Tag Archives: Amateur Radio

Video: TX Factor Episode 18

(Source: TX Factor)

TX Factor experiences what it’s like to be young again with a visit to this Year’s YOTA activity week at Gilwell Park in London. Bob and Pete meet the team behind the event and chat to the young people attending from 15 countries that made this year’s event so successful.

We tempt you with not one but two prizes in our next free-to-enter draw. There’s a copy of the 2018 RSGB Year Book and a Surecom SF-401 Plus Hand-held Frequency Counter from ML&S to win. Good luck!

And, if you’ve ever fancied a go at moon bounce or EME, then see how Bob and a team of amateurs get on when they’re let loose on a 32 metre dish at Goonhilly Earth Station in Cornwall.

Click here to view Episode 18 on TX Factor’s website, or click here to watch on YouTube.

Thanks for yet another excellent and informative episode, TX Factor!

Video: TX Factor Episode 17

(Source: TX Factor)

TX Factor goes digital as Mike Marsh gives Bob McCreadie an introduction to operating on DMR, Yaesu Fusion and D Star as part of his digital fun. In part one of a three-part series, they take a trip to a local farm to see how an amateur has set up his own Fusion Gateway.

Ever wonder why QSL cards take a long time to complete their journey? Bob finds out what we can do to help speed up he process.

Pete visits Norwich to spend a day with the Norfolk Amateur Radio Club at their annual field day event, Radio Active to discover why they won the coveted prize of RSGB Large Club of The Year.

Click here to view Episode 17 on TX Factor’s website, or click here to watch on YouTube.

This is another excellent TX Factor episode well worth your time. I was especially impressed with the in-depth feature about the Norfolk Amateur Radio Club–truly a case study for other amateur radio clubs who struggle with outreach.

Updated Frequency Bands Chart from the ARRL

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Steve, who notes that the ARRL has updated their downloadable Frequency Band Charts.

I find it interesting that the ARRL also noted the following on their download page:

NOTE: The new 630-meter and 2200-meter bands are not yet available for Amateur Radio use. The effective date of the recent FCC Report & Order granting these allocations has not yet been determined, and until the start date has been set, it is not legal under an Amateur Radio license to transmit on either band. The FCC will publish a notice in The Federal Register “announcing such approval and the relevant effective date.” ARRL will announce the UTC notification procedures and the effective date to use these new bands as soon as these are known.

I’ve received feedback from SWLing Post readers noting a licensed amateur radio operator in Tennessee who had already set up an active beacon on the 630 meter band. He eventually pulled the plug. No doubt, this was why the ARRL posted a special note.

Downloading and printing the charts

Download and print PDF documents using Adobe Reader.

ARISS contact today: stream on the web or perhaps listen with your radio!

NASA Astronaut Peggy Whitson’s 7th Spacewalk (Image source: NASA)

Last night, my buddy Eric McFadden (WD8RIF) notified me that the International Space Station would be making a pass this morning and doing an ARISS contact with three schools in Belgium.

It appears this pass will create an opportunity for some of us at least in eastern North America (and elsewhere) to listen to the transmission live.

Eric notes:

The frequency of the downlink should be 145.800MHz. As the ISS climbs above your horizon, because of doppler-shift, listen on 145.805. Switch to 145.800 as the ISS approaches zenith. Switch to 145.795 as the ISS drops toward the other horizon. You’ll know when to switch frequency when the audio gets bad.

[…]The ISS runs real power so an HT with anything but the shortest rubber duck should be OK, particularly when the ISS is well above the horizon. A 1/2-wave whip on the HT is better.

The contact starts at 13:47 UTC (08:47 EST)–about one hour from time of this posting.

As Eric notes, pretty much any VHF handheld radio or scanner can easily receive this contact as long as you can tune to 145.80 MHz +/-.

Last time I was in a place to tune to the ISS, it was with my kids and we all got a kick out of hearing astronauts answer questions from children here on Terra Firma. I wrote a short post about this.

Don’t worry if you miss this ARISS contact–they happen all the time. Check the ARISS “Upcoming Contacts” (http://www.ariss.org/upcoming-contacts.html) page where future ARISS QSOs are listed. No doubt, it will pass over your part of the globe at some point!

Southgate ARC also posted the following announcement with a link to the live webcast:

ARISS contact webcast

On Thursday 12 January 2017, an ARISS contact is scheduled with three schools in Belgium.

Two schools will operate from the Euro Space Center.

The event will be web streamed live on:
https://www.facebook.com/eurospacecenter

The radio contact is scheduled at 13.47 UTC, which 14.37 CEWT.

The web streaming will start around 14.00 local time.

73,

Gaston Bertels, ON4WF
ARISS past chairman

Thanks again, Eric, for the tip!

The SWLing Post: 3,000 posts and counting!

SWLingPost-DXFiend-Vintage-FrontA couple of weeks ago, I noticed that we had crossed a small milestone here on the SWLing Post: as of this post, there are now 3,067 (!!!) published posts in our archives.

I simply can’t believe we’ve surpassed 3,000 posts–especially knowing we only passed 2,000 posts September of 2015.

People can say what they will about our shortwave hobby’s future, but I’m here to tell you that  interest in is far from dead. Indeed, it is dynamic, alive and well!

This morning, I took a look at our web statistics via Google Analytics for the month of December 2016 (not including today).

It’s hard for me to believe we’re averaging about 6,790 daily pageviews!

And the secret sauce in surpassing 3,000 posts and healthy numbers? Our amazing contributors!

Thank you so very much!

As I’ve mentioned before, I had no aspirations for the SWLing Post to become a popular destination for shortwave and amateur radio enthusiasts; it was mainly a site where I could jot down things I found of interest to me and keep tabs on the radio and international broadcasting industry. I was simply making my bookmarks and thoughts public, perhaps a little in advance of the social media outlets that now exist for shortwave radio and related topics.

As we move into 2017, I’d like to thank you all for reading and contributing to the SWLing Post community!

Happy New Year, radio friends!