Calling CQ

Issue 99 | July 31, 2017

The ARRL made available (PDF) it’s 2016 Annual Report last week. The full-color publication is a good read for anyone with an interest in amateur radio. What caught my eye? This particular comment from President Rick Roderick, K5UR:

What we’re hearing from what I call the “new-generation ham,” is that they don’t view ham radio as being about talking around the world, contesting, or traditional aspects of our hobby. This next generation of ham radio operators view ham radio as a communications medium. Ham radio has value as the means to accomplish an act — the value is not in the act itself. So the question is, how do we extend the appeal of Amateur Radio to recruit people who view it as a means to an end?

FlexRadio Systems announced the immediate availability of SmartSDR v2.0.17 for the FLEX–6000 Signature Series SDRs. SmartSDR v2.0.17 is a General Availability (GA) release containing new features and fixes for SmartSDR for Windows, SmartSDR for Maestro, SmartSDR CAT and DAX.

One of the most anticipated SmartSDR features, SmartLink, is the integrated remote access feature that “does not require additional hardware, complicated VPNs or remote desktop software”. Users create a secure user account, log in to the account, associate a radio with that account and establish a remote connection.

Steve, K9ZW has been regularly reporting on his early progress with the new features at his blog. You might also enjoy this bit of humor from the Flex community about how having your radio available on the PC in your office might impact productivity…

Urge the U.S. Senate to Support the Amateur Radio Parity Act - the ARRL has created a Web page that makes contacting your Senate representatives as simple as entering your zip code, name and address and hitting the SEND. Take time to do this today, won’t you?

Elecraft announced K3S Package Deals. These combo packages are bundled by operator type; Casual User, DXer, Contester & DXer. This streamlines the process of picking from dozens of options to move directly to ordering a K3S with the recommended options for each type of radio enthusiast while providing significant savings when bundling.

ARISS has received several reports stating that the packet system on ISS is down. The packet system in the Columbus module started to act up late last week, sending only a beacon. The ARISS team requested a power recycle by the crew, and with that power recycle, the packet system appears to have stop functioning completely. Note that this unit has been on-orbit for 17 years. It was launched on the STS–106 Space Shuttle Atlantis mission in September 2000 and was built, tested and certified for flight about 20 years ago.

DX Engineering has increased its support for the World Radiosport Team Championship 2018 (WRTC). The company is now a Gold Level sponsor. The announcement was made by WRTC 2018 at the Bavarian Contest Club annual dinner in Friedrichshafen, Germany this past July.

Friedrichshafen - attendance for this year’s 42nd annual Ham Radio convention in Germany was 17,110 - nearly unchanged from last year despite the change in date that pushed the event into the tourist season according to the the ARRL. Enjoy a few highlights from the event shown in this short video.

INRAD - I’ve been using the new INRAD M629 desk microphone with my IC–7300 for the last few months with excellent results. Audio reports have been outstanding and I’ve done hours of testing with friends on the air familiar with my voice who tell me they prefer the M629. It’s quality gear at a bargain price and if you’re considering a new desk microphone - for any radio - I suggest you take a look at this report then compare prices from other suppliers and you will be impressed too.

That’s just been my opinion but now DX Engineering® has taken note and become an authorized re-seller of INRAD products. They’re kicking off their promotion of the new line by giving away the INRAD M686 and M665 microphones, desk stands, and rig mic jack adapters FREE with the purchase of a new Icom, Kenwood, or Yaesu transceiver. I understand it’s a limited time offer while supplies last. Call them for more details. 1–800–777–0703.

Ten More Clicks

Postscript

Sorry, no PS this week.

Next week we’ll celebrate the 100th issue of CALLING CQ and then I’ll be on vacation for a week or two. Thanks for reading and feel free to share this with your friends.

Make it a GREAT week!

73, Jeff