Welcome to Ham Radio's only Free R-Rated  Conservative Daily Newsletter

HAM  VENDORS                ARRL.ORG                     EHAM            QRZ                   QTH -BUY AND SELL   

WEEKEND EDITION: It has been a quiet week for ham radio news....What a nightmare ....Today's Dumbass....

Planned Experiment Will Disconnect Russia from the Internet

Authorities and major internet providers in Russia intend to disconnect the country from the internet as part of a planned experiment purportedly aimed at enhancing national security, the Russian news agency RosBiznesKonsalting (RBK) has reported. The stated reason for the experiment is to gather insights and provide feedback and modifications to a proposed law introduced in the Russian Parliament in December. A draft of the law mandates that Russian internet providers ensure the independence of the Russian internet — Runet — and to disconnect the country from the rest of the internet in the event of foreign aggression.

“The topic of ensuring the security of communication networks and the Russian segment of the internet from targeted impacts has been raised in Russia since 2014. It seems to me that this is justified, because today the public communication network and the internet are the most important element of the infrastructure,” Alexander Pankov, the deputy director of Roskomnadzor, recently told Gazeta.ru. Roskomnadzor, the Russian Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology, and Mass Media, has been described as Russia’s telecommunications “watch dog.” Pankov said the topic of ensuring the security of communication networks and the Russian segment of the internet from “targeted impacts” has been raised in Russia since 2014.

Russian telecom firms would be required to install “technical means” to re-route all Russian internet traffic to exchange points that have been approved or are managed by Roskomnadzor, which would ensure that traffic between Russian users stays within Russia and is not re-routed to servers abroad, where it could be intercepted.

No date for the test has been announced, but it is expected to be before April 1, which is the deadline to submit amendments to the legislation, known as the Digital Economy National Program.

All Russian internet providers have reportedly agreed with the law’s goals but not with its technical implementation, which, they feel, could cause major disruptions. In 2017, Russian officials said they plan to route 95% percent of all internet traffic locally by next year.

The US and other NATO nations have called for a stronger response to cyberattacks attributed to Russia.  — Thanks to ZDNet, Gazeta.ru, and other media accounts

HF Dipole Antennas for Amateur Radio

Dipole Antennas You Can Build!

ARRL’s HF Dipole Antennas for Amateur Radio is a collection of 20 HF dipole antenna designs published in QST, ARRL’s membership journal, between 2000 and 2017. It includes innovative antenna projects for single- and multiband antennas, as well as antennas for portable applications.

    Portable Antennas
  • An Easy-to-Make Three-Band Dipole for ARRL Field Day
  • A Field-Portable Multi-Band Rotatable Dipole Antenna
  • A Small, Portable Dipole for Field Use
  • A Portable Twin-Lead 20-Meter Dipole
  • The NJQRP Squirt
    Multiband Antennas
  • A Shortened 60 Meter Dipole That Also Covers 15 Meters
  • A Compact Multiband Dipole
  • A Folded Skeleton Sleeve Dipole for 40 and 20 Meters
  • A Fan Dipole for 80 through 6 Meters
  • A No Compromise Off-Center Fed Dipole for Four Bands
  • Six Band Loaded Dipole Antenna
  • The Classic Multiband Dipole
  • A Dipole Curtain for 15 and 10 Meters
  • K8SYL’s 75 and 10-Meter Dipole
  • The N4GG Array
    Single-Band Antennas
  • A Lightweight Rotary Dipole for 40 Meters
  • The WØIH Tunable 80 Meter Dipole
  • A Coaxial Cable Vertical Dipole Antenna
  • A Wideband Dipole for 75 and 80 Meters
  • The K4VX Linear-Loaded Dipole for 7 MHz
Bonus Section! Off-Center-Fed Dipoles — Theory and Practice
Special bonus section by Jackson R. Richter, WBØUSA, features a thorough discussion about how these popular multiband antennas function. Includes several antenna projects you can build yourself!

Amateur Radio Newsline Report - a rehash of last week


JIM/ANCHOR: We begin our report this week with big news from the sky. If you've had your eyes on Qatar (Kat-R) OSCAR-100 since the satellite's launch last year in the U.S., here is another way to keep in touch from anywhere in the world. Graham Kemp VK4BB has the latest.

GRAHAM: Things just got a little more exciting for fans of Qatar (Kat-R) OSCAR-100, which is carrying the first geostationary amateur radio payload in history. Its two transponders have been inaugurated and have gone live online. A WebSDR for the narrowband segment and a spectrum viewer for its wideband segment are being operated by the British Amateur Television Club and AMSAT-UK. The OSCAR-100 project has the support of Goonhilly Earth Station which is hosting the ground station facility in Cornwall in the UK. Meanwhile, up above the earth, Oscar-100 can be found in its geostationary orbit aboard the Es'hail-2 (S-HALE-TWO) communications satellite at 25.9 degrees East. The satellite was launched on a Falcon 9 rocket from SpaceX at Cape Canaveral on November 15th of last year.


JIM/ANCHOR: Back here on earth, satellites have landed at a Pennsylvania college - in the form of a campus club. Here's Heather Embee K-B-3-TEE-ZED-DEE with those details.

HEATHER: There's a new club on campus at Villanova University in Pennsylvania and its ambitions are lofty - with good reason. The school's College of Engineering is now home to a CubeSat Club, focusing on amateur radio nanosatellites. Its faculty advisor is Alan Johnston KU2Y, an associate teaching professor of electrical and computer engineering. The advisor's role is a natural for him; Alan is vice president for educational relations for AMSAT, a voluntary position he holds within the radio amateur satellite corporation. Alan was named to his position at AMSAT in May of 2018 and was given the assignment to boost educational outreach and the role of amateur satellites as teaching tools.

Club meetings, which are held on Wednesdays, provide students with what is often their first glimpse at satellite technology and the little CubeSats. According to the university's website, the ultimate goal of the club might be to launch its own mission to space, perhaps as a joint effort with another organization or university. For the meantime, club members already have a busy agenda here on Earth, building a CubeSat simulator based around a Raspberry Pi computer with a 3-D printed frame and establishing a satellite ground station to be part of an automated open source global network.


JIM/ANCHOR: Even the youngest hams among us know that there's more to amateur radio than just the radio itself. Paul Braun WD9GCO tells us how we can honor our hobby's most junior operators.

PAUL: The Quarter Century Wireless Association and the Radio Club of America are again sponsoring the "Young Ham Lends a Hand" contest which honors the spirit of community service that is a tenet of ham radio. Carole Perry WB2MGP chairs the Youth Activities for both groups and oversees this informal contest for licensed hams 19 and younger:

CAROLE: If you encounter a youngster who is giving back to his neighborhood, to his community, participating in local events, volunteering at marathons, helping out in emergency situations - or it could be something like, in their particular neighborhood they are assisting elderly people by volunteering, assisting military personnel in some way or they could be involved in recruiting other young hams and then tutoring them.

PAUL: The winner of the $100 check is announced at Dayton Hamvention's Youth Forum in May whether or not the winner is present.

CAROLE: I have been been told by many parents that it looks mighty good on a college application so we're all for it.

PAUL: Along with the youngster's call sign and age, send a short summary paragraph saying why you think he or she is a candidate for this
award. Send it to Carole at WHISKEY BRAVO 2 MIKE GERMANY PAPA at gmail dot com (wb2mgp@gmail.com) no later than April 1st. Speaking of
awards, Carole just got back from Hamcation in Orlando, Florida and the veteran educator came back with one to call her own -- as the first recipient of the Carole Perry Educator of the Year Award.

CAROLE: To say I was overwhelmed, honored and 100 other adjectives I could come up with is an understatement. It is a legacy award and the beauty of that is that it ensures the work will go on - and the fact that the legacy will go on is an amazing wondrous thing to me and I could not be more proud.


PAUL/ANCHOR: This spring there just might be a long-awaited test in the future for amateurs hoping to upgrade their licenses in Iceland. Jeremy Boot G4NJH has that update.

JEREMY: Icelandic Radio Amateurs, that country's national association of hams, is hoping to ask the Post and Telecom Administration to approve a licence examination in May and wants members to weigh in with their interest. The group's president Jónas Bjarnason TF3JB told Newsline that despite the cancellation of a planned amateur radio course that was to have begun this month, the Icelandic group believes there are enough experienced hams with enough knowledge to sit for the examination without having taken the scheduled coursework. Jonas said that the popularity of the hobby has led the amateur group to offer the pre-exam course as frequently as four times a year during the last two years so there are plenty of hams who might be candidates for a licence upgrade. Exams are given at the University of Reykjavík in both English and Icelandic and although candidates are accepted on a walk-in basis, registration is recommended at least a week in advance.

He said that meanwhile, another course is being planned for later in the year - this time, in October. He said that by early September, the Icelandic ham group will be advertising the classes on Facebook, at the university and elsewhere.


JIM/ANCHOR: Brazil's communications regulator ANATEL has accepted recommendations that had been made by LABRE, the national amateur radio society, on regulations concerning human exposure to electromagnetic, electric and magnetic radiation. ANATEL had been reviewing distance calculations contained in an earlier resolution which sets outs specific conditions that are relevant to radio amateurs. The Brazilian amateur group asserted, in its input, that it supported the continuation of those criteria and that no changes were necessary. ANATEL has concurred.


JIM/ANCHOR: In one California classroom recently, the students were from the military but the curriculum was totally amateur....radio, that is. Here's Dave Parks WB8ODF with more.

DAVE: Amateur radio operators and the United States military are old friends, dating back to the first World War. Once again the two recently became classmates as well. This time, the teacher and students were in Point Mugu, California, home of a U.S. Naval Air Station. The classroom of Brian Hill KF4CAM was filled with 23 software engineers and developers from the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division. They were there to prep for their amateur radio Technician test. Organizers were quoted in published reports as saying that the one-week immersion session included a curriculum in RF propagation, antennas and signal modulation. The instruction designed by Brian, who's been a ham since high school, had been crafted to supplement these students' computer science backgrounds by adding some relevant radio theory. The Navy personnel, rookies in amateur radio, are experts in electronic warfare where a lot of this theory has relevance. It even piqued the interest of a fellow amateur Ian Mann KI6YVO, the head of the division's target design engineering branch, who is also pressing for the schooling to be expanded.

The students recently passed their final exam - the FCC licensing test. Organizers say their next activity might well be something like a school field trip. It will likely be a fox hunt - one in which they design and build their own directional antennas and then go off in search of an RF beacon hidden somewhere on the base.


JIM/ANCHOR: The FCC is looking for comment on an Ohio ham's petition to amend station identification rules during emergency operations. The petition from Robert Dukish, KK8DX, would like net control stations or others in an emergency communications to announce the call signs of all participants every 10 minutes from a single point using automatic ID by CW at speeds of no more than 25 wpm. The petition argued that current rules could prove [quote] "burdensome and can hinder the flow of emergency traffic on the channel." [endquote] The same petition was filed in 2005 and 2006 but the FCC did not adopt his suggested changes. Hams wishing to comment are advised to use the FCC Electronic Comment Filing Service or ECFS.


JIM/ANCHOR: A team of Swiss amateurs is moonstruck - so much so that they're planning their next DXpedition, preparing for some EME action on Crete. We learn more from Jim Meachen ZL2BHF.

JIM M: Get ready for yet another microwave DXpedition -- this one on Crete. Sam HB9COG and Dan HB9CRQ are preparing now to set off in May and expect to be on the air from the 10th through to the 17th. The Swiss operators plan to be on the bands between 23 cm and 3 cm using EME. The trip follows just months after the team's successful activation in Liechtenstein in late November and early December. During that activation, members Mark, HB9DBM and Dan, HB9CRQ operated on 23, 13, 9, 6 and 3cm and according to their website they completed 131 QSOs and 108 first-time contacts on 5 bands in 5 moon-passes. That adds up to one pass per band. Their QSOs included 25 using CW. As noted on their website, their terrestrial station makes use of WSJT software from Joe K1JT and by using WSJT-X the team has been able to make use of new modes such as QRA64 for 6 and 3 cm EME and some additional features such as Doppler-Compensation.


In the World of DX, Willy, ON4AVT, is on the air as 6W7/ON4AVT from Senegal, between February 20th and March 30th, operating on 40/20/10 meters using CW, SSB, PSK31 and PSK63. He will possibly be on 60 meters as well. QSL via his home callsign.

In St. Mary, Jamaica, Neil, G0RNU, is operating until the 26th of February as 6Y/G0RNU and can be heard on 80 through 6 meters depending on propagation and other factors. Visit his QRZ.com page for more details. QSL via eQSL.

In Austria, the International Amateur Radio Contest DX Club 4U1A, is using the special callsign 4U0R from the Vienna International Center through to the 28th of February. The station is marking World Radio Day, February 13th. Listen for the station on various HF bands using CW and SSB. QSL via UA3DX, direct, by the Bureau or ClubLog's OQRS.


JIM/ANCHOR: We conclude this week by asking: What is the REAL key to a CW lover's heart? Here's Neil Rapp WB9VPG with an answer that you may find we've....sugar-coated a bit.

NEIL: For Jari OH6DC, a CW enthusiast in Finland, having an imagination is key. Actually, having a key that's imaginative is more the point. Over the years, Jari's own style of homebrew CW keys has included bananas, a chocolate bar and even lollipops among their components. Take chocolate - which of course, he has. Rather than devour an entire bar of sweet temptation he has found a way to make it the main ingredient in a straight key. He shared his recipe with Newsline: Find the firmest chocolate possible and leave the smallest practical distance in the gaps between the contacts. He adds a wooden knob instead of a chocolate egg to avoid sticky fingers. Melting and breakage are always dangers, he said and yes, he has unfortunately broken the key while using it - once during the Scandinavian CW Activity Group's Straight Key Day. He told Newsline [quote] "Spare chocolate is handy when those accidents take place." [endquote]

Well, if you're out of chocolate, there's also Jari's "dual banana CW paddle," featuring some curved yellow produce ripe for action. That fruit of his efforts can be seen on his QRZ.com page.

With Valentine's Day just on the calendar recently, one would think a chocolate CW key might have set some YL's heart to melting -- but no, Jari had other plans for that occasion. He built a special edition "Valentine's Day Lollipop CW Key," which he displayed on his website along with the lyrics of the Pointer Sisters song "Telegraph Your Love." There's also a short video showing how the paddles work.

No doubt the lollipop key will store better over time than the chocolate straight key did. Two years after creating the chocolate key, Jari opened the box where it was stored and found that it had turned grey. He told Newsline he didn't want to eat it -- so he threw it out.

FRIDAY EDITION: Spring Training for our championship Red Sox is almost underway in Florida.....i just got my QST, absolutely the best issue I have read in a while. Projects that you and I can build and a few look like fun. This issue looks great graphically and even the ads were interesting...way to go QST....

Our friend Ranger Rick- K1BQT designed another antenna and it was featured in this months QST magazine

US Amateur Radio Population Grows Slightly in 2018

The US Amateur Radio population once again grew by about 1%, based upon 2017 and 2018 year-end FCC database statistics provided by Joe Speroni, AH0A. The 755,430 total licensees represent nearly 7,300 more ticket holders than those that were in the database at the end of 2017. Nearly 51% of the Amateur Radio population in the US — 384,145 — hold a Technician license. Generals are second with 175,949, and Amateur Extras number 147,369. Advanced and Novice licensee populations continue to decline, with 39,607 Advanced and 8,360 Novices, as the FCC no longer issues Advanced or Novice licenses. A more significant statistic is 31,576 new FCC licenses last year, although that’s 620 fewer than came aboard in 2017.

“New amateur licenses granted by FCC are down 2% over last year,” noted ARRL Volunteer Examiner Coordinator (VEC) Manager Maria Somma, AB1FM, “but this is the fifth year in a row the total has been greater than 31,000. I predict that the number of new licensees will be more than 30,000 at the end of this year as well, and I’m optimistic this trend will continue.”

Upgrades also are down slightly, compared to last year — 9,456 in 2018 versus 9,576 in 2017, she added. “For the fifth year in a row, we have conducted more than 7,000 Amateur Radio exam sessions in a year — an important milestone for the ARRL VEC,” Somma recounted. “Our program continues to provide outstanding service to the ARRL, its members, and the entire Amateur Radio community.”

ARRL VEC filed a total 30,393 license application forms last year, compared to 31,014 in 2017. That includes new, upgrade, modification, renewal, and club station filings. At 7,035 in 2018, the number of exam sessions conducted by ARRL VEC marginally trailed the 7,075 held in 2017. ARRL VEC served 34,493 exam applicants in 2018, compared to 35,352 in 2017. Exam elements administered by ARRL decreased from 47,152 last year to 45,817 this year, Somma said. Nearly 1,800 new Volunteer Examiners (VEs) have been added to the ARRL VEC program.

Space Station Slow Scan TV Event Feb 15-17

ARISS is planning another of their popular Slow Scan Television (SSTV) experiment events from the International Space Station on February 15-17

Transmissions on 145.800 MHz FM are scheduled to begin Friday, Feb. 15 at 08:45 UT and run through Sunday, Feb. 17 at 17:25 UT.

SSTV operations is a process by which images are sent from the International Space Station (ISS) via ham radio and received by ham operators, shortwave listeners and other radio enthusiasts on Earth, similar to pictures shared on cell phones using Twitter or Instagram.

When this event becomes active, SSTV images will be transmitted from the ISS at the frequency of 145.800 MHz using the SSTV mode of PD120 and can be received using ham radio equipment as simple as a 2 meter handheld radio or a common shortwave or scanner receiver the covers the 2 meter ham band. After connecting the audio output of the radio receiver to the audio input of a computer running free software such as MMSSTV, the SSTV images can be displayed.

Foundations of Amateur Radio #193

Modern Tools for a Modern Hobby

The hobby we call amateur radio is enormous. One amateur called it a thousand hobbies in one and that just about sums it up for me. Being bored inside this hobby is not an option, because there is just so much to do and see.

Yesterday I found a completely unrelated aspect to our hobby, call it the one thousand and first hobby associated with amateur radio. A friend came over and handed me the separation kit mount for my Yaesu FT-857D, it's the bit of plastic that you clip to the back of the head of the radio, so you can mount it somewhere separate from the main body of the radio.

I have one of those already, purchased from a local supplier, at the time, 8 years ago, it cost me $80, these days it's included with the radio. For my station I needed a second mount and I really didn't want to spend that much money on three cables and some plastic, so I went hunting for alternatives. One of my friends is doing some 3D printing R&D for his job and has access to a printer to do some rapid prototyping and I wondered if that might be an option.

Turns out that I'm late to the party, people have been designing and printing bits for their radios for years.

A quick hunt through the popular 3D printing libraries showed about 500 different designs for Yaesu, Elecraft, Baofeng, ICOM and Kenwood, though I should point out that Kenwood also makes food processors and other bits that seem popular in the 3D printing world, so 500 is likely a little high, but respectable nonetheless.

I looked at 8 different libraries and found that Thingiverse is by far the most popular for bits with radio brands we know and love. It occurred to me that right here is thr perfect example of how amateur radio is a hobby that just grows and grows.

If you're looking for radio mounts, stands, buttons, microphone clips, belt clips, mount adaptors, holders, cradles, plug covers, brackets, earpiece retainers, logos, callsign stands, cogs, gears, handles, caps, pins, latches, cases, tuning knobs, CW key brackets, stacking brackets, antenna adaptors, feet, desk stands, shoulder strap holders, battery compartments, you're good to go.

I should mention that you don't even need to invest in a 3D printer at this point, you can hand the design to a printing service and get your print shipped to you in the mail.

If you cannot find what you're looking for, you can fire up a 3D CAD program and get designing to make something precisely to your own specifications and based on the current tools available, you can even see what it's going to look like by the time it's rendered in the plastic and colour of your choice.

I've only mentioned radio bits, but there's nothing stopping you from printing ladder line separators, dipole centres, antenna brackets, tuner cases, project cases for your home-brew contraption, knobs and dials, buttons and connectors and other missing parts or hard to find pieces.

If you're using standard components like a Raspberry Pi or Arduino, you'll find cases ready to go for those as well, so the more you look, the more you'll find.

The point of all this is that amateur radio is a hobby that goes far beyond someone sitting behind a radio listening to beeps, pops and crackles. Manufacturing and amateur radio go hand-in-hand and have done since the very beginning, but there's no rule that says that you have to keep using traditional tools to build what you're imagining.

The sky is the limit, and based on the efforts of CAMRAS, the CA Muller Radio Astronomy Station, PI9CAM based at the Dwingeloo Radio Telescope in the Netherlands, who captured a photo of the far side of the moon using a camera linked to an amateur radio transceiver on board of the Chinese Longjiang-2 satellite, even that limit is being explored.

I'm Onno VK6FLAB

Bob- KC1BBU on vacation in Florida sent these yesterday....Bob is an avid fisherman...

VALENTINE'S DAY EDITION: Marlboro Hamfest (MA) this weekend, small and wraps up early, but you might find some "jewels" there. Worth the visit if you are nearby and have the time.....It has been a quiet week for ham radio news, I see the Icom vhf-uhf IC 9700 is available for just $2000, go figure. Same basic radio as IC 7300 ($1000) except of course band coverage but why so much more $$$$$?....

'Hello CQ, Hello CQ it's International Radio Day'

Pete Wood M7PNW writes in Design Spark about his journey from kid with a Walkie Talkie to Dad with a new hobby

As a kid growing up in the late 70's and early 80's, modern communications as we know them today were pretty much Science Fiction.

My best friend at the time lived next door and our bedroom windows were on opposite sides of the house. Like most 8-year-old friendships, we were inseparable partners of mischief and wanted to chat secretly when we were supposed to be in bed. So thanks to Grandad's suggestion, we experimented with "the bean can and string telephone". We stretched string out of our bedroom windows and created our own person chatline.

The problem was it wasn't very effective and you had to almost shout into the can.  This meant conversations weren't very secret and the shouts of "go to sleep, it's bedtime!" would come from my parents downstairs.

Then that Christmas I got a set of wired Walkie Talkies with Morse code, and this is where my journey into radio began.

Read the full article at


WEDNESDAY EDITION: We lucked out and got 2 inches of snow that turned into slush by this morning, no plowing needed...A friend of mine has a brand new in the box Icom 7300 for sale for $895.00, he already  redeemed the rebate. This is a great deal, contact me if interested...WTF DEPARTMENT: Hipolit-Gonzalez was charged with Unlicensed Practice of a Health Care Profession, Unlawful Use of a Two-Way Communication Device and his bond was set at $10,000. ....Bill Cosby says he is enjoying prison.....she can sit next to me on my next plane flight....New Jersey sewer authority generates more power than it uses by harnessing the unlimited potential of renewable resources such as wind, solar, and meatball grease.............

Bob "Mud Duck"- KC1BBU down in Sanibel Island, Florida on vacation...

EF50: The tube that changed everything

From today’s perspective, vacuum tubes are pretty low tech. But for a while they were the pinnacle of high tech, and heavy research followed the promise shown by early vacuum tubes in transmission and computing. Indeed, as time progressed, tubes became very sophisticated and difficult to manufacture. After all, they were as ubiquitous as ICs are today, so it is hardly surprising that they got a lot of R&D.

Prior to 1938, for example, tubes were built as if they were light bulbs. As the demands on them grew more sophisticated, the traditional light bulb design wasn’t sufficient. For one, the wire leads’ parasitic inductance and capacitance would limit the use of the tube in high-frequency applications. Even the time it took electrons to get from one part of the tube to another was a bottleneck.

There were several attempts to speed tubes up, including RCA’s acorn tubes, lighthouse tubes, and Telefunken’s Stahlröhre designs. These generally tried to keep leads short and tubes small. The Philips company started attacking the problem in 1934 because they were anticipating demand for television receivers that would operate at higher frequencies.

Dr. Hans Jonker was the primary developer of the proposed solution and published his design in an internal technical note describing an all-glass tube that was easier to manufacture than other solutions. Now all they needed was an actual application. While they initially thought the killer app would be television, the E50 would end up helping the Allies win the war.


AO-85 Turned Off due to Return of Eclipse Periods and Poor Battery Condition

The Fox-1A (AO-85) CubeSat has been turned off until further notice due to return of eclipses and poor battery condition, control operator Mark Hammond, N8MH, has announced. In December, AO-85 experienced precarious battery voltage drops during eclipse periods; it’s believed that the batteries suffered degradation due to heat during previous no-eclipse periods, making it difficult to keep the satellite available without risking battery damage.

To extend the satellite’s usable life, both the internal housekeeping unit (IHU) and the transmitter were shut down, ceasing all transmissions. This included the beacons running every 2 minutes during times of sunlight and eclipse. AO-85 was turned back on during the next full-sun illumination period that began on January 24 and enabled for regular use. AO-85 occasionally reset due to low battery voltage and operated in safe mode.

With AO-85 leaving full illumination and encountering periodic eclipses, its battery condition again began to deteriorate again. The satellite's health will be tracked with periodic telemetry transmissions when commanded by a control operator. AMSAT asks satellite enthusiasts to continue tracking AO-85 in FoxTelem and post to the AMSAT-BB or contact Drew Glasbrenner, KO4MA. — Thanks to AMSAT News Service 

TUESDAY EDITION: Well it's never boring wx wise in New England, snow and sleet this afternoon and night. Antenna watch out for us that feed our antennas with ladder line....HRO lunch in Salem, NH sponsored by the 3928 "Friendly Bull Net" group scheduled for this Thursday. Speaking of HRO, I heard a rumor on 75 meters last night that HRO will be charging sales tax as of March 1. What does that mean? I buy from NH and I have shipped to MA tax free (MA has 6 % sales tax), are they going to charge me the MA tax? If so, I guess I drive to the NH store and pick it up in tax free NH......

Student from Saint Paul's School Rajkot receives ISS SSTV

14-year-old Snehal Vagadia VU3WHO successfully received his first Slow Scan TV image from the International Space Station on February 10

Snehal Vagadia VU3WHO (14), an 8th grade student of Saint Paul's School, Rajkot, India, received the SSTV image on February 10, 2019 at 5:33 AM UTC (11:03 AM IST).

It was good ISS pass with 56 deg elevation, strong signals were received using a 3 element Yagi and VHF HT tuned to 145.800 MHz. SSTV audio was recorded on a smartphone and later decoded with MMSSTV.

He got amateur radio licence at the age of 13 years and learnt ham activities from his father Rajesh Vagadia VU2EXP (Regional Coordinator, West India Zone, AMSAT-INDIA).

Space Station SSTV decoder setup for Raspberry Pi

David Honess M6DNT has written an article describing how to receive ISS Slow Scan TV images using just a Raspberry Pi computer and an RTL-SDR USB dongle

SSTV is a picture transmission method for sending and receiving static pictures via radio. The International Space Station transmits the pictures on 145.800 MHz FM to amateur radio operators and other radio enthusiasts around the world.

Read the article at

February 14 is Es’hail-2 (QO-100) Teleport Inauguration Day

Thursday, February 14, is Teleport Inauguration Day in Qatar, celebrating the opening of the new Es’hailSat teleport and the official opening of Es’hail-2, which carries the first geostationary Amateur Radio payload, a German P4A package. Es’hail-2 launched last November from Cape Canaveral. The two Amateur Radio transponders onboard what’s now known as Qatar OSCAR 100 (QO-100) also will be made available on February 14 for general operation by radio amateurs within QO-100’s footprint. Emceeing the opening ceremony will be Qatar’s former Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah bin Hamad al-Attiya, A71AU, who chairs the Qatar Amateur Radio Society (QARS) and is a satellite patron.

A delegation from Germany — AMSAT-DL President Peter Guelzow, DB2OS; Achim Vollhardt, DH2VA, and Thomas Kleffel, DG5NGI, of the P4A team — will be in Qatar to set up and commission the ground segment of P4A at the QO-100 ground station. In addition to LEILA and the DVB-S2 DATV system, this also includes a club station, which will operate under the auspices of QARS as A71A. A backup station is installed at QARS headquarters in Doha.

An AMSAT-DL ground station at the Bochum Observatory in Germany is also ready for reception and transmission via QO-100, with later radio operation via the satellite carried out using the call sign DL50AMSAT. AMSAT-DL has requested that radio amateurs refrain from attempts to transmit via the new satellite until commissioning is complete.

On opening day, a video of Es’hail-2 will be transmitted in an endless loop in DVB-S2 format on the DATV beacon of the wideband transponder. Beacons will be transmitted via the narrowband transponder.

Stations located outside of the QO-100 footprint or lacking 10 GHz receive capability can monitor the proceeding using online WebSDR resources. In cooperation with AMSAT-DL, the British Amateur Television Club (BATC) will operate a WebSDR for the narrowband segment, and a spectrum viewer for the wideband (DATV) segment. The Goonhilly Earth Station is supporting the project, providing hosting at the facility in Cornwall, United Kingdom. The IS0GRB Es’Hail-2 SAT 26E WebSDR receiver on Sardinia Island, Italy, can be accessed too.

The satellite is now in geostationary orbit at 25.9° E. AMSAT-DL has posted Es’hail-2 narrowband and wideband Amateur Radio transponder operating guidelines and Es’hail-2 Amateur Radio information online. — Thanks to AMSAT News Service via AMSAT-DL 

FCC Invites Comments on Amateur Radio-Related Petition for Rule Making

The FCC has invited public comments on a Petition for Rule Making (RM-11826) from an Ohio radio amateur seeking to amend the Part 97 station identification rules to better accommodate and simplify station identification during an emergency net, drill, or activation. ARRL member Robert A. Dukish, KK8DX, filed the petition in December, and the FCC put it on public notice this week. Dukish seeks a change to Section 97.119(a) of the rules, which requires an amateur station to transmit its “assigned call sign on its transmitting channel at the end of each communication, and at least every 10 minutes during a communication.”

He noted that during emergency networks, requiring participating stations — often portable — to use their assigned call signs during each transmission could prove “burdensome and can hinder the flow of emergency traffic on the channel.”

Specifically, he is suggesting that a simple approach would be to permit the net control station or other designated participant to announce from a single point the call signs of every station taking part in the net or exercise, when tactical call signs often are in use, at 10-minute intervals, using automatic CW identification.

Dukish suggested amending Section 97.119(a) to add, “except during a local emergency network activation or drill,” and providing that in such situations, a net control or designations station would be “authorized to announce all participating stations’ assigned call signs at no more than 10-minute intervals while the net is in progress.” The amendment would provide that participating stations “be within a 50-mile distance of the identifying station, and each individual station must self-identify by transmitting its assigned call sign at least once per hour.” CW transmission could be no faster than 25 WPM if sent automatically to satisfy the suggested amendment.

MONDAY EDITION: 3910 was lively yesterday late afternoon, a true "Friendly Bunch" unlike 3919 which does not accept 1 lander's, they must still be fighting the war down there. It was nice to hear Guy- WW1US from Florida check in, why the hell did he move to Florida? Paul - N1IOM checked in and said the f-bomb more times than I thought was possible in five minutes, those 12 ounce skull splitters were in full force. Good to hear Paul- DUD. What ever happened to pain in the ass Scott???  Dick-K1OOB (the old K1DPM) has a new nearly amplifier for sale, an AL-572. Dick changes his call sign as frequently as he turns over ham gear. Dick told us about the missing years in his life due to alien abduction, a fascinating story...A plane crashed into Alton Bay, NH yesterday, I hope Bob- GWU tells us the story today on 3928 as he lives right there....

You say you can't pass the Extra Lite test...the one they give you the questions and answers to? NO cw required
and even this 11 year old could pass it....

AO-85 turned off due to return of eclipses and poor battery condition

At 1114 UTC February 6, 2019, AO-85 was commanded OFF until further notice, due to return of eclipses and poor battery condition as noted by Mark Hammond, N8MH, control operator.

Beginning in December, 2018 AO-85 had issues with the batteries dropping precariously low during eclipse. The Engineering and the Operations Teams think it's likely the batteries suffered degradation due to heat during previous periods of no eclipses.

This made it difficult to keep the satellite available for use with-out further endangering the batteries. On December 19 the nominally 3.6v battery pack was down to 2.8v at the end of the eclipse which is dangerously low.

In an effort to extend the usable life of the satellite, both the IHU and the transmitter were turned off at this time which ceased all transmissions, including the beacons every two minutes in both sunlit and eclipsed parts of the orbit.

AO-85 was turned back on during the next period of no eclipse, full sun illumination which began on January 24, 2019. The repeater was enabled for regular use. AO-85 occasionally reset due to low voltage on it's batteries and operated in SAFE MODE.

February 4 marked the end of the recent full illumination period with periodic eclipses. The battery condition began to deteriorate again. The satellite health will be tracked with periodic telemetry transmissions when commanded by a control operator.

The next full illumination periods without eclipses for AO-85 will be June 7-19, 2019 and the next in early September, 2019.

During this time it is important to leave AO-85 tracked in your FoxTelem setups, in order for us to gather telemetry and keep tabs on the situation. If you do happen to hear a Veronica beacon, or either the normal repeater or the COR/no telemetry repeater, please let the amsat-bb list know, or send an email to ko4ma@amsat.org

The Data-Under-Voice (DUV) telemetry is decoded and uploaded to the Fox Data Warehouse with the Fox Telem software available on the AMSAT
web: http://www.amsat.org/tlm/leaderboard.php?id=0&db=FOXDB

Stations not equipped to receive and decode the telemetry can monitor the latest reports at: http://www.amsat.org/tlm/health.php?id=1&port=

KG4AKV's SpaceComms YouTube Channel - Building a Groundstation

John Brier, KG4AKV, has updated his SpaceComms YouTube channel with three videos showing how he built his amateur satellite ground station at his QTH.

The videos, originally presented as a livestream, take viewers through his process to build a satellite ground station with a Yaesu G-5500 az/el rotor, M2 LEO pack antenna, and an Icom IC-910H transceiver.    YOUTUBE

Is August now Lighthouse month ?

WIA news say Kevin VK2CE runs a great web page for the International Lighthouse Lightship Weekend. The weekend is the 3rd full weekend in August

On VK2CE's page we see that for some reason or other August seems to
have become the international weekend for lighthouses. Countries all
over the world have become involved in one or another of lighthouse

Some years ago the United States Congress declared August 7th as their National Lighthouse Day and during that first week in August amateur radio operators in America set up portable stations at lighthouses and endeavour to make contact with each other. This event is known as the US National Lighthouse Week.

In Britain the Association of Lighthouse Keepers, ALK, conducts
International Lighthouse Heritage Weekend on the 3rd full weekend in August. Their objective is to encourage Lighthouse managers, keepers and owners to open their lighthouse or lightstation and related visitors centres to the public with a view to raising the profile of lighthouses, lightvessels and other navigational aids, and preserving their maritime heritage.

However, the major event which takes place in August is the International Lighthouse Lightship Weekend, ILLW, which came into
being in 1998 as the Scottish Northern Lights Award run by the Ayr Amateur Radio Group.

The ILLW takes place on the 3rd full weekend in August each year and attracts over 500 lighthouse entries located in over 40 countries.
It is one of the most popular international amateur radio events in
existence probably because there are very few rules and it is not the usual contest type event. It is also free and there are no prizes for contacting large numbers of other stations. There is little doubt that the month of August has become "Lighthouse Month" due largely to the popularity and growth of the ILLW.



New England Hams you might run across 75 meters.........

K1TP- Jon....Editor of As The World Turns....
W1GEK- Big Mike....Nearfest Cook, big motor home, electronics software engineer ...
AA1SB- Neil...Living large traveling the country with his girlfriend...loves CW
N1YX- Igor....peddles quality Russian keys, software engineer
K1BGH...Art.....Restores cars and radio gear, nice fella...
N1XW.....Mike-easy going, Harley riding kind of guy!
K1JEK-Joe...Easy going, can be found at most ham flea market ...Cobra Antenna builder..
KA1GJU- Kriss- Tower climbing pilot who cooks on the side at Hosstrader's...
W1GWU-Bob....one of the Hosstrader's original organizers, 75 meter regular, Tech Wizard!!!
K1PV- Roger....75 meter regular, easy going guy...
W1XER...Scott....easy going guy, loves to split cordwood and hunt...
WS1D- Warren- "Windy" - Bullnet
KB1VX- Barry- the picture says it all, he loves food!
KC1BBU- Bob....the Mud Duck from the Cape Cod Canal, making a lot of noise.
W1STS- Scott...philosopher, hat
KB1JXU- Matthew...75 meter regular...our token liberal Democrat out of VT

KA1BXB-Don....75 meter Regular......residing on the Cape of Cod, flying planes and playing radio
KMIG-Rick....75 Meter Regular....teaches the future of mankind, it's scary!
K1PEK-Steve..Founder of Davis-RF....my best friend from high school 

K9AEN-John...Easy going ham found at all the ham fests
K1BXI- John.........Dr. Linux....fine amateur radio op ....wealth of experience...
K1BQT.....Rick....very talented ham, loves his politics, has designed gear for MFJ...
W1KQ- Jim-  Retired
Air Force Controller...told quite a few pilots where to go!
N1OOL-Jeff- The 3936 master plumber and ragchewer...
K1BRS-Bruce- Computer Tech of 3936...multi talented kidney stone passing ham...
K1BGH- Arthur, Cape Cod, construction company/ice cream shop, hard working man....
W1VAK- Ed, Cape Cod, lots of experience in all areas, once was a Jacques Cousteus body guard....
KD1ZY- Warren....3910 regular with WIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIDE signal
N1YSU- Bob,  easy going, kind of like Mr. Rogers until politics are brought up then watch out...
K1BNH- Bill- Used to work for a bottled gas company-we think he has been around nitrous oxide to long .

Silent KeyVA2GJB- Graham...one of the good 14313 guys back in the day.
Silent Key K1BHV- David...PITA
Silent Key W1JSH- Mort...Air Force man
Silent Key K1MAN--Glen....PITA
Silent KeyKB1CJG-"Cobby"- Low key gent can be found on many of the 75 meter nets.........
Silent KeyWB1AAZ- Mike, Antrim, NH, auto parts truck driver-retired

Silent KeyWB1DVD- Gil....Gilly..Gilmore.....easy going, computer parts selling, New England Ham..
Silent Key W1OKQ- Jack....3936 Wheeling and Dealing......keeping the boys on there toes....
Silent Key W1TCS- Terry....75 meter regular, wealth of electronic knowledge...
Silent Key WIPNR- Mack....DXCC Master, worked them all!.. 3864 regular for many years...
Silent Key
WILIM- Hu....SK at 92... 3864 regular for many years...
Silent Key N1SIE- Dave....Loves to fly
Silent Key:
N1WBD- Big Bob- Tallest ham, at 6'10", of the 3864 group
Silent Key: W1FSK-Steve....Navy Pilot, HRO Salesman, has owned every radio ever built!
Silent Key: W4NTI-Vietnam Dan....far from easy going cw and ssb op on 14275/313
Silent Key:K1FUB-Bill- Loved ham radio....