Friday, February 27, 2009

Apollo 9 40th Anniversary

Apollo 9 launched 40 years ago on March 3, 1969. This video commemorates that successful mission designed to test the lunar module while in earth orbit.

Apollo 9 40th Anniversary

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Facebook on 425 toolbar

A new feature in the 425 toolbar.
Now you can connect to Facebook
simply using the  button on the 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 !

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Different kind of ham competititon


There is no doubt that our time-honored hobby is going through turbulent times with the intake of new hams decreasing in many countries. The overall Amateur Radio population has diminished dramatically.

As an independent body, the group at Radio Arcala, OH8X is poised to try some new methods to attract young people congregating in many non-traditional hangouts such as Virtual World on the internet. The Arcala radio station is the first-ever amateur radio station to be active in Virtual Reality. Millions of computer-minded youngsters gather there daily in an easy-going leisure mood.

The overall Radio Arcala strategy is spelled out on the OH8X Webpages but one of the key buttons - ON YOUNG PEOPLE'S TERMS - is still to be drafted.


We now challenge members of our fraternity of all ages to draft the text for this button in a way that is both appealing and informative enough to encourage today's youth to take the step we once took.


Consider yourself as another 18-year old enthusiastic ham of today. Challenge yourself to talk to a bunch of young people ranging from 15-20 years of age in a large room with the occasion devoted only to yourself. Your mission is to tell them about the excitement of being an amateur radio operator today and why those in the audience should join our ranks.

Draft your paper/talk to be no more than 250 words in length in English or Spanish.

Remember a few things:

1: These people have many other tempting options to occupy their youthful and modern mind and time.

They can take only a certain amount of history at once. Be balanced.

3: Consider that one of the current obstacles is the license exam; it is an entry barrier not found with many other hobbies. Address that issue, too.

4: Remember that electronics has become a highly complex science and that experimentation may not exist as an option the way it did before.

5: Find the most positive and truly unique features that Amateur Radio has. Highlight the positive and truly unique features of Amateur Radio.

6: And finally, take this not only as a fun game but consider that, indeed, the future of this hobby is in the hands of people like you.


Please submit your paper by email no later than March 15, 2009 to (English) or (Spanish).

More than one text can participate and more than one submission can be selected, if seen practical.

The body to review the not-to-be-disclosed papers with their national focus group is composed of the following individuals: Hans Blondeel Timmerman, PB2T, IARU Region 1, (Chairman); Reinaldo Leandro, YV5AMH, IARU Region 2; Dave Sumner, K1ZZ (ARRL); Olaf Lundberg, G0CKV (for RSGB); Tonno Vahl, ES5TV, (ERAU); Hans Johansson, SM0IMJ (SSA) and Juha Hulkko, OH8NC and Martti Laine, OH2BH (Radio Arcala).


In addition to the award of first, second and third prizes in the form of three (3) amateur radio contest-like plaques, the winning text will be made available to a large group of people in Virtual Reality. You will be invited to be part of a Radio Arcala working group drawing up a next-generation recruitment campaign. Your work will be featured in national magazines by the above jury plus on the DX Summit and the Radio Arcala Website. You will be pleased with your achievement. Be aware that the review committee can for editorial reasons make style changes to the text before publication.

Friday, February 13, 2009

WPX RTTY Contest

Domani c'è il WPX RTTY Contest che senza l'intervento di Dan, I1-12387
rischiava di veder cancellata la categoria SWL. La storia la potete
leggere su ed ovviamente il mio invito è
quello di partecipare per far vedere che noi listeners esistiamo
ancora. Grazie Dan per il tuo consueto notevole contributo alla causa !

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Jim Smith SK

Mi è arrivata questa mattina la notizia (tnx ELV). Credo che non si debba dire nulla su Jim Smith; penso che chi ha molti anni di radio sulle spalle come me (son ben 35 da quando ho iniziato l'attività SWL)  abbia avuto modo di conoscere ed apprezzare VK9NS. Il mio personalissimo ricordo torna indietro di tantissimi anni quando mettevo la sveglia affinchè fossi pronto ad ascoltare il suo net su 14222 ricco di stazioni del Pacifico. E poi ancora una memorabile edizione del Congresso di Bologna dove fu ospite insieme ad altri famosi DXer ed ebbi l'opportunità di stringergli la mano e parlargli, ben poche parole, intimidito senza ragione vista la sua cordialità e gentilezza. Tanto per citare alcune delle sue attività, Jim operò da A5, H40, S2, T31, T33 e VK0 Heard. Per approfondire la sua vita radiantistica vi consiglio di leggere il suo libro "THE OLD TIMER - 60 years in the hobby of Amateur Radio 1947-2007" disponibile alla HIDXA (Heard Island DX Association). Il pensiero va alla moglie, Kirsti, VK9NL, anche lei molto attiva da Norfolk Island ed ai quattro figli. Messaggi di cordoglio possono essere inviati a Kirsti jimkirsti(at)

Contest University a Montichiari

Molto interessante il programma di Montichiari sabato 14 marzo. Visto il successo di Dayton anche qui ci sarà la Contest University, una serie di lezioni sul modo migliore di affrontare i Contest. Argomenti e relatori sono di ottimo livello: Strategy (I4VEQ), Multi multi setup e Antennas (K3LR), Operating Procedures (IT9BLB, che premierà anche i vincitori del Contest ARI), Categories and Softwares (IK4MGP e IK3QAR), Extreme station makeover (K1DG), Equipment e Layout (I4UFH [quando mi mandi i sorgenti del toplog?]). Il tutto preceduto dalle relazioni sulle DXpedition 9L1X e E44M. Chissà, magari ci faccio un pensierino, sarebbe proprio bello partecipare !

Friday, February 06, 2009


Ho ricevuto ieri la QSL da Vlad per questa IOTA AF-103. Peccato per l'update già completato, avrebbe portato il mio punteggio a 1009 isole; pazienza, sarà la prima per il prossimo aggiornamento. Volevo solo far notare che la mia richiesta è stata inviata il 9 luglio 2008 con busta preindirizzata e 2 IRC. Sette mesi è un tempo più che accettabile per un new one ! A tutti coloro che devono ancora ricevere le QSL da Vlad (e soprattutto a quelli che hanno creato un po' di polemica) dico: abbiate pazienza, prima o poi arriveranno !