Category: How to …

How to make your vertical HF aerial work better

Add more radials. No really, that’s it.  

Do people complain you’re quiet on the repeater?

The best way to hold a fist microphone for good loud consistant audio

One of the biggest complaints on our local repeaters is that people are quiet with very low audio.  Often they’re using the cheap Chinese handheld wirelesses such as the Baofeng UV-5R or similar which have a reputation for being quiet.  There are well documented ‘fixes’ available such as drilling out the microphone hole. However it’s […]

Installing a good quality TCXO into my Kenwood TS-590SG

W7MLG TCXO board fitted inside my Kenwood TS-590SG

Over the years as I’ve operated QRSS and WSPR, I’ve noticed that my original TS-590S and then the replacement TS-590SG have always been slightly off frequency and suffering from a little drift.  This frequency inaccuracy was barely 30Hz which seems minuscule but when monitoring a section of the band which is only 200Hz wide, the […]

Accurate time keeping on an Apple Mac or Raspberry Pi for WSPR/JT65/JT9/FT8

If you use any of the data modes for QSOs such as JT65, JT9, or FT8 or if you operate using WSPR then you’ll know how important it is that your computer clock is accurate.  Anything more than a couple of seconds out and you won’t decode anything and nobody will decode your signal. On […]

com.apple.bird/session/g

This is one of the very few non amateur radio related items on this site.  I’m posting it because it’s a useful tip and I hope that it will assist fellow Mac users. I noticed about three years ago that a particular cache folder on my iMac was getting larger and larger.  I did some […]

Building a Raspberry Pi internet watchdog

Finished Raspberry Pi Zero W internet watchdog

I wasn’t sure whether to post this or not as it’s not specifically amateur radio – But there’s a small amount of electronics involved so I figured it might be of interest. A few days ago while Susan and I were out, I received a text from my son saying “I thought you’d like to […]

How to replace the noisy fan in an Icom ID-5100 with a much quieter one

Inside of the Icom ID-5100 showing the new fan in place

I’m a happy owner of two Icom ID-5100 radios, one is mounted in the car and I use the other one in the shack on low power for working the local repeaters.  It doesn’t get much use but I’m monitoring GB3CL and GB7TE most of the time. About the only thing which I don’t like about this […]

Setting up an APRS RX only iGate using a Raspberry Pi, RTL-SDR dongle and a pre-built image

After my previous post, it was suggested that an easier way to set up a receive only APRS iGate would be to provide a pre-built image which only needs slight tweaking to go live.  That seemed like a good idea to me so I’ve prepared an image that just requires a handful of configuration changes which I will […]

A guide to setting up an APRS receive only iGate using a Raspberry Pi and an RTL-SDR dongle

** This is now outdated, I recommend the pre-built image from here rather than following these instructions.  I can not support this method any more ** I originally bought a Raspberry Pi back in October 2012 but as I didn’t have a specific purpose in mind for it, I quickly sold it again.  A few […]

Data (RTTY/PSK) contesting – The anatomy of an ideal QSO

I like contesting.  I like data contesting and I operate a lot in data contests.  I don’t generally have the time to dedicate to making a winning entry although for the big events, I’ll try and make a good score and aim to finish high up in the table.  I’ve done well enough though and […]