The Wirral & District Amateur Radio Club

Twice Winner of the RSGB Region 3

'Club of the Year' Trophy for 2013 & 2014

UK & World News Page

 With all the latest Amateur Radio and Technical News
      from Wirral, UK and around the World !

   Click for the RSGB NEWS for Radio Amateurs & SWL's

 

Looking for an archived News Item from last 12 months to read again ? click ARCHIVED NEWS

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

TODAY's Local and World NEWS

Problems with ham radio licensing in Brazil

1st March 2021

Brazil's amateur radio society LABRE has written to the communications regulator ANATEL expressing their concern about the bureaucratic problems in becoming a radio amateur

A translation of the LABRE post reads:

LABRE has recently met with regulator ANATEL to address several topics sensitive to Amateur radio, such as approval of homemade equipment and the mandatory use of approved cables and connectors, as stated in the article published in February issue of LABRE's QTC, see
https://labre.org.br/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/QTC-LABRE-02.2021.pdf

On February 23, 2021, LABRE filed a letter on a topic that has caused much repercussion at the national level: the change in the procedures necessary to become a radio amateur.

Despite the excellent new online tests, which where suggested by LABRE and accepted by the Agency last year, many amateurs of radio amateurs have faced dificulty in obtaining the much desired license to enable them to operate legally in our bands. There has been difficulty with the ANATEL systems and website, the need to register on several different systems, each with different requirements, excessive delay and lack of communication by ANATEL, among many other problems. In addition to these, the radio amateurs themselves who have gone through the process for class progression have also reported several similar problems.

This was addressed in the document filed with ANATEL, as well as a real case of the difficulties faced by a colleague recently passed the online exams until finally receiving their license, corroborating the problems listed. To read the letter, see
https://labre.org.br/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Oficio-050-ANATEL-exames-de-ingresso-ao-RA.pdf

LABRE reiterates its commitment to the promotion and defense of National Amateur Radio, including our willingness to continue to the last instance so that these and any other obstacles are properly removed. Our goal is that both radio amateurs and those who intend to join the service can enjoy our hobby in a much more simplified and less bureaucratic way.


Source LABRE
https://tinyurl.com/IARU-Brazil

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

New Zealand regulator's view of RF pollution

1st March 2021

New Zealand's Radio Spectrum Management (RSM) says the RF spectrum "has become an important economic resource, but its usefulness is diminished by pollution"

RSM has produced a Compliance Guide to give radio spectrum users and suppliers of electrical and radio products information about
• compliance requirements
• compliance audits
• enforcement

RSM supports the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) objective to ‘Grow New Zealand for all’ by making sure the spectrum is clean and by maximising its use. Ensuring that licensing and product compliance requirements are met is crucial to achieving this objective.

See the Radio Spectrum Management Compliance Guide
https://www.rsm.govt.nz/about/publications/compliance-guide

RSM has produced an information leaflet regarding unrestricted two-way radios. The leaflet can be downloaded on the Radio Spectrum Management website under “Products and equipment you can’t use in New Zealand”
https://www.rsm.govt.nz/business-individuals/buying-electrical-and-electronic-products-in-new-zealand/products-and-equipment-you-cant-use-in-nz/

This is part of an ongoing campaign to stop people from using prohibited equipment in particular unrestricted two way radios,

Read Beware the Illegal Two-Way Radio
https://www.rsm.govt.nz/assets/Uploads/documents/RSM-Illegal-Two-Way-Radio-Leaflet-FINAL.pdf

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

International Women's Day contest on Monday, March 8

1st March 2021

Finland's SRAL reports International Women's Day will be celebrated in the spirit of a relaxed race.

The contest will take place on March 8 from 0000-2359 Finnish Time (2200-2159 GMT)

The contest will be on the HF bands using CW or SSB modes with up to 100 watts output.

The contest rules are at
https://www.sral.fi/2021/02/12/kansainvalinen-naistenpaivan-kilpailu-maanantaina-8-3-2021/

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Hacking a transmitter - 1920s style

1st March 2021

Back in the 1920s, when electronic breadboading often used a real wood breadboard, swiped from the kitchen in the dark of night, a limited supply of commercial electronic components inspired ham radio hobbyists to roll their own capacitors, inductors, switches, and whatever else was needed to build a transmitter.

Today, Andy Flowers, call sign K0SM, recreates early transmitters using the same techniques and components that were used back in the day, and he uses them on the air.

Andy shows how it's done in this video from the Antique Wireless Museum:

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Tim Hunkin rides again with The Secret Life Of Components

1st March 2021

Long-time readers may remember one of the occasional Engineering Heroes series that focused on the British engineer, inventor and sometime TV presenter Tim Hunkin, known for his intricate creations, unusual arcade machines, and Secret Life Of Machines TV series’ from the years around 1990.

It seems we’re now in for a fresh treat as he’s returning to our screens via YouTube with a new series. The Secret Life Of Components will be his attempt to pass on the accumulated knowledge of a long career that most of us would have given our eyeteeth for.

There will be eight videos in the series which launches on the 4th of March, and judging by the snippets in the preview video below the break he’ll be covering a wide range including springs, adhesives, chains, belts, switches, and much more. His entertaining style and beautifully built working models are guaranteed to make for some very good content while giving a unique view into the workshop of a true master of the craft.

As an appetiser it’s worth reading our profile of Tim Hunkin. It features a visit to his Novelty Automation arcade in London’s Holborn, which should be an essential stop for any travelling Hackaday reader finding themselves in that city.


https://hackaday.com/2021/02/28/tim-hunkin-rides-again-with-the-secret-life-of-components/

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

ICQPodcast - Progressive changes at the ARRL

1st March 2021

In this episode, Martin (M1MRB) is joined by Leslie Butterfield G0CIB, Dan Romanchik KB6NU and Edmund Spicer M0MNG to discuss the latest Amateur / Ham Radio news. Colin (M6BOY) rounds up the news in brief and in this episode’s features is in an interview with ARRL David Minster NA2AA, and the President, Rick Roderick K5UR as they discuss changes for the ARRL with Frank Howell K4FMH.

ICQ AMATEUR/HAM RADIO PODCAST DONORS

We would like to thank Tony Hickson (M5OTA), Mark Fairchild (2E0MFZ) and Richard Dalton and our monthly and annual subscription donors for keeping the podcast advert free. To donate, please visit - http://www.icqpodcast.com/donate

News stories include: -

• Concord Student Wins Congressional App Challenge
• ARRL Reject Additional VEC's
• ARRL to consider covering young members license fee
• German Radio Hams Tackling RF Noise Pollution
• UK Amateur Radio Operator Celebrates 100th Birthday
• The Royal Australian Air Force - 100 Year Centenary. VK100AF & VI100AF
• Light Up 2 Meters Night, an FM Simplex Event
• ARRL CEO David Minster (NA2AA) to keynote QSO Today Virtual Ham Expo

The ICQPodcast can be downloaded from http://www.icqpodcast.com

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Scotland Special Event

1st March 2021

Look for special event station GB2CR to be active from Invergordon, Scotland, between March 4-18th.

The special callsign's suffix "CR" stands for 'Collins Radio'.

During the GB2CR operation, the equipment will be vintage valve/tube radio equipment manufactured by the Collins Radio Company (1933-1971) of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, U.S.A.

Chris, GM3WOJ/GM2V, will also use the special callsign from his home station near Invergordon using a KWM-2A transceiver, 312B-5 external VFO/control unit and 516F-2 AC power supply. An amplifier and good antennas
will be used -- with operations on 80-10 meters; mostly SSB with some CW.

Sorry - no paper QSLs - LoTW only. GB2CR will have a real-time logging system, with an online webpage, which feeds all QSOs directly to ClubLog.

Look for more information on QRZ.com

OPDX

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

South Eastern Amateur Radio Group

1st March 2021

The 2021 AGM of the South Eastern Amateur Radio Group took place on Monday the 22nd of February and, due to the current Covid pandemic, this year’s AGM had to take place on the Zoom platform. Club Chairman Mark EI4FNB welcomed the members online and thanked them for attending.

Mark listed the 59 activities that the club took part in throughout 2020. Even though most of the physical activations had to be cancelled due to Covid the club took part in several different activities including various talks and courses on the Zoom platform. He also noted the disappointment felt by the club at having to cancel the IRTS 2020 AGM which the club was due to host in Carlow in April 2020. He thanked all the members for their support in what had been a tough year and looked forward to 2021 being a much better year for everyone.

Club treasurer Sue SWL gave a report on the finances of the club for the 2020 year noting that 2020 had been a successful year financially and that club finances are in a healthy position. She mentioned the fact than anyone that had joined the club in 2020 got free membership for 2021 due to the club being inactive with the Covid restrictions. She also noted that membership was at a record high with close on 55 members paid up at present.

Chairman Mark EI4FNB then thanked the committee members for all their hard work over the previous year and the following committee was then declared elected for 2021. Chairman Mark Kilmartin EI4FNB, Vice Chairman Wayne Lewis EI7HKB, Secretary John Tubbritt EI3HQB, Treasurer Sue McCormick SWL, PRO Sean Byrne EI2HZB, Club Officers John Ronan EI7IG, Eoghan Kinane EI5HBB and Roger Greengrass EI8KN.

Enquiries about the South Eastern Amateur Radio Group and their activities are welcome by email to southeasternarg /at/ gmail.com or please feel free to go along to any their meetings. You can check their website www.searg.ie and you can also join them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.

IRTS

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

DXCC Country/Entity report

1st March 2021

According to the AR-Cluster Network for the week of Sunday, 21st/February, through Sunday, 28th/February there were 214 countries active.

Countries available:

3A, 3B8, 3D2, 3DA, 3V, 3W, 4J, 4L, 4O, 4S, 4X, 5A, 5B, 5H, 5R, 5V, 5W, 5Z, 6W, 6Y, 7Q, 7X, 8P, 8Q, 9A,
9G, 9H, 9J, 9K, 9M2, 9M6, 9V, 9Y,

A2, A4, A6, A7, A9, AP, BV, BY, C3, C6, CE, CE9, CM, CN, CP, CT, CT3, CU, CX, D2, D4, DL, DU, E4, E5/s, E6, E7,
EA, EA6, EA8, EA9, EI, EK, EL, EP, ER, ES, EU, EX, EY, F, FG, FK, FM, FP, FR, FS, FY, G, GD, GI, GJ, GM, GU, GW, HA, HB, HB0, HC, HH, HI, HK, HK0/a, HL, HP, HR, HS, HV, HZ, I, IS, J2, J6, J7, JA, JT, JW, JX, JY,

K, KH0, KH2, KH6, KL, KP2, KP4, LA, LU, LX, LY, LZ, OA, OD, OE, OH, OH0, OK, OM, ON, OX, OY, OZ, P4, PA, PJ2, PJ4, PJ7, PY, PY0F, PZ, S0, S2, S5, S7, SM, SP, ST, SV, SV5, SV9, T2, T7, T8, TA, TF, TG, TI, TK, TN, TR, TT, TU, TY, TZ,

UA, UA2, UA9, UK, UN, UR, V2, V3, V5, V7, V8, VE, VK, VK9N, VP2E, VP2M, VP5, VP8, VP9, VR, VU, XE, XU, XW, XX9, YA, YB, YI, YJ, YK, YL, YN, YO, YS, YU, YV, Z3, Z8, ZA, ZB, ZC4, ZD7, ZD8, ZF, ZL, ZP, ZS

* PLEASE NOTE: The report "could" contain "Pirate/SLIM" operations or more likely a "BUSTED CALLSIGN". As always, you never know -
"Work First Worry Later".

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

IOTA News from OPDX

1st March 2021

Island activities:

The following are IOTA operations that were active this past week between February 22-27th (as per the DXCluster):

IOTA Callsign Island/GROUP Bands/Modes
------ ---------- ------------- ------------

AF-016 FR4NT Reunion 20m; SSB
AF-016 FR4QT Reunion 20/15m; SSB
AF-019 IG9ITO PELAGIE 20m; SSB
AN-016 DP1POL Antarctica 40m; FT8
AS-002 A92GW BAHRAIN 20m; SSB
AS-003 4S7AB SRI LANKA 17m; FT8
AS-004 5B4AIX Cyprus 20m; SSB
AS-004 P3AA Cyprus 15m; CW
AS-006 VR2BLEE Hong Kong 40/17m; CW
AS-053 9W2ADV MALAY PENNISULA WEST 40m; SSB
AS-118 9K2HM KUWAIT 40m; SSB
EU-004 EA6EJ BALEARIC 30m; CW
EU-004 EC6FK BALEARIC 40m; SSB
EU-005 G0OFD GREAT BRITAIN 40m; FT8
EU-005 G3PXT GREAT BRITAIN 40m; FT8
EU-005 G3ZIG GREAT BRITAIN 20m; SSB
EU-005 GB1OOL GREAT BRITAIN 40m; SSB
EU-005 GM0EUL GREAT BRITAIN 40m; CW
EU-005 GM4ATA GREAT BRITAIN 40m; CW
EU-009 GM8OFQ ORKNEY 20m; SSB
EU-014 TK5EP CORSICA 20m; CW
EU-015 SV9ANK CRETE 20m; SSB
EU-018 OY1R FAROE 80m; FT8
EU-023 9H5JO MALTA 20m; SSB
EU-025 IT9BGE SICILY 40m; SSB
EU-025 IT9CAR SICILY 40m;
EU-025 IT9JAV SICILY 40m; SSB
EU-060 SV1PMZ STEREA ELLAS REGION 17m; FT8
EU-067 SZ8ERS KYKLADES 80/30/20m; CW
EU-115 MI0AIH IRELAND 20m; SSB
EU-131 IK3PQH/P VENETO REGION 40m; SSB
EU-144 IZ8WGS CALABRIA/BASILICATA REGION 40m; SSB
EU-172 OZ8ZY JYLLAND EAST AND FYN 40m; SSB
NA-018 OX3XR GREENLAND 17m; CW
NA-021 8P6PE Barbados 80m; FT8
NA-022 VP2ETE ANGUILLA 40m; CW
NA-099 KP4JRS Puerto Rico 20m; CW
NA-099 WP3R Puerto Rico 40m; SSB
NA-102 FG5GP GUADELOUPE 20m; FT8
NA-102 FG4SO GUADELOUPE 40m; SSB
NA-103 VP2MNI Montserrat 40m; SSB
NA-108 J642DS St Lucia 40/30/20m; FT8
NA-122 HI2IDT Saona 40m; SSB
NA-247 PJ7FM SINT MAARTEN?S COASTAL 17m; SSB
OC-001 VK2DJP Australia 20m; FT8
OC-001 VK5ASK Australia 20m; SSB
OC-016 3D2AG VITI LEVU AND VANUA LEVU 20/17m; FT8
OC-021 YB1DJO JAVA 40m; FT8
OC-021 YC1AYO JAVA 20m; FT8
OC-021 YG1AEX JAVA 15m; FT8
OC-022 YB9AY BALI 17m; FT8
OC-032 FK8IK NEW CALEDONIA 30m; CW
OC-036 ZL1A NORTH 40m; FT8
OC-036 ZL3IO NORTH 15m; FT8
OC-042 4I1EBD Luzon 20m; SSB
OC-042 DU3CQ Luzon 20m; PSK
OC-097 5W1SA SAMOA 17m; FT8
OC-143 YE6YE SUMATRA 20m; FT8
SA-011 9Z4AH TRINIDAD 20/17m; SSB
SA-024 PV2B SAO PAULO STATE WEST 80/40/10m; SSB
SA-099 PJ2ND CURACAO 40m; CW
SA-099 PJ2SM CURACAO 20m; SSB

** Thanks to the individuals who put the island/group and mode on their QSNs on their PacketCluster reports.
The format we suggest is "IOTA#/Mode/Island or Group" (ex. OC-146/FT8/Celebes).

AF-032. Gabor "Gab", HA3JB, will be active as 5H1IP from Unguja Island, Zanzibar, between September 20-30th. Activity is usually on 80-10 meters using CW, SSB, RTTY and FT8. He also plans to participate in the CQWW DX RTTY Contest (September 26-27th).
QSL via HA3JB or ClubLog's OQRS.
For possibly more details and updates, see:
http://ha3jb.com/index.html

PLEASE NOTE: Since the Webmasters of the new have decided NOT to post or dedicate a Web page to announce upcoming IOTA operations, PLEASE send your IOTA operations information to the OPDX, and we will post it here in an upcoming bulletin......

Check-out the latest IOTA News from the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

QSO Today - John Ackermann, N8UR

Sunday 28th February 2021

John Ackermann, N8UR, was my guest almost 200 episodes ago and is a speaker in the upcoming QSO Today Virtual ham Expo.

John spends much of his time as a proponent of open source, freely sharing both hardware and software designs with the TAPR community.

Join us as we discuss TAPR, SDR transceivers, and the issues around open source and the maker movement.

Listen to Podcast

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Radio Emma Toc World Service - schedule

Sunday 28th February 2021

Programme Contents - A look at the value of radio, Scandinavian Weekend Radio, Radio Sweden's 'The Saturday Show', & lots of hellos to listeners, - followed by a 30 minute trial vintage music programme 'The Wireless Years'.

Ways to listen... Radio Emma Toc World Service - programme no. 11 - March 2021
You can listen online - www.emmatoc.com - visit the 'World Service' page.

You can listen to our shortwave or MW or FM broadcasts via our relay partners as follows:

WRMI - Radio Miami International - 9955kHz - covering Latin America (& beyond)
Tues 18:00 EasternTime / 23:00 UTC and Wed 20:00 Eastern Time / 01:00 (Thurs) UTC

WRMI - Radio Miami International - 5950kHz - covering Eastern North America (& far beyond)
Tues 16:00 Eastern Time / 21:00 UTC and Sunday 21:00 EasternTime / 02:00 (Monday) UTC

World FM - 88.2MHz / 107.6MHz - covering Tawa, Marahau & Stoke, New Zealand
Sundays 22:00 NZST / 10:00 UTC and Thursdays 16:30 NZST / 04:30 UTC (alternating with other programmes)

Channel 292 - 6070kHz - covering Europe (& beyond)
Sat 13th March 09:00 UTC 9670kHz - covering Europe (& beyond) Sunday 14th March 13:00 UTC

Scandinavian Weekend Radio - 6170kHz / 11690kHz / 1602kHz / 94.9MHz
covering Finland & Europe - Saturday 6th March 08:00UTC

Happy listening! If you are outside the transmitter coverage areas, why not listen via the broadcasters' online services. Website details for the above stations are listed on our own website www.emmatoc.org/worldserviceindex

If you don't have access to receivers & aerials you can try using an online SDR receiver - ve3sun.com/KiwiSDR - experience the enjoyment of tuning around shortwave from worldwide locations online.

We are happy to issue eQSLs for reception reports sent to - emmatoc1922@gmail.com - & will gladly include for online reports. If using an online SDR, please give us the SDR location.

If any stations wish to relay our programme a download link is available on our website. Please advise us of times & dates so we can publicise in our schedule.

Thank you!

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

MoU between Radio Society of Kenya and South African Radio League

Sunday 28th February 2021

The Radio Society of Kenya (RSK) approached the (SARL) around six months ago and following successful discussions a formal Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed during February 2021 with full approval from the Regulator – the Communication Authority of Kenya (CAK).
 
The SARL will assist RSK with the Radio Amateur Examination and administer the technical aspect of the examination on their behalf. The RSK will administer regulations and operating procedure themselves. The SARL will assist with the necessary Train-the-Trainer courses; provide the training manuals and presentation material as well as online sessions to assist in conducting successful training courses in Kenya.
 
David Mutonga, 5Z4DJ Chairman of RSK and Secretary Gitonga M'Mbijjewe, 5Z4ZT joined Noel Hammond, ZR6DX the SARL RAE Manager, Gerhard Gericke, ZS6CRS Deputy RAE Manager and SARL President Nico van Rensburg, ZS6QL in an online meeting on Tuesday 23 February (this week) to conclude the discussion process and start the process of co-operation. The SARL is looking forward to working with the RSK to grow Amateur Radio in Kenya

SARL

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

French stores selling and / or repairing Amateur Radio equipment

Sunday 28th February 2021

Ludovic Vuillermet F5PBG has posted a handy list of stores known to sell and / or repair amateur radio equipment in France

See the list at
http://radioamateur.forumsactifs.com/t2371-liste-des-magasins-de-vente-reparation-de-materiel-radioamateur-en-france

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Guinea and Sierra Leone

Sunday 28th February 2021

Jean-Phillipe, F1TMY, currently active as J28PJ from Djibouti, has announced via Twitter (https://twitter.com/J28Pj) that he will be active from Guinea (3X) and Sierra Leone (9L) sometime in September 2021.

He also plans (possibly) to do some IOTA side trips to AF-037 (in the Northern/Western Province Group) and AF-051 (in the Guinee-Maritime Province South Group).

Look for more details to be forthcoming

OPDX

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Foundations of Amateur Radio

Saturday 27th February 2021

How many hops in a jump?

Amateur radio lives and dies with the ionosphere. It's drilled into you when you get your license, it's talked about endlessly, the sun impacts on it, life is bad when the solar cycle is low and great when it's not. There's sun spots, solar K and A indices, flux, different ionosperic bands and tools online that help you predict what's possible and how likely it is depending on the time of day, the frequency, your location and the curent state of the sun. If that's not enough, the geomagnetic field splits a radio wave in the ionosphere into two separate components, ordinary and extraordinary waves.

All that complexity aside, there's at least one thing we can all agree on. A radio wave can travel from your station, bounce off the ionosphere, come back to earth and do it again. This is known as a hop or a skip. If conditions are right, you can hop all the way around the globe.

I wanted to know how big a hop might be. If you know that it's a certain distance, then you can figure out if you can talk to a particular station or not, because the hop might be on the earth, or it might be in the ionosphere. Simple enough right?

My initial research unearthed the idea that a hop was 4000 km. So, if you were attempting to talk to a station at 2000 km or at 6000 km you couldn't do that with a hop of 4000 km.

If you've been on HF, we both know that's not the case.

If you need proof, which you really should be asking for, you should check out what the propagation looks like for any FT8 station, or any WSPR beacon over time and you'll notice that it's not 4000 km.

Just like the crazy network of interacting parameters associated with propagation, the distance of a hop can vary, not a little, but a lot.

In 1962, in the Journal of Geophysical Research D.B. Muldrew and R.G. Maliphant contributed an article titled: "Long-Distance One-Hop Ionospheric Radio-Wave Propagation". They found that in temperate regions such a hop might be 7500 km and in equatorial regions even 10,000 km.

I'm mentioning this because this was based on observations and measurements.

They used frequency sweeps from 2 to 49 MHz though they called them Mega Cycles, using 100 kHz per second, that is, over the duration of a second, the frequency changed by 100 kHz, so each sweep took nearly 8 minutes using only 15 kilowatts, so substantial gear, not to mention expense and availability.

Oh, computers, yes, they used those too. A three tonne behemoth called an IBM 650, mind you, that's only the base unit, consisting of a card reader, power supply and a console holding a magnetic drum unit.

You know I'm going somewhere with this right?

Today, you can do the same measurements with a $5 computer and a $20 receiver. For a transmitter, any HF capable radio will do the trick, though you might not be transmitting long if you stray outside the amateur bands. For power, 5 Watts is plenty to get the job done.

My point is that there is a debate around the future of our hobby and why modes like FT8 are such a controversial topic in some communities.

I'm here to point out that since that publication in 1962 our hobby has made some progress and we can improve on the work done by people who came before us. We could build a glob-spanning real-time propagation visualisation tool, we already have the data and modes like FT8 keep feeding in more.

If you're inclined, you could even make such a plot in real-time for your own station.

So, how long is a hop?

You'll just have to find out.

I'm Onno VK6FLAB

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

ACMA licence consultation: WIA Poll

Saturday 27th February 2021

WIA President Greg VK2GPK talks about the ACMA amateur radio licence consultation and the new WIA poll

The WIA News story says:

In last weeks broadcast, I spoke about the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) having recently issued a consultation document which details 3 licensing options concerning the future of Amateur Radio in Australia. The ACMAs preferred option is to transition to a Class Licence instead of the current apparatus licence this option effectively deregulates the radio amateur service.

As promised last week, the WIA has now released its initial white paper with a detailed analysis of the benefits and risks of each proposed option which can be found now on the WIA website as a news item. The URL is
https://www.wia.org.au/newsevents/news/2021/20210224-1/index.php

I wish to sincerely thank the WIA consultation working group for their efforts in analysing the options and releasing the initial findings.

The WIA is conducting a poll to seek feedback from our members as well as non-members. Your input to this poll will be assist the WIA in finalising a comprehensive and representative final submission to this consultation. Please refer to the analysis in our initial paper to properly inform your decisions in regard to the poll questions.

Non-members who are licensed Australian amateurs can now register to receive the poll. WIA members please note that you DO NOT have to register to receive the poll, a link to the poll will be sent to you via MemNet email. Non-members can register by entering the URL https://tinyurl.com/wiapoll into your internet browser. Again, I also ask that club presidents relay this registration information to their club members as soon as possible.

It is important to understand the financial context of this consultation. The ACMA is subject to year on year budget cuts  euphemistically called efficiency dividends  which means that every year the ACMA have less resources.  This impact is apparent in the progressive loss of engineering and scientific skills and also administrative resources from the regulator. The end result is the ACMA is seeking ways to reduce costs, which underlies the basis for their preferred Option C.

The WIA acknowledges that Option A at this time does not meet the objectives of the ACMA. The WIA also notes that the ACMA states that they want to preserve the current operational utility for licensees. The WIA asserts that this objective has not been met within the ACMAs current proposals and that the Option C proposal, as presented, fails any sort of no disadvantage test. However, the WIA does believe that there are potential opportunities for either Apparatus or Class Licence types (or potentially a hybrid thereof) to deliver mutually beneficial outcomes for both the Australian amateur and amateur-satellite services and the ACMA, which would not disadvantage Australian Amateur Radio operators.

Consequently, the final question on the WIA poll seeks your support for the WIA exploring options of a streamlined amateur service licensing system with the regulator that could deliver benefits to both the amateur service and the ACMA.

The poll will released soon following testing, if not already by the time of this broadcast. In the meantime please review the WIA initial analysis.

Until next time, this is Greg VK2GPK

Source WIA News
https://www.wia.org.au/members/broadcast/wianews/display.php?file_id=wianews-2021-02-28

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

TV show looks at disappearance of radio ham

Saturday 27th February 2021

On Monday, March 1, at 9pm AEDT (1000 GMT) the Channel 9 TV show Under Investigation covers the unexplained disappearance of both radio amateur Russell Hill VK3VZP and a friend missing since March 20, 2020

Russell was camping in the remote Wonnangatta Valley and his last amateur radio contact was with Rob Ashlin VK3BEZ at 6pm on March 20, he has not been heard from since.

On March 21 the campsite was found with the tent burned to the ground and Mr Hill's Toyota Land Cruiser sitting next to it.

Information on the show is at
https://9now.nine.com.au/a-current-affair/missing-victorian-campers-carol-clay-and-russell-hill-third-party-likely-involved-in-pairs-disappearance-from-wonnangatta-valley/a7c69f5d-b183-443b
-889a-d13e43a41314


The Channel 9 livestream is at
https://9now.com.au/live/channel-9

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

How to Grow Ham Radio - video part 1

Saturday 27th February 2021

Tom (WA9TDD) interviews communication expert Quin (K8QS) about how we can grow Amateur Radio.

Please join the discussion after listening to Quin's challenging observations about how we can get more people actively involved in amateur radio.

From "Ham Radio Perspectives" on YouTube.



 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

MacLoggerDX Version 6.32 released

Saturday 27th February 2021

Dog Park Software is pleased to announce that version 6.32 of MacLoggerDX has been released.

What's New in this version:

* Requires OS X 10.13+.
* macOS 11 (Big Sur) supported.
* Apple M1 Silicon (Universal) application.
* Added Elecraft K4 driver.
* Added DXCC ID lookup caching.
* Added 3D Map country boundaries.
* Added MOX Shortcuts menu item.
* Added MFSK Q65 sub mode.
* Added Log search options.
* Yaesu FTdx10 supported in FTdx101D driver.
* Yaesu FT-891, FT-991, FTdx101 Band switch improved.
* Yaesu FTdx101 S-Meter firmware bug workaround.
* Schedules checkbox bug fixed.
* Use twitteriffic share extension on macOS 10.13.
* SMS Alert bug in Big Sur fixed.
* ExpertSDR2 Lookup spot bug fixed.
* Report Power bug fixed.

This is a free update for all Version 6 customers and can be downloaded from: https://dogparksoftware.com/MacLoggerDX.html

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Free online Amateur Radio training course starts soon

Saturday 27th February 2021

The next free amateur radio Foundation Online training course run by volunteers from Essex Ham starts on March 7 - Register Now

The RSGB's introduction of online exams that can be taken at home has led to a surge in demand for free online amateur radio training courses such as that run by Essex Ham.

You can find out more about online training and register to join a course at
https://www.essexham.co.uk/train/foundation-online/

Essex Ham
https://www.essexham.co.uk/
https://twitter.com/EssexHam

 
The Wirral & District Amateur Radio Club offers excellent opportunities to get together and mix with like minded folk for those living within easy reach of Wirral. (under normal non-corona-virus conditions) and gain experiences from those who have gone before. 

As in most walks of life, passing the initial exams is the first stage to proving competence and knowledge to be able to operate responsibly.  There then follows the joys of the initial experiences of an exciting hobby.  From then on, it is often finding the forum to ask questions and chat with your peers who can add their life experiences and knowledge .. which can act as a welcome short cut to completely help you fulfil your personal enjoyment.

We are unable at this moment in time to offer training locally and so recommend one of the above courses offered above as an ideal way into the hobby, followed by taking the RSGB on-line exam.

After your success, do consider coming along to the Wirral & District Amateur Radio Club for a few evenings (no charge), and I'm sure we will be able to convince you how fulfilling and rewarding being a member of a good club can be.  We have several new members who have joined recently achieving just that.  Due to the Pandemic we are limited to currently holding weekly ZOOM meetings .. for more information contact our Secretary see our "Who to Contact" page.

Our members operate in a wide range of radio, communications and computer activities, including contests and use many of the modes available to us across much of the amateur radio spectrum allocated for our use.  A warm welcome awaits .. come and talk with us !

 Keep checking our "Calendar of Events"  on the club website for our latest information
 

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

VERON PACCdigi contest

Saturday 27th February 2021

We would like to invite you to take part in the first Dutch PACCdigi contest.

The contest will take place April 17, 2021 from 12:00 UTC to 23:59 UTC.

This first edition will use the RTTY and FT8 modes on the 160 to 10 m contest bands.

The rules are published on the PACCdigi webpage: http://www.veron.nl/PACCdigi

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

OI activity day on Friday March 5

Friday 26th February 2021

Finland's SRAL reports military radio amateurs using the OI callsign prefix will be on-the-air on Friday, March 5

OI is a rare prefix, there are only about 35 stations with an OI callsign and a special ham radio award is available for working contacts with the OI prefixed stations.

To be eligible for the award, stations need to work contacts with different OI prefixed stations as follows:

• Stations located outside of Finland need to work five OI stations  
• Those who are in Finland need to work ten contacts.

OI Award https://sirad.fi/oi-award/

SRAL
https://tinyurl.com/IARU-Finland

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Ofcom release database of UK amateur radio callsigns

Friday 26th February 2021

On February 2, 2021, in response to a Freedom of Information request, Ofcom released a database of amateur radio callsigns for the UK and Crown Dependencies

The database can be useful for people wanting to apply for a specific call sign as it shows calls which are not available for issue.

Those who've passed the RSGB Full exam have the option of applying for callsigns from the G and M call blocks including G3, G4, G5 and M5. Details of how to apply are at
http://www.southgatearc.org/news/2020/november/g-callsigns-for-those-passing-full-exam.htm

It's understood someone who has passed the Intermediate can select callsigns from either the 2E0 or 2E1 call blocks and Foundation the M3, M6 or M7 blocks. Of those only 2E0 or M7 can be done online, for the others a manual application mentioned above is required.

Ofcom released a spreadsheet containing 146,763 callsigns with a status of either Allocated or Reserved.

Status categorisation:

• ‘Allocated’ means that the callsign is currently assigned to a station under an Amateur Radio licence. It is therefore not currently available for assignment to anyone else.

• ‘Reserved’ means that the callsign has been used within the past two years, although it is no longer, and is in the process of ‘cooling down’. It is therefore not currently available for assignment to anyone else, but operators will be able to apply for it again after the two-year period has expired.

Ofcom's reply to FoI
https://www.ofcom.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0015/214224/list-of-all-call-signs.pdf

Spreadsheet of Allocated and Reserved callsigns
https://www.ofcom.org.uk/__data/assets/file/0021/210648/annex-list-of-uk-amateur-radio-callsigns.xlsx

You can submit a Freedom of Information request to Ofcom online at
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/new/ofcom

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

QSO Today Virtual Ham Expo

Friday 26th February 2021

The fast-approaching QSO Today Virtual Ham Expo March 13-14, 2021 will be even better with over 80 speakers, live kit building workshops, panel discussions, and much more. Early Bird discount tickets are still available and include entry for the Live 2 day period plus the 30-day on-demand period. Registration can be found at www.qsotodayhamexpo.com.

We are excited to share that the ARRL, the national association for Amateur Radio® in the United States, will have a significant Expo presence. ARRL CEO David Minster, NA2AA, will deliver the Keynote on Saturday, March 13, from 12-1 PT. Although only in his position since September 2020, David already has started to make a significant impact to ensure ARRL’s continuing legacy of serving radio amateurs.

David has already launched major projects and assembled teams to foster innovation and individual skill development in radio technology and communications that benefit all amateur radio operators. In his Keynote, David will share his enthusiasm for advancing amateur radio and highlight current ARRL initiatives to engage and inspire this current generation of hams. See more at https://www.qsotodayhamexpo.com/speakers.html.

In addition, the ARRL Expo booth will feature “Ask the ARRL Lab.” Engineers for the ARRL’s Lab will help answer any questions LIVE. Attendees can come into the booth lounge (featuring the Expo’s latest virtual meet-up and video technology), sit down at a virtual table, and ask members of the ARRL Lab for tips about a project they’re working on or suggestions to overcome a problem with a station installation, antenna, or a piece of gear. Attendees can also learn about equipment testing conducted by the Lab on new radios for ARRL Product Reviews.

You can participate from the convenience of your home without spending a dime on travel! So if you’ve never been to an in-person Hamfest, you can participate in the Expo and get the same benefits. The platform simulates a full convention experience.

ARRL is a QSO Today Expo Partner. FlexRadio is the Expo’s Platinum Sponsor and Gold sponsors are Elecraft, RFinder, Quicksilver Radio, Mouser Electronics, and Connect Systems.

Come and join thousands of ham radio operators - go to https://www.qsotodayhamexpo.com/ now to learn more, win prizes, and get registered!

We look forward to having you join us at Expo for an amazing and engaging experience.
Click here to get to the Expo

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

ARRL interview explains background of Ham Radio in Space film short

Friday 26th February 2021

Josh Tanner, the Australian filmmaker who produced the thriller Decommissioned by Perception Pictures, has explained how he came up with the idea to develop the movie short.

In the approximately 6-minute film, SuitSat returns in the future to haunt International Space Station commander “Diaz,” played by Joey Vieira, who spots SuitSat, the surplus Russian Orlan spacesuit that was turned into an amateur radio satellite several years ago by Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS).

An exclusive ARRL video interview premiering on Saturday, February 27, brings together Tanner, who directed the sci-fi horror film about an eerie ham-radio-in-space reencounter, and ARISS-International Chair Frank Bauer, KA3HDO. In the interview, conducted by ARRL volunteer Josh Nass, KI6NAZ, of the popular YouTube channel Ham Radio Crash Course, Tanner described the uniquely creative and technical aspects of the filmmaking involved in Decommissioned and its connection with the real-life SuitSat-1.

“My wife, Jade, who is also a co-writer of this short film, and I are both really obsessed with space, and we discovered SuitSat on Wikipedia,” Tanner said in the interview. “It was an initial sort of two-pronged reaction. One, this is genius. It’s amazing that they did this; I’d never heard this before. And the second one was, this is kinda creepy…that they had what looks like a stranded, dead astronaut floating around the Earth…and there were voices of children being transmitted from it.”

SuitSat-1 transmitted a voice message, “This is SuitSat-1 RS0RS!”, in several languages, plus telemetry and a slow-scan TV image on an 8-minute cycle as it orbited Earth.

Tanner said a lot of the films he produces involve "pieces of history that are rather quite odd or interesting that maybe a lot of people don’t know about.”

Bauer described the background of the 2006 SuitSat project, which involved ARISS’s relationship with Sergey Samburov, RV3DR. Samburov was “the initial brainchild” behind the SuitSat-1 concept, and ARISS ran with it, Bauer recounted.

“We had 3 weeks to pull it all together and get it ready for launch,” Bauer said, and that included getting safety approvals. SuitSat-1 operated for about 2 weeks, and a contest of sorts evolved to guess when it would burn up in the atmosphere, which wasn’t until about 6 months later. A SuitSat-2 was launched from the ISS several years later.

Tanner said the Decommissioned script was written about 3 years ago, but creating the realistic atmosphere and sets involved a number of complexities, which was “very expensive,” he revealed. A big push toward using video game engine technology in feature-film development made it possible. Decommissioned was produced using a game engine called Unreal Engine, which was also used to produce the TV show The Mandalorian.

Grab your popcorn and avoid a spoiler. ARRL recommends viewing the short film before watching the 45-minute interview. The interview premieres on ARRL’s YouTube channel, Saturday, February 27, at 1600 UTC.

ARRL reminds interested schools and educational organizations in the US that the latest window to submit proposals to host scheduled ham radio contacts with an ISS crew member opened on February 15. Contacts would be scheduled January 1 – June 30, 2022. Proposals are due to ARISS by 0759 UTC on April 1.

In the US, ARRL is a partner in the ARISS program, along with AMSAT, NASA, and the ISS National Lab, which has kept amateur radio on the air from the International Space Station for 20 years.

ARRL

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Making a wave

Friday 26th February 2021

An article in the New Indian Express reports: A radio set shaped like a globe, a 1955-made model that retailed for `9,000 back then, or a Crown Talking Machine, which was made in 1907...

Here’s your chance to see these and 100 other unique radio sets, of which 80 per cent are in working condition, at the newly-opened Short Wave Radio Museum and Knowledge Centre. The museum, located in Basaveshwar Nagar, is the brainchild of 56-year-old Uday Kalburgi, whose love for radio began way back when he was 9 or 10 years old.

“I’ve listened to them since childhood and now, I want to showcase this bygone technology to today’s younger generation,” says the telecom engineer, who has dedicated an entire floor of a four-story building (a space of 600-800 sq ft) to his museum.

Each radio set carries a short note with its name, country of origin and description. Started on Feb. 13 (World Radio Day), the museum has already seen 16-17 genuine visitors, who share a keen ear for these vintage pieces.

For Kalburgi, what started with merely listening to radio eventually led to collecting different sets, repairing them and now, restoring them too. The lockdown played a role too, with the radio-lover getting many calls and requests for radio restoration, some even from Gujarat and Mizoram. “One person wanted an old set repaired for his father’s birthday,” says Kalburgi, who started collecting sets after TVs became a mainstay in the ’80s.

While neatly lined on shelves in the museum today but back then, these sets took up different nooks and crannies of Kalburgi’s home. “My family used to tell me I might pick up some bad luck also associated with these old sets but for me, the passion and joy I felt was greater,” he says

Kalburgi’s love for radios seems to have been noticed by the universe too. “I have a connection with radios, either I go in search of them or they find me,” he says. Case in point: A Philips BX 998A radio weighing 27 kg, which he acquired through someone in Mumbai. “The radio belonged to the man’s father-in-law and he was ready to sell it for `12,000. When I consulted my mentor and fellow radio restorer, Pandu Rajan, he told me to not think twice. On eBay, the same model retails for 2,000 euro!” exclaims Kalburgi. Many sets come with stories like this, including the Pilot G 744, which was gifted by Padmanabha Varma of the Travancore Royal Family, after Kalburgi restored it for him.

While this may be a passion project, it is one that he takes seriously, especially when it comes to restoring radios to almost the same state they were in when they were produced. Kalburgi is an active member of Radiomuseum.org, or as he jokes says, “A forum with other mad men like me”, where one can find a repository of information about radios and spare parts. “I usually get 2-3 replies within 30 minutes of putting up a post. The beauty of the internet is such that it helps maintain this technology of a bygone era.

https://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/bengaluru/2021/feb/24/making-awave-2268002.html

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

ARRL CEO David Minster, NA2AA, to keynote QSO Today Virtual Ham Expo

Friday 26th February 2021

ARRL CEO David Minster, NA2AA, will keynote the QSO Today Virtual Ham Expo March 13 – 14 weekend.
Minster’s talk — part of an 80+ speaker lineup — will begin at 2000 UTC (3 PM EST) on March 13. His appearance will highlight ARRL’s featured role at the Expo, which also will include “Ask The ARRL Lab.” ARRL is a QSO Today Virtual Ham Expo Partner.

Minster, who assumed the ARRL Headquarters leadership position last September, has launched major projects and assembled teams to foster innovation and individual skill development in radio technology and communications. In his keynote, Minster will share his enthusiasm for advancing amateur radio and highlight current ARRL initiatives to engage and inspire the current generation of hams. His presentation topics will include:

ARRL’s digital transformation, which promises to bring new value to ARRL members. An all-in digital approach will improve the way members access and engage with content, programs, and systems.
The ARRL Learning Center, a hub for members to discover the many facets of amateur radio and develop practical knowledge and skills.
Increasing video content, opening opportunities for amateur radio content creators and member-volunteers to learn, stay informed, and keep connected.
Improving training and tools to engage radio clubs, emergency communication volunteers, and students.

The ARRL Expo booth will feature “Ask the ARRL Lab,” where Lab staffers will answer questions live. Attendees can come into the booth lounge (featuring the Expo’s latest virtual meet-up and video technology), sit down at a virtual table, and ask ARRL Lab technical wizards for tips about projects or suggestions to address various station installations and problems. Attendees can also learn about Product Review equipment testing by the Lab, see a presentation on how the Lab can help hams with RFI problems, and tour W1AW — the Hiram Percy Maxim Memorial Station — virtually. ARRL booth staff will also point attendees to helpful resources from across membership benefits, services, and programs.

Representing the ARRL Lab will be Lab Manager Ed Hare, W1RFI; Test Engineer Bob Allison, WB1GCM; Senior Laboratory Engineer Zack Lau, W1VT; RFI Engineer Paul Cianciolo, W1VLF, and W1AW Station Manager Joe Carcia, NJ1Q. Between all of them, they have over 100 years of experience at ARRL Headquarters,

QSO Today Virtual Ham Expo Chairman Eric Guth, 4Z1UG, also announced four live group kit-building workshops. Workshop instructors will guide participants through building a variety of kits, which will be available for purchase and delivered prior to the Expo so attendees can build them at home. Attendees unable to participate during the live sessions can order and build kits by watching the workshop videos during the on-demand period that follows the Expo through April 12.

Workshop kits prices range from $15 to $30. Early-bird discount tickets and links to purchase kits can be found at the QSO Today Expo website. These workshops will include:

Building the NS-40 QRP Transmitter, a 14-component, 5 W transmitter for 7.030 MHz (with instructors David Cripe, NM0S, and Virginia Smith, NV5F).
The Learn-to-Solder Workshop will introduce the basic tools and techniques of building electronic kits. Participants will build a 20-meter transmitter kit (with instructors Rex Harper, W1REX, and Stephen Houser, N1SH).
Building the Cric-Key, a simple CW keyer with paddle, suitable for home and field use (with instructor Joe Eisenberg, K0NEB).
The Mini-Sudden Receiver, a pocket-and-mint-tin friendly direct-conversion 20-meter receiver (with instructors Rex Harper, W1REX, and Stephen Houser, N1SH).

ARRL

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

   The American Radio Relay League's
round-up of the forthcoming week's DX
activity on the amateur radio bands

Friday 26th February 2021

This week's bulletin was made possible with information provided by LU4AAO, The Daily DX, the OPDX Bulletin, 425 DX News, DXNL, Contest Corral from QST and the ARRL Contest Calendar and WA7BNM web sites.  Thanks to all.

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES, A6. A number of special event stations are QRV to celebrate Kuwait National and Liberation Day. Look for stations A60KWT, and A60KWT/0 to /13 to be active until February 28. QSL via operators' instructions.

FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF GERMANY, DA. Special event stations DQ100JL and DR100JL will be QRV from March 1 to May 31 to commemorate the founding 100 years ago of Junkers Luftverkehr, an early airline in Germany. QSL via bureau.

MARTINIQUE, FM. Romanic, W7ROM is QRV as FM4WDM from Le Morne-Vert.
Activity is on 15 meters using FT8. QSL via operator's instructions.

REPUBLIC OF KOREA, HL. Special event station D90EXPO will be QRV
from March 1 to October 17 to promote the 2021 World Military Culture Expo that will take place in the city of Gyeryong in October. QSL via DS3BBC.

SARDINIA, IS0. Special event station II0QSE will be QRV from Quartu Sant'Elena, IOTA EU-024, from February 28 to June 30 to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the local branch of the ARI. QSL via IS0AGY.

ST. LUCIA, J6. Operators K9HZ, W0CN and WA4PGM will be QRV as J68HZ, J68CN, and J68PG, respectively, from March 2 to 11. This includes being active as J68HZ as a Multi/Single/High Power entry in the upcoming ARRL International SSB DX contest. QSL via operators' instructions.

WAKE ISLAND, KH9. Thomas, NL7RR is QRV as KH9/NL7RR until April 2.
Activity is in his spare time on 40 and 20 meters using SSB. QSL direct to AL7JX.

ARGENTINA, LU. Members of the Radio Club QRM Belgrano are QRV as LU4AAO, LU4AAO/A and LU4AAO/D until March 1 to commemorate the club's 53rd anniversary. Activity is on the HF and V/UHF bands using CW, SSB, SSTV and FT8. QSL direct to LU4AAO.

CURACAO, PJ2. Operators N1ZZ, AF4Z, WB5ZGA and K4JC will be QRV as PJ2/home calls from March 1 to 9. Activity will be on 160 to 10 meters using CW, SSB, RTTY and possibly FT8. They plan to be active
as PJ2T in the upcoming ARRL International SSB DX contest. QSL to home calls and PJ2T via W3HNK.

ST. MAARTEN, PJ7. Thomas, AA9A will be QRV as PJ7AA from February 27 to March 28. Activity will be on 80 to 10 meters using CW, SSB and FT8. QSL direct to home call.

GREECE, SV. Members of the Radio Amateur Association of Western Peloponnese will be QRV with special call signs SZ21AD, SZ21GK, SZ21LB, SZ21PF, SZ21TK and SZ1821P from March 1 to 31 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Revolution of 1821. QSL via LoTW.

AUSTRALIA, VK. Special event stations VI100AF and VK100AF will be QRV from March 1 to May 29, and March 1 to August 31, respectively, to commemorate the founding of the Royal Australian Air Force 100 years ago. QSL via M0URX.

CAMBODIA, XU. Tad, JA1DFK is QRV as XU7AKU. Activity is on the HF bands, and possibly 6 meters, using CW. QSL via JA1DXA.

INDONESIA, YB. Heru, YG8VAS is now QRV from Ternate Island, IOTA OC-145. Activity of late has been on 80 and 40 meters using SSB. QSL to home call.

SOUTH SUDAN, Z8. Massimo, IZ0EGB is QRV as Z81B from Juba while working here. Activity is generally in his spare time on 20 meters using SSB. His length of stay is unknown. QSL to home call

THIS WEEKEND ON THE RADIO.
The CQ 160-Meter SSB Contest, North American RTTY Party, North American Collegiate RTTY Championship, NCCC RTTY Sprint, QRP 80-Meter CW Fox Hunt, NCCC CW Sprint, K1USN
Slow Speed CW Test, REF SSB Contest, FT4 DX Contest, UBA DX CW test, South Carolina QSO Party, Classic CW Exchange, High Speed Club CW Contest and North Carolina QSO Party are all on tap for this upcoming weekend.

The RSGB 80-Meter Club Data Championship, K1USN Slow Speed CW Test and OK1WC CW Memorial are scheduled for March 1.

The RTTYOPS Weeksprint, ARS Spartan CW Sprint and Worldwide Sideband Activity Contest are scheduled for March 2.

The UKEICC 80-Meter SSB Contest, VHF-UHF FT8 Activity Contest, CWops Mini-CWT Test, Phone Fray, and the 40-Meter QRP CW Fox Hunt are scheduled for March 3.
 

Please see February 2021 QST, page 73, March QST, page 72, and the ARRL Contest Calendar and WA7BNM contest web sites for details

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

The Royal Australian Air Force - 100 Year Centenary. VK100AF and VI100AF

Thursday 25th February 2021

Special Event Station

From our modest beginnings in 1921, Air Force has grown into a potent, World class Air Force which Australia relies upon in both conflict and peace. The men and women of the Royal Australian Air Force have achieved great success in serving Australia and its national interest over the past 100 years.
The RAAF was formed on 31st March 1921, to mark this Centenary the Wireless Institute of Australia (WIA) will be celebrating with two call signs:

VK100AF 1st March to 31st August 2021, which will be used by a team of Radio Amateurs across the bands around Australia.
VI100AF 1st March 2021 to 29th May 2021 will be used by Radio Amateurs that are either current or veteran military personnel and some activities may be from military bases.

Stuart Birkin. VK8NSB will be organising the event that will be aired by many Radio Amateurs across Australia as we celebrate this centenary with you. A team of 40+ operators across Australia will operating over the next few months.

QSL Information: A commemorative 4-sided QSL will be printed for direct QSL requests.
OQRS Link for Direct & Bureau QSL VI100AF:

https://www.m0urx.com/oqrs/logsearch.php?dxcallsign=VI100AF
OQRS Link for Direct & Bureau QSL VK100AF:
https://www.m0urx.com/oqrs/logsearch.php?dxcallsign=VK100AF

Direct: QSL $2 Via M0URX

Bureau: Please only use OQRS. No Bureau route for incoming Bureau
LoTW: will be uploaded.

If you have any questions about the activity, please contact Stuart VK8NSB at: vk8nsb@hotmail.com
Full information also on QRZ.com

For more information about Air Force 100: https://airforce2021.airforce.gov.au/
WIA info: nationalnews@wia.org.au

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Radio hams help in Texas

Thursday 25th February 2021

ARRL Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES®) and American Red Cross volunteers joined forces in Texas under the ARRL/Red Cross memorandum of understanding in responding to the situation resulting from unseasonably frigid weather

The ARRL reports:

Kevin McCoy, KF5FUZ, said the Red Cross formally requested an ARES activation in Texas to address the effects of the natural disaster, which included a lack of drinking water, power outages, fuel shortages, and frozen plumbing, among others. Red Cross in Central Texas supported more than 60 warming shelters at the request of governmental agencies.

“We made a special effort to use Winlink email over radio to get reports of infrastructure problems and unmet needs [and to] communicate information about warming centers,” McCoy said. “I would say that Winlink operators attending local nets and passing on information was the most valuable contribution in this unusual and unprecedented disaster. We had literally hundreds of Winlink operators across Texas who were trained and ready. Some of these teams, especially in counties that are still suffering, may be active with other served agencies.”

Several teams deployed to support emergency operations centers (EOCs) in Bexar, Brazos, Kerr, Travis, and Williamson counties, he said. “Some of these ARES organizations were also serving the needs of the National Weather Service and local government — as was the case in Williamson County,” McCoy added.

“Our effort in the start of the activity was to focus on folks with medical needs who required power, and to get those folks to safety,” McCoy said. “Reports from operators were passed to Disaster Program Managers and Disaster Action Teams and to Red Cross Disaster Mental Health personnel for evaluation. Government partners and citizens provided transportation and Red Cross provided hotel rooms in areas with reliable power to keep these citizens safe while following COVID protocols.”

An early report from Texas Hill Country concerned infrastructure failures in public service communication towers, which affected 911 calls in Mason County. This was followed by loss of cell towers in nearby counties. “Those early reports really gave us an idea of what we were in for, and that was the beginning of power failure escalation in Texas,” McCoy said.


Read the full ARRL story at
http://www.arrl.org/news/ares-and-red-cross-cooperate-to-assist-storm-affected-residents-in-texas

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Over 3 years Ofcom took action against 3 illegal broadcasters

Thursday 25th February 2021

Following a Freedom of Information request, Ofcom have revealed they only took enforcement action against three illegal broadcasters between 2018 and 2020

Ofcom acknowledge they received 660 reports of illegal broadcasting over the 3 years 2018-2020 but this only resulted in enforcement activities associated to three illegal broadcast stations which resulted in five convictions.

Read Ofcom's FoI response at
https://www.ofcom.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0018/214065/unlicensed-stations.pdf

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Amateur radio in Leigh Journal

Thursday 25th February 2021

Barry Day G3WIS got in touch with his local paper the Leigh Journal to share an atmospheric photograph from 1968 of an amateur radio demonstration he gave to the Lowton Scouts group

The Journal reports:

Barry says the picture depicts himself giving a demonstration of Ham Radio to members of the Lowton Scouts group.

The photograph dates back to 1968, Barry added.

Were you involved in the scouts group or do you recognise any of the faces here?

If you have any feedback, please send it to newsdesk<at>leighjournal.co.uk

Source Leigh Journal
https://www.leighjournal.co.uk/news/19104003.looking-back-scouts-lesson-hitting-air-waves/

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Fry’s Electronics shutting down all stores, ending 36 years as a big-box stop for tech enthusiasts

Thursday 25th February 2021

Fry’s Electronic’s, the big-box chain that was a longtime, one-stop shop for tech enthusiasts, is shutting down after 36 years in business. The company cited “changes in the retail industry and the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Fry’s made the announcement in a statement on its website early Wednesday, where all other content had disappeared. But the writing had been on the wall for at least two years as empty store shelves began to signal that the San Jose, Calif.,-based company was in trouble.

Fry’s operated 31 stores across nine states, including one in Renton, south of Seattle — the only Washington location. GeekWire visited that store in October 2019 as internet reports began to circulate that the chain may be struggling in the age of Amazon and increased online shopping.

The 152,000-square-foot Renton store was a sea of empty shelves at the time, with very few employees — or customers — wandering departments ranging from personal computers to televisions to office furniture. But a spokesman for Fry’s told GeekWire back then that Fry’s was “gearing up for the holiday season” and that it was planning to restock over the next several weeks with no plans to liquidate or close any stores.

Holding an extension cable to power a CPU in a computer he was fixing, customer Jordan Jones told GeekWire in 2019 that Fry’s was “the last bastion of hardware shopping.”

He said then that empty shelves were a scary sign for brick-and-mortar retail in general. “They used to have all these computer boxes stacked,” he said, waving his arm from floor to ceiling at scattered boxes on shelves nearby.

Founded in 1985 in Sunnyvale, Calif., Fry’s had been an electronics institution for decades, once boasting on its website that it catered to the high-tech professional and sold more than 50,000 electronic items in its stores.

As rumors of the shut-down began circulating on Twitter Tuesday night, some shoppers shared their appreciation for the chain’s adherence to a bizarre “theme” approach to each store’s decor. While the Renton store focused on regional history, others had elaborate displays tied to Egyptian history, Atlantis, the Wild West, the Gold Rush and more.
https://www.geekwire.com/2021/frys-electronics-shutting-stores-ending-36-years-big-box-stop-tech-enthusiasts/

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Cherokee Challenge Flight – London to Sydney the slow way

Thursday 25th February 2021

– by Andy Hardy G1AJH (ex VK2CHA)

Join us on this amazing adventure of a lifetime. Two chaps, a light aircraft and an HF radio piloting their way from Blighty to Oz, the slow way!

Andy Hardy G1AJH (ex VK2CHA). Their flight supported Oxfam in the fight against poverty: https://www.oxfam.org.uk/&#8203;

(Presentation given to Bury Radio Society and Warrington Amateur Radio Club)

https://www.facebook.com/CherokeeChallengeFlight/

https://www.facebook.com/CherokeeChallengeFlight/photos/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=76UKCQucmTg&feature=youtu.be

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

23cm band in the spotlight with regulators

Wednesday 24th February 2021

The Chair of IARU Region 1 Spectrum Affairs, Barry Lewis G4SJH, reports on the meeting of the ITU-R Working Party 4C (WP4C) Feb 15-19 which discussed the amateur radio allocation at 1240-1300 MHz

On the IARU Region 1 site he writes:

During the week February 15–19, the preparatory work for WRC-23 agenda item 9.1b continued in ITU-R Working Party 4C (WP4C). The WRC agenda item has initiated technical studies on coexistence between the radio navigation satellite service (RNSS) and the amateur services in the 23cm band. As usual, the IARU participated in the meeting and delivered key information on amateur activities in this important microwave band. This information is vital to ensure the amateur services are realistically represented in the studies as they move forward.

It remains vital that national amateur communities present their views on the importance of this band to their national regulators in a consolidated and consistent manner.

To assist with this the IARU-R1 is developing supporting material that member societies can refer to when addressing the topic with their national regulator.

The work on this topic will continue throughout the year and beyond both in ITU‑R and in the regional telecommunications organisations and the IARU is committed to ensure every organisation understands the amateur position on this important microwave band.

Source IARU Region 1
https://www.iaru-r1.org/2021/23cm-band-in-the-spotlight-with-regulators/

The ITU‑R WP4C Summary Meeting Report notes "The only administration that can be considered supportive towards proper treatment of the Amateur Services in this work is Germany", read the report at
https://www.iaru-r1.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Report-from-WP4C_Feb-2021.docx

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Capstan winch central to this all-band adjustable dipole antenna

Wednesday 24th February 2021

The perfect antenna is the holy grail of amateur radio. But antenna tuning is a game of inches, and since the optimum length of an antenna depends on the frequency it’s used on, the mere act of spinning the dial means that every antenna design is a compromise. Or perhaps not, if you build this infinitely adjustable capstan-winch dipole antenna.

Dipoles are generally built to resonate around the center frequency of one band, and with allocations ranging almost from “DC to daylight”, hams often end up with a forest of dipoles. [AD0MZ]’s adjustable dipole solves that problem, making the antenna usable from the 80-meter band down to 10 meters. To accomplish this feat it uses something familiar to any sailor: a capstan winch.

The feedpoint of the antenna contains a pair of 3D-printed drums, each wound with a loop of tinned 18-gauge antenna wire attached to some Dacron cord. These make up the adjustable-length elements of the antenna, which are strung through pulleys suspended in trees about 40 meters apart. Inside the feedpoint enclosure are brushes from an electric drill to connect the elements to a 1:1 balun and a stepper motor to run the winch. As the wire pays out of one spool, the Dacron cord is taken up by the other; the same thing happens on the other side of the antenna, resulting in a balanced configuration.

We think this is a really clever design that should make many a ham happy across the bands. We even see how this could be adapted to other antenna configurations, like the end-fed halfwave we recently featured in our “$50 Ham” series.

https://hackaday.com/2021/02/23/capstan-winch-central-to-this-all-band-adjustable-dipole-antenna/

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Kangaroo Island QSO status

Wednesday 24th February 2021

VK5KI (OC-139) QSL STATUS. Grant, VK5GR, reports: For those looking for electronic confirmation from the VK5KI activation on Kangaroo Island (OC-139), the LOTW records were uploaded today (Feb. 15th) and the blackout period for ClubLog matching should be ending also.

Thanks again to everyone to gave us a call in January 2021. If you still want a paper QSL card - OQRS is open via my QSL Manager Charles, M0OXO.

OPDX

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Amateur Radio operators help fill earthquake donut holes

Wednesday 24th February 2021

Ham radio networks gear up to provide real-time, on-the-ground information about earthquake shaking and damage when other communication pathways are knocked out of commission

If you’ve ever seen tall antennas rising from everyday residences in your community and wondered what they are for, it could be that those homes belong to ham radio enthusiasts who enjoy communicating with each other over the airwaves. In addition to having fun with their radios and finding camaraderie, many ham radio operators are also prepared to help neighbors and authorities communicate during disasters. One such group of radio enthusiasts is poised now to serve yet another important role: They will be contributing to a more robust delivery mechanism for critical seismic intensity reports after major earthquakes through the U.S. Geological Survey’s (USGS) Did You Feel It? (DYFI) system.

Twenty Years, Millions of Reports
DYFI is a popular way for the public to help document macroseismic shaking intensity—if your answer to “Did you feel it?” is yes, it was macroseismic shaking—and contribute to earthquake science. The magnitude 5.1 earthquake that hit rural North Carolina on 9 August 2020, for example, resulted in more than 100,000 responses submitted to the DYFI system from people residing in more than 15 states.

Read the full EOS story at
Amateur Radio Operators Help Fill Earthquake Donut Holes - Eos

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

IOTA News from the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

Wednesday 24th February 2021

Island activities:
Compiled by Andreas, DK5ON

IOTA QRGs
CW: 28040 24920 21040 18098 14040 10114 7030 3530 kHz
SSB: 28560 28460 24950 21260 18128 14260 7055 3760 kHz

NA-026; W2, New York State group: Bodo/DF8DX will be back on the air as KT3Q/2 between Feb. 25 and April 3. QSL via DF8DX (d/B).

NA-105
; FS/PJ7, St Martin (Sint Maarten): Thomas/AA9A operates as PJ7AA from Feb. 27 until March 27 on 80-10m (CW, FT8, SSB). QSL via AA9A (d), LoTW, ClubLog OQRS.

OC-053
; KH9, Wake: Tom/NL7RR will be on Wake Island on a work assignment between Feb. 26 and April 2. He hopes to be able to operate during his spare time, between 06z and 08z on 20 and 40m (SSB only). QSL via AL7JX (d).

 Deutscher Amateur Radio Club
e-mail: iota@dxhf.darc.de

RSGB IOTA website

Check-out the latest IOTA News bulletin from OPDX

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

IRTS Amateur Radio Training Courses

Tuesday23rd February 2021

IRTS News reports that while online amateur radio training courses have been successfully completed it is still not possible to take the exam due to the pandemic

The news story says:

The IRTS Training section has been running two online classes since mid-November and these classes are in their final scheduled week. However, as the scheduled HAREC examination cannot currently be held due to Covid-19 pandemic, revision classes for both groups will continue on Wednesday evenings at 2000 until the date for the examination is finalised.

Our sincere thanks to the following tutors who volunteered to run the first two classes, Michael Lee EI4HF, Jim Holohan EI4HH, Stefan Zalewski EI4KU, Keith Crittenden EI5KJ, Jerry Cahill EI6BT, Simon Kenny EI7ALB Larry McGriskin EI9CN and Dave Moore EI4BZ who co-ordinated the whole effort. The classes are held on the Zoom platform and have proved very successful with only a few drop-outs from the forty seven starters.

A third class will begin on March 30th and will run twice weekly for eight weeks on Tuesday and Thursday nights leading to an examination in June. Intending participants should be IRTS members or intending members and should contact the IRTS training team by email on training /at/ irts.ie. For anyone interested in studying for the HAREC examination, there is a wealth of information and study guides available on the IRTS website at

https://www.irts.ie/cgi/st.cgi?syllabus

Source IRTS News
https://www.irts.ie/cgi/showarchive.cgi?210221.txt

In the UK people can take their amateur radio exams online from their own home. The online exams are provided by a company in Dublin, Eire, called TestReach Ltd. Several years ago Testreach wrote about the amateur radio exam service they provided. At the time it was to exam centres only but these days it is direct to a candidate's own home, see
https://www.testreach.com/customer-story-radio-society-great-britain.html

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Amateur radio exams survey now open

Tuesday23rd February 2021

The focus of this year's survey from Essex Ham is the the amateur radio exams

If you have any thoughts about amateur radio exams, how people get into amateur radio today, or the new proposed "Direct-to-Full" amateur radio exam, please have your say.

Take part in the Amateur Radio Exams survey at
https://www.sxham.uk/examsurv21

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Online exams boost ham radio numbers

Tuesday23rd February 2021

The RSGB has released the statistics for the UK amateur radio exams held in 2020

The figures released cover the whole of 2020 for both in-person and Remotely Invigilated (RI) Online exams. Due to the pandemic in-person exams were only held during the first 10 weeks of the year and there weren't many of them.

RI Online Foundation exams that people can do from home started in mid-April but the RI Online Intermediate exams weren't available until August. Full exams didn't get underway until the end of October.  No exams were held in the last two weeks of December.

Note the Exam Candidates figures are for exams booked, there are a number of "no-shows" as circumstances can mean not everyone is able to sit their exam on the day booked.

2020             Exam Candidates     Passes
Foundation            3087                   2774
Intermediate         868                     759
Full                      378                     258

The number of people passing Foundation in 2020 was double that of 2019, this number of newcomers is a return to levels last seen in 2002.

The figures for the Full exam are especially pleasing to see. While free online training courses have been available for Foundation and Intermediate there were no training courses available for the Full exam so candidates had to rely on just self-study of the Full training manual. Although the online Full exam was only available for about 7 weeks of the year the numbers passing were two-thirds of the entire total for 2019.

The RSGB is currently consulting on its proposal to introduce a new Direct To Full exam, details are at
https://www.rsgb.org/direct-to-full

Exam Ham report on Direct To Full
https://www.essexham.co.uk/direct-to-full.html

Essex ham UK Amateur Radio Exam Statistics page
https://www.essexham.co.uk/train/uk-amateur-radio-exam-stats/

ESC reports and statistics for pevious years RSGB exams are available at
https://rsgb.org/main/about-us/committees/examination-standards-committee/esc-reports/

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

UKEICC CW Contest

Tuesday23rd February 2021

Any valid QSO with these stations will score a flat ten points regardless of distance. This will somewhat counterbalance the distance-related scores enjoyed by stations well away from the EI/G centre of activity and hopefully make it more interesting for modest stations that are based in EI/G and further afield.

Joe EI7GY will be operating EI5G for this contest and he will be certainly be running some pileups. The big event for SSB Top Band operators is on next weekend when the CQ Worldwide SSB 160m contest kicks off at 2200 on Friday night and runs until 2200 on Sunday night. North American stations will give report plus state or province while all others will give report and CQ Zone.The UKEICC monthly one hour 80m CW Contest will be held on Wednesday next the 24th at 2000. EI5G and, for this contest at least, GM7V will be bonus stations. Any valid QSO with these stations will score a flat ten points regardless of distance. This will somewhat counterbalance the distance-related scores enjoyed by stations well away from the EI/G centre of activity and hopefully make it more interesting for modest stations that are based in EI/G and further afield.

Joe EI7GY will be operating EI5G for this contest and he will be certainly be running some pileups.

The big event for SSB Top Band operators is on next weekend when the CQ Worldwide SSB 160m contest kicks off at 2200 on Friday night and runs until 2200 on Sunday night. North American stations will give report plus state or province while all others will give report and CQ Zone.

IRTS

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Elon Musk: SpaceX will double Starlink's Satellite internet speeds in 2021

Tuesday23rd February 2021

CNET report that SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said on Twitter Monday that his company's satellite internet service, Starlink, will offer speeds close to 300 Mbps later in 2021. That's roughly twice as fast as currently advertised, and would represent a significant step forward for the service as it seeks to deliver high-speed internet to underserved regions across the globe.

Musk adds that the growing network of satellites should offer complete global coverage "by next year."

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said on Twitter Monday that his company's satellite internet service, Starlink, will offer speeds close to 300 Mbps later in 2021. That's roughly twice as fast as currently advertised, and would represent a significant step forward for the service as it seeks to deliver high-speed internet to underserved regions across the globe.

The tweet came in reply to a customer posting their at-home speed test results with a newly installed Starlink connection.

Latency, a measure of how long it takes your internet signal to travel to space and back, will also drop to around 20ms this year, Musk added. That would be a validation of the company's strategy of launching its satellites into low-Earth orbit, which reduces the distance that those signals need to travel. That strategy has also raised red flags with astronomers worried about obstructions to night sky visibility, which is something SpaceX has been working to address with updates to its satellite design.

Musk went on to reply to another user who asked for a coverage map, telling them that Starlink will cover "most of Earth by end of year, all by next year." From there, Musk said, it's all about "densifying coverage," though he noted that the satellite internet coverage is best suited for regions with low to medium population density.

Read the full CNET article
https://www.cnet.com/news/elon-musk-spacex-will-double-starlinks-satellite-internet-speeds-in-2021/

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Cocos Keeling Islands

Tuesday23rd February 2021

Members of the Northern Corridor Radio Group will be active as VK9CE from Cocos Keeling Islands (OC-003) between March 16-23rd. Operators mentioned are Steve/VK6SJ, Wayne/VK6EH, Stu/VK6SSB, Gerald/VK6XI, Chris/VK6LOL, Brian/VK6BMA, Tim/VK6EI, Alex/VK6KCC, John/VK6NU and Brian/VK6MIT.

Activity will be holiday style on 80-10 meters (possibly 6m) using CW, SSB and FT8, with two radios and modest antennas. They will have a Cushcraft vertical for 80-10m (including 30/17/12m), an Ultrabeam UB-V40 vertical for 40-10m and wire antennas for 40m and 80m. Radios will be a Flex 6700 and an Icom 7300; both with amplifiers up to 400W (the legal limit for VK).

QSL via LoTW, ClubLog or eQSL. Paper QSL via EB7DX. The original VK9CE team was not going to have paper QSLs. But after some deliberation and a number of offers to manage their paper QSLs, they have decided to take up an offer from David, EB7DX, to manage the paper QSLs (direct and Bureau). They will still be uploading to eQSL,
ClubLog and QRZ.com in real time (pending good enough internet access) and at least daily to LoTW.

They state, "Big shout out and thanks to Pedro/EA5GL and Bob/N2OO who also offered to do our Paper QSLs."

OPDX

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Benin

Tuesday23rd February 2021

Ian, ZS6JSI, has been active recently as ZS6JSI/TY from Parakou about 400km north from capital city. He has been there since late January and is expected to be there for 6 months.

Activity recently has been mainly on 20 meters FT8 around 1630-1700z and 2130-2200z. However, Ian has told OPDX that he operates mobile and can be on 80/40/20 meters using SSB and FT8. Equipment is an ICOM IC-718 transceiver with 100 watts into a ZS6BKW directional antenna pointed towards Europe and Africa and a Trap dipole directional towards the Americas.

Ian states when time allows to look for him between 6:00pm and 8:00pm local time. He mentions, "I will confirm on (https://logbook.qrz.com/), (http://qrzcq.com/) and I have applied for LoTW await the certificate." ADDED NOTE: Ian states that he operates from the Trans World Radio [TWR] (https://www.twr.org) gospel broadcast station in Parakou on 1476 and 1566 kHz.

OPDX

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Online amateur radio talks from Denby Dale

Monday 22nd February 2021

The Denby Dale Radio Society has organised an impressive line-up of amateur radio talks for Spring which you can watch live on Zoom or later on YouTube

The planned talks, which start at 7:30pm on Wednesdays, are:

Wednesday 3rd March our speaker is Nick M0NTV. He is talking about building your own simple HF radio and the fun he has had since he took up amateur radio.

Wednesday 17th March our speaker is Bryan W2RBJ. He has produced a new Ham kit for his club with information and ideas about how to get your licence and move forward in the hobby. So this meeting will be of big interest to new amateurs and those starting in the hobby especially

Wednesday 24th March Anthony F4GOH will be introducing us to how radio amateurs can use the Raspberry pi and the Arduino

Wednesday 31 March Carl K9LA is going to talk about our upcoming HF propagation and sunspot Cycle 25

Wednesday 7th April Geoff W0CG / PJ2DX showing us around the Contesting station PJ2T and how they have had 1 million QSOs. Not that any of us are envious of the amazing location and station !!!

Wednesday 14th April John G8SEQ will talk about portable stations and Omni directional antennas . Appropriately here in Yorkshire with its huge coal mining history John started his working life in the mining industry.

Wednesday 21st April John NU0V is going to tell us about his homemade DC polarity checker he has built for use in the shack. At some stage all of us will accidentally connect our DC supply to a radio the wrong way round and more than likely destroy your equipment !

Wednesday 5th May Mike G4WNC will talk us through setting up the ZumSpot USB digital hotspot to connect your VHF/UHF digital radio to the digital network available to radio amateurs.

Wednesday 12th May our very own Tom ZS1AFS will be talking on Trapezing Antennas.

The Zoom meeting ID is 842 5221 3056
https://zoom.us/j/84252213056

For further information see
http://www.ddars.net/

Recordings of earlier Denby Dale online talks can be seen at
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCq9nFTkJJAjOdPZVytoPOcg

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

QSO Today with Gerald Youngblood, K5SDR from FlexRadio

Monday 22nd February 2021

Gerald Youngblood, K5SDR, is the founder and CEO of FlexRadio that is now on the cutting edge of building advanced software defined radio (SDR) platforms for amateur radio, as well as for government, business, and the military. Gerald is a leader and pioneer in the development of SDR leading to the founding of FlexRadio.

This episode is a newly minted version of the original interview that I had with K5SDR in 2015.

https://www.qsotoday.com/podcasts/k5sdr

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

CME to sideswipe Earth this week

Monday 22nd February 2021

Over the weekend, a dark filament of magnetism on the sun blew up, hurling a coronal mass ejection (CME) into space. NOAA computer models confirm that the CME should sideswipe Earth on Feb. 23rd or 24th.

The glancing blow could cause minor G1-class geomagnetic storms and high-latitude auroras.

Full story @ Spaceweather.com.

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

One Megawatt of Peak AM Power - Saving the Voice of America Delano Relay DL-8

Monday 22nd February 2021

In 2007, the Voice of America ceased operations at the Delano Relay site in Central California. The site is destined to be bulldozed along with several relics of Collins Radio Company's Broadcast Communications Division.

The Collins Collectors Association, with assistance from the Antique Wireless Association, hatched a plan to retrieve one of the Collins 821A-1 250 KW Shortwave Transmitters from the site and place it on display for all to see. This presentation gives some history of VoA and the Delano site and follows the disassembly and relocation of Delano Relay DL-8.

Dennis Kidder, W6DQ, is a retired Aerospace Engineer, having spent nearly 45 years in System Engineering. His career spanned many fields - from building and operating large scale sound systems, computer systems used to publish newspapers and control communications satellites, 4 years as the Chief Telecom Engineer during the construction of the New Hong Kong International Airport, and finally, air defense radar systems and networked radio communications systems used by the military.

First licensed as WN6NIA then WA6NIA over 50 years ago, Dennis was granted the callsign of one of his High School Elmers, Chek Titcomb (SK), W6DQ. Amateur Radio has been a nearly life-long passion.

If you enjoyed this video, consider becoming a member of the Antique Wireless Association at
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrSrdArng10&feature=emb_logo


Subscribe to the Antique Wireless Museum channel and you'll receive news of our latest video uploads.
https://antiquewireless.org/homepage/

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Curacao

Monday 22nd February 2021

Operators Dan/N1ZZ, Don/AF4Z, Walter/WB5ZGA and Vince/K4JC, will be active as PJ2T from Curacao (SA-099, WLOTA 0942) in the ARRL DX SSB Contest (March 6-7th) as a Multi/? entry.

QSL PJ2T via W3HNK.

Operators will be on the island between March 1-5th, and will be active as PJ2/homecall on 160-10 meters using CW, SSB, CW and possibly FT8.

QSL PJ2/homecalls via their homecalls.

OPDX

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Austria special event

Monday 22nd February 2021


The Cornish Radio Amateur Club's official International Marconi Day (IMD) Award program was canceled due to the Corona virus situation.

However, the special callsign OE21M will operate between April 24-26th, 0000-2400z. to commemorate the anniversary of Guglielmo Marconi's birthday (April 25th, 1874).

QSL direct to: DokuFunk, OE21M, An den Steinfeldern 4A, Vienna A-1230, Austria.

QSL by the Bureau via OE1WHC.

OPDX

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

What is Ronja?

Monday 22nd February 2021

Ronja (Reasonable Optical Near Joint Access) is an User Controlled Technology (like Free Software) project of optical point-to-point data link. The device has 1.4km range and has stable 10Mbps full duplex data rate.

Ronja is an optoelectronic device you can mount on your house and connect your PC, home or office network with other networks. Or you can use it as a general purpose wireless link for building any other networking project.

The design is released under the GNU Free Documentation License: you get all the necessary documentation and construction guides free. The material costs are very low, about 100 USD. The operation is immune to interference and quite reliable - interrupted only by dense fog.

http://ronja.twibright.com/about.php

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Willis Island DXpedition news

Monday 22nd February 2021

Members of Hellenic Amateur Radio Association of Australia (HARAOA) have announced their dates for the Willis Island (VK9/W) [OC-007] DXpedition.

According to John, VK3YP, Team Co-leader, the dates for VK9HR Willis Islans are locked-in between November 3-13th.

The team will use the ship "MV Alfred Wallace" and depart from Cairns, Australia. The current list of operators are Tommy/VK2IR, John/VK3YP, Raffy/VK2RF, Carl/VK2OK and Patrick/VK2PN, with additional operators to be announced (TBA). Due to time constraints (operators away too long from their jobs etc.), the Mellish Reef will be on the radar for activation in 2022.

John states [edited], "We are working with the license regulator (Aust. Maritime College) for a VK9W callsign (2x1) to be issued for this event. If we are unable to secure VK9W, we will revert to VK9HR." As mentioned in their early announcement, they plan to have seven operators and will be active on 160/80/40/30/20/17/15/12/10 meters using CW, SSB and FT8, with four transceivers with amps into verticals and VDAs (Vertical Dipole Array).

[Full set of 20m to 10m VDAs, 30m vertical full size, 40m vertical full size, 160/80m Inverted L; see a photo of their 12m VDA tested at Botany Bay Sydney at: https://ibb.co/vZP71Hk]
No other details have been released.

For updates, possibly watch QRZ.com or the HARAOA Web page at:
http://www.haraoa.com

OPDX

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Mauritius first satellite, MIR-SAT1, handed over to JAXA for deployment

Monday 22nd February 2021

Mauritius was the winner of the 3rd round UNOOSA/JAXA KiboCube Programme in 2018, whereby Mauritius was awarded (by JAXA) the opportunity to build and deploy, for the first time in its history, a 1U Cube Satellite through the International Space Station (ISS). The MIR-SAT1 has now been handed over to JAXA to be deployed from the Japanese Experiment Module (Kibo) “KiboCUBE” on the International Space Station (ISS).

MIR-SAT1 (Mauritius Imagery and Radio – Satellite 1) was designed by a team of Mauritian Engineers and an experienced Radio Amateur from the Mauritius Amateur Radio Society in collaboration with experts from AAC-Clyde Space UK.

The primary objective of the MIR-SAT1 is to acquire satellite technology through the design process, design review, assembly, integration and testing. In parallel, the MRIC will set up a Ground station located at its premises in Ebene, which will serve to control and operate the MIR-SAT1. This Ground station will also allow the receipt of data and telemetry from other satellites. The Ground Station will be equipped with a ‘FlatSat’ module which is a replica of the 1U, which will enable engineers to simulate all the required manoeuvres prior to sending the command to the CubeSat. The FlatSat Module is a key tool for the Mauritian Engineers to design future CubeSats after the MIR-SAT1.

Data that will be collected from the 1U cubesat are:

satellite health data (e.g. battery charge level, the status operating system onboard, etc.),
payload data, i.e., pictures of Mauritius and surrounding regions
experimenting island to island communication.
The MIR-SAT1 is expected to have ground contact with Mauritius 4 to 5 times per day depending on the season and its expected lifetime is about 2 -3 years.

Mauritius First Satellite, MIR-SAT1, Handed Over to JAXA for Deployment - Space in Africa (africanews.space)

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

German radio hams tackling RF noise pollution

Sunday 21st February 2021

DARC reports 35 Electrical Noise Area Monitoring Systems (ENAMS) have been delivered and another 20 locations are sought as part of the effort to monitor the interference from human-made noise on the HF bands

ENAMS is based on nationwide installed measuring stations that work as a network. With their help, the DARC can make scientifically reliable statements about interference levels on the frequencies. As is well known, the interference has increased in recent years, as various consumer devices drive up the noise level.

The ENAMS project was funded by the DARC Membership Pro in 2018

ENAMS https://www.darc.de/der-club/referate/emv/enams/

Source DARC
https://darc.de/

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Derek G4CQM has carried out a major upgrade to his websites

Sunday 21st February 2021

Derek G4CQM has carried out a major upgrade to his websites to HTML5 standards compliance throughout.
This enables viewing on PC, Tablet and Mobile devices and benefit from interactive features.

For those of you interested in antennas with particular interest in building your own yagis for the VHF/UHF bands Derek's websites offer a range of current topics and modern designs.

There are two URL's

https://g4cqm.co.uk/

https://qsl.net/g4cqm/

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Ham radio on BBC Radio Lincoln

Sunday 21st February 2021

The Lincoln Short Wave Club, hosts of the National Hamfest, celebrated their 100th anniversary in February and Steve Burke M5ZZZ / G6TVP was interviewed on BBC Radio Lincoln

The club's inaugural meeting was held in the Spread Eagle Hotel in Lincoln on February 10, 1921. Eleven people attended and it was agreed the group would be known as the Lincoln and District Wireless Society.

In May 1923 they held an exhibition in the City School. The event was open to the public for three days and attracted 322 visitors.

The BBC interview was broadcast on Wednesday, February 17, on BBC Radio Lincoln's Breakfast Show. A recording is available, fast-forward to 01:17:49 into the show
https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p0954hgx

Lincoln Short Wave Club history
http://www.g5fz.co.uk/official-club-buisness/a-brief-history-of-lincoln-short-wave-club/

National Hamfest
https://twitter.com/N_Hamfest

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Hamfest will bring together amateur radio enthusiasts from across the nation

Sunday 21st February 2021

The Daily Citizen reports on the annual Dalton Hamfest: Greg Williams says amateur radio is a hobby with something in it for all types of personalities.

"You've got people who just enjoy talking to their friends on the radio," said Williams, a member of the Dalton Amateur Radio Club. "We've got people who use it to help out in emergencies. I volunteer with the local Emergency Management Agency. Most of us are trained as Skywarn spotters and work with National Weather Service to report storms and high winds and hail and things like that. There's people who enjoy competitions or communicating in Morse code."

Williams is chairman of the club's Hamfest committee that will host the 39th annual Dalton Hamfest on Saturday, Feb. 27, at the North Georgia Agricultural Fairgrounds, 500 Legion Drive in Dalton, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Admission is $5. The Dalton Noon Lions Club will sell refreshments, and local Boy Scouts will help with parking, accepting donations.

"Hamfest is basically a market for new and used radio equipment," Williams said.

The exhibitors will include companies showing off the latest in radios, antennas, wire and other supplies, as well as amateur radio operators, called hams, looking to sell or trade excess parts.

Williams said the show generally draws 1,000 to 1,400 people who come from across the Southeast and the nation. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, visitors this year are encouraged to wear masks and practice social distancing. Hand sanitizer will be provided.

Williams said those who are interested in getting involved in amateur radio are encouraged to attend. He said club members will be on hand to talk about their hobby and answer questions.

Whitfield County Emergency Management Agency Deputy Director Jeff Ownby said amateur radio operators play a vital role in responding to disasters.

"They are a resource we rely on, especially during severe weather," he said. "They usually put together a weather network where they report what they are seeing and we monitor that. All of our staff are amateur radio operators."

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Minami Torishima

Sunday 21st February 2021

Take, JG8NQJ, will once again be active as JG8NQJ/JD1 from Marcus Island, Minami Torishima (OC-073, JCG 10007).

He will go there starting March 10th or 17th, and be there for 3 months, but will not be on the air for about 2 weeks. He is usually there to work on the island's weather station.

Activity will be limited to his spare time. He will usually be mainly on 17 meters, but will also be on 20/15/12/10/6 meters using CW possibly RTTY), with a Yaesu FT-450 and 50W.

QSL via JA8CJY or by the Bureau via JG8NQJ

OPDX

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

DXCC Country/Entity Report

Sunday 21st February 2021

According to the AR-Cluster Network for the week of Saturday, 13th-February, through Friday, 19th-February there were 212 countries active.

Countries available:

3A, 3B8, 3D2, 3DA, 3V, 3W, 3X,
4J, 4L, 4O, 4S, 4X, 5A, 5B, 5H, 5R, 5U, 5V, 5W, 5Z, 6W, 6Y, 7X, 8P, 8Q, 8R, 9A, 9G, 9H, 9J, 9K, 9M2, 9M6, 9V, 9Y,

A2, A3, A4, A5, A6, A7, A9, AP, BV, BY, C2, C3, C6, CE, CE9, CM, CN, CP, CT, CT3, CU, CX, D2, D4, DL, DU,
E5/n, E5/s, E7, EA, EA6, EA8, EA9, EI, EK, EL, EP, ER, ES, EU, EX, F, FG, FK, FM, FO, FR, FS, FY, G, GD, GI, GJ, GM, GU, GW, HA, HB, HB0, HC, HH, HI, HK, HL, HP, HR, HS, HZ, I, IS, J6, J7, JA, JD/o, JT, JW, JX, JY,

K, KG4, KH0, KH6, KH9, KL, KP2, KP4, LA, LU, LX, LY, LZ, OA, OD, OE, OH, OH0, OK, OM, ON, OX, OY, OZ, P4, PA, PJ2, PJ4, PJ7, PY, PZ, S0, S5, S7, SM, SP, ST, SV, SV5, SV9, T7, TA, TF, TG, TI, TK, TR, TT, TU, TY, TZ,

UA, UA2, UA9, UK, UN, UR, V2, V3, V4, V5, V6, V7, V8, VE, VK, VP2E, VP2M, VP8, VP9, VR, VU, XE, XU, XW, XX9, YA, YB, YI, YJ, YL, YN, YO, YS, YU, YV, Z2, Z3, Z6, Z8, ZA, ZB, ZC4, ZD7, ZD8, ZF, ZL, ZP, ZS

* PLEASE NOTE: The report "could" contain "Pirate/SLIM" operations or more likely a "BUSTED CALLSIGN". As always, you never know - "Work First Worry Later".

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

IOTA News from OPDX

Sunday 21st February 2021

Island activities:

The following are IOTA operations that were active this past
week between February 15-18th (as per the DXCluster):

IOTA Callsign Island/GROUP Bands/Modes
------ ---------- ------------- ------------
AF-004 EA8DHV CANARY 15m; CW
AF-004 EA8ED CANARY 20m; SSB
AF-016 FR8TG Reunion 17m; CW
AF-022 ZD7FT St. Helena 20m; SSB
AF-024 S79VU INNER 20m; SSB
AN-016 ZS7ANF Antarctica 30m; CW
AS-003 4S7AB Sri Lanka 12m; CW
AS-004 5B4ALX Cyprus 20m; SSB
AS-007 JA3MIX Honshu 40m; CW
AS-078 JA8COE Hokkaido 20m; SSB
EU-001 SV5DKL DODECANESE 20m; CW
EU-003 CU2CO EASTERN 20m; SSB
EU-005 G4KLE GREAT BRITAIN 40m; CW
EU-009 MM0EAX ORKNEY 80m; FT8
EU-018 OY1CT FAROE 20m; CW
EU-021 TF2MSN ICELAND 17m; SSB
EU-022 JX2US Jan Mayen 30m; CW
EU-023 9H1SF Malta 17m; SSB
EU-023 9H1TT Malta 40m; SSB
EU-023 9H5JO Malta 20m; SSB
EU-025 IQ9UI SICILY 40m; CW
EU-025 IT9JAV SICILY 40m; SSB
EU-025 IT9RZR SICILY 12m; FT8
EU-067 SZ8ERS KYKLADES 20m; CW
EU-131 IK3PQH/P VENETO REGION 40m; SSB
NA-015 CO8LY Cuba 17m; SSB
NA-018 OX3AH GREENLAND 20m; SSB
NA-066 WA6ED CALIFORNIA STATE SOUTH 80m; FT8
NA-099 NP3A Puerto Rico 20m; SSB
NA-101 J73WA Dominica 20m; FT8
NA-101 J79WTA Dominica 80m; FT8
NA-107 FM8QR Martinique 20m; SSB
OC-001 VK3IO Australia 40m; SSB
OC-001 VK3VM Australia 10m; FT8
OC-021 YC1CBY Java 80m; FT8
OC-021 YC2WXV Java 40m; CW
OC-028 V73NS RALIK CHAIN 20m; CW
OC-088 9M6TMT BORNEO 20m; SSB
OC-097 5W1SA SAMOA 20m; FT8
OC-129 DU6/PE1NSQ VISAYAN 17m; FT8
OC-201 ZL1RKO NORTH ISLAND'S COASTAL 20m; FT8
SA-008 LU4XAP Tierra del Fuego 10m; CW
SA-036 P44W Aruba 160m;
SA-099 PJ2LS CURACAO 40m; FT8

** Thanks to the individuals who put the island/group and mode on their QSNs on their PacketCluster reports. The format we suggest is "IOTA#/Mode/Island or Group" (ex. OC-146/FT8/Celebes).

NA-249. Members of the Vieques Island Amateur Radio Club will be active as NP3VI from the Conde de Mirasol Fort Museum on Vieques Island (PUR-015) during the 13th American Lighthouse Weekend. Activity
will be on 80-10meters using CW, SSB and FT8. QSL via EA5GL.

OC-145. "The Daily DX" reports that there is a newly licensed radio amateur located on Ternate Island. His name and callsign is Heru Witanto, YG8VAS. Activity has been on 80/40 meters using SSB, with an Icom IC-718 and 100 watts into his dipole. QSL
via his home callsign.

SA-018. Members of the Melipulli Radio Club will be active as CB7FT from the TabonN Island Lighthouse (LH-0750, CHI-049) between February 19-21st. Activity will be on various HF bands using SSB and the Digital modes, including the 13th American Light-houses Weekend. QSL via EA5GL.

SA-055. Carlos, LU8DCH, will be active as LU8DCH/D from Martin Garcia Island (ARG-045) between February 20-22nd. Activity will include the 13th American Lighthouses Weekend. QSL via direct or eQSL.

SA-079. Members of the Brazilian Amateur Radio Emission League - LABRE/RJ will be active as PT1F from the Lighthouse on Rasa de Guaratiba Island between February 20-22nd. Activity includes 13th American
Lighthouses Weekend. Operations will be on 80-2 meters and 70cm, using CW, SSB and FT8. QSL via the Burea (PY1AA), direct, LoTW and eQSL. ADDED NOTE: Wolf, DK1FW, states, "Like in the last 2 years PT1F will most likely not operate from SA-079 but from a mainland location with visibility to the lighthouse. This satisfies the requirements for lighthouse activation."

PLEASE NOTE: Since the Webmasters of the new have decided NOT to post or dedicate a Web page to announce upcoming IOTA operations, PLEASE send your IOTA operations information to the OPDX, and we will post it here in an upcoming bulletin......

Check-out the latest IOTA News from the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Foundations of Amateur Radio

Saturday 20th February 2021

You Can't Always Get What You Want

One of the things about amateur radio that I find intensely fascinating and to be honest sometimes just as frustrating, is that you don't know what the outcome of an experiment might be at any one time. Not because you cannot control the experiment, or because you don't know what you're doing, but because the number of variables involved in most meaningful amateur radio experiments is pretty much infinite.

I've spoken about this before, the idea that if you were to make a simple dipole antenna and fold the ends on each other, you'd have infinite variation in antennas with just a so-called simple antenna, since you can vary the shape of it in an unending variety of ways.

The other day I was doing an experiment. An amateur radio one to be sure, but I was doing this within the realm of computing. I have been playing with digital modes for some time now and along the way shared some of what I've learnt. It occurred to me that I've been assuming that if you had the chance to follow along, you'd have access to the required hardware, simple enough, a $20 RTL-SDR dongle, but none-the-less, extra hardware.

What might happen if you rule out that dongle and instead used a web-based receiver like WebSDR, or KiwiSDR, or any number of other such sites where you can pretty much tune to any band and frequency and see what's going on at a particular antenna location.

For one it might allow you to decode something like APRS remotely, or decode an FT8 signal, perhaps even your own FT8 signal. Unfortunately most, if not all, of those sites include only the bare bones decoders for things like CW, AM, SSB and FM. After that you're pretty much on your own.

You could do some funky stuff with a web-browser, linking it via some mechanism to the tool you use to actually decode the sound and there's some examples of that around, none that I really warmed to, since it requires that I open a web browser, do the mouse-clicky thing and then set-up some audio processing stuff.

What if I wanted to figure out where the ISS was right now and wanted to listen to a receiver that was within the reception range of the ISS as it passed overhead, and automatically updated the receiver in real time as the ISS was orbiting the earth?

For that to happen you'd need something like a command-line tool that could connect to something like a KiwiSDR, tune to the right frequency and extract the raw data that you could then decode with something appropriate.

Turns out that I'm not the first person to think of this. There's even a project that outlines the idea of following a satellite, but it hasn't moved anywhere.

There's also a project that is a command-line client for web-based KiwiSDR sites, but after spending some quality time with it and its 25 clones on github, I'm not yet at the point where this will work. Mainly because the original author made a design decision to record data to a file with a specific name and any clone I've found thus far only allows you to define what name to use. None so far actually appear to send their stream to something that can be processed in real time.

Of course I could record a few minutes of data and process that, but then I'd have to deal with overlap, missing data, data that spans two files and a whole host of other issues, getting me further and further away of what I was trying to do, make a simple web-based audio stream digital mode decoder.

As the Rolling Stones put it, "You Can't Always Get What You Want"

And to me this sums up our hobby in a nutshell. When you call CQ, or go portable, or test an antenna, or attempt to build something new, there's going to be setbacks and unexpected hurdles.

I think that it is important to remember that amateur radio isn't finished, it's not turn-key, no matter how much that appeals, you cannot find a one size fits all solution for anything, not now, not yesterday and not tomorrow.

This hobby is always going to test boundaries, not only of physics, but your boundaries. It's after all one giant experiment.

So, next time you don't get what you want, you might try something you find, and get what you need.

Also, apologies to Keith Richards and Mick Jagger for butchering their words, a rockstar I am not.

I'm Onno VK6FLAB

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Radio amateurs want to be of service when communications fail

Saturday 20th February 2021

Nashville Scene reports thousands of Nashvillians were affected by the cell and internet service outage that came after the Christmas Day bombing downtown — but it was exactly the type of situation amateur radio operators prepare for

The news report says:

[Amateurs] pride themselves on not needing internet or cell service to relay electronic messages.

Nashville Amateur Radio Club has been around for 85 years, making it one of the oldest clubs in the country. The group’s 70 members now look for ways to be of service in a world in which technology has evolved beyond amateur radio’s original usefulness.

“When the news started coming out about the bombing, there were a lot of hams online, there to assist with the radio for people who worried about their relatives when they couldn’t reach them on the phone,” says Monvel Maskew K9FQ, president of Nashville Amateur Radio Club.

On Monday nights, area hams convene on a “net,” a planned gathering on a specific frequency. This serves as practice for when an emergency would call for an impromptu net. Most members of the club are also part of the local chapter of the Amateur Radio Emergency Service. Lee Alder KK4SXX, president of Davidson County’s ARES chapter, was inspired to join after Nashville’s historic 2010 flood affected internet connections and cell service.

“Basically, we are radio people waiting for a place to be in the event that Metro needs us,” Alder says. “We fill this little gap of communication when everything else quits. And radio usually works.”

Read the full story at
https://www.nashvillescene.com/arts-culture/features/article/21146042/amateur-radio-users-want-to-be-of-service-when-modern-technology-fails

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Permission granted for 60 foot ham radio masts

Saturday 20th February 2021

Vermont radio amateur Zachary Manganello K1ZK has been granted planning permission for magnificent towers up to 60 feet high

The Burlington Free Press says:

One-on-one talks with fellow amateur radio operators as far away as Moscow are now firmly on the horizon for a Shelburne man.

The erection of two antenna towers on Zachary Manganello's rural property on Dorset Street — a source of contention with his neighbors for at least a year — was approved by the Development Review Board in a private hearing on Wednesday night [Feb 18].


Read the full story at
https://eu.burlingtonfreepress.com/story/life/2021/02/19/air-ham-radio-towers-finally-okayed-vermont-operator/6797246002/

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Ofcom awards first small-scale DAB multiplex licences

Friday 19th February 2021

Ofcom has announced its first ever awards of small-scale radio multiplex licences.

Small-scale DAB is an innovative technology which provides a low-cost route for local commercial, community and specialist music stations to take to the airwaves. 

Last year, we set out how we will license small-scale DAB and invited applications for a first round of multiplex licences.

Following a competitive process, where each applicant was judged against specific criteria, licences have been awarded in five areas:

The application submitted by Muxcast Four Limited for the Tynemouth & South Shields licence area was withdrawn by the applicant prior to a licence award decision being made, so was therefore not considered for this award.

Award statements for these licences will be published shortly. 

Further licence awards for the remaining 20 areas advertised in Round One will be announced over the coming weeks.

Round Two multiplex advertisements

Given the ongoing impact of Covid-19 restrictions, we now expect to advertise a second round of small-scale multiplex licences in the North West of England and North East Wales on Tuesday 1 June.

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Friedrichshafen ham radio event still going ahead

Friday 19th February 2021

Organisers of the popular Friedrichshafen ham radio event are still planning for the event to take place on June 25-27

In a press release the organisers say:

Friedrichshafen – After it was not possible for the International Amateur Radio Exhibition to take place last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, the trade fair organizers on Lake Constance are optimistic that they will be able to provide a meeting place for the industry from June 25 to 27, 2021. With German Amateur Radio Club e.V. (DARC) as the perfect sponsor, the course is now being set for the 45th edition of the Ham Radio. “We are watching the situation closely, of course. At the moment we are assuming that we will be able to hold the Ham Radio in accordance with an extensive, tried-and-proven safety and hygiene concept and are looking forward to seeing everyone again at Europe’s most important trade fair for amateur radio,” explains Messe Friedrichshafen CEO Klaus Wellmann.

For the upcoming Ham Radio, there will be a new hall layout for a variety of reasons: Zeppelin Cat Hall A1 is currently serving as a transitional training and play venue for VfB Friedrichshafen’s volleyball players after the ZF Arena was closed due to structural defects. The district vaccination center is currently hosted in Hall A2. For this reason, the commercial exhibitors and associations will be occupying Halls A3 and A4, and the radio amateurs will be able to make exciting discoveries at the flea market in Halls B1 and B2. In this way there will be plenty of space available for both exhibitors and visitors. Instead of taking place on the stage in Foyer West, presentations will be given in the conference rooms and transmitted via video stream.

“This year the Ham Radio will again be presenting a wide range of measuring instruments, antennas, and electrical engineering equipment. However, the event will differ a bit from what was seen in previous years. For example, the number of live presentations is being reduced, and there will be no youth camp and no HAM-Rallye. Tickets can only be purchased online,” Project Manager Petra Rathgeber says. DARC is currently pulling out all the stops to prepare for the 71st meet-up on Lake Constance. The Ham Radio is the world’s first amateur radio exhibition to be held since the pandemic began.

Parking spots for RVs/caravans and opening hours

For visitors, the trade fair also offers the option of staying overnight on a parking lot for RVs and caravans close to the exhibition. The Ham Radio will take place in Friedrichshafen from Friday, June 25, to Sunday, June 27, 2021, and will be open daily from 9 am to 6 pm, on Sunday from 9 am to 3 pm.


Source
https://www.hamradio-friedrichshafen.com/for-press/press-releases

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

EURAO Party - Winter 2021: with a simple dipole

Friday 19th February 2021

The European Radio Amateurs' Organization announces a new party on the air, this time with the motto: "with a simple dipole". Remember this is not a contest, it is just a radio meeting with a few simple 'rules', better to call them recommendations.

Purpose: Probably the easiest antenna to build, the dipole is made up of just two pieces of wire cut to the appropriate length for the band to be used: a quarter wavelength on each side. More "sophisticated" versions may include a balun, but it works also without it. In any case, its simplicity does not diminish the great satisfactions that it can produce, quite the opposite. Try it and share with your colleagues, near or far away, and have fun.

February 20th and 21st, 2021, Saturday and Sunday, 00:00-24:00 UTC.

https://www.eurao.org/en/node/1161

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Lemmings over a demographic cliff?

Friday 19th February 2021

ICQ Podcast presenter Frank M. Howell K4FMH gives his view on the future of amateur radio - can we defuse the demographic time-bomb?

In his blog post he notes:

"Hams, as indicated by the proxy of ARRL membership and in the NCJ past and present subscriber data, are sorely under-represented in the pre-50 age ranges"

"Traditional radio sport is facing a demographic cliff of aging ham contesters."

"It is often attributed to the social thinker August Comte to have said, Demography is Destiny. But it does not have to be so. (see my talk to the Sutton & Cheam Society in London) It does require taking the blinders off of tradition and evaluate it for what it is today and what it means for the future. This almost always requires those in power to make such decisions to forsake their own vested interests in favour of change.

Like the famous Lemmings advertisement by Apple, not everyone has to walk off this demographic cliff. We just have to take the blinders of tradition off our eyes, wake up, act for the common good, and smell the demographic coffee. Because it’s brewing…"


Read the post at
https://foxmikehotel.com/2020/10/10/a-social-circuits-column/

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

"Perseverance" to land on MARS Tonight !

Thursday 18th February 2021

NASA will be attempting tonight to land it's MARS rover PERSEVERANCE on the red planet.

The event will be streamed by NASA-TV from 7.15 pm GMT until hopefully down around 8.55pm GMT.

The car-sized spacecraft costing $2.2billion has some major tests to get through before 8.55pm.  It is currently travelling around 12,000 mph  and has to drop to around 190mph entering the MARS atmosphere.  Temperatures are expected to exceed 2,000F as it slows and if all goes well it will touch down in the base of a crater called Jezero 850 ft deep (250 meters) and some 28 miles diameter. It is thought to have been an extinct lake containing water 3.5 billion years ago.  The whole landing will be on auto-pilot from it's on-board scripts as direct radio signals take some 11 minutes between the rover and earth, too long for any manual intervention in the final landing.

Photo Credit - NASA

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

An Unusual Snow Sculpture !

Thursday 18th February 2021

This is the o2 mast on top of Ben Nevis in Scotland.  The Telefonica team in October installed heaters on the antennas (2 x 1 metre dishes) in preparation for the winter weather to keep them operating and the links open despite heavy snow, ice and low temperatures.  The dishes can clearly be seen free from any deposits and the links didn't drop out at all .. job well done ! 

To give further perspective the mast is 7 metres high.

Well done to Telefonica & o2

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Direct entry to Full Licence: RSGB Consultation

Thursday 18th February 2021

The RSGB’s Examination Standards Committee (ESC) has just launched a consultation to ask for the views of the amateur radio community on a new, Direct to Full licence exam which would run in parallel with the existing three-tier system.

The background to this consultation and a link to the proposed syllabus can be found on the RSGB website :www.rsgb.org/direct-to-full

There is also a link to a short survey which asks specific questions but also gives you an opportunity to add additional comments or questions.

The consultation will run until Sunday 14 March 2021 after which we will gather the results and announce them in due course.

We would encourage everyone to take part in this consultation.

Tony Kent, G8PBH
Examination Standards Committee Chair

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

ARRL to consider covering young members license fee

Thursday 18th February 2021

At its meeting on January 15-16 the ARRL Board considered a plan to pay the planned FCC license application fee for young radio amateurs

The ARRL say:

At its Annual Meeting in January, the ARRL Board of Directors considered a motion to offer a new plan that would pay the new but not-yet-implemented $35 FCC application fee for a limited number of new radio amateurs younger than age 18 who, at the time of testing, belonged to an ARRL Affiliated 501(c)(3) charitable organization and passed their tests through an ARRL VEC-sponsored exam session. The proposal called for reducing the VEC fee for these candidates to $5. The initial proposal came from ARRL Southeastern Division Director Mickey Baker, N4MB. Other Board members offered subsidiary motions. Supporters said the purpose behind the motion was to ameliorate the potential financial hardship the pending FCC application fee posed on certain minors applying for their first license, and to encourage new youth membership.

Consideration of the motion, which was subject to considerable discussion, was deferred to an ad hoc committee composed of the members of the Administration & Finance Committee, two Members of the Programs & Services Committee, and ARRL CEO David Minster, NA2AA (or his designated representative). The Board directed the panel to review and more fully develop the proposal and report back to the Board by the end of March with a recommendation as to whether the program should be adopted and, if adopted, how it should be implemented.

Supporters expressed the belief that recruitment and training of young radio amateurs “is a necessary and proper mission of the ARRL” and that subsidizing the $35 fee “will reduce the number of new amateurs that otherwise would be lost from these groups.”


Read the full story at
http://www.arrl.org/news/arrl-board-considers-plan-to-cover-new-35-fcc-fee-for-some-young-members

The Board minutes for the January 15-16 meeting can be download from

http://www.arrl.org/board-meetings

The FCC announced in December that it would be charging radio amateurs a fee every time they apply, upgrade or renew a license
http://www.southgatearc.org/news/2021/january/fcc-reduces-proposed-amateur-radio-application-fee-to-35usd.htm

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

RSGB consulting on their new Direct-To-Full exam

Thursday 18th February 2021

The RSGB’s Examination Standards Committee has launched a consultation to ask for the views of the amateur radio community on a new, Direct to Full licence exam which would run in parallel with the existing three-tier system

Key points:

• A single 75-question multiple-choice exam (2.5 hours)
• You can take the exam online from your own home
• No need to take lower level exams (Foundation or Intermediate)
• Theory-only, no practicals required
• Pass mark 50/75 (67%)
• As per existing online exams, instant results at the end of the exam, and if passed, UK Full callsign typically within a week
• An exam pass will give you the internationally recognised HAREC qualification

The background to this consultation and a link to the proposed syllabus can be found on the RSGB website:

https://www.rsgb.org/direct-to-full

There is also a link to a short survey which asks specific questions but also gives you an opportunity to add additional comments or questions.

The consultation will run until Sunday, March 14, after which the Society will gather the results and announce them in due course.

We would encourage everyone to take part in this consultation.

How does the UK’s proposed Direct-To-Full exam compare with those of other countries?

Country  Questions  Minutes Allowed
UK               75                 150
Eire              60                 120
Spain           60                 120
NZ                60                 180
France         40                   60

As a successful Direct-To-Full candidate will receive the HAREC qualification the online exam may prove of interest to people outside the British Islands. There are a number of countries in Africa, and even Europe, where it can be difficult, even impossible, to access amateur radio training or exams. Being able to access online training and get the internationally recognised HAREC qualification online from their own homes may help would-be amateurs get licences in those countries.

An overview of the consultation can be seen on the Essex Ham site

https://www.essexham.co.uk/direct-to-full.html


Comments on the  web indicate considerable support for the new exam. It looks as though many Foundation holders will choose to skip the Intermediate exam and do the new Direct-To-Full instead.

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

CAPE-3 CubeSat launched

Thursday 18th February 2021

The University of Louisiana (UL) at Lafayette student-built CAPE-3 satellite was launched on January 17. A 1-U CubeSat, CAPE-3 includes a "digipeater and experimental UHF adaptive radio."

An AX-25 telemetry downlink has been coordinated on 145.825 MHz and a 1k2 frequency-shift keying (FSK) downlink has been coordinated on 435.325 MHz, "which may burst to 100 kHz bandwidth," according to the IARU Amateur Satellite Coordination page.

CAPE-3 is the third cube satellite in the CAPE series. The primary educational mission is to allow grade-school classrooms to access the Smartphone CubeSat Classroom, and run interactive experiments through an experimental smartphone ground-station grid.

The secondary mission is to perform scientific experiments involving radiation detection and take pictures of Earth.

The solar-powered spacecraft, created by UL Lafayette's CAPE Satellite Team, was launched with nine other CubeSats as part of NASA's Educational Launch of Nanosatellites (ELaNa) program. A Virgin Orbit LauncherOne rocket attached beneath a wing of a customized Boeing 747 was dropped high above the Pacific Ocean. Itclimbed about 225 miles above Earth and then ejected the satellite.

Information on the ElaNa program can be found in PDF format at,
https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/atoms/files/lsp_elana_20_fact_sheet.pdf

The CAPE satellites are named for the university's Cajun Advanced Picosatellite Experiment program, designed to prepare students for careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

RSGB to announce consultation on Direct-To-Full exam

Wednesday 17th February 2021

Today the RSGB is expected to announce a consultation on a new exam that will take candidates straight to the Full licence without the need to do Foundation or Intermediate exams

The RSGB’s Examination Standards Committee is launching the consultation to ask for the views of the amateur radio community on a new, Direct to Full licence exam which would run in parallel with the existing three-tier system.

The consultation is expected to start at 10:15 GMT, Wednesday, February 17, and run until Sunday, March 14. The background to this consultation and a link to the proposed syllabus should be on the RSGB website at
http://www.rsgb.org/direct-to-full

There have been calls for a Direct-To-Full exam in the UK for many years, the RSGB's Training and Education Committee (TEC) formally proposed it in 2010 and early indications are it may prove popular.

The UK's current system forces people to do through three separate exam sessions to get a Full (HAREC) licence. In future people would be free to choose to do the short online Foundation course to initially get their Foundation licence and then study and do the Direct-To-Full exam online, completely bypassing the Intermediate. This should produce a saving in exam fees and hopefully may mean less exam stress.

As a successful Direct-To-Full candidate will receive the HAREC qualification the online exam may prove of interest to people outside the British Islands. There are a number of countries in Africa, and even Europe, where it can be difficult, even impossible, to access amateur radio training or exams. Being able to access online training and get the internationally recognised HAREC qualification online may help would-be amateurs get licences in those countries.

This new exam will no doubt remind old-timers of the City and Guilds Radio Amateur Exam which took people straight to a Full licence (A or B). Essex Ham did a comparison of what was needed for the old C&G RAE compared to the current three-tier system, see

https://www.essexham.co.uk/rae-exam-reviewed.html

The Direct-To-Full exam was discussed February 15 on the Essex Monday Night Net on GB3DA. A short recording of edited highlights of the discussion is available at
https://www.essexham.co.uk/direct-to-full-feedback

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Hog wild about Ham Radio: Harley-Davidson + Icom

Wednesday 17th February 2021

Ultimate Motorcycling magazine features an article about amateur radio

How many times have I heard someone ask me why I would be interested in a 100+ years old communication method when we all have smartphones in our pockets? Too many, and they just don’t get it. Just like your friends who ask why you ride a bike? Why you take the risk? Why you battle the elements? Why you eat bugs? Why do you bother when you can comfortably drive a car? They just don’t get it.

Here’s why I do ham radio. I can communicate with other people when all other methods cave in. Too far from a cell tower. No problem. Finding out what’s going on during a time of emergency when all other means fail. No problem. Sharing, communicating, and coordinating whatever is needed during times of trouble, not unlike what some are envisioning during these crazy political and pandemic times. No problem.

Speaking of the pandemic, many of us are at home more often than we’d like to be. Amateur radio is a perfect way to meet and get to know new people in faraway places, trade stories and updates, and be a bit more sociable at a time when that’s much harder.

Read the full story at
https://ultimatemotorcycling.com/2021/02/16/hog-wild-about-ham-radio-harley-davidson-icom/

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

DiRaGe 2021 in Belgium CANCELLED

Wednesday 17th February 2021

Dear ham radio colleague, dear visitor, dearest friends,

DiRaGe 2021 planned for Easter Monday April 5th will not take place since the location (Den Amer in Diest) is occupied until at least end of September, serving as a vaccination center.

DIRAGE stands for DIesters RAdio GEbeuren. This denomination is the flag that covers the yearly flea market organized by the UBA section DST (Diest). The first DIRAGE was organized way back in 1986.

We knew from the start we were taking a big risk, but if we did get the approval to organise the event we wanted to be ready for it. So we started the preparations for DiRaGe 2021 back in October as we do every year. We were all looking forward to better times and to another fun edition where we could finally meet our ham friends again in real life.

Unfortunately the national vaccination campaign decided otherwise.
DiRaGe 2021 planned for Easter Monday April 5th will not take place since our location is occupied until at least end of September, serving as a vaccination centre.

Taking into account these uncertain times we decided to completely cancel this edition instead of looking for another suitable venue. We already know from experience that there are no other suitable locations near Diest big enough to host an event like DiRaGe, with enough parking space to welcome all of you properly.

Since we regret this at least as much as you do and because we do not want to keep our loyal visitors waiting for another full year we do have a surprise for you!
We are planning a special edition of our trunk sale in October 2021, aptly named "DiRaGe Meets Junk in the trunk".

As we are still brainstorming heavily about the exact details of the event we cannot give you more details for now, but you can be damn sure it will be worth a visit!
Picture a beautiful historical setting, more than enough space, the wide range of ham radio material you are used to seeing at DiRaGe, and of course the appropriate food and drinks while catching up with each other.

We are looking forward to seeing you in October!

best 73 de ON4DST & the DiRaGe team

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Ham Radio Signals from Mars

Wednesday 17th February 2021

Ham radio operators are doing something that until recently only big Deep Space Networks could do.

They're listening to radio signals from Mars. The "loud and audible" transmissions come from spacecraft orbiting the Red Planet.

Some hams are hoping to detect NASA's Perseverance rover as it touches down later this week.

Find out how it's done on today's edition of Spaceweather.com.

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Former ARRL Southwestern Division Director Art Goddard, W6XD (SK)

Wednesday 17th February 2021

Former ARRL Southwestern Division Director Art Goddard, W6XD, of Costa Mesa, California, died on February 13.

An ARRL Life Member, he was 78. First licensed in 1956, Goddard was an electrical engineering graduate of Worcester Polytechnic Institute and Montana State University. He worked for Collins Radio and later for Boeing, from which he retired as an executive.

After several years working with local governments in southern California on proposed antenna ordinances, he was elected ARRL Southwestern Division Vice Director in 1995, serving two terms before being elected Director in 2001. After retiring from the ARRL Board, he continued to follow ARRL affairs and advocate for stronger public relations on behalf of amateur radio.

Goddard was active on the air from HF through microwaves. A member of the Southern California Contest Club, he took part in contest DXpeditions to locations ranging from subarctic to tropical, operating the CQ World Wide DX Contest in 26 of the 40 CQ zones. He also headed teams of VHF/UHF/microwave contest rovers.

Goddard was heavily involved with the Costa Mesa Historical Society and was co-author of two books on Costa Mesa history.

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

ITU News Magazine - World Radio Day 2021

Tuesday 16th February 2021

The latest issue of the free ITU News Magazine covers World Radio Day and features two articles on amateur radio

The magazine includes:
• A deep dive into the evolution of radio throughout the ages
• Ham radio and emergency comms: Filling the United States Geological Survey ’donut hole’ by Adam Davidson W9AS
• Why World Amateur Radio Day is key to highlight crucial services by IARU president Tim Ellam VE6SH

Download the free magazine from
https://www.itu.int/en/myitu/Publications/2021/02/02/15/24/ITU-News-Magazine-No-1-2021

Online amateur radio training courses in the UK
https://www.essexham.co.uk/online-amateur-radio-courses

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Vital role of amateur radio in disaster communications

Tuesday 16th February 2021

IBM's Weather Channel reports about how heroic Ham Radio operators use radio waves to carry out post-disaster rescue operations

The article by Kunal Kambli says:

Imagine this: you have just encountered an intense cyclone—a storm so strong that it has damaged buildings, uprooted trees, brought down electric poles and power lines, and destroyed everything in its path. The electricity is already down, and all your usual modes of communication—cell phones, landlines, the internet—have stopped functioning. What do you do in such a situation? How do you make those emergency calls for medical assistance? How do you seek immediate help after being completely cut-off from the rest of the world?

Be it natural disasters like cyclones and earthquakes, or human-made ones like bomb-blasts or terror attacks, the loss of communication in such times can often push a delicate situation from bad to worse; it can often be the difference between life and death.

But even in such blacked-out circumstances, a glimmer of sunshine can be found, and contact with the outside world can be established through a mode of communication that many wrongly believe to be obsolete: radio. On the occasion of the 2021 World Radio Day—an international United Nations observance held on February 13 every year—let us explore the underappreciated yet ever-so-crucial role played by amateur radio and the superpeople that operate it, in saving lives during calamities.


Read the full article at
https://weather.com/en-IN/india/science/news/2021-02-13-world-radio-day-ham-operators-in-disaster-rescue-operations

Online amateur radio training courses in the UK
https://www.essexham.co.uk/online-amateur-radio-courses

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Last chance to apply for BBDL Full exam online training

Tuesday 16th February 2021

Wednesday, February 17, is the last day for those who've passed their Intermediate exam to apply to join the free Bath Based Distance Learning Full exam course

Students will receive weekly work packages via a virtual classroom and will have access to weekly on-line tutorials. Students will also have access to one of the remote tutors who will provide feedback and additional guidance when required. There are weekly quizzes to check progress and at the end of the course there will be a number of mock exams.  

There will be no charge for the training but applicants will need to work through a pre-course classroom and quiz to be eligible for a place. If the course is oversubscribed, places will be allocated at random from those successfully completing the pre-course work.  

Each student will need to provide their own RSGB Full Licence textbook and arrange their own exam at the end of the course. It seems likely that the exams will be on-line with remote invigilation. Advice will be provided as part of the course.  

The deadline for course applications is Wednesday 17 February. To request full details and an application form, please e-mail BBDL
Team Leader, Steve, G0FUW, via g0fuw AT tiscali.co.uk  

Bath Based Distance Learning
https://badarc.webs.com/bath-training

 
The Wirral & District Amateur Radio Club offers excellent opportunities to get together and mix with like minded folk for those living within easy reach of Wirral. (under normal non-corona-virus conditions) and gain experiences from those who have gone before. 

As in most walks of life, passing the initial exams is the first stage to proving competence and knowledge to be able to operate.  There then follows the joys of the initial experiences of an exciting hobby.  From then on, it is often finding the forum to ask questions and chat with your peers who can add their life experiences and knowledge .. which can act as a welcome short cut to completely help you fulfil your personal enjoyment.

We are unable at this moment in time to offer training locally and so recommend one of the above courses offered above as an ideal way into the hobby, followed by taking the RSGB on-line exam.

After your success, do consider coming along to the Wirral & District Amateur Radio Club for a few evenings (no charge), and I'm sure we will be able to convince you how fulfilling and rewarding being a member of a good club can be.  We have several new members who have joined recently achieving just that.  Due to the Pandemic we are limited to currently holding weekly ZOOM meetings .. for more information contact our Secretary see our "Who to Contact" page.

Our members operate in a wide range of radio, communications and computer activities, including contests and use many of the modes available to us across much of the amateur radio spectrum allocated for our use.  A warm welcome awaits .. come and talk with us !

 Keep checking our "Calendar of Events"  on the club website for our latest information
 

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Fifty-three community radio stations to receive emergency funding

Tuesday 16th February 2021

Ofcom has announced that 53 community radio stations will receive emergency funding through the Community Radio Fund.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, community radio stations have provided valuable local news and support to millions of people. However, many have also faced severe financial challenges. In response, the UK Government announced  emergency funding to help them meet the costs of continuing to provide these vital services to local communities.

So far, 111 community radio stations have received financial grants totalling around £406,000. Due to the ongoing impact of Covid-19, an additional £200,000 was made available by the UK Government for a third funding round.

The Community Radio Fund Panel, which acts independently of Ofcom, has now awarded this extra funding to 53 community radio stations across the UK, in accordance with the strict eligibility criteria and guidance issued. We have published details on the Panel’s approach and reasoning in deciding which applications received funding.

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

French Defence Ministry seeks radio receivers, jammers

Tuesday 16th February 2021

The French Defence Ministry has a tender out for radio jammers that can be drone-mounted.

The government's Defence Innovation Agency has put out a request for proposals in search of a small, low-power warfare device that can find radio communication transmitters while mounted on a fixed or rotary-wing drone and possibly disable the signals through jamming. Proposals were due no later than the 18th of January and demonstrations of prototypes will follow over the course of the next seven months.

The devices are expected to be capable of detecting any number of transmitters operating between 30 MHz and 6 GHz and able to transmit their findings in real-time to a receiving station on the ground. Bidding is being limited to companies within the European Union.

https://www.icqpodcast.com/news/2021/2/14/french-military-seeks-radio-receivers-jammers

https://www.arnewsline.org/news/2021/1/28/amateur-radio-newsline-report-2257-for-friday-january-29th-2021

https://aerospace.csis.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Harrison_SpaceThreatAssessment20_WEB_FINAL-min.pdf

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Get ready for 10 meters - cheap and effective

Monday 15th February 2021

Tom (WA9TDD) and Quin (K8QS) explain how to get ready for 10-meter amateur radio operation, including propagation, equipment, antennas, and modes. When 10 is hot, it's hot.

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

'Build-a-thons' at the Next QSO Today Virtual Ham Expo

Monday 15th February 2021

The March 13-14, 2021 QSO Today Virtual Ham Expo will offer an exciting “buildathon” of four (4) live virtual kit building workshops.

Workshop instructors include Dave Cripe, NM0S, Joe Eisenberg, K0NEB, and Rex Harper, W1REX, who will take participants through building a variety of different kits. Kits will be available for purchase and delivered prior to the Expo so attendees can build from the convenience of their homes.

For more information: https://www.qsotodayhamexpo.com/build-a-thons.html

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Oscar and the Ham with Jean Shepherd K2ORS

Monday 15th February 2021

Jean Shepherd, K2ORS, introduces PBS audiences to the world of amateur radio satellite communication back in 1975.

As then Oscar Education Program manager I also distributed cassette copies of this program for use by classroom teachers and NASA space science education specialists. --WA2INB (former ARRL publications program manager and QST managing editor)

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

ICQ Podcast - Joy of VHF and above

Monday 15th February 2021

In this episode, Martin (M1MRB) is joined by Chris Howard (M0TCH), Martin Rothwell (M0SGL), Ed Durrant (DD5LP), Frank Howell (K4FMH) and Bill Barnes (WC3B) to discuss the latest Amateur / Ham Radio news. Colin (M6BOY) rounds up the news in brief and in this episode’s features is the Joy of VHF and Above with Tim Kirby (GW4VXE) followed by your listener feedback.

ICQ AMATEUR/HAM RADIO PODCAST DONORS

We would like to thank Terry Perry and our monthly and annual subscription donors for keeping the podcast advert free. To donate, please visit - http://www.icqpodcast.com/donate

News stories include: -
• Amateur Radio on Hackaday
• French Military Seeks Radio Receivers / Jammers
• A New Version of WSJT-X is Now Available
• Beware of Fake SDRplay Devices
• Using Powerline Noise to Map Sporadic E
• Extension to Field Day Rule Waivers from 2020, Add Class D and E Power Limit
• RSGB's 'Get on the Air to Care' Construction Competition Winners
• Additional Free UK Ham Radio Foundation Online Course Planned

The ICQ Podcast can be downloaded from http://www.icqpodcast.com

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Shannon Basin Radio Club lectures

Monday 15th February 2021

The Shannon Basin Radio Club has been holding regular on-line talks, on a variety of topics, ranging from co-axial cable, QSLing to logging software.

On Friday the 29th of January, the talk was given by Bob Heil K9EID of Heil Sound in the USA. Bob outlined his life story, starting as a pipe organ musician, then learning to tune large pipe organs and getting into amateur radio in his teens and setting up Heil Sound in 1966. He explained in detail how he got involved in creating unique touring sound systems, for bands such as The Grateful Dead and The Who. He then put his knowledge into creating microphones and headsets for the radio amateur.

He gave several live demonstrations on how his headsets work, explaining phasing, the best microphones and settings for different radios. There was then time for questions, of which there were many. Bob finished the talk with a tune on his beloved organ.

The whole talk lasted two hours and was both informative and most enjoyable. The club expresses their sincere thanks to Bob K9EID for taking the time to talk to them

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

French National Society, REF, announce growth in licence holders

Monday 15th February 2021

France’s National Amateur Radio Society, REF, recently reported on license figures for the last five years.

The number of licences at the end of 2020 in France was 13,956 compared to 13,482 at the end of 2016. This represents a slight increase of 3.4 per cent over the five-year period. In the same period, 1,200 candidates sat their 40-question multiple choice licence examination and 748 were successful, a pass rate of just over 62 per cent.

In January 2019, the fee for applying for or renewing the licence was abolished and it's likely this has resulted in more amateurs keeping their callsign

IRTS

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Central Coast Amateur Radio Club

Sunday 14th February 2021

Last week the club announced the news that the 2020 Wyong Field Day would be postponed due to ongoing health concerns.

This was a decision that had not been taken lightly and the safety of both the club’s members and those who attend the day is the club’s number one priority. With the health situation still unstable and changing every day, it is in the best interests of all to postpone this event.

However, in light of this, The club wishes to announce the Central Coast Amateur Radio Club “Mayham” event will be held on Sunday the 30th of May 2021 at Wyong Race Course.

For those are looking to attend, be a trader or exhibitor, please email the team at mayham@ccarc.org.au

For the latest up to date news and information regarding this event, please check out the club’s website and social media.

Last Friday the 12th of February, Club member Adrian VK2ABS Held a Slow Scan Television net on the club's VK2RAG 2 Meter WICEN 147.125 MHz repeater.

This was the second net that Adrian has hosted and is great to see ongoing support from those within earshot of the repeater.

The next scheduled net will be on Friday the 19th of February at 7:30 PM.

The Clubs Newsletter Smoke Signals continues to deliver with some great content, Henrick VK2FTDR has been fantastic with taking on the role and the club encourages all members to give it a read each month and provide feedback to the club.

Henrick is also on the prowl for content, big or small, the club would love to hear what you have been up to radio/electronics related… or even just so inclined. Even just a few sentences and a photo.

The Clubs wishes to advise they will be holding education, training and examination sessions on the 27th and 28th of March.

If you are interested in obtaining your licence or upgrading your existing licence, please reach out to the club's education facilitator Karen VK2AKB at education@ccarc.org.au

The Club’s Thursday evening net this week was hosted by Jaye VK2FOMG. The evening's topic this week was around the grounds for a general catch up with quite a number of check-ins swinging by.

Some great conversations from Lifepo4 batteries to one station managing to get an 80 Off Centre fed dipole up in the air after many months.

Bob VK2AOR and Dave VK2KFU continue with the club's Morning Tea net during the weeks with check-ins still coming in strong.

A huge thanks go out to Bob and Dave for running the nets, it’s greatly appreciated.

Both nets are held on the VK2RAG 2 Metre repeater, 146.725Mhz with a 91.5hz sub-audible tone.

Echolink & IRLP is currently unavailable due to a hardware failure but the repeater team is working on it.

The club looking for some operators to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the RAAF. This is a great opportunity to get out on the bands and share in celebrating this momentous occasion portable or otherwise.

If club members are interested in participating, please reach out to the club directly.

You can find out more about the CCARC on the web at ccarc.org.au; or Search for Central Coast Amateur Radio Club on social media platforms to find us.

Remember to give the club a “like” to follow for any updates.

Brad VK2NMZ

Vice-President & Publicity, Central Coast Amateur Radio Club

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

QSO Today Virtual Ham Expo to include speaker track on amateur radio satellites

Sunday 14th February 2021

The QSO Today Virtual Ham Expo on March 13 - 14, 2021 will devote a speaker track to AMSAT and the world of Amateur Radio satellites.

The Expo is in 'full planning mode' and promises 'many exciting new things' for the upcoming event, which will include a world-class lineup of more than 60 speakers and workshops for beginners to experts. Presenters at nine AMSAT sessions will discuss the broad spectrum of ham radio satellites, including:

- - Introduction to Amateur Radio Satellites (Douglas Quagliana, KA2UPW)

- Getting on the Air with Satellites (Clint Bradford, K6LCS)

- How to Enjoy Amateur Radio Contacts with the International Space Station (Frank Bauer, KA3HDO)

- Implementation of LDPC Encoder on FPGA (Anshul Makkar)

- Debris Mitigation in Earth �s Orbit (Anshul Makkar)

- Digital Multiplexing Transponder from the Open Research Institute (Michelle Thompson, W5NYV)

- Solving the ITAR and EAR Problem for the Amateur Radio Satellite Service (Michelle Thompson, W5NYV)

- Remote Labs for P4XT Engineering Development (Paul Williamson, KB5MU)

Thompson, an AMSAT Board Member, said working satellites is one of the most rewarding privileges of holding an Amateur Radio license.

'There has never been a better time to be involved in amateur radio satellites, since some long-standing regulatory burdens have been lifted and advanced technology has never been more affordable and accessible,' Thompson remarked. 'We have opportunities now that were not available as of even a few years ago. AMSAT is fortunate to contribute to the Expo by showcasing the truly amazing work going on around the world in the amateur satellite scene. And the Expo is an ideal partner to show it off to the wider ham audience. '

AMSAT will have a booth at the Expo, where attendees can talk to experts, enthusiasts, operators, and technicians and obtain contact and membership information for the 30 AMSAT societies around the world.

Early Bird tickets are $10 (to help cover the cost of this event) and $12.50 'at the door.' That includes entry for the live, 2-day event as well as access during the 30-day on-demand period following the event.
Register on the QSO Today Virtual Ham Expo website.

ANS, ARRL

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

QSO Today with Patrick Stoddard WD9EWK

Sunday 14th February 2021

Patrick Stoddard, WD9EWK, is best known for his satelite QSOs using portable gear from grid squares all over the World.

He documents and captures many of his contacts and the equipment that he uses on his website and YouTube Channel.

WD9EWK is a recent addition to the AMSAT board of directors and is my QSO Today.
https://www.qsotoday.com/podcasts/WD9EWK

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Ham Radio's SuitSat returns in short horror film

Sunday 14th February 2021

SuitSat loses its innocence in a new video short sci-fi thriller Decommissioned.

'Inspired by true events, ' the video short resurrects the 2006 spacesuit/satellite that transmitted messages on 2 meters as it circled Earth. The original SuitSat-1 project, conceived by an Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) team, repurposed a decommissioned Russian Orlan spacesuit to function as a free-floating amateur radio transmit-only satellite.

'ARISS designed and built an antenna and radio gear that got approved for installation into the suit, and cosmonaut Valeri Tokarev and Commander Bill McArthur, KC5ACR, put SuitSat-1 into orbit at the start of a spacewalk, ' ARISS-US Delegate for ARRL Rosalie White, K1STO, recounted. SuitSat-1 transmitted a voice message, 'This is SuitSat-1 RS0RS! ' in several languages, plus telemetry and a slow-scan TV image on an 8-minute cycle as it orbited Earth.

In the 6-minute film, a SuitSat returns in the future to haunt International Space Station commander 'Diaz, ' played by Joey Vieira. Diaz is seen taking photos from inside an observation dome on the ISS when he spies some distant space debris and radios Houston to express concern.

'If there was any cause for alarm, you know we 'd see it too, ' Houston assures.

As the object closes in, an increasingly anxious Diaz recognizes the 'debris ' as SuitSat. 'This is SuitSat, ' comes a voice on the ham radio.

'Houston, you 're not gonna believe this. We 're picking up transmissions on the ham radio that sound identical to the SuitSat experiment, ' he tells a skeptical mission control. 'It 's SuitSat! I 'm seeing SuitSat! '

'SuitSat re-entered the atmosphere and burned up years ago, ' mission control responds. 'It 's impossible. '

Decommissioned was produced by Perception Pictures and directed by Australian filmmaker Josh Tanner. He told Gizmodo that he produced the video 'using the Unreal Engine technology that The Mandalorian used, albeit old-school rear projection, as opposed to the fancy LED wall tech they used. '

SuitSat-1 ' called Radioskaf or Radio Sputnik in Russian ' was so successful that another unneeded Orlan spacesuit was subsequently refitted as SuitSat-2.

As an interesting sidebar with respect to the real SuitSat, White explained, 'After the ARISS engineers calculated SuitSat-1 's orbit and spin characteristics, they knew the legs and arms would have to be filled with something, so they asked the crew to stuff dirty laundry inside. '

White said Decommissioned was a hit at a recent ARISS meeting. The original SuitSats were deorbited to burn up in Earth 's atmosphere after their useful lives ended.

ANS, ARRL

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Swains Island DXpedition news

Sunday 14th February 2021

Martin, PA4WM, from Holland, posted the following on the W8S Swains Island Web page:

Make a virtue of necessity.....
Almost a year ago we were fully equipped and packed. Ready to go to Swains. The unfortunate COVID pandemic caused this plan to be postponed.

In the months before our planned operation, a 160m T loaded vertical was built. An 18m fiber pole from Spiderbeam will house the 16.5m vertical wire. Matching is accomplished with a coil/hairpin match. Last year summer we have set it up to complete the tuning procedure and check for possible improvements. All was fine but the "on the air and in real life" box had still to be ticked. So we decided to take part in the CQ160m CW contest to give the antenna a good work out. The goal was to test the antenna and have contest fun.

The vertical was set up at our local VERON club, the Dutch radio society. On a large abandoned soccer and athletics field the antenna was raised and a fair amount of radials were laid out. Just to be equipped with a RX antennas during the contest, an EWE to the west and a 120m long BOG to the east were rigged up as well.

The antenna just worked great. Being a vertical, the high angle signals from surrounding countries were OK, but where it really shined was on low angle and DX.
In 20 hours operating time, 875 QSO's were made into 66 DXCC counties and 25 states of the U.S. During the contest some Caribbean stations were active and they could be worked very well and I had no issues to break
a contest pile up. It even gave me 6 new countries on topband.

All in all a good test for our antenna to be used on Swains.

73, Martin PA4WM
----------------------------------------------------
For more details and updates, see the following URLs pages:
Swains Island DXpedition Web page -- https://swains2020.lldxt.eu/
Facebook -- https://www.facebook.com/swains2020
Twitter --
https://twitter.com/swains2020

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

French special event

Sunday 14th February 2021

Nicolas, F4HZS, will be active as TM150PAR from Berlancourt, France, to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the popular uprising of 1871 called Paris Commune (see QRZ.com for more details).

Activity will take place on the following days:
March 20-21st, April 4th/10-11th/17-18th/24-25th, and May 1-2nd/8-9th/15-16th.

QSL via F4HZS, direct or the REF Bureau

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Foundations of Amateur Radio

Saturday 13th February 2021

Running out of things to do ...

So, there's nothing on TV, the bands are dead, nobody is answering your CQ, you're bored and it's all too hard. You've run out of things to try, there's only so many different ways to use the radio and it's all too much.

I mean, you've only got CW, AM, SSB, FM, there's Upper and Lower Side-band, then there's RTTY, the all too popular FT8, then there's WSPR, but then you run out of things. I mean, right?

What about PSK31, SSTV, then there's AMTOR, Hellschreiber, Clover, Olivia, Thor, MFSK, Contestia, the long time favourites of Echolink and IRLP, not to forget Fusion, DMR, D-STAR, AllStar, BrandMeister or APRS.

So far I've mentioned about 20 modes, picked at random, some from the list of modes that the software Fldigi supports. Some of these don't even show up on the Signal Wiki which has a list of about 70 amateur modes.

With all the bands you have available, there's plenty of different things to play with. All. The. Time.

There's contests for many of them, so once you've got it working, you can see how well you go.

Over the past year I've been experimenting with a friend with various modes, some more successful than others. I'm mentioning this because it's not difficult to get started. Seriously, it's not.

The most important part of this whole experiment is getting your computer to talk to your radio. If you have FT8 already working you have all the hardware in place. To make the software work, you can't go past installing Fldigi. As a tool it works a lot like what you're familiar with. You'll see a band-scope, a list of frequencies and a list of decodes. It's one of many programs that can decode and generate a multitude of amateur digital modes.

If this is all completely new to you, don't be alarmed.

There are essentially two types of connections between your computer and your radio. The first one is audio, the second is control. For this to work well, both these need to be two-way, so you can both decode the audio that the radio receives and generate audio that the radio can transmit. The same is true for the control connection. You need to be able to set the transmit frequency and the mode and you need to be able to read the current state of the radio, if only to toggle the transmitter on-and-off. If you already have CAT control working, that's one half done.

I've spoken with plenty of amateurs who are reluctant to do any of this. If this is you, don't be afraid. It's like the first time you keyed up you radio. Remember the excitement? You can relive that experience, no matter how long you've been an amateur.

Depending on the age of your radio, you might find that there is only one physical connection between your computer and the radio, either using USB or even Ethernet. You'll find that your computer will still need to deal with the two types of information separately.

Notice that I've not talked about what kind of operating system you need to be running. I use and prefer Linux, but you can do this on any operating system, even using a mobile phone if that takes your fancy.

Getting on air and making noise using your microphone is one option, but doing this using computer control will open you to scores of new adventures.

I will add some words of caution here.

In general, especially using digital modes, less is more. If you drive the audio too high you'll splatter all over the place and nobody will hear you, well, actually, everyone will, but nobody will be able to talk to you because they won't be able to decode it. If the ALC on your radio is active, you're too loud. WSJT-X, the tool for modes like FT8 and WSPR, has a really easy way of ensuring that your levels are right, so if you've not done anything yet, start there.

Another issue is signal isolation. What I mean by that is you blowing up your computer because the RF travelled unexpectedly back up the serial or audio cable and caused all manner of grief. You can get all fancy with optical isolation and at some point you should, but until then, dial the power down to QRP levels, 5 Watts, and you'll be fine.

A third issue that was likely covered during your licensing is the duty cycle. It's the amount of time that your radio is transmitting continuously as compared to receiving only. For some modes, like WSPR for example, you'll be transmitting for a full 2 minutes at 100%, so you'll be working your radio hard. Even harder might unexpectedly be using FT8, which transmits in 15 second bursts every 15 seconds, so there may not be enough time for your radio to cool down. Investing in a fan is a good plan, but being aware of the issue will go a long way to keeping the magic smoke inside your radio.

I'm sure that you have plenty of questions after all that.

You can ask your friends, or drop me an email, cq@vk6flab.com and I'll be happy to point you in the right direction.

Next time there's nothing good on TV, get on air and make some digital noise!

I'm Onno VK6FLAB

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Special ham radio callsigns to celebrate Greek Revolution

Saturday 13th February 2021

In 2021, Greece is celebrating the bicentennial of the 1821 Greek Revolution after a period of 400 years of occupation by the Ottoman Turks

“The Greek Revolution of 1821 is a key chapter in Greek history as well as a piece in the puzzle of world history.” (www.greece2021.gr).

Additionally to the projects and events that are officially planned and organized in Greece and globally by state and private organizations, Greek radio amateurs will be active throughout 2021 with the following special call signs:

• Radio amateurs with a license of Class 1 will use the prefix SX200 followed by the suffix of their home call sign, e.g. SV1XXX will operate as SX200XXX.

• Radio amateurs with a license of Introductory Level will use the prefix SY200 followed by the suffix of their home call sign, e.g. SY1XXX will operate as SY200XXX. (Please take into consideration that there are restrictions of this license re. frequencies and modes.)

• Club stations will use the prefix SZ200 followed by the suffix of their home call sign, e.g. SZ1XXX will operate as SZ200XXX.

Natasha SV1KP
RAAG Secretary
https://tinyurl.com/IARU-Greece

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

WIA considering ACMA consultation response

Saturday 13th February 2021

WIA Director and Secretary Peter Clee VK8ZZ reports on the ACMA amateur radio licence consulation

WIA News says:

Last week President Greg and Vice President Lee spoke about the upcoming consultation by our regulator, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) https://tinyurl.com/1wa5pu7e

Greg mentioned that this consultation is "Something that should be of both interest and concern of all Radio Amateurs in Australia". Greg also said the this very important consultation has the potential for major changes to the Amateur Radio Service and its licensing regime.

We as amateurs must carefully consider and weigh up the options that have been proposed by the ACMA.

The board of the Wireless Institute of Australia met last Tuesday to discuss the proposed consultation and the WIA response. At this stage, the board will require more information in order to form an opinion on the proposed changes. The board has decided to meet with experts within our Amateur Community and for them to write a discussion paper which will be put out to members for comment, probably in the form of a poll like that recently conducted by the WIA.

That panel will meet next week to commence the process.

I will report again once the panel has met and a timetable has been determined.

This has been WIA Director and Secretary Peter VL8ZZ for the VK1WIA national news service.

Source WIA News
https://www.wia.org.au/members/broadcast/wianews/display.php?file_id=wianews
-2021-02-14

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Ofcom fines KTV £50,000 for serious broadcasting breaches

Saturday 13th February 2021

Ofcom has today imposed fines totalling £50,000 on Khalsa Television Limited (KTV) for serious breaches of our broadcasting rules.  

KTV broadcasts a range of cultural, religious and educational programmes to the UK’s Sikh community.  

Our first investigation found that KTV aired a music video on three separate occasions, which indirectly encouraged Sikhs living in the UK to commit violence, including murder, against people opposed to the Khalistan Liberation Front. We also found that the music video contained subliminal harmful messages in an apparent attempt to influence viewers without them being aware.  

A second investigation found that a live discussion programme, Panthak Masle, featured a number of statements which were likely to incite crime or lead to disorder. This included material which amounted to implicit threats of violence towards Harnek Singh, a Sikh radio presenter living in New Zealand.   

We concluded that these were serious breaches which warranted the imposition of statutory sanctions. We are fining KTV £20,000 in respect of the music video and £30,000 in respect of the discussion programme, both payable to HM Paymaster General. In addition, KTV must not repeat either the music video or the discussion programme, and must air a summary of our decisions on a date – and in a form – set by us.   

More details on these sanction decisions are available.

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

A new form of space weather: Earth Wind

Saturday 13th February 2021

There's a new form of space weather--and it comes from our own planet.

Electrified "Earth wind" is streaming through space, much like the solar wind but different.

A new study just published in the Astrophysical Journal Letters reports that Earth wind might actually make water on the Moon.

Get the full story on today's edition of Spaceweather.com.

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

International Milk Tart Day !

Saturday 13th February 2021

The first SARL 40 m Club Grid Square sprint for 2021 takes place from 12:00 to 13:00 UTC (14:00 to 15: CAT) on Saturday 27 February, which is also International Milk Tart Day.

It is CW and phone activity; the exchange is an RS or RST report, the name of your Club and your grid square. You earn two points per QSO, 2 points for each new grid, and 1 point for each new Club.

Your log must be submitted by midnight on Thursday 4 March 2021 to  zs4bfn@mweb.co.za.

SARL

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

ARRL reject additional VEC's

Friday 12th February 2021

ARRL has told the FCC that no additional Volunteer Examiner Coordinators (VEC) are needed to oversee the administration of amateur radio exams by Volunteer Examiners (VEs).

The ARRL post says:

Examination opportunities have continued to be widely available throughout the US — except for a couple of months during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic — and adding VECs to the 14 now in place would “have no effect” on the number of available exams, ARRL said. ARRL’s comments on February 4 were in response to a January 5 FCC Public Notice in WT Docket 21-2 seeking input on possible expansion of the VEC pool.

“In response to the Commission’s Notice, ARRL reviewed the amateur examination numbers for the past 5 years, including the COVID-19 pandemic period,” ARRL said in its comments. “We found that even though 10 of the 12 months for calendar year 2020 were times of severe disruption throughout the nation, including for FCC and ARRL headquarters staff, amateur examination opportunities and numbers were strong.”

Multiple web-based exam opportunities are available across the US, even on short notice, and in-person examinations are available in many areas where local regulation and special safety requirements allow.

“It has never been easier,” ARRL asserted, noting that exam sessions often are available within 2 days but rarely more than 7, if taking advantage of a remote, web-based exam opportunity.

Read the full ARRL story at
http://www.arrl.org/news/arrl-to-fcc-additional-volunteer-examiner-coordinators-not-needed

FCC Public Notice WT Docket 21-2
https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-21-9A1.pdf

Read the ARRL submission to FCC at
https://ecfsapi.fcc.gov/file/1020574174238/ARRL20PN2021-2%2002_04_2021.pdf

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

RSGB's 'Get on the air to care' construction competition winners

Friday 12th February 2021

The RSGB’s Get on the air to care construction competition was for projects made during the Autumn 2020 lockdown, the Christmas and New Year holiday period or the early 2021 lockdown.

The Society was delighted to receive 27 entries from 15 entrants and the standard was very high. To reflect this, the judges awarded four prizes rather than choose one winner as originally planned.

We’d like to thank everyone who entered and we congratulate each of the four winners:

Gordon Lean, G3WJG (1st prize of £125)
Paul Graham, M0PGX (Runner up prize of £75)
Laurence Fletcher, G4SXH (3rd prize of £50)
Robert Lynch, M0NVQ (Highly commended and receives the RSGB Handbook)

You can find out more about their projects in the April RadCom and on the RSGB website: www.rsgb.services/gota2c-construction-competition

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

World Radio Day 2021 on BBC World Service

Friday 12th February 2021

To mark World Radio Day on Saturday 13 February 2021, the BBC World Service has some special content to be broadcast over the weekend.

BBC Minute on the BBC World Service is linking up with its partner radio stations in English and Spanish. DJs on English and Spanish-speaking stations around the world are going to be sharing their experiences and messages about their year of the pandemic. They will be brought together and shared across the day on Friday 12 and Saturday 13 February within BBC Minute’s news bulletins.

In addition, BBC World Service will air a one-hour documentary on Sunday 14 February, World Wide Waves: The Sounds of Community Radio. In this documentary for World Radio Day, we will visit community stations around the globe that educate, entertain and empower people to make change - including Radio Taboo in Cameroon, Kadal Osai (the sound of the ocean) in Tamil Nadu, and Radio Nacional de Huanuni in Bolivia. This documentary highlights the enduring power, possibilities and pleasures of the airwaves.

BBC News Arabic radio, one of the World Service’s oldest non-English radio stations, will also be delivering special content to mark the day. This will include asking listeners to record a one-minute clip explaining why radio still matters to them, with some selected for broadcast.

Read the full BBC World Service article
https://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/2021/world-radio-day

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Digital Modes with WSJT-X

Friday 12th February 2021

Dan Maloney KC1DJT writes on Hackaday about the WSJT-X software suite which supports the popular amateur radio digital mode FT8

We’ll skip a deep dive into the DSP techniques underpinning WSJT-X — although it’s fascinating stuff and probably worthy of an article all by itself — and suffice it to say that the package implements various multiple frequency-shift keying (MFSK) modulation methods, each of which is optimized to work under different propagation conditions. The ten modes currently implemented cover everything from high-noise ionospheric propagation to tropospheric scatter, with modes that support bouncing signals off meteor ionization trails or even listening to your own signals bouncing off the Moon.

Read the Hackaday article at
https://hackaday.com/2021/02/10/the-50-ham-digital-modes-with-wsjt-x/

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

German Special Event

Friday 12th February 2021

Look for special event stations DR100JL and DQ100JL to be active from Dessau-Rosslau City between March 1st and May 31st, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Junkers Luft-verkehrs Aviation AG and Air Traffic.

Activity will be on various HF bands with a focus on 80/40/20 meters using SSB. Also, they will be operating together with FFR Stations (Flieger-Funk-Runde e.V.) [DA0FFR, DB0FFR, DF0FFR and DK0FFR] on the air. A special diploma/award will be available.

All QSOs will be automatically confirmed after June 15th, 2021, with QSL card via the Bureau. For more information, see: https://100julu.de

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

IOTA News from OPDX

Friday 12th February 2021

Island activities:

The following are IOTA operations that were active this past week between February 1-6th (as per the DXCluster):

IOTA Callsign Island/GROUP Bands/Modes
------ ---------- ------------- ------------
AF-003 ZD8HZ Ascension 12m; FT8
AF-004 EA8DGS CANARY 40m; SSB
AF-004 EA8TL CANARY 20m; CW
AF-004 EA8UP CANARY 20m; SSB
AF-014 CT3MD MADEIRA 160m;
AF-022 ZD7FT ST HELENA 17m; SSB
AF-024 S79KW INNER 20m; FT8
AF-049 3B8BAP MAURITIUS 15m; FT8
AN-016 DP1POL Antarctica 20m; FT8
AS-003 4S6NCH Sri Lanka 40/30m; FT8
AS-004 5B4ALG Cyprus 17m; SSB
AS-004 5B4VL Cyprus 20m; SSB
AS-007 JA2TQZ HONSHU 17m; SSB
AS-007 JH3NGD HONSHU 20m; SSB
AS-007 JR2IUB HONSHU 20m; CW
AS-026 HL4SF Jeju 17m; CW
AS-045 HL5FUA Ullung 17m; FT8
AS-100 4X5KR ISRAEL 20m; SSB
EU-001 SX5A DODECANESE 80/40/20/15m; CW/SSB
EU-002 OH0W ALAND 80m; FT8
EU-002 OH0Z ALAND 15m; FT8
EU-005 2E0FHM GREAT BRITAIN 20m; FT4
EU-005 G1WYC GREAT BRITAIN 30m; FT8
EU-005 G2NV/M GREAT BRITAIN 20m; SSB
EU-005 G3XTT GREAT BRITAIN 80m; CW
EU-005 G8BCG GREAT BRITAIN 20m; FT8
EU-005 GX4WAB GREAT BRITAIN 80m; SSB
EU-005 M0BEW GREAT BRITAIN 80m; SSB
EU-005 M4J GREAT BRITAIN 80m; SSB
EU-005 M5T GREAT BRITAIN 80m; CW
EU-010 GS8VL SHETLAND 17m; FT8
EU-013 GJ0KYZ JERSEY 40/20m; CW/FT8
EU-015 SV9FBG Crete 40m; SSB
EU-015 SV9RKU Crete 17m; SSB
EU-016 9A4W DALMATIA SOUTH 20/17m; CW
EU-018 OY1CT Faroe 15m; CW
EU-018 OY1OF Faroe 15m; FT8
EU-018 OY1R Faroe 40m; FT8
EU-021 TF3LB ICELAND 20m; FT8
EU-025 IT9CAR SICILY 70m; SSB
EU-025 IT9FRX SICILY 40m; SSB
EU-025 IT9RZR SICILY 12m; FT8
EU-030 OV5O BORNHOLM 20m; CW
EU-030 OZ30EU BORNHOLM 20m; SSB
EU-031 IW8AOF CAMPANIA REGION 20m; SSB
EU-041 IM0DTF MADDALENA 20m; SSB
EU-067 SV8DJW KYKLADES 40/20m; SSB
EU-067 SZ8ERS KYKLADES 40/20/17m; CW
EU-115 GI4LKG IRELAND 20m; FT4
EU-115 MI0SAI IRELAND 17m; SSB
EU-116 GD0TEP Isle of Man 80/40/20m; FT8
EU-120 M0OPV ENGLISH COASTAL 40m; SSB
EU-131 IK3PQH/P VENETO REGION 40m; SSB
EU-183 YO2MMW SACALINU MARE 40m; FT8
NA-015 CO6YBC CUBA 15m; FT8
NA-016 ZF2LC CAYMAN 30m; CW
NA-018 XP3A GREENLAND 40m; FT8
NA-021 8P5AA BARBADOS 20m; SSB
NA-021 8P6NW BARBADOS 20m; SSB
NA-022 VP2ETE ANGUILLA 20m; FT4
NA-024 J3/WA2DE Grenada 40m; FT8
NA-026 KA2ABA NEW YORK STATE 17m; SSB
NA-040 NL0H ST LAWRENCE 40m; FT8
NA-096 HH2AA HISPANIOLA 17m; FT8
NA-099 WP4KEY/M PUERTO RICO 20m; SSB
NA-101 J73ESL DOMINICA 20m; FT8
NA-101 J73WA DOMINICA 30/20/10m; FT8
NA-106 KP2B VIRGIN 20m; FT8
NA-107 FM4RU MARTINIQUE 17m; FT8
OC-001 VK2GJC Australia 20m; SSB
OC-001 VK3XXY Australia 20m; SSB
OC-001 VK6APK Australia 15m; FT8
OC-021 YB0AZ JAVA 20m; SSB
OC-021 YB1BML JAVA 15m; FT8
OC-021 YB1BRS JAVA 15m; FT8
OC-021 YB1HK JAVA 30m; FT8
OC-021 YD0AUU JAVA 40m; SSB
OC-032 FK8HA NEW CALEDONIA 15m; FT8
OC-036 ZL1A North 12m; FT8
OC-143 YB6VK SUMATRA 20m; FT8
OC-150 YC9JKT TENGGARA BARAT 40m; FT8
SA-006 PJ4DX BONAIRE 40m; FT8
SA-008 LU7XU GRANDE DE TIERRA DEL FUEGO 20m; FT8
SA-008 LU7XX GRANDE DE TIERRA DEL FUEGO 40m; CW
SA-011 9Y4DG TRINIDAD 17m; FT8
SA-012 YV7MAY Margarita 17m; FT8
SA-012 YV7WGA Margarita 40/20m; FT8
SA-036 P41E ARUBA 17m; FT8
SA-072 PT7ZE MARANHAO STATE EAST 10m; SSB

** Thanks to the individuals who put the island/group and mode on their QSNs on their PacketCluster reports. The format we suggest is "IOTA#/Mode/Island or Group" (ex. OC-146/FT8/Celebes).

AS-080. Kim, DS3BBC, and possibly some other Korean hams will be active as D70EXPO from Pukkyongnyolbi Island between July 22-25th.
Activity will be on 80-6 meters and participation in the RSGB IOTA Contest. QSL via DS3BBC, LoTW or ClubLog.

EU-012. Gareth, M0MOL, will be active as MM0MOL/p from Shetland Island while working there during the months of February and March.
Activity will be mainly in the evenings after work, and QRP with a typical portable setup. QSL via M0MOL.

EU-032. Alain, F6BFH, is now a resident on Oléron Island. He tries to be active regularly on Saturdays on 14040 kHz CW between 0900-1700z, and Sundays on 14260 kHz SSB between 0900-1700z.
QSL via address on QRZ.com or by the REF Bureau.

NA-096. Massimo, HB9TUZ, will be active as HI9/HB9TUZ from Las Terransa, Dominican Republic, between August 1-30th. Activity will be on 40-10 meters SSB. QSL only via eQSL.

SA-024. Operators Roger/PU2SDX and Fabio/PY2RMZ will be active as PR2IC from Comprida Island between February 19-21st. Activity will be on 80-10 meters. QSL via PY2RMZ.

PLEASE NOTE: Since the Webmasters of the new have decided NOT to post or dedicate a Web page to announce upcoming IOTA operations, PLEASE send your IOTA operations information to the OPDX, and we will post it here in an upcoming bulletin......

Check-out the latest IOTA News from the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Fancy some authentic cold war radio gear?

Friday 12th February 2021

Fancy some authentic cold war radio gear? Comes with some unique accessories!

We are pleased to be offering a unique private collection of part restored V Bomber cockpits, along with many additional individual items from the collection.

WE ARE INVITING OFFERS FOR THE 4 V BOMBER COCKPITS TO SELL AS 1 LOT. THIS IS OPEN UNTIL 23RD FEB. IF NO OFFER HAS BEEN ACCEPTED THE COCKPITS WILL BE SOLD INDIVIDUALLY AT AUCTION. NOTE THE BUYERS PREMIUM FOR THIS IS 15%+VAT.

THE SELLER HAS MANY ADDITIONAL ACCESSORIES FOR THE COLLECTION WHICH CAN BE DISCUSSED UPON OFFERS BEING MADE ON THE COLLECTION.

THERE WILL ALSO BE MANY INDIVIDUAL LOTS OF ACCESSORIES, INCLUDING EJECTION SEATS, DIALS ETC TO FOLLOW IN THE AUCTION.

THE CATALOGUE, INCLUDING THE ADDITIONAL ITEMS, WILL BE FINISHED ON 17TH FEB.

This is a rare opportunity to own a collection accumulated over many years. We are currently inviting offers on the entire collection, with a view to going to auction as catalogued if the complete collection has not been sold. From left to right, Victor B2 XH670, Vulcan B2/K2 XH560, VictorK2 XH669 At rear Valiant B1 XD826 More information,

These cockpits have been stored and maintained whilst gathering the necessary parts that may be used in order to make them an accurate restoration of how they would have been during their operational life. Most parts required have either been fitted in the cockpits but some additional parts that have not yet been fitted are included in this lot. There are many items that are stored here that are common to each type of aircraft, possibly the best opportunity for any museum or collector interested in the V Bombers to acquire such rare items in one sale.

The cockpits are in good restorable condition and really require ‘finishing’ re-painting and final fitting out using the parts held in storage here.

More information, images and videos to follow. Note: We are not allowing open viewing at this time. We will answer all questions and supply video and images.
contact Rik Alexander for all enquiries. ralexander@hansonsauctioneers.co.uk

Message from the seller.

After over thirty years of collecting these V Bomber Cockpits and parts it has been reluctantly decided now is the time for them to find them a new home.

It was always felt that these iconic cockpits should be displayed together as a Cold War Tribute to these great aircraft and that is why we sought to find examples worthy of restoration and display and source the additional parts and equipment in order to make it possible to make their restoration as complete and accurate as possible, it is thought that ambition has been achieved.

We are therefore inviting expressions of interest from organisations and individuals that can demonstrate they have the necessary resources to purchase and display this rare and unique collection of all three V Bombers in one single collection. Some Museums may have one cockpit or even parts of another, it is however believed that this is the only opportunity where substantially complete cockpits of all three types may be acquired together making a readily available tribute to all three types.

It has cost a substantial amount to gather these cockpits and parts and it is clear to see how much individual items command when offered for sale. We would therefore invite indicative offers for these cockpits but they need to be realistic and consider the value of the cockpits and the parts represented here. Items such as Controls, instruments, panels, ejection seats etc all command a significant price when offered individually, this needs to be recognised when considering potential offers.

The ultimate ambition would be to see those who served on them, maintained them or even those who just love them, could purchase them as a tribute to the V Force, its aircraft and crews and then display them together so that others may enjoy them. We were never in a position to have them on public display the aim was only to secure them and gather all that was required to make their restoration and future display a real possibility.

It is hoped that there may be an organisation or an individual who shares the same vision of establishing a tribute to all three V Bomber types will purchase them for display as a tribute to the people who designed, built, maintained and flew these truly iconic aircraft during their service with the Royal Air Force.

https://www.the-saleroom.com/en-gb/auction-catalogues/hansons/catalogue-id-hanson10305

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Online Distance Learning Course for Full Exam

Thursday 11th February 2021

The popular Bath Based Distance Learning for the amateur radio Full exam is starting again in March. Bookings are being taken now

The Bath Based Distance Learning team (BBDL) helped nearly 800 students to pass the Advanced exam under the old syllabus. Between 2011 and 2019 over 28% of the total UK Advanced exam passes were BBDL students and the pass rate was over 80%, compared with a national average of 65%.  

After reworking their training material, and running a successful Intermediate course, the team are now planning their first course for the Full level exam syllabus. The course will run from March to June this year.  

Students will receive weekly work packages via a virtual classroom and will have access to weekly on-line tutorials. Students will also have access to one of the remote tutors who will provide feedback and additional guidance when required. There are weekly quizzes to check progress and at the end of the course there will be a number of mock exams.  

There will be no charge for the training but applicants will need to work through a pre-course classroom and quiz to be eligible for a place. If the course is oversubscribed, places will be allocated at random from those successfully completing the pre-course work.  

Each student will need to provide their own RSGB Full Licence textbook and arrange their own exam at the end of the course. It seems likely that the exams will be on-line with remote invigilation. Advice will be provided as part of the course.  

The deadline for course applications is Wednesday 17 February. To request full details and an application form, please e-mail BBDL Team Leader, Steve, G0FUW, via g0fuw AT tiscali.co.uk  

Bath Based Distance Learning
https://badarc.webs.com/bath-training

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Additional free ham radio Foundation Online course planned

Thursday 11th February 2021

245 people joined the free amateur radio Foundation Online training course that started February 7, now an additional course is planned to start February 21

The RSGB's introduction of online exams that can be taken at home has led to a surge in demand for free online amateur radio training courses such as that run by Essex Ham volunteers.

You can find out more about online training and register to join a course at
https://www.essexham.co.uk/train/foundation-online/

Essex Ham
https://www.essexham.co.uk/
https://twitter.com/EssexHam

 
The Wirral & District Amateur Radio Club offers excellent opportunities to get together and mix with like minded folk for those living within easy reach of Wirral. (under normal non-corona-virus conditions) and gain experiences from those who have gone before. 

As in most walks of life, passing the initial exams is the first stage to proving competence and knowledge to be able to operate.  There then follows the joys of the initial experiences of an exciting hobby.  From then on, it is often finding the forum to ask questions and chat with your peers who can add their life experiences and knowledge .. which can act as a welcome short cut to completely help you fulfil your personal enjoyment.

We are unable at this moment in time to offer training locally and so recommend one of the above courses offered above as an ideal way into the hobby, followed by taking the RSGB on-line exam.

After your success, do consider coming along to the Wirral & District Amateur Radio Club for a few evenings (no charge), and I'm sure we will be able to convince you how fulfilling and rewarding being a member of a good club can be.  We have several new members who have joined recently achieving just that.  Due to the Pandemic we are limited to currently holding weekly ZOOM meetings .. for more information contact our Secretary see our "Who to Contact" page.

Our members operate in a wide range of radio, communications and computer activities, including contests and use many of the modes available to us across much of the amateur radio spectrum allocated for our use.  A warm welcome awaits .. come and talk with us !

 Keep checking our "Calendar of Events"  on the club website for our latest information
 

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Ham radio special event stations for World Radio Day

Thursday 11th February 2021

Amateur radio special event stations will be on-the-air to celebrate World Radio Day on February 13 which this year has the theme 'Evolution, Innovation, Connection'

Spain's EA Digital Federation reports these special c amateur radio callsigns will be active from Feb 12-14: AO1WRD, AO2WRD, AO3WRD, AO4WRD, AO5WRD, AO6WRD, AO7WRD, AO8WRD and AO9WRD
https://fediea.org/news/?news=20210213&lang=en

On the occasion of World Radio Day 2021 (WRD 2021), UNESCO calls on radio stations to celebrate this event’s 10th anniversary and the more than 110 years of radio.

This edition of WRD is divided into three main sub-themes:

• EVOLUTION The world changes, radio evolves.
This sub-theme refers to the resilience of the radio, to its sustainability ;
• INNOVATION The world changes, radio adapts and innovate.
Radio has had to adapt to new technologies to remain the go-to medium of mobility, accessible everywhere and to everyone;
• CONNECTION The world changes, radio connects.
This sub-theme highlights radio’s services to our society—natural disasters, socio-economic crises, epidemics, etc.

UNESCO World Radio Day
https://en.unesco.org/commemorations/worldradioday

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

This weekend: World Radio Day 2021

Thursday 11th February 2021

This year, the theme of the Day, February 13, is: 'Evolution, Innovation, Connection'.

As we are Radio too, we will celebrate again, but our own way, being on the air with the special callsigns: AO1WRD, AO2WRD, AO3WRD, AO4WRD, AO5WRD, AO6WRD, AO7WRD, AO8WRD and AO9WRD; during the weekend: from Friday 12 to Sunday 14.

AO#WRD: World Radio Day 2021

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Early bird discount tickets for March QSO Today Virtual Ham Expo!!

Thursday 11th February 2021

The next QSO Today Expo is approaching fast, taking place on March 13-14, 2021.

This Expo will be even better with many new speakers, Build-A-Thons, panel discussions, and much more. Early Bird discount tickets are now available and include entry for the Live 2 day period plus the 30-day on-demand period. Registration can be found at the Expo Website. 

The ARRL, the national association for Amateur Radio® in the United States, is a QSO Today Expo Partner.

At the Expo, there’s something for everyone:

You can participate from the convenience of your home without spending a dime on travel! So if you’ve never been to an in-person Hamfest, you can participate in the Expo and get the same benefits. The platform simulates a full convention experience.

Flexradio is the Expo’s Platinum Sponsor and Gold sponsors as of this time include Elecraft, RFinder, Quicksilver Radio, and CSI.

Come and join thousands of ham radio operators - go to https://www.qsotodayhamexpo.com/ now to learn more and get registered!

We look forward to having you join us at Expo for an amazing and engaging experience.

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

France: Annual amateur Radio statistics

Thursday 11th February 2021

France's National Frequency Agency the ANFR has released the amateur radio statistics for 2020

National amateur radio society, the REF, says "We have just received from the ANFR the statistical data on the evolution of the last five years 2020 encouraging signs in a difficult context".

At the end of 2020 there were 13956 individual radio amateurs with active callsigns, 391 Club callsigns and 1097 repeater stations.

In 2019 there had been 13609 amateurs, so 2020 showed a gain of 347. In January 2019 the fee for applying for or renewing the licence was abolished, it's likely this has resulted in more amateurs keeping their callsign.

In 2020 there were 219 candidates for France's 40 question HAREC compatible amateur radio exam, 154 of them passed giving a pass rate of 70%

See the data for the past 5 years at
https://tinyurl.com/IARU-France

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

DXCC Country/Entity report

Thursday 11th February 2021

According to the AR-Cluster Network for the week of Sunday, 31st/January, through Sunday, 7th/February there were 216 countries active.

Countries available:

3A, 3B8, 3D2, 3DA, 3V, 3W, 4J, 4L, 4O, 4S, 4U1U, 4X, 5A, 5B, 5H, 5R, 5T, 5X, 5Z, 6W, 6Y, 7X, 8P, 8Q, 9A, 9G, 9H, 9J, 9K, 9L, 9M2, 9M6, 9N, 9V, 9Y,

A4, A6, A7, A9, AP, BS7, BV, BY, C3, C6, CE, CE0Y, CE9, CM, CN, CP, CT, CT3, CU, CX, D2, D4, DL, DU, E4, E5/n, E5/s, E7, EA, EA6, EA8, EA9, EI, EK, EL, EP, ER, ES, EU, EX, EY, F, FG, FJ, FK, FM, FP, FR, FS, FY, G, GD, GI, GJ, GM, GU, GW, HA, HB, HB0, HC, HH, HI, HK, HK0/a, HL, HP, HR, HS, HV, HZ, I, IS, J2, J3, J6, J7, JA, JT, JW, JX, JY,

K, KG4, KH0, KH2, KH6, KL, KP2, KP4, LA, LU, LX, LY, LZ, OA, OD, OE, OH, OH0, OK, OM, ON, OX, OY, OZ, P2, P4, PA, PJ2, PJ4, PJ7, PY, PZ, S5, S7, SM, SP, ST, SV, SV5, SV9, T7, TA, TF, TG, TI, TK, TN, TR, TT, TU, TY, TZ,

UA, UA2, UA9, UK, UN, UR, V2, V3, V4, V5, V7, V8, VE, VK, VP2E, VP2M, VP8, VP9, VR, VU, XE, XU, XW, XX9, YA, YB, YI, YL, YN, YO, YS, YU, YV, Z3, Z6, Z8, ZA, ZB, ZC4, ZD7, ZD8, ZF, ZL, ZP, ZS

* PLEASE NOTE: The report "could" contain "Pirate/SLIM" operations or more likely a "BUSTED CALLSIGN". As always, you never know - "Work First Worry Later".

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Amateur radio in GISuser

Wednesday 10th February 2021

GISuser magazine asks is it time for Ham Radio to acknowledge the Hacker Community?

GISuser is a publication for the Geographic Information System (GIS) mapping community, in the article Harry Wilson writes:

The concept of Ham Radio originated over a hundred years ago, and as of today, it is not in an ideal position. You may have already heard people talk about how ham radio is dying, and even though there is a lot of truth to that, there are still things that can be done to save this community.

People who ruled amateur radio have gotten old, and now the young blood needs to step up to keep the tradition going. The good news is that in the past couple of years many amateur licenses have been issued and it is being revived slowly. Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, the demand for Ham radios has also increased. Many specialized online shops are currently offering radios for sale under leading brands in the industry.

One of the main reasons ham radio is lacking behind is that its community is constantly neglecting new radio technologies. These technologies can help save Ham radio and can completely revive it. To tackle this problem, the first thing we need to do is accept the hacker community. Now, keep in mind, a hacker doesn’t only refer to people who hack technologies to gain illegal benefits. A hacker is a person who has learned about the technology by dismantling it. Below I have mentioned a few things we can do to attract the hacker community towards ham radio. Let’s take a look

Read the full article at
https://gisuser.com/2021/02/is-it-time-for-ham-radio-to-acknowledge-the-hacker-community/

GISuser on Twiiter
https://twitter.com/gisuser/status/1359185858621018112

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Ham Radio forms a planet-sized space weather sensor network

Wednesday 10th February 2021

EOS reports for researchers who monitor the effects of solar activity on Earth’s atmosphere, telecommunications, and electrical utilities, amateur radio signals a golden age of crowdsourced science

The EOS story by By Kristina Collins, David Kazdan, and Nathaniel A. Frissell says:

Considerable interest exists in developing space weather forecasting technologies that use Earth’s ionosphere as a sensor for events in its neighboring atmospheric layers. The ionosphere occupies a privileged niche in the geospace system, as it is coupled into both the terrestrial weather of the neutral atmosphere below and the space weather of the magnetosphere above.

Although we have a good understanding of ionospheric climate—diurnal and seasonal variations are well known, as are the rhythms of the sunspot cycle—there are new and vital areas of research to be explored. For example, it is known that the ionosphere—and near-Earth space—experiences variability (e.g., radio signals can fade in and out over periods of seconds, minutes, or hours due to changes in ionospheric electron densities along signal propagation paths), but this variability has not been sampled or studied adequately on regional and global scales.

To fully understand variability on small spatial scales and short timescales, the scientific community will require vastly larger and denser sensing networks that collect data on continental and global scales. With open-source instrumentation cheaper and more plentiful than ever before, the time is ripe for amateur scientists to take distributed measurements of the ionosphere—and the amateur radio community is up for the challenge.

The Ham Radio Science Citizen Investigation (HamSCI) is a collective that unites amateur radio operators with the research community in the space and atmospheric sciences. This confederation of scientists, engineers, and hobbyists holds annual workshops during which ham radio operators and space scientists share findings. A new HamSCI effort, the Personal Space Weather Station project, aims to develop a robust and scalable network of amateur stations that will allow amateurs to collect useful data for space science researchers. The next HamSCI workshop will be held virtually 19–21 March 2021, and it will focus on midlatitude ionospheric measurements.


Read the full story at
https://eos.org/features/ham-radio-forms-a-planet-sized-space-weather-sensor-network

Ham Radio Science Citizen Investigation
https://hamsci.org/

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Is there any good year for DAB?

Wednesday 10th February 2021

Christer Hederström says in this recent Radio World article that DAB supporters have 'exaggerated' DAB success.

An interesting article in which he concludes "DAB tried to kill FM, but from behind came internet and killed DAB. There is a lot to learn from this."

https://www.radioworld.com/global/is-there-any-good-year-for-dab

Interesting to add that Christer Hederström was the founder of the Arctic Radio Club in 1960.

Mike

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Finnish Amateur Radio League SRAL celebrate 100 years

Wednesday 10th February 2021

The Finnish Amateur Radio League, SRAL, was founded one hundred years ago in 1921 and today caters for around three and a half thousand members.

It is the IARU affiliated society for Norway and runs the licensing examinations, the QSL bureau, co-ordinates repeaters and beacons and represents Finnish amateurs with their licensing authority Traficom plus all the other duties of a national society.

To mark the 100th anniversary of SRAL, they are running the 100 Years Award. To qualify, you must work and confirm either by QSL card or Logbook of the World, one hundred different stations from Finland during 2021. A special anniversary call sign OH100SRAL will be on the air throughout the year.

See sral.fi for all the details

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

3D printer makes ham antenna portable

Wednesday 10th February 2021

You don’t normally think of a 3D printer as a necessity for an antenna project. However, if you are interested in making a handy portable antenna, you might want to melt some plastic.

[N2MXX] has an end fed antenna winder design that also contains the necessary matching toroid. This would be just the thing to throw in your backpack for portable operation.

The end-fed configuration is handy for portability too, because you can easily secure one end and feed the other end. Compare that to a dipole where you have to feed a high point and secure both ends.

Of course, you also need wire and some other components — we don’t know how to 3D print a usable ferrite toroid. Honestly, there is some controversy about how these antennas actually work, but people swear that they work well.

There are quite a few ways to operate a portable station, depending on your definition of convenient is. Verticals are popular, although laying out ground wires can be painful. A dipole isn’t that hard to erect, especially if you are staying in one place for a while. However, we really like how small this design is and it should be easy to clip one end and just play out the wire to operate. Our only concern is how plastics will fare in the elements over the long term. Then again, if it wears out, you can just print a new one.
https://hackaday.com/2021/02/09/3d-printer-makes-ham-antenna-portable/

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

IOTA News from the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

Wednesday 10th February 2021

Island activities:
Compiled by Andreas, DK5ON

IOTA QRGs
CW: 28040 24920 21040 18098 14040 10114 7030 3530 kHz
SSB: 28560 28460 24950 21260 18128 14260 7055 3760 kHz

EU-032; F, Poitoi-Charentes Region group: Alain/F6BFH has relocated to the Isle d'Oleron and plans to operate regularly on Saturdays (CW, 14040kHz, 09-17z) and Sundays (SSB, 14260kHz, 09-17z). QSL viaF6BFH (d/B).

OC-053; KH9, Wake Island: Tom/NL7RR will be staying on Wake Island for 90 days, beginning Feb. 15. Time permitting, he hopes to operate as KH9/NL7RR on 40 and 20m on SSB. QSL via AL7JX (d/B).

Deutscher Amateur Radio Club
e-mail: iota@dxhf.darc.de

RSGB IOTA website

Check-out the latest IOTA News bulletin from OPDX

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Danish special event

Wednesday 10th February 2021

The Amateur Radio Club OZ3EDR celebrates the 50th year of Hjalmar Roesen's/OZ3ZJ chairmansip with the callsign OZ50SOUND until the end of the year.

The callsign points out the club's connection to their local Sound-Community (Sound Art Lab, Sound Hub Daenemark, City of Sound).

For QSL information see qrz.com. http://oz3edr.dk/

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Austrian Telecommunications Act - Radio hams respond

Tuesday 9th February 2021

Austria's national amateur radio society ÖVSV has published its opinion of the draft of the amendment to the Telecommunications Act 2020 (TKG 2020)

A translation of the ÖVSV post reads:

The TKG was put online again for review for an amendment. Unfortunately, we still disagree with some points. The ÖVSV has made use of the right to submit a statement that is already online (see link below). Please read through the statement, and if you want to support our position, select "Here you can agree" and support our proposal:

https://www.parlament.gv.at/PAKT/VHG/XXVII/SNME/SNME_36580/index.shtml#tab-Uebersicht

The most important topics that the ÖVSV has taken up:

• Carry out amateur radio exams by radio amateurs
• Prevent our callsigns from expiring [Lifetime license]
• Reduce fees and penalties
• Promote emergency and disaster radio
• Troubleshooting by the authority

You are free to submit and send your own opinion at any time. Please do not copy our existing statement.

We maintain a good basis for discussions with the ministry and the telecommunications authority and will continue to advocate the interests of radio amateurs.

Michael Kastelic, OE1MCU
Board member

ÖVSV submission
https://www.parlament.gv.at/PAKT/VHG/XXVII/SNME/SNME_36580/index.shtml#tab-Uebersicht

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Monthly performance of 8J17CALL for December, 2020-January, 2021

Tuesday 9th February 2021

Monthly performance of 8J17CALL for December, 2020-January, 2021

Please be advised that monthly performance of 8J17CALL, 7-CALL 30th Anniversary Special station for December, 2020-January, 2021 (23rd December, 2020 to 22nd January, 2021) are as follows;

Monthly result in this period is 2,269 QSOs including 204 DX QSOs.

Thank you for your calling us from all over the world!

Overall result from the beginning is 18,612 QSOs including 2,393 DX QSOs as of 22nd January, 2021.

7-CALL is Japanese callsign starting with “7" and it is a symbol of the golden age of Japanese amateur radio history.

There are only 16,701 7-CALL stations (just 6.42% of overall issued 7-CALLs) still exist as of the end of 2020.

Our club is going to promote 30th Anniversary of Japanese 7-CALL issuance with the special station until 22nd April, 2021.

The special station is also known as a brand new WPX.

More detail:
https://7-call.com/news20200209

Twitter:
https://twitter.com/JS1YEY/status/1358995660427591680

Welcome your retweeting!!

About us:
7-call.com/en
(English and Chinese available)

Thank you for your attention to us!

8J17CALL / JS1YEY / 8J1YAB

7-CALL Amateur Radio Club

7-call.com

Sincerely,

7M4VQJ / Satoshi YAMAGUCHI

Public Relations, 7-CALL Amateur Radio Club

pr@7-call.com

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Radio Caroline North

Tuesday 9th February 2021

It's time for another Radio Caroline North broadcast over the weekend of 13th-14th February.

Sadly we are again land-based because of the current lockdown situation, but we do hope to be back on our radio ship Ross Revenge at some point this year.

Nevertheless you'll still hear all the best music from the 60s – early 90s, plus the chance to win some yummy prizes courtesy of listener James Neale from Sprowston, Norwich.Listen in on 648 AM in the South and South-East, on 1368 AM in the North and North-West courtesy of our friends at Manx Radio, the Radio Caroline app and around the world online here (via the Manx AM Radio Player).

We'd love to hear from you during the broadcast via memories@radiocaroline.co.uk and remember, it's the only email address that gets you straight through to our 'North' broadcasters.

https://www.radiocaroline.co.uk

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Science confirms: Earth has more than one 'moon'

Tuesday 9th February 2021

Two massive clouds of dust in orbit around the Earth have been discussed for years and finally proven to exist.

SCOTTY HENDRICKS

10 November, 2018

Science confirms: Earth has more than one 'moon'

J. Sliz-Balogh, A. Barta and G. Horvath

Hungarian astronomers have proven the existence of two "pseudo-satellites" in orbit around the earth.

These dust clouds were first discovered in the sixties, but are so difficult to spot that scientists have debated their existence since then.

The findings may be used to decide where to put satellites in the future and will have to be considered when interplanetary space missions are undertaken.

After more than fifty years of stargazing, debate, and controversy, scientists have confirmed the existence of two "moons" or "pseudo-satellites" made of dust orbiting the Earth. Though the clever use of mathematics, they also argue that the location of these dust clouds gives them some unique characteristics.

What are they?

Artist's impression of the Kordylewski cloud in the night sky (with its brightness greatly enhanced) at the time of the observations.

G. Horváth

The Kordylewski clouds are two dust clouds first observed by Polish astronomer Kazimierz Kordylewski in 1961. They are situated at two of the Lagrange points in Earth's orbit. These points are locations where the gravity of two objects, such as the Earth and the Moon or a planet and the Sun, equals the centripetal required to orbit the objects while staying in the same relative position. There are five of these spots between the Earth and Moon. The clouds rest at what are called points four and five, forming a triangle with the clouds and the Earth at the three corners.

The clouds are enormous, taking up the same space in the night sky as twenty lunar discs; covering an area of 45,000 miles. They are roughly 250,000 miles away, about the same distance from us as the Moon. They are entirely comprised of specks of dust which reflect the light of the sun so faintly most astronomers that looked for them were unable to see them at all.

The clouds themselves are probably ancient, but the model that the scientists created to learn about them suggests that the individual dust particles that comprise them can be blown away by solar wind and replaced by the dust from other cosmic sources like comet tails. This means that the clouds hardly move but are eternally changing.

How did they discover this?

"In this picture the central region of the Kordylewski dust cloud is visible (bright red pixels). The straight tilted lines are traces of satellites."

J. Slíz-Balogh

In their study published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Hungarian astronomers Judit Slíz-Balogh, András Barta, and Gábor Horváth described how they were able to find the dust clouds using polarized lenses.

Since the clouds were expected to polarize the light that bounces off of them, by configuring the telescopes to look for this kind of light the clouds were much easier to spot. What the scientists observed, polarized light in patterns that extended outside the view of the telescope lens, was in line with the predictions of their mathematical model and ruled out other possible sources.

Why are we just learning this now?

"Mosaic pattern of the angle of polarization around the L5 point (white dot) of the Earth-Moon system. The five rectangular windows correspond to the imaging telescope with which the patterns of the Kordylewski cloud were measured."

J. Slíz-Balogh

The objects, being dust clouds, are very faint and hard to see. While Kordylewski observed them in 1961, other astronomers have looked there and given mixed reports over the following decades. This discouraged many astronomers from joining the search, as study co-author Judit Slíz-Balogh explained, "The Kordylewski clouds are two of the toughest objects to find, and though they are as close to Earth as the Moon are largely overlooked by researchers in astronomy. It is intriguing to confirm that our planet has dusty pseudo-satellites in orbit alongside our lunar neighbor."

Will this have any impact on space travel?

Lagrange points have been put forward as excellent locations for a space station or satellites like the James Webb Telescope to be put into orbit, as they would require little fuel to stay in place. Knowing about a massive dust cloud that could damage sensitive equipment already being there could save money and lives in the future. While we only know about the clouds at Lagrange points four and five right now, the study's authors suggest there could be more at the other points.

While the discovery of a couple of dust clouds might not seem all that impressive, it is the result of a half-century of astronomical and mathematical work and reminds us that wonders are still hidden in our cosmic backyard. While you might never need to worry about these clouds again, there is nothing wrong with looking at the sky with wonder at the strange and fantastic things we can discover

https://bigthink.com/surprising-science/earth-has-hidden-moon?

thanks to Stephen G7VFY for the above information

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Request for nominations for IRTS Awards

Tuesday 9th February 2021

The Irish Radio Transmitters Society Awards Committee is seeking nominations for “Awards for Services to the Society or to Amateur Radio” and for “Awards to IRTS Members for other achievements”.

The winners in the above categories would normally be presented with their inscribed trophy/shield in person at the AGM. However, due to the Corona-19 virus pandemic the trophies/shields will be inscribed but will not be distributed to the winners except where a winner specifically requests delivery of same.

It is important that our fellow experimenters and operators whose work and effort on behalf of each one of us and for the Society be recognised and rewarded. Please send your nominations for specific awards to the Awards Manager to - holohaj2 /at/ hotmail.com

IRTS

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

VHF/UHF virtual workshop

Tuesday 9th February 2021

The SARL and AMSATSA will join forces on Saturday 20 February 2021 to present a virtual VHF/UHF workshop using the BlueJeans platform.

The workshop will run from 10:00 - 13:00 CAT followed by an open discussion on how amateur radio contributes to technology.

Attendance at the workshop will be free for SARL and AMSATSA members and R50 for non-members. Registration details and the programme are available on the SARL and AMSATSA websites.
 
The programme includes the Next Generation 2 Metre Beacons, Complexity of Repeater Systems from a technical perspective, the design of the AMSAT SA dual band Yagi and its performance, and VHF/UHF dongles for SDR operation.

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

How far you can turn the dial when transmitting SSB ?

Monday 8th February 2021

It is important radio amateurs keep their transmissions completely in-band, IARU Region 1 provides some guidance for the 5 MHz (60m) WRC-15 band

Time and again the question arises as to how far you can turn the tuning knob when transmitting in SSB voice mode. Up to the edge of the band range? Using the 60 m band as an example, we will discuss the question here.

According to WRC-15, the range from 5351.5 to 5366.5 kHz, also called the “5 MHz band”, is allocated to the amateur radio service on a secondary basis. So, for example, are radio amateurs allowed to transmit on 5366.0 kHz within the WRC-15 60 m band in USB?

The so-called “dial frequency” indicates only the frequency of the carrier suppressed in SSB. However, the modulation range for USB extends up to 3.0 kHz higher. That means 5366.0 kHz + 3 kHz = up to 5369.0 kHz. This means that a large part of the signal is outside the range assigned to the amateur radio service.

Read the full IARU Region 1 post at
https://www.iaru-r1.org/2021/q-a-how-far-you-can-turn-the-dial-when-transmitting-in-ssb-voice-mode/

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Radio ham wins Congressional App Challenge

Monday 8th February 2021

High-school student Sean Donelan KM6NGN won the 2020 Congressional App Challenge (CAC) for California's 11th District for his NetHam App

Patch reports:

The CAC is a public initiative to encourage young people to learn how to code in an effort to inspire creativity and encourage interest in STEM — Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics — education.

The winner of the challenge was Sean Donelan, who lives in Concord and attends Northgate High School. Donelan designed and created, "NetHam: The Public Service Event Coordinator's Third Hand."

Donelan's winning software application replaces amateur radio operators' large, unwieldy equipment and automates their more basic tasks. The app is meant to allow operators to more easily serve as long-range communicators for public events.

"I congratulate Sean on the design of a creative and useful app that would benefit the amateur radio community and look forward to seeing 'NetHam' represent the many talents of Contra Costa County's students when on display in the United States Capitol," said Congressman DeSaulnier, who hosted the competition for the sixth time.

Read the full story at
https://patch.com/california/concord-ca/concord-student-wins-congressional-app-challenge

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Radio hams operate from parking lot

Monday 8th February 2021

WXOW TV news carried a report about an amateur radio station that was set up in the broadcaster's parking lot in the Mississippi Valley, Wisconsin

The Mississippi Valley Amateur Radio Association set up camp in the WXOW parking lot on Saturday, February 6, for the day.

Vice President Bill Klein-Schmidt N9FDE explained they can set up anywhere they want and they try to do it as often as they can.

"Basically what we are doing today is what they call the Minnesota QSO party and what that consists of is us trying to contact as many counties in the state of Minnesota that we can in a certain period of time," said Klein-Schmidt.

He said trainings also help them practice setting up their gear quickly and in cold, bad weather. It is important because if communication were ever to go down, they would still be able to communicate with people through ham radio.

"Just in case of some sort of emergency situation, we have participated in emergency drills with county and state officials in the past and we just want to make sure we are up to speed with everything we have in order to be able to set it up quickly in a sort of situation like that. As well as have fun with our hobby," said Klein-Schmidt.

They are able to talk to anyone in the world through the radio without any interference. He explained that they typically invite the public the see what they do but right now with COVID, they aren't allowing it.

Klein-Schmidt said that if anyone is interested in getting involved in ham radio, you can look on their website for more information and they would like to share their hobby.

Watch the TV news story at
https://wxow.com/2021/02/06/mississippi-valley-amateur-radio-holds-training-in-wxows-parking-lot/

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

QSO Today with Bob Allphin K4UEE

Monday 8th February 2021

Bob Allphin, K4UEE, will be a speaker in the next QSO Today Virtual Ham Expo.

I am re-running the interview that I had with Bob five years ago, as his ham radio stories are timeless.
Bob is known for his DXpedition participation and his amateur radio travels to more than 126 countries.
https://www.qsotoday.com/podcasts/k4uee

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

South Dublin Radio Club Tuesday Night Lecture on Ham Radio Logging

Monday 8th February 2021

South Dublin Radio Club continues its Tuesday night lecture series via Zoom and on Tuesday next February 9th at 2000, SDRC club member Keith EI5KO will give a presentation on "Ham Radio Logging" focused on current developments regarding logging formats and the use of related online resources.

All are welcome to join!

Please direct message the club via their website, Twitter or Facebook accounts for login details.

The South Dublin Club 2 metre net on 144.330 MHz SSB continues daily from 20:00 to 21:00, as does their weekly Sunday morning 40 metre net on 7.123 MHz SSB from 08:30 followed by the IRTS radio news read by Joe EI6EG at 1100.

IRTS

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

What is keeping the NA1SS amateur station off the air?

Monday 8th February 2021

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) and its partners are troubleshooting what is keeping the NA1SS amateur station off the air.

ARISS became aware of the problem after an attempted contact with a school in Wyoming, between ON4ISS on Earth and astronaut Mike Hopkins, KF5LJG at NA1SS, had to abort when no downlink signal was heard. ARISS has determined that the problem is not with the radio equipment on board the ISS Columbus module.
 
ARISS-International Chair Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, explained that during a 27 January spacewalk to install exterior cabling on the ISS Columbus module, the coax feed line installed 11 years ago was replaced with another built by the European Space Agency (ESA) and Airbus. It included two additional RF connectors to support the Bartolomeo payload-hosting platform installed last spring on Columbus.
 
"On 26 January, prior to the EVA [extravehicular activity], our Columbus next-generation radio system was shut off and the ISS-internal coaxial cable to the antenna was disconnected from the ARISS radio as a safety precaution for the EVA," Bauer said. “During the spacewalk, an external four-connector coax feed line replaced one with two RF connections. This change was made to allow ESA to connect ARISS and three additional customers to Bartolomeo, as compared to ARISS and one additional RF customer," Bauer explained.
 
With the spacewalk completed, the ISS crew restarted the ISS amateur radio station on 28 January, but no voice repeater or automatic packet repeater system (APRS) downlink reports were heard and no downlink signal was heard during an attempted scheduled school contact either. Bauer said that because the exterior cable is not an ARISS cable, ARISS is working with ESA and NASA on a way forward. "NASA has opened a Payload Anomaly Report on this issue. We have talked to both the NASA and ESA representatives," Bauer said.

SARL

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Scout ham radio training

Sunday 7th February 2021

Assistant scout leaders David Godell KG5VLY and Scott deMasi KC5NKW taught their troop amateur radio

The Net News Ledger reports:

If you have ever watched the havoc that a hurricane can cause, you won’t be surprised to learn about washed away bridges, flooded roads, power outs, and washed away cellphone towers. One thing that pandemic and natural disasters like these have taught us is that often we aren’t prepared for emergencies and lack the right kind of precautionary measures and survival tools/ gadgets. To deal with the frustration of power outs and with no way to reach family and friends and check-in on them if they were safe, deMasi realized that something needed to be done.

During the initial meeting, the Scouts were presented with study materials and useful links to familiarize them with these awesome radio-communication devices. The Scouts were also taken to test sites to enable them to become licensed ham radio operators. To raise their troop’s interest and participation level, deMasi and Godell collaborated with their local radio club, and a one-day class was organized for the troop at the Texas Emergency Amateur Communicators radio station. Subsequently, by ending with the mandatory licensing exam, the Scouts were keen enough to fulfill nearly all requirements for obtaining their merit badge.

Both Scoutmasters bought them handheld radios with the right frequencies to enable their troops to continue using and practicing their new skills. Once the seed of interest was planted into the Scouts’ minds, there was no going back.


Read the full story at
http://www.netnewsledger.com/2021/02/05/when-scoutmasters-got-trained-to-be-amateur-radio-operators/

Online amateur radio training in the UK
https://www.essexham.co.uk/online-amateur-radio-courses

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

61 radio hams now use CW in SA

Sunday 7th February 2021

SARL News reports there are plans to hold a bi-annual census of amateur radio CW users in South Africa

SARL News for Sunday, February 7 says:

Michael, ZS6MSW says that as of 31 January 2021, we have a growing population of CW operators. We have a count of 61 amateurs who are regularly on CW within the Republic of South Africa.

His aim is to have the call signs and names published in a SARL newsletter in April this year, to begin an historic growth pattern, with which we can monitor our significance. It will be a bi-annual census with a cut-off date on 1 April 2021 as the first half.

Source SARL News
https://sarlnewsbulletin.wordpress.com/

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

New plans for seamless broadband switching

Sunday 7th February 2021

Broadband and landline customers would benefit from quicker, simpler and more reliable switching, under Ofcom plans to introduce a new ‘one touch’ process.

Following an Ofcom rule change in 2015, customers switching between providers such as BT, Sky and TalkTalk on Openreach’s copper network can already follow a process where their new provider manages the switch. But others are still left facing extra hassle to switch.

Customers switching between different networks or technologies – for example, from a provider using the Openreach network to one using CityFibre’s, or from Virgin Media to Hyperoptic – currently need to contact both their existing and new provider to co-ordinate the switch. This includes trying to make sure there is no gap between the old service ending and the new one starting.

In October, we put in place new rules that include requiring the new broadband provider to take the lead in managing the switch, regardless of whether the customer is moving between different networks, or to a full-fibre service on the same network.

We are now consulting on proposals to introduce a new ‘one touch’ process, which would make it easier for all residential broadband customers to take advantage of the range of deals available in the market. Our reforms will also make it quicker to switch – in as little as one day if technically possible.

Today’s consultation will close on 31 March 2021, and we aim to publish our decision in the summer.

A news release is available with more detail.

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

New quantum receiver the first to detect entire radio frequency spectrum

Sunday 7th February 2021

New quantum receiver the first to detect entire radio frequency spectrum by The Army Research Laboratory

A new quantum sensor can analyze the full spectrum of radio frequency and real-world signals, unleashing new potentials for soldier communications, spectrum awareness and electronic warfare.

Army researchers built the quantum sensor, which can sample the radio-frequency spectrum—from zero frequency up to 20 GHz—and detect AM and FM radio, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and other communication signals.

The Rydberg sensor uses laser beams to create highly-excited Rydberg atoms directly above a microwave circuit, to boost and hone in on the portion of the spectrum being measured. The Rydberg atoms are sensitive to the circuit's voltage, enabling the device to be used as a sensitive probe for the wide range of signals in the RF spectrum.

"All previous demonstrations of Rydberg atomic sensors have only been able to sense small and specific regions of the RF spectrum, but our sensor now operates continuously over a wide frequency range for the first time," said Dr. Kevin Cox, a researcher at the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command, now known as DEVCOM, Army Research Laboratory. "This is a really important step toward proving that quantum sensors can provide a new, and dominant, set of capabilities for our Soldiers, who are operating in an increasingly complex electro-magnetic battlespace."

Researchers excite Rubidium atoms to high-energy Rydberg states. The atoms interact strongly with the circuit's electric fields, allowing detection and demodulation of any signal received into the circuit. Credit: U.S. Army illustration

The Rydberg spectrum analyzer has the potential to surpass fundamental limitations of traditional electronics in sensitivity, bandwidth and frequency range. Because of this, the lab's Rydberg spectrum analyzer and other quantum sensors have the potential to unlock a new frontier of Army sensors for spectrum awareness, electronic warfare, sensing and communications—part of the Army's modernization strategy.

"Devices that are based on quantum constituents are one of the Army's top priorities to enable technical surprise in the competitive future battlespace," said Army researcher Dr. David Meyer. "Quantum sensors in general, including the one demonstrated here, offer unparalleled sensitivity and accuracy to detect a wide range of mission-critical signals."

The peer-reviewed journal Physical Review Applied published the researchers' findings, Waveguide-coupled Rydberg spectrum analyzer from 0 to 20 GigaHerz, co-authored by Army researchers Drs. David Meyer, Paul Kunz, and Kevin Cox

Researchers use a Rydberg spectrum analyzer experimental apparatus at the DEVCOM Army Research Lab. Credit: U.S. Army

The researchers plan additional development to improve the signal sensitivity of the Rydberg spectrum analyzer, aiming to outperform existing state-of-the-art technology.

"Significant physics and engineering effort is still necessary before the Rydberg analyzer can integrate into a field-testable device," Cox said. "One of the first steps will be understanding how to retain and improve the device's performance as the sensor size is decreased. The Army has emerged as a leading developer of Rydberg sensors, and we expect more cutting-edge research to result as this futuristic technology concept quickly becomes a reality."
https://phys.org/news/2021-02-quantum-entire-radio-frequency-spectrum.html

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Foundations of Amateur Radio

Saturday 6th February 2021

What's in a prediction?

Over the past little while I've been experimenting with various tools that decode radio signals. For some of those tools the signals come from space. Equipment in space is moving all the time, which means that the thing you want to hear isn't always in range.

For example.

The International Space Station or ISS has a typical orbit of 90 minutes. Several times a day there's a pass. That means that it's somewhere within receiving range of my station. It might be very close to the horizon and only visible for a few seconds, or it might be directly overhead and visible for 10 minutes. If it's transmitting APRS on a particular frequency, it can be decoded using something like multimon-ng. If it's transmitting Slow Scan TV, qsstv can do the decoding. I've done this and I must say, it's exciting to see a picture come in line-by-line, highly recommended.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or NOAA, has a fleet of satellites in a polar orbit that lasts about 102 minutes and they're overhead at least every 12 hours. You can use something like noaa-apt to decode the images coming from the various weather satellites, or a python script and I'll talk about that at some point.

There is a growing cloud of cube satellites with interesting telemetry. They're in all kinds of orbits and you can attempt to receive data from each one as it's in sight.

Keeping track of what's where and when is a full time job for plenty of people. As a radio amateur I'm happy to defer to the experts who tell me where a piece of equipment is and when I'm likely to be able to receive a radio signal from the transmitter I'm interested in.

Previously I've mentioned in passing a tool called gpredict that does this heavy lifting for me. It presents a map of the world and shows what's visible at my location and when the next acquisition of signal for a particular satellite might occur. It talks to the internet to download the latest orbital information. It also has the ability to control a rotator to point your antenna, not that I have one, and it can update the transmit and receive frequency of your radio to compensate for the Doppler effect that changes the observed frequency as a satellite passes overhead. All this works with a graphical user-interface, that is to say, you have a screen that you're looking at and can click on.

Whilst running gpredict, you can simultaneously launch the appropriate decoding tool for the signal that you're trying to receive. If you have a powerful enough computer, you can run multiple decoding tools together. You'll have separate windows for controlling the radio and antenna, for decoding APRS, SSTV, NOAA and if you're wanting to do sunrise and sunset propagation testing using WSPR, you can also run WSJT-X or any other decoder you're interested in.

There are some implications associated with doing this, apart from needing a big enough screen, needing considerable computing power and burning electricity for no good reason, the signal that comes in from your radio will be fed to all the decoders at the same time and all of them will attempt to decode the signal, even when you know that this serves no purpose. That's fine if you don't know what you're listening to, but most of the time you know exactly what it is, even if the software doesn't.

Manually launching and quitting decoders is one option, but what if the next ISS pass is at 3am?

Aside from the computing requirements, so far this works fine with a standard analogue radio like my Yaesu FT-857d. The only limitation is that you can only receive one station at a time.

If you replace the analogue radio with an RTL-SDR dongle, you gain the ability to record and decode simultaneous stations within about 2.4 MHz of each other.

Another option is to use an ADALM Pluto and as long as the stations are within 20 MHz of each other, you can record and decode their signals. If you're not familiar with a Pluto, it's essentially a computer, receiver and transmitter, all in a little box, the size of a pack of cards.

This is where it gets interesting.

The Pluto doesn't have a screen, or a keyboard for that matter, but it's a computer. It runs Linux and you can run decoders on it. I've done this with ADS-B signals using a tool called dump1090. You'll find it on my GitHub page.

One of the sticking points in decoding signals from space was the ability to predict when a satellite pass occurs without requiring a computer screen. Thanks to a command-line tool called "predict", written by John, KD2BD and others I've now discovered a way to achieve that. My efforts are not quite at the point of show-and-tell, but I've got a Docker container that's building and running predict on its own and using a little bash script it's telling me when the ISS is overhead. You'll find that on GitHub as well.

My next challenge is to do some automated decoding of actual space signals. I'm going to start with the ISS, predict and multimon-ng. I'll let you know how I go.

What space signals are you interested in?

I'm Onno VK6FLAB

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

EURAO sponsors the first EU-DX Contest

Saturday 6th February 2021

Designed and organized by the European DX Contest Club (EUDXCC), the aim of this ' EuropeanUnion Dx Contest' is to be a world-wide competition which gives a relevant role to the European Union countries and regions.

To be held on February 6-7, 2021, starting at 18.00Z Saturday and ending at 18.00Z Sunday (24 hours), this contest has caught the attention of EURAO who decided to sponsor it, paying for the plaques to the winners in the categories of SOAB-MIX-HP, SOAB-CW-HP and SOAB-SSB-HP

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Ofcom revokes CGTN’s licence to broadcast in the UK

Saturday 6th February 2021

Ofcom has withdrawn the licence for CGTN to broadcast in the UK, after its investigation concluded that the licence is wrongfully held by Star China Media Limited.

China Global Television Network (CGTN) is an international English-language satellite news channel.

In the UK, broadcasting laws made by Parliament state that broadcast licensees must have control over the licensed service – including editorial oversight over the programmes they show. In addition, under these laws, licence holders cannot be controlled by political bodies.

Our investigation concluded that Star China Media Limited (SCML), the licence-holder for the CGTN service, did not have editorial responsibility for CGTN’s output. As such, SCML does not meet the legal requirement of having control over the licensed service, and so is not a lawful broadcast licensee. 

In addition, we have been unable to grant an application to transfer the licence to an entity called China Global Television Network Corporation (CGTNC). This is because crucial information was missing from the application, and because we consider that CGTNC would be disqualified from holding a licence, as it is controlled by a body which is ultimately controlled by the Chinese Communist Party.

We have given CGTN significant time to come into compliance with the statutory rules. Those efforts have now been exhausted. 

Following careful consideration, taking account of all the facts and the broadcaster’s and audience’s rights to freedom of expression, we have decided it is appropriate to revoke the licence for CGTN to broadcast in the UK.

We expect to conclude separate sanctions proceedings against CGTN for due impartiality and fairness and privacy breaches shortly. Three other fairness and privacy investigations about content on the CGTN service also remain ongoing, pending further consideration. 

A news release summarising our decision is available.

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Using power-line noise to map Sporadic E

Saturday 6th February 2021

Radio amateur Chris Fallen KL3WX contributed to a research paper that looks at using broadband radio noise from Power ‐Lines to map and track dense Sporadic E structures

Abstract:
We present passive observations of mid-latitude sporadic E (Es) structures in the 30 to 50 MHz range using the Long Wavelength Array (LWA) telescopes in New Mexico. Spectral and temporal analysis of the structures reveals that some of the emissions can be characterized by broadband, spark ‐like radiation occurring at a repetition frequency of 60 Hz. The azimuthal distribution indicates that the brightest emissions come from the directions of several large metropolitan centers with distances ranging from 700 to 1250 km from the telescopes. This implies that the source is unintended human ‐made noise, originating from devices connected to 60 Hz alternating current power.

The geometry of our observations rule out coherent scatter from field ‐aligned irregularities, and indicate that the unintended noise must undergo a specular reflection off of over ‐dense plasma distributed approximately parallel to Earth's surface. On certain occasions the reflections are seen at such high frequencies and high elevation angles that the local plasma frequency must be above 30 MHz.

During both day and night Es conditions, the dense structures are observed to be arranged in propagating fronts, and travel at speeds of 70 to 100 m/s. We also present observations that reveal quasi ‐periodic amplitude oscillations with frequencies consistent with atmospheric gravity waves and acoustic waves.

Download the paper from
https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2020RS007169

Chris Fallen KL3WX is on Twitter at
https://twitter.com/ctfallen

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

IOTA News from the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

Saturday 6th February 2021

Island activities:
Compiled by Andreas, DK5ON

IOTA QRGs
CW: 28040 24920 21040 18098 14040 10114 7030 3530 kHz
SSB: 28560 28460 24950 21260 18128 14260 7055 3760 kHz

AS-060; HL4, Cholla-Namdo Province group: Kang/DS4DRE plans to sign DS4DRE/4 from Komun Island until the end of January next year on80-10m (SSB, CW). QSL via DS4DRE (d/B).

EU-012; GM/MM, Shetland: Gareth/M0MOL will be operating from Shetland Island as MM0MOL/p during February and March with a QRP rig. QSL via M0MOL.


Deutscher Amateur Radio Club
e-mail: iota@dxhf.darc.de

RSGB IOTA website

Check-out the latest IOTA News bulletin from OPDX

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Sweden's oldest radio ham is Silent Key

Friday 5th February 2021

The SSA reports the sad news that Sweden's oldest radio amateur Tage SM7ALI has died at the age of 101 after a short illness

A translation of the SSA post reads:

He became a radio amateur shortly after World War II and has been active ever since.

Most recently, he has appeared on Sveriges Television (SVT) as well as ARNewsLine
https://www.arnewsline.org/news/2021/1/28/amateur-radio-newsline-report-2257-for-friday-january-29th-2021
and "100 Watts & a wire"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RpDZ59Ekveg

He will be greatly missed and our thoughts go to daughter Anne. Rest in peace Tage!

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Amateur radio at FOSDEM 2021

Friday 5th February 2021

Online FOSDEM is a free event, Feb 6-7, for software developers and software interested radio amateurs to meet, share ideas and collaborate

A translation of a post by Switzerland's USKA reads:

Every year, thousands of developers of free and open source software from all over the world gather at the event in Brussels. In 2021, they will gather online.

FOSDEM is a rather busy conference. This edition features 667 speakers, 735 events, and 113 tracks. Every year, FOSDEM hosts a wide variety of activities. This page gives an overview with links to further information about scheduled events https://fosdem.org/2021/schedule/

There is a close relationship between the experimenters in amateur radio and the open source movement. Just as we radio amateurs are entitled to build or modify our own hardware, the same applies to the software in our equipment. For radio amateurs who are interested in new technologies, open source software is an incredibly wide and highly interesting field of activity.

At least two of the speakers are radio amateurs: Daniel Estévez EA4GPZ and Daniel Pocock HB9FZT.

Participation and attendance is totally free.

Source USKA https://tinyurl.com/SwitzerlandUSKA

FOSDEM
https://fosdem.org/

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

European Slow Speed CW mini-Contest

Friday 5th February 2021

We are nearly there….! The first of the weekly EU (one should probably say European!) SST (Slow Speed CW mini-tests) is just a few days away; Friday 5th February from 20:00 to 21:00 UTC.

This will be the European leg of the popular K1USN Radio Club SST (held every Monday at 0000-0100 UTC) and will share the same rules and format. The SST is also fully supported by the popular N1MM and SD contest loggers. There is no formal log submission; instead participants are encouraged to upload their QSO totals and scores to the 3830 reporting website - easy! See www.3830scores.com

These relaxed weekly contests will be conducted at 20 wpm or less and are aimed at CWops Academy students and any other novice CW contesters who are not comfortable with normal contest speeds. Everyone is welcome to take part and this is a great opportunity for established CW contesters to come on and help encourage our newer ops.

Please see www.k1usn.com/sst.html for the rules, easy to follow instructions and lots more.

Whether you are new to CW contesting, or are experienced and wish to help, please join us if and when you can.

73,

GW0ETF & G3WZD (CWops)
European Slow Speed CW mini-Contest

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

MARS announces schedule of dates for 60-meter interoperability

Friday 5th February 2021

The Military Auxiliary Radio System (MARS) has announced dates in 2021 during which MARS members will operate on 60 meters for interoperability with the amateur radio community. Some dates coincide with quarterly Department of Defense Communications Exercises (COMEX).

All exercises will begin on channel 1 as the initial calling channeland move to other 60-meter working channels as may be appropriate.

"In addition to voice calls, I want to introduce passing ICS 213 messages in both voice and digital modes to enhance the overall interop experience," said US Army MARS Chief Paul English, WD8DBY.

English continues, "Our exercises will yield the frequencies to other scheduled exercises or mission activations, which may be called by other agencies for interop support (e.g., hurricane, wildfire, etc). We regularly instruct MARS members to work cooperatively with the amateur radio community during the use of the 60-meter interop channels. We will continue to track our 60-meter usage and activities."

English said he plans to provide a quarterly usage report of 60-meter interoperability activities.

The interoperability schedule is as follows:

February 23 - 27    Exercise: DOD COMEX 21-1    Location: CONUS

March 1 - 7           Exercise: Interop Outreach            Location CONUS

April 3 - 10           Exercise: Interop Outreach            Location CONUS

April 30 - May 6    Exercise: DOD COMEX 21-2    

May 7 - 8              Exercise: Armed Forces Day Cross-Band Test   Location: CONUS

June 1 - 6              Exercise: Interop Outreach            Location CONUS

July 5 - 10             Exercise: Interop Outreach            Location CONUS

July 20 - 22           Exercise: DOD COMEX 21-3      Location: CONUS

August 2 - 8          Exercise: Interop Outreach            Location CONUS

September 1 - 6    Exercise: Interop Outreach            Location CONUS

October 1 - 31      Exercise: DOD COMEX 21-4     Location: CONUS

Source: ARRL

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

IARU receives gift of hamradio.org domain

Friday 5th February 2021

Andrew J. Wolfram, KI7RYC, has donated the hamradio.org domain to the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) for non-profit educational use to promote the amateur and amateur-satellite services

In accepting the gift IARU President Tim Ellam, VE6SH, said:

“The hamradio.org domain offers a unique opportunity for which we are deeply grateful to Andrew. It is our intention to develop a website that can serve as a focal point for anyone, anywhere, who may be seeking information on amateur radio, which is better known as ‘ham radio’ by the general public.”

The IARU is the global federation of national amateur radio organizations with member-societies in more than 160 countries and separate territories. Since its founding in 1925 the IARU has successfully defended and expanded access to the radio spectrum by licensed radio amateurs internationally.

IARU
https://iaru.org/

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

HamSCI Workshop 2021 accepting abstracts - Deadline February 15

Friday 5th February 2021

Abstract submissions for the upcoming HamSCI workshop are now open.

This year's workshop will be virtual and free, held online March 19-20, 2021.

We welcome oral and poster presentations on science topic that can be appropriately related to the amateur radio hobby. Abstracts must be submitted via the conference page by February 15.

More information here: https://hamsci.org/hamsci2021

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

An introduction to SOTA

Thursday 4th February 2021

A video of the talk 'Getting started with Summits on The Air (SOTA)' given by Michael Sansom G0POT is now available on YouTube

The talk was given to Bury Radio Society and the Warrington Amateur Radio Club on Tuesday, February 2. It describes an exciting aspect of the hobby that combines walks and climbs with amateur radio.

Watch Getting started with Summits on The Air (SOTA)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bi1_guZHJVI

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Consultation on new ham radio licence for Australia

Thursday 4th February 2021

Australia's communications regulator ACMA, is consulting on a new Class Licence that would mean amateurs would no longer have to pay charges and taxes for licence application and renewals  

The ACMA say:

The ACMA has reviewed the regulatory arrangements that authorise the operation of non-assigned amateur stations.

This work was part of a broader review that included non-assigned outpost licensing arrangements, as foreshadowed in the Five-year spectrum outlook 2020–24
https://www.acma.gov.au/publications/2020-09/plan/five-year-spectrum-outlook-2020-24

The objective of our review is to identify the best licensing mechanism that reduces regulatory burden and minimises costs for licensees, while also preserving the current operational utility for licensees.

We have identified a set of options. We could:
• keep the existing apparatus licensing arrangements and conditions
• simplify the existing licensing arrangements and conditions
• transition non-assigned stations to class licensing arrangements, while retaining apparatus licensing arrangements for assigned stations.

We are now consulting on these options and our preferred approach to authorise the operation of non-assigned amateur stations under a class licence.

We are also seeking preliminary comments on a proposal to establish an additional kind of accreditation to allow people to become accredited persons to issue frequency assignment certificates for assigned amateur repeater and beacon licences.

The consultation paper and draft class licence are available at
https://www.acma.gov.au/consultations/2021-01/review-non-assigned-amateur-and-outpost-regulatory-arrangements-consultation-012021

Watch Amateur Radio to be free in VK - But what's the catch?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y5mjNCKDdEA

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

British Columbia QSO Party 2021 -- UR invited !

Thursday 4th February 2021

Hello everyone near and far

British Columbia QSO Party 2021 presented by the Orca DX and Contest Club

Key Details

Date/Time: 1600z Feb 6 to 0359z Feb 7 AND Feb 7 1600z to 2359z Feb 7

Objectives: Stations outside BC have to find as many VE7/VA7s as possible in the 20 hours of the contest.

BC stations will be taking calls from anyone, anywhere

Exchange: BC stations give RS(T) + three-letter code representing the federal electoral district in BC and stations outside BC give province/state/"DX”

Collectible, original photo certificates for top scores in all classes of entry, BC and outside BC. New photo every year!

Plaques awarded in 10 sponsored categories: Top YL, Top BC single-op, Top BC multi-op, Top US, Top Canada outside BC, Top DX, Top Mixed Mode, Top CW, Most Federal Districts Contacted and Top Club in BC

BCQP is fully supported by N1MM contest logging software, CQ/X GPS-enabled software for mobile contesting, and N3FJP state QSO party logging programs. Any software that creates a Cabrillo log is OK but the content MUST show the required information. See the rules for details.

Follow links at http://orcadxcc.org/bcqp.html for rules, multiplier list, FAQs, in-depth event analysis/reports and scores from past years, and examples of photo certificates and plaques.

BCQP runs in two segments: 12 hours on Saturday and eight hours on Sunday. The segments are NOT split by mode. Operate PH and/or CW as you wish, on one day or both during the designated blocks of time. Everyone can work all 20 hours of the contest or a few hours on Saturday and a few hours on Sunday, or just Saturday or just Sunday. Completely up to each person. There is no required off-time, but there can be NO activity during the gap between the 12-hour block on Saturday and the eight-hour block on Sunday.

Join us! It’s always a whale of a good time.

There’s never been a better time to collect some nice wallpaper for the shack wall. Even if BCQP is not your target contest of the weekend, if you hear a BC station calling “CQ BCQP”, contact him/her, find more VE7/VA7s, keep track of the QSOs and send in a log.

**There are many coinciding events on the Feb 6-7 weekend. If you think you might play in several contests, download the handy same-weekend event schedule showing required exchanges:

http://orcadxcc.org/content/pdf/2021_sked.pdf

**Also, the State QSO Party Challenge returns for another run, kicking off in February 2021, and BCQP is one of the first events in this year-long challenge.

For details on the State QSO Party Challenge, please visit www.StateQSOParty.com

Have fun!

Questions?

Email the contest coordinator, Rebecca VA7BEC at va7bec@rac.ca

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

OFCOM update on VP8 amateur radio licences in British Antarctic Territory, South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands

Tuesday 2nd February 2021

You may be aware that there have recently been some amateur radio licencing difficulties experienced in the Falkland Islands due to new communications legislation being implemented.

This involved all previous and existing VP8 licences issued under the old Falkland Islands Wireless Telegraphy Act being revoked en masse in early 2020. This included all existing VP8 Antarctic and South Georgia licences, resulting in no legal

amateur radio operation in these Overseas Territories being permitted using a VP8 callsign. Licences were then revalidated and re-issued under the new Falkland Islands Communications Ordinance on a case-by-case basis for use in the Falkland Islands only.

We now have some good news from the UK's regulatory body, OFCOM concerning this situation.

For full details, please read our post on OpenFalklands

https://www.openfalklands.com/ofcom-update-on-vp8-amateur-radio-licences-in-british-antarctic-territory-south-georgia-and-south-sandwich-islands/

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

New G0KSC website

Tuesday 2nd February 2021

After the previous site being live for more than 10 years, I have updated the G0KSC website to a new platform which is fully responsive so now works well on mobile and tablet devices.

In addition to the upgrade, I found dozens of broken links meaning a lot of antennas have not been visible for many years. There are all active and viewable through the much easier to use menu.

I will add more new designs over the course of this year along with some of the twin-boom quad designs discussed in my latest DUBUS magazine article.

www.g0ksc.co.uk

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

First QO-100 satellite contact from Indonesia

Tuesday 2nd February 2021

Indonesia’s national amateur radio society, ORARI, reports on the first contacts from Indonesia via the Qatar-Oscar-100 geostationary satellite transponder

The contacts took place on Thursday, January 27, 2021. Those involved were Farid Farhan YC1HVZ, Remco den Besten PA3FYM and Rene Stevens PE1CMO.

ORARI’s report says a team from the Telkom University Telecommunication Engineering Student Association (HMTT) led by Farid Farhan YC1HVZ, succeeded in conducting the first contact from Bukit Moko (Grid square OI33UD), Bandung, West Java with a satellite elevation of 0.8 degrees at an altitude of 1200m+.

Over several months Remco den Besten PA3FYM, and Rene Stevens PE1CMO had helped Farid Farham YC1HVZ get equipment operational for use on the QO-100 satellite which has an uplink in the 2.4 GHz band and a downlink in 10.45 GHz.

Farid’s location in Bandung is on the edge of the satellite’s footprint and he didn’t have a clear view to the horizon so Farid had to travel to a location in the hills of Java to get an unobstructed path to the satellite which had an elevation of just 0.8 degrees.

An attempt on Monday, January 24, was unfortunately unsuccessful and Farid YC1HVZ returned to the hill on Thursday, January 27, for a test with Remco PA3FYM and Rene PE1CMO. At about 07:40 GMT they heard the first signals from YC1HVZ but Farid couldn’t receive the QO-100 signal. It’s rainy season in Indonesia, which makes it much harder – the 10 GHz downlink has to get through the heavy rain showers which attenuate the signal.

After a few tests conditions improved and Farid heard his signal coming back from the satellite and by 07:50 GMT it was possible to make a two-way contact. Rene PE1CMO was the first to receive Farid and the first who Farid received but it was Remco PA3FYM who made the first complete contact exchanging signal report, call and locator, after which Rene has a QSO with Farid. Unfortunately the signal in Indonesia then dropped due to clouds and rain but later it came back and YC1HVZ made six more contacts. Farid hopes to try that location again or go to a location on the beach on the west coast of Java for a DXpedition.

Congratulations to Farid, Remco and Rene.

See a translation of the ORARI report at
https://tinyurl.com/IndonesiaORARI

QO-100 information
https://amsat-uk.org/satellites/geo/eshail-2/

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

IARU agrees the first preliminary IARU positions for WRC-23

Tuesday 2nd February 2021

The Chair of IARU Region 1 Spectrum Affairs, Barry Lewis G4SJH, reports the IARU has agreed the first preliminary IARU positions for WRC-23

On the IARU Region 1 site Barry writes:

The preparatory work for WRC-23 has started across all regions in both the ITU‑R and the Regional Telecommunications Organisations (RTO’s). The IARU has representatives in these RTO’s and the ITU‑R contributing to the studies and helping to develop the regional positions on all the WRC agenda items. It is vital that the amateur community presents its views in a consolidated and consistent manner on each WRC agenda item across all the regions.

To this end the IARU Administrative Council (AC) has agreed the first preliminary positions covering the six most important agenda items for the amateur and amateur satellite services.

The IARU SRLC asks that the regional representatives and the member societies take careful note of these positions and follow them when discussing WRC related matters with their national regulators.

Download the PDF of the preliminary positions at
https://www.iaru-r1.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/20210130-Public-Prelim.pdf

Source IARU Region 1
https://iaru-r1.org/

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Call for Proposals

Tuesday 2nd February 2021

New Proposal Window is February 15 th, 2021 to March 31 st, 2021

 The Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) Program is seeking formal and informal education institutions and organizations, individually or working together, to host an Amateur Radio contact with a crew member on board the ISS. 

ARISS anticipates that the contact would be held between January 1, 2022 and June 30, 2022. Crew scheduling and ISS orbits will determine the exact contact dates. To maximize these radio contact opportunities, ARISS is looking for organizations that will draw large numbers of participants and integrate the contact into a well-developed education plan.

The deadline to submit a proposal is March 31 st, 2021.   Proposal information and more details such as expectations, proposal guidelines and the proposal form can be found at  www.ariss.org. An ARISS Introductory Webinar session will be held on February 25 th, 2021 at 8 PM ET.  The Eventbrite link to sign up is:  https://ariss-proposal-webinar-spring-2021.eventbrite.com

The Opportunity

Crew members aboard the International Space Station will participate in scheduled Amateur Radio contacts. These radio contacts are approximately 10 minutes in length and allow students to interact with the astronauts through a question-and-answer session.

An ARISS contact is a voice-only communication opportunity via Amateur Radio between astronauts and cosmonauts aboard the space station and classrooms and communities. ARISS contacts afford education audiences the opportunity to learn firsthand from astronauts what it is like to live and work in space and to learn about space research conducted on the ISS. Students also will have an opportunity to learn about satellite communication, wireless technology, and radio science. Because of the nature of human spaceflight and the complexity of scheduling activities aboard the ISS, organizations must demonstrate flexibility to accommodate changes in dates and times of the radio contact.

Amateur Radio organizations around the world with the support of NASA and space agencies in Russia, Canada, Japan and Europe present educational organizations with this opportunity. The ham radio organizations’ volunteer efforts provide the equipment and operational support to enable communication between crew on the ISS and students around the world using Amateur Radio.  

Please direct any questions to ariss.us.education@gmail.com .

About ARISS:

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) is a cooperative venture of international amateur radio societies and the space agencies that support the International Space Station (ISS).  In the United States, sponsors are the Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation (AMSAT), the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), the ISS National Lab-Space Station Explorers, and NASA’s Space Communications and Navigation program. The primary goal of ARISS is to promote exploration of science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics topics by organizing scheduled contacts via amateur radio between crew members aboard the ISS and students. Before and during these radio contacts, students, educators, parents, and communities learn about space, space technologies, and amateur radio. For more information, see www.ariss.org

Media Contact:

Dave Jordan, AA4KN

ARISS PR                                                                      

Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter. Search on Amateur Radio on the ISS and @ARISS_status.

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Turkish airline professional turns amateur radio buff

Tuesday 2nd February 2021

The Anadolu Agency reports Levent Tamay rediscovered amateur radio when he was suspended from his job due to the pandemic  

The news report says

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Tamay shared how an unpleasant surprise -- his temporary suspension from his job with reduced salary because of the pandemic -- introduced him to the unfamiliar yet exciting world of amateur radio.

“After a few weeks of confusion, frustration and indecision, I determined that keeping myself busy through a hobby would be the best way to preserve my sanity. I then remembered my long-lasting interest in amateur radio,” he said.

“Being part of a community spread all around the world and communicating with them in a not-so-common and harder way makes me feel somewhat special,” he added.

Read the full story at
https://www.aa.com.tr/en/life/turkish-airline-professional-turns-amateur-radio-buff/2124220

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Pune’s Maharashtra Education Society launches WebSDR

Tuesday 2nd February 2021

The Hindustan Times reports radio amateur Vilas Rabde VU2VPR has created a Web-based Software Defined Radio (WebSDR) for school students

The newspaper says:

In a unique initiative city-based MES Sou Vimlabai Garware High School, Junior College, which is run by the Maharashtra Education Society (MES), Pune, has launched a web radio to make learning more interesting and fun for school students.

The web radio “MES Subodhvani” was launched on Republic Day (January 26).

“It is an android app and web-based radio, free to air and will be broadcast three days in a week on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 7am to 8am,” said Anandi Patil, chairperson, Vimlabai Garware High School, Junior College committee.

“The programmes that have been planned are mostly infotainment and based on science and education, where educational concepts will be explained using interesting stories and simplified for students from Class 5 to 10,” said Patil.

Asha Wadekar, history teacher at MES Sou Vimlabai Garware High School, Junior College, along with five other teachers will be responsible for creating content for the web radio.

The idea was initiated before Covid-19 when one of their alumni Vilas Rabde VU2VPR, an electronic engineer and ham radio operator and radio enthusiast, thought of creating a web-based radio for school children.

Read the full story at
https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/others/punes-maharashtra-education-society-launches-web-radio-101611763496755.html

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Online Distance Learning Course for Full Exam

Tuesday 2nd February 2021

The popular Bath Based Distance Learning for the amateur radio Full exam is starting again in March. Bookings are being taken now

The Bath Based Distance Learning team (BBDL) helped nearly 800 students to pass the Advanced exam under the old syllabus. Between 2011 and 2019 over 28% of the total UK Advanced exam passes were BBDL students and the pass rate was over 80%, compared with a national average of 65%.  

After reworking their training material, and running a successful Intermediate course, the team are now planning their first course for the Full level exam syllabus. The course will run from March to June this year.  

Students will receive weekly work packages via a virtual classroom and will have access to weekly on-line tutorials. Students will also have access to one of the remote tutors who will provide feedback and additional guidance when required. There are weekly quizzes to check progress and at the end of the course there will be a number of mock exams.  

There will be no charge for the training but applicants will need to work through a pre-course classroom and quiz to be eligible for a place. If the course is oversubscribed, places will be allocated at random from those successfully completing the pre-course work.  

Each student will need to provide their own RSGB Full Licence textbook and arrange their own exam at the end of the course. It seems likely that the exams will be on-line with remote invigilation. Advice will be provided as part of the course.  

The deadline for course applications is Wednesday 17 February. To request full details and an application form, please e-mail BBDL Team Leader, Steve, G0FUW, via g0fuw AT tiscali.co.uk  

Bath Based Distance Learning
https://badarc.webs.com/bath-training

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

CQ magazine's VHF-Plus Editor

Tuesday 2nd February 2021

Trent Fleming, N4DTF, of Germantown, Tennessee, has been named CQ magazine's VHF-Plus Editor, CQ Editor Rich Moseson, W2VU announced today.

Fleming succeeds Tony Emanuele, K8ZR, who stepped down last year due to increased time demands at work.

            Trent says he has had a love for all things radio since he was introduced to a Zenith Trans-Oceanic shortwave radio as a youngster. His ham radio interests include HF DX, VHF/UHF weak-signal work, FM simplex, and emergency communications. He holds 6-meter VUCC, HF DXCC and 5-Band WAC.

            Trent has a passion for introducing folks to the hobby and is intent on helping new hams get their feet firmly on the ground in order to enjoy the rich opportunities ham radio provides. In his spare time, he also enjoys rebuilding, operating, and sharing "hollow state" devices from the 1950s and '60s and maintains an active workbench for that purpose.

            Professionally, Trent is a nationally-known banking strategy expert, and when not advising banks on strategy, he is often afield with rod, gun, camera, and sometimes a radio! He enjoys sharing his experiences through writing - including a fly-fishing blog - and photography.

            "I am looking forward to working with Trent," said CQ Editor Rich Moseson, W2VU. "We both share long-time goals of introducing newer hams to the world beyond repeaters on VHF and UHF, along with the fun and excitement of VHF DXing and the importance of promoting greater use of our extremely valuable microwave bands."

Trent's professional website is at <www.trentfleming.com>; his blog on banking matters is at <http://www.bankinginsights.blogspot.com/>; and his fly-fishing blog is at <http://www.trentflemingoutdoors.com/>.

            Fleming's first column will appear in the April, 2021 issue of CQ.

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Iodine Thruster could slow space junk accumulation

Tuesday 2nd February 2021

For the first time ever, a telecommunications satellite has used an iodine propellant to change its orbit around Earth.

The small but potentially disruptive innovation could help to clear the skies of space junk, by enabling tiny satellites to self-destruct cheaply and easily at the end of their missions, by steering themselves into the atmosphere where they would burn up. The technology could also be used to boost the mission lifetime of small CubeSats that monitor agricultural crops on Earth or entire mega-constellations of nanosats that provide global internet access, by raising their orbits when they begin to drift towards the planet.

The technology was developed by ThrustMe, a spin-off company from the �cole Polytechnique and the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), and supported by ESA through its programme of Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems (ARTES). It uses a novel propellant - iodine - in an electric thruster that controls the satellite's height above Earth. Iodine is less expensive and uses simpler technologies than traditional propellants. Unlike many traditional propellants, iodine is non-toxic and it is solid at room temperature and pressure. This makes it easier and cheaper to handle on Earth. When heated, it turns to gas without going through a liquid phase, which makes it ideal for a simple propulsion system. It is also denser than traditional propellants, so it occupies smaller volumes onboard the satellite.

ThrustMe launched its iodine thruster on a commercial research nanosat called SpaceTy Beihangkongshi-1 that went into space in November 2020. It was test fired earlier this month before being used to change the orbit of the satellite.

[ANS thanks ESA for the above information.]

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Register now for Free Foundation Online Training course

Monday 1st February 2021

The next free amateur radio Foundation Online training course run by volunteers from Essex Ham starts on February 7

The RSGB's introduction of online exams that can be taken at home has led to a surge in demand for free online amateur radio training courses such as that run by Essex Ham.

You can find out more about online training and register to join a course at
https://www.essexham.co.uk/train/foundation-online/

Essex Ham
https://www.essexham.co.uk/
https://twitter.com/EssexHam

 
The Wirral & District Amateur Radio Club offers excellent opportunities to get together and mix with like minded folk for those living within easy reach of Wirral. (under normal non-corona-virus conditions) and gain experiences from those who have gone before. 

As in most walks of life, passing the initial exams is the first stage to proving competence and knowledge to be able to operate.  There then follows the joys of the initial experiences of an exciting hobby.  From then on, it is often finding the forum to ask questions and chat with your peers who can add their life experiences and knowledge .. which can act as a welcome short cut to completely help you fulfil your personal enjoyment.

We are unable at this moment in time to offer training and so one of the above courses offered above would be an ideal way into the hobby, followed by taking the RSGB on-line exam.

After your success, do consider coming along to the Wirral & District Amateur Radio Club for a few evenings (no charge), and I'm sure we will be able to convince you how fulfilling and rewarding being a member of a good club can be.  We have several new members who have joined recently achieving just that.  Due to the Pandemic we are limited to currently holding weekly ZOOM meetings .. for more information contact our Secretary see our "Who to Contact" page.

Our members operate in a wide range of radio, communications and computer activities, including contests and use many of the modes available to us across much of the amateur radio spectrum allocated for our use.  A warm welcome awaits !

 Keep checking our "Calendar of Events"  on the club website for our latest information
 

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Amateur Radio License fee increase

Monday 1st February 2021

ICASA has informed the SARL that amateur radio Licenses will increase by 3.3%. The new fees are published on the SARL website.
 
Please listen carefully to the following important information about amateur radio license renewal.
 
ICASA has implemented a new system which requires all licensees to register on the new system as a user. Thereafter they should create their legal entity which will be approved by the Authority.  To create a legal entity the user will require a copy of the ID document.  If you have the new ID card both sides are required. A valid email address and personal details must be captured.
 
Every licensee, who is not yet licensed on the new system, will have to submit a legacy license amendment application to transfer the license to the new system. 
The Authority will soon send out notices to licensees about the process and guidelines how to register on the system and how to submit a legacy license amendment.
 
Licensees can also already pay the license fee via EFT and attach the proof of payment to the application when renewal is done on the system.  Payment alone will not renew the license.
 
A new license is only issued once the registration on the new system is completed and the legacy license amendment has been submitted.
 
The SARL will publish, on the SARL website, the detailed step by step instructions once they have been received from ICASA.

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

ICQPodcast - QSO Today Expo

Monday 1st February 2021

In this episode, Martin M1MRB is joined by Dan Romanchik KB6NU and Edmund Spicer M0MNG to discuss the latest Amateur / Ham Radio news. Colin M6BOY rounds up the news in brief and in this episode’s features is the QSO Show Expo.

ICQ AMATEUR/HAM RADIO PODCAST DONOR
We would like to thank our monthly and annual subscription donors for keeping the podcast advert free. To donate, please visit - http://www.icqpodcast.com/donate

News stories include: -

• FCC - Radio Users Reminded Not to Use Radios in Crimes

• 3,500 German Radio Interference Complaints in 2020

• JARL Wants to Increase Youngsters Amateur Radio Experience Opportunities

• Sweden's Oldest Radio Ham on TV

• City Antenna Law Upturned By FCC Ruling

• Distance Learning Course for Full Exam

• Intrepid-DX Group Invites Nominations for Intrepid Spirit Award

The ICQPodcast can be downloaded from http://www.icqpodcast.com

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

VHF online VHF/UHF workshop

Monday 1st February 2021

SARL and AMSATSA will join forces on 20 February 2021 to present an online VHF/UHF workshop on the BlueJeans platform. Attendance at the VHF workshop will be free for SARL and AMSATSA members and R50 for non-members. Formal registration is required. More details and the programme will be made available on the SARL and AMSATSA websites.
 
The programme includes: Next Generation 2 Metre Beacons, Complexity of Repeater Systems from a technical perspective, the design of the AMSAT SA dual band Yagi and its performance, and VHF/UHF dongles for SDR operation.
 
The workshop will run from 10:00 - 13:00 CAT followed by an open discussion on how amateur radio contributes to technology.
 
Crowd funding for SARL Next Generation Beacons
 
In addition to AMSATSA's financial contribution to the SARL Next Generation beacon fund, the group has started a crowd funding campaign on its Payfast platform. Contributions to the beacon fund can be made from www.amsatsa.org.za by clicking one of the payment buttons to contribute R50, R250 or R1000 using your credit card. Donors will be recognised on the SARL and AMSATSA websites as well as receiving a confirmation email. The first next generation beacon will be installed at Bethlehem replacing the analogue beacon and was fully funded by the SARL. The next two beacons for which funding is required will be installed in Cape Town and the northern Karoo. Your contribution will make it happen sooner

 -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

If you would like to read more news from previous months

then click on More News

This page will be regularly updated to reflect Club News and Activities and both UK and World News Items deemed to be of interest to members.  If you have an announcement which you think would interest Club members and would like it mentioned here, please send details to:-  webmaster@wadarc.com