Updated September 25, 2022
Paperless Testing on Ham Nation
MARS Director and repeater wrangler Allan Batteiger, WB5QNG, joined Larry Pollock, NB5X, of W5YI-VEC as special guests on the August 31 podcast of Ham Nation.
Allan and Gordon West, WB6NOA, talked about how the pandemic changed license testing and the success of remote and all-electronic (paperless) amateur license exams. The podcast was streamed live on the Ham Radio Crash Course YouTube channel hosted by Josh Ness, KI6NAZ. Please go to https://youtu.be/vvgTcMaSSBQ view the program. The segment begins at 13:15.
Robert Lewis, WA5ONL, Silent Key
We are sad to report that Robert (Bob) Lewis, WA5ONL, passed away on Wednesday morning, August 17. Bob was the brother of MARS member and recent Board Director, David Lewis, AC5DL.
Bob was an active member of the Dallas Amateur Radio Club (DARC) during the ’70s and ’80s. He was a Technical Officer, maintained DARC repeaters, taught amateur radio classes and mentored many young hams.
MARS offers our thoughts and condolences to the Lewis family.
Lewis Thompson, W5IFQ, explored “Field Expedient Antennas” during our meeting on August 11. The idea is to build an emergency HF antenna from local supplies when a ready-made one is not available. He explained how to design multi- and mono-band wire antennas for NVIS as well as long-range deployment. You can view the video or download his presentation as a PDF.
QRM from the President’s Shack
It’s no secret—I enjoy watching YouTube videos. There are numerous videos on nearly any topic you can imagine. If I need to figure out how to fix something, I check to see if there is a YouTube video first and usually there will be a few videos that help. The YouTube algorithm learns your likes over time and “suggests” videos it thinks I would enjoy—a bit spooky!
A few weeks ago, YouTube recommended a video on a little QRP SDR transceiver, built from a kit. The video showed Adam Kimmerly, K6ARK, using the radio as a backpack rig, suitable for SOTA. https://youtu.be/OX8Knu0yh6M
I was amazed by this little radio, so I investigated more. I landed on the website of one of the designers in Germany, https://dl2man.de/.
(tr)uSDX is the successor of the original uSDX project. It was designed by Manuel Klaerig, DL2MAN, and Guido Ten Dolle, PE1NNZ. It is a 5-band, multimode QRP transceiver, typically 5 watts output. It supports CW, SSB, AM, and FM, and includes CAT control, so it can easily do FT8!
(tr)uSDX is completely open source; all of the RF board files, 3D printed case, and SDR software are available to download and use for FREE from DL2MAN’s website. The kit includes the circuit board with all SMT components already installed! The rest of the build is through-hole and winding some toroids (the toroids don’t have to be wound under a microscope). The kit is priced around $96 without a case and it’s available assembled for $148. Go here for the “official supplier.” https://dl2man.de/where-to-buy-trusdx/
Back to YouTube, Manuel has his own channel. He shows step-by-step how to build the kit here: https://youtu.be/VVGBapoCUls. Manuel shows us how to interface (tr)uSDX to a PC and use it with WSJT/X here: https://youtu.be/W5M2C7rW0b0.
Searching YouTube for “(tr)uSDX” will produce a LOT of videos about this nifty little SDR rig. Here is my suggestion: stay cool this August stay inside and watch some cool Ham radio videos on YouTube!
—73 David Gilpin, K5GIL
In August of 2021, Darrell Crimmins, KG5E, needed to take down his tower because the first section at the bottom had developed vertical cracks in one of the legs. Over a few days, MARS hams convened and successfully brought it to the ground. Please see “The Great Tower Party” from the Archives.
The plan at that time was to put the tower back up at Darrell’s East Texas cabin but for a variety of reasons this had to be put on hold. Putting it back up in Carrollton seemed the right thing to do.
Darrell bought a new bottom section, and it was ready to go. The new bottom section was put on the base and tilted over. The other four section were mated along with the rotor plate and mast at the top.
With the help of a couple young strong friends, Glenn Pratt and Trevor Teter, the tower was tilted back up and is now in place ready to be decorated with antennas.
Check out the short clip showing the raising. Meanwhile, we’re looking forward to hearing Darrell back on the air from Carrollton.
The Magical Mythical Radioddity GD-77
Kevin Grantham, N5KRG, reviews this special radio. Please go here to read the full story.