Elmer Tips 

From N1BUG. 

ELMER TIP OF THE WEEK: Station Identification Requirements.
FCC Regulations require us to give our call sign every ten minutes during a communication and at the end of a communication. Remembering to identify can be a challenge for those coming to amateur radio from unlicensed personal radio services. Of course nervous mistakes happen when one is new but in the absence of gentle reminders it is easy for such mistakes to become habit. A common error is giving one’s call sign only when making a call or checking into a net, then forgetting to identify every ten minutes during and at the end of a communication. On nets such as the Wednesday PARC Net where we check in and later get a turn to make comments, it is important to give our call sign at the end of our comments regardless of timing or whether we expect to transmit again during the net. We may not know whether we will be transmitting again or how long it will be before our next transmission. Identifying at the end of our turn ensures we stay within the rules. For normal communications outside nets, we should identify every ten minutes and at the end of the contact or conversation.
Why it matters: Identifying may not seem important when everyone on the repeater knows each other, but remember we are granted extensive privileges to use a finite and valuable resource known as the electromagnetic spectrum. In return we are expected to follow certain regulations. It behooves us all to do so.
Remember it is often kinder to elmer than to overlook.

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ARRL Goodies

Greetings my dear readers.

I opened my email today to find a few goodies from the ARRL.

Rookie Round Up 2017

&

Edward L Tatro Jr – KC1FLG – Registered Instructor

Grief Transforms to Opportunity

Everyone in amateur radio, those in the military and those who are history buffs may already know this…but I had to do a little research to confirm something I read on Facebook and it was true read on.

Samuel F. B. Morse Artist/Inventor (1791-1872).

Samuel F.B. Morse was an accomplished painter before he invented the telegraph and changed the way the world communicated. After a mediocre showing at Phillips Academy, save for a strong interest in art, his parents sent him to Yale College. Samuel’s record at Yale wasn’t much better, though he found interest in lectures on electricity and focused intensely on his art.

“Morse worked with several British masters and the respected American artist Benjamin West at the Royal Academy. Morse adopted a “romantic” painting style of large, sweeping canvases portraying heroic biographies and epic events in grand poses and brilliant colors.”

In the decade between 1825 and 1835, grief transformed to opportunity for Samuel Morse. In February 1825, after giving birth to their third child, Lucretia died. Morse was away from home working on a painting commission when he heard his wife was gravely ill, and by the time he arrived home, she had already been buried. The next year Morse’s father died, and his mother passed three years later. Deep in grief, in 1829 Morse traveled to Europe to recover. On his voyage home, in 1832, he met the inventor Charles Thomas Jackson, and the two got into a discussion about how an electronic impulse could be carried along a wire for long distances. Morse immediately became intrigued and made some sketches of a mechanical device that he believed would accomplish the task.

Here is some of his work.

Self Portrait Hangs in Adison Gallery of Art
President John Adams Hangs in the Brooklyn Museum
Samuel Finley Breese Morse (American, 1791 – 1872 ), The House of Representatives, 1822, probably reworked 1823, oil on canvas, Corcoran Collection (Museum Purchase, Gallery Fund) 2014.79.27
Eli Whitney Hangs at Yale Univ

 

Miracle of Saint Mark  (after Tintoretto – Jacopo Robusti) Museum of Fine Art Boston
General Lafayette (“Marquis de Lafayette,” oil on canvas.) Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

This was the image that originally sent me to do my research.

One Year


CQ! CQ! CQ! This is KC1FLG! CQ! CQ! CQ! Today marks my one year anniversary of getting my amateur radio license! My first contact ever was Bill Welsh, KB1WEA, both on EchoLink and the N1BUG repeater!  
It has been a wonderful year in this hobby, I’ve gone from a Technician to a General Class operator. I’ve participated in many ARES events both in Maine and Florida and one deployment here in Florida. I’ve also became an accredited VE with the ARRL. 
This next year I’m studying for my Extra Class and will attempt to learn CW!  
I want to thank a few good people who have helped me along the way. Colin KF5UTP, Debra KF5UTQ, Paul N1BUG, Bill KB1WEA, George WA1JMM, and the rest of the PARC! You will always be my Elmers and I thank you from the bottom of my heart!

FCC to Reinstate CW

FCC to Reinstate Morse Code TestApril 1, 2017 by Dan KB6NU

Washington, D.C. – April 1, 2017 – Today, the Federal Communications Commission’s previously approved Report and Order 17-987af which reinstates the Morse Code test for Technician Class, General Class and Amateur Extra Class licensees goes into effect. “It was a big mistake eliminating the Morse Code test,” admits Dotty Dasher, the FCC’s director of examinations. “We now realize that being able to send and receive Morse Code is an essential skill for radio amateurs. As they say, it really does get through when other modes can’t.”

Not only will new applicants have to take the appropriate test, but Technician Class licensees who have never passed a code test will have one year to pass a 5-wpm code test. Similarly, General Class licensees that never passed a code test will have one year to pass a 13-wpm test, and Amateur Extra Class licensees will have one year to pass a 20-wpm exam. All of these exams will require perfect copy for at least 1 full minute out of a 5 minute test session. Those amateurs that fail to pass the test will face revocation of their operating privileges. Some examinees, may not be able to copy and send Morse Code as slowly as 20-wpm. So, at their request, they may take the exam at a higher speed if they so desire. Materials for administering the examinations will be distributed to Volunteer Examiner Coordinators by the end of April, so that they can begin the testing on Monday, May 1, 2017.

“This isn’t going to be one of those silly multiple-choice type tests,” noted Dasher. “We’re going to be sending five-character random code groups, just like we did in the old days. And, applicants will have to prove that they can send, too, using a poorly adjusted straight key. This sending portion of the Examination will be read by machine, so it would behoove prospective examinees to practice with Morse decoding software or hardware to ensure that their sending exhibits no irregularities.”

Technician Class licensees will be required to take a Morse Code test, and so will a test be required for new applicants. “We discussed it,” said Dasher, “but decided that even though most Techs can’t even figure out how to program their HTs, requiring them to learn Morse Code seemed like the absolute minimum that we should demand of them.”

When asked what other actions we might see from the FCC, Dasher hinted that, in the future, applicants taking the written exam will be required to draw circuit diagrams, such as Colpitts oscillators and diode ring mixers, once again. “We’re beginning to think that if an applicant passes an amateur radio license exam it should mean that he or she actually knows something,” she said.

For further information, contact James X. Shorts, Assistant Liaison to the Deputy Chief of Public Relations for the FCC at (202) 555-1212 or jim.shorts@fcc.gov. For more news and information about the FCC, please visit http://www.fcc.gov. periodically.

Happy April Fool’s Day!

A Year Ago

Has it been a year already?  One year ago today, 26 March 2016, I passed the Element 2 Technician Class Exam, sponsored by the Piscataquis Amateur Radio Club (PARC).  I took the exam at Milo Town Hall in Milo Maine.  I was nervous, however my hard work and study paid off, I passed the test with 33/35.  Then begins the wait for the license to be granted…I will post on the anniversary of that date.

Just think, in one years time I’ve gone from Technician to General, and I still have a lot to learn, and a lot more fun to be had.

BaoFeng UV-82HP Review

BaoFeng UV-82HP Blue High Power Dual Band Radio: 136-17MHz (2M VHF) 400-520MHz (70cm UHF) Amateur Portable Two-Way HT

This is a great HT for the price,  I will have links on where to purchase at the end of this review (all links open in a new window).   I’m still learning it, but love the added power over the UV-5RA. Added bonus for me it was available in one of my favorite colors, blue! It is also available in red, yellow, camo and standard black.

Just an FYI for everyone that uses a speaker mic, when you use the mic it will only TX on the bottom VFO (only drawback I’ve seen so far).

I do recommend not using the factory antenna that comes with it but using the Nagoya Dual Band antenna. Do yourself a big favor and buy the programming cable. This HT is easily programmed with CHIRP, I haven’t tried to program it manually (truth be known I’d much rather program it with the software then do it on the fly). The HT has great clarity in the audio I receive and my TX is far above what I expected, even bets the 5/9s I got on the UV-5RA.

Here is the current prices for each as well as the link to buy them.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my two cents, de KC1FLG/AG.

BTech Mini UV-2501+220 Review

BTECH MINI UV-2501+220 (Gen. 3) 25 Watt Tri-band Base, Mobile Radio: 136-174MHz (VHF), 210-230MHz (1.25M), 400-520MHz (70cm UHF) Amateur Radio

With antenna, mag mount and programming cable I paid a total of $237.29.  I will provide the links at for all at the end of this review.

I love this mobile rig, I have it mounted in my 2004 Chrysler Sebring Limited Convertible.  I bought it when I lived in Maine where I was able to utilize all three bands and I could not say enough good things about it. I moved to Florida and sadly the 220MHz is sadly lacking here (I do hope that this changes though). I’d recommend this rig 100 times over.  It can get a little warm especially during long QSOs but it does have a great fan in it. I get great reports on my transmissions and clarity.  You cannot go wrong for the price.  The radio is easily programmed with CHIRP.

As promised the links:

Thanks for reading de KC1FLG/AG.

Element 3 Exam

CQ! CQ! CQ!  de KC1FLG…

My brothers and sisters,
family both blood and spiritual,

I ask that you keep me in prayer.  I have enormous test anxiety when ever I take a test and tomorrow I sit for the Element 3 Amateur Radio Exam (General Class License Upgrade).  I will drive an hour northeast of my home to Merritt Island and take the 35 question exam at 17:30 Eastern Time.   I know the material and have been passing the practice exams.  Just a tad nervous.  If I recall I was this way prior to taken the Element 2 (Technician Class) which I passed with only two incorrect answers.  I thank you in advance for the prayers.

Sunday Weather 

The National Weather Service out of Melbourne Florida has issued a Tornado Watch until 22:00, and a severe thunderstorm watch.  We are also under a wind advisory.  Please stay safe.

T’was the Night Before Christmas

Many thanks to KD8MQ for sharing this he told me this was in his club’s December 2014 newsletter, Alliance Amateur Radio Club in Alliance, OH.

TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS
Ham Radio Style

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the town,
The snowstorm was raging, the phone lines were down;
The wind it did howl, the tree limbs did crack,
I hope that St. Nick isn’t forced to turn back.

The wife making cookies, the kids making noise,
While away in the shack, by my rig I was poised.
The finals were glowing, the mike gain was set,
I was chasing DX to see what I could get.

The bands were all empty, the frequencies clear,
Except one lone station that sounded quite near.
He was calling CQ and my interest did pique,
When he ended transmission with the words,”Old St. Nick”.

I answered back quickly, I used great dispatch,
If this were St. Nicholas, good God, what a catch!
We exchanged information, it was really quite graphic,
Then he came back and said,”I’ve emergency traffic!”

His reindeer were tired, his elves in a grump,
If he didn’t land soon, then his sleigh he would dump.
I thought very carefully, I thought very hard,
Then I gave him directions to my snow covered yard.

As he flew past my window, his hair like a mane,
He reined in his chargers and called them by name:
“Whoa, Anode! Whoa, Cathode! Whoa, Zener! Whoa, Diode!
Stop, Heater! Stop, Grid leak! Stop, Bias! Stop, Triode!

You’re flying too low! you’re flying too fast!
Look out, you dumb reindeer, his antenna mast!”
So into the backyard the reindeer did drop,
St. Nick, the elves, and the sleigh went kerplop!

Then at the back door, I heard this loud knocking,
“Open up in there, or I won’t fill your stocking!”
As I turned off the light and was leaving the shack,

Into the house Saint Nicholas came from the back–
His two-meter rig held to his hip with a strap,
“Hams do it in the shack” on the front of his cap.

The sack that he carried made his aged brow furrow,
And he handed me a card that read,
“QSL Via Bureau”.

His clothes were all sooty, from his shoes to his vest;
I felt like a novice taking his test.
His fingers were calloused and from what I could tell,
This came from a straight key that I’ll bet he used well.

I offered him coffee, I offered him smokes,
I tried easing the tension by telling ham jokes.
Then he nodded his head and raised up his thumb,
He smiled like an Elmer, did I ever feel dumb.

He grabbed up his sack and went straight for the tree,
And placed in it a large present for me.
When he finished his work, he stood up, took a bow,
Then out the back door to his team he did plow.
But I heard him exclaim as he flew o’er the land,
“Beware the FCC, friend, we were both out of band!”

hamsanta

Congress You’re Fired!

Senator Nelson you sir are a cad. You do not speak for this Floridian thanks to you we have to start all over again!  This Amateur Radio Operator will vote you out next election!

From the Facebook group 100W and a Wire.

12/09/2016
The Amateur Radio Parity Act, H.R. 1301, died an unbefitting death as the 114th Congress of the United States drew to a close today. After having passed the House of Representatives on a unanimous vote, the bill stalled in the Senate due to the intervention of only one member, Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL).

Over the course of the past year, Sen. Nelson has received thousands of e-mails, letters, and phone calls from concerned constituents asking for his support of H.R. 1301. Numerous meetings were held with his senior staff in an effort to move the legislation forward. Negotiations, which led to an agreement with the national association of homeowner’s associations and publicly supported by CAI and ARRL, were brushed aside by Sen. Nelson as irrelevant.

In a final meeting with the Senator’s staff earlier this week, it became clear that no matter what was said or done, the Senator opposed the bill and refused to allow it to move forward. Unfortunately, as the bill did not receive floor time, the only manner in which it could get passed in the Senate would be through a process that required unanimous consent, which means no one opposes the bill.

The legislation will be reintroduced in both houses of Congress after the 115th Session begins in January. We have already been in contact with the sponsors of the bill to allow for an early introduction, which will give us more time to obtain success. We believe that we can get his bill adopted given the fact that we were inches away from crossing the goal line. We will continue to need the support of the membership, particularly in Florida, as we go forward through the next year.

For more information please see this article from the ARRL for further information.