Build a Portable Hexbeam Antenna

In this video, I show you the portable hexbeam antenna I recently built. I discuss all of the components that are required to build one.

This is a great antenna that is a bit of a PITA to deploy… it has more parts and requires more setup time than a typical wire antenna. But, for special occasions, when you want a nice directional antenna to deploy in the field, this is what you need.

 

FIRST LOOK: MTR-5B (Mountain Topper 5-Band)

LNR Precision (www.LNRPrecision.com) recently released the first  production batch of their new Mountain Topper 5-Band QRP radio.

The MTR-5B is THE new pocket-sized QRP radio to have.  Highly Recommended!

As soon as I took it out of the box and hooked it up, my first contact was CN8KD in Morocco on 30m.  I take that as as good omen for all of the fun I will have with this amazing little rig.

In this video, I show you the improvements over the (still awesome) MTR-3B radio. I then hook it up to an antenna and take it for a spin, letting you see the new four-line LCD display and some of the many cool features.

 

Winlink Digital Mode

Winlink lets you easily send/receive email from anywhere on the face of the Earth with your HF radio.  This is a key component of  disaster preparedness for hams who will step up and provide communications for others in a time of need.  (The impending Zombie Apocalypse is reason enough to learn this, people.)

In the first 7 minutes, I give you the background information on Winlink… what it is, why it’s important, and how it works.  Then, I fire up the computer and a QRP radio (naturally!) to do a demo of sending and receiving email.

ARRL International DX Contest

I played around in the ARRL International DX Contest this weekend for a total of about 8 hours. During that time, I worked 49 countries!

I’m NOT a contester. I’m not really even all that great at CW but I do enjoy it.  If I can do this, you can do this, too.

The contest exchange of information was:

DX Station: Call sign, Signal Report (always “599”) and Power Level

American Station: Call sign, Signal Report (always “599”) and State abbreviation.

In this video, I show you my station setup and then record my screen so you can see me working some DX stations via QRP.

Don’t miss the Bonus Track at the end of the video…

-Cliff

Getting Started with Digital Modes

Want to get your head around the concepts and hardware needed to start using some of the amateur radio Digital Modes? You’ve come to the right place!  This comprehensive video will tell you everything you need to know to get started and it lays the groundwork for a series of upcoming in-depth videos on RTTY, PSK31, JT65, and Winlink.

The following questions are answered in this video:

  • Why Digital?
  • What is Meant by Digital Modes?
  • How Does Digital Work?
  • What Kind of Radio is Needed?
  • What Kind of Computer is Needed?
  • Do I Have To Make My Own Cables?
  • What Cables Are Required?
  • What About Push-To-Talk?
  • How Does A Signalink Box Make Things Easier?
  • How to Connect Radios to a Signalink Box? (FT-817 and KX3)
  • The Importance of Setting Optimal Audio Signal Levels

Build a Computer to CW Interface

Using a  well-known circuit, I show you how to build a simple computer interface so  your logging software can send CW through your radio.

The logging software simulates someone using a straight key.  It changes the voltage on an RS-232 pin and the electronic circuit uses a transistor as a switch, grounding the lines as though someone grounded the contacts of a straight key.

This interface will let you work a contest or pile-up using your logging software – without having to use a key or paddle.

The circuit diagram: http://www.n3fjp.com/cwschematic.html

N3FJP website: http://www.n3fjp.com

Tripp-Lite USB to Serial Converter: See it on Amazon.com