Welcome to the radio page


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Ham radio is a great hobby. There is an unlimited array of interests in which to be involved. My endeavor here is to share what I’m doing and learning in the hopes that others will discover the joys of “hamming.” My main blogging is over at Musings of Captain Justice.

Also known formally as the Amateur Radio Service, ham radio is the ultimate geek hobby.  From the days of Marconi, Western Union telegraph and other primitive forms of communication, amateur radio now melds radio, computers and space satellites; and in addition to voice and morse code communications, includes digital modes of email over the airwaves and the equivalent of instant messaging.

I was a ham years as (WB5IUT) and had let my license lapse. I am now (thanks to the ‘vanity’ callsign program) KA5GIL.

Beware-Of-Ham-RadioMy present equipment includes a mobile VHF/UHF rig (which is what hams call their radio — a Yaesu FTM-350) and a base/portable/mobile HF/VHF/UHF rig (Icom IC-7000). My antennas at the base station include for HF, a 20/40 meter trap dipole and a G5RV, each suspended at about 35 feet. The base VHF/UHF antenna is a simple J-Pole.

The antennas for the mobile include a 5/8 whip for VHF/UHF and Hustler center-loaded antennas for the HF rig. That setup is under construction at the moment but is just around the corner.

So what do hams actually ‘do’ with the hobby? The answer is too voluminous for a single website and these answers will be forthcoming.

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Why use digital ham radio?

Amateur “ham” radio is just for old guys, right?

Well no, not at all. Even out here in the boondocks — the Highland Lakes of Central Texas — we have guys AND gals and young-uns as well as old farts. Granted, there are more old guys than of the other combinations but that’s changing. Continue reading

Digital modes — a new passion

It’s not that I don’t like actually TALKING to people, but the ability to make contact with modest antenna systems and very low power has its own appeal. I have a digital page here where I will place more detail about the mode and the programs I am using. Continue reading

Hurricane spawns tornado in Bertram, rips up flea market in park

(re-posted from my main website) Just as the stream of evacuees from the hurricane that hit the Gulf Coast on Saturday was hitting the outskirts of Marble Falls, a tornado touched down near downtown Bertram.  Continue reading

Amateur Radio Emergency Services Simulate Tornado Response

“When All Else Fails … Amateur Radio Works”

As severe thunderstorms gathered in Concho County to the Northwest of the Highland Lakes, the National Weather Service issued warnings for McCulloch County.  Hams in McCulloch County were activated at the McCulloch County EOC and their weather spotters were dispatched.  Thunderstorm watches soon ensued for Llano and Burnet counties which resulted in activation of the Burnet County Emergency Operations Center (EOC). Continue reading

UI-view replacement coming


Click on the thumbnail for bigger image. This is APRSIS32 which is undergoing rapid development. For all the details or to download the program go to the Yahoo Groups page.

Right now I’m running it only on the internet … sees same stuff that aprs.fi does. I have also connected two different GPSs to it and that worked, putting my position out via the internet. It can ALSO be connected to a radio in iGate mode. Have not done that yet.

The author, Lynn, KJ4ER, has the goal of replacing all of the best functions in UI-view which is good since it is no longer fully configurable. I suggest giving it a try and keeping in touch with the progress.