Friday, October 31, 2008

VO2A: the story

VO2A Brings NA-194 and 205 on the Air
by  Cezar Trifu, VE3LYC

For quite some time I wanted to be for once at the other end of the pile-up, not only for the thrill and experience, but also as my own contribution to the hobby, for the many wonderful and unforgettable moments I enjoyed over the years. However, when someone has over 900 IOTAs confirmed, the one he will put on the air will obviously be rare and therefore not an easy task.
Early this year Ken (G3OCA) and I decided to head out to the Central and Northern Labrador IOTA groups NA-194 and 205. First, these groups had only been activated once, 14 and 13 years earlier, and were sitting on the Most Wanted IOTA List. Second, I always wished to visit Labrador one day and experience on my own some of its rugged landscape and austere beauty. Third, this location was close enough to largely populated areas in Europe and North America, allowing good radio traffic even at the very bottom of solar cycle.
Our base had to be in Nain, the northernmost community in Labrador. With the help of Fran and Brian Williams who reside there I got in touch with Paul Fenton, a professional guide with Labrador Wild North Expeditions (LWNE). From the beginning Paul appeared both enthusiastic and very determined. Central and Northern Labrador islands raise various logistical problems due to the potential presence of wildlife, primarily polar and black bears. Following a careful evaluation, we decided that Finger Hill Is. and Paul Is., checked and pre-approved by the IOTA Manager, would be our destinations for NA-194 and 205, respectively. They will also be all-time new ones for the Canadian Island Award (NF-73 and 74).
We travelled to Nain very lightly, carrying only Ken’s TS50 and my IC-7000 with two vertical wire antennae, sleeping bags, limited clothing and toiletry. At Paul’s request, no aerosol-based insect repellant was packed to avoid affecting the smell of Snook and Eiger, the two dogs he would bring along in this trip. Since Finger Hill Is. is situated at 160 km N-NE of Nain, we decided to reach it from Nain by helicopter rather than using a large vessel, because of its reliable availability and fast deployment, avoiding thus long navigation and potential hazardous landing on its rocky shores. Travel to Paul Is. was far less demanding, since the island lied just a few kilometers from Nain.
Ken and I met in Halifax on July 28 and next morning flew to Goose Bay where we anguished for five long days waiting a lift to Nain. Despite the generally nice weather in Goose Bay, low ceiling along the northern coast led to all flights up north being cancelled day after day. Finally, at noon on August 4 we boarded a twin Otter that was scheduled to take us to Nain after making short stops at no less than five settlements on the way. Nain is home to about 1,200 people and part of Nunatsiavut, the Inuit territory of Labrador. We arrived around 3 pm and were welcomed by Paul, who told us that we will fly out to Finger Hill Is. in a couple of hours. After lingering for almost an entire week, we were moving fast in high gear!

With everything well packed and the three-man and two-dog team squeezed in the cabin, Gary – the helicopter pilot – lifted his flying machine and directed it towards our target. As we advanced further and further north, the trees vanished fast while the islands rose to greater and greater heights above the ocean waters. Once we arrived over the crested shores of the rocky Finger Hill Is., Paul asked Gary to do a fly by over the landing side to check on the wildlife. Minutes later Gary landed softly as we were watching like visitors from another world the austere landscape with the nearby vertical massive volcanic cliffs.
Paul began setting up the tents and anti-bear fence while Ken and I started to work on raising the antennae and getting the rigs ready. We had two operation tents 30-40 m apart with Paul’s tent in between. Unfortunately, the tests showed that the TS-50 was affected by radio interference and we will not be able to operate two stations simultaneously as initially planned. We decided that I would operate 30 m CW while Ken will rest and be ready for 20 m SSB in the morning.
With only one station on the air, the pressure mounted. It only took a few calls to be faced with a large pile-up, which continued all night long. The most rewarding moment on 30 m was when the VK and ZL stations came in around the very short expected time window. In early morning I switched to 20 m CW to give the stations from JA and far-east Asia a chance. A few EU operators ignored at first my directional calls, but after the JAs picked up they cooperated and QRXed.

Once the propagation with far-east Asia winded down, Ken was ready to take over, running a pretty heavy EU and NA pile-up on 20 m SSB. Paul, who spent all night patrolling the camp to guard against any eventual wildlife intruders, was crushed and headed to rest for a few hours. Ken and I switched over from time to time to maintain a steady QSO rate and continued on 20 m SSB and CW throughout the day. Once the evening dropped I was back on 30 m CW. Unlike the night before, at some point the bands simply vanished. It wasn’t the rig, battery or antenna, but the … northern lights, putting the entire sky above us on fire! The aurora didn’t last long but killed the bands and thus gave me the chance to take a three-hour nap before waking up to catch the early morning propagation on 20 m.

VO2A tent on Paul Is at sunset

Next day was our last on Finger Hill Is. The weather changed suddenly with heavy grey clouds pilling up. Mosquitoes were completely merciless. The helicopter was called in and we began taking everything down. Despite relatively lower ceiling on the way back, the scenery was breathtaking. Landing in Nain was very smooth, but once outside of the helicopter we realized how cold and windy it was, probably only a few degrees above the freezing point with the windshield effect.

Ken has the first QSO from Paul Is on 20m SSB

Thanks to our hosts Fran and Brian Williams, we were able to take a quick shower, re-book our flights, serve dinner and have a good night sleep. We woke up refreshed and ready for more action. Paul came to pick us up in late morning and drove us to the docks where Henry – our boatman – was waiting for us with his motor canoe. It took us less than half an hour to reach the landing site on Paul Is., north of Nain, on the other site of the bay. Minutes later the rain started and it continued well into the night, pretty heavy at times.
We were quite worried that Ken’s return to England could be seriously hampered if the weather changed abruptly and thus decided to not take any chances. The plan was to have Ken off Paul Is. the next morning in hope that he can catch a flight out of Nain right away. Thus, we decided to have only one operation tent, located about 20 m from the rocky shore.
Once this tent and the antenna were up, we were ready to go and Ken launched the first CQ on 20 m SSB. After a short contact, he noticed that his rig’s power dropped to 5 W and we both question whether the battery was well charged, replacing it in the end. With new battery in he made another QSO after which his TS-50 went silent. It was fast obvious that there was nothing we could do to revive it, and so had it replaced with my IC-7000. Ken got used right away with the foot paddle that my friend George Kennedy (VE3GHK) built for me to free hands for writing and tuning, and began working the pile-up.
We took turns at the microphone and the log increased steadily. At night fall I moved to 30 m CW and later to 40 m CW, where I logged a couple of ZL stations. After a good run the bands went silent and following many unanswered CQs I decided to take a rest. Early morning would bring the first VK station logged on 20 m CW, followed by the usual series of JA and far-east Asian stations. EU stations cooperated promptly, thus preventing the loss of time.
Ken’s departure was emotional for me. We had been through so many ups and downs together and I felt that he hated leaving me out there, but it was the responsible thing to do and we both knew it. We stood together for a photo then he jumped in the boat and was driven away by Chris, Henry’s son. Not long after that I could hear the twin Otter flying in and out of Nain.

Cezar working JA/AS stations on 20m CW

During the second day of operation the wind increased steadily, bending seriously the telescopic fiberglass mast. Our wire vertical antennae had no traps and for each band change the antenna had to be brought down. One person could generally do this operation, but with a very slippery mast under rainy conditions, Paul’s assistance was necessary to avoid dropping the fiberglass and eventually shattering it by hitting hard the large rocks around.
Chris was the boatman who came to pick Paul and me up and take us to Nain. Unlike during our stay on Finger Hill Is., mosquitoes were not the worst nuisances here but the black flies. In the morning of the third day I woke up with an inflated cheek just below the left eye, which in less than one hour increased to the point of partly covering my view. Back on the mainland Fran and Brian convinced me that this reaction would subside in a few days. Next morning, however, a similar bump occurred below the right eye too as a result of more black fly bites!
My flight out of Nain wasn’t followed by a straight connection to Halifax. Instead, I had to overnight again in Goose Bay. To my surprise, I couldn’t find that night any hotel or bed and breakfast accommodation. This is when Rick (VO2KDS), who knew of our passing through Goose Bay from Brian’s blog and offered his help if in need, came to my rescue. My gratitude to Carl Sonnichsen (VO2KDS) and his wife Laura (VO2YFA) for sharing with me a very enjoyable evening, chatting about VO2A and ham radio in general, and hosting me that night.

Our logs show that from each island we made about 1700 QSOs with stations in six continents, logging 2200 different stations from 63 DXCCs. Two thirds of these contacts were in CW. The QSO distribution by continent was EU 59%, NA 34% and AS 6% from NA-194 and EU 41%, NA 51% and AS 6% from NA-205, while other continents shared the remaining percentage.
We would like to acknowledge the financial support received from IREF, GDXF, ICOM Canada, Chiltern DX Club, GM DX Club, Mediterranean DX Club and Clipperton DX Club, for which we are truly grateful. We also wish to express our appreciation to Paul Fenton and LWNE for their services and contribution towards the success of this expedition.

We would like to thank our top individual donors: JE1DXC, VE3JV, VE7QCR, JF4VXT, JA8MS, and JA1QXY. Also, we are grateful to the following stations for their generous support: EA8AKN, G3RTE, G3SWH, G4AYO, G4VMX, G4VXT, M0ADG, HE9JAT, I4MKN, IK8CNT, 7K3EOP, JA1EY, JA1BPA, JA1SKE, JA1MCU, JM1PXG, JA9IFF, W3AWU, WA3HIC, KB5GL, N5UR, N6JV, N6PYN, WA6GFE, W7AUM, K9AJ, VE3LDT, VE3UW, VE3ZZ, VE7SMP, VE9MY and VE9GLF. Finally, we would like to acknowledge the donations received from CT1BXX, DJ3XG, DJ5AI, G3DQS, G3OAG, G4PTJ, GJ3LFJ, I4EAT, I4GAD, IK4WMA, IT9DAA, IT9YRE, JQ2VVH, JA5IU, JA7DOT, JH8JYV, LA2PA, ON4IZ, ON4XL, PT7WA, S55SL, SM6CVX, W1-7897, AA1ON, KH2AR, WB2YQH, KC3RT, N4AH, W4ABW, W4MOT, W4PGC, W5GAI, KB5RHD, W5RQ, W5ZPA, AB6QM, W6RLL, N6VS, N7RO, K8CW, K9RR, K9YNF and VE1WT.

Thank you very very much for this story Cezar and, of course, for the new ones you gave to lot of IOTA hunters. 73, Maury IZ1CRR

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

425 toolbar

On the 425 toolbar you have up to 16 engines for your searches. They are: Google, 425 bulletins, QRZ, DxWatch, DxZone, Latest spots, IK3QAR managers, Hamcall, Dxscape, eHam, DXcalendar, F5LEN DXCC info, Wikipedia, eBay, YouTube and NoBids. If you have other engines to suggest use the msg button on the toolbar to send me your comments.

Another feature in the 425 toolbar is the antenna heading/distance calculator, powered by Click the drop down menu at the Earth icon ;the last item is the antenna heading/distance: fill the field with your gridlocator and choose between kilometers and miles. The table will appear for all the DXCC countries. For example, to beam 9X Rwanda from JN35ub point 150°/330° (short/long path) and the distance is 5681 km. Give it a try ! If you still don't have the 425toolbar you can freely download it here!

And last but nor least the Google, Microsoft and Yahoo zoomable maps. You can find them clicking the button on the toolbar. The 425 toolbar has already been downloaded by 4570 users and every day about 500 operations are performed with the toolbar. For Explorer and Firefox browser and it's FREE !

P29NI update 29 Oct

Hi Maury, We are 60 miles from the Hermits but by the time you see this we should be there. Could you please find out a new 17m trap for the I1UJX antenna.  Accidentally high power was applied and it is badly burnt!  Almost all the traps have been modified and I hope we have trouble free operations from now on. The sea is much calmer today and we are having a smooth ride.  We ran through some large shoals of tuna fish.  Lots jumping out of the water to escape some sharks.  We caught 3 tuna in quick succession.  I am sure they will be on the menu for diner tonight! 73 Derek

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

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A Soundcard Based VLF Receiver

SAQrx is a soundcard based USB (Upper SideBand) receiver covering 0-22 kHz. The filter bandwidth is selectable in three steps, 300, 1000 and 2400 Hz. SAQrx was written primarily for reception of the 2006 Christmas transmission from SAQ but it was made tunable so it can be used for other purposes while waiting for the next SAQ transmission :-) SAQrx requires a soundcard capable of full duplex at 44100Hz sampling frequency. Most soundcards can do this. More information about the old longwave transmitting station SAQ, which was declared as a world cultural heritage by UNESCO in 2004, can be found at and at Wikipedia. Download the SAQ receiver here


Monday, October 27, 2008

P29NI update 27 Oct

Hi Maury, We left Garove Saturday but the sea was rough and we sheltered in Peterhavn up on the east coast of Garove.  We set off at first light on Sunday but have had a rough crossing and so decided to take a break off the little island of Ilam to the south of Manus.  We are here as I type this. We plan to arrive at the Hermits early on Wednesday morning local time (gmt+10). Hope to do some repair work on the multiband verticals while we are here. 73 Derek

Saturday, October 25, 2008

P29NI update 25 Oct

Hi Maury, We are pulling down the stations and will be leaving Garove in a couple of hours.  This last night was very good with lots of 160m QSOs around the world.  We also had good runs on 40, 30, 20 and 17m.  Mike has had a field day with EME. WX looks a bit rough so we may pull in at Peter harbour up on the east coast of Garove. We are still having problems with the I1UJX and ECO multi-band verticals but we are managing!  The coax was left on the boat all last year and the connectors are in real bad shape.  I only brought 4 new connectors and so we cannot swap them all. Please send a note to Hugh, K6HFA.  Tell him you are regularly putting info on the website and give him the web address. 73 de the team, Derek

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

P29NI update 22 Oct

I just received this message from Derek, G3KHZ:

Hi Maury, In the lagoon here we are surrounded by high hills and its difficult to send emails so apologies for not sending daily updates. We leave here Saturday morning local time for the Hermits.  Its about a 60 hour voyage. Here we are located up on the side of a hill and using the school buildings.  We are QRV all bands but last night with first attempt on 160m the violent storm here prevented any QSOs.

QSLs for OC-181 should go to SM6CVX and OC-041 should go to G3KHZ.

73 Derek

Operations approved for DXCC credit

The following operations are approved for DXCC credit:

4W6R Timor – Leste (2008 Operation)
EP3BN – Iran (2008 Operation)
9N7BN – Nepal (2007 Operation)
TN5SN – Republic Of The Congo
(Current Operation commenting October 2008)
TN5MM – Republic Of The Congo
(Current Operation commencing October 2008)

73 es DX!   Bill Moore NC1L, DXCC Manager

CU2X from Azores

Message From Toni, OH2UA

The Azores telecommunications agency (ANACOM) released the CU2X callsign to be used in the 2008 CQWW SSB Contest, single op - all bands, by Toni Linden, OH2UA. CU2X follows as another X indicator to the mother station, OH8X, in Northern Finland operated by Marko Holmavuo, OH4JFN in the same category and the second sister station, TC4X, by Pertti Simovaara, OH2PM on 20M. QSL CU2X via OH2BH

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Olympic Glow Hasn’t Yet Faded

You could define it OT (off topic) but ehi, she's talking about my town, and on the New York Times. "In Turin, the Olympic Glow Hasn’t Yet Faded" is the article wrote by Gisela Williams and she talks about how to get there, where to stay and where to eat and drink. And know what ? I  found a new place to try for my dinner, Trait d'Union; honestly I never heard about it before. Nicole Martinelli wrote another article about Venaria Reale, where I actually live. Nice to know americans adore the same places I love.

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Saturday, October 18, 2008

P29 - Start of boat journey

"At 03:08 gmt, Saturday 18 Oct. the boat left Kokopo for the Garove Island, Witu Group, OC-181.  The skipper anticipates a 40hour trip for this first leg to Garove. The four operators on board are Derek-G3KHZ, Alan-AD6E, Mike-K6MYC and Skip-W5GAI. It's good to be back on Barbarian II again with almost the same crew as last year when we made the dxpedition to OC-283 and OC-284.  We are all happy and enjoying a smooth ride accompanied by the dolphins and flying fish.

We have a little modification work to do on the HF multi-band antennas and hope to do that en route before reaching Garove".

73 de Derek, G3KHZ

Friday, October 17, 2008

P29 arrival

Hi Maury,
4 of us have arrived.Unfortunately Luis had a problem with his passport and has returned home.We are very sad about that. Now P29NI will be the call used on both islands.
All the EME equipment has arrived but we are still chasing down the 160m Titanex which we believe is in Kokopo. Hopefully that will be located tomorrow (Sat) morning.
We are staying at the xxxxxxx Resort tonight in Kokopo and still hope to set out on the boat journey at midday local time Saturday.
73 Derek

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Bertolino's on Facebook

How nice. I found a group dedicated to all the Bertolino's on Facebook and in the whole world. If your surname is Bertolino, please join in. And don't forget my Bertolino's blog !

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

SSTV images received from ISS

From the ariss-sstv blog: Some initial imagery has been received during the 1430 UTC pass over Europe. Be ready as imagery should continue to be transmitted during the crew awake periods (roughly 0600-2030 UTC). In addition, Voice contacts are possible during the same time period. Below is an example of one of the many images received (this one by radio operator 9H1FF).

The blog will be the focal point for some of the best SSTV images received during Oct 2008 and beyond. Images should be transmitted on 145.800 MHz. To submit a received image for possible inclusion in this gallery, go to to upload your image.

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Monday, October 13, 2008

P29 donations list

These are the individuals that donated for the upcoming P29 dxpedition:


Thank you very very much.

If you didn't donate yet click the button

P29NI antenna assembly

Ask Astronaut Greg Chamitoff

Ask Astronaut Greg Chamitoff (aboard the ISS)
any question and he'll reply on YouTube !


Arcala Extremes

The world's northernmost contest alliance is ready with a mission and team to be part of this year's CQWW SSB battle. Just this week they will be augmenting their already impressive firepower with a 100-meter (330 ft) massive rotating tower going up adorned with a full-size 3-L 160M beam and 5-L 80M beam which they claim to be the first of their kind.

This marks the team's latest frantic effort to boost the signal from the worst propagation region in the world. You can visit them at

While OH8X will be operated by Marko, OH4JFN, their sister stations CU2A (Azores Islands) and TC4X (Asian Turkey) will be operated by Toni, OH2UA and Pertti, OH2PM respectively while OH0E (Aland Islands) will be manned by Ville, OH2MM and CN2B (Morocco) by Martti, OH2BH.

Their strategies and categories still remain to some extent on the drawing boards.

A series of full-color QSL cards can be obtained as follows:

OH8X via OH2UA
CU2A via OH2BH
TC4X via OH2BH
OH0E via OH2MM
CN2B via OH2BH

The team wish the world's contesters every success in their efforts to contact Arcala Extremes.

Friday, October 10, 2008

P29 operating frequencies (OC-041 & OC-181)

The first few days of the P29 dxpedition will coincide with the
Willis Island operation and for most of the time
VU4MY and VU7SJ will be active
We will therefore use frequencies near to the
recommended IOTA calling frequencies:

CW  28.040, 24.920, 21.040, 18.098, 14.040, 10.115 and 3.530MHz.
SSB  28.560, 24.950, 21.260, 18.128, 7.055 and 3.755MHz

Our transmit frequencies will be 1823.5 and 1824.5
(down 2-3 for JA, up 2-3 for others).

Derek, G3KHZ

Thursday, October 09, 2008

VU4 & VU7: Celebrations at Hyderabad

Dear Friends and fellow Hams,

National Institute of Amateur Radio was established with its headquarters in Hyderabad in the year 1983 with the objective of promoting amateur radio activity in the country. Commemorating 25 glorious years of public service to the nation, we would like to celebrate with fellow hams and our members in India and abroad with activities on the band as well as at Hyderabad.

Over the last 25 years, NIAR has been successful in conducting several awareness activities at schools and colleges; organsing Dxpeditions to Andaman and Nicobar Islands & Lakshadweep Islands; training programs for ASOC examination; providing Emergency Communications; operating QSL bureau and liaison with the government of India for implementing policies and programs for development of amateur radio in the country.

The population of radio amateurs since NIAR existence has risen from over 1800 in the year 1983 to over 15000 in this period. Numerous awards and appreciation received by us from several government and non-government agencies in India and abroad speak about the commitment of members in achieving the objectives of the organisation.

The success of Hamfest 2007 and Dxpedition VU7RG/VU7MY held during January 2007 in Lakshadweep Islands was amongst the most challenging events organized ever by NIAR with support of several agencies of Government of India and Lakshadweep Islands administration which added a new dimension of HAM TOURISM to India. Over 1,19,000 contacts made during a short period, proves the skills of amateur radio operators in making successful two-way communication from any remote part of the world even under extreme propagation conditions.

We would like to extend an invitation to you to join us with family and friends for Silver Jubilee celebrations at Hyderabad during 18-20 October, 2008 and also enjoy amateur radio activity from many Indian locations after the event until to November 3, 2008. NIAR will assist its guests in regard of reciprocal licenses or operation permits for VU4 or VU7 activations.

Kindly register your name at the earliest and sign-in your intent at the website where you will find more details about license requirements.

As it requires processing the application forms for each of the interested amateur radio operator for a specific location, we request the interested Hams to submit all the necessary documentation by POST MAIL on or before 15 January 2008 to the address mentioned below.

HYDERABAD – 500 082.

We would like you to join us for the silver jubilee celebrations and enjoy your stay in India.

Thanking you.
With warm regards,
Yours sincerely,

(S. Suri, VU2MY)

Chairman & CEO, NIAR

K6UMO from Alaska to Japan

From the K6UMO's notes on QRZ.COM: "I have just completed a three week cruise on board the MV "Spirit of Oceanus", going from Seward Alaska to Kobe Japan. While on board and from selected islands, I transmitted using my ICOM 703+ and a Buddipole vertical. Besides the ship, I also transmitted from Kodiak Island (IOTA NA-019), Kiska Island (NA-070) [how many contact was he able to do from there?], and Attu Island (NA-064). I was unable to transmit from Russian waters, but I did transmit from Japanese waters as JF1QCG/MM. After a short rest back in California, its off to Maui (OC-019, HI018S) from11-18 October where I will transmit as K6UMO/KH6.
My QSL Policy: While in California, I send cards to all contacts and would appreciate a card in return. If you wish a SASE or a green stamp, let me know. I always send at least a SAE to DX locations.
While on the trips listed above, I will print special cards listing the Grid locator and the IOTA and US isl numbers for each island that I am on (or a picture of the ship for MM contacts). Please send a SASE if you are in range of the USPS First Class mail, or a SAE and a green stamp for DX locations. Cards will be mailed out in late October after I return from Hawaii. I will also respond to cards sent via the Bureau

Michael K6UMO

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

SDR links

KA3DRR in his blog lists several links devoted to SDR (Software Defined Radio). I think you have to give it a peek as there are many sites you'll be interested into. Thanks Scot for this useful listing.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

SOB VI launch 144.9 MHz

From W4SPA:

The next SOB flight, SOB VI is scheduled for this Saturday, Oct 11, 2008.

Launch will take place at KV4AC's QTH again at approximately 7AM.

The mission profile is designed to be similar to SOB V but we're using a new, larger balloon and are hoping for a little longer flight and to achieve at least 100,000 ft altitude.

The following SOB VI payload upgrades are in progress:
  • a new digital camera taking photos every 30 seconds
  • experiments to record temperatures both inside and outside the payload container
  • a sensor to detect the 0 G point just after the balloon bursts
  • better insulation around the backup radio (last time it froze and stopped working during the flight)
  • backup radio battery upgrade (so we can have a "balloon repeater net" to take check-ins during the flight)
Mission details:

Mission Designator - SOB VI
Scheduled Launch Date/Time: Oct 11, 2008 7:00AM
Mission Profile: flight to burst altitude, descend on parachute
Payload: 2 styrofoam boxes; Primary and Backup
Payload (Primary) - GPS, TNC, VHF Radio (APRS every 30 seconds, telemetry every 60 seconds), Digital camera
Payload (Backup) - UHF Radio - CW-ID/RDF signal every 60 seconds, simplex repeater
Frequencies: VHF (APRS) - 144.990 MHz - Note to monitoring stations - PLEASE TURN OFF DIGI'S! - PLEASE DON'T TRANSMIT!
UHF (simplex repeater) - 446.375 141.3 PL tone - wait for net control to call for check-ins
Ground stations comm: 146.84 (-) repeater
Tactical callsigns: Launch site (launch team) LAUNCH


HELP wanted:

If you're interested in participating in any way, we'd like to hear from you. Please reply to this message and let me know. We need as much help as we can get listening for and tracking the balloon's signals. SOB V went exteremly well in large part because there were so many folks listening in. If the APRS system fails for any reason, this could turn into a very challenging fox-hunt.


We're looking for as many check-ins as we can get via the simplex repeater. We'll start out with local checks while the balloon is ascending. As the radio's footprint increases in size, we'll be concentrating on longer distance stations. Please check-in only after net control calls for check-ins. I will have some "special" QSL cards printed to commerate the event and will QSL all check-ins.

Information for monitoring stations:

We'd really like to maximize the number of stations listening to and tracking (logging) the APRS data on 144.990. Bobby, N4AU is going to configure one of the area digipeaters to relay the balloon's data onto the standard APRS frequency of 144.390 MHz and onto the internet where it will be accessible from FINDU.COM. If you have an APRS station and want to monitor the data on 144.990 (the balloon's frequency) please disable your station's digipeater functions. During the SOB V flight, there were some other stations digipeating our data and as a result sometimes collissions occured resultsing in lost data from the balloon. Also, if you're going to monitor on 144.990 (the balloon's frequency) please don't transmit any APRS packets of your position or APRS messages. My objective is to monitor and log all the APRS and telemetry data directly from the balloon on 144.990 MHz. This data is nesessary in order to evaluate the performance of the flight hardware, the balloon's flight path and is required by many of the national balloon websites as evidence of our flight. There are several web sites that keep track of flight records. Thanks in advance for your cooperation in keeping the frequency open exculsively for the balloon.

Simplex Repeater Operation (sequence of events):

After launch, the launch team and chase teams will verify proper operation of the VHF (APRS and telemetry data) and of the UHF beacon. After a few minutes of ascent, if all is well with the flight hardware, a member of the launch team will make a test call via the UHF simplex repeater to the net controller. Net controller will respond, and once 2-way communication through the repeater is verified, the launch team member will check-in and turn control of the simplex repeater over to the net control station. The SOB VI net control station will be Jim,
N4CIO. Since the simplex repeater will ID every 60 seconds, please keep transmission through it short (20 seconds or less). The net controller will explain repeater operation.

Thank you!

On behalf on the entire SOB Team, I'd like to thank everyone for your assistance and continued support. A special thanks to everyone that provided financial support through bake sale purchases or donations of money or equipment.


Scott Poole, W4SPA


5J0 San Andres

Dennis K7BV will return to San Andres June 19-July 5, 2009 once again concentrating on 6 meter Sporadic Es. HF bands will be activated as well. Details on

Strange Radio Event

Dalla 425dxn mailing list, pubblico volentieri:

Carissimi sottoscrittori
l' EX Direttore di Radio Rivista, Prof. Nicola Sanna I0SNY per motivi del tutto sconosciuti, ha ritenuto di non pubblicare il Regolamento dello Strange Radio Event su RR 10/2008. Stupiti da simile comportamento, in quanto lo Strange Radio Event è tra i Diplomi più seguiti del radioantismo italiano basta osservare le classifiche ed i partecipanti ad ogni manifestazione sul nostro sito , comunichiamo che per evitare una poca partecipazione dovuta alla non visibilità sull'organo ufficiale dell ARI, nei giorni 17 - 18 - 19 Ottobre 2008 saranno on air esclusivamente i call speciali SRT.
Quindi tutti i partecipanti dovranno rispettare il seguente regolamento:

1- Data:  06.00 GMT del 17 Ottobre alle  22.00 GMT del 19 Ottobre 2008.

2- Per ottenere lo Strange Radio Event Certificate è importante collegare 5 differenti S.R.T. Special Calls.

3- Mode: SSB .

4-  Premi: 1st European OM; 1st station Outside Europe, 1st S.R.T. Special Call and 1st SWL.
Essi verranno consegnati durante il 6th International DX Convention 2009, che si terrà il prossimo 18 e 19 Aprile a Paestum ( Salerno ),

5- La lista dei nominativi speciali è la seguente:

W1SRT via W3IZ
YU05SRT via YT3W

6- La richiesta del diploma con il relativo log dovrà essere richiesto entro il  30 Novembre 2008 all' Event Manager: Marco De Carlo, IZ7DOK Via degli Orefici 6, 73100 Lecce, Italy. Il costo e' di 10 Euro or 15 $ che dovranno essere inviate all' Event Manager.

7- Per maggiori informazioni: , email

Preghiamo, infine, di diffondere la notizia attraverso siti WEB ed e-mail e scusandoci per l'inconveniente non certo creato da noi porgiamo

Distinti Saluti

Oreste D'Anzilio, IZ8EDJ
Presidente SRT

Marco De Carlo, IZ7DOK
Vice Presidente SRT & Event Manager

Francesco Giacoia, IZ7AUH
Vice Presidente SRT

Francesco Fazio, IK8WEJ
Vice Presidente SRT

Monday, October 06, 2008


Nasce CqRadio l’aggregatore radioamatoriale. Cqradio nasce come portale di riferimento per il mondo radioamatoriale, ma con l’avvento dei new media abbiamo sentito l’esigenza di rendere il lettore meno passivo e più partecipe alle news che giungono dai vari blog. Continua.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Referendum ARI: ed il sito ?

Per avere gli esiti del referendum ARI abbiamo dovuto attendere le notizie inviate via email ai Comitati Regionali o ai candidati stessi. Ovvero nulla è apparso sul sito ARI, nè i parziali, nè tanto meno i dati finali. Già si sapeva da una nota circolata prima del referendum stesso che " Collegio Sindacale non ha alcun rapporto con il sito Web dell'Associazione..." e che "Non potendo, per le ragioni indicate in premessa, affidarsi al sito web dell'Associazione, sarà cura della Segreteria Generale inviare.....". E' curioso leggere "sito web dell'Associazione" ma in che senso è veramente un sito dell'Associazione. Basta definirlo tale per l'immagine di testa o per la scritta finale © ARI - Associazione Radioamatori Italiani? Come è possibile che un webmaster che cura un sito ARI non abbia rapporti col Collegio Sindacale e che non pubblichi nulla degli esiti del referendum ? Conflitti di interessi ? Censura volontaria ? Dimenticanza ? E possibile che nessuno degli iscritti al forum abbia manifestato una sorta di vergogna per tale omissione ? O eventuali messaggi sono stati opportunamente filtrati ? Quando verrà sanata questa situazione ? Questo sarà uno dei primi argomenti da affrontare per il nuovo Consiglio almeno per dare un segno tangibile di cambiamenti.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Il futuro delle Onde Corte nel Pacifico

Ron Howard segnala il programma di David Riquish (Radio New Zealand) ascoltato il 30 settembre. Viene detto chiaramente che i rapporti degli SWL non sono più così utili come nel passato avendo a disposizione diversi ricevitori remoti sparsi un po' in tutto il Pacifico. In attesa che Internet diventi raggiungibile dovunque, le trasmissioni in onde corte saranno ancora necessarie per altri 15-20 anni nel Pacifico. source

My Xmas wish list

If you'd like to make me a gift this item is in my Xmas wish list.

[tnx elv for the suggestion]

Tag Technorati: , , ,

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Recent scenes from North Korea

While awaiting for the next DXped in P5 take a look at these wonderful images (32 photos total) from North Korea.

P29 on E.M.E. and 160mt

Two weeks left to the P29 departure and Mike, K6MYC replaced Hugh K6HFA. Mike will be taking an EME station.  The team will also be making a big effort on 160m with an amplifier, Titanex and separate receiving antennas.  This is a costly effort with equipment having to be air freighted ahead.  Your donations would be most welcome.

This is the team active in October 2006 from OC-115 as P29NI