Saturday, July 5, 2014

World War II Field Phone

I received this U.S. Army Field Phone from a friend. 

We are thinking it is WWII.


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Central States VHF Society is Soliciting Papers for Conference

The Central States VHF Society is soliciting papers and presentations for the 48th annual conference slated for July 25th to the 27th in Austin, Texas.

Papers and presentations pertaining to all aspects of operation on VHF and above frequencies other than FM and repeaters are welcome. The due date for all entries is April 23rd with all submission going via e-mail to Tom Apel or Dick Hanson via e-mail to tom at k5tra dot net or dick at dkhanson dot com.

This years featured dinner speaker will be Jimmy Treybig, W6JKV. And possibly as an added incentive, planners say that there will be Best Presentation and Best Technical Paper awards presented at this year’s convention banquet. 
Source: (VHF Reflector)

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Quote for Today

I found this quote many years ago in a family members bible that was given to me. 

Nothing marked in it. No personal notes.

Just a book marker that read this quote. 

"Be true to yourself, help others, make each day your masterpiece, make friendship a fine art, drink deeply from good books - especially the Bible, build a shelter against a rainy day, give thanks for your blessings and pray for guidance every day."

Saturday, June 21, 2014


I bought this entire kit of tubes for $10.00 dollars.

I know, what to do with them? I have many projects in mind.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

SAIPAN from June 21-22

JA3IUY will be active as AH0CI from the Saipan Rental Shack in the Northern Mariana Islands between June 21st and 22nd. Operations will be on all bands and modes. QSL via his home callsign, either direct or via the bureau. (OPDX)

Friday, June 6, 2014

Ham Radio assisted in Reactivating Three Decade Old NASA Satellite

Ham radio has assisted in reactivating an over three decade old NASA satellite.

The U-K newspaper the Daily Mail says that several radio amateurs were involved with Project Reboot in regaining control on May 29th of the 35 year old abandoned International Sun-Earth Explorer 3 spacecraft. Hams named in the article include Dennis Wingo, KD4ETA; Achim Vollhardt, DH2VA, and Mario Lorenz DL5MLO.

The International Sun-Earth Explorer was launched in 1978 to study Earth’s magnetosphere. It carries thirteen scientific instruments to measure plasmas, energetic particles, waves, and fields. As of this past May, all but one is thought to be functional. An on-board data handling system gathers the scientific and engineering information from all systems in the spacecraft. It then formats this information into a serial stream for transmission back to Earth by an on-board 5 watt transmitter.

After completing its main mission, the satellite was repurposed in 1983 to study two comets. At that time it was renamed the International Cometary Explorer and has been in a heliocentric orbit since then, traveling just slightly faster than Earth. It’s finally catching up to our planet from behind, and will be closest to Earth this August.

Now, KD4ETA has released an update on the attempts by the projects volunteers, including the radio amateurs, to gain control of the spacecraft. According to Wingo, the probe has been successfully commanded into engineering telemetry mode. He noted the job done by DH2VA and also Phil Karn, KA9Q, to make this happen. Karn is well known in the amateur radio community for his work on the KA9Q Network Operating System, the early 9600 bit FSK radio modems, and more recently, the introduction of forward error correction into the Amateur Satellite Service.

As we go to air, Project Reboot members are working on deadline. If they get the spacecraft to change its orbit quickly, it can use the Moon's gravity to get back into a useful halo orbit. If not, the fear is that for all practical purposes the International Sun-Earth Explorer 3 could be lost. We will keep you posted.

For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I’m Heather Embee, KB3TZD, in Berwick, Pennsylvania.


The actual first command to the revived International Sun-Earth Explorer 3 spacecraft was successfully sent from the Arecibo Radio Observatory in Puerto Rico using the facilities 305 meter dish. This after the volunteer team installed the needed modulator, demodulator and power amplifier to make contact and control of the satellite possible. More is on the web at (AMSAT-UK, Daily Mail, Southgate)

Thursday, June 5, 2014

118 New Hams coming to the air from South Africa

Listen out for upward of 118 new hams coming to the air from South Africa. This after South African Radio League Radio Examination Manager ZS4GJA, reports a good pass rate for the ham radio exams administered last month.

Unlike other countries South Africa only has two amateur radio exams each year. They are held in May and October, with usually around 120 successful candidates for each session. Call signs for candidates who submitted all the paperwork prior to the May examination have been published and they may start using their new call signs immediately.

Artsat One Invader Reports Needed

Masahiro Sanada, JI1ZR reports the amateur radio CubeSat Artsat One Invader also known as CO-77 is in trouble and he is asks radio hams world-wide to keep an ear open for the bird and to report anything heard.

According to Sanada, the satellite does not reply to commands from the control station and those involved in the project are trying to find out why in hope of finding a fix or work-around. The downlink frequency for Artsat One Invader is 437.325MHz. If you hear the bird please send that information via a form on the web at

Wednesday, June 4, 2014


In DX up-front, ON6KE has announced that he will be active stroke T F from Iceland between June 27th and July 4th. His operation will be low power holiday style, mostly in the early mornings and evenings on the High Frequency bands using CW, SSB and JT65. Equipment is a FT-817ND and magnetic loop antenna. QSL only electronically using Logbook of the World or eQSL.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Oklahoma Grant Will Fund Amateur Radio-Based SKYWARN Location-Tracking System

 Oklahoma Grant Will Fund Amateur Radio-Based SKYWARN Location-Tracking System:

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Incidental Radiator Fine

The FCC has cited a Woodinville, Washington, resident for operating an “incidental radiator” — apparently some sort of lighting device — that has been causing harmful interference on Amateur Radio frequencies. The Commission has ordered Thomas Edward Rogers to “take steps to eliminate all harmful interference” or risk substantial fines and seizure of equipment. The Enforcement Bureau action came in the wake of repeated complaints last year of interference to Amateur Radio operations. To date, Rogers has not responded to several communications from the Commission.

“Commission agents have made multiple unsuccessful attempts in writing and via phone calls to contact Mr Rogers regarding unauthorized and unlicensed radio frequency emissions emanating from his property,” the FCC said in a Citation and Order released April 24. The Commission directed Rogers to “cease operation of the incidental radiators immediately, until the interference is resolved.”
Last year, agents from the Enforcement Bureau’s Seattle Office twice visited Rogers’ neighborhood and confirmed through direction-finding techniques and the use of a spectrum analyzer that “signals on frequencies between 7 and 8 MHz were emanating from Mr Rogers’ residence,” the FCC recounted. The C&O said Rogers failed to reply to an “RFI Letter” and a subsequent Warning Letter, and the interference complaints continued.
The FCC said Rogers is violating Part 15 rules that prohibit the operation of an unlicensed intentional, unintentional, or incidental radiator that causes harmful interference to a licensed radio service. Rogers was ordered to respond in writing within 30 days stating that he has ceased operating the incidental radiators and tell the Commission what he has done to eliminate all harmful interference. The FCC warned Rogers that he faces “severe penalties, including fines of up to $16,000 per day,” if he fails to take action to resolve the interference issue.
In March, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler tapped Travis LeBlanc as acting Chief of the Enforcement Bureau, and ARRL CEO David Sumner, K1ZZ, said the Bureau already appears to have become more responsive.
“The Seattle Office’s prompt investigation of an amateur’s complaint in May 2013 set the wheels in motion leading to this Citation,” Sumner said. “Today’s announcement provides further evidence that with the recent change in leadership of the Enforcement Bureau, there’s a new sheriff in town.”

A Texas radio amateur has agreed to turn in his Amateur Extra class license as part of an agreement with the FCC to settle an enforcement action against him. The FCC earlier this year issued a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL) to James R. Winstead, KD5OZY, of Coleman, Texas, after determining that Winstead “apparently willfully violated” FCC rules by interfering with Amateur Radio communications. The Commission had proposed a $7000 fine. The action was in response other radio amateurs’ complaints of intentional interference on 7.195 MHz.

“Mr Winstead has admitted that his actions violated the Commission’s rules and agreed to voluntarily relinquish his amateur license and make a $1000 voluntary contribution to resolve the [Enforcement] Bureau’s investigation,” the FCC said in an Order released April 22. The Order adopted a Consent Decree between the Enforcement Bureau and Winstead that spells out the details of the settlement.
According to the Consent Decree, Winstead will make his “voluntary contribution” to the US Treasury in 12 installments. He also agreed to relinquish his Amateur Radio license, prior to signing the Consent Decree. Such agreements between the FCC and violators have become more common recently in both Amateur Radio and non-Amateur Radio cases.

ARRL CEO David Sumner, K1ZZ, gave kudos to the Enforcement Bureau “for bringing the matter to a prompt conclusion.”
Last January 21 an agent from the Commission’s Dallas Office used direction-finding techniques to positively identify the source of interfering transmissions as Winstead’s address. After monitoring the transmissions from the station for about a half-hour, the agent heard Winstead “replay multiple times short sentences or conversations that had just been transmitted, and occasionally speak the word ‘George.’”
“Mr Winstead replayed recorded conversations so frequently that other licensees were unable to complete their conversations,” the NAL stated. The agent estimated that Winstead disrupted approximately 20 minutes of conversation over a 30 minute period by making up to 15 minutes of short transmissions. The agent subsequently inspected Winstead’s station, observing that his radio equipment was tuned to 7.195 MHz.
“During the inspection, Mr Winstead showed the agent how he recorded and retransmitted other amateur licensees’ communications,” the FCC said. “He also admitted that he intentionally interfered with amateur communications on 7.195 MHz and had an ongoing disagreement with another amateur licensee named George.”
The FCC said the evidence in the case was sufficient to establish that Winstead had violated Section 333 of the Communications Act of 1934 and Section 97.101(d) of the FCC Amateur Service rules.
As part of the Consent Decree, the Enforcement Bureau, “to avoid further expenditure of public resources,” agreed to terminate its investigation and not to use facts developed in its investigation to institute any new proceeding against Winstead “concerning the matters that were the subject of the investigation.”
source: de KN7S

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

International Marconi Day - April 26


Saturday April 26th is when stations around the world will be on the air to celebrate International Marconi Day. This is a once a year opportunity to make contact with historic Marconi locations around the world and to celebrate the birth of Guglielmo Marconi on the April 25th 1874.

At airtime, over 20 Marconi related sites have confirmed that they will be on board this year’s celebration. These include the historic GB4IMD at Poldhu in Cornwall, England along with VO1AA on Signal Hill in St. Johns, Newfoundland, and W2MRC at Monmouth Junction in New Jersey.

All stations planning to participate are urged to register in advance. Full details are at

Sunday, March 30, 2014

VHF/UHF/Microwave Amateur Radio

New page on Facebook.  
VHF/UHF/Microwave Amateur Radio
Come and join the conversation.
Topics include how to get started in Microwave Amateur Radio. 
Sharing of info, events, how to build your station, contest and help from others. 
Same goes for VHF/UHF
 Click Below or Copy and Paste URL in your web browser. 
VHF/UHF/Microwave Amateur Radio

Friday, March 28, 2014

UK Hams may get Added Spectrum on 2 Meters

The two meter band in the United Kingdom may soon be a megahertz larger. This as United Kingdom telecommunications regulator Ofcom publishes a consultation on the release of around 6 MHz of VHF spectrum in the 143 to 169 MHz band, which has been returned for civil use.
For ham radio operators in the U-K, the key point of the Consultation is the proposal to permit temporary access of the spectrum from 146 to 147 MHz for amateur radio use, until or unless it might be needed by Business Radio or other services. Should additional spectrum be needed to meet those operational requirements, Ofcom says that it will re remove the temporary ham radio allocation.

Amateur Radio use of 146 to 147 MHz will be on a non-protected and non-interference basis with any other service. There will also be some geographical restrictions to ensure that there is no interference to neighboring countries. Authorization to use this spectrum by U-K hams will be by an individual Notice of Variation to an applicant’s amateur radio license.

A notice of Variance is the equivalent of a Special Temporary Authority while an Ofcom Consultation is about the same as an FCC Notice of Proposed Rule Making here in the United States. 

source; Stephen Kinford, N8WB 

Responses to the Ofcom proposals in the Consultation by United Kingdom citizens are due by May 26th.
Those in the United Kingdom wishing file a response can do so on-line at 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Commissioning of ISS HAM TV Delayed

It appears as if there will be a few weeks delay in the final commissioning of the new HAM TV system on board the International Space Station. According to ARISS Europe Chairman Gaston Bertels, ON4WF, the final step to bring HAM TV into full operation now will not take place until late April or early May due to the scheduled arrival of the SpaceX Dragon re-supply ship docking and related operations. Because of this the current Ham Video blank transmissions will come to an end March 31.

NASA has confirmed the new launch of the re-supply mission. The Dragon spacecraft will ride into space sitting atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on March 30 at 10:50 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The mission will deliver 4,959 pounds of supplies to the ISS.

source (ON4WF, SpaceX)

My Stamp Collecting Blog

Counter Added January 1, 2011

free counters


The A index [ LOW is GOOD ]

  • 1 to 6 is BEST
  • 7 to 9 is OK
  • 11 or more is BAD

Represents the overall geomagnetic condition of the ionosphere ("Ap" if averaged from the Kp-Index) (an average of the eight 3-hour K-Indices) ('A' referring to amplitude) over a given 24 hour period, ranging (linearly) typically from 1-100 but theoretically up to 400.

A lower A-Index generally suggests better propagation on the 10, 12, 15, 17, & 20 Meter Bands; a low & steady Ap-Index generally suggest good propagation on the 30, 40, 60, 80, & 160 Meter Bands.

SFI index [ HIGH is GOOD ]

  • 70 NOT GOOD
  • 80 GOOD
  • 90 BETTER
  • 100+ BEST

The measure of total radio emissions from the sun at 10.7cm (2800 MHz), on a scale of 60 (no sunspots) to 300, generally corresponding to the sunspot level, but being too low in energy to cause ionization, not related to the ionization level of the Ionosphere.

Higher Solar Flux generally suggests better propagation on the 10, 12, 15, 17, & 20 Meter Bands; Solar Flux rarely affects the 30, 40, 60, 80, & 160 Meter Bands.

K index [ LOW is GOOD ]

  • 0 or 1 is BEST
  • 2 is OK
  • 3 or more is BAD
  • 5 is VERY VERY BAD

The overall geomagnetic condition of the ionosphere ("Kp" if averaged over the planet) over the past 3 hours, measured by 13 magnetometers between 46 & 63 degrees of latitude, and ranging quasi-logarithmically from 0-9. Designed to detect solar particle radiation by its magnetic effect. A higher K-index generally means worse HF conditions.

A lower K-Index generally suggests better propagation on the 10, 12, 15, 17, & 20 Meter Bands; a low & steady Kp-Index generally suggest good propagation on the 30, 40, 60, 80, & 160 Meter Bands.

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