The Great Canadian Antenna

Can it get anymore Canadian than this? Long-time members and readers may remember the Great Canadian Alligator Clip and how we put it to good use keeping some librarians nicely grounded. What could we do for a patriotic encore? The answer came to us from ylab friend John/VE3IPS. We were storing some old radios in a shed, and sent him...

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Antenna science goes to pot

Half-baked or well done? If you know anything about radio and antennas – and if you don’t, check out our beginner radio and antenna pages – you know that the most basic antenna is a dipole, and a dipole antenna has two sides. All antennas require two sides. A magnetic mount antenna (magmount) looks like it has only one...

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Baofeng DM-X/DM-1702: Is this the saddest radio ever?

If only as a warning to others. Way back in 1976, General Motors introduced the Chevette, a sad little cramped hatchback that, when equipped with the automatic transmission, could barely drag itself above 100 km/hour. Friends had rusted-out Pintos and Toyotas that we would rather ride in than a new Chevette. GM was the biggest automaker...

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A cheaper antenna: the Red Green J-Pole

What else would you expect? People make J-Pole antennas out of all kind of things… copper pipe… twin-lead/ladder line. But who has that kind of stuff lying around the house? And the tools to work it? Everybody has speaker wire! Old speaker wire. Now that’s something a lot of people have lying around. If you took a ham...

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Talking around the world with a handheld radio: the magic of IRLP

Talking around the world with a handheld radio: the magic of IRLP If you have a handheld radio and live in almost any populated area in Canada, you can reach a repeater to have your signal rebroadcast with much more power and much farther away. If the repeater supports IRLP, you can connect to other repeaters around the world by punching in tones...

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Understanding Frequency Bands and Bandwidth

Understanding bands, signal bandwidth and device bandwidth When we look at a modern radio like the one above, we don’t see much. We might recognise that this is a dual-band radio, since it has two frequencies on the display – 145.410 and 444.400. These frequencies are in MHz (MegaHertz) – but there’s nothing on the display...

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Connector Installation Secret Revealed!

Connector Installation Secret Revealed! No matter how many youtube videos I watched… no matter what type of connector… no matter how many times I did it… I always mess up something when I install a connector. My rule when buying connectors: for every one I need, buy another because I’m going to mess one up. The screw-ups...

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Don’t let the radio man frighten you. He’s just trying to help.

Don’t let the radio man frighten you. He’s just trying to help. The vast majority of ham operators are excited to see new people get into the hobby. They will readily jump in with advice. They’ll drive to your house to help you set up. But they forget what it was like to be a newbie. A couple of years ago, while still a newbie myself, shortly...

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Ham Radio Stuff

Free ham radio class! On-line! But why?

Free ham radio class! On-line! But why? Stuck in your house during COVID? Want to talk to people but don’t want them to see your sequestration hair-do or lack thereof? Wishing you had done more to properly learn electronics? Too much dust on your voltmeter and soldering iron – if you can find them? Think a ham radio license would...

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