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ValhallaSmith
Aug 16, 2005


I was reading the SoftRock40 list yesterday and they were talking about http://websdr.ewi.utwente.nl:8901/ .

Its actually pretty neat, its an SDR radio listening on the 40 and 80 meter bands.

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ValhallaSmith
Aug 16, 2005


blugu64 posted:

EDIT2: IIRC they're sold out of all the SoftRock kits, sadly.

No the softrock is still around. Its at version 8.x and is still being developed for. You just have to email the original creator and he will send you a kit. Just sign up for the softrock list at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/softrock40/ . The RXTX version is around 30$ and the lite version (RX only) is about 10. They are available in version from 160m to 15m.

ValhallaSmith
Aug 16, 2005


Dolemite posted:

This is cool! Russian guy on 7074 KHz saying stuff that I don't understand. Awesome - this is gonna make the last 30 minutes of work go by a lot faster.

EDIT: I don't know the theory behind it, but you can almost make music with this thing. Tune it to CW narrow mode, then run the yellow tuning thing back and forth over 3595 KHz. As you tune over 3595, the tone ramps up and carries off into different notes. I want one of these radios just so I can make ambient/experimental music.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/softrock40/

These are 30$ kit SDR radios that work with a sound card. Not quite as cool but they can do nearly as much. These don't have amps or anything so they do take some work to have a full transceiver.

ValhallaSmith
Aug 16, 2005


Well I went through some of the flashcards and practice tests. If things hold up I should be able to get 80-90% on the technician, general and extra tests. I'm not very interested in chit chat on radios though. I'm more interested in novel things that amateurs haven't done or at least perfected yet. Amateur radar looks like it could be interesting. 2D phased arrays and other technologies look interesting as well.

ValhallaSmith
Aug 16, 2005


McRib Sandwich posted:

drat do I need to get my hands on a good soldering station. My screwdriver antenna is just sitting here with a bare 20-foot run of RG-58 that I can't put the UHF connectors on because I don't have the right tools to do it with. I'd take pics of the rig otherwise (in the hopes that it would get others to post theirs too, hint hint), but my camera met an untimely death at the hands of a car door just a couple weeks ago

If you are looking for a station you might try a SP200 for 260ish from HMC electronics. Otherwise the OKI PS800 is a cheaper alternative.

quote:

Haha, my dad and I took the test a few weeks ago. My dad's an electrical engineer, and he got his extra-class on his first try, which surprised/pissed off the crusty old hams that were running the test.

I'm planning on doing this myself as well. Hopefully I won't piss them off too badly.

How many of you guys are actual radio builders? I'm interested in amateur radio but I could really care less about much of the social aspect. I'm more interested in technology aspects. AMSAT is pretty interesting, but outside of a few hot spot cities it doesn't seem possible to really participate int the technology aspects of it. The microwave and satellite bands seem interesting as well from a technical standpoint. I guess my goal with this whole thing is trying to do things that other hams haven't done yet technology wise.

An amateur radio performance equivalent to the DSN would be interesting. SETI did some good work with their array. It would also be topical since AMSAT is in the planning stages of a microsat mars mission. Full decoding of GPS hasn't been done yet either. There is a ton of stuff that can be done like ionosphere compensation using the P(Y) code. L2C support, WAAS would be nice. Also developing terrestrial transmitters for very precise positioning over a small area. Staarfire is a good example of this, some receivers can get centimeter level precision with local transmitters.

I'd really like to see the amateur community push the technology a lot more than they seem to. It seems like DXing, RACES and other activities are more what the community is about. Or maybe its just my area (west MI).

For my next project though I think I am going to build up some basic things I need. A GPS disciplined OCXO will let me get a tight frequency base. Not sure what I will do after that. Maybe another SDR RX/TX of some sort and some analysis equipment. A precise freq counter, SWR meter and a few other tools would be useful.

ValhallaSmith fucked around with this message at May 21, 2008 around 08:17

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ValhallaSmith
Aug 16, 2005


With all this talk of EMCOMM, I thought about it a little bit. I think its going to be a losing fight as mobile cell sites will probably replace a good chunk of the role ARES and RACES traditionally play. In an emergency you can instantly get a special permit. And pretty much everyone is going to have a cell phone available. Maybe this will be an area that more modern amateurs will develop with the likes of openBTS. Or maybe disaster communications will just be contracted out.

Amateur radio was pretty cutting edge at one point. Still is if you look hard, but it seems like the face of it is just kind of stagnant.

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