Tag Archives: Ham Radio

WSPR explained

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Bill Patalon, who shares a link to the following article on Extreme Tech:

Last Tuesday at 1744 UTC (1:44 PM EDT) UR3RM, a ham radio station in Ukraine blindly sent out a message on 7040.138 kHz.  It was automated. It was text. Maybe someone would hear it. Maybe not.

The “maybe not” part is easy to understand because UR3RM’s transmitter was putting out one milliwatt, .01 watts. To put that in perspective, a Class 2 Bluetooth transmitter, the ones good for around 30 feet, run 2.5 milliwatts.

UR3RM was using a mode called WSPR for Weak Signal Propagation Reporting. Unlike most of ham radio, this is a one-way mode. Not only is there little expectation anyone will be listening, but there’s even less that the signal would make it back. Radio propagation isn’t always a two-way path.

WSPR’s biggest selling point is you can do it on the cheap. It’s easy to set yourself up for not much more than $100 and often a whole lot less. And, though a ham radio license is needed to transmit, anyone can put up a receiver. And the US ham license test is multiple-choice, all published and online.[…]

Click here to continue reading at Extreme Tech.

Post Readers: How many here have received and/or transmitted using WSPR?  Please comment!

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FCC recommendation to make all ULS filings electronic

(Source: ARRL)

The FCC is seeking comment on a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that is part of an overall plan to complete its transition to electronic filing, licenses, authorizations, and correspondence. The notice proposes to make all filings to the Universal Licensing System (ULS) completely electronic, expand electronic filing and correspondence elements for related systems, and require applicants to provide an email address on the FCC Forms related to these systems. Although much of the FCC’s ULS filings are already electronic, the changes suggested in the NPRM (in WT Docket No. 19-212) would require all Amateur Radio Service applications to be filed electronically. Under current rules, Amateur Radio applications may still be filed manually, with the exception of those filed by Volunteer Examination Coordinators (VECs).[…]

Click here to read the full article at the ARRL website.

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2019 Huntsville Hamfest photos: Vendors, Clubs and Organizations

As promised by Huntsville Hamfest veterans, Sunday was a more relaxed day at the Huntsville Hamfest than Saturday (which was insanely busy–in a good way).

Since we had a table in the vendor section of the hamfest, I started taking many of the photos below before the doors officially opened. As you’ll see, all of the major radio manufacturers and retailers were present in Huntsville. It’s no surprise, as it turns out Huntsville is the third largest hamfest in North America (Orlando Hamcation is #2 and Hamvention #1).

[Note that Huntsville flea market photos were posted yesterday.]

Click on the photos below to enlarge the image:


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2019 Huntsville Hamfest photos: Flea Market

Yesterday (Saturday, August 17), was the first day of the Huntsville Hamfest in Alabama.

Over the years, I’ve heard from a number of friends that Huntsville is a must-see hamfest. And, boy, were they right! Turns out the Huntsville Hamfest is one of the largest hamfests in North America.

The entire event is held in the amazing Von Braun Center and is fully air conditioned–a good thing as temperatures were pushing 100F/37.8C yesterday!

I took a number of. photos in the flea market area of the hamfest. In truth, though, this is only a small sampling of what was there. I told a friend that–in terms of selection and radio density–this was one of the best hamfest flea markets I’ve ever seen. If you were looking for ways to rid yourself of your hard-earned cash, this was the place to do it!

Click on the photos in the gallery below to enlarge each image. Note that I plan to take photos of the vendor/club areas today and hopefully post them tomorrow:


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Apollo 11 ham radio special event stations

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Randy (KS4L), who writes:

Don’t know if you’re aware, but there are a number of Special Event Stations on the air this weekend commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing on the moon.

This includes W4A at the US Space and Rocket Center here in Huntsville. W4A has 2 SSB stations on 20m and 40m, and a CW station switching between 40m, 30m, 20m and 15m. I believe there may also be a satellite station.

Thanks for the tip, Randy! I’ll have to put some of these stations in the logs!

The ARRL has also published a comprehensive list of other special event stations on their website:

N8A, until July 24, Midwest VHF/UHF Society, West Chester, Ohio; WB4ICJ, July 14 – 20, Kennedy Space Center; N1A, July 14 – 28, Milford (Ohio) Amateur Radio Club; N4A, July 16 – 25, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Amateur Radio Club; K2M, July 16 – 24, Great South By Amateur Radio Club (honoring those who built the LEM on Long Island); K2CAM, July 16 – 24, Long Island Mobile Amateur Radio Club;

N5A, July 18 – 21, Razorback Contest Club, Springdale, Arkansas; W3A, July 18 – 23, the National Electronics Museum Amateur Radio Club (K3NEM); W4A, July 19 – 21, Huntsville (Alabama) Amateur Radio Club; K8QYL, July 20, Reservoir Amateur Radio Association; K9MOT, July 20 – 21, Motorola Amateur Radio Club; N0M, July 20 – 22, South East Metro Amateur Radio Club; K1M, July 20 – 28, Stratford Amateur Radio Club; GB5EHL, until July 28, Leicester Radio Society “Eagle Has Landed” commemoration, and PA11APOLLO, until August 2, in the Netherlands.

Search for additional Apollo 11 special event stations on the ARRL website.

Operations end for many of these stations today (July 21). Work them while you can!

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