Follow Storm Chasers – Live

TVWeather Storm Chaser FeedsHow DO those guys get all that cool video of tornadoes? Most hams know about the culture of storm chasing, where enthusiasts try to track down weather action and document it.

Here’s a site that aggregates live storm chaser streams from across the country.

WWI Ingenuity

The Fox Hole RadioBeyond the horrors of interrogation and torture, lack of information about what’s happening on the outside is was a huge challenge for prisoners of war during World War II. Here’s how POW’s kept informed by  making their own radios while in captivity.

Upcoming Hamfests

Upcoming hamfests:

May 7, 2016 Cadillac Hamfest, Cadillac, MI
May 14, 2016 Chassell Hamfest, Chassell, MI
May 20-22, 2016 Dayton Hamvention, Dayton, OH
June 5, 2016 Chelsea, MI
Jun 11, 2016 LARS Swap, Newberry, MI
Jun 18, 2016 Midland Hamfest, Midland MI
Jun 19, 2016 Monroe Hamfest, Monroe, MI
Jul 8-9, 2016 MI Section Family Outing, Hale, MI
Jul 16, 2016 Lowell Youth Club, Lowell, MI
Jul 30, 2016 CMARC, Lansing, MI

MI QSO Party Report

Michigan QSO PartyWe had a good turnout with a good mixture of both students and alumni for this weekend’s Michigan QSO Party.

Ed Oxer and I opened up the shack to find that our primary radio was on the fritz. Good thing we had a back up rig. We also had several non-ham and new ham visitors drop by to take a peek at our operation. Here’s the score as submitted by me this morning.

426 QSO’s
3) DX
33) counties worked ( 83 possible)
Score: 86,640
stats breakdown:
CW QSO’s total 144
80 meters 24
40 meters 111
20 meters 9
Phone QSO’s total 282
80 meters 7
40 meters 186
20 meters 84
15 meters 5

A FB job by all who came out to participate with us this weekend. Hopefully this will bring back the “Ol Michigan Log” to MSUARC. I’d like to thank everyone who turned out for helping us have another great contest here at W8SH.

73 Gregg WB8LZG

Create a customized audio streamer with a Raspberry Pi

new-model-b-closed-raspberry-pi-case-clear-[2]-152-pI’m a big fan of Michigan Radio. WUOM, WVGR and WFUM are my favorite triumvirate of public radio stations. “Your state, your stories, your NPR news station” is a button on my car radio and a quick link on my smart phone. What do you do if you want to listen to your favorite streaming radio station over your office PA system or on hold and you don’t have radio handy?

Enter the Raspberry Pi. We’ve already seen how the Pi can be coupled with a DVAP to create an effective D-Star hotspot. Disk images abound for just about every interest. But I have yet to find one that automatically configures your Pi to stream your favorite radio station just by plugging it in.

So I created a process where you can make one. Follow these steps and you’ll be up and running in no time. It assumes you have a rudimentary knowledge of how to create an SD card disk image and know some linux basics.

Create SD using the Raspbian Jessie Lite img. Load the SD card into the pi and power up.

user: pi
pass: raspberry

sudo update
sudo upgrade

(Install omxplayer)
sudo apt-get install omxplayer

(Disable screen sleep when in terminal mode)
sudo nano ~/.bashrc

(Add this line at the end of the file)
setterm —blank 0 —powerdown 0

(Set up wifi dongle from terminal if you’re not connecting to the internet via ethernet –Follow this link for instructions.)

(Add omxplayer start at boot)
sudo nano /etc/rc.local

(Add this line after “clear” and before “exit 0” you can change the http address to that of your favorite streaming radio station.)

sudo omxplayer -o local

(General pi configuration settings)
sudo raspi-config

1 Expand Filesystem
3 Boot Options
B2 – Console Autologin Text console, automatically logged in as ‘pi’ user
Advanced A2 – Create a unique name for the device
Advanced A4 – Enable SSH
(Recommended: change the pi password – don’t forget to write it down!)

(Reboot when finished)
sudo reboot

That should do it! For advanced users, Adafruit offers a micro FM transmitter so you can broadcast the stream to any radio within a few dozen feet.

An on-line circuit simulator

Screen Shot 2016-04-10 at 12.33.43 PMHere’s something fun.

Play around with circuit design using your favorite browser. Works best with basic circuitry.

A good parallel to software solutions like Multisim & PSpice

Working the Gray Line

Screen Shot 2016-04-10 at 12.16.27 PMBand conditions getting you down? Turn to “The Terminator”! Here’s a great article on how to work the Gray Line.

A Classic CQ Issue for QRP Enthusiasts

Screen Shot 2016-04-10 at 12.12.48 PMWe’ve long maintained that you don’t need a ton of power to be heard and have fun with amateur radio. It’s all about the antenna and band conditions.

Here’s a plethora of QRP information as published in CQ Magazine’s classic QRP issue from February of 2014.

Congrats: Rocky Mountain Hams!

Screen Shot 2016-04-10 at 12.07.51 PMCongratulations to our Rocky Mountain Ham Radio compadres on being named “Club of the Year” by the Dayton Hamvention. Proud a founding member. See you in Ohio next in May!


2016_ARRL_NP_CarouselA really good piece on participating in the American Radio Relay League’s NPOTA. Not only is NPTOA good practice for an emergency, it also has value for any portable operation or chasing DX.

Tips for NPOTA Chasers and Activators