3D2R on the Air from Rotuma

As I’ve mentioned many times before, I’m not a big DXer. I do try to work the DXpeditions when I can, but I don’t get too excited when I can’t. Most of the time I don’t even know what DXpeditions are out there.

Yesterday morning was no exception. I normally don’t operate in the morning, but for some reason, I decided to head down to the shack after breakfast and scare up a contact. When I tuned to my favorite frequency, 7.028 MHz, I was surprised to hear a pileup. Tuning downband a little, I copied 3D2R, the Rotuma DXpedition.

Rotuma is a Fijian dependency, consisting of Rotuma Island and nearby islets.

They will be on all bands from 160-2 meters, including the 60m and 6m, using CW, SSB and RTTY. They will also be active on PSK, SSTV and EME. Special attention will be made to work stations from Europe and Africa during those periods when propagation permits. The propagation window for EU and Africa is very brief at times and signals may be weak, so they ask everyone to be mindful of this.

ARRL Needs Money for Spectrum Defense

ARRL Spectrum Defense Fund

The September 2011 issue of Spectrum Defense Matters is now out. It’s mostly a plea for donations to the Spectrum Defense Fund, but you might find something interesting in it.

The ARRL claims that they need $189,005 to reach their fund-raising goal for 2011. Is 15 kHz in the 600m band worth that kind of money?

CQ to Launch Digital Editions

CQ Communications, Inc., will launch multi-platform digital editions of all of its magazine titles before the end of 2011, Publisher Richard Ross, K2MGA, announced today. Those titles include CQ Amateur Radio (CQ magazine), CQ VHF, Popular Communications andWorldRadio Online. Many CQ book titles are already available in digital form on CD.

“The digital editions will supplement, not replace, current print editions, and will feature enhancements not possible in the print medium,” said Editorial Director Rich Moseson, W2VU. “Versions will be available for a variety of online and mobile platforms* and will be hosted by Zinio, one of the top names in the e-magazine hosting business. This will assure that our magazines will always be able to take advantage of new technology when it becomes available.”

Examples of features that will be possible in the digital editions include live links to all World Wide Web addresses listed in each issue, as well as supplemental content, such as photo albums, audio and video files, software and more. “Imagine reading an article about meteor scatter and being able to listen to a meteor scatter contact with a click of a mouse,” said Moseson, “or reading an ad for a piece of new gear and being able to click directly to a video explaining its features. All of this and more will be possible in our digital editions.”

“At the same time,” he added, “the print editions will retain their unique characteristics, such as portability, the tactile experience of holding a magazine in your hands, no need for batteries and the ability to continue reading on an airplane after you’ve been told to turn off all electronic devices!”

The digital launch will begin in late October with the November issue of an enhanced, multi-platform, version of WorldRadio Online, which will again become a paid-subscription publication; followed by November CQ, which, appropriately, is the magazine’s first annual Technology Special. The fall issue of CQ VHF and the December issue of Popular Communications will round out the introductions. Digital editions will be available by single copy and by subscription. Details will be in the near future in the magazines and on all CQ Communications websites.

(*Initially, digital editions will be compatible with the following platforms: PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, Android 2.0 and higher.)

ARRL Invites Nominations for 2011 International Humanitarian Award

Part 97.1(e) lists one of the reasons for amateur radio is the “continuation and extension of the amateur’s unique ability to enhance international goodwill.” That being the case, if you know of someone who’s enhanced international goodwill using amateur radio, please consider nominating him or her for this award….Dan

ARRLNominations are open for the 2011 ARRL International Humanitarian Award. This award is conferred upon an amateur or amateurs who demonstrate devotion to human welfare, peace and international understanding through Amateur Radio. The League established the annual prize to recognize those radio amateurs who have used ham radio to provide extraordinary service to others in times of crisis or disaster.

As one of the few telecommunication services that allows people throughout the world from all walks of life to meet and talk with each other, Amateur Radio spreads goodwill across political boundaries. The ARRL International Humanitarian Award recognizes the Amateur Radio Service’s unique role in international communication and the assistance amateurs regularly provide to people in need.

Nominations should include a summary of the nominee’s actions that qualify the individual (or individuals) for this award, plus verifying statements from at least two people having first-hand knowledge of the events warranting the nomination. These statements may be from an official of a group (for example, the American Red Cross, The Salvation Army, a local or state emergency management official) that benefited from the nominee’s particular Amateur Radio contribution. Nominations should include the names and addresses of all references.

read more

Ham Radio in the News – 9/25/11

Here are a few more articles about ham radio that have appeared in newspapers around the country:

  1. It’s basically about….helping people in emergencies. A lifetime interest turned into a lifetime hobby, and now Richard Nielsen is using his skills in amateur radio to potentially save lives in an emergency.
  2. What a ham!: Amateur radio operators provide vital communication. In times of emergency, when communications lines are down and power is out, when a natural disaster disrupts telephone and cell phone systems, amateur radio operators, or hams, take to the airwaves to provide vital communication.
  3. In age of technology, ham radios can still be vital communication. The ground shaking for a few seconds in Central Pennsylvania was far from a disaster, but having a reliable means of communications is necessary for emergency responders – especially when a real disaster strikes.

I guess it’s our emergency communications capabilities that make the news, but I really wish that newspaper articles would quit emphasizing that over all the other aspects of the hobby.

I also wish that newspapers would stop calling ham radio “old technology.” Sure, amateur radio has been around a long time, but the radios we use today are hardly “old technology.”

Let the Sun Shine!

It looks as though solar activity is picking up, and with that propagation on the HF bands. The ARRL Letter reports:

Solar FlareTad “Somewhere the Sun is shining” Cook, K7RA, reports: Compared to the uneventful past few years, sunspot activity was truly remarkable this week. The daily sunspot number for September 16 was 173. We haven’t see numbers like this in more than six years, when the sunspot number was 181, way back on July 5, 2005 in Solar Cycle 23. The solar flux reached 150.1 on September 18. Just six months ago it was slightly higher, 153 on March 7 and 155 on March 8, but prior to that the only higher number was 157.3 on August 22, 2005, about 7 weeks after the sunspot number of 181. Currently, the solar flux and planetary A index forecast from USAF/NOAA calls for solar flux of 144 on September 22-23, 140 on September 24-25, 145 on September 26-28, 130 on September 29 through October 1, and 135 on October 2-5. The planetary A index is predicted at 5 on September 22-24, 8 on September 25, 5, 8, 5, 5, 15 and 8 on September 26 through October 1, and 5 on October 2-7. Look for more information on the ARRL website on Friday, September 23. For more information concerning radio propagation, visit the ARRL Technical Information Service Propagation page.

On Tuesday, I worked a guy on 40m, and he reported that 10m was wide open all day. Time for some DX!

Hams Keep Red Cross Connected

A very nice article appeared yesterday on the Red Cross website describing how hams helped the Red Cross provide emergency services in New York:

As Irene neared landfall in late August, both the ARES and the New York City/Long Island American Radio Relay League (ARRL) supported the Red Cross by staffing the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and supporting shelters in Queens, Nassau County and Suffolk County. While not all shelters required onsite Amateur Radio Operators—a.k.a. HAMS—volunteers were on standby to move their equipment at a moment’s notice.

I especially liked the comment in the last paragraph about fire departments having only one or two frequencies to use.  That seems kind of short-sighted, doesn’t it?

Getting My Blog by E-mail? Then, Please Unsubscribe

I know that sounds crazy to ask you to unsubscribe to my blog, I’m having a problem with FeedBurner, which sends that e-mail to you.  It looks like they deleted my user account, even though the feed still seems to be working.

So, what I would like you to do is to click the unsubscribe link, which will unsubscribe you from the old feed. THEN, you can resubscribe using the subscription link on the KB6NU.Com homepage.


What Happened?

A reader writes:

I wanted to send you a note because you are in close contact with new Techs, and I’m wondering what your thoughts are. [If you look at the statistics (see figure below from www.ah0a.org), there is a]] very distinct decline in the number of new Techs that began exactly with the release of the last question pool. Is this a cause-and-effect thing or just coincidence?

Tech Licenses

The number of new Tech licenses seems to have declined since the release of the latest question pool.

I’m kind of at a loss to explain this. Looking at the charts for General and Extra, it doesn’t appear that this phenomenon can be explained by more hams upgrading. Does anyone have a possible explanation for the lack of growth in the number of Techs?

I’m #262,054!

I often joke that I have the #1 amateur radio blog. That is to say when you type “amateur radio blog” or “ham radio blog” into Google—if you live in the United States, anyway—I am the #1 result.

Well, imagine my chagrin at being #262,054 on the Amazon Kindle best-seller list. That’s right, KB6NU.Com ranks #262,054 on Amazon.

KB6NU.Com on Amazon

KB6NU.Com ranks #262,054 on the Amazon Kindle best-seller list

To be honest, I’m amazed that I rank at all. It was on a lark that I listed my blog on Amazon a couple of months ago. I was amused about a month and ago when I found that someone had actually paid good money ($1.99/month) to get my blog on their Kindle. Today, when I checked, I was flabbergasted to find that I actually have twelve paying subscribers and four who have signed up for a free trial.

I’m not only flabbergasted, but encouraged. So much so, that I want to reach #250,000 by the end of the year. I’ll continue to provide interesting and useful content, but I need your help. You don’t have to actually purchase the blog, but please visit the KB6NU.Com Amazon page and enter a comment there. Maybe if more people gave KB6NU.Com a positive review, more people would become subscribers.

UPDATE 11/7/11
I just ran across this post while searching for something else, and I thought I’d check my Amazon ranking.  Whadda ya know? I’m up to #247,260 now! So, I met goal #1, to get to #250,000 by the end of the year?  Might #225,000 be possible by the end of January 2012?  I don’t know, but that’s what I’m shooting for.  Please consider giving me a favorable review by clicking on the link above.