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The Fixer archives

Communications Basics

Two-way radio communications is a tremendous subject that can and does carry people in many directions. Certainly among the most important are field communications to and from tactical and reconnaissance teams, particularly with some semblance of security or privacy to the information thereby exchanged.

Particularly well suited to teaching this fine art is NC Scout. He recently published a book on the subject: The Guerrilla’s Guide To The Baofeng Radio, which I recommend and am buying myself. He also has a web page covering a whole lot more range. I share the outline below, but encourage you to go […]

Guerrilla’s Guide To 2-Way Radio

For my heading, I purposefully modified NC Scout’s bestselling book title that I am discussing in this post. The Guerrilla’s Guide To The Baofeng Radio goes far beyond the make/model amateur radio he recommends in it.

I and a fellow active licensed radio operator (HAM) took a local class from him a few years ago. It was extremely informative and valuable. I expect this book to have much of what we learned in that class, and quite a bit more packed into it.

I have ordered my own copy, so this is a recommendation in advance of being […]

Light Up The Firehalls – May 2022

For several months now the Corvallis American Legion amateur radio club subsection has been operating field exercises from various volunteer fire department firehalls throughout our county – the area we fondly call “The Bitterroot”.

Our long-term goal for this program is for KG7SPL to be a backup communication service for the volunteer fire departments of Ravalli County.

The VFDs are the core of emergency response in The Bitterroot. They are located in every area, have agreed-upon coverage maps and can muster 20 or more active, skilled volunteers in a matter of minutes.

Our route to providing […]

The Vaccine is The Show – all else is distraction or preparatory

This is the most important video you will ever watch in your life. Doctor Carrie Madej and Richie from Boston know full well the risks they take producing and publishing this information, but know it would be much worse for them and us if they do not.

These two epitomize Fearless and Knowledge; devote themselves and their lives to helping others understand The Big Picture. What do these troubling things we are witnessing today all have in common? What is the goal? What is the end game?

Please give this video 10 minutes – I promise you will […]

my Brighteon video channel

Over four years ago 27 Internet Big Boys gathered in San Francisco to work out strategies to silence traditional and conservative voices. They support the radical globalist plan for the world, and in fact are primarily funded by the global banking cartels. They met several times since then and continue to ramp up their stifling of free speech.

The mainstream media monopoly served their purposes for 75 years, but in an era where intelligent people walk away from that propaganda stream new tactics were needed. As much as possible they will shut down investigative reporting and honest news. […]

plumber’s 10-meter ham radio antenna

One avenue for local two-way radio communication is through the use of the 10-meter frequencies. I have not had a decent antenna for joining the conversation that is exercised most Wednesday evenings at 1915 hours on 28.350 MHz.

For visualization purposes, CB radios are just slightly longer, around 11 meters – that is, very similar in antenna requirements – a fairly tall antenna like the spring-mounted whips you sometimes see on pickup trucks.

I have had an antenna that transmits and receives ten meter okay, but it is in my little canyon (problem one) and is a horizontal […]

solar controller upgrade

The beast of a solar panel was too much for the economy controllers I tried. As I mentioned in my previous article about it, solar power upgrade, I put an antique ammeter on the incoming power that I could know how much was hitting the controller and a blade switch in the line so I could cut off the incoming juice when it became too much.

This was not a system I could just leave on its own. If I was ever going to be able to ignore it, and if I wanted to absorb maximum power […]

solar power upgrade

When I set up my ham radio shack six years ago, I chose to go solar-powered 12-volt because amateur radio needs to work regardless of the grid up or grid down situation.

Last year I upgraded to second and third deep-cycle lead-acid batteries. I added other uses to the system and last winter was frequently running low on stored energy. So I upgraded the panel and controller to modern, more powerful ones. The new panel overwhelmed the new controller.

It should not have according to the specs on both, but there it was. Controller said, “Too much juice”. […]

Ted Dunlap, STEE

You have-to have initials after your name to lend credibility to your projects and pronouncements. My latest creation inspired me to append “STEE” to my name. Further explanation will wreck the aura, but I’ll go ahead anyway. It stands for Shade Tree Electrical Engineer… similar to the Shade Tree Mechanic title I earned repeatedly with my auto/truck/motorcycle/tractor repair toolset.

Running a ham radio shack requires steady, clean 12-volt electricity. Handheld transceivers, HTs, or walkie-talkies if you prefer, have their own batteries. Cheaper ones use AA or AAA, but most use rechargeables whose chargers plug into standard 120-volt […]

two-way radios

can be indispensable in emergencies and other times normal communications tools are not working.

For my current amateur radio Technician Class students, I just bought 7 of the make/model I feel gives the best cost/benefit for ham radio operators. The TYT MD-UV390 operates on both the ultra-high-frequencies (UHF) of the FCC’s family radio service (FRS) and general mobile radio service (GMRS), it also transmits and receives on the very high frequencies (VHF) commonly used by hams, public and private agencies for regional communications.

Their MD-UV380 is the lower cost version of the same radio without the water-proofing. TYT, […]

electricity, components & circuits

Chapter 3 in the Amateur Radio Relay League (ARRL) Ham Radio License Manual is the most challenging to most students. Remember that out of the 35 questions on your written exam, 26 correct answers is a passing score. You can afford to miss nine, or one out of every four and still earn your Technician’s License. You could miss, or even skip over every component and circuit question without failing your exam.

Do not get all balled-up in this one chapter.

On the other hand, it is cool, and even useful to understand a bit of this stuff. So […]

wave behavior

Whether it is a stone tossed into a glassy-smooth pond, sound waves coming out of a trombone or electro-magnetic waves enabling radios to communicate, the wave behaviors are direct relatives to the physicist.

One such person built a model to demonstrate wave behavior then his employer, Bell Labs, produced a movie of it. I almost called it a video, but those were not yet invented in 1959 when this was created.

Last year I pounded enough correct answers into my head that I passed my Amateur Extra exam. My motivation was that I really wanted to UNDERSTAND radio […]