Elecraft kicked off the season of new things with the announcement
of a new 1500-watt amplifier during the just concluded Visalia DX
Convention. The solid-state KPA1500
covers 160–6 meters and includes a built-in auto tuner. A separate
power supply is required
and will be available. The introductory price is $5995 US. The amplifier
has not yet received FCC approval
and cannot be offered for sale until that authorization has been
This new solid-state equipment has the AMPS
mailing list buzzing about the sun setting on tube type HF
PA’s and analog front-end transceivers. Mark, G4FPH wrote:
“I think we are truly seeing the sun setting on valve HF PA and
front-end transceivers. The combination of big LDMOS
FET and majority DSP TRx, with whole-chain linearity correction, is
delivering some of the cleanest SSB signals ever heard on the amateur
bands. It’s still fun to play with those examples from the last 50
years of our history though!”
Will the new FCC Commissioner be tough on enforcement? Signs point to
“Yes”. The FCC has proposed
a fine of more than $400,000 on a Queens, New York, man who has
admitted making unauthorized transmissions on New York City Police
Department (NYPD) radio frequencies, maliciously interfering with NYPD
officers’ communications. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, said that with the NAL,
the FCC is making it “abundantly clear that it will not tolerate
unauthorized and illegal use of the radio spectrum.” The entire
Commission now must sign off on such proposed fines, and Pai said he was
grateful to his fellow FCC members for “agreeing to act swiftly and
strongly” in the matter.
A boatload of disqualifications from the CQWW 2016 SSB has rocked
the radiosport world recently. This isn’t the first time the rules
didn’t keep up with the forward march of technology and probably
won’t be the last. Click through the many heated threads
from the contest reflector to get a feel for the angst this has
South Africa’s ICASA has canceled
2,100 Amateur Radio licenses, believed to be more than 1/3rd of the
total, for non-payment of licence fees.
reference from Hans Remeeus, PA1HR that provides an easy to use
summary of key measurements for HF transceivers, receivers, and
amplifiers from QST product reviews.
Field Day 2017
ARRL Field Day is just
two months away. It’s the most popular on-the-air event held
annually in the US and Canada. On the fourth weekend of June (June
24–25), more than 35,000 radio amateurs gather with their clubs,
groups or simply with friends to operate from remote locations. If your
plans are more ambitious than a simple backyard operation, then
there’s a lot of planning preparation that needs doing!
You will want to take a deep dive into the rules with a special focus
on the bonus points and what you have to do to earn them. Remember, one
of the prime directives for this event is to expose the general public
to our hobby. This usually requires advance work with local news and
media along with providing a station where unlicensed visitors can get
on the air (GOTA) and make radio contacts while supervised by
There’s a lot to do to get ready. What follows
are a few simple bullet points that may be useful in your own
preparation. And don’t forget the food. Field Day is 50% radio and
50% “camping” with your friends. There has got to be plenty
In preparation, HQ has created a short video that can be used to
promote the event in your area. Add it to your club Web site or a
personal blog to inform others about this unique operating event.
They’ve also made available a “What
is Field Day” PDF that can be distributed and this Field Day
site locator will
help you find activity in your area if you want to join the fun with
Social media enthusiasts might appreciate the Field Day event on
Facebook. Twitter enthusiasts are requested to use the hashtag
#ARRLFD when sharing their plans and photos.
Operating more than one transmitter in close proximity to others
presents a unique challenge during Field Day. You’ve still got
time to build band pass filters like this,
or this. You could buy
the filters you need, but building
your own makes for a great club project.
When hams operate in something as special as Field Day they like to
shoot video of their operations. Here are a few of my favorites from
2016 offered for your amusement and inspiration. You might even glean a
tip or two…
Long letter this week with the Field Day links so I’ll make
this a short PS.
I’ve recently started putting archives of the more recent letters on
the Web. Email subscribers will continue to get the letter first. I try
to get them emailed on Monday’s (UTC). I won’t place them in
the Web archive until the following week.
As always, I appreciate you subscribing and reading CALLING
CQ to the very last drop.
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encourage them to subscribe.