In This Issue…
- First X Class Flare of Solar Cycle 25
- DX Is…
- Meeting Follow Up
- QRZ065: Zedd To Become An Elmer
- New/Upgraded Hams
- Newsletter News
- Local Hamfests
- Dates To Remember
- Odds and Ends
- SCARS Is On The Web
- Podcast: On The Air
- This Week’s ARRL Letter
- ARRL DX Bulletin
- Podcast: Amateur Radio Newsline
- Podcast: W5KUB Amateur Radio Roundtable
- Podcast: Ham Nation
First X Class Flare of Solar Cycle 25 — Menu
You may have seen this all over the Internet, and it’s covered in great detail in the ARRL Newsletter, below, but here’s why this is a big deal. All radio transmissions are affected by the atmosphere and its affect on signal propagation. This propagation is mainly affected by the solar radiation of our sun. And, the sun’s radiation changes in 11 year ‘solar cycles’. For the past 5-6 years propagation has been in the ‘doldrums’, and signals have not been traveling around the globe very effectively.
The X-Flare seen this week is the ‘first sign of spring’, and means that better days are ahead. Right now, we’re between Solar Cycle 24, and Solar Cycle 25. Dr. Tamitha Skov WX6SWW has a great series of videos on Space Weather at https://www.spaceweatherwoman.com/. Her most recent video talks about this X-Flare at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GSQFrVqONZI, and you hear the excitement in her voice at the changes on the horizon. For those of us that are really interested in these forecasts, Dr. Skov has a Patreon channel that lets you support her efforts financially, and receive forecasts a day early at https://www.patreon.com/SpaceWeatherWoman/.
What this means is that experienced hams (those of us that have seen multiple cycles) will start cranking up the HF radios and using this increase propagation. For the ‘new hams’, (those of us that have joined the hobby in the past 5 years), will turn on their radio and start to hear signals that they’ve never heard before. The bands will ‘stay open’ for longer runs throughout the day, and you’ll hear callsigns and languages that you’ve never heard before. What this also means is that you will hear strange signals, noises, and actions on VHF and UHF repeaters across the country. If you monitor the background noise on all of these bands using a SDR or waterfall device, you’ll be able to keep up with the changes in propagation.
So, this X-Flare fired it’s first warning shot. Get your HF gear hooked up. Build some new antennas. And, you’ll soon make contacts like you’ve never done before. Take a look at the ARRL article, listed below, and get some more information there.
DX Is… — Menu
By Kim Elmore N5OP - President OKDXA
One of the things that attracted me to ham radio was DXing: I was smitten with the realization that with a transmitter capable of lighting a 100 W incandescent light bulb and a receiver connected to nothing but a bit of wire, using sunlight shining on rarefied air in a magnetic field – all available naturally right here – would enable me to talk to someone on the far side of the world. It was (and remains) for me just this side of magic. I’ve managed to keep this admittedly romantic attachment to ham radio for the past 51 years.
Right off, I need to dispel some inaccuracies I’ve heard about HF DXing: A big station isn’t needed, nor is a tower, nor is any kind of directional antenna: dipoles, verticals, and wires are just fine. If you have an HF transceiver, you can have fun DXing! No super-modern DSP radio is needed: even tube gear is just fine. Your antenna needn’t be resonant if you have an antenna tuner. No amplifier is needed: 100 W is more than enough power for any mode (FT8 requires even less power).
One of our own, Jorge Duarte, W3JDG, is an active DXer with a 33 year old 100 W radio and a 75 ft wire strung into a tree in an apartment complex. As a grad student, his operating time is limited; in 35 logged QSOs, he’s contacted 12 states (NM, MO, IL, CA, AZ, OK, GA, OH, MI, TX, NY, SC), and three DXCC entities (K, VE, and F), with the last two on the current antenna. He’s heard I, EA, FP, YO, ON, 9A, G, XE, KP4, CO, YN, and CE, all on this antenna but hasn’t worked them. All QSOs have been on SSB, 20 and 40 m, which is probably the most difficult mode.
Using RTTY or CW, you can be your own propagation beacon! Using CW or RTTY, send your call a few times: “TEST DE N5OP N5OP N5OP” sent two or three times works for me. Then go to http://www.reversebeacon.net/srch.php and type in your call. You’ll see a list of stations that copied you along with your frequency and the received signal-to-noise ratio.
How do you know what DX stations are on and their frequency? Go https://www.dxwatch.com/, create an account (it’s free but you may donate something if you want) and see spots from all over the world. Near the top, go to dx spots > create your filter! and enter your filter requirements. I choose to see spots only from central North America (CQ Zone 4) for stations I’m most likely to hear.
Contests: I can’t say enough to encourage contesting, if only for an hour or so. Download some free contesting logging software (N1MM+ is excellent and found at https://n1mmwp.hamdocs.com/) and have some fun! No matter how modest you effort, send in your log. What contests are active? Go to https://www.contestcalendar.com/ and have a look! Read the rules, listen a bit to get the gist of the exchange, then dive in! Contests are a great way to hone your operating skills for when they need to be top notch. You’ll quickly learn to pull calls out of QRN and QRM, and have fun in the process.
There’s an excellent, entertaining book about DXing called “The Complete Dxer” at https://www.arrl.org/shop/The-Complete-DX-er.
Now: Get off the computer and get on the air!
Meeting Follow Up — Menu
Last weekend was the July SCARS meeting and a lot of information was made available in a short amount of time. Hopefully this message will help you catch-up on some of it.
Our monthly meetings are held on the second Saturday of the month and we’re simultaneously meeting in person at Firehouse #7, online with Zoom at https://w5nor.org/zoom/ and live online with YouTube at https://w5nor.org/youtube/. This month we had about 45 members join us in person, and about a dozen each join us via Zoom and YouTube.
Our presentation this month was “Beginner DX”, and the video presentation is available on our SCARS YouTube channel at this link Beginner DX Operations. The presentation slides that Kim Elmore N5OP used are available at https://w5nor.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/DXing_presentation_SCARS.pptx.
Our next meeting is on August 14th, and Ed Fong WB6IQN will talk with us about using, designing, and building “J” type antennas.
Every Tuesday night we meet in person and online for our “Elmer Night” sessions. If you have any amateur radio related questions or problems, this is the best place for you to bring them. We meet at Norman’s Firehouse #7, and online, from 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm, and all of the details are list on the https://w5nor.org/elmernights/ web page.
Meetings and Nets
SCARS also meets daily (except Sunday) at the McDonalds at 1720 W. Lindsey, in Norman, from about 8:30 am to 11:00. All are welcome and there’s always some great discussions happening there. Full details are available at https://w5nor.org/meetings/.
And, we meet ‘on-the-air’ with nets on VHF, UHF, 6 meters and 10 meters at various times throughout the week. Take a look at the https://w5nor.org/meetings/ page for more details.
Monthly Amateur Radio License Tests
Every month the SCARS license team runs a test session at Norman’s Firehouse #7 on the first Thursday of the month. All of the details are available at https://w5nor.org/license/.
See you there!
QRZ063: Zedd To Become An Elmer — Menu
This ongoing series was written by SCARS charter member SK Jack Bickham WB5TZZ / KU5B. Jack was a prolific novelist, his two most known works were turned into the movies “The Apple Dumpling Gang”, and “Bakers Hawk.” These 104 Q. R. Zedd articles were originally published in the Central Oklahoma Radio Amateurs (CORA) Newsletter, the Collector & Emitter from September 1981 through April 1990, and are hosted on the SCARS web site. We are reprinting this series to provide you with a glimpse of the past.
Originally published in the January 1987 issue of the Colletor and Emitter.
Our own great Q. R. Zedd, A5A, made a number of wonderful New Year’s Resolutions. One of them is likely to change world history and shake amateur radio to its foundations.
Zedd, the world’s greatest DXer and holder of all records in the sport, sprang his new plan on the boys and girls of SCARS at the annual Christmas pigout early in December.
It was terrific that Zedd had the news to brighten the party. The gathering had been somewhat sadder than normal during earlier portions of the evening because the annual high-speed CW demonstration and tap dancing entertainment had been cancelled.
Tondelayo, Zedd’s long-time QSL secretary and more recently his bride, could not do the CW or the dancing as usual due to the fact that, while still young, she is not quite as nubile as she once was. As a matter of fact, she is in the family way, and demurely took a back seat this year to Zedd’s announcement and the Santa Claus impersonation given by KA5EFJ.
The regular club secretary for the South Canadian Amateur Radio Society will no doubt provide a full report of the EFJ doings. Here we are thrilled to get to report Zedd’s announced New Year’s resolution, and first results of same.
After giving the folks a few insights into how he became so wonderful, along with tips on DXing, Zedd turned more serious.
“People,” quoth the great one, “over the years I have of course done many brave, intelligent, and even heroic things. Like when I activated Atlantis a year ago, or the time I heard AF5X calling CQ, and answered him. You all know how incredible I am. “I have been thinking, however, that it is time for me to return to our beloved hobby a little of the pleasure it has given me, and therefore I have made a momentous decision.
“I am going to share some of my expertise and knowledge with someone less talented and fortunate than myself.”
Zedd was interrupted at this point by shattering applause, and a rumor promptly shot around Norman that Zedd was finally going to share his inside knowledge of linebacking technique with the Boz, something No. 44 has been begging him to do for more than two seasons. However, Zedd quickly clarified the point.
“What I aim to do,” the great man said, “is become an Elmer for some new aspirant to our beloved hobby.”
Well, as you can imagine, everyone in the room was thrilled and delighted. Especially after somebody took the microphone long enough to footnote Zedd’s remark with the explanation that Zedd didn’t mean he was going to change his name, but rather act as teacher, advisor, and all-around savant for some poor boob just getting ready to start down that long and arduous path toward the Amateur Extra Class and maybe even the coveted Yodar Kritch.
“How,” somebody in the crowd asked, “will you pick the lucky soul you’ll Elmer?”
“I figure,” Zedd replied, “that I’ll let fate and good old red-blooded American competition decide who I help along the way to ham radio immortality.
“In other words, the first guy or gal that asks me, I’ll take on and make an A-1 operator in record time.”
Some of the boys who teach novice groups regularly on the North Campus were heard to remark that teaching CW and electronic theory is not as easy as it looks. Zedd smiled down on them and reminded them of who he was.
“I can teach ANYBODY because of my brilliance and vast experience,” Zedd said. “And besides, it can’t be all that hard. Look at KU5B. Even he got a license.”
Well, of course your reporter was transported with delight, as always, to be noticed by the great man. So thrilled was the undersigned that several other complimentary remarks dished out to others in attendance by A5A in the next few minutes were missed because my vision was blurred by tears of gratitude.
It was possible, however, to witness the historic meeting of Zedd and the new candidate for an amateur ticket later that very evening.
As the club members and guests wended their way toward parked cars at the conclusion of festivities, several of us were yipping along at Zedd’s heels, slathering over the possibility of getting another morsel of wisdom or pat on the head. So we saw and heard what happened.
Zedd was helping Tondelayo into the Toyota Land Rover for the ride back to Honor Roll Ranch when suddenly a tall, skinny, long-haired weirdo, wearing a Grateful Dead tee shirt and cutoffs, loped out of the icy night. Said weirdo had some kind of a piece of gear on a length of clothesline around his neck, and a microphone clipped to his left earlobe beside his garnet dangler.
“Mr. Zedd! Mr. Zedd” the weirdo cried. “I am your man! I have arrived! Oh joy, oh rapture!” Zedd pulled a sixshooter out of his pants and might have blown the nerd away right then and there if several pals had not intervened.
Calmed somewhat, Zedd faced the lank dork.
“What do you want, boy?” he demanded.
A burst of sound came from the piece of gear on the weirdo’s chest. The gear was a CB radio. The burst of sound was kind of unprintable, right off Channel 19.
“I wanna be a radio armature!” the dork screamed. “I am ten-eight and ten-six and ten-fourteen and tentatively ready to start work raht NOW! I wanna be a HAM, you gotta copy, good buddy?”
Somebody had to hide the sixshooter.
Zedd, you see, was clearly trapped.
He had promised to teach whoever asked him first.
He had said he could teach anybody.
“Q.,” Tondelayo said softly from the seat of the Toyota, “you promised….”
Such is the courage under pressure of great men that Zedd saw his duty in a flash, and composed his handsome visage into granite.
“Son,” he said, putting on a rubber glove and then putting his hand on the dork’s shoulder, you come out to Honor Roll on Saturday. I’ll start your first lessons in how to become a ham.”
“Wow! Alakazam!” the nerd screamed. “Thank you! This is plumb bodacious! Ten four, good buddy! Keep the pedal to the metal! I’ll see you on the flip side! I’m outta here!” And he raced off into the night, trailing his twin truckers.
A strange silence fell over the parking lot. You could hear the growling of W5OU’s stomach. Clearly, this was going to be one of Zedd’s greatest challenges. We could hardly wait to see what would happen next.
Please join the SCARS Exam Team in welcoming the following new amateur to the air:
who earned his Technician class license at Field Day, June 26th.
And, Cathy KI5QPA
who earned a Technician class license at the July 1st exam session.
And, Brenda KI5OLH
who upgraded to General at the July 1st exam session.
Dates to Remember — Menu
- SCARS Elmer Nights – Every Tuesday evening, 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm. Join us in-person at Norman Firehouse #7 –2207 Goddard – Norman, OK 73069 and on Zoom at https://w5nor.org/zoom/ or simply watch the fun on YouTube at https://w5nor.org/stream/. All meetings/presentations are recorded so you can stream them later from the SCARS YouTube channel.
- SCARS Meeting July 10, 2021, 9:30 am – Beginner DX Operation – Join us in-person at Norman Firehouse #7 –2207 Goddard – Norman, OK 73069 and on Zoom at https://w5nor.org/zoom/ or simply watch the fun on YouTube at https://w5nor.org/stream/. All meetings/presentations are recorded so you can stream them later from the SCARS YouTube channel.
- SCARS August 5, 2021, License Test – 6:30 pm – Norman Firehouse #7 – 2207 Goddard – Norman, OK 73069
Newsletter News — Menu
This newsletter is announced in several places. Feel free to subscribe to the way that suits you best. If you’re an email person, you can subscribe by visiting https://w5nor.org/email. If you’re a Twitter person, visit us at https://w5nor.org/twitter. And each newsletter announcement is posted on the Facebook group at https://w5nor.org/facebook. And, if you like to search this yourself, you can go straight to the newsletter at https://w5nor.org/newsletter. 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, 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 at email@example.com. 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.
8/27-28/2021 | Joplin Hamfest | Location: Joplin, MO — No Status, yet —
9/10-11/2021 | Arkansas State Convention | Location: Mena, AR — On Schedule —
9/16-17/2021 | Duke City Hamfiesta | Location: Albuquerque, NM — CANCELED —
8/14/2021 | Reno County KS Hamfest | Location: Hutchinson, KS — On Schedule —
10/02/2021 | Wichita Area Hamfest | Location: Wichita, KS — No Status, yet —
10/22-23/2021 | Hamarama Holiday 2021 Hamfest | Location: Ardmore, OK — On Schedule —
11/5-6/2021 | Enid Hamfest | Location: Enid, OK — On Schedule —
3/5/2022 | Elk City Hamfest | Location: Elk City, OK
4/1/2022 | Ozark Con – 4 States QRP | Location: Branson, MO
4/8-9/2022 | Green Country Hamfest | Location: Claremore, OK
5/20-22/2022 | Dayton Hamvention | Location: Xenia, OH
7/22-23/2022 | Ham Holiday | Location: OCCC – Oklahoma City, OK
9/16-18/2022 | Duke City Hamfiesta | Location: Albuquerque, NM
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.
Odds and Ends — Menu
- All those links
- ARES Memory Settings (Red Box at the bottom of the page)
- Collector and Emitter Archive
- YLRL Nets and other info
- Real-time Solar Weather
- SCARS Officers
- HF Net List
- Norman VHF Repeaters audio stream
- ARRL Outgoing QSL Service
- Announced DX Operations
- D-Star stuff
- Real-time lightning data
- Oklahoma ARES Voice Over IP Net
SCARS Is On The Web — Menu
- Homepage: W5NOR.ORG
- Hamvention Club of the Year: W5NOR.org/hvclub
- News and Updates: SCARS Newsletter
- Repeater Resources: SCARS Repeater
- Oklahoma DMR Resources: OKDMR
- Facebook: SCARS Facebook
- Twitter: W5NOR
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Learn all about the new ARRL online Learning Center scheduled to debut this month!
ARRL Letter — Menu
- First X-Class Major Solar Flare of Solar Cycle 25 Blacks Out HF on July 3
- Amateur Radio Volunteers Prepared for and Tracked Elsa
- ARRL Podcasts Schedule
- June 2021 Volunteer Monitor Program Report Released
- ARRL Learning Network Webinars
- Young Caribbean Nation Formalizing Amateur Radio Guidelines and Standards
- Amateur Radio in the News
- Registrations Strong for 24th Annual International Lighthouse Lightship Weekend
- NRRL Receives Grants to Support Online Learning, Emergency Preparedness
- In Brief…
- The K7RA Solar Update
- Just Ahead in Radiosport
- Upcoming ARRL Section, State, and Division Conventions
ARRL DX Bulletin — Menu
SB DX @ ARL $ARLD027 ARLD027 DX news ZCZC AE27 QST de W1AW DX Bulletin 27 ARLD027 From ARRL Headquarters Newington CT July 8, 2021 To all radio amateurs SB DX ARL ARLD027 ARLD027 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. FRANCE, F. Michel, F8GGZ operates as TM108TDF around the Tour de France. See qrz.com for an operating schedule. He is QRV on 80 to 20 meters using CW and SSB. QSL via F8GGZ (B). JAPAN, JA. The Japan Amateur Radio League (JARL) takes part in the IARU Contest from several regions using the call signs 8N2HQ, 8N3HQ, 8N6HQ, 8N8HQ and 8N9HQ. QSL via bureau. BRAZIL, PY. Brazil's Liga de Amadores Brasileiros de Radio Emissao (LABRE) will be joining the IARU Contest as PX2HQ. QSL via PY2KP. RUSSIA, RA. Special event call sign R100KOMI celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Komi Republic until the end of September. QSL via ClubLog OQRS and R1II. ARUBA, P4. John, W2GD is active as P44W until July 13. He will operate mainly CW and will participate in the IARU HF World Championship. QSL via LoTW, or direct to N2MM. POLAND, SP. Special event station SN88LOT commemorates the transatlantic flight of the Lithuanian pilots Steponas Darius and Stasys Girenas 88 years ago. After crossing the Atlantic, their flight ended in a crash near the village of Pszczelnik. QSL via SP1PMY (d/B). GUATEMALA, TG. Steve, K4IM is in Guatemala City until August 15 and plans to use his TG9AWS call. He operates CW, SSB and digital modes on 40 through 6 meters. QSL via W3HNK or direct to K4IM. ALASKA, KL7. Members of the North Pole Contest Group will be QRV as W1AW/KL7 until July 13. Activity will be on all bands and modes with four stations active. This includes being a HQ Station entry in the upcoming IARU HF World Championship. QSL via W1AW. BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA, E7. E7HQ will be active in the IARU HF World Championship as the Amateur Radio Association in Bosnia and Herzegovina (ARABH) headquarters multiplier station. QSL via LoTW and E70ARA. SVALBARD, JW. The JW0W team of EA3HSO, LB1QI, LA5GI, LA7GIA, LA7THA and LA8OM plans to be QRV from Prins Karls Forland (EU-063), from July 21 to 26. QSL via M0OXO's OQRS and LoTW. INDONESIA, YB. 7A2HQ will be the ORARI HQ station in the IARU HF World Championship this weekend. Look for them on CW and SSB on all six contest bands. QSL via LoTW. SPAIN, EA. ON6ZK will be QRV holiday style as EA7/ON6ZK from San Juan de Los Terreros from July 15 to 23. QSL via ON6ZK either direct or via the bureau. LUXEMBOURG, LX. In an effort to promote portable activities in 2021 the Luxembourg Amateur Radio Union (LARU) will activate special call LX21P during the month of August. QSL preferably via the bureau. NEW ZEALAND, ZL. Jacky, ZL3CW will be operating SOAB CW HP in the IARU HF World Championship using his special event call sign ZL25NZ. CHINA, B. The Chinese college student operator team of BD0DHQ, BI4MPY, BH5HYB, BG5GDP and BI6LQC are heading to Shengshan Island for an August 3 to 5 operation. The BI4MPY/5 team will be active on 40, 20, 17, 15 and 6 meters using CW, SSB and FT8. ISRAEL, 4X. Team 4X100AI will participate in the IOTA Contest on July 24 and 25 from the Achziv Islands (AS-100). Outside the contest they will be QRV on FT8 and the QO-100 satellite. QSL via LoTW, or direct to 4X6ZM. REPUBLIC OF KOREA, HL. DS3BBC and others will be active as D70EXPO from Pukkyongnyolbi Island (AS-080) on from July 22 to 25. They will be QRV on 80 to 6 meters, and will participate in the IOTA Contest. QSL via LoTW, or via DS3BBC. CAPE VERDE, D4. Paco, EA7KNT will be operating D4SAL from Sal Island from August 23 to September 5. THIS WEEKEND ON THE RADIO. The IARU HF World Championship, K1USN Slow Speed Test, SKCC Weekend Sprintathon and QRP ARCI Summer Homebrew Sprint are on tap for this weekend. The 4 States QRP Group Second Sunday Sprint is on July 12. NNNN /EX
The latest ARRL DX Bulletin is always at the top here — ARRL DX Bulletin
Amateur Radio Newsline — Menu
– 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 UPDATED FOR FRENCH AMATEUR DIRECTORY
– LIGHTHOUSE SOCIETY HONORS 3 WITH LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT
– WORLD OF DX
– KICKER: MOBILE ANTENNA HITS A BUMP IN THE ROAD
The Amateur Radio Newsline can be found at ARNewsline.org.
W5KUB – Amateur Radio Roundtable Video
The W5KUB YouTube channel link is here: W5KUB YouTube.
Ham Nation — Menu
Thank you for watching Ham Nation Episode 498! On tonight’s show Bob Heil joins us, we get 4th of July radio fun with Gordo, Paula and Bill of Portable Operations Challenge talks about their event, Amateur Radio Newline with Don and Joe rounds out the show on 3D printing! We will mention the upcoming 500th episode!
The last half-dozen or so episodes are linked right here: Ham Nation
73 de Mark N5HZR