Programming The Baofeng Radios

Programming the Baofeng (Chines) radios can be a real challenge.  Here are some recommended web sites and devices that we hope will help you.

Baofeng Cheat Sheet

What I like about this cheat sheet is all the information is on one page.

Baofeng Programming Cable

There is a programming cable available if you have a computer to program some models of the Baofeng radios.

The cable is called: BTECH PC03 FTDI Genuine USB Programming Cable for BTECH, BaoFeng, Kenwood, and AnyTone Radio.




Yorba Linda Ham Radio Operators Welcome

If you are a ham radio operator and live in the city of Yorba Linda, California, please consider joining Placentia, California RACES.  We  already have about 3 Yorba Linda ham radio operators that are active in our RACES group.  The reason for this is it seems that Yorba Linda does not have a RACES group.

Placentia RACES & CERT Members Received Training June 8, 2019

The Orange County Citizens Corps Preparedness Exercise took place June 8, 2019, at Saddleback Junior College.  This one day class offered learning activities in the following areas:

  • Damage Assessment
  • Patient-Carry Obstacle Course
  • Triage
  • Stop the Bleeding
  • American Red Cross / OneOC Overview
  • Map Your Neighborhood

Digital Modes Petition RM-11831 generates debate

Winlink may be forced to close shop on HF in the USA.

Technology website The Register has now published an article on RM-11831 written by Thomas Claburn which covers some of the arguments, see

The founder of the research center NYU Wireless, New York University Professor Theodore Rappaport N9NB, has issued a press release which can be seen at

The QRZ forum on RM-11831 has received a large number of posts, see

Read the Petition for Rule Making RM-11831

Read comments submitted to FCC

Comments on RM-11831 should be submitted to the FCC by April 29 at

Winlink may be forced to close shop on HF in the USA

Winlink is…

…a worldwide radio email service that uses radio pathways where the internet is not present, and is capable of operating completely without the internet–automatically–using smart-network radio relays. Winlink provides its users email with attachments, position reporting, weather and information bulletins, and is well-known for its role in emergency and disaster relief communications. Licensed Winlink operators/stations use both amateur radio and government radio frequencies worldwide. The system is built, operated and administered entirely by licensed volunteers.

FCC Petition RM-11831 Threatens Amateur Digital Operations Like Winlink

Winlink may be forced to close shop on HF in the USA, explained below.

April 5, 2019–The FCC has opened for comment RM-11831, a proposal for rule making that would do two things the the US amateur radio rules:

1) remove paragraph (c) of 97.221. This would disallow narrow-bandwidth ARQ modes of 500 Hz or less from outside the specified 97.221 sub bands for automatically controlled digital stations. This will require all US Winlink HF gateway stations, regardless of mode/technique, to only operate within these narrow sub bands.

2) modify the wording of 97.309(4) thusly:
(4) An amateur station transmitting a RTTY or data emission using a digital code specified in this paragraph may use any technique whose technical characteristics have been documented publicly, *such as CLOVER, G-TOR, or PacTOR,* (remove *-*, add the following:) and the protocol used can be be monitored, in it’s entirety, by 3rd parties, with freely available open source software, for the purpose of facilitating communications.

This effectively eliminates Pactor 2, 3, and 4 from the US amateur bands unless SCS steps up and publishes complete technical specifications, including their proprietary signal processing methods, and produces an open-source monitoring program allowing on-air eavesdropping by third parties (not likely).

The Winlink Team will have to produce monitoring software for an unconnected eavesdropper for WINMOR, ARDOP. VARA’s author must do the same. The alternative is for Winlink to close shop for US licensees on HF amateur bands, or to eliminate B2F compression for messages sent by US-licensed amateurs. This will cause US users of all modes to suffer much longer transmission times by a factor of 2-10 times. Limits would not be placed on other users.

See and read the new proceeding from the link below. The 30-day comment period opened on 28 March. We have prepared a document containing useful arguments you may paraphrase for your comment filing. The formal ARSFI Motion to Dismiss RM-11831 and Petition for Rulemaking is also here for your review.…

Unless we receive support from users on this serious threat, Winlink may be forced to close shop on HF in the USA. US and non-US users and gateway operators are urged to educate themselves and file a comment soon!


Lor Kutchins, W3QA
Winlink Development Team
Amateur Radio Safety Foundation, Inc.



Posted April 14, 2019

Posted February 28, 2019

Please attend the next OCRACES meeting this coming Monday, March 4th, at 7:30 PM, at OCSD Communications & Technology Division, 840 N. Eckhoff Street, Suite 104, in Orange. Fountain Valley RACES Chief Radio Officer Alan Hill, W6ARH, will talk about loop antennas, which is a very interesting topic.

Kenwood TH-D72 APRS Checklist

The following checklist was created from a YouTube video “Basic setup for APRS operations with the Kenwood D72” by Don Arnold.  I really recommend you view this video.  The reason I wrote this list is because there are about 10 APRS setup steps.  I seldom use this radio and when I do, I want a quick check list to ensure the APRS is working.

  • * Turn Internal GPS On
    • * “F” Key = 1 “Int. GPS” (note that “F” key changes APRS menu items.)
    • * Turn ON.
    • * Confirm that “iGPS” appears upper right of screen.
  • * Turn Battery Saver OFF
    • * Press MENU
    • * Select RADIO = Menu 1
    • * Go to MENU = 110 = “Batt. Saver”
    • * Select OFF.
  • * APO OFF (automatic power off)
    • * Press MENU
    • * Select RADIO = Menu 1
    • * Go to MENU = 111 = “APO”
    • * Select OFF
  • * Set the DATE
    • * Press MENU
    • * Select RADIO = Menu 1
    • * Go to MENU = 194
    • * Enter correct date.
  • * Set the Time
    • * Press MENU
    • * Select RADIO = Menu 1
    • * Go to MENU = 195
    • * Enter the correct time.
  • * Set the UTC
    • * Set the UTC
    • * Select RADIO = Menu 1
    • * Go to MENU = 196 = Auxiliary, Time Zone, UTC
    • * Set to -7 Daylight Savings (for California)
    • * Set to -8 Standard Time (for California)
  • * Set the int. GPS
    • * Select GPS = Menu 2
    • * Go to MENU = 201 = Int. GPS = Operating Mode
    • * Sub menu = Battery Saver = OFF
  • * APRS Setup – BASIC SET
    • * Select APRS = Menu 3
    • * Go to MENU = 300 = Call Sign
    • * Go to sub menu “My Callsign”.
    • * Enter your call sign.
    • * Enter 144.390 = APRS Frequency for the USA
  • * Press TNC button. (this opens the TNC)
    • * Look at screen. You should see “APRS12”.

Now Lets confirm that the radio is “seeing” the GPS satellites and the APRS circuits are working properly:

    • * Press POS key which will show degrees, minutes seconds. Make sure the small circles just to the right of each is blinking on and off.
    • * You can press the radio joy stick to see your Altitude.
    • * Target Point is another display. Target Point is recorded in the HT.  Up to 5 points can be stored.  (Its accuracy is not good enough for Geocaching.)
    • * You can view the log memory used.
    • * You can view satellites.
  • Beacon
    • * If you have manual beacon set, press “BCON” key to send your position.

Sun Storm To Hit Earth August 4, 2017

Space Weather News for August 3, 2017

GEOMAGNETIC STORM WATCH: NOAA forecasters say there is an 80% chance of polar geomagnetic storms on Aug. 4th when a solar wind stream is expected to buffet Earth’s magnetic field. The wind is flowing from a canyon-shaped hole in the sun’s atmosphere, so wide that it is almost bisecting the solar disk. Storm levels could reach G2-category (moderately strong) during the late hours of Aug. 4th, subsiding to G1-category (minor) on Aug. 5th. Visit for more information and updates.

Boost Your HT Performance With A Rat Tail

A rat tail is a wire attached in some way to the ground of your HT.  It effectively adds the missing part for your antenna system.  This missing part is the ground wire that matches the length of your antenna length.  In normal, every day activity, you really do not need this device.  But, if you are going to travel into an area where repeater coverage is iffy, you might consider taking this simple device along with you.  You can easily make this device yourself and the cost is cheap.  I calculate the wire and connector is less than $1.

Recommended Internet Information:

Construction Materials:

Connector: Insulated Ring 22-18 Guage. 1/4 inch, Vinyl, package of 100 $4.95

Wire: Beldon 8890. 10 feet $9.90 I was able to make 6 rat tails from 10 feet when I cut each length 20 inches.

Vendor: Orvac Electronics, Fullerton, Calif.

Image shows a small vise holding the O connector and a wire that has been tinned with solder threaded into the back end of the connect with just enough exposed wire ready to be soldered.
Connector and wire ready to be soldered.

The antenna connector is shown in a close up with the rat tail O connector with wire slid into the ground of the antenna.
Rat Tail connector shown gripping antenna ground.  This connector is for a Baofeng HT.

The image shows a person holding a HT radio and comming off the antenna connection base is the rat tail wire ground.
Rat tail ground is attached to a Kenwood TH-F6 radio.

After constructing my first rat tail I decided to test its performance.

Test 1: I walk with another ham radio operator each weekend morning. The other operator lives about a mile away and we start walking toward one another and join up at Tri-City Park. I told him I wanted to test the rat tail the night before. The next day as we walk out of our houses and try calling one another, he reported that my signal was improved. Normally when we start walking from our front doors, the audio is scratchy.

Test 2: August 1, 2017 I tried to find a repeater that would respond with the rat tail but not when it was removed. I finally found Sunset Ridge, 145.440, using low power. When the rat tail was removed from the HT the repeater would not respond. When I put the rat tail in place, the repeater did respond. This second test proved that the rat tail is a definite improvement.

Note: This connect

Caution:  After about a week and a half wearing this rat tail on my HT, I noticed that the wire coming from the connector seemed to fray, a bit, due to the constant bending.  I need to solve this problem.