World Amateur Radio Day – 2014

International Amateur Radio UnionThe World Amateur Radio Day (WARD) is celebrated every April 18 to commemorate the 1925 creation of the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) in Paris, France.

The purpose of the IARU is to monitor the interests of the Amateur Radio community worldwide. Each year WARD has a different theme. In 2014 the theme is “Amateur Radio: Your Gateway to Wireless Communication.”

Every one of the 150 countries within the IARU has a Member Society. For the US, the Member Society is the ARRL. Clubs worldwide that are associated with their Member Societies are on the air with their special event stations to celebrate WARD.

Find out more about the IARU here.


Elecraft Announces PX3 Panadapter for KX3

Just a quick note. I posted an article on my other blog about the new PX3 Panadapter for the KX3. You can seen the quick notes and a link to the Elecraft PX3 Companion Datasheet here.

Intek KT-980HP: The Power Baofeng


Power Baofeng? What’s is so magical about 8 watts? Has anyone heard of this radio? I have the Baofeng UV-82 which works extremely well for an HT in the $50 dollar range. When reading over the Intek site, it appears the HT only comes with a 220VAC desk charger.

Originally posted on Ham Radio Blog PD0AC:

KT-980-1You could call it a Baofeng UV-5R with a punch: the Intek KT-980HP. Rated at 8 Watts output on VHF and 7 Watts on UHF this is arguably the most powerful dual-band HT on the market.

This new radio has been developed by and produced exclusively for Intek. The radio has a newly designed die-cast aluminum front panel, new transmitter circuit design using the powerful RQA0011DNS Silicon N-Channel RF power MOSFET semiconductor. Transmitter power is adjustable at three levels (high / mid / low).

Specifications :

Frequency range VHF: 144-146 MHz (136-174 MHz)
Frequency range UHF: 430-440 MHz (400-470 MHz)
TX power VHF: (8W High, 4W Mid, 1W Low)
TX power UHF: (7W High, 4W Mid, 1W Low) (*)
128 Memory channels
Back lighted LCD Display with selectable color
Dual Band, Dual Frequency, Dual Display
Digital Battery Meter / Digital S/RF Meter
CALL / TOT (Time-Out-Timer) / LOCK
Dial multi-function…

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Something about communication range


Sometimes the simplest explanations work best.

Originally posted on Ham Radio Blog PD0AC:

Ever wondered about the claims some manufacturers put on the box? 10, 20, 30, 40 kilometers between two handhelds? Did you ever achieve it?

Probably not, and I’ll try to explain why by using a simple example.

Before we go any further we’ll going to assume a few things.

  1. Both persons holding the radios are 1.90 meters (about 6″2) tall
  2. Both radios are identical in every respect
  3. We use the 2 meter amateur band (VHF) and 5 Watts output
  4. There are no obstacles between the two radios
  5. Nothing above ground affects the signal in a negative nor positive way
  6. There are no special band conditions

Under these circumstances, what is the maximum range?
a) up to 6 Km
b) up to 10 Km
c) up to 20 Km

The answer is: up to 6 Km, give or take a few meters (the exact number is 5.7 Km). The reason why…

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KX3 Sees The Light of Day!

Ke2yk's Elecraft KX3



After being told by a fellow QRP’er that 15 CW has been up recently, I managed to drag my KX3 out of its Pelican case this morning.

Its been awhile since it has seen the light of day. Didn’t see much point to powering it on since my main antenna has been down for some time and the amazing Par End Fedz that I jury rigged in the yard some time ago has been beat to hell by the lousy winter and the high winds here in the Northeast.

After being very surprised by the fact that the auto-tuner was able to tune without moaning and groaning, I thought what the hell.

I tuned down to 21.025 and started hearing Europe. What was even more of a surprise is that I was able to work stations @ 5 watts on the first attempt.

That doesn’t say much about my skills but it says a HELL OF A LOT about that Par End Fedz antenna.

Another Flaky iTunes Install…

iTunesIn all the years I was forced to conform to the corporate Windows standard, I had never been comfortable with the instability of the OS’es spewing forth from the bowels of Redmond WA. As a ‘NIX engineer on global financial systems, the PC always felt like a toy waiting to log its very next MTBF. (meantime between failures)

Now that I am retired, I don’t have to rely on the continuous faux pas coming from Redmond which I then needed to create conforming reports and slideshows.

Having no desire to drop two grand on a Mac (my preference is LinuxMint on an old Intel Dual Core PC) causes me to use Windoze 7 for various Ham Radio and other software products. Enter iTunes for the 64 bit Windoze 7 Platform.

Since I am not an iTunes power user, I don’t keep up with the latest and greatest iTunes updates. On occasion I will use it to back up and sync my iPhone. I don’t play music, read books or watch Movies on my iPhone 5. Never did, never will.

Recently I wanted to try out an app which required me to sync my iPhone via iTunes. That’s where the trouble began. It had nothing to do with the app itself by the way. In its infinite wisdom, iTunes wanted to perform yet another self update.

To start with, I am adamant about a squeaky clean Windows PC. With every hacker in the world interested in penetrating the operating system, I have 3 levels of protection from viruses and malware on constant vigil. I use Avast, Malwarebytes and run CCleaner on occasion.

This time the iTunes update left me in the gutter. After installing the self update and rebooting the Windoze 7 wonder of the world, I received one of those error messages stating that MSVCR80.dll no longer resides within the clockwork of the Windows directory.

Like anyone else with this of issue, my first attempt was to Google It to determine if this is a well known and perhaps documented problem. Bingo! Typing in msvcr80.dll is missing yielded over 69k results. As expected with the Windoze world there was every imaginable type of response to the problem.

The method I found the most amusing was to install a fresh copy of Windows! At that point I began to LMAO. After searching the file system I found that I had multiple copies of MSVCR80.dll installed.

The fix was plain as day. No didn’t install a fresh copy from the recovery drive or roll back to one of those system created restore points which are usually missing the last 50 or so Windows updates.

Should you run into this problem, bring up the control panel, under Programs, select uninstall a program, sort the entries by publisher name and then delete everything owned by Apple Inc. except the iCloud control panel.

Next download and perform a fresh install of iTunes. Reboot and with any luck  your PC will resume life as mine did before the iTunes self update corrupted the system registry.

Finally, for safety’s sake reboot once more and if successful, manually create your own restore point.


Now I’ve Seen It All ! Ham Radio Mixed with Google Glass

Here ya go! Google Glass bringing up the DX Cluster on the display and showing the last 5 spots. Remote control of an Elecraft KX3 with hand gestures and more. A true mix of technology. Not sure if I’d want to control my KX3 that way, and I don’t see hand gestures replacing my paddles but this guy may just bring a bunch of products to market someday.

The ARRL Centennial Celebration in 2014

The ARRL 2014 CentennialIn 2014 the ARRL is celebrating 100 years of the Science of Radio. In 1914 the ARRL was founded as the national organization for Amateur Radio. Now, with more than 160,000 members the ARRL is the largest organization of radio amateurs worldwide.

Join the Centennial Celebration in Hartford, CT from July 17th to July 19th which will host Forums, exhibits, a flea market, keynotes and more. To find out more about the Centennial Celebration go here.

The ARRL Centennial is also hosting a year-long QSO Party that celebrates hams meeting hams worldwide. Make new contacts and meet new friends. The Centennial QSO Party is comprised of two activities. W1AW will be operating portable from each state and  most US territories. There will also be a Points Challenge made by collecting valid contacts throughout the year. Logs will be submitted via the Logbook of the World System. Find out more about the Centennial QSO Party here.

Links To More Information About the Centennial Celebration:

The Centennial Events and Programs pdf

The ARRL Centennial Program Handout pdf