Monthly Archives: August 2009

SCC RTTY and Kansas QSO Party weekend

I wasn’t on the radio much this weekend but made a few contacts in the SCC RTTY and Kansas QSO Party.  Below are the score summaries for each.

SCC RTTY

 Band    QSOs     Pts  Exc   N/A
 14        19      40   15    0
 Total     19      40   15    0

 Score : 600

Kansas QSO Party

Band     Mode  QSOs    P ts  Sec
 14      CW      10      30    9
 14      USB     23      46   19
 Total  Both     33      76   28

 Score : 2,128

With a few of the Kansas Ops I had a nice QSO when they came back to me and recognized my call.  A few rovers were very active and in a couple instances I was lucky to catch them on a county boundary and able to log multiple counties at the same time.

73,
K2DSL

Guinea-Bissau DXCC confirmed

I had made 4 contacts with J5UAP in the entity of Guinea-Bissau on the west coast of Africa back in March of 2009 on 20m RTTY and USB. I see that Peter must have uploaded his log to LoTW and I now have them all confirmed.

Thanks for another new one Peter!

73,
K2DSL

45 Bureau QSL Cards Received Today

Came home from work and there was a thick envelope from the NJDXA which contained 46 cards. 1 of the cards was for a different call sign so I’ll hand it to someone in my club that handles the QSL cards to get it re-routed. But the other 45 were all for me. Of the 45 QSL cards received, 19 cards were from operators I hadn’t sent a QSL card to yet so I filled out 19 new cards.

The most cards were 11 from Italy with others from Germany, France, Russia, the Netherlands, Columbia, Belgium, Finland, Canada, Mexico, Cyprus, Scotland, Poland, Bulgaria, Switzerland and Norway.  Quite the collection of nice looking QSL cards.

Sure beats getting bills in the mail.

73,
K2DSL

Blackberry app to listen to live scanner and ham repeater feeds

I saw a posting on one of the Blackberry feeds I monitor about an application that allows you to listen to live feeds from scanners that are streaming their audio onto the Internet. I visited the site and immediately downloaded the application to my Blackberry. It worked perfectly on my Pearl 8130 through Verizon Wireless.

The application is called BBScanner and you can access the site at http://www.bbscanner.com. The application is small and very straightforward to use. You obviouslly need an unlimited data plan with your Blackberry service or you wouldn’t want to use this program. The initial download provides a fully functional application for 14 days. But to actually register the application is… drumroll… a whole $2.99 !! I’ve already registered.

The feeds come primarily from the Radio Reference live feed site but also natively supports feeds from RailRoadRadio.net as well as some weather feeds ftom WUnderground.com. In addition, you can see if a feed from another source can be linked to from your Blackberry as a custom feed. For those outside the US, a quick look shows some feeds for Australia, Canada, Chile and New Zealand in the Browse by Area section.

The program seems to work remarkably well in the testing I did. You first launch the application and select from bookmarked feeds, feeds by area (country, state), feeds by genre (Air, Ham Amateur Radio, Public Safety, Rail or Weather) or by one of the 3 main source feed sites then by country/state, etc. Once you drill down and select a specific feed, it starts to buffer the feed and then starts to play it. It is really that straightforward and smooth.

I have poor hearing so some of the feeds are a bit low in volume for me, but that isn’t the app but the feed itself. If there’s a specific town/frequency/feed you want, you’d need to either set it up yourself or find someone that can get the audio and stream it onto the Internet and then this can pick it up. From what I read at the Radio Reference site, it’s a pretty straightforward process to get setup on your own with the specifics on their Live Audio Feed Provider form.

So if you have a Blackberry I encourage you to download and try this program out. If you’re wondering what feeds are available, the vast majority are streamed from the RR site and you can view those live feeds online. I’d bet you’d find the $2.99 registration fee a real bargain!

73,
K2DSL

2009 Ohio QSO Party

Looking back on the 2008 Ohio QSO Party, I seem to have made about twice the number of contacts which is likely helped by the ability to make CW contacts, of which I made 21 CW contacts on 40m & 80m this year. This year I made 50 total contacts with Ohio stations.

I received a bunch of good signal reports and as always, QSO Party ops are as friendly as can be. My logs have already been uploaded to LoTW, eQSL and sent to the contest sponsor.

Band    Mode  QSOs     Pts  Sec
 3.5    CW       8      16    6
 3.5    LSB      9       9    3
 7      CW      13      26   13
 7      LSB     20      20   17
 Total  Both    50      71   39

 Score : 2,769

Thanks all you ops out in Ohio!

73,
K2DSL

1×1 Special Event Call Signs

There are multiple reasons why folks get a 1×1 call sign. It’s usually for a special event or for some contest. I know I like to know who I made a contact with regardless and finding info on QRZ.com for some special events leaves you out of luck. The below is often helpful to find approximately where someone was operating from and get a general idea of their grid square, which I like to have for every contact.

http://www.1x1callsigns.org is a web site that lists out 1×1 call signs so you can see at least who requested the  call sign. For example, I had a contact yesterday with K8O during the Ohio QSO Party. If I go to the site and click the Search 1×1 Calls link and then enter in K8O, it lists many references with the latest being K8O for the Ohio QSO Party. If I click the details link for that entry it shows that it was issued to K2KW. I can then lookup K2KW on QRZ.com and get a feeling for where he was likely located. It might not be exact but it is better then knowing nothing about the contact. This site, as you can see in the above example, also has historical information on the call sign.

Another place to look up 1×1 or special event info is on the ARRL site at http://www.arrl.org/contests/spev.html which is useful if it isn’t a 1×1 call sign listed on the above site.  CQ also has a web page at http://www.cq-amateur-radio.com/AnnoAug09.html to list special event stations, though the URL is month/year specific. It would be nice if they created a URL which is always consistent and redirects to the current month.

Hope that helps a bit in identification of 1×1 calls and special event stations.

73,
K2DSL

/140 Special Event – ARRL VE’s, Life Members, Appointees – Sept 2-9th

In the September 2009 issue of QST magazine on page 20 it talks about the HPM/140 Birthday Celebration Event. It is an event in celebration of 140 years since the birth of Hiram Percy Maxim, ARRL’s first president.

There’s a list of folks such as ARRL Directors, Section Managers, ARRL Life Members, ARRL VE’s and others which are allowed to use /140 after their call during the event from Sept 2 – 9th.

Ops that contact 25 or more stations that are signing /140 are eligible for a certificate. /140 stations give the exchange of RS(T), appointment (eg VE for a Volunteer Examiner such as myself) and name. Other stations provide RS(T) and name.

Sounds like some fun for ARRL VE’s such as myself, life members and others on the list if there are folks looking to make contact with the /140 stations. Maybe we could generate a mini pile up. It even indicates that repeater contacts are acceptable in case that is your mode of choice.

Thought it would be fun to send this out to anyone that gets the opportunity to get on the air during the event. Some more info on the ARRL web site.

73,
K2DSL

5N0HQ QSL received – new DXCC confirmed

5N0HQ was a station on during the IARU CW contest. It is only my 2nd contact with a station in Nigeria but it is the 1st QSL from that entity. I noticed that it was uploaded to LoTW yesterday.

I need to figure out all the new DXCCs since I submitted my DXCC so I can keep track for updates. Maybe I’ll do that over the weekend.

73,
K2DSL

WAC Award Arrives

In the mail pile we got after returning from vacation was an envelope from the ARRL which contained the WAC (Worked All Continents)  Award I applied for a couple weeks back. It was a form mailed in with a check, but it referenced all LoTW QSLs that were previously applied to DXCC.  All were 20m RTTY contacts but I applied just for the basic WAC award.

The contacts I submitted were:

ZL4A – OC
AL1G – NA
LV5V – SA
ZS2EZ – AF
G3TXF – EU
JM1XCW – AS

Thanks to those operators above and to all the others that have worked me.

73,
K2DSL

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