Making Windows 8 Work for Radios

Ever since Windows 8 came out life has not been simple for folks programming radios. The problems were many: The Windows 8 tiled interface bothers a lot of people. Drivers for USB programming cables wouldn’t work in Windows 8. Programming software for some radios wouldn’t recognize Windows 8 as a supported operating system. At least, […]

Portable Pole Version 3

Pole version 1 was a feeble affair attempting to use plastic conduit. Let’s just say it wasn’t pretty. I’ve written about version 2, and was quite pleased with how it turned out. It remains a viable solution for many situations. It’s also a proper subset of version 3. Version 3 adds two new pieces of […]

Portable Pole

One of the lessons learned from our group’s activities at the Oso mudslide was that sometimes it would be very, very, VERY handy to be able to get an antenna up in the air – say an additional 20 to 30 feet – to get over nearby obstacles and otherwise get a better and clearer […]

APRS – I wanna be heard!

At an event last year I was one of a handful of amateur radio operators who used a smartphone application (APRSDriod in my case) to report my position to the operation control center via APRS (Automated Packet Reporting System, often erroneously yet somewhat more accurately referred to as Automated Position Reporting System). Other than draining the […]

Preparing for “the big one”

On Saturday (April 27) I participated in an exercise with the local RACES arm of ESCA – the Emergency services organization for which I volunteer my amateur radio “skills”. The point of this exercise was to simulate a major event that rendered our EOCs (Emergency Operations Centers) inaccessible, and to then pass message traffic from CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) […]

I have to do WHAT to replace the battery?

A friend gave me an older Kenwood TM-701A mobile unit that had been sitting around unused for many years. I’d been looking for a second unit to leave at home so I wouldn’ t need to swap out my Yaesu from the car as often, and it seemed like a perfect fit. Worked great, except […]

Toyota Sequoia Radio Installation

I drive a 2010 Toyota Sequoia that we got for towing our 26′ travel trailer. Not long after I got my ham license I decided that the thing to do was to put a mobile radio in it. I did a fair amount of research beforehand, and what follows is what I ended up doing. […]

All My Base

I started in ham radio with a Wouxun HT (Handie-Talkie or handheld radio). It’s funny, because a) it seems like everyone starts with an HT of some sort, especially lately since there are several comparatively inexpensive models available, and b) so many of the more experienced hams say you shouldn’t start with an HT. Oh […]