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Top content from across the community, hand-picked by us.

A well produced map (ICOM) showing both the ITU and the CQ DX Zones of the world.
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A question that may remain unanswered. I direct it mostly at CW ops because we use Q-codes more than talkers. QRI?? Depending on the source of your definition, it broadly asks the question: "How is the tone of my transmission"? The answers I have found seem to agree that 1=Good, 2=Variable and 3=Bad. In every other evaluation scale in ham radio, the higher the number, the better, not the worse. 5/9 means what it means; it's better than 2/6. So why is QRI in reverse order? Anyone have any idea?
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ARRL Insurance Program
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The Radio Club of America
Uniquely, RCA brings under one umbrella professionals from every segment of the wireless industry, including:  antennas, broadband, broadcasting, cellular, consumer, distribution, education, legal/regulatory, manufacturing, marketing/sales, microwave, military, patents, public safety, satellites, semiconductors, transportation, and towers.  As a result, synergistic relationships are created across industry lines. RCA’s Mission: “The promotion of cooperation among those interested in scientific investigation in the art of Radio Communication.”
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One day activation to IOTA EU-101 / OHFF-0846 Kvarken Archipelago 13.5.2021
Annoucement of activity:
ON AIR from Iota EU-101 island, OHFF-0846 flora&fauna area tomorrow.
Callsign: OH6V (operated by me and OH6EZU)
Starting time: 0900 UTC.
Bands: 80-6m
Modes: SSB, Data (FT8/4)

Battery powered activation so ON AIR as far the battery keeps going.
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Cube 2M antenna
Got the plans in QST. Honestly works like a charm. Good omni antenna and I could swear, with gain. I know, not likely, but it gets me to a repeater I could not make with my j-pole.
    • Like | Congratulations
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FCC Part 97
This is a link to the new US Government eCFR site which includes Title 47, Part 97, which concerns the Amateur Radio service. The main link points to the full text. This link points to the Table of Contents.
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Ham Census is born
Would amateur radio operators engage? Would they give up ±45 minutes of their day to answer over 200 questions about our passion? We were not alone, did it make sense to launch another? And we were told, by a very influential, well-known amateur radio business person, that we would likely fail because there was no way that amateur radio operators would give up that much time to answer that many questions, if there was no reward at the end. Guess what, it's here, it's getting great traffic, hams are answering the questions, and the data is amazing. As expected, some of the questions are providing anticipated results. For instance, no surprise, most hams are transmitting HF at 100W. Duh, most of today's transceivers have a 100W output so it's not wonder. But then there are questions about RFI, band usage, and interference that were surprising. For instance, 72.1% of operators do some kind of operating (D-Star, etc) using the internet. Another surprising one was the number of operators who have four or more HTs. 48% of operators who took the Census said they had at least four HTs. 15.1% said that they had over 6 HTs!

As I write, the Census is in its early days but if early response is indicative, Ham Census may become a reference tool for all those wanting to know how the practice of amateur radio is faring worldwide. To date, we have responses from 24 countries. Our goal is 150!
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Are manufacturers supporting gear?
Quote from Ham Census participant:

Do you agree? Are manufacturers putting out equipment but not providing sufficient support.

Another participant agreed:

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M1ECC Antennas
At M1ECC Antennas, We have a range of new antennas for your Radio. 
We are new our aim is to build awareness of our Quality built antenna products to serve the Radio hobby community.
We feel customer recommendation of our products is the best way.
Reviews help other potential buyers make confident decisions. 
When deciding to purchase our products.
Currently we hope to reinvest heavily from sales to expand our product range throughout 2021.
Our website is open 24/7 for ordering & products will be shipped, 
Subject to the postal & courier services we use over these unprecedented  times of Covid-19.
Please feel free to contact us If you have any questions regarding your order.
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KF7P Metalwerks
Your one stop shop for grounding/bonding, lightning protection, tower equipment, and custom made entry panels.
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KB6NU No Nonsense Study Guides
In 2005, I was cooling my heels at the public-information table at our club’s Field Day site, when up walked Bruce, W8BBS. In his hand, he had a copy of his Tech license exam study guide. What he had done was take each question in the question pool, reworded them as statements, and then reorganized them into paragraphs, adding text where appropriate to tie it all together and help it read more like a book.

We talked about how several folks had successfully used the study guide to get their licenses and how much they seemed to like his approach. Then, we talked about how he might get the word out so that more people could use his study guide. After quickly paging through the study guide, I volunteered to post it on our club’s website.

In 2006, Bruce was unable to update his study guide, so he gave me permission to to do it. That version was the first issue of the No-Nonsense, Technician-Class Study Guide. In 2007, I produced the first No-Nonsense General Class Study Guide. In 2012, after much coaxing, I came out with the No-Nonsense Extra Class License Study Guide. All three study guides have been updated as time has gone on and are current with the latest question pools.

In additions, all three of these study guides are now available as PDF files, Kindle files, and ePub files.  I planned to also produce  iPhone and iPad versions, but I can’t seem to get Apple to straighten out my iTunes developer account. 😞 You can certainly purchase the Kindle version, though, and read it on the iPhone or iPad with the Kindle app.

I can honestly say that I have helped thousands of people get their amateur radio licenses. If you are one of them, thanks for downloading or purchasing one of my study guides.
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Hamshack Hotline
Hamshack Hotline (HH) is a FREE dedicated voip telecom service for the Ham Radio community.  Typically, phones are established in hamshacks, EOCs, Clubs & club members, ARES, and other Ham related areas and functions.  It is not the intention of HH to replace traffic carried over radio in an emergency or other tactical operation, but rather to augment it, by offloading managerial tactical operations and providing a full duplex path for such communications when spectrum is occupied, conditions diminished, or otherwise unavailable.   HH also supports FAXing of information (with appropriate equipment) which allows tactical offices to share documents & data between tactical locations.   In a non-tactical use, HH is an effective resource for off-air troubleshooting when you need to coordinate a troubleshoot of a radio circuit off-air and between multiple SMEs.   In addition to all this, conference bridges on the HH network allow large groups of Hams to coordinate & meet in real time anywhere in the world.

Getting on board HH is easy!  Just acquire a supported SIP capable phone (our network prefers to register hardware phones first), and open a ticket once you have your phone.  If you have one of the phones on HH Supported Endpoints 1-7-19, then also include a picture of the Phone’s MAC address for super easy provisioning.  Before joining HH, please read and understand our HH Covenant3 If you have any questions, our FAQ’s in knowledge base area on our help desk may help, if not – feel free to open a ticket on our help desk.

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IARU Region 2 Bandplan
The three IARU regional organizations develop band plans to offer guidance to radio amateurs on how the different operating interests and modes of emission can be best accommodated in the limited spectrum available. Observing band plans is good amateur operating practice. In most cases observance is voluntary although some administrations incorporate the band plan for their egion into national regulations. Also, many contest sponsors require that competitors adhere to band plans.

To the extent possible, the IARU R2 band plan is harmonized this with those of the other regions. It is suggested that Member Societies, in coordination with the authorities, incorporate it in their regulations and promote it widely with their radio amateur communities. Of course, if a band plan conflicts with national regulations the national regulations must be observed.
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Who is this Roger guy?  And why do we keep talking about him?
Back in the olden days, when sparks flew across gaps, a successful radio communication was a pretty tough thing to accomplish.  Morse code operators soon realized that abbreviated transmissions were key (pun intended).  So, in order to acknowledge successful receipt of a transmission, the receiving station would send "RECEIVED," letting the sending station know that things were working well.  "RECEIVED" was cumbersome so it was shortened to "RCVD," which still seemed clunky so it was shortened to"R."

When the microphone was invented, and telephony developed, it became obvious early on that many letters sounded the same on the air, so a phonetic alphabet was invented to make clear which letter was being used.   The phonetic alphabet in use was based on male names and "Roger" was the term for the letter "R."  So, "Roger" became synonymous with "I acknowledge receipt of your last transmission."

By the way, notice that "R" (Roger) does not mean "Yes."  It is not an assent, nor does it mean, "I concur."  It is not an answer to a question.  In other words, you should never, ever hear a ham say, "Roger, roger.  I did not copy your name.  Please repeat."

Eventually, the phonetic alphabet changed to the one we use today, but the term "Roger" was so ingrained that it stuck.  And that, I think, is a good thing.  Somehow, hearing a ham say, "Romeo that, and thank you for the contact" just doesn't seem right.  
    • Funny
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Southgate Amateur Radio News
A premier, global amateur radio news website with daily updates. A must bookmark.
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Country callsigns
Want to have some fun? Try this easy quiz...
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It's Time to Pay the Piper
Or at least, the FCC.

After nearly 50 years of not collecting fees, and now that the licensing system is automated, and now the FCC no longer has to pay for examiners, and now that the FCC incurs very little expense to oversee the Amateur Radio Service, it's decided it needs to collect a $35 license fee.  

I suppose I'm not surprised, but I am concerned.  You see, radio frequencies are a commodity and hams have enjoyed a free ride because the FCC has valued our contributions to public service and the research and development of new technologies.  But now, apparently, its attitude has changed.

Thirty-five bucks for a ten year license is  not that big a deal for most of us.  Yet what is the likelihood that, in a few years, it becomes $35/10year/band usage?  For those of us who only operate on one or two bands, that'd probably still be no big deal.  But I'm just wondering how such a slippery slope could affect Amateur Radio.

You can read Part 97 in its entirety and never find the word "hobby."  We are a service - the FCC defines us as such.  Perhaps we should remind the Commission of that fact.
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Can you connect different types of coax?
Are there any issues in joining two different types of coax (RG-8X and RG-213) to complete a feedline from antenna to radio?  I would assume that the losses would be impacted to somewhere between the characteristics of the two, but this is just my 'logic'.  Thanks!
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The Bright Future of Ham Radio, Thanks to CW
Like many hams, I really enjoy participating in amateur radio demonstrations at public events.  For example, here in New Mexico the High Desert ARC sets up a booth at the annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, a ten day long event which attracts about a million people each year, BC.  (BC? That would be Before COVID). 
The HDARC members set up a working station, replete with interesting displays, appropriate informational pamphlets, and friendly hams anxious to share their knowledge with visitors.  I show up with a straight key, a keyer, and my Begali paddles. 

We attract some interested folks, and about as many vacationing hams who like to grab a quick eyeball QSO.  Occasionally there'll be a visitor who "always wanted to get into ham radio, but never seemed to find the time" who signs the Wants More Information sheet.  Me? I always seem to have a short line of short people - children with a definite enthusiasm and curiosity about the sounds of dits and dahs my keyer is emitting.

"This is an archaic way people used to communicate," their mis-informed but well-meaning parent inevitably explains.  "It's called Morse code."

I smile at the child, and ask, "Would you like to hear what your name sounds like in Morse code?"

"Oh, yes!  Please!" the child answers.  Before you know it, the youngster is learning a few letters, and trying out their own fist at the paddles and/or straight key.  The proud parent is impressed with their kids natural ability.  I can understand that because many of them sure seem to take to CW.  And I think I know why.  These kids are growing up texting.  Texting is a completely normal way to communicate.  To them, Morse is just a new way to text.  It's "texting you can hear."  Those children who continue with an interest in CW may find their way to getting a license and then the whole, wide world of amateur radio will open up to them.  All thanks to a few dits and some dahs. 

I guess you could say my anecdotal experience has shown me that if you want to increase youth participation in modern amateur radio, try introducing them to the archaic digital mode of Morse code. 

    • Agree | Support
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There is not much to say about this app other than its description is a reflection of its intended simplicity. From their website:

A simple, portable logger. Customized for POTA with other templates coming soon!

Note that they currently have four OS versions: macOS, Windows, Ubuntu and Raspbian.

This is a further link to their support community: https://community.hamrs.app
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For years, different emergency responders have self-deployed. First doctors and nurses did it during the African famines of the seventies. Cajun Navy has done so more recently during many floods in the U.S. I'm wondering what you all think about the notion of self-deployment among hams? Authorities do not want us to self deploy. Ask anyone at Homeland, ARRL/ARES, Red Cross and they will always tell you the same thing, that we are undisciplined and that self-deployment is dangerous. I won't take sides for now, I'll just let the debate take its course.
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ARRL Virginia Section Convention
This is a VWS sponsored event.  The 3 track program can be viewed at: http://bit.ly/VaSecConvSchedule
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VA QSO Party, March 20-21, 2021
Sponsored by the Sterling Park Amateur Radio Club,  the objective of the  QSO Party is to promote Amateur Radio activity in the 95 Virginia Counties and 38 Virginia Independent Cities.

When: Saturday, 20 March 2021, 1400 UTC - Sunday, 21 March, 0400 UTC and Sunday, 21 March, 1200 UTC - 2400 UTC. (For Virginia, this is Saturday 10 AM - 12 Midnight and Sunday 8 AM - 8 PM Virginia local time.)

The Exchange:  Exchange QSO number and QTH (Virginia County or Independent City for VA stations; State, Province or "DX" for others).

Virginia Mobile and Expedition Stations log QSO's by Virginia Independent City or County of operation.

Identify all QSO's with band/mode, sequential QSO number sent/received and date/time of contact in UTC. Please follow standard contest practices by making and responding to "CQ Virginia QSO Party" calls.

More info and rules at: https://www.qsl.net/sterling/VA_QSO_Party/2021_VQP/2021_VQP_Rules.pdf
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Radio Amateur Society of Thailand
Thai language version of the website: https://www.rast.or.th

RAST plays a role in social networking to share information, pictures and videos of interest about amateur radio. You can follow developments on our Facebook page or by following RAST on Twitter or watch our videos on YouTube. 

The Radio Amateur Society of Thailand under the Patronage of His Majesty the King was founded in 1964 by a group of pioneering Thai amateur radio operators with the support of expatriate amateur radio operators who were resident in the country then.
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