The ARRL January VHF Contest Offers a Break from Winter’s Doldrums

01/13/2015
From the ARRL.org website:

If the Polar Vortex has been getting you down, then the ARRL January VHF Contest might just be the antidote! The event gets under way at 1900 UTC on Saturday, January 24, and it wraps up at 0359 UTC on Monday, January 26. The object is for amateurs in the US and Canada (and possessions) to work as many amateur stations in as many different Maidenhead grid squares as possible using frequencies above 50 MHz. It’s the US and Canada (and possessions) working each other and the rest of the world (think F2 propagation!).

“You do not need a huge VHF/UHF antenna farm to compete and have fun,” said ARRL Contest Branch Manager Matt Wilhelm, W1MSW. He points out that even portable and rover operators have been quite successful, although that could depend somewhat on weather conditions where you live.

“January VHF/UHF propagation enhancements often just pop up,” Wilhelm added, with tropospheric and even extended aurora possible.

Getting on the VHF/UHF bands is easy, and Technician licensees have access to all amateur bands above 50 MHz. Antennas for VHF and UHF frequencies are far smaller than their HF counterparts. Most modern transceivers have 6 meter capability, and sometimes even an HF dipole can be used to work some DX on 6. Contest contacts may be made using SSB, CW, and even FM simplex, but keep calling frequencies such as 146.52 MHz clear of contest activity.

The January VHF Contest offers Single-Operator and Multioperator categories, and there is even a Single-Operator, FM-only category, as well as a Single-Operator, 3-Band (50 MHz, 144 MHz, and 440 MHz) category. For 2015 three new categories have been introduced: Single- Operator Unlimited High Power, Single-Operator Unlimited Low Power, and Single-Operator Unlimited Portable.

All entries must be e-mailed or postmarked no later than 0359 UTC Wednesday, February 25, 2015. Submit Cabrillo-formatted logs via e-mail. Mail paper logs to ARRL January VHF Contest, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111.

Contact the ARRL Contest Branch for more information.

SouthWest Ohio DX Association to Sponsor Dayton DX Dinner

01/09/2015
From the ARRL.org website

The SouthWest Ohio DX Association (SWODXA) will sponsor the 30th DX Dinner, held in conjunction with the 2015 Dayton Hamvention®. The DX Dinner will take place on Friday, May 15, at the Dayton Marriott, 1414 South Patterson Boulevard in Dayton.

A social hour precedes the dinner at 5:30, with dinner at 7 PM. SWODXA is offering tables (10 seats) at a discounted price.

Tickets now are available on the SWODXA Events website. Click on the appropriate icon to purchase tickets or to obtain more information. — Thanks to SWODXA DX Dinner Chairman Bill Salyers, AJ8B

Mac to Rigblaster Plug and Play – WORKING

With some help from the admin over at http://www.machamradio.com I was able to get the Rigblaster PnP to finally work with my iMac.  This becomes the first major step in getting my station to the Mac.

Here’s the info he gave me that helped out:

Also, note that if the drivers are not “signed”, then Yosemite won’t load them by default. You’ll need to go to the    terminal and enter the following:

sudo nvram boot-args=“kext-dev-mode=1”

<enter your password when requested>

sudo reboot

This will allow unsigned drivers to be loaded.

Sure enough the drivers from West Mountain Radio were unsigned.  As soon as I did this they showed up as “tty.SLAB_USBtoUART”.  Selected this from MacDoppler for rig control and viola!

Next stop WJST-X

Edmund Fitzgerald Special Event Stations

As I’ve mentioned in the past I have a special spot in my heart for Edmund Fitzgerald special event stations. I remember that fateful day when the ship went down in November.  The song by Gordon Lightfoot whenever it plays (and it’s in my iTunes playlist), helps us remember.

This year for amateur radio special events, I only see one listed on the ARRL site.  Hopefully by the end of October there will be the other stations listed.  I’ll update the list here:

 

  • 11/01/2014 | Remembering the Edmund Fitzgerald (Split Rock Lighthouse)

    Nov 1-Nov 2, 1500Z-2345Z, W0JH , Two Harbors, MN. Stillwater (MN) Amateur Radio Association, Courage Kenny Handiham System & Radio City. 14.260 7.260 21.360 3.860. Certificate. Stillwater Amateur Radio Assoc, W0JH, via, splitrock2014@radioham.org. Certificates will ONLY be sent via e-mail in PDF format. W0JH is operating SSB and digital modes from Split Rock Lighthouse, Split Rock, MN (ARLHS: USA 783; Grid Square: EN47). www.radioham.org

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