Judy and I went cross-country skiing down at the Pemigewasset River near Profile Falls. I brought the KX3 and made 18 QSOs (in the CWT sprint) including France, Italy and Germany. It was a bit over 50F.
What a fantastic day to be out. We went east from the road about a half a mile toward the river. Here it opens up into a large field. At the far edge are some picnic tables and the river.
I tossed my 30 foot wire over a pine branch and pulled the wire up over the picnic table. In the sun, it must have been over 70F, because I took off my coat and gloves and I was still hot.
I started out on 20 meters. The CWT sprint had been running for a half hour. Except for the sprint, the band seemed dead. I had no trouble making contacts. After making a dozen contacts on 20 meters, I switched to 40 meters and made another six. Here’s my log. I’ve changed the format to reflect a more normal log rather than using the CWT exchange format.
22 Feb-17 1930 14.026 N5ZO CW 599 599 CA Marko
22 Feb-17 1932 14.027 K0AD CW 599 599 MN Al
22 Feb-17 1933 14.035 F6HKA CW 599 599 France Bert
22 Feb-17 1935 14.036 DL2CC CW 599 599 Germany Frank
22 Feb-17 1936 14.040 KM0O CW 599 599 MN Tony
22 Feb-17 1938 14.032 N4ZZ CW 599 599 TN Don
22 Feb-17 1940 14.030 AC4CA CW 599 599 TX John
22 Feb-17 1942 14.029 WJ9B CW 599 599 NC Will
22 Feb-17 1943 14.030 IT9MUO CW 599 599 Italy Alf
22 Feb-17 1944 14.033 N4IQ CW 599 599 SC Bill
22 Feb-17 1947 14.035 K9UIY CW 599 599 Ill Vic
22 Feb-17 1950 7030 NA8V CW 599 599 MI Greg
22 Feb-17 1951 7031 K4HQK CW 599 599 VA John
22 Feb-17 1952 7036 K3WW CW 599 599 PA Chas
22 Feb-17 1953 7037 CG3KI CW 599 599 ON Rich
22 Feb-17 1954 7039 N3RS CW 599 599 PA Sig
22 Feb-17 1956 7039 VE3KP CW 599 599 ON Ken
22 Feb-17 1957 14.035 K4BAI CW 599 599 GA John
With this I packed up and headed back to the car. It’s been a long winter with plenty of snow during the last month. What a thrill to be outdoors again with a rig.
Jim Cluett, W1PID, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from New Hampshire, USA. Contact him at [email protected].
|CLE 216 NA Targets!|
This coming weekend will see another CLE challenge. This time the hunting grounds will be: 320.0 - 334.9 kHz.
A 'CLE' is a 'Co-ordinated Listening Event', as NDB DXers around the world focus their listening time on one small slice of the NDB spectrum.
A nice challenge in this one is to hear the White Rock NDB, 'WC', on 332 kHz. The 'WC' NDB is located just a few hundred feet from the Canada - U.S. border, about 25 miles south east of the Vancouver International airport and about 20 miles west of the Abbotsford airport.
The beacon is located on a quiet residential street, nestled between well kept homes and towering fir trees.
|'WC - 332' White Rock, BC|
|Antenna at 'WC - 332'|
Heard regularly in California, 25 watt 'WC' is not as widely reported as is 'XX -344', especially from points east. As the system is similar to what a typical amateur LF installation might be, I would be very interested in any reception reports of 'WC' by DXers to the east. 'WC's upper sideband modulation frequency is ~ 423Hz so look for it on 332.423 kHz with your receiver in the CW mode.
From CLE organizer Brian Keyte, G3SIA, comes the usual 'heads-up':
Here are all the details for this weekend's co-ordinated listening event.
First time CLE logs too? Yes, please!
Short logs are always as welcome as long ones.
Days: Friday 24 February - Monday 27 February
Times: Start and End at midday, your LOCAL time
Range: 320.0 - 334.9 kHz
Please log the NDBs you can positively identify that are listed in the
frequency range (no DGPS please), plus any UNIDs heard there too.
Send your CLE log to the List, if possible as a plain text email and
not in an attachment, with CLE216 at the start of its title.
Please show on EVERY LINE of your log:
# The date and UTC (the day changes at 00:00 UTC).
# kHz - the beacon's nominal published frequency, if you know it.
# The Call Ident.
Show those main items FIRST on each line, before any optional details
such as the NDB's Location, Distance, Offsets, Cycle time, etc.
As always, make your log meaningful to everyone by including your
own listening location and details of your receiver, aerial(s), etc.
(It would be OK to use a remote receiver, with the owner's permission if
necessary, provided that ALL your loggings for the CLE are made using it).
I will send the usual 'Any More Logs?' email at about 18:00 UTC on Tuesday
so that you can check that your log has been found OK. Do make sure that
your log has arrived on the List at the very latest by 09:00 UTC on Wed. 1st
March. The combined results should be completed later that day.
Remember that you can find all CLE-related information from the Group's
CLE page ( http://www.ndblist.info/cle.htm ), including a link to the seek
lists provided for this Event from the Rxx Database.
From: Brian Keyte G3SIA ndbcle'at'gmail.com
Location: Surrey, SE England (CLE co-ordinator)
(Reminder: You could use any one remote receiver for your loggings,
stating its location and owner - with their permission if required.
A remote listener may NOT also use another receiver, whether local or
remote, to obtain further loggings for the same CLE).
These listening events serve several purposes. They:
- determine, worldwide, which beacons are actually in service and on-the-air so the online database can be kept up-to-date
- determine, worldwide, which beacons are out-of-service or have gone silent since the last CLE covering this range
- will indicate the state of propagation conditions at the various participant locations
- will give you an indication of how well your LF/MF receiving system is working
- give participants a fun yet challenging activity to keep their listening skills honed
Final details can be found at the NDB List website, and worldwide results, for every participant, will be posted there a few days after the event. If you are a member of the ndblist Group, results will also be e-mailed and posted there.
The very active Yahoo ndblist Group is a great place to learn more about the 'Art of NDB DXing' or to meet other listeners in your region. There is a lot of good information available there and new members are always very welcome. As well, you can follow the results of other CLE participants from night to night as propagation is always an active topic of discussion.
If you are contemplating getting started on 630m, listening for NDBs is an excellent way to test out your receive capabilities as there are several NDBs located near this part of the spectrum.
You need not be an ndblist member to participate in the CLEs and all reports, no matter how small, are of much value to the organizers.
'First-time' logs are always VERY welcome!
Reports may be sent to the ndblist or e-mailed to either myself or CLE co-ordinator, Brian Keyte (G3SIA), whose address appears above.
Please ... give the CLE a try ... then let us know what NDB's can be heard from your location! Your report can then be added to the worldwide database to help keep it up-to-date.
Steve McDonald, VE7SL, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from British Columbia, Canada. Contact him at [email protected].
Worked David W5WAZ on 14.300 today just after 1600z. Took a bit for him to hear me in his noise, but he got me and we had a qso after that. Used the MFJ whip and counterpoise facing south direction.
Fred Lesnick, VE3FAL, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from Thunder Bay Ontario, Canada. Contact him at [email protected].
In this episode, Martin M1MRB / W9ICQ is joined by Dan Romanchik KB6NU and Ed Durrant DD5LP to discuss the latest Amateur / Ham Radio news. Colin M6BOY rounds up the news in brief, and this episode’s features is Ed Durrant DD5LP predictions for 2017.
We would like to thank Michael Casavant, N1XRR and our monthly and annual donors for keeping the podcast advert free. To donate, please visit - http://www.icqpodcast.com/donate
- Amateur / Ham Radio Licence Status
- VHF/UHF DX Book Replica Edition
- NOSintro Book
- ACMA Reverses CB Decision
- Online UK Advanced Exam
- ARES Volunteers Support Oroville Dam Evacuation
- Making VHF/UHF Contests Better
- Ivory Coast DXpedition
- SOTA Summit to Summit VK-EU Event
Colin Butler, M6BOY, is the host of the ICQ Podcast, a weekly radio show about Amateur Radio. Contact him at [email protected].
Amateur Radio Satellite Nayif-1 launched
Just like FUNcube-1, this mode has the spacecraft sending high power telemetry when in sunlight and with the SSB/CW transponder active when in eclipse.
Hamcation is a great Hamfest. It’s huge, spread out, and located in the one place where the weather is actually amazing – Orlando. It’s sunny, 75 degrees, and I’m pretty sure I’m sunburnt. I forgot that this kind of weather exists.
DMR Hotspot from SharkRF
The first thing I noticed when listening to some of the more active talk groups is that it seems like every person getting on the system said “I just got this Tytera MD-380 radio and you are my first DMR contact.”
Decibel hell – the reign of antenna gain pain
Let’s step our way though the topic and see what we can learn from the pros.
Ham Radio . Magnum Experimentum
The US test team report 700C contacts over 2500km at SNRs down to -2dB, in conditions where SSB cannot be heard.
W8SRC repeater IDs are distinctive… to say the least
If you want to get a little more professional with your repeater ID, just ask.
PicSafari: QRZ Ham Radio Image Library
QRZ has the world’s largest collection of amateur radio related images.
Alaska’s HAARP facility once again open for business
The High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) in Gakona, Alaska, will soon undertake its first scientific research campaigns since the facility was taken over by the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
2 Meter tape measure beam antenna
The 2 Meter band tape measure beam antenna is a 3 element Yagi with about 7.2 db of forward gain.
Setup Icom 7300 on iMac with RUMLogNG
This is for beginners and I’m a beginner on the Mac, but it proved to be simple.
Amateur Radio Weekly is curated by Cale Mooth K4HCK. Sign up free to receive ham radio's most relevant news, projects, technology and events by e-mail each week at http://www.hamweekly.com.
|VE7AIJ's Original Setup|
There's a relatively 'new' contest in town that seems to be gathering a lot of growing interest. I'm talking about the 'NRR' or "Novice Rig Round-Up".
Harry, VE7AIJ, recently sent me a wonderful picture of his original station reproduction as used back in 1956. Hopefully Harry will be able to activate it along with countless others in the upcoming NRR.
The NRR is the brainchild of Bryan, AF4K, and Gary Johanson, WD4NKA, who developed the idea through chat on the Boatanchor and Glowbugs reflectors. They put the concept to the test in 2015 with the initial running of the NRR. Station pictures and soapbox comments from the last two runnings may be viewed here and here ... and they are truly inspirational.
With so many retired or soon to be retired 'baby boomers', there are a lot of guys out there that really enjoy recreating their original station setup, which for most U.S. hams, would have been their Novice station. There is also a huge group of 'not so old' hams that just enjoy refurbishing or homebrewing rigs from the 50's and putting them on the air ... the NRR will present another great opportunity to get on-the-air and light up those filaments once again.
As indicated on the NRR website, this is "more of an EVENT than just a typical contest ... once again taking our OLD ham radios off the shelf and putting them to use again! "
The full rules are available on the dedicated NRR webpage. You will also find information there for Yahoo's NRR Group as well as the Facebook link. An excellent FAQ page also makes for valuable reading.
Many of the contest stations will be crystal controlled, just as they were back in the Novice days and a list of individual rockbound frequencies can be downloaded for your reference here ... those using crystal control will also tune well above and below their own frequencies for callers, a long-lost technique once required, when all Novice stations were using crystal controlled rigs ... tuning high and low should give rockbound stations better chances of success.
The NRR takes place from 0000 UTC February 18 through 2359 UTC February 26 - 9 full days, covering two full weekends.
Suggested HF frequencies are: 3550 - 3650 kHz, 3579, 7055, 7060, 7080, 7100 -7125 kHz, 21.114, 21.120, 21.150 MHz, 28.114, 28.120 MHz.
An automatic logger page has been set up for log handling as well as a 'live skeds' page to announce your frequency or to chat. Clearly, a lot of effort by the organizers has gone into this event!
Hopefully you can participate and make the 3rd annual NRR an even more enjoyable event than the first two. I know of several VE7's, including myself, that will be operating.
Harry's homebrew 6AQ5 crystal oscillator (Feb '55 Popular Electronics) and Hallicrafters S-53, pictured above, allowed him to work the world back in the amazing radio days of Cycle 19. Let's relive some of that excitement in the closing days of Cycle 24 ... in the NRR!
Steve McDonald, VE7SL, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from British Columbia, Canada. Contact him at [email protected].
Amateur adoption of Digital Mobile Radio (DMR) continues to increase, with a number of new innovations playing out. It was way back in 2012 when I wrote this article about DMR for CQ VHF Magazine: TRBO Hits the Amateur Bands.
A few years ago, I picked up some used MOTOTRBO gear to use on our local DMR repeater system (MOTOTRBO is Motorola’s version of DMR). Here in Colorado, the Rocky Mountain Ham Radio group has been instrumental in establishing a great network of DMR repeaters, a real asset for Colorado radio amateurs. See Rocky Mountain Ham Radio TRBO/DMR Network. Worldwide, the DMR-MARC organization has created a robust network of MOTOTRBO repeaters in over 60 countries.
A more recent development is the establishment of the BrandMeister Network, which promotes more of a homebrew approach to DMR. This evening, the BrandMeister dashboard shows 634 industrial repeaters (commercial equipment), 263 homebrew repeaters and over 1300 hotspots of various types. A variety of DMR hotspots are available, including the DV4mini. I’m not going try to list all of the hotspots available as I’m sure I’ll miss something. The SharkRF openSPOT caught my attention because of this excellent review by John ‘Miklor’ K3NXU. Because of its popularity, the openSPOT is on backorder (price: 182.5 Euro).
This HamRadioConcepts video walks through the setup and basic operation.
I thought the openSPOT would be a good widget to have around the shack. It is a standalone hotspot, so I don’t have to dedicate a computer to it. Also, it is very turnkey…no assembly required…but some configuration to work out. Its user interface is a web page that you access via your local network…nicely done. I got it working in less than one hour and have been fiddling around with it ever since.
Hotspots are a funny item. They have very limited RF range, so their main purpose is to provide local RF access into the network (just like your Wi-Fi hotspot). One role they play is to provide fill-in coverage when no repeater is available. Another role they fill is being a personal device that can be connected to your favorite reflector or talk group.
I should point out that the openSPOT also operates as a D-STAR and Yaesu Fusion (YSF) hotspot. You just change the configuration of the modem and it starts speaking the selected modulation. More surprising is that I was able to use a YSF handheld radio to talk to the openSPOT which routed me to a DMR talkgroup. Yes, a Yaesu YSF radio talking on DMR.
The first thing I noticed when listening to some of the more active talk groups is that it seems like every person getting on the system said “I just got this Tytera MD-380 radio and you are my first DMR contact.” OK, sometimes it was a Connect Systems or Motorola radio but the MD-380 at around $100 is having a big impact. I picked up an MD-380 and while its not quite as nice as my Motorola, I really do like the radio. (Note that there are other low cost DMR radios that have serious technical issues.) There will be other radios on the market…the technology will keep improving and improved models will hit the market. Right now, everyone is wondering who will create a good dualband 2m / 70cm transceiver for DMR.
I see some very strong technology and market trends in play here that are going to impact the ham radio world. First off, DMR is a true industry standard (ETSI), well designed and documented. Second, we are seeing multiple radio vendors offering competitive, low cost transceivers. Third, there is high quality commercial repeater gear available from land mobile providers such as Motorola and Hytera. But there’s one more thing that really tops this off: the number of ham-built products emerging that are focused on DMR. This is classic ham radio adaptation and innovation that leverages commercial gear for ham radio use.
Stay tuned…this is going to be interesting!
73, Bob K0NR
Bob Witte, KØNR, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from Colorado, USA. Contact him at [email protected].