Posts Tagged amateur

What is a Voicelid?

On the ham radio bands, a voicelid is an operator who is transmitting voice within, or partially within, a portion of the band traditionally reserved for data.

For instance, the USB carrier frequencies 14.230 MHz and 14.233 MHz have traditionally been reserved for slow scan television operations (also known as “SSTV”) for more than 50 years now:


20 Meter ARO Band

20 Meter ARO Band


So with regard to these frequencies, USB voice operation above 14.227 MHz (presuming 3 KHz voice bandwidth, which is generous) and below 14.236 MHz self-identifies the operator as a voicelid, as would (non-traditional, to say the least) LSB carrier point operation below 14.239 MHZ and above 14.230 MHz.

This is true both during non-contest and contest periods. Contests provide no legitimate excuse to intentionally interfere with others — that’s not radiosport. That’s simply rude, as well as outright forbidden.

This does not apply to USB voice transmissions on 14.230 or 14.233 that are actually SSTV related — those are part of normal SSTV operations.

So take a little time to learn about traditional non-voice allocations on all of the bands you operate within, and carefully respect the tiny bits of bandwidth they occupy. This is one of those important bits of operational knowledge that distinguishes the skilled radio operators from the unskilled ones.

#voicelid #sstv

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Amateur Radio Callsign utility

Screen shot 2015-05-02 at 11.36.46 AMWhen creating reports involving amateur radio callsigns, it is useful to be able to sort them according to region, prefix and postfix, as this is the way we are accustomed to thinking about them. In addition, padding them so that call regions align and other types of worthy formatting are applied is something I have found to be very handy.

For this purpose, I developed aa_calllib.py, a Python import library. You are welcome to use it.

Click here to download the zipped library.
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SdrDx –OS X and Windows SDR Software

I’ve been working on developing OSX/Mac and Windows versions of SdrDx. At this time, SdrDx for OS X and Windows supports Ethernet-connected version of AFEDRI SDRs, the USB-connected Airspy (AirSpy HF+ under OS X only, via this OS X server), Ethernet-based Andrus MK1.5, USB FunCube Pro, USB FunCube Pro Plus, Peaberry, Ethernet based RFSPACE SDrs, USB RTL sticks (RTL supported under OS X only, via this OS X server) and Softrock SDR receivers. Both the Peaberry and Softrock SDRs require a lot of expertise to get working. The others are pretty much plug-and-play.

power-block-builds

SdrDx 2.17a

SdrDx 2.19n

In addition, SdrDx can be made to support any SDR with a sound card interface, including I/Q input via your native or auxiliary sound card, with a little scripting work; the Peaberry and Softrock support use this mechanism via Python.

SdrDx (running on the Mac) is shown to the right. SdrDx is a closed-source, free application.

SdrDx, in combination with your SDR, is an extremely powerful receiver. Reception, recording, playback, analysis, processing — it’s all there, and it’s all been made as easy to use as possible. Extensive documentation covers every aspect of operating the software, as well as providing numerous examples and images to help you along. If you’re an expert radio user, you’re sure to settle right in. If you’re still learning, you can look forward to software that lets your capabilities grow with your knowledge.
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SWL tips for the Yaesu FT-2000

FT-2000

The FT-2000 is a superb radio, one of its key features being a general-coverage receiver suitable for shortwave listening.

Unfortunately, just “out of the box”, it isn’t really set up to make this convenient. Following are some suggestions or tips that make the radio a lot more enjoyable to use for SWL purposes.
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