This Week in Amateur Radio

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This Week in Amateur Radio: North America's Amateur Radio News Magazine. Articles on amateur radio and news stories in the media featured here.
Updated: 1 hour 50 min ago

ARRL Represented at IEEE Symposium in Boston

Sat, 07/14/2018 - 10:32
ARRL was on hand in Boston July 8 – 13 for the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Antenna and Propagation Society (AP-S) Symposium, held jointly held with the US National Committee of the International Union of Radio Science (URSI). The ARRL exhibit included an Amateur Radio special event demonstration station, N1P, and more than a dozen volunteers staffed the ARRL exhibit. “We had a very attractive booth in a great location,” said ARRL Eastern Massachusetts Assistant Section Manager Phil Temples, K9HI. “Engineers in the antenna and propagation fields in industry and science attending from all over the world stopped by the ARRL table to see and learn about Amateur Radio.” Temples said ARRL Headquarters provided supplies for the booth as well as display copies of publications, “which doubled as door prizes for drawings,” he added. Complementing volunteers from the ARRL Eastern Massachusetts Section were radio amateurs attending the conference who donated their time between talks and seminars to assist with the booth and greet fellow attendees.

via the RSGB: New service to replace AROS

Sat, 07/14/2018 - 10:32
Following an extensive review of the Amateur Radio Observation Service, AROS, the RSGB has decided to create a new service to provide guidance to operators who experience misuse of the amateur bands by others. This service will be known as the Operating Advisory Service, or OAS, and will replace AROS. The change will come into effect over the next few months. A new team of volunteers will promote good practice and take a detailed look at how to tackle problems such as on-air harassment, repeater abuse and the pirating of callsigns. They will develop written advice that will be published on the OAS pages on the RSGB website.

WRTC 2018 Call Signs Will Be Y81A through Y89U

Sat, 07/14/2018 - 10:32
WRTC 2018 organizers today officially announced the list of call signs to be used during the World Radiosport Team Championship 2018 (WRTC 2018) competition that gets under way at 1200 UTC on Saturday, July 14. The call signs to be used will be Y81A through Y89U. Y##-prefix call signs, once used by radio amateurs in the former German Democratic Republic (East Germany) were inherited by the German government after the reunification of East and West Germany and have not been used since. The call signs were announced during the WRTC 2018 opening ceremony today. Shortly before the competition starts on Saturday, each team leader will select a sealed envelope containing the team’s call sign. The envelope then is given to the team’s referee, and 15 minutes before the competition begins, the referee will hand the envelope to the team leader, and the team members will then quickly program CW and voice keyers.

CASSIOPE Spacecraft Listens In on 2018 ARRL Field Day

Sat, 07/14/2018 - 10:32
The Canadian CASSIOPE (CAScade, Smallsat, and Ionospheric Polar Explorer) spacecraft once again eavesdropped on ARRL Field Day activity. CASSIOPE’s Radio Receiver Instrument (RRI) was tuned to 7.005 MHz during six passes over the North American continent during Field Day 2018, although there was no advance publicity this year. The RRI is a component of the spacecraft’s Enhanced Polar Outflow Probe (e-POP), a suite of eight science instruments that study space weather. “We’re really happy with our results this year,” remarked Gareth Perry, a physics and astronomy postdoctoral research associate at the University of Calgary in Canada, CASSIOPE’s home institution. “RRI recorded plenty of chatter between Field Day participants, especially during our passes over the eastern and central United States on the evening of [June 23].”

Radio Amateur in Japan Completes Worked All States on 6 Meters

Sat, 07/14/2018 - 10:32
Tac Hirama, JA7QVI, has completed all requirements for the Worked All States (WAS) award on 6 meters. New Jersey was the last state he needed to work, and he managed a moonbounce (EME) contact as well as a conventional ionospheric contact. It’s quite possible that JA7QVI is the first radio amateur to earn WAS on 6 meters from Japan, although that cannot be confirmed. Completing WAS on 6 meters was a major goal for him, Hirama said, and an Earth-Moon-Earth contact with Andy Blank, N2NT, on June 17 clinched the deal. He’d been working on achieving WAS on 6 meters since 1977. JA7QVI now has accomplished WAS on 10 bands, 160 through 6 meters.

via HACKADAY: Free E-Book: Software Defined Radio for Engineers

Sun, 07/01/2018 - 00:58
We really like when a vendor finds a great book on a topic — probably one they care about — and makes it available for free. Analog Devices does this regularly and one you should probably have a look at is Software Defined Radio for Engineers. The book goes for $100 or so on Amazon, and while a digital copy has pluses and minuses, it is hard to beat the $0 price. The book by [Travis F. Collins], [Robin Getz], [Di Pu], and [Alexander M. Wyglinski] covers a range of topics in 11 chapters. There’s also a website with more information including video lectures and projects forthcoming that appear to use the Pluto SDR. We have a Pluto and have been meaning to write more about it including the hack to make it think it has a better RF chip inside. The hack may not result in meeting all the device specs, but it does work to increase the frequency range and bandwidth. However, the book isn’t tied to a specific piece of hardware.

13 Colonies Special Event to Mark 10th Anniversary this Year

Sun, 07/01/2018 - 00:57
The annual Original 13 Colonies Special Event will mark its 10th anniversary this year. The event gets under way on July 1 at 1300 UTC and runs through July 8 at 0400 UTC. Event Manager Kenneth Villone, KU2US, reports that 127,132 contacts took place during the 2017 13 Colonies event, down from 139,772 in 2016, owing in part to poor band conditions. Special event stations with 1 × 1 call signs will represent the original 13 US colonies, plus bonus stations WM3PEN in Philadelphia and GB13COL in Durham, England. Each special event station will have its own profile page. Participating stations try to contact all 13 Colony Stations plus the two bonus stations. Call signs and their respective states are K2A, New York; K2B, Virginia; K2C, Rhode Island; K2D, Connecticut; K2E, Delaware; K2F, Maryland; K2G, Georgia; K2H, Massachusetts; K2I, New Jersey; K2J, North Carolina; K2K, New Hampshire; K2L, South Carolina, and K2M, Pennsylvania. Additional information is on the 13 Colonies website.

“Baker is Brutal!” KH1/KH7Z DXpedition Team Reports

Sun, 07/01/2018 - 00:52
“Baker is brutal!” That was the initial assessment from the Baker Island KH1/KH7Z DXpedition team, which arrived at the uninhabited South Pacific atoll on June 26 at local sunrise, following a 4-day sea voyage. The KH1/KH7Z team started up early on June 27 with three stations on the air, with additional stations pending. “Island conditions are extremely hot, and difficult. Long work periods in the sun are challenging,” a June 27 DXpedition news update reported. The team reported that the landing “was not too bad, but the island is an oven,” with the temperature well above 100 °F by mid-morning. Despite rough tidal action, the crew of the Nai’a was able to offload all tents, generators, and emergency supplies. After the initial landing team left “totally exhausted,” a fresh crew arrived to put up the tents for sleeping tents and move radios antennas and generators to the storage and operating tents. “They say it never rains on Baker,” the DXpedition noted in its June 28 update. “At midnight giant squalls came through knocking out one of our three antennas that we worked so hard to get up. We worked through the morning and [now] have 6 stations available. The KH1/KH7Z frequency plan is on the DXpedition website. DXpedition operators will be operating split. Do not call on the DX station’s transmitting frequency! FT8 operation is planned, using the FT8 DXpedition Mode. Stations should have WSJT-X version 1.9.1 installed and be in “Hound” mode (check the appropriate box under the Advanced tab in the WSJT-X File/Settings menu). More information on DXpedition Mode is available from the WSJT-X Development Team. Plans call for the DXpedition to be “very active” on 60 meters. IT problems have prevented uploading logs, but the team is working to correct the issues. These will be on Club Log as soon as they are available. For his June 28 Ham Talk Live internet radio program, Neil Rapp, WB9VPG, has arranged for a satellite telephone contact with the Baker Island DXpedition team and will take callers via Skype or telephone. He’ll also take live questions via Twitter (@HamTalkLive) or, in advance, by email.

via the ARRL: Canada Day Contest is Sunday, July 1 (UTC)

Sun, 07/01/2018 - 00:52
The Canada Day Contest takes place on Sunday, July 1. The annual event celebrates the anniversary of Canada’s Confederation. Radio Amateurs of Canada (RAC) sponsors the Canada Day Contest and invites radio amateurs around the world to Canada’s birthday party on the air. This event begins on July 1 at 0000 UTC (Saturday, June 30, in North American time zones) and continues until 2359 UTC. Available bands are 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10, 6, and 2 meter, on CW and phone. Suggested frequencies for CW are 25 kHz up from the band edge. Look for SSB activity centered on 1.850, 3.775, 7.075, 7.225, 14.175, 21.250, and 28.500 MHz. Stations in Canada should send their signal report and province or territory. VE0s and stations outside Canada should send the signal report and serial number. Contacts with RAC official stations (RAC suffix) are worth 20 points. A trophy is awarded for the highest single operator (no power classification), non-Canada participant. — Thanks to Radio Amateurs of Canada