Category Archives: Misc

Great ISS Ham Video

Saw this ad posted on an ISS blog and needed to repost it. Reminds me of what I felt like when I worked NA1SS back in 2010. Please watch the 1 minute long video – it’ll make your day.

ARRL LoTW – Duplicate QSOs added

After LoTW had an outage this past weekend, it seems to have double processed some uploads which caused duplicate QSOs to be entered. There’s a discussion on the LoTW Yahoo Group on this but there were some issues with including screenshots so I’m posting it here.  Below is the post I sent to the Yahoo Group…

I seem to have this same issue with duplicated QSOs. I saw right after my upload was processed on Tuesday that LoTW processed the same log twice, and though my initial review showed that it detected the records as duplicates and ignored them, but that’s not the case. I’ll include screen snippets here for those that might want to check their own data and hopefully the screen snippets come out ok in emails. If not, the message might read better on the web in the Yahoo group pages.This overall issue would seem to be more appropriately resolved by the ARRL vs individuals contacting the ARRL as they should be able to query LoTW and find/remove any true duplicate which is where the uploaded data matches and the only difference is the LoTW generated id (and whatever else they might track and not expose on the front end).

On your Account Activity page at you would see a duplicate indicating your one upload was processed twice. Mine looks like the first 2 lines here:



The 2nd processing seemed to indicate that it ignored the duplicates as seen here:

But it actually ended up adding duplicates. Go to Your QSO page at and enter in a Starting Date of a record that was in the batch which LoTW double processed and click the Submit button. As you can see below, records with the same info are duplicated with the only difference being the record ID (which you can see if you click the details link on the left of each QSO).
It really makes sense for the ARRL to clean this up behind the scenes as they *should* be able to identify these erroneous duplicates the system created.

DARC Radio Amateurs World Atlas – A good DXCC/prefix reference

I had limited time in the month of December to operate and just dabbled in a couple of contests when I had some time. In the 10M RTTY contest I made 109 contacts and during the ARRL 10m contest I worked 89 SSB contacts.

One of the gifts I requested this year was the DARC produced Radio Amateurs World Atlas. I saw this 23 page reference in it’s previous version and really wanted my own copy. It just happens that the latest edition was just released so if you are interested, you want the August 2013 printing that has a purple cover with a multi-color world image on it.  The older version is a yellow cover with black text . My copy, for $13, was purchased from Universal Radio at

Inside, the Radio Amateurs World Atlas contains full color maps of the world showing Continental boundaries, DX Zone boundaries and Prefix boundaries. As an example of prefix boundaries, for Japan, it shows what area represents JA0, JA1, …, JA9 prefix calls. For anyone, myself included, that doesn’t have every DXCC’s “zones” memorized and likes to look at maps, this reference is a good one. Maybe there are similar maps online, but I haven’t run into them.

Here’s an image of one of the pages of the map (click to see larger view):

Radio Amateur World Atlas

Happy New Year everyone!


A little Makrothen RTTY contesting

A real busy weekend so I had minimal time to get on the air but for 90 mins I was able to work the fun Makrothen RTTY contest where the exchange and points are based on grid squares and distance. A few contacts = a lot of points! Friday night I had things to do when the contest first started and made just a few contacts later in the evening on 40m & 80m .

Saturday morning I was up at 4am ET (0900z) for our club’s hamfest. Weather was great and I brought 11 cards with me for out local DXCC Card Checker to validate them. All went well with checking the cards. Our local checked W2IRT had a bunch of folks stop by to get their cards checked. I then needed to leave the hamfest for a wedding so I came home, get ready and while waiting for my wife I worked some more stations in the contest before heading out for the day.

We stayed overnight at a hotel so by the time we got home from the wedding early Sunday afternoon, the 3rd session for the contest had just ended. Ended up with 63 contacts with maybe 90 mins of time on the air.

 Band    QSOs    Pts
  3.5       6   11490
    7      10   44690
   14      12   83668
   21      27  147270
   28       8   50930
Total      63  338048

Score : 338,048



DXCC – Just passed 200 Entities

I just finished my LoTW DXCC submission for the year and I have 202 entities. I have another LoTW one that came in and a few paper QSL cards I need to have a DXCC card checker process so it’s closer to 208-210 right now.

Still need to get an antenna back up after Hurricane Sandy brought them down but just need some good weather and some time.


Hurricane Sandy – Bye Bye Antennas (Pictures)

I need to post about last weekend’s CQ WW SSB contest and I’ll get it eventually. Hurricane Sandy passed through NJ this past weekend and boy did it do some damage. Things were sort of ok until a huge 70 ft tree from our neighbors yard came crashing down. Luckily it didn’t have a direct hit on the house or detached garage and mostly fell in between both, It took out the gutter on the side of the garage and gutters on both my 2nd floor and first floor of the house.

The tree also took out my G5RV and my 10/15/20m fan dipole. It bent the pole my dual band VHF/UHF antenna is on but otherwise I think that is probably ok. So without antennas I might not be on for a while. Hopefully I can get some new ones made and shoot some rope up to get them in the air and me back on the bands.

No power since since Monday around 6pm and I wouldn’t expect it back until late in the weekend or early next week. At the end of our street we had a huge tree come down and take 5 poles with it. 4 of the poles snapped in half and there’s still piles of transformers laying in the street. I have a generator for keeping the fridge powered and our phones charged but no heat and no hot water in the house.

Here are some pics (click to enlarge)…


Some pics of the downed power lines (click to enlarge):


When I see pictures of the devastation in NYC and the Jersey Shore I know my family and I got away pretty lucky!

W2ML Steve Mendelsohn SK

Steve Mendelsohn W2ML passed away yesterday morning after battling pancreatic cancer. I mentioned just last week that Steve was inducted into the CQ Hall of Fame. I’m glad he got the news before he passed.

Steve was one of the first hams I met after I obtained my Tech license in August 2007. I attended a Bergen Amateur Radio Association (BARA) club meeting a couple weeks later and upon walking in, Steve’s wife Heidi W2MLW was the first person to come up to me. At a break during the meeting, Steve came up and introduced himself and I consider him a friend since that moment. Steve has a long career in ham radio and public service and was tremendously enthusiastic about ham radio and specifically our club. I will miss see Steve at all club events, his sense of humor and enthusiasm.

Here are a few articles that detail his lifetime involvement in the hobby, his 30 years of service in the Navy, his 36 years of being the NYC Marathon Communications Director, and his years of being the NFL Gameday Frequency Coordinator for the NY Jets.

ARRL – Former ARRL First Vice President Steve Mendelsohn, W2ML (SK)
NY Times – After 36 Marathons, One Radio Goes Silent

W2ML - Steve Mendelsohn


W2ML – CQ Hall of Fame!

Congratulations to Steve Mendelsohn W2ML on being inducted into the CQ Hall of Fame. Steve is the current Bergen Amateur Radio Association club President. Steve has been the Communications Director for the NYC Marathon since 1976 and recruits hundreds of hams each year to line the marathon route and provide communications. He’s also been the former ARRL First Vice President, Director.

Steve’s enthusiasm for the hobby as a whole and his love of contesting make him a pleasure to be around, speak with and learn from.

Thank you Steve for everything you’ve done for the hobby, for our club and for me personally.


Where have I been?

It has been an unusually long time since my last post. Sometimes other events take priority and that has been the case over the past couple months as my older daughter is finishing up her last year of high school and getting set for college. I’ve had a few trips, some other commitments, and the weekends fly on by.

I have done a small amount of operating, most recently last weekend in the New England QSO Party with about 90 mins of SSB activity on 40m working.

I’ve also assumed the Treasurer responsibilities for my local radio club as the previous Treasurer is moving away from the area. I needed to take turnover of documents, banking accounts, etc. I also gave a refresher demo on N1MM logging program to the club at our last meeting as we are switching from CT to N1MM.

I did volunteer again to assist with CQ SSB paper log entry for those submitting their log on paper. I enjoy doing it so it certainly is no bother to help out.

I have listened a couple of times for the Yemen DXpedition but so far no luck. Maybe I should take a day off from work and I might have a better shot at getting them in the log.


Create a Google Map of your ADIF Contacts

About 1 year ago I created a post about Creating maps of ham radio contacts utilizing Ham Radio Deluxe. That process required using Ham Radio Deluxe as well as having some way to host the generated KML file. Well recently I’ve switched to using DXLabs suite of ham radio logging applications and the feature to create maps isn’t yet part of the suite. So what’s a ‘ol developer to do but go ahead and write his own solution. So here I’m announcing the available of a web application that reads in an ADIF file of ham radio contacts exported from your logging program and a way to create a Google Map showing those contacts. ADIF to Map is now available.

The ADIF to Map web application requires your logging program to associate a latitude/longitude or grid square with each record. Most logging programs allow you to capture this information (lat/lon and/or grid) but it normally needs to be entered by you or populated via a callbook such as QRZ or HamCall to name a couple.  I use QRZ and their XML subscription service ($29.95/yr) and it’s well worth it. If you don’t make a lot of contacts, some programs support population from QRZ without a paid subscription but the number of lookups is limited. Without a latitude/longitude or grid square associated with each contact, there’s nothing to map.

ADIF is a standard format used by most all logging programs to import/export data.  You’ll need to find out how to export an ADIF file from your specific logging program. Over time I might add some steps for the more popular ones to the FAQ, but there are so many different logging programs in use I wouldn’t be able to keep it up to date. When you export an ADIF file, you’d create a local file on your computer, so note the location of that file.

Click to enlarge

Once you have the ADIF file local on your computer, visit  ADIF to Map and click on the Choose File button and select the ADIF file. There’s an option to specify your home QTH as some logging programs don’t export the information. If you’re not sure or want to specify your home QTH grid square, enter it in the box provided. Once you’re ready, press the Upload and Map button and depending on the size of your ADIF file it could be a few seconds to a couple of minutes before you see the contacts displayed on a Google Map.

Click to Enlarge

Hopefully the map displayed your exported contacts, but if you received unexpected results, check the FAQ for some ideas on why. Each point is clickable and will display the call of the station and depending on the data available in the ADIF export also the QSO date,time, band and mode of the QSO. There’s also a link under the map to display the map in a larger view which will give you a full screen Google Map of the same data. There’s also a link to save the generated KML file to your local computer. This is the file the web application creates for Google Maps needs and can also be read by Google Earth if you have it installed on your local computer. The created KML files used to map your contacts are stored only for 1 day, so if you want, save a copy locally. You can always re-upload and map your ADIF file.

As a reminder, each contact record in your logging program needs either a latitude/longitude or grid square associated to it which should be exported in the ADIF file by your logging program. If that info isn’t there, nothing will be mapped.

I’ll be adding some additional features to the application as well as handling any reported errors you might find. Though ADIF is a standard, there are likely different logging programs that interpret that standard slightly differently and I might need to adjust the application to support it. If you find something that isn’t correct, please let me know by referencing the FAQ on The application generates an error.

I hope you enjoy the application and please provide me with any feedback you have or issues you encounter.

73 & Happy Holidays!