Archive for the ‘Tech Tips’ Category

Q: If RF is a high frequency AC signal, why are there plus and minus signs on a balun? A: Keep in mind that we are usually connecting a ‘BALanced’ antenna to the ‘UN-balanced’ coaxial cable, hence the term BALUN. So, for most regular applications on a single antenna that is ground independent, such as […]


My new ICOM IC-7300 transceiver has been loads of fun, but the scope was not displaying the frequency correctly for signals I was copying. I was listening to a local AM signal on 570 kHz and had to offset the frequency display by 1 or 2 kHz to have it sound intelligible. Also, the CW signals […]


We received a question from a Ham in Oklahoma about mounting a Cushcraft R8. Although our answer was aimed at the Cushcraft R8, the information can be used for other vertical antennas that are mounted above ground. Cushcraft recommends that the R8 antenna be mounted at least 10 feet above ground level. The mast you […]


If no one is on the repeater and you would like to start up a conversation, simply call the station you wish to talk to. Say “KD8XXX, this is KE8XXX calling.” Or, if you want to put out a general call to anyone, simply key up and say your call sign. Don’t be a “kerchunker” […]


A “Cadweld One Shot” is ideal for making permanent, reliable connections to your ground rods. It’s a very cool process that is easy to do and will impress even the staunchest members of your radio club! Using a “One Shot” will provide a very high quality exothermic connection for all of your outdoor ground rod […]


CW stands for Continuous Wave. In CW communications, a continuous carrier is transmitted as long as the key contacts are closed. By making and breaking the contacts into specific patterns, characters and entire messages may be sent. During the earliest days of telegraph, Morse code was the only method for nearly-instant distant communications. Morse code (named […]


Yup, the sunspot cycle is at a low. That means that for some bands, the term “DX” will not have the same meaning as before. Basically, the bands from 15 through 6 meters are dead as far as skip and DX go. When band conditions drop, weak signal work becomes more important than ever. You […]