Rain

Has it been raining a lot lately!  Rain, rain, and more rain. Last night, it was pouring “cats and dogs” when I went to bed. After a few minutes, I heard some rumbles of thunder (the first of the season) in the distance and I decided to head down to the basement to unhook the antennas.  A few moments after I had climbed back into bed there was a very bright flash, and the house shook from the vibrations of the thunder clap!  One of those times that I’m certain I prevented static damage.

Earlier in the day, I was able to work Sean KX9X/7 while he was operating from Devil’s Tower, KFF-0920 in Wyoming.

I had gotten home from work and sat down with the tablet for a few minutes after I had put dinner in the oven. I saw his Facebook postings and that he was QRV on 14.064 MHz, so I ran down the basement and tuned in.  His signal was about 449 with some QSB, but by turning off the KX3’s pre-amp, I was able to tone down the background noise and hear Sean’s signal more clearly.  It was enough that I was able to work him and get him in the log.

This weekend is a long weekend in the US, as on Monday, we honor the lives of our military men and women who gave their lives in service to our nation – Memorial Day.  The weather outlook for the weekend is pretty gloomy, with a chance for rain every day except tomorrow.  On Sunday, I was hoping to go and activate one of NJ’s many parks for Parks On The Air. I would prefer to do that from a picnic table instead of from inside my car.  Rain is forecast for the morning and evening, with perhaps a break in the afternoon. I’ll have to see how it plays out. Monday looks to be a washout.

On an encouraging side note, I found a place here at work where I think I can set up during lunchtime and resume my daily QRP sessions (once the weather dries out).  I got in really early this morning and decided to investigate the various parking lots around the buildings on campus.  The main parking area is underground, which doesn’t do me a lot of good. However, I found that the lot also extends “up” and that if I park up there, it would be pretty much like operating at our old location. Not scenic, by any means, but in the open without many obstructions.  I can just imagine it now, as building Security patrols the parking lots ….. the first time they see the magloop, should I decide to bring and deploy it. LOL!

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP – When you care to send the very least!

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Hunting For NDBs In CLE 219

YMW-366 Maniwaki, QC courtesy: VE3GOP

This coming weekend will see another CLE challenge. This time the hunting grounds will be:  350.0 – 369.9 kHz.

For those unfamiliar with this monthly activity, a ‘CLE’ is a ‘Co-ordinated Listening Event‘, as NDB DXers around the world focus their listening time on one small slice of the NDB spectrum.

A nice challenge in this one is to hear the Maniwaki  NDB, ‘YMW‘, on 366 kHz. It’s a 500-watter and is well heard, having been logged from Europe to Hawaii and is a good propagation indicator for listeners in western North America. Look for ‘YMW‘ on 344.401 kHz.

I see a forecast of a possible CME impact sometime Friday, right on schedule for the CLE event! Sometimes these help but usually not. At this time of the year it’s usually not the propagation causing problems but rather, the lightning activity and its associated QRN. A good place to check lightning activity in realtime is at the Blitzortung website.

When tuning for NDBs, put your receiver in the CW mode and listen for the NDB’s CW identifier, repeated every few seconds. With your receiver in the CW mode, listen for U.S. NDB identifiers approximately 1 kHz higher or lower than the published transmitted frequency since these beacons are tone-modulated with a 1020 Hz tone approximately.

For example, ‘AA‘ in Fargo, MN, transmits on 365 kHz and its upper sideband CW identifier is tuned at 366.025 kHz while its lower sideband CW ident can be tuned at 363.946 kHz. Its USB tone is actually 1025 Hz while its LSB tone is 1054 Hz.

Often, one sideband will be much stronger than the other so if you don’t hear the first one, try listening on the other sideband.

Canadian NDBs normally have an USB tone only, usually very close to 400 Hz. They also have a long dash (keydown) following the CW identifier.

All NDBs heard in North America will be listed in the RNA database (updated daily) while those heard in Europe may be found in the REU database. Beacons heard outside of these regions will be found in the RWW database.

From CLE organizer Brian Keyte, G3SIA, comes the usual ‘heads-up’:

Our 219th Co-ordinated Listening Event is almost here.
Can new ‘listening eventers’ join in too? YES, PLEASE! I’m always
pleased to help first-time CLE logs through the harvester program.

Days: Friday 26 May – Monday 29 May
Times: Start and End at midday, your LOCAL time
Range: 350.0 – 369.9 kHz

Please log all the NDBs you can identify that are listed in this range (it
includes 350 kHz but not 370) plus any UNIDs that you come across there.
You can find full information to help you, including seeklists made from
RNA/REU/RWW, at the CLE page http://ift.tt/1HygzLx

Please send your ‘Final’ CLE log to the List, if possible as a plain text
email and not in an attachment, with ‘CLE219’ at the start of its title.
Please show the following main items FIRST on EVERY line of your log: The full Date (e.g. 2017-05-26) or just the day number (e.g. 26)
and UTC (the day changes at 00:00 UTC).
# kHz – the beacon’s nominal published frequency, if you know it.
# The Call Ident.

Optional details such as Location and Distance go LATER in the same line.
If you measure LSB/USB offsets and cycle times they are useful too.

Please always include details of your own location and brief details of the
receiver, aerial(s) and any recording equipment you were using, etc.

I will send the usual ‘Any More Logs?’ email at about 17:00 UTC on Tuesday
so you can check that your log has been found OK.
Do make sure that your log has arrived at the very latest by 08:00 UTC on
Wednesday 31 May. I hope to make all the combined results on that day.

Good listening
Brian
———————————————————-
From: Brian Keyte G3SIA ndbcle’at’gmail.com
Location: Surrey, SE England (CLE co-ordinator)
———————————————————-

(Reminder: If you wish you can use a remote receiver for your loggings,
stating its location and owner – with their permission if required.
Sometimes a listener has local problems and can only take part that way.
A remote listener may NOT also use another receiver, whether local or
remote, to obtain further loggings for the same CLE).

These listening events serve several purposes. They:

  • determine, worldwide, which beacons are actually in service and on-the-air so the online database can be kept up-to-date
  • determine, worldwide, which beacons are out-of-service or have gone silent since the last CLE covering this range
  • will indicate the state of propagation conditions at the various participant locations
  • will give you an indication of how well your LF/MF receiving system is working
  • give participants a fun yet challenging activity to keep their listening skills honed

Final details can be found at the NDB List website, and worldwide results, for every participant, will be posted there a few days after the event. If you are a member of the ndblist Group, results will also be e-mailed and posted there.

The very active Yahoo ndblist Group is a great place to learn more about the ‘Art of NDB DXing’ or to meet other listeners in your region. It’s also a good place to submit your CLE log! There is a lot of good information available there and new members are always very welcome. As well, you can follow the results of other CLE participants from night to night as propagation is always an active topic of discussion.

If you are contemplating getting started on 630m, listening for NDBs  is an excellent way to test out your receive capabilities as there are several NDBs located near this part of the spectrum.

You need not be an ndblist member to participate in the CLEs and all reports, no matter how small, are of much value to the organizers. 

‘First-time’ logs are always VERY welcome!

Reports may be sent to the ndblist or e-mailed to either myself or CLE co-ordinator, Brian Keyte (G3SIA), whose address appears above.

Please … give the CLE a try … then let us know what NDB’s can be heard from your location! Your report can then be added to the worldwide database to help keep it up-to-date.

Good hunting!

__._,_.___

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Who Is N0UN?

I was looking at some Blogs today and even though I find other Hams Blogs “technically” interesting, it dawned on me that almost all of them (mine included) are not “personally” interesting. DXing, antennas, contests, radios, etc, but not a damn thing about the person who’s writing. Hmmm. So I figure I’m gonna change that right here, right now.

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2017 Hamvention Report (K0NR)

After missing it for several years, I managed to attend the Dayton Hamvention this year. This is the largest amateur radio event in the world, so definitely an event to attend if you are into ham radio. I had some concern about going the first year in the new Xenia location, but frankly I was never a fan of Hara Arena so I figured I’d give it a try. I met up with best budd Denny (KB9DPF) in Fort Wayne and we drove down Friday night, attending the event on Saturday and Sunday.

KB9DPF and K0NR selfie at Hamvention

The short story is that we had a blast and the new location is an improvement over Hara (which is, of course, an easy compare).

We went early on Saturday morning, arriving at the fairgrounds around 8 AM (for a 9 AM start time). No traffic issues, easy access to parking. On Sunday we left a little later, arrived at 8:30 AM, again no traffic issues. (I suspect the traffic problems we’ve heard about were associated with arriving from the west, coming from Dayton. Also, that problem seemed to be mostly on Friday morning.)

Positives:

  • Most of the buildings were in good shape [insert disparaging comment about Hara].
  • Most of the buildings are not air conditioned but it seemed to be comfortable enough.
  • The usual vendors were there…I couldn’t think of any didn’t show.
  • The food selection was very good…basically “county fair style” vendors. For example, I had Louisiana style chicken, red beans and rice for lunch on Saturday.
  • The forum rooms were pretty decent, as in large and convenient  [insert disparaging comment about Hara]
  • I attended a few forums (all good): contesting, AMSAT, NPOTA
  • Parking was convenient and no charge.

Negatives:

  • The flea market was a muddy mess, so we skipped that completely. Those that went out there came back with shoes covered with mud. (I saw one guy that came prepared with 18-inch high rubber boots. Smart move.) I’ve seen lots of comments on the web about “well, you can’t control the weather so you just have to deal with the mud.” Yes, you can’t control the weather but even Hara had a paved parking lot for the flea market. Read: no mud.
  • All of the food vendors were outside and there was little to no sheltered seating. If the rain had hit around lunch time, I am not sure where people would have eaten.

All in all, not too bad.

I’m sure they’ll be getting lots of feedback and will be working on the problem areas. I think you have to accept the fact that on a weekend in May in Ohio, you will get some rain. So something has to be done about the flea market, else its mud city most years.

Seriously, I think the Dayton Amateur Radio Association (DARA) pulled off a minor miracle getting Hamvention moved to a new location without a major problem. They had a well-oiled machine that knew how to make it happen at Hara but everything had to be reworked this year.

People often ask “well, why do they even hold such a major event in Dayton?”
The answer: because that’s where DARA is.

73, Bob K0NR

The post 2017 Hamvention Report (K0NR) appeared first on The KØNR Radio Site.

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Comment on Soldering Tips and the Iso-Tip Pro 50 Butane Iron by Iso-Tip #7700 Cordless Rechargeable Soldering Iron Review | KB9VBR J-Pole Antennas

[…] that I find may be of benefit to the amateur radio community. Back a few months ago I reviewed the Iso-Tip Pro 50 butane soldering iron. This inexpensive portable iron has been an indispensable part of my field kit for years. Well, the […]

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Comment on Mounting ham radio antennas in the attic by James Cobb KM4OOS

I bought a collapsible 2 meter j-pole from this gentleman directly before getting my tech license back in 2014. I’ve been using the same antenna for everything from rtl-sdr usage and 2 meter rag chewing ever since. Worth every single penny now that I’m in a new home, and it’s conveniently placed in my attic where I had rg8x ran as we built the house. Now, I just need to get some basic HF equipment, after I win a lottery of some form ha! Thanks for this service and this fine product!

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