Thursday, December 27, 2007

HamLinks: The Ham Radio Toolbar for Firefox and IE

HamLinks is a free ham radio toolbar that extends your (Internet Explorer or Firefox) web browser to give ham radio operators quick access to great ham radio content. It's completely free, easy to install (and uninstall) and can be configured by the user. No registrations, spyware, spam or other hooks.

Click here to see more info.

Friday, December 21, 2007

NUE-PSK Digital Modem

I just got this e-mail from amQRP. This PSK31 device looks very interesting:

The AmQRP Club is now ready to accept orders for the NUE-PSK Digital Modem. Full technical and ordering details are located on the Modem's web page, located at

As you will see there on the web page, several new and exciting "features" have been added to the product since we introduced the
prototypes back in October ...

1) We've designed a professional-grade aluminum clamshell enclosure that provides for rugged portable use, as well as shielding
from any possible "digi-hash" emanating from the modem;

2) We've improved the display system such that the modem now uses just a single/larger LCD, which displays frequency spectrum
in the upper half, and text in the lower half for Rx data, Tx typing buffer and the menuing/control system; and

3) We've made arrangements with a contract assembly house to provide the modem as a fully assembled/tested unit, such that
you'll just need to plug in your keyboard and SSB transceiver, and you'll be able to begin operating.

"Early Bird Special" pricing is being offered for this month only (December). A significant discount is available to those who
order this month as an effort to help the AmQRP get the product off the ground before the product can be shipped on/before Feb 15,
2008. These early orders are helping the club acquire the large number of parts required for the product introduction and automated
assembly/test process. A list indicating Pre-Orders will be maintained and those on the list will be periodically informed relative
to progress and shipping forecasts.

For now, the NUE-PSK Digital Modem is available at only as an assembled/tested unit. Later in 2008 we will offer a full kit
version, and partial kit version (pcb + programmed controller chips) for the homebrewers and experimenters.

This is a very exciting product, and many new features and configurations are in the making for the NUE-PSK Digital Modem. With the
field programmability feature, owners are able to easily download and install new software capabilities as they become available
from the designers.

The digital modem will be featured in several major publications in 2008, so many hams worldwide will soon be able to take to the
trail with portable PSK using the NUE-PSK Digital Modem. There has never been a better time to get into digital communications!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

MultiPSK 4.6 now available

The latest version of MultiPSK was recently released. If you use digital modes, this is worth trying. You can find it at

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


If you'd like to improve your CW skills, check out MorseRunner (freeware) at It simulates a CW contest and after a few minutes, you'll feel like you are really on the air! Best of all, it's fun!

Monday, November 26, 2007

PSK31 and other digital modes

Yesterday I had a great QSO with Wayne, AK8D using PSK31 on 40m. Wayne told me about some other digital modes that I had heard of but have never tried. We swicthed to MFSK which proved very interesting as he sent me a small photo! He said MFSK is a great mode when the conditions aren't good for PSK31. Wayne also told me about MultiPSK which supports over 40 digital modes and is free. I will check it out and report back on my findings.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

CW and the state of our hobby

An intersting article, and the replies are even more interesting!

Saturday, November 10, 2007


One of my interests in ham radio is PSK31. I've found this great video that shows you how to get started for little or no cost!

Also check out his related videos.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Mobile installation

I came across this PDF on a mobile installation and found it very informative:

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Harvest Moon

I took this shot last night as the full Harvest moon was starting to rise in the sky. I used my Panasonic Lumix FZ1 and used the top of my Escape as a tripod.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

My Canon AE-1 is 30 years old today

Back on this date in 1977, I went to Lechmere Sales (my favorite store, RIP) to buy my first SLR. It cost $299.99 with a 50mm f/1.8 lens. I still have it and it's never let me down. I've taken thousands of photos with over the years and and it has served me well. I admit I have not used it much recently, but I plan to put a roll of TMax in it to commemorate this milestone.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

B&W chemicals

Today I purchased some B&W chemicals for the first time in over 25 years! I bought TMax developer,indicator stop bath, fixer and hypo clearing agent. I look forward to using them as soon as I get all the other stuff needed to develop film!

Friday, September 7, 2007

It all started 30 years ago today

On September 7, 1977 I used a computer for the first time and wrote my very first program. It was my first day of High School. A friend of mine was taking "Intro to Computers" and wanted to show me what it could do. I didn't have any interest, but he really wanted to show me what he had learned, so I went to the computer room. I don't remember exactly what he showed me, but I do remember my first program:

30 END

When I typed in the command "RUN", this is what I got:


I was hooked! I then spent a lot of my time after school learning BASIC on a DEC PDP/8e using a noisy and slow ASR-33 Teletypes. The photo on the top is the ASR-33 Teletype and the other is a similar looking PDP-8/e that my school used. The teletypes only printed in UPPERCASE and at 10 characters per second, which was painfully slow. But I didn't care as I was in nerdvana!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

The Complete DX'er, a must have book

I received this book today from Idiom Press ( as I've been told it's one of the best books for learning about making DX contacts. The first chapter is wonderful so far and the other chapters look just as good at first glance. Also, much to my surprise, the book is signed by the author! He wrote on the very first page "To Rich AB1HD, 73 & DX! de Bob Locher W9KNI". A very nice touch that I wasn't expecting.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

I can develop B&W film now!

Today our house was hooked up to town sewer, which means I can now develop B&W film safely. I didn't want chemicals to go into the ground water, even though I was told they won't cause any harm to the environment. Finding B&W chemicals will be a challenge since the world has gone digital!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Cape Light

This is one of my favorite books on Photography and Cape Cod. I first saw these photos when I was in High School on a field trip to the Museum of Fine Arts. These photos have always stuck in my mind as some of the best photos taken on the Cape. You can order the book new or used from here if interested:

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Lessons learned

I went to Cape Cod last week (which is why I haven't entered any new posts recently) and brought 2 HF radios. I brought a Yaesu FT-817 and Kenwood TS-440. I brought my 20m end fed dipole for an antenna. The lessons I learned from this trip are as follows:

1) If you have an Antenna Analyzer, bring it! If you don't, try to borrow one!
2) Bring more than 1 antenna
3) Bring both a battery backup and a power supply

Although I heard lots of stations, they didn't hear me. This was caused by the placement of my antenna. Had I had an Antenna Analyzer, I would have found this out ASAP and not wasted precious air time. Had a brought more than one antenna, I could have tried it to see if my results improved. And last but not least, I only brought a 12V lawn tractor battery and not a power supply. When I finally got a reply to my CW, my battery died! All in all, I did not make any QSO's, but that's OK as I was on vacation with my family and I learned what not to do next time!

Friday, August 10, 2007

DXpedition to St. Kitts

For those of you who don't know Scott (NE1RD), he is a friend of mine that I met at PART, my local ham radio club ( He will be going to St. Kitts in October for his next DXpedition. His is looking to make 1000 QSO's, so I'm just helping him by spreading the word.

You can see his website for this event at Scott also has an excellent blog that can be found at


The Flying Pigs QRP club

I just joined this club. It looks to be interesting.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

A clever 20m dipole

I found this site on making your own 20m dipole. I like the idea of using a 35mm film canister. I plan to build on of these and report back later on its performance.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

First Look: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ18

My friend Rick pointed out this new camera to me. This camera is an 8 MP with an 18X zoom and optical image stabilization for under $400. I look forward to trying one out when it arrives at a local camera store.

2007 Maryland DC QSO Party

I plan on trying to make some QSO's this weekend in this contest. Check it out at

Tuesday, August 7, 2007


If you are reading this, odds are you know who I am. I've started this blog to track my adventures in Ham radio, photography and to document other cool items that I come across. I'll add more as I get more familiar with blogging. Thanks!