April 10, 2017

One of the tougher decisions the portable HF operator can make these days is KX3 or KX2. I’ve gone through this exercise a half dozen times in my head and each time the KX3 is my choice for a home and portable HF station. But if I were interested in portable operation exclusively, I’d get a KX2. ARRL Members can download the PDF review of the KX2 transceiver that appeared in the May 2017 edition of QST magazine and continue sweating the details.

Club Log has become the first logging service to achieve Trusted Partner™ status for Logbook of the World® (LoTW), ARRL and Club Log have announced. Radio amateurs holding LoTW “callsign certificates” who have uploaded logs to Club Log now can readily cross-post them to the highly secure LoTW — the world’s largest repository for confirming Amateur Radio contacts.

According to Southgate Amateur Radio News, an archive of Ham Radio Horizons magazine is available for download. The magazine was published from 1977 to 1981 and was specifically targeted at new ham radio enthusiasts.

I received a couple of envelopes from the 9-land QSL bureau stuffed with W1AW QSL cards from the Centennial QSO Party this last week. Others have mentioned they’ve received theirs too so make certain you’ve got SASE’s on file with the bureau if you’re interested in receiving cards from the 2014 event.

The ARRL clarified its contest rules this week to clearly prohibit the practice of interleaved CQs — also known as “dueling CQs” — on two or more frequencies in the same band. The clarification is an extension of existing rules that permit only “one transmitted signal,” and it formalizes what had been a “gentleman’s agreement.” The update brings ARRL’s contest rules in line with those of CQ-sponsored contests, which already prohibit the practice of in-band, interleaved CQs. The IARU HF Championship Contest bans the practice for multioperator entries.

For the second time in 10 years, HNF and colleagues from England’s Bletchley Park are bringing historic technology from World War II back to life. Amateur radio enthusiasts in Germany and Europe are being urged to take part in this cipher event. They can hear the message on the 40 m band (7036 kHz, DL0HNF) and try to decode it.

WWROF presents a 2013 webinar, Grayline Propagation, or Florida to Cocos Keeling on 80m, by Ed Callaway N4II. Might seem dated BUT a couple of hams are planning a return to Cocos Keeling in October/November of this year and they’ve promised more time on 160 and 80 meters…

Keep your ear to the ground for breaking news about new accessories for the IC–7300 from Vibroplex, new kits from the Four State QRP Group whose annual OzarkCon just concluded, and from Elecraft. Eric, WA6HHQ is scheduled to speak at FDIM - the annual QRP event that takes place in conjunction with the Dayton Hamvention - and his time slot remains untitled at this point. New product announcement? It always happens at FDIM – stay tuned!

Ten Clicks


I mentioned a few weeks ago that I had acquired a DMR capable handheld radio and that there’s an excellent repeater in my area. With a month or so of experience under my belt, I’m no expert but I have gained some useful experience, and one thing I’ve noticed is that for an exploding new mode, there’s an unexplained lack of traffic on the wide-area channels of the system.

I’ve also found it interesting that that many of those I’ve met via DMR work in the world of Information Technology. Or maybe that’s not so peculiar. IT folks seem to prefer digital modes of operation. We saw the same thing back in the days of packet. I guess it’s a natural fit.

That also means these DMR users are generally younger than, say, those of us who frequent the HF bands. Not necessarily “kids” but younger than most and generally under 50. This should be taken as good news for a couple of reasons.

First, it means that we are succeeding, on some level, with the goal of attracting younger hams to the hobby. But it also may answer the question of why the number of US licensees continues to show strong growth year after year, while activity on the bands, remains somewhat depressed.

Younger radio enthusiasts have careers and work a lot of hours, and they may have young families with all the responsibilities that comes with that.

Not all of us will agree on a precise definition of an active radio amateur but we need to recognize and understand that while retirees have copious amounts of time to clutter the bands with tales of bursitis, younger hams will struggle to find time for the hobby.

It could be an unintended consequence that we work our tails off to attract younger people to hobby radio only to find that these newcomers don’t have the time to actively participate in it. If this is reality, I suspect our hobby will change in ways that maximize opportunities for radio activity in shorter time slots.

Who will be first to confirm DXCC working exclusively on Sunday’s from noon to 4pm?

73, Jeff