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HAM and Amateur Radio Tag Archive

May 23, 2015 • News

Dayton Hamvention 2015: Still the Greatest Spectacle of Ham Radio

Since I have fully recovered from the past Dayton Hamvention, I thought I would share some of my thoughts of the event.  Now you may be unfamiliar with Hamvention so let’s just say it is the biggest Ham Radio event not just here in the US, but in the world. That’s what it means to …

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March 3, 2015 • How to Do It Yourself!, News

Raspberry Pi and D-star: Work the World from Where You Are.

There’s quite a few hams I talk to every day that use D-star and a Raspberry Pi computer to use D-star even in places where there are no repeaters.  The Pi is IDEAL for this as it has  low power requirements and is small. This is just one of many uses hams have come up …

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November 10, 2014 • Editorials

Software Defined Radios Are the Future

Software defined radios are radios that are defined, primarily, with software. What does this mean? That means instead of needing a circuit to do the job, a portion of what the radio normally would do has been replaced by software. Want a different mode or even a frequency? Update the software. This has forever changed …

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October 3, 2014 • News

Last Man Standing’s Tim Allen Earn’s His Ham Radio License

I love the show Last Man Standing. One reason why I love it is Tim Allen’s character, Mike Baxter, is also depicted as being an Ham Radio operator like me. Well, last week at the Hollywood Hamnado special event sponsored in part by the show, it was announced that Tim has truly earned his license and …

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July 2, 2014 • News

A Conversation with Adam Curry thanks to Amateur Radio

One of the things I always say about Ham Radio is that you never know who might have their license; there are even famous people who do.  An example of this comes in a short conversation I had via Amateur Radio with former MTV VJ and one of the hosts of the No Agenda Podcast, Adam Curry, …

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July 1, 2014 • Reviews

Icom ID-51A D-star Radio Review

It’s been a while since I entered the D-star world of amateur radio with the ID-31A. Unfortunately, it gave up the ghost — mostly because it took several baths in iced tea. So what was its replacement? The Icom ID-51A D-Star, which is in every respect one of the best and most advanced handheld radios I’ve ever owned.

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February 10, 2014 • Gear Bits

What is the Oldest Piece of Tech That You Still Use?

You’d think we’d use nothing old with the pace that new technology moves, which got me thinking: What is the oldest piece of tech that you regularly use? Mine is my Azden PCS-6000 2m mobile amateur radio, which I use at home; it was released in 1989. There’s no reason to replace as it still …

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January 28, 2014 • Editorials

Amateur Radio Goals for 2014

It’s important to have goals.  The new year is an excellent time for new goals, and I thought I would share them here on Gear Diary, as they are oriented around emergency preparedness as well as new radio gear. This year I am planning 2 radio purchases with the second helping me to better serve …

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August 15, 2013 • News

My Workspace: 50 Year Old Desk Mixes Modern and Old School Tech

One of my favorite set of posts on Lifehacker is the “Featured Workspace” posts.  Your workspace is important.  It’s where things get done. Each and every workspace is different because we are all different. My workspace utilizes a 50 year-old desk and a mix of tech from old to new. Read on for more on …

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June 13, 2013 • News

The Ham Radio ARRL Repeater Directory for Android Review

A while back I reviewed an app for finding Amateur Radio repeaters called Repeater Book.  In that review, I fondly remembered leafing through the Repeater Book that the American Radio Relay League (or ARRL) printed for years upon years.  I have not bought one of those in some time, and I think the ARRL noticed …

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May 29, 2013 • Events

Dayton Hamvention 2013 – The Hams Were There

One experience I have yet to share about ham radio is the experience of the Ham Fest.  A Ham Fest is not where you go and eat ham with your fellow radio operators.  It is a conference where you can go to learn about the rigs, get training, and buy things!  Think CES combined with …

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May 23, 2013 • Reviews

Baofeng UV-5RA Review – Can a $50 Ham Radio Be Any Good?

I hope you have been enjoying my series on Amateur Radio.  It’s been one of my favorite hobbies for about 20 years now, and I love sharing my knowledge with our readers. Today I am bringing you another radio review, only the second one ever for Gear Diary. Just like when I reviewed the Icom …

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April 12, 2013 • Gear Bits

The Origin of the Term ‘Ham Radio’

I hope you have been enjoying my posts on Amateur Radio.  Other than mobile tech and the typical tech stuff I am into, it is one of my most favorite things to do in the evening.  Nothing beats chatting with a group of fellow hams about amateur radio itself, the tech behind it, or other things that …

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April 10, 2013 • News

RepeaterBook for Android App Review

Way back when I was first licensed in 1993 to use a HAM Radio, the first thing I wanted to do was to get on the 2m band and hop on a local repeater.  How did I find them back then?  Well I went to the local radio store and bought the latest edition of …

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March 5, 2013 • News

Ham Radio to be Featured in Tim Allen’s Last Man Standing on ABC

I’ve watched Last Man Standing all season this year and am really enjoying the series in its second year.  One of the reasons I was attracted to it was that the character Tim Allen plays, Mike Baxter, is an Amateur Radio Operator.  He has been given the tongue in cheek call sign KA0XTT.  The “XTT” stands for Ex Tim Taylor.  Icom …

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January 22, 2013 • News

Quirky Ham Radio Gadgets from Yesteryear: The Wouff Hong and the Rettysnitch

Well, the Wouff-Hong is not so much a gadget, but it has been a part of Ham Radio lore since 1930’s.  What is a Wouff Hong?  According to 1930 edition of The Radio Amateur’s Handbook: The Wouff-Hong is amateur radio’s most sacred symbol and stands for the enforcement of law and order in amateur operation. …

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November 18, 2012 • Outdoors

My Bag: Ham Radio Edition

Hurricane Sandy, the derecho and the upcoming winter season has had me thinking about what I carry on a daily basis. It also prompted me to consider what I might add to it to be better prepared.  In HAM lingo, we refer to this as our GO bag– the bag that serves in an emergency …

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October 28, 2012 • News

Last Man Standing: Mainstream TV and Radio Connected for Special Event Today

I hope you are enjoying my continuing series of posts on Amateur Radio.  Occasionally, we get to have fun and come close to touching those who we watch on TV.  Well, not exactly but today there was a special event that almost never happens. What on earth am I talking about?  Well, today there was a very …

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October 26, 2012 • Reviews

Icom ID-31A D-star Radio Review

  I hope you have been enjoying my series on Ham Radio and its various aspects; today’s post is the first review of a ham radio on Gear Diary!  Specifically, I will be reviewing the Icom ID-31A, which is the most advanced handheld radio I have yet owned and the most advanced currently available. What this won’t …

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September 17, 2012 • How to Do It Yourself!, Outdoors

D-Star Breathes New Life into Amateur Radio

D-Star is the newest mode I have recently added to my Amateur Radio arsenal.  I bought an Icom ID-31A D-star, radio which I will be reviewing here soon, but I wanted to share a little about D-star and why it’s a cool mode before I did the review. The History of D-Star D-star is a …

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August 27, 2012 • News

Before There Was Google Latitude, Foursquare or Facebook, There Was APRS

Hello!  W3RAZ again here on Gear Diary, for some more amateur radio goodness.  Today I am writing about APRS.  APRS?  What’s that?  We’ll it’s in many ways the precursor to Google Latitude and all of these apps on phones that have you checking into places, but it was invented 20 years ago by WB4APR, Bob …

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