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CQ Amateur Radio

CQ Amateur Radio

August 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!

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7 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. AUGUST TRUMANSBURG, NEW YORK — The Tompkins County Amateur Radio Association will hold the Ithaca Hamfest from 7 a.m. to noon, Saturday, August 1 at the Trumansburg Fairgrounds, NYS 96. Email: <ne2t@arrl.net>. Website: <http://tcara-ny.org>. AVON, INDIANA — Ham Emergency Radio Operation’s (HERO) will hold its Tailgate-Hamfest from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, August 8 at the Avon Methodisty Church, 6850 East Highway 36. Contact: Ken Kayler, KC9SQD, (317) 874-7068. Email: <kakayler64@hotmail.com>. Website: <http://hendricksares.org>. ELKHART, INDIANA — The Elkhart East Hamfest will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.,…

6 min
ham radio news

New Hope for Cycle 25? A group of scientists is challenging the current consensus among solar researchers that Sunspot Cycle 25 will be similar to the now-ending Cycle 24, and predicting a cycle “of major proportions.” According to the ARRL Letter, the scientists, associated with a variety of institutions in the U.S. and the U.K., including NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, the National Center for Atmospheric Research, and the University of Maryland, say their calculations, using a mathematical technique known as a Hilbert transform to analyze 270 years of monthly sunspot numbers, suggest “that Sunspot Cycle 25 will have a magnitude that rivals the top few since records began.” The group’s paper, posted online on Cornell University’s arxiv.org website, says their best estimate for Cycle 25 is a maximum level of 233…

4 min
zero bias: a cq editorial

Feeling a bit bored? Still mostly stuck at home, with mostly quiet HF bands (or rather, mostly noise)? Luckily for you, your monthly dose of ham radio therapy is here! Let’s do some exploring together, both in the pages of this issue and on your radio. We can start with our cover, joining K3WHC and W2RMA as they explore Blue Mountain in central Pennsylvania, where they set up their portable stations (with proper social distancing) to work some microwave DX. Part of a group of about a dozen microwave enthusiasts, their contacts on three bands covered distances of up to 200+ miles. You can read all about their adventures in “On the Cover” on page 100, and in this month’s “VHF+” column on page 77. You can also read there about…

3 min
news bytes

Anchorage VEC Goes to All-Electronic Testing Over the past few months, we’ve been reporting on a variety of innovations in administering amateur radio licensing exams in a time of lockdowns and social distancing. Here’s the next step … The folks who conducted the first volunteer-administered FCC amateur license exams 36 years ago now bring you the first totally online exam program. As of July 1st, all exams conducted by the Anchorage Amateur Radio Club VEC (Volunteer Examiner Coordinator) have been using a web-based platform for both the tests themselves and the documents normally filled out on paper by both candidates and examiners. The entire process is paperless, according to an announcement by the group. “Examinees will take their examinations on a computer that is connected to the internet. All documents will be electronically…

6 min
our readers say…

Violet is Not Red The following letter was directed to “Math’s Notes” editor Irwin Math, WA2NDM: Hi Irwin, I am a retired senior optical engineer, electro-optics physicist and was working with HeNe lasers. The wavelength was 632.8nm which translates to 474 terahertz (THz), so your statement that 484 terahertz is violet is wrong; that is in the red light frequency range. Longer wavelength equals lower frequency and shorter wavelength equals higher frequency. Or … Lower = Longer/Higher = Shorter (LLHS) My calculations are that Wavelength = frequency 700 nm = 429 THz, and 400 nm = 750 THz. – 73 de Phil Karras, KE3FL WA2NDM responds: Hello Phil, Thank you for your comments. Sometimes I work a little too fast. In the future I will be sure to recheck my calculations. I, too, have worked in the THz region but my company manufactures…

8 min
“peanut” for amateur radio

If you are interested in communicating with radio amateurs worldwide with noise-free audio rich in high definition (HD) quality, may I recommend trying a relatively new program and app entitled “Peanut for Amateur Radio”? Developed by Dutch radio amateur David Grootendorst, PA7LIM, it allows voice communications using Windows™, an Android™ phone or network radio.1 It also permits QSOs between DMR and D-STAR as well as offering gateways to P25, NXDN, Fusion, and WiresX. Designed exclusively for radio amateurs, it can be especially useful to those who reside in facilities with antenna restrictions. The dynamic audio coupled with a very quiet noise floor virtually guarantees you will hear everything, even if you have hearing problems. It can also be used for mobile and portable operation with your Android phone or network radio.…