Archive for the ‘young hams’ Category

Travel Footage: 3Y0Z Antarctic Bouvet Island DXpedition 2018 Expedition (by EY8MM)

Here is video footage of the journey to Antarctic Bouvet Island, made by the 3Y0Z amateur ham radio team. This footage caught a few moments on the deck of M/V Betanzos.

As you can see in the last moments of this footage, the weather conditions contributed to the decision to abort the DXpedition, as it was far too dangerous to continue this expedition.

As reported by ARRL:

“Our captain has decided that it is in the best interest of safety and expediency to proceed directly to Capetown, South Africa, rather than Punta Arenas, Chile. We are now heading north to avoid the possibility of encountering ice. Currently, there is no ice in sight or on radar. In due time, we will head easterly toward Capetown. Our entire team is safe. Most are resting in their bunks and in good spirits. We will keep the amateur radio community and our families informed, as we continue our journey.”

In a huge disappointment for the DX community and the members of the 3Y0Z Bouvet Island team, the DXpedition’s leaders announced at 2000 UTC today (February 3) that a decision had been made to abort the DXpedition and head back to Chile.

“During the last 72 hours, we continued to experience the high winds, low clouds, fog and rough seas that have prevented helicopter operations since our arrival at Bouvet,” said an announcement on the 3Y0Z Bouvet Island website. “No improvement was predicted in the weather forecast for the next 4 days. Then, last night, an issue developed in one of the ship’s engines. This morning, the captain of the vessel declared it unsafe to continue with our project and aborted the DXpedition. We are now on our long voyage back to Punta Arenas. As you might imagine, the team is deeply disappointed, but safe. There is already talk about rescheduling the DXpedition.”

Bouvet Island currently is the third most-wanted DXCC entity, behind Kosovo and North Korea. The 3Y0Z DXpedition, comprised of top operators with considerable DXpedition experience, has been in the planning stages for 2 years and had attracted contributions from clubs and individuals around the world.

A dependency of Norway, Bouvet is a subantarctic island in the South Atlantic. The last Bouvet activation was 3Y0E, during a scientific expedition over the winter of 2007-2008.

 

Video Author: Nodir Tursun Zade, EY8MM

This copy is used BY PERMISSION from EY8MM, given in writing on 23 February 2018

Rest in Peace, David Collingham, K3LP, SK

David Collingham, K3LP now SK

RIP David Collingham, SK – K3LP is now SK.

My condolences to the family and friends, and to our radio community, for the tragic loss of David Collingham, K3LP.

I am sad and sorry for his loved ones and friends who now grieve this loss.

May his memory echo through the ether like radio waves, reaching the receivers of our hearts.

Passing along a note from Paul, N6PSE:

Dear Friends of David Collingham-K3LP:

I have learned additional information concerning his death.

Last night, during a heavy winter storm, David let his dog outside. David later took his truck to search his 25-acre property when his dog did not return. David found that his dog had fallen into an icy pond that adjoins his property with another property.

David made the heroic decision to go into the pond to try and save his dog.

After some time had passed, David’s wife Rebecca went looking for him. She found his truck at the pond and called 911. Fire personal recovered David’s body as well as his dog. Efforts to resuscitate him were unsuccessful.

David lived his life bold, courageous and heroically and he died trying to save his beloved dog. He will always be a hero in our hearts.

RIP David R. Collingham, age 59.

 

ETH084 – Hurricane Harvey, Solar Eclipse, HamJam 2017 and More…

In this episode, I am joined by Ian Kahn, KM4IK, as a guest co-host. Ian has been on my podcast before in episode 69 where we talked about PSK31 and in episode 74 where we talked about Field Day. I have really enjoyed having Ian on my show and was happy that he agreed to join me in this episode as a guest co-host.

We had a great conversation about many major things that have happened recently.

We start off talking about the major event hitting my home state of Texas and reeking major damage all along the Gulf Coast. Yea, I’m talking about Hurricane Harvey. I have several friends that are helping out right now down in the disaster area and more planning on deploying there soon.

We continue our discussion with last weeks major event, the “Great American Solar Eclipse”. We talk about our experience was, some things that we saw and was other hams around the country were doing, including the study that was performed by HamSci.

We went on to talk about how it never seems to fail how things always “come back into style”. Morse code is coming back to the Navy, HF is being taught to the national guard to use instead of relying totally on Satellite Phone communications and also how there is a push to get back into using Earth base navigation for ships at least as a back up to GPS.

We wrap up the episode by talking about HamJam 2017 in November. HamJam is a ham radio conference with three great speakers talking about three great topics. There are several really awesome raffle items.

Check out the show notes and listen to the episode

Hamvention Is Here – ETH069

With Hamvention already on top of us, I figured I’d throw my two cents worth into the mix with everybody else’s. In this episode of the Everything Ham Radio Podcast, we talk about some of the interesting things that are going to be going on at this years Hamvention at it’s new location in Xenia, OH.

DARA teamed up with The Miami Valley Mesh Alliance (MVMA) to setup a Mesh network on channel -2 at 10 MHz bandwidth.  The SSID is AREDN-10-v3.

We talk about all of my fellow podcasters/youtubers that are there and what they have going on and where they are at.

Lastly, we discussed some of the interesting forum topics that are going on during the weekend. To listen to the episode as well as check out all the links and further information on the topic, check out the show notes at:

http://www.everythinghamradio.com/podcast/69/

Radio Games (HamRadioNow.tv)

In HamRadioNow Episode 178 (Radio Games, embedded below), my partner Jeff AC4ZO and I banter about the concept of “rebranding” ham radio contests to make them more attractive to young people. My suggestion is to call them Radio Games, an allusion to Video Games, of course, which attract young people like crazy.

About this point in this article, I’d be disappointed if a few of you readers didn’t go nonlinear, considering this idea to be:

  1. fully baked, and
  2. the end of Amateur Radio as we know it

So if you actually watch the show, you realize that the idea isn’t even half-baked. It hasn’t even hit the oven. It’s fodder for a TV show conversation (makes a good radio show if you just want to listen to it) listen to it

And you’ll notice we wander around the point so much that you may think we’ll never actually make it. But we do. Then it’s off to other stuff. Some of you will like it, some of you will hate it, and that’s show biz.

But while the idea is far from mature, I’m serious about it in some fashion.

I think there’s little argument that we need to attract many more young people to ham radio, people in their teens, twenties and thirties. And I think what what attracted us old farts (I’m 65, and in a couple weeks I’ll hit my 50th year of hamming) isn’t attracting young people today. Not many, anyway. Something about ham radio has to change.

I don’t know what that is. Nobody knows for sure, or we’d be doing it (and once again leading us all to the End of Amateur Radio As We Know It). But for sure it’s not One Thing. It’ll be a lot of things, some little and some big.

One of those things might be figuring out how to make ham radio interesting to some of the people who love video games. They’re mostly young. Many have an interest in technology. And if we got just a small fraction of them, we’re still talking about thousands, maybe tens of thousands. Our contests are a starting point. Just changing the name to (or adding the name) Radio Games isn’t going to fool anyone. But it seems to me that integrating the elements of radio that we know – the vagaries of propagation, the competition for contacts, the reality of having to make something work with your own hardware and skill – to the aspects of video games that they know, might be an interesting mix.

For me, this is just fodder for my TV show and a column here on AmateurRadio.com. I’m sure not going to be the one doing it. I’m not a contester beyond making a few random contacts now and then, and I’m not a gamer. Which just may mean I don’t know what I’m talking about, and that wouldn’t be front page news, either.

But it is something to think about, maybe to talk about. First-class video games are multi-hundred-million dollar epics. The biggest probably involve more money than all of ham radio worldwide. They blow Hollywood out of the water. But a Ham Radio themed game doesn’t have to be the biggest and best. I guess I’d just hope that if someone develops one, it isn’t lame. But everybody’s a critic, and no matter how good it is, someone will call it lame. So I’m not going to worry about it.

Here’s the show. The most perceptive (or maybe just cynical) among you will recognize this column as just an excuse to get people to watch the show. You’d be right. And… sorry about the distorted audio. I did figure out what was happening.*

73, Gary KN4AQ

*What was happening to the audio? Google’s Chrome browser was grabbing the Windows Record Level setting and cranking it up so it could hear me say “OK Google” to initiate a voice search. That happened ever time I opened a tab with Google’s search page in it (and that’s where new tabs defaulted, so if it happened a lot). Later, I found a setting to turn “OK Google” off, but not one to tell Google to leave my audio alone, period. If I initiate a Google Hangout,  Google grabs it again. Grrr.

Learning Morse code? Want to increase your skill?

Are you looking for some aids on learning Morse code, or to increase speed and skill? Let’s look at some great information and some software aimed at making your efforts successful.

(Note: I am not associated with any of the software. I just want to help you…)

I encourage you to look at the time-proven Koch method of learning Morse code. Below, we’ll look a little closer at this method of learning and honing your Morse code skill.  In the meantime, if you just wish to skip the details, here are some software links for learning tools using the Koch method:

+ For the PC, I prefer the G4FON Morse code ‘Koch Trainer. It is a slick program that is set up to help you learn and enhance your skills with Morse code:  http://nw7us.us/g4fontrainer – and his web site is at: http://www.g4fon.net/

G4FON Koch Trainer - Morse code learning on the PC

G4FON Koch Trainer – Morse code learning on the PC

+ For the iPad and iPhone: On these devices, I use the ‘Koch Trainer’ by Nick / N3WG, found in the store here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/koch-trainer/id405137883?mt=8

+ For the Android: I use the same software as for the iPad and iPhone, the ‘Koch Trainer’ by Nick / N3WG, here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.n3wg.kochtrainer – however, note that it is not compatible on the S4.

+ Some other Android possibilities that I have not tried:

Again, I have not tried those last few.

Now, let’s talk about the Koch Method of Morse code training!

From my page on the Koch method (text was used by permission from the author):

Koch’s method is a simple, direct way of building reflexes. However, it requires either a computer and Morse software or a personal trainer. That’s why it was overlooked for so many years. Now that computers are commonplace, it should become the standard Morse training method. Here’s how it works:

You start out by setting up your computer (or a microprocessor-based code tutor machine) to send you Morse characters at 20 wpm and at an overall sending speed of at least 15 wpm. You then get out your paper and pencil and have the machine start sending — but only two characters. That’s right, for your first sessions, you’ll only have two choices. Copy on paper for five minutes, then stop the machine and compare what you copied with what the machine sent. Count characters and calculate your percentage of correct copy.

If your score is 90 percent or better — congratulations! You just learned your first two characters, and, importantly, you learned them at full speed. You’ll never have to learn them over again. If you didn’t make 90 percent, practice some more. As soon as you can copy the first two characters with 90 percent accuracy, add a third character to your practice. Your accuracy will drop as you work on assimilating the new character, but it will rise again to 90 percent or better. Then you add the fourth character, and so on.

This method does not allow you to build that lookup table in your brain. To copy at full speed, you must build the reflexes in order to achieve 90 percent accuracy. And that’s what you’re spending your time doing — building reflexes. Think of it as a parallel to perfecting a tennis swing or mastering a gymnastic routine; you’re practicing until you get it right. The Koch method of building code proficiency character-by-character is similar to standard methods of teaching touch typing, another skill that must be reflexive.

While the Koch method is the fastest method of Morse training, speed alone is not its principal advantage. Its principal advantage, and a major difference from other methods, is that it provides you with constant positive reinforcement. This begins with your realization, after mastering the first two characters, that you can copy code at 15 or 20 wpm, because you just did it. After that, each new character mastered is further proof of your progress. Contrast that to slowly trying to build speed up from 4 or 5 wpm, then hitting the plateau at 10 wpm and seeing no progress for a long time. With the Koch method, frustration is at a minimum.

Constant testing is necessary to ensure that you maximize the effectiveness of the Koch method. You must copy on paper, so you can grade yourself. Remember, if you score 90 percent accuracy or better, add another character. If you score any less than that, try again. By constantly testing yourself on continuous copying of at least five minutes, you know exactly how you’re doing and exactly when you should add another character. This results in the fastest progress possible.

As you proceed toward your goal, remember that some days are just going to be better than others and some characters will take longer to assimilate than others.

(Read the entire article: the Koch method).

Again, here’s the PC software link: http://nw7us.us/g4fontrainer

And, here’s a web-based way to learn Morse code.

Good luck! If you have questions, please share them – I’m @NW7US

HamRadioNow: Meet Joe Ham…

I just put HamRadioNow episode 143 on-line. It’s mostly a conversation I had yesterday with… Joe Ham. OK, really Joe Hamm KC1BAQ. Joe’s sort of a new ham, sort of a young ham. He’s 35, and a boomerang, having been licensed in college, but letting it go when it didn’t really ignite a spark.

So now he’s back. He’s a EE, so what attracted this young engineer back to ham radio? And what will keep him?


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