What to do with your ham magazines when you’re done reading them

QST_magazine_april_1947I’m at the ARRL Rocky Mountain Division “Hamcon 2016” in beautiful Keystone, Colorado this weekend in my role as chair of the League’s Public Relations Committee. So naturally, I’ve been on the lookout for good ideas about how to promote the hobby. Here’s a really good one.

One of our Section Managers takes a sharpie to the address fields on his ham magazines when he’s finished reading them. He then creates a series of labels with this message on it:

For more information about amateur radio,
Contact Me at this email address: (his ARRL email info goes here)
This is an exciting hobby. Come join the fun!

He then distributes them to local doctors, dentists and places where people do a lot of waiting.

He said he’s had over 50 people respond, leading to a number of new licensees.

Give this idea a try and see how it works for you!

ARRL’s President Addresses Hamcon 2016

Seven years ago I first had the honor of meeting K5UR at the Rocky Mountain Division gathering in Taos. Rick Roderick was an ARRL vice president in those days and his message still resonates: Relevant, Resilient, Ready. He touched on those points and many more in an inspiring address at the 2016 Hamcon conference in Keystone, Colorado this weekend, only this time, he speaks from the podium of ARRL President. A great listen.

Another storm spotter season is here..

Be safe out there!


Real-time Lightning Strike Data

Screen Shot 2016-05-14 at 6.49.59 PMHere’s a way cool website that displays worldwide lightning strike data in near real time.

Receiving images from NOAA Weather Satellites

Screen Shot 2016-05-14 at 6.46.46 PMAn oldie but goodie.. A tutorial about how to get weather images directly from the satellites that take the pictures.

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. Read the rest of this entry »