- Created on Friday, 08 January 2016 11:10
Sandringham School in St Albans has made history by making the first amateur radio call from the UK to a British astronaut on the space station.
The children contacted Major Tim Peake as he flew overhead on Friday morning.
Pupil Jessica, who has recently passed her radio exams, led the conversation.
It took a few minutes for the crackle and hiss to die down and allow the students to put some questions to the astronaut, before the ISS then went over the horizon and out of range. Jessica called it an "amazing experience" to be talking to someone 400km above them. Her head teacher, Alan Gray, said it had been an extraordinary opportunity for the school.
.Well done everyone! See the video link here courtesy of the BBC.
- Created on Wednesday, 06 January 2016 13:07
John GW4SKA will be qrv from the Isle Of Man (IOTA EU-116) in March.
He will be active as GD4SKA from March 15-23 with plans to be mainly QRV on RTTY with some PSK when things slow down. Listen for him on 3.5 through 28 MHz. He'll be using a TS590S, Acom 600S amp, Hexbeam, wires and verticals for the low bands. John also plans to operate in the BARTG HF RTTY Contest as GD0A on March 19 and 20.
- Created on Wednesday, 06 January 2016 13:06
Both EG1CWO & EG2CWO are now qrv for CW Operators' Club celebrations for their 6th anniversary. The club has the main purpose of the promotion of the use of telegraphy and it is the only one that counts, among many other projects, with a CW Academy and a HF “On The Air” AdvisorsProg ram, both, having much international success.
For that reason, several EA CWops members will be qrv using the Callsign EG1CWO & EG2CWO to commemorate the anniversary. More info can be found at: http//eacwops.es
QSL VIA: M0OXO Online QSL Request Service (OQRS) Your Qsl Cards are NOT required so please do not send any cards via the bureau as they will not be receved.
- Created on Wednesday, 30 December 2015 09:05
Anyone requiring a paper qsl card confirmation for AS-138 Pingtan Island, (activated on the 26/27 July 2014 IOTA Contest as BY5YAA) can now do so via M0OXO OQRS or Direct Post Mail.
Full Colour Qsl Cards will be available in the next few weeks.
Please note the specific date of the operation as dates outside the IOTA Contest itself for BY5YAA will NOT be valid for AS-138 and the IOTA Program.
Pingtan [AKA Haitan] Island (IOTA AS-138) is part of the Fujian Province group of Islands in China.
- Created on Wednesday, 23 December 2015 14:42
Nothing closing here for the holidays, happy to receive any emails ;-)
- Created on Wednesday, 23 December 2015 14:33
Coetivy Island AF-119 NEW was one of the 11 new IOTA groups announced in Windsor at IOTA's 50th Convention, July 2014. After our activation, only 3 of these 11 new Groups remain un-activated.
Coetivy Island is 180 miles South East of Mahe, the main Island Seychelles, and basically 180 miles from anywhere! Coetivy is strictly controlled by the Islands Development Committee (IDC). This committee consists of several 'high profile' local individuals including the local Lord Mayor, Minister of Tourism, Secretary of Defence etc... They have control over 14 different Islands of which Coetivy has the strictest access regulations. In the 1990's, Coetivy was used intensively for prawn farming....the biggest farm in the world at that time. Remains of the old production plant are still clearly visible as well as the abandoned private dwellings of the 1300 people who once lived and worked on Coetivy. Today, Coetivy still manufactures coconut oil and charcoal, although is mostly known as an active prison and a rehabilitation centre for drug abusers.
- Created on Wednesday, 23 December 2015 14:29
Thanks to Bob VA3QV for this blog article;
''Well its getting closer to Christmas…. Got your list sent to Santa already??? Figured out what list you are actually on (Naughty or Nice)????
While surfing the www this am I came upon the blog of Charles M0OXO and found his article on the traditional way of sending QSL cards really interesting.
As you know I prefer the Electronic methods (Logbook of the World and EQSL ) as my favourites for confirming QSOs but the professional way that Charles conducts his services as a QSL manager impresses me greatly. If there were more like him out there making our QSL experience less painful then perhaps more of us would not be doing things the digital way.
The link to his actual blog post is here and I would recommend you check it out and then draw your own conclusions… I enjoyed it and perhaps you will as well…
Check out Bob's blog at https://va3qv.wordpress.com/
- Created on Thursday, 17 December 2015 11:39
Are you new to the Qsl scene? Do you need to know how it works? I will try to explain here;
Of course I am a little biased on this subject as I am a QSL manager for a number of Stations and therfore I am pretty passionate about the whole 'traditional' QSL Card system.
Part of the fun of amateur radio is collecting cards, called QSL cards, from other amateurs that you've msde contact with on the radio. Some people like to collect stamps form various parts of the world but hams collect QSLs. If you are also a stamp collector you will find that often a card comes from a distant country with an interesting stamp on the envelope.
Another reason for collecting QSL cards is to participate in the many certificate programs available to amateurs. Whether it's getting your DXCC, IOTA or WAS Awards, getting cards to confirm contacts with 100 or more DX countries etc, in most instances will need the cards to support your claim for the award
- Created on Wednesday, 16 December 2015 07:55
I was pleased to receive this Certificate yesterday.
M0OXO achieved 3rd Place in the World (SOAB) for the Russian World Wide Multi-Mode Contest earlier this Year.
- Created on Saturday, 12 December 2015 10:31
A report on the recent TX3X Expedition to the Chesterfield Islands courtesy of Gene Spinelli K5GS;
Chesterfield Islands (also known as Chesterfield Reefs) are uninhabited coral atolls in the Coral Sea located approximately 870 kilometers northwest of Noumea, New Caledonia, a French possession. The archipelago is made up of 11 islets and many reefs. The islands are a loose collection of elongated reefs that enclose a deep, semi-sheltered, lagoon. The reefs on the west and northwest are known as the Chesterfield Reefs; those on the east and north being the Bampton Reefs. The Chesterfield Reefs form a structure measuring 120 km in length (northeast to southwest) and 70 km across (east to west).
There are numerous cays occurring amongst the reefs of both the Chesterfield and Bampton Reefs. These include: Loop Islet, Renard Cay, Skeleton Cay, Bennett Island, Passage Islet, Long Island, the Avon Isles, the Anchorage Islets and Bampton Island.
- Created on Saturday, 12 December 2015 10:08
This topic puts up some interesting statistics and results. It was featured in an article by Michael G7VJR and compiled from Clublog database analysis. This brief extract is from Michael's blog entry, please click the link at the end of this text to read the full article or visit his website here - Thanks Mike !
''A question that comes up in the context of DXpeditions is just how many uniques are there out there? We’re aware that there are at least 50,000 (a record set by T32C in 2011) but can we estimate the full size of the population? I ran a short database analysis against Club Log’s records for QSOs made after 1 January 2012. How many unique callsigns are worked in each continent?
Update: The answer is pretty interesting. Based on feedback from when I first posted this table, I’ve extended it to show the number of uniques declines when you require more than 1 logged QSO, and even more when over 5 logged QSOs are needed to consider a callsign valid.
- Created on Saturday, 12 December 2015 05:38
The South Sandwich Islands are a cold and inhospitable place. At 59 degrees south, Southern Thule Island is one of the most remote places on Earth.
Southern Thule is closer to the polar circle and the South Pole than either Bouvet Island or Heard Island. To get there, we will voyage the Drake Passage and brave strong winds and high seas.
The Intrepid-DX Group is proud to announce a major ham radio expedition to two rare entities in January-February 2016. South Sandwich Island and South Georgia Island are two of the most remote places on Earth. This DXpedition is made possible by the generous financial support of the global DX Community.
We invite you to follow our progress on this website as we move forward with our plans to activate these two rare entities. The content of our website will be constantly updated, so please check our progress frequently.
On January 9th, 2016 a team of fourteen Intrepid DXers will depart Stanley, the Falkland Islands on the venerable RV Braveheart and embark on a 37 day voyage encompassing South Sandwich and South Georgia Islands. Our plans have us activating South Sandwich island first as it is the #3 most wanted DXCC in Clublog. We will be active on South Sandwich for eight full days, weather and sea conditions permitting. We expect to start our activation of VP8STI on January 17th.
We will then re-board the RV Braveheart and make a voyage to South Georgia Island, the #8th most wanted DXCC entity. We will activate South Georgia Island for eight full days starting on or about February 1st, 2016. Including set up and tear down time,we plan to be on each island for ten days.
While we intend to activate these two rare entities during this voyage, our primary activity and focus is completing eight days of activation at South Sandwich Island as it is most needed by the global dx community. This is our primary goal is to do a good job from South Sandwich before moving to South Georgia Island.
Our total budget for this DXpedition is $425,000 much of which is being provided by the fourteen team members. We invite all Foundation, Club and individual donations via our Donate page.
You can follow our news and activity via this website as well as our Facebook and Twitter posts. More information on the [ official site ]
- Created on Saturday, 12 December 2015 05:27
Working with the UK Space Agency, ARISS (Amateur Radio on the International Space Station) is giving a number of UK schools the opportunity to speak directly to Tim Peake, the first British ESA astronaut, during his mission on board the International Space Station (ISS).
This will enable live interaction between pupils and Tim and is anticipated to be one of the highlights of the Principia STEM outreach programme.
During his 6 month mission to the ISS, starting in December 2015, Tim will be undertaking a wide range of science experiments, some of which have been designed by students from around the UK.
Additionally he has committed to take part in a large range of educational outreach activities with schools and colleges around the country.
Jeremy Curtis, Head of Education at the UK Space Agency, said:
“Both Tim’s space mission and amateur radio have the power to inspire young people and encourage them into STEM subjects. By bringing them together we can boost their reach and give young people around the UK the chance to be involved in a space mission and a hands-on project that will teach them new skills.”
The pre-arranged schools contacts will take place between January and April 2016 and students will be able to put a number of questions directly to Tim using amateur radio VHF and UHF radio equipment specially installed at the school for the occasion.
For Tim Peake’s mission, the ARISS team of licensed UK Radio Amateurs is planning a world first by also receiving live video from the ISS during the contact. Using the HamTV transmitter, which has recently been commissioned on board the ISS, Tim will be the first astronaut to use this equipment during a two way schools contact.
As well as building a vehicle based receive system, which will be installed at the school on the day of the contact, the team recently visited Goonhilly Earth Station in Cornwall to commission a dish to receive the 2.4 GHz HamTV transmissions from the ISS.
The 3.8 metre dish owned by Satellite Applications Catapult is being loaned to the project to track the ISS and will ensure real time video will be available during the schools’ contacts scheduled for early next year. The dish is almost in the shadow of the 29 metre dish “Arthur” built in 1962 to receive the first transatlantic television signals from the Telstar-1 spacecraft.
During the contact at the schools the ARISS team will be providing information displays on the ISS position and have webcams showing both the local and Goonhilly dishes as they track the ISS.
The hosting schools will be organising presentations and displays before and after the contact and the ARISS team will be providing a live web cast of all the day’s events including the actual contact with Tim Peake.
The live event webcast will be hosted by the British Amateur Television Club (BATC) on their web streaming service at https://principia.ariss.org/live/
The ARISS programme is designed to maximise the impact of the Principia Mission outreach activities. It will directly engage students with media and communication technologies with the goal of inspiring them to pursue careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths.
- Created on Friday, 11 December 2015 08:07
The 2015 ARRL 10 Meter Contest is just ahead on the 12th & 13th December. This popular event is lots of fun, and you never know what sort of propagation you might encounter on 10 meters.
The ARRL encourages computer loggers to check out the new web-based log uploading facility. It offers quick response and instant feedback, and if your log has a problem, you’ll be able to fix it on the fly and upload the log again on the spot.
For paper loggers or for those using software that does not generate a Cabrillo file, there is a convenient data entry service that converts your log data into Cabrillo format and forwards it on to the ARRL’s log handling service. You also can still submit your log via e-mail.
Whichever method is more convenient, be sure to submit a log, even if you only made a few contacts. It improves the quality of the log checking, and you might even find yourself in line for a certificate! Post any soapbox comments and photos to the ARRL’s Soapbox page.
- Created on Friday, 11 December 2015 08:03
The deadline to submit nominations for the 2015 ARRL International Humanitarian Award is December 31. The award is conferred upon an amateur or group of amateurs who demonstrate devotion to human welfare, peace and international understanding through Amateur Radio. The League established the annual prize to recognize Amateur Radio operators who have used ham radio to provide extraordinary service to others in times of crisis or disaster.
A committee appointed by the League’s President recommends the award recipient(s) to the ARRL Board, which makes the final decision. The committee is now accepting nominations from Amateur Radio, governmental or other organizations that have benefited from extraordinary service rendered by an Amateur Radio operator or group.
- Created on Friday, 11 December 2015 07:58
Felix, DL5XL will once again be on the air signing DP1POL from Neumayer Station III, Antarctia (Grid Locator IB59UH), between November 2015 and February 2016.
As usual, the main mode will be CW on all HF bands, with a little activity in digimodes and maybe phone, as well. QSL via DL1ZBO or LotW.
There will also be a ham radio operator on the station’s next wintering team: Marcus, DL1MH, expects to use the callsign DP0GVN of HF, mainly in SSB, from December 2015 to February 2017.
QSL cards for this operation can be requested from DL5EBE.
- Created on Tuesday, 08 December 2015 10:08
In about a month, the Palmyra Team will be assembling in Hawaii on the first leg of their journey to Palmyra and our excitement is growing!
Palmyra ranks in the top ten of the Most Wanted List and #2 in Europe!
As with major DXpeditions, there has been a change of plans due to unforeseen events. Based on the original award received in January
2015, a Team of 12 operators was assembled.
The air charter is provided by our host, The Nature Conservancy, as part of the award. Earlier this year, the air strip was decertified and as a result the aircraft type had to be changed to allow access to the Palmyra. The aircraft selected will only seat 9 persons, which is a major change of plans for the DXpedition. Several alternate options were examined but were unsuccessful.
It was with great pain that three of the operators stepped back from the Team to allow the DXpedition to proceed.
All equipment has been received, being pretested and packaged for shipment to Hawaii. The Team plans on leaving Hawaii for Palmyra on 11 January 2016 and being active from 12 January through 25 January.
Future Palmyra Atoll activations may not happen for many years, as access is severely restricted. Permissions to operate on these rare and extremely controlled locations are very difficult to obtain. We wish to thank The Nature Conservancy and the US Fish and Wildlife Service for their cooperation and support. Without this, K5P Palmyra2016 would not occur.
Check the K5P Palmyra2016 web page for future updates, propagation predictions and donation page.
- Created on Tuesday, 08 December 2015 09:54
This is an extract from the website of Michael G7VJR. It gives a brief history into the history of the Clublog program which the majority are now enjoying the use of. Many of us use it daily without giving a second thought as to the cost to continually provide the service and its regular updates so if you are able please feel free to donate a small amout to assist.
Late in 2014 at the FOC Annual Dinner in Milton Keynes, I was caught completely unawares when the G3FXB trophy was awarded to Club Log. Last month, I was also inducted into the CQ DX Hall Of Fame, again a surprise and a moment of great pride. Prompted by Gabor, I have realised that it is high time I wrote a piece for FOCUS to try to put things into perspective!
My aim here is to give a little bit of history and insight into how Club Log came to be. Here is a quick overview to start us off:
- Club Log is a web site – http://www.clublog.org – to which DXers may upload their logs. Club Log reads the contents of those logs and from them generates feedback, information and statistical reports (somewhat like a desktop logging tool).
- The data in Club Log is also put to work in a number of other ways. For example, Club Log helps identify QSLing gaps, finds DX cluster spots for needed band slots, offers propagation tips, great circle maps, automatic Twitter announcements when you work a new one, and much more besides.
- Club Log also builds league tables of how many entities and zones have been worked by all users: it is an aggregator. Much of its power is found here, for example in finding propagation patterns or building most-wanted leagues from its vast troves of empirical data.
- Club Log is commonly associated with big expeditions. Through its special expedition service it helps the team leaders and DXers coordinate their activity through graphical depictions of the bands, modes and times of day when QSOs are being made. It is capable of matching logs for the purpose of QSL verification, much like Logbook of the World, but also integrates with PayPal so that QSL cards can be paid for. This cuts 50% of the paper QSLing cycle out for these ‘one way’ QSLs.
- Created on Monday, 07 December 2015 12:02
Finally I managed to get an up to date Log on Clublog for Robert 3B8FR.
Up to date there are 88,000 qso's in this log going back over a couple of years. Prior to that Robert's logs are all in paper logs.
If you have any enquiries or log searched for historic qso's please add them to the envelope when you request his Direct card. It is not possible to cope with hundreds of bureau requests to search for historic qso's so please add your log checks to the Direct card when requested as Direct requests will always take priority.
- Created on Friday, 04 December 2015 06:50
We are under increasing pressure to reduce the cost burden to both our own bureau, and the IARU bureaus in processing tens of thousands of bureau requests each year. So to help in this matter I will now be sending the following email to all people who request several bureau cards at a time and to ask the claiment for a small donation towards costs. In return the QSL cards will be sent directly and delivered to them within 10 days of request, therfore lightening the load for the bureau system;
The financial burden from bureau requests to both the QSL manager and the IARU bureau is an ever increasing problem. In order to keep these financial costs to a lower level we are now asking multiple QSL requests to consider paying a small fee.
£5 GBP up to 10 QSL cards
In return, and instead of receiving those QSL cards in maybe one/two years through your bureau, we will mail out the QSL cards to you by Priority Air Mail wiithin 3 days of your request being made. Thank you! ''
- Created on Wednesday, 02 December 2015 13:09
The Netherlands IARU member society VERON has reported that hams there have an opportunity to reclaim their QSL cards salvaged from the wreckage of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17, which was shot down over Ukraine in 2014 — provided they’re willing to cover the cost of having them cleaned. VERON spotted the recovered cards in a YouTube video last year, and the Dutch QSL Bureau confirmed that a shipment of QSL cards had been headed for Indonesia, the flight’s planned destination. The 465 recovered cards now are at Schipol Airport near Amsterdam in the custody of Malaysian Airlines.
VERON has since learned that a hefty “cleaning” charge stands in the way of any hams who might want to reclaim their cards. According to VERON, a Malaysian Airlines attorney has indicated that a safety specialist must first clean the 465 cards before they may be returned to their senders. The quoted cost for the job is more than $27,000 US, exclusive of any taxes.
According to VERON, the cards belong to the radio amateurs who sent them, and neither it nor the Dutch QSL Bureau can make a decision on whether or not the cards should be cleaned. “Given the high cost, it is unlikely that the rightful owners want their cards back,” VERON said. “Nevertheless, the [VERON] central administration offers amateurs the chance to regain their QSL cards.” Any amateurs interested in reclaiming the salvaged cards should contact VERON.
MH17 was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it went down after being struck by a missile, killing all 283 passengers and 15 crew members. — Thanks to Southgate ARC via VERON/Jean-Paul Suijs, PA9X