Tired of looking at confusing band condition information? Visit: www.bandconditions.com

This experimental website developed by K5BIZ will help you maximize your ham radio experience. It can also be used to determine band conditions for Nets and casual QSO’s. The information provided on www.bandconditions.com is NOT based on software predictions or any kind of satellite based readings. It’s is based on a new Ionospheric sounding method called “HF Ionospheric Interferometry” which operates very similarly to the PolSAR system used by NASA.

HamRadioCoin or HRC is a virtual currency. It is based on a decentralized peer-to-peer payment network. It is managed by its users without any unique authority or broker. It is intended to be used by anyone but primarily targeted ham radio operators.

HRC can be used to help spread the word of ham radio to people that otherwise would not know about the hobby and to introduce ham radio operators to the world of crypto-currencies. One of the interesting aspects of HRC is that it can be used to receive or send founds via ham radio using the digital mode PSK-63. Watch this video with a demonstration on how the exchange works.

How does it work?

From the user point of view, HamRadioCoin is nothing more than an application or computer program that provides access their personal HamRadioCoin portfolio. This application allows users to send and receive HRC to vendors or other users.

The authenticity of each transaction is protected by digital signatures that match the address of the sender, allowing all users to have full control over each HamRadioCoin sent or received by their personal addresses. In addition, anyone can process transactions using the computational power of their specialized hardware for rewards. This is often called a “mining”.

For more information visit the HamRadioCoin frequently asked questions page.

This inexpensive Arduino based CW decoder was developed by Hjalmar, OZ1JHM. Hjalmar was nice enough to publish the schematics and source code for everyone to use.

The software programmed in to the Arduino is based on the Goertzel Algorithm.

In addition, to increase the flexibility this type of  microphone can be added to the circuit.

If you are interested on building this CW decoder, but need assistance or have any questions feel free to send an email to: [webmaster (at) k2jji (dot) org] with your questions or comments.



UTC ExplainedCoordinated Universal Time (UTC) is the basis for civil time in many places worldwide. Many timekeeping devices use this 24-hour time standard, which is determined using highly precise atomic clocks. The hours, minutes, and seconds that UTC expresses is kept close to the mean solar time at the Earth’s prime meridian (zero degrees longitude) located near Greenwich, England.

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Thank you, Earl KR2L, for submitting this link.
Do you have any other Ham Radio links to share? Send the details to: webmaster at k2jji dot org

An individual who had been jamming cellphone traffic on interstate 4 in Florida was located by FCC agents with the assistance of Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Deputies. The individual had reportedly been jamming cellphone traffic on I-4 for two years. The FCC is now proposing a $48,000 fine for his actions. They say the jamming ‘could and may have had disastrous consequences by precluding the use of cell phones to reach life-saving 9-1-1 services provided by police, ambulance, and fire departments.

UPDATE 5/2/2014: Man was tracked down. Read the full article.

An interesting tip that might just improve the performance of those small affordable handheld ham radios called a “Handy Talky” or HT for short in ham vernacular. [RadioHamGuy] posted an interesting video on adding a counterpoise antenna wire to an HT. He claims it will noticeably improve both transmit and receive by making a quarter-wave monopole into a makeshift dipole antenna system.

Per his instructions you basically add a short wire to the antenna’s outer ground connection or to an equivalent case screw that’s electrically connected to the antenna’s ground side. Apparently this can be referred to as a Tiger Tail and does make it look like your HT has a tail. You would construct a counterpoise antenna wire 11.5 inch for VHF, 6.5 for UHF and about 19.5 inches for an OK performing dual band VHF/UHF radio.

Normally with a handheld radio the counterpoise (ground) is your own body as you are holding the HT. This is because the capacitance of your body makes a good counterpoise under normal conditions. It would be interesting to hear what others find for performance when adding a counterpoise antenna wire.

Source: HackADay