Top Five K0NR Blog Posts For 2016

blog graphicAs we approach the end of the year, it is fun to look back to see which blog posts were read the most. It turns out these five blog postings were written in previous years but they are the ones that got the most hits in 2016.

The most read post on was Choose Your 2m Frequency Wisely, an article I wrote that explains the 2m band plan in Colorado. I wrote this one years ago after encountering quite a few folks that did not understand how the band plan is set up. (If you are outside of Colorado, see What Frequency Do I Use on 2 Meters? over on  The second most read post concerns the use of amateur gear outside the ham bands: Can I Use My Ham Radio on Public Safety Frequencies? Actually, I have two blog postings that cover the same topic but I’ve linked to the one that is up to date.  This is a hot topic as many people still believe strongly that no ham gear is legal on Part 90 frequencies (read through the comments on that post). This is why I took the time to write about it, attempting to explain it and educate the ham community.

Another perennial favorite is: Solving the Baofeng Cable Problem. There is a really frustrating problem with how the Windows driver works with certain USB interface chips. Many folks who went out and bought low cost Baofeng (and other) radios got totally hosed up by this. Hence, the need for and the popularity of this blog posting.

Next up is my classic article FM/VHF Operating Guide, written many years ago and continually updated over the years. Mobile radio installations are always a bit of an exploration, so I try to share what I learn when doing one. People seem to appreciate this kind of article and often ask followup questions via email. For whatever reason, my 2012 Jeep Wrangler Radio Install post continues to be a popular post on my blog.

Hey, thanks for stopping by Best of luck to you in the New Year.

73, Bob K0NR

The post Top Five K0NR Blog Posts For 2016 appeared first on The KØNR Radio Site.

Baofeng UV-5R: 409Shop 10pcs

Basically, $13 per radio to the US – if you need 10.

A network benchmark update

Previously, I’ve posted several Comcast / Xfinity’s benchmarks for our CATV Internet service.  (Click on “Benchmark” topic at right.)

Lately, the IPv6 service seems pretty reliable with my system.  That was a problem for some time.  It may have been a bad interaction between the Comcast plant and my local routers, but it just went away.  It may have been a Comcast reconfiguration that helped us, but it also could have been an Asus firmware update. I am now running ASUSWRT-MERLIN firmware on the Asus RT-N66U router, which I can highly recommend as an expanded and improved version of the Asus distribution.(It cured a long-standing issue with JFFS2 overflow.)

Again, I highlight the DSL Reports speed test, which checks your “real world” network performance, including the dread “buffer bloat”.  Today is Boxing Day (Dec. 26), and DSL-Reports is giving me a so-so report and a good report. Here they are, separated by half an hour:

The variability may be partly due to the speed test’s different selection of test hosts.  But it may be something real about Comcast or the Internet “weather”.  These tests use IPv6, it appears.

For comparison, between these two tests, Comcast’s own speed test shows this:

This is the available speed within the Comcast network, which seems to be the best possible result — not fully representative of what you experience with a random Internet connection — even if the server is fast and well-connected. (Note that the driving distance from Branford CT to Boston is really about 144 miles, not under 50. Go figure.)

Baofeng Tech APRS-K2

John reviews the Baofeng Tech APRS-K2 cable:

“BTECH APRS-K2 TRRS / APRS Cable is a simple way to start using APRS by using devices you already own. The BTECH APRS-K2 Cable will quickly connect your radio to APRS by using virtual TNC (app driven) on your tablet or device. The APRS-K2 cable is built with a custom circuit board that will automatically adjust the audio for clear packet transmissions with minimal adjustment; along with protecting your devices from strong over modulated signals.”

So, take your radio, this cable, and an app on your tablet/phone and you are ready to go!

Connect Systems CS580 Review

Don at reviews the CS580:

“Overall, we are very happy with the Connect Systems CS580 and believe that it is a great value priced DMR radio that is likely to please most users, making it a winner within the ham radio community.”

Click the link for all the details.

Ham Radio Deluxe on

For all the wrong reasons

Gandalf_the_Beardy quotes a report from The Register:The Register reports on the story of Jim Giercyk, an amateur radio enthusiast who had his copy of the popular Ham Radio Deluxe (HRD) software revoked after posting a negative review. Other radio hams have followed up with us regarding claims that this was not an isolated incident and others may have had their license keys blacklisted for being publicly critical of the company. And just to be clear: by blackballing keys, installed copies of the software stop working. Giercyk, a professional musician in South Carolina, U.S., says that after his dealings with HRD Software (which has since reinstated his software key) and the statement made by the developer’s co-owner Dr Michael Carper, he takes issue with claims made by the company. Giercyk, aka N2SUB, told us on Tuesday: “The issue is not the refusal of service, the issue is that HRD disabled my software, and then offered to enable it in exchange for the removal of an online review of their product. It’s extortion, not refusal of service.” Giercyk also said that since he went public about his blacklisting last week, he has received messages from other users who have stories of their software keys being revoked by HRD without their knowledge for speaking up about having a bad support experience. A number of other readers pointed out a collection of bad reviews posted on hobbyist site eHam by customers who had their license keys blacklisted. HRD told us some of those users could have written their assessments after requesting a refund and deactivating their software, thus their licenses will appear revoked. Meanwhile, Reddit threads and follow-up discussions to Giercyk’s catalyst forum post reveal similar stories of keys being revoked after critical comments about Ham Radio Deluxe have appeared online. Other sources allege some amateur radio forums have in the past deleted posts critical of HRD.

SharkRF OpensPOT Review

John reviews the SharkRF OpenSPOT:

“Hotspots were not developed to replace repeaters, but rather to supplement them. In areas where there is No repeater, a hotspot allows the user to connect directly to a digital network via the internet. In areas of Heavy repeater use, a hotspot allows the user to access the network without competing for an available time slot.  If your local repeater gives you access to a network such as DMR-MARC, an openSPOT can give access to networks such as Brandmeister. You will now have access to the best of both worlds.”