Archive for the ‘Tech Tips’ Category

You’ve studied hard and just earned your FCC Technician License. Congratulations! If you’re like most Hams, you’re eager to get started with your new hobby, and that means purchasing a radio to begin putting what you’ve learned into practice. You can certainly consider going all in with a mobile or base station right away. But […]

It used to be that when you purchased a radio or other device for your shack, the only way to upgrade its capabilities or fix a glitch was to open it up and get your hands dirty. For many do-it-yourselfers, that was a big part of the fun of Ham Radio. But if you weren’t […]

Many hams equate frequencies and bands with colloquial usage. Therefore VHF is 2 meters, specifically 144 to 148 MHz, and HF is 160 through 6 meters, just like on our HF radios. Oops. VHF refers to Very High Frequency, and is a chunk of radio spectrum from 30 to 300 MHz- all inclusive. That places […]

Many amateur radio projects use fiberglass tubing and there are some precautions you should take when handling it. When the tubing arrives – before you open the box – be prepared. There may be fiberglass dust, slivers or particles present when the fiberglass parts were manufactured. Your best bet is to open the box outside, […]

For many decades there was only one choice. Power supplies had heavy iron transformers to convert house current (110/120 volts AC) to the lower voltage required by many solid-state devices. As the demand for more and more current increased so did the weight of the transformer and the complexity of the circuitry making the DC. […]

  Choosing the right coax may seem complicated given the wide variety of cable types, their specs and costs. When we talk about coaxial cable loss, keep in mind that it affects transmitted energy as well as received signals. At 38 cents per foot, RG-8X is attractive, especially when putting up a new antenna system.   […]

Combination SWR Meters (sometimes called SWR Bridges) and RF Power meters (also called watt meters) are useful accessories in the ham shack. They provide information about transmitted and reflected power, and Standing Wave Ratio (SWR). Prices can range from about $80 for utility meters to over $500 for commercial grade meters. Selection Criteria: Maximum power […]