Radio-Direction Finding presentation by KL7BX

Dave Luchak of station KL7BX was kind enough to pass along his presentation files for his recent presentation Fundamentals of Radio-Direction Finding (RDF); Otherwise known as “Fox-Hunting.”

Dave’s presentation included some excellent statistics and tables, and the word “Fundamentals” in the title rather undersells how splendidly wide-ranging the presentation is. There’s more here than just “point and look at the signal strength.”

There are three files below, each with the same content.  The PPSX is the Microsoft Powerpoint 2007 format, the PPS is the Microsoft Powerpoint 97/2003 format. For the folks who are unable to view Powerpoint files (or prefer not to download application files), there’s a PDF version as well.

Thanks, Dave!

0 – RDF Fundamentals & Techniques – PPT 2007 by KL7BX

0A – RDF Fundamentals & Techniques – PPT 97 – KL7BX


March 2018 Meeting Rescheduled for the 17th!

There has been a change in the meeting date for March.  The meeting will be held at 9:00 a.m. on March 17th instead of the normally-scheduled week. But do come early for coffee, doughnuts, and lots of quality visiting.  People start arriving about 8:30 a.m.

This came about for an unanticipated conflict for the meeting location. Our usual meeting place will not be available on the regular week.

Our meetings are held at the Longview Fire Department Training Center, 411 American Legion Boulevard, Longview TX 75601.

VHF/UHF Digital Voice Modes Presentation

There was more interest in the VHF/UHF Voice Digital Modes than the Ham Ham HF Digital Modes so I’m doing them out of order.

***Update:  Here are some practical notes for a user trying to use his or her new D-Star, Fusion or DMR radio:

First of all, D-Star, Fusion and DMR can all work as stand-alone repeaters (with or without internet connectivity).

To utilize their internet connected capabilities:


D-Star (ICOM)

You must first register your call sign. To register your call sign: (to find your nearest D-Star repeater)


Yaesu Fusion

No registration required. To start using Yaesu Fusion (which is connected to others using WIRES-X), just tune your radio to the nearest Fusion repeater (Node) (with WIRES-X) and connect to a room.

To find active Nodes and Rooms:



You must first register and get a “subscriber ID”. First determine the network your nearest DMR repeater is on, then:

DMR-MARC: “Register ID” tab, then “User Registration” button

Brandmeister: and fill in the form

Morse Code anyone?

Terry (KG5WO), Lloyd (WO5W) and I were talking about how many passing references we hear about people wanting to learn morse code. So we decided to try to do something about it. In order to do something about it, we need to determine who, when, and where. If you’re interested, send me an email (“my callsign” AT arrl DOT net) and I’ll start to compile a list of names.

Let me caution you about the term “interested.” There’s a difference between “interested” and “wanting it.” Being “interested” is not enough to learn morse code. It’s going to take a commitment on your part. If you’re willing to commit, we’re willing to commit. Commit to what? Well, learning morse code is not a short-term effort. What’s long-term, you ask? Initially, I’ll put together a lesson plan that will require 12, one-hour meetings. Whether we meet twice per week or once per week, week night or weekends is to be determined. Where we meet is to be determined. Once we have a list of names (who are willing to pledge a commitment), we’ll try to figure out what works for everyone. If we meet only once per week, there will be home work for sure. If we meet twice per week, there may still be some homework.

Cost to enroll?  It’ll be FREE.  However, you’ll have to provide your own pen/pencils and paper to write on.

If we do this, the graduating class members will be able to copy 5 words per minute morse code. And who knows? Since that’ll be quite a significant mile-stone in your journey to experience the wonders of ham radio, you might get a nicely engraved plaque suitable for hanging in your ham shack!

We’ll bring this up at the next LETARC club meeting.


Jerry Ritchie Presents: Smith Charts

From Jerry Ritchie of station WA5OKO:

The HP-8753C Vector Network Analyzer cost $30,000 when it was new. Its weight is about 50 pounds and takes up a lot of space on my work bench.  It was one of my first instruments that provided Smith Charts.  20 years later, they about the size of a pack of cigarettes  and cost about $400 and have a range of 1 MHz to 3 GHz.  The MiniVNA Tiny’s size makes my MFJ-259B look like a boat anchor.

I compare the VNA instrument to the original cell phone. When cell phones first came out, I couldn’t imagine why I would ever need one.  Most amateurs look at Smith Charts like they are something from outer space, but they will eventually talk about that SWR meter they used in the old days to test antennas.

I hope this article will make the transition a little easier.

Jerry, WA5OKO

Smith Charts, by Jerry Ritchie WA5OKO