New Year resolutions / to do list for 2013

Merry Xmas and Happy New Year everyone. On this post I’ll try to summarize the goals for 2013:

  1. Build permanent shack, install antenna distribution box, new grounding system, antenna feed lines, dedicated PC for digital modes / DSP / CW / logging,
  2. Install antenna distribution box outside, improve lightning protection, grounding system at the entrance

Antenna projects:

  1. Build 10m halo antenna for digital modes, portable use
  2. Build 20m magnetic loop antenna for digital modes
  3. Install new grounding and radials to the main vertical antenna, weatherproof distribution box, retune antenna, calculate diagrams (EZNEC), bury new feed line in a rodent-proof conduit
  4. Locate and identify source of S7 QRN on 40m
  5. Build new HF / VHF antenna
  6. Build and install discone antenna on attic with remote RTL-SDR / Raspberry Pi receiver
  1. Finish SoftRock RXTX kit
  2. Convert Softrock 20m lite for WSPR / PSK usage
  3. Build WSPR beacon
  4. Build APRS gateway using Raspberry Pi
  5. Finalize MCU homebrew paddles CW-keyer (add enclosure, paddles)

Free DV – open source digital voice codec for HF

Want to try this out soon – need to interface my TS-520 to my laptop:

Amateur Radio is transitioning from analog to digital, much as it transitioned from AM to SSB in the 1950’s and 1960’s. How would you feel if one or two companies owned the patents for SSB, then forced you to use their technology, made it illegal to experiment with or even understand the technology, and insisted you stay locked to it for the next 100 years? That’s exactly what was happening with digital voice. But now, hams are in control of their technology again!

FreeDV is unique as it uses 100% Open Source Software, including the audio codec. No secrets, nothing proprietary! FreeDV represents a path for 21st century Amateur Radio where Hams are free to experiment and innovate, rather than a future locked into a single manufacturers closed technology.

FreeDV is a GUI application for Windows and Linux that allows any SSB radio to be used for low bit rate digital voice.

Speech is compressed down to 1400 bit/s then modulated onto a 1100 Hz wide QPSK signal which is sent to the Mic input of a SSB radio. On receive, the signal is received by the SSB radio, then demodulated and decoded by FreeDV.

FreeDV was built by an international team of Radio Amateurs working together on coding, design, user interface and testing. FreeDV is open source software, released under the GNU Public License version 2.1. The FDMDV modem and Codec 2 Speech codec used in FreeDV are also open source.

See a demo of a freeDv QSO:

More info at:


ARRL 10m contest

Propagation was not great to say the least recently. Had some interesting contacts during ARRL 10m SSB contest but not as many as hoped for.

Need to make a dedicated 1om antenna for next year!