My subscription to Life expired, but I still have a subscription to Mad.

Friday, July 3, 2020

2020 ARRL/TAPR DCC Update


The 39th Annual ARRL and TAPR Digital Communications Conference (DCC) will be a virtual conference on September 11 and 12, using Zoom video communications and YouTube video-sharing platforms.

Registered DCC attendees participating via Zoom will be able to interact with presenters and other attendees via a chat room as well as raise a virtual hand to ask questions. Click here to register (you don’t need a Zoom account to register).

Non-registered DCC attendees can watch the live stream for free on YouTube, however, non-registered DCC attendees will not be able to ask questions or chat. No registration is required for YouTube access (the YouTube URL will be announced and posted on this webpage preceding the DCC).

DCC registration is free for TAPR members and $30 for non-members. Members receive a 100% discount at checkout. Click here to register.

Non-members who would like to join TAPR and receive the free DCC pass can simply add TAPR membership and DCC registration to their shopping carts. After checkout, they will receive the free DCC pass when their membership is processed.

Call for Papers and Speakers

Technical papers are solicited for presentation at the DCC. Papers will also be published in the Conference Proceedings. Authors do not need to present at the conference to have their papers included in the Proceedings. Submit papers via e-mail to Maty Weinberg, KB1EIB by August 15, 2020. Papers will be published exactly as submitted and authors will retain all rights.

Conference papers will be distributed as pdf’s to participants. Printed copies of the papers will be available for sale at Lulu (http TBD).

Also, speakers are invited to make presentations on topics of interest without submitting papers for the Conference Proceedings.

All speakers and presenters must contact Steve Bible, N7HPR to reserve a slot for your presentation. Indicate whether you need a 15- or 30-minute slot and if you need to present on a specific day (Friday, September 11 or Saturday, September 12). A pre-recorded presentation can be submitted in lieu of a live virtual presentation.

Paper and presentation topic areas include, but are not limited to software defined radio (SDR), digital voice, digital satellite communication, digital signal processing (DSP), HF digital modes, adapting IEEE 802.11 systems for Amateur Radio, Global Positioning System (GPS), Automatic Position Reporting System (APRS), Linux in Amateur Radio, AX.25 updates, Internet operability with Amateur Radio networks, TCP/IP networking over Amateur Radio, mesh and peer-to-peer wireless networking, emergency and homeland defense backup digital communications in Amateur Radio.

Lightning Talks

Ad hoc “lightning talks” on various topics of interest will be announced throughout the DCC. Registered attendees will be able to participate in any lightning talk that whets their appetite.

Hardware and Software Demos

Hardware and software demonstrations will be conducted during the DCC by means of Zoom’s breakout room feature.

Friday, June 19, 2020

WHRM - Wausau, WI


At 2040 UTC Thursday, I logged WHRM on 90.9 MHz from Wausau, Wisconsin, 871 miles to the west-northwest using my ICOM IC-R8600 receiver and ICOM AH-7000 discone antenna. I assume the reception was via E-skip. The 871-mile path is my second best DX on the FM band!

Sunday, May 31, 2020

The Polish Eagle Show

Sophie and Victor Zembruski
All my grandparents were born in Poland. As a result, the Polish language was the first language in my parent's homes and when they married, they continued speaking Polish in their newlywed home.

When I came along two years later, they were still speaking Polish and as a result, Polish was my first language. English became my second language when television entered our home.

Just as the Polish language was spoken in my home, Polish music was heard on the radio in my home.

We often listened to Andy Szuberla on Saturdays broadcasting from WACE (730 kc) in Chicopee, Massachusetts and Stan Ozmak on WRYM (840 kc) in New Britain, Connecticut, who did his show live from the Polish National Home in Hartford on Sundays. But we religiously listened to the Victor and Sophie Zembruski's "The Polish Eagle Show" every Sunday morning broadcast from WATR (1320 kc) located two blocks from my home in Waterbury.

We were loyal to the Zembruski's radio show. Victor and Sophie Zembruski were distant relatives --- Victor's sister was married to my mother's brother, my Uncle Ray. Also, Victor and his Polka band played at my parent's wedding reception.

Victor started "The Polish Eagle Show" in 1934. Sophie joined Victor on the air soon after.

Nathan Zembruski
Victor had a stroke in the early 1960s, so Sophie did the show solo until her 90th birthday in 2008.

Victor and Sophie's daughter, Loretta Hoxie, took over and continued spinning polkas from 8 to 10 AM every Sunday until September 1, 2013.

Nathaniel Zembruski took over the hosting duties for the next seven years until he decided to end the show as his junior year of high school concluded. The last show aired this morning, May 31, 2020, after an amazing 86-year run!

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Eta Aquariids Meteor Shower – Canadian Analog TV

By Mike Schaffer, KA3JAW, Guest Columnist


The eta Aquariids started on Sunday, April 19 and will be active until Thursday, May 28 with the peak occurring Monday and Tuesday, May 4-5.

I been busy today, Thursday, April 30 detecting Canadian analog TV via meteor scatter with the SDRuno coupled with a six meter dipole antenna strung between the house wall and the clothesline pole in the backyard.

Yes, Canada still has full-powered analog transmitters operational from rural places that run up to 180kW effective radiated power. There are only several active stations on each low-band VHF channel (2-6) in the provinces of Nova Scotia and Ontario.

It is easy to identify the station in question without the need of video and/or audio of a TV set, as each station broadcast on either one of three video carrier offset frequencies.

Example:

Analog TV-2
   Offset (-) 55.240 MHz
   Offset (z) 55.250 MHz 
   Offset (+) -55.260 MHz


Figure 1 is a map to give you an idea what can be done with a software defined radio that a standard analog cathode-ray picture tube television set with a blue screen feature (video squelch circuit) cannot do when the incoming signal is faint.

On the top center is a GACTVDX logo, the orange triangles are the stations received, the blue triangle is my QTH. The map shows eight Canadian NTSC analog stations that were detected via meteor scatter (Ms).

Channel Callsign Location                  ERP    Distance
                                                  (miles/km)

1. 6- CJOH-TV-6  CTV Deseronto, Ontario    100 kW 256/411
2. 2+ CIII-TV-2  Global Bancroft, Ontario  100 kW 331/532
3. 5+ CHRO CTV2  Pembroke, Ontario         100 kW 369/593
4. 5Z CICI CTV   Sudbury, Ontario          100 kW 496/798
5. 6+ CJCH-TV-6  Caledonia, Nova Scotia    100 kW 573/922
6. 2- CHBX CTV   Sault Ste Marie, Ontario  100 kW 610/981
7. 3+ CITO CTV   Timmons, Ontario          100 kW 613/986
8. 4Z CJCB CTV   Sydney, Nova Scotia       180 kW 843/1356

ERP= Effective radiated Power


Figure 2. SDRuno – Spectrum + Waterfall Displays


Date: April 30, 2020
Onset Time (local): 8:10:52 PM
Duration: 8 seconds
Channel: TV-3
Frequency: 61.260 MHz
Offset: +
Effective Radiated Power: 72.4 kW Average, 100 kW Peak
Callsign: CITO
Network: CTV
Location: Timmons, Ontario, Canada
Distance: 613 miles
Azimuth: 333 degrees (north-northwest)

Figure 3. CTV Network Logo




Figure 4. CTV2 Network Logo





Figure 5. Global Network Logo