The much talked about ICOM IC–7610
HF/50MHZ transceiver with direct sampling SDR receiver didn’t make
an appearance at Visalia last month. Though it debuted at the Tokyo Ham
Fair in August 2016, it’s still unavailable in the US. Maybe at
Hamvention - maybe not. All the usual suspects will let you pre-order
it, but patience seems the primary requirement.
to the ARRL, the inagural AM Rally
was a succcess. 72 logs were submitted and nearly 1,500 contacts were
reported. The purpose of the event, which took place over the first
weekend in April, was to encourage the use of Amplitude Modulation on
the 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10, and 6 meter amateur radio Bands, and to
highlight various types of AM equipment in use today.
Propagation and Antenna Tester - Joel at The RF Connection will have a small
number of WSPRlites at Hamvention. He will be in Building 5;
5101/5102/5201/5202. Call him 800–783–2666 to reserve one
John Brier, KG4AKV (Space Comms) demonstrating satellite
operation to a small crowd gathered outside the RARSfest (Raleigh NC) in
The Northern California DX Foundation got a new President in John
Miller, K6MM. Other officers for this term include; Vice President -
Glenn Johnson, W0GJ, Secretary - Kip Edwards, W6SZN, and Treasurer - Don
Greenbaum, N1DG. The primary purpose of NCDXF is to help fund well-organized
DXpeditions to rare, difficult and expensive entities and those funds
come from the contributions of supporters in the DX community.
Bill Kennamer, K5FUV has written a thoughtful
piece on the recent deletion of Midway and Kure Island from the DXCC
The 4SQRP Group has made available another kit from David Cripe,
NM0S. The Cricket is a
low cost entry level minimalist CW transceiver for the 80 meter band. A
good project for a new builder, or seasoned veterans wishing to just
have fun with a new rig at minimal expense and effort. Note that Novices
and Technicians have 80M CW privileges from 3.525 to 3.600, same as
everyone else - so they also can build and use the Cricket.
CQ is currently offering the book, DITS
and DAHS, a guide for those interested in learning or improving CW
operating techniques by Ed Tobias, KR3E.
NEW - M0TGN Morse Tutor -
functions such as letters, numbers, mixed letters and numbers. Plug a
key in and use it as a Morse Code Oscillator training unit, as well as
headphones. (Caught a rumor that Kanga UK might have a handful of these
Welcome to the month of May. Flowers are blooming and things are
quickly turning green and lush. If the longer days and warmer weather is
making you itch to spend more time outside, perhaps you should consider
RaDAR - Rapid Amateur Radio Deployment.
Best way to do that is to meet Greg Lane, N4KGL. Take a look at his
blog, the RaDAR community
page on Google Plus, or even better, listen to this interview from QSO
Today Episode 30.
The notion of taking ham radio to the field is certainly nothing new.
But like so many of our activities, it’s possible to put a twist
on everything we do in an effort to make it a bit more interesting.
Making a game out of any routine task has the effect of adding variety —
the spice of life!
In the case of rapid deployment of radio, enthusiasts take their gear
to the field, make five contacts, then walk a minimum of one kilometer,
equipment in tow, where they can attempt five more contacts. I suppose
this continues until exhausted or for a predetermined period of time and
then results are compiled and compared with others online.
It sounds simple enough but the practice surely drives out
inefficiencies in portable design. Given that the operator has to
manually lug radio, batteries and antenna to each new location, there’s
must be a heightened emphasis on ultra lightweight and clever design.
I’m guessing that consideration is also given to minimal creature
comforts, like carrying along a chair and perhaps even something to
improvise into an operating “desk”.
Transceiver, antenna tuner, ear-buds, batteries, Morse key, feed
line, and an antenna seem like the minimum criteria, along with logbook,
writing utensil, and some method to determine GPS coordinates.
Elecraft’s KX3 with built-in antenna tuner, batteries, and CW paddles
seems to be a popular choice, though many operators are using even
smaller trail-friendly gear.
Resonant antennas eliminates the need for an antenna tuner.
Continuous improvement and clever creativity seem to be key elements
of success for this particular facet of amateur radio.
If the challenges seem endless, consider the rewards. The operator
can choose where to operate from and it’s safe to assume that would be
removed from man-made noise. Hanging out in the woods, on the beach, at
a local park — these all seem like better places to spend you spare time
than inside a radio “shack”.
Having the sun on your shoulders and your toes in the sand while
working some distant station is the ultimate dream of every intrepid
radio amateur, isn’t it?
I think it safe to say that most of us could benefit greatly from
getting OUT OF THE CHAIR and moving. How clever that this practice
provides a method to combine ham radio with taking long walks in the