CQ Amateur Radio March 2021

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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CQ Communications, Inc.
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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. MARCH CAVE CITY, KENTUCKY — The Mammoth Cave Amateur Radio Club will hold the 45th Annual Cave City Hamfest beginning 7:30 a.m., Saturday, March 6 at the Cave City Convention Center, 502 Mammoth Cave Street. Contact: Larry Brumett, KN4IV, 108 Wither Drive, Glasgow, KY. Phone: (270) 651-2363. Email: <lbrumett@glasgow-ky.com>. Website: <http://ky4x.org>. Talkin 146.30+ (PL 114.8). VE exams. WORLDWIDE — The QSO Today Virtual Ham Expo will be held continuously from Saturday, March 13 through Sunday, March 14 and will feature a virtual expo hall and speakers, panel discussions, kit…

5 min
ham radio news

Rosenworcel Named Acting FCC Chair President Biden has named FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel as the agency’s acting chairwoman. Rosenworcel was first named to the Commission by President Obama, then appointed to another term by President Trump in 2017 after the Senate failed to act on her renomination in 2016. She is a communications lawyer who previously served as Senior Communications Counsel for the United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. The ARRL reports that Rosenworcel has also been named the FCC’s Defense Commissioner, representing the commission in interagency meetings related to national defense, homeland security, and continuity of essential FCC functions. There has been no indication from the White House as to whether Rosenworcel’s appointments are temporary or if she will be nominated to a full term as chairwoman. The chairmanship…

5 min
zero bias: a cq editorial

First of all, I’d like to welcome Trent Fleming, N4DTF, to CQ’s contributing staff as our new VHF-Plus editor. You’ll see an introduction to Trent in this month’s VHF+ column on page 78, and his first column will appear next month. In our phone conversations so far, Trent and I see eye-to-eye on many subjects, and I’ll leave it to him to discuss his ham radio philosophy in upcoming issues. But I want to highlight one of those points of agreement here because this issue’s contents illustrate it so well. In the course of discussing our mutual long-standing desire to ensure that newer hams discover amateur radio life beyond their handheld radios and local repeaters, Trent said it should be impossible for anyone to become bored with ham radio as a…

2 min
news bytes

December is YOTA (Youth On The Air) Month around the world, and young hams involved with the YOTA organization in North and South America were very active in 2020. According to the YOTA in the Americas group <www.YouthOnTheAir.org>, 24 operators under age 25 took turns operating four special event stations in the U.S. and cranked out more than 14,000 contacts. Four 1x1 special callsigns were used during the event: K8Y, K8O, K8T, and K8A (Y-O-T-A). The young operators made 14,699 QSOs using SSB, CW, digital modes, and satellites, according to the group. This is an 11.3% increase in QSOs from their total in 2019 (12,487). Some operators used the callsigns during contests such as CWops CWTs, FT Roundup, and the RAC Winter contest. The following is from the YouthOnTheAir.org report: We asked U.S.…

11 min
sota adventures in new mexico, usa

What is SOTA all about? I contacted two friends of mine here in the “Land of Enchantment” who are active in this aspect of amateur radio to see if they were interested in collaborating on an article for the magazine. They were eager to share some of their reasons for participating in this activity along with a couple of resources they use. Having accompanied them on a couple of trips to New Mexico’s mountains since moving here four years ago, I can attest to their enthusiasm. The acronym SOTA means “Summits On The Air.” Like similar ham award programs focusing on islands, parks lighthouses and museum ships (to name just a few), SOTA offers its participants fame (if not fortune) for operating amateur radio equipment from locations identified in a database…

2 min
when qrp just won’t do…

Ever since acquiring a Ten-Tec Argonaut 509 in 1976, I have been an active and enamored QRPer. I have worked all states, earned QRP DXCC and even came in first place one year in the ARRL Field Day QRP class. Over the years, I have built just about every QRP kit out there and there are currently nine (9) QRP rigs in my shack. At some point, a true low-power fanatic just can’t get enough. I reached that point in 2010, when I gave in to my urge for more … or in my case, less! That’s when I decided to build a crystal-controlled, three-transistor, 200-milliwatt, 40-meter transmitter with a 2N2222 final. I already had the perfect mate for the little rig … a simple regenerative receiver that left plenty to…