My own virtual radar

I'm an avgeek, so I recently setup my own Automatic dependent surveillance – broadcast or ASD-B receiver. There are plenty around. The most common setup is to use a Raspberry Pi with a PiAware image on an SD card, an RTL-SDR and a 1090 MHz antenna. There are also more dedicated setups using hardware provided by the major ADS-B tracking websites such as FlightAware and Flightradar24.

I went the Pi route. However, instead of using the FlightAware PiAware image that's commonly available; I choose to run the ADS-B Receiver image by Joe Prochazka.

My setup consists of a Raspberry Pi 3B, a FlightAware Pro Stick Plus and a cheap $7 1090 MHz antenna. The Pro Stick Plus is nice because it's essentially a RTL-SDR USB dongle with a built in 1090MHz filter and RF amp. FlightAware also offers the regular Pro Stick which does not include a 1090 MHz filter.

I used the dump1090-flightaware version of the image, although it is available with another dump1090 version called dump1090-mutabi…

W1OCY's hidden treasure

W1OCY, Everett E. Chapman, is a silent key. He died in 2010, just two days shy of the new year at the age of 85. He was born on April 30, 1925 in Glen Cove, NY and grew up in Vermont and New Hampshire.

He served his country in the United States Navy during World War II and was part of the V-12 Navy College Training Program at Dartmouth College. He was at least an Ensign based on items we found in this "treasure." I don't know if he reached any higher ranks, I've tried searching through US Navy Registers online and so far, I haven't found anything.

He graduated from Dartmouth in 1948 with an A.B. and entered the business world in 1955 working for Dynatrol and other places in the aerospace industry such as Raytheon based on his collection of papers we found.

He didn't have much family, didn't marry, at least from what I can tell and obviously no kids. He was survived by brother Donald, who is still alive and will turn 90 on April Fools' Day this year.


Field Day

From Saturday June 23 to Sunday June 24, I participated in my very first ARRL Field Day. I also helped set up for an hour on Friday the 22nd.

Field Day is best summed up as an emergency preparedness exercise with a contest aspect to promote amateur radio to the general public.
I participated in field with my local club, the North Shore Radio Association. It was held at Endicott Park in Danvers, Massachusetts.

One of the attendees was Dr. Mark Patterson, WB2OIL from Northeastern University's Global Resilience Institute who was there to interview fellow hams on their opinions on Field Day and how it pertained to emergency response. Despite my limited time of being a ham, I still gave my input.

We had a SSB voice station, along with two CW stations and new this year, an FT8 digital station.

I only did operating on SSB voice, operating on 80 and 40 meters. I managed about 19 contacts.

The club as a whole managed 2852 contacts.
I enjoyed Field Day and it's pushing me to get my Gene…


It's been quiet here, I know. Though, not like my blog is highly trafficked in the first place. Anyways,

I purchased a TYT MD-2017 a week after I wrote the last post. I followed that up with a ZUMspot hotspot I ordered from HRO to get into the world of DMR.

Then using the hotspot kinda fell by the wayside, since I was having trouble getting it to work.

Then I used said TYT MD-2017 in analog only, supporting the 2018/122nd Boston Marathon on only 3 hours sleep. (More about that in another post.)

However, this has been a busy week for my by far. First, I purchased an Anytone AT-D868UV as part of a group purchase from the local ham club. I tried it down on Nahant Beach and was able to get in the Boston DMR repeater. (It helps that you can see the Boston skyline from Nahant, which is were the repeater is.)

Then, I got a text from a co-worker. His grandfather, who is a ham, was going into a nursing home. He nor anyone else in the family is a ham, so they had to decide what to do with h…

How I got the bug

I have long had an interest in radio, whether it be broadcast, public safety or amateur.

Besides listening to regular AM/FM radio, what got me down this road first started with listening to shortwave radio back in 2009 when I was 19. I started with a Grundig GM300PE Mini World that I bought at local Radio Shack because it was all I could afford. I also bought a copy of the Passport to World Band Radio for that year, which turned out to be last. Even though the book was discontinued, my passion for radio hadn't and I kept listening.

By 2015, I was studying for a Technician license using the ARRL Technician study guide. But, despite my efforts and using the ARRL test prep site I felt I wasn't getting it.

I lapsed for a year in 2016 and in mid-2017 after buying my first digital scanner and first scanner in years, the bug bit again and I buckled down this time. Working for TSA for almost 9 years at this point was another one of my reasons for getting my amateur radio license as we…

Five months in

It's been five months since I first got licensed and I have a confession.
I haven't had a single QSO.
At all.
Yes, it may be shocking but it's the truth. I blame it on a variety of reasons/factors. Work and Time: I've worked an odd schedule for the past half year, working from 1700 to 0130. As many hams are driving home, I'm driving to work. It doesn't give me much time to talk as most non-retired hams are in the middle of their work day when I'm just waking up. Plus while working I obviously I can't talk on my radio. 
Location: I live in Lynn, Massachusetts. Lynn has odd geography, it's flat near the ocean and the Saugus River, but other parts of the city are very hilly. I happen to live in the hilly section. The only problem, the slight hill I'm on is surrounded by taller hills, so in essence, I'm a valley. My club's main repeater is located in Danvers. Which while only separated by another city is about 10 miles. As VHF and UHF radio i…

New theme

As you can see I changed the theme, when I first created the blog, I didn't see these new themes despite being out since March 2017. I'm doing some tweaking to them right now.