So many things run on batteries these days one could almost set aside a room in the house just for chargers and spare battery packs. I am exaggerating of course--a walk-in closet would do nicely. Most HTs run on Ni-Cad or NiMH batteries, while smaller devices often run on Li-Ion batteries. I hate them all. I hate wall-warts, I hate keeping track of the various chemical compositions of batteries to make sure I do not put them into the wrong charger, and I hate that we have sacrificed power for size. Remember the good old days when a radio could
I was surprised and honored when Kim Andrew Elliot contacted me about mentioning this blog on the weekly Voice of America (VOA) Radiogram with regard to my recent post about Russia's attempt to shut down the Internet. The VOA Radiogram has been an ongoing experiment in sending digital mode text and images using the Edward R. Murrow transmitting station in North Carolina. The idea behind this is to have a backup means of getting emergency communications out around the world to folks who might not be able to receive voice transmissions during difficult propagation times. The digital modes can be
Readers of this blog will know I am keenly interested in promoting shortwave radio as both an important information source and a means of defense against government-controlled media access. A recent report in the British publication The Telegraph revealed there have been several tests run by the Russian government to see if the Internet could be shut down should a political need arise. This should not really come as a surprise since China has done the same thing in the past, but it does point once again to the limits of any system dependent on wires. I realize the majority
The auroral activity and geomagnetic storm activity continues this week as the sun has developed a coronal hole. This giant hole is allowing solar winds to be sent hurtling our way, with a large enough stream scientists are predicting we may be in for a week of heightened geomagnetic activity. An image from our solar observation posts shows the hole, with the superimposed white arrows showing normal solar wind activity and the breaks, or hole, which will allow the winds to come our way. Normally the sun's activities cause the solar winds to bend back down on themselves as the
Thanks to a blog posting over at SWLing.com I just found out Heathkit is back and about to release their first build-it-yourself kit, with the promise of many more to come. Heathkit, for those who may not be familiar with the name, was a legendary producer of kit radios (and TVs, and even computers) long ago. As great as the kits were, the instruction manuals were like an electronics course in themselves. While I missed out on that experience during my misspent youth, I have often thought I might someday buy an assembled radio from that time and pair it
At the risk of sounding redundant, another article about Internet control has motivated me to once again emphasize the importance of shortwave radio. An article at ECN magazine gives an excellent report about Russia's attempts to control the flow of information available to Russian citizens. While I will not reproduce the whole article here, I will highlight a few of the more salient points, and encourage you to read the full article entitled, "Kremlin Sets Out To Extend Control Over The Russian Internet" available here. ------ Galina Timchenko recalls how proud she felt when the Russian news website she edited
Here is a post from the great Spaceweather.com site talking about current aurora activity which might produce unsettled RF conditions. This can also mean some unusual propagation opportunities could exist for extended HF and VHF due to high ionization of the upper atmosphere. While such activity makes most HF listening difficult, sometimes 10 meters and above actually open up, however erratically, and contacts can be made that would not normally be possible. If using some of the digital modes such as weak-signal modes, even more contacts can be logged. Might be worth a try . . . . "URBAN AURORAS"
As I look around my shack I find it interesting the many different radios and facets of the hobby represented here, and I admit I have a rather modest shack. It occurred to me there is a lot of knowledge (and much more to learn) involved in operating these radios and associated equipment. Often modern hams are accused of being mere "appliance" operators because we do not build our radios from scratch. I would love to build a radio from scratch, and if I could afford it, I would find a Heathkit radio still in the box and build it.
I found this interesting post from Scientific American concerning the lack of reliable wireless communication in aircraft in 1915 - just one of those fascinating historical tidbits: Aircraft Communication, 1915 By Dan Schlenoff| September 25, 2015 A French communication system for use by airplane pilots in 1915: black powder could be puffed out into a Morse code message. Image: Scientific American, September 25, 1915 Considering how flying, even in the earliest years of the era of flight, seems high-tech, and despite the fact that the first trans-Atlantic wireless message was sent in 1901, it is curious to see flying