Welcome to the K4RAB Web site!
putting this site on line mainly to do some things not found on other
ham dedicated sites and to delve into subjects not seen elsewhere.
Like most ham Web sites, this one will no doubt reflect the
particular aspects of the amateur radio hobby that are of interest to
me, particularly QRP and covert HF operations. Another interest
of mine is ham radio use of computers, particularly those that are
alternatives to programs that run only on that ubiquitous operating
system that originates with a company in Redmond, Washington.
interesting to me is the rise and growth of open source software,
particularly Linux, and its uses for Amateur Radio. My recent
discovery of the new ITX motherboard form factor, which enables the
building of a small, but fully capable computer in a case about the
size of the Elecraft K2, led me to build a small dual boot (Windows
2000 and Linux) machine which I have described in an article in the
Fall 2007 edition of QRP Quarterly
and have included notes on this Web site. This machine is capable of
running all the digital modes and of course, running logging software
under both Windows and Linux.
But, as the television commercial
would say, there is more! Like most hams, I have many interests in and
out of the hobby, many of them technical in nature. In the hobby
itself, I am most interested in QRP or low power operation along with
low profile and stealth operation. Stealth antennas are a particularly
strong interest of mine. I am frequently thinking about what can be
made into a disguise antenna or how can a piece of wire be made
practically invisible to the prying eyes of enforcers of antenna
restrictions. It is an art and a science that more hams need to develop
so they can get on the air! Many hams have developed utterly ingenious
ways to engage in covert operation without tipping off nosy neighbors
and rules enforcers. I will link to those who have put descriptions of
those solutions on line. I also have some ideas for stealth operation
that I will post here.
even though Amateur Radio
is a perfectly legal activity licensed and regulated by the Federal
Communications Commission, it faces, along with other communications
services like broadcasting and cellular telephone services, an
increasingly hostile local land use regulatory environment. Even
though many of the states have codified the FCC's PRB-1 (limited
Federal preemption of municipal land use regulations pertaining to
Amateur Radio installations) into their state statutes, this preemption
has no effect on certain private entities that also regulate land use.
Thus arises the need for covert and stealth antennas, along
with the need to engage in low power operation to avoid detection of
your activities by neighbors. Many municipalities demand that cellular
telephone companies use stealth antennas and strictly regulate where
cellular antennas may be installed. This regulatory overkill often
extends to Amateur Radio installations, making stealth operation even
Perhaps the biggest problems faced by hams are
those posed by the spread of 'common interest developments,' which are
run by a private government known as a homeowner association. Outdoor
antennas are (with the exception of TV and satellite TV) banned
altogether in these 'communities'. Furthermore, in many of the more
populated areas of the United States, it is very difficult to find a
newer home without an HOA and its antenna restrictions. I have been
doing some investigation as to why this is the case and will be
including that in an article I am writing on local land use
restrictions that prohibit antenna installation.
One thing is
certain. The need for stealth antennas and covert operation will not go
away soon. In fact, it is becoming more and more essential for
hams, both new and more experienced, to become capable of stealthy
operation. This Web site is dedicated to helping hams do that, as well
as find housing where such extreme measures are not necessary.