It’s that time of year again! Our club, The Southeastern Underground Radio Fellowship, will be activating the special event call N4G for the Georgia QSO Party, held this year April 12 and 13th. The operating schedule is as follows:
April 12: 18:00Z-03:59Z (2 P.M. to 11:59 P.M. EDST)
April 13: 14:00Z-23:59Z (10 A.M. to 7:59 P.M. EDST)
Like last year, each station that makes contact with N4G will receive a complimentary QSO card for their effort. We’d love it if you sent us a paper card in return, too! Send your return QSL as a postcard- we don’t mind if they look like they’ve gone through the sorting machine!
We’ll also upload our logs to LoTW.
We are going to be running on all the bands via CW, Data and Voice. If you work us, please spot us!
Say it isn’t so! One of the most famous VHF rovers in history is being put up for sale, sans radio equipment inside, due to John’s other obligations.
Photo Credit: K1RA
“It is with mixed emotions that I must offer the Intergalactic Roving Battle Jitney for sale .. other obligations make it impossible for me to dedicate the time necessary to keep it ready to go. I’m going to keep the RF stuff for a future SO effort and offer the Jitney as an almost-ready-to-go rover as described below.”
If this would be of interest to you, please visit W1RT’s QRZ.com webpage for contact details and more information.
In other news, I recently signed up for an interesting email reflector that I have enjoyed and therefore would like to share with others. After the recent trip to the Cayman Islands and working some satellites, in order to give others the chance for what would most likely be a new grid, I had occasion to make contact with Frank, K4FEG, who maintains a satellite mailing list to reach “Satellite Lovers & Grid Guerrillas.” After subscribing, I have found that the list has a high signal to noise ratio and the participants are friendly and have a great deal of enthusiasm for working new grids and satellites. You can find the sign-up page for the list here. If you want to get the word out about your satellite activities, or would like to get the low down on when some far away grid may be activated, then this ought to meet those needs quite well.
And a belated Happy New Year to you, too!
First up, I was fortunate to make a trip to Grand Cayman this year. In addition to making a couple of Q’s on 20 Meters, I had a blast with friends Jim (ZF2JS) and Newt (ZF2KO) by doing something a little different than our normal operating activities during our “vacationpedition:” we tried handing out Grand Cayman contacts for those intrepid operators who often don’t seem to receive a lot of press: the satellite operators. We had to hack about an inch and a half off the handle end of the Arrow Antenna in order to pack it down there and back again. The only other piece of equipment we used was my Icom W32A HT which I picked up from John, N8UR. It works great, John!
Limiting ourselves to the only remaining FM satellite, or “birds” as they are often called, was not necessarily a handicap. We had the equipment available to attempt activating the USB birds but elected not to do so since it made things more complicated. And when you are in the middle of the Caribbean during wintertime, believe me, you don’t want complicated. You want a Cuban cigar and Scotch. That’s what you want.
Jim was kind enough to take a video of the event and edited it down to the best part. Please enjoy!
Secondly, it wouldn’t be January without the January VHF contest! If you have been following this blog for any length of time, you know one of my very favorite writers is Andy, K1RA, and his missives concerning VHF rovering. I don’t want to spoil it for you, but take a look at this:
N3UR/R is a real rover!
And I know what you are thinking: where can I get one of these? Well, Andy will tell you how here. As usual, he does a splendid job reporting both how something gets done and how it turns out- something that doesn’t always come across well in amateur radio writing. How Andy and Terry, W8ZN, convinced Rich, N3UR, to loan them a new rover for the contest is either some form of trickery I haven’t mastered or perhaps evidence of a deep and caring friendship. Way to go fellows!
With Techfest 2014 coming up in January, I thought this would be a perfect time to share my review of this event from earlier this year. While there is no question that amateur radio is a technical hobby, I’m often more interested in some of the social practices and customs of its participants than I am in some technological apparatus or the movement of electrons to and fro. That’s what makes this event interesting to me- you get the technology and then someone who wants to tell you all about it. Maybe my review will be of interest to you.
Please read below the fold for more, and with pictures!
Happy Thanksgiving! Hopefully everyone is enjoying their fill of holiday food and settling in for the rest of the holiday weekend with their friends, family and whatever else it is that makes this holiday special for you.
W3XAF Rooftop Antenna Install Seen At Hamvention 2013
Earlier this year I had the chance to attend Hamvention, located in Dayton, Ohio. I was lucky enough to go, it was certainly a highlight of the amateur radio year for me, and thought that I’d share what I thought about the event as my way of sharing the fun that I had- something I was very thankful for. This also may provide some insight into the event for people who haven’t made the trip and spur them on to finally commit and attend at least once. It really is something to behold!
If pirate radio is known for anything, it may very well be best known as one of the largest pranks in radio broadcasting. And if we are talking about pranks, then there is an upcoming holiday that comes to mind with which pirate radio is closely associated- Halloween (and don’t forget April Fools, too)!
The connection between Halloween and pirate radio is natural enough- both are about showing off and performing a prank or two. There are quite a few pirate stations that broadcast, and if you are a real pirate station, then Halloween is your time to shine. Anything goes- it can be talk radio or music of any sort!
Tune your dial to 6.925 or 6.955 USB to find all sorts of broadcasts (some scanning around may be required). Some pirate stations will QSL- follow their on air instructions. Station identifications to look for include, “Captain Morgan,” “Undercover Radio,” “Northwoods Radio,” “Wolverine Radio,” and “WBNY.”
While more commonly known among the amateur radio community as a “reflector,” The Southeastern VHF Society recently lost its email listserv (and backups, sadly) host. Instead of trying to rebuild the list, it was decided that the Society would instead use the popular Yahoo! groups format in the old listserv’s place.
The new Yahoo! Groups web address is:
Or you can send an email to the following address to subscribe:
Please spread the word!
Norm, WA4ZXV, is looking for some people to help put on the show that is TechFest, the premier January amateur radio event in the Atlanta area. He writes,
“I’m looking for forums for TechFest, and would like to know what you
might like to See/Hear. Also looking for suggestions for demonstration tables.
If you’ve seen a program that you liked, or have questions about one
of our many Amateur Radio related modes or methods, let me know.
TechFest is January 11, 2014. Be sure to get the date on your calendar.
We’ll have some great door prizes and super raffle items.”
If you have something you’d like to see or possibly demonstrate for all the OM’s around town, please drop a note to Norm using his call @ arrl.net.
Some friends and I recently took advantage of the nice deal Paul, W1GHZ, had announced regarding his 222 MHz transverter. He came into possession of the necessary TOKO filters and some more power amplifiers- items which until recently had been as rare as hen’s teeth. So, we pooled our resources and purchased three semi-kits from him (board, filter and PA). Maybe next year we will be able to participate in the ARRL August UHF contest, which begins on the 222 MHz band and goes up from there, with our newly constructed transverters! This contest is held on the first weekend of August and this year runs from August 3 1800 UTC to August 4 1800 UTC.
We aren’t populated in the same way as the Northeast or Southwest is with microwave operators, so I imagine the scores will be low for us here, regardless of whether myself or friends get on the bands. The Florida Weak Signal Society probably is going to be the largest hotbed of activity in the Southeast; hope they do well and have fun this year!
I’m currently working on two new blog posts, one about Techfest back in January and the other about this year’s trip to Dayton for Hamvention. Why mention these and not publish them already? When I originally purchased this domain and associated hosting package, I made two resolutions:
1) I would make at least one entry a month.
2) That entry was not to be a “I’m busy,” or some other sort of status that indicates I don’t have enough time to tend to correspondence.
So, since I cannot skip my duty or break my own self imposed promise- backslider!- I thought that while I continue to work on my other two articles (in addition to some other writing projects I’m currently developing) I could instead take this months entry to talk about how I actually create what it is you are reading now. I’m not sure if this will be interesting or helpful to anyone; since I’m paying the bill and it is interesting to me, I’m going to write about it in the hopes it will help someone else looking to improve their craft of technical writing, if there is anything within that is helpful, of course.