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 on: Today at 11:20:21 AM 
Started by W1IT - Last post by N0IU
Like I said in another one of your FCC rants (and obviously you ignored!), if you think the FCC is doing some improper, contact Tim Scott, Lindsey Graham and Trey Gowdy. Bitching about it here won't solve anything. These three "gentlemen" are the only ones who can help you. Let us know what they say.

You really are funny, Graham do anything? That's truly 'rich from the cow barn". But lets say even a liberal such as Vermont Sanders, do you seriously think they care about HR or could even impute one shred of significance here? Truly you are he that walks, talks and snores.

The FCC operates under the authority granted to them by the Code of Federal Regulations. Tim Scott and Lindsey Graham are your Senators and Trey Gowdy is your Representative. Who do you think is going to solve the (perceived?) issues at the FCC? Do you think that venting your spleen here on eHam is going to solve anything?

So either do something constructive to let your concerns with the FCC be known to your duly elected congressional representatives or quit bitching and moaning about it here because, and here's a newsflash:


 on: Today at 11:18:56 AM 
Started by KE4JOY - Last post by N5INP
This is part of a larger discussion now going on in the world of physical labor. As automation becomes more and more prevalent in the world who will get credit for work performed?


Like it or not, machines are here and we had better figure out what to do with now.

Indeed - this is a fast approaching issue. Many people still scoff at human level A.I, but it's only a matter of time -
Moshe Vardi, the editor-in-chief of the world’s most-read computer science magazine, predicts that “by 2045 machines will be able to do if not any work that humans can do, then a very significant fraction of the work that humans can do.”

Even if we can't build a "Terminator" physical shell for it, the A.I. will have a far-reaching impact on the job market. You can start with receptionists and go up from there. We are going to have to figure out what low-skilled people are going to do for a living, or figure out how to take care of the vast amount of people who simply will not have any prospect of a job - ever.

 on: Today at 11:14:30 AM 
Started by K1CJS - Last post by KG6AF
I can't believe that incentive licensing is still an issue in 2014.

Go back and read the letter column in QST's from a half-century ago. A lot of hams were so sore about incentive licensing back then that they refused to go sit for another exam just out of principle. And here they are today, still stewing over it.

Oh, I know; I read those letters the first time around.  I got my General in 1966, then lost some privileges due to incentive licensing shortly thereafter.  Did I ever fault the ARRL for the loss?  Nope.  Studying for and taking the Advanced and Extra exams took less energy than nursing a grudge, and was more educational.

you had only been licensed for 2 years and were young and maybe within a few hours drive to an FCC office... imagine if you had been a Class A who had been licensed in the 1920's, 30's, 40's 50's and 60's and and now have too much arthritis to send 20wpm despite having been a world class CW op back in the day.  i can see why this would stick in their craw.

i have been licensed now for 38 years but I am only 52.  i heard two guys older than me talking in a grocery store parking lot and one said to the other at the end of their conversation: "getting old is not for the faint of heart".  QSL that.  the FCC and ARRL -- unintentionally no doubt -- slighted the amateur radio elders & pioneers when they created the Extra but did not grandfather pre-1950 Advanced licensees.  It was a bureaucratic oversight. 

we can say they are bitter, but it was a bitter pill they were handed.  putting down new hams is uncalled for regardless, but we should hear some resonance in the complaints of those elders who do NOT take out the bitterness on newbies.


Agreed, there might have been valid reasons for people, especially older hams, to complain back then.  But those still complaining today couldn't have been that old when incentive licensing was implemented.  If they're, say, 95 now, they were no more than 50 then, hardly an age where infirmity would be likely to present problems with taking more tests.  To put it another way, anyone who lost privileges but is still complaining about that loss today has had almost 50 years to upgrade.  For those who have upgraded, why nurse the grudge?  And for those who haven't, why not take those tests you keep telling us are absurdly easy compared to the ones you took in the good old days? 

(Aside: for what it's worth, it was extremely difficult for me to get to an FCC office in those days; I had to wait for 5 years after taking the General to take the Advanced.  That wasn't worth whining about, either.  There were plenty of frequencies available to me as a General, even after incentive licensing.)

 on: Today at 11:13:39 AM 
Started by KG6Q - Last post by KG6Q
Using HRD's DM780 waterfall as a cheap ham's spectrum analyzer, I see the below RFI pattern on all HF bands through 6m with my Yaesu FT-897d mode set to AM. The signal strength ranges from S6 to about +5db on 30 and 40m. This RFI practically eliminates QSOs except for strong JT65 signals that can cut through this noise  Huh

It appears to be narrow-band modulation spikes at a 60Hz rate. The RFI disappears when I disconnect my radio antenna.The narrow-band pattern leads me to believe it is NOT power-line arcing which I have had trouble with in past.

Any ideas how to track this down?

 on: Today at 11:08:20 AM 
Started by N0PQK - Last post by DL8OV
Very well, we shall wait and see if "500 KHz compatibility" and 500 KHz operation are the same thing. Personally I doubt that the ferrites in the 7800/7850 power amplifier can handle 500 KHz but I am willing to be proved wrong.

Are there any 500 KHz operators who can advise here?

Peter DL8OV

 on: Today at 11:05:13 AM 
Started by G8JNJ - Last post by G8JNJ
Hi All,

I've just been prompted to post a link to the SUWS WEB SDR.

Based in the southern half of the UK not far from London, this SDR covers the 144-145MHz and 432-438MHz Satellite and ISS segments of the bands.

The receiver is sensitive enough to use for QSO's through the birds and has been used by a number of Cubesat launch teams to monitor reception over the western part of Europe.

If you can loop your soundcard output to input you can decode data from the SDR. It's possible to receive packet, SSTV and other exotic data formats such as Funcube data warehouse if you have the appropriate software installed.

It's also popular fro tracking Amateur High Altitude Balloon's on 434MHz.

The ISS is just passing over the UK now and I can clearly see bursts of packet on the waterfall about 15dB above the noise floor.


Martin - G8JNJ

 on: Today at 11:03:57 AM 
Started by HS0ZFQ - Last post by PA0WV
M0LEP is right.

I am able to copy pretty high speed plain language, but when I exercise a Koch lesson 40 on LCWO , I estmate I fall back to 1/2 till 3/4 of  my conversational speed.  a pdf periodical for real hams and youngsters to become, will in next issue due Sept 1, publish a trainer I designed, that is in my opinion a lot better than LCWO words chapter.  It repeats words at random that you did not copy the first presentation immediately.

Right now I am still on top in the yearly contest of the Veron at 71 wpm,  but Jos PA1ZP is on my heels.

Jos PA1ZP: LCWO is nice, but a few remarks:

a) you can hardly measure progress because the max obtainable number of points in a "25 Words" load is plus or minus 30% of the average load.
b) you can only compare with your own results, not with others, because

b.1 the results are language dependent  (German has at the average longer words, especially when o u a umlaut are simplified to oe ue ae;
b.2 fixed or variable speed is used, and
b.3 dependent on repetitions used or not

So I designed my own software,

The Ladderwedstrijd competition at hamfest DVDRA is comparable from year to year because at each presented speed the word length is fixed.

 on: Today at 10:49:32 AM 
Started by W8JX - Last post by W8JX
Does anybody really have a clue what is NSA proof right now?  No!
As I said before if I was in charge of country like China I would preffer that we made our own software and our own Apps.
It would make a lot of sense to me.  I am pretty sure countries like Germany and France are now thinking along those same lines.   IMO I think the NSA/Homeland security etc have gone too far and now they are seeing the backlash.

That is not as good as you think. If you want to work in a global economy you want to have some commons software formats. China's moves are more out of spite than need.

 on: Today at 10:48:37 AM 
Started by W2AEW - Last post by K0JEG
Way beck in TV production class we had to learn the over/under method on multicoee camera cables. These cables were about 50 feet long and had 30 or more conductors. Extremely expensive and easy to break too.

Very difficult but essential to know since it got you an internship and maybe a job as a PA if you did it right. One of those skills that gets used forever.

For large diameter coax (and fiber optics) a variant is to use the figure-8 method on the ground.

The thing to remember is that coax has a memory, and if you get the hang of it the memory will help you if you are consistent.

 on: Today at 10:45:11 AM 
Started by KK4RHF - Last post by G8JNJ

Yes it's still active, I've heard voice, Packet and an attempt at SSTV from the ISS during the past week.

Up to date status reports can be found on

You can listen on-line to ISS and other satellite passes over the UK via the SUWS WEB SDR

It's just passing over the US now, if you have a handy listen on 145.800 MHz FM for voice or 145.825MHz FM for packet bursts


Martin G8JNJ

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