New SDR HF Radio at Club Station

The club station now has a brand new computer and a FlexRadio Flex 3000 SDR (software defined radio) up and running and on the air. Unlike traditional radios, the Flex has no knobs or buttons. It is completely software driven and has all the features (and then some) of the high end radios from the major manufacturers. The Flex is hooked up to a computer running Windows and uses sophisticated, but easy to use software to control everything. In addition to regular SSB/FM/AM operation, we also have seamless digital operation for whatever modes we want to operate. Our first test used JT65 on 15m and we quickly logged QSO’s from the Czech Republic, Belgium, France, England and Germany. The screenshot on the right from shows signal reports from stations that heard K6TZ from all over the USA, Europe, South America, and even South Africa. Great DX is easily accomplished from our “noisy” club station. If you have never operated an SDR radio, you are in for a great experience. The display shows a wide area of whatever band you are working using a panadapter and waterfall so you can see all activity at once. This graphical representation of the band lets you find and tune activity quickly and easily. This new radio is available for members to use during regular club hours, Tuesdays 7:30 pm to 10:00 pm and Saturdays 9:00 am to noon. Come on down and check it out! If you are interested in reading the user manual and learning how this exceptional radio works, it is available for download here. Post expires at 3:40pm on Tuesday December 1st, 2015 but will still be available in the archives.

March Club General Meeting

At tonight’s club meeting, ATV & Digital Modes Net controller Brian Milburn (K6BPM) provided SBARC members with a glimpse of the fun that can be had on HF with digital modes.  By tunneling into his shack computer, Brian was able to project his own software defined radio (SDR) on the presentation screen at the meeting for a live demo of JT-65.  JT-65, originally designed for Earth-Moon-Earth (EME) communication, has become tremendously popular on the HF bands for its ability to perform under extremely poor conditions.  Those in attendance seemed intrigued by the prospect of being able to work stations around the world to fatten their logbooks even under the most dire band conditions. Although Brian’s SDR setup is quite impressive, one doesn’t need to spend a lot of money to get on many of the numerous HF digital modes, including JT-65.  Even many older HF radios support computer interfaces such as SignaLink and RigBlaster, which are more than adequate for dabbling with free digital mode software like Fldigi and WSJTX. Listen to an audio recording of Brian’s presentation from our audio archive: Post expires at 7:39pm on Friday April 17th, 2015 but will still be available in the archives.

Come to the March General Meeting March 20, 2015

It is almost that time of the month for the monthly Club Meeting. This month our presenter will be Brian – K6BPM. You may have heard Brian doing the Weather portion of the Reg Dawe Memorial Cuckoo net on Wednesdays and Fridays, or as net control of the ATV Digital Modes Net on Tuesday evenings. He is also one of our board members this year. Brian will be speaking on using Software Defined Radios (SDRs) and digital modes. He will be demonstrating these live, on-the-air, so all of us can see how these thing work and why operating digital modes is becoming so popular. So be sure to attend. You will be guaranteed to walk away with a better understanding of how easy digital modes are to use. We will be meeting at the normal place, Goleta Union Schools Admin. Board Room – 401 North Fairview Avenue – across the street from the public library. The meeting starts at 7:30 but come early and socialize! Post expires at 1:00am on Saturday March 21st, 2015 but will still be available in the archives.