Wirral & District

Amateur Radio Club

 

Twice Winner of

RSGB Region 3

'Club of the Year'

Trophy

for 2013 & 2014

 


Interested in Radio & Electronics ?  you need a Licence to get started in Amateur Radio

WADARC has a team able to provide Foundation and Intermediate Licence Tuition

Contact our Chairman & Chief Exam Trainer - Geoff G4WUA at chairman@wadarc.com
 

 

The Wirral & District Amateur Radio Club

Club Members' News Page

With the latest Amateur Radio and Technical News
from Wirral, UK and around the World !

The RSGB NEWS for Radio Amateurs & SWL's

 

Looking for an archived News Item from last 12 months to read again ? click ARCHIVED NEWS

 

Tutorial - Using the new routing function in RT Systems featuring RFinder

Sunday 29th March 2015

Once again RFinder and RT Systems have partnered to kick radio programming up a notch. This tutorial will show you how to get the most out of RT and RFinder! We want to thank Rod Thompson of RT Systems for programming this into the RT Systems Radio Programmer suite!

The latest update to RT Systems includes integrated routing featuring RFinder - The World Wide Repeater Directory.

No more uploading files, just define your route and press a button. Instantly repeaters along your route are ready to write into your radio.

No more exporting, massaging data or importing. Just perform an online update to your RT Systems software Version 4 or above and you will have this new exciting feature...

RFinder has 50.000+ repeaters in over 170 countries. Now repeaters over a route can be written into over 190 VHF/UHF radio models. Nearly anywhere in the world. Crossing country and state borders.

So, go from Aberdeen to St. Ives or Kagoshima to Aomori via Yokohama or Signal Hill Newfoundland to San Diego California via Winnipeg and Vancouver!

If you have an Android or iOS device, get your first year with purchase of the RFinder app on Android and iPhone for only $9.99USD!

Please like our video and share with your friends...find us on Facebook and please like us there to hear about the latest updates! http://www.facebook.com/rfinderwwrd .

RFinder is the official repeater directory of Radio Amateurs Canada. Canadian Hams that purchase RFinder support RAC.
RFinder is the official repeater directory app of Radio Society of Great Britain. UK Hams that purchase RFinder support RSGB.

Bob W2CYK

More info:
Web: www.rfinder.net
FB: www.facebook.com/rfinderwwrd (please like and share!)
email: w2cyk@rfinder.net
Skype: bobofthedeep
US: +1 631.610.5120
UK: +44 0 1234923021
JP: +81 345795839

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IOTA News from OPDX

Saturday 28th March 2015

Island activities:

AS-172. Members of the Russian Robinson Club (RRC), Vasily/R7AL and Vasily/R6AL, will be active as R7AL/0 from Malminskiye Islands (RRA RR-13-11), (which is a very rare island group located in the Sea of Okhotsk, and claimed only by 8.3% of IOTA participants) for 3 days sometime between August 8-16th.

These Rocks are located far away from civilization, the nearest and only one settlement is Ayan, 40 Km. away from the Rocks. Since there is no vessel available, the only way to land on the Rocks is by a small fishing motorboat. It will take two trips (80 Km) to deliver all the equipment and operators to the island. Flights to Ayan are not regular and depends on weather conditions (heavy fogs almost 6 days a week), but if the weather is unfavourable, they state that the operators will wait as long as they can.

Their plans are for a 500 watts station into a VDA and Vertical antennas. Since this is an IOTA expedition, focus will be on 2 bands only. They voted for 20 and 17 meters, but it's not confirmed yet and a subject for discussion. Modes will be CW and SSB only. QSL via the OQRS on ClubLog for both direct and Bureau cards. Direct QSL are via R6AL with SAE and 2 USDs. Any NEWS/UPDATES will be published on their Web site which is still under construction at:
http://as172.yolasite.com

EU-008. Members of the Camb-Hams will once again be active as GS3PYE/P from the Isle of Mull between May 15-22nd. The Camb-Hams have been activating the Scottish Isles each year since 2008 and will be traveling to the Grasspoint, Isle of Mull, in the Scottish Inner Hebrides in 2015.

Ten operators will be active on all bands and many modes from 4m to 80m, 2m & 70cm for Satellites and 2m & 23cm for EME. The HF bands will be covered by four simultaneous stations, while the 6m & 4m stations will have a great take-off towards the UK and Europe from the island's eastern edge in IO76EJ square. All stations will be able to run at the full UK power limit. EME operations will use 150W to 55 elements on 23cm and 400W to 17 elements on 2m, primarily on JT65 but also available for CW skeds - if your station is big enough. Satellite operations on 2m & 70cm will use X-Quad antennas and a fully automatic Az/El tracking system. Activity is planned on AO-7 (mode B), VO-52, FO-29, SO-50 & AO-73.

All the up-to-date plans and progress will be on <dx.camb-hams.com>.
Most importantly, this is a group of good friends doing what they enjoy, so please give them a call and enjoy the trip with them. Active on the major social networks before, during and after the trip, you can check on progress and interact with the operators via their blog <dx.camb-hams.com> or through Twitter, Facebook and YouTube [links below]. Please check their Web page for details on how to arrange skeds on the more challenging bands, modes, VHF and EME. All links are available via:
http://dx.camb-hams.com  QSL via OQRS (info on QRZ.com) or M0VFC direct or via bureau. <dx.camb-hams.com> <facebook.com/CambHams>
< twitter.com/g3pye> <youtube.com/CambHams>

NA-143. Joe, K5KUA, will once again be active as K5KUA/5 from alveston Island (USI TX-001S, Galveston County, Texas) between March 27-30th. Activity will be on 40-10 meters, CW only, as time permits. QSL via his home callsign, direct or by the Bureau.

OC-237. Adhi, YB3MM, will be active as YB3MM/P from Gili Genting Island during the CQWW WPX SSB Contest (March 28-29th) as a Single-Op/Single-Band (15m) entry. QSL via IZ8CCW, direct, by the Bureau, ClubLog's OQRS or LoTW.

RSGB IOTA website

Check-out the latest IOTA News from the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

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Amateur Radio in Ofcom Annual Plan

Friday 27th March 2015

Ofcom has published its Annual Plan for 2015/16, setting out its priorities and work programme for the year to 31 March 2016

Amateur radio gets a couple of mentions:

A1.74 The next WRC will be held over four weeks in November 2015. It will address a number of agenda Items that will have a direct impact on many users of spectrum across a range of sectors. These include mobile and mobile broadband, aeronautical, satellite, science and radio astronomy, maritime and amateur radio.

A4.37 We will explore ways to make the licence application process easier and more accessible for stakeholders across the range of radiocommunications licences we issue. We will look to improve our online services for users such as ships’ radio and amateur radio licensees, as well as technically-assigned services and ‘light’ licences. If appropriate, we will consult later in 2015.

Ofcom have finally acknowledged the problem of inadequate filtering of both transmitters and receivers. Radio amateurs are well aware of the inadequacies of many consumer wireless products e.g. car key fobs. The annual plan says:

A2.101 Recent experience has highlighted the problems caused by devices with poor filtering of radio frequency (RF) emissions outside the frequencies at which they are licensed to operate, or whose receivers ‘listen’ to RF signals outside their designated frequencies.

Ofcom say they will work towards the timely release and effective award of spectrum, including the 2.3 GHz and 3.4 GHz bands.

£50.2 million is earmarked for Spectrum Management in 2015-16 although it is unclear how much of this will actually get to Ofcom's hard pressed and under-staffed Spectrum Assurance Team.

Read the plan at
http://www.ofcom.org.uk/content/about/annual-reports-plans/ann-plans/Annual_Plan_Statement.pdf

Ofcom Funding 2015-16
http://www.ofcom.org.uk/content/about/annual-reports-plans/tariff-tables/Tariff_Tables_2015_16.pdf

Programme of work
http://www.ofcom.org.uk/content/about/annual-reports-plans/ann-plans/Programme_of_Work_2015-16.pdf

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'Radio DARC' debuts on ham-operated shortwave outlet

Friday 27th March 2015

ARRL report the inaugural transmission of the 'Radio DARC' Amateur Radio program aired over the March 21-22 weekend on 6070 kHz

The German-language program was produced in cooperation with Germany’s national Amateur Radio society — the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club (DARC). A group of amateurs in Germany obtained a license to broadcast on the 49 meter shortwave broadcast channel after German national broadcaster the Deutsche Welle closed down a 500 kW shortwave broadcast transmitter near Munich. Using parts scavenged from the Deutsche Welle site, the ham group built up a 10 kW transmitter.

“The response was overwhelming,” said Rainer Englert, DF2NU.   “Our dreams were exceeded many times over. The team got over 1500 reception reports from 11 European countries.” These even included S-9 reports from Russia and Iceland. Englert said the station puts in a signal that’s often 60 dB over S-9 within Germany, adding that it will take weeks to answer all QSL requests and comments. The signal has been heard in North America, but it has competition on that channel.

Read the full ARRL story at
http://www.arrl.org/news/radio-darc-program-debuts-on-ham-operated-german-shortwave-outlet

“Radio DARC” airs on Sundays, 0900-1000 UTC, and is rebroadcast on Mondays, 1500-1600 UTC. Channel 292 also broadcasts the English-language DX magazine program produced by Ed Durrant, DD5LP. It airs Mondays, 1400-1500 UTC — an hour prior to “Radio DARC.”

"Other ham radio-oriented programs could follow". Englert said.

6070 kHz Channel 292
http://www.channel292.de/

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How to use an antenna analyzer

Friday 27th March 2015

In this video Randy Hall K7AGE shows how to use an MFJ 259/269 Antenna Analyzer to check your antenna for SWR and resonance

How To Use An Antenna Analyzer - Basics

Watch previous K7AGE videos at
https://www.youtube.com/user/K7AGE/videos

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Did the eclipse affect propagation ?

Friday 27th March 2015

For the full 24 hours of 20th March, Derek G4SWY took world map screen shots of propagation as reported on WSPRnet.org every 4 minutes on 600, 160, 80 and 40 Meters.

He then turned the bitmaps into short videos and published them on YouTube.

MW :- https://youtu.be/RCJvsUwdGnc
160 Meters :- https://youtu.be/E-OPfoNy42U
80 Meters :- http://youtu.be/Nt2vQAty6AQ
40 Meters :-
http://youtu.be/mBbhN2X3bTA

More details at http://wsprnet.org/drupal/node/5412

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The American Radio Relay League's round-up of the forthcoming week's DX activity
on the amateur radio bands

Friday 27th March 2015

This week's bulletin was made possible with information provided by QRZ DX, the OPDX Bulletin, 425 DX News, The Daily DX, DXNL, Contest Corral from QST and the ARRL Contest Calendar and WA7BNM web sites.  Thanks to all.

MOROCCO, CN. Juan, EA8RM, Jorge, EA9LZ, Mark, M0DXR, Mark, LU8EOT, Manu, LU9ESD, Olli, OH0XX and Jim, W7EJ will join together for an M/2 operation in the CQ WW WPX SSB Contest from Casablanca. They will use the special call sign 5E5E (at the contest station CN2R).
QSL via W7EJ, LoTW.

KUWAIT, 9K. Abdallah, 9K2GS will take part in the CQ WW WPX SSB Contest from Safat. QSL via 9K2GS direct, LoTW.

WEST MALAYSIA, 9M2. Zaki, 9M2ZAK, Ahmad, 9M2AGC, Syed, 9M8SYA, Mohamad, 9W2SBL, Han, 9W2SBD, Mohd, 9W2MNW, Mohd, 9M2RDX, Hafizi, 9W2TZW, Oja, 9M2OUT, Hary, 9M2GET and Weerut, 9W2RUT will use the call sign 9M2M in the CQ WW WPX SSB Contest, replacing their previous contest call sign 9M2SM. QSL via 9M2M.

MONACO, 3A. 3A/F4FET and 3A/F4HAU will be QRV from April 2 to 5.
They will emphasize working North America and Asia.

SOUTH COOK ISLANDS, E5. Frank, DJ5NQ is active as E51ANQ from the Island of Rarotonga (OC-013) until March 28. He is working on 20 meters using CW and SSB. QSL via DJ5NQ, by the Bureau or direct.

REUNION ISLAND, FR. Guy, F5MNW will be active as FR/F5MNW until April 14. Activity is on the HF bands using only CW. QSL via his home call sign, direct or by the Bureau. No IRCs.

CRETE, SV9. Members of the SV9 DX Team, George, SV9GPV, Giannis, SV9FBG, Georgios, SV9DJO, Dimis, SV9COL, Giannis, SV9RGI, John, SV9CJO and John, SV9QCF will operate as SX9C in the CQ WW WPX SSB Contest (M/2). QSL via SV9COL.

COSTA RICA, TI. Mira, OK1NG and Jirka, OK1IEC are currently QRV as home calls/TI7, on the HF bands, until April 6. QSL via home calls.

MICRONESIA, V6. Keith, GM4YXI/GM5X and Chris, GM3WOJ/GM2V will be QRV from Weno Island as V6Z until April 9. A part time entry in the CQ WW WPX SSB contest in the M/2 category is planned. QSL via N3SL.

OGASAWARA, JD1. Nobuaki, JA0JHQ plans to be active from Chichi-jima as JD1BOW from March 28 to 31, with a focus on the CQ WW WPX SSB contest. After the contest he will operate mostly CW. QSL via JA0JHQ.

TAIWAN, BV. Watch out for members of Amateur Radio Taipei (ART), Tang, BM2AAV, Eddie, BV2DD, YaoJun, BV5OO, Lee, BX2AB and Jie, BX3ABH as BP0P in the M/2 category in the CQ WW WPX SSB Contest. QSL via BP0P.

NAURU, C2. Ronald, PA3EWP, Hans, DL6JGN, Ernoe, DK2AMM and Guenter, DL2AWG will be QRV until April 4 as C21EU on 40 to 10 meters using SSB, CW and RTTY (possibly PSK) with two stations. QSL via DL2AWG.

ISRAEL, 4X. Seth, 4X1DX and Zvi, 4X6FR will use the special call sign 4X7R in the CQ WW WPX SSB Contest. QSL via 4X6OM. Also, 4Z4DX, Dov will use special call sign 4Z0DX in the Contest. QSL via his home call and LoTW.

INDONESIA, YB. Ronald, YC8ROP will operate 15 meter SSB in the CQ WW WPX SSB Contest from Sangihe Island. QSL via YC8ROP, LoTW, QSL.

CYPRUS, 5B. Tony, RT9T/5B4ALB is taking part in the CQ WW WPX SSB Contest as H27A. QSL via RW3RN, LoTW.

THIS WEEKEND ON THE RADIO
The CQ WW WPX SSB Contest, FOC QSO Party and Worldwide EME Contest are on tap for this weekend on March 28.

Please see March QST, page 89 and the ARRL and WA7BNM contest web sites for details

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YP10EURAO 10 years of EURAO from Romania

Friday 27th March 2015

From February 2 to September 31, 2015, you will find on air, mainly on weekends, this special callsign celebrating the 10th anniversary of EURAO.

It is sponsored by its member association Asociatia Radioclubul României, YO9KYO.

YP10EURAO

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Shortwave Radio in World War II

Thursday 26th March 2015

This 59-minute version of the 1944 film Voice of Victory tells the story of how Hallicrafters developed the WWII SCR299 military shortwave radio from the pre-war HT-4 amateur radio set.

Watch Shortwave Radio in World War II: Voice of Victory 1944 Hallicrafters


 

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Camb-Hams to operate from Isle of Mull

Wednesday 25th March 2015

Ten members of the Camb Hams are returning to Grasspoint IO76EJ on Mull (IOTA EU-008) from 15-21 May 2015 as GS3PYE/P

Camb-Hams operating from the Isle of Mull in 2012

They will be QRV with multiple stations on HF on 3.5-28MHz SSB, CW, RTTY and PSK with dipoles and verticals and up to 400W if necessary.

VHF activity will be on 50MHz, 70MHz and 144MHz, all bands QRO with sizeable antennas.

VHF will be mainly QRV using JT6m or ISCAT on 50MHz, FSK441 on 70MHz and FSK441 and JT65b (for EME) on 144MHz, but SSB and CW is also possible, especially in any sporadic E propagation openings. Other modes by agreement.

Satellite operations on 2m & 70cm will use an Icom IC-910 and X-Quad antennas mounted on a fully automatic AZ/EL tracking system. If internet connectivity allows, the VHF operators will monitor ON4KST Chat for terrestrial activity and N0UK JT65 chat for EME. You can submit your VHF sked requests online here: http://tiny.cc/gs3pyesked

The team will be QRV in the 80m CW CC event on the 21st and in the 144MHz contest on the 16th and 17th. They may do very short side trips to Iona and the Treshnish Islands and will announce these nearer the time on the website.

Please QSL only via OQRS on ClubLog for direct or bureau cards. Do not send any cards direct or via the bureau.

For the latest info see
http://dx.camb-hams.com/
http://twitter.com/g3pye
http://facebook.com/CambHams
http://youtube.com/CambHams

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SEBA9 solar eclipse chasing balloon

Wednesday 25th March 2015

It wasn't just UK amateurs that were launching balloons for the Solar Eclipse on March 20, radio amateurs in Europe were launching them as well

Tom SP9UOB informs us about this video of the SEBA9 balloon in Poland, among the radio amateurs participating in the project were SQ9KEA, SQ9FK, SQ9PNG, SP9TCB, SP9DLM, SQ9RON, SQ9HHV, SQ9CNN and SP9WZP.

Watch SEBA9 solar eclipse chasing balloon

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Successful transmissions of new DARC Radio and EARN on 49m SW band

Tuesday 24th March 2015

Last weekend saw the successful launch of two new Amateur Radio related shows on the 49m broadcast band.

DARC Radio was transmitted at 1000 UTC on Sunday from a 100Kw transmitter in Austria, it was then repeated on Monday at 1600 UTC from the Amateur owned 10Kw AM transmitter of Channel292 on 6070 KHz from Ingolstadt, Bavaria, Germany.

The English Amateur Radio News (EARN) program preceeded the DARC Radio program on Monday at 1500UTC.

Reports have been received from around Europe (UK, Holland, Sweden, Germany, Austria) - all positive on both reception strength and content. We even had a long distance listener in Malaysia listening via an SDR in Holland.

Please note times will change when we change the clocks moving into Summer time, so please check the website channel292.de for the updated schedule for the next few weeks. We also plan to move EARN to after the repeat of the DARC Radio show on Mondays, so propagation may be better at that time for the show.

Email addresses for inquiries and reception reports are radio@darc.de for the DARC Radio program and EnglishARNews@gmail.com for EARN.

73 Ed DD5LP

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Youth Sked on HF!

Tuesday 24th March 2015

The first HF Sked for amateurs aged 26 and under will be held on Tuesday 24th March at 7pm on 80m (3.700MHz LSB +/- 5KHz) and will be led by Mark, M0NCG.

Please call in and speak with other young amateurs!

If you don't have an aerial for 80m, don't worry! We will, over the coming weeks be moving to 40m as conditions allow.

The sked is being run by the RSGB Youth Committee - if you have any suggestions for ways to get young amateurs involved in amateur radio, please email youth.chairman@rsgb.org.uk

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Ofcom Licence emails

Tuesday 24th March 2015

Ofcom have now started the process of sending the new UK amateur radio licence by email

The emails are being sent to the address that people have been registered at Ofcom. It may be worth keeping an eye on your Spam folder just in case it falls foul of the Spam detector.

Where there is no email address Ofcom will write to the postal address held on file.

If new licences have not been received by 14 April the RSGB suggests contacting Ofcom at ARL2015@ofcom.org.uk or via the online licensing system.
http://rsgb.org/main/blog/news/gb2rs/headlines/2015/03/13/notice-variation-amateur-radio-licence/

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Ham Radio Digital Voice Comparison

Monday 23rd March 2015

In this edition of the Ham Radio Now show Roland Kraatz W9HPX presents his research on D-STAR, DMR and Yaesu Fusion

The Charlotte NC Digital Radio Group is kinda nuts for the DV systems. They don't pick favorites – they put them all up. Their D-STAR system is older and more evolved (multiple sites on 144, 440 and 1200), but they've added DMR/MotoTRBO in a big way, and recently installed one of the Yaesu C4FM "Fusion" repeaters (though they're not "fusing" it - they run it digital only). They've got an NXDN repeater on the bench. Only P-25 [and dPMR] is missing.

In this talk from the Charlotte Hamfest, Roland Kraatz W9HPX presents the research he's done on D-STAR, DMR and Fusion. No on-the-air comparisons (see Episode 161 for that). This is a slide show that compares operational capability and some tech specs.

We're a few weeks away from Yaesu's North America release of WIRES-X, the Internet linking system for Fusion, so Roland only has a few details on that based on manuals.

Watch HRN 195: DV System Comparison on HamRadioNow

Here are links to some of the resources Roland talks about:

Charlotte Digital Radio Group
http://charlottedstar.org/

Roland W9HPX's slide show PDF
http://charlottedstar.org/Comparison%20of
%20Amateur%20Radio%20DV.pdf


KI4ZD's slide show on Fusion
http://www.trinityos.com/HAM/
Yaesu-System-Fusion/Yaesu-fusion-and-c4fm-v7.pdf


Previous editions of HamRadioNow
http://www.youtube.com/user/HamRadioNow/videos

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Southampton Eclipse Balloon

Monday 23rd March 2015

The Southampton University Spaceflight Society have posted a well illustrated report on their solar eclipse balloon flight on March 20

The balloon carried two payloads, Olaf and Majora. Olaf transmitted images throughout the flight on 434.149 MHz using the Slow Scan Digital Video (SSDV) mode but there was a fault on the Majora payload which stopped transmitting data on 434.211 MHz after about 80 minutes.

The payloads are thought to have come down in the sea just north of Cherbourg, Normandy and the team hope they will wash up on a beach or a boat spots it and sends it back. This will allowing them to determine what went wrong with Majora, and get the unprocessed images off of the micro SD cards.

Read the report at
http://susf.co.uk/launches/eclipse/

Phil Crump M0DNY
https://twitter.com/philcrump2

Southampton University Spaceflight
https://twitter.com/SUSpaceflight

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Ham radio HT of the future ?

Monday 23rd March 2015

Open Source evengilist Bruce Perens K6BP calls it the HT of the Future.

It's a product he and partner Chris Testa KD2BMH are working on that's basically a Software Defined Radio for VHF/UHF mobile, and eventually handheld use

A more official name is Whitebox, because it's open source, as opposed to Black Box - a sealed module that you can't get into.

The Whitebox can be programmed for any analog or digital mode. It'll use a VHF version of FreeDV as a native digital-voice mode. The proprietary modes like D-STAR, DMR, System Fusion may require some external hardware, like a dongle. And it will run apps, like a smartphone. It's not a pipe dream – they're in the prototype stage, or, as Bruce says, they're working on the version for Rocket Scientists. The next version will be for end users.

Bruce updated progress on the Whitebox in a talk at the Orlando HamCation. You can see it on HamRadioNow.tv Episode 194. And note that Episode 193 is an update on FreeDV with CODEC2 inventor David Rowe VK5DGR. The last third of the program focuses on David's project for a FreeDV VHF radio using TDMA, including an "on-channel repeater" function (no input frequency, no duplexer).

Watch HRN 194: HT of the Future on HamRadioNow

Whitebox Radio
https://www.facebook.com/whiteboxradio
https://github.com/testaco/whitebox

Previous editions of HamRadioNow
http://www.youtube.com/user/HamRadioNow/videos

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DXpedition to the Isle of Man

Monday 23rd March 2015

Members from the 'DX-Interceptors Amateur Radio Club' (MS0IXD) will be on a DXpedition to the Isle of Man (EU-116) between May 8-11th.

Operating from Scarlett Point, the team plans to be using the modes of CW, SSB and RTTY on 80/40/30/20/17/15/12/10 meters.

Their aim is to provide as much as possible an ANTO (all time new one) or new band and mode to as many individuals as they can.

They state, "Please DON'T be offended if we do not engage in a rag chew over recent events as our aim is to log as many as we can over the period. We have only three operators going."

Operators mentioned are Billy/GM0OBX, Frank/MM0HST and Ross/GM1KNP.
QSL via LoTW or M0OXO ONLY.

They will use two HF stations:
HF Station 1 - Mainly SSB
HF Station 2 - Mainly CW/DATA

Yaesu FT 1000mp; Acom Amplifer Icom IC 7200; RM Italy Amplifer Hexbeam (20/17/15/10) Moxon (15/12); Vertical (homebrew GM0OBX Home brew interface for data multi band 80-10m)

OPDX

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DXCC Country/Entity Report

Monday 23rd March 2015

According to the Amateur Radio Cluster Network for the week of Sunday, 15th/March, through Sunday, 22nd/March there were 236 countries active.

Countries available:

3A, 3B8, 3B9, 3D2, 3DA, 3V, 3W, 4J, 4L, 4O, 4S, 4U1I, 4X, 5B, 5H, 5N, 5R, 5T, 5U, 5V, 5W, 5X, 5Z, 6W, 6Y, 7P, 7Q, 7X, 8P, 8R, 9A, 9H, 9J, 9K, 9M2, 9M6, 9N, 9Q, 9V, 9Y,

A2, A3, A4, A6, A7, A9, AP, BV, BY, C2, C3, C5, C6, C9, CE, CE0Y, CE9, CM, CN, CP, CT, CT3, CU, CX, D2, D4, DL, DU, E3, E4, E5/n, E5/s, E7, EA, EA6, EA8, EA9, EI, EK, EL, ER, ES, ET, EU, EX, EY, EZ, F, FG, FJ, FK, FM, FO, FP, FR, FS, FW, FY, G, GD, GI, GJ, GM, GU, GW, H4, HA, HB, HB0, HC, HI, HK, HL, HP, HR, HS, HV, HZ, I, IS, J2, J3, J6, J7, J8, JA, JD/o, JT, JW, JX, JY,

K, KH2, KH6, KL, KP2, KP4, LA, LU, LX, LY, LZ, OA, OD, OE, OH, OH0, J0,
OK, OM, ON, OX, OY, OZ, P4, PA, PJ2, PJ4, PJ7, PY, PZ, S0, S2, S5, S7,
S9, SM, SP, ST, SU, SV, SV5, SV9, T32, T7, T8, TA, TF, TG, TI, TJ, TK,
TR, TT, TU, TY, UA, UA2, UA9, UK, UN, UR,

V2, V3, V4, V5, V6, V7, V8, VE, VK, VK9N, VP2E, VP2M, VP2V, VP8, VP8/g, VP8/h, VP9, VQ9, VR, VU, XE, XU, YA, YB, YI, YL, YN, YO, YS, YU, YV, Z2, Z3, Z8, ZA, ZB, ZC4, ZD7, ZD8, ZD9, ZF, ZL, ZP, ZS

PLEASE NOTE: The report "could" contain "Pirate/SLIM" operations or more likely a "BUSTED CALLSIGN". As always, you never know - "Work First Worry Later" (WFWL).

OPDX

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Malawi DXpedition

Monday 23rd March 2015

The second team of the 7QAA DXpedition (SSB, RTTY, some CW and PSK team) is now active until April 1st.

Operators are John/GW4SKA, Sam/ZS6BRZ, Dick/K9APW, Chris/G8APB, Marco/HB9OCR and Alex/DD5ZZ.

The team will operate 4 stations on the air on 160-6 meters. The SSB team will also participate in the CQWW WPX SSB Contest.

Daily free LoTW and ClubLog uploads will be provided, and they will use the band-slot tracking feature in ClubLog to promote a competitive spirit amongst the DX fraternity. Log is available at: https://secure.clublog.org/expeditions/7QAA

They feel that due to the extended 20 day operating period there will be ample time to work the "little pistols" as well as the band-slot chasers.
QSL Manager is Dick, N7RO.

For more details, see their Web page at:
http://www.malawidx.org/index.html

Just a reminder that this DXpedition is dedicated in memory of Frosty (Charles Frost), K5LBU, who became a Silent Key on February 14th.

OPDX

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IOTA News from OPDX

Monday 23rd March 2015

Island activities:

EU-008. Members of the Kilmarnock and Loudoun ARC (GM0ADX) will be active as MM0KLR from the Isle of Muck (IOSA NH06, SCOTIA DI18, WAB NM48) between April 26th and May 2nd. Operators mentioned are Graham/MM0GHM, Allan/2M0VNW, Arthur/MM0DHQ, Allan/GM3OZB, Gordon/GM7WCO, Jason/GM7VSB and Paul/GM0PJD. Activity will be on 160-2 meters including 60m. QSL via MM0KLR, by the Bureau or eQSL. QSL direct to MM0GHM.

EU-037. Hans, DK3PZ, will be active as SM7/DK3PZ from Oland Island between May 16-23rd. QSL via eQSL and/or by the Bureau to his home callsign.

EU-042. Operators Siggi/DL3HBZ, Lothar/DL8HAL, Steve/DJ7AO, Charlie/DF6LPC, Ulrich/DJ9IE and Benjamin/DB2LS will be active as DL0DFF from Hallig Hooge (DLFF-013) between April 30th and May 3rd. QSL via the Bureau.

EU-048. Once again the CDXG (Charente DX Groupe) will be on IOTA expedition, this year to Belle Ile Island (DIFM AT 015, WW Locator IN87IK). Activity take place between April 18-25th, using the callsign TM9B. Operators mentioned are Eric/F5LOW, Laurent/F5MNK, Bertrand/F6HKA and Leon/ON4ZD/OS0S. QSL via ON4ZD (see QRZ.com). For more info and possible updates, see:  http://www.charentedxgroupe.fr

EU-138. Fred, SM7DAY, will be active as SM7DAY/p from Senoren Island between April 11-18th. Activity will be on the HF bands using CW, SSB and PSK. QSL via his home callsign, direct, by the Bureau. Also, QSL via the OQRS on ClubLog. ADDED NOTE: Members of the South West Scania Radio Amateurs Club (SSRA) [which Fred is a member] will also be active from Senoren Island as SK7DX. QSL via SM7DXQ.

EU-170. Operators Achim/DL1DAW, Kai/DL3HAH and Andy/DL3YM will be active as 9A/DK3QZ from Kaprije Island between July 24-26th.
QSL via the home callsign.

NA-112. Operators Joe/W03F, Keith/KK4PLI, Pete/W3ENK and Sterling/N4WKG will be active as N4F from Ft. Macon State Park on Bogue Banks Island (Emerald Isle, Carteret County, North Carolina), between April 25-26th. QSL via: Special Event, PO Box 1302, Newport,
NC 28570.

NA-174. David, VE3VID, is now active as VY0/VE3VID from the rare Igloolik Island (WW.Loc EP-99), but announced this past week he will be going QRT soon. He states, "After 2 years of 20m RTTY, HELL and SSB from Igloolik Island my work here will soon be done. Though I will be returning to Baffin Island later, and may at some future time also return to Igloolik Island, the operations which have occurred 3 times a year since March of 2013 will finish up in about 1 month. For DXers and IOTA fans still hoping for a QSL, I will be active on 20m RTTY on March 22nd, 28th, 29th and April 4th. Work schedule as permitting on April 11th and 12th as well. I'm also hoping to participate in some of the contests up to that point. After that Igloolik Island will be QRT." QSL via his home callsign, direct or by the Bureau.

OC-136. After his December Lord Howe Island VK2IAY/9 operation look for Steve (G0UIH/VK2IAY/3D2FI) to be staying for 4 days on Phillip Island (OC-136) between December 29th and January 1st (2016), and being active as VK2IAY/3. Activity will be SSB only on 20m. The antenna will be a wire dipole and 100w (IC706MK2G). Look around 14260 kHz. A 4 color special double QSL card sponsored by Vortex Antenna Systems will be available in early 2016. QSL is via G0UIH, direct or by the Bureau.

OC-252. Imam, YB4IR, will be active as YB4IR/7 from Randayan Island between March 25-31st. Activity will be on 40-10 meters using CW, SSB, and RTTY. Antennas will be a Tribander for the High Bands and a Vertical for Low Bands. QSL via LoTW, ClubLog's OQRS or via his home callsign, direct or by the Bureau.

RSGB IOTA website

Check-out the latest IOTA News from the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

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Full-duplex radio integrated circuits demonstrated

Sunday 22nd March 2015

A team of Columbia Engineering researchers has invented a technology - full-duplex radio integrated circuits (ICs) - that can be implemented in nanoscale CMOS to enable simultaneous transmission and reception at the same frequency in a wireless radio.

Up to now, this has been thought to be impossible: transmitters and receivers either work at different times or at the same time but at different frequencies.

The Columbia team, led by Electrical Engineering Associate Professor Harish Krishnaswamy, is the first to demonstrate an IC that can accomplish this. The researchers presented their work at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) in San Francisco on February 25.

http://www.engineering.columbia.edu/new-technology-may-double-radio-frequency-data-capacity-0

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WW1 listening post - follow up

Sunday 22nd March 2015

Further to our story about the WW1 listening post.

The University of East Anglia, East Anglian Film Archives have a documentary featuring R.J.B. Hippisley (HLX)

http://www.eafa.org.uk/catalogue/5108

"Illustrated with archival film and photographs, as well as interviews with those involved, the documentary traces the evolution of civilian involvement in radio-based intelligence during both world wars."

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Falcons stop phone mast upgrade

Sunday 22nd March 2015

The Register reports nesting falcons have interrupted £200m Vodafone 4G mast upgrades

Five pairs of nesting falcons have disrupted Vodafone customers' mobile phone signals in London and the south east – because the birds have set up shop on the carrier's masts.

Read the article at
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/03/20/
falcons_invade_vodafone_cell_sites/

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DARC Radio & EARN to start this weekend

Saturday 21st March 2015

Following upgrades and maintenance the 49m 10kw SW broadcast transmitter owned by a company run by Radio Amateur, Rainer DB8QC, Channel292 expects its transmitter to be back on the air on Monday evening the 23rd. of March on 6070KHz.

Two programs of Interest to amateur radio enthusiasts are planned to start their weekly run this weekend. DARC Radio is a DX orientated program in the German Language and English Amateur Radio News (EARN) is a compilation from existing English language news broadcasts from National Radio societies in the UK, Australia and the US.

The DARC program will start on Sunday 22nd at 1000 UTC (1100 CET) from an alternative transmitter on 6070 KHz and then repeat on Monday evening the 23rd. Please go to channel292.de for the full ongoing program schedule.

Please send signal reports and comments on the German DARC Radio program to radio@darc.de. For comments, input and signal reports on EARN, please email englisharnews@gmail.com.

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Astronaut issues challenge for UK students to 'make that call'

Saturday 21st March 2015

Tim Peake KG5BVI, the first British ESA astronaut, has issued an invitation to UK school pupils to contact him via amateur radio whilst he is in space

Tim will launch to the International Space Station (ISS) in November of this year and will spend 6 months working and living on the ISS.

Thanks to a collaboration between Amateur Radio on the International Space Stations (ARISS), the UK Space Agency, the Radio Society of Great Britain (RSGB) and the European Space Agency (ESA), UK school pupils will be able to contact him whilst he is on board the ISS via a scheduled amateur radio link-up.

Watch GB1SS - Tim Peake Issues a Challenge

The selected schools/organisations will host a direct link-up with the International Space Station during a two-day, space related STEM workshop.

ARISS UK will provide and set up all necessary radio equipment (for example, low earth orbit satellite tracking antennas and radios) to establishing a fully functional, direct radio link with the International Space Station from their very own premises. In a ten-minute window when the ISS will be over the UK, an amateur radio contact will be established with Tim, and students will be able to ask him questions about his life and work on board the ISS.

During the contact with Tim the students will be able to hear and potentially see his response immediately. Tim will be using the amateur radio callsign GB1SS whilst he is talking to UK based schools.

Schools throughout the United Kingdom are being invited to host one of a limited number of these in-flight calls, which will include space workshops where students can explore space, space related technologies, the relevance of space to our digital lives and even analyse data being sent down from orbiting satellites.

The students taking part in the link-up will have to obtain their full amateur radio licence to be eligible to operate the radio and one lucky student at each of the selected schools will be responsible for making contact with the ISS.

An RSGB team and the ARISS UK Operations team will work with the chosen schools to prepare them for this exceptional opportunity during the mission of the first British ESA Astronaut.

Tim Peake said:

“I hope to share as much of my mission as possible and am delighted that I will be able to talk to UK students when the ISS flies over Britain, thanks to the radio amateur equipment on board the International Space Station and the ARISS programme.”

Jeremy Curtis, Head of Education at the UK Space Agency, added:

“Both Tim’s space mission and amateur radio have the power to inspire young people and encourage them into STEM subjects. By bringing them together we can boost their reach and give young people around the UK the chance to be involved in a space mission and a hands-on project that will teach them new skills.”

Ciaran Morgan, M0XTD, R.S.G.B. Lead for ARISS and ARISS Operations in the UK, said:

“Tim Peake, and his Principia mission to the ISS, offers students a unique insight to space and amateur radio. ARISS (Amateur Radio on the International Space Station) is delighted to be able to help UK students connect with Tim whilst he is in space, using only amateur radio equipment on the ISS and in schools, to help inspire our future generations of scientists, technicians, engineers and mathematicians.”

John Gould, G3WKL, President of the RSGB said:

“The RSGB is delighted to be able to support the UK Space Agency and Tim’s journey into space, and looks forward to working with the selected schools.”

How to Apply

The opportunity to be involved in this exciting project opens 20 March 2015. Eligible institutions are invited to apply in order to register their interest.

Stage 1 application forms, available from the European Space Education Resource Office web site at http://tinyurl.com/ariss-timpeake must be returned no later than Friday 24 April 2015.

Schools/Institutions that are to be invited to proceed to Stage 2 will be notified in the week commencing 11 May 2015.

Stage 2 applications must be submitted and received by 26 June 2015.

There will then be a selection process involving the UK Space Agency, ESA, ARISS and the RSGB. The successful schools will be announced at the UK Space Conference on 14 July 2015.

UK National STEM Centre – Amateur Radio on the International Space Station http://www.nationalstemcentre.org.uk/elibrary/media/500/ariss

AMSAT-UK
http://amsat-uk.org/

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RT Sytems and RFinder

The World Wide Repeater Directory bring integrated routing to radio progamming!

Saturday 21st March 2015

Once again RFinder and RT Systems have partnered to kick radio programming up a notch.

The latest update to RT Systems includes integrated routing featuring RFinder - The World Wide Repeater Directory.

No more uploading files, just define your route and press a button. Instantly repeaters along your route are ready to write into your radio.

No more exporting, massaging data or importing. Just perform an online update to your RT Systems software Version 4 or above and you will have this new exciting feature...

RFinder has 50.000+ repeaters in over 170 countries. Now repeaters over a route can be written into over 190 VHF/UHF radio models. Nearly anywhere in the world. Crossing country and state borders.

So, go from Aberdeen to St. Ives or Kagoshima to Aomori via Yokohama or Signal Hill Newfoundland to San Diego California via Winnipeg and Vancouver!

RFinder can be found in Google Play on Android or Apple App store on iOS devices...just search for RFinder.

The purchase price in the app stores of only $9.99USD includes the first year subscription that enables access from http://web.rfinder.net, http://routes.rfinder.net, CHIRP, RT Systems and RadioBuddy.

Windows Phone and Blackberry versions are currently in development and should be available by The Dayton Hamvention.
Those without smartphones can purchase the subscription at http://www.rfinder.net .

RFinder is the official repeater directory of Radio Amateurs Canada. Canadian Hams that purchase RFinder support RAC.
RFinder is the official repeater directory app of Radio Society of Great Britain. UK Hams that purchase RFinder support RSGB.

Bob W2CYK

More info:
Web: www.rfinder.net
FB: www.facebook.com/rfinderwwrd (please like and share!)
email: w2cyk@rfinder.net
Skype: bobofthedeep
US: +1 631.610.5120
UK: +44 0 1234923021
JP: +81 345795839

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Radio Ham on BBC TV for Eclipse

Saturday 21st March 2015

On Friday, March 20 radio amateur Dave Akerman M0RPI launched his 50th high altitude balloon

The launch took place from the BBC Stargazing Live event at Leicester racecourse, the aim was to take photographs during the partial solar eclipse. The the balloon carried several transmitters operating in 434 MHz which sent telemetry and SSDV images. Dave was interviewed after the launch.

The balloon payload containing 168GB of video footage was recovered several hours later from a field near Leighton Buzzard in Bedfordshire.

Dave edited several hours of video down to about one minutes worth in time for a second interview about the balloon flight by Dr. Lucie Green in the Friday evening edition of the show.

Watch Dave Akerman M0RPI on BBC TV Stargazing Live on Friday morning at 50:52 into the show
http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b05n2br2/stargazing-live-series-5-5-eclipse-live

Overseas viewers may need to use a Proxy Server to bypass BBC geographical blocking.

Dave Akerman M0RPI
Web
http://www.daveakerman.com/

Twitter https://twitter.com/daveake

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Software Defined Radios for the visually impaired radio enthusiast

Saturday 21st March 2015

In this guest post, Tore Johnny Bråtveit - a devout medium wave DXer - gives his advice on choosing the best SDRs for the visually-impaired radio enthusiast:

http://wp.me/pn3uc-3h6

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Hamvention award winner George Dobbs G3RJV

Friday 20th March 2015

The Dayton Hamvention has announced that George Dobbs G3RJV (photo right) will receive the Technical Excellence Award 2015

On the GQRP Yahoo Group QRP ARCI Vice-President Steve Fletcher G4GXL posted:

The Dayton Hamvention is a 3-day event that has taken place for 50 years in Dayton, Ohio each May. Every year they attract around 25,000 visitors.

The Hamvention makes a handful of awards each year and, late Wednesday night, they announced that the Technical Excellence Award 2015 will be given to George Dobbs G3RJV

Congratulations George - this is very well deserved !

The award committee said there was a lot of competition in 2015. The impact that George has made to the hobby is recognised worldwide and particularly in the USA.

The official announcement was made on the internet TV show HamNation, a recording can be found at:
http://twit.tv/show/ham-nation/188
The feature is around 22 minutes in to the show.

Further detail are on the Hamvention website
http://hamvention.org/hamvention-announces-2015-award-winners/

QRP ARCI has held its annual convention 'Four Days In May' (FDIM) in Dayton for the past 19 years. George has been a fixture at most of those events. He will be there for our 20th anniversary FDIM and, of course, will be very busy with the seminars, evening events and the added award celebrations organised by the Hamvention.

If you want to join in the fun you can find details of FDIM at
http://www.qrparci.org/fdim

GQRP Yahoo Group
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/GQRP

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Ofcom act on radio ham's UWB response

Friday 20th March 2015

Following the response to the Ofcom UWB consultation by Essex radio amateur John Gilliver G6JPG several changes have been made

In the UWB statement Ofcom thanked John G6JPG for the issues he highlighted.

Ofcom has announced that it has made the Wireless Telegraphy (Ultra-Wideband Equipment) (Exemption) Regulations 2015. These amend the existing Wireless Telegraphy licence exemption criteria for Ultra-Wideband (UWB) devices.

UWB Devices use very large bandwidth so are able to transmit high data rates over short distances but transmit at very low powers so not to interfere with other devices. The regulations will implement a European Commission Decision on UWB devices that harmonises the technical parameters for equipment across all Member States. The regulations come into force on 25 March 2015.

The Ofcom statement PDF can be found at
http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/consultations/uwb-regulations/statement/

Read the responses at
http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/consultations/uwb-regulations/

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Impact of UK budget on radio spectrum

Friday 20th March 2015

The UK budget announced on Wednesday states that the government will allocate up to £600 million to deliver the change of use for 700 MHz spectrum and centralise the operational management of public sector spectrum

The UK's technology trade association, techUK, says:

Following Ofcom's decision that 700MHz spectrum, currently occupied by Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) broadcasters, should be made available for mobile data use, the Budget states that the government will allocate up to £600 million to deliver the change of use. The funds are intended to support the infrastructure costs of clearing the spectrum, including support for consumers where appropriate, and retuning broadcast transmitters to enable broadcasters to move into a lower frequency.

In an effort to enable better prioritisation of spectrum management, and maximisation of the economic value of public sector spectrum, the Budget announces that government will centralise the operational management of public sector spectrum, currently managed by individual Departments. It also proposes to reset the current release target.

Full techUK story at
https://www.techuk.org/insights/news/item/3720-a-budget-for-an-ultra-connected-uk

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Radio listening declining among young

Friday 20th March 2015

An Ofcom report says fewer than half of young people aged 11-15 listen to live radio on a weekly basis

Last November Ofcom published a report Digital Day 2014 focusing on the data from the young person's quantitative 3-day diary study.

The report notes that just 42% of young people said they listened to live radio during the week. Instead among those aged 11-15, listening to online or digital ‘pull’ content was popular.

Tablets, such as iPads etc, are the most-used device among 6-11 year olds after TV sets, just 27% of that age group have a smart phone.

Only 15% of those aged 11-15 now use the old text&talk non-smart phones compared with 67% of that age group who use smart phones every week.

Read Digital Day 2014: Results from the children’s diary study PDF
http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/market-data-research/other/cross-media/digital-day/2014/digital-day-childrens

An Ofcom report released on March 19 has discovered, perhaps unsurprisingly, that young people multitask read it at
http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/market-data-research/other/cross-media/digital-day/2014/media-multitasking

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Radio ham established WW1 listening post

Friday 20th March 2015

The Telegraph newspaper reports on Hippisley Hut, named after Richard John Bayntun Hippisley, an amateur radio enthusiast with the call sign HLX

He worked with others to persuade the Admiralty to establish a radio station here at the start of the Great War. They argued that they were picking up more intelligence than the Marconi stations were.

Read The holiday home that won the First World War - and other amazing conversions
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/property/11482593/The-holiday-home-that-won-the-First-World-War-and-other-amazing-conversions.html

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Friday 20th March 2015

Dave Raycroft's  ICPO
(Islands, Castles & Portable Operations)

I.C.P.O. Bulletin (20-27 March 2015)
"Islands, Castles & Portable Operations"
Listing is by calendar date (day/month/year)

If you like chasing the DX to some of the remotest areas of the world, or love a rag-chew with a portable station in a rare square or working Islands, Castles or Lighthouses on the Air, then you need the right information. 

Dave Raycroft VA3RJ produces an excellent bulletin, and you can read the latest by clicking on the following link, and see what is coming up in the next few days/weeks.  Dave Raycroft Bulletin

Also check the excellent HF Propagation predictions from the United Kingdom for March 2015 by Gwyn Williams, G4FKH

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Ulster 434 MHz Solar Eclipse Balloon

Thursday 19th March 2015

Radio amateur Philip Heron MI0VIM reports on a Raspberry Pi balloon which will be launched for the eclipse and should be receivable across the British Isles

All being well there will be a launch from Cookstown, N.Ireland on Friday, March 20 at about 0700 UT.

The plan is to have it rise high enough before the time of maximum solar eclipse, and maybe image the lunar shadow on the horizon. This will have a slow ascent rate and should hopefully float at about 36km, on a path which takes it south towards Dublin, before turning east to Wales and on towards Germany.

Callsign: EAGLE
Frequency: 434.250 MHz
Mode: RTTY 300 baud 8N2

The payload consists of a Raspberry Pi A+, camera and a Pi In The Sky module. It will be sending Slow Scan Digital Video (SSDV) images throughout the flight.

The 434 MHz signals transmitted by High Altitude Balloons can have a range of up to 800 km. The path of the balloons can be tracked in real-time at http://spacenear.us/tracker/

Useful links for tracking, receiving and decoding the telemetry from 434 MHz balloons can be found at
http://amsat-uk.org/beginners/balloons/

Listen for 434 MHz balloon signals online using the SUWS WebSDR, further details at
http://amsat-uk.org/2014/08/15/suws-websdr-moves-to-new-site/

434 MHz balloon launch at BBC Stargazing event
http://amsat-uk.org/2015/03/16/434-mhz-balloon-launch-at-bbc-stargazing-event/

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Anniversary celebration of the IARU/ITU/REF

Thursday 19th March 2015

To celebrate the 90th anniversaries of the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) and the Reseaux des Emetteurs Francais (REF), and the 150th anniversary of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), look for the following special event station from different French areas/ entities to be active on the air:

TO90IARU - April 4-18th; from Martinique
TK90IARU - April 4-18th; from Corsica
TM90WARD - April 17-19th; from France
TM90REF - May 17-31st; from France
TM150ITU - May 3-17th; from France
TM150UIT - May 3-17th; from France

All QSOs will be automatically confirmed by Bureau from the REF QSL Bureau.

OPDX

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Radio ham over the moon at decoding space message

Thursday 19th March 2015

The Kent and Sussex Courier newspaper reports a picture from space has been decoded by an over-the-moon radio amateur from Tunbridge Wells

Colin Bowman M0NLP spoke to his local newspaper after receiving a Slow Scan TV (SSTV) picture from the International Space Station (ISS) and in doing so gained some good publicity for the hobby.

He told the Courier: "I went mad when I realised I had decoded an entire picture."

"I had to e-mail my children straight away, though, as they are both licensed amateurs as well and my daughter has just started a new job in the space industry in Turin."

Read the full story at
http://www.courier.co.uk/Tunbridge-Wells-radio-man-moon-decoding-space/story-26160562-detail/story.html

ISS images received by radio amateurs world-wide are at
http://www.spaceflightsoftware.com/ARISS_SSTV/

Find out more about ISS SSTV and links to decoding software at
http://amsat-uk.org/2015/02/11/more-iss-slow-scan-tv/

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IARU at World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction

Wednesday 18th March 2015

Category 5 Cyclone Pam caused severe damage when it hit the Pacific nation of Vanuatu last weekend. Recovery is expected to take a very long time.

The idyllic location is a haven for tourists and DXpeditioners, with all who had been there struggling to recognise damaged landmarks now being shown on TV news.

Like other countries in the region very few local radio amateurs exist, and no communication has been heard from many islands.

Vanuatu President Baldwin Lonsdale was at the United Nations World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction held at Sendai Japan and made an emotional plea for humanitarian assistance.

All of the development made by Vanuatu has been swept up in the widespread devastation that has been deaths, injuries, loss of power and communications, with up to 70% of the population displaced. President Lonsdale has now returned to Vanuatu.

The International Amateur Radio Union Region 3 was on a panel as part of the UN Conference at Tohoku University, organised by the International Telecommunications Union Development (ITU-D) Sector.

Sendai is a major city in North Eastern Japan in the disaster area of Great East Japan Earthquake in March 2011.

On a panel were representatives from Japan, The Philippines, Uganda, ITU and IARU Region 3, who faced an enthusiastic audience of 30.

The Vice Minister for Policy Coordination, Ministry of Internal affairs and Communications, Japan, Yasuo Sakamoto, thanked the international cooperation provided at Great East Japan Earthquake and the disaster use of mobile phones for voice/data communications.

The Deputy Executive Director, Information and Communications Technology Office, Department of Science and Technology, Republic of Philippines, Nicolas D. Ojeda Jr., talked of the experience with Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) in November 2013.

He mentioned that Amateur Radio was very helpful to maintain the communications between local community and disaster-relief organisations.

IARU Region 3 Secretary, Ken Yamamoto JA1CJP, explained how Amateur Radio can contribute to Disaster Risk Reduction.

He stated that the radio amateurs can bring warning and or rescue requests at the early phase of disaster, that they can provide grassroots communications between evacuation shelters and disaster relief organisations in relief phase.
It is a good resource of trained communications operators.

Ken JA1CJP also referred to the ITU Recommendation, Report and Radio Regulations relevant to Amateur Radio in disaster communications.

The panel moderator opened the floor for questions. Armenia questioned the cooperation framework between radio amateurs and government organisations, and the response time to establish Amateur Radio communication in case of disaster.

Ken JA1CJP responded that the multi-layer agreement between societies or local radio clubs and national relief agencies/local governments, would be beneficial for maximum coordination during a disaster.

In most major disasters electricity is cut, normal communications are overloaded or out of service, while Amateur Radio with its alternative power can provide vital messaging to help the responders and their community.

The outcome at Sendai is another example of the ongoing work being done by the IARU to further emergency communications provided by skilled and trained radio amateurs.

Jim Linton VK3PC
Chairman IARU Region 3 Disaster Communications Committee.

Source IARU Region 1
http://iaru-r1.org/

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CME impact, major geomagnetic storm

Wednesday 18th March 2015

The Space Weather site reports a Coronal Mass Ejection hit Earth's magnetic field on March 17 at approximately 04:30 UT which was earlier than expected

At first, the impact sparked a relatively mild G1-class (Kp=5) geomagnetic storm. Since then, however, the storm has intensified to G4-class (Kp=8), ranking it as the strongest geomagnetic storm of the current solar cycle.

Before sunrise on March 17, bright auroras were sighted over several northern-tier US states including Minnesota, Wisconsin, Montana, the Dakotas and Washington.

"The auroras were insane," says Marketa Murray who regularly runs a photography workshop on the Arctic Circle. She has seen a lot of auroras. "I have never seen anything like this."

On Tuesday afternoon the storm was expected to continue for many hours as Earth passed through the turbulent wake of the CME. Stay tuned for updates.

Space Weather
http://spaceweather.com/

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RSGB Youth Committee Minutes released

Wednesday 18th March 2015

The minutes of the RSGB Youth Committee meeting held on March 14 have been released

In the minutes RSGB Board member Steve Hartley G0FUW indicates that in 2014-15 the level of young members in the RSGB had remained broadly constant.

The number of young members had plunged by 43% in the preceding 4 years to the low 200's.

The minutes record that the increase in the average age of RSGB members has halted but it is due to older people in their 40's joining rather than younger people.

In 2011 60% of RSGB members were aged 60 or over and the average membership age had been increasing one year every year so it is encouraging news that this aging trend has now stabilised.

The minutes note the RSGB Board's view that the Society has money and that this money is being well spent if it furthers the hobby and brings more youngsters into the hobby. For the Wales DX15 event the Committee has secured £3900 from the RSGB and the RCF.

The Youth Committee Chair Mike Jones 2E0MLJ plans to give a 30 minute presentation about the Committee's work to the RSGB AGM in London on Saturday, April 25.

Download the Youth Committee minutes at
http://rsgb.org/main/files/2014/12/RSGB-Youth-Committee-Meeting-14-March-Minutes-PDF.pdf

RSGB Youth Committee
http://rsgb.org/main/about-us/committees/youth-committee/

Youth Committee on Twitter
http://twitter.com/yota_uk

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The Subminiature Vacuum Tube: The Cycle of Technology

Wednesday 18th March 2015

A short documentary of the history of the subminiature vacuum tube. This 16 minute film was produced by the MIT Museum with funding from Raytheon in 1986 for the MIT Industrial Liaison Program.

The producer and director was Seichi Tsutsumi of the MIT Industrial Liaison Program.

The film may be freely used provided credit to the MIT Museum is supplied.

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434 MHz balloon launch at BBC Stargazing event

Tuesday 17th March 2015

Radio amateur David Akerman M0RPI will be launching a 434 MHz balloon from the BBC Stargazing Live solar eclipse event in Leicester on March 20

The flight is to primarily to take photographs during the partial solar eclipse. Slow Scan Digital Video (SSDV), RTTY and LoRa telemetry beacons will be transmitting from the balloon in 434 MHz, so plenty of stuff to tune in to.

SSDV picture from M0RPI balloon

The launch activities will be recorded and some of the footage will be transmitted on the special BBC Stargazing show from 9am to 10am on that day.

There will also be a couple of very brief live segments where, hopefully, I get to show some pretty live images.
Also, assuming we get to recover the flight, some of the recorded video should end up on the main Stargazing show in the evening (9pm-10pm, BBC2).

There will be 2 Raspberry Pi trackers each sending telemetry and SSDV using both RTTY and LoRa modulation.

Pi #1 (camera with solar film):

MARVIN: 434.300MHz, RTTY, 910Hz shift, USB, 300 baud 8 N 2
ZAPHOD: 434.350MHz, LoRa, Implicit mode, Bandwidth 20.8kHz, Error coding 4:5, SF6

Pi #2 (bare camera):

KRYTEN: 434.400MHz, RTTY, 910Hz shift, USB, 300 baud 8 N 2
RIMMER: 434.450MHz, LoRa, Implicit mode, Bandwidth 20.8kHz, Error coding 4:5, SF6

Launch time 8am Friday, March 20.

As well as the TV stuff, the BBC are running a "spectacular live event" from the racecourse, open to the public from 9am to 3pm and then 6pm to 9pm. Entry is free so please do come along if you can. They have a real astronaut, Paolo Nespoli IZ0JPA, and plenty else of interest - see
http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/latestnews/2015/stargazing-live-leicester

The 434 MHz signals transmitted by High Altitude Balloons can have a range of up to 800 km. The path of the balloons can be tracked in real-time at
http://spacenear.us/tracker/

Useful links for tracking, receiving and decoding the telemetry from 434 MHz balloons can be found at
http://amsat-uk.org/beginners/balloons/

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Southampton students to launch eclipse payload

Tuesday 17th March 2015

The University of Southampton Spaceflight Society will be launching for the solar eclipse on Friday, March 20, with two 434 MHz Slow Scan Digital Video (SSDV) balloon payloads

The transmitters are as follows (telemetry all 8n2 600 shift):

'FUSS' - 434.2125 MHz - (SSDV + no GPS)
'SSUF' - 434.150 MHz - (SSDV + GPS)

Thanks in advance to all those who will try to listen

Matt Brejza

The signals transmitted by High Altitude Balloons can have a range of between 300 and 800 km. The path of the balloons can be tracked in real-time at http://spacenear.us/tracker/

Useful links for tracking, receiving and decoding the telemetry from 434 MHz balloons can be found at
http://amsat-uk.org/beginners/balloons/

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IOTA News from the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

Tuesday 17th March 2015

Island activities:

IOTA-QRGs
CW: 28040 24920 21040 18098 14040 10114 7030 3530 kHz
SSB: 28560 28460 24950 21260 18128 14260 7055 3760 kHz

AF-014, CT3, Madeira Archipelago: Igor, UA9CDC, will be active as CT9/UA9CDC between the 20th and the end of the month, including the CQ WW WPX SSB Contest. QSL via G3SWH (d), OQRS.

Matthias, DJ8OG, also pays Madeira a visit from the 24th to the 31st. QRV as CT9/DJ8OG on 80-10m, and as either CQ3L or CR3L during the contest. QSL via DJ8OG (d/B); CQ3L, CR3L via DJ6QT.
http://www.dj8og.de/

AF-016; FR, Reunion Island: Guy, F5MNW, returns to Reunion Island (DIFO FR-001, WLOTA 1812, WW Loc. LG78pu, FFF-011). QRV as FR/F5MNW between March 19 and April 14. QSL via h/c (d/B).

EU-002; OH0, Aland Island: Anton, OG2K, operates holiday-style on 17m and 12m on SSB and RTTY from Aland Island, signing OH0/OG2K, between the 19th and 22nd. QSL via OG2K.

EU-013; GJ, Jersey: Kazu, M0CFW, gets on the air from the old German signal station at St. Brelade on Jersey (WLOTA 0818, WW Loc. IN89ve, WAB WV54) as MJ0CFW between the 20th and 22nd. QRV during the Russian DX Contest as MJ5Z. QSL for both calls via LoTW or M0CFW (d).

NA-033; HK0, San Andres Island: Joe, LU1FM, will be active as 5J0B from San Andres Island (WLOTA 2990, HKFF-035) between the 21st and April 4. QRV on 160-6m on SSB and digital modes, and also during the WPX contest. QSL via LU1FM, ClubLog OQRS.

NA-106; KP2, U.S. Virgin Islands: Bill, K8ZBY, pays KP2M on St. Croix (USi VI-002S, WLOTA 2477), the station of the Radio Reef DXers, a visit from the 18th to the 23rd. QRV holiday-style as KP2/K8ZBY with a focus on Asia and the Pacific. QSL via K8ZBY (d).

NA-107; FM, Martinique: Rich, M5RIC, plans to participate in the WPX contest as TO4C. QRV also before and after from the 22nd to the 29th on 80-10m 8SSB and RTTY) with a focus on WARC bands. QSL via M0OXO OQRS.

OC-026; KH2, Guam Island: Watch out for operators Take, JI3DST and Fusa, JR3CNQ, getting on the air as KH2/JS6RRR and KH2/JR3NCQ from Guam (USi GU-003S, WLOTA 0064, KFF-110). QRV between the 19th and 23rd on 160-10m on SSB, CW, and digital modes. QSLs via homecalls. http://blog.goo.ne.jp/ji3dst

OC-042, DU1-4, Luzon Island: Hannes, OE1SGU, will be active as DU1/OE1SGU between the 24th and April 21. QRV holiday-style on 40-6m on CW and digital modes (RTTY, PSK, JT65). He also hopes to activate other island during that time period and plans to take a license exam for a regular DU1 or 4F1 call to be used during future visits. QSL via OE1SGU, LoTW, OQRS.

SA-030; CX, San Jose/ Montevideo/ Canelones Department group: Members of the Uruguay Radioclub are going to activate Isla de Flores (ARLHS URU-001) from March 20 to 22 as CV5A. QSL via CX2ABC.
http://cv5a.cx.uy/

Compiled by Andreas, DK5ON
Deutscher Amateur Radio Club
e-mail: iota@dxhf.darc.de

RSGB IOTA website

Check-out the latest IOTA News bulletin from OPDX

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Two million packets uploaded to Data Warehouse

Monday 16th March 2015

The FUNcube team are pleased to announce that the Data Warehouse has received two million packets of telemetry data from ground stations around the world

FUNcube-1 (AO-73) was launched on November 21, 2013 and since then radio amateurs and schools have been receiving the telemetry packets transmitted by the satellite and passing them to the AMSAT-UK Data Warehouse for analysis and storage.

There are normally several people uploading the same packet but for the two millionth it was an individual:

• Carlos Eavis, G3VHF

The Data Warehouse statistics as of 09:53 UT on March 15, 2015 were:

Number of registered users: 1529
Number of active users (data received in last two weeks): 193
Number of active users since launch: 818

Number of packets transmitted by satellite since deployment: 8312304 (2.13 GB)
Number of packets uploaded by users before de-duplication: 8539662(2.19 GB)

Number of packets stored in warehouse: 2000000 (512 MB)

Number of packets recovered & stored – Time – Coverage
• Realtime 2M – 115 days – 25%
• HiRes 3.9M – 1085 minutes – 19%
• WOD 0.56M – 385.78 days – 80%

As always, many thanks for all those individuals and groups who are sending data to the warehouse.

FUNcube-1 (AO-73) Telemetry:

• Dashboard App
http://funcube.org.uk/working-documents/funcube-telemetry-dashboard/


• Data Warehouse Archive
http://warehouse.funcube.org.uk/


• Whole orbit data
http://warehouse.funcube.org.uk/wod.html?satelliteId=2

AMSAT-UK http://amsat-uk.org/

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Solar Flare and CME

Monday 16th March 2015

Space Weather reports March 15 began with a bang.

Between 00:45 UT and 02:00 UT, a magnetic filament erupted in concert with a slow C9-class solar flare from sunspot AR2297

The combo blast hurled a CME into space. Modeling by NOAA analysts suggests that the cloud will deliver a glancing blow to Earth's magnetic field during the late hours of March 17.

Will there be green skies on St. Patrick's Day?

NOAA forecasters estimate a 50% chance of geomagnetic storms when the CME arrives.

Space Weather
http://spaceweather.com/

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Icom’s 50th Anniversary IC-7850

Monday 16th March 2015

The first consignment of the special 50th Anniversary IC-7850 arrived in the UK recently. This limited edition, hand built transceiver was made in very limited numbers to commemorate Icom's 50th anniversary. All were pre sold to a lucky and very exclusive few.

With its distinctive gold accents and a commemorative panel signed by Mr Inoue himself, only 150 IC-7850 have been built for the global market and all are numbered to certify authenticity.

Dave Stockley, founder and chairman of Icom UK is one of the lucky few to own a IC-7850 having traded up from his well loved IC-7800, look out for a review on Dave’s own personal radio in the near future,

The radio features include an optimized roofing filter, new local oscillator (LO) design, improved phase noise and enhanced spectrum scope.

Other features to improve HF operation include a 1.2kHz optimized roofing filter that improves in-band adjacent signal performance. For the transceiver's Local Oscillator (LO), Icom has broken with tradition and employed a Direct Digital Synthesizer (DDS) along with the Phase Locked Oscillator. This new LO design sets a new touchstone for phase noise with -150dBc/Hz at 10kHz offset (and -140dBc/Hz at 1kHz offset).

The IC-7850 also features a high-resolution spectrum waterfall function as well as an enhanced spectrum scope that can be operated with PC mouse via a USB port. A dual scope function shows simultaneous activity in both bands which is convenient when searching a sub-band and maintaining a run frequency on the main band.

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Outernet joins the space race for internet accessibility

Monday 16th March 2015

The space race to launch satellites providing internet coverage to the roughly 4 billion people living in unconnected or nominally connected communities around the world is no longer just the purview of billionaire moguls and the world’s biggest Internet companies.

Outernet, a small, independently-funded media company with a unique vision for distributing Internet content like a radio broadcast, is partnering with the UK Space Agency, and Scottish satellite equipment manufacturer, Clyde Space, on a cost-sharing project for manufacturing “cubesats.”

The information broadcaster Outernet will launch their three new nanosatellites at the beginning of 2016, says Outernet’s chief operating officer, Thane Richard. Through the arrangement, Outernet gets the satellites, and the UK Space Agency and Clyde Space get an opportunity to develop more cost-effective ways of building cubesats.

Read the full Tech Crunch article at:
http://techcrunch.com/2015/03/13/outernet-joins-the-space-race-for-internet-accessibility/

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IOTA News from OPDX

Monday 16th March 2015

Island activities:

AS-201. Markus, DJ4EL, will be active as TA0/DJ4EL from Buyukada Island between March 29th and April 12th. Activity will be on the HF bands. QSL via LoTW or via his home callsign by the Bureau and direct. Look for updates on his Twitter page at:
https://twitter.com/rapanuiman

EU-046. Waldi, SP7IDX, will be active as LA/SP7IDX from Vannoya Islands, Norway, between June 17-27th. Activity will be holiday style (fishing trip and work) on 80-10 meters using SSB and RTTY. Equipment an IC7100 + PA + HEXBEAM + inv-L for 80-40m. QSL via the Bureau. Depending on the Internet access availability; logs will be available on LoTW and Clublog.

EU-051. Opertaors Giovanni/IK5BCM and Andrea/IU5BLZ will be active from Ustica Island between May 9-16th. Callsign(s) were not provided. Activity will be on 80-10 meters using CW, SSB and the Digital modes.

NA-212. (Update) Dan, HR2DMR, is expected to be active as H76W from Farallones de Cosiguina sometime during mid/late July (possibly between 23-28th) and also to include the RSGB IOTA Contest (July 25-26th). Activity depends on the Honduran and Nicaraguan Navy officers. QSL via KD4POJ. Web page will be forthcoming.

OC-130. Marc, ON5SM, will once again be active as DU9/ON5SM from Mindanao Island (WLOTA 2803) between March 16th and April 25th. 
QSL via his home callsign, by the Bureau or direct (see QRZ.com). Log will be uploaded to LoTW and eQSL.

OC-220. Craig, VK5CE will be active as VK5CE/P from St. Peter Island between March 29th and April 1st. Activity will be on 80-10 meters mainly SSB. For a band schedule, more detailed and possible updates, see Craig's Blog page at: http://iotaoc220.blogspot.com.au

OC-250. Operators Din/YB8RW and Adhi "Bimbo"/YB3MM will be active as YB8RW/3 and YB3MM/P, respectively, from Masalembo Besar Island between March 25-27th. If transportation is available, Masalembo Kecil and Karamian Islands (same IOTA group) will also be activated.  Activity wil be on CW and SSB. QSL YB8RW/3 direct or via OQRS (ClubLog), and NO Bureau QSLs. QSL YB3MM/P via PAYPAL (direct - see QRZ.com) or via IZ8CCW. Bureau OK, but it will take more than 3 years.

SA-030. Members of Radiogrupo Sur will be active as CV5A from Flores Island (RGS CX-014, WLOTA LH-0528, ARLHS URU-001) between March 20-22nd. Activity will be on all HF bands and modes.
QSL via CX2ABC. Visit their Web page at: http://www.cv5a.cx.uy

RSGB IOTA website

Check-out the latest IOTA News from the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

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Infrared light offers alternative for wireless charging

Sunday 15th March 2015

Wi-Charge’s wireless charging technology claims to deliver up to 10 W of power over 10 metres to multiple devices via an infrared light beam

Regarding EMI and RF radiation the company say that unlike other technologies, the Wi-Charge technology does not emit RF radiation and is completely EMI-free.

Read the Microwave EE Times artcile at
http://www.microwave-eetimes.com/en/infrared-light-offers-alternative-for-wireless-charging.html?cmp_id=7&news_id=222905925&vID=8

Wi-Charge
http://www.wi-charge.com/

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IARU Emergency Telecommunications Guide now available

Sunday 15th March 2015

At the 2014 IARU Administrative Council meeting, the Council approved the IARU Emergency Telecommunications Guide and the Guide is now available on the IARU web site

This emergency telecommunications guide was developed to provide the IARU member-societies with materials suitable for training their members to participate in emergency events. It is also designed to provide guidance to the individual amateur radio operator who has little or no experience in handling emergency communications but desires to enhance their ability to participate in such events or to simply have a better understanding of the process.

IARU member-societies are encouraged to distribute this guide among its membership and, if necessary, to provide a translation into a language used within their own country.

This guide can also be used in conjunction with other training materials by leaders within the emergency communication community to train radio operators in the basic theory and practice of handling emergency communications traffic.

The IARU Emergency Telecommunications Guide PDF can be found at:

http://www.iaru.org/emergency-telecommunications-guide.html

The IARU International Secretariat would be interested in hearing any feedback, comments or suggestions regarding the Guide.
Comments to the Secretary at w6rod@iaru.org

IARU http://iaru.org/

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Notice of Variation to UK ham radio licence

Saturday 14th March 2015

Following the recent notification sent to licensees of our proposal to vary the Amateur Radio Licence, Ofcom now publishes a Notice of Variation to the Amateur Radio licence

The Ofcom licensing updates page says:

Licensees who received a notification dated 30th January are not covered by this. Their licences will be the subject of a separate Notice, which we shall publish in the course of the next couple of weeks.

The new licence document, which will have effect from 7 April 2015 has been published on our website, at
http://licensing.ofcom.org.uk/radiocommunication-licences/amateur-radio/guidance-for-licensees

The Notice of Variation along with Annex A and B can be downloaded from
http://licensing.ofcom.org.uk/radiocommunication-licences/amateur-radio/licensing-updates/notice-of-variation/

A number of changes have been made to the licence proposals originally announced December 5, 2014, these are detailed in Annex B.

It is understood that examinations will continue to be based on old licence terms until October 2015, since any exam changes are subject to a six month notice period.

Read the RSGB report at
http://rsgb.org/main/blog/news/rsgb-notices/2015/03/13/notice-variation-amateur-radio-licence/

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World Amateur Radio Day 2015

Friday 13th March 2015

Every April 18, radio amateurs worldwide take to the airwaves in celebration of World Amateur Radio Day.

It was on that day in 1925 that the International Amateur Radio Union was formed in Paris

Since its founding, the IARU has worked tirelessly to defend and expand the frequency allocations for Amateur Radio.

Thanks to the support of enlightened administrations in every part of the globe, radio amateurs are now able to experiment and communicate in frequency bands strategically located throughout the radio spectrum.

From the 25 countries that formed the IARU in 1925, the IARU has grown to include over 160 member-societies in three regions. IARU Region 1 includes Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Northern Asia. Region 2 covers the Americas, and Region 3 is comprised of Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific island nations, and most of Asia. The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has recognized the IARU as representing the interests of Amateur Radio.

Today, Amateur Radio is more popular than ever, with over 3,000,000 licensed operators!

World Amateur Radio Day is the day when IARU Member-Societies can show our capabilities to the public and enjoy global friendship with other Amateurs worldwide.

IARU has provided a downloadable poster for World Amateur Radio Day 2015. Any group may download it and have it printed locally for promoting WARD in their area. The poster comes in two sizes:

a. 61 cm x 91 cm poster which can be found at:
http://www.iaru.org/uploads/1/3/0/7/13073366/ward2015-61x91cm.pdf

b. A smaller (A4 size) flyer which can be found at:
http://www.iaru.org/uploads/1/3/0/7/13073366/ward2015-a4.pdf

April 18 is the day for all of Amateur Radio to celebrate and tell the world about the science we can help teach, the community service we can provide and the fun we have.

We hope you will join in the fun and education that is World Amateur Radio Day!

IARU
http://iaru.org/

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ID-51E PLUS D-STAR Digital Amateur Radio Handportable launches in the UK

Friday 13th March 2015

The latest generation of D-STAR handportable has now arrived in the UK and will be shortly available from Icom UK dealers.

Called the ID-51E PLUS, the new model is an evolution of the popular ID-51E which is so popular within the D-STAR Amateur radio community.

The new model incorporates popular features found in the original including integrated GPS, an independent AM/FM receiver and V/V, U/U, V/U Dualwatch, but also includes the following enhancements for digital operation and compatibility with the RS-MS1A free Android application.

RS-MS1A Android Application: The RS-MS1A free download allows users to connect their Android device to the ID-51E PLUS via the optional OPC-2350LU cable. Access to repeater site locations and exchange text/picture messages.
Faster data transfer in DV mode: The ID-51E PLUS transfers data 3.5 times faster than in conventional DV mode (with voice), which allows for quick transmission of images between the radio and an Android device.
Additional Dplus reflector link commands: These link commands are added to the DR function, permitting simple multiple repeater connection from the reflector.
DV and FM repeater search: This function looks for early analogue FM repeaters as well as DV repeaters using the built-in GPS and repeater memories.

The new ID-51E PLUS D-STAR dualbander is understood to have a suggested retail price of £399.99 inc.VAT.

For complete details on the ID-51E PLUS contact your local Icom Amateur radio dealer.

http://www.icomuk.co.uk/News_Article/3508/18401/

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Antenna testing using WSPR

Friday 13th March 2015

In this video Randy Hall K7AGE shows you how to check your antenna using WSPR

I'll show you how to use WSPR software to check to see if my antenna is working. WSPR sends your call sign, power level and grid square during a nearly two minute transmission. Receiving stations decode your transmission and post the results to an online database.

Watch Antenna Testing Using WSPR

You can use this website to view a map of of the station that you have heard and stations that have heard you
http://wsprnet.org/

WSPR software
http://physics.princeton.edu/pulsar/k1jt/wspr.html

Previous K7AGE videos
https://www.youtube.com/user/K7AGE/videos

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Partial solar eclipse propagation experiment, March 20th 2015

Thursday 12th March 2015

Call for Opera users

There is a unique opportunity to participate in gathering propagation data during a solar eclipse, occurring during the morning of Friday 20 March 0800z to 1200z.

The Opera system is well suited to the requirements and in liaison with the RSGB project coordinator, Steve G0KYA, Opera mode has been added to the list of experiments.

User participation: A change from the normal
Its requested MF and 160 participating stations, elect to be either Tx or Rx only.

Due to the short length of the event, round 4 hours, to maximise the quantity and quality the of data produced from the 477KHz and 1.8 MHz bands,
Tx Stations are requested to send at 100% no beacon timer and no CW i/d,
Rx Stations are requested to maintain ‘Fixed band’ watch over the time window.

[Rx Stations , Copy and paste the local decode results to text file as back up to the PSK-Map data base]

Three sections of the spectrum are of particular interest:-

MF 477 KHz / OP8 Tx @ 100% No CW ID

HF 1.8MHz / OP4 , Tx @ 100% No CW ID

HF 3.5 MHz / OP2 , 7 MHz / OP2 Normal operations

One of the main areas of interest is the North / South path straggling the line of Totality, this being roughly central to a 1000 mile path from the UK/EU to Iceland.

MF: 477KHz ‘Totality Path’: Halldor TF3HZ has undertaken to establish a web-linked Rx monitor for 477KHz OP8 and will set up in the week previous to the event.

MF: 477KHz Inter ‘UK / EU’: Stations are also invited to join the experiment , noting , Tx / Rx stations are requested to follow the 100% Tx and Rx continuous availability.

HF Bands

Opera is one of many systems to be deployed during the event on HF .

1.8 OP4 Operations requested to follow the MF 477 KHz format
3.5 and 7 MHz bands , deploying OP2 mode , normal operations

Links :-
Steve RSGB coordinator : http://www.g0kya.blogspot.co.uk/
Download : https://rosmodem.wordpress.com/
Yahoo group: https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/O_P_E_R_A_/info
Facebook :
https://www.facebook.com/groups/operadatamode/

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New SOTABEAMS antenna traps

Thursday 12th March 2015

Portable radio specialists SOTABEAMS have introduced a new range of antenna traps.

Available as a kit in two versions, 20 and 100 Watts.

These traps are unusual in that they have a built-in test circuit to allow easy adjustment with an antenna analyser.

Complete design instructions are provided making it quick and easy to construct traps for any frequency between 7 and 30 MHz.

The traps are very light and are specially shaped to allow portable operators to pull them easily through foliage without snagging.
The 100 Watt version is already proving popular for home-station use.

The SOTABEAMS traps are sold in pairs and so can be used to make a two-band horizontal antenna or a three band vertical antenna.

Details at: http://www.sotabeams.co.uk/hf-antenna-traps-pair/

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X2-Flare and Radio Blackout

Thursday 12th March 2015

The Space Weather site reports on the X2-class flare from sunspot AR2297

All week long, sunspot AR2297 has been crackling with solar flares. Today it produced a really big one. On March 11 at 16:22 UT (09:22 PDT), Earth orbiting-satellites detected an X2-class flare.

Extreme ultraviolet radiation from the explosion ionized the upper layers of Earth's atmosphere, causing HF radio fade-outs and other propagation effects on the dayside of our planet. Ham radio operators and mariners may have noticed brief but complete blackout conditions at frequencies below 10 MHz. The disturbance has since subsided.

Natural radio emissions from the sun, which are produced by shock waves in the sun's atmosphere, suggest that a CME is emerging from the blast site at speeds exceeding 1,400 km/s (3.1 million mph). For confirmation, we are still awaiting coronagraph data from SOHO. Stay tuned.

Space Weather
http://spaceweather.com/

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IOTA News from the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

Thursday 12th March 2015

Island activities:

IOTA-QRGs
CW: 28040 24920 21040 18098 14040 10114 7030 3530 kHz
SSB: 28560 28460 24950 21260 18128 14260 7055 3760 kHz

AF-005; D4, Leeward Islands: Lukas, HB9EBT, operates as D44TEG from Santiago Island between the 15th and 27th on CW 40-10m. QSL via h/c (d/B).

AS-118, 9K, Kuwait group: Members of the Kuwait Amateur Radio Society plan to activate Failaka Island between the 11th and 16th.
QRV as 9K2F on 80-10m on SSB, CW, and digital modes. QSL via 9K2HN (d/B), ClubLog OQRS.
http://www.qsl.net/9k2od/

AS-130, 3W, South China Sea Coast group: Jacek, SP5APW, plans to get on the air holiday-style as 3W2JK from Con Son Island between the 11th and 17th. QSL via SP5APW.

AS-145, HS, Malay Peninsula South East group: Operators Choon/E20HHK, Tommy/HS0FVS, Noi/HS3NBR, Ray/HS4RAY, Nuk/HS7BHK, Boy/HS8GLR, and Abdulloh Arma/HS9ZKE are going to activate Koh Maeo Island (WW Loc. OJ07hg) as E20HHK/p between the 13th and 15th. QRV with 100W on HF on SSB, CW, and RTTY. QSL via E20HHK (d/B).

EU-125; OZ, Jylland West Group: A team consisting of Chris/DC7VS, Ron/DG2RON, Andre/DG3AZ, Marco/PP5/HB9CJX, Helge/DF8LS, Marcel/DO2MRC, and Marcel/DO3DCT is going to activate OZFF-004 on R?m? between the 14th and 21st as 5P7Z. DC7VS and DG2RON also plan to activate other OZFF references during that time. QSL via DG2RON, OQRS. http://www.5p7z.org/

NA-005; VP9, Bermuda Islands: Mike, G3VYI, plans a holiday-style operation as VP9/G3VYI for the 11th to 19th. He participates in the BERU contest and is going to focus on the low bands (CW) before and after, operating from the QTH of VP9GE with dipoles on 160/80/40 and a beam on the high bands. QSL via G3VYI (d/B).

NA-024; J3, Grenada: Bob, G3PJT, pays Grenada a visit for the BERU contest. QRV as J34G from the 12th to the 25th on 80-10m, mostly on CW. QSL via G3PJT, LoTW.

NA-034; W4, Florida State Centre West (Pasco to Sarasota County) group: Lou, W0FK, operates holiday-style as W0FK/4 from Longboat Key (USi FL-053S) from the 15th until the month's end. QSL via h/c, LoTW.

NA-103, VP2M, Montserrat: Watch out for Rob, N7QT, operating from Montserrat Island (WLOTA 1475). QRV between the 11th and 25th on 80-10m on CW, SSB, and digital modes. QSL via N7QT (d/B), LoTW.

NA-141; W4, Florida State South East (Dade to Indian River Country) group: Jim, KG4JSZ, is going to activate North Hutchinson Island (USi FL-037S) on March 13 as KG4JSZ/p. QSL via h/c (d), LoTW.

OC-073; JD1, Minami Torishima: Take, JG8NQJ, returns to the weather station on Minami Torishima and operates as JG8NQJ/JD1 until mid-June. QRV during his spare time, mainly on CW. QSL via JA8CJY (d) or JG8NQJ (B).

OC-130; DU8-9, Mindanao Island: Marc (ON5SM) will be active as DU9/ON5SM from Mindanao Island (WLOTA 2893, WW Loc. PJ28hl) between March 16 and April 25. QSL via h/c (d/B), LoTW, eQSL.

OC-252; YB7, Kalimantan's Costal Islands West: Imam, YB4IR, plans to put Temajo Island on the air from the 14th to the 18th as YB4IR/7. QRV on 40-10m on SSB, CW, and RTTY. His operation counts for the Nusantara Indonesian Islands Award. QSL via YB4IR (d/B), ClubLog OQRS. www.nusantaraaward.com/

OC-296; T8; Tobi and Helen Islands: Nando/IT9YRE, Claudio/I1SNW, and Mike/K9AJ announce the first-ever activation of OC-296 - Tobi Island for March 11-13. QRV as T88TI, T88GI, and T88XX with 3 stations on CW and SSB. QSL via OQRS. http://www.it9yre.it/t88/

SA-006; PJ4, Bonaire Island: Chas, NK8O, stays on Bonaire Island (WLOTA 1279, PAFF-024) from the 17th until April 13 and gets on the air as PJ4/NK8O with a QRP rig on 20-10m on CW, maybe also on 40m. QSL via LoTW, eQSL.

Compiled by Andreas, DK5ON
Deutscher Amateur Radio Club
e-mail: iota@dxhf.darc.de

RSGB IOTA website

Check-out the latest IOTA News bulletin from OPDX

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Morse Mouse at the Mill

Wednesday 11th March 2015

Charlie M0PZT writes about the Morse Mouse App he developed to demonstrate Morse code to young people

He plans to make the Morse Mouse available as a free Windows download in the near future once it has had more user testing around Essex.

The next user testing will take place on Saturday, March 14, when youngsters at the Sandford Mill British Science Week event will get a chance to put it through its paces.

Read the blog post Morse Mouse at the Mill
http://www.m0pzt.com/blog/morse-mouse-at-the-mill.htm

The Morse Mouse - Educational Fun with Amateur Radio
http://www.m0pzt.com/?mouse

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IARU Monitoring System Newsletter

Wednesday 11th March 2015

The free IARUMS newsletter reports on a successful outcome regarding an Iranian broadcast transmitter causing interference in the amateur radio 15m band

A BC-transmitter operated by IRIB Tehran on 21510 kHz caused severe spurious emissions on 21440 and 21380 kHz in December and January. After a complaint by the German regulator the transmitter was repaired. Many thanks to the German BNetzA and the technicians from IRIB!

The International Amateur Radio Union Monitoring System (IARUMS) Region 1 February 2015 newsletter can be read at
http://www.iarums-r1.org/iarums/news2015/news1502.pdf

Reports of Amateur Band intruders can be logged on the IARU Region 1 Monitoring System Logger at
http://peditio.net/intruder/bluechat.cgi

Monitor the short wave bands on-line with a web based SDR receiver at
http://www.websdr.org/

IARU Monitoring System (IARUMS)
http://www.iaru-r1.org/index.php?option=com_content&view
=category&layout=blog&id=39&Itemid=87

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Building blocks not yet in place for DAB radio switchover, admits Ed Vaizey

Wednesday 11th March 2015

The UK minister for culture, communications and creative industries, has admitted that the public’s limited uptake of DAB radios has harmed industry across the country.

During a visit to Panjab Radio on Friday Ed Vaizey said that government plans for an all-digital radio future – expanding the available slots currently available with FM broadcasts – have been knee-capped by DAB radio’s slow penetration in the UK market.

Vaizey said: “It’s a big ask for people with five or 10 FM radios in their house to go out and buy ten digital radios.” On a potential FM to DAB switchover, he commented: “We want all the building blocks in place before we make a final decision.”

He added that there has been a lack of investment in DAB technologies in the UK and that the public were resistant to change: “It’s an emotive subject. People are quite understandably wedded to their FM radio. People really love radio in this country.”

However, the minister reiterated that DAB is slowly entering the mainstream commenting that 66 per cent of all new cars ship with such devices.

http://www.thedrum.com/news/2015/03/09/building-blocks-not-yet-place-dab-radio-switchover-admits-comms-minister-ed-vaizey

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Solar eclipse radio experiments, Friday March 20th 2015

Tuesday 10th March 2015

With the solar eclipse now less than two weeks away, the RSGB Propagation Studies Committee is keen to make sure that everyone is aware of the activities taking place on the morning of Friday March 20 th 2015.

The partial eclipse starts in the Midlands at about 08:25 GMT on Friday March 20th and ends at 10:41 GMT. Maximum eclipse will be at about 09:30 GMT.

The path of totality will pass north of the UK, over the Faroe Islands, but the UK will experience up to 89% totality (depending upon where you live).

This is a great opportunity to try some experiments to see how the sun’s ultra violet output affects our ionosphere and how some radio waves are propagated.

On the morning of Friday March 20th 2015 the D layer above the UK may not be as strong due to the eclipse, and you may be able to hear stations on the lower bands – 1.8 MHz, 3.5 MHz and perhaps 7 MHz that would otherwise be inaudible during the day.

To this end a number of activities are planned, including:

  • A simple medium wave (AM) experiment designed for schools

  • Other more detailed medium wave experiments using SDR receivers covering the whole spectrum, in conjunction with the Medium Wave Circle.

  • A RSGB QSO Party on 160, 80 and 40m, using CW and PSK63.

  • CW skimmers on 160, 80 and 40m to capture the signal/noise ratio of participants in the QSO party.

  • WSPR, including participants from other countries, including Thor TF4M in Iceland who will transmit on 160m. Andy G4JNT, near Southampton, will also run a 160m WSPR beacon

  • Opera transmissions on 477kHz

  • A CW beacon on 160m will be run by Derek G3RAU on 1810.05KHz, from 0815 to 1115UTC from his QTH at Gainsborough, just north of Lincoln (IO93RJ).

All radio enthusiasts are encouraged to take part, either by trying the medium wave experiment, monitoring the many WSPR and CW beacons that will be active or taking part in the QSO party.

Details of all these activities, including links to more information and a PDF of the schools experiment can be found at:

http://forums.thersgb.org/index.php?threads/partial-solar-eclipse-propagation-experiment-march-20th-2015.125/

Steve G0KYA
Chairman,
RSGB Propagation Studies Committee

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Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2015 introduced in Congress

Tuesday 10th March 2015

'The Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2015' - H.R.1301 - has been introduced in the US House of Representatives. The measure would direct the FCC to extend its rules relating to reasonable accommodation of Amateur Service communications to private land use restrictions.

US Rep Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) introduced the bill March 4 with 12 original co-sponsors from both sides of the aisle - seven Republicans and five Democrats. Kinzinger also sponsored "The Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2014, which died at the end of the 113th Congress. H.R. 1301 is an essentially identical piece of legislation.

"The introduction of H.R. 1301 with so many original co-sponsors, so early in this session of Congress, is very encouraging," said ARRL President Kay Craigie, N3KN. "Several additional members of Congress already have agreed to be co-sponsors. This bill has momentum, but introduction is only the first step. Many of the next steps will be taken as ARRL members contact their US Representatives urging co-sponsorship and thanking them as they sign on to the bill."

If Congress approves the legislation, and it is signed by the president, H.R. 1301 would require the FCC to amend its Part 97 Amateur Service rules to apply the three-part test of the PRB-1 federal pre-emption policy to include homeowners' association regulations and deed restrictions, often referred to as "covenants, conditions, and restrictions" (CC&Rs). At present, PRB-1 only applies to state and local zoning laws and ordinances. The FCC has been reluctant to extend the same legal protections to include such private land-use agreements without direction from Congress.

H.R. 1301 has been referred to the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Rep Greg Walden, W7EQI (R-OR), chairs that panel's Communications and Technology Subcommittee, which will consider the measure. The League had worked with Walden on the 2014 bill during the 113th Congress.

Among H.R. 1301 initial co-sponsors is Rep Joe Courtney (D-CT), who attended the ARRL National Centennial Convention last summer to speak with League officials and those attending the event about the earlier bill.

Craigie encouraged ARRL members to urge their US House members to sign on to the bill as a co-sponsor. The ARRL has an H.R. 1301 resources page on its website at, http://www.arrl.org/hr-1301 . If the House member is already a co-sponsor, call the member's local office or send an e-mail via the member's official website to express their thanks.
She called on League members to encourage other hams to do the same, and to be sure to refer to the bill by its number, H.R. 1301.

"Remember what those pile-ups on the W1AW portable stations sounded like last year?" Craigie said. "Let's be that avid in calling for even greater support in Congress for this essential legislation."

ARRL

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ColibriDDC SDR receiver

Tuesday 10th March 2015

Martin Lynch and Sons are delighted to announce that we are now the official UK distributor of the ColibriDDC, a PC-based HF/6M receiver that can be controlled remotely via your local area network.

ColibriDDC Receiver:

This small-size receiver is intended to receive signals covering the HF frequency band 0.09MHz to 55MHz, and also (with the help of external filters) to receive frequencies up to 800MHz whilst working together with a PC.

It incorporates direct digital signal sampling by utilising a high speed analogue-digital converter. Such architecture allows the user eliminate additional noise caused by analogue cascades and makes the signal sound more natural and transparent.

The Local Area Network (LAN) interface allows you to use the device remotely and also allows you to connect several receivers to one PC simultaneously.

The ColibriDDC is a great low-cost HF and 6m receiver that makes the absolute most of direct sampling technology.

For more information: Please visit www.hamradio.co.uk/colibriddc

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K1N video

Tuesday 10th March 2015

A short video of the 2015 K1N Navassa Island Dxpedition is now available

Watch the video on the K1N website:
http://www.navassadx.com/

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Do I need to buy a new internet radio to listen to BBC Radio?

Monday 9th March 2015

Several readers found their internet radios stopped playing BBC stations last month. Jack Schofield explains the problem.

...Where we live we have very poor medium wave and FM radio reception, and the DAB signal is hopeless, so we bought a DTech internet radio to listen via online streaming. Sadly, the BBC has dropped support for the formats our device uses (WMA and AAC), and other internet radios seem to be in a similar situation. Help! Which internet radios still receive BBC radio under the new arrangements? Steve .....

...I live in the Philippines and rely on BBC Radio to keep in touch, but my favourite stations are no longer available as they have changed some stuff. I still get Radio Scotland on my Samsung GT-S5360 phone. What do I need to do to receive the new BBC Radio? John .....

Last month, the BBC introduced Audio Factory, a new system for streaming its radio stations over the internet. The change silenced a lot of internet radios and hi-fi streamers. Worse, a lot of internet radio manufacturers were caught out as well. These included big names such as Sonos, Linn, Naim, Cambridge, Roberts and Logitech, including Squeezebox.

The debacle prompted angry complaints and a grovelling apology from Jim Simmons, the BBC senior product manager who had posted the Audio Factory update. This didn’t solve anybody’s problems, however.

The gist of the story is that the BBC junked its patchwork WMA/AAC infrastructure and moved to a new system based on “HLS and HDS using the AAC codec”. Further, Simmonds said that “by the summer we hope to have these streams available in the non-proprietary DASH format”.

The BBC also provided MP3 streams via Shoutcast as a fallback for devices that can’t handle the new formats. This is a temporary measure.

Many Radio 3 listeners complained when their 320kbps AAC audio stream was replaced by a lower-quality 128kbps MP3 stream. In response, the BBC seems to have backtracked and restored its high quality Radio 3 streaming in AAC. The rest have gone.

The BBC chose MP3 because almost every device supports it. It should work with most of the internet radios that used the discontinued WMA and AAC streams. But if you can’t get them from your usual source, you will have to figure out how to change the settings to get them from Shoutcast, if possible. That includes Steve’s DMTech Starry7 internet radio – which does support MP3 – and whatever John is using in the Philippines. For Android users, the XiiaLive internet radio app may help.

Although MP3 isn’t very good for online streaming, the UK’s antique DAB digital radio is still using MP2, with which it started in the mid-90s. Indeed, some users are particularly angry because they bought internet radios and hi-fi streamers to get higher quality sound than they could get from DAB.

Read the full Guardian article at
http://www.theguardian.com/technology/askjack/2015/mar/05/new-internet-radio-listen-bbc-stations

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Solar flare and radio blackout

Monday 9th March 2015

A sunspot has emerged near the sun's southeastern limb, and it is crackling with strong flares.

The most powerful so far, an M9-class explosion on March 7th, produced a moderately-strong radio blackout over the Pacific side of Earth.

Check http://spaceweather.com for images and updates.

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Want to operate a camera aboard an interplanetary spacecraft?

Saturday 7th March 2015

In May, the 'webcam' on board Mars Express will be available for public imaging requests. The European Space Agency is inviting schools, science clubs and youth groups to submit proposals for one of eight opportunities to image another planet.

http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Operations/
Have_you_ever_used_a_camera_on_board_an_interplanetary_spacecraft

Clint K6LCS

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RSGB respond to Ofcom 5G consultation

Friday 6th March 2015

The RSGB have responded to the Ofcom Call for Input on Spectrum above 6 GHz for future mobile communications (5G) consultation

The range of frequencies Ofcom are considering included the Primary amateur and amateur-satellite allocation at 47-47.2 GHz.

Read the RSGB response at
http://rsgb.org/main/files/2015/03/RSGB_Spectrum-above-6GHz_response.pdf

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Solar Eclipse - Next Friday 20 March

Friday 6th March 2015

On Friday 20 March 2015, a total solar eclipse will occur across the far Northern regions of Europe and the Arctic.

The longest duration of totality for this eclipse will be 2 minutes and 46 seconds as viewed off the coast of the Faroe Islands. This will mark the last total solar eclipse in Europe for over a decade. The next not being until August 12, 2026.

Details here http://www.solareclipse2015.org.uk/

Propagation conditions for LF, MF and HF transmitters will be closely monitored by DXers.

(The BDXC "Communication" journal for March has an interesting article about this forthcoming event).

Visit the BDXC web site at
http://www.bdxc.org.uk/

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US Ham Radio numbers reach all-time high

Thursday 5th March 2015

The ARRL report Amateur Radio growth in the US continues to soar.

At the end of 2014, the total number of radio amateurs in the FCC’s Universal Licensing System (ULS) database reached an all-time high of 726,725

The trend has continued in the first 2 months of 2015, which saw the ham population rise to slightly more than 727,000.

Outside of a little dithering last fall, growth in the Amateur Radio Service in 2014 was steady, according to figures compiled by Joe Speroni, AH0A, on his FCC Amateur Radio Statistics web pages.
http://www.ah0a.org/FCC/index.html

Read the ARRL story at
http://www.arrl.org/news/us-amateur-radio-numbers-reach-an-all-time-high

Just under half of all US licensees hold the Technician class licence which can be considered equivalent to the UK Foundation license.

The Technician class was originally introduced in 1951 and today permits holders to operate 200 watts output on four HF bands and up to 1500 watts output on all VHF, UHF and Microwave bands.

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HamRadioNow: Digital Voice is Exploding

Thursday 5th March 2015

'This will be the year' for digital voice to explode in Amateur Radio'. That's the prediction from David Rowe VK5DGR

David created CODEC2, the first open-source, really low bit-rate voice codec for amateur radio and more. He's got several projects cooking to make digital voice work better and for more uses, on HF and VHF/UHF.

This program covers three related topics:

- The SM-1000 "speaker-mic" for FreeDV on HF.
- Improvements in CODEC2 and FreeDV aimed at making it work as well or better than SSB in weak-signal and noisy HF conditions
- A new VHF system using TDMA for one-frequency repeaters that won't need in "input" frequency, and won't need a duplexer.

David Rowe VK5DGR and Gary Pearce KN4AQ weave these topics into a conversation aimed at hams who don't use DV now, but are curious about what it might bring in the future.

Watch HRN 193: Digital Voice is Exploding (maybe) on HamRadioNow

David's Blog (details on FreeDV/CODEC2 development:
http://www.rowetel.com/blog/

Interview with David on "Linux in the Ham Shack"
http://lhspodcast.info/2015/01/lhs-episode-138-being-david-rowe/

David's 2011 talk on CODEC2 at the ARRL/TAPR DCC:
http://youtu.be/bLb7stxOqmI

The 2011 DCC's banquet talk - "The Village Telco" - David's project to provide extremely low cost telephone service in East Timore, Africa.
http://youtu.be/1H1OVH1FwTQ

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Partial Solar Eclipse March 20

Thursday 5th March 2015

On Friday, March 20 there will be a large partial solar eclipse visible from Essex (clouds permitting) between 08:25 and 10:41 GMT

Over land the eclipse is only total in the Faroe Islands and Svalbard while about 90% of the Sun will be obscured by the Moon from here. This will be our largest partial since August 11, 1999 (I was under cloudy skies in Cornwall!) and we have to wait until August 12, 2026 for another so large.

Since the eclipse is not total here, we will not be able to see the elusive outer atmosphere of the Sun (the corona) but the sky will be noticeably darker and unusual shadows will be cast on the ground.

For viewing the Sun itself during the eclipse, special solar filters will be required even when not using any optical equipment such as binoculars or telescopes. An “Eclipse Viewer” for naked eye viewing is safe and cheap at just a few pounds each (definitely worth the money given that using anything else could permanently damage your eyesight). For example they are available from the British Astronomical Association – see http://britastro.org/product/1186

More specialist filters are required for any optical equipment including cameras.

I put together a short presentation giving more information about the eclipse and how to observe it safely – see
http://www.petermeadows.com/Essex_Partial_Solar_Eclipse_Mar15.pdf

It will be interesting to see if there will be an impact on propagation due to the eclipse. I will, for example, by checking whether there is any significant different in the 23.4kHz VLF signal from the DHO38 in Germany used for detect solar flares. A report by the Radiocomunications agency on “Radio and the 1999 UK Total Solar Eclipse” describes the results of various radio experiments carried out at the time. This report can be found at http://tinyurl.com/nx7ke4z

Peter, M0ZBU

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SOTABEAMS Dust Caps

Thursday 5th March 2015

One of the problems faced by portable operators is getting mud, dust and snow in connectors while erecting antennas. Getting snow out of BNC plugs is particularly tricky!

Portable radio specialists SOTABEAMS have developed a solution to this problem. Their universal dust cap protects BNC plugs, PL-259s and N-type plugs.

The dust cap is easy to use and has been selected as suitable for use with gloves on.

SOTABEAMS tried over 10 potential solutions before selecting this cap.

http://www.sotabeams.co.uk/bnc-pl259-n-type-dust-cap-pack-of-40/

For a limited time SOTABEAMS gives free worldwide shipping on these useful dust caps.

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February RSGB Board Proceedings

Thursday 5th March 2015

The RSGB Board proceedings for February 21, 2015 are now available on the Society's website

The proceeding note that two new recruitment initiatives are planned.

Michael Sansom G0POT submitted an interim report summarising the work of the RSGB Inspire group, you can join the Yahoo group at
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/RSGBinspire

Read the RSGB Board proceedings at
http://rsgb.org/main/about-us/board-of-directors/board-proceedings-and-reports/

You can join the RSGB online at
http://www.rsgbshop.org/acatalog/
Online_Catalogue_Join_the_RSGB_22.html


RSGB membership is free to licensed UK amateurs under the age of 21 or aged 21-25 and in full time education
http://www.rsgbshop.org/acatalog/PDF/join_us_form_junior.pdf

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Spectrum release of 3.5 GHz online map

Wednesday 4th March 2015

Ofcom has published an interactive map showing pre-cleared access for 4G mobile to part of the 3.5 GHz band

This is now available for non-operational testing and development purposes. Ofcom expects this spectrum, which is in the 3510 to 3570 MHz band will be used for research and development purposes for 4G mobile.

Stakeholders can apply for a licence online and, as the spectrum is pre-cleared, the time taken to issue a licence will be between to 3 to 5 days.

See the map at
http://maps.ofcom.org.uk/spectrum

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IOTA News from the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

Wednesday 4th March 2015

Island activities:

IOTA-QRGs
CW: 28040 24920 21040 18098 14040 10114 7030 3530 kHz
SSB: 28560 28460 24950 21260 18128 14260 7055 3760 kHz

AF-004; EA8, Canary Islands: Felipe, NP4Z will operate the ARRL DX SSB Contest as EE8Z from the station of the "Los Chachos Contest Club", Island of Tenerife (DIE S-012, WLOTA 1276) in the SOAB category. QSL via N4AO (d), LoTW.

AF-014; CT9, Madeira Archipelago: Rosel, DL3KWR and Hardy, DL3KWF will be QRV from Madeira (DIP MA-001, PIP MD-001, WLOTA 0053) from March 5th to April 1st. Signing CT9/homecall they will mainly be on the WARC bands, operating CW.  QSL via Homecalls (d/B) or request by email: dl3kwr[@]darc.de /dl3kwf[@]darc.de. http://www.dl3kwf.com/ http://www.dl3kwr.de/

NA-001; C6, Great Bahama Bank group: Rob, K4OV and Lee, N1BA will be operating from the Bahamas as C6ATF from March 4th to 9th. This includes an operation in the ARRL DX SSB Contest. QSL via K4OV (d/B), LoTW, eQSL.

NA-105; PJ7, Sint Maarten: Members of the "Uruguay DX group" Gustavo/CX2AM, Mario/CX4CR, Rainert/CX8FB and Humberto/CX3AN will visit Sint Maarten (WLOTA 0711) from February 28th to March 9th and operate as PJ7C in holiday style (80m - 10m, CW/SSB). QSL via EB7DX.

OC-195; VK7, Furneaux group: Tim/VK4HFO, Chris/VK3FY and Christian/EA3NT will operate as VK7FG from Flinders Island (VKFF-175, WW Loc. QE49) from March 5th to 9th. They will have three stations on the air and operate on all bands from 160m to 6m. Flinders Island counts for the"Antarctic Challenge Award". QSL via M0OXO, OQRS.

OC-210; YC8, Sangihe Island: Ronald, YC8ROP will take part in the ARRL International DX SSB Contest from Sangihe Island (WLOTA 2486) in the SOSB 15m LP category. QSL via YC8ROP direct, LoTW.

SA-099; PJ2, Curacao: John/K6AM, Chad/WE9V and Geoff/W0CG/PJ2DX will take part in the ARRL International DX SSB Contest as PJ2T in the M/S category from Curacao (WLOTA LH-0942). Some of the OPs will be QRV as PJ2/homecalls before and after the contest.
QSL PJ2T via W3HNK, LoTW.

Compiled by Andreas, DK5ON
Deutscher Amateur Radio Club
e-mail: iota@dxhf.darc.de

RSGB IOTA website

Check-out the latest IOTA News bulletin from OPDX

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Radio hams will be at BBC Solar Eclipse event

Tuesday  3rd March 2015

Two radio amateurs, Dave Akerman M0RPI and Paolo Nespoli IZ0JPA (photo right), will be at the BBC Stargazing Live solar eclipse event at Leicester on March 20

Dave Akerman M0RPI is well known for many High Altitude Balloon flights. These have carried the Rapsberry Pi computer board as part of the payload and produced spectacular pictures some of which were transmitted in the 434 MHz band using the amateur radio Slow Scan Digital Video (SSDV) mode.

Italian astronaut Paolo Nespoli IZ0JPA was on the October 2007 Shuttle STS-120 mission to the International Space Station. In 2010/11 he was flight engineer for ISS Expeditions 26 and 27 and installed amateur radio equipment in the Columbus module of the space station.

The Leicester Mercury newspaper reports the BBC is staging a spectacular show at the racecourse in Leicester to coincide with the solar eclipse on March 20.

It says Leicester was chosen by the BBC because it is home to the National Space Centre and Leicester University which are at the forefront of space exploration and were involved in the Beagle 2 mission to Mars in 2003.

Paolo Nespoli IZ0JPA said: “I’ve never been to Leicester and I’m really looking forward to visiting.  It will be great to interact with the kids and share my enthusiasm of space, science, maths and technology”.

The free event will be open from 9am until 3pm and from 6pm until 9pm on March 20.

Read the Leicester Mercury story at
http://www.leicestermercury.co.uk/BBC-live-event-Leicester-racecourse-mark-solar/story-26096057-detail/story.html

BBC Stargazing Live event details
http://www.bbc.co.uk/stargazing

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20-year-old military weather satellite apparently explodes in orbit

Tuesday  3rd March 2015

SpaceNews reports that a 20-year-old military weather satellite apparently exploded in orbit February 3 following what the U.S. Air Force described as a sudden temperature spike.

The 'catastrophic event' produced 43 pieces of space debris, according to Air Force Space Command, which disclosed the loss of the satellite Feb. 27 in response to questions from SpaceNews.

The satellite, Defense Meteorological Satellite Program Flight 13, was the oldest continuously operational satellite in the DMSP weather constellation.

Launched in 1995, DMSP-F13 provided thousands of hours of weather imagery to Air Force and Navy forecasters before transitioning to a backup role in 2006. The Air Force said its sudden loss would have minimal impact

See more at: http://spacenews.com/20-year-old-military-weather-satellite-apparently-exploded-in-orbit/#sthash.Px0aQYQz.dpuf

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Pat Hawker G3VA archive auction

Monday 2nd March 2015

The papers of a telecommunications legend, Pat Hawker G3VA are being auctioned

On March 18, 2015 at 1pm GMT Chiswick Auctions are auctioning his archive of papers from 1936-2008.

Hawker was one of the legends of amateur radio, but it is claimed that he 'literally helped shape the world we live in today'. [His] 'service to his country, the radio and television industry and to amateur radio may never be equalled'. During WWII he was a leading figure at Bletchley Park, and afterwards played a leading role in the development of both radio and television.

Chiswick Auctions Lot 185
http://www.the-saleroom.com/en-us/auction-catalogues/chiswick-auctions/catalogue-id-srchis10108/lot-01465c11-459a-49f2-bd79-a44c00ef5950

Richard Ford Manucripts
http://www.richardfordmanuscripts.co.uk/catalogue/14025

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DXpedition to Wales

Monday 2nd March 2015

A reminder from James Monahan 2E0JPM that the RSGB is looking for 10 young people to go on a DXpedition to the Brecon Beacons in July

I have just received a message to say that the Wales Dxpedition may not go ahead if we don’t have more applications soon!

Please urge all young amateurs who are RSGB members to apply for the Dxpedition! It will be absolutely brilliant, a nice warm hotel, a week playing radio, learning new things about radio and most importantly, a chance to meet other young amateurs. AND all on the absolutely stunning Brecon Beacons!

Young amateurs can apply by simply sending an email to youth.chairman<at>rsgb.org.uk with a short paragraph saying what you would like to learn, how you will benefit the team and also what you would like to get out of the trip!

The cost is ONLY £50 and transport is fully included!!!

Please pass this email on to anyone who may be interested! If anyone isn’t sure whether they want to come then feel free to email me instead and I can give more details!

Thanks in advance!

James Monahan 2E0JPM
Email at QRZ.com

23 – 30 July 2015 – ProjectDX15 – Brecon Beacons – Wales
http://rsgb.org/main/about-us/committees/youth-committee/
youngsters-on-the-air/

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DXCC Country/Entity Report

Monday 2nd March 2015

According to the Amateur Radio Cluster Network for the week of Sunday, 22nd February, through Sunday, 1st March there were 228 countries active.

Countries available:

3A, 3B8, 3B9, 3D2, 3V, 3W, 4J, 4L, 4O, 4S, 4X, 5A, 5B, 5H, 5R, 5T, 5W, 5X, 5Z, 6Y, 7Q, 7X, 8P, 8R, 9A, 9G, 9H, 9J, 9K, 9M2, 9M6, 9N, 9Q, 9V, 9X, 9Y,

A2, A4, A6, A7, A9, AP, BV, BY, C2, C3, C5, C6, C9, CE, CE0Y, CE0Z, CE9, CM, CN, CP, CT, CT3, CU, CX, D2, D4, DL, DU, E4, E5/s, E7, EA, EA6, EA8, EA9, EI, EK, EP, ER, ES, EU, EX, EY, EZ, F, FG, FJ, FK, FM, FO, FP, FR, FS, FY, G, GD, GI, GJ, GM, GU, GW, H4, HA, HB, HB0, HC, HH, HI, HK, HK0/a, HL, HP, HR, HS, HV, HZ, I, IS, J2, J3, J6, J7, JA, JT, JW, JX, JY,

K, KG4, KH0, KH2, KH6, KH8, KL, KP2, KP4, LA, LU, LX, LY, LZ, OA, OD, OE, OH, OH0, OK, OM, ON, OX, OY, OZ, P2, P4, PA, PJ2, PJ4, PJ5, PJ7, PY, PY0F, PZ, S2, S5, SM, SP, ST, SU, SV, SV5, SV9, T2, T7, T8, TA, TF, TG, TI, TI9, TJ, TK, TR, TT, TY, UA, UA2, UA9, UK, UN, UR,

V2, V3, V4, V5, V6, V7, V8, VE, VK, VK9L, VP2E, VP5, VP8, VP8/h, VP9, VR, VU, XE, XU, XW, XX9, YA, YB, YI, YJ, YL, YN, YO, YS, YU, YV, Z2, Z3, Z8, ZA, ZB, ZD7, ZD8, ZF, ZL, ZP, ZS

PLEASE NOTE: The report "could" contain "Pirate/SLIM" operations or more likely a "BUSTED CALLSIGN". As always, you never know - "Work First Worry Later" (WFWL).

OPDX

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IOTA News from OPDX

Monday 2nd March 2015

Island activities:

AF-072. Paolo, C91PM, is now active as C91PM/p from Bazaruto Island until March 3rd. Activity will be on the HF bands. QSL via LoTW or eQSL.

AS-118. Members of the Kuwait Amateur Radio Society will once again be active as 9K2F from Failaka Island between March 11-16th.
Activity will be on the HF bands. QSL via 9K2HN, direct, by the Bureau, LoTW or ClubLogs OQRS.

EU-038. Marcel, PD5MVH, will be active as PD38EU from Ameland Island between now and March 14th. Activity will include the ARRL International DX SSB Contest (March 7-8th). QSL via PD5MVH, direct or by the Bureau.

EU-081. Emil, DL8JJ, will be active as F/DL8JJ/P from Saint Marcouf Island between June 5-11th. Activity will be on 160-10 meters using CW and SSB. QSL via LZ1JZ. For more details and updates, visit:
http://www.dl8jj.darc.de

NA-079. Mike, WA0SPG, who will be on his first DXpedition, will be active as WA0SPG/4 from the Dry Tortugas between May 4-6th.
Activity will be on the HF bands using CW and SSB. Equipment will be a KX3 and a FT-817 into a buddipole vertical dipole near saltwater, Alpha vertical and Loop antenna. Mike will also be on the satellite using 2x FT-817's for SO-50 and FO-29 (CW/SSB) with both arrow and elk antennas. All power will be by Goal Zero batteries being charged by Solar PV panels. QSL via his home callsign.

NA-079. Arturo, KG4DRP, will be active from the Dry Tortugas (EL84np) between May 9-10th. Activity will be on QRP with a FT-817ND on 20 meters SSB. QSL via address on QRZ.com.

NA-212. Dan, HR2DMR, is expected to be active from Farallones de Cosiguina sometime during mid/late July (possibly between 23-28th) and also to include the RSGB IOTA Contest (July 25-26th). Activity depends on the Honduran and Nicaraguan Navy officers. He is requesting a special H7 prefix or use the YN9W callsign. Look for more details to be forthcoming.

OC-252. Imam, YB4IR, will be active as YB4IR/7 from Temajo Island between March 14-18th. Activity will be on 40-10 meters using CW, SSB, and RTTY. Antennas will be a Tribander for the High Bands and a Vertical for Low Bands. QSL via LoTW, ClubLog's OQRS or via his home callsign, direct or by the Bureau.

RSGB IOTA website

Check-out the latest IOTA News from the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

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Digital voice unit in production

Sunday 1st March 2015

Codec2 digital voice developer, David Rowe VK5DGR, has announced that the first batch of 100 SM1000s are being built in China right now and shipping may start in late March

The SM1000 is an a embedded hardware product that allows you to run FreeDV without a PC. Just plug it into your SSB or FM radio, and you now have Digital Voice (DV).

Introducing the SM1000 Smart Mic
http://www.rowetel.com/blog/?p=3125

SM1000 Part 10 – First Over the Air Tests
http://www.rowetel.com/blog/?p=3846

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SOTABEAMS appointed as Peak dealer

Sunday 1st March 2015

Portable radio specialists SOTABEAMS have been appointed as a dealer for the range of test equipment manufactured in the UK by Peak Electronics.

Meeting Jez Siddons (left) at Peak Electronic Design

Richard Newstead of SOTABEAMS explains "we needed some professional test equipment as part of our manufacturing. I selected an instrument from Peak and was amazed at just how good it was.

As Peak are a local firm I contacted them and was pleased to be appointed as a stockist".

SOTABEAMS stocks Peak's Automatic LCR meters, their semiconductor analysers and ESR meters.

These modestly priced hand-held instruments would be at home in any shack or production environment. They would also be suitable for use in colleges and universities.

http://www.sotabeams.co.uk/test-equipment/

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Recreational Vehicles and Radio Hams

Sunday 1st March 2015

Herb and Lois Maas, W0HM and KA0VBG, live in a very small house. And it has a steering wheel. Their 'permanent address' is a mailbox in South Dakota that they visit once a year

Otherwise, they're on the road, spending winters somewhere in the warm South, and summers roaming North America. They've been doing that for 5 years, and they spent 5 years before that getting ready for it. It is the ultimate downsizing, and they love it.

Gary Pearce KN4AQ caught up with them at the Orlando HamCation, a hamfest with a huge area for RVs right on the fairgrounds. Florida is the winter home for maybe about half the country's "full-timers," people like Herb and Lois who have chucked it all and live on the road. Ham Radio is a great fit for that lifestyle. The Ham/RVers in Florida head to Orlando for the HamCation, while those wintering in the Southwest are drawn to the Quartzfest in Quartzsite, Arizona.

Herb and Lois talk about full-time RV living and Ham Radio here in Episode 191 of HamRadioNow.

Watch HRN 191: RV's and Hams, from Orlando on HamRadioNow

Previous editions of HamRadioNow
http://www.youtube.com/user/HamRadioNow/videos

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Linortek Netbell

Sunday 1st March 2015

Press Release

The Internet of Things (IoT) is bringing about its own technological revolution.

Operating on the principle of connecting electronic devices through the internet, the IoT premise simplifies or eliminates wiring, control systems and telecommunication link-up on everything from printers to home alarm systems. This results in easier installations and lower costs for the end user. There's no need to hook a security camera to an RG-6 cable or a TV monitor when it can use WiFi to transmit its signal to a smart phone app, after all.

Now Linortek, a company that has already established itself in the IoT arena, is unveiling a new application for their technology. The product is called Netbell™, and the target users are schools, churches, and businesses – essentially, anyone who uses bells to indicate class changes, breaks, or shift rotations.

The Netbell™ was designed as an easy-to-use, scalable automated bell system. Developed at the behest of school administrators who were looking for a simpler and more effective way to control their bells, the system is built on a TCP/IP platform and can be installed anywhere in the network without need for a direct PC connection.

A built-in web server allows users to access, control, and schedule the bells over the internet from any location. To expedite this process, Netbell™ features a web interface that requires no programming or additional software. The internal clock synchs with the NTP server for precise timekeeping, and users who have a complex bell schedule already laid out can import their existing schedule into the Netbell™ system using text CSV format.

Visit the site for more information: http://www.linortek.com/

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If you would like to read more news from previous months

then click on More News

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DX Cluster .. Service for Club Members

Our local packet DX-Cluster GB7MDX (run by Bob G4UJS) is located near Whixall
in Shropshire.  It is hard-wired to GB7MDX is GB7UJS, a Linux Server running DXspider
by G1TLH permanently connected to the internet and the worldwide packet cluster network.

This is an experimental Telnet link to our local DX-Cluster from this page.  If you
are a licensed radio amateur, click on GB7UJS and enter your callsign to log-in.

If you experience any problems in making the connection, please read the HELP file.

All connections are recorded, so please do not abuse
this facility otherwise it will be withdrawn.

Click here for the full on-line manual for DXspider on GB7UJS.

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This page will be regularly updated to reflect Club News and Activities and both UK and World News Items deemed to be of interest to members.  If you have an announcement which you think would interest Club members and would like it mentioned here, please send details to:-  webmaster@wadarc.com