Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Yaesu FT-65R: W0STU Review

Straying a bit from my usual Chinese radios, but I thought it was interesting to see W0STU's review of the FT-65R and some comparisons to the Chinese HTs. He sums up:
"The new Yaesu FT-65R is a nice update to the FT-60R, just not a perfect one in our view. Returning a VFO knob and the regular SMA antenna jack would get much closer to the perfect update. The updated menu structure and display are unquestionably nice mods, with just enough legacy characteristics to make the learning transition a breeze. The relocated function key and the operator-programmable keys are master strokes. The transceiver’s performance characteristics are top-notch, much superior to that observed in Chinese-branded and manufactured HTs. The bottom line — we will add the FT-65R to our list of recommended, basic, first radios for the new Technician licensee, and we may even find ourselves regularly snagging this HT off the shelf as that “go to” radio when heading out the door."

Part 95 Reform

Part 95 reform proposal...

WASHINGTON, May 18, 2017 – Today, the FCC took steps to update the Personal Radio Services rules, also known as Part 95 of the Commission’s rules, in order to modernize them, remove outdated requirements, and reorganize them to make it easier to find information. 
Significantly, as part of this effort, the FCC addressed more than two dozen proposals submitted by interested parties.  Today’s action will result in a more consistent, clear, and concise set of rules that will better serve the needs of the public. 
The FCC Personal Radio Services rules cover a wide variety of wireless devices that are used by the general public.  These devices generally use low power levels, communicate over shared radio frequencies, and usually do not require an individual FCC license for each user.  Some common examples of Personal Radio Services devices are walkie-talkies; radio control toy cars, boats, and planes; hearing assistance devices; CB radios; medical implant devices; and Personal Locator Beacons. 
The revisions adopted today reflect a comprehensive reform that will simplify, streamline, and update these rules.  These changes will ensure that these rules reflect technological advances, recognize the 21st century uses of the Personal Radio Services, and are easy for the public to use and understand.
Specific reforms adopted in today’s Report and Order include:
- GMRS/FRS Reform: The Commission will increase the number of communications
channels for both General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) and Family Radio Service
(FRS), expand digital capabilities to GMRS, and increase the power/range for certain
FRS channels to meet consumer demands for longer range communications. 
- CB Reform: The Commission will update the Citizens Band (CB) rules, which are
decades old and contain outdated requirements that are no longer needed, including
labeling requirements and a limit on use of channels when conditions allow long range
communications.  The Commission will also clarify that hands-free devices can be used
with CB radios. 
-  Overall rule reform: The Commission will remove outdated and unnecessary rules,
change other rules to increase clarity and reduce potential confusion, and reorganize and
streamline all Part 95 rules to make them easier to understand.  The Commission will also convert rules to plain language format to make them more user-friendly. 
Action by the Commission May 18, 2017 by Report and Order (FCC 17-57).  Chairman Pai, and Commissioners Clyburn and O’Rielly approving and issuing separate statements. 
WT Docket No. 10-119; RM No. 10762; RM No. 10844"

Amazon Echo Dot Pricing

I'm not sure I understand the pricing...

You can get a new Echo Dot for $39.99 (limited time offer).

Or you can get a refurbished Echo Dot for $37.99.

They both have the same warranty, so no real risk to save $2 dollars, but with the prices so close I don't get it.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017


I read RobertaX's post about the Hamvention, but I confess I've not listened to the podcast yet - yet!

Ham Radio 360 Day 1

Ham Radio 360 Day 2

Linux in the Ham Shack Day 1

Linux in the Ham Shack Day 2

Sounds like they got some rain there:

I wonder if that created any scooter problems.

And some other tweets:

Visualizing the Day of 1000 People

"So again I looked at microdata from the American Time Use Survey from 2014, which asked thousands of people what they did during a 24-hour period. I used the data to simulate a single day for 1,000 Americans representative of the population — to the minute."

TYT MD-2017: Samples Landed

It's real!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Refurb Amazon Echo Dot - $38

You can get a refurb Amazon Echo Dot for $38.

But don't do it... it is a slippery slope. I've got voice control of my thermostats. I added two plugs to control a couple of outlets last week. Now, I'm looking for a deal on light switches.

Friday, May 19, 2017 Makes AliExpress Look Hi-End

As if it wasn't tempting enough to by random, cheap stuff from China:

Thursday, May 18, 2017

TYT MD-380: Morse Code Narrator

More features via custom firmware for the TYT MD-380: