Category: in English

HAMsmithing – DIY Walking Stick/Antenna Mast

A week ago I has a try of my Walking Stick/Antenna Mast made of PVC pipe. My plans changed down the road and the test was limited to the antenna fitment/adapter section of it.

I had it redone to fix a dimensional mistake, and so I took the chance to grab some photos of the whole stick/mast build.


This is how the two sections are connected together. They are 25 and 20mm electrical conduit pipes cut a bit longer than usual waking baton length (you will need the extra length walking downhill).

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My own take into Winter Field Day

By the end of each January it is Winter Field Day time. Where HAM operators run their radios under field conditions. Some are as bold as to do this on the wild, in a tent on the snow.

Inspired by the concept, I had my own version of two days ago. No, I do not do HF yet, and it wasn’t actually winter. Over here we have a spell of spring-like sunny days on the last third of January, and that day it was 14 degrees C at 3000ft.

So I took the road to the gazebo I frequent somewhere on our mountain. I had taken most of my VHF equipment with me and a new DIY antenna pole to test. Also scheduled were cutting two new wire dipole antennas, using the RTL-SDR receiver with my phonen and maybe testing my simplex repeater too. And add some bush crafting in the process.

I spend Friday and Saturday making the pole and organizing my gear.


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HAMsmithing – DIY Receive-only Antennas for RTL-SDR Dongles

So, after putting my cell phone in to use and running RTL-SDR radio listening apps, it was time to make 2 antennas for the dongle, the original one being Poor.

So I got me a coffee, nerves of steel, and started soldering on two MCX window Connectors for RG-174 cables.

The wire was sourced from a surveillance camera installation cable. It has 3 single conductors and a coax wire that seems to be RG-59 75ohm one.

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Digital Weekend – Turning your Cell Phone into a Scanner with RTL-SDR

Hello! I am starting new series describing my ventures to the digital radio world. I will be using the weekend down time to do, try, photograph and write short articles on the matter.

But do not expect many of them. I do not own HF equipment yet, and my patience with installing PC programs that do not work has worn out. So, I am new to Smartphones so I am still like to play with them. And we better have something to do with them when the lights turn off, don’t we?

If you haven’t heard of RTL-SDR receivers for your PC, the basics are these. One gets an dirt cheap RTL TV dongle and uses it with a freeware program like SDRTouch to scan the VHF & UHF spectrum. Practically some people repurposes them by writing their own programs for scanning.

The output is then displayed on the screen with the mesmerizing view of a rolling waveform graph.


PC running SDRSharp Screen Grab

Then things get more complex as they develop the programs to scan by their own, plugins to record, filters to de-noise, and plug-ins to decode digital modes.

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HAMsmithing – DIY Baofeng Programming Cables

I will guess that more than half the people that tried to program one of the Baofeng failed victim to the fake programming cable chip plague.

It happened to me also, and the process of finding a working driver, to no avail, killed my will to move further.

Enter the Baofeng T-1 mini radio and its programming cable that really worked!


Since it terminates to a mini-USB connector I quickly formulated the plan to hacking it for my UV-5R and UV-3R radios.


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HAMsmithing – Off-grid Charging for the Baofeng UV-5R and UV-3R Radios.


Chinese radio users know well, that grid power is needed to charge their radios. The reason is that their charging is tied on the 110/220V power and the radios’ own cradle charger.

To eliminate the charger it is impossible, but to replace the power to the charger is possible.

The Baofeng UV-5R and siblings’ charger demands 10V and there are various ways to replicate that.

  1. Use a 12Vto 10V car socket cable.
  2. Use a 5V to 10V USB cable.
  3. Use a battery system that outputs 10V

The latter is one such build.

Continue reading “HAMsmithing – Off-grid Charging for the Baofeng UV-5R and UV-3R Radios.”

HAMsmithing – October 2017

Here are two small projects for the beginning of this month.

12V to 10V Adapter Cable for Baofeng UV-5R Charging

A common mistake made is using a cigarette lighter power cord for powering the Baofeng UV-5R Charger. Problem is that the charger needs 10V and not the battery 12.8V, much less the 13.8V when a car battery is charged.

My solution was to make an adapter cable with a resistor inline to drop the voltage to a bit more than the 10V spec’ed.


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A Small, Pocketable Antenna Kit for Handheld Radios

I call it the Giveaway Antenna Kit. Because it has the capability to be adapted to any handheld radio, that is, the antenna connector style of any handheld radio. So you can have it in your larger radio kit, and give it away to anyone in need without bothering for compatibility with his radio.

The basic idea stems from this idea by Bret of Survival Comms Youtube Channel . The use of the handheld radio’s own (actually aftermarket improved) antenna on a groundplane kit. In my built, the groundplane (radials’) kit is much simpler and easier to use. You just attach the antenna kit wire to fit your HT.



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HAMsmithing – September 2017

Just as September was ending, I spent quite some time on small HAM projects.

1. I received the connectors and cables I ordered, so I sat down making cables for each DIY antenna I have.

2. I used some leftover PVC pipe to add 2 more sections in my collapsible antenna pole. Each section is 130cm (about 1.5 yards long), the wider my car trunk will allow. That makes for about 7 yards total height, just short of what one would need to make a sloping longwire antenna.

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