Thursday, November 15, 2012

KC3VO's 2kW ham radio backpack amplifier gets the attention of the FCC! This is a preview from ARVN's "Dayton Collection" from the 2009 Dayton Hamvention. This clip comes from the "Unauthorized" Dayton TOUR. Details at

Friday, November 9, 2012

Live Weatherstream from KI4HEE

The weather station is up and live on weatherunderground. All & all, a very pain free experience. The Weatherwise WS-2080 is impressive, & worth the sub $100 pricetag. I'll be crafting a product review over the next few days for the APN Newsletter and blog, and here, so stay tuned! Meanwhile, go check out the weather conditions around the KI4HEE Hamshack on the edge of Red Hill!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Ham Radio Field Day 2012 is here!

The Scamp Shack in 2005... it'll do it again this weekend too!
The day of days of all of Ham Radio is upon us! Ham Radio Field Day! This weekend, June 23 & 24, Hams all across the nation take their Ham Radio gear and demonstrate operating under field conditions.

The versatile nature of Ham Radio... to set up and operate literally anytime, anywhere, is a valuable aspect of the hobby, and a vital skill of the Amateur Radio Service. From the beginning of radio, Hams have often served as last resort communicators in a disaster, and the ability hasn't lessened in importance today.
That's why the last weekend in June has been traditionally been field day, where Hams take to the field to set up tents, trailers, generators, antennas in the trees, and communicate all over the country.

 This weekend I'll be participating with my friends in the Grand Strand Amateur Radio Club as we set up field operations on the grounds of The American Red Cross Building on the old Myrtle Beach Air Force Base, in Myrtle Beach SC. We will be operating on several ham bands under our club callsign W4GS. Interested in finding out more about Ham Radio or even get a chance to operate? Come join us, we'll start setting up early Saturday morning and start operating by 2PM, and will be operating all night long and into Sunday afternoon. Stop by, have a burger & dog, cool drink and check out how it's done "in the field". '73 KI4HEE

Monday, May 21, 2012

A new Hurricane Season is soon upon us.

Hurrican Ivan visits the Gulf Coast
With kids keeping a real close eye on the calendar, counting down the days till summer vacation, summer is swiftly on it's way. Along with the hot summer fun, for everyone living along the Atlantic & Gulf Coasts, there's another seasonal pastime to look forward to... Tropical Storm & Hurricane season. While the Midwest states have already had to contend with Tornado outbreaks, each summer, the threat of a tropical storm or hurricane builds as ocean temps warm up in the northern hemisphere. While the cycle of storm threats seem to appear on a downward trend, (depending on which propeller-head weather forecaster is speaking), it's still prudent to take time to refresh your preparations now before any need arises.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Check out the shack...

Solar Flare Heads to Earth

Incoming Full-Halo CME
Incoming! The new WSA-Enlil Solar Wind Prediction is calling for a direct CME impact during the middle of tomorrow (March 8). The solar wind is expected to increase to over 800 km/s and Strong Geomagnetic Storming will be possible. This plasma cloud is the result of the X5.4 and X1.3 Solar Flare event very early this morning. In the new movie below, you can see that the plasma cloud is Full-Halo and heading this way.

Arrival Time Update Please note that the expected arrival time of the plasma cloud will be between 0600-1000 UTC.(1AM-5AM EST) This means sometime after 2am EST, we can expect the first signs of the incoming Coronal Mass Ejection   READ MORE HERE


Monday, February 20, 2012

New Tech: Spray-On Antennas

If you often find yourself lacking wireless signal, there may soon be a simple solution. Scientists have developed a spray-on coating that can boost your phone's reception, make your home amplify signals instead of attenuating them, or even turn a tree into a transmitter. Read More

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Jim Baker, WG4MB/SK

The Boy Scouts, Ham Radio, & I have lost a good friend with the passing of Jim Baker, WG4MB of Myrtle Beach, SC.

At the Grand Strand Amateur Radio Club's Annual Dinner last month, I had a chance to sit & speak with Jim for a bit, it was the last time we spoke together face to face.  I noticed he was looking a bit frail, he had lost weight, and I could see an aged gauntness in his face that wasn't there before. I assumed he had been dieting, he had a heart bypass last year, and I was guessing he was following Doctors orders to rein in his diet. So I jokingly asked him what was his secret?  He smiled and paused, then told me it was a bit more serious than that. However, he immediately swore me to silence, and not to let on and breathe a word. Instead, in true Boy Scout fashion he simply said "I'm prepared", and changed the subject to his Scouts, and to the upcoming Marathon our Ham Club participated in each year.  Typical Jim Baker... never on himself, always thinking of others, always forward thinking.

Ham Radio was #3 on Jim's mind, first of course, was his family, second was his Boy Scouts, and then came Ham Radio, but he always seemed able to blend all three together very well. From him & his son Tony helping man an Aid Station at the Myrtle Beach Marathon, to having a troop of scouts invade the Radio Club's field day, getting each scout working a turn at the GOTA (Get On The Air) station, helping them earn their Communication Merit Badge. Jim was always driven to helping others before himself.

I always enjoyed the ragchews we'd have together on the radio while both of us would be stuck in Myrtle Beach traffic.  He'd be heading out to pick up son Tony from school, or making a grocery store run before dinner, and me slogging my way home after work in the rolling parking lot of Highway 501. We'd commiserate & communicate over one thing or the other, but Jim always had a positive outlook that left me feeling better about whatever it was we were talking about. I'm going to miss his wit, wisdom and advice. I'm going to miss him calling me "Bobby" one else called me that.

I could count on Jim to check in or run radio nets during SKYWARN weather alerts, or in between cooking dinner, helping Tony with homework, or whatever his busy household had going on. He kept us all informed on what was happening in and around slightly soggy Socastee Swamp. Often he came to bat in a pinch, not only on our local nets, but also on the Mobile Maritime Service Net on 20 Meters HF, where he was a regular check-in and occasional net control. WG4MB made Amateur Radio a much better place, and the airwaves will be a little too quiet with him gone.

If my life could hold even a fraction of the tireless optimism Jim Baker carried within him every day, I know I'd be a better man. God bless you my friend, you prepared me, & everyone who knew you, in your own special way.  '73 Good Friend - Bobby KI4HEE

UPDATE: Many thanks to Steve NN2NN, for forwarding on a precious Gem, a recording of Jim, recently checking into the 14.300 Mobile Maritime Service Net... quite likely one of the last transmissions WG4MB (Wille Go 4 More Beer) ever made. Always optimistic, that was Jim, a good Scout. Thanks again Steve!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Future MIT Student Launches APRS tracked High Altitude balloon to 91,000 FT!

Erin AK4JG, from Georgia writes: "I decided to send my Tube to the edge of space! I turned it into an Amateur Radio High-Altitude Ballooning project. I used two GPS-equipped ham radio transmitters (APRS) using the callsigns AK4JG-11 (me) and K4ETY-11 (my dad) to send out position packets from the Tube so I could track it on the ground. (The thing I'm soldering in the beginning is one of the trackers.) My dad and I made custom antennas for the radios for the flight. (You see one of them at the bottom of all the footage from the TubeCam.) The camera mounted to the Tube ("TubeCam") for the ride was a GoPro Hero camera, taking 960p HD video. The balloon was an 800 gram weather balloon, filled with Helium. We launched the payload around 1 pm from Lumpkin, GA on January 16, 2012. The entire flight from launch to landing lasted nearly 2 hours. Maximum altitude was approximately 91,000 feet. It landed just east of I-75 and south of Cordele, GA. Ironically, it decided to land in a small patch of trees surrounded by cotton fields. (We were aiming for the fields.) Luckily, it wasn't very high up and we were able to recover everything safely. It was fun!" (: The background song is "Circuit" by Sonic Adventure Project, courtesy of