Calling CQ

Issue 94 | June 26, 2017

‘Using Amateur Radio for STEM Education on the Eustace Earhart Discovery Expedition’ is just one of several interesting articles appearing in the June 2017 edition of The Gray Line Report, an excellent newsletter published by the Twin City DX Association TCDXA.

OSCAR Number Administrator Bill Tynan, W3XO, has announced that, pursuant to a request submitted to the AMSAT Board of Directors, the LilacSat–1 satellite has been assigned the designation LilacSat-OSCAR 90, or LO–90. The satellite carries a voice transponder with a 145 MHz FM uplink and a 435 MHz digital voice downlink using the Codec2 open source voice codec as well as a camera open for activation by amateur radio operators worldwide.

The ninth annual 13 Colonies Special Event will take place July 1–7. Activity begins at 1300 UTC on July 1 and continuing until 0400 on July 7 (the evening of July 6 in US time zones).

Ham radio isn’t just a hobby anymore - “While amateur radio is sometimes referred to as a hobby, it’s also a backup emergency communications plan for Cordova”.

Special Slow Scan Television (SSTV) transmissions are expected to be made from the International Space Station on 145.800 MHz FM around the weekend of July 15.

About accomodations for the DX Convention in Visalia: SCDXC Chairs have negotiated with the Marriott and have resolved 3 night minimum issue, with the help of visitor bureau and hotel management. The Visalia Visitors Bureau has sent out emails to all that were contacted in regards to adding a third day onto their reservations. Make sure that you contact the person who e-mailed from the Visitors Bureau and NOT the Marriott hotel.

Intro to SDR and RF Signal Analysis - The increasing popularity of Internet of Things (IoT) and other devices becoming wireless is very much apparent in today’s society. With availability of modern Software Defined Radio (SDR) hardware, it has become more accessible, cheaper, and easier than ever to examine the Radio Frequency (RF) signals that are used by these devices to communicate.

Hamvention 2017 Attendance: 29,296 - the second-largest reported crowd in the history of the event. Attendance peaked in 1993 at 33,669. Attendance in 2016 for the show’s final year at Hara Arena was 25,364.

Ten Clicks


Telemetry is an automated communications process by which measurements and other data are collected at remote or inaccessible points and transmitted to receiving equipment for monitoring. The word is derived from Greek roots: tele = remote, and metron = measure.

It’s mostly thought of as being related to monitoring the health of amateur radio satellites in our hobby, but we employ it in many more ways - like sending location via APRS or when used for collecting research data from high altitude balloons.

One of the coolest things happening in amateur radio at this very moment is taking place on the Canada C3 Expedition where the CG3EXP Special Event WSPR station has been continuously transmitting on 20, 30 and 40 metres at 20-minute intervals since it left Toronto on June 1 bound for Victoria via the Northwest Passage - the first time that WSPR has been used to track a vessel.

The WSPR signal has been reported to be heard on every continent except Asia so far.

And that using a low-power transmitter and an end-fed antenna on the ship’s port side, sloping up to the mid mast at 62° – just 46 feet of insulated wire.

A live tracking link, generated by QRP Labs, the supplier of the transmitting hardware, is being hosted by Jeff Milne, VE3EFF. Anyone with an HF receiver and the free WSPR program can receive the CG3EXP signals directly from the ship and then gate that location information to the internet where it can be tracked on WSPRnet.

It’s just another example of telemetry in action. We have the radio spectrum and license to make use of it. Meanwhile, continual advances in technology is creating endless opportunity for collecting, transmitting, and sharing unique and fascinating data with a global audience.

This is the intersection of Amateur Radio and the Maker world. The place that history will one day mark as the real beginning of the Second Century of Amateur Radio. Isn’t it grand that we not only get to witness it, but can dive as deeply into this New World as our desire will take us.

Make it a GREAT week!

73, Jeff