Articles by Fred C (W6BSD)

Garden Lights

At home, I wanted to install lights along the fence to create an ambiance in my backyard. I wanted to have the lights turn on at sunset and turn off a few hours later, entirely automatically. The last requirement was to be able to control the system remotely. I also …


Where are all the hams?

When I build or install a new antenna, I always run a series of tests. Like everyone else, I look at the resonant frequency and SWR. But to see how the antenna is performing, I run WSPR1 for a few days. Then I use the data collected by WSPR …


Baking bread

With the Covid-19 shelter in place, I have decided to make my bread again. A few years back, I was baking bread with my starter. This time I have decided to go the easy way and use commercial yeast. Also, I wanted to make bread with as little kneading as …


80-meter NVIS antenna

I live in the middle of Silicon Valley in a suburban setting with small front and back yards. My property does not have tall trees to take advantage of when installing an antenna. Given these conditions, my best option was to use a vertical antenna. I got a Hustler 4BTV …


I just got my Tech License

This article was also posted on the San Mateo Radio Club monthly news letter. In California, the majority of new hams come from an EmComm1 group. In this article, I am not going to talk about EmComm. It is a vast subject and your EmComm group is better suited …


Ham Radio Jargon for beginner

If you are a new ham checking into a repeater or someone listening to the ham radio band with a scanner, you will discover a lot of the jargon. In the following table, you will find the most common lingo you will hear on the amateur band and, more specifically …


DMR D-Star cross-mode

In my last article, I wrote about working DMR+ using the DMRGateway module of your Pi-Star hotspot. In this article, I'm going to explain how to use the same DMRGateway module to talk to D-Star networks using your DMR radio. What is cross-mode? When you talk on digital radio, the …


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