This edition of CALLING CQ was emailed to subscribers on May 15, 2017

Hamvention week is finally underway. Much has been written and said over the last nine months since the decision was made to move the event to the Green County Fairgrounds. That caused the endless murmurings from the nattering nabobs of negativity to suddenly pivot from complaining about the decrepitude of Hara Arena to moaning about the inadequacy of a county fairground for such an event. Sigh.

The ten percent in amateur radio who complain about everything and yet never accomplish anything are once again betting against the success of the big show. I fully expect they will be wrong. Again. But now we’re about to find out…

The gates swing open on Friday and we will see if the Dayton Amateur Radio Association chose wisely in selecting this venue and if all those years of experience hosting the largest ham radio event in the world are transferable to a place called Xenia.

It’s show time!

The 2017 Hamvention Program is now available for download and as expected, it lists a lot of new food vendors. Nineteen of them if my count is right. From brats and metts to pork chops and chicken salad and everything in between. Hams will be eating high on the hog.

I’ll be there beginning Wednesday evening and will attend Four Days in May with the QRPers during the day on Thursday, hang out with the AMSAT folks on Thursday night, and then I’ll be at the DX Banquet on Friday night sitting with the VK0EK Heard Island team.

There will be plenty to share about the BIG show in the next edition of CALLING CQ so stay tuned. And don’t forget to follow my Twitter feed (you don’t even need an account) for lots of photos and details from the Hamvention.


It was a bad week for television programs with a ham radio twist. The popular comedy ‘Last Man Standing’ starring Tim Allen was canceled by the network. Though it wasn’t the primary focus of the program, Allen played the role of KA0XTT and his ham radio station along with copious amounts of wallpaper were often visible in the background.

The program ‘Frequency’ was also canceled. The time traveling tale of a young police detective with amateur radio gear started many years ago as a movie that was rebooted into a television drama last year. But hey, at least The CW released a posthumous epilogue that wraps everything up with a tidy bow. The short video clip allows fans to find out the fates of Raimy, her mother, and Frank. Nice touch!

International Radio (INRAD) announced a new line of microphones for every use, desk stand, adapters, cables, hand, and foot-switches. Boom mic headsets and communications headphones are expected to follow in the near future. These will appear at Hamvention next week. Look for them along with Vibroplex’s growing line of amateur radio products in Building 1, booths 1607–1609. The new products will also be available at HAM RADIO Friedrichshafen July 14–16.

Midway and Kure Islands are back from the dead. On March 31, 2017, the DXCC desk announced the deletion of Midway Island and Kure Island from the DXCC entities list. In a sudden reversal, the DXCC desk now says they have been reinstated.

Spaceweather reported that May 14th marked the 5th day in a row and the 35th day in 2017 that the sun has been blank–no sunspots. This exceeds the total number of spotless days in all of 2016 (32). The accelerating pace of spotlessness is a sign that Solar Minimum is approaching.

My First SOTA and CW Activation - “I’ve been a SOTA chaser for some time now, mainly using CW. As a chaser I can do the basic ”rubber stamp“ CW QSOs, i.e. copy the activator’s call, send my call, copy my call, copy the signal report, send a signal report, send 73 and TU”. (PA7MDJ)

PJ7, ST. MAARTEN (Update). Operators Dave/K9UK, Ken/KK9N, Tom/W9AEB, Dave/W9DR and John/W9KXQ will be active as PJ7/homecall from St. Maarten (NA–105) between June 14–20th or 28th. The group plans to have 3 stations on the air. Station 1: PJ7/W9DR will be on 6 meters with a Beacon on 50.115.7MHz. Stations 2 and 3 (PJ7/W9KXQ, PJ7/KK9N, PJ7/K9UK and PJ7/W9AEB) will be on 80–10 meters using CW, SSB and the Digital modes. (KB8NW/OPDX/BARF80)


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Postscript

I created a new Twitter account for CALLING CQ figuring it might be useful for publicizing the letter and for sharing news about it. That came in handy almost immediately when I needed to update something from the May 8th edition of the letter.

I had mentioned a new book, The Compendium of Automatic Morse Code by M. Edwin Goss, N3CW and included a link where it could be purchased directly from the publisher at the full retail price. I’ve since learned it’s also available from other sources - at much more attractive pricing. Amazon has it as does Universal-Radio and no doubt others. Check with your favorite bookseller to get the best price on this one.

The new Twitter account can be a useful adjunct to the letter and if you’re already a Twitter user, follow the CALLING CQ account and stay in the loop.

Thanks for reading to the very last drop - make it a great week!

73, Jeff