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The ARRL Contest Update

Here’s the latest Contest and Radiosport News from HQ ARRL.

Views expressed in this Amateur/Ham Radio News summary are those of the reporters and correspondents.

Content provided by HQ ARRL.

Accessed on 28 October 2020, 1409 UTC, Post 1697.

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Oct 27, 2020, 11:51 PM (4 hours ago)

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The
ARRL Contest Update

October 28, 2020

Editor: Brian Moran, N9ADG

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IN THIS ISSUE
NEW HF OPERATORS — THINGS TO DO

Ward, N0AX, talked about the NA CW Sprint in the September 2, 2020 issue of the Contest Update. The independent NA SSB Sprint contest is this weekend, and the same concepts apply. The weekend of November 7, why not give the ARRL CW Sweepstakes a go? The exchange is challenging by virtue of its length with its origin in the message format used by the National Traffic System. Want to try something really scary? The QRP Zombie Shuffle event on Friday, October 30 is well suited to this time of year.

CONTEST SUMMARY

Complete information for all contests follows the Conversation section

29 Oct – 11 Nov 2021

October 29

October 30

October 31

November 1

November 2

November 3

November 4

November 5

November 6

November 7

November 8

November 9

November 10

November 11

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NEWS, PRESS RELEASES, AND GENERAL INTEREST

Did you see last week’s article “Guidelines Issued for ARRL DX Contest Multioperator Stations” on the ARRL website? The COVID-19-related accommodations for 2021 provide opportunities for groups of hams to cooperatively use their own stations to enter one of the multi-operator classes. See the ARRL website article for the details.

Something to be aware of: Some state QSO parties prohibit the remote operation of in-state stations. As always, it pays to check the rules of the contest before operating in it.

Gordon’s, NW7D, desktop during the JARTS WW RTTY Contest. He live-streamed operating the contest via Zoom to introduce other club members to RTTY Contesting. [Credit: Gordon, NW7D]

Gordon, NW7D, sent the following message to his local radio club’s email reflector: “I’ll be operating in the 48-hour JARTS World Wide RTTY (Radio-Teletype) contest beginning at 5:00 PM MST Friday, October 16th (0000 Zulu) operating on a part-time schedule until the contest ends at 5:00 PM on Sunday, October 18th. In the interest of promoting an interesting digital operating mode to others, you are welcome to check-in and “ride along” as I work other participants in the contest. You can come and go as you please – the Zoom meeting will be left running for the duration of the contest. I’ll be taking multiple breaks (sleeping, eating, etc.) but will leave the Zoom session open while I’m away in which case you’ll just see a sign on the screen that I’m taking a break. Feel free to ask questions about RTTY while I’m operating. You will be able to observe my contest operating software on the screen including 2 screens of decoding, as well as the logging, tuning, and bandmap windows.” According to Gordon “I had 9 visitors to my JARTS Zoom broadcast… several hams watched for an hour at a time to learn more about RTTY contesting.”

Many contest sponsors are reaching out to past event participants to encourage them to operate in this year’s contest. Here’s a message I received from the SSB Sprint Contest Sponsor: “Thank you very much for your participation in and your support of the NA SSB Sprint Contest. It’s time to get ready for the next NA SSB Sprint Contest. That is November 1, 2020 0000 – 0359 UTC. Which is Saturday evening October 31st here in North America. We need to make sure we have adequate participation from every state and every part of Canada. So, we are starting to get the Planned Activity page going. If you would, please sign up on https://ssbsprint.com/planned-activity/. This helped us in being able to have all states on the air in the April 2020 event. And if you want some additional fun, also get a team together register them on the website. https://ssbsprint.com/team-registration/. And be sure to send in your score for a chance to win a door prize! https://ssbsprint.com/awards-prizes/. 73 Bob KW8N & NA SSB Sprint Contest Committee” Email like this has all of the relevant details, appropriate links, and is easy to send… and could boost participation.

Dick, K7BTW, experienced some unanticipated RFI with his coffee grinder: “Went to 80 meters during a RTTY contest tonight and started transmitting. It started my coffee grinder in the kitchen and it kept going when I stopped transmitting. By the time I got to the kitchen to pull the plug, it had ground every bean in the hopper. That has never happened before.”

Tinnitus, the perception of unwanted ringing, tones, or noise, can be symptom of a few underlying pathologies. One company, Lenire, is using neuromodulation to treat the symptoms of tinnitus caused by nerve or brain dysfunction. “It works by targeting a specific nerve or brain region with a stimulus, such as low levels of electrical energy, in order to alter or adjust the activity within the body or brain to improve a health condition.”

WORD TO THE WISE

Roger That

Roger “indicates that a message was heard and understood” while the “that” part refers to the message. According to Dictionary.com, “Roger was brought into the spotlight in part due to public broadcasts of NASA’s Apollo missions in the 1960s.” (Ward, N0AX)

SIGHTS AND SOUNDS

Dr. Scott Wright, K0MD, current editor of NCJ, the National Contest Journal, was the presenter at the September 2020 online meeting of the Lake Cumberland Amateur Radio Association. The title of his presentation is “From Lake Cumberland to Lake Wobegon: The K0MD Journey.” A bit of trivia: Scott’s novice callsign prefix was WD4. Scott talks about his “career” in Amateur Radio, then transitions to a discussion of antennas, finishing with thoughts on how a radio club can encourage more HF contesting activity among its members.

Gerry, W1VE, presented “RS-232 Nirvana for the Radio Contester” to the Deep Dixie Contest Club on October 22, 2020. Gerry concentrates on serial port servers, and how they can be of benefit in local and remote applications.

Don, WD8DSB, found an RFI source affecting 160-meters from almost a quarter mile away. The source was a bad PC power supply! The RFI was so bad that the neighbor was hearing it in the speakers attached to the computer, and had already purchased a replacement, but hadn’t installed it. (via RFI mailing list)

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RESULTS AND RECORDS

Ward, N0AX, writes:

“The North American CW Sprint results are finished! We have a new process and the final results are out quickly this time at https://ncjweb.com/sprint-scores/cwsprint092020.pdf. Thanks for the fast work by author N3BB and the whole NCJ-CW Sprint team. There will also be a version of the article in the Jan/Feb 2021 issue of NCJ.

Two 300+ QSO Golden Logs this time! And participation was way up, too – welcome to the new operators, including CW NAQP and CWOps stations who tuned in. Thanks – see you in February!

Also to be noted – the Feb/Mar NA Sprints will start at 2300 UTC (one hour earlier than previously) to take better advantage of 20 meters which has been closing just as the contest begins. The September Sprint times are unaffected. We’ll evaluate whether to make the time change permanent after the contest.”

Ed, W0YK, announces the preliminary results NA RTTY Sprint are available on the NCJ website. Log Checking Reports (LCRs) are available by email request. (W0YK via email)

“Final results of the 2020 Kansas QSO Party have been posted to the KSQP web site. We had 665 logs (including 45 FT8 logs) submitted for a combined 83,327 QSOs made with our 140 Kansas operators. With a 49% increase in QSOs and a 58% increase in submitted logs, we enjoyed the same increased activity that many other QSO parties reported.
For an unbelievable tenth year in a row, John/N6MU in California swept all 105 counties running low power to a vertical antenna. That record will be hard to beat! This year, 59 1×1 call operators participated by spelling KANSAS, SUNFLOWER, QSOPARTY and YELLOWBRICKROAD, and 115 stations spelled all four words. KI6RRN worked 57 1×1 ops, and four stations worked 56 1×1 ops.
To honor our medical heroes who help us get through the COVID-19 pandemic, three 1×1 operators running low-power portable ‘M for Medical’ calls provided a find and work challenge. We’re awarding our monogrammed KSQP sweatshirts and T-shirts to 7 of the 73 operators who qualified for the drawing.
K9XN in Indiana posted this video of his contact with one of our 1×1 ops. Our log database shows he worked two other 1×1 ops as well. The combination of portable “QRP” and unique antenna “mount” is a sight to behold. I sent several emails thanking him for the post, but they didn’t make it through his spam filter. If anyone knows Nick, have him contact me for a surprise gift from the Kansas QSO Party!
Thanks to all who participated. Keep the Kansas QSO Party in mind for 2021!” – 73, Bob, W0BH, KSQP Coordinator

OPERATING TIP

Cheat Sheets

Knowing the possible exchanges you might hear is helpful, even in a casual contest. For example, in the recently completed Illinois QSO Party, having the list of Illinois counties at hand is a good idea since there are 102 of them. For a contest like the IARU in July, it pays to become familiar with the call signs of the headquarters stations to recognize them as multipliers and be able to jump on them. Special call signs are issued by countries specifically for contests, and announcements of those are published on website such as NG3K.com.

TECHNICAL TOPICS AND INFORMATION

The FreqEZ Project is a band decoder that can help with automating the appropriate selection of antennas, filters, based on BCD band data from a radio connection, or from UDP broadcasts from N1MM Logger+ and DXLab Commander. A small desktop utility for Microsoft Windows is also available which shows status or allows the manual selection of antennas. Larry now offers a ready-made Raspberry Pi HAT board that provides all of the capabilities of the original hardware design, but on a single board that stacks on top of the Raspberry Pi.

N1MM Logger+ has gained better AutoHotKey support, courtesy of Andy, KU7T. With the recent changes, the logging program can be queried by AHK for radio information like frequency, transmit status, and so forth, for greater automation. The N1MM Logger+ development team also uses AHK to exercise the logging program’s functionality in the development and release process.

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CONVERSATION

Sweepstakes Multi-op Lockout

The ARRL Phone Sweepstakes is coming up, and in normal years our group would participate in the multi low power class. The usual way we do this is have stations set up in different rooms, with a hardware lockout between them.

Over the years we’ve refined a design that uses Arduino Nano hardware at each operating location to interface to footswitches to arbitrate the radio signals, and a small application running on the desktop showing the lock status. Our “distributed lock manager” is a Redis instance running on one of the desktop machines. We just customize the interface cables as necessary for different radios. It works well but still has a lot of “moving parts” so we’re always looking for a better way. N1MM Logger+, the logger that everyone on the team knows pretty well, has a footswitch input capability which can be set up to provide a lockout as part of providing PTT to a transceiver. Unfortunately, the documentation states that it’s intended to prohibit two signals on the same band/mode combination which would work for say, a distributed IARU headquarters multi-op, but wouldn’t work for Sweepstakes, since only one signal is allowed at ANY time. There is a “Force Other Station to Stop Transmitting When I Transmit” option, but that’s not strict enough for our team.

For 2020, health and safety concerns have caused us to view this Phone Sweepstakes as a “rebuilding year” with no multi-op gathering. We’re looking forward to all getting together in a future November.

That’s all for this time. Remember to send contesting related stories, book reviews, tips, techniques, press releases, errata, schematics, club information, pictures, stories, blog links, and predictions to contest-update@arrl.org

73, Brian N9ADG

CONTESTS

29 Oct – 11 Nov 2021

An expanded, downloadable version of QST’Contest Corral is available as a PDF. Check the sponsors’ website for information on operating time restrictions and other instructions.

HF CONTESTS

CWops Mini-CWT Test, Oct 29, 0300z to Oct 29, 0400z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; Member: Name + Member No./”CWA”, non-Member: Name + (state/province/country); Logs due: October 31.

RTTYOPS Weeksprint, Oct 29, 1700z to Oct 29, 1900z; RTTY; Bands: 80, 40, 20m; [other station’s call] + [your call] + [serial no.] + [your name]; Logs due: November 3.

RSGB 80m Autumn Series, SSB, Oct 29, 2000z to Oct 29, 2130z; SSB; Bands: 80m Only; RS + Serial No.; Logs due: November 1.

NCCC RTTY Sprint, Oct 30, 0145z to Oct 30, 0215z; RTTY; Bands: (see rules); Serial No. + Name + QTH; Logs due: November 1.

NCCC Sprint, Oct 30, 0230z to Oct 30, 0300z; CW; Bands: (see rules); Serial No. + Name + QTH; Logs due: November 1.

Zombie Shuffle, Oct 30, 1600 (local) to Oct 31, 0000 (local); CW; Bands: 80, 40, 20m; RS(T) + (state/province/country) + (Zombie number/area code) + name; Logs due: November 15.

UK/EI DX Contest, SSB, Oct 31, 1200z to Nov 1, 1200z; SSB; Bands: 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; UK/EI: RS + Serial No. + District Code, DX: RS + Serial No.; Logs due: November 2.

Russian WW MultiMode Contest, Oct 31, 1200z to Nov 1, 1159z; CW, SSB, RTTY, BPSK63; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; UA: RST(Q) + 2-character oblast, non-UA: RST(Q) + QSO No.; Logs due: November 6.

RTTYOPS Weekend Sprint, Oct 31, 1600z to Oct 31, 1959z; RTTY; Bands: 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; [other station’s call] + [your call] + [serial no.] + [your name] + [6-character grid locator]; Logs due: November 7.

North American SSB Sprint Contest, Nov 1, 0000z to Nov 1, 0400z; SSB; Bands: 80, 40, 20m; [other station’s call] + [your call] + [serial no.] + [your name] + [your state/province/country]; Logs due: November 8.

Silent Key Memorial Contest, Nov 1, 0600z to Nov 1, 0859z; CW; Bands: 80, 40m; RST + ITU Zone or RST + SK call sign you wish to recognize; Logs due: November 15.

Classic Exchange, CW, Nov 1, 1400z to Nov 2, 0800z and, Nov 3, 1400z to Nov 4, 0800z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10, 6, 2m; Name + RST + (state/province/country) + rcvr/xmtr manuf/model; Logs due: January 31.

High Speed Club CW Contest, Nov 1, 1500z to Nov 1, 1800z; CW; Bands: 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; Members: RST + HSC No., non-Members: RST + “NM”; Logs due: November 15.

K1USN Slow Speed Test, Nov 2, 0000z to Nov 2, 0100z; CW; Bands: 80, 40, 20m; Maximum 20 wpm, Name + (state/province/country); Logs due: November 4.

RSGB 80m Autumn Series, Data, Nov 2, 2000z to Nov 2, 2130z; RTTY, PSK; Bands: 80m Only; RST + Serial No.; Logs due: November 5.

Worldwide Sideband Activity Contest, Nov 3, 0100z to Nov 3, 0159z; SSB; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10, 6m; RS + age group (OM, YL, Youth YL or Youth); Logs due: October 28.

ARS Spartan Sprint, Nov 3, 0200z to Nov 3, 0400z; CW; Bands: 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; RST + (state/province/country) + Power; Logs due: November 5.

RTTYOPS Weeksprint, Nov 3, 1700z to Nov 3, 1900z; RTTY; Bands: 80, 40, 20m; [other station’s call] + [your call] + [serial no.] + [your name]; Logs due: November 3.

QRP Fox Hunt, Nov 4, 0200z to Nov 4, 0330z; CW; Bands: 20m Only; RST + (state/province/country) + name + power output; Logs due: November 5.

Phone Fray, Nov 4, 0230z to Nov 4, 0300z; SSB; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15m; NA: Name + (state/province/country), non-NA: Name; Logs due: October 30.

CWops Mini-CWT Test, Nov 4, 1300z to Nov 4, 1400z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; Member: Name + Member No./”CWA”, non-Member: Name + (state/province/country); Logs due: October 31.

CWops Mini-CWT Test, Nov 4, 1900z to Nov 4, 2000z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; Member: Name + Member No./”CWA”, non-Member: Name + (state/province/country); Logs due: October 31.

UKEICC 80m Contest, Nov 4, 2000z to Nov 4, 2100z; ; Bands: 80m Only; 6-Character grid square; Logs due: October 28.

CWops Mini-CWT Test, Nov 5, 0300z to Nov 5, 0400z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; Member: Name + Member No./”CWA”, non-Member: Name + (state/province/country); Logs due: October 31.

RTTYOPS Weeksprint, Nov 5, 1700z to Nov 5, 1900z; RTTY; Bands: 80, 40, 20m; [other station’s call] + [your call] + [serial no.] + [your name]; Logs due: November 10.

NRAU 10m Activity Contest, Nov 5, 1800z to Nov 5, 1900z (cw) and, Nov 5, 1900z to Nov 5, 2000z (ssb) and, Nov 5, 2000z to Nov 5, 2100z (fm) and, Nov 5, 2100z to Nov 5, 2200z (dig); CW, SSB, FM, Digital; Bands: 10m Only; RS(T) + 6-character grid square; Logs due: November 19.

SKCC Sprint Europe, Nov 5, 2000z to Nov 5, 2200z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10, 6m; RST + (state/province/country) + Name + (SKCC No./power); Logs due: November 12.

NCCC RTTY Sprint, Nov 6, 0145z to Nov 6, 0215z; RTTY; Bands: (see rules); Serial No. + Name + QTH; Logs due: November 8.

QRP Fox Hunt, Nov 6, 0200z to Nov 6, 0330z; CW; Bands: 20m Only; RST + (state/province/country) + name + power output; Logs due: November 12.

NCCC Sprint, Nov 6, 0230z to Nov 6, 0300z; CW; Bands: (see rules); Serial No. + Name + QTH; Logs due: November 8.

Day of the YLs Contest, Nov 7, 0000z to Nov 8, 2359z; CW, SSB, Digital; Bands: 80, 40, 20, 10, 2m; RS(T) + YL/OM; Logs due: November 16.

IPARC Contest, CW, Nov 7, 0500z to Nov 7, 1200z; CW; Bands: 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; USA IPA Members: RST + Serial No. + “IPA” + State, non-USA IPA Members: RST + Serial No. + “IPA”, non-IPA Members: RST + Serial No.; Logs due: November 30.

Ukrainian DX Contest, Nov 7, 1200z to Nov 8, 1200z; CW, SSB; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; Ukraine: RS(T) + 2-letter oblast, non-Ukraine: RS(T) + Serial No.; Logs due: December 8.

SKCC Weekend Sprintathon, Nov 7, 1200z to Nov 9, 0000z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10, 6m; RST + (state/province/country) + Name + (SKCC No./”NONE”); Logs due: November 15.

RTTYOPS Weekend Sprint, Nov 7, 1600z to Nov 7, 1959z; RTTY; Bands: 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; [other station’s call] + [your call] + [serial no.] + [your name] + [6-character grid locator]; Logs due: November 7.

ARRL Sweepstakes Contest, CW, Nov 7, 2100z to Nov 9, 0300z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; Serial No. + Precedence (Q/A/B/U/M/S) + [your call sign] + Check + ARRL/RAC Section; Logs due: November 16.

AWA Bruce Kelley 1929 QSO Party, Nov 7, 2300z to Nov 8, 2300z and, Nov 14, 2300z to Nov 15, 2300z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20m; RST + Name + QTH + Eqpt Year + Transmitter Type (see rules for format) + Input Power(W); Logs due: December 20.

IPARC Contest, SSB, Nov 8, 0500z to Nov 8, 1200z; SSB; Bands: 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; USA IPA Members: RS + Serial No. + “IPA” + State, non-USA IPA Members: RS + Serial No. + “IPA”, non-IPA Members: RS + Serial No.; Logs due: November 30.

EANET Sprint, Nov 8, 0800z to Nov 8, 1200z; Any; Bands: Any; RS(T); Logs due: November 18.

4 States QRP Group Second Sunday Sprint, Nov 9, 0100z to Nov 9, 0300z; CW, SSB; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; Member: RS(T) + (State/Province/Country) + Member No., Non-member: RS(T) + (State/Province/Country) + Power; Logs due: November 11.

K1USN Slow Speed Test, Nov 10, 0000z to Nov 10, 0100z; CW; Bands: 80, 40, 20m; Maximum 20 wpm, Name + (state/province/country); Logs due: November 11.

Worldwide Sideband Activity Contest, Nov 10, 0100z to Nov 10, 0159z; SSB; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10, 6m; RS + age group (OM, YL, Youth YL or Youth); Logs due: October 28.

RTTYOPS Weeksprint, Nov 10, 1700z to Nov 10, 1900z; RTTY; Bands: 80, 40, 20m; [other station’s call] + [your call] + [serial no.] + [your name]; Logs due: November 10.

QRP Fox Hunt, Nov 11, 0200z to Nov 11, 0330z; CW; Bands: 20m Only; RST + (state/province/country) + name + power output; Logs due: November 12.

Phone Fray, Nov 11, 0230z to Nov 11, 0300z; SSB; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15m; NA: Name + (state/province/country), non-NA: Name; Logs due: October 30.

CWops Mini-CWT Test, Nov 11, 1300z to Nov 11, 1400z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; Member: Name + Member No./”CWA”, non-Member: Name + (state/province/country); Logs due: October 31.

CWops Mini-CWT Test, Nov 11, 1900z to Nov 11, 2000z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; Member: Name + Member No./”CWA”, non-Member: Name + (state/province/country); Logs due: October 31.

RSGB 80m Autumn Series, SSB, Nov 11, 2000z to Nov 11, 2130z; SSB; Bands: 80m Only; RS + Serial No.; Logs due: November 15.

VHF+ CONTESTS

VHF-UHF FT8 Activity Contest, Nov 4, 1700z to Nov 4, 2000z; FT8; Bands: (see rules); 4-character grid square; Logs due: November 9.

VHF-UHF FT8 Activity Contest, Nov 11, 1700z to Nov 11, 2000z; FT8; Bands: (see rules); 4-character grid square; Logs due: November 16.

Also, see Classic Exchange, CWWorldwide Sideband Activity ContestSKCC Sprint EuropeDay of the YLs ContestSKCC Weekend Sprintathon

LOG DUE DATES

29 Oct – 11 Nov 2021

October 29, 2020

October 30, 2020

October 31, 2020

November 1, 2020

November 2, 2020

November 3, 2020

November 4, 2020

November 5, 2020

November 6, 2020

November 7, 2020

November 8, 2020

November 9, 2020

November 10, 2020

November 11, 2020

ARRL Information

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

ARRL Contest Update wishes to acknowledge information from WA7BNM’s Contest Calendar and SM3CER’s Contest Calendar.

 

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Retired News director of Pacific Radio Group Radio Stations on Hawaii-the Big Island. I have more than 40 years of broadcast experience, including positons at KTUH-FM (UH-Manoa), KPOI-FM (Honolulu). KHLO-AM (Hilo), KKBG-FM (KBIG-FM)(Hilo/Kona), KAPA-FM (Hilo-Kona). Native-FM (Hilo-Kona), and ESPN Hawaii (Hilo-Kona). Former University of Hawaii-Hilo librarian. Retired Air Force Officer. Amateur (Ham) Radio operator since 1977 (currently holds the Amateur Extra Class License from the FCC-KH6JRM).... Can read, write, and speak Russian. Retired on 30 September 2011, but still maintains a Hawaii Island News Blog.

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    - DXPEDITION TO THE TOP OF THE WORLD - OBSERVATORY RADIOTELESCOPE TO SPAN TWO CONTINENTS - SILENT KEY: IARU's FAISAL AL-AJMI 9K2RR - SILENT KEY: INDIA'S MAHABALA HEGDE VU2HEG - NEW SUNSPOT EXPLOSION CAUSES SHORTWAVE BLACKOUT - SPAIN'S AMATEUR MAGAZINE MAKES DIGITAL ARCHIVE AVAILABLE - PLUTO SPECIAL EVENT IS BACK IN ORBIT - ONLINE EDITION […]
    Kevin Trotman
Amateur Radio related websites

http://www.HawaiiARRL.info (ARRL Pacific Section website)

 

https://www.simplehamradioantennas.com.

https://oahuarrlnews.wordpress.com.

https://www.eham.net.

http://www.southgatearc.org.

http://www.blubrry.com/arrlaudionews/ (ARRL Audio News Podcast).

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