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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Defending A Stand

As a human, obviously we have our own stand. Stand made from beliefs, motivations and legacies.

Man should fights for his rights. Man should act louder than his talk, man should think longer than his age.

Nothing can beat man's stand unless that man himself. A man without a stand just like trees without its roots.

9M2TPT Buddystick

I remember back that 9M2TPT lend me his buddystick 2 years ago.

It was a loaded vertical antenna made by Budd W3FF.

It has a telescopic steel element, coil and also teflon coated wire to use as counterpoise.

I should setup the antenna like 2 meters long loaded radiator with quarter wave counterpoise.

I tried but I didnt make any contact with that setup. So I changed the radiator element with the counterpoise wire. I measured the wire to a half wave and I use the telescopic element as adjustable counterpoise. Coil needed for certain frequencies.

Made few contacts with that setup. As additional information, I erect the radiator element vertically and hang it to a tree.

Maintaining Communication

When making contact with other station, I usually ask about my signal report. This is the first important thing to know before making futher transmission.

For voice operation simply the readability and signal strength report. But for CW operation are readability, signal strength and tone.

Sometimes receiver station gave 59 plus 10db. When operating using limited power source, I usually reduce my power enough for maintaining communication only. 59 report is enough, 55 report also ok but if my signal is fading, ill increase my transmission power.

Report may vary from time to time, from place to place. Sun moves from east to west giving effect to ionosphere. Sun itself have its own activities.

Most of high frequencies will get better condition on the night than day.

To maintain communication, we need to know our transceiver technical spec. For example, How much current will our rig drains our battery while receiving or transmitting?

Eliminate Microphone's Interference

Today, microphone became part of the important component to our transceivers.

Most of ham radio operators like to use voice operation than CW operation.

Sometimes we received bad report about our audio quality, not the signal quality.

Stock mic sometime is the best mic for most modern transceivers. Usually hand mic.

Some people prefer desk mic and some might use 3rd party mic.

We need to know what is type of microphones that we are using.

For me, I use elecret condenser desktop microphone. For months I've been wondering where did the mic interference came from.

I noticed that when I touch the mic body, hum sound will noticeable.

After a few days, I realized that the built in preamp was not properly grounded and the elecret condenser element body touches the body.

I managed to open my desk mic and ended with setting up a proper ground and also I have done a simple isolation between the element and body.

Now the hum sound gone.

Oh, bytheway my desk mic polarity was omni directional. Not uni directional.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

How To Use Antenna Tuner

An antenna tuner, transmatch or antenna tuning unit (ATU) is a device connected between a radio transmitter or receiver and its antenna to improve power transfer between them by matching the impedance of the radio to the antenna. An antenna tuner matches a transceiver with a fixed impedance (typically 50 ohms for modern transceivers) to a load (feed line and antenna) impedance which is unknown, complex or otherwise does not match. An ATU allows the use of one antenna on a broad range of frequencies. An antenna and transmatch are not as efficient as a resonant antenna due to feedline losses due to the SWR (multiple reflections) and losses in the ATU itself. An ATU is an antenna matching unit, and cannot change the resonant frequency of the aerial. Similar matching networks are used in other equipment (such as linear amplifiers) to transform impedance.

For more info, visit

  1. http://www.hamuniverse.com/tuner.html
  2. http://www.arrl.org/antenna-tuner-operation

Monday, September 16, 2013

Variants Of Dipole Antenna

There is a variety of other important dipole antennas.

  1. The bow-tie antenna is a dipole with flaring, triangular shaped arms. The shape gives it a much wider bandwidth than an ordinary dipole. It is widely used in UHF television antennas.
  2. The G5RV Antenna is a dipole antenna with a symmetric feeder line, which also serves as impedance match for connecting it to a 50-ohm transceiver.
  3. The Doublet Antenna is a dipole antenna with a resonant symmetric feeder line.
  4. The Sloper antenna is a slanted dipole antenna used for long-range communications or in limited space.
  5. The AS-2259 Antenna is an inverted-V dipole antenna used for NVIS communications.

9M2PJU CW QSO With WB6QQR, JJ5IZX And K7XB On 20 Meters

Thanks to JJ5IZX for the record.

What is carrier frequency?

A carrier frequency is a single radio frequency with steady amplitude.
Alone, it would sound like silence on a receiver.
This is the frequency that a radio receiver is tuned into.
To be of use in communication, this carrier wave has to be changed in time with another signal (usually audio), called 'Modulation'
It can be turned on and off using a Morse key.
It can be changed by shifting the frequency, FM.
It can be changed by varying the amplitude, AM.
It can be changed by adding or subtracting audio to the carrier. Single Side Band.
It can have data applied by shifting between two carrier frequencies. FSK. (Frequency shift keying.)

It's called a carrier, because it is the carrier of information without necessarily being the information itself.

Modes And Modulations

Modulation is the process by which voice, music, and other "intelligence" is added to the radio waves produced by a transmitter. The different methods of modulating a radio signal are called modes. An unmodulated radio signal is known as a carrier. When you hear "dead air" between songs or announcements on a radio station, you're "hearing" the carrier. While a carrier contains no intelligence, you can tell it is being transmitted because of the way it quiets the background noise on your radio.
The different modes of modulation have their advantages and disadvantages. Here is a summary:

Continuous Wave (CW)

CW is the simplest form of modulation. The output of the transmitter is switched on and off, typically to form the characters of the Morse code.

CW transmitters are simple and inexpensive, and the transmitted CW signal doesn't occupy much frequency space (usually less than 500 Hz). However, the CW signals will be difficult to hear on a normal receiver; you'll just hear the faint quieting of the background noise as the CW signals are transmitted. To overcome this problem, shortwave and ham radio receivers include a beat frequency oscillator (BFO) circuit. The BFO circuit produces an internally-generated second carrier that "beats" against the received CW signal, producing a tone that turns on and off in step with the received CW signal. This is how Morse code signals are received on shortwave.

Amplitude Modulation (AM)

In amplitude modulation, the strength (amplitude) of the carrier from a transmitter is varied according to how a modulating signal varies.

When you speak into the microphone of an AM transmitter, the microphone converts your voice into a varying voltage. This voltage is amplified and then used to vary the strength of the transmitter's output. Amplitude modulation adds power to the carrier, with the amount added depending on the strength of the modulating voltage. Amplitude modulation results in three separate frequencies being transmitted: the original carrier frequency, a lower sideband (LSB) below the carrier frequency, and an upper sideband (USB) above the carrier frequency. The sidebands are "mirror images" of each other and contain the same intelligence. When an AM signal is received, these frequencies are combined to produce the sounds you hear.

Each sideband occupies as much frequency space as the highest audio frequency being transmitted. If the highest audio frequency being transmitted is 5 kHz, then the total frequency space occupied by an AM signal will be 10 kHz (the carrier occupies negligible frequency space).

AM has the advantages of being easy to produce in a transmitter and AM receivers are simple in design. Its main disadvantage is its inefficiency. About two-thirds of an AM signal's power is concentrated in the carrier, which contains no intelligence. One-third of the power is in the sidebands, which contain the signal's intelligence. Since the sidebands contain the same intelligence, however, one is essentially "wasted." Of the total power output of an AM transmitter, only about one-sixth is actually productive, useful output!

Other disadvantages of AM include the relatively wide amount of frequency space an AM signal occupies and its susceptibility to static and other forms of electrical noise. Despite this, AM is simple to tune on ordinary receivers, and that is why it is used for almost all shortwave broadcasting.

Single Sideband (SSB)

Since so much power is wasted in AM, radio engineers devised a method to transmit just one sideband and put all of the transmitter's power into sending useful intelligence. This method is known as single sideband (SSB). In SSB transmitters, the carrier and one sideband are removed before the signal is amplified. Either the upper sideband (USB) or lower sideband (LSB) of the original AM signal can be transmitted.

SSB is a much more efficient mode than AM since all of the transmitter's power goes into transmitting useful intelligence. A SSB signal also occupies only about half the frequency space of a comparable AM signal. However, SSB transmitters and receivers are far more complicated than those for AM. In fact, a SSB signal cannot be received intelligibly on an AM receiver; the SSB signal will have a badly distorted "Donald Duck" sound. This is because the carrier of an AM signal does play a major role in demodulating (that is, recovering the transmitted audio) the sidebands of an AM signal. To successfully demodulate a SSB signal, you need a "substitute carrier."

A substitute carrier can be supplied by the beat frequency oscillator (BFO) circuit used when receiving CW signals. However, this means that a SSB signal must be carefully tuned to precise "beat" it against the replacement carrier from the BFO. For best performance, a SSB receiver needs more precise tuning and stability than an AM receiver, and it must be tuned more carefully than an AM receiver. Even when precisely tuned, the audio quality of a SSB signal is less than that of an AM signal.

SSB is used mainly by ham radio operators, military services, maritime and aeronautical radio services, and other situations where skilled operators and quality receiving equipment are common. There have been a few experiments in using SSB for shortwave broadcasting, but AM remains the preferred mode for broadcasting because of its simplicity.

Frequency Modulation (FM)

In CW, AM, and SSB, the carrier of the signal will not change in a normally operating transmitter. However, it is possible to modulate a signal by changing its frequency in accordance with a modulating signal. This is the idea behind frequency modulation (FM).

The unmodulated frequency of a FM signal is called its center frequency. When a modulating signal is applied, the FM transmitter's frequency will swing above and below the center frequency according to the modulating signal. The amount of "swing" in the transmitter's frequency in any direction above or below the center frequency is called its deviation. The total frequency space occupied by a FM signal is twice its deviation.

As you might suspect, FM signals occupy a great deal of frequency space. The deviation of a FM broadcast station is 75 kHz, for a total frequency space of 150 kHz. Most other users of FM (police and fire departments, business radio services, etc.) use a deviation of 5 kHz, for a total frequency space occupied of 10 kHz. For these reasons, FM is mainly used on frequency above 30 MHz, where adequate frequency space is available. This is why most scanner radios can only receive FM signals, since most signals found above 30 MHz are FM.

The big advantage of FM is its audio quality and immunity to noise. Most forms of static and electrical noise are naturally AM, and a FM receiver will not respond to AM signals. FM receivers also exhibit a characteristic known as the capture effect. If two or more FM signals are on the same frequency, the FM receiver will respond to the strongest of the signals and ignore the rest. The audio quality of a FM signal increases as its deviation increases, which is why FM broadcast stations use such large deviation. The main disadvantage of FM is the amount of frequency space a signal requires.

Frequency-Shift Keying (FSK)

Like FM, frequency-shift keying (FSK) shifts the carrier frequency of the transmitter. Unlike FM, however, FSK shifts the frequency between just two separate, fixed points. The higher frequency is called the mark frequency while the lower of the two frequencies is called the space frequency. (By contrast, an FM signal can swing to any frequency within its deviation range.)

FSK was originally developed to send text via radioteleprinter devices, like those used by the TeleType Corporation. The shifting of the carrier between the mark and space was used to generate characters in the Baudot code, which can be thought of as a more elaborate version of the Morse code. At the receiver, the Baudot signals were used to produce printed text on printers and, later, video screens.

As technology improved, FSK was used to transmit messages in the ASCII code used by computers; this permitted the use of upper and lower case letters and special symbols. The introduction of microprocessors made it possible to use FSK to send messages with automatic error detection and correction capabilities. This is done by including error checking codes into messages and allowing the receiving station to request a retransmission of a message if the message and its error checking code are in conflict (or if the code is not received.) Among the most common such FSK modes are amateur teleprinting over radio (AMTOR) and forward error correction (FEC).

FSK is the fastest way to send text by radio, and the error-correcting modes offer high accuracy and reliability. The frequency space occupied depends on the amount of shifting, but typical FSK signals occupy less than 1.5 kHz of space. The big disadvantage of FSK is the more elaborate receiving gear required.

Special receiving terminals and adapters are available to let you "see" FSK modes. Many of these work in conjunction with personal computers.

Digital Modes

The same technology that makes it possible for you to view this Web site is also being used on the air. Digital modes can organize information into packets that contain address fields, information about the transmission protocol being used, error detection code, a few hundred bytes of data, and bits to indicate where each packet begins and ends.

Instead of transmitting messages in continuous streams, packet modes break them into packets. At the receiving end, the different packets are re-assembled to form the original message. If a packet is missing or received with errors, the receiving station can request a retransmission of the packet. Packets can be received out of sequence or even from multiple sources (such as different relaying stations) and still be assembled into the original message by the receiving station.

While packet modes have mainly been used to send text, any information that can be converted into digital form---sound, graphics, video, etc.---can be transmitted by digital modes.

Another advantage of packet modes is that packets can be addressed to specific stations in the address field of each packet. Other stations will ignore packets not addressed to them.

The big disadvantage of packet modes is the complexity of the necessary receiving and transmitting gear. The frequency space occupied is directly proportional to the speed at which messages are transmitted, and radio digital modes are very slow compared to their Internet equivalents. The slowest Web connection via the Internet is 14,400 baud (14.4K), while the maximum practical digital mode rate via radio is 9600 baud (9.6K). On frequencies below 30 MHz, it is even slower; rates are usually restricted to just 300 baud (0.3K)! As a result, digital modes via radio today deliver performance far short of their potential.

Special receiving adapters for packet modes are available, and these usually work in conjunction with personal computers. Most offer FSK receiving capabilities as well.

Another form of digital modulation is known as spread spectrum. Most other modulation methods pack all of the transmitter's output power into a bandwidth of only a few kHz. (Even in FM, the carrier doesn't occupy much bandwidth, although its frequency may be deviated over a wide range.) Spread spectrum literally "spreads" the carrier over a frequency range that may be as much as 10 kHz on frequencies below 30 MHz. (Spreading over 100 kHz or more is common on the VHF and UHF bands.) This spreading is usually done via a "spreading code" contained in an internal microcontroller chip.

When heard on a conventional receiver, spread sprectrum sounds like random noise or "gurgling" water. A receiver equipped with a microcontroller having the matching "spreading code" is necessary to properly receive the spread spectrum transmission. Advantages of spread spectrum include a high degree of privacy and freedom from intereference, since the spread spectrum receiver will reject any signal not having the proper spreading code. Almost all users of spread spectrum below 30 MHz are various military and government services.

SSB - Single sideband modulation

a summary, information or overview describing what is SSB modulation, and how single sideband modulation works as well as details of SSB receiver, SSB, transmitter, and SSB transceiver circuits and how it is used for two way radio communication.

Single sideband modulation is widely used in the HF portion, or short wave portion of the radio spectrum for two way radio communication. There are many users of single sideband modulation. Many users requiring two way radio communication will use single sideband and they range from marine applications, generally HF point to point transmissions, military as well as radio amateurs or radio hams.

Single sideband modulation or SSB is derived from amplitude modulation (AM) and SSB modulation overcomes a number of the disadvantages of AM.

Single sideband modulation is normally used for voice transmission, but technically it can be used for many other applications where two way radio communication using analogue signals is required.

As a result of its widespread use there are many items of radio communication equipment designed to use single sideband radio including: SSB receiver, SSB transmitter and SSB transceiver equipments.

What is single sideband modulation?

Single sideband, SSB modulation is basically a derivative of amplitude modulation, AM. By removing some of the components of the ordinary AM signal it is possible to significantly improve its efficiency.

A more complete explanation of the way amplitude modulated signals are formed and work can been seen on the pages relating to AM. These can be accessed via the "Related Articles" links that can be found on the left hand side of the page below the main menu.

It is possible to see how an AM signal can be improved by looking at the spectrum of the signal. When a steady state carrier is modulated with an audio signal, for example a tone of 1 kHz, then two smaller signals are seen at frequencies 1 kHz above and below the main carrier.

If the steady state tones are replaced with audio like that encountered with speech of music, these comprise many different frequencies and an audio spectrum with frequencies over a band of frequencies is seen. When modulated onto the carrier, these spectra are seen above and below the carrier.

It can be seen that if the top frequency that is modulated onto the carrier is 6 kHz, then the top spectra will extend to 6 kHz above and below the signal. In other words the bandwidth occupied by the AM signal is twice the maximum frequency of the signal that is used to modulated the carrier, i.e. it is twice the bandwidth of the audio signal to be carried.

Amplitude modulation is very inefficient from two points. The first is that it occupies twice the bandwidth of the maximum audio frequency, and the second is that it is inefficient in terms of the power used. The carrier is a steady state signal and in itself carries no information, only providing a reference for the demodulation process. Single sideband modulation improves the efficiency of the transmission by removing some unnecessary elements. In the first instance, the carrier is removed - it can be re-introduced in the receiver, and secondly one sideband is removed - both sidebands are mirror images of one another and the carry the same information. This leaves only one sideband - hence the name Single SideBand / SSB.

SSB receiver

While signals that use single sideband modulation are more efficient for two way radio communication and more effective than ordinary AM, they do require an increased level of complexity in the receiver. As SSB modulation has the carrier removed, this needs to be re-introduced in the receiver to be able to reconstitute the original audio. This is achieved using an internal oscillator called a Beat Frequency Oscillator (BFO) or Carrier Insertion Oscillator (CIO). This generates a carrier signal that can be mixed with the incoming SSB signal, thereby enabling the required audio to be recovered in the detector.

Typically the SSB detector itself uses a mixer circuit to combine the SSB modulation and the BFO signals. This circuit is often called a product detector because (like any RF mixer) the output is the product of the two inputs.

It is necessary to introduce the carrier using the BFO / CIO on the same frequency relative to the SSB signal as the original carrier. Any deviation from this will cause the pitch of the recovered audio to change. Whilst errors of up to about 100 Hz are acceptable for communications applications including amateur radio, if music is to be transmitted the carrier must be reintroduced on exactly the correct frequency. This can be accomplished by transmitting a small amount of carrier, and using circuitry in the receiver to lock onto this.

Receiving SSB

There are several types of two way radio communication that it is possible to listen to legally. Radio amateurs form a large group that short wave listeners can listen to quite legally, and the transmissions are easy to find as they are all contained within the amateur radio band allocations - see the section of this website on ham radio.

In view of its popularity it is necessary to know how to tune an SSB signal and receive the SSB signal in the best way to ensure that the best copy is obtained. Although it is slightly more difficult to tune than an AM or FM signal, with a little practice, it is easy to become used to tuning them in.

When receiving SSB it is necessary to have a basic understanding of how a receiver works. Most radio receivers that will be used to receive SSB modulation will be of the superheterodyne type. Here the incoming signals are converted down to a fixed intermediate frequency. It is at this stage where the BFO signal is mixed with the incoming SSB signals.

It is necessary to set the BFO to the correct frequency to receive the form of SSB, either LSB or USB, that is expected. Many radio receivers will have a switch to select this, other receivers will have a BFO pitch control which effectively controls the frequency. The BFO needs to be positioned to be in the correct position for when the signal is in the centre of the receiver passband. This typically means that it will be on the side of the passband of the receiver. To position the BFO, tune the SSB signal in for the optimum strength, i.e. ensure it is in the centre of the passband, and then adjust the BFO frequency for the correct pitch of the signal. Once this has been done, then the main tuning control of the receiver can be used, and once a signal is audible with the correct pitch, then it is also in the centre of the receiver passband.

Tuning an SSB signal with the BFO set is quite easy. First set the receiver to the SSB position or the BFO to ON, and then if there is a separate switch set the LSB / USB switch to the format that is expected and then gradually tune the receiver. Adjust the main tuning control so that the pitch is correct, and the signal should be comprehensible. If it is not possible to distinguish the sounds, then set the LSB / USB switch to the other position and re-adjust the main tuning control if necessary to return the signal to the correct pitch, at which point the signal should be understandable..

With a little practice it should be possible to easily tune in SSB signals.

Single sideband power measurement

It is often necessary to define the output power of a single sideband transmitter or single sideband transmission. For example it is necessary to know the power of a transmitter sued for two way radio communication to enable its effectiveness to be judged for particular applications.

Power measurement for an SSB signal is not as easy as it is for many other types of transmission because the actual output power is dependent upon the level of the modulating signal. To overcome this a measure known as the peak envelope power (PEP) is used. This takes the power of the RF envelope of the transmission and uses the peak level of the signal at any instant and it includes any components that may be present. Obviously this includes the sideband being used, but it also includes any residual carrier that may be transmitted.

The level of the peak envelope power may be stated in Watts, or nowadays figures quoted in dBW or dBm may be used. These are simply the power levels relative to 1 Watt or 1 milliwatt respectively. As an example a signal of 10 watts peak envelope power is 10 dB above a 1 Watt signal and therefore it has a power of 10 dBW. Similar logic can be used to determine powers in dBm.

Single sideband modulation variants

There are many variants of single sideband modulation that are used, and there are several different abbreviations for them. These are explained below.

LSB:   This stands for Lower Sideband. This form of single sideband modulation is formed when the lower sideband only of the original signal is transmitted. Typically this is used by radio amateurs or radio hams on their allocations below 9 MHz.

USB:   This stands for Upper Sideband. This form of single sideband modulation is formed when the upper sideband only of the original signal is transmitted. Typically this form of SSB modulation is used by professional users on all frequencies and by radio amateurs or radio hams on their allocations above 9 MHz.

DSB:   This is Double Sideband and it is a form of modulation where an AM signal is taken and the carrier is removed to leave the two sidebands. Although easy to generate, it does not give any improvements in spectrum efficiency and it is also not particularly easy to resolve. Accordingly it is rarely used.

SSB SC:   This stands for Single Sideband Suppressed Carrier. It is the form of SSB modulation where the carrier is removed completely as opposed to SSB reduced carrier where some of the carrier is left.

VSB:   This stands for Vestigial Sideband. It is a form is signal where one sideband is completely present, and the other sideband that has been only partly cut off or suppressed. It is widely used for analogue television transmissions. It comes in useful because the baseband video signal is wide (typically 6 MHz). To transmit this using AM would require a bandwidth of 12 MHz. To reduce the amount of spectrum used, one sideband is transmitted fully, whereas only the lower frequencies of the other are transmitted. The high frequencies can be later enhanced using filters.

SSB reduced carrier :   In this form of SSB modulation one sideband is present along with a small amount of the carrier. For some applications, a small amount of carrier is kept. This may be used to provide a reference signal for accurate demodulation.

SSB advantages

Single sideband modulation is often compared to AM, of which it is a derivative. It has several advantages for two way radio communication that more than outweigh the additional complexity required in the SSB receiver and SSB transmitter required for its reception and transmission.

As the carrier is not transmitted, this enables a 50% reduction in transmitter power level for the same level of information carrying signal. [NB for an AM transmission using 100% modulation, half of the power is used in the carrier and a total of half the power in the two sideband - each sideband has a quarter of the power.]

As only one sideband is transmitted there is a further reduction in transmitter power.

As only one sideband is transmitted the receiver bandwidth can be reduced by half. This improves the signal to noise ratio by a factor of two, i.e. 3 dB, because the narrower bandwidth used will allow through less noise and interference.

The summary of this is that SSB modulation offers a far more effective solution for two way radio communication because it provides a significant improvement in efficiency.


Single sideband modulation, SSB is the main modulation format used for analogue voice transmission for two way radio communication on the HF portion of the radio spectrum. Its efficiency in terms of spectrum and power when compared to other modes means that for many years it has been the most effective option to use. Now some forms of digital voice transmission are being used, but it is unlikely that single sideband will be ousted for many years as the main format used on these bands.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Katy Perry - Thinking Of You (Guitar Cover)

First try, Enjoy!


My friend of mine. From Bandung, Indonesia. Knowledgeable person. Very kind and willing to answer any questions related to ham radio. He made lots how to design antennas video and uploaded them to youtube.

My name is Roosdiarto Rooskandar. My nickname is Arrie. I live here in Bandung City, Indonesia, about 110km South East Jakarta (capital). My residence altitude is about 900m above sea level, so temperature here is running cool, from 15-20° Celcius along the year. From 1985-1994, I studied in Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB). My study was Industrial Engineering focused on Industrial Management. My studies from Junior High School up to 1994 were fully subsidized by President Mr. Soeharto government, as rest of youths studied in governmental schools. From 1997-2005, I studied in private university named ST-INTEN Bandung. My study was Wireless Telecommunication Engineering. From this university, I have my degree on Wireless Telecommunication Engineering. At 2010, my age would be 44, and still single. My hobbies are electronic and wireless telecommunication researches, amateur radio, sports, musics, and sight seeing.
My favourite singers, and bands include Coco Lee, Laura Pausini, Luis Miguel, Mezzoforte, Incognito, Casiopea, and many others. Between national musicians, I like Ruth Sahanaya, Candra Darusman, and many others. My musical flow tends to Fusion (between Jazz and Rock).
My researches include designing VHF FM transmitter, designing HF AM transmitter, designing effective antennas, propagation, atmosphere ionization, effect of Sun to radio propagation and weather, etc.. My callsign in Amateur Radio is YF1CRR. I DX (communicate internationally) on 7, 14, 21, and 28 MHz CW and Phone. I've joined ORARI (Indonesian Amateur Radio Organization) since 1990.
Since very beginning, my interest is on research of Telecommunication, and in future, I hope to establish my own industry, design and produce Amateur Radio equipments. And with my products, I hope I could relate everyone in Earth and Universe easily, cheaply, conduct friendship and peace between Nations, and communicate science and technology Worldwide to boost World's economy. May God realizes.
If you like to contact me or have questions, use:
Bukit Dago Utara II/3, Bandung, Indonesia 40135 (home)
To see my home from satellite: Latitude: 6.86825°S Longitude: 107.61776°E: http://maps.google.com/maps?q=-6.86825,107.61776
Ph: +62-22-2503241
Mobile: +62-852-20056566(SMS)
Webs: http://arriesite.blogspot.com/ , http://facebook.com/arrieweb, http://www.qrz.com/db/yf1crr , http://www.youtube.com/user/arrieweb
E-mail: arrieweb@gmail.com
ORARI National QSL Bureau: PO Box 1096, Jakarta, Indonesia 10010
West Java QSL Bureau: PO Box 1042, Bandung, Indonesia 40010
Or try to find list of IARU QSL Bureaus: http://www.iaru.org/iaruqsl.html
Or call me on high frequencies

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Are you a LID?

                                                                    Are you a LID?

Are you a lid? Good question, after reading this you can ask yourself does this sound like me?

Let us define what a LID is.

  1. In earlier telegraphy days a LID was referred to a operator that used a Prince Albert can lid to hear the Telegraph sounder easier. Usually these operators were new and sometimes slow and would slow down the whole Telegraphy system because of the operator that was slow or making many mistakes.
  2. A LID now of days is referred to any Ham operator that is a poor operator.
  3. Defined by a friend of mine a LID is some one that does not change there ways even after being corrected.

Why should I care about LIDS?

  1. Amateur Radio can be and will be received by Hams and non hams alike from local level to world level communications. If hams sound like a bunch of morons on the air with out any type of social order , what type of impressions do you think we give to non hams?
  2. Why would some one want to have a bad label put upon them.
  3. Not letting the quality of the Hobby/Service go to the same route as C.B. radio FCC mistake.

Lets look at some of the common mistakes we see ALL across ham radio and in EVERY class level.

  1. Saying out loud on voice when trying to be funny and say HI HI , Hmmm why not just laugh? Would that not be much easier and sound a little more human like. Are you trying to impress someone that you know what HI HI means on CW? Is there really a need for it on phone?
  2. Using "Q" Codes on phone..i.e. QSL, QRT,QSY ... Is there really a need for this on Phone why not just say to your friend "Hey, Jim change frequency to 146.675" Q codes was made for shorthand for CW and adopted on Digital modes for a efficient shorthand. Also a LID should always use Q codes when stations have a strong signal and clear and can speak your native tongue very well.
  3. Using really snazzy phonetic I.D.'s ... Why not use the Primary or Secondary ITU Phonetics? Every one is expecting to hear certain words with certain letters, Does it make sense to use some off of the wall word like example KZ4ZPC Kangaroo Ziggi Four Ziggi Popcorn Candy. When the other operator especially in a bad conditions might think you want to eat some candy popcorn or something.
  4. Use the wrong terminology like on FM say something like " Hey, Jim turn up your modulation(or even worse your Mod). Last time I looked FM Deviates not modulate. Also, using the wrong word for Class C type of amplifiers as :"linear" ,which they are not linear. Which lots of FM Amps are Class C and thus are not linear.
  5. When giving your call sign always say after the call sign For ID , That is a little redundant don't you think?
  6. When communicating with some one always give them dis-honest information. (Sarcastic here) Always tell someone that their audio is sounding very good, (when there audio is extremely basses and mushy or very distorted sounding over driving the transmitter). Tell someone they are full quieting into a repeater when there is a HISS in the background. Always tell someone they are 59 or 599 depending on mode and then ask them to repeat what they said. Or even better you are 599 with deep QSB hmmm, would that not be like hmmm 499 or 399 or something like that??
  7. To be a good lid they must always tune up on the air and to make it even better they must choose the frequency that the DX station is using and key up on top of him , while other stations are trying to work the DX station.
  8. Always call for the DX station even when you can not hear them. Example the DX station is saying something to the effect "DE BP4RR UP 2" The LID must then never put the radio into spilt mode to work the DX station because he can NOT HEAR them saying UP 2! And should be calling for him on his calling frequency and while the DX station is keyed up as well!
  9. Always work a DX station and then at the same time give your signal report and name etc... before the DX station even told you to go ahead, that would be like me going to the bank and jump the line and tell the teller I am here for you to serve my needs. Why not just give your call sign out and wait for the DX station to tell you to go ahead.
  10. Always continue to throw out your call sign even though the DX station is working another station at that time period.
  11. Always speak in third person .i.e. "We are sitting here talking on the radio", "We are clear"
  12. Use words that do not make any sense or do not even exist. like "negoitary" , "destinated"
  13. Always sign onto a repeater with your call sign and that is all, When someone hears a call sign they have NO clue what you are doing, are you listening? are you clearing out? are you ordering pizza or what???
  14. When in a mobile or portable never tell anyone you are mobile or portable, let them just guess at it especially when that is important information.
  15. Never listen to a repeater before you key down or any frequency.
  16. When using a repeater always use .. Hey your signal sounds great over here nice and strong!! , OH never mind that the repeater is probably on a high hill or tower etc and that is retransmits what it hears and the other station signal in lots of cases never comes to you directly.
  17. Always use the word "there" a whole lot like 20 times in one key up. People listening might start wondering where in the heck is "there" at.
  18. Always use the term 73s ,so you can make a plural stament even sound more plural 73 means "best regardS" do you want to say "best regardses"??
  19. Always try to use your "rubber ducky" on your nifty HT when you are many miles away from the repeater or not so good terrain especially on a every day circumstance , so every body will always try to guess what you are talking about.
  20. Always get way into the microphone and see how distorted your audio can get and also to listen to uvula dance around. And if some one tells your audio is too loud or hot then just ignore them and the problem will magically disappear. Always make sure the mic gain is very high to make it sound like you are doing a wind tunnel test in your vehicle.
  21. When going to simplex always choose the national call frequency to hold a conversation on.
  22. In general conversation always break into a conversation with a off of the wall comment or off the subject topic.
  23. Always complain about how the repeater is not working well or how you are not receiving it well.
  24. When a station tells you to stand by just continue to give your information to him ( seen that happen)
  25. Always break into a conversation and say "May I call another Station...kz4zzz this is kz4fff" Not much of a chose there was it? Yea the repeater is a community type of resource , but why jump in between a conversation to do what you want to do. That would be like going to hardware store and see a person that works there helping a customer, do you walk up to person working and demand them to help you? If you say this is normal then this is just right down RUDE!
  26. When working a station and the other station says "Hey Jim my name is Charlie" a LID then should key up and say "Nice to meet you Andrew" Just because QRZ says his first name is Andrew , You know some people do have middle names or even have a shorter name like Bill for William etc...
  27. When a LID always seek out stations that are Calling "CQ contest" or a rare DX station , Make sure you can work them and tell the other station that your name is such and such, you live on this street in this town and you are using such and such equipment and that you really enjoy Kenwood radios etc.. I think you get the point... For one thing that station does not really care too much on all the frivolous information. They are interested in quick contacts!
  28. When signing out with another station that controls the frequency and the stations returns it back to the LID station for his final and the LID gives his farewells and 73 and then the other stations gives his 73. The LID stations must be compelled to key back up and say 73 again or something to that effect. Even though the other station gave the green light for other stations to call him. And all the LID is doing is creating chaos.
  29. When signing portable always use redundancy when signing in , like i.e. de xx4xxx/4 We already know you are in 4th call area why tell it twice? Proper way would be xx4xxx/m or xx4xxx/p or xx4xxx/mm etc if outside the call area then use xx4xxx/5 which is no longer a rule , but is helpful for stations with beams and propagation like programs.


The Art of Communications

The practice of great communication is the door to success to many aspects in life such as financial endeavors, legal endeavors and loving relationships. This trait is not correctly taught much in life. Usually all senses are used to help communicate your intent to others like when you are mad or when you are sad via verbally or shown through body jesters or even a physical change in the body like faces becoming red or tears coming from the eyes. When we can uses all of our senses communications are more easily processed in the brain. When some of the senses are taken away it becomes even harder to interpret others intentions or desires. In Ham radio we are at a disadvantage of not being able to see the person live in most cases.
For me I am just a simple man and bound to make mistakes in life and try to learn from my mistakes and strive to be more perfect which never can be achieved, but yet I try. My grammar is not the best in the world, grammar is a ongoing learning experience to me. Hopefully this will be helpful to some people and I hope you can use this as a stepping stone to grow into something even better.


Interpersonal communication includes at least the following elements:

The Transmitter person - Someone who wants to convey a thought verbally or non-verbally to someone else they are interested in a conversation with.
The receiver person -  Someone who interpret the thought or action from another person.
A message - Information in some form i.e. written, spoken, body language.
Noise -  Anything that interferes or causes the deletion, distortion or generalization of the exact replication of information being transmitted from the mind of the transmitter to the mind of the receiver.
Feedback - Both the sender and receiver constantly elicit verbal and nonverbal feedback to the other person consciously or unconsciously.

Replication - The duplication of understanding in one person that is in the mind of another person. Replication is an approximate goal and philosophically not perfectly possible, though desired.
Understanding - An approximation of what the message means to the sender by the receiver.
Excellent communication is the ability to transmit a message by the sender to a receiver and have that message replicated in the receiver's mind. Excellent communication is the ability to receive a transmitted message by the sender and have the receiver be able to replicate the form and intent of the message in the receiver's mind. If the receiver is uncertain about some aspect of a communication, it is the responsibility of the receiver to clarify the communication through the artful use of questions (or you will just go through life not ever clearly knowing an answer to a question for example). The transmitting communicator also accepts the responsibility for the result of a communication (example OH ok let me put it a different way to see if you understand easier). This means the transmitter must be certain to code a communication so it is received in a manner that is understandable to the receiver. A complete communication would need a message transmitted to the receiver, if the question is not completely understood , then the transmitter will try again to make it better understood with a different angle, perspective or different choices of words for example. When the receiver has completely understood the message then the receiver should give the transmitter feedback that is understood.

Now that we have defined what communicating consents of now lets look into ham radio.
Sense we can not see facially gestures , body language, body stance i.e. (leaning forward or away from someone, crossed arms etc...) in most cases. But we can sense tone of voice, choice of words, instructions/commands to help clarify what your intent is and how you want to accomplish a task.
Here is some examples of bad practices I have heard on the radio is... (it is implied that emergencies happen and can not be foreseen)

1. When asking or making a statement etc.. you do receive a response, when you do not receive a response for no apparent reason , It could make the sender start wondering, That the receiver does not want to talk with you or does not answer your question because it is stupid and deserves no answer. (which is many cases this practice is just plain rude)

2. When someone is getting off the radio to do something else they do not tell anyone. So this leaves the other person on the other end guessing where you went to and wondering did I do or say something wrong to offend them or something to the like in nature? Which if this is done in ignorance then it is portraying rudeness. Example, if you were talking to someone in person and the other person decided just to leave and turn around and walked away with them saying nothing to you, what does the other person suppose to think? maybe Is there something wrong with me? Is that other person a rude person? Or is that person crazy and can't help it?

3. Some people do not communicate there intentions to well. (Like when someone is going to get off the radio , should you go silent and not say a word? No you should always tell what your intent is so, the other people involved know what is going on, A simple statement such as I have arrived at my location and I need to leave the radio so this is AC4M out. Using descriptive signs is helpful to convey your intent to all. Like when I am in my vehicle. I use this is statement "AC4M mobile" as a description what I am doing and this might explain to some people that this is why I could have a weak signal and do not freak out if I fade in and out of a repeater or I have much noise on my signal. When I get onto a repeater I could say "This is AC4M mobile monitoring", This is telling the ham community, who I am , what I type of situation I have going on for a radio setup and I am looking for any one to talk with that is available on the repeater.

4. When there is a conversation happening about a subject that is interesting in-between two people. I have heard people many of times come into a fairly deep conversation about a particular subject and make a off the wall comment or statement with something that does not even pertain to the subject at hand. (example: Me- "What do you think about the weather today Jim?" Jims says, "I hope it does not rain today", Breaking station - xx4xx ,ME: "Go ahead station", Breaking station: "What do you all think of the color yellow?" ) Why doesn't the breaking station want to be apart of the conversation?( Unless there is something serious a going on like an emergency). Put this into a eye ball to eye ball conversation perspective : if two gentlemen are having a conversation , do you come up to them and just say something that is not even remotely related to the conversation? The proper thing to do is to wait for a breaking moment or when two parties decided they have exhausted conservation on the subject at hand. If you broke into a conversation especially when you add statements or question and that way off topic that can come across as rude or the other two people may say this person is just crazy and can not help it.It also could portray that your conversation does not matter what I have to say is more important and I do not have to wait a turn, It Almost same thing as in going to a bank and walking up to the front of the line to the teller window to be served , ignoring all other people in line.

5. Using words that just does not make any sense. I have heard people use words such as destinated, negatory and of like--- How is this helpful on communicating? I think in my opinion just causes more confusion and makes oneself sound silly. What If I made up words like zooom too frookeee , would this help people? If you want to look as a fool on the radio that is your own business, but in my opinion , the FCC does not have to lets us have bands to operate on if our quality of service goes down then what reason does the FCC have with Hams? Also this practice makes the public think they are just a bunch of CB'ers. Remember simply little things can always explode into bigger thinks if left unchecked. Some of the history of CB is a good witness to this theory.

6. When in a structured net on the radio in emergency type of situations, The information people need is the information that does not waste time and that will efficiently communicate all the information needed to be expressed across the radio for the listener to completely understand the information that is sent. Knowing what type of information to send is very helpful to know in advanced as well(makes it easier to format your message). Giving information that is not very helpful. Like Being vague about your information is not very helpful, example ( someone say "I have hail" Now all we know is that they have hail , this was not very helpful, because now we must go back to you to try to get more complete information such as what size hail? Where is the hail happening at? etc etc. IF the sender would have said something to the effect of
I have hail here at my house 5 miles south of Church Hill, Tn with hail stones estimated at baseball size at 3PM and is still happening OVER , Then I should be very clear what is happening and where it is happening at and when is happening or happened. )

7. Words are not cheap , Say what you mean and then mean what you say. Some choices of words can be hurtful in a conversation or a person background makes them sensitive . I am not saying to be politically correct , but when you get to known some one you will find certain subjects are a little sensitive to people. It is always a good idea to try to make things clear that will not offend someone or be mis interpreted especially with people you do not known to well. Also it is good idea to make corny jokes when people seem to be sad or serious etc etc. I mean if you are a joking type of person, do you not want to give jokes to people that will easily accept it? In other words trying to be funny at inappropriate times is not too cool, or it can go the other way as well. When people are joking around do you make comments that are sad? Try to become part of the conversation not kill the mood.

8. When a station is telling you they are having a hard time communicating with you, then you must try to make it easier for them to understand you and in the propagation world, radio is not a landline conditions , the propagation can change and can be lots of noise effecting the receiver of the radio. So when some one is in a situation where they are not receiving you well , you can give the information two times to them to give a better chance of actually being heard, also spelling out letters if it is a short message is helpful to understand the letters easier. i.e. Alpha, Bravo Delta etc...If you are a mobile station is not too great of practice to send a message while you are in low lands of a valley, If you know you are way far from the repeater , wait till you can give your chance to be able to produce a stronger signal to the repeater, such as wait till you get out behind a hill or wait till you have more elevation. Think in RF terms , What might block my signals?
9. Always give feed back that the message has been completely understood.

10. When changing a subject in a conversation try to get the listener ready for the change ie. (speaking about rain and weather)Speaking about the weather that reminds me of the hurricane plane.-- now you can precede into the next subject and not having the listener playing catch up. Like they do not have to wonder to there self , How does a plane relate to this conversation?

11. on the technical side of things. When you have a situation where it is going to be hard to hold a conversation because you decided that your rubby duck is suffice. And other stations are straining there ears to hear you , or piecing together parts of sentences together where the station is falling in and out of the repeater. Would it not be a good idea to wait to you are in a better situation i.e. on top of a hill in the clear? Or make or buy a better antenna to attach to the HT? I have never really understood this concept to well especially from the station you must tell almost daily we not understand what you are saying. Why would a person want to become nuisance to other users that have to strain away on trying to converse with you? In certain situations this can not be avoided but in everyday same situations this is entirely different.

12. It is always good practice to answer a question that has been giving to you. IE Like example station Did you all receive a warning for a tornado?-- ME: No I did not receive a warning from the NWS office. station Ok I did on my phone --ME: What time did you receive it? station I get warnings from the NWS in Morristown( they did not answer the question). --- ME: What time did you receive the warning?? - station I do not remember I deleted it.

13. Also if I am spelling my name to a station in say like in India high my name is Craig as in Carrots Radish Alpha Indigos Grapes, would he know what that means? Now I am not saying all hams know the ITU primary phonetics but the hams that do , that is what they are expecting to hear if I say my name is Craig as in Charlie Romeo Alpha India Golf, then that station will be able decipher my phonetics a whole lot easier than using some type of fancy phonetics and stuns people when they hear it.

14. In ham radio especially on propagation paths that are great and steady we should use plain language like what you would do on a phone I am not saying like not to say mobile, out , roger etc.. but for the conversation part... in Ham radio there is no need to say I am QSY , or do you hear QRM , it is not really needed since Q codes was first designed for CW mode for shorthand, There is really no need for short hand on a local repeater. It gets even more ridiculous when a station station use two or three Q codes in a conversation , like my QTH here is Church hill, my QRA is Craig, do you have QRM and QRN at your place? well I must go QRT now and QSY to bed. Does it make them feel they are impressing someone ??
15. I have heard this happen many times as well, When asked a question and the receiver did not understand the question, They sit there and will not ask the sender to repeat or they did not understand, thus forcing the transmitter to try to guess if the receiver actually heard you or even understood, It is the responsibility of the receiver to ask to say again etc... just not sit there and do nothing

16. When signing off with another station it is always great practice to tell them you are leaving and you are turning it back to them for there final (or final statements) then afterwards you can sign off, this give the other station a chance to ask any additional question to you if needed and a chance to say there good byes and best wishes etc.. if this chance is given to you , it is bad practice to give a additional good bye after you had the chance, especially on simplex because there might be other stations that are calling the other station for an example on HF when you are working DX when you sign with one station and give him the chance to give his 73 then after this I say my 73 to him , this is a queued signal for other station to know I probably am free to be worked unless I say I am QRT( shutting down)  or QSY( going to another frequency of xxx) or something to the like.  If you do not do this you are making yourself look like you are the only station in the world and there could not possible be any other signals in the world that you can not hear. If the person does not give the other a person a chance to say good bye on a final , then it is impossible for other stations to know exactly when you are finished with your conversation.

17. When you first get on a repeater and you have listened for awhile and you do not hear anything , it is always always a good idea to give your call sign with a additional descriptive monitoring or listening. Now if you did not add monitoring or something like that and just said this is ac4m, to the listener that was half way paying atenttion does not know if you are QRV(active), QRT (shutting down) or listening and probably has no clue what you are doing.

18. To help clarify what a suffix or a prefix of a call is. I have seen this mistake many times before.( the sender ask for the prefix of the call sign and the receiver gives the complete call sign again, which is your call sign which is ok , but in certain situation it is better to only send the prefix only if the sender requests it, they have a reason to request it. examples where this comes in handy is when there is lots of noise and you can not hear the prefix well if conditions are very bad it is desirable to send only the prefix and maybe repeat the prefix two or three times.) If someone asks for your prefix of your call sign this means the letter that come before the number in the call sign. If some one ask for your suffix this means all the letters after the number in the call sign. On the international seen you may come across call signs such as 4z4zz the prefix in this situation would be 4Z the suffix then would be 4ZZ

The lack of good communications can add many problems in a relationship. The trust factor starts to decrease because of this and hard feelings can be introduced to the relationship. When the the intent is not effectively communicated it forces the other parties involved to try to guess what the intentions are because we are not using all senses that may have added more information. When there is a break down in communication is also causes the self esteem of the sender to go down because they can become frustrated on not knowing if there message is understood or absorbed by the receiver. If the sender is not very descriptive if puts the receiver at a disadvantage on understanding the message as well. Which more than likely will cause more time to try to get the message communicated because of the lack of information in the first place. Remember on radio we can not use all of our senses, so many people are at a disadvantage, When we are trying to explain something for example, we need to paint a picture in the receivers mind, not ever assuming they know what you are talking about . The more effectively descriptive you are the better off everyone is. Try to choose the words or analogies etc carefully to be more effective to be able to get the receiver to understand completely, You do not want to choose words that are not effective and cause some one boredom were they do not want to listen anymore.

As a side note it is always a good idea to pick interesting subjects that can get many people involved in a conversation or pick a subject that helps people grow. Hams have been known to be intellegent in electronics and of the like. Speaking about Antennas, Radio, circuits, coaxials etc etc are pretty sound subjects. The concept of Ham radio is listed in Part 97 of the FCC rules and regs.
The rules and regulations in this Part are designed to provide an amateur radio service having a fundamental purpose as expressed in the following principles:

(a) Recognition and enhancement of the value of the amateur service to the public as a voluntary noncommercial communication service, particularly with respect to providing emergency communications.
(b) Continuation and extension of the amateur's proven ability to contribute to the advancement of the radio art.
(c) Encouragement and improvement of the amateur service through rules which provide for advancing skills in both the communications and technical phases of the art.
(d) Expansion of the existing reservoir within the amateur radio service of trained operators, technicians, and electronics experts.
(e) Continuation and extension of the amateur's unique ability to enhance international goodwill.


Ham Radio - Windows Or Linux ?

Is Windows easy? Yup. So is the Citizen’s Band. The “ease” of using Windows robs you in the long run, though. It robs you of the basic right of a ham to experiment with your own equipment. It robs you by locking up programs in an operating system you have to pay for. And it robs you by being insecure on its most basic level.

And it robs you because you pay for it in cash… over and over.

Linux, on the other hand, fits right in with amateur radio. It was written by someone experimenting with electronics; as an amateur. Applications written for Linux are also usually written by people experimenting; and using their names on an open source copyright as evidence of competence to prospective employers.

Maybe Linux isn’t as easy as Windows… but learning Morse Code or electronics wasn’t easy, either. Linux fits right in with ham radio. I should know… I’m 70 years old and was licensed when I was 14 and I’ve been using Linux since 1994.

Craig K7EXJ

Friday, September 13, 2013


Special event station DM1813LEI commemorating the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Leipzig will be on the air from August 1st to October 31st, 2013.

Die Sonderstation DM1813LEI zum Gedenken der 200. Wiederkehr der Völkerschlacht bei Leipzig ist vom 1. August bis 31. Oktober 2013 in der Luft.

In October: Special DOK 1813L

The Battle of Leipzig or Battle of the Nations was fought by the coalition armies of Russia, Prussia, Austria and Sweden against the French army of Napoleon I, Emperor of the French, at Leipzig, Saxony from October 16th to 19th, 1813. Napoleon's army also contained Polish and Italian troops as well as Germans from the Confederation of the Rhine. The battle marked the culmination of the fall campaign of 1813 during the German campaign and involved over 600,000 soldiers, making it the largest battle in Europe prior to World War I.

In this most important battle of the war of liberation against Napoleonic domination, the numerically superior allied armies defeated Napoleon Bonaparte decisively forcing him to retreat from Germany with his remaining residual army and without allies.

During the battle approximately 100.000 soldiers out of the participating 600.000 lost their lives, while tens of thousands of wounded lay half starved in hospitals, churches and public buildings. Emerging epidemics also took hold of large parts of the population of Leipzig. Starvation and poverty, destruction and sorrow were immense.


Ground Loop

In an electrical system, a ground loop usually refers to a current, almost always unwanted, in a conductor connecting two points that are supposed to be at the same potential, often ground, but are actually at different potentials.
Ground loops created by improperly designed or improperly installed equipment are a major cause of noise and interference in audio and video systems. They can also create an electric shock hazard, since ostensibly "grounded" parts of the equipment, which are often accessible to users, are not at ground potential.

A ground loop in a system which connects circuits designed to be at the same potential but which are actually at different potentials can be hazardous, or cause problems with the electrical system, because the electrical potential and soil resistance at different points on the surface of the earth can vary.
In a floating ground system, that is, one not connected to earth, the voltages will probably be unstable, and if some of the conductors that constitute the return circuit to the source have a relatively high resistance, or have high currents through them that produce a significant voltage (I·R) drop, they can be hazardous.
Low current wiring is particularly susceptible to ground loops. If two pieces of audio equipment are plugged into different power outlets, there will often be a difference in their respective ground potentials.

If a signal is passed from one to the other via an audio connection with the ground wire intact, this potential difference causes a spurious current through the cables, creating an audible buzz at the AC mains base frequency (50 or 60 Hz) and the harmonics thereof (120 Hz, 240 Hz, and so on), called mains hum. Sometimes, performers remove the grounding pin from the cord connecting an appliance to the power outlet; however, this creates an electrocution risk. The first solution is to ensure that all metal chassis are interconnected, then connected to the electrical distribution system at one point (often referred to as a "single-point ground"). The next solution is to have shielded cables for the low currents, with the shield connected only at one end (this, however, increases the possibility of radio frequency interference (RF) since the shield may act as an antenna).

Another solution is to use isolation transformers, opto-isolators, or baluns to avoid a direct electrical connection between the different grounds. However, bandwidth of such is of consideration. The better isolation transformers have grounded shields between the two sets of windings. In circuits having high frequencies, such as computer monitors, chokes are placed at the end of the cables just before the termination to the next appliance (e.g., the computer). These chokes are most often called ferrite core devices.

In video, ground loops can be seen as hum bars (bands of slightly different brightness) scrolling vertically up the screen. These are frequently seen with video projectors where the display device has its case grounded via a 3-prong plug, and the other components have a floating ground connected to the CATV coax. In this situation the video cable is grounded at the projector end to the home electrical system, and at the other end to the cable TV's ground, inducing a current through the cable which distorts the picture. As with audio ground loops, this problem can be solved by placing an isolation transformer on the cable-TV coax.

Ground loop issues with television coaxial cable can also affect any connected audio devices such as a receiver. Even if all of the audio and video equipment in, for example, a home theater system is plugged into the same power outlet, and thus all share the same ground, the coaxial cable entering the TV is sometimes grounded to a different point than that of the house's electrical ground by the cable company. The potential of this ground is likely to differ slightly from the potential of the house's ground, so a ground loop occurs, causing undesirable mains hum in the system's speakers. The appropriate fix for this is the relocation of the cable system ground block to the electrical service grounding braid.

Ground and ground loops are also important in designing circuits. In many circuits, large currents may exist through the ground plane, leading to voltage differences of the ground reference in different parts of the circuit, leading to hum and other problems. Several techniques should be used to avoid ground loops, and otherwise, guarantee good grounding:

  • The external shield, and the shields of all connectors, should be connected. If the power supply design is non-isolated, this external ground should be connected to the ground plane of the PCB at only one point; this avoids large current through the ground plane of the PCB. If the design is an isolated power supply, this external ground should be connected to the ground plane of the PCB via a high voltage capacitor, such as 2200pF@2KV. If the connectors are mounted on the PCB, the outer perimeter of the PCB should contain a strip of copper connecting to the shields of the connectors. There should be a break in copper between this strip, and the main ground plane of the circuit. The two should be connected at only one point. This way, if there is a large current between connector shields, it will not pass through the ground plane of the circuit.
  • A star topology should be used for ground distribution, avoiding loops.
  • High-power devices should be placed closest to the power supply, while low-power devices can be placed farther from it.
  • Signals, wherever possible, should be differential.
  • Isolated power supplies require careful checking for parasitic, component, or internal PCB power plane capacitance that can allow AC present on input power or connectors to pass into the ground plane, or to any other internal signal. The AC might find a path back to its source via an I/O signal. While it can never be eliminated, it should be minimized as much as possible. The acceptable amount is implied by the design.

Power Line Hum

Mains hum, electric hum, or power line hum is an audible oscillation of alternating current at the frequency of the mains electricity, which is usually 50 Hz or 60 Hz, depending on the local power-line frequency. The sound often has heavy harmonic content.

Electric hum around transformers is caused by stray magnetic fields causing the enclosure and accessories to vibrate. Magnetostriction is a second source of vibration, where the core iron changes shape minutely when exposed to magnetic fields. The intensity of the fields, and thus the "hum" intensity, is a function of the applied voltage. Because the magnetic flux density is strongest twice every electrical cycle, the fundamental "hum" frequency will be twice the electrical frequency. Additional harmonics above 100 Hz or 120 Hz will be caused by the non-linear behavior of most common magnetic materials.

Around high-voltage power lines, hum may be produced by corona discharge. In the realm of sound reinforcement (as in public address systems and loudspeakers), electric hum is often caused by induction. This hum is generated by oscillating electric currents induced in sensitive (high gain or high impedance) audio circuitry by the alternating electromagnetic fields emanating from nearby mains-powered devices like power transformers. The audible aspect of this sort of electric hum is produced by amplifiers and loudspeakers.

The other major source of hum in audio equipment is shared impedances, when a heavy current is flowing through a conductor (a ground trace) that a small-signal device is also connected to. All practical conductors will have a finite, if small, resistance, and the small resistance present means that devices using different points on the conductor as a ground reference will be at slightly different potentials. This hum is usually at the second harmonic of the power line frequency (100 Hz or 120 Hz), since the heavy ground currents are from AC to DC converters that rectify the mains waveform.

In vacuum tube equipment, one potential source of hum is current leakage between the heaters and cathodes of the tubes. Another source is direct emission of electrons from the heater, or magnetic fields produced by the heater. Tubes for critical applications may have the heater circuit powered by direct current to prevent this source of hum.

It is often the case that electric hum at a venue is picked up via a ground loop. In this situation, an amplifier and a mixing desk are typically at some distance from one another. The chassis of each item is grounded via the mains earth pin, and is also connected along a different pathway via the conductor of a shielded cable. As these two pathways do not run alongside each other, an electrical circuit in the shape of a loop is formed. The same situation occurs between musical instrument amplifiers on stage and the mixing desk. To fix this, stage equipment often has a "ground lift" switch which breaks the loop. Another solution is to connect the source and destination through a 1:1 isolation transformer, called variously audio humbucker or iso coil.

Another extremely dangerous option is to break contact with the ground wire by using an AC ground lift adapter or by breaking the earth pin off the power plug used at the mixing deck. Depending on the design and layout of the audio equipment, lethal voltages between the (now isolated) ground at the mixing desk and earth ground can then develop. Any contact between the AC line live terminals and the equipment chassis will energize all the cable shields and interconnected equipment.

Humbucking is a technique of introducing a small amount of line-frequency signal so as to cancel any hum introduced, or otherwise arrange to electrically cancel the effect of induced line frequency hum.
Humbucking is a process in which "hum" that is causing objectionable artifacts, generally in audio or video systems, is reduced. In a humbucker electric guitar pickup or microphone, two coils are used instead of one; they are arranged in opposing polarity so that AC hum induced in the two coils will cancel, while still giving a signal for the movement of the guitar strings or diaphragm.

In certain vacuum-tube radio receivers, a winding on the dynamic speaker field coil was connected in series with the power supply so as to tend to cancel any residual hum.
Some other common applications of this process are:

  • Humbucking transformers or coils used in video systems.
  • Telephone (and other audio) system and computer communications wiring.
Assuming a tempered scale with A=440 Hz, a 60 Hz tone is almost exactly halfway between A♯ (58.24 Hz) and B (61.68 Hz) two octaves below Middle C, and a 50 Hz tone is between G (49.04 Hz) and G♯ (51.93 Hz) two octaves below Middle C, but slightly flatter than the quarter-tone. These notes fall within the range of a 4-string bass guitar.

In musical instruments, hum is usually treated as a nuisance, and various electrical modifications are made to eliminate it. For instance, certain pickups on electric guitars are designed to reduce hum. Sometimes it is used creatively, for example in glitch music.

Electrical network frequency (ENF) analysis is a forensic technique for validating audio recordings by comparing frequency changes in background mains hum in the recording with long-term high-precision historical records of mains frequency changes from a database. In effect the mains hum signal is treated as a time-dependent digital watermark that can be used to find when the recording was created, and to help to detect any edits in the sound recording.

Power line hum can be alleviated using a band-stop filter

Buzzing Noise After Rain

After a rain, probably you will hear a buzzing noise from your high frequency receiver. Why is this happen?

Foul weather (rain, fog, snow and hoar frost) can lead to discharges on high voltage overhead transmission lines. These corona discharges result in a broadband crackling noise. In addition in these situations with a low tone at twice the mains frequency there often occurs a further noise component. Such audible noise from high voltage overhead transmission lines can reach locally unacceptable levels. As tonal noise at twice the mains frequency is perceived by the human ear as more annoying and as noise at such low frequencies is less mitigated by building structures this humming component of the audible noise from high voltage lines can cause particular annoyance.

Both kinds of noise are associated with electrical discharges from particular sites of elevated electrical field strength such as blemishes on conductors and other hardware surfaces and – most importantly – water drops.

40m And CW

40 meters is where I used to have a conversation my CW buddy. 9M2AR are the station that I used to have evening chats.

Sometimes I need to send CQ to call him and sometimes I just call 9M2AR 9M2AR DE 9M2PJU K.

Recently he is busy nursing his wife and always not in the shack on evening. I called CQ and no one answered.

Till one day where some people came and send PIJU DE PIRATE. I was wondering who is that man?

From the signal strength, I think that he must be within peninsular of Malaysia. From the sending technique, it must be a straight key. From the speed and dit dah ratio, he maybe seldom on CW mode.

Replying a CQ call in CW must started with receiver callsign first and after that sender's callsign.

This is basic operating procedure. This procedure applied to voice too.

Good practice of operating procedure describes good operator, vice versa. Doesnt matter how expensive the transceivers or the antennas are.

Ethics does matter, not the equipments.

Ham Radio And Social life

Talking about ham radio and social life reminds me to a meaning of life.

From wake up in the morning to going back home, funny things, saddest things, love, hatred and also forgiveness.

Being a ham radio operator doesnt mean that you need to sacrifice your social life. If you mix your ham radio knowledge and apply it into your life, sometimes it become happier than before.

But everything need a limit. Balance, modest and sometimes robust. We don't easily mix ketchup and pepper into our meals. We need to taste it.

Life sometimes can be hard to some people. Sometimes they want others to follow them but on the same time they insist to follow anyone.

Call it as give and take. Too much of gives can be harmful to someone and too much taking can also destroying.

Try to find monkey and talk to him 24 hours a day, I bet it will running away from you.

I always reminding myself that I am learning and always learn as long as I'm alive.

Reading, asking and watching is basic techniques to learn. We don't even need to pay anything to learn. Well, depends on your situations.

Remember, we have learnt electricals, electronics, physics, science from ham radio. But don't forget that we also incidentally learnt human physiology.

Appreciate yourself and your beloved ones.

9M2PJU Official QSL Manager

My official QSL manager now is Mark K2AU. He will handle all QSLs in and out for 9M2PJU. All paper QSLs, please send direct to Mark K2AU. I will not replying any QSL cards received from bureau or direct, but i will confirming all QSOs on Logbook of the world (LOTW)

Sunday, September 8, 2013

The crystal radio

The crystal radio

A crystal radio set is able to detect radio signals without a power supply. It works best if there is a transmitter within 25 miles (40 km) of the set. The antenna, a very long wire, picks up the waves and passes them through the set as electronic current, and then down to the ground. The set itself is a tuned circuit that can select a desired frequency from the many that are picked up by the antenna. The electric signals cannot be directly converted into sound because they vibrate back and forth too rapidly. The crystal (or diode) between the tuned circuit and the earphones allows the current to pass through in one direction only. The earphone contains a small solenoid and a thin metal plate. The current passing through the circuit and then through the diode causes the solenoid to move, which in turn moves the metal plate, whose vibrations create (faint) sound waves in the air. A very simple crystal radio is not very selective, and if there are more than one nearby stations broadcasting near the same frequency, there will more than likely be some overlap, and you will hear two or more broadcasts at once. The solution is to add a tuner and a capacitor to the circuit. The coil length is what determines the frequency the circuit is tuned to. A simple tuner effectively changes the length of the coil by selecting how much of it is in the circuit. A capacitor (condenser) helps refine the tuning further.

A note about the crystal detector

Galena is the most commonly used crystal.It is a fairly simple process to make a working radio using a modern diode for a detector. However, the reason these are called crystal sets is because the detector was originally a piece of crystal. You can still make your radio the authentic way with a crystal and cat's whisker. Detector stands are still manufactured, one good source being Antique Electronics Supply, 6221 S. Maple, Tempe, AZ 85283-2856 USA (phone 602-820-5411). A crystal detector includes a crystal, a cat's whisker, which is a special thin wire that contacts the crystal, and the stand that holds the components in place. The most common crystal used is a small piece of galena, which is fairly common, and can be found in many rock and hobby shops. BIG safety pinThe cat's whisker is most often composed of phosphor bronze. Once in circuit, the whisker can be moved about on the crystal's surface to find the most "sensitive" spot. The pressure of the whisker on the crystal is also adjustable. There are some other crystals that will work, so there is much room for experimentation with crystal fragments that you may already have. Also, it is not absolutely necessary to use a detector stand, and the cat's whisker can be improvised with a safety pin. Although it will be less selective and more difficult to adjust, it can be made to work quite satisfactorily. A small piece of rubber pencil eraser impaled on the safety pin helps to insulate it from your fingers while adjusting.

The coil, antenna, ground, and phones

The coils for these sets are typically wound around a 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 inch (38 - 64 mm) diameter core, using 75 to 150 turns of 24 to 20 gauge wire. These are typical numbers, not critical. What is critical is that the individual loops of wire around the coil are wrapped touching the next one over, but that they do not ever overlap. It is also important that whatever attaches the coil to the base can not touch the coil's wire, especially if it is a metal tack or nail. A coat of shellac or varnish helps to keep the coil together. Let it dry thoroughly before using. If a wiper type switch is used, the varnish will need to be scraped away along its path. Ideally, the antenna should be 100 feet ( 30 m) or so long, and strung as high as possible. Insulated or non-insulated wire can be used. Either way, the un-insulated ends should not touch anything that will ground them. It is best if they are tied off to ceramic or plastic insulators, which can in turn be tied off between two high points outdoors, such as a tree limb and your house. Never string an antenna anywhere where it has even the slightest chance of coming into contact with a power line, or in a place where you will need to go near a power line to hook it up. Always take the antenna down if a storm or lightning is predicted. It is safe practice to add a lightning arrestor to you lead wire. You can purchase in many radio and electronic hobby shops antenna kits which include the antenna, insulators, lead wire, and lightning arrestor.
The ground wire can be attached to a metal cold water pipe, or to a metal rod stuck a couple of feet into the earth. Do not attach it to a line carrying gas or electricity.
The headphones (or earphone) need to be high the impedance type designed for crystal sets. They are still available through electronics suppliers and some hobby shops.

The capacitor

The capacitor, or condenser, though not essential for operation of these sets, does help to refine their use when it is added. More complicated sets have a variable capacitor. For the simplest sets, however, a fixed capacitor of around .002 mF or so is sufficient. A capacitor is also very simple to build. The Cub Scouts, being the great caretakers of crystal radio lore that they are, included this picture in the 1954 edition of the Wolf Cub Book. It lacked annotation of any kind other than what is here. The most important thing to know is that all of the tinfoil pieces need to be completely insulated from one another. They cannot touch each other in the least. The whole thing should be bundled tightly with cellophane tape. Also, aluminum foil is more common these days than is tin foil. It will work just as well.

Set one

What is presented here in crude ascii schematic is the simple basis of many simple crystal sets. This is not intended to tell you how to construct a particular set, but it should be enough to get a design started. The diode D1, a germanium diode (1N34A or eq. usually recommended), is the detector, and in old sets this would have been the crystal and cat whisker assembly (see "A note about the crystal detector", above). The capacitor can either be a standard mica type of around 0.002 mfd, or a simple variable type, which you can easily build yourself based on a simple design of two metal or metal clad plates, which can be slid apart or together, and which are separated by an insulating material (kraft paper). L1 is the coil. Volumes could be and have been written on coils. A very simple one can be made with a 5 or 6 inch (127 - 152 mm) long, 1 inch (25 mm) diameter plastic pipe, wood dowel, or any fairly sturdy non metallic cylinder that can be easily worked with. Wind using magnet wire (#16 will work). Secure the free ends to the former somehow. The enamel should be sanded off the ends before including them in the circuit. You will have to mount the coil so that it does not contact the base. Sand the side lightly that switch S1 contacts. S1 is a simple piece of metal shaped and fastened so that it may slide across the coil. It is usual practice to attach it to the circuit with a screw or rivet loosely enough so that it can be pivoted to contact most of the coil. The ground can go to a water pipe (not a gas or electric pipe). A steel rod hammered 2 feet into the ground will also work. You can be as elaborate as you wish with the antenna. Don't use during an electrical storm! If you can't get it to work, flip the diode around. This might get things going. If not, check all your connections and make certain there is a good ground connection. You may also be using the wrong type of headphone. You will need a very high impedence phone. There are phones made specifically for crystal sets.

Set two

This design is a bit different, but mostly in the way the tuner is set up. The coil for this set should be wound with app. 22-gauge wire, but it isn't critical. The form it is wound around is 1 to 2 inches (25-50 mm) in diameter and 4 inches (10 cm) long. It is wound in pretty much the same manner as the coils in the other projects listed here. A few inches are left loose at one end, the wire is taped down, and winding begins. Every so often, a loop of wire is left out of the winding and twisted together. This loop should be 2 inches (50 mm) or so when stretched out. Try to keep their lengths uniform. They should be closer together near the end of the coil that will connect to the ground connection. The more of these "tails" that are made, the greater the selectivity of the set. Also, as with any of these sets, the more turns in the coil, the greater the range of frequencies that can be received. When the coil is mounted to the base, one end wire is joined to the circuit. The tails are thumb tacked to the base, sticking straight out in front of the coil. The coil's other end wire is tacked to the board along with the tails.
The capacitor is 300 picofarad. The enamel will need to be stripped from the coil's free ends as well as from the tails. The wire that is shown as a "free wire" in the schematic is actually the tuner. It attaches to the coil along it's tails to select frequency.

Set three: bare bones set

A crystal set can be very simple to very complex. If you want to go the complex route, which will produce a much more sensitive and tunable device, I suggest checking out the Xtal Set Society, which produces several fine books on the subject. If you want to construct a very simple one, then the schematic below is about as simple as you can get. It won't produce the easiest set to tune, but it is a great first set, and you will, if you are patient, be able to pick up several stations using it. Using a toilet paper roll, poke two small holes about a half-inch from each end. Pass about one foot of the free end of a roll of magnet wire (#16 or so) through one of the holes, from the outside of the tube to the inside. Tape it in place. Wind the coil, making sure the adjacent windings touch but do not overlap. It should be wound firmly. When you get near the second hole, roll off another foot or so of the wire and cut it off from the roll. Pass the end through the second hole, and tape in place. Mount the coil on the base, which is a 5 by 7-inch or so piece of wood, corrugated cardboard, or foam core. The coil should be mounted with spacers at each end, under the points of attachment, so that there is open air all around the coil (this is more critical in more sensitive sets, but it is good construction practice always). It can be attached with push pins or small brads.
The tuning switch (S1) is a piece of copper strip, which is mounted to the base at one end with a screw or rivet so that it may turn freely. The metal is lifted (not sharply bent) so that it sits on top of the coil, making good but gentle contact across the entire range. It should be positioned so that the mounted end is 2 or three inches from the coil, and centered with the coil (long ways). It is 1/4 to 1/2 inch or so wide, and long enough to cover the entire range of the coil. There should be no sharp edges, as this will wear out the coil.
You will need to add 3 terminals, two on one end of the base, and one on the other (at opposite ends of the coil). Small nails or pins work well. Sand off the enamel from the free ends of the coil's wire. Attach the wires to one of the terminals on each side. Lightly sand off the enamel under the path where the switch swipes the coil. A diode (1N34A or eq.) is attached between the attachment point of the switch and whichever of the 3 terminals is not attached to the coil. The banded side of the diode faces away from the switch.
The antenna wire attaches from the side of the coil that is opposite the diode (the side with only one terminal). It should be as long as is practically possible. Attach the ground to the terminal on the opposite side that is attached to the coil (not to the diode). The ground wire is then attached to a cold water (not gas!) pipe. High ohm headphones (the type designed for crystal sets) or an appropriate earphone is attached to the two terminals between the diode and the coil. A .001 - .002 uF capacitor can be added across the earphone terminals (not necessarily essential).
The switch needs to make good contact with the coil. If necessary, bend the end somewhat in its middle, long ways, to refine contact. Or else, solder a short piece of heavy wire to the bottom of the contact point.

Set four: Cub Scout set

This is a set which appeared in the 1943 Wolf Cub Book, part 1, pp. 75-77. The text is verbatim. It may be public domain by now, but assume for now that the Boy Scouts of America hold the copyright. There is also a nice gif image of the set from the manual. If you have trouble getting this, let me know and I will see what I can do.

How to make a simple CRYSTAL RECEIVER

A-Dry a cardboard mailing tube in the oven, then paint with a coat of shellac. The tube should be about 6 or 7 inches long and 2 1/2 inches in diameter. Buy one pound of 26-gage (B. & S.) single cotton covered wire. Start and finish winding one half inch from ends of tube. Then shellac all over again. When dry, fasten down to a baseboard at each end, with a screw and washer to prevent it from touching at any point.

B-Cut a strip of cardboard as a test place for selector. When length has been determined, cut a brass strip the same size. Screw this down at a slight angle and mark on coil just where it touches. Fold a piece of sandpaper and with the folded edge remove the shellac and covering from wire on coil. This will leave an arc the bras strip will touch. In fastening on brass selector, use two fibre washers.

C-One end of wire from coil should go to "ground" clamp. Wire from selector should go to "antenna" clamp. Other end of coil wire should go to crystal detector. Run a wire from "ground" clamp back to one phone binding post. From other binding post, run wire to crystal. Between the phone posts, connect an .001 or .002 microfarad receiving-type fixed condenser, which costs very little.

This type of receiver works best when within 25 miles of a broadcast transmitter. Antenna and ground connections should always be tight.

- end of article
By the 1950's, the basic set changed only slightly, and has remained pretty much the same up to current Cub Scout manuals.

Final notes

This page is intended to get you started on a simple set, as well as to introduce a bit of theory to assist in constructing more complex sets. Crystal radios can be refined and precise pieces of equipment with careful design and construction. There is room for experimentation in every aspect: basic design, the coil, rheostats, the antenna, traps for the antenna (which help to filter the signal before it reaches the set), and so on. Changes in these areas can effect the sets sensitivity, range, accuracy, and even volume. Most of this is beyond the scope of this page. If you want to pursue crystal sets further, a good place to start is the Xtal Set Society. Also, you will find out a great deal on your own by experimentation.

Crystal radio lore

Gordon Johnstone writes:
"My grandfather was one of the first electric torpedo men on the Royal Navy ships during the first World War. He built one of the early crystal radios for my grandmother, but was annoyed at only one person being able to hear at any time. So he took a large pudding basin, and mounted the headset a little up from the base inside. Voila, early parabolic loudspeaker system." Thanks, Gordon!

Construction of a diode

If you want to try your hand at making your own diode, Allan Charlton, of Sydney, Australia, adds: "When I was a kid in a small town in Tasmania, Australia, our school was at the base of a hill, and the local radio transmitter was on top of the hill. We had lots of fun with crystal radios.
This is how we made our diodes:
Take a small length of glass or plastic tubing--an inch of the case of a plastic pen works well. Close one end with wax, sealing a wire through the wax. Pour a little copper oxide into the tube: enough to cover the end of the wire. Fill the rest of the tube with copper filings or turnings. Poke a wire into the copper filings or turnings (but don't let it go down to the oxide) and seal the end of the tube with wax.
Can't find copper oxide?
Throw some copper wire into a fire. When it's cool, scrape the oxide off the wire. Yes, there are two oxides of copper, a red oxide and a black oxide, and they both work well. We preferred the red, but I have no idea why."
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