Category Archives: Amateur Radio

AMSAT’s Fox-1Cliff Amateur Radio CubeSat Launched Successfully

[UPDATED: 2018-12-04 @ 1320 UTC] SpaceX has announced that the SSO-A: SmallSat Express mission carrying AMSAT’s Fox-1Cliff CubeSat has been deployed into orbit. A SpaceX Falcon 9 vehicle carried Fox-1Cliff and several other satellites into space on December 3 at approximately 1334 UTC from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, following a 1-day launch delay. (See the launch on YouTube.) According to AMSAT, at approximately 0030 UTC on December 4, several stations in Brazil — including PS8MT, PT9BM, and PT2AP — reported hearing the voice beacon “Fox-1Cliff Safe Mode,” confirming that the satellite was alive.

“Just before 0040 UTC, AMSAT Fox-1 Team Member Burns Fisher, WB1FJ, was the first to submit and upload telemetry to the AMSAT servers,” AMSAT reportedon its website. “Initial telemetry values show the satellite to be in good health. Thanks to the 29 stations that contributed telemetry during Fox-1Cliff’s initial orbits.”

Continue reading AMSAT’s Fox-1Cliff Amateur Radio CubeSat Launched Successfully

SpaceX launch from KSC to achieve ‘dream’ of ham radio enthusiasts

“November-Alpha-One-Sierra-Sierra, this is Kilo-Six-Whiskey-Alpha-Oscar.”

That call could be the start of a conversation between a licensed amateur radio operator on the ground and an astronaut aboard the International Space Station.

But the contact would only be possible for up to 10 minutes of the station’s orbit as it whizzed 250 miles overhead at 17,500 mph.

Continue reading SpaceX launch from KSC to achieve ‘dream’ of ham radio enthusiasts

FCC Enforcement Advisory

“Two way VHF/UHF radios may not be imported, advertised, or sold in the United States unless they comply with the commissions rules”.

“Amateur Radio Exception. There is one exception to this certification requirement: if a device is capable of operating only on frequencies that the FCC has allocated for use by Amateur Radio Service licensees, it does not require FCC equipment authorization, and an amateur licensee may use his or her license to operate such radios. However, many two-way radios that purport to operate on amateur frequencies also operate on frequencies that extend beyond the designated amateur frequency bands.”

“If a two-way VHF/UHF radio is capable of operating outside of the amateur frequency bands, it cannot be imported, advertised, sold, or operated within the United States without an FCC equipment certification. Even if a two-way VHF/UHF radio operates solely within the amateur frequencies, the operator is required to have an amateur license to operate the device and must otherwise comply with all applicable rules. The Bureau will take very seriously any reports of failures of two-way radio operators to comply with all relevant rules and requirements when using devices in the amateur bands.”

FCC Enforcement Advisory DA 18-980 PDF

New Beta Version WSJT-X 2.0 Boasts Major Changes

As promised, the WSJT-X Development Group has announced a new “candidate release,” WSJT-X 2.0 rc1. This beta version of the popular digital mode suite incorporates many new FT8 and MSK144 features that will be of particular interest to the Amateur Radio contesting community. It incorporates all FT8 DXpedition Mode changes already developed in WSJT-X 1.9.1.

Continue reading New Beta Version WSJT-X 2.0 Boasts Major Changes

FCC Grants ARRL Temporary Waiver Request to Permit PACTOR 4 Use in Hurricane Relief

The FCC has granted an ARRL request for a temporary waiver of Section 97.307(f) of the FCC’s Amateur Service rules to permit the use of PACTOR 4 digital mode for Amateur Radio communication within the continental US related to Hurricane Florence relief. The grant extends through Tuesday, September 18, and a formal order addressing the request for a 30-day waiver will be issued next week, the FCC said.

Continue reading FCC Grants ARRL Temporary Waiver Request to Permit PACTOR 4 Use in Hurricane Relief

The New Improved Nevada QSO Party in October!

The New Improved Nevada QSO Party in October!

The Sierra Nevada Amateur Radio Society is proud to present the Nevada QSO Party which will be an annual event on the second full weekend in October. This year it will start at 2000 hours Nevada time (PDST) on Friday, October 12 (0300z 10/13/2018) and run until 1400 on Sunday, October 14 (2100z 10/14/2017)

The objective of this contest is to activate and work all 17 of the counties in Nevada. Nevada stations will work anyone, anywhere, and out of state stations will work Nevada Stations. All stations may be worked on the three different modes for up to three times on each HF band and only once on the VHF+ frequencies. Rovers in Nevada can be worked again when they change counties.

Continue reading The New Improved Nevada QSO Party in October!

443.225 K6ARP Downtown Clovis Repeater Coordinated

The Clovis Amateur Radio Pioneers are  pleased to announce the new 443.225 club repeater is now coordinated with the Northern Amateur Radio Relay Council of California (NARCC)

Motorola Quantar analog FM and P25 digital repeater

Location: Clovis Water Tower
Frequency: 443.225 + offset
Modes: Analog FM & P25
CTCSS: 141.3
NAC: $514

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It is located in downtown Clovis at the water tower facility. The repeater is a Motorola Quantar with the antenna approximately 120 feet above ground level.

Although it was previously used in analog FM, the Motorola Quantar repeater provides mixed mode of analog FM and digital in the form of P25; both of these modes are enabled on the repeater. It is recommended that a tone squelch be engaged in order to avoid hearing the P25 carrier when that mode is used. The tone squelch is 141.3, the same as the TX tone.

K6ARP 443.225 Repeater approximate coverage area.

California QSO Party – October 6-7, 2018

CQP & improving your operating skills

From an operating point of view, what do Public Service, chasing DX or working contests have in common?

They all require accurate copy of information under stress – whether the stress of the moment, the adrenaline rush of rare DX or contest pile up, you have to accurately copy and relay information.

Entering a contest either casually to give some points or as a serious  effort, Contesting provides a great learning experience for information copy “under fire”.

The first weekend of October (October 6-7 this year) sees the 53rd running of the California QSO Party – a great opportunity for stations in California because everyone else HAS TO WORK US!

Continue reading California QSO Party – October 6-7, 2018

FCC Sticks by Prescribed Page Limit in Denying Request in Radio Amateur’s Appeal

In an August 24 Order, the FCC denied a request by William F. Crowell, W6WBJ (ex-N6AYH) of Diamond Springs, California, for permission to file an appeal that would exceed the page length prescribed by FCC rules.

“We find that Crowell has not shown good cause for exceeding the prescribed page limit,” said the Order, signed by Linda L. Oliver, Chief of the Administrative Law Division in the FCC Office of General Counsel. “Crowell’s request indicates that he intends to appeal the order by Chief Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Richard L. Sippel dismissing his renewal application for Amateur Radio license W6WBJ and terminating the proceeding. Under the Commission’s rules, appeals of an ALJ’s dismissal order are limited to 25 pages.”

Continue reading FCC Sticks by Prescribed Page Limit in Denying Request in Radio Amateur’s Appeal

August 4th, 2018 T-Hunt Recap

An early Saturday morning start found the transmitter hunters in cooler temperatures, as they raced to find the fox (N6MQG). This particular hunt was a timed based hunt. The first to find both transmitters would be the winner.

There were five teams for this event:
– AE6GE & N6MTS
– K6KTP
– KG6MSV & KK6MIC
– W6KKO
– NI6G & K6MI

The main transmitter was less than two miles away and offered a strong signal. The fox had deployed an omnidirectional antenna along with a hearty battery to handle the output.

Upon locating the main transmitter, the hunters were to read a card that identified the second frequency to triangulate. Unfortunately, all hunters did not observe the card, as it was not secured at the location and fell to the ground. For those that did find it and tuned to the alternate frequency, they found the fox talking to them, who was a short distance away. Other hunters were advised of the frequency over-the-air and eventually all hunters located the fox. A while later the hunters and fox gathered to enjoy some breakfast at Huckleberry’s and recount their efforts during the hunt.

The next T-Hunt is Thursday, September 6 at 7:30 PM. The starting point is Letterman Park. Mike (KG6MSV) will be the fox.

The order of those finding the fox were:
1. Mike (KG6MSV) & Jacob (KK6MIC) w/his son Hunter
2. Eric (NI6G)
3. John (K6MI)
4. Ron (N6MTS) & Rob (AE6GE)
5. Marty (K6KTP)
6. Rick (W6KKO)*