Showing posts with label Ham Shack. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ham Shack. Show all posts

September 4, 2020

Migrating Ham Radio Deluxe to a New Computer

I have been migrating my applications and data to a new computer.  My old computer served me well for many years and has been exhibiting a growing number of issues indicating it was time to be retired. The next step in the transition process was to migrate Ham Radio Deluxe (version to the new computer running the latest version of Ham Radio Deluxe (version

I am very excited about this upgrade to HRD as I am looking forward to running a well supported high-quality application and discovering new features and enhancements.  HRD has been the rug that really tied the shack together.  This will also be the first version of HRD that I have had to pay for as I have always relied on the free version.

My strategy was to migrate my HRD log using a backup as well as custom DM780 macros and then manually configure the application.  I chose this strategy since it was straightforward and would assure a clean migration.  This strategy would also afford me the opportunity to review the HRD configuration for new settings and features that have been introduced since the old freeware version.

I have shared my migration procedures below in case this information is helpful.  If you have any additional tips or advice regarding upgrading and migrating Ham Radio Deluxe (HRD) to a new computer, please be sure to leave a comment.

Migrate HRD Log Procedure

1) Install the latest version of HRD on the new computer.

2) Backup the HRD log files on the old computer and save the backup to cloud storage (e.g. Google Backup and Sync, Microsoft OneDrive, ...).
  • HRD Logbook --> More --> Backup --> Options
    • Change the backup location to use cloud storage
  • HRD Logbook --> Backup
3) Restore the HRD backup files from cloud storage on the new computer.
  • HRD Logbook --> Backup --> Restore
    • Add the cloud storage location of your backup file
    • Click Restore
    • Confirm the number of records to restore and click, "yes"
    • Confirm the number of restored entries and click, "OK"
    • Click "Finish"

Reconnect HRD to the ARRL LoTW

1) HRD Logbook --> More --> LoTW --> Download
2) Add the LoTW username and password
3) Click download to confirm it is working properly

Migrate HRD DM780 Macros Procedure

1) Save the old Macros to a file on cloud storage
  • Digital Master 780 --> Tools --> Macros
  • Save the file to cloud storage
2) Load the old Macros into the new HRD
  • Digital Master 780 --> Tools --> Macros
  • Load the macro file on cloud storage
Confirm the old macros are available

Reconfiguring HRD Procedure

I choose not to attempt to migrate HRD configuration settings from my old version of HRD to the new version of HRD on the new computer.  I didn't want to deal with having to clean up self-created migration messes to save a few minutes of configuration.  Manually configuring HRD would work just fine for my needs and this would also provide me with an opportunity to discover new configuration settings and options.

1) HRD Logbook --> Callsign (My Info)
  • Name
  • Locator
  • QTH
  • E-Mail
  • HomePage
  • Radio
  • Antenna
  • Power
2) HRD Logbook --> Clock
  • Format - change to GMT/UTC

Reassociate Keyhole Markup Language with Google Earth

During testing, I found that HRD would not launch Google Earth when attempting to do a lookup on a contact.  Instead, Adobe Reader was being launched due to a mis-association in Windows with Adobe and .KML (Keyhole Markup Language) files.  The solution was to re-associate .KML files with Google Earth in Windows.
  1. Go to
  2. Click on "Half Dome hike" to save a .kmz file to downloads
  3. Right click on the .kmz file in the downloads folder
  4. Select "open with"
  5. Select Google Earth and check "Always use this app to open"

Good DX and 73, NJ2X

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August 29, 2020

Repairing Portable Rotatable Dipole

For portable operations, we have been using a portable rotatable HF dipole from EmComm-Products (model RADS 9-11/A) since 2008.  The antenna provides HF (160m, 80m, 40m, and 20m) and a second VHF/UHF antenna on top of the dipole which is fed by a separate cable enabling concurrent operations of both a HF and VHF/UHF radio on one mast.

Activating Hatteras Island, NC

KC2VSR (Field Day at Fort Ord, CA) rotating the dipole by giving the mast a simple twist

When setting up the antenna for portable operations to teach the radio merit badge in 2018, we discovered that we could no longer tune up when using the 20m elements.  SWR was extremely high.  The was the first time we had an issue when using the antenna after a decade of use.  It was time to give the antenna some attention and bring it back to working order. 


Once back home, we brought out each of the elements and check them individually for continuity using a ohmmeter.  To perm this test, we placed one of the ohmmeter probes on one end of an antenna element and the other problem on the other end of the antenna element.

All the elements passed this basic test with the exception of one of the 20m elements.  The 20m element had no continuity indicating that the wire had a break somewhere along the fiberglass element.

I visually inspected the element for apparent damage and found none.  This suggested that something was amiss with connection between the wire and one or both end connectors.

Corrosion on the joint between the antenna wire and antenna connector

Using an X-acto knife I carefully cut a window in the shrink wrap at the junction between the antenna element wire and the end connector to inspect the connection.  This revealed corrosion on the junction.  Using the continuity tester, I checked for continuity between the wire and both end connections.  This showed continuity at the junction to the far end connector and no continuity to the near connector.  Ah ha!  We found the issue.  The corrosion was likely caused from a decade of operating near saltwater and in the rain.


A brass wire brush was used to remove the corrosion.  The connector was then resoldered to the wire along with a copper wire wrapped all the way around the connector to assure positive contact.  The connector was recovered with shrink wrap and relabelled as a 20m element.  This was a straightforward and easy repair.

Repaired 20m element


We setup a wilderness radio station to teach the radio merit badge at summer camp with the portable rotatable dipole as one of the antennas.

Portable rotatable dipole back on the air at summer camp near Truckee, CA

We setup the antenna with the 20m elements and it performed flawlessly all week while at summer camp.  We made numerous SSB contacts on 20m.

Several people have contacted me asking about buying their own portable rotatable dipole antenna.  Sadly, the manufacturer, EmComm-Products, is no longer in business.  It has been an outstanding antenna.

Good DX and 73,  

February 8, 2013

GlobalQSL Service Review

We love receiving a batch of QSL cards from the ARRL 2nd District QSL Bureau.  It is fun for the whole family to look through the cards and marvel at the pictures of far away places, exotic names, and the creativity and artistry of each card.  QSL cards seem as varied and different as people - each one is unique and special.  We file each card away by country of origin in a big box.

Example of NJ2X's QSL card design created with GlobalQSL's graphic editor
The ARRL QSL Bureau performs a wonderful service for the US amateur radio community.  We are amazed each time we receive a packet of cards at what must go into the process.  We had an opportunity to stop by the ARRL HQ in 2012 for a tour and saw the operation first hand.  Kudos to all the ARRL QSL Bureau volunteers.

We are enthusiastic users of the ARRL Logbook of The World (LoTW) service for the majority of our contacts.  It is easy to use, convenient, fast, and a less expensive way to QSL than traditional paper QSL card.  However, not everyone is a subscriber to the LoTW so we also return paper QSL's cards on request.

For international outbound QSL cards, we have been using the service since October 2009 with excellent results.

We chose the GlobalQSL service for several reasons:
  1. Minimizes cost of printing and mailing QSL cards
  2. Simplifies the process
  3. Saves time
  4. Flexibility to design and change QSL cards
  5. Free card design tool
  6. Ability to export ADIF log file from Ham Radio Deluxe (HRD) logbook (and other electronic log book tools)
  7. High quality card printing (double-sided, glossy, color)

Getting Started

To get started using the GlobalQSL service you must first setup an account, purchase QSL printing (in multiples of either 100 or 1000 cards), design a QSL card using the GlobalQSL card design tool.  The free Windows-based QSL design tool is easy and fun to use.  GlobalQSL provides a tutorial for the graphic editor to help first time users.  The cost per cart is relatively inexpensive considering it covers both the cost of card preparation and postage.

With this tool you can design two-sided cards that incorporate your own text, pictures, graphics, and color.  We like the fact that you can create multiple card designs for use as needed.  For example, it is easy enough to create a card for a specific event like a contest, holiday, or field day.  You can also update your cards as needed to keep them fresh looking.

How to upload?

GlobalQSL automatically creates your outgoing QSL cards based on QSO information that you provide via an ADIF file exported from  your favorite logging program.  The ADIF file will contain on the relevant information that GlobalQSL needs to fill in the QSL card such as date, time, mode, band, ....  This allows you to send out cards in a batch in only a few minutes.  No time consuming filling out cards by hand.  We view time as our most precious resource so the automation is really important to us.  Simply put, the less time we spend on QSL cards the more time we have to operate.
  1. Prepare an ADIF file from your log tool.  We use Ham Radio Deluxe which provides an menu item for exporting selected QSO's to an ADIF file.
  2. Log into your account on the GlobalQSL.
  3. Select, "Upload ADIF log file" from the GlobalQSL menu on the leftside of the screen.
  4. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen and select a call sign from a drop down list.
  5. Click the "Browse" button and find the ADIF log file on your computer
  6. Click the "Upload ADIF" button to upload the file
At this point GlobalQSL takes over to prepare and send your QSL cards to eagerly awaiting hams worldwide.  GlobalQSL will print up to five QSL's with a single station on a card which further reduces cost.  GlobalQSL sends an email confirmation once your upload has been processed and queued up for printing.  Example:

Congratulations! Data successfully inserted!

The transaction is complete! The QSL's will be printed soon.
Load end time: 04-Feb-2013 17:20
Total inserted records: 15


My QSL Images

GlobalQSL has a page where you can track incoming QSL's that other hams have sent you via GlobalQSL's service.  We don't really use this feature much other than to browse through some of the QSL images.

My Outgoing QSL

This GlobalQSL page provides status of the QSL's you have uploaded.  This is useful to confirm that you uploaded a particular contact and the status ("uploaded" or "printed and sent").

View History

This screen gives you a listing by date of all activity including purchasing card printing credits, cards processed (debits), and your credit balance after each transaction.  You can also download the processed ADIF if needed.  We haven't had cause to download a ADIF file from the site yet.  Perhaps there are situations where this would be useful?  We do like having a record of QSL credits and debits and current balance information.

Card Quality

On a couple of occasions QSL cards that we sent out via the GlobalQSL service have been returned by a foreign QSL service due to being undeliverable (e.g. deceased recipient).  From these cards, we were able to see first hand the quality of the printing and paper.  The GlobalQSL-produced card quality is excellent and superior to the cards we have attempted to produce ourselves.

Bottom Line

All-in-all we are pleased with the GlobalQSL service and how it saves us time, paperwork, and money.  We are also impressed with the quality of the QSL cards (double-sided, full color, good paper).

Good DX and 73, NJ2X

© Michael W. Maher and NJ2X.COM, 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Michael W. Maher and NJ2X.COM with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

November 3, 2011

Big Iron AM Stations N4QLB

N4QLB has put together an excellent slideshow of big iron AM stations.  Hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

October 28, 2011

Super ham shack KA1DMZ

Sit back, relax, and enjoy a tour of KA1DMZ's super ham shack.  Wonderful equipment and installation with both vintage and contemporary rigs.  Enjoy!

October 16, 2011

Amazing SWL shack NL6777

Here is a remarkable video of a Dutch shortwave listener's shack (Eric NL6777).  Eric lives in Breda, NL and has one of the finest listening posts we have ever seen.  Excellent gear, thoughtful layout, and professional installation.

September 30, 2011

Shack Slide Show from KC9MAV

Found this interesting slide show of pictures of various shacks compiled by KC9MAV.  Nice work Dave!  73 NJ2X