Quite honestly, I’m not a very social person. Some might argue that!  But I seriously don’t have much free time and I get tons of emails and I need to keep my career as my primary focus.  Your best bet is to join the K3FEF WebSDR group page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/k3fef and post your question(s) there.  If it’s really big and really private, you should be able to track me down via QRZ, Facebook, etc., using common stalking techniques.  🙂  I’m not impossible to find.

Ok, if you really want to reach out just use my call sign @ arrl . net

It’s somewhat funny that I get asked this so often. Quite frankly, why does anybody care? 🙂
Here’s the not-so-short answer:
– If it’s on, I’m in the shack. You see, it’s powered from my main power strip. So if it’s on, I’m doing something in the shack because I have everything powered up.
– If it’s off, I’m not here OR I forgot to shutdown power in the shack. It’s that simple.
– If there’s no audio but still a carrier, one of two things happened: Either my iPad stopped streaming (I often use Pandora), or I have it off for a reason (or accidentally hit the mute button).

Why is it even there?: I know it’s hard to imagine, but I’m a radio nut. I collect vintage AM radios with the same fervor and passion that I feel when I eat spaghetti and meatballs. I really enjoy it. Unfortunately, it’s tough to get an AM signal all over my house, so that little part 15 transmitter (A kit-built SSTran AMT3000) fills that RF void perfectly.

Sometimes you’ll hear me talk over it. Yes, I like to pretend I’m a radio personality. 🙂

So there you have it. Everything you ever wanted to know (and then some) about “K3FEF Radio!”

I DEFAULT to “AM” so make sure you choose “LSB” on the lower bands and “USB” for higher bands when listening to Amateur Radio frequencies. (Or CW if hearing morse code! And FM for 2 meter band!). If listening to any signal and you hear a continuous tone, try using the “Autonotch” setting. Finally, use the wider and narrower bandwidth controls to eliminate neighboring conversations.

AM, LSB, USB, FM are all different forms of modulation.  If you are listening to a station modulating in USB and trying to demodulate it using LSB it’s going to sound really weird.  If you’re getting started in amateur radio, it’s should be on your high priority list to understand these modes!  Sidebands are a fundamental concept in radio.

NO!  Well, we do support one app.  I happen to like it. We are compatible with the Android app: Pocket RxTx (Available in the Play Store – more info at https://www.yo3ggx.ro/)

Depending on time of day, different bands perform differently! If the bands look quiet (daytime), change the waterfall “view” to “Weak Sigs”. My S-Meter is calibrated and you’ll notice it doesn’t change when you change the waterfall view. At night, the waterfall might look better set to “Strong Sigs”.   The point is that signal strength changes with the atmosphere and unlike tuning a radio, you’re looking at a big slice of RF spectrum – so it will often look different during the day vs. night. (Even winter vs. summer!).

“K3FEF Part 15” Marker is an SSTran AMT3000 low power transmitter I use to demo my vintage AM radio collection. You never know what you’ll hear. 🙂

It is currently set to 1630AM and doesn’t reach beyond my property limits.

To answer that in full, would be a tremendous amount of work.  But let’s keep it simple:  It all starts with an antennas (sometimes more than one!) and that may or may not go through an RF preamp which then may or may not go through a splitter but ultimately ends up feeding one of seven RTL-SDR USB dongles in a big USB3 hub connected to a Lenovo Tiny w/ an i7 cpu, 16GB of memory, a 250GB SSD drive, running Linux Mint as well as the infamous WebSDR software (which I cannot provide – you must speak to the author directly as it is not open source).
I’ve done many tweaks but they’re more for the advanced user so I won’t get into that here.

If you want to understand the basic concepts of SDR’s and quadrature sampling, I strongly suggest you start with Google.  It is a tremendous subject and while I consider myself to be way above average (possibly expert), there are much better teachers out there.   🙂


Unfortunately, I hear this a lot. And I can probably tell you! BUT it’s WAY more fun to try and figure out what it is yourself. That’s one of the fun aspects of amateur radio and shortwave listening. I’ll give you a big hint though. There are sites that list sounds with images and provide the answer to all your strange signal questions. 🙂
I would suggest starting here: https://www.sigidwiki.com/wiki/Signal_Identification_Guide