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CQ Amateur Radio

CQ Amateur Radio October 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.
$8.14(Incl. tax)
$40.75(Incl. tax)
12 Issues

in this issue

5 min.

OCTOBER WEST FRIENDSHIP, MARYLAND — The Columbia Amateur Radio Association will hold the 2017 CARAFest on Sunday, October 1 at the Howard County Fairgrounds. Contact: David Parkinson, KB3VDY, (443) 492-9501. Email: <info@carafest.org> Website: <www.carafest.org>. Talk-in 147.390 (PL 156.7). VE exams, card checking. WEST LIBERTY, IOWA — The Muscatine Amateur Radio Club and the Washington Area Amateur Radio Club will hold the Southeast Iowa Hamfest on Sunday, October 1 at the Muscatine County Fairgrounds, 101 N. Clay Street. Contact: Bob Weatherman, KDØSVH, 408 Chestnut Street, Muscatine, IA 52761. Phone: (563) 506-3390. Website: <www.waarc.net>. Talk-in 146.31+ (PL 192.8) or 146.25+ (PL 192.8). VE exams, DXCC/VUCC/WAS/WAC card checking. BENSALEM, PENNSYLVANIA — The Mt. Airy VHF Radio Club will hold the Mid-Atlantic States VHF Conference from Friday, October 6 through Sunday, October 8 at the Holiday Inn-…

5 min.
ham radio news

Ham Radio Help in Harvey Limited In what may be the beginning of a major shift in amateur radio’s role in emergency communications, amateurs were not called into action to a significant extent in the early response to Hurricane Harvey as it caused massive flooding in Texas. There appeared to be two major factors behind this: 1) emergency management officials deemed conditions too dangerous for people to venture out if they were in safe locations; and 2) most of the region’s normal telecommunications infrastructure — which was hardened after Hurricane Ike in 2008 — remained intact and operational. At this is written at the end of August, officials were still in the “response” stage and the ARRL said there might be greater need for amateur radio resources as activity moved into the…

6 min.
harvey, walt, marty, and our future

As we wrapped up this issue — our annual Emergency Communications Special — in late August, Tropical Storm Harvey was still dumping tens of inches of rain on the nation’s fourth-largest city and surrounding areas. While the amounts of rain and severity of flooding in and around Houston are of historic proportions, the amateur radio response to date has been quite limited, in part because conditions have been too dangerous and in part because public safety agencies and cellphone providers have strengthened their communication networks in the wake of previous storms. The ARRL reported that, while ARES nets were operating and collecting situation reports from throughout the affected areas, most hams were operating from their home stations because cities such as Houston were under “shelter-in-place” orders and officials were warning residents…

14 min.
easter in october impromptu cqww contesting from ceøy

Last October, I had to attend a conference in Chile, my first-ever visit to that country. It was a very busy conference with many presentations and personal interactions. To completely “digest” the information from conferences and be fully productive afterwards, I usually take a few days off while carrying one of my portable radios. So far, I have operated from nearly 40 countries, with the goal of 100. Conference materials advertised a number of post-conference trips to interesting parts of Chile: To Patagonia in the south, possibly with a cruise to Antarctica; to the Atamaca desert in the north, possibly the driest place on earth and source of some 30% of the world’s lithium; or to Easter Island, over 2,000 miles west of Santiago and over 1,000 miles from the nearest…

10 min.
build a portable power system using solar, battery, or ac sources

Portable communications equipment, when operated in the field or in emergency situations, is required to operate from available power sources, including an internal battery, a vehicle battery, an external (AC) power supply, or a solar power system. The transceiver must have reliable power capable of supplying it with the voltage and current required over an extended period. This might be an outdoors operation, Field Day, or an emergency situation. QRP HF transceivers with 5- to 10-watt RF outputs require receive currents between 50 and 430 mA and transmit current that can be as high as 2.65 amps. I wanted to build a Portable Power System (PPS) that would allow me to operate for an extended period of time using whatever power source(s) that might be available (see Photo A). The Portable Power…

3 min.
what’s new

After being introduced at the 2016 Tokyo Hamfair, ICOM is now shipping its brand new wideband communications receiver. The IC-R8600 is positioned between the IC-R6 handheld receiver and the top-of-theline IC-R9500. This software-defined receiver can pick up 10 kHz through 3 GHz and decodes various digital signals including P25 (Phase 1), NXDN, dPMR, D-STAR, and Japanese DCR as well as a full host of analog signals. The IC-R8600 utilizes Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) and Digital Signal Processing (DSP) units for demodulation, decoding, and most signal processing. All incoming signals are digitized in a 14-bit A/D converter, which uses a high-rate 122.88-MHz sampling frequency, then transferred to the FPGA and DSP units for processing for increased aliasing and image reception reduction. There are 11 discrete RF bandpass filters in the HF bands, which…