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CQ Amateur Radio

CQ Amateur Radio July 2018

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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Country:
United States
Language:
English
Publisher:
CQ Communications, Inc.
Frequency:
Monthly
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12 Issues

in this issue

12 min.
announcements

JULY PLAINS, PENNSYLVANIA — The Murgas Amateur Radio Club will hold the 38 Annual Wilkes-Barre Hamfest and Computerfest beginning 8 a.m., Sunday, July 1 at the Polish American Veterans, 2 South Oak Street. Contact: Herb, K2LNS, (570) 829-2695. Email: <murgasarc@gmail.com>. Website: <http://hamfest.murgasarc.org>. Talk-in 146.61 (PL 82.5). VE exams. SOMERSET, PENNSYLVANIA — The Somerset County Amateur Radio Club will hold the Somerset County PA Hamfest from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., Sunday, July 1 at the Somerset County Technology Center, 281 Technology Drive. Contact: Stew, AK3J, (814) 444-0637. Email: <ak3j@arrl.net>. Website: <www.k3smt.org>. Talk-in 147.195+ (PL 123) or 443.250+ (PL 123). VE exams. WHITE PLAINS, NEW YORK — The Metro 70cm Network will hold its Computer-Electronics Hamfest from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sunday, July 1 at the Knights of Columbus Mansion, 139 North Broadway.…

5 min.
ham radio news

Starks Nominated to Succeed Clyburn on FCC Geoffrey Starks, an assistant chief of the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau, has been nominated by President Trump to become an FCC Commissioner. Once confirmed by the Senate, he would fill the Democratic vacancy on the Commission created by the departure of Mignon Clyburn at the end of her term. A graduate of Harvard and Yale Law School, Starks worked for the Department of Justice before joining the Enforcement Bureau three years ago, according to a report on Politico. His first task at the FCC was to go after fraud, abuse, and waste in the Universal Service Fund, which is intended to assure the availability of basic telecommunications services — including broadband internet — to all Americans. At press time, no date had been set for…

6 min.
“the sky is f t8 alling!”

Chicken Little had nothing on us hams when it comes to predicting that the end is coming. Chicken Little thought the sky was falling; for us hams, it seems there’s always something that’s about to spell doom for amateur radio, starting with the transition from spark to CW. Each decade seems to bring a new threat, whether it’s CB, computers, cell phones, the internet, or the lack of a code test. Our current threat du jour appears, is FT8, the variation on the WSJT digital mode suite introduced last summer. As noted in these pages, FT8 had an immediate impact on various aspects of ham radio, starting with the 2017 CQ World Wide VHF Contest, run only days after it was released. Its popularity has only continued to grow in…

10 min.
results of the 2018 cq wpx rtty contest

My best result ever in a RTTY WPX contest … DL7CX Best score ever — in spite of low sunspot numbers. Great activity on the low bands somewhat compensated weak conditions on the high bands … DQ4W This was also the 100th birthday celebrations of Estonian Republic … ES1ØØF Had fun operating with my balcony ANT … JG5DHX Father and son operation to celebrate the centenary of the restoration of Independence of Lithuania … LY1ØØCY Nice to be back on HF RTTY after 15-year absence! …W4TM Family party making RTTY with my wife! … XE2N As the solar cycle continues its decline, 95% of the QSOs were made on 80, 40, and 20 meters during the 24th annual running of the CQ WPX RTTY contest. The number of logs received was up slightly from last year at 3,336.…

16 min.
lightning (and emp) surge protection for hf radios

This article explains how lightning arrestors can reduce voltage surges induced in antennas from entering radios through their antenna connectors. I was asked to recommend electromagnetic pulse (EMP) surge protectors when I was manager of the Department of Homeland Security’s SHARES (SHAred RESources) High Frequency Radio Program. The main concern at DHS was an EMP by an overhead explosion of a nuclear device (a.k.a. bomb). Hopefully, we’ll never have to face that scenario, but there are many similarities between voltages induced in antennas from a nuclear EMP and lightning, and lightning is a frequent hazard for any ham with an outdoor antenna. The main difference between an EMP and a lightning strike is how much faster the voltage develops from a nuclear EMP compared to lightning. Most antenna surge protectors…

12 min.
the sabertooth wire: an innovation in antenna-length shortening

In the century and a half since the discovery of radio-wave propagation for communications, countless antenna methods and designs have been developed. More recently, computer modeling has enabled significant advances in antenna designs and performance. But the tried-and-true wire-only antenna has had only modest advances in the past decades; for instance, dipoles are essentially the same as they were 50 years ago. And the 486/f formula has remained the bedrock of antenna-radiator length calculations and design. That is, until today. It is pleasure to disclose to all of our fellow amateur radio colleagues the research that my colleague Rod Lane, N1FNE, and I have made over the last 10 years — resulting in a radiator-shortening method that does not require any external components, such as coils. With this method, antenna-radiator lengths…