Scribbles, &c.


Here’s a quick rundown on my amateur radio gear.

Yaesu FT-450D
Kenwood TH-D74A
Kenwood TM-V71A

Uniden SDS100
Realtek RTL2832U

Hustler 6BTV with the 17m add-on kit
Elk 2M/440L5 log periodic
Ed Fong DBJ-1
Tram 1410 discone
Homebrew ADSB discone
Occasional homebrew antennas for 6m

Other odds and ends
Mobilink TNC2
Signalink USB
Astron RS-35M PSU
pi-star hotspot for D-STAR (and DMR at some point)
LDG Z100plus antenna tuner
MFJ-1708-B SDR antenna switch

Main tools
wsjtx (or jtdx depending on my mood)

As you’ve probably figured, I run a 100% Linux shack, though I do use a Windows10 VM for radio firmware updates and Uniden’s Sentinel app.

Amateur radio scratches a peculiar technical itch of mine. I’ve had a lifelong interest in radio and getting a ham ticket a few years ago took one more thing off my bucket list. I thoroughly enjoy all the different aspects of the hobby, tending to do more ham radio stuff in the winter when the days are shorter and the weather is miserable. I’m not much of a contester, but I generally jump into the big RTTY events just for fun. Learning CW is on my to-do list. I originally got interested in SWL and still get a kick out of utility DXing with the SDR kit.

As a nerd hobby nonpariel, amateur radio tends to attract geeks of all stripes. This, too, is part of the attraction for me. Yes, there are grumpy and crabby folks. There are also lots of genuinely enthusiastic and helpful folks who enjoy sharing.

I loiter in an amateur radio IRC channel associated with /r/amateurradio - #amateurradio on Geekshed). If you have technical questions or are just curious about some aspect of the hobby, the folks there tend to be pretty helpful.