Ham radio launches to deep space
Posted Nov 20, 2014 by QRZnow.com
ARTSAT2:DESPATCH is going to launch on a mission into deep space on November 30, 2014 carring a 7 watt CW transmitter on 437.325 MHz.
It will fly with the asteroid mission Hayabusa 2 and another amateur radio satellite Shin’en 2.
ARTSAT2:DESPATCH will have an elliptic orbit around the Sun and travel to a deep space orbit between Venus and Mars. Its inclination will be almost zero, which means Shin’en 2 will stay in the Earth’s equatorial plane. The distance from the Sun will be between 0.7 and 1.3 AU. An Astronomical Unit (AU) is 149,597,871 km.
Milestone shortwave contacts with Australia
Posted Nov 19, 2014 by QRZnow.com
The first direct two-way radio contact between A3BQ in Melbourne and U6AHP in the USA in 1924 helped open up the age of shortwave long distance communication.
The breakthrough on 87 metres came during the transpacific tests run by the WIA Victorian Division in cooperation with the American Radio Relay League.
The aim was to prove that signals could be detected and amplified sufficiently to communicate long distances.
Ross Hull A3JU in Melbourne heard faint US signals through the static and is credited with being the first Australian to do so. But (Walter Francis Maxwell) Max Howden A3BQ at Box Hill made the first contact with the USA using his now primitive home-built equipment.
NW0LF - Testing Report
Posted Nov 19, 2014 by NW0LF
We are concluding another successful year of monthly testing with yet more success.
Daniel Belcher and Bruce Bolton became new hams, and Richard Simpson upgraded to Extra!
Caribbean Tour 2015
Posted Nov 19, 2014 by QRZnow.com
From 24 January to 14 of February 2015 we will be sailing in the area of the Caribbean.
Our team, in which are SP7VC, SQ7OYL, SP3IPB, SP7TF, SP3CFM and K2RPFex.SP8NFE will be active from several islands on Carribean Sea.
This is our schedule:
Martynika NA-107 as FM/SP7VC,FM/SP7TF 24.01-26.01.2015
St.Lucia NA-108 as J6/Homecalls between 27.01-03.02.2015
St.Vincent NA-109 as J8/Homecalls between 04-05.02.2015
Grenada NA-024 as J3/Homecalls between 06-07.02.2015
Carriccou NA-147 as J3/Homecalls between 07-08.02.2015
Union NA-025 as J8/Homecalls between 08-09.02.2015
Martynika NA-107 as FM/Homecalls between 13-14.02.2015
We are planning to sail around FM, J6, J8, J3, so you may call our work “holiday style”.
Our equipment consists of TS-590, FT-847, FT-857 +3 PA Amplifaier-500W, Antenas: inv-L for 80-160m, 2phased vertical 160-80-40m, HexBeam SP7IDX Technology, VDA antenas, verticals R-7000, Digital modems.
We are planning to work on SSB, CW and digital modes.
See More :
K3SEN: Whether to CW or Not to CW
Posted Nov 18, 2014 by K3SEN
The nice part about the Amateur Radio hobby is that it offers something for everybody. I have always liked CW (Morse Code). Before the last club meeting Captain John (K4TUG) ask me to fill-in and talk about the CW class I had just completed. At the end of that discussion I was ask if I could put a summary on the web site. That is what follows.
The first thing I need to do is to apologize to the “real” CW operators. These are the guys and gals that eat, sleep and live CW. I am NOT an expert! This is just a summary of what I learned in my CW class.
The class was conducted by The CW Operators’ Club. Their web site can be found at:
This club offers CW classes at NO charge or obligation to beginners and those that need to improve or regain proficiency in CW. To sign up for a class, go to their website (see above) and click on the button on the left side of the page labeled “CW Academy”. Fill out and submit the form. That is all there is to it. Now the bad news, they are in such demand that they are taking sign-ups for a year from now. Classes are 6 weeks long, two nights a week.
Another successful year!
Posted Nov 18, 2014 by AJ4MQ
Another successful meeting. We handed out ballots and verified membership to find
2015 Elected Board Members:
President: K4TUG - Captain John Locicero
Vice President: AJ4MR - Leah Bowen
Treasurer: KA1G - Ed Coty
Secretary: KI4VWP - Carolyn Truesdale
Directors Elected for 2015-2016:
NW0LF - Tom Bilello
KK4TKU - Butch Diehl
Solar Power for Amateur Radio
Posted Nov 18, 2014 by AJ4MQ
Powering radio communications equipment using solar energy.
1. Are there any special considerations when using amateur radio gear on solar power?
Yes, there are some issues. Many solar charger controllers actually will generate RF noise when charging. This is most common with pulse width modulated (microprocessor controlled) charge controllers. Sometimes this can be controlled with wire shielding and/or good grounding/DC filtering. RF noise output may vary depending upon battery state of charge (usually less when batteries are near full, depending upon the charger PWM protocol).
2. What are the advantages of solar power for radio communications?
Solar power is ideal for radio communications as the DC power does not introduce line noise or 60 cycle hum. Isolation from the grid (in most installations) also will assure relative immunity from grid power surges. Using solar energy as a power source actually fulfills a prime mission of amateur radio: reliable emergency communications. Solar powered communications will function when everything else is off[line. Solar power can also keep a standby battery bank constantly topped-off and ready to use in the event of a power failure. UPS inverters are also available that switch power over to solar power upon a quarter-cycle failure of the 110VAC grid.
Ham Radio operators can help save lives in times of crisis
Posted Nov 18, 2014 by QRZnow.com
WebSDR is a Software-Defined Radio receiver connected to the internet
Posted Nov 18, 2014 by QRZnow.comA WebSDR is a Software-Defined Radio receiver connected to the internet, allowing many listeners to listen and tune it simultaneously. SDR technology makes it possible that all listeners tune independently, and thus listen to different signals; this is in contrast to the many classical receivers that are already available via the internet.
More background information is available here. Questions and comments can be sent to PA3FWM, the author of the WebSDR software and maintainer of this site; but please check the frequently asked questions first.
WebSDR servers can register themselves automatically on this site, leading to the below list of currently active WebSDR servers.
Since Java version 7u51, Java applets need to be enabled for each site separately; see http://websdr.org/java.html for instructions.
Currently there are 89 servers active, with 483 users and 173546 kHz of radio spectrum.
MARS Volunteers Reach Out to Amateur Community to Test Interoperability
Posted Nov 17, 2014 by QRZnow.com
The Army and Air Force branches of the Military Auxiliary Radio System (MARS) merged their long-distance radio networks in late October for a 48-hour Department of Defense (DoD) sponsored contingency communications exercise. The MARS volunteers provided communication support in the wake of a simulated disruption to the nation’s telecommunications infrastructure. In addition to passing message traffic for the Defense Department, the scenario for the October 27-28 exercise also required MARS stations to interface with the Department of Homeland Security Shared Resources — or SHARES — HF network. Part of the exercise called on MARS operators to attempt to contact Amateur Radio operators in as many counties across the US as possible. Preliminary results show that MARS-to-Amateur Radio contacts were made in approximately one-half of the more than 3000 US counties.
“During the exercise, MARS Headquarters tasked MARS members to reach out to ARES and Amateur Radio operators in as many counties across the US as possible using amateur HF as well as VHF and UHF frequencies,” explained Army MARS Program Manager, Paul English, WD8DBY. Direct radio contacts with Amateur Radio operators or contacts made via an Amateur Radio net during the 48-hour exercise were counted as county contacts, he said.
Planning for this particular portion of the MARS exercise began in late September between English and ARRL Emergency Preparedness Manager Mike Corey, KI1U. English said DoD-MARS intends to continue developing this relationship with the Amateur Radio community for future MARS exercises.
Madison County Officials say radio can fill in for Internet in event of cyber attack
Posted Nov 16, 2014 by QRZnow.com
MADISON COUNTY, Tenn. — Life in the digital age is filled with the World Wide Web, which is why some first responders wanted to re-wire their ham radio skills Friday.
In order to continue communicating if the Internet fell victim to a mass cyber attack, agencies from across Tennessee would turn to radio.
“We can actually send email and attachments, video and what-not via ham radio without ever using Internet,” said Mike Winslow, risk manager for Madison County.
First responders would use ham radio frequencies to email, send pictures and messages if traditional email were gone.
Radio Propagation 101 - Sun Spots, Solar Flux, K and A factors [Video]
Posted Nov 16, 2014 by QRZnow.com
Radio Propagation 101 – Sun Spots, Solar flux, K and A factors [ Video ]
ARRL “Red Badges” Will Be Out and About on Saturday, November 22
Posted Nov 15, 2014 by ARRL
The next ARRL “Red Badges on the Air” activity will take place on Saturday, November 22 UTC (starting the evening of Friday, November 21, in US time zones). That’s when holders of red ARRL name/call sign badges will once again be roaming the bands, offering yet another chance to boost your ARRLCentennial QSO Party total. There will be one more Red Badges on the Air activity on New Year's Eve, Wednesday, December 31. ARRL officers, elected officials such as Director or Section Manager, as well as Headquarters staffers and volunteers, and other members of the ARRL family will take to the air en masse for both occasions. Contacts with red badge wearers are worth as much as 300 points per contact for working ARRL President Kay Craigie, N3KN. Many of the 200 or so holders of red badges will be on the air on November 22 and December 31, along with other ARRL appointees, VEs, and members.
ARRL Seeks Input on Initial VHF-UHF-Microwave Contest Rule Changes
Posted Nov 12, 2014 by ARRL
The recently formed “Ad Hoc Subcommittee on VHF and Above Revitalization” — created by the ARRL Board of Directors’ Programs and Services Committee (PSC) — is seeking member input by December 15 on updating various aspects of the League’s contest program for the VHF and higher bands. Subcommittee Chairman Kermit Carlson, W9XA, said members can help the work of the committee “by providing additional insights and ideas for our consideration.”
California Scientist-Ham On the Air from Antarctica's McMurdo Station, Ross Ice Shelf
Posted Nov 12, 2014 by ARRL
Ham radio is not the primary reason Ron Flick, K6REF, is in Antarctica, but it’s proving to be an enjoyable diversion to his scientific activities at McMurdo Station and the Ross Ice Shelf. He’s put a few hundred contacts in the log since arriving late last month from California. Flick, an oceanographer with the California Department of Parks and Recreation, Division of Boating and Waterways, and colleagues are conducting ice vibration studies on the Ross Ice Shelf for Scripps Institution of Oceanography. McMurdo is home to KC4USV, but Flick’s initial experience at the station — once he was able to locate the key to unlock the door — was less than optimal.
“The view is spectacular!” he enthused. “After I plugged the radio into power and the Yagi, I was able to hear a few stations on the lower end of 20, but was not able to contact anyone. The Yagi is fixed in an east-west orientation.”
Flick subsequently learned that the Antarctic winds had shifted the Yagi’s orientation. He’d been using 14.243 MHz — the “usual” KC4USV frequency — and 14.290 MHz, which he called “my personal favorite.” He was also using 21.260 MHz, generally getting on the air around 2200 UTC for a few hours, depending upon his work schedule.
Search for Special Event Stations
Posted Nov 11, 2014 by ARRL
"The Radio Amateur is....PATRIOTIC...His or Her station and skills are always ready for service to country and community." - adapted from the original Amateur's Code, written by Paul M. Segal, W9EEA, in 1928. You can find Special Event Stations operating as tributes for Veterans Day by visiting http://www.arrl.org/special-event-stations and searching by keyword "Veteran."
ARRL Asks FCC to Continue Issuing Hard Copy Licenses to Those Who Want Them
Posted Nov 06, 2014 by ARRL
In comments filed November 5, the ARRL has recommended that the FCC continue to provide paper license documents to Amateur Radio licensees who want them. The League’s remarks were in response to an FCC Public Notice (in WT Docket 14-161) that proposed to cease the routine issuance of hard-copy license documents to all Wireless Service licensees, including radio amateurs. While having a paper license document from the FCC to post on the wall of the ham shack has been a tradition, the Commission for several years has considered the “official” Amateur Radio license to be the virtual document residing in its Universal Licensing System (ULS) database.
“The FCC is willing to continue to mail paper licenses to those who request them,” ARRL General Counsel Chris Imlay, W3KD, has explained. “However, they are making available to licensees — starting right now — the actual license to print via the FCC ULS, and it is allowing hams now to opt out of receiving paper licenses from the FCC directly.” (See ULS menu image.)
Under the FCC-proposed process, once a license application is granted, the ULS will generate an official electronic license but will no longer mail a hard copy license unless notified that the licensee wishes to receive an official paper license document. Until new procedures are final, however, the Commission will continue to print and mail official paper licenses, unless notified to stop.
Morse Code practice file archive – cw
Posted Nov 06, 2014 by QRZnow.com
The W1AW web code practice file archive is now available from the web code practice file page:http://www.arrl.org/code-practice-files . All of 2013’s files are available. 2014 files will be added after each update
ARRL has introduced a Kindle edition of “The ARRL Ham Radio License Manual,”
Posted Nov 05, 2014 by ARRL
ARRL has introduced a Kindle edition of “The ARRL Ham Radio License Manual,” our most popular introduction to Amateur Radio. The book includes everything newcomers need to prepare for their first Amateur Radio license. http://amzn.com/1625950136
ARRL November Sweepstakes begins 2100 UTC Saturday (tomorrow), November 1, 2014
Posted Oct 31, 2014 by ARRL
Objective: For stations in the United States and Canada (including territories and possessions) to exchange QSO information with as many other US and Canadian stations as possible on 160, 80, 40, 20, 15 and 10 meter bands.
Reminder: the Candian province of Ontario now consists four RAC sections: Ontario North (ONN), Ontario South (ONS), Ontario East (ONE) and the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). Make sure your contest logging software and "country" (CTY) files have been updated so that those abbreviations are recognized and credited properly.
View a map of the VE3 sections.
Log Submission Deadline
Logs are due FIFTEEN days after the event is over. Paper logs are still accepted, but electronic Cabrillo logs are preferred. Contest clubs are encouraged to help their club members submit their log electronically.
Hawaii ARES Volunteers Firming Up Plans for Possible Lava Flow Activation
Posted Oct 29, 2014 by ARRL
Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) volunteers on the Big Island of Hawaii are putting plans in place in case they need to activate in response to the Puna lava flow, reported today (October 29) to be 100 yards from the nearest home and with another 40 to 50 homes in its path. On October 28, the lava claimed its first structure — a shed in Pahoa. The lava originated from new “vents” in the Earth as a result of the Mt Kilauea volcano, which began erupting more than 30 years ago. After grinding to a halt nearly a month ago, the lava flow recently resumed its slow and devastating crawl toward populated areas. Residents in the path of the flow have been notified of a possible need to evacuate, and an evacuation advisory for down-slope residents remains in effect.
Lava flows are nothing new to many Hawaiians; ARRL Pacific Section Manager Bob Schneider, AH6J, has called them “a slow-motion disaster.” In September ARRL deployed Ham Aid kits to Hawaii for a possible lava flow response then. As it turned out, ARES members there needed the gear for Hurricane Ana first, since the lava flow had abated by the time the equipment got to Hawaii.
Satellites Carrying Amateur Radio Payloads Among Those Lost in Launch Explosion
Posted Oct 29, 2014 by ARRL
The GOMX-2 and RACE CubeSats were among more than 2 dozen satellites that were lost after an unmanned Orbital Space Sciences (OSC) Antares 130 vehicle exploded spectacularly shortly after launch at 2222 UTC on Tuesday, October 28, from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport on Wallops Island on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. Both satellite packages carried payloads that operated on Amateur Radio frequencies. The Antares is a new medium-class launch vehicle developed by OSC. The rocket exploded about 6 seconds after launch, sending a huge ball of fire hurtling toward the ground, which set a massive fire at the NASA launch site.
“A mishap has occurred at pad 0A,” a launch conductor said during the live broadcast on NASA TV. “There is no indication there is personnel in danger, although we do have significant property damage and significant vehicle damage.”
The 2U GMX-2 CubeSat was intended to test a de-orbit system designed by Aalborg University in Denmark. Karl Klaus Laursen, OZ2KK, is listed as the “responsible operator” on International Amateur Radio Union frequency coordination documents. The Amateur Radio payload proposed using a 9.6 k MSK data downlink on 437.250 MHz. Also on board was an optical communications experiment from the National University of Singapore. The mission also hoped to flight qualify a new high-speed UHF transceiver and SDR receiver built by an Aalborg University team.
Posted Oct 27, 2014 by KB6NU
Are knobs and buttons toast?
In a recent column on EETimes (http://www.eetimes.com/author.asp?doc_id=1324283), an old colleague of mine, Martin Rowe, says, “Knobs and buttons are slowly on their way out. Get used to it.” He’s referring to the controls on oscilloscopes, but if he were a ham, he might just as well be talking about amateur radio transceivers, too.
We already see this happening in amateur radio. FlexRadio, and a couple of other companies, already make transceivers with no front panel controls. You must have a computer to use them.
Might we even start to see this with handheld and portable equipment? For example, how much cheaper could they make a Baofeng if to use it, you had to also have an Android or iPhone app to act as the human interface?