Transcript 3

A event log for Getting Started in Ham Hack Chat

Time to get your ham on

dan-maloneyDan Maloney 06/08/2023 at 16:510 Comments

Mark J HughesJun-7 12:28 PM
Are there any questions we've missed?

KevinJun-7 12:30 PM
There are several organizations dedicated to QRP. Not sure if they are still around as I haven't checked in a while. There is (or was) G-QRP in the UK, and one based out of Michigan. Forget the name right now.

mykeloveJun-7 12:30 PM
Hello. Have Tech ticket. Found that 2m FM y area is cricket town. Does any one have baby step guide to digital?

Dan MaloneyJun-7 12:31 PM
@mykelove --I'll self-plug again:

xBeauJun-7 12:31 PM
QRP is cool, that's short for Low Power, general 5 watts or less output. There's a group here in the Bay Area that meets up Friday afternoons and uses the salty flats of the bay as a great ground plane to optimize the signal. They're often able to contact Japan with just a few watts

Dan MaloneyJun-7 12:31 PM
It documents at least some of my first steps into WSJT-X. Might help you out

mykeloveJun-7 12:31 PM
Thank you.

pierre.poliakoff joined  the room.Jun-7 12:32 PM

KevinJun-7 12:32 PM
I've seen an article on how an RPi can be used for digital mode (WSJT?) using little more than a shirt piece of wire for the transmit antenna.

Dr. CockroachJun-7 12:32 PM
A ham radio station contest build would be great

KevinJun-7 12:33 PM
IIRC, G-QRP (or was it SPRAT) that said they try to have a minimum level of technical articles in each issue.

Mark J HughesJun-7 12:33 PM
@mykelove Absolutely! So you'll need a way for your radio mic/speaker to connect to your computer speaker/mic and a way for the computer to control the radio. These things are called "Terminal Node Controllers" and the cheapest I'm aware of is the Digi-Rig.

Dan MaloneyJun-7 12:34 PM
@Kevin -- I did almost that -- used a Pi and an Si5351 module and made a WSPR beacon

Dan MaloneyJun-7 12:34 PM


The $50 Ham: A Simple WSPR Beacon

I was having a chat recently with someone, and it surprised me that she had an amateur radio license. I suppose it shouldn't have come as much of a surprise; after all, getting a ham radio license is a pretty common rite of passage in the life of a hardware hacker.

Read this on Hackaday

Dan MaloneyJun-7 12:34 PM
I hate to keep plugging my articles, but you know...

Dr. CockroachJun-7 12:34 PM
The Wee Willy is a great small circuit

kjansky1Jun-7 12:35 PM
Any thoughts about possible takeover of more ham bands for 5G use such as the 10 ghz microwave band?

Mark J HughesJun-7 12:35 PM
@Dr. Cockroach -- you said an amateur radio contest would be cool. You need to check out Go Boxes. I absolutely agree!!!!

fidJun-7 12:35 PM
@Dan Maloney It is a good set of articles.

xBeauJun-7 12:35 PM
Going back to SDR, I really think that's a great way in with our without a license. You can start to find and listen to local traffic for less than $30 with a USB RTL-SDR dongle.

Also even cheaper, in the online SDR's I think Kiwi is super handy and listen in from all over. You need to learn a few things on how to dial in what you want:

Dr. CockroachJun-7 12:36 PM
Will do

mykeloveJun-7 12:36 PM
Mark: Thanks to you too. Will that work on FM portable radio?

Mark J HughesJun-7 12:36 PM
Nice job on the WSPR beacon @Dan Maloney !!!!

KevinJun-7 12:37 PM
Oh, Field Day is coming up soon. Find your local amateur radio club and drop by their field day site to meet other hams, see the activities going on, and possible get a little time on the air (under supervision from a licenced ham).

xBeauJun-7 12:38 PM
So related to WSPR, that has really pulled in me into some other interesting facets of HAM.

Mark J HughesJun-7 12:38 PM
@mykelove Yes - you can even plug the digirig into a baofeng -- you lose the ability to control the radio frequency (have to change that manually) but it'll work with any radio really. Provided there's someone on the other end to communicate to.

xBeauJun-7 12:38 PM

hspilJun-7 12:38 PM

Best way to counter spectrum loss is to use it

Check out Walter Clark's DROplexer

Mark J HughesJun-7 12:39 PM
Absolutely @hspil

Mark J HughesJun-7 12:40 PM
Use the spectrum!

xBeauJun-7 12:40 PM has been launching balloons and we have one K6EAU-11 on it's second lap around the world sending telemetry on 20 meters with a WSPR beacon now powered by a RP2040 chip. It's been up for a few weeks now, and the red tail shows the last few days, all of the pins are stations around the world receiving the signal. It only transmits when it has sunlight to power it, and just got to the end of it's day on it's second approach to the coast of Africa.

kjansky1Jun-7 12:42 PM
I don't think ham use of bands has anything to do with it its only the

$$$$$$$$ raked in by the cell phone Co's that the FCC will listen to!

Kaushlesh C. ( KD9VFU )Jun-7 12:42 PM
@xBeau So its way past of being shot down :)

xBeauJun-7 12:43 PM
I've also really gotten in to hidden transmitter hunts, which teaches you how to do direction finding based on the radio signal. It turns out that the weather service loves launching balloons, and there's over 1,000! every day that get launched. There's a large community project that tracks and collects all this data. A number of us then go out and try to recover ones that have landed. Check the launches daily 4am & 4pm Pacific time and the balloons are transmitting for about 2 hours in the air

Mark J HughesJun-7 12:43 PM
I'm going to take this pause to plug -- if you're a licensed Ham, we've got a device that will allow you to record & transcribe all of your contacts, and we created it for the Hackaday Prize. In fact @Kaushlesh Chandel and I met in a Hack Chat! We're looking for 20 beta testers for the first batch -- probably do US only for now.

Josh Hochman joined  the room.Jun-7 12:45 PM

Paul Watts joined  the room.Jun-7 12:45 PM

Mark J HughesJun-7 12:45 PM
It's already possible to connect AI with amateur radio. @Kaushlesh Chandel has done it Hehe...

KevinJun-7 12:45 PM
@Mark J Hughes Already opened that link in another tab. The website is lacking information. Not even really anything about what it is supposed to do. I don't like signing up to send an inquiry with so little information on the page.

Kaushlesh C. ( KD9VFU )Jun-7 12:46 PM
@Kevin Here is the page

KevinJun-7 12:46 PM
Where is the fun in having an AI for ham radio operation.

fidJun-7 12:46 PM
@Kaushlesh Chandel just like the AI in Illuminae.

KevinJun-7 12:47 PM
@Kaushlesh C. ( KD9VFU ) Thanks. I'll have a look. The web page should include that link.

Mark J HughesJun-7 12:47 PM
@Kevin Yeah -- sorry about that. We don't have it ready yet, so deleted all but the contact form. Let me direct you to for an overview.

kjansky1Jun-7 12:47 PM
The unsatiable thirst of cell CO's for more bandwidth has even lost most allocated UHF TV channels to 5G.

Mark J HughesJun-7 12:47 PM
@Kevin The fun is that AI can do things humans can't. Like denoise, translate, etc.

xBeauJun-7 12:48 PM
@Kaushlesh Chandel we really don't have issues with that sort of thing, was a bit worried about how it could affect launches. We are pretty clear what we are doing and there's a quite active group with a couple dozen active long distance Amateur Radio balloons floating around at any given time

xBeauJun-7 12:48 PM
There's a really big Balloon Launch event coming up that will be fun to watch

KevinJun-7 12:48 PM
@Mark J Hughes Translation of languages would be useful.

radusamoila joined  the room.Jun-7 12:49 PM

Jesse R joined  the room.Jun-7 12:49 PM

fidJun-7 12:49 PM
How long would it take to get the VE certificate to be able to assist with Amateur Radio license testing?

Bob joined  the room.Jun-7 12:50 PM

KevinJun-7 12:50 PM
I just checked the dates. Field day is the weekend of June 24 and 25 this year.

KevinJun-7 12:50 PM
For the US people here ->

vincent.e.levequeJun-7 12:50 PM
Could AI identify an otherwise unknown digital mode? I hear something but can't figure out exactly what it is.

xBeauJun-7 12:50 PM
There's also the big annual event Field Day coming up for the last weekend of the month. This is a great chance to find a local station. A lot will be setup in local parks and such and typically have a GOTA, which means Get On The Air, and you don't even need a license and try things out on the air yourself.

xBeauJun-7 12:51 PM
Thanks @Kevin exactly, and there's a map to find spots near you

kjansky1Jun-7 12:51 PM
"Amateurs Face Growing Challenges in the Microwave Bands"

Dan MaloneyJun-7 12:51 PM
And lots of people eager to help you start your journey.

Mark J HughesJun-7 12:51 PM
@vincent.e.leveque You wouldn't even necessarily need AI for that.

Dan MaloneyJun-7 12:52 PM
Usually. There's always some grumpy old dude at a field day setup that doesn't want kids on his lawn. Ignore that guy

KevinJun-7 12:52 PM
I thought GOTA was Guides On The Air (or is that a different event?).

xBeauJun-7 12:52 PM
@fid it's mostly a matter of shuffling the right paperwork. I am interested in that as well. I think the best thing to do is go to a local test and as the Volunteer Examiners there how to get involved.

Rikke Rasmussen joined  the room.Jun-7 12:52 PM

Mark J HughesJun-7 12:52 PM
@Dan Maloney Absolutely Dan -- don't let the negative people impact you.

xBeauJun-7 12:53 PM
@Kevin I'm not familiar with that particular version, Get On The Air is definitely the Amateur Radio flavor.

hamsterdave joined  the room.Jun-7 12:53 PM

fidJun-7 12:53 PM
@xBeau Thanks. I think a local test session is coming up in a few weeks. I'll check it out. I have the Extra ticket.

Mark J HughesJun-7 12:53 PM
@hamsterdave !!!!

Mark J HughesJun-7 12:53 PM

KevinJun-7 12:53 PM
Yes. Also try and avoid a field day group that treats it like a regular contest and wouldn't want some newbie interfering with their making as many contacts as possible.

hamsterdaveJun-7 12:54 PM

BobJun-7 12:54 PM
AI would be amazing for that. I've been in that boat many times. Like, What song is that, Google, but for digital radio modes

xBeauJun-7 12:54 PM
@Rikke Rasmussen


Peabody1929Jun-7 12:55 PM
Thanks for the GOTA link! There is a session 15 min from my home. I had no idea!

xBeauJun-7 12:55 PM
@hamsterdave great to see you too, thanks for taking part in our Supercon Tape Masure Yagi antenna build

KevinJun-7 12:55 PM
@xBeau The GOTA I remember is for the Girl Guides to get some of them interested in ham radio just as their is an on the air event for Boy Scouts.

Jesse RJun-7 12:55 PM
there's one near me, @Mark J Hughes would be pleased

fidJun-7 12:56 PM
My tape measure yagi from SuperCon is within reach.

Mark J HughesJun-7 12:56 PM
Just so it's on the transcript -- I'll say it again -- you don't need to know CW, and you don't need to understand electrical theory. You can get apps and study the exact answers to the exact questions on the test. So when you get in the testing session, you can say "Oh this question, the answer is C"

Rikke RasmussenJun-7 12:56 PM

Rikke RasmussenJun-7 12:56 PM
(new to Hackaday chat, forgive the testing noise)

Mark J HughesJun-7 12:56 PM
The other contributor to Boondock Echo is here -- @Jesse R . Welcome buddy!

Rikke RasmussenJun-7 12:56 PM
/me waves

Andre LewisJun-7 12:56 PM
Whats a good sdr frontend for ham in Linux?

Mark J HughesJun-7 12:56 PM
@Fid -- what's your call