Heat wave this morning on the foggy island of Cape Ann and about 40
degrees, not bad....big tourist day in town with all the shops and
galleries open with xmas cheer, workshops for kids and adults,
music, food, etc.....Raspberry
pi stuff...I find the numbers
a little hard to believe in this article, two million
Two killed in accident at Antarctic
Two fire technicians at a US scientific station
in Antarctica have died after being found unconscious, according to
the National Science Foundation (NSF).
The two technicians had been working on a fire-suppression system
at McMurdo station on Ross Island, the foundation said on Wednesday.
It said they were found on the floor by a helicopter pilot who had
landed after spotting what appeared to be smoke from the building.
Both were taken from the building and given CPR. One died at the
scene. The other was flown to a clinic and pronounced dead shortly
It happened on Tuesday eastern US time at a generator building
that powers a radio transmitter near the McMurdo station.
Amateur Radio Newsline Report
2146 for Friday, December 14 2018...rehash of the news..
JOURNEY OVER FOR AMSAT'S FOX-1 SATELLITE
STEPHEN/ANCHOR: We open this week's report with discouraging news
for satellite enthusiasts who were looking forward to the
commissioning of the newly launched Fox-1Cliff/AO-95 CubeSat.
Newsline reported last week that AMSAT-North America was preparing
for it to become its fourth Fox-1 amateur radio satellite. AMSAT's
vice president of engineering Jerry Buxton N-ZERO-J-Y announced that
problems with the receiver, discovered during the commissioning
process, has put an end to those plans. The commissioning process
began on Tuesday, the 4th of December but is now at an end. Jerry
issued a statement on December 9th saying: "Many of you have
probably built a project and had to troubleshoot it on your bench.
we are in a troubleshooting situation here with the additional
challenge of being 600 km away from our bench." [endquote]
Meanwhile, he said, engineers will continue to evaluate what
NORTH CAROLINA HAMS CHANGE GIFT-GIVING TRADITION
STEPHEN/ANCHOR: In this season of giving and sharing, one ham radio
club in North Carolina changed a holiday tradition and spread some
needed cheer. Paul Braun WD9GCO has that story.
PAUL: In local disasters, national emergencies and even extreme
weather events, hams’ efforts at helping almost always shine. In
Gaston County, North Carolina, that was also the case recently when
the Gaston County Amateur Radio Society decided they would make a
difference – not by what they did, but by what they did NOT do.
The hams have a tradition of hosting a gift exchange at their annual
holiday party and it has come to be expected. This year, however,
was different. When the group gathered for the festivities on
Monday, December 3rd, hams like Pat N4DOX and Cy K1CY had already
made a decision where their gift money was going to go. They donated
it instead to the Empty Stocking Fund operated by the local
newspaper, Gaston Gazette.
Cy told the newspaper [quote] “the idea was to do something for
someone else. There really is a big need out there.” [endquote].
The funds raised by the amateurs will be given to the Salvation Army
who will purchase clothes, toys and food for holiday meals for
families and local seniors. According to the newspaper, this is one
of many gestures the radio club has made in the county, where they
are always ready to respond to emergencies – large and small.
The newspaper wrote, in its December 4 article: [quote] “The match
between the Gaston County Amateur Radio Society and the Salvation
Army is a good one: Both are ready to pitch in and help when
For Amateur Radio Newsline, I’m Paul Braun WD9GCO.
HISTORIC TRANSMITTER RETURNS TO AIR FOR HOLIDAY
STEPHEN/ANCHOR: Another holiday tradition - this one involving a
historic transmitter - will be back on the air in Sweden, as we hear
from Jeremy Boot G4NJH.
JEREMY: Christmas Eve morning will bring coffee, cake and CW for
radio enthusiasts who’ll be gathering at Sweden’s World Heritage
Grimeton Radio Station for an annual tradition: the tuning up of the
Alexanderson 200 kW transmitter, a relic from 1924, to send out a
Christmas message in CW on the VLF frequency of 17.2 kHz. It is
especially significant this year since organisers reluctantly
announced the cancellation of last year’s scheduled message because
maintenance work needed to be completed on the nearly
The radio station welcomes QSLs and listener reports for this
special holiday message by email, direct mail or bureau. The email
address is info at alexander dot n dot se (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Meanwhile, to mark the event, amateur radio station SK6SAQ will be
operating on three frequencies: using CW on 7.035 kHz or 14.035 kHz
or using SSB on 3.755 kHz.
Hams and other radio listeners unable to be present in Sweden will
not be left out, of course: the event will be broadcast live on
YouTube, as the message goes out at 0800 UTC, or 9 a.m. local time.
You will, however, have to supply your own coffee and cake.
LONG ISLAND CLUB HOSTS 2 SEASONAL ON-AIR EVENTS
STEPHEN/ANCHOR: In New York, the Great South Bay Amateur Radio Club
believes there's no place like being with hams for the holidays --
so they're hosting two events to celebrate the season. Here's Neil
NEIL: What better way to celebrate Christmas than a 12 Days of
Christmas Special Event Station? This special event starts on
Friday, December 14th and runs for... yes... 12 days, which would
make it end on Christmas day. Each day has its own special 1x1
callsign, like W2P is the Partridge in a Pear Tree station; or the
W2L Nine Ladies Dancing station. Collect as many days as you want,
and you can get a fabulous certificate if you work just one or
more. And of course, you can go for the clean sweep of all 12! But
if you do, that's a lot of birds. 184 to be exact. Lou Maggio,
NO2C, tells us about how you can find this first time offering of
the extra special event.
LOU: These are all operators that are seasoned. We don't have any
people doing this that have never done anything like it before, so
we're kind of letting them pick the bands, pick the frequencies, and
then they'll spot themselves. The way I usually do it: SES and then
12 Days of Christmas... and that generally is enough to attract
anyone that wants to get the certificate.
NEIL: To get your certificate, you'll just need to upload your log
in cabrillo format after the event is over. But wait, there's
more! On December 25th, there's an extra, extra special event for
those people like Lou and Newsline's own Caryn Eve Murray, KD2GUT,
who have birthdays on Christmas day. Lou tells how the Christmas
Birthday Special Event started.
LOU: Caryn and I are in the same club, and we happened to have a
conversation one day and realized we were both born on Christmas
Day. So, we said ok let's take and do a special event on VHF on
Christmas day and see how many people check in. And, quite a few
people checked in. So, we did it again the second year, and it was
even more popular. So this year, because we had so much luck with
HF special events, we said well let's do it on HF this time. So we
figure we'll do it on the 25th. So anyone who actually has a
birthday on the 25th, and that includes Christmas babies, Boxing Day
babies, New Years Eve babies, anybody who has a holiday related
birthday in around the 25th, we're hoping will check in; and then
they’ll be able to download a certificate from our website
commemorating the contact. And we’re going to probably be on any
frequency that ends 25... 3.825, 7.225, 14.325 are the ones that
we're going to be calling on. And we'll be spotting on the cluster
NEIL: So listen for the 12-days of Christmas stations starting on
December 14th and for K2B on December 25th. Fire up those rigs, warm
your hands to the glow of the amplifier, and have fun with these two
special events. And from all of us here at Newsline, we wish our
editor, Caryn, a very Merry Birthday
WHEN A QSL CARD BRINGS CALLSIGN DEJA VU
STEPHEN/ANCHOR: It’s not unusual for one ham’s transceiver to show
up in another ham’s shack, one ham’s antenna to find its way across
the country to another ham who needed it or even an old, treasured
straight key given away by someone who doesn’t need it any longer.
But a ham in Oklahoma and a ham in California recently learned they
shared something entirely different, as Mike Askins KE5CXP explains.
MIKE: On November 25, 2018, Mike Olsen NQ6C and Roger Simpson K5RKS
had a QSO on 17 meters at 1831 UTC using FT8 mode. Not long after,
Mike received Roger’s QSL card and something else – a second, older
QSL card in the same envelope which left Mike feeling as if he were
looking into a mirror.
Mike told Newsline in an email: [quote] “The first QSL card on top
had NQ6C which was my call sign but it wasn’t one of my cards.” [endquote]
Mike was assigned the call sign earlier this year and clearly this
QSL card went back much further in time than that. His temporary
confusion ended when he looked at the other QSL card – the one from
their recent contact – and saw that Roger had written, at the very
bottom: “What a surprise to work my old call!”
It turns out Roger had been assigned the call sign in November of
1982 after passing his Extra Class exam at the FCC’s San Francisco
office. Mike, of course, had no clue about its history when it
became his turn to be assigned the call sign in March.
It’s not every day you get to connect with your digital
doppelganger. Now, says Mike, NQ6C has not just become a treasured
call sign and QSL card but a piece of personal history -- and he
might just have this card framed.
For Amateur Radio Newsline I’m Mike Askins KE5CXP.
YLRL AWARDS SCHOLARSHIPS TO 3 PROMISING AMATEURS
STEPHEN/ANCHOR: The Young Ladies' Radio League has just awarded
three promising amateurs with scholarships to continue their studies
as we hear from Heather Embee KB3TZD.
HEATHER: Readers of YL-Harmonics, the official publication of the
Young Ladies’ Radio League, were greeted by three smiling faces on
the cover of the group’s November-December issue: Jordyn Mann,
W1KXJ; Anna Veal, W0ANT; and Trina Boyce, KI6GZG all have good
reason to smile. They have all been named YLRL Scholarship winners
receiving gifts that honor three Silent Keys: Ethyl Smith K4LMB;
Martha Wessel K0EPE and Mary Lou Brown NM7N. Jordyn is a computer
science major at MIT and has been an intern at NASA. Anna, a
graduate of the STEM high school in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, plans
to study computer science at the University of Colorado. She is also
a past winner of Amateur Radio Newsline’s Young Ham of the Year
award. Trina, who is a doctoral candidate at Colorado Technical
University, has two master’s degrees and teaches online as an
adjunct professor at Brigham Young University. Applications will be
open soon for the 2019 scholarships and are due by April. For more
information check the website of the Foundation for Amateur Radio at
farweb dot org (farweb.org). Meanwhile, congratulations to this
WORLD OF DX
In this week’s world of DX, be listening for Ben DL6RAI who is
operating in Aruba as P4/DL6RAI. You can listen for him until the
27th of December on 160 and 80 meters. QSL via Club Log's OQRS, LoTW
or via his home call.
In Curacao, Anders, SM4KYN will be active as PJ2/SM4KYN through the
14th of January. Send QSLs direct to his home call.
In Antarctica, Felix, DL5XL is active again as DP1POL
from the German research station "Neumayer III" until February 2019.
He is operating mainly CW and digital modes. Send QSLs via
DL-ONE-ZED Bee Oh (DL1ZBO), direct or by the bureau, and on LoTW.
Starting on the 26th of December, Chie, 7L3PFH be active as
KH0TG from Tinian in the Mariana Islands where she will be operating
until the 1st of January. She will operate CW and SSB on 160 through
20 meters. QSL direct to JL1UTS.
KICKER: WHEN DXING TAKES A DETOUR
STEPHEN/ANCHOR: We end this week's report with a story of some DXing
that took a detour. For one ham in Austria, the childhood chase of a
QSL card brought home a very unexpected message. Ed Durrant DD5LP
tells that story.
ED: In an interview recently with the Austrian state broadcaster ORF,
Erich Moechel OE3EMB shared the story of his pursuit of a QSL card
back when he was a 16-year-old schoolboy. It happened in the early
1970s – during the Cold War – after he and a friend had become
devoted shortwave listeners, starting first as broadcast DXers.
ERICH: We would sit there and listen and it was all Cold War blaring
into the household at that time. Voice of American on one side,
Radio Liberty on the same side – and on the other side, Radio Peace
and Progress from Moscow and numerous other strong, strong stations
all around Europe. Every day the postman would bring at least one
QSL card for a while because I had spent all my pocket money on
ED: After getting their fill of pop and rock on pirate radio and
receiving signals and QSL cards from China, Cuba and Russia, Erich
and his friend looked elsewhere for more exciting and interesting
ERICH: Both of us became utility DXers, Normally by law it was
somehow in the gray zone in Austria. It was de facto forbidden to
listen to phone calls and we wouldn’t do that.
ED: Still, there were definite concerns outlined in the shortwave
listening newsletters the boys received.
ERICH: There were warnings in these newsletters not to send
reception reports to certain stations. Amongst them was Cable and
Wireless in London and Norddeich Radio in Germany.
ED: One day by accident, however, he intercepted a conversation
without knowing he was hearing the German Federal Intelligence
Service and the UK’s Secret Service, a shortwave exchange not meant
for the public. Still, he and his friend wondered: since they get
such beautiful QSL cards from Cable and Wireless in Central Africa
and Liberia, why not London? So they sent their reception reports –
but instead of getting a card, Erich’s parents received a formal
complaint: Officials from the Austrian Ministry of Transport and
Telecommunications in Vienna had been contacted by officials in
Germany and the UK. They warned: Erich must stop listening or face
confiscation of his radio equipment.
ERICH: Only very much later I learned that these were the centers of
radio communication in England and Germany and it was the secret
service guys checking everything and promoting a policy of
ED: Erich now spends his time on HF and he’s pursuing QSL cards as a
seasoned ham. He notes on his page on QRZ.com that his policy is
“ultra relaxed” when it comes to QSL cards. People can send them –
or not. “Just say hello the next time we meet on the bands” he
writes. In case you’re wondering, cards from shortwave listeners are
always welcome too.
TGIF EDITION: I
haven't got much feedback, but I think everyone had a good time
yesterday at HRO....I am hoping someone can send me the name and
callsign of all in the photos..
HRO Thursday at the K1JEK Annual Xmas Party
Ok, who was the guy who photo-bombed the picture?
By the way, could Joe- K1JEK be any happier in this picture?
Broadcasters Intruding on Exclusive
Amateur Radio Frequencies
The International Amateur Radio Union Region 1 (IARU-R1
Monitoring System (IARUMS
reports that Radio Hargeisa in Somaliland has returned to 7,120
kHz after a break of several weeks, while Radio Eritrea has been
reported on 7,140 and 7,180 kHz. Radio Sudan has been
transmitting on 7,205 kHz with excessive splatter, IARUMS said.
German telecommunications authorities have filed official
IARUMS has also reported digital signals
attributed to the Israeli Navy on 7,107 and 7,150 kHz. In
addition, a Russian military F1B signal was observed in
mid-November on 7,179 kHz. A Russian over-the-horizon radar has
returned to 20 meters on 14,335 – 14,348 kHz. It was monitored
on November 22. Earlier this fall, IARUMS reported digital
signals from the Polish military daily on 7,001.8 kHz where
Amateur Radio has a worldwide primary allocation.
Telecommunications officials in Germany filed a complaint.
IARUMS has received reports of short “beeps” exactly 1 second
apart, as well as frequency hopping between 10,108 and 10,115
kHz and 18,834 and 18,899 kHz. The signals are believed to
emanate from a site near Chicago associated with an FCC-licensed
Experimental operation involved with low-latency exchange
trading on HF (see “Experiments
Look to Leverage Low-Latency HF to Shave Microseconds off Trade
Times”). Although Amateur Radio is secondary on 30
and 17 meters, Experimental licenses may not interfere with
Amateur Radio operations.
Foundations of Amateur Radio #184
Contest Headphones and glorious HF SSB
Recently I managed to get some quality on-air time when I
participated in a contest. This isn't about contesting. Although I
suppose tangentially it is. It was a most enjoyable experience
shared with some friends and because we did it at a local radio
club, Sunday morning had all manner of visitors joining us for a
little social chat, just the ticket for breaking the monotony of
Normally when I do a contest I wear headphones, actually it's a
headset, that is something over my ears with an attached microphone
to capture my contacts without me having to use my hands or move my
head towards a fixed location while I'm making the contact.
One hour in my trusty headset broke clean in half. They've been with
me since 2012 so I was a little disappointed. They weren't cheap.
I'm not going to tell you what brand it is, but they're very popular
in the contesting community and I bought them based on those
Given that I now had no headset I immediately went to the nearest
social media outlet to ask for recommendations on what to do next
and the typical responses included different brands, ways of
repairing, better models, those kinds of things. Everything you'd
expect from a community which has some experience in creating a
headset that actually works within the context of amateur radio.
Don't get me wrong some of these suggestions were great but I don't
particularly fancy spending $500 on a headset that is suited to
listen to glorious HF SSB. If you're not familiar, think long
distance AM radio playing music you can barely hear hosted by a DJ
you can almost make out. Making a contact using HF SSB is really an
exercise in deciphering really bad audio, often with lots of people
on the same frequency at the same time, all vying for your
attention. Making a contact, a QSO, in that kind of pile-up can be a
The contest ran for 48 hours so in my down time I had to come up
with a solution since making a repair within the time available
seemed unrealistic, even though I happened to have spare parts
somewhere in my shack. As an emergency standby I brought along my
mobile phone in-ear headphones.
They're lightweight, cheap, and they block out the audio from nearby
conversations in the shack. Everything you want in a contesting
headphone. I used a microphone on a boom, attached to the desk, but
that wasn't ideal, moving your head, looking at the logging screen,
operating the radio, from a user interface perspective, it left me
I should add that I prefer to operate a contest using Voice Operated
Control, or VOX, that is, setting up your radio in such a way that
you don't need to push any buttons to talk, you open your mouth and
the radio automatically starts transmitting. Very helpful when you
have your hands on the keyboard and the foot-pedal is just out of
reach or making your leg tired because you have to hold it up so you
don't accidentally key up the transmitter.
It occurred to me that I'd never seen this particular use of a
headphone in the context of amateur radio. After the contest I went
out to find a similarly spartan microphone. I'm still weighing up
the options but I think I might have settled on the idea of pursuing
headphones and microphones intended for use on a mobile phone,
precisely because they are designed to deal with blocking out
surrounding audio from both the earpiece and the microphone.
As I'm describing this to you it occurs to me that it doesn't even
need to be wired, a simple Bluetooth audio module plugged into the
radio with wireless mobile phone headsets might just be the ticket.
What has been your recipe for success in creating an environment
where you can hear a HF SSB QSO in a contest environment without
spending half the value of the radio?
I'm Onno VK6FLAB
To listen to the podcast, visit the website:
Hackaday: Weaponizing the
Dan Maloney KC1DJT writes on Hackaday about
the talk "Electronic Warfare; a Brief Overview of Weaponized RF
Design" given by radio amateur Jeremy Hong KD8TUO
to the Hackaday Superconference
From fighter jets that are flying Software Defined Radios, to
the cat and mouse game of law enforcement and radar detectors,
here's a fascinating peek into Electronic Warfare.
Read the Hackaday article at
Watch Hackaday Supercon -
Hong KD8TUO : Electronic Warfare; a Brief Overview of Weaponized
First FT8 Roundup is a huge
The ARRL report the first FT8 Roundup held December 1–2
attracted some 1,300 logs with about 131,200 contacts recorded
Ed Muns, W0YK, who’s NCJ “Digital Contesting” contributing
editor, said FT8 Roundup participation compared favorably with
that for the ARRL RTTY Roundup, which has averaged around 1,700
logs in recent years.
Read the ARRL story at
THURSDAY XMAS PARTY EDITION: I hope Joe gets a
good turnout today for the annual Christmas Party today, the weather
is decent for traveling- have fun today! Pictures please, I don't
think I can get away from commitments I have here....Screw Sports
French ham radio license
fee...this should go over well with the riots going on...
REF reports the Finance committee of the Senate has tabled an
amendment to the French Finance Act 2019 concerning the annual
amateur radio license fee
The annual license fee in France is currently 45.73 euros and
yields about 600,000 euros.
The amendment says that collecting the license fee costs 409.6%
of the amount recovered and proposes "removing this tax".
REF notes "amendment has yet to pass to the Assembly and perhaps
to the Joint Committee, it seems that there has been an echo of
our proposal at (see
this link) "
REF in Google English
WEDNESDAY EDITION: Let's not forget the party
this week at HRO in Salem, NH this Thursday. We like to get there at
about 11am and socialize in the HRO showroom and check out the radio
gear and accessories. We expect a good crowd and the lunch is next
door at the Chinese Restaurant and the food has been pretty good in
the past. All are welcome.....we are a friendly bunch!...If you are
up early in the AM, tune in to 3940 for the Inter-Continental Net.
Nice bunch of hams, over 100 checked in this morning, from all over
the country with weather reports. I heard stations from Florida to
NH, and many mid-western stations.....
How to Choose a Two-Way Radio
Popular Mechanics magazine article says
Walkie-talkies, CB radios, and Ham radios are a fun and useful way
to communicate with your group of friends and family
Two-way radios are usually either citizens-band, a.k.a. CBs, GMRS,
or ham radios. They all operate on different frequencies, and have
varying wattage outputs and ranges. Our handy guide explains the
Read the Popular Mechanics article at
Electromagnetics, the W8JK Antenna, and the “Wow!” Signal
Or, “My friend, the Ohio State Professor, Dr John Kraus, W8JK”
Antenna enthusiasts will recognize the call sign W8JK as the
inventor of the classic array known as the W8JK flat-top beam. The
antenna has unique characteristics that make it popular today and
the interested ham can search the internet to find an almost
overwhelming number of references for this design.
If you’re truly an old timer, you would know it as the ‘8JK
flat-top beam antenna, originally described in the March and June
(1937) issues of Radio Magazine and further discussed by Kraus in
his QST article in the June, 1982 issue.
After spending 6 years in the Submarine Service of the US Navy I
returned to school in pursuit of my Electrical Engineering degree at
The Ohio State University. I had been an amateur radio operator as a
13-year-old teenager in 1963 and now it was the mid-1970’s and I was
finally achieving my goal of obtaining my BSEE.
The first years went by at Ohio State and I began taking the core
EE courses which included two semesters of Electromagnetics –
starting with static charges, progressing through Maxwell’s
Equations and on to antenna theory.
I was privileged to have as my instructor Dr John Kraus, W8JK, a
distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering and Director of
the OSU Radio Observatory known as “Big Ear”. Dr Kraus had authored
several text books on Electromagnetics and Antennas and his books
were translated (sometimes illegally, as was done in the Soviet
Union) in languages for use all over the world.
I had Dr Kraus for Electromagnetics for both courses and found
him to be a very personable, if world-renowned expert in the subject
His exams were always the most thoughtful and insightful of all
the EE courses I took at Ohio State – he tested to see if you
understood the core concepts he taught – each was an open book exam
and if you did not understand the principles of the subject you
stood little chance of doing well.
Now I had heard of the ‘8JK beam antenna some years earlier and
one day in the second semester of Electromagnetics it finally dawned
on me that, indeed, my professor must be the very same W8JK who
invented the antenna.
So, I came up to Dr Kraus after one lecture on antennas and told
him I was a ham and asked if he was the real W8JK – and the inventor
of the array.
He was delighted I recognized his work – he had not made it known
to our class that he was a ham – and said, yes, he was one and the
With that encouragement I went back to our little one room
apartment in married student housing and began to really study his
textbook analysis of the W8JK array.
I was rewarded for my effort when I discovered on the Final Exam
for the course that Spring, that for one of the questions Dr Kraus
had us analyze his W8JK antenna design!
A nice relationship was developed during that Junior year of
school with Dr Kraus and when I discovered that he was the Director
of the Ohio State Radio Observatory I went up to the top floor of
the Caldwell Lab Engineering Building and spoke with Bob Dixon,
W8ERD, the Assistant Director, about the possibility of becoming
involved with the Observatory.
A very good friend of mine and fellow EE student, Mike Mraz, N6MZ
(of DXpedition fame) was also interested in working in some capacity
at the Radio Observatory so we both were encouraged to speak to Dr
Kraus and he created a work-study project for us in our Senior year
of school, working at the Radio Observatory just north of Columbus
in Delaware, Ohio.
Mike took the lead with my assistance and we designed and
developed a 50-channel active filter for the receiver for use in the
sky scan of the heavenly sphere that was underway at the Radio
Our filter was put into service in Spring of 1977 and was part of
the receiver system that copied the famous “Wow! Signal” which has
baffled the scientific community for decades. It was a narrow-band
emission from a certain region of space that may have been from an
Whether that is true or not has been the subject of intense
debate since August of 1977 when it was received. All one has to do
is search the internet for the “Wow! Signal” and you can find
articles, videos, analyses and debate which have raged nonstop for
over 40 years. There have even been T-shirts made with the famous
6EQUJ5 signal strength report in the original computer printout for
the Wow! signal…
During our Senior year of school, Dr Kraus invited Mike and I and
our significant others to his home for dinner and a discussion of
his research. He was a gracious host along with his lovely wife
Alice and we thoroughly enjoyed the evening.
As members of the Electrical Engineering Honorary, Eta Kappa Nu,
Dr Kraus hosted a picnic for us at his estate north of Columbus.
The small pond on his property was full of largemouth bass and I
wangled permission from Dr Kraus to come out and fish for them when
I had spare time.
On one of my visits to his home he showed me his radio shack and
introduced me to his technique for determining if an HF band was
open to a certain part of the world.
He would point his W8JK beam in the desired direction and send a
single ‘dit’ and pause to listen – if he heard a delayed dit come
back he knew the band was open for that frequency and azimuth since
the ‘8JK beam has a bi-directional radiation pattern.
As a result of that visit and conversation I received my only QSL
card from W8JK and for the frequency of the contact he paused,
looked up at the ceiling and said, “Well, this was a
person-to-person QSO so I guess the frequency must be in the visible
light spectrum!” and he wrote 680nm for the wavelength of our QSO.
As the years passed I was able to occasionally keep up with Dr
Kraus by letter and made one final visit to see him after his
He was as busy and productive in his retirement years as he was
when he taught and did research at Ohio State.
I recall seeing him leaving the campus one day after the last
class in the afternoon and he looked at me and said, “Now the second
73 and RIP, Dr Kraus.
Apollo 8 50th Anniversary Special Event
Set for December 21 – 27
Several NASA Amateur Radio clubs will mark the 50th anniversary
of Apollo 8 on December 21 – 27, concluding the year-long
activity, which celebrates NASA’s 60th
anniversary. The agency was created in 1958 through an act
signed by President Dwight Eisenhower.
Apollo 8 was launched on December 21, 1968, and splashed down
6 days later on December 27. It was the first manned spacecraft
to leave low-Earth orbit, orbit the moon, and return safely.
Special event operation will be on various bands and modes,
and participating stations will self-spot on the DX cluster as
well as via Facebook and Twitter.
Rob Suggs, KB5EZ, at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center for
Working Amateur Radio
Stephen 2E0SSM recently did a talk at the
Lincoln Shortwave Club about working amateur satellites and he
has now published an article on his website
This is a basic introduction explaining the things Stephen had
to learn when he first started.
A guide to working amateur satellites is now available at
Artist made a radio out of a kitchen
The IEEE Spectrum magazine reports on Amanda Dawn
Christie’s work which commemorates the fading glory of
Some artists work in oils, say, or marble. Amanda Dawn Christie
works in radio. Not radio in the sense of performing on air. But
radio in the sense of the giant cultural and technological
phenomenon that is broadcasting, and specifically shortwave
For decades, shortwave was the only way to reach a global
audience in real time. Broadcasters such as the BBC World
Service and Voice of America used it to project “soft power.”
But as the Internet grew, interest in shortwave diminished.
Christie’s art draws from shortwave’s history, representing it
in sculpture, performance, photography, and film. Her focus is
the life of the Radio Canada International (RCI) transmitter
complex, located in Sackville, New Brunswick, near Christie’s
hometown. The transmitter was in operation from the 1940s until
“Those towers were always just a part of the landscape that I
grew up around,” says Christie. It took a radio-building
workshop to spark her interest: “I built a radio out of a
toilet-paper tube.... I thought I did a great job because I
picked up Italian radio. It turned out I did not—I was just
really close to this international shortwave site.”
Read the full story and watch video Requium for Radio : Full
Quiet Flutter at
TUESDAY EDITION: I
checked in to the "Friendly Bunch on 3919 Monday early evening and I
have to admit, they are a friendly bunch of hams. A refreshing touch
in ham radio. If you check in and behave yourself over a period of
time you will be issued an official membership number. Give them a
listen! Bobby-KB4ABJ is doing a good job quarterbacking the
group, they have a Facebook page as well......This guy
was pissed...Info on
noise that was driving us nuts
on 75 at night....FYI for new readers of this page, do not click on
the images in the top banner section of the page, I warned
you!....Big boys toys, great
interest with kids about ham
Suspicious package’ at post office was ham
The Gainesville Sun reports the U.S. Post Office on Southwest
34th Street was briefly evacuated after the discovery of a
The newspaper says:
A suspicious package found Thursday at U.S. Post Office on Southwest
34th Street was deemed non-threatening by law enforcement.
An email sent by Gainesville Police Department spokesman Capt. Jorge
Campos said several officers responded to a call from the post
office about a large package with pipes and wire coming from it.
Campos wrote that the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office bomb squad was
called out and the building was evacuated.
It was eventually determined to be ham radio parts protruding
through the box.
Employees were able to return to work.
Santa Net 2018 Looking for net
EST 23 Dec. 24 Dec.
2PM AA4EE AA4EE
3PM K0BOT K0BOT
FREQUENCIES-14.325- OR- FIRST CLEAR FREQUENCY
Rules are simple:
1. Time slots are one hour. I put myself down 2x.
2. Choose a time slot for yourself.
3. Whoever starts net at 14.325 or look for a clear frequency
4. Ignore deliberate interference
5. All licensed hams welcome to participate
6. For newcomers, Santa visits your station, and anyone who checks
can speak to Santa. Of course, when Santa speaks to young children,
asks them what they want for Christmas.
7. Santa's helpers (relay stations) are always helpful and
8. YL and XYL Operators are more than welcome! When Santa is busy in
workshop, Mrs. Claus does an outstanding job!
9. Use discretion- never promise a child he or she gets what they
sometimes a Shetland pony is not in the cards!
10. Any questions: contact me at email@example.com 954-741-6200
11.if you wish me to speak to you, call 954-741-6200
12. As slots are filled in, I will send this to all participants.
WSJT-X 2.0 full release now
The WSJT-X 2.0 software suite has been released, and developer
Joe Taylor, K1JT, is urging FT8 and MSK144 users to
upgrade to what will become the new standard
The ARRL says:
The FT8 and MSK144 protocols have been enhanced in a way that is not
backward compatible with older versions of the program. That
includes any version 1.9 releases.
"The new protocols become the worldwide standards starting on
December 10, 2018, and all users should upgrade to WSJT-X 2.0 by
January 1, 2019," Taylor said on the WSJT-X home page. "After that
date, only the new FT8 and MSK144 should be used on the air."
Quick Start Guide for WSJT
FT8 Operating Guide by ZL2IFB
Fox-1Cliff/AO-95 Receiver Suffers Apparent
Failure...more space junk
The receiver on the newly launched Fox-1Cliff/AO-95 CubeSat
seems to have suffered a receiver failure that could render the
satellite unusable, AMSAT said over the weekend. Efforts
continue by AMSAT Engineering to establish the cause of the
problem and determine if a fix is possible. AMSAT Vice
President-Engineering Jerry Buxton, N0JY, reported over the
weekend that the issue cropped up during efforts to commission
“After a few days of tests, analysis, and
discussion, it appears that Fox-1Cliff/AO-95 will not be
commissioned as our fourth Fox-1 Amateur Radio satellite,”
Buxton said. Commissioning began on December 4, right after the
CubeSat’s successful launch a day earlier.
“AMSAT Engineering will continue to evaluate and test
Fox-1Cliff/AO-95 for solutions to the anomaly, and your
continued help in providing telemetry is appreciated so that we
can have data throughout her daily orbits, rather than limited
data over our US stations,” Buxton said. “The data, analysis,
and testing could lead to a positive solution, but at the very
least will be important to AMSAT's satellite programs in
providing information that would help us and others avoid
similar situations with future missions.”
In a post to AMSAT-BB, Buxton mentioned one suggestion of
employing a high-power station to see if AO-95 could hear its
signal, but he added that AMSAT Engineering would not be
offering a blow-by-blow narrative of its efforts to restore the
satellite to operating condition, “unless it is something of
merit or actionable.”
Buxton noted that AMSAT’s resources are limited, and all
involved are volunteers. “Most — if not all — of our remaining
Fox-1 engineers are also involved in the GOLF-TEE project, so I
have asked them to give that first priority with their available
volunteer time in order to keep the schedule,” Buxton said.
“AO-95 is in orbit now, and we can vary the amount of attention
on her as resources allow in order to achieve both goals. If the
results of our investigation point to a possibility of recovery,
be it partial, full, or some workaround method, we would all
like to see her working as much as the rest of you, and that is
a driver for this investigation.”
Buxton said he anticipates that AMSAT Engineering will
continue to seek the cause of the apparent receiver failure,
“until we have results or reach a dead end, because of the
inability to take the lid off and look inside AO-95.”
“I will certainly be keeping everyone posted when we have
something new to report,” Buxton said.
ARRL Bill Leonard Audio Reporting
Award Presented in New York City
The 2017 ARRL Bill Leonard W2SKE Professional Media Award
for Audio Reporting was presented in New York on December 6
to the producers and staff of the radio program “The
Takeaway.” The program, a joint production of Public Radio
International (PRI), WGBH, and WNYC, aired a number of
stories about Amateur Radio’s role in supporting disaster
relief agencies in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria.
ARRL Emergency Preparedness Manager Mike Corey, KI1U,
presented the Leonard Award for Audio Reporting to the
program's executive producer, Arwa Gunja, and the show's
staff. “The Takeaway” had interviewed Corey about how radio
amateurs were supporting the American Red Cross’s efforts to
convey “safety and wellness” messages from the island
commonwealth to relatives on the US mainland.
Corey and ARRL CEO Howard Michel, WB2ITX, also toured the
WNYC studios, where the program is produced.
readers in the Carolina's and Virginia got a taste of what we get in
the winter- snow, wind, and power outages and the local DPW trying
to deal with snow on the roads....nice sunset, twenty degrees and
calm here today....Ok, what the hell is this broadband noise
on 75 meters starting when the band goes long, starting few
days ago. It is horrible and everyone is talking about it. Is it
foreign government jamming, some lunatic ham broadband jamming? I am
going to give the ARRL and Boston FCC office a jingle and see if
they are aware, they must be....sounds
of RFI....Marijuana becoming legal is interesting, big companies
wouldn't touch it. However now that they see the money, its all
about money, Marlboro invested 1.8 billion in Canadian
Marijuana.....how close are we to
The January Edition of Digital QST is Now
Available! Lots of fun Ad's and a few articles...
The January of Digital QST
is now available for viewing
on your desktop or laptop.
to view the issue. It is also
available for reading on your Apple, Android, or Kindle Fire
● Build a slot-cube antenna for 2 meters.
● Learn how to operate FT8 in the upcoming ARRL RTTY Roundup
● Use a tiny monitor and a Raspberry Pi microcomputer to
display your QSLs.
● See how flying and Amateur Radio combine.
…and much more!
Enjoy Content You Won’t Find in the Print Edition…
● See a video review of the SteppIR UrbanBeam 40- to 6-meter
antenna by Pascal Villeneuve, VA2PV.
NASA On The Air
Listen for amateur radio clubs at NASA facilities as they
in the NASA On The Air activity to commemorate the
of the Apollo 8 mission that spanned launch December 21, 1968, to
splashdown on December 27, 1968.
The 50th anniversary event will start on 0000 UTC December 21,
through 2359 UTC December 27, 2018.
14.271 MHz and other bands depending on conditions with spotting
announcements on DX clusters, FaceBook, and twitter.
QSL and a certificate with information available on QRZ.com
This marks the concluding event of the year-long NASA On the Air
celebration of 60th anniversary of NASA.
1940s Radio Times now online
The BBC Genome Project has released the next batch of pages from
the publication Radio Times, this time covering the
The BBC have issued a warning about the content of the Radio Times
saying "This historical record contains material which some might
Read the copies of the Radio Times at
New England Hams
you might run across 75
Jon....Editor of As The World
HRO CHRISTMAS LUNCHEON
Big Mike....Nearfest Cook, big
motor home, electronics software
Neil...Living large traveling
the country with his
Igor....peddles quality Russian
keys, software engineer
cars and radio gear, nice fella...
going, Harley riding kind of
K1JEK-Joe...Easy going, can
be found at most ham flea market
...Cobra Antenna builder..
Kriss- Tower climbing pilot who
cooks on the side at
of the Hosstrader's original
organizers, 75 meter regular,
Roger....75 meter regular, easy
going guy, loves to split
cordwood and hunt...
Warren- "Windy" - Bullnet
Barry- the picture says it all,
he loves food!
Bob....the Mud Duck from the
Cape Cod Canal, making a lot of
Matthew...75 meter regular...our
token liberal Democrat out of VT
meter Regular......residing on
the Cape of Cod, flying planes
and playing radio
Meter Regular....teaches the
future of mankind, it's scary!
of Davis-RF....my best friend
from high school
going ham found at all the ham
Linux....fine amateur radio op
....wealth of experience...
talented ham, loves his
politics, has designed gear for
W1KQ- Jim- Retired
Controller...told quite a few
pilots where to go!
The 3936 master plumber and
Computer Tech of 3936...multi
talented kidney stone passing
K1BGH- Arthur, Cape Cod,
construction company/ice cream
shop, hard working man....
Ed, Cape Cod, lots of experience
in all areas, once was a Jacques
Cousteus body guard....
Warren....3910 regular with
Bob, easy going, kind of
like Mr. Rogers until politics
are brought up then watch out...
Bill- Used to work for a bottled
gas company-we think he has been
around nitrous oxide to long .
Graham...one of the good 14313
guys back in the day.
Mort...Air Force man
Low key gent can be found on
many of the 75 meter
Mike, Antrim, NH, auto parts
going, computer parts selling,
New England Ham..
Jack....3936 Wheeling and
Dealing......keeping the boys on
regular, wealth of electronic
Mack....DXCC Master, worked them
all!.. 3864 regular for many
Hu....SK at 92... 3864
regular for many years...
Dave....Loves to fly
Big Bob- Tallest ham, at 6'10",
of the 3864 group
Pilot, HRO Salesman, has owned
every radio ever built!
Dan....far from easy going cw
and ssb op on 14275/313
Loved ham radio....