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CQ Amateur Radio November 2020

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!

United States
CQ Communications, Inc.
12 Issues

in this issue

3 min

COVID-19 UPDATE The COVID-19 pandemic has radically altered plans for any social gathering and hamfests and ham radio-related conferences are taking a huge hit. CQ urges all readers to please check with the organizers of these events to ensure the event will still be held. NOVEMBER GREEN, OHIO — The Massillon Amateur Radio Club will hold its annual Hamfest on Sunday, November 1 at the MAPS Air Museum, 5383 Massillon Road. Website: <http://w8np.org>. LAWRENCEVILLE, GEORGIA — The Alford Memorial Radio Club will air special event stations K4A, K4M, K4R, and K4C from 0000 UTC Friday, November 6 through 0000 UTC Sunday, November 8 in lieu of the Stone Mountain Hamfest. Website: <http://stonemountainhamfest.com>. CONGRESS, ARIZONA — The Hassayampa Amateur Radio Klub will hold the HARKfest Tailgate Hamfest from 8 a.m. to noon, Saturday, November 7 at…

5 min
ham radio news

Hams Prepare for Hurricane Delta As we went to press, Hurricane Delta was about to make landfall in Louisiana, in roughly the same area that had been devastated just weeks earlier by Hurricane Laura. Several amateur radio nets were gearing up to provide data to the National Hurricane Center as well as post-storm emergency and disaster communications. The Hurricane Watch Net activated the day before the storm hit, and the ARRL Letter reported that WX4NHC, the ham station at the National Hurricane Center, was also on the air, along with the Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network (SATERN) and Louisiana’s Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES). In addition, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that it would permit amateur stations to communicate with government stations on two 60-meter channels — Ch. 1 (5330.5…

5 min
zero bias: a cq editorial

Some of us might be finding it difficult to be grateful at Thanksgiving this year, considering the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic and the social and political turmoil the country is experiencing right now, not to mention more and worse natural disasters, from the west coast wildfires to the extra-busy hurricane season in the east. For those of us of a certain age, today’s situation is reminiscent of the 1960s (except that the ’60s had much better music!). The country survived the ’60s, though, and I’m sure we’ll get through this as well. And despite our problems, there is still plenty to be thankful for, especially us hams. We can be thankful for ham radio itself. During the isolation of shutdowns and quarantines, amateur radio provided us with continued social contact, even if not…

2 min
news bytes

The “Sunset” of the 3.3- to 3.5-GHz Ham Band On September 30th, the FCC voted to begin the process of removing incumbent licensees from the 3.30- to 3.55-GHz band to provide an uninterrupted swath of spectrum for 5G wireless services nationwide.1 This includes the secondary amateur allocation at 3.3-3.5 GHz. While it is not a heavily used band like 2 meters or 70 centimeters, there is a considerable amount of amateur activity there, including digital mesh networks and amateur television. According to the ARRL, hams on the U.S. west coast have been using these networks as part of their communication efforts in support of agencies fighting wildfires there. In its initial Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), the FCC had dangled the possibility of providing hams with replacement spectrum, but in the…

7 min
hybrid multi-op contesting at w7rn

W7RN, the Comstock Memorial Station,1 has evolved over the last 22 years into an incredibly competitive venue for stateside and DX contests (Photo A). The original goal was to host multi-two DX contests and optimize competitiveness from the West Coast. In the past (Photo B), we had as many as three operating positions. Unfortunately, recruiting operators has become difficult because avid contesters find it difficult to make the time to travel to Virginia City, Nevada, for a long weekend and there are very few serious contesters living in the region. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, traditional multi-op contesting as we knew it became impossible. Hybrid Contesting Over the last five years we have installed three remote hosts (Photo C). Our objective is to help pioneer hybrid contesting, which we believe will be the…

14 min
results of the 2020 cqww wpx cw contest

“Great propagation for zero sunspots. Ten and 15 meters were open long into darkness”– Zlatko, 9A2EU After a quiescent period of 925 days, an M-class solar flare occurred on May 29th, 2020, peaking at 07:24 UTC. This event was likely a thrill for space weather enthusiasts as it potentially represented the first M-class flare of the new Sunspot Cycle #25. This enthusiasm was not shared universally, though, as the timing of the flare just 16 hours prior to the start of CQWW WPX CW left many contesters wondering what else could go wrong in 2020. “Wow…wall to wall chaos. Busiest contest I have ever seen” – Stephen, AA4TI Erratic, Sporadic, and Ecstatic The effects of the solar flare were noted by many participants in their after-action reports. Fortunately, the sun and ionosphere decided to…