SCARS News April 28, 2020

ARRL Online 4 You — Menu

What? You’re not an ARRL member? Today is a great day to join the league. Click here for all of the benefits and to join online. Membership is only $49 annually and you’ll get the great QST magazine and all of the rest.

And, ARRL Members now have digital access to all four digital magazines!
No matter your level of experience in ham radio, you’ll find articles and stories for you.

ARRL members will now receive digital access to four ARRL magazines beginning with their latest issues. Joining QST and On the Air on a digital platform will be the bimonthly editions of QEX — The Forum for Communications Experimenters and NCJ — National Contest Journal. QEX includes articles, columns, and other features ranging from construction projects to more advanced technical information in radio theory and practice. NCJ targets radio amateurs active in radiosport, and includes scores, technical articles, contributions from top contesters, and advice for radiosport enthusiasts alike.

“All members can enjoy specialized content and a high-quality reading experience whether at their desk or on the go. Offering this suite of digital magazines is an opportunity for us to give members more of what they want while adding value to ARRL membership” said ARRL Publications Manager Steve Ford, WB8IMY. ARRL’s digital magazine editions provide replicas of the printed editions with added functionality, allowing users to fully search issues, enlarge pages, share articles, and more. All four are easily accessible through any web browser from members-only links. The free ARRL Magazines app also supports downloading complete issues for offline reading. It is available for iOS and Android in the Apple App Store and Google Play.   For more information visit

$5 Raspberry Pi boards power ventilators in COVID-19 fight — Menu

by Peter Grad , Tech Xplore
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

The Raspberry Pi Foundation is stepping up production of its Zero single-core boards to help combat the coronavirus.

The Pi Zero will be used to power ventilators that have seen a huge surge in demand since the onset of the pandemic. Raspberry CEO and founder Eben Upton says it is the first time a Raspberry device will be used in medical equipment.

Hospitals are turning to Raspberry boards for the same reasons as 30 million tech hobbyists have since the company’s inception in 2012: They are inexpensive and portable.

In fact, the Pi Zero at $5 is the cheapest, lowest-powered board in the Raspberry lineup. The relatively modest demands of ventilator systems make the Pi Zero a perfectly suitable choice.

Another reason hospitals are choosing the Pi Zero is the company’s ability to produce them quickly.
“Raspberry Pi ‘builds to stock’ rather than ‘building to order,'” Upton told Tom’s Hardware, which broke the story. “So we generally have products either on-hand or in the pipeline with short lead times.”

Pi-powered ventilators have not yet been tested in the United States. But a medical team in Colombia is designing a Pi-based model using easily obtainable mechanical parts such as car valves. After completion of testing on animals, they will perform their first tests on humans.

Sales of Raspberry Pis are soaring. Some 1.75 million boards were sold the first quarter of the year. The Raspberry Foundation plans to manufacture a quarter million Pi units in the second quarter.

The promise of inexpensive, portable ventilators is not the only driver behind the sales spike. The Pi line has always been popular among hobbyists who these days have more time than ever to stay home and experiment.

In addition, educational institutions are rapidly incorporating Pi boards in devices for home schooling. Businesses, too, are using them for employees who must now work from home. The United Kingdom’s National Health Service is distributing Pi units for its remote workers.

The Pi Zero is the simplest of Raspberry boards. It features a single-core, 1GHz Broadcom BCM2835 processor and 512MB RAM. The Raspberry Pi 4 B has a quad-core Cortex-A72 64-bit SoC Broadcom BCM2711 processor and 1GB RAM. The Zero is $5, the 4B with 2GB RAM is $35 and the 4GB model is $55.

Raspberry Pi joins other companies in chipping in to manufacture parts for life-saving devices during the pandemic, including Dyson, Tesla, Razer and Maingear. Many small firms are joining the battle, too, including one tech firm in hard-hit Italy that last month rushed to produce sorely needed ventilator components using their own 3-D printers.

LearnMorse A & U — Menu

On the SCARS web pages, we have developed a series called LearnMorse to help you learn the 40 characters of the International Morse Code in 20 lessons. To help you stay active here is lesson 3, which starts with the characters A and U. Play the following audio to hear what these two characters sound like:

Text sent: a a a a a aaa u u u u u uuu au uu au auu auu aau aua a u

Characters Previously Learned

Characters that we’ve already learned are:

QRZ002: A Brief Biography of the Famed Q.R. Zedd — Menu

Originally published in the October 1981 C&E.

In response to the tremendous interest in last month’s column about the famed Oklahoma DXer, Q.R. Zedd, we humbly offer a brief biography of that greatest of radio amateurs for the benefit of the unfortunate few whose lives have been impoverished by lack of knowledge about him and his amazing exploits.

Zedd was born in August of 1927 during the great DXpedition to Tibet. His mother, Constance Wilhemina (Areff) Zedd, was operating the No. 1 CW position on the expedition and went into labor during the third day of operations on a mountainside in a blinding blizzard. Members of the party were dismayed that she had her baby under such circumstances, especially since it was a difficult labor and caused her CW QSO rate to drop below 100 per hour for several hours. She was a brave girl, however, and stayed at the key all through the night, clutching her infant to her breast with one hand while keying and logging with the other.

Zedd’s father, Zepp Zedd, was of course also on the expedition. Unfortunately, an avalanche killed him on the fourth day and members of the party said it was lucky the weather was so cold or otherwise they might have had to interrupt the expedition to bury him more properly.

Zedd’s widow (Q.R.’s mother) was undaunted by the tragedy and continued to take part in famous expeditions designed to hand out a new country to the worthy. In the Congo in 1930, at the age of three, Zedd himself worked his first 5,000 QSOs while relieving his mother as a CW op. He stuttered badly and did not spell very well, but as his mother wrote in QST subsequently, “Who cares if he can spell as long as he sends 35 words per minute and gets the calls in the logbook right?”

By the time he was six, Zedd was holder of the highest license class in several countries. During World War IT he invented radar. After perfecting TV and the plastic milk bottle in the early 50s, he retired, independently wealthy, and returned to his first love, amateur radio. As is well known, he invented SSB.

Zedd was married in 1957, but two years later his bride divorced him in a singularly messy trial during which she claimed their union had never been consumated. Zedd’s defense, that it was during a peak in the sunspot cycle, was thrown out of court by a judge who later dabbled in CB. The closing argument by Zedd’s lawyer, “Nobody Has Time For Everything,” (sometimes referred to as the “Wives Are Always Around, But Sunspots Only Peak Once Every Eleven Years” argument) quickly became a legal classic despite the fact that it was made in a losing cause.

Zedd lives south of Norman on his modest 800-acre antenna farm, where he operates around the clock from his five-transmitter station. Airline pilots on north-south routes sometimes point out his taller towers to passengers while flying well around them. In addition to six rhombics, Zedd has stacked 10-element monobanders at 600 feet on all bands from six through 160, and, of course, a few dishes and long wires for more exotic bands.

Zedd has worked everything on every band. One of his favorite pastimes is to crack a pileup every hour or so when a rare one is on in order to tell the operator at the other end how his signal sounds now compared with earlier, to send fond regards to the op’s wife and children, and if he is in an expansive mood to test various of his homebrew speech processors. Zedd has worked the Russian Woodpecker on seven bands and has the QSL cards from Box 88 to prove it.

A modest man, Zedd lives alone except for the company of his nubile 19-year-old blonde QSL secretary (herself holder of an Amateur Extra licensee and the coveted Yodar Kritch award on ten meters). He often honors Norman’s Tuesday morning coffee group with his presence, and sometimes lets them fondle some of his cards. He is a charter member of SCARS.

Asked how it feels to have worked more than 400 countries on seven bands, Zedd replied with characteristic modesty, “Shucks, it warn’t nothin’. Anyone can do it if they’re willing to invest a little time and money, and become a genius at operating on the bands.”

Zedd’s many incredible feats of DXmanship, as well as his many one-man expeditions to remote and exotic DX lands, are beyond the scope of a single article. If we again experience a tremendous outpouring of intense interest in this grand man, we may be able to secure a fullscale interview with him and report further on his exploits in some subsequent issue.


Newsletter News — Menu

This newsletter is announced in a number of places. Feel free to subscribe to the way that suits you best. If you’re an email person, you can subscribe by visiting If you’re a twitter person, visit us at And, each newsletter announcement is posted on the Facebook group at And, if you like to search this yourself, you can go straight to the newsletter at Any way you found the newsletter, we’re glad you made it.

And, this newsletter should be for, and about, you. If you have a neat build project to share, or an interesting QSO, a new radio review, a new idea, an upcoming event, a member spotlight, or if you’d like to help produce the newsletter, please send an email to These don’t have to be polished articles, we’ll edit as required. Don’t forget a picture or two, that picture is worth a thousand words.

Local Hamfests — Menu

Briefly, here’s the list of the upcoming local hamfests. Hamfests are always great places to buy new equipment, sell your underused equipment, and find that great flea market bargain. They are always a great place to meet local hams and learn some new tricks.

6/7-8/2020 | Ham-Com | Location: Plano, TX
7/24-25/2020 | Ham Holiday | Location: OCCC – OKC, OK
08/22-23/2020 | Joplin Hamfest | Location: Joplin, MO
09/05/2020 | Arkansas State Convention | Location: Mena, AR
09/20/2020 | Reno County KS Hamfest | Location: Hutchinson, KS
10/04/2020 | Wichita Area Hamfest | Location: Wichita, KS
10/24-25/2020 | Texoma Hamarama Hamfest | Location: Ardmore, OK
11/1/2020 | Enid Hamfest | Location: Enid, OK
3/6/2021 | Elk City Hamfest | Location: Elk City, OK
4/2/2021 | Ozark Con – 4 States QRP | Location: Branson, MO
4/9-10/2021| Green Country Hamfest | Location: Claremore, OK
5/21-23/2021 | Dayton Hamvention | Location: Xenia, OH

The ARRL maintains a list of all US hamfests if you would like to travel. Click here for the ARRL list of those within 250 miles.

Dates to Remember — Menu

  • SCARS Elmer Nights – Canceled Until Further Notice – Norman Firehouse #7 – 2207 Goddard Ave, Norman, OK 73069
  • SCARS Meetings Canceled Until Further Notice – Norman Firehouse #7 – 2207 Goddard – Norman, OK 73069
  • SCARS TBA License Test – Canceled Until Further Notice, but register online and you will be notified when we open back up. – Norman Firehouse #7 – 2207 Goddard – Norman, OK 73069
  • SCARS Technician / General License Class – Canceled Until Further Notice – Norman Firehouse #7 – 2207 Goddard – Norman, OK 73069

SCARS Is On The Web — Menu

News, links, repeater info, hamfests, licensing, and more are linked from the menu sidebar at the SCARS Homepage – W5NOR.ORG!

Podcast: On The Air — Menu

The On the Air podcast is a companion to the bi-monthly On the Air magazine (an ARRL membership benefit) and takes a deeper dive into select features and projects. Each month, host and On the Air Editorial Director Becky Schoenfeld W1BXY will offer additional resources, techniques, and hints to help you get the most from the magazine’s content.

Audio Link

On the Air – Episode 4

Get tips on creating a family emergency communication plan, and learn about installing coaxial cable connectors from Dino Papas, KL0S.

The “On The Air” podcast homepage is available by clicking here.

ARRL DX Bulletin — Menu

ARLD017 DX news

QST de W1AW  
DX Bulletin 17  ARLD017
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington CT  April 23, 2020
To all radio amateurs   

ARLD017 DX news

This week's bulletin was made possible with information provided by
The Daily DX, the OPDX Bulletin, 425 DX News, DXNL, Contest Corral
from QST and the ARRL Contest Calendar and WA7BNM web sites.  Thanks
to all.

CAMBODIA, XU.  Chenxing, BG9XD is active as XU7AMG from Phnom Penh
until June 14.  Activity is on 80, 40, 20, 15 and 10 meters using
CW, SSB and RTTY.  QSL via BG9XD direct.

AZERBAIJAN, 4J0/4K0.  Members of the Federation of Radiosport have
activated two special event stations, 4J0STAYHOME and 4K0STAYHOME,
during the COVID-19 crisis.  The length of the activity was not
mentioned.  QSL to DC9RI via DARC or direct.

MOROCCO, CN20.  A group of operators will be using the COVID-19
Awareness special event call sign CN20SH until April 30.  QSL via

NORTHERN IRELAND, GB1.  Stevie, MI0GTA has activated special event
station GB1SOS from Co Derry until May 11.  Activity is to thank all
health care workers who put their lives at risk every day during the
pandemic crisis.  Operations will be on 20 to 10 meters using SSB.
See for QSL details.

PERU, OA7.  Yuri, N3QQ will be active as OA7/N3QQ from Machu Picchu
from August 6 to 12.  Activity will be holiday style on various HF
bands.  QSL via N7RO.

GREECE, SZ3.  Members of the Association of Radio Amateurs of the
Western Peloponnese (ERDYP) are active as SZ3STAYHOME during this
health crisis.  QSL via LoTW, e-QSL or

UNITED STATES, W2.  Look for special event station W2H to be
operating during its inaugural year in honor of World Pulmonary
Hypertension Day 2020 on May 5.  They will be QRV on 80, 40 and 20
meters using SSB, FT8/FT4 as well as other bands and modes as
conditions permit.  Check the page for a more detailed
operating schedule.

EASTER ISLAND, XR0.  Hans-Martin, DK2HM will be QRV as XR0YHM from
August 27 to September 7.  Activity will be holiday style on 80 to
10 meters using SSB and the digital modes.  QSL via DK2HM, direct,
by the Bureau, ClubLog's OQRS, eQSL or LoTW.

BRAZIL, ZW8.  Special event call sign ZW8THANKS is a tribute to
health care professionals fighting COVID-19.  Activity will be on
all bands and modes including the satellites.  QSL via direct, eQSL
or LoTW.

SOUTH KOREA, HL.  South Korea celebrates the 40th anniversary of the
May 18 Democratic Uprising with special event station D73M.
Activity will be on all bands and modes from May 1 to 31.  QSL via

CANADA, VE.  For the next two months Ian, VO2IR will be operating
with special call CH2IR to remind all of the COVID-19 pandemic and
friendly reminder to stay home.  Also, XN1BOA will be operated by
members of the Grassroots HAM Radio Club, commemorating the end of
the Battle of the Atlantic 75 years ago.  Look for them from April
25 to May 15.

CROATIA, 9A.  Members of the Hrvatski radioamaterski Savez are
celebrating World Amateur Radio Day with special call sign 9A20WARD
until April 30.  QSL via LoTW and eQSL.

ENGLAND, G.  Members of the Bury Radio Society urge everyone to
"Wash Your Hands".  They are using the call sign GB9WYH until May 11
on SSB, FM, FT4, FT8 and CW.

HUNGARY, HA.  The following special event calls will be active until
May 15:  HG20ST, HG20AY, HG20AT, HG20HO, and HG20ME.  QSL via bureau
or LoTW.

AUSTRIA, OE.  The Documentary Archive for the History of Radio
Communication and Electronic Media special event station OE20M marks
Marconi's birthday from April 24 to 26.  QSL via bureau to OE1WHC or

STAY AT HOME.  More COVID-19 special event call signs include

BRUNEI, V8.  Members of the Brunei Darussalam Amateur Radio
Association are celebrating World Amateur Radio Day with the call
sign V84SAR until May 2 on HF using SSB, CW and digital modes.  QSL
via direct with the info at QRZ.COM.

AUSTRALIA, VK.  The Wireless Institute of Australia celebrates its
110th anniversary and World Amateur Radio Day with the following
call signs over the next six months:  VK1WIA, VK2WIA, VK3WIA,

THIS WEEKEND ON THE RADIO.  The 10-10 International Spring Contest,
Digital, SP DX RTTY Contest, Helvetia Contest, Florida QSO Party and
the BARTG Sprint 75 are all on tap for this weekend.  The QCX
Challenge is on April 27 and the UKEICC 80 Meter Contest is on April
29.  Please see April 2020 QST, page 71 and the ARRL and WA7BNM
Contest Web Sites for details.

The latest ARRL DX Bulletin is always at the top hereARRL DX Bulletin

Amateur Radio Newsline — Menu




The Amateur Radio Newsline can be found at

Ham Nation — Menu

Club Spotlight on the Fair Lawn Amateur Radio Club and Rochester Amateur Radio Association, Amateur Radio Newsline with Don, Solar Update with Dr. Tamitha Skov, putting up an antenna in your backyard with Gordo, gathering the parts for Bob’s next project, ways to volunteer during this pandemic with Valerie, donating convalescent plasma with Andy Anderson, questions with Amanda and more!

The last half-dozen or so episodes are linked right here: Ham Nation

73 de Mark N5HZR

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