WEEKEND EDITION: A good time was had by all at
lunch on Thursday. A good meal and lots of laughs but I was
sorry to see Mike- N1XW could not come. Say a prayer for
Scott- W1XER today for his surgery, get well quick! Joe got
a case of stage fright after forgetting to bring his speech
notes with him and never gave his talk on Hallmark movies
and ham radio!
Kriss and soup, it was too hot so he used
everything on the table as a heat sink to cool it down.
How does a Temperature Compensated Crystal Oscillator
You know when you walk down the street and you lift your
foot and all of a sudden you realise that you stepped in
something and now it's stuck to your shoe? I had that
feeling during the week.
Last week I mentioned that I had purchased a TCXO, a
Temperature Controlled External Oscillator. Lowell NE4EB set
me straight by pointing out that XO stood for crystal and
that TCXO stood for Temperature Compensated Crystal
Oscillator, which then lead me on a merry goose-chase trying
to learn about all that.
I mention this because while the stickiness on my shoe kept
me busy, it also highlighted that I'm still a babe in the
woods on a steep learning curve to knowledge with some
roadblocks, diversions and potholes along the way.
That reminds me, if you ever feel the urge to pull me up on
something I've said, you can email me via my callsign at
So, how does this Temperature Compensated Crystal Oscillator
Without getting into the circuitry behind the scenes, as I
mentioned previously, a crystal oscillates and the frequency
is dependent on temperature. Turns out this is a predictable
curve, which makes it possible to account for changes in
In addition to keeping the temperature stable, another way
to keep the frequency of a crystal stable is to have an
electrical circuit that changes depending on temperature and
have that create something like an opposing curve, so you
can add the two together and end up with a pretty stable
frequency. Before you start asking how exactly, let me just
remind you of the shoe with the stickiness on it.
In essence you have something like a resistor that changes
resistance depending on temperature, it's a component called
a thermistor, and that in turn affects a resonant circuit,
also known as an Electronic Oscillator, or LC circuit, which
in turn affects the circuit that is driving the crystal.
These days most if not all of that is on a chip and you get
a neat little package that you can plug into your radio to
give it frequency stability and hopefully accuracy.
I did say I was going to talk about accuracy this week, but
the doo-doo I stepped in put a swift halt to that. Besides,
now I know that there is a thing called a thermistor, the
second portmanteau I ever learned, together with
Gerrymander, so there's that - oh, also, Tanzania, Eurasia
Back to Amateur Radio. The oven controlled crystal I
mentioned last week, they exist in high-end measuring gear,
not in the $26 TCXO I have installed in my radio. While I'm
on the subject, you can also compensate for temperature with
software, using either a purpose built micro-processor, or
even the host processor that is using the crystal, but that
gets into magic self-referencing voodoo pretty quickly.
And while I've been playing, Japan is finally being received
here and I heard a station 18656km away during the week.
Mind you, AA3GZ in Doylestown, Pensylvania, on the Atlantic
Ocean side of the United States was putting out 100 Watts,
so there's that.
I'll leave you with a thought that I hope to be able to
answer next week.
If your radio has a crystal that determines what frequency
it's tuned to, how do you use that to determine the accuracy
of the frequency, more self-references, just because I can
and besides, I'm a software developer and recursion is part
of my make-up.
I'll give you a hint, it's not all to do with MHz.
Amateur Radio Newsline Report 2090 for Friday,
November 17, 2017
COURT DISMISSES HAM'S SUIT AGAINST ARRL
NEIL/ANCHOR: In our top story, a federal appeals court has
ruled in a defamation lawsuit filed against the ARRL. Kent
Peterson KC0DGY has those details.
KENT: A U.S. district court has dismissed a defamation
lawsuit filed against the American Radio Relay League by its
former Eastern Pennsylvania Section Manager Joseph Ames
W3JY. The suit was filed last year after an article appeared
explaining his dismissal in June of 2016.
The Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruling on the 13th of
November found the ARRL's contention to be true -- that the
Malvern, Pennsylvania amateur had improperly conducted
disaster planning directly with the Federal Emergency
Management Agency. The ARRL said Joseph Ames had violated
ARRL bylaws which state that the league is responsible for
its own representation with government agencies such as
FEMA. The ARRL argued that the arrangement was thus
According to the court papers the three-judge panel found
[quote] "Ames treated NTS like a separate entity from ARRL
by making decisions on policy issues, issuing press
releases, doing government advocacy and giving NTS
volunteers the false impression that NTS is separate from
Ames had been chairman of the ARRL National Traffic System's
Eastern Area when he was voted out by the executive
commmitte. He had sued the ARRL and three of its officers.
The NTS was created by the league in 1949.
SOFTWARE PIONEER VANU BOSE DIES
NEIL/ANCHOR: The man behind the first FCC-certified
software-defined radio has died. We hear more from Jim
JIM DAMRON's REPORT: The chief executive of the first
company to be certified by the FCC for software-defined
radio died suddenly in Massachusetts on Nov 11. The death of
software executive Vanu Bose was announced on the website of
the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he was an
alumnus and member of the MIT Corporation. Bose's company
Vanu Inc., uses technology he developed while a graduate
student at MIT and now provides wireless infrastructure
around the world.
The company also used its technology for humanitarian
causes, most recently assisting with communications in
Puerto Rico following the devastating hurricane.
In 2004, Bose's company made news when it won the first FCC
approval of Vanu's Software Radio GSM Base Station, which
was capable of being modified without changes to its
hardware. It was heralded as a major advance in wireless
Vanu Inc. was also the developer of cellular repeater
stations capable of running on solar power, enabling
communications in remote areas of the world, including
He was the son of the late Amar G. Bose, was the founder of
the Bose Corporation.
Vanu Bose died of a pulmonary embolism. He was 52.
FUNDRAISING A TOUGH NUT TO CRACK
NEIL/ANCHOR: Want a creative way to raise money for your
club's needs? Squirrel away this idea, as we hear from Mike
MIKE: What gets busy every fall collecting nuts with an eye
toward saving for the future? If you answered "squirrels,"
you'd be right, of course. But if you answered the
"Cleveland Amateur Radio Club" you'd be right too. The club
recently completed its big annual fundraiser - the
incredibly popular nut sale considered its primary way to
raise money outside of membership dues. The sale was
launched several years ago by Edith Derrick KG4BDQ, now a
Silent Key, and her husband Bill KF4OZO, the club's
treasurer and it has become a family tradition in their
honor, according to Buddy Kimsey WA4NIV, who has been Nut
Chairman for the past two years.
Indeed, the 42 offerings seem as hard to resist as a flea
market at a hamfest: cashews, walnuts, chocolate-coated
nuts, spicy and salty nuts and the top-seller, pecans.
Enthusiasm builds right up into the weeks before
Thanksgiving. Buddy said 630 bags were pre-sold and 108
extra bags were ordered and the club is expecting a sellout!
The nut money goes toward a good cause: The hams are looking
to expand their existing club house, an expense expected to
run about $100,000. Meanwhile business has been brisk, said
Buddy, as both hams and non-hams have been placing their
orders. Now if only they can capture that squirrel
NETS OF NOTE: THE TYPOCHONDRIACS
NEIL/ANCHOR: In this next report, we present the latest in
our occasional series "Nets of Note." Paul Braun WD9GCO
introduces us to a net especially for fans of CW and, of all
things, old typewriters.
PAUL: Hams, by and large, have a fascination with old gear.
We spend hours and untold amounts of money restoring and
using 70-year-old rigs. We wax rhapsodic about the warm glow
of tubes. We converse in Morse Code using World War II-era
So, we should easily identify with a group of people that
love to write things on the word-processing equivalent of a
Heathkit DX-100b - the manual typewriter. And there is an HF
net dedicated to just that - The Typochondriacs Net. I
recently spoke with Fred Beihold, NV1N, about the net:
BEIHOLD: Well, I was reading Richard Polt's website and he
wrote the book "The Typewriter Revolution" - he's just
really into manual typewriters. And I still had my manual
typewriter from college, and I read about these gatherings
all over the world where people get together at cafes and
type on manual typewriters. I talked to a ham on 40 meters
on CW and he said the only two items left from his original
station were his manual typewriter and his telegraph key.
So I thought "why not combine the two?" I'm a traffic
handler, and I always thought a RadioGram looks best when
it's typed up on a manual typewriter on an official
RadioGram form - looks really smart.
So I started this about two years ago and I haven't done
much with it but recently I picked up the ball again and I'm
looking for some ways to stir up some interest for this. I
think it has two goals that it could achieve - it could be
fun and it could really serve a useful purpose.
PAUL: The net meets on the third Thursday of the month at
8pm Eastern time on 7054 Kilohertz. I asked Beihold about
how the net would run:
BEIHOLD: To start with, just a little bit of ragchewing -
not too much - and we'll go from there. Anybody can join - I
mean, we might even provide services to people who don't
care at all about manual typewriters - but the net will be
tailored to serve the manual typewriter crowd.
PAUL: So, if you feel like getting together with some fellow
vintage gear junkies, the Typochondriacs Net might just be
for you. For Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Paul Braun, WD9GCO.
NEW EDITORS AT NATIONAL CONTEST JOURNAL
NEIL/ANCHOR: There are new voices and a new guiding hand at
the ARRL's National Contest Journal as we hear from Kevin
KEVIN'S REPORT: A new editorial team will be guiding the
editorial content of the ARRL's National Contest Journal
beginning with the January/February 2018 issue. Dr. Scott
Wright, K0MD, an active contester and DXer from Rochester,
Minnesota, will be taking over as editor.
Scott will be joined by Fred Regennitter K4IU as Deputy
Editor. All of the contributing editors will remain and
there will be several new ones: Amateur Radio Newsline's own
Neil Rapp WB9VPG, host of Ham Talk Live, will serve as “Next
Gen Contesters” contributing editor. Dr. John Thompson K3MD
will serve as Contributing editor for Contest Surveys and
Book Reviews and the past Editor Pat Barkey N9RV will remain
doing periodic interviews and feature stories.
THE NATURE OF HAM RADIO IS....NATURE
NEIL/ANCHOR: As summer approaches in Australia, John
Williams VK4JJW gives hams there a good reason to get out of
JOHN's REPORT: If you are in Australia, let nature be your
radio shack on the weekend of November 25th and 26th. Those
two days mark VKFF Activation Weekend for the World Wide
Flora and Fauna program. Amateurs are being encouraged to
activate parks throughout VK land and sharpen their
abilities to operate portable while drawing attention to the
Hams who want to activate one of the designated parks should
email vk5pas at wia dot org dot au (firstname.lastname@example.org) with
all the specifics of the planned activation so your station
can be included in the registry being compiled. According to
the WWFF Australia website, calling CQ from a designated
park can almost surely guarantee a pileup.
Parks should meet event criteria, however. For details on
how to activate a park and for more information about
registering, visit the website wwffaustralia dot com (wwffaustralia.com)
Most of the parks in the program are national parks but
there are, of course, exceptions.
For Amateur Radio Newsline I'm John Williams VK4JJW
NETHERLANDS REPORTS A DECLINE IN NEW LICENSEES
NEIL/ANCHOR: In the Netherlands, the tally for new licensees
is down but officials are not discouraged, as we hear from
Jeremy Boot G4NJH.
JEREMY'S REPORT: Fewer new hams are getting on the air in
the Netherlands. That's the latest report from the
Netherlands Radio Examination Foundation. The latest figures
for applications and successful candidates for the Novice
and Full licenses both declined. The years compared were
2015 and 2017. According to VERON president Remy Denker
PA3AGF, who spoke at the Radio Amateur Day in Apeldoorn on
Nov. 4, there were 322 new amateurs registered in the
Netherlands in 2015 - a figure that has declined to 270 in
Remy Denker kept his message upbeat however and said that
even small numbers of hams can do their part for large-scale
promotion for Dutch amateur radio. He encouraged licensed
radio amateurs to serve as good-will ambassadors and share
the hobby with friends and acquaintances.
His advice: Spread the word.
CW ACADEMY OPENS FOR YOUNG AMATEURS
NEIL/ANCHOR: Guess what? Kids think Morse Code is cool. Now
there's a resource helping them learn how to be "Morse Cool"
and it's free, as we hear from Stephen Kinford N8WB.
STEPHEN'S REPORT: The successful CW Academy Program run by
the CW Operators Club has launched some new coursework aimed
specifically at young radio amateurs. The club's online
Morse Code classes for young hams will be taught free to
hams between the ages of 11 and 19 who live in the U.S. and
Canada. Students who sign up will be grouped with other hams
their age in their time zone and will be trained over Skype.
The club will even try to find volunteers who live near the
students' QTH to assist them with rig and antenna set-up
where needed. This is a pilot program but the club is very
optimistic. Carl Davis W8WZ told Amateur Radio Newsline in
an email that the club has discovered that lots of young
amateurs enjoy CW and embrace it as if they were learning a
second language or a musical instrument. Carl said that he
conducted a code demonstration at a recent Scouting Jamboree
on the Air and the youngsters showed tremendous enthusiasm
for something that didn't involve keyboards and screens for
a change. That is the success they hope for with this CW
Registration begins the 15th of November and runs through
the 15th of December. Classes begin in January. To register,
send an email to k6rb58 at gmail dot com (email@example.com)
and include first and last name, call sign and license
class, age, time zone, email address and phone number.
For Amateur Radio Newsline I'm Stephen Kinford N8WB
(CW OPERATORS CLUB)
SPECIAL EVENT STATION HONORS JAGADISH BOSE
NEIL/ANCHOR: A Special Event station is about to get on the
air in India honoring a 19th century scientist who played a
major role in wireless. Here's Jim Meachen ZL2BHF.
JIM MEACHEN'S REPORT: Born the 30th of November in 1858,
Bengali physicist Jagadish Chandra Bose would no doubt
appreciate this special event station. Datta VU2DSI will be
on the air using the call sign AU2JCB from the 23rd of
November to the 11th of December marking the anniversary of
the birth of the scientist considered by many around the
world to be the "Father of Wireless."
The 19th century innovator's many accomplishments include
development of Galena crystals for making radio receivers
and the discovery of 1 centimeter to 5 millimeter radio
waves, such as those used in satellites and radars.
His demonstration of wireless radio in 1895 predates the
more publicly recognized one credited to Italy's Guglielmo
Marconi whose demonstration came two years later.
Honoring India's scientist, Datta will operate on both the
HF bands as well as in FM mode on 6 meters and 10 meters.
Send QSL cards directly to VU2DSI.
MORE FREQUENCIES FOR HAMS IN ARGENTINA, COLOMBIA
NEIL/ANCHOR: There's more room for more QSOs on the bands!
Hams in Argentina have something to celebrate: Local
communications authorities have granted new privileges on
the bands on 630 meters and 60 meters and extended existing
allocations on 160 meters, 80 meters and 30 meters. Radio
Club Argentino made the announcement following final
approval and said the changes will be effective in February
In Colombia, hams are getting access to part of the band on
2200 meters, 630 meters and 60 meters. The announcement was
made this month by the Colombian Radio Society, a member of
THE WORLD OF DX
In the world of DX, be listening for Argentinian DXers on
San Andres Island in the Caribbean operating through the
26th of November as 5K0T. The IOTA reference for San Andres
is NA-033. Send QSLs to LU1FM.
Harald DF2WO is in Rwanda through the end of November
operating with the callsign 9X2AW. Listen for him on CW, SSB
and RTTY. QSL Manager is M0OXO.
Georg DK7LX is in Bermuda through the 21st of November,
operating holiday-style as VP9/DK7LX. You can listen for him
on 40 through 15 meters operating CW only. QSL via Club Log
KICKER: THE SCIENCE OF HONORING SUPPORTER'S MEMORY
NEIL/ANCHOR: We close this week with a tale of weather
balloons released in an Indiana football field -- two
balloons with two missions. Don Wilbanks AE5DW shares that
DON: In the eyes of 20 high school seniors from Indiana's
Hobart High School, few things could have flown higher in
those few moments of launch than Gensis and Exodus, the
weather balloons that lifted off on Nov. 9 from the school's
The engineering and design seniors were led by teacher Brent
Vermeulen, who had secured about $3,000 in grants to make
the launch happen. Each helium-filled balloon had a GoPro
camera and a 360 degree HD camera to record its flight, plus
an antenna enabling tracking by two local hams.
Exodus lived up to its name, traveling 240 miles before
ending up in a cornfield near Huron, Ohio. Genesis made it
as far as Napoleon, Ohio, completing a trip of about 162
miles before landing in a farmer's field there.
Much more was on board however than just recording and radio
equipment. Jackie Fitzgerald of Hobart had been on the
sidelines watching it all. This year her brother, Marvin
Boetcher, WV90, could not be there for one of his favorite
annual events. The Hobart amateur, a 1967 graduate of the
school, became a Silent Key in March.
Jackie had made a donation in her brother's memory to help
the flight -- and these words covered the payload of
Genesis: "in loving memory of Marvin Boetcher."
She watched the students and their balloons and in her eyes
too, few things could have flown higher on that bright
WEEKDAY EDITION: It appears that a luncheon is
planned at HRO in Salem, NH this Thursday. Joe- K1JEK is the
guest speaker discussing the "Hallmark Channel and how it
can affect operation on ham radio". It should be a
Hallmark Movies starring the radio
Are there any good (or bad) movies where radio technology
plays a central role to the story? Whether it's amateur
radio, pirate radio, satellites, CB, a specific AM or FM
station, whatever. Any favorites?
Contact (1997): A radio astronomer (and Ham operator) (Jodie
Foster) discovers a signal from deep space containing
blueprints for a transport device. (Amazing movie)
Pump Up the Volume (1990): A high school outcast (Christian
Slater) sets up a pirate FM station which becomes popular
with the students.
Independence Day - morse code saves the world.
Frequency - A son finds his father's old transceiver
radio thing and fires it up and communicates with him 30
years in the past.
Pirate Radio - An organization has a rock am station on a
large boat just inside international waters and gets
threatened to get shut down
That momenet when you plug it in, no smoke
or crackling, and the HV is 700 volts...success...
Drake AC4 power supply upgrade
left photo: upgrade pc board
mounted on side of transformer, the resistors were
spaced 1/4 inch off the pc board according to
directions for cooling purposes
right photo: The last step, hookup
all the wires and give it the smoke test
All WX Solar Powered Amateur Radio Field Station
In today's video I'd like to discuss the concept of a
solar-powered field station for amateur radio emergency
communications. Those of you who follow the blog, probably
already know about this project. For the rest of you, here
is a video introduction of a concept I call the All WX
Solar-Powered EMCOMM Field Station.
The concept for a rapidly deployable, man-portable field
station, came to me after the grid down disaster caused by
Hurricane Maria. As you undoubtedly already know, Hurricane
Maria knocked out electricity and communications throughout
most of the affected area, leaving hospitals in cities and
distant regions, without reliable communications.
I'm under no illusion about amateur radios ability to
completely replace network communications. However amateur
radio can provide essential Communications between hospitals
and health centers, pass well & safe traffic, or create an
HF datanet to manage amateur radio operator, resources and
logistics, while no other communication services exist.
The article is work-in-progress, so it will certainly adapt
and change as it becomes more mature. The goals are there,
and the ideas are solid. Please do join the discussion.
German radio hams get 5 MHz band and 50 MHz extension
The DARC report that effective November 11, 2017 radio
amateurs in Germany were permitted to use the new 60m band
and an extended 6m band
Amateur radio will be assigned the frequency range 5351.5-
5366.5 kHz with a maximum allowed radiant power of 15 watts
EIRP on a secondary basis.
In addition, the frequency band 50.08-51 MHz previously
allocated to the amateur radio service on a secondary basis
will be increased to 50.03-51 MHz. The maximum permitted
radiation power here is 25 watts ERP.
Almost 1/3 of new cars do not come with a spare tire,
under the bullshit rational that it saves weight and allows
better gas mileage. Study shows 20 percent could not change
a flat if they had the damn tire....It all started years ago
when they took the gauges out of cars and replaced them with
idiot lights, the dumbing down of the American consumer.
Let's not forget ham radio, autotuner's were created because
this new era of hams couldn't figure out how to use a manual
tuner. I love listening to guys who need help hooking up a
damn auto tuner. Pretty soon HRO will have its own fleet of
Geek Squad Trucks that arrive and setup the radio and tuner
for you. Now if you are active on a lot of bands and
antennas, an autotuner is great, but for the many who never
leave one frequency, you should have tuned the antenna so
you didn't need a tuner to start with. Glad I got that off
I rebuilt the power supply for my Drake and
replaced the diodes (thanks W1GWU) and caps, I left the old
tube caps on the chassis. I buttoned it up, it worked fine,
but it bugged me it looked so shoddy when I got thru. So I
bought an aftermarket pc board and parts kit to replace my
handiwork. It replaces all the diodes, caps, and resistors.
I ripped almost everything out of the AC4 power supply
except the transformer and bias pot and put the kit together
yesterday. If all goes well, I will start installing it
later today. The kit was about $70 and mounts with studs to
the power transformer, I will take pix as I go along.
New England Hams
you might run across on 3864 or 3910.........
K1TP- Jon....Editor of As The
KB1JXU- Matthew...75 meter
regular...our token liberal Democrat out of VT
Regular......residing on the Cape of Cod, flying
planes and playing radio
Meter Regular....teaches the future of mankind, it's
the Hosstrader's original organizers, 75 meter
regular, Tech Wizard!!!
of Davis-RF....my best friend from high school
K9AEN-John...Easy going ham
found at all the hamfests
K1JEK-Joe...Easy going, can be
found at most ham flea market ...Cobra Antenna
John.........Dr. Linux....fine amateur radio op
....wealth of experience...
KA1GJU- Kriss- Tower climbing pilot who cooks on
the side at Hosstrader's...
N1XW.....Mike-easy going, Harley riding kind of
guy, loves to split cordwood and hunt...
talented ham, loves his politics, has designed gear
Force Controller...told quite a few pilots where to
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
W1VAK- Ed, Cape
Cod, lots of experience in all areas, once was a
Jacques Cousteus body guard....
Paul.....3910 test king....testing......always
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 .
K1PV- Roger....75 meter
regular, easy going guy...
Gil....Gilly..Gilmore.....easy going, computer parts
selling, New England Ham..
Low key gent can be found on many of the 75 meter
Mike, Antrim, NH, auto parts truck driver-retired
W1OKQ- Jack....3936 Wheeling
and Dealing......keeping the boys on there toes....
meter regular, wealth of electronic knowledge...
Mack....DXCC Master, worked them all!.. 3864 regular
for many years...
Hu....SK at 92... 3864 regular for many
Silent Key:N1WBD- Big
Bob- Tallest ham, at 6'10", of the 3864 group
W1FSK-Steve....Navy Pilot, HRO
Salesman, has owned every radio ever built!
from easy going cw and ssb op on 14275/313
Loved ham radio........Ham Radio Ambassador!
K1GAR- John- Very colorful
character!......self appointed "hambassador" by
Nice fellow to talk to on 3936 on the early
professional musician, one of the nice guys