Making Windows 8 Work for Radios

Ever since Windows 8 came out life has not been simple for folks programming radios. The problems were many:

  • The Windows 8 tiled interface bothers a lot of people.
  • Drivers for USB programming cables wouldn’t work in Windows 8.
  • Programming software for some radios wouldn’t recognize Windows 8 as a supported operating system.

At least, those are the problems I’ve encountered and heard of.

As of today I have them all solved for my little corner of amateur radio and more.

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Portable Pole Version 3

Leo's Portable Mast Kit

Pole version 1 was a feeble affair attempting to use plastic conduit. Let's just say it wasn't pretty. I've written about version 2, and was quite pleased with how it turned out. It remains a viable solution for many situations. It's also a proper … [Continue reading]

Portable Pole

Portable Pole w/ Antenna

One of the lessons learned from our group's activities at the Oso mudslide was that sometimes it would be very, very, VERY handy to be able to get an antenna up in the air - say an additional 20 to 30 feet - to get over nearby obstacles and otherwise … [Continue reading]

APRS – I wanna be heard!

APRS Setup

At an event last year I was one of a handful of amateur radio operators who used a smartphone application (APRSDriod in my case) to report my position to the operation control center via APRS (Automated Packet Reporting System, often erroneously yet … [Continue reading]

Preparing for “the big one”

Woodinville ESCA EOC Team

On Saturday (April 27) I participated in an exercise with the local RACES arm of ESCA - the Emergency services organization for which I volunteer my amateur radio "skills". The point of this exercise was to simulate a major event that rendered our … [Continue reading]

I have to do WHAT to replace the battery?

Battery in Holder

A friend gave me an older Kenwood TM-701A mobile unit that had been sitting around unused for many years. I'd been looking for a second unit to leave at home so I wouldn' t need to swap out my Yaesu from the car as often, and it seemed like a perfect … [Continue reading]

Toyota Sequoia Radio Installation

10 gauge wire connected to the battery with in-line fuses.

I drive a 2010 Toyota Sequoia that we got for towing our 26' travel trailer. Not long after I got my ham license I decided that the thing to do was to put a mobile radio in it. I did a fair amount of research beforehand, and what follows is what I … [Continue reading]

All My Base

The crawl space under my home, where the wires from the attic came out.

I started in ham radio with a Wouxun HT (Handie-Talkie or handheld radio). It's funny, because a) it seems like everyone starts with an HT of some sort, especially lately since there are several comparatively inexpensive models available, and b) so … [Continue reading]