You’ve doubtless heard there will be a total solar eclipse this August 21st that will affect almost all of North America. The Solar Eclipse QSO Party (SEQP) is planned to take place during the event to help study the effects of the eclipse on the ionosphere and scientists need as many radio operators as possible to participate.

RF-Kit showed off this legal-limit HF amplifier kit during Hamvention. The unit on display used two LDMOS power devices and a 7” color touchscreen for amplifier control and status. The kit includes everything necessary to build the amplifier except the Raspberry Pi 3 CPU, and three fans. The company’s literature claims it can be built in less than a day.

Canada C3 is a 150-day expedition (June 1 to October 28) from Toronto to Victoria via the Northwest Passage. A WSPR beacon has been installed on the Canada C3 vessel that will provide a unique opportunity to track the vessel on its 150-day sailing voyage around the Canadian coast – the longest coastline in the world. The vessel will stop at a different location every day, Canada C3 will visit 50 coastal communities, 36 Indigenous communities, 13 National Parks and 20 Migratory Bird sanctuaries. The WSPR project will be part of science experiments and research to be carried out on the voyage.

Tim Duffy, K3LR sat down with Michael Kalter, W8CI from the Dayton Amateur Radio Association a few days ago to discuss what went well and what didn’t at this years inaugural event in Xenia. They’re already working on the “mud” problem and have asked fairgrounds officials to build another building.

HamRadioNow recorded the entire TAPR Forum at the 2017 Hamvention beginning with opening remarks by moderator Scotty Cowling WA2DFI and TAPR President Steve Bible N7HPR along with over an hour of forum tracks.

In his recent blog post, Pursue Radio Operating Goals, K0NR reveals how to avoid ruts:

“Operating goals or awards are a fun way to keep focused on accomplishing something via ham radio. Really, it’s a specific reason to get on the air and make radio contacts. I am not big on idle chit chat via the radio (“the weather here is 65 deg and raining”) so having a reason to make contacts helps me get on the air”.

The 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season is underway and meteorologists at Colorado State University and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration think this season could be an active one. CSU forecasters think 14 named tropical storms will form in the Atlantic Basin, which includes the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico.

WX4NHC is the amateur radio station at the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida.

Solar conditions have been wonky for the last few cycles causing those who study such things to dig deeper to discover why. Now two solar scientists have hypothesized that the Sun’s rotation rate and magnetic field are in a transitional phase that could lead to lengthening solar cycles, with the cycle ultimately disappearing altogether - between 800 million and 2.4 billion years from now. Travis S. Metcalfe and Jennifer van Saders propose the scenario in their paper “Magnetic Evolution and the Disappearance of Sun-like Activity Cycles.”

A Roofing Filter is simply a filter in the radio’s first IF through which all signals must pass before they will be “seen” by later receiver stages. The narrower this filter is, the less exposure later stages will have. Thus a “narrow” roofing filter is desirable – but “narrow” is relative…


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Postscript

A recent ARRL Contest Update (May 31) included a mention about Rob Sherwood’s talk at Contest University in which he spoke about disruptive technologies that are quickly changing the face of amateur radio. Specifically, he pointed out the success of the ICOM IC-7300 and how it’s been “estimated that over eleven thousand 7300s have been sold in a year”.

This was a point of interest to me having just picked up a 7300 a few weeks ago.

There’s no doubt that our hobby is evolving before our very eyes. Advances in software defined radio technology continues to push us from one direction while the plummeting cost of handheld transceivers is exerting pressure from another direction.

Meanwhile, hardware advances are bringing all manner of interesting things that can be purchased from Amazon for less than $30 that plug into a USB port and deliver useful performance.

And now there’s BIG silicon. A bumper crop of high-powered solid state amplifiers exploiting LDMOS technology that’s already putting price pressure on makers of amps with vacuum tubes.

And back up a minute. If the 7300 sold that many units in a year, then gross receipts for it would approach $14 million dollars (US) - for just one single radio in a quickly expanding field. That leads me to believe that the global amateur radio market must be at least $250-$350 million dollars a year and growing.

Think about that next time your buddy tells you ham radio is “dying”.

Make it a GREAT week!

73, Jeff KE9V