Tag Archives: Ham Radio

It’s Field Day weekend 2016: find a local event, have fun

2016 Field Day Logo

If you live in North America and have an interest in becoming a ham radio operator, this is the weekend to check out what amateur radio is all about, and meet local radio enthusiasts.  

It’s Field Day!

What is Field Day?  I’ll quote from the ARRL, who sponsors the event:

“ARRL Field Day is the single most popular on-the-air event held annually in the US and Canada. On the fourth weekend of June of each year, more than 35,000 radio amateurs gather with their clubs, groups or simply with friends to operate from remote locations.

Field Day is a picnic, a camp out, practice for emergencies, an informal contest and, most of all, FUN!

It is a time where many aspects of Amateur Radio come together to highlight our many roles. While some will treat it as a contest, other groups use the opportunity to practice their emergency response capabilities. It is an excellent opportunity to demonstrate Amateur Radio to the organizations that Amateur Radio might serve in an emergency, as well as the general public. For many clubs, ARRL Field Day is one of the highlights of their annual calendar.

The contest part is simply to contact as many other stations as possible and to learn to operate our radio gear in abnormal situations and less than optimal conditions.”

GOTAMany Field Day sites have a GOTA (Get On The Air) station where non-licensed individuals are welcome to play radio. It’s a fantastic way to try your hand at transmitting with a little guidance and encouragement from the more experienced. Indeed, even if there is no GOTA station, you will often be invited to try out the mic.

You’ll find that ham radio operators are very welcoming on Field Day–after all, spreading the word about the fun of amateur radio is what it’s all about. Indeed, I’ve shown up unannounced to a number of Field Days over the years; once I even got some serious radio time with the Charlotteville Amateur Radio Club while on vacation in Prince Edward Island, Canada.

This year, I’m joining the Québec Amateur Radio Club (Club Radio Amateur de Québec) and I’m looking forward to it very much!

Keep in mind that there are many shortwave listeners among the amateur radio community; indeed, many hams became interested in the hobby through SWLing.

The ARRL has made it quite easy to find registered Field Day locations in your region. Click here to find a local Field Day event near you–and have a great Field Day!

“When everything else fails, amateur radio will still be there—and thriving”

IMG_6686

(Source: ARS Technica)

by Rupert Goodwins

It’s a good time to be technical. Maker communities are thriving around the world, tools and materials to create and adapt are cheaper and more powerful now than ever, and open source hardware, software, and information mean that if you can think it, you can learn how to do it and then make it happen.

For one group of technological explorers, this is more than just a golden age of opportunity: it’s providing the means to save one of the oldest traditions in electronic invention and self-education, one that helped shape the modern world: amateur radio. That matters.

Radio amateurs get a sweet deal, with effectively free access to many gigahertz of the same radio spectrum that companies pay billions for. They’ve earned it. Throughout the history of electronics, they’ve been at the borders of the possible, trying out ideas that commerce or government deem impossible or pointless—and making them work. One example of hundreds: Allied military comms in World War II needed a way to reliably control the radios used by front-line forces, replacing tuning knobs with channel switches. Hams had the answer ready and waiting: quartz crystal oscillators. (That’s part of computing history too—you’re probably using about ten of them right now.).

[…]Then, there’s backup. Take the European HAMNET, for example. That’s a four-thousand-node high speed data network covering a large part of continental Europe and providing full IP connectivity at megabit speeds. It connects to the Internet—ham radio owns 16 million IPV4 addresses, believe it or not—but is independent of it, doing its own robust and flexible routing. If the Internet was to go away, HAMNET would still be running. The same’s true of nearly all ham radio infrastructure: when everything else fails—power, comms, roads—ham radio is still there, and these days it can be a full-fat digital medium.[…]

Continue reading at ARS Technica…

URE: Radioaficionados available as free download

RUE-Spain-HamRadio

(Source: Southgate ARC)

Spain’s national amateur radio society the URE has made annual compilations of its magazine Radioaficionados available for free download

PDFs of the magazine are available from 2001 to the end of 2015.

To download each year click on the Descargar buttons at
http://www.ure.es/component/docman/cat_view/110-revistas/156-.html?orderby=dmdate_published

URE website in Google English
http://tinyurl.com/SpainURE

eBay find: LNR Precision LD-11 transceiver

LD-11 eBay

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Mario, who notes this first appearance of the LNR Precision LD-11 transceiver on eBay.

I must say, I’ve been using the LD-11 for the past couple of months and have been pleased–it’s a fun little radio with the added bonus of broadcast band reception (see my previous post). I’ve used it in no less than four NPOTA activations.

Mario and I do not know this eBay seller, but it appears the seller is in decent standing with eBay.  In the past 12 months, the seller has had one negative review that appears to have been in error (the comment in questions was very positive, but marked as negative by a new eBay user).  Do your research if you consider bidding.

Click here to view this LD-11 on eBay.

ARRL reaches agreement with national association of homeowners associations

ARRL

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Marty, who writes:

Hi Thomas,

I just came across this interesting new item about ARRL reaching agreement with Homeowners national association on antenna restrictions:

http://www.arrl.org/news/arrl-community-associations-institute-find-common-ground-on-parity-act-language

Regards,

Marty

[Excerpt from ARRL new item]

[The] ARRL did not have the final language for the substitute amendment until late last week, and the amended bill has not been introduced in the House as of yet. ARRL planned no announcement about the text of the amended House bill until it was introduced. However, because the text became available from the House Office of Legislative Counsel, and as CAI released the text to its members, it was decided to release the amended text now.

“The bottom line,” Imlay said, “is that if the bill is enacted, it would allow every amateur living in a deed-restricted community — for the first time in the history of Amateur Radio in the U.S. — the ability to install an effective outdoor antenna.”

“That would benefit thousands of current and future hams living in deed-restricted communities,” Lisenco added.

Thank you for the tip, Marty! Though I have never lived in a deed-restricted community, I imagine this will be welcome news to those amateur radio operators and radio enthusiasts who do.