During the weekly F-troop there are mentions of software, websites and solutions that are worth taking note of. This website attempts to document them.

20190119 - SKCC special event

posted Jan 18, 2019, 4:38 PM by Onno Benschop

Charles NK8O shares with us:

Here is the list of standings for the special event.  You can easily see there are folks much more dedicated (fanatical) than I am.   I still need KL7 (Alaska), South America, and Africa for a full sweep of continents, but I have all 10 call areas on 40 & 80 meters.  Hawaii is the best “catch” for me with the state logged 80-15 meters, including WARC bands. 
#nk8o #skcc #dx #cw

20190105 - F-troop discussions

posted Jan 4, 2019, 5:21 PM by Onno Benschop

Many topics were covered during the net.

Ian VK6TWJ reminds us of the SSTV net:
  • Every Tuesday at 20:00 WST on 146.625 MHz, hosted by Glen VK6IQ.

Damien VK6FDEC reminds us that this week is the Scout Jamboree in Talem Bend South Australia. 
  • Look for VK3JAR for Echolink and IRLP connections and frequencies.

Charles NK8O shares with us some band filters / notch filters that can be used during a contest:

Brian VK6FFRA shares with us some information from Bob Rice about antennas:
Two videos by Bob Rice on Viemo.
    1. Portable horizontal multi-band dipole
    2. 7-band semi-vertical trap antenna
Included on these videos are some home-brew construction ideas for
    1. Capacitors using printed circuit boards (Vertical antenna)
    2. Coils (Horizontal) and a
    3. Dip meter using a circuit/BNC connector (Vertical) and an SWR meter. (Featuretech model which is the same one that I have hence the interest).
All are very neat and tidy homebrews!
Printed info on multi-band semi-vertical antenna

John VK6RX points us at a WIA submission to the ACMA about adding functionality to the Foundation License. It includes provisions for:
  • Permit use of digital transmission modes
  • Relax permitted transmission bandwidths
  • Add access to more frequency bands
  • Increase maximum power from 10 W to 50 W pX
  • Relax conditions to enable limited home construction and use of re-purposed transmitting equipment
  • Identify a 6-character callsign range to replace the current 7-character callsigns
The submission is on the WIA website:

There was discussion about horizontal vs. vertical noise. I've explained it previously here:

John VK6RX has just connected the VK6-HUB to the Brandmeister network which means that if you're on DMR you can now participate in F-troop. Details are here:
#vk6twj #nk80 #vk6ffra #vk6rx #wia #sstv #echolink #irlp #fiters #homebrew

20181229 - Bandpass Filter

posted Dec 28, 2018, 4:34 PM by Onno Benschop

Randall VK6WR suggests the following VHF bandpass filter:

20181215 - SDR Radios

posted Dec 14, 2018, 4:41 PM by Onno Benschop

Discussion during the 'net included several suggestions for getting started with SDR:

20181215 - Upgrading radios and test equipment

posted Dec 14, 2018, 4:13 PM by Onno Benschop

Robyn VK6XRE shares with us a very interesting YouTube channel that covers old radios and test equipment:
#youtube #testing #learning #vk6xre

20181208 - Gatekeeping in our community

posted Dec 7, 2018, 5:39 PM by Onno Benschop

During the net this week we started discussing some of the less welcoming aspects of our hobby, the people who complain, tell new amateurs off, berate mistakes, etc. etc. This topic is large and we only scratched the surface of it.

During the week I wrote an article about it as a preparation for a future episode of "Foundations of Amateur Radio", inviting comment on reddit:

20181208 - Software only D-Star

posted Dec 7, 2018, 5:01 PM by Onno Benschop

Richard W4JXA shares with us a project that allows you to run D-Star on an Android device:
#dstar #android #w4jxa

20181208 - 10m ARRL Contest

posted Dec 7, 2018, 4:26 PM by Onno Benschop

This weekend has 48 hours of a 10m contest where any licensed amateur can participate and have fun. The rules are pretty straight forward and it's simple to get started:
#vk6flab #contest #10m

20181208 - SKCC - Straight Key Century Club

posted Dec 7, 2018, 4:07 PM by Onno Benschop   [ updated Dec 7, 2018, 4:08 PM ]

Charles NK8O brings us adventures of the SKCC, the Straight Key Century Club which encourages on-air contacts using a straight key, bug, or side-swiper.
Charles is in the process of applying for Senator status - Congrats!

#nk8o #skcc

20181104 - Learning Morse

posted Nov 2, 2018, 5:37 PM by Onno Benschop   [ updated Nov 2, 2018, 6:00 PM ]

Charles NK8O points us at the following tool to learn Morse code:
Charles makes the following recommendations:
  • Use the Koch method for training
  • Learn at a fast rate, 20-25 WPM with slow spacing
  • Do it 20 minutes a day, every day
  • Start with 2 or 3 letters and build on that
  • If you start too slow, you need to relearn every letter if you want to increase speed

Simon VK6MSC shares:
His tips are:
  • Listen during contests, lots of CW and repeats
  • A contest is a good way to start because the exchange is brief
#nk8o #cw #learn #morse #vk6msc

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