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 on: Today at 01:05:13 PM 
Started by K3MOV - Last post by AC2RY
My wife and I downsized a couple of years ago. I dismantled a nice station, but the ham but big again as I sat in my antenna restricted two bedroom apartment on the second floor. The only piece of gear I kept was an IF 706mk2g. I bought an MFJ 934 tuner/artificial ground and threw a 63 ft piece of word out the window to the tallest tree. I also have 20 meter and 40 meter quarter wave counterpoises on the floor. To say I have been pleasantly surprised with the results would be a gross understatement. 5/7s to 5/9s to Europe, Africa, and the Antartic on a regular basis. But, of course, there were many that I heard who could not hear me. I have had no rf problems so I decided to increase my output a bit. I am waiting for a used ALS 600 I got for $900 and a new MFJ 986 tuner. And, finally, my question. The MFJ tuner accepts both coax and single line leads. I have the single line coming into the shack. My dealer ,Gigaparts, and I both called MF J and were told I could connect my long wire either to the ceramic insulator marked "Wire" __or__ to the center of the coax sockets. Does that sound correct to you? Thank you for your time and consideration. 73, Tom K3MOV

I would not use more than 100W when part of antenna is in your room (like counterpoises). Both health risk form RF exposure and also likely problems with electronics gear around are likely. Even 100W sometimes causes problems in setup like yours.

 on: Today at 12:58:15 PM 
Started by HS0ZIB - Last post by AC2RY
I need to plan an antenna, to be used in not-ideal conditions, (meaning no room for a tower, HF beam, hexbeam etc).

I will operate on 15/12/10 meter bands (mostly 15 mb I guess).  My location means that a practical antenna is a vertical wire antenna with radial ground plane, using a 33 feet telescopic fiberglass mast and ATU.

A half wave at 15 meters is about 22 feet in length.

Is there any benefit to be gained by using an antenna wire that extends the mast's full length of 33 feet for my antenna? Or should I just extend it to 22 feet and use a 22 feet wire and ATU?

Alternative is SteppIR vertical without tuner.

 on: Today at 12:56:16 PM 
Started by SWL377 - Last post by SWL377

Mission 30 is scheduled to take place March 31, 2018.

Make a contact with a skydiver and receive a one of a kind QSL card!

The mission will take place at Bay Area Skydiving in Byron CA. Come on by and visit us.

We hope to have our first jump soon after 10:00 A.M. Jumpers will be hauled in a Cessna 208 single-engine turborprop. Exit altitude will be about 13,500 ft. We make a short freefall to get stable then deploy our chute and start working QSOs from about 11,000 ft.  Descent rate under canopy is about 1000 FPM so we have a reasonable amount of time to work stations. We cut off comms at about 2500 ft to start navigating to the DZ and make our upwind landing approach. HF rig is an FT 817 and antenna is a trailing wire end fed dipole mfd by PAR. We have made a few QRP DX contacts on 20M from aloft, CA to FL being the longest so far.

FM QSO: 146.430 MHz simplex
HF QSO: 14.250 MHz + / – 10k USB

APRS: Track the individual skydivers by call sign; AF6IM (Mark), KC6TYD (Rob)  Go to and put in jumper call sign.
Streaming video: Several points of view will be available including air-to-ground. Log into:

Parachute Mobile will be acting as VHF Net Control atop Mt Diablo. ETJs (estimated time of jump) will be announced periodically as will as other mission-specific information. Updates will also be made on the W6CX repeater at 147.060 +100. Not in repeater range? No problem. Updates will be made here on the website and on our Facebook page.

We make every effort to record your QSO. To ensure that you receive your QSL card please email indicating which jumper, the jump number, and the time you made your contact.

As always, we do not have control over Drop Zone, aircraft, and the weather, so this event is subject to delay or cancellation. As experienced jumpers we pay $24 for our ride to 13,500 ft. Tandem passengers pay $200, so guess who gets boarding priority? There is a lot of waiting in skydiving so please be patient.

Hope to work you on the 31st.

Skydiver since 1968
Ham operator since 2007

 on: Today at 12:43:27 PM 
Started by K6UJ - Last post by K3SF
from the readme.txt file witj wsjtx for mac's

                            Updated 16 July 2017

If you have already downloaded a previous version of WSJT-X then I suggest
you change the name in the Applications folder from WSJT-X to WSJT-X_previous
before proceeding. 

If you have installed a previous version of WSJT-X before then there is no
need to change anything on your system so proceed to NEXT. 


There are some system matters you must deal with first.  Open a Terminal window
by going to Applications->Utilities and clicking on Terminal.

Along with this ReadMe file there is a file:   sysctl.conf.   Drag this file to your Desktop.

WSJT-X makes use of a block of memory which is shared between different parts of
the code.  The normal allocation of shared memory on a Mac is insufficient and this
has to be increased.   You should use a Mac editor to examine sysctl.conf.

There are two important parameters that you need to consider.  shmmax determines the
amount of shared memory that must be allocated for WSJT-X to operate.  This is 14680064 (14MB)
and this is defined in the sysctl.conf file and should not be changed. 

It is possible to run more than one instance of WSJT-X simultaneously.  See
"Section 14. Platform Dependencies" in the User Guide.  The second important parameter
shmall=17920 determines how many instances are permitted.  This is calculated as:
  (shmall x 4096/14680064) = 5.
The sysctl.conf file is configured to permit up to 5 instances of wsjtx to run simultaneously.
If this limitation is acceptable then you can continue to install the sysctl.conf file without making any
alterations.  Otherwise you must edit the file to increase shmall according to this calculation.

Now move this file into place for the system to use by typing: (Note this assumes that
you really did drag this file to your Desktop as required earlier.)

  sudo cp $HOME/Desktop/sysctl.conf /etc/
  sudo chmod 664 /etc/sysctl.conf
  sudo chown  root:wheel  /etc/sysctl.conf

and then reboot your Mac.  This is necessary to install the changes.  After the
reboot you should re-open the Terminal window as before and you can check that the
change has been made by typing:

  sysctl -a | grep sysv.shm

If shmmax is not shown as 14680064 then contact me since WSJT-X will fail to load with
an error message: "Unable to create shared memory segment".

You are now finished with system changes.  You should make certain that NO error messages
have been produced during these steps.   You can now close the Terminal window.  It will
not be necessary to repeat this procedure again, even when you download an updated
version of WSJT-X.


Drag the WSJT-X app to your preferred location, such as Applications.

You need to configure your sound card.   Visit Applications > Utilities > Audio MIDI
Setup and select your sound card and then set Format to be "48000Hz 2ch-16bit" for
input and output.

Now double-click on the WSJT-X app and two windows will appear.  Select Preferences
under the WSJT-X Menu and fill in various station details on the General panel.   
I recommend checking the 4 boxes under the Display heading and the first 4 boxes under
the Behaviour heading.

Next visit the Audio panel and select the Audio Codec you use to communicate between
WSJT-X and your rig.   There are so many audio interfaces available that it is not
possible to give detailed advice on selection.  If you have difficulties contact me.   
Note the location of the Save Directory.  Decoded wave forms are located here.

Look at the Reporting panel.  If you check the "Prompt me" box, a logging panel will appear
at the end of the QSO.  Two log files are provided in Library/Application Support/WSJT-X.
These are a simple wsjtx.log file and wsjtx_log.adi which is formatted for use with
logging databases.    The "File" menu bar items include a button "Open log directory"
to open the log directory in Finder for you, ready for processing by any logging
application you use.

Finally, visit the Radio panel.  WSJT-X is most effective when operated with CAT
control.  You will need to install the relevant Mac driver for your rig.   This must
be located in the device driver directory  /dev. You should install your driver
and then re-launch WSJT-X. Return to the the Radio panel in Preferences and in
the "Serial port" panel select your driver from the list that is presented.   If
for some reason your driver is not shown, then insert the full name
of your driver in the Serial Port panel.   Such as:  /dev/tty.PL2303-00002226 or
whatever driver you have.  The /dev/ prefix is mandatory.  Set the relevant
communication parameters as required by your transceiver and click "Test CAT" to

WSJT-X needs the Mac clock to be accurate.  Visit System Preferences > Date & Time
and make sure that date and time are set automatically.  The drop-down menu will
normally offer you several time servers to choose from.

On the Help menu, have a look at the new Online User's Guide for operational hints
and tips.

Please email me if you have problems.

--- John G4KLA     (

 on: Today at 12:41:08 PM 
Started by WA2GSL - Last post by PU2OZT
Some gems from Mercadolivre, could be considered eBay Brazil

Yaesu FT-450D for R$ 5,990 or a TL-922 Kenwood amp for R$ 8,000

R$ 3.40 ~ 1 USD, +60% import duties and taxes, still room for huge profits (seller side)   

 on: Today at 12:24:22 PM 
Started by KM4SII - Last post by NU1O

P.S. If I could get over my fear of flying, i'd get my butt down there too!..... Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Roll Eyes Roll Eyes Roll Eyes Roll Eyes Roll Eyes.......

I had that problem when I was young.  Three or four Johnnie Walker Blacks before the flight and a sleeve of nips in my carry luggage bag cured that problem.  Good thing I got over that fear before 9/11 because I wouldn't be able to get the nips on board now.  Flying used to be fun, but since 9/11 it's nothing but a royal PITA.

P.P.S.S....There is a young fellow named Jamie there now working as PJ2/M0SDV I believe....17 years old....worked him just the other day.....and they say this hobby is dying with a bunch of old geeezers!.... Tongue Tongue Tongue Tongue Tongue Tongue Tongue Tongue Tongue....

A half dozen teenagers doesn't change things, Vinnie.  It's still a hobby predominantly made up of middle aged to elderly men and that's not going to change.


Chris  NU1O

 on: Today at 12:14:46 PM 
Started by KM4SII - Last post by AB8MA
There might be girls down there, Mason.


Smiley Smiley

 on: Today at 12:09:25 PM 
Started by KE8HAG - Last post by KE8HAG

Back in the day they wanted the ground lead to ground, hence the black band. Not necessary today. As WB6BYU said, you can put them in either way. I usually put them in where I can still see their values when I service it or open the cover.

FWIW, some of these values are not common, and you don't want to use uncommon values, because it will cost your way more.

For example:

.1 uf is common
.03 of is not common, use .033 uf
.025 uf is not common, use .022 uf

There are lists of common value caps online. You will save much more money this way.

OK..gotcha. The only thing I have to worry about is the voltage rating.

Thanks again. That was very helpful.


 on: Today at 11:44:54 AM 
Started by WA2GSL - Last post by N8FNR
Here are some ARRL book deals in ebay. You can get a outdated ARRL handbook for only $140 with free shipping too!  Or just buy the 2018 version one from ARRL for $50.00. Hey how about a copy for ARRL ANTENNA COMPENDIUM VOL 8 for only $137? ARRL charges $25. Lots of "great deals" here!

Zack N8FNR

 on: Today at 11:41:47 AM 
Started by K3EY - Last post by K9MHZ

As I said previously, whenever there  is an anonymous post about a, product, dealer or manufacturer. I must question the authenticity and motives of the person making the post.  If he/she is truly writing an unbiased post, why is anonymity necessary?  


John W5JON    

Yep. Agree 100%

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