more than the word "Next", after someone had already replied with "Interested".

His buddy (no - NOT 'Good Buddy') replied that, before answering the question he had to interject how upset he was every time someone replied to an Ad with "Interested".

He said if someone was "interested" they should just contact the guy directly. It appeared to him that the guy, (and others who also typed "interested") were putting onus on the seller to ferret out each one and send them a personal text / email, when the whole purpose of the group posting was to make it easy to sell something. But, as he digressed, so have I...

Regarding "Next", as in what you'll see on many Facebook For Sale posts. This was a discussion on yet another SDR site and frequency. "What's up with that?" asked one fellow. Google had the answer -  'To let the seller know they are interested in the item if someone has already shown interest before them'.

(Without someone typing "Interested" beforehand it makes no sense to type "Next"), and for the guys that follow a Next with "Next-Next" or "Next-Next-Next" - No Comment.

Channel 6 (THE Super Bowl) has been around for decades, yet someone in the Mid-West apparently heard it yesterday for the first time and asked about it while on-the-air. A pileup ensued as many tried to educate him all at once.

Ch. 6 as heard on http://sigmasdr.ddns.net:8073/
I'll explain to others who may be in the dark about this channel, and why you hear them even in poor conditions.

Even if band conditions are sketchy these guys seem to use blunt-force trauma (many kw watts) to make their own opening. With good band conditions it's truly over kill, as observed the other day. Splatter box comes to mind. You might think that the FCC had already taken them "Down" but... Nope.

These guys run serious wattage and can only be compared to as Mini-AM Broadcasting stations (like the ones you listen to on your car radio). * [Also, Google "Keydown Contests" or, be lazy and click-on-that-link]

Haven't heard of it? Just Google "cb channel referred to as the Super Bowl" to find everything you didn't want to know, or, as previously written - "click on that link". And yes - I have heard this frequency referred to (many times) as "The Super Bowel").

On another SDR-site, on a different band, I listened to one guy trying to explain to another guy how a "Heat Pump" works. His explanation led to more questions (including me) which were quickly answered by everyone's best friend, "Google".

'Nuff Said,


Wednesday, June 05, 2019


This past Monday (6/3) 10-11-6m was super HOT! Not just for 15 minutes, an hour, or even half a day, this lasted until the wee hours of the next morning (good times, good times). Things seemed to have quieted down by 11p.m. but I got up around 3a.m. and still heard chatter going in the shack. I think the 'ol 138XLR was a bit shocked to have dc running thru it for so long :)

SDR Stuff

I'm still hanging out on 3885 AM on WA1QIX's SDR web site, usually between 3 and 5 PM (CST), but I've also looked around for sites that have definite 11m band selections, so here's what I've found so far -

http://rx.jimlill.com:8073/ 11m

http://kiwisdr.surriel.com/ NH

http://k2sdr.homelinux.com:8073/  NJ

http://kiwisdr.k1ra.us:8073/ VA. No waterfall but gd rx

http://ka7u.no-ip.org:8073/ Idaho. Eh,Okay.

http://skhicks.ddns.net:8073/ Kingwood Tx.

http://g4bkhkiwi.ddns.net:8073/ UK

http://southwest.ddns.net:8073/ UK

http://kiwisdr-m0kwr.ddns.net:8073/ UK
http://sigmasdr.ddns.net:8073/ CT/MA *** I highly recommend this one for several reasons: 1. Easy to navigate 11m w/ch.No.'s ,and, 2. If it wasn't for Rob, the CBGazette may never have been!!

http://huntingdonsdr.ddns.net:8073/ UK

The sites listed above will NOT work with IE. I've abbreviated their actual locations as well. Only the site below will work on IE - UK w/IE

I listed several from the UK because I'm hoping one of them will p/u "Fred-in-the-shed" and the 27.305 USB group he features on many videos.


I'm still (albeit slowly) working on a post about everything I'm learning about Magnetic Loop Antennas. It's taking a lot more time than originally estimated, so it may end up as a multi-part article.

However, if you are interested in MLA's (or antennas in general) you should check out Kevin Loughin's YouTube channel. Most recently, he has been dissecting the Chameleon P-Loop 2.0 (interesting stuff).

Not specifically tied to MLA's, I'll once more mention OH8STN's YouTube channel. He is honestly brutal when it comes to reviewing equipment on its own merit or by comparing one mfg. product vs. another's. Don't pass his channel up, especially if you are into SOTA, POTA, or EmComm.

That's it for now.
'Nuff Said

Saturday, June 01, 2019


Back in the heyday of "CB radio" 23 channels were just not enough. With a busy Sunspot cycle driving DX you only had a short window to be able to talk across town with your friends, and that window-of-time lay somewhere after 3a.m. only to end about 3 hours later, returning to near full S-meter readouts with a wall of noise led by occasional voices from far away.

The 11m operator had few avenues in search of a quieter channel -
  • Pony up big $$$ and buy a Browning or Tram, and operate off the VFO to slide in-between channels (Ch.3A was a popular hangout). This was a HUGE investment for anyone to undertake. A $700 expenditure in 1970 was equal to over $4500 in 2018.
  • Take what was available within most radios by "Cutting-the-color-wire" on the channel selector. This gave you channels 22A and B.
  • Find a compatible external VFO (Siltronix, PAL) for the radio being used and get the ability to slide in-between channels, not to mention below ch.1 or above ch.23.
Another approach to this was presented by HyGain in the form of their Hy-Range V (model 674) and Hy-Range VI, the matching VFO (model 675), pictured above. This presented the buyer with a matched pair of devices, both solid-state, allowing a person to listen to frequencies on-channel, in-between channel, and slightly above the 23 channel frequency.

Model 675 VFO ends some where above 27.400 MHz
The Hy-Gain "V" had several different releases, one with a dedicated VFO socket on the rear panel, and two without the socket. The 675 VFO could be hardwired into many other Hy-Gain radios and included the instructions on how to do it within the instruction manual which came with the unit.



While you will run across these on Ebay auctions or garage sales, the instructions on how to get this to work aren't so easy to find (read: VERY hard to find). Owners today are hard pressed to find anyone with the knowledge that these existed much less modified (still alive to talk about it). Every one wanted to know what to clip in the transceiver to allow Xmit when the VFO was plugged in.

But, what if the modification wasn't in the radio itself? Hmm...

In January of 1977, sales of 23 channel CB's were banned by the FCC in lieu of the new 40ch. PLL models, which were supposed to be harder to modify (I guess we know how THAT worked out. eh?)

The December prior to that had enormous discounts on 23ch. rigs! SSB transceivers which normally sold for $300-$400 were marked down below $50. Eventually entire inventories of new PCB’s found their way to the aftermarket for $5-$10, and Hams converted these to 10m fairly easily. There were quite a few articles in various magazines about how-to do the conversion. Hopefully they can still be found archived, and I believe that if you were so inclined to do something like this you would find it much easier to re-work a non-PLL CB to 10m vs. one w/PLL.

Today, with prices being what they are (Old CB's are now priced as "Classics", and Ham gear selling for good prices), a 10m conversion would only be good as a electronics project, and only if you had one stuck in a closet somewhere to experiment on.

Friday, May 24, 2019




Tuesday, May 21, 2019


SDR (Software Defined Radio) radios are all the rage now, from $30 receive-only-to-very-expensive transceivers. In the very beginning many folks said that SDR wasn't a "Real" radio, but times have changed.

With a small monetary purchase you can buy one of the lesser expensive receive units found on Amazon, Ebay, (and just about anywhere else you'd find radio equipment for sale), but you can also get a feel for what SDR is all about through several Internet locations around the country / world.

I found several sites just by Googling "SDR Internet", and now keep them in my favorites for quick access. Why would you be interested in "Receive Only"? Well, besides trying it out, when band conditions are rather dead I enjoy listening to QSO's and Nets while doing something else in the shack, or, on my tablet while on the couch.

Once, while checking in on a 14.300 net I had a hard time making the Net controls audio due to local interference, but was able to hear him via one of my SDR Web-links easily.

To save you a Google search, here are a couple links:

K3FEF WebSDR in NE Pennsylvania - This was the first one I linked up with. You'll hear 160-17 meter coverage, CW-AM-AMnrw-USB-LSB-FM, with the ability to save certain frequencies and modes so that they'll be easily accessible later.

Northern Utah WebSDR #2 - This site covers 20-6m with a link to the other location which will give you coverage up to 2 meters!
Aside from that you may find that catching up with Nets that were once local to you is fun, and sometimes you run across QSO's that tend to take on a life of their own, day-after-day, and if you've caught any of these on WebSDR's before you may already know where I'm headed - 3885 AM "Late Afternoons w/Clark and friends". (a smorgasbord of topics).
It is no coincidence that several WebSDR sites default to 3885 on AM, with one site in particular giving you a listen, and a chatroom just for that - WebSDR - Radio Engineering, located in Townsend, MA and run by Steve, WA1QIX.
Enjoy your SDR listening!

Friday, May 17, 2019


20 yr. old Christone "Kingfish" Ingram - Outside Of This Town

Wednesday, May 15, 2019


( BELOW - VIA YouTube, VIA "SDR_PLAY" blog, from 2017):

"Testing to see how bad powerline internet connections can be for HF reception.

These devices allow you to use your house power cables as a convenient Ethernet connection for sharing the internet. However they are extremely noisy and can wipe out the entire HF band. Also known as powerline networking and powerline communications (PLC).

Using a TP-Link Powerline Adapter, Wellbrook Loop Antenna and Airspy R2 with SpyVerter to show the spectrum. The last part of the video shows a 20 MHz view in the wide band viewing software SpectrumSpy.

Interestingly it appears that the amateur radio (ham) frequencies are actually carefully notched out and those frequencies remain relatively clean. But international shortwave radio is still wiped out which is bad news for SWL hobbyists. In the video you can see where the ham bands are by the red marking blocks in SDR#.

It doesn't seem that the device is designed poorly, but rather that it simply just uses those shortwave frequencies to transmit the network data."