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Sunday, September 13, 2015

Inspiring Stuff on "QSO Today"


Eric 4Z1UG is doing some really great interviews on his "QSO Today" podcast.   I found the last three to be especially informative and inspirational.

Chuck Adams K7QO dispensed a lot of useful information about Muppet boards and construction techniques, but more importantly he put out a lot of wisdom about the hobby, especially on the importance of teaching and sharing knowledge.

The interview with Glenn Elmore N6GN presented many interesting technical ideas, including using WSPR on VHF and UHF, and using aircraft reflections as a Sporadic-E like propagation mode.  He also mentioned "wing vortex" propagation.  Glenn talked about how to use a drone and a special light-weight transmission line to get your VHF/UHF (or cell phone) antenna above the trees.  (See above).

I found the conversation with Gerald Youngblood K5SDR both fascinating and a bit worrisome.  Gerald is obviously a great guy, and he does a wonderful job of describing the technology behind SDR radios, linking it to the phasing techniques that hams have been using since the dawn of single sideband.  He makes a strong case for the new SDR rigs, noting the absence of receiver-produced noise, the advantage of band-wide visual waterfall displays (even while noting that they tend to "make every ham an Official Observer"), and "brick wall filters that don't ring."  But I got and uneasy feeling when he referred to non-SDR rigs as "legacy rigs."  I found myself wondering how long it will be before all our rigs are required to be noise-less and all our filters skirt-less. Will there come a time when our beloved legacy rigs will be deemed unacceptable? (You can already hear this sentiment on the bands.)  And how much room is there in this SDR world for the kind of homebrewing we do? ( I know, I know.  I admit to feeling the presence of Ned Lud as I type these words.)

Great job Eric! And thanks to all the interviewees.   We look forward to the interview with Pete N6QW. 

Eric's QSO Today podcast can be found here:  http://www.qsotoday.com/

Our book: "SolderSmoke -- Global Adventures in Wireless Electronics" http://soldersmoke.com/book.htm Our coffee mugs, T-Shirts, bumper stickers: http://www.cafepress.com/SolderSmoke Our Book Store: http://astore.amazon.com/contracross-20

1 comment:

  1. The SoftRock kits sold by KB9YIG at fivedash.com are all SDR receivers and transceivers at modest prices, and very well documented thanks to WB5RVZ.org. Good for the homebrewer to build as designed and/or modify.

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