Wirral & District

Amateur Radio Club

winner of

RSGB Region 3 Trophy

'Club of the Year' 2013


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


144.390 FM APRS balloon heads for UK

Thursday 26th February 2015

The solar powered around-the-world high altitude balloon was released by the California Near Space Project team on Monday, February 23 and is expected to reach the UK on Friday. The APRS beacon should have a radio range of up to 400 km.

The amateur radio APRS frequency is not standardized world-wide. The USA uses 144.390 MHz while the British Isles and Europe use 144.800 MHz. It is understood the balloon will change frequency to 144.800 MHz when it reaches this side of the Atlantic.

Predicted track of CNSP-22

See the K6RPT-11 APRS track at

California Near Space Project
Web http://www.cnsp-inc.com/
Twitter http://twitter.com/k6rpt
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/California-Near-Space-Project/255864787858630

Twitter http://twitter.com/k6rpt

APRS http://www.aprs.org/

APRS-UK Yahoo Group

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New Digital TV Repeater for Kent

Thursday 26th February 2015

Justin G8YTZ is delighted to announce that authorisation and NOV has been received from OFCOM approving a new Digital Amateur TV Repeater at Selling Minnis, between Ashford and Dover, Kent.

The Digital TV repeater GB3DK will use the bandwidth efficient DVB-S2 format with 2 transport streams using 8PSK modulation format; though complicated to transmit, does have the advantage of requiring simple receiving equipment (an old DVB-S2 Satellite Receiver and pre-amp and a 23cm antenna is all you need to receive GB3DK) and therefore encouraging the up-take of ATV in the south-east.

The ERP will be +13dBW to ensure good coverage from the proposed Omni-Directional antenna.

The input will be on 1260MHz and the output on 1302MHz. I look forward to "seeing" you all on the new repeater!

I would especially like to thank Noel Matthews G8GTZ for his help in obtaining the license NOV for this exciting new repeater.

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IOTA News from the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

Thursday 26th February 2015

Island activities:

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

EU-038; PA, Noord Holland, Friesland/ Groningen Province group: Marcel, PD5MVH will use the special callsign PD38EU from Ameland Island from February 28 to March 14, including the ARRL DX SSB Contest. QSL via PD5MVH (d/B).

EU-042; DL, Schleswig-Holstein State North west group: Volker, DL1WH will be QRV as DL1WH/P from Foehr Island (DID/GIA N-17, WLOTA 4067) in holiday style. QSL via DL1WH (d/B).

EU-115; EI/GI/MI, Ireland: Oliver, ON4EI will visit Ireland once again and operate as EI8GQB from March 1st to April 2nd. In contests (ARRL DX SSB, Russian DX and CQWW WPX) he will use the special callsign EI1A. QSL via PA3249 (d/B), LoTW.

NA-016; ZF2, Cayman Islands: Leena, OH2BE and Martti, OH2BH will operate from Cayman Island (WLOTA 1042) between March 3 and 9. Martti will sign ZF2BH and operate the ARRL DX SSB contest together with Joe, ZF2AH (W6VNR), supported by John/ZF1DJ, Andrew/ZF1EJ, Joe/ZF2AH, John/ZF2AM and other members of the "Cayman Amateur Radio Society" (ZF1A). QSL fuer ZF2BH via OH2BH (d/B), ZF2AH via W6VNR.

NA-034; W4, Florida State Centre West (Pasco to Sarasota County) group: Members of the "Mid Florida DX Association" Jim/KG4JSZ, Tim/KI4GMR, Tony/N2MFT and Steve/KS4WA will work from Honeymoon Island (USi FL-017S) on February 28 as Homecalls/p and N2MFT/4. QSL via Homecall.

NA-066; W6, California State South (Orange/ San Diego County) group:  The "Palos Verdes Amateur Radio Club" will once again sign K6PV/6 from Santa Catalina Island (USi CA-016S, WLOTA 2912), starting February 25. Until March 1 the team consisting of Ray/N6HE, Jeff/K6JW, Diana/AI6DF, Clay/AB9A, Joe/NZ6L, Norm/K6UU, Bob/W6HIP, Mike/AF6VT, Chris/KA6WNK, Bill/WA6ESC and Don/KE6PMN will work SSB, RTTY, CW and PSK31 on all HF bands. A participation in the CQ WW 160m SSB and the NAQP RTTY is planned. QSL via K6PV (d).

NA-072; HP, Panama/Darien Province group: Members of the "Colon DX Group" will use the special call H91T from Taboga Island (Feb 27 - March 1). Team members are Manolis/HP1CQ, Emilio/HP2NG, Jose/ HP2BWJ, Max/HP2EK, Dorian/HP2DB, Rodrigo/HP1RAT, Roger/HP2ROC and Andrey/HP2MAH. They will operate on the HF bands from 10m to 40m (CW, SSB, Digi-Modes). QSL via HP2BWJ (d). http://www.colondxgroup.webs.com

NA-106; KP2, Virgin Islands: John, KK9A will activate, WP2AA the station of the "USVI Contest Club" on Island of St. Croix (USi VI002S, WLOTA 2477) from March 2 to 9, including an operation in the ARRL DX SSB contest (SOAB LP). Outside the contest he will operate in holiday style. QSL via WD9DZV und LoTW.

SA-036; P4, Aruba Island: Howard/WA2NHA will again be QRV from Aruba (WLOTA 0033), March 1 to 15, as P4/WA2NHA in CW only. QSL via WA2NHA.

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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Wideband HF transmissions at HFIA

Thursday 26th February 2015

The slides from the HF Industry Association Meeting held February 12, 2015 in San Diego, CA are now available online

Among the papers presented was one from Randy Nelson of Rockwell Collins which describes tests of full motion video in a 48 kHz bandwidth over a 1448 km path on a frequency of 14.965 MHz.

Alan Pilecki from Harris described the RF-7800H portable transceiver which covers 1.5-60 MHz and supports data rates of up to 120 kbps in a 24 kHz bandwidth.

Download the presentation slides from

MIL-STD-188-110C specification

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Local DAB radio trials

Wednesday 25th February 2015

Ofcom has announced trials of a new technology that could provide small radio stations across the UK with an affordable way to broadcast on DAB digital radio

If the trials are successful, UK radio listeners could benefit from more local and community radio stations on DAB.

Currently, the cost of broadcasting on DAB is beyond the reach of many small radio stations.

But a new approach, pioneered by Ofcom engineer Rashid Mustapha, means that small scale radio stations could start broadcasting on DAB radio for a fraction of current costs.

The new approach is cheaper than current systems because it uses software freely available from http://opendigitalradio.org rather than relying on often expensive hardware equipment. Known as ‘small scale DAB’, it is best suited for broadcasting to small geographic areas, ideal for community and local radio stations.

Ofcom has confirmed plans for up to ten trials of small scale DAB across the UK.

Each trial will allow new digital radio services to broadcast to a local area and will help explore how groups of radio stations can work together.

The trials will also inform Ofcom’s work on identifying suitable frequencies for broadcasting smaller digital stations and help understand how these services could be licensed.

Ofcom is today inviting applicants to take part in the trials, which are expected to run for nine months. The deadline for applications is 3pm on April 7, 2015.

Claudio Pollack, Ofcom Consumer and Content Group Director, Ofcom, said: “We’re looking for local and community radio stations to take part in trials to test this innovative new technology.”

“If successful, this could significantly benefit digital radio listeners up and down the country.”

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport is funding Ofcom’s work on how small stations could access DAB digital radio.

Small Scale DAB Trials Statement

Application form

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Chinese rocket body disintegrates over North America

Wednesday 25th February 2015

On Monday night, Feb. 23-24, observers across the western half of North America witnessed a spectacular cluster of bright lights in the sky. It was the re-entry and disintegration of a Chinese rocket body.

Coincidentally, a geomagnetic storm was in progress at the time and more than one photographer caught the rocket's debris cutting across curtains of Northern Lights.

Visit http://spaceweather.com/archive.php?view=1&day=25&month=02&year=2015 for photos and more information.

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Notice of interruption to MSF 60 kHz Time and Frequency Signal

Tuesday 24th February 2015

Please note that the MSF 60 kHz time and frequency signal broadcast from Anthorn Radio Station will be off during the day for maintenance work from:

Monday 2 March to Thursday 19 March between 08:00 UTC and 18:00 UTC - service off-air each day (but will be back on air overnight and at weekends).

The interruption to the transmission is required to allow essential maintenance work to be carried out in safety.

Additional MSF Outage information

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Amateur radio based group rescues released broadcast frequency

Monday 23rd February 2015

When the 'Deutsche Welle' decided to close down one of their 500 KW short wave broadcast transmitters near Munich at the end of 2012, a group containing some German radio amateurs applied for and were allocated the then available short wave frequency of 6070 KHz in 2013.

This group now have an operational 10KW station on the frequency, using the driver stages from the old Deutsche Welle transmitter. The rest of the transmitter was built by and is run by Rainer DB8QC . The licence allow transmission 24/7 but at present most transmissions are on a weekend during daylight hours.

Content is mainly provided by existing Internet Radio stations wanting to get their material "on-the-air" this includes several soceities that remember the days of the Pirate Radio pop music stations in the North sea between England and Holland and a lot of their music content is from the 60's and 70's.

Additional content is being sought and at only 15 Euros an hour, this is not a corporate big business rather a facility where smaller groups can afford to buy time to transmit their content. One such group is the Deutsche Amateur Radio Club, the National Amateur Radio Soceity in Germany, who hope to have a weekly 2 hour slot on the station from mid-March to send a DX orientated program, probably from 6pm local time on Sundays.

The DARC DX magazine will be in the German language and targeted towards German speaking listeners. Amateur radio is an international medium however so there are thoughts of also producing an international / English hour in addition, to reach out across Europe not only to radio amateurs but also to short wave listeners and the general public.

When I talked with another Rainer DF2NU who is one of the group running the station and the president of the Munich South section of the DARC, he told me that they hope to be able to broadcast more often once sufficient content is available however they are already seeing other broadcasters such as Radio China moving onto the frequency in the evenings as those stations percieve 6070 KHz as a free frequency.

Rainer told me that currently "Channel 292" has airtime bookings for 20-25 hrs a week, mostly on weekends at which times it runs at 10 kW output. When the station is idle (as there is no booking), the transmitter power is reduced to 1kW and transmits an infinite music-loop with no actual program. Late evenings, after 8pm local, the transmitter is switched off completely in order to save energy costs. Rainer stressed that the license is for 24/7 so they can use the frequency at any time when they have content.

With a current rate of EUR 15,-- per hour airtime you cannot earn any money. This broadcast station is an extenion of the amateur radio hobby and the group seek to simply cover their costs.

Thinking back to the very start of amateur radio, Hams were allowed to transmit music, news and entertainment programs, so it's nice to see some of this coming back onto the short wave bands thanks to the efforts of groups like this one.

I wonder as we see more and more broadcasters leaving the short wave bands in favour of Internet broadcasting, whether we'll see more licences and surplus transmitters being picked up by amateur radio groups? This seems to be somewhat of a repeat of the situation when it was said 200 metres and up is useless for broadcasting - give it to the amateurs. We all know what then followed.

Perhaps amateur Radio groups around the world can put new life into released shortwave broadcast frequencies?

For program information about "Channel 292" simply go to their website at www.channel292.de

Why not give 6070KHz AM a listen?

Channel292 coverage map

The Channel292 station covers a lot of Western Europe but has also been heard in Russia and the US

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VI8ANZAC is on the air

Monday 23rd February 2015

The Darwin Amateur Radio Club (DARC) continues to be active with the VI8ANZAC callsign to mark the Albert Chalmers Borella journey re-enactment - and has caused many dog-piles on the bands.

DARC President Gary Gibson VK8GN reports that concentration has been on 40m, 20m, 15m and 10m. The lower bands are a bit of a challenge during the Australian northern wet season with very high noise levels.

There have been good openings to Europe on 10m, and many other countries including VK are being worked all the bands.

High interest has been generated in VI8ANZAC going by the large number of look-ups on QRZ.com

The commemorative event marks the historic trek to enlist in WWI by Albert Borella. The 33 year old went from Tennant Creek to Darwin which then had no sign-up point, and on to Townsville in Queensland by boat for enlistment.

Albert Borella served at Gallipoli in 1915 for two months, before going to the Western Front in France and Belgium.

He was wounded in action, decorated with the Military Medal, mentioned by Winston Churchill in military dispatches, and for valour in combat - awarded the Victoria Cross.

Each April 25 is ANZAC Day in Australia, to honour those who fought for the first time as the Australian and New Zealand Army Corp (ANZAC) at Gallipoli in Turkey, then elsewhere, and the service men and women in all subsequent conflicts.

This year is the Centenary of ANZAC. A number of events are being held in Australia and aboard. The Darwin Amateur Radio Club has the WIA ANZAC 100 callsign VI8ANZAC until March 3.

Jim Linton VK3PC

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SDR Net - On the Move

Monday 23rd February 2015

The South Dublin Radio Club Net (SDR Net), which has been operating, for over 2 years on 40 meters on a Sunday morning following the IRTS 40 Meter News, is on the move.

It will now be on 7.123MHz +/- QRM and will run from 10 am to 11 am, prior to the IRTS 40 Meter news.

All EIs are welcome to call-in and it is hoped that by having a fixed time, that this change will afford other EI, especially those that may be waiting for the IRTS News, will join in and help expand both the coverage and participation in the SDR Net.

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HamRadioNow: CQ 'Comes Clean'

Sunday 22nd February 2015

Another tough year for CQ Magazine, and editor Rich Moseson W2VU talks to Gary Pearce KN4AQ about it, and the current state of the publication

HRN 190: CQ 'Comes Clean' (Click Bait on HamRadioNow)

Previous editions of HamRadioNow

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Libraries exposure for Amateur Radio

Saturday 21st February 2015

Three metropolitan Melbourne primary school libraries now have practical lessons on Amateur Radio, thanks to library technician Julie Gonzales VK3FOWL. The exercise has been a real success.

Julie VK3FOWL operates from the libraries to introduce Amateur Radio to students from 8 to 11 years of age.

Each month a different group of six students is invited to the fun lunchtime program of learning and practicing the basics of Amateur Radio.

Julie VK3FOWL has prepared a booklet which covers callsigns, operating procedures, Morse code, Q-codes and log keeping.

Outdoor activities like antenna building and Amateur Radio Direction Finding are also offered. The feedback from principals, parents and students has been so positive.

Putting youngsters before a microphone for the first time, and exposing inquiring minds to hands-on technology, can be very rewarding.

Julie encourages other radio amateurs associated with primary schools to give it a go. She suggests contact the school principal first. More information is available from Julie VK3FOWL on request.

The School Amateur Radio Clubs operate on 40m and 2m at lunch times on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. Julie is interested in starting a net on 40m so her 'city’ primary school students can talk to a ‘regional’ primary school, say in VK3, or maybe VK5 or VK7.

Are there any radio amateurs associated with regional primary schools in those states? What a great idea - let’s hope it catches on.

Jim Linton VK3PC

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EURAO Newsletter February 2015

Saturday 21st February 2015

In this issue you will find:

  • EURAO Parties : one year meeting hams and enjoying radio

  • AO3MWC : Mobile World Congress 2015

  • DBM : Mining Basins Award

  • EA0JC : first cards received

  • EURAO Party - Winter 2015 : silence please, QRP on air

  • EUDOTA : Europe Day "on the air" 2015

  • HAM RADIO 2015 : exhibition, meeting, Assembly, ...

  • News in brief

EURAO Newsletter comes out quarterly, either in pdf format and as a website. Spread the word!

EURAO Newsletter February 2015

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IOTA News from OPDX

Saturday 21st February 2015

Island activities:

AF-019. Operator Luigi, IK8HCG, will be active as IG9R from Lampedusa Island (with the support from Italian Navy Force), African Italy, during the next CQWW DX SSB Contest (October 24-25th) as a Single-Op/Single-Band (160m) entry. QSL via IK8HCG.

NA-008. Alexey, VE1RUS, is currently active as VY0/VE1RUS from Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, until February 25th. Activity will be limited and on 20/17/15 meters. QSL via his home callsign.

RSGB IOTA website

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

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DXCC Country/Entity Report

Saturday 21st February 2015

According to the Amateur Radio Cluster Network for the week of Friday, 13th February, through Friday, 20th February there were 234 countries active.

Countries available:

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

A2, A4, A5, A6, A7, A9, AP, BV, BY, C2, C3, C5, C6, C9, CE, CE0Y, CE9, CM, CN, CP, CT, CT3, CU, CX, D2, D4, D6, DL, DU, E4, E5/s, E7, EA, EA6, EA8, EA9, EI, EK, EP, ER, ES, ET, EU, EX, EY, EZ, F, FG, FJ, FK, FM, FO, FR, FS, FW, FY, G, GD, GI, GJ, GM, GU, GW, H4, HA, HB, HB0, HC, HH, HI, HK, HK0/a, HL, HP, HR, HS, HZ, I, IS, J2, J3, J6, J7, JA, JT, JW, JY,

K, KG4, KH0, KH2, KH6, KL, KP2, KP4, LA, LU, LX, LY, LZ, OA, OD, OE, OH, OH0, OJ0, OK, OM, ON, OX, OY, OZ, P2, P4, PA, PJ2, PJ4, PJ7, PY, PY0F, PZ, S0, S2, S5, S7, S9, SM, SP, ST, SU, SV, SV5, SV9, T5, T7, TA, TF, TG, TI, TI9, TJ, TK, TR, TT, TY, TZ, UA, UA2, UA9, UK, UN, UR,

V2, V3, V4, V5, V6, V8, VE, VK, VP2E, VP2V, VP5, VP8, VP8/h, VP9, VR, VU, XE, XU, XW, XX9, YA, YB, YI, YJ, YK, YL, YN, YO, YS, YU, YV, Z3, Z8, ZA, ZB, ZC4, ZD7, ZD8, ZF, ZL, ZL7, 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).


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SatNOGS give prize money to LSF

Friday 20th February 2015

SatNOGS won the Hackaday grand prize of $196,418 for their satellite ground station, they plan to invest the money in the Libre Space Foundation

The Libre Space Foundation (LSF) is a non-profit foundation registered in Greece by the creators of the SatNOGS project. The aim of the foundation is to promote free and open source technology in space and support, develop and fund space projects.

Ground Stations are Just the Beginning: The SatNOGS Story

SatNOGS Win Hackaday Prize

SatNOGS – Satellite Networked Open Ground Station

Libre Space Foundation

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Make your own VHF or UHF transceiver

Friday 20th February 2015

Hans Van Rijsse PD0AC describes the Dorji DRA818 modules which enable you to make your own 1 watt VHF or UHF FM transceiver

He says that using these modules you can get a fully functional 1 Watt FM transceiver on either the 144 MHz or 430 MHz bands for under $13.

Make your own transceiver with a Dorji DRA818U or DRA818V

Also see Klaus-Heinz Hirschelmann DJ7OO - Building Blocks for a simple VHF or UHF transceiver

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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 20th February 2015

This week's bulletin was made possible with information provided by 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.

TUNISIA, 3V. SWL Ashraf, 3V4-002, will be QRV as 3V8SS from the "Radio Club Station of Tunisian Scouts" in Sousse during the ARRL International DX CW Contest as a Single Op/All Band entry. QSL via LX1NO.

VIET NAM, 3W. Bruce, 3W3B plans to be QRV in the ARRL International DX CW contest on all bands. QSL via E21EIC.

GUINEA, 3X. Michael, PA5M is QRV as 3XY5M for the next two months while working for the World Food Program. Activity is on the HF bands and possibly 6 meters in his spare time. QSL via PA7FM.

MALAWI, 7Q. Ken, LA7GIA will be QRV as 7Q7GIA from Lilongwe from February 21 to 28. Activity will be on 80 to 10 meters using CW and RTTY. QSL to home call.

CHINA, BY. Look for Yuan, BD1IIJ to be QRV in the ARRL International DX CW contest. QSL to home call.

NAURU, C2. Yuki, JH1NBN is QRV as C21BN until February 28. Activity is on 80 to 6 meters using SSB. QSL direct to home call.

JUAN FERNANDEZ ISLAND, CE0. A group of operators will be QRV as 3G0ZC from Robinson Crusoe Island, IOTA SA-005, from February 24 to March 4. Activity will be on 160 to 6 meters using CW, SSB and various digital modes with eight stations active. QSL via F1ULQ.

CAPE VERDE, D4. Henning, OZ1BII is QRV as D44EE from San Tiago, IOTA AF-005, until February 24. Activity is on 160 to 10 meters using CW. This includes being an entry in the ARRL International DX CW contest. QSL to home call.

GUADELOUPE, FG. Gildas, F6HMQ and Michel, F6GWV are QRV as FG/home calls until March 8. They will be active as TO66R in the ARRL International DX CW contest. QSL contest call to F6HMQ and the others to home calls.

JERSEY, GJ. Mathieu, MJ0ASP will be QRV from St. Brelade, IOTA EU-113, in the ARRL International DX CW contest. QSL via operator's instructions.

ST. LUCIA, J6. Members of the J6DX Group will be QRV as J64SLI/36 from February 21 to 23 to celebrate St. Lucia's 36th Day of Independence. Activity will be on the HF bands using CW, SSB and various digital modes. QSL via WB5Q.

SVALBARD, JW. Bodo, DF8DX, Herman, DL2NUD, Daniel, DJ4MF and Rene, DL2JRM are QRV as JW/home calls from Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen Island, IOTA EU-026, until February 25. Activity is on 80 to 10 meters using CW, SSB and RTTY. This includes being active in the ARRL International DX CW contest. QSL to home calls.

AMERICAN SAMOA, KH8. Ethan, K8GU is QRV as KH8/K8GU from Tutuila, IOTA OC-045, until February 27 while on work assignment. Activity is on the HF bands. This includes being an entry in the ARRL International DX CW contest. QSL to home call.

TURKS AND CAICOS ISLAND, VP5. Operators Scott, K0MD, Bill, AC0W and Patrick, K0PC will be QRV as VP5S as a Multi/Single entry in the ARRL International DX CW contest. Before the contest they are active as VP5/home calls. QSL contest call via K0MD and all others to home calls.

BERMUDA, VP9. Kurt, W6PH plans to be QRV as VP9/W6PH in the ARRL International DX CW contest. QSL direct to home call.

ASCENSION ISLAND, ZD8. Werner, DJ9KH, Axel, DK9BDN and Christian, DL6KAC will be QRV as ZD8D from February 24 to March 10. Activity will be on 160 to 6 meters using CW, SSB and RTTY. QSL via DL9HO.

CAYMAN ISLANDS, ZF. John, K6AM, Kevin, N5DX and Dan, N6MJ will be QRV as ZF1A from Grand Cayman Island, IOTA NA-016, in the ARRL International DX CW contest. QSL via K6AM

NEW ZEALAND, ZL. Operators Mark, ZL3AB, Geoff, ZL3GA and Phil, ZL3PAH will be QRV as ZL3X in the ARRL International CW contest as a Multi/Single entry. QSL direct via ZL3PAH.

The ARRL International DX CW Contest, 7th South American Lighthouse Weekend, NCCC RTTY Sprint, QRP CW Fox Hunt, NCCC Sprint CW Ladder, REF SSB Contest, SARL 40-Meter SSB Youth Day Sprint, Feld Hell Sprint, Russian PSK World Wide Contest, High Speed Club CW Contest and SARL Digital Contest will certainly keep contesters busy this upcoming weekend.

The CQC Winter QSO CW Sprint is scheduled for February 23.  The CWops Mini-CWT CW Test, SKCC CW Sprint and QRP CW Fox Hunt are scheduled for February 25.

Please see February QST, page 91 and the ARRL and WA7BNM contest web sites for details

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How to setup an AX25 Soundmodem

Friday 20th February 2015

George Smart M1GEO has recently published a couple of packet radio related articles on his website

Soundmodem is a Multiplatform Soundcard Packet Radio Modem written by Thomas Sailer, HB9JNX/AE4WA. The software allows a standard PC sound-card to be used as a packet radio "modem" with all processing done on the main computer CPU.

George describes how to get the basic network interface working and how that can be used with XASTIR, a amateur radio based digital communication system for real-time exchange of digital information to users on the APRS (Automatic Packet Reporting System) network, 144.8000 MHz in the British Isles and Europe, see

He has been interested in APRS for years and here describes an Arduino TNC

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Friday 20th February 2015

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

I.C.P.O. Bulletin (20-27 February 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 February 2015 by Gwyn Williams, G4FKH

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Project ULTRA helped Alan Turing crack code

Thursday 19th February 2015

The Ottawa Citizen interviews Ernie Brown about his work in Project ULTRA during WWII

He is one of the last surviving members of a crack team of radio interceptors who were stationed in a secret building in the nation’s capital during the Second World War under a classified program codenamed ULTRA. There, they intercepted coded enemy messages, and relayed them back to the UK.

Read the full story at

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IOTA News from the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

Thursday 19th February 2015

Island activities:

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

AF-003; ZD8, Ascension: Werner/DJ9KH, Axel/DK9BDN, and
Christian/DL6KAC are going to put Ascension Island on the air as ZD8D between Feb. 24 and March 10. QRV on 160-6m on CW, RTTY, and SSB, with a focus on the low bands. QSL via DL9HO (d/B).

AF-005; D4, Cape Verde: Henning, OZ1BII, will be active as D44EE from San Tiago between the 19th and 24th. QRV on 160-10m on CW, including the ARRL contest. QSL via OZ1BII (d/B), ClubLog (OQRS), LoTW, eQSL. www.oz1bii.dk/dx-d44ee.htm

EU-026; JW, Spitsbergen Island: Bodo/DF8DX, Herman/DL2NUD, Daniel/DJ4MF, and Rene/DL2JRM visit the club station (JW5E) in Longyearbyen from the 18th to the 25th. QRV with JW/homecalls on 80-10m on CW (including the ARRL contest), SSB, and RTTY. QSL via homecalls (d/B).

NA-080; C6, Little Bahama Bank group: Chris, NX4N, gets on the air from Freeport, Grand Bahama Island (WLOTA 0527) as C6AWW between the 20th and 23rd. QRV mainly on 80m CW and for the ARRL contest.
QSL via NX4N (d), LoTW.

NA-085; W4; Florida State North West (Bay to Wakulla County) group: Dennis, WA2USA, remains active as WA2USA/4 from George Island (USi FL007S) until the month's end. QSL via WA2USA (d/B).

NA-092; W5, Texas State West (Cameron to Calhoun County) group: Richard, WA5LFD, is currently active until March 1 from North Padre Island (WW Loc.: EL17). QSL via LoTW.

NA-102; FG, Guadeloupe: Gildas, F6HMQ and Michel, F6GWV, get on the air from Guadeloupe Island (DIFO FG-001, WLOTA 0644) between Feb. 18 and March 8. QRV as FG/homecalls and as TO66R during the ARRL contest. QSL TO66R via F6HMQ (d/B), others via homecalls (d/B).

NA-105; FS/PJ7, St. Maarten: Dave, WJ2O, and his wife are going to visit Sint Maarten from the 18th to the 25th. Dave will be active as PJ7/WJ2O on 40-10m with a focus on WARC bands and the ARRL contest. QSL via N2ZN (d/B), LoTW.

NA-105; FS/PJ7, St. Maarten: Tom, AA9A, gets on the air as PJ7AA between Feb. 18 and March 16. QRV oin 40-10m on CW and SSB, and also for a few hours during the contest, running 100W and a Buddipole. QSL via AA9A, LoTW.

NA-143; W5, Texas State East (Matagorda to Jefferson County) group: Joe, K5KUA, operates holiday-style from Galveston Island (USi TX001S) as K5KUA/5 between the 20th and 22nd. QRV on 40-10m on CW, possibly also during the ARRL contest. QSL via K5KUA (d/B), LoTW.

OC-045; KH8, American Samoa: Ethan, K8GU, spends Feb. 20 to 27 on a work assignment on Tutuila (USi AS-007S). QRV as KH8/K8GU, especially on 40 and 80m for gray-line DX towards Europe, and for the ARRL contest. QSL via LoTW, K8GU (d/B).

SA-006; PJ4, Bonaire Island: Marty, W1MD and friends operate from the Radio House in Rincon Village, Bonaire Island (WLOTA 1279, PAFF-024) between the 17th and 24th. QRV as PJ4/homecalls on 160-10m on CW, SSB, and digital modes, and as PJ4X (Multi/2) during the contest. QSL PJ4X via W1MD (d), LoTW, others via homecalls.

SA-008; LU/CE8; Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego: Members of the Radio Club Ushuaia activate the Punta Observatorio Lighthouse (ARLHS ARG-080, WLOTA 2448) from the 20th to the 22nd as LU8XW/p.
QSL via LU8XW.

SA-027; PP5, Paz Island: Orlando/PT2OP and Henrique/PU5IKE put Paz Island (ARLHS BRA-137, WLOTA 1983, DIB SC-07, WW Loc.: GG53st) on the air as PR5P and ZW5WIM from the 19th to the 23rd. QSL PR5P via PT2OP (d/B), ZW5WIM via PU5IKE (d/B).

SA-030; CX, Flores Island: Members of the Radiogroupo Sur are going to activate Flores Island (WLOTA 0528) from the 21st to the 23rd.
QRV as CV5A on all bands and modes. QSL via CX2ABC.

SA-055; LU; Buenos Aires (Delta del Parana) Province group: Carlos, LU8DCH, is going to participate in the South American Lighthouse Weekend as LU8DCH/D from two lighthouses on Martin Garcia Island: Martin Garcia Lighthouse (ARLHS ARG-045) and Baliza Muelle Martin Garcia Lighthouse (ARLHS ARG-152). QRV on SSB and PSK, QSL via LU8DCH (d).

SA-099, PJ2, Curacao Island: Thilo, DL9NBJ, will be holidaying on Curacao between the 17th and March 10. QRV as PJ2/DL9NBJ with a KX3 on CW and SSB. QSL via h/c (d/B), ClubLog.

Compiled by Friedrich, DL4BBH
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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ARRL warns experimental licensee to avoid interference to HF ham activity

Wednesday 18th February 2015

The ARRL has asked a Massachusetts company that plans to conduct experimental transmissions over wide portions of the HF spectrum either to avoid Amateur Radio allocations or to announce the times and frequencies of their transmissions in advance.

The FCC last fall granted MITRE Corporation of Bedford, Massachusetts, a 2-year Part 5 Experimental License, WH2XCI, to operate 21 transmitters at 10 fixed New York and Massachusetts sites. MITRE plans to test wideband HF communication techniques on a variety of bands between 2.5 MHz and 16 MHz.

"[I]t will not be possible for MITRE to operate these transmitters within the Amateur Radio Service allocations...without causing harmful interference to a large number of Amateur Radio operators on an ongoing basis," ARRL Chief Counsel Chris Imlay, W3KD, said in a February 12 letter to MITRE.

Imlay said that if MITRE does not agree to avoid ham radio bands or to announce times and frequencies of transmissions ahead of time, it will ask the FCC to rescind the company's Experimental License or to impose a prior notification requirement "in real time for each and every use of the transmitters authorized at each site."

The WH2XCI Experimental License authorizes maximum bandwidths of 5 kHz, 500 kHz, and 1 MHz at effective radiated power levels of 6 W, 24 W, or 122 W. MITRE has indicated that most bandwidths would be between 100 and 300 kHz.

"At these power levels with the operating parameters proposed, it will be impossible to conduct your tests at any time within the Amateur Radio allocations and, at the same time, avoid harmful interference," Imlay said. He noted that MITRE already conceded this point in a technical exhibit submitted to the FCC with respect to its 1 MHz bandwidth mode.

Imlay said that when interference from MITRE's wide-bandwidth transmitters "inevitably occurs in the narrow-bandwidth, sensitive receivers" hams use, amateur licensees will have no way to determine the source of the interference or know to whom they might complain.

"Thus, your assurance of operation on a 'non-interference basis' is meaningless under the circumstances, and yet that is both a special condition of operation" of the WH2XCI license and under FCC Part 5 regulations, Imlay told MITRE.

"It is ARRL's intention to ensure that this experimental authorization, improvidently granted to the extent that it includes heavily used Amateur Radio allocations, is not permitted to cause interference to ongoing Amateur Radio HF communications," Imlay concluded.

MITRE obtained the Experimental License to investigate high data rate wideband HF communication systems that exploit polarization diversity multiple input, multiple output concepts to expand the bandwidth of the communication channel.


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MacLoggerDX Version 5.59 released

Wednesday 18th February 2015

Dog Park Software is pleased to announce that version 5.59 of MacLoggerDX has been released.

What's New in this version:

• Added time-to-sunrise/sunset to Local Lookup.
• 2D Map centered on QTH Longitude.
• Added Find My Location button to Station Prefs.
• Added Club Log Delete QSO command.
• Added processSpot AppleScript command.
• Added extra_cluster Application.
• Added merge log escape key break.
• Fixed DXCluster spot time bug.
• Fixed DXCluster unicode comments bug.
• Fixed FlexRadio SmartSDR open/close bug.
• Fixed Band Plan mode bug.
• Fixed Change Selected Log Entries bug with large logs.

MacLoggerDX is the Total Mac Ham Radio Assistant and premier Mac logger:

Organizing and filtering the spots from your favourite DX Cluster for DXing, Contesting or casual rag-chewing.

It supports close to a hundred radios, automatically tuning to the spots you are interested in and optionally swinging your beam around.

Alerting you to rare contacts or Band Openings and looking up, displaying on 2D, 3D and Satellite Maps and logging your contacts to a super fast sql database.

MacLoggerDX can also email you when the Bands are open or that rare DX is spotted.

Awards Tracking, Band Activity, Schedules, Memories, QSL Generation, ADIF import, export, eQSL, LoTW Confirmations and much more.

This is a free update for all Version 5 customers and can be downloaded from: http://dogparksoftware.com/MacLoggerDX.html

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Solar Eclipse Study in RAGazine

Wednesday 18th February 2015

Volume 2 issue 3 of the free BAA-RAG radio astronomy publication RAGazine mentions the VLF study for the Solar eclipse which will take place in March

In this edition:

- RAG Coordinator report by Paul Hyde G4CSD
- Solar activity last quarter 2014
- 2015 Solar Eclipse Notes By John Cook G8EDG
- Meteor Forward Scatter by Paul Hyde G4CSD
- News Notes
- Using the NWT4 Spectrum Analyser and Tracking Source by Paul Hyde G4CSD
- Low Cost Hydrogen Line Radio Telescope using the RTL SDR - Phase 3 by Peter W East
- Correcting for Ground and Background Noise By Brian Coleman G4NNS, Gordon Dennis
- EAARO Update - February 2015 by Jason Williams M0YJW)
- Introduction to Python by Jeff Lashley 2E0ODF

RAGazine Vol 2 Iss 3

Download previous issues

Join the BAA-RAG Yahoo Group at

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Boafeng handhelds on BBC News

Tuesday 17th February 2015

A BBC News report on insurgents in Ukraine show them to be using what appears to be Boafeng UV-5R handhelds

The Boafeng UV-5R is popular with radio amateurs providing 5 watts of FM at both VHF and UHF. They can be bought on eBay for around £22 ($32).

The shortened extract of the news report on the BBC website which still has one clip of the radio at 01:40 can be seen at

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Malta on 70 MHz

Tuesday 17th February 2015

With effect from Monday, February 16, Malta now has access to the 4m band between 70 and 70.5 MHz.

Information courtesy of 9H1GB via

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AmateurLogic 75: DV3000 Raspberry Pi D-Star Hot Spot

Monday 16th February 2015

Building the Northwest Digital Radio DV3000 D-Star Hot Spot.

A new device with new capabilities. Tommy and George’s Radio Shack bargain shopping. Capital City Hamfest Go Kit competition, JLO and Don Wilbanks. Peter installs Cinnamon Linux.

1:15:05 of ALTV Fun


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High Altitude Ballooning, From The Ground Up (and back again)

Monday 16th February 2015

Radio amateur Dave Akerman M0RPI has published an article which covers just about everything you need to know about High Altitude Ballooning (HAB)

Read Dave's article at

To get up-to-date information on balloon flights subscribe to the UKHAS Mailing List by sending a blank email to this address: ukhas+subscribe@googlegroups.com

Follow balloon chat on the #highaltitude IRC channel at http://webchat.freenode.net/?channels=highaltitude

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DXCC Country/Entity Report

Monday 16th February 2015

According to the Amateur Radio Cluster Network for the week of Sunday, 8th February, through Sunday, 15th February there were 232 countries active.

Countries available:

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

A3, A4, A5, A6, A7, A9, AP, BV, BY, C3, C5, C6, C9, CE, CE0Y, CE9, CM, CN, CP, CT, CT3, CU, CX, D2, D6, DL, DU, E4, E5/s, E7, EA, EA6, EA8, EA9, EI, EK, EP, ER, ES, ET, EU, EX, EY, F, FG, FH, FJ, FK, FM, FO, FP, FR, FS, FW, FY, G, GD, GI, GJ, GM, GU, GW, H4, HA, HB, HB0, HC, HC8, HI, HK, HL, HP, HR, HS, HV, HZ, I, IS, J2, J3, J6, J7, J8, JA, JT, JW, JY,

K, KG4, KH0, KH2, KH6, KL, KP1, KP2, KP4, LA, LU, LX, LY, LZ, OA, OD, OE, OH, OH0, OJ0, OK, OM, ON, OX, OY, OZ, P2, P4, PA, PJ2, PJ4, PY, PZ, S0, S5, S7, SM, SP, ST, SU, SV, SV5, SV9, T7, T8, TA, TF, TG, TI, TJ, TK, TR, TT, TY, TZ, UA, UA2, UA9, UK, UN, UR,

V2, V3, V4, V5, V7, V8, VE, VK, VP2E, VP2M, VP2V, VP8, VP8/h, VP9, VR, VU, XE, XU, XW, YA, YB, YI, YJ, YK, YL, YN, YO, YS, YU, YV, Z2, Z3, Z8, ZA, ZB, ZC4, ZD7, ZD8, ZF, ZL, ZL7, 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).


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IOTA News from OPDX

Monday 16th February 2015

Island activities:

NA-113. John, 9H5G (KK4OYJ), informed OPDX Sunday morning: "I'm leaving Hog Cay, Ragged Islands, later this morning for the 15 hour sail to Acklins Island (NA-113). Hoping to be QRV during daylight hours by Wednesday. Some nasty weather coming in the next week so likely to be 'patchy' operations as I'll be 'beachside'."

He will be using a TS-480HX or K3 with Vertical dipoles on 17/15/12/10m and maybe 20m. Power from a deep-cycle 5035Ah battery recharged daily. Logs will be uploaded to LoTW, Clublog and to NI5DX as time and available internet permits. QSL direct to Buzz, NI5DX. An OQRS on ClubLog is active for this callsign - if you need a bureau card, please request it through the OQRS, and he will send it when he can - probably also once per year. For a more responsive paper QSL, please QSL via NI5DX who operates a very timely service. For more details and possible updates of his activities, visit his Blog or Twitter page at:

NA-220. Bo, OX3LX, will be returning to the Kookoerne Islands between February 24-27th. Activity will be on the HF bands. QSL via OZ1PIF.
Logs will be upload to LoTW and ClubLog.

OC-274. (NEW IOTA/Canceled). Activity schedule mid-February by three Indonesian operators to Lucipara Island has been canceled due to one of the operators (Budi, YF1AR) being taken ill to the hospital.

RSGB IOTA website

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

ARRL warns MITRE over HF Broadband

Sunday 15th February 2015

On January 18th, we reported on the plans of MITRE to broadcast wideband on HF. Now the ARRL has issued a warning to the company

The ARRL has asked the Massachusetts company that plans to conduct experimental transmissions over wide portions of the HF spectrum either to avoid Amateur Radio allocations or to announce the times and frequencies of their transmissions in advance.

The FCC last fall granted MITRE Corporation of Bedford, Massachusetts, a 2-year Part 5 Experimental License, WH2XCI, to operate 21 transmitters at 10 fixed New York and Massachusetts sites. MITRE plans to test wideband HF communication techniques on a variety of bands between 2.5 MHz and 16 MHz.

“[I]t will not be possible for MITRE to operate these transmitters within the Amateur Radio Service allocations…without causing harmful interference to a large number of Amateur Radio operators on an ongoing basis,” ARRL Chief Counsel Chris Imlay, W3KD, said in a February 12 letter to MITRE.

Imlay said that if MITRE does not agree to avoid ham radio bands or to announce times and frequencies of transmissions ahead of time, it will ask the FCC to rescind the company’s Experimental License or to impose a prior notification requirement “in real time for each and every use of the transmitters authorized at each site.”

Read the ARRL story at

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USA to propose additional sharing of 10 GHz ham band

Sunday 15th February 2015

The ARRL report the the USA is to propose the use of 9.9-10.5 GHz for the Earth Exploration Satellite Service

US proposal for World Radiocommunication Conference 2015 (WRC-15) Agenda Item 1.12 — to expand the Earth Exploration Satellite Service (EESS) in the vicinity of 10 GHz — supports allocating an additional 600 MHz of spectrum to the EESS (active) as a primary allocation in the frequency band 9.9-10.5 GHz, with certain limitations.

The Amateur and Amateur-Satellite services have secondary allocations of 10.0-10.5 GHz and 10.45-10.5 GHz, respectively; the only current primary allocation is to Radiolocation. A study conducted by a Working Party of the International Telecommunication Union Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R) concluded that the interference potential of EESS (active) to Amateur Radio was limited to very brief and infrequent periods.

“In this hotly contested frequency range, the best we can hope for is that sharing partners will be compatible with continued amateur access, and that is the case here,” ARRL CEO David Sumner, K1ZZ, commented.

EESS use of the 9900-10,500 MHz band would be limited to systems requiring necessary bandwidths greater than 600 MHz that cannot be fully accommodated within the 9300–9900 MHz band.

Read the full ARRL story at

US 10 GHz Proposal

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January RSGB Board Proceedings

Sunday 15th February 2015

The RSGB Board proceedings for January 2015 are now available on the Society's website

The General Manager Graham Coomber G0NBI reported that over the last 2 years, the total number of Members had reduced by only 68.
It was during this period that the Society ran the successful One Pound RSGB membership campaign.

Proceedings of the RSGB Board meeting held January 17, 2015

Previous RSGB Board proceedings

You can join the RSGB online at

RSGB membership is free to licensed UK amateurs under the age of 21 or aged 21-25 and in full time education

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The Deep Space Climate Observatory

Sunday 15th February 2015

For years, space weather forecasters have worried about the aging ACE spacecraft, which provides early warnings of CMEs and other solar storms bearing down on Earth. Launched in 1997, ACE could fail at any moment, leaving us blind to incoming storms.

On Feb. 11th, NOAA, NASA and the US Air Force launched a replacement - The Deep Space Climate Observatory.

Read all about it on http://spaceweather.com

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Radio Astronomy and SDR Dongles

Sunday 15th February 2015

David Morgan 2W0CXV has released several papers covering the use of the RTL-SDR Dongle in radio astronomy

In 2011 David described the equipment configuration and software involved in setting to work a small 3m diameter amateur radio telescope using the FUNcube Dongle Pro software defined radio receiver.

At the end of 2014 he published a paper dealing with the setting up and use of a RTL-SDR dongle to receive meteor pings from the Graves Radar on 143.050 MHz.

He has now released two new papers covering the measurement of signal strength and RF noise sources with the RTL-SDR.

Download David’s papers from

You can join the BAA Radio Astronomy Yahoo Group at

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IARU President is new SOTA Mountain Goat

Saturday 14th February 2015

One of the latest amateurs to attain Mountain Goat as an activator in the popular Summits on the Air programme will be a familiar figure to many in the amateur radio world.

This is because he managed to combine his interest in SOTA whilst at the same time holding the post of IARU Region 1 President.

Hans Blondeel Timmerman PB2T who was President up to October last year, has activated summits in no fewer than 15 different countries, spanning the globe. Being from one of the low countries does present some challenges to a SOTA activator but the opportunity to travel obviously came in useful for Hans.

Hans Blondeel Timmerman PB2T operating from HB/VD-022 Berneuse.
Sunshine and some luxury on the summit are highly appreciated!

He says “ In October 2012 Paul HB9DST introduced K2XYL and me to the wonderful world of Summits on the Air. In that same month I retired, which meant a bit more free time for hiking, one of my wife’s favourites, and amateur radio. I have always tried to combine amateur radio with travel. So far I have been active from 80 DXCC entities. SOTA gave me a new start. When there is a chance to operate from another SOTA association I’ll give it a try. Of course I am not unique in that respect and there are others who have an even higher association score.”

”A great opportunity to learn more about a country is to go & activate a SOTA with a local amateur. I have fond memories of my SOTA activities in South Africa, Ireland, Macedonia, Lebanon, Romania, Poland and Australia. In all these countries I had the pleasure of having the company of a local amateur with whom I could discuss the scenery, antenna’s, radios etc. Experiencing the local cuisine during or after the SOTA activity is highly recommended. In recent months I got too focused on reaching 1000 activator points, It’s now time for 1, 2, 4 and 6 point summits which must be as beautiful as their higher brothers.”

Congratulations Hans!

Mark Walmsley G0VOF

SOTA Associate Press Officer

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Scientific Valentine's Day Cards

Saturday 14th February 2015

For each of the last two years, www.evilmadscientist.com has released sets of 'Download and Print' cards for Valentine’s Day. These cards are sure to tell the geek in your life how much you care for them.

The 2013 set had six equation-heavy cards, and the 2014 set was a set of six symbol-heavy cards. This year, they released six new cards, bringing the collection up to a total of 18 cards.

2015 Valentine's Day Cards

You can download the full set which includes all 18 designs from the three years (a 765 kB .PDF document).

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Implementing TV White Spaces

Saturday 14th February 2015

Ofcom will allow a new wireless technology access to the unused parts of the radio spectrum in the 470 to 790 MHz frequency band

The new technology, known as white spaces devices, will share this band with the existing uses, Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT), including local TV, and Programme Making and Special Events (PMSE), including in particular wireless microphone users.

The sharing will take place dynamically, controlled by databases which will hold information on the location of DTT and PMSE users and white space devices. They use this information, following the approach set out in this document, to allow white spaces devices access to the spectrum band, but only to the extent that this does not cause harmful interference to the existing users of the spectrum.

Implementing the decisions set out in this document is one of the ways Ofcom is meeting the increasing demand for more spectrum to deliver existing and new services. Our objective is to complete the implementation of our decisions so the new technology can be deployed by the end of 2015.

Download the document and draft Interface Requirement at

Ofcom press release

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Teenager charged with Wireless Telegraphy Act offences

Thursday 12th February 2015

Ofcom have shown they can take action under the Wireless Telegraphy Act when they wish to

From the Scotland Police website:

Police in Edinburgh have arrested and charged an 18-year-old man for over twenty offences committed under the Wireless Telegraphy Act.

The crimes, which included offensive remarks, took place between June 2014 and January 2015. They related to interference with communications on private radio networks that caused disruption to various locations in the Capital, including Edinburgh Airport and Edinburgh Castle.

As a result of five months of partnership investigation between the local Community Policing Team, Ofcom and the British Transport Police, an address at Craigmillar was searched on Monday (February 9) and equipment was recovered.

The matter is now being reported to the Procurator Fiscal.

Inspector Murray Starkey said:

“This type of crime may appear relatively low risk, however, the impact has caused genuine concern for the individuals and organisations involved, as well as significant disruption to their daily business.

“Our joint investigations have led to a man being charged with over twenty offences. This demonstrates the value of our partnership with Ofcom and is an example to others that perpetrators of these crimes will be traced and held to account.”

Mark Walls, Ofcom Spectrum Engineering and Enforcement Director, said:

“Deliberately interfering with private radio networks can cause severe disruption and distress. We worked closely with the Community Policing Team and the British Transport Police to thoroughly investigate and bring the illegal interference to an end.”

Anyone who has further information about these crimes is asked to contact Police Scotland on 101.

BBC News story

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IARUMS praised by Don Beattie G3BJ

Thursday 12th February 2015

The free IARU Monitoring System newsletter reports the IARU Region 1 President Don Beattie G3BJ said the team is doing an excellent job

Don, formerly from Essex, is an Honorary member of the Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society (CARS) and has served as both President and acting General Manager of the RSGB. He was appointed to the post of IARU Region 1 President in September, 2014.

The IARUMS newsletter describes the continuing wideband interference in the 7 MHz and 14 MHz bands from a Russian Over The Horizon Radar (OTHR) system.

The International Amateur Radio Union Monitoring System (IARUMS) Region 1 January 2015 newsletter can be read at

Reports of Amateur Band intruders can be logged on the IARU Region 1 Monitoring System Logger at

Monitor the short wave bands on-line with a web based SDR receiver at

IARU Monitoring System (IARUMS)

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TX Factor Episode 7 – Friday 13th February 2015

Thursday 12th February 2015

Season Two - Episode One or brand new Episode Seven?

Whatever your title preference, we are very excited to be launching into our second year of programmes, dedicated entirely to Amateur Radio in the UK and around the world..

Over the last 12 months, TX Factor has explored many facets of our hobby and promises to deliver so much more in the months ahead. Viewer feedback has been phenomenal after our first six episodes hit the screens in 2014 and we thank you for being a part of the experience, which has exceeded our wildest expectations.

Episode Seven launches on Friday 13th February 2015 and brings a diverse bunch of Amateur Radio flavours to the screen!

Nick Bennett, 2E0FGQ, meets up with one of radio’s oldest on-air comrades (who is very young at heart!) and Bob McCreadie, G0FGX, touches base with a much younger amateur, challenged with the task of getting more teenagers and young adults into the hobby.

Mike Marsh, G1IAR, visits the IOTA 50th Anniversary convention in Royal Windsor and very quickly figures out why this part of the hobby is both challenging and utterly addictive!

You’ll also be able to find out who was the lucky winner of the Yaesu VX-3 Handie, as we reveal the result of our second TX Factor competition. This fantastic prize was donated by Yaesu and Martin Lynch & Sons, who have now moved to their new superstore in Staines. (Convenient for visitors to the UK as it is near Heathrow Airport).
Wessex House, Drake Avenue, Staines, Middlesex TW18 2AP
0345 2300599 www.hamradio.co.uk/

Bob McCreadie is sent on assignment to Dartmoor to put an Innov Antennas LFA Q 3 element Quad Style Yagi to the test - with some impressive results, and even more impressive scenery!

You’ll also get information on how to win one of these superb antennas as we announce the brand new TX Factor competition during the programme and give you the chance to be a TX Factor 2015 winner!
Why not show TX Factor at your club nights?

TX Factor's fast-paced, stimulating shows are full of items that your club members will enjoy. Our episodes make a great filler for those nights when you don't have a speaker or activity planned. If unreliable Internet is an issue at your club venue, contact us for a free link to the episodes you want to show so you can download in advance.

Keep an eye on the web site!

Between episodes we regularly post special mini editions featuring rig reviews and other breaking amateur radio news in TXtra
There's TXtalk too!

Hear the weekly GB2RS News from the RSGB in broadcast quality along with a host of other regular, topical ham radio audio features. Subscribe to TXtalk as a podcast and you'll always have the latest episodes sent direct to your devices.
You'll find all this and more waiting for you at www.txfactor.co.uk

And don’t forget…..we are always very interested to hear what your club or organisation is doing to encourage more young people in to the hobby or your thoughts on what needs to be done to ensure amateur radio gets the infusion of young blood that it needs to survive. Let us know by dropping us a line at info@txfactor.co.uk

TX Factor is sponsored by Martin Lynch and Sons and Yaesu Musen Co

For further information please contact:
Bob McCreadie: +44 (0)7989 406574
Mike Marsh: +44 (0)7767 822149
Nick Bennett: +44 (0)7836 246700 (mobile)
Nick Bennett: +44 (0)1749 346320 (landline)

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New version of DXMonitor

Thursday 12th February 2015

Peter, VE3SUN , has released an updated version of his extremely useful programme DXMonitor.

DXMonitor is a standalone Windows program which monitors the DX announcements available on the internet at DX Summit, HB9DRV and connections to one or more local and international DX Cluster Telnet Servers.

New DX spots are displayed in the main window with user selectable bands, fonts, colors, and highlighting of alerts and local spotters. A band map tracks the current stations on the air by frequency. Maps show the openings with buttons to select bands and times.

The predicted signal strength of the spotted station at your QTH can be displayed with each spot. A 24 hour propagation prediction by band takes only one click.

DX Monitor builds a database of DX Spots, Announcements, and WWV information and includes many tools which can be used by DXers to improve their chances of working a new country.

The latest improvement enables import of spots from DXSummit from as far back as 1994 up to the current date, with time, date, band, callsign and many other filters.

The latest beta version is here.

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Receiving aircraft position data with the RPI-2

Thursday 12th February 2015

On the RS-Online site, Andrew Black describes how to use the Raspberry Pi 2 with GNU Radio and a £10 ($15) RTL-SDR dongle to receive aircraft data

He used the combination to receive position and heading information from aircraft Mode-S transponders.

Read the article at

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IOTA News from the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

Thursday 12th February 2015

Island activities:

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

AF-003; ZD8, Ascension: Werner/DJ9KH, Axel/DK9BDN, and Christian/ DL6KAC are going to put Ascension Island on the air between Feb. 2 and March 6 with the call ZD8D. QRV on 160-6m on CW, RTTY, and RTTY with a focus on the low bands. QSL via DL9HO (d/B).

EU-038, PA, Noord Holland/ Friesland/ Groningen Province group:
Frank/PC2D, Arnold/PD2C, Rudi/PA4UNX, Gerard/PA7CW, Monique/DO3MKT, and William/DO3WKS activate Ameland Island (WLOTA 1059) from the 13th to the 16th with their homecalls. QRV on 160-10m in SSB and cW, as PC2D during the PACC Contest. QSL via homecalls, LoTW.

EU-047, DL, Niedersachsen State group: Robert, DK2RO, is going to get on the air from Spiekeroog (DID/GIA N-08) between the 15th and 20th. QRV during the morning and evening hours on 40-10m on CW, some SSB and digital modes. Also active as DK2RO/p from the Nationalpark und Biosphaerenreservat Niedersaechsisches Wattenmeer (DLFF-010).
QSL via homecall (d/B).

NA-146; FJ, St. Barthelemy: Pat/N2IEN, Lee/WW2DX, Lori/KB2HZI, and Ray/W2RE will operate from from St. Barth (DIFO FJ-001, WLOTA 0377) between the 11th and 17th, signing FJ/homecalls. QRV on 160-6m, QSL info to be announced on the air.

OC-086; KH0, Northern Mariana Islands: Kazu, JH8PHT, returns to Saipan (WW Loc. QK25uf) for Feb. 11 to 14, operating as AH0KT. QRV on 80-6m in SSB, CW, and digital modes. QSL via JH8PHT.

SA-036; P4, Aruba: Jack, WX3P, operates as P40JP from Aruba Island (WLOTA 0033) on 40-10m from the 14th to the 19th. QSL via homecall.

Compiled by Friedrich, DL4BBH
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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FCC seeks comment on radar sharing schemes that could displace Amateur Radio at 76-81 GHz

Wednesday 11th February 2015

The FCC is seeking comment on issues involving expanded use of various radar applications in the 76-81 GHz band, which Amateur Radio shares with other services.

The band 77.5-78 GHz is allocated to the Amateur and Amateur Satellite services on a primary basis, and to the Radio Astronomy and Space Research services on a secondary basis.

"We undertake this proceeding to expand the available spectrum for radar operations in the 76-81 GHz band," the FCC said in a detailed Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Reconsideration Order (NPRM&RO), released February 5 in ET Docket 15-26. The Commission said the proposals include allocation changes as well as provisions "to ensure that new and incumbent operations can share the available frequencies in the band."

The NPRM&RO can be found in PDF format on the web at,

The FCC NPRM&RO is in response to a Petition for Rulemaking (RM-11666) filed in 2012 by Robert Bosch LLC and to two petitions for reconsideration of the Commission's 2012 Report and Order (R&O) addressing vehicular radar systems in the 76-77 GHz band. ET 15-26 incorporates earlier proceedings.

Among many issues, the FCC seeks comment on the possibility of reallocating the Amateur Radio and Amateur Satellite services from 76-81 GHz, and it asks for suggestions on "alternative spectrum that we might make available in this general region."

Bosch's 2012 Petition sought to modify the FCC's Part 15 rules to expand the operation of unlicensed vehicular radar systems from 76-77 GHz to the 76-81 GHz band to develop short-range radar (SRR) applications. The Bosch petition received "general support from the automotive industry," the Commission said.

In its petition, Bosch said that it anticipated no interference issues between Amateur Radio operations and vehicular radar operations at 77-81 GHz. "It notes that it is unconvinced after several meetings with the technical staff of ARRL that there is any 'significant incompatibility,'" the FCC NPRM&RO recounted, "and describes how amateur operations in the band 'tend to be largely experimental, occurring in geographic areas such as mountaintops and other rural areas where motor vehicle operation is not typical.'"

The FCC noted, however, that it "has previously recognized evidence of potential interference conflicts" between Amateur Radio and vehicular radar systems in the 76-77 GHz band, and believes the potential for "similar compatibility issues" could exist above 77 GHz. More than 10 years ago the FCC suspended Amateur Radio and Amateur Satellite operation in the 76-77 GHz segment and recently extended the suspension.

"Our goal is to adopt rules that address amateur use, including Amateur Satellite use, within the 76-81 GHz band in a comprehensive and consistent manner," the FCC asserted.

The FCC said that to the extent commenters believe Amateur Radio can continue to use the 4 millimeter band, it seeks comments on "what additional rule modifications we would have to adopt to realize successful shared use of the entire band." One possibility the FCC raised was altering current amateur power limits in that portion of the spectrum. The Commission said it also wants to "develop a record on the types of amateur use, and the extent of such use, that is currently undertaken" at 4 millimeters.

The ARRL plans to comment in the FCC proceeding.


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HRN video: Ham Radio and the Internet

Wednesday 11th February 2015

Radio Hams were 'early adopters' of the Internet, and were instrumental in developing the pre-internet Bulletin Board system, the landline based one, in addition to the Packet Radio system

But that doesn't mean all hams are now Internet experts.

In this episode, Rich Casey N5CSU (Gary's partner in 100 Years of Ham Experience) has a ton of tips and techniques for wringing more out of the Internet.

Rich has posted links to all the sites he talks about on his blog at:

And one more thing. I needed a generic "The Internet" graphic for the title. I let Google do the work, and it found me all kinds of globes and webs with computer screens flying out of them. And then there was the comic I used from http://xkcd.com/

You'll probably have to pause the video to read it. They describe themselves as "A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language." Quite a potent combination, and I wish I were 1/100th as creative.

Watch HRN 188: Ham Radio and the Internet

Previous editions of HamRadioNow

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Radio ham discovers Raspberry Pi 2 Xenon flash glitch

Tuesday 10th February 2015

BBC News reports on the discovery by Essex radio amateur Peter Onion G0DZB that the Raspberry Pi 2 reboots when photographed using a Xenon flash

It appears a SMPS chip on the board is not light resistant.

Peter G0DZB is a regular at the Amateur Radio Skills Nights run by the Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society (CARS) where he demonstrates many practical aspects of amateur radio and occasionally brings along his Raspberry Pi.

The Skills Nights are held on the 3rd Monday of each month at 7pm in the Danbury Village Hall, Main Street, Danbury, Essex, CM3 4NQ. The next one takes place on Monday, February 16. It is free and everyone is welcome to attend.

Read the BBC News story at

The Register story - 'Camera-shy' Raspberry Pi 2 suffers strange 'XENON DEATH FLASH' glitch

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New RSGB Services Map

Tuesday 10th February 2015

The Radio Society of Great Britain continues the enhancements to its website by adding a Services Map

The Services Map provides an overview of every service the RSGB offers on a single page. You can find out more about each service by hovering your mouse over its name.

See the map at

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DMR radios at Taylor Made RF

Monday 9th February 2015

Taylor Made RF are now stocking Hytera DMR radios programmed for the DMR network as well as the Connect Systems CS-700 hand held radios

See http://www.tmrf.co.uk/product-category/digitalradio/ for full details

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IOTA News from OPDX

Monday 9th February 2015

Island activities:

AF-032. (Update) Operators YL Elvira/IV3FSG ad Carlo/IK6CAC will be active as 5H1ES and 5H1OC, respectively, from Zanzibar Island between February 18th and March 11th. Activity will be holiday style on the HF bands using CW, SSB and the Digital modes. They are there as a voluntary operators of the Informatici Senza Frontiere, so their activity will be limited to their free time (A Humanitarian DXpedition). QSL 5H1OC via IK6CAC and 5H1ES via IK3GES. Depending of their access to have Internet, their logs will be online, either at <www.ik6cac.com> and ClubLog's OQRS in realtime or when Interet is reachable. Logs will be uploaded also to LoTW, eQSL, ClubLog and HamQTH.

EU-047. Robert, DK2RO, will be active from Spiekeroog Island (DID/GIA N-08) between February 15-20th. Activity will be on 40-10 meters CW using IC-7200 w/100w into a homemade dipole and a symmetrical tuner. Operation will be as time permits. The island is part of the Wadden Sea World Heritage Site by the UNESCO and the Wittbülten National Park. Robert also plans to activate the National Park and Nature Reserve Lower Saxony Wadden Sea (WWFF DLFF-010) as DK2RO/p. QSL via DK2RO, by the Bureau or direct. All QSOs will be uploaded to LOTW. For update,

NA-072. Members of the Colon DX Group will be active as H91T from Taboga Island between February 27th and March 1st. Activity will be on 40-10 meters. QSL via HP2BWJ. For updates, watch:

OC-274. (New IOTA) Starting sometime mid-February, three Indonesian operators will be active from Lucipara Island which has never been activated before. Callsign has not yet been announced. Activity will be on the HF bands. More details will be forthcoming.

OC-296. (NEW IOTA) Operators Claudio/I1SNW, Nando/IT9YRE and Mike/K9AJ will activate Tobi Island, Palau, as T88GI, T88TI and T88XX, respectively, between March 11-13th. They plan to have 3 stations on the air operating CW and SSB. Pilot station is Alfio, IT9EJW. QSL T88TI via IT9YRE. QSL T88GI via I1SNW. QSL T88XX via K9AJ.
QSLs are preferred through ClubLog's OQRS. Look for logs to be uploaded after the DXpedition. For more details and updates, watch:

SA-027. (Update to OPDX.1200) CW operator PY2XB (PR5X) can not go with the group that will activate Paz Island between February 19-23rd. Operations will be limited to SSB and Digital modes by PR5P (PT2OP) and ZW5WIM (PU5IKE). QSL via their home callsigns.

2015 IOTA ACTIVATIONS. Imam, YB4IR, announced that he plans to activate the following island groups this year:
OC-241 - Rote Island OC-252 - Temajo Island
OC-250 - Masalembu Island OC-274 - Lucipara islands
The OC-274 IOTA Group has never been activated (see above). No dates were provided. More details will be forthcoming.

IOTA TOUR. Christian, EA3NT, who will be one of the operators of VK7FG from Flinders Island (OC-195) between March 6-9th (see OPDX.1200), now plans to activate some of Solomon Islands IOTAs as H44NT on his own after the OC-195 operation. His tentative schedule is as follows:
March 11-14th — His target is Russell Islands (OC-168), not activated since 2001, if not then Florida Islands (OC-158).
March 15-16th - Bellona Island (OC-127), not activated since 2009.
ADDED NOTE - Christian will carry 2 batteries and solar panels to run his 100w radio in case there is no power available at any time of the day on any of the islands, especially on the Russell islands.
March 17-18th - Heading back to Sydney to fly home, Christian will stop over in Brisbane and try to activate one of the islands in the OC-137 IOTA group signing as VK4/EA3NT.

ALL QSLs are via M0OXO's OQRS. Please do NOT send your card via the Bureau, it will NOT be received. For complete details and updates, watch the QRZ.com at: http://qrz.com/db/H44NT

RSGB IOTA website

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

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US hams track down indoor marijuana growers causing radio interference

Sunday 8th February 2015

US ham radio operators are helping police catch indoor marijuana growers who are causing RFI interference.

An article in the February 4 Police One magazine says

"Reports have begun to flood into the National Association for Amateur Radio about interference with their ham radios from their neighbor’s marijuana grows. The most complaints come from California and Colorado, for obvious reasons. Many ham radio operators began to see a correlation with marijuana grows and this RFI.

One amateur radio operator located five marijuana grows near his house due to RFI alone! Many ham operators can locate a grow simply by taking a radio and portable antennae out into their neighborhood and using the radio to triangulate the exact location of the grow."


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Camera to record doomed ATV's disintegration - from inside

Sunday 8th February 2015

On Monday, February 9, ESA astronaut Samantha Christoforetti, IZ0UDF, will float into Europe's space ferry to install a special infrared camera, set to capture unique interior views of the spacecraft's break-up on re-entry.

The battery-powered camera will be trained on the Automated Transfer Vehicles forward hatch, and will record the shifting temperatures of the scene before it, explains Neil Murray, overseeing the project for ESA.

Recording at 10 frames per second, it should show us the last 10 seconds or so of the ATV. We dont know exactly what we might see - might there be gradual deformations appearing as the spacecraft comes under strain, or will everything come apart extremely quickly?

Our Break-Up Camera, or BUC, flying for the first time on this mission, will complement NASAs Reentry Break-up Recorder.

Whatever results we get back will be shared by our teams, and should tell us a lot about the eventual reentry of the International Space Station as well as spacecraft reentry in general.

Every mission of ESAs ATV ferry ends in the same way filled with Space Station rubbish then burning up in the atmosphere, aiming at a designated spacecraft graveyard in an empty stretch of the South Pacific.

But the reentry of this fifth and final ATV is something special. NASA and ESA are treating it as an opportunity to gather detailed information that will help future spacecraft reentries.

Accordingly, ATV-5 will be steered into a shallow descent compared to the standard deorbit path.

This ATVs fiery demise will be tracked with a battery of cameras and imagers, on the ground, in the air and even from the Station itself, and this time on the vehicle itself.

ESAs camera will not survive the reentry, expected to occur some 80-70 km up, but it is linked to the SatCom sphere with a ceramic thermal protection system to endure the searing 1500C.

Once SatCom is falling free, it will transmit its stored data to any Iridium communication satellites in view.

Plunging through the top of the atmosphere at around 7 km/s, it will itself be surrounded by scorching plasma known to block radio signals, but the hope is that its omnidirectional antenna will be able to exploit a gap in its trail.

If not, signalling will continue after the plasma has cleared somewhere below 40 km altitude.

Japans i-Ball camera managed to gather images of its Station supply ferry breaking up in 2012. Another i-Ball was planned to fly with ATV-5, but was lost in the Antares rocket explosion last October.

The full story with photos can be found on the ESA web:

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New open source data mode FSQ

Sunday 8th February 2015

Con Wassilieff ZL2AFP has developed a new fast simple chat data mode for use on HF and VHF

FSQ is a Fast Simple QSO mode for MF/HF. It works well under NVIS and sunrise/sunset conditions on the lower bands, and also works well for short skip on higher bands. It can also be used on VHF FM, and clearly has a much wider useful range of operating conditions that other more conventional digital modes. Sending speed can be varied between 20 and 60 WPM.

FSQ is designed for simple but effective 'Chat' operation, rather like phone text messaging or Skype™ chat; fast and easy to use. You don't use 'overs' as you would with a conventional digital or voice mode. It is highly suited to net operation. You just type a sentence and press Enter.

An important factor in the design of FSQ is that no synchronising process is required to locate and decode the received characters. Lack of sync means that reception is much less influenced by propagation timing changes that affect almost all other modes, since timing is quite unimportant; it almost completely eliminates impulse noise disruption; and it also contributes to very fast acquisition of the signal (decoding reliably within one symbol of start of reception). Fast acquisition removes the need for addition of extra idle characters at the start of transmission, and this leads to a very slick system. Add high resistance to QRM and QRN, thanks to the low baud rate, and you have a system so robust that it does not need error correction.

Sensitivity is believed to be about -13 dB SNR at 6 baud, and -16 dB SNR at 3 baud. That's about 10dB better and several times faster than 12 WPM Morse.

FSQ is NOT compatible in any way with EXChat or DominoEX. While also a Chat mode, it uses a completely new and revolutionary protocol.

Read more about FSQ at

Direct download link

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D-STAR, DMR and C4FM Repeater Maps

Saturday 7th February 2015

Radio amateurs use at least five different and incompatible amateur radio digital voice modes on the VHF/UHF bands, D-STAR, Motorola's DMR, dPMR, Yaesu System Fusion C4FM and FreeDV

Of those D-STAR, DMR and C4FM have widespread repeater networks and there is currently one dPMR repeater GB7RR.

Yaesu supply the DR-1XE dual band repeater which can operate in both Digital SystemFusion (C4FM) mode and the traditional Analogue FM mode. It features an Automatic Mode Selection function.

FreeDV was initially developed for HF but is now being used at VHF as well. It is a free software solution for digital voice making use of your PC's soundcard, see

Maps showing the D-STAR, DMR and C4FM repeaters are available on the UK Repeater website.

D-STAR Repeater map

DMR Repeater Map

Yaesu System Fusion C4FM Repeater Map

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Friday 6th February 2015

The first round of contests each Tuesday evening for the month of January (2015) have just finished and you will be pleased to read that Wirral & District Amateur Radio Club are running 3rd out of 85 currently participating UK RSGB affiliated Clubs.

To read the results click on the following link :-

http://www.rsgbcc.org/cgi-bin/vhfresults.pl?ContestSeries=Overall UKAC&year=2015

We recognise that contesting is not everyone's niche in amateur radio, however, if you speak with any Club Members who take part every Tuesday you will quickly appreciate the enthusiasm and camaraderie the event is generating ! 

If you click on "UKAC Contests" on the left hand menu, you can read all about the contests and as always, we would love to see some more Club Members taking part on a regular basis. 

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Council attempts to use CEQA against radio ham

Friday 6th February 2015

Napa City Council is attempting to get a California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) review of the amateur radio antenna mast belonging to Jeff Hullquist W6BYS

A few people living in the same neighborhood as Hullquist have waged a year-long campaign against his 16.76 meter (55 foot) antenna mast.

Council members agreed that limiting Hullquist’s hours of use likely clashed with federal law, which says radio operators must be reasonably accommodated. Limiting or restricting usage isn’t likely legal.

So on Tuesday the City Council asked for a California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) review to determine what impact – if any – Jeff Hullquist’s tower at his Coombs Street home has on the cultural integrity of the historic Napa neighborhood.

Jeff Hullquist W6BYS said after the meeting that the environment study was a nonsense decision intended to harm him financially. He’s required to pay for the CEQA report, which could cost him thousands.

Depending on discussions with his lawyer, Hullquist said, he might take the matter to federal court.

Read the Napa Valley Register story at

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WG2XPN 70 MHz Beacon update

Friday 6th February 2015

Brian WA1ZMS, licensee of the 3 kW ERP 70.005 MHz WG2XPN beacon, reports the license has been renewed until May 1, 2017

The Experimental License for WG2XPN with one-way only beacon operations on 70.005 MHz with 3 kW ERPd from here in the US (QTH: FM07fm) has been renewed until May 1, 2017.

As such, it gives the only 4m North American beacon a chance to be heard via TA in the Europe for another 2 years. That’s a good thing in my mind. Thanks again goes to the FCC & the Society of Broadcast Engineers here in the US for their continued support; after all this portion of spectrum is still reserved for TV service only and no US 4m ham band appears possible in the future.

I am always hoping for a repeat of the 7000+km Eskip DX reports that took place in 2013. To all EU stations on 4m: Remember to point your beams West during Eskip season and give a long listen on 70.005MHz. You might just hear something!

UK Beacons Yahoo Groups

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End of BBC World Service on 1323 kHz

Thursday 5th February 2015

The BBC World Service English is to end medium wave radio services to Eastern Mediterranean on 1323kHz in April

The BBC announced on February 3 that the English language radio service in the Eastern Mediterranean - including Israel, much of Lebanon, Cyprus and southern Turkey - will end on 25 April 2015.

Director of BBC World Service, Fran Unsworth, says: “Our English language service will still be available via satellite and on the internet - which is increasingly how our audiences tune in. However, we cannot identify a financially viable method by which to continue the medium wave radio service. It is for this reason that we have decided to end these transmissions.“

Audiences in the region will be able to listen to BBC World Service English 24 hours day through the direct-to-home satellite service on Eutelsat 13 (13 deg East, 11,117 MHz Vertical) or through the internet at BBCWorldservice.com

BBC statement

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ISS ham radio SSTV in UK press

Thursday 5th February 2015

The Daily Mail reports that 22-year-old Radoslaw Karwacki received the recent amateur radio Slow Scan Television (SSTV) transmissions from the International Space Station

Radoslaw used an RTL-SDR dongle costing about £10 ($15) to receive the SSTV signal on 145.800 MHz FM on February 1. The antenna was a simple dipole and he used the free SDRSharp and MMSSTV software to receive and display the image.

'These images are not transmitted regularly. I was really lucky to receive them, because it was my first experience with this kind of equipment,' he told MailOnline.

'I blindly tuned in on that frequency during ISS flyby and happened to receive the signal.'

Read the article by Daily Mail Science and Technology reporter Jonathan O'Callaghan at

Radoslaw Karwacki's original Reddit post and comments

ISS SSTV http://amsat-uk.org/2015/01/31/iss-sstv-operational/

How to receive ISS SSTV

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New SOTABEAMS Phonepole

Thursday 5th February 2015

Portable radio specialist SOTABEAMS has just announced the Phonepole.

It's the latest addition to their growing line of Powerpole DC distribution products.

Increasingly a mobile phone is becoming an essential element of portable operating. It can be used for checking the DX cluster, as a data-mode terminal or for self-spotting - as well as being a valuable aid to safety.

The Phonepole combines a 25 Amp Powerpole splitter with a USB mobile phone charger in one rugged, lightweight unit.
This allows the portable operator to use their radio battery to charge a mobile phone out in the field from their radio battery supply.

The Phonepole is available as a kit or ready-built and is likely to prove popular for portable operators across the World.

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IOTA News from the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

Thursday 5th February 2015

Island activities:

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

AS-074; 9M2; Selangor / Negeri Sembilan State group: Members of the Melake DX Club and the Kuala Lumpur DX Team are going to activate Indah Island as 9M4SI from the 7th to the 9th. QRV on 40-10m on CW, SSB, and PSK. Plans depend on situational circumstances. QSL via 9M2YOT (d). Logs will be uploaded to ClubLog.

EU-003; CU1, CU2; Eastern Azores group: Karel/OK2ZI is currently active holiday-style as CT8/OK2ZI until Feb. 6 from Sao Miguel Island (DIP AZ-002, PIP AC-002, WLOTA 2016). QRV on 160-10m on CW, SSB, and digital modes. QSL only via OQRS and LoTW.

NA-015; Co, KG4; Cuba: Jim/WB2REM, Bob/N4PSK, Cliff/N4SIA, and Nancy/K9DIG plan to activate Guantanamo Bay (WLOTA 0358) between Feb. 6 and 13 as KG4HI, KG4RQ, KG4AS, and KG4YL. QRV on HF on CW, SSB, and digital modes. QSL KG4RQ and KG4HI via WB2REM (d), LoTW, eQSL; KG4YL via K9DIG (d/B), LoTW, eQSL, KG4AS via N4SIA.

NA-069; W4; Florida State South West (Charlotte / Lee County) group: Operators Stan/W9SMR, Bob/KC9UR, Den/W2DEN, and Net/N2RDX, members of "PODXS 070", will get on the air as W9SMR/4 from Gasparilla Island (USi FL034S, WW Loc. EL86ur) and Boca Grande Lighthouse (ARLHS USA-910) on the 9th. QRV between 13z and 23z on 40-10m on SSB, PSK31, JT9, and JT65. QSL direct via W9SMR, LoTW.

NA-080; C6; Little Bahama Bank group: Bob/N4BP as C6AKQ, Tim/N4UM as C6ARU und Mike/K4RUM as C6AUM are going to put Grand Bahama Island (WLOTA 0527) on the air between the 9th and 24th. Mike and Bob are going to participate in the CQWW RTTY contest. They will be joined on the 20th by Chris/NX4N (C6AWW). The group also plans to work in the ARRL International DX Contest (C6AKQ on 160m, C6AWW on 80, and C6AUM on 40m). QSL via homecalls, LoTW.

NA-102; FG; Guadeloupe: Philippe/F1DUZ operates holiday-style between Feb. 6 and March 16 from the E.M.E. Guadeloupe club station at Saint Anne, Guadeloupe Island (DIFO FG-001, WLOTA 0644, FFF-155, WW Loc. FK96HF). QRV as FG4KH on HF and 2m EME. QSL via F1DUZ (d/B).

OC-022; YB9; Bali Island: Emmanuel/F5LIT will get on the air from Bali (WLOTA 2589) between the 4th and 17th. QRV on 20-10m, QSL via h/c (d), LoTW.

OC-086; KH0; Northern Mariana Islands: Sean/EI2CR will be active again as KH0/EI2CR between the 4th and the 7th from Saipan (USi NI-002S, WLOTA 1333). QSL via EI2CR (d/B).

Compiled by Friedrich, DL4BBH
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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Voice of Guyana back on the air

Thursday 5th February 2015

Shortwave radio technician, Jamie Labadia has repaired the shortwave transmitter and antenna at Radio Guyana, bringing it back on the air.

The station is currently broadcasting on 3,290 kHz AM at 1 kW:

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RSGB Youth Committee Minutes released

Wednesday 4th February 2015

The RSGB Youth Committee met on January 19 and discussed the new Youth Newsletter expected in February

The RSGB is to publish a Youth Newsletter aimed at people under the age of 26 and will include some youth-related news and one or two technical but easy to understand articles.

Read the minutes at

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Wartime life as a Morse code operator

Wednesday 4th February 2015

94-year-old Connie Hird recalls her days as a Morse code operator during WWII

Connie did her initial training at Compton Bassett in Wiltshire.

She says this included sending and receiving Morse code messages and the assembling, repairing and full understanding of wireless sets in use at the time. After this in-depth training she progressed to a post at North West Central Communications Depot just off the old East Lancashire Road at Blackbrook near Wigan.

She describes the outward appearance of this extremely important centre resembled a huddle of hen and chicken huts in a small hedge-lined field, but these masked the entrance to a huge underground complex containing masses of rooms holding banks of teleprinters, telephone switchboards, Morse code stations and wireless telegraphy sections.

Read the Yorkshire Post story at

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Iran’s Fajr satellite uses Ham Radio bands

Wednesday 4th February 2015

Nico Janssen PA0DLO reports that the Iranian Fajr satellite has an amateur radio band downlink on 437.538 MHz

On the AMSAT Bulletin Board Nico says that it carries a camera for Earth observations and should have a telemetry downlink on 437.538 MHz and a command uplink in the 144-146 MHz amateur radio band.

The Iranian satellite Fajr or ‘Dawn’ was launched on February 2, 2015 at 0850 UT from the Imam Khomeini Space Center which is south of Semnan in the northern part of the Dasht-e-Kavir desert.

The 50 kg satellite was carried on a Safir launcher into an initial orbit of 223 km by 470 km with an inclination of 55.5° and has been given an object ID of 2015-006A 40387.

It is Iran’s fourth satellite and has propulsion in the form of a cold gas thruster. Presumably the thruster will be used to circularize the orbit at around 470 km which may give it a lifetime of over a year.

Fajr real-time tracking map and predictions

UHF satellite frequency list

AMSAT Bulletin Board (AMSAT-BB)

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SDR Course videos

Wednesday 4th February 2015

Michael Ossmann has released a series of educational videos covering Software Defined Radio (SDR)

The description says: This ongoing video series will be a complete course in Software Defined Radio. In this course, you'll build flexible SDR applications using GNU Radio through exercises that will help you learn the fundamentals of Digital Signal Processing (DSP) needed to master SDR.

See the course videos at

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RSGB publish Ham Radio Band Plans

Tuesday 3rd February 2015

The Radio Society of Great Britain has published the updated HF, VHF, UHF and Microwave band plans on its website

Among the changes is clarification that VHF WSPR frequencies in the band plans are transmitted centre frequencies and not dial settings.
The new amateur satellite allocation at 144.0-144.025 MHz and the new 146 MHz and 2300 MHz bands are also featured.

You can read the band plans online or download PDF or Excel files.

Read the RSGB announcement at

Band plan page

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Amateur Radio payloads share ride into space with Soil Moisture Monitoring satellite

Tuesday 3rd February 2015

Four NASA Educational Launch of Nanosatellites (ELaNA-X) CubeSats carrying Amateur Radio payloads launched successfully January 31 from California's Vandenberg Air Force Base.

The primary payload for the Delta II launcher was the Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) satellite. SMAP's onboard radar will share Amateur Radio spectrum at 1.26 GHz. Amateur Radio is secondary on the 23 centimeter band, which covers 1240 to 1300 MHz.

"This is a good example of a compatible sharing partner," ARRL CEO David Sumner, K1ZZ, observed. "Any interference to amateur communication in the band will be brief as the satellite passes overhead."

SMAP and the four CubeSats all deployed successfully. The research CubeSats, launched on behalf of universities, will downlink their telemetry on the 70 centimeter band. The CubeSats and their downlink frequencies (modes) are:

Firebird II FU3 437.405 MHz (19k2 FSK)

Firebird I FU4 437.230 MHz (19k2 FSK)

GRIFEX 437.485 MHz (9k6 FSK)

ExoCube (CP-10) 437.270 MHz (9k6 FSK)

The GRIFEX satellite is a University of Michigan project, in cooperation with JPL, while ExoCube (CP-10) is a space weather satellite developed by the California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo and the University of Wisconsin in partnership with NASA, and sponsored by the National Science Foundation.

The FIREBIRD program is a collaborative CubeSat space weather mission of two CubeSats designed and developed by Montana State University, the University of New Hampshire, The Aerospace Corporation, and Los Alamos National Laboratories - the FIREBIRD consortium. The FIREBIRD mission also is funded by the NSF.

SMAP carries a "synthetic aperture radar." The L band (1.26 GHz) radar is designed to measure backscatter off the Earth's surface.

The amount of backscatter returned to the radar changes with the amount of moisture in the soil. RF pulses at this frequency are less affected by weather or by a moderate vegetation cover.

The satellite is at approximately 425 miles up in a near-polar, sun-synchronous orbit. SMAP also includes a radiometer operating at
1.41 GHz to measure naturally occurring RF energy given off by Earth's surface.

Source: ARRL

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Notice of interruption to MSF 60 kHz Time and Frequency Signal

Tuesday 3rd February 2015

Please note that the MSF 60 kHz time and frequency signal broadcast from Anthorn Radio Station will be off during the day for maintenance work from:

Monday 2 March to Thursday 19 March between 08:00 UTC and 18:00 UTC - service off-air each day (but will be back on air overnight and at weekends).

The interruption to the transmission is required to allow essential maintenance work to be carried out in safety.

Additional MSF Outage information

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Ofcom varies mobile operators' licences to improve coverage

Tuesday 3rd February 2015

Ofcom has varied the licences of the UK’s four mobile network operators to improve mobile coverage across the country.

This follows an agreement reached between the Government and EE, O2, Three and Vodafone in December 2014 to increase mobile coverage.

The licence variations commit the four operators to provide voice coverage across 90% of the UK’s landmass by the end of 2017.

In light of these variations, Ofcom will shortly consult further on the annual licence fees for the 900 MHz and 1800 MHz spectrum bands.

The Government directed Ofcom in 2010 to revise these fees to reflect full market value after the completion of the 4G auction. The two bands are used for 2G and 3G, including voice calls, and some 4G services.

Improving mobile coverage

Helping to improve mobile coverage and quality of service are important objectives for Ofcom.

Ofcom continues to make progress on its plan to help improve coverage in the UK and provide consumers with reliable information, such as maps, on mobile reception.

Ofcom published research on both mobile voice quality of service and mobile broadband speeds in 2014 and will publish further research on mobile data this spring.

This kind of research is designed to support consumers in choosing a service that best suits their needs, while helping promote competition between mobile operators on service quality.

Separately, Ofcom is working with Government on its £150m mobile infrastructure project, which is funding mobile phone masts in uncovered areas.

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Raspberry Pi 2 unveiled with faster processor and more memory

Monday 2nd February 2015

A new budget priced Raspberry Pi 2 Model b computer has been announced today offering young coders and others a faster processor and more memory than before, but at about the same price.

It is roughly six times more powerful than the precious version with double the memory and smoother video as well.

Read the report on the BBC website by

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K1N Navassa Island DXpedition

Sunday 1st February 2015

Navassa: We're on the way!

As you know, our plan was to begin helicopter trips this morning as soon as USFWS gave us the go-ahead. We hoped to get in as many as three trips in today.

Because of the presence of a congressional delegation in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, air services prevented the first of the two Navassa-bound USFWS helicopter flights to take off until 1830z. The first flight carried three of the six USFWS personnel, so the helicopter had to return to Guantanamo Bay and return with the remaining three USFWS people. It's about an hour each way so all of the above equals delay.

We received the call at 1830z with the OK to start our trips. Our first flight left a few minutes later at 1900z and should land about 2030z. It's a two-hour round trip between Jamaica and Navassa so we won't get but one flight completed today.

The first flight contained infrastructure materials and three K1N operators: George N4GRN, Glenn WØGJ and Jerry WB9Z.

Flights will resume at first light tomorrow and we should get most of the material and men ashore tomorrow (Feb 1st). Building the camp will be time-consuming and labor-intensive but we hope be able to get one or two stations on the air tomorrow evening. It will be another day or so before we're fully operational on all bands.

Because of the weather issues encountered this week by our supply vessel "Electra", we decided offload all the MREs, gasoline and water in Jamaica and transport it all via helicopter. More trips, more $$ but in the interest of safety.

Bernie McClenny, W3UR
Editor of: The Daily DX
The Weekly DX
How's DX?

Two week trial - http://www.dailydx.com/trial.html


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Gulyas BNC-to-SMA Adapters - updated

Sunday 1st February 2015

Stephen Gulyas has been fabricating the absolute best BNC-to-SMA antenna adapters for several years. These are not 'one size fits all' adapters: Stephen realizes that to protect your handheld radio's delicate SMA connector the adapter must 'mate' solidly to the case of the radio..

He has just updated his offerings - now covering more than 50 HT models.

And the reasonable price has remained the same for as long as I can remember.

If you swap antennas a lot.. or otherwise connect/disconnect antenna/ cables a lot, then you need one of these adapters. Otherwise, budget for a $45-75 antenna jack replacement repair job down the line.. (grin)

The three-page .pdf document is posted on the ANTENNAS page at

Clint K6LCS

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Getting data from New Horizons

Sunday 1st February 2015

Emily Lakdawalla explains why radio signals from the Pluto probe New Horizons take so long to get to Earth and why it uses both left and right circular polarization

Read her article at

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Radio Sweden's SW and MW transmitters

Sunday 1st February 2015

A few days ago, I discovered a very interesting documentary video that gives a look at the Radio Sweden shortwave transmitters at Hörby, and the Sölvesborg AM transmitter. Håkan Widenstedt, was the Chief Engineer for Radio Sweden when this film was shot in 2006.

What is interesting about this video is the detailed view of the inside of the shortwave and mediumwave transmitters, and it offers some insight into the day-to-day work of an engineer for a large international broadcaster. In it's day, Radio Sweden was a much loved and popular station, and even today is sadly missed.

The film is in memory of Håkan, who passed away in 2011.
It is 30 minutes long and was filmed and produced by Kelly Lindman. The conversation is in Swedish with English subtitles. Special thanks to Jan Oosterveen for making this available for all of us to enjoy.

The link is at:

73 de

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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