Ham Radio 101 – What the heck is a balun?

A BalunBaluns. We see em in a variety of amateur radio applications. They help turn a couple of long pieces of wire into a tool that a coaxial cable can feed with radio frequency energy. But what are they? Why do we need them? And how do they work? This 1985 article by W7EL takes the mystery out of baluns and shows you how you can make one.

Using the ZyXEL WAP 3205 as a Wireless Bridge

31XNFrarZYL._SL500_AA300_Got one of those older generation BluRays or Flat Screens that requires a CAT 5 connection? No CAT 5 wiring in the house and your wifi router is not in a convenient location for a direct connect?

Here’s an great way to extend your network without having to upgrade that non-wifi gear.

The ZyXEL WAP 3205 can serve as an inexpensive wireless bridge to enable CAT5 functionality for devices that don’t natively come with wifi. I have two of them, one that powers my Avaya voip phone and another that connects to a first generation BluRay player that didn’t come with wireless. They work flawlessly with my Cisco Linksys N/G router.

Here’s a quick and dirty set of instructions to help you set one up. Read the rest of this entry »

MARC School Club Roundup Results

Gregg Mulder WB8LZGHello to all friends of W8SH.  here are the scores I’m submitting for the ARRL School Club Roundup for FEB 2015.

  • Claimed Score: 109650
  • QSOs:                 510
  • DX entities:        9
  • School stations:      27
  • Club stations :         4

This spring’s score is a big improvement to Octobers count. we went from 297 QSO’s to 510 QSO’s ! Way to go hams! We paired up the experienced operators with the new Techs and this seemed to work out very well.  The score says it all, we were really going strong this time! A HUGE thank-you to the Alumni , Profs, and Staff who helped make this our best School Club Roundup ever.

We are seeing increased involvement by several students in the club activities lately and this is a direct reflection on the help you have all graciously donated to the station. We also had some visiting High School Hams that will be attending here next fall, so our student activity is definitely growing.

We plan to have a club meeting on March 19 , 2015 to discuss what kinds of things we as a club want to do the rest of the spring and summer, as well as planning for “Sparticipation” in the fall.

FB to all of our members young and old !     73 Gregg

What Are Voting Receivers?

Voting ReceiversOne way that repeater systems with strong transmit capability can improve their “ears” is the installation of remote receiver locations throughout the coverage area. These are connected to the transmit site via a linking frequency using a highly directional yagi antenna. Technology at the repeater site scans for the strongest remote signal and inputs that into the transmitter. This is the essence of the “voting receiver” concept. Learn more here.

Climbing a 1500′ Tower

In Hutchinson, KS. I think a repeater at about the 1,400 foot level would be a good addition.

How cold does it feel?

Wind Chill Chart

Here in Michigan it is pretty darn cold. The W9WSW weather station recorded a -12 degree F temperature reading this morning. We’ll be lucky to get into the plus region today. But the real issue is how it “feels” outside. That’s where the wind chill formula comes into play. We had a wind chill warning for Lansing with wind speeds of up to 15 MPH predicted. A quick glance at the chart on the left tells us that the temps will feel like -36 at 0F. That means that frostbite can happen in as little as 15 minutes. Needless to say, we got the driveway plowed as soon as we could yesterday and have been snuggled up tight in the shack chasing DX. Wherever you are, stay warm!

Way Cool, Free Ham Radio Call Book

hamqth.comPetr, OK2CQR, created this useful Amateur Radio tool. As he notes, “This callbook provides all data for free and you will not have to log in to see any detail unlike other sites. It includes also XML access for logging programs. You can use everything from HamQTH as often as you want without limits. The server has lots of power available and the Internet connection is unlimited. By registering on this website server, you can also edit or correct your information and write a little about yourself and/or add photos.” HamQTH also has a customizable DX Cluster System. Very cool and highly recommended by yours truly, W9WSW.

Ham Radio 101 – Intro to Antennas

The Ground PlaneGreat news! Ward Silver is writing for The Nuts and Volts Blog! One of the League’s best Elmers takes us through the basics of antenna design, theory and construction. Enjoy!

Spark Returns for World Radio Day

The Alexanderson AlternatorOnce upon a time, long distance communication was the province of huge alternators that generated dots and dashes on very long wavelengths. One of the most famous, the Alexanderson Alternator will take to the air on February 13. Learn more about this historic event and how you can listen in here.

W8SH Open House Gratitude

Gregg Mulder WB8LZGHello again to all supporters of W8SH.

Last evening was our shack open house.  With over a dozen people , it was well attended and a big success.  The student contingent were very busy playing with and comparing several of the new SDR rigs. ( software defined radio)  It was wonderful to see the excitement in these students as they compaired notes on the different rigs.

Looks like i’ll be “boning up” on these new “gismos” soon so that i may join in on the fun. Pizza es pop were provided and everyone had fun enjoying each others camaraderie.   We also discussed our “wish list” for updating the computers in the shack. We are looking into replacement/update of the computers in the shack which all currently run on “XP”.  If any of you have suggestions please let me know.

The group suggested that we have a Club meeting soon to get things rolling on website updates and general operation of the shack.  The date agreed upon was Thursday March 19th,2015.  7:30 pm.   I’ll be putting out an e-mail reminder on this meeting at a later date.

I’d like to thank all of the alums and friends who came out last night to support our club. Your time and efforts are invaluable in keeping W8SH vibrant and moving forward.  School Club Roundup is still going strong all week, so if you want to participate, please let me know so i may try and accommodate access to the shack.

Ed Oxer W8EO, has prepared a Buddy List, pairing up new hams with experienced ops to help “show em the ropes” and answer questions. If you wish to help in that regard please contact him for the latest open slots.

Thank you again to all who help keep MSUARC moving forward into the future.   

73 Gregg

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