SCARS Weekly Newsletter, February 9, 2014

Don't Be A LID!

Don’t Be A LID!

Don’t be a Lid

ARRL Kids Day

Review: Linx Windows 8.1 Tablet

Reminder: St. Valentine’s Day Club Meeting this Saturday (double hint)

 So, you’ve been called a “lid”, have you?

“Lid” – If you don’t know what a “lid” is, go read this.

K1N is currently operational from Navassa Island. It's the first time this DXCC entity has been on-the-air in 22 long years and the National Park Service, which manages Navassa Island has already said that they won't issue another permit for 10 years. Many of us will be dead by then. Now, I've set the stage to talk about "lids".

Short version: “Lid is a bad operator.”

Received via email:

“Why is that other guy yelling ‘Split! Split!’ every time I call the DX?”

Because you aren’t operating split!  Split is another way of  saying you’re transmitting on one frequency while listening on another.  Listen carefully to the DX.  Is he saying something like “Listening up 5” or “330 to 340”?  If yes, then it means he is operating split.  This is another way that it pays to listen to the DX for several minutes before sending your call!

“Fine.  I see the split button but what does it do?”

Most — maybe all — HF transceivers sold in the past 20 years have two VFOs.  The VFOs are almost always identified as A and B.  There is probably a button right near the “Split” button that says “A/B”.  This lets you switch back and forth from one receiver to the other.  Select the A VFO and tune to where you hear the DX.  Now select the B VFO and tune to where ever the DX said he was listening.  I think you can see where this is going.  Go back to the A VFO and hit the “Split” button.  Now you can hear the DX on, say 28305, and when you switch to transmit, you will transmit on the frequency specified, say, 28310.  Easy peasy.

“I can do that.  But what happens if the DX says ‘listening up 330 to 350’?”

Well, then it gets fun.  you need to go to your B VFO and figure out where to call.  Good luck finding a clear spot!  Once you’ve decided on a spot, flip back to A (make sure “Split” is still on).  Now you can make your call.  If you’re really ambitious, you can flip back and forth between A and B and see where the station is that last worked the DX … then call there.  If you’re lucky, the DX won’t have moved his receiver yet and will answer you right away.

If you have an Icom, there are a couple of things to make split operation a little simpler.  First, if you push and hold that “A/B” button, you’ll set both VFOs to the same frequency.  This is helpful
if the other VFO happened to be at the other end of the band or on another band entirely.  The other thing is “auto split”.  If you push and hold the “Split” button, the radio will go into split mode and tune the other VFO 5 kHz up from where the current VFO is tuned.  “Up 5” is a very common split.  Some of the higher-end radios (think Icom’s $10,000 IC7850) even have two entire receivers so you can actually listen to the deserving calling on one receiver while the other is tuned to the DX.

Good luck and good DX!

[Editor’s Note: Feel free to share this far and wide. If you’re going to work DX, don’t be a Lid – do it right!]

ARRL Kids Day

It has been suggested that we consider promoting this locally. What do you think, hmm? January 2015 QST, page 75.

About Kids Day

Twice a year, ARRL offers an event designed to promote Amateur Radio to our youth. Share the excitement with your kids or grandkids, a Scout troop, a church or the general public!

Kids Day is designed to give on-the-air experience to youngsters and hopefully foster interest in getting a license of their own. It is also intended to give older hams a chance to share their station and love for Amateur Radio with their children.

via Kids Day.

Review: Linx Windows 8.1 Tablet

From Ken, N5KUK

About a month ago a link was provided in the weekly SCARS newsletter to a site that mentioned a small tablet computer that ran the full version of Windows 8.1. The link was to a British site and the computer was branded by another name there but looking at all of the info I could find it turned out to be sold in the US by HP as their Stream 7. Further searching showed it to be available at the local Office Depot for about $100.00 so I bought one.

[Editor's note: From the January 5, 2015 Newletter - direct link to story at:

The computer (it runs Win 8.1 but in a tablet form factor so I call in a computer) seems to be everything advertized although it needs some work to be fully useful. To start with for most uses I have it needs a keyboard and mouse. From Amazon I found a case, keyboard, and USB adapter for about $30.00 so that was a start. The keyboard uses Bluetooth so that is a easy connection. The computer has a OTG (on-the-go) USB connector so the adapter is needed to use accessories. So, with a keyboard and USB mouse connected I was ready to give it a try.

Did I mention I hate Windows 8? Win 8 with nothing but a touch screen is a real pain for an old man who is happier with a VT-100… Anyway the wireless connected easily with my home wireless and I was able to install some software I use that requires a full Windows desktop operating system. I have not tried any specific ham radio software such as Ham Radio Deluxe but if it can be made to operate with only USB interface I’m guessing it will work. I’m happy with it. And just this week I found that it is now available at Office Depot for about $90.00 so I bought another one. Amazing price since to purchase a copy of Windows 8.1 to put on an older computer would cost about $130.00 or so.

No electrons were harmed in gathering the information for this review.

Ken Brown, n5kuk

Reminder:  St. Valentine’s Day Club Meeting this Saturday (double hint)

As always…Nets, Links, Other Stuff in the link at the top AND in the sidebar. Have a great week!

73 de Gary, WB5ULK …_._

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