Stations bearing call signs that promote the “stay-at-home” message and the value of social distancing and isolation have sprung up during the COVID-19 pandemic, with some 150,000 messages of support shared around the world. An on-air gathering over the June 6 – 7 weekend will offer a further opportunity for stay-at-home stations and radio amateurs to share greetings in a contest-like framework, looking toward the day that restrictions will ease, eventually making the stay-at-home injunction obsolete. The patron of the STAYHOME radio campaign is Finland’s Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto, and the worldwide activity has the endorsement of International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) President Tim Ellam, VE6SH/G4HUA, and the United Nations Amateur Radio Club.
The nearly 46-year-old AO-7 amateur satellite made a remarkable contact possible on May 4 between Diego Feil, LW2DAF, in Buenos Aires, Argentina (GF05rk), and Tom Ambrose, ZS1TA, in Cape Town, South Africa (JF95fx). The contact spanned 4,329 miles across the South Atlantic, with both stations aiming at only 2 or 3 degrees above the horizon.
Two new Chinese amateur radio satellites are expected to launch on September 15. CAS-7A and CAS-7C follow in the wake of numerous amateur radio satellites put into space by CAMSAT. CAS-7A, a 27 kilogram microsat, will carry several transponders, including a 15-meter-to-10-meter (H/T) linear transponder, and a 2-meter-to-70-centimeter (H/U) linear transponder. CAS-7A also will include a V/U (2 meters to 70 centimetres) FM voice transponder. According to the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) satellite coordination site, CAS-7A is planned to have CW beacons on both 10 meters and 70 centimetres, 4.8k or 9.6k GMSK telemetry on 70 centimetres, and a 1 Mbps GMSK image data downlink on 3 centimetres for an onboard camera.
History appears to have been made on April 7, when an operator at D4VHF in Cape Verde off the African Coast and Burt Demarcq, FG8OJ, on Guadeloupe in the Caribbean completed a contact on 70 cm using FT8 — a distance of 3,867 kilometers (2,398 miles). This would mark the first transatlantic contact on that band that did not involve satellites or moonbounce. The most likely mode of propagation was marine ducting, with the signal being trapped close to the ocean surface.
Around the world, amateur radio special event stations will mark the event on the air, starting on the 18th at 0000UTC and continuing until the 19th at 2359.
The theme this year is Celebrating Amateur Radio’s Contribution to Society and the Covid-19 pandemic casts the event in a different light than in years past.
A few short weeks ago, many of us could not imagine the levels of isolation that we are now dealing with and the sacrifices of many on the front lines of the pandemic. As we have done in past challenges to our society, amateur radio will play a key part in keeping people connected and assisting those who need support.
The latest version of TrustedQSL (TQSL), version 2.5.2, offers improved Logbook of The World (LoTW) support for operations from several locations, as well as the ability to detect uploads that contain incorrect location data. The primary new feature in TQSL 2.5.2 allows logging programs, in conjunction with TQSL, to avoid incorrect contact uploads, while adding mechanisms to allow easy uploading of logs for roving stations. LoTW had required rovers to identify each location used as a separate location in TQSL. The new version of TQSL allows these operations to be handled much more smoothly by using information from the station’s logging program.
I dessa Corona tider kan en del radioamatörer känna sig ensam och isolerad. Vi kan ju som tur är köra radio, och hålla igång vårt sociala kontaktnät. Kanske dags att plocka fram någon bortglömd bygg- eller antennprojekt? Men vad sägs om en contest?
Vår systerorganisation RSGB arrangerar en contest mellan den 6e april och 15 maj. Varje contest är bara 90 minuter, körs varje veckodag på HF banden och dessutom i olika moder!
Har du aldrig kört en contest, är det kanske dags att börja nu…