April 17, 2017

Every April 18th, radio amateurs worldwide take to the airwaves in celebration of World Amateur Radio Day. It was on that day in 1925 that the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) was formed. Today, Amateur Radio is more popular than ever, with over 3,000,000 licensed operators! World Amateur Radio Day is the day when IARU Member-Societies can show our capabilities to the public and enjoy global friendship with other Amateurs worldwide.

Apogee View is the name of the column that regularly appears in the AMSAT Journal. It’s authored by Barry Baines, WD4ASW the current President of the organization. AMSAT has just recently started making this available on their Web site where even non-members can stay up to date on the future direction of amateur radio in space.

The printed version of CQ Magazine has fallen behind the calendar by a few weeks causing some subscribers to complain that they hadn’t yet received the March edition of the publication. That question online confirmed that the February edition was the last one sent. And then a few days later the March edition began showing up. CQ Magazine’s struggles these last few years has made some subscribers jumpy over delays in delivery. For what it’s worth, the electronic version seems to be consistently on time while the printed version lags about six weeks behind.

Two South African built satellites are about to be launched to the International Space Station as part of the QB50 project.

Interesting links via the QRP-L mailing list. Sources for engraved nameplates and console labels for restored or homebrewed equipment. Bernard Engraving - Machine Plates Online, or do it yourself.

Grounding and Bonding for the Radio Amateur by Ward Silver, N0AX, is now available in Kindle and paperback formats. The book shows you how to make sure your station follows current standards for lightning protection and communication systems, not to mention the National Electrical Code.

New Kit from 4QSRP Group - if your receiver is plagued with 60/120 cycle buzzing in your shack or favorite portable QTH, the BUZZ-KILL will save your sanity. From the creative mind of NMØS, the BUZZ-KILL is a special audio filter that removes 60 cycle noise and all of its harmonics, beating them down 40 db or more.

Technical papers are solicited for presentation at the 36th Annual ARRL/TAPR Digital Communications Conference, to be held September 15–17 in St Louis, Missouri at the Holiday Inn Airport West in Earth City. Papers will also be published in the Conference Proceedings. Authors do not need to attend the conference to have their papers included in the Proceedings. The submission deadline is July 31, 2017. Submit papers to via e-mail to <maty at>, or via post to Maty Weinberg, KB1EIB, ARRL, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111. Papers will be published exactly as submitted, and authors will retain all rights.

Emergency Communications Driving Increase in Amateur Radio Operators, an article in Emergency Management magazine links the growth in amateur radio numbers to increased interest in emergency communications follow 9–11 and Hurricane Katrina.

Ten Clicks


WSJT-X is softwware developed by Joe Taylor, K1JT. It’s a weak signal ham radio communication method facilitated by the open source code that drives the project. There’s no doubt that ham radio is better for the open source movement and the many innovations made freely available to our community by it.

But it’s not all cupcakes and flowers. Sometimes, there are those who “borrow” large portions of the code and rebrand it as something new, which is actually okay, provided the obligations assumed under the GNU General Public License (GPL) are respected.

And that brings us to a relatively new weak signal package called JTDX. But before jumping on that bandwagon, you might want to read this message from K1JT to its developer. It’s pointed, eye-opening stuff:

“While I have your attention, I must remind you of obligations you assumed under the GNU General Public License (GPL) when you copied the source code of WSJT-X, made some changes, and renamed it as ”JTDX vXX.X … by UA3DJY".

“Compliance with GPL requires that a derivative work (such as JTDX) must be licensed in a compatible manner. Just saying ”It is open source software distributed under the GPL v3 license“ is not enough”.

“Apparently a significant fraction of JTDX distribution takes place from the web site ”.

“I see nothing on that web site mentioning any license requirement”.

“I see a JTDX screen shot in which the main window title is given as ”WSJT-X v1.7.0-devel JTDX v16.6 … by UA3DJY.“ We have never released a program called ”WSJT-X v1.7.0-devel“, so I would not expect to see such a designation on a derivative work”.

“Describing JTDX as ”by UA3DJY“ is surely misleading, and a violation of the copyrights on our code. Probably more than 90% of code in your derivative work was written by someone other than yourself”.

“Finally: if you were truly committed to the Free Open Source Software (FOSS) philosophy, I would expect your development work to be organized in a way so that can give back to, as well as take from, the amateur software development community. I can see no evidence that you are doing this, for example with an open source-code repository”.

– 73, Joe, K1JT

Getting smacked down in a public forum is rough enough. Being smacked down in a public forum by an astrophysicist and Nobel Prize winning Physics laureate is bound to be worse.

Make it a good week.

73, Jeff @ke9v