Wondering why this website is named KD9CPB instead of something more sensible? Well the answer isn’t as exciting as you may have expected; KD9CPB is the ham radio callsign issued to me by the FCC! One of my technologist friends talked me into studying for the amateur (aka ham) radio technician test in the mid-2010’s, and I’ve been fascinated by the entire radio spectrum ever since. Hamvillage.org really says it best: “Ham Radio is in may ways the original ‘hacker’ culture and ‘maker’ community”.

One of my favorite things about ham radio is you only need about a day’s worth of studying, less than $20 for the license test, and a <$50 walkie talkie to start having lots of fun on the airwaves. Many of the posts here will dive into topics that would be more interesting after obtaining a ham radio license, but I’m hoping some of this content motivates more computer nerds to become radio nerds.

Back when wifi was first starting to become popular in the mid-2000’s, I discovered BackTrack 2 and quickly became addicted to learning more about wifi radios with Kismet. Those “Linksys WRT54G golden era of wifi” days are long gone, and my level of interest about wifi has since declined, especially now that everyone’s smart about not having open or WEP secured access points. That being said, recently I’ve been having almost as much fun with SDRPlay’s SDRUno product as I did back in those WEP-era days of Kismet, and maybe you will too after reading some of these posts!

You should also know I may earn commissions on qualifying Amazon purchases made via kd9cpb.com links to defray the cost of otherwise ad-free web hosting.

2 thoughts on “Ham Radio

  1. I have installed qtel on my linux laptop. I have been able to communicate with my son only from my qtel(echolink) to his qtel(echolink). Neither of us have been able to connect to an echolink repeater that is linked to an amateur radio. What might we be doing wrong?

    Further info: When using echolink on my cellphone, I am able to connect to the repeater and further to my radio via the local repeater to which the echolink repeater is connected. When using qtel and I attempt to connect to the repeater, the qtel app times out trying to make the connection.

    1. Hi Dewey!

      Which Linux distribution are you using? My gut feeling is to check and make sure any/all firewalls (firewalld, iptables, etc.) are temporarily disabled when you’re troubleshooting. You might also need to try the tricks at https://secure.echolink.org/help_ex/firewalls.htm too.

      I’ve had really good luck with having my Raspberry Pi OS and AntiX Linux boxes work with the two local repeaters I use the most (W9MW and W9ANL), but I do have uPNP and a few other sharing features enabled on my home router. I wonder if maybe a restrictive firewall ruleset on your home router could be the possible culprit too, but if your smartphones can connect up to the local repeater no problem, perhaps this is a red herring.

      Good luck and 73!
      – Tom KD9CPB

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