World Amateur Radio Day April 18th

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This announcement for World Amateur Radio Day was posted on the IARU website along with links for clubs (or individuals) to download flyers and posters to promote the event.

World Amateur Radio Day

Every April 18, radio amateurs worldwide take to the airwaves in celebration of World Amateur Radio Day. It was on that day in 1925 that the International Amateur Radio Union was formed in Paris.

Amateur Radio experimenters were the first to discover that the short wave spectrum — far from being a wasteland — could support worldwide propagation. In the rush to use these shorter wavelengths, Amateur Radio was “in grave danger of being pushed aside,” the IARU’s history has noted. Amateur Radio pioneers met in Paris in 1925 and created the IARU to support Amateur Radio worldwide.

Just two years later, at the International Radiotelegraph Conference, Amateur Radio gained the allocations still recognized today — 160, 80, 40, 20, and 10 meters.  Since its founding, the IARU has worked tirelessly to defend and expand the frequency allocations for Amateur Radio. Thanks to the support of enlightened administrations in every part of the globe, radio amateurs are now able to experiment and communicate in frequency bands strategically located throughout the radio spectrum.  From the 25 countries that formed the IARU in 1925, the IARU has grown to include 160 member-societies in three regions. IARU Region 1 includes Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Northern Asia. Region 2 covers the Americas, and Region 3 is comprised of Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific island nations, and most of Asia. The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has recognized the IARU as representing the interests of Amateur Radio.

Today, Amateur Radio is more popular than ever, with over 3,000,000 licensed operators!


The full article and a list of several amateur-radio related activities may be found here.

Robert Gulley, AK3Q, is the author of this post and a regular contributor to the SWLing Post. Robert also blogs at All Things Radio.

Kickstarter launch: The KiwiSDR for BeagleBone

Kiwi-SDR-1

Many thanks to SWLing Post reader and KiwiSDR developer, John Seamons (ZL/KF6VO), who notes:

The KiwiSDR for BeagleBone Kickstarter just launched:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1575992013/kiwisdr-beaglebone-software-defined-radio-sdr-with

Many thanks, John!

Those of you who had such a positive response to our previous post about John’s New Zealand-based web SDR, may consider supporting this Kickstarter and even installing a a KiwiSDR at your location! Check out the Kickstarter video for more information.

 

Free webinar on receiving antennas

SX-99-Dial-NarMany thanks to SWLing Post reader, Tim Anderson (KF7JBM) who writes:

You may have seen this already, but I ran across this at the ARRL site and thought it might be of interest to your readers:

Receiving Antennas Will Be Focus of Free Webinar

“High Performance RX Antennas for a Small Lot” will be the topic of a free webinar by Jose “JC” Carlos, N4IS, and sponsored by the World Wide Radio Operators Foundation (WWROF).

Carlos will explore basic concepts of receiving antennas and share his experiences with low-band receiving antennas on a small lot, including the Waller Flag.

The webinar will take place on March 4 at 0200 UTC (the evening of Thursday, March 3, in US time zones). It will run for about 1 hour.

Registration is required. — Thanks to Ken Claerbout, K4ZW, via The Daily DX

Many thanks, Tim! I may try to attend this next week.

First Iranian ham radio contest

Iran-Map

To celebrate 37th anniversary of Iranian Islamic revolution, the first Iranian ham contest is going to be held on February 1st, 2016 and will last for 10 days.

Objective: To encourage and increase contacts (especially DX ones) with Iranian radio amateurs.

Dates:

Contest Period: 10 days (Feb 01, 00:00 UTC – Feb 11, 23:59 UTC)

All modes (CW, SSB, RTTY) can be used on this period.

Bands:

40, 20, 15 and 10 meters

Note: On 20m, the upper limit is 14.250 MHZ

Contact information:

For contest information and any sort of inquiries contact epcontest.2016@gmail.com

Certificates:

Certificates will be awarded to:

1- Top single operator (at least 30 contacts on all modes)

2- Top CW operator

3- Top SSB operator

4- Top RTTY operator

5- Any operator who contacts at least 3 Iranian hams

Getting QSL card:

If you need the printed certificate, you should send 5USD (or equivalent in your          currency) to this address: “P.O. Box 14185-736 , Tehran, Iran”

Please use registered mail to make sure it delivers without problems.

WebMoney and Bitcoin are also accepted. (Contact us for more information)

Misc:

Iranian amateurs will use “/contest” at the end of their call sign for this contest.

The deadline for contacting us for certificate is 3 months after the contest.

List of Iranian participants:

  1. EP2FM  : Abdollah Sajjadian
  2. EP3RB : Reza Batebi
  3. EP3AG  : Ali Ghanbari
  4. EP2FA   : Farman Aghdasi
  5. EP2CM : Jamshid Mansoori
  6. EP4HR  : Hamid-Reza Rahimi
  7. EP3MIR : Mohammad Mobini
  8. EP3CQ : Ali Solh-Joo
  9. EP2LMA : Mohammad Azimi
  10. EP2LSH: Saeed Shokrollahi
  11. EP2HZM : Hassan Zohoorian
  12. EP2HEK : Hekmatollah Rahimi
  13. EP5MKN : Majid Kiani Nejad
  14. EP5ABD : Bagher Mir-Abdolhagh
  15. EP7AHN : Hamed Nahrir
  16. EP4KHA : Amin Kharadmehr
  17. EP4MMM : Mohammad Mirab
  18. EP2MA : Mohammad Ameli
  19. EP2LSD : Sepehr Dalir
  20. EP3EEE: Ehsan Esteki

Mehdi Asgari, the author of this post, is a regular contributor to the SWLing Post. Mehdi lives in Tehran and is an active member of the EP2C amateur radio club.

P5/3Z9DX: Successful ham radio activation of North Korea

NorthKoreaMap(Source: Southgate ARC)

Ham radio activation of North Korea

The ARRL reports the first amateur radio operation from Pyongyang, N.Korea in 13 years took place on December 20.

In an unexpected turn of events, Polish DXer Dom Gryzb, 3Z9DX, who has been visiting North Korea this week in advance of a planned Amateur Radio operation early next year, came on the air from the most-wanted DXCC entity around 0000 on December 20. P5/3Z9DX has been active on both 20 meters and 15 meters SSB only, and a few hundred stations have been fortunate enough to work him.

Propagation was unfavorable due to a geomagnetic storm that seems to have affected his efforts on 20 meters. He also reported that he faced extremely high ambient noise levels in Pyongyang. He ran 100 W to a vertical antenna mounted on a metal fencepost some 7 feet above the ground among government high-rise buildings.

Read the two ARRL stories:

North Korea on the Air for First Time Since 2002
http://www.arrl.org/news/north-korea-on-the-air-for-first-time-since-2002

P5/3Z9DX Concludes Demonstration Operation from North Korea
http://www.arrl.org/news/p5-3z9dx-concludes-demonstration-operation-from-north-korea

SWLing Post DXpedition at PARI…this weekend!

If you’ve registered for, and plan to attend, the PARI DXPedition, please make sure you’ve joined our Yahoo Group.  This is where we’re finalizing details and communicating about the DXpedition, noting any changes, updates, etc.  

PARIdish

If you’ve tried to contact me recently and haven’t gotten a response yet (sorry about that!) it’s because I’ve been unusually busy: writing a shortwave radio buyer’s guide for The Spectrum Monitor, several reviews for WRTH 2016, plotting another reader challenge, and last but not least, putting together the final details of the SWLing Post DXpedition at PARI this weekend.

Soon I’ll be another kind of busy, at the DXpedition:  exploring the bands, gazing at the stars, and hanging out with some of the SWLing Post community. Needless to say, it’s going to be fun, and I’m looking forward to it.

If we have Internet access at PARI, we hope to post a few loggings and photos from our Twitter account.

We have about a dozen registrants this year, a good start.  If you can’t make it there, no worries; if all goes well, we may have another next year.

Night of Nights XVI: July 12, 2015

Photo: US Coast Guard

Photo: US Coast Guard

SWLing Post contributor, Brian D. Smith, writes:

“Thought I’d forward you this information on the annual “Night of Nights” event on July 12 (U.S. local time)/July 13 UTC, which provides an opportunity for shortwave QSLs – assuming the listener understands Morse code!

I’m sure you’re familiar with this one-night-a-year happening, in which maritime radio stations rise from the dead and transmit Morse code messages again for a few hours.

As a guy who honed his CW sending skills by listening to these stations’ constantly repeating messages, I have a sense of nostalgia and gratitude toward these stations, which helped me obtain my first Novice license, WN9ICB, at the age of 15 … less than 2 months after I taped the WWV recording that I submitted.”

Many thanks for the notice and sharing your nostalgia! Brian also forwarded an announcement from the Maritime Radio Historical Society of America. The MRHS describe the event:

It’s that time of year again. Time to honor all those ops who came before us by preserving their skills, traditions and culture through on the air operations.

Why 12 July? Long time True Believers know the story. But it may be worth repeating for new arrivals and to remind everyone of the traditions we hope to keep alive.

On 12 July 1999 some very tough looking grizzled old radio pioneers had tears in their eyes as the last commercial Morse code radiogram was sent. It was the end of an era. And as the last beeps faded away into the static they witnessed the end of the career to which they had devoted their lives.

These men – and some women – had stood watch over the airwaves on shore and at sea. Theirs was mostly the business of maritime commerce. But when their ship was in peril they were called upon to send the most electrifying three letters in radio, S O S, knowing that all their fellow radio operators would press their earphones close to get every scrap of information and bring aid to their stricken ship.

Once, our coasts were dotted with great Morse code radio stations, all communicating with ships at sea. They’re all gone now… all except one, the one they called the Wireless Giant of the Pacific, located at Point Reyes.

On that sad day in 1999 another event took place. The Maritime Radio Historical Society (MRHS) was formed. We made it our life’s work to honor the men and women of wireless by restoring that wireless giant. One year and one minute later the giant’s voice once again spanned the oceas as we picked up the thread and kept the faith with our colleagues of the air.

Every year since, in an event that became known as the Night of Nights, Morse code station KPH has returned to the air, joined by KFS and the station of the MRHS, KSM.

This year our friends and colleagues at USCG station NMC have labored mightily to bring that storied call sign back to life on Morse code for the evening along with NMQ in Cambria, CA..

And station NMW in Astoria, OR will be on the air as well.

Stations WLO and KLB will join us again as hey have in years past.

This is a global and local event. Hundreds of listeners around the world will be waiting with their earphones on, waiting for the signals of the great station to once again arc over the dome of the Earth to their receivers.

You can be with us in person!

My buddy, Mike (K8RAT) also notes that this “Night of Nights” event may witness the last ever Morse communications from the US Coast Guard stations. Indeed, this is mentioned in the MHRS newsletter:

This may very well be the last time ever that USCG stations can be heard on the air using A1A (Morse) emission. As new equipment is installed the hardware and wiring for Morse has been progressively removed. And the personnel who knowledgeable in the art retire or are reassigned. So be sure to listen for these stations.

I’ll not only listen to this Night of Nights, but hope to record some of the stations as well.

The frequencies for this event are numerous! I have listed the USCG (NMC) frequencies below, but please check the MHRS newsletter for MRHS and other maritime station frequencies.

Again, Brian, thanks for the heads-up!

Happy listening, everyone!


NMC (Transmit Bolinas, Receive Pt. Reyes)

Frequency            Transmitter                         Antenna

472.0                    Nautel ND2500TT/6           173′ monopole tower
500.0                    Nautel ND2500TT/6           173′ monopole tower
6383.0                  Rockwell-Collins RT-2200  Omni-directional
8574.0                  Rockwell-Collins RT-2200  Omni-directional
17220.5                Rockwell-Collins RT-2200  Omni-directional