Thursday, September 18, 2014

Never too young to get them started!

4th and 5th graders in Fontana, CA learn about Amateur Radio and are now making contacts at K6DGE - Dorothy Grant Elementary School Ham Club:

Mobile HF Antenna Tips by Gordon West

Great tips by my friend Gordon West on selecting a mobile HF antenna:

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Become an amateur radio operator and save the world!

I found this great report today on YouTube:

Amateur/ham radio is
critical to emergency communications
and disaster survival

Source: Aleksandra Rohde

Monday, September 15, 2014

eQSL - a fun way to collect QSL cards when space is limited

There is a wonderful site that I have been using for years and thought I have already mentioned it on my blog.

The site is:

eQSL allows you to join for free and has a good variety of QSL card designs that you can select to use. Here is what my eQSL card looks like:

If you are heavy into contesting they offer the options of different ways to support the site and in turn provide services:

Regular Membership
Free of charge. All basic services:
  • Upload ADIF logs or manually enter log information
  • Select one of 2 different card design styles
  • Select from a wide variety of card graphics
  • Notifications of new eQSLs arriving
  • Ability to print incoming eQSLs on your local printer

Bronze Membership
To qualify: Must have made a donation in the past 12 months.
All privileges of Regular Membership, plus:
  • Receive a deluxe Public Member Profile (see details)
  • Able to participate in our eAwards program (eWAS, eDX100, eZ40, etc.)
  • Able to upload your own custom graphic for your eQSL (Style 3 or 4)
  • Able to use eQSL Designer Tool for a custom layout (Style 4)
  • Able to use premium graphics in our image library
  • Able to have eQSL cards printed with "handwritten" fonts and mailed to you

Note: Whenever the total of your donations over 12 months no longer adds up to the minimum required for this membership level, you will be downgraded to the next lower level.

Silver Membership
To qualify: Must have made a donation of at least $30 in the past 12 months or $60 in the past 24 months. All privileges of Bronze Membership, plus:
  • Access to the awesome Propagation Forecaster
  • eQSL thumbnail graphics shown for each card received in InBox and Archive screens
  • Special "Silver Member" logo available on Style 4 eQSL designs
  • Support e-mails answered ahead of bronze and regular members
  • Listing in the "Silver member" section of the Donor Listing
Other new features to be announced soon. 
Note: Whenever the total of your donations over 12 months no longer adds up to the minimum required for this membership level, you will be downgraded to the next lower level.

Gold Membership

To qualify: Must have made donation(s) totalling at least $300 (it was $200 before August 1, 2011) at any time in the past, and you must have Authenticity Guaranteed status. The Gold membership is essentially a life-time membership. (You can set up a PayPal subscription of $25 a month, and 12 months later you'll have made $300 in donations.) If you have met the donation requirement but do not have AG status, you will have a Silver membership. All privileges of SilverMembership, plus:
  • FREE, one of several possible Gold member rewards with the logo (a $14.99 value), depending on what is in stock at the time of selection. Currently we have: Bird's Eye View DVD,
  • FREE, a Postage Account credit of $2 each month. You can use this to have eQSLs from your InBox or Archive printed and mailed to you, or use it for other postage/merchandise
  • Special "Gold Member" logo available on Style 4 eQSL designs
  • Support e-mails move to the front of the queue
  • Listed at the top of the Donor Listing, ranked by total donation

eQSL is really easy to use. When you make a contact you simply go to the site, select Log Entry and enter the call sign of the person you made contact with along with the information from your QSO

If the contact's email is public he will get an email saying that a QSL card has arrived for him and provide him with a link to view it.

One cool thing about eQSL is that it has a verification system to authenticate hams. This means that eQSL has checked the operator for a valid license and address.

Here are some of the eQSL cards that I have gotten:

 The card above shows a link to allow you to actually print out the card on hard copy.

If you want to try the free eQSL site simply enter your call sign in the box below:

Enter your callsign to see if you have an eQSL waiting!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Yaesu FTdx1200 - just out of the box review

This has got to be one of the coolest radios on the market today.

I am saving up for one.

Specs and features: Yaesu FT DX 1200 HF/50MHz Transceiver
You can try to win one at  You can enter the contest once a day and if you answer the question correctly your entry counts as two. Go to:

Really geeky stuff you can do with D-STAR

No WIFI in your area? Set up your own WIFI, out in the middle of nowhere with a DSTAR radio, laptop and a wireless router.

What is D-STAR all about

I have to be honest that when this was introduced I was not really that exited. "Just another ham radio protocol," I thought.

Here is a great explanation on the features of D-STAR:

New updated Baofeng Comparison Chart

Here is the latest comparison chart for Baofeng/Pofung radios:

Please note that if you require a FCC Part 90 F radio and choose the Baofeng/Pofung UV-82 be sure to order the Model UV82-C. For best viewing you can right click this chart and save it on your computer.  Or download the PDF version at:

Also there is a misprint on the UV-82 battery. It says that the battery is rated for 2800 mAh. The battery is really a  1800 mAh. and the factory has admitted that there was a a misprint in the label.