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.

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

20181102 - Where to start when you want to become licensed in Australia

posted Nov 1, 2018, 3:44 PM by Onno Benschop

An unlicensed amateur asked on reddit what the experience was of getting a Foundation License in Australia and how to go about learning and what the exam involved. Here's what Onno VK6FLAB wrote:

First of all, great, welcome, nice to have you here.

As for the test and preparing for it, anti-climactic is a good sentiment. It seems daunting, but in the end, for me, it was essentially a weekend of watching power-point slides, learning some stuff about the practical aspects, connectors, operating technique, etc. and a multiple choice test the following weekend. There is a practical exam as well, essentially show that you know how to operate a radio, plug in the bits into the right holes and know how to troubleshoot - all of it covered within about 20 minutes of instruction.

My experience aside, some training organisations knock the whole thing off in a day, others do it online, etc. If you're living remote, there is the opportunity to have remote examinations etc.
The Wireless Institute of Australia (WIA) is the authorised body that manages the process. Within that there are training providers and authorised examiners, the structure of that is too complex to get into here, but essentially, the WIA manages this on behalf of the regulator, the ACMA.
There are on line resources and apps, including video courses, trial exams, drills etc:
This isn't complicated, we have had nine year old's pass this exam and be active on air.

#exam #course #resources #learning #vk6flab #reddit

20181101 - 9:1 UnUn

posted Oct 31, 2018, 8:23 PM by Onno Benschop

Simon VK6MSC shares with us his build of a 9:1 UnUn as per the instructions found on the V6YSF website at:
Simon writes:
Pics of my 9:1 unun build, as per Vk6ysf instructions.
Used stranded insulated wire, as allot easier to triflar wind.
Antenna for my sdr has 45' of wire, no counter poise.

#build #homebrew #vk6msc #vk6ysf #unun

20181027 - Magnetic Loops

posted Oct 26, 2018, 5:54 PM by Onno Benschop

Allen VK6XL reminds us that AA5TB has an antenna magnetic loop calculator:
Steve VK6CS shares the calculator here:
#magnetic-loop #calculator #vk6xl #vk6cs

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