Tag Archives: Ham Radio

2018 ARRL Midwest Convention STEM TechFest: August 4 & 5, 2018

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dave Cripe (NM0S) for sharing the flyer above announcing the first annual Midwest STEM TechFest. This looks like an exciting event and frankly where I believe where most amateur radio conventions should be investing their time: in recruiting future engineers and makers! Well done!

“Kettering freshman is bringing back ham radio club”

(Source: Michigan Public Radio)

In a world of Skype and FaceTime, a Kettering freshman is bringing back ham radio club

She may be busy with her double major in Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Physics, but Kettering University student Ruth Willet always finds time for her passion: amateur radio – also known as “ham radio.”

And even in this era of FaceTime and Skype, the Kettering freshman is doing her best to fire up enthusiasm on campus for amateur radio.

Willet joined Stateside to talk about the radio club at school and what she gets out of it. Listen above to hear what she’s doing to reestablish the university’s amateur radio club, why she believes amateur radio is still relevant and useful today, and how being a part of the ham radio community has affected her view of the world.

Click here to listen to this story on Michigan Public Radio.

Today: W9IMS special event honoring races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor Brian D. Smith (W9IND), who shares this information about SWL-friendly awards offered by his amateur radio club to commemorate the three major auto races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway:

Indianapolis Motor Speedway special event stations: Act now for your shot at a 2018 certificate!

Attention, paper chasers: Amateur radio station W9IMS has begun another year of special events honoring major auto races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. And SWLs are welcome to submit reception reports qualifying them for the same colorful QSL cards and certificates available to the ham radio operators who contact the station.

The certificate and QSLs change every year, with three unique cards offered for the 2018 Grand Prix of Indianapolis, the Indianapolis 500 and the Brickyard 400, so even if you scored the clean sweep in 2017, you’ll find new trophies to pursue this year.

Just one catch: You’ll have to move fast if you want to log W9IMS in the first race, because its final day of operation is Saturday, May 12.

But you’ll have a shot at tuning in the station on any of two and possibly three bands (20, 40 and 80 meters), and since it’s the last day (Race Day), W9IMS will likely stay on the air till as late as 11 p.m. and perhaps beyond.

Here are a couple of hints for tracking down the station during this and the other two special events:

  1. Go to www.w9ims.org, find the “2018 Schedule” heading, and click on the link to the Grand Prix operating schedule (or any other race). Although some W9IMS operators take to the airwaves at unscheduled times, you’ll have your best luck looking for the station during the hours and bands reserved with a name and callsign.
  2. Check DX Summit (www.dxsummit.fi) for spots that identify the current frequency (or frequencies) of W9IMS. If you type “W9IMS” in the search box, you can customize it to list reports for only that station.

The second and third special events will take place from May 21-27 (Indianapolis 500) and September 3-9 (Brickyard 400). Full details can be found on the W9IMS web page; note that QSL cards and certificates are not filled out until after the third race, so you can take your time in submitting your reception reports.

Feel free to submit all of your 2018 QSL and certificate requests in the same envelope. And even if you catch W9IMS for only one or two special events, you can still obtain individual QSL cards for those races.

Armed Forces Day Crossband Test on May 12, 2018

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Brian (W9IND), who shares the following announcement regarding the next Armed Forces Day Crossband Test:

The Army Military Auxiliary Radio System will host this year’s Armed Forces Day Crossband Test, scheduled for May 12, 2018. This annual event is open to all radio operators, and will not impact any public or private communications. For more than 50 years, military and amateur stations have taken part in this event, which is only an exercise scenario, designed to include hobbyist and government radio operators alike.

The AFD Crossband Test is a unique opportunity to test two-way communications between military communicators and radio stations in the Amateur Radio Service (ARS), as authorized in 47 CFR 97.111. These tests provide opportunities and challenges for radio operators to demonstrate individual technical skills in a tightly-controlled exercise scenario that does not impact any public or private communications.

Military stations will transmit on selected military frequencies and will announce the specific ARS frequencies monitored. All times are ZULU (Z), and all frequencies are Upper Side Band (USB) unless otherwise noted. The frequencies used for the test will not impact any public or private communications, and will not stray outside the confines of the exercise.

The following stations will be making two way radiotelephone contacts with stations in the ARS between the time periods listed on the frequencies listed in kilohertz below. WAR, WUG-2 and NSS will also make CW contacts.

AAZ / FT HUACHUCA, AZ

1500Z – 2359Z 5,330.5 14,438.5 18,211.0

AAC / BARROW ARMY RESERVE CENTER, KY

1300Z – 0100Z 5,346.5 7,542.0 13,963.5 20,920.0

ABH / SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, HI

1600Z – 2300Z 5,357.0 14,438.5 18,272.0 20,997.0

ABM1 / CAMP ZAMA, JAPAN

1500Z – 0100Z 14,487.0 20,994.0

ADB / CAMP FOSTER, OKINAWA

1500Z – 0100Z 14,487.0 20,994.0

WAR / PENTAGON WASHINGTON, DC

1200Z – 2400Z 5,357.0 13,963.5 18,211.0 24,760.0 USB + CW

WUG-2 / ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS, TN

1300Z – 0200Z 5,403.5 13,910.5 18,293.0 20,973.5 USB + CW

AIR / ANDREWS AFB

1200Z – 2400Z 4,517.0 7,305.0 15,807.0 20,740.0

AGA2SY / HANCOCK FIELD, NY

1200Z – 2400Z 4,575.0 7,540.0 13,993.0

AGA5SC / SCOTT AFB, IL

1600Z – 2300Z 3,308.0 4,872.0 7,545.0

AGA9TR / TRAVIS AFB, CA

1600Z – 0100Z 5,346.5 7,329.0 13,996.0 14,411.0

AFM4AF / NAVAL SUPPORT ACTIVITY MID-SOUTH MILLINTON, TN

1200Z – 0300Z 7,375.5 13,498.0

NMC1 / COAST GUARD ISLAND, ALAMEDA, CA

1700Z – 2359Z 7,542.0 15,740.5 22,924.5

NIIW / USS MIDWAY CV-41 SAN DIEGO, CA

1400Z – 0400Z 4,013.5 5371.5 7,493.5 14,383.5 18,211.0

NWKJ / USS YORKTOWN CV-10 CHARLESTON, SC

1200Z – 2200Z 4,000.0 7,360.0 14,663.5

NEPM / USS IOWA BB 61 LOS ANGELES, CA

1500Z – 2359Z 4,043.5 6,903.5 14,463.5 18,293.0

NWVC / LST-325 EVANSVILLE, IN

1200Z – 0400Z 4,007.0 6,913.0 9988.5 13,974.0

NSS / US NAVAL ACADEMY ANNAPOLIS, MD

1300Z – 0200Z 4,038.5 5,330.5 7,533.5 9,447.0 14,487.0 17,545.0 USB + CW

An AFD test message will be transmitted utilizing the Military Standard (MIL-STD) Serial PSK waveform (M110) followed by MIL-STD Wide Shift FSK (850 Hz RTTY) as described in MIL-STD 188-110A/B.

Technical information regarding these waveforms is provided at:

http://www.n2ckh.com/MARS_ALE_FORUM/MSDMT.html.

The AFD test message will also be sent at 0300Z in Continuous Wave (CW) mode (refer to the far right column in the table below). The message will be transmitted on the following frequencies in kilohertz and at the listed times:

1400Z AGA2SY 13,506.5 kHz ACC 17,443.0 kHz

1420Z WAR 13,506.5 kHz AGA2SY 17,443.0 kHz

1440Z ACC 13,506.5 kHz WAR 17,443.0 kHz

1500Z AAZ 13,506.5 kHz AAZ 17,443.0 kHz

2200Z ADB 13,506.5 kHz AGA2SY 17,443.0 kHz

0300Z NWVC 5,346.5 kHz

For those who wish to document their contacts with a QSL card, go to

http://www.usarmymars.org/events and complete the request form.

St. Bandon (3B7A): An all-SDR DXpedition

3B7A Antenna Layout (Source: SunSDR)

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Mike Hansgen (K8RAT), for passing along this press release from SunSDR:

The 3B7A Saint Brandon team is now active from Saint Brandon and we are exited! This is the first major DXpedition that will be using only SDR transcievers in its setup.[…]

SunSDR2 Pro

Using past experience from their successful FT4TA expedition to Tromelin island and FT4JA Juan de Nova island Expedition, the experienced team lead by F5UFX Seb build their St Brandon setup around the SunSDR2 PRO transceiver, the SPE 1.3K-FA amplifier and ModMic attachable boom microphone.

3B7A will have 5 x HF stations on air simultaneously. Each station will have a SunSDR2 PRO with E-Coder hardware controller, an amplifier, and a ModMic. Logging is done using WinTest in network configuration and all stations will be able to operate CW, SSB or RTTY.

All 5 stations will have will have identical configuration from the keyboard to the amplifier. This will keep the operator focused on the pile-up and improve redundancy in case of any equipment failure.[…]

Click here to read the full article at SunSDR.

Note that I believe the January 2018 Bouvet Island (3YØZ) DXpedition would have also been one of the first major ham radio DXpeditions to use SDRs (FlexRadio SDRs). Sadly, due to weather and engine problems, 3Y0Z were not able to activate.