FreeDV for Digital HF

While I own several DSTAR radios and enjoy that mode, I am rooting for the adoption of FreeDV as the digital codec of choice on HF.  I have written about FreeDV before.  It is a truly “free” CODEC that anyone can use without licensing fees.  If you have a computer with speakers and a microphone AND a separate sound-chip interface like the Signalink USB, you are set for operation.  Just pick up the latest version from http://freedv.org/tiki-index.php for your Windows, Mac, or Linux PC.  FreeDV requires TWO sound interfaces.  For example, the computer microphone will be digitized by your soundcard and converted back to analog on your Signalink output to the radio.  Likewise the incoming radio audio will be converted to digital by the Signalink input and converted back to normal audio by your soundcard/speakers.

All you have to do is set up these pathways in FreeDV and get on the air.  Since the mode is pretty new it can be difficult to stumble on to QSO partners.  For that, John Hays created a neat online chat utility at http://qso.k7ve.org/ where you can see a live list of FreeDV ops and set up an instant sked.  I made my first FreeDV QSO this afternoon with a station in Seattle on 40 meters, followed by a perfect copy from a Florida station on 10 meters.

It is digital but it is voice, so you need to operate in the phone sub-bands, not CW.  Give it a try.

Area License Class in April

Amateur Radio              Technician Level Class

Sponsored by Whatcom Emergency Communication Group

Dates: Saturday April 19, 2014 and

Saturday April 26, 2014

The Class will be held at

Nelson Driving School, LLC

2300 James Street Suite 103, Bellingham, WA 98225

We are located one block south of Trader Joes on James Street

Time:     9:00 AM to 4:00 PM both days

Cost:      $25.00 for the class and $15.00 for the test.

To sign up or for more information contact:

Rick Nelson

ke7nez@gmail.com

360-354-8777

Thanks VEs

We only had three candidates take VE exams today but they all passed and everything went perfectly, thanks to Bruce, Don, Scott, Claire, Jim, and Deb.  A special thank you to Brian K1BJ who came out to open up the building for us.  Two people passed their Tech and one upgraded to General.  The new General class licensee credited Bruce Prior’s (N7RR) license course for his perfect score.  If you would like to take Bruce’s license course for Technician, General, or Extra, write to him at N7RR@mail.com

The next license exams in Whatcom County will be Saturday February 8 at 1000 am at the Search and Rescue building.  Details under the Classes and License tab above.

Emcomm Volunteer Meeting Oct 10

All Whatcom County emergency communications volunteers are invited to attend a special meeting at the Search and Rescue building near Smith Rd and Northwest avenue (1041 W Smith Rd) on Thursday October 10th at 7pm.  Deputy Director of Emergency Management for Whatcom County Kent Catlin will be speaking.  This is a regular meeting of the WECG (Whatcom Emergency Communications Group), but all area hams involved in emcomm are encouraged to attend.  Kent will be describing his vision for building a communications network within Whatcom County and to surrounding areas.

FD Pix

I finally pulled the pictures that I took at Field Day 2013 in Blaine off my SD card.  Here are a few:

IMG_0618

Budd WB7FHC drove his electric bug to FD. What a project!

IMG_0605

Sarellite ops. They made a QSO just as the bird was falling below the horizon. Alt/Az 440/144 antenna in foreground; operating station under canopy.

IMG_0610

Satellite Ops. Don W7AIN making the QSO and tracking Doppler shift on the VFO while Andy WA2TND positions the antenna during the pass. Gary KF7NJU looks on.

IMG_0616

Taking a break from radio to rag chew and EAT. Everyone’s favorite FD activities.

Tech License Class in November

Whatcom Emergency Communication Group is sponsoring an Amateur Radio Class to earn a technician license class. 

 

The class dates are Saturday November 2, 2013, 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM and Saturday November 9, 2013, 9:00 AM to 3:45 PM.  The class will be taught at Nelson Driving School, LLC, 2300 James Street Suite 103, Bellingham, WA 98225. We are located one block south of Trader Joes on James Street.

The test is scheduled for 2:00 PM on Saturday, November 9, 2013. The test is open to all wishing to earn their technician, general or extra class licenses.

 The last day I will be able to accept registrations will be Tuesday October 29, 2013.  The total cost of the class is $25.00.  The textbook is provided.  Checks made out to WECG or cash will be collected on the first day of the class.   On the second day of class the student will need to bring $15.00 in cash to pay for their test.

 

My contact information is:

Rick Nelson

864 West Park Drive

Lynden, WA 98264

Ke7nez@gmail.com

360-319-1272

 

The preferred registration method is via email.  I will need the student’s

Full Name

Address

email address

phone numbers