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All about Ham Radio
Updated: 1 day 12 min ago

Product Announcement DXtreme Monitor Log 11™

Fri, 11/17/2017 - 08:57

DXtreme Software™ has released a new version of its popular logging program for radio monitoring enthusiasts: DXtreme Monitor Log 11.
Monitor Log 11 lets listeners and DXers log the stations they’ve heard using advanced
features that can enhance their monitoring experience.

Finding Broadcast Stations to Monitor

The Schedule Checker™ lets users import schedules from Aoki, EiBi, and FCC AM
web sites and display schedule data according to the filter criteria they specify. A list
box lets users switch between schedule types, and depending on the schedule type
selected, users can filter schedule information by band, frequency, station, country,
city, state, time of day, language, antenna direction, and target area.
When the What’s On Now? function is activated, the schedule refreshes automatically at the top of each hour for Aoki and EiBi schedules.

For each schedule item, Schedule Checker queries the Monitor Log 11 database to
let users know – through user-defined, foreground and background display colors –
whether they need to monitor a station for a brand-new or verified country. Schedule
Checker also displays bearing and distance, runs optional Afreet Ham CAP1
propagation predictions, draws optional Afreet DX Atlas2 azimuth plots, tunes
supported radios to schedule frequencies when users double-click schedule items3 4 5,and starts log entries for scheduled stations monitored.

Finding Amateur Radio Stations to Monitor
Monitor Log 11 integrates with optional Afreet Band Master6
to let users see, on its
graphical interface, where hams are operating. Monitor Log 11 supplies Band Master
with an Entity Needed List based on the user’s Monitor Log database, making it
possible for Band Master to indicate the stations whose entities (countries) users
need to monitor. When invoking Band Master, users can select an Entity Needed List
for all bands or individually for the 160- through 6-Meter bands.

Finding Utility Stations to Monitor

A Links menu provides convenient access to user-specified blogs and web sites that
can inform users as to where utility and other stations may be operating.
Logging Stations
Monitor Log 11 lets users log all kinds of stations — radio stations, television stations,
broadcast stations, Amateur Radio stations, utility stations, military stations, and more!

And it lets them log stations across the radio spectrum — from long wave, to medium
wave, to short wave, and beyond.
The Last Log Entries Grid on the Monitor Log window shows up to 5000 of the most
recent log entries added. Its records can be sorted, and double-clicking records
displays detailed data on the Monitor Log window. Users can resize the grid columns
and scroll horizontally to columns that do not appear initially. And because the names of stations and NASWA countries can be quite long, users can also display a larger, resizable Last Log Entries window. A Properties window lets users change the
order of columns, the number of log entries to display, and the font and color attributesof grids and other program components, such as the Content Editor for describing the content monitored, the Script Editor for creating and editing scripts, the Direct Tuneinterface for tuning radios, and the Comments tab for typing ad hoc comments.

2 Reporting Reception
Users can create customized paper and e-mail reception reports for sending to
stations plus club report entries for reporting catches to clubs and magazines.
When users add or display a log entry, Monitor Log 11 prepares a post announcing
their DX catch and displays it on the Social Media Post tab. From there, users can
drag the post to their favorite social media web sites to share their catch with others.
Using the Script Editor window, users can create and edit scripts that format
reception reports, eReports, and social media posts to their liking. The software
prompts users to select the script they want to use. Dozens of scripts come with
Monitor Log 11.
Users can also print SWL and Address labels on industry-standard label stock, and
send eQSL requests to hams automatically through the popular www.eQSL.cc site.
Imaging
Improv Imaging™ lets users associate ad hoc images with log entries using Capture,
Scan, and Clipboard functions. Captures of stations received on digital applications,
waterfall displays, facsimile and Amateur TV pictures are popular. The Improv
Imaging tab and Application let users view images anytime, and an Improv Image
Explorer lets them peruse their entire collection and display associated log entries.
QSL Imaging™ functions the same as Improv Imaging, but specializes in associating
QSL cards and eQSLs with log entries.
Other Features
Rig Control — Retrieves the frequency and mode from supported radios and permits
tuning from the Schedule Checker and Direct Tune interface. Rig control is provided
through integration with Afreet Omni-Rig and the SDR applications listed on our web
site, currently HDSDR4
(High Definition Software Defined Radio) and SDR Console 5.
Audio Archiving — An embedded Audio facility lets users maintain an audio archive
of stations heard.
Reporting — Produces Performance, Stations, and Log Entry reports that track the
performance and progress of the user’s monitoring station. The software lets users
FTP those reports to user-provided Web space for remote access. Some reports
integrate with Afreet DX Atlas to generate pin maps.
Documentation — Context-sensitive Procedural Help, Field Help, and Microhelp
are accessible per window to provide instructions quickly. A web-based Information
Center is accessible from the Help menu for late-breaking assistance, and Installation
Instructions and a Getting Started Guide are delivered in PDF format with the software.

Operating Systems, Pricing, Contact Information
DXtreme Monitor Log 11 runs in 32- and 64-bit versions of Microsoft® Windows® 10,8.1, 8, 7, Vista®, and XP. It retails for $89.99 USD worldwide for electronic distribution.

Pricing for CD versions and upgrading users is available on our Web site. All prices
include product support by Internet e-mail. For more information, visit www.dxtreme.com
or contact Bob Raymond at bobraymond@dxtreme.com.
1 — Licenses for Afreet Ham CAP and Omni-Rig are required to use Ham CAP.
2 — A license for Afreet DX Atlas is required to perform plots and create pin reports.
3 — A license for Afreet Omni-Rig is required to use rig control with radios supported by Omni-Rig.
4 — Can be used for rig control. HDSDR is owned by Mario Taeubel. Refer to http://www.hdsdr.de/index.html for more information.
5 — Can be used for rig control. SDR Console is owned by Simon Brown, G4ELI. Refer to http://www.sdr-radio.com for more information.
6 — A license for Afreet Band Master is required to use Band Maste

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Hamfest 2017 – Preview of the Icom IC-7610 and IC-R8600 rigs

Fri, 11/17/2017 - 08:32

In part one of our reports from Hamfest 2017 we have a sneak preview of the Icom IC-7610 and IC-R8600 rigs. We meet the new owners of PW Magazine, and Pete tries his hand at the RSGB on-line exam. There’s also an update on the Society’s EMC Committee’s findings. Bob finds his way back to New Broadcasting House in London where the Director General discovers he has amateurs working for the Corporation. Nevertheless, Lord Hall broadcasts from the shack of the newly resurrected club station G8BBC. And, Laurie Margolis G3UML recounts an historic QSO he had from the early 1980s.

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Radio Amateurs in Colombia, Germany Get New or Expanded Bands

Thu, 11/16/2017 - 13:43

Radio amateurs in Colombia have been granted new allocations at 60, 630, and 2200 meters. The new allocations resulted from the efforts of the Liga Colombiana de Radioaficionados (LCRA) — with the support of its “strategic partner” Liga Radio Bogotá (LRB). Access to the new bands will be effective when the Colombian Communications Ministry grants the privileges by administrative act. The new allocations are 135.7-137.8 kHz (2200 meters); 472-479 kHz (630 meters); and 5,351.5-5,366.5 kHz (60 meters).

In Germany, radio amateurs there now have a 60-meter band plus an extended 6-meter band, the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club (DARC) reports. Amateur radio has been allocated the band 5,351.5-5,366.5 kHz at a maximum power of 15 W EIRP on a secondary basis. This is in accordance with the allocation agreed upon at World Radiocommunication Conference 2015 (WRC 15). In addition, hams now have access to a slightly expanded 6-meter band. The band 50.08-51.0 MHz previously allocated to the amateur radio service on a secondary basis will be expanded to 50.03-51.0 MHz at a maximum 25 W ERP

Source:ARRL

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Jim Mayercak WX8J and getting kids into ham radio, Astronauts on the ISS talk with the Pope, a tour of George Ulm’s ham shack and more!

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NEW Alinco DM330FXE 30A Supply with USB ports July 30, 2015 No comments

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New Digital Mode FT-8 Ham Radio Digital Mode for the Fast & Furious! July 17, 2017 No comments

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Microwavers Report Successful US-Canada Contacts on 78 GHz

Wed, 11/15/2017 - 12:14

Microwave enthusiast Mike Seguin, N1JEZ, has reported several successful 78-GHz contacts between the US and Canada on November 9.

“We believe these contacts may be the first W/VE on 78 GHz,” Seguin said in a post to several VHF/UHF/microwave-oriented reflectors. “We hope to extend distances before winter sets in here in the Northeast and mountaintop access is limited.”

On the Canadian side were Rene Barbeau, VE2UG, and Ray Perrin, VE3FN. On the US side were Henry Ingwersen, KT1J, and Seguin. The first contacts were between FN35ja and FN34jx — a distance of 5 kilometers (3.1 miles), “primarily to tests systems,” Seguin said. “Contacts were easily made in SSB with huge signals on both ends.”

Next, N1JEZ and KT1J moved to FN34lt — extending the distance to 27 kilometers (16.7 miles), and again easily made contact with the Canadian crew. — Thanks to Mike Seguin, N1JEZ

Source:ARRL

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Hytera & Siemens shake hands

Wed, 11/15/2017 - 08:22

Hytera, a leading global provider of innovative Professional Mobile Radio (PMR) communications solutions, and Siemens Limited China (Siemens) signed an agreement on comprehensive and sustainable strategic cooperation in Industry 4.0, Lean Production, and Intelligent Manufacturing during the 19th Session of China International Industry Fair in Shanghai on November 7th, 2017. The document was signed by Zeng Hua, Senior VP of Hytera, and Wang Haibin, Executive VP & General Manager of Digital Factory Division, Siemens. According to the agreement, Hytera will build a“Hytera-Siemens Industry 4.0 Intelligent Production Showroom”at its industrial park in collaboration with Siemens. 

 

Mr. Zeng Hua, Senior VP of Hytera, and Mr. Wang Haibin, Executive VP of Siemens, signing the strategic

According to the agreement, Hytera will be provided with consultation upon top-level design for digitalization, product lifecycle management (PLM) software and complete automation solution by Siemens. “All the time, we have insisted on implementing intelligent production vision, and improving manufacturing capability and management in our global Manufacture Centre in Shenzhen, as we believe advanced techniques and excellent quality can make us more competitive in the worldwide market. The strategic cooperation with Siemens will help improve our intelligent decision and operation efficiency in R&D, design, manufacturing and service, and therefore we are able to deliver a better customer experience,” said Mr. Zeng Hua, Senior VP of Hytera, at the strategic agreement signing ceremony. 

 

“Siemens is the only enterprise that can provide ‘The Digital Twin’ on the complete value chain from the process of product development and manufacturing to factory management. We have built up a number of examples of digitization enterprises with Chinese companies from automotive, electronics, food & beverage, textile fabrics, equipment manufacturing, pharmacy and steel sectors,” said Wang Haibin, Executive VP & General Manager of Digital Factory Division at Siemens, “The cooperation with Hytera will be another achievement that we help local enterprise complete digital transformation.”

 

Hytera iHPS Strategy  

Early in 2013, Hytera came up with the “Intelligent Hytera Production System” (iHPS) strategy and blueprinted a digitalized factory taking a series of actions like optimizing the production environment and process, automatizing test and assembly, eliminating manufacturing weakness to move towards manufacturing intelligentialization. The iHPS strategy has indicated the future and direction of Hytera High-tech Manufacture Centre and can be interpreted further in details as Hytera’s aspiration for excellence and perfection. With continuous investment in automation and informatization in the upcoming future, Hytera will build up a worldwide prestigious PMR industrial base.

The core of the intelligent manufacturing is to connect and utilize the data from market demand, research and development and production. Based on the above consideration, Hytera brings in the Siemens PLM solution as its informatization platform of intelligent manufacturing and cooperates with Siemens, a world-class practitioner and supplier and key player of Industry 4.0, to further improve its performance in a number of fields like team collaboration, project management, project delivery, product development and manufacturing, product properties and quality. 

About Siemens AG 

Siemens AG, founded in 1847, is a global technology powerhouse active in more than 200 countries, focusing on the areas of electrification, automation and digitalization. One of the world’s largest producers of energy-efficient and resource-saving technologies, Siemens has leading positions in efficient power generation and power transmission solutions, infrastructure solutions, automation, drive and software solutions, as well as medical imaging equipment and laboratory diagnostics.

(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); VHF IARU Region 1 announce a new edition (8.00) of the VHF Handbook October 30, 2017 No comments

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How to win a VHF Contest – DR9A 2017 September 17, 2017 No comments

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Announcing the new RSP1A wideband full featured 14-bit SDR

Wed, 11/15/2017 - 07:47

 

The SDR-play RSP1A is a major upgrade to the
popular RSP1—it is a powerful wideband full
featured 14-bit SDR which covers the RF spectrum
from 1kHz to 2GHz. All it needs is a PC and an
antenna to provide excellent communications
receiver functionality. Combined with the power of
readily available SDR receiver software (including
‘SDRuno’ supplied by SDRplay) you can monitor up
to 10MHz of spectrum at a time. Documented API
allows developers to create new demodulators or
applications around the platform.

SDRplay announces the RSP1A

SDRplay Limited has today announced the launch of a new Software Defined Radio product – the RSP1A.

The SDR-play RSP1A is a major upgrade to the popular RSP1 and is a powerful wideband full featured 14-bit SDR which covers the RF spectrum from 1 kHz to 2 GHz.

Due to its exceptional combination of performance and price, the RSP1 has proved to be a very popular choice as an “entry level” SDR receiver. Since launching the RSP1, we have learned a great deal about what people are looking for in SDR receivers, and where possible, we have incorporated these improvements and new features into the RSP1A.

The RSP1A therefore delivers a significant number of additional features which result in benefits to amateur radio enthusiasts as well as significant benefits for the scientific, educational and industrial SDR community.

Here are the main additional features of the RSP1A compared to the original RSP1:

  • ADC resolution increased to 14-bit native for sample rates below 6 MHz, increasing to 16 bits with decimation.
  • Enhanced RF pre-selection (greater filter selectivity plus 4 additional sub-bands compared to the original RSP1) for reduced levels of spurious responses
  • Improved LNA architecture with variable gain. The RSP1 had just a single gain step.
  • Improved intermodulation performance • Performance extended to cover 1kHz to 2 GHz with a single antenna port.
  • Bias-T facility • Improved frequency stability incorporating a 0.5ppm TCXO (software trimmable to 0.01ppm)
  • Selectable broadcast AM/FM/DAB notch filters
  • RF shielding within the robust plastic casing

When used together SDRplay’s own SDRuno software, the RSP1A becomes a high performance SDR platform. The benefits of using the RSP1A with SDRuno include:

  • Highly integrated native support for the RSP1A
  • Calibrated RF Power Meter with more than 100 dB of usable range
  • Calibrated S-Meter including support for IARU S-Meter Standard
  • The ability to save power (dBm) and SNR (dB) measurements over time, to a CSV file for future analysis
  • The IQ output wav files can be accessed for 3rd party applications

SDRplay has also worked with developers of the popular HDSDR, SDR-Console and Cubic SDR software packages to ensure compatibility. As with the RSP1, SDRplay provides multiplatform driver and API support which includes Windows, Linux, Mac, Android and Raspberry Pi 3. There is even a downloadable SD card image available for Raspberry Pi3 which includes Cubic SDR.

The RSP1A is expected to retail at approximately £76 (excluding taxes) or $100 (excluding taxes)

For more information visit our website on www.sdrplay.com

About SDRplay:

SDRplay limited is a UK company and consists of a small group of engineers with strong connections to the UK Wireless semiconductor industry. SDRplay announced its first product, the RSP1 in August 2014

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Equipment MTR2005 – 30 MHz to 88 MHz February 08, 2016 No comments

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New UHF ISS Digipeater! December 16, 2016 No comments

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US Court of Appeals Upholds Dismissal of Lawsuit in Ames v ARRL Case

Tue, 11/14/2017 - 17:11

A lawsuit filed by former ARRL Eastern Pennsylvania Section Manager Joseph Ames, W3JY, of Malvern, Pennsylvania, against ARRL and several of its officers and Board members was dismissed with prejudice by the United States District Court in Philadelphia in December 2016.

Ames filed an appeal of that decision, and on November 11, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit upheld the lower court’s dismissal of the suit.

In its opinion, the appellate court wrote, “because the record shows that Ames acted contrary to [an] August 2015 directive on at least two occasions, the [ARRL’s] statement that Ames ‘repeatedly acted contrary’ to the directive is true and cannot support a claim for defamation…it is apparent on the face of the complaint and related documents that the statements in the [ARRL website news] article are true, and the District Court therefore correctly held that the defendants established a complete defense to Ames’s defamation claim and appropriately dismissed the complaint.”

In June 2016, the Executive Committee of the ARRL Board of Directors relieved Ames of his appointments in the ARRL Field Organization, including his position as Chairman of the ARRL National Traffic System™ (NTS™) Eastern Area.

Source:ARRL

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Ailuance HD-1 Dual Band DMR HT Debut [ Video ]

Tue, 11/14/2017 - 09:07

Check out this new dual band DMR HT and how easy it is to program!

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How To Orientat A Beam Antenna– Beam Headings September 13, 2016 No comments

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DXplorer system providing facilities for on-air antenna system testing and comparison November 17, 2016 No comments

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Show More

All WX Solar Powered Amateur Radio Field Station

Tue, 11/14/2017 - 05:47

 

“In today’s video I’d like to discuss the concept of a solar-powered field station for amateur radio emergency communications. Those of you who follow the blog, probably already know about this project. For the rest of you here is a video introduction of a concept I call the All WX Solar-Powered EMCOMM Field Station. The concept for a rapidly deployable,  man-portable field station, came to me after the grid down disaster caused by Hurricane Maria. Hurricane Maria knocked out electricity and communications throughout most of the affected area, leaving hospitals in cities and distant regions, without reliable communications between them. I’m under No Illusion about amateur radios ability to completely replace network communications. However, amateur radio can provide essential Communications between hospitals and health centers, pass well & safe traffic, or create HF datanet to manage amateur radio operator resources and logistics, while no other communication services exist. – The station is powered by a PowerFilm Solar FM16-7200 thin film solar panel. – The Tent Shelter is a next gen Nortent Tipi 6 hot tipi ( teepee ) tent. The article is work-in-progress, so it will certainly adapt and change as it becomes more mature. The goals are there, and the ideas are solid. Please do join the discussion. Blog: http://oh8stn.org/blog/2017/10/26/sol…

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Moonraker Ltd Whizz Loops 13-428

Mon, 11/13/2017 - 18:30

Moonraker Ltd Whizz Loops are compact QRP portable loops that are perfect for attaching directly to your ft-817 or other QRP transceiver.

These nifty, small magnetic loops were designed to be an easy to use, instant portable HF antenna solution for stations not exceeding 10 watts in any mode. They attach to an SO-239 and become part of your transceiver. Loop tuning is easily achieved with their built-in tuning circuit.

Available in two versions; order our part number MKR-13-427 to cover 20-6 meters, or the MKR-13-428 to cover 40 through 10 meters. These loops are only 40cm in diameter; that’s about 15.75 in. across!

If you are seeking the tiniest and lightest QRP magnetic loops available, then take a look at one of these Moonraker Ltd Whizz Loops!

Antenna, Whizz Loop V2, QRP, 40-10M, 10W Max AM/CW/SSB, 40 cm/15.75 in. Diameter, PL-259, Each

Specification
 TX: 7-30 MHz
 Power: 10W Max AM/CW/SSB
 Width: 40cm
 Connection: PL259
Instillation Instructions
 Simply open the supplied copper loop and attach one end to each of the terminals on the
Whizz Loop
 Then connect the Whizz Loop directly to your transceiver or other mounting method you
may chose to use
 Set the desired band on your transceiver to match that of the Whizz Loop and you are
ready to play

$104.95 – https://www.dxengineering.com

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How To Build An SWR / Relative Power Bridge – Part 1 July 02, 2017 No comments

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App - Mobile My LoTW – Free app for iOS and Android June 08, 2016 No comments

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SDRuno 1.21 Released

Mon, 11/13/2017 - 16:21

SDRuno release 1.21 has now been released. This release of SDRuno contains the following amendments and bug fixes:

1. Restored VFO button for centring of the VFO on the SP1 display
2. Changed the default step size for USB and LSB to 500 Hz
3. Ham band framing buttons can now toggle on or off
4. Recalling stations from the memory panel automatically unlocks the LO if necessary
5. Bug fixes associated with the redrawing the SP1 display
6. Bug fix affecting the storing of calibration values for the RSP2
7. Bug fix affecting CW Zap and CW AFC if the SP2 display FFT is not a 2^n size
8. Changes to the default settings of the SP1 waterfall display
a. Waterfall averaging (WF Ave) now set to ‘off’ by default
b. Tweaks to the default waterfall gain and contrast settings
9. Fixed missing Main Window Instance value
10. Fixed Windows XP support
11. Auto calibration system now selects DAB sub mode if not selected
12. Memory Panel now responds to Ctrl+W

For the changes in the default settings to take place, it WILL be necessary to reset your registry settings, but please note that in doing this, you WILL lose any stored workspaces. We understand that losing saved workspaces when you reset the SDRuno registry settings is frustrating for people and this is something that we will be addressing in a future release.

In terms of future releases, we have a very long list of requests for new features for SDRuno. Some are fairly straightforward to implement and some are very complex and difficult. We have never before published a list of target features for future releases, but we have decided to do so on this occasion. This is intended to give people an insight into what we are aiming for and is NOT a guarantee that any given feature will be implemented. Please be aware that this list is always subject to change at any time. 
If we find that we get a chorus of complaints from people disappointed that their desired feature-set is not scheduled for the current or the next release, then we will not make this information available in the future. We have to make priority calls and whilst we aim to implement everything that people want, we cannot do it all at once. I am afraid we are not in a position to indicate when any of these releases will become available.

Feature-sets for future releases:

1.22 Intermediate update
• Customisable frequency step sizes for each mode
• Option to reset SDRuno registry without deleting saved workspaces
• Scheduled recording

1.23 Intermediate update
• Recording of selected signal only (either I/Q or audio) to WAV file format
• Selected signal piped to VAC in I/Q format
• Addition of DDE interface

1.3 Major update
• Frequency scanning
• Remote Client for network based streaming I/Q server applications

1.4 Major update
• Addition of new API for third party plugins
• Separation of VFO and LO frequency control

Download link: http://www.sdrplay.com/downloads

Best regards,

Andy
SDRplay Software Development

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Antenna Magnetic Loop Antennas – ARRL The Doctor Will See You Now! July 28, 2016 No comments

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AMSAT Poses RadFxSat (Fox-1B) Telemetry Reception Challenge

Mon, 11/13/2017 - 11:07

AMSAT is urging satellite enthusiasts to get their FoxTelem telemetry software up and running, in anticipation of the launch on November 14 of RadFxSat (Fox-1B). It will carry a Fox-1 style FM U/V repeater with an uplink on 435.250 MHz (67.0 Hz CTCSS) and a downlink on 145.960 MHz. Satellite and experiment telemetry will be downlinked via the DUV subaudible telemetry stream, which can be decoded using FoxTelem.

The first Amateur Radio operator to successfully receive RadFxSat (Fox-1B) telemetry and upload it to the AMSAT server will receive a commemorative 3D printed QSL card.

RadFxSat is scheduled to launch at 0947 UTC on November 14 from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. The first transmission from RadFxSat is expected to occur around 1207 UTC. Due to a lack of pre-launch Keplerian elements, it is not known where the satellite will be when it makes its first transmission.

More information on the launch and early orbit phase of RadFxSat are on the AMSAT website. RadFxSat (Fox-1B), which will carry a 435/145 MHz FM transponder, is one of four CubeSats making up the NASA ELaNa XIV mission, riding as secondary payloads aboard the Joint Polar Satellite System-1 (JPSS-1) mission. JPSS-1 will launch on a Delta II vehicle from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. — Thanks to AMSAT News Service

Source:ARRL

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Announcing: The ARRL International Grid Chase!

Thu, 11/09/2017 - 17:01

A new and exciting operating event will kick off on January 1, 2018, at 0000 UTC (New Year’s Eve in US time zones), when the ARRL International Grid Chase gets under way. The year-long event hopes to build on the success of the highly successful 2016 National Parks on the Air (NPOTA). The objective is to work stations on any band (except 60 meters) in as many different Maidenhead grid squares as possible, and then upload your log data to ARRL’s Logbook of The World (LoTW). Registration is free, and it costs nothing to use LoTW. Many hams are familiar with grid squares from the VHF/UHF and satellite realms, and everyone lives in one. ARRL’s VUCC is based on grid squares, and some contests on HF, as well as on VHF and UHF, also use them as a scoring factor.

John Morris, G4ANB, came up with the locator system, which the VHF Working Group adopted in 1980 at a meeting in Maidenhead, England — thus the term “Maidenhead grid square.” The system divvies up the entire globe into 324 fields, each containing 100 grid squares 1° latitude by 2° longitude in size. With 32,400 potential grid squares, it’s not likely that anyone will run out of challenges, even though some grid squares are surrounded entirely by water, are in areas that are uninhabited, or are difficult to access.

If you don’t know your grid square, David Levine, K2DSL, has an online calculator. Just enter a postal address, ZIP code or a call sign, and his site will tell you the grid square for that location. For example, enter “W1AW” and the site will return “FN31pr.” For the purposes of the ARRL International Grid Chase, though, just the two initial letters and the two numbers that follow (e.g., FN31) are all you need to know.

Once you get active in the chase and start uploading your log data, each new grid square contact confirmed through LoTW will count toward your monthly total. Getting started is simple: Turn on the radio and call CQ or “CQ Grid Chase,” or listen for others doing the same. Make the contact, exchange grid squares, log it, and move on to another. At the end of each month, your totals on the Grid Chase Leader Board will reset to zero, although the system retains all monthly data to determine top finishers in various categories at the end of the year.

Any contact you make in 2018 can count for your Chase score; it doesn’t have to involve an exchange of grid squares. As long as the other operators participate in LoTW, you’ll get credit automatically when they upload their logs. This means that contest contacts will also count, as will contacts with special event stations, or other on-air activity that uses LoTW to confirm contacts.

Some radio amateurs live in sparsely populated grid squares, and if you’re one of those, you could find yourself handling a pileup! Expeditions to hard-to-reach or rare grid squares will undoubtedly evolve. You also can travel to one of those grid squares yourself. Some vehicle or hand-held GPS units can be set to display when you are in a particular grid square. Apps are available for smartphones or tablets, such as Ham Square for iOS devices or HamGPS for Android devices.

There are no restrictions on modes or bands, as long as they are legal. Satellite contacts are valid for the Chase. The event is open to all radio amateurs.

Awards

As all contacts are uploaded to LoTW, participants may use their contacts toward other ARRL awards, in addition to the overall monthly and annual Grid Chase recognitions. These other ARRL awards include the grid-based VHF-UHF Century Club (VUCC) and Fred Fish Memorial Award, as well as Worked All States (WAS), WAS Triple Play, DX Century Club (DXCC), and Worked All Continents (WAC).

Complete details of the ARRL International Grid Chase will appear in the December 2017 issue of QST. The digital edition is available on Friday, November 10.

 For more information, contact the ARRL Contest Branch. 

Source:ARRL

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The ARRL International Grid Chase

Get ready to kick off 2018 with a new year-long operating event!

Bart Jahnke, W9JJ
ARRL Contest Branch Manager

You may not know this, but your station is in a Maidenhead grid square. The entire world is divided into thousands of these 1° latitude × 2° longitude squares, each one with a unique designation. They’re all part of a geographic location system adopted in the 1980s at a meeting of the VHF Working Group in Maidenhead, England.

Unless you are a VHF enthusiast, this nugget of information may not mean much. But at 0000 UTC on January 1, 2018, the global Amateur Radio community will be very interested in grid squares.

Get in the Chase

The objective of the ARRL International Grid Chase is simple: Work stations in as many grid squares as possible and upload your log data to ARRL’s Logbook of The World. If you are not currently registered with Logbook of The World, this is a good reason to get started. Go to https://lotw.arrl.org/lotw-help/getting-started/. Registration and uploading are free.

Every new grid square contact confirmed through Logbook of The World counts toward your monthly total, so you have an incentive to start the chase as soon as you ring in the New Year.

Just turn on your radio and start calling “CQ Grid Chase,” or listen for others doing the same. Make the contact, enter it into your log, and you’re on to the next (see the sidebar, “Tips for the Chase“).

At the end of each month, your totals on the Grid Chase leader board will reset to zero. Fear not, though. The online scoring system will maintain your monthly totals for a grand total at the end of the year, when an annual summary will be released and awards given to top finishers in various categories.

The ARRL International Grid Chase is open to all amateurs, regardless of location or license class. Any operating mode is eligible as well as every band, except 60 meters. You’ll find the complete rules at www.arrl.org/aigc2018.

But What’s My Grid Square?

Determining your grid square is easy. David Levine, K2DSL, has a great online calculator at www.levinecentral.com/ham/grid_square.php. Just enter a postal address, zip code, or even a call sign, and David’s site will tell you the grid square for that location.

For example, enter “W1AW” and the site will return “FN31pr.” The letters “pr” designate the grid square field, but you won’t need that for the Chase. Just FN31 will do.

The ARRL online store (www.arrl.org/shop) also offers grid square maps of the US and Canada, as well as a grid square atlas of the entire world.

Plenty of Pileups

 

Figure 1 — Grid square FN51 is mostly salt water, except for a narrow strip of land along the “sole” of Cape Cod and a portion of southeastern Nantucket Island. This image is taken from the ARRL Amateur Radio Map of North America, available at www.arrl.org/shop.

Some grid squares have thousands of amateurs in residence, but others have only a few, or none. Those “rare” grid squares will be hot properties in 2018, and hams operating from those locations can expect serious pileups.

Of course, nothing prevents you from hopping into your car and driving to a grid square where you are the only amateur on the air. There are some grid squares in coastal areas, for example, where most of the territory is comprised of water. Look at Figure 1 and notice that grid square FN51 is mostly in the Atlantic Ocean, except for a relatively narrow strip along the “sole” of Cape Cod and a small portion of southeastern Nantucket Island.

If you’re taking to the road, some vehicular GPS systems will display grid square locations. You can also use apps for your smartphone or tablet, such as Ham Square (iPhone, iPad) or HamGPS (Android).

However you play it, the ARRL International Grid Chase is going to be big. By the time you read this, “opening day” will be less than 2 months away. Better sign up with Logbook of The World (if you haven’t already) and prepare your gear!

Questions? E-mail contests@arrl.org.

Tips for the Chase

  • Any contact can count for your Chase score; it doesn’t have to involve an exchange of grid squares. As long as other operators participate with Logbook of The World, you’ll get the credit automatically when they upload their logs. This means that contest contacts will count, as will contacts with special-event stations, or any other on-air activity. As long as stations upload their logs to Logbook of The World, you’re good.
     
  • The new FT8 digital operating mode is ideal for the ARRL International Grid Chase. You can set up FT8 to call CQ and automatically respond, completing a contact in a little over a minute while you watch. When the contact is complete, simply click your mouse to trigger another CQ. You’ll find FT8 within the free WSJT-X software suite at https://physics.princeton.edu/pulsar/k1jt/wsjtx.html.
     
  • Watch for Logbook of The World users on your favorite online DX clusters. Most clusters have the ability to filter and display only stations that participate in Logbook of The World; other clusters can at least flag the stations with a symbol. This will save time when you are looking for contacts to increase your score. If you enjoy JT65, JT9, or the FT8 digital modes, check out the free JTAlert for Windows at http://hamapps.com. This software works with JT65-HF or WSJT-X applications to automatically flag Logbook users and will even alert you when a station is on the air in a needed grid square.
     
  • Upload often. Grid Chase totals are refreshed at the end of each month. With that in mind, it pays to send new data to Logbook of The World every couple of days, or even daily.
     
  • Satellite contacts count. Contacts made through earthbound repeaters do notcount for the Grid Chase, but repeaters in outer space are the exception. There are low-orbiting satellites that support CW, SSB, and even FM contacts. See the AMSAT-NA website at www.amsat.org.
     
  • Try “circling” grid squares. It’s easy to set up a portable or mobile operation at the intersections where corners of grid squares meet. For example, you could operate in one grid square and then drive west across the “border” into the next square. Make some contacts there and then drive north into the adjacent square. Bang out more contacts, and then head east into another grid square. This is a very common technique used by VHF “rover” operators. In a single day, you can operate from four different grid squares!
     
  • Take the Chase on vacation. Take a radio along when you travel and work new grid squares at your destinations. Even a handheld FM transceiver can be used to work a new square on a simplex frequency.

© December 2017 ARRL, the national association for Amateur Radio® www.arrl.org

  2018 International Grid Chase Rules

2018 ARRL International Grid Chase Rules

In the spirit of the Fred Fish Memorial Award, VUCC, DXCC, WAS and WAC, we bring you a world-wide event in which all Radio Amateurs can participate where the goal is to contact (each Month during 2018) as many maidenhead 4-digit grid squares as possible on all amateur bands.

Building on our successful 2016 National Parks On The Air (NPOTA) event (providing a year-long focus of fun activating or contacting US National Parks), and considering ARRL’s existing grid-square based award events (including our Fred Fish and VUCC Award programs where the objective is to contact stations in as many 4-digit maidenhead grid squares as possible), we introduce for 2018 the ARRL International Grid Chase to bring international grid-chasing on all amateur bands (HF, and VHF and above) to an all new level.

In a fashion similar to NPOTA, using Logbook of the World (LoTW – see http://www.arrl.org/logbook-of-the-world) as the QSOs data source, the 2018 ARRL International Grid Chase activities will be scored MONTHLY on the ARRL web site at http://www.arrl.org/aigc2018. Each month we will start fresh, recognizing participation through various tables and data selection options on the web page. Monthly pages will be added to track each calendar month’s activities. Once the year is completed, an annual summary will be released.

Rules:

  1. 1. Objective: On a Monthly basis, on amateur frequencies from HF to Microwaves, to contact amateur stations in as many different 2 degrees by 1 degree maidenhead 4-digit grid squares as possible.
     
  2. 2. Dates/Event Period: The event runs from 0000 UTC January 1, 2018 through 2359 UTC December 31, 2018. At the beginning of each month during 2018, the monthly scores will be reset to zero to begin the new month of competition.
     
  3. 3. Bands: All FCC-authorized frequencies (excluding the 60 meter and 600 meter bands). Permitted bands: 160m, 80m, 40m, 30m, 20m, 17m, 15m, 12m, 10m, 6m, 2m, 1,25m, 70cm, 33cm, 23cm, and all higher FCC-authorized microwave bands.
     
  4. 4. Modes: Three mode categories will be recognized – CW, Phone and Digital (all voice modes count as Phone, all digital modes count as Digital).
     
  5. 5. Methods of contact: All methods of contact are permitted (excluding QSOs made through repeaters, digipeaters, Echolink, IRLP, or non-satellite cross-band QSOs which do not count in this event). Satellite and EME QSOs are permitted.
     
  6. 6. Station types: Fixed, Portable, Mobile/Rover and Maritime Mobile (MM) stations may participate (MM stations are not eligible for DXCC, WAS or WAC credit however).
     
  7. 7. Exchange: Call Sign and Maidenhead 4-digit grid-square locator (see www.arrl.org/grid-squares). Exchange of signal report is optional. When operating during a contest, the contest exchange takes precedence over the grid square exchange. QSOs made with a club or special event (eg, 1×1) call count only for the club, not for the operator. As with other similar award’s criteria, if a station is located on the intersection of 2, 3 or 4 grid squares, the over-the-air exchange need only include just one grid square (confirmation for the adjoining grid squares will be made by the station operating from the intersecting grids through the station location in TQSL https://lotw.arrl.org/lotw-help_devel_en/stnloc/?lang=en).TQSL Station Locations will allow multiple adjacent grids (formatted as “grid,grid,” etc).  MM stations would have DXCC Entity set to “none”.  For information on LoTW TQSL, see http://www.arrl.org/quick-start-tqsl.
     
    All QSOs within your DXCC entity qualify.
    See also section 9 below for Awards with specific requirements.
     
  8. 8. Event participation – contact submissions: All submissions are made through LoTW. See https://lotw.arrl.org/lotw/default
     
  9. 9. Awards: As all contacts are being uploaded to LoTW, in addition to the overall monthly and annual recognitions of the ARRL International Grid Chase, participants may use their contacts toward other ARRL awards (see the list of ARRL awards at http://www.arrl.org/awards). These include ARRL’s grid-based awards of VHF-UHF Century Club (VUCC) and the Fred Fish Memorial Award (for contact with all 488 US 4-digit grid squares on 6 meters), as well as Worked All States (WAS) and WAS Triple Play, DX Century Club (DXCC), and Worked All Continents (WAC).
     
  10. 10. Recognitions: Achievement in collecting grid squares in the ARRL International Grid Chase will be recognized by categories of Band, Mode, and Continent (other leaders types will be developed as warranted) through our interactive web page monthly and at year end summary. Online certificates of achievement will be developed for Monthly and Annual recognition.
     
  11. 11. Resources: A variety of resources offer grid-square maps and mapping tools.
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Thu, 11/09/2017 - 13:48

“Again we find ourselves with a spotless Sun, yet a huge solar storm hits Earth and brings stunning aurora clear down to Germany and Nebraska! This is due to the fast solar wind from a dark coronal hole that will linger in the Earth strike zone for the next day or two. This storm is compounding amateur radio issues we already are having due to the very low solar flux. Luckily, this will change next week. See how long the effects from this ongoing solar storm and spotless Sun are expected to last, catch up on aurora pictures, and see what else the Sun has in store.”

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Sometimes the best direction to send your signal is straight up!

Near vertical incidence skywave, or NVIS, is a skywave radio-wave propagation path that provides usable signals in the range between groundwave and conventional skywave distances—usually 30–400 miles (50–650 km). It is used for military and paramilitary communications, broadcasting,[1] especially in the tropics, and by radio amateurs. The radio waves travel near-vertically upwards into the ionosphere, where they are refracted back down and can be received within a circular region up to 650 km from the transmitter.[2] If the frequency is too high (that is, above the critical frequency of the ionospheric F layer), refraction fails to occur and if it is too low, absorption in the ionospheric D layer may reduce the signal strength.

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Argentine radio hams get 5 MHz and 472 kHz bands

Thu, 11/09/2017 - 07:27

The Radio Club Argentino, IARU Member Society has succeeded with its petition to their local communications authorities gaining 630m and 60m bands and extension of 160m, 80m and 30m 

The new allocations are the final result of efforts made by the RCA during its participation in the preparatory meetings of WRC ’07, ’12 and ’15; and will be effective in 90 days.

New allocations
630 m  472 – 479 kHz
60 m   5351.5 – 5366.5 kHz

Extended allocations
160 m  1800 – 2000 kHz
80 m   3500 – 4000 kHz
30 m  10100 – 10150 kHz

73 de LU4AA

Radio Club Argentino
http://www.lu4aa.org

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Comparison: Elecraft KX3 and ICOM IC-7300 August 18, 2017 No comments

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Introduction to Icom’s Touch screen ID-5100 Dual Band D-STAR Mobile Radio August 31, 2015 No comments

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Equipment Radiosport RS20S Headset December 30, 2014 No comments

Over-The-Head “Listen Only” headset in Carbon Fiber finish. The perfect CW Ops headset with 24dB Noise Reduction when you’re digging... Read more

MFJ Antenna Switches [ Video ] November 21, 2016 No comments

MFJ Antenna Swiches MFJ-1702C  MFJ-2702  MFJ-2703  MFJ-2704  MFJ-1701  MFJ-1703  MFJ-1700C Read more

ColibriNANO USB SDR Receiver March 19, 2017 No comments

The New ColibriNano takes USB dongle SDR receivers to a new level. This is a direct sampling, high quality SDR receiver covering 100 kHz to 55 MHz wit... Read more

Ten-Tec Eagle HF DSP Transceiver December 08, 2014 No comments

  TEN-TEC has created a 100 watt transceiver combining simplified controls and ease of operation with the excellent performance of a low first IF... Read more

Heathkit ® Precision RF Meter – HM-1002 – pre-order June 20, 2017 No comments

Finally, affordable laboratory-grade accuracy. And a whole lot more.   For about fifty years, SWR/power meters haven’t really changed at all. Un... Read more

Digital Modes New Digital Modes Changing Complexion of Bands and Perhaps of Ham Radio November 02, 2017 No comments

The wave of software-based digital modes over the past several years has altered the atmosphere of the HF bands. Some suggest the popularity of modes... Read more

Everybody’s Trying the New FT8! November 02, 2017 No comments

“FT8 is the newest weak-signal mode from Joe Taylor, K1JT, and friends. It operates very much like JT65 but is four times faster and more automa... Read more

Goodbye FT8, Hello Olivia, The Magic HF Digital Mode October 24, 2017 No comments

“So many people have started using FT-8 on HF, but they leave all the other modes to die off, like Olivia. Olivia isn’t new, but it offers... Read more

Caution Urged in Using High Duty Cycle Digital Modes via Satellite October 22, 2017 No comments

A report in ANS-288 discussed an experiment operating with the WSJT-X FT8 digital mode via satellite. Satellite operators have gained more experience... Read more

FT-8 Digital Mode Has Taken Over The HF Bands! October 17, 2017 No comments

“Finally got my antenna back up today, decided to take a browse through the bands. There is a ton of FT-8 to be had on all the HF bands. Don... Read more