Global COVID-19 Radio Event Set for June 6–7

ARRL

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.

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Venerable AO-7 Satellite Continues to Deliver

ARRL

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.

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Two New Chinese Ham Satellites Expected to Launch in September

ARRL

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.

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First Transatlantic Contact on 70 Centimeters Reported

ARRL

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.

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Hamvention QSO Party Set for Saturday, May 16

ARRL

The Hamvention QSO Party, a sort of virtual Dayton Hamvention®, will take place on the HF bands on May 16, which would be the Saturday of the now-canceled event.

Let’s celebrate the many years we have all had at the Great Gathering we call Hamvention.

Tim Duffy, K3LR, and Michael Kalter, W8CI

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New TQSL Version 2.5.2 Provides Better LoTW Rover Support, Other Improvements

ARRL

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.

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Long Island CW Club Offering Free, Online Morse Code Instruction for Homebound Youngsters

ARRL

The Long Island CW Club in New York is offering free, online Morse code instruction for the “many youngsters at loose ends as a result of school closings due to COVID-19 concerns.” The club’s co-founder, Howard Bernstein, WB2UZE, pointed out that learning Morse code is “a fun and educational activity for children of all ages that can fill part of the gap left by the current unfortunate situation that has closed so many schools across the country.”

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FCC Levies $18,000 Fine on Louisiana Amateur Radio Licensee

ARRL

In an enforcement case prompted by complaints filed in 2017, the FCC has imposed an $18,000 forfeiture on Jerry W. Materne, KC5CSG, of Lake Charles, Louisiana, for intentional interference and failure to identify. The FCC had proposed the fine in a Notice of Apparent Liability (NAL) in the case in July 2018, and, based on Materne’s response to the NAL, the agency affirmed the fine in a March 12 Forfeiture Order (FO).

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