We’ve arrived at that fulcrum in time when we take a moment to reflect on what was, and what is yet to come. In this entry, I want to highlight just a few of the important things that took place in the world of amateur radio last year.
2017 was the year AMSAT got it’s mojo back. Bigly. The growth in the fleet of ham radio satellites has been stunning. Embracing small sats at LEO has really started to pay dividends.
The latest bird to fly, AO-91, was launched just over a month ago and it’s been one busy bird. If you haven’t already jumped into these waters you’re missing out on the most exciting facet of amateur radio: space. Here’s a primer on how to get started and here’s a link to join AMSAT and support them in their out of this world mission.
One year ago no one had ever heard of a digital mode called FT-8. It didn’t yet exist. Having exploded on the scene last summer, it’s adoption has been breathtaking. It is the most popular mode in all of HF amateur radio at the moment keeping pace with CW and SSB combined.
I managed to snag WAS Digital with the FT8 endorsement in less than 90 days. Rumor has it that a new DXpedition mode of the software will soon be made available and you can expect this hot new mode to appear regularly during all the big DXpeditions of 2018.
The Solar Eclipse QSO Party was major hit as it brought HF enthusiasts together with University scientists to explore near-space in real time, during a major anomaly. Given its success and popularity, I wouldn’t be surprised to see similar collaborative experiments proposed in the coming years.
This was a rough hurricane season and ham radio was called into action on multiple occasions. Our service was roundly applauded by all but the extent of our performance turned up a few cracks requiring attention.
Tomorrow we look ahead at 2018.