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CQ Amateur Radio

CQ Amateur Radio December 2017

CQ is the magazine for active hams, with a focus on the practical. Every article is clearly written and aimed at involving you, the reader...whether it's a story of operating from some exotic location, an article to deepen your understanding of ham radio science and technology, or a fun-to-build project that will have practical use in your ham shack. Join us on our monthly journey through the broad and varied landscape of the world's most fascinating hobby!

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United States
CQ Communications, Inc.
$8.38(Incl. tax)
$41.98(Incl. tax)
12 Issues

in this issue

10 min.

DECEMBER BALTIMORE, MARYLAND — The Amateur Radio Club of the National Electronics Museum will air special event station, W2W, from 1300-2200 UTC Saturday, December 2 and 1300-2200 UTC Sunday, December 3. Additional operations from December 4-10 possible. Frequencies include 7.041, 7.241, 14.041, 14.241 MHz. Website: <http://ww-2.us>. MESA, ARIZONA — The Superstition Amateur Radio Club will hold the Superstition SuperFest 2017 on Saturday, December 2 at Mesa Community College, 1833 W. Southern Avenue. Email: <info@superstitionsuperfest.org>. Website: <www.superstitionsuperfest.org>. Talk-in 448.275- (PL 100), or 449.600- (PL 100). VE exams, ARRL card checking, special event station: K7A, GOTA station, and fox hunt. OCALA, FLORIDA — The Silver Springs Radio Club will hold its Hamfest 2017 on Saturday, December 2 at 2232 NE Jacksonville Road. Website: <http://k4gso.us/hamfest>. Talk-in 146.610 (PL 123). VE exams, DXCC / WAS / VUCC…

7 min.
ham radio news

New Ham Bands Occupied and Busy The two newest ham radio bands — 2200 and 630 meters — are open for general amateur use and are already being well-used. It appears that the first approval letters from the Utilities Technology Council (UTC) — which must sign off on notices that individual hams intend to use the bands — arrived on October 13, and some stations immediately got on the air. Amateurs wishing to use these bands must notify UTC and wait until an approval letter is received or until 30 days go by with no response before getting on the air. CQ MF/LF Editor John Langridge, KB5NJD, reports that a record-setting 630-meter QSO of just over 7,457 miles (12,002 kilometers) was completed on October 17 between Larry Molitor, W7IUV, in Quincy, Washington,…

5 min.
arrl: circling the wagons

Just what is the ARRL is afraid of? The League’s top leadership appears to be continuing and expanding its efforts to centralize decision-making in Newington and to closely control the flow of information about the organization and its activities. In doing so, it is changing the nature of the organization and depriving members in certain divisions the opportunity to choose their representatives. Historically, ARRL leadership volunteers around the country have been given a significant amount of autonomy in how they carry out their roles and in the relationships they build with local and regional leaders of served agencies. The staff in Newington served primarily as a resource, offering assistance as needed and guidance as requested. This made a lot of sense, as needs varied in different areas and a “one-size-fits-all” approach…

18 min.
low-band wspr propagation during the 2017 solar eclipse

Radio amateurs are curious and collaborative by nature. The total solar eclipse on August 21, 2017 (Photo A) presented a perfect opportunity to exercise those qualities and we seized it. HamSCI, the Ham Radio Science Citizen Investigation group (HamSCI.org), encouraged ham participation to collect data about the effects of radio wave propagation during the eclipse. Eclipses have stimulated curiosity from the first published measurements of eclipse temperature changes in Boston, Massachusetts in 1834 up to modern measurements of ionospheric total electron content (TEC)1,2,3. Even after many eclipses have been studied, we remain curious about what ionization processes occur in the atmosphere, how long they last, and how they affect propagation4,5,6,7,8. We were curious enough to collaborate by collecting data before, during, and after the event. We were not sure what, if…

13 min.
using gps to set your computer clock in the field

It is important to have time set correctly on computer platforms so that amateur radio digital mode applications such as WSJT-X are synchronized within a second or better of each other and to allow logging programs to save the correct UTC (Coordinated Universal Time) time for contacts. Many solutions exist when connected to network infrastructures. Indeed, Windows®-based platforms can use network time servers to gather and set the computer’s time automatically. When operating away from your shack, however, it is a different story. How can you automatically set time when your computer is not connected to the Internet? This is a situation commonly faced when operating ham radio in the field or on DXpeditions to remote areas where the internet time is unavailable or unreliable. You can manually set the time using…

10 min.
narrowbanding – amateur radio style

As demand for spectrum increases, particularly on the higher frequencies, the trend in land mobile radio (LMR) has been toward narrowbanding. The purpose of narrowbanding is to utilize less radio spectrum per QSO or, looking at it another way, more QSOs per MHz. This concept is far from new. In the early days of FM communications, channels were spaced 60 kHz apart and there was no real specification for how far from the center frequency the FM carrier could be deviated or modulated. Things eventually settled down and FM deviation was standardized at ?15 kHz. This might be considered the first narrowbanding of VHF land mobile radio. As the use of FM grew, the next phase of narrowbanding came when the FM deviation was reduced from ?15 kHz to ?5…