Calling CQ

Issue 97 | July 17, 2017

The largest HAM RADIO event in Europe, “Friedrichshafen”, took place this weekend. Not much new to report just yet but no doubt a myriad of interesting details will emerge immediately after I hit the “send” button on this week’s letter…

The Bittern DXers have been awarded £10,000 to help them continue to introduce people to the world of technology, and the possibilities that radio communication can offer people. And the club received that news - via amateur satellite!

The Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2017 was introduced in the US Senate on July 12, marking another step forward for this landmark legislation.

Ward Silver, N0AX put pen to paper (or something like that) resulting in The Solar Eclipse and Ham Radio for a recent edition of Nuts and Volts magazine.

I really doubt if EVERYBODY was Kung Fu Fighting. On the other hand, I wouldn’t be at all surprised to discover a LOT of ham radio enthusiasts embracing the new FT8 mode that appeared in a recent beta release of WSJT-X. Especially after hearing reports that A92AA, OY1DZ, VR2XMT, YE2IJ, TR8CA and YI3WHR have already been spotted using it.

CONTESTERS: “Anyone who has ever operated CQWW from the Coral Cliff area of Curacao is invited to join the PJ2T team this November for CQWW CW”. It’s all part of The Caribbean Contesting Consortium, club of the PJ2T contest station ‘Half-Century CQWW Celebration’.

APRS is the topic of the current episode of the “ARRL The Doctor is In” podcast. And there’s plenty more interesting amateur radio programs to load up on this week:

Ten More Clicks


The MagPi Magazine is a monthly publication for Raspberry Pi enthusiasts. It can be purchased in most bookstores that carry a large variety of periodicals or you can subscribe and receive it via postal mail. You can also purchase a single edition and receive it via mail. It’s also available online as a free (PDF) download.

It’s a unique publication and a careful look reveals that it’s designed specifically for a younger audience. We don’t have anything like it in our world of radio.

In fact, there are no widely distributed publications that really promote amateur radio to the uninitiated. I’m not suggesting changes to QST magazine. It’s a publication of the ARRL, a member organization and QST is a monthly organ for members - already licensed hams.

But what does our fraternity have in the way of a non-technical, jargon-free publication that promotes the amateur radio service to a wide audience - with a slant toward younger people?

Nothing. Zip. Nada. At least not here in the USA. You simply cannot walk into a large bookstore and find anything like that. Do we need it? Maybe. Maybe not.

You could argue that most people get their information about almost everything online these days so a fancy Web site might be time and treasure better spent. So are there any amazing Web sites intended to introduce the unwashed (young) masses to our hobby?

If these exist I’ve never found them.

Now consider this. A beautiful printed publication (designed with a slant toward younger readers) extolling the many exciting reasons why someone might want to become a radio amateur. Just a single issue published once a year. 50 pages of well-crafted evangelism. Sell it in bookstores for $9.95. Make it available to ham radio clubs for $6 a copy (or work out some bundled rate for larger quantities) so they can distribute them for free.

Make it available for free download online.

I’m just spitballing here - but why not? Doesn’t ham radio deserve a fantastic brochure that gets “stuck” in the imagination of as many bright, young people as our ship can carry? When someone asks why you’re a radio amateur you tell them - and then put more information directly into their hands. Think about it…

Make it a GREAT week!

73, Jeff