Top Amateur Radio News – March 16

Echolink is working again at W8MSU! Connect via W8MSU-R Node 289654 Thanks to Gregg Mulder WB8LZG for doing the heavy lifting!

W8SH in the old daysFrom the July, 1920 United States Department of Commerce, Radio Division publication, “Amateur Radio Stations of the U.S.”: Station 8YG appears, licensed to Michigan Agricultural College, operating on 200 and 375 meters.

Lots of interesting Satellite links this week. Here’s a cool website for fans of ISS amateur radio activity. On the air: Listen for the FunCube transponder test.  Plus news of  the massive launch of 437 MHz satellites on March 16.

W8SH in the 60s At left:  a shot of the W8SH club station in the early 60s.

What’s all that interference you’re hearing? The WSJ fills us in.

This guy tweets useful, up to date propagation info. Worth following @IK8LOV on Twitter.

Got questions about amateur radio digital modes? This cool webpage has answers, including sound files for many of them.

The new Mac TowerFor all us Mac Geeks: Apple reinvents its high end MacBook Pro.

The ham radio smartphone app of the week: From 0-12 WPM? Try Codeman.

Advanced amateur radio stuff: Bridging D-Star to other modes. (Thanks, John!)

High Speed Multimedia (HSMM): Amateurs Demonstrate What the Internet Will Look Like After the Zombie Apocalypse.

It’s almost that time of year. Here is some Skywarn 101. How to become a storm spotter.

Whimsey: How many times have you Soldered your circuitboard only to find that it didn’t work?

MSUARC Winter Update

MSUARC HeaderSince revitalizing our social media presence, the MSUARC Facebook page has grown to over 100 Likes. Our new @W8MSU Twitter feed launched this week. Followership there is more slow to grow and depends on what you post. We had 35 faithful at last check.

W8EO and I participated in the first ever Michigan College Net this past Saturday. Jameson Eisele, president of the University of Michigan ARC was net control.  W8MSU was linked to the MICHIGAN Echolink reflector, courtesy of former MSUARC President, Mike Wolthuis KB8ZGL. Club advisor, Gregg Mulder WB8LZG is working to get the W8MSU Echolink functionality permanently repaired with a brand new CAT5 connection. If all goes as planned, we should be up and running again after the weekend. Keep an eye out for Node 289654 on your apps.

MSUARC’s club station, W8SH took first place in the Great Lakes Division in the most recent ARRL Sweepstakes. We also had a strong showing in the February ARRL School Club Roundup. Check the navigation menu for this weeks Radiosport contest calendar.

And make a note of this year’s Michigan QSO Party, scheduled for April 19-20. Come join the W8SH team and help us rack up the points.

This Morning's LogIt’s that time of year. I woke up this morning to some great band conditions on 10, 15 and 20 meters. We had to catch the train to Chicago, so I didn’t have time to do much more then answer a few CQs. I’m running an IC7000  barefoot through a G5RV hanging from the trees in my Shaw Estates backyard.  Last night I was able to pull N5ZGT out of the mud on 20 from New Mexico. The NM ARRL Division Director was testing out his new beam.

One thing that is constantly changing is the plethora of amateur radio smart phone applications. recently posted the latest list of their faves. I use the Echolink app on both my iPhone and on the Galaxy Note.

Hartford-Banner_smallThis year marks the League’s Centennial. ARRL will be celebrating it’s 100th birthday July 17-19 with it’s biggest gathering ever at the Connecticut Convention Center. This is ham radio’s equivalent of a “Rose Bowl Moment”, so I’m working hard to make the trip.

Are you heading to the Dayton Hamvention? This year’s annual pilgrimage dates are May 16-18.

The Raspberry PiThe Raspberry Pi mini-computer has become the hottest new platform for amateur radio experimentation in a long time. There are a ton of ways to integrate it into your operations. The 2nd generation CPU is now widely available, complete with enclosures and peripherals. Whether you want to create your own stand-alone echolink node, build a repeater controller, track your APRS movements, or add a DVAP and a smartphone WiFi access point to create your own portable DSTAR hotspot, there are a ton of hams out there who are developing things and are happy to share.

Edimax Nano USB WiFiSpeaking of portable DVAPing, I took my Pi/DVAP unit with me to Indianapolis this week. I’m using the G4KLX image from the WesternDStar guys and an Edimax nano usb wifi adapter. The Pi is rock solid in the car. The only thing that kept me from 100% connectivity were the occasional holes the Verizon network. Thanks to W2GLD for elmering me through setup and testing.



Welcome Back!

SpartyBoltThere have been several iterations of over the years. We first created it with raw HTML, updating each page with Notepad. Several years ago we moved to WordPress. Somewhere in New Mexico, my database got corrupted, so we’re rebuilding again.

If it’s vaguely connected with amateur radio, I’ll try to share it here. The center of the ham radio universe at Michigan State University is the MSU Amateur Radio Club. Find us on-lineon Facebook and on Twitter. W8SH, the club station, was first licensed in 1919. MSUARC has our own shack in the Engineering Building and is active on the Low Bands, Satellite, FM and just about every mode that hams use these days. The club also operates W8MSU-R, a 70cm repeater on  442.900+MHz; 77.0Hz PL. It has echolink connectivity. Find it there at Node 289654.

I’ve been licensed since 1982 and am a proud member of the American Radio Relay League, the national organization that supports ham radio. It’s lead by Dave Sumner, K1ZZ, an MSU poly-sci grad who was instrumental in helping MSUARC to thrive during his time at State.

Are you a licensed Spartan ham? Join the MSUARC email list here. Not yet licensed? Learn how.