April 18 is World Radio Day

IARU logo

Friday, April 18, is the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) “World Radio Day”. The theme for World Radio Day 2014 is “Amateur Radio: Your Gateway to Wireless Communication”.

World Radio Day is celebrated each year on April 18 to recognize the anniversary of the founding of the IARU in 1925. The first president of the IARU was Hiram Percy Maxim, 1AW.

Learn more about World Radio Day:

http://www.arrl.org/news/amateur-radio-your-gateway-to-wireless-communication-is-world-amateur-radio-day-2014-theme

http://www.iaru.org/world-amateur-radio-day.html

Learn more about the IARU:

http://www.iaru.org/

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Elecraft announces the new PX3 Panadapter

Elecraft-PX3-PanadapterLast Friday, if you were lucky enough to attend the Visalia DX Convention, you would have seen the debut of Elecraft’s new KX3 accessory, the PX3 Panadapter. (Many thanks to Eric (WD8RIF) and Michael (KD9AUR) for the tip!)

The compact PX3 form factor is similar to that of the KX3 (see photo above). Features/Specs include:

  • Full-color, fast waterfall of spectrum display
  • Plug-and-play operation
  • Dynamic range and frequency span of up to 200 kHz
  • Can detect signals

    down to the noise floor of the KX3

  • Wide supply voltage range (8-15 V)

  • Low current drain (typ. 140 mA @ 13.8 V)

Click here to download the product sheet as a PDF.

You can pre-order the PX3 on Elecraft’s website: $499.95 as a modular kit, $569.95 factory assembled and tested. I understand that Elecraft plans to start shipping in June 2014.

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TX Factor: a brilliant Ham Radio show from the UK

Without a doubt, this is one of the best produced Ham Radio shows I’ve ever seen. I eagerly await TX Factor’s next episode.

Click here to view TX Factor’s website. Thanks for the tip, WD8RIF!

Posted in Announcements, Portable, QRP, SOTA, Videos | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

World Radio Day reminds us of the relevance of radio

Amateur radio operators understand the importance of radio, especially during emergencies and  following natural disasters. Indeed, the bravery and commitment of the Philippine Amateur Radio Association last year–in the wake of one of the world’s most destructive and powerful typhoons–is a case in point.

If you’re interested, I just posted the following World Radio Day message on my shortwave radio blog, The SWLing Post:
unesco_wrd_logoToday is UNESCO World Radio Day–a day to celebrate the continued relevance of radio in the twenty-first century.

You can make a difference with radio.  Here’s how:

  1. Send a shortwave radio, care of Ears To Our World. You can send one self-powered shortwave radio to a classroom or community in the third world for as little as $40.  In impoverished regions still without internet access or electric power, your tax-deductible donation of one radio can inform and empower an entire community of listeners.
  2. If you’ve heard my 2013 recording for UNESCO regarding the relevance of radio, you may also like to visit World Radio Day’s webpage and listen to what others have to say about the relevance of shortwave radio. Share this page with your friends.
  3. If you do nothing else, please contact your representative(s) and remind them of the continued importance of shortwave radio in today’s world. Click on the following links to search for your government representative(s) in the USACanadaUnited Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand.
  4. Need more ideas to celebrate World Radio Day?  Check out UNESCO’s list.

Oh, and here’s one more thing you can do:  Simply turn on your radio, and listen.  I’m pleased to note that World Radio Day, although still a fairly new international holiday, is receiving increased media attention each year.  After all, radio listening can be a wonderful, meaningful experience–as well as a worthy cause.  So, enjoy!

Happy listening,
Thomas

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My favorite ham radio apps for iOS and Android

IOS-ANDROID-001

In November 2013, The Monitoring Times magazine published an overview of my favorite ham radio and shortwave radio apps for iOS and Android smart phones/tablets.

I just posted the full article on my shortwave radio blog, The SWLing Post.

Since I plan for this article to be a regularly updated, I struggled to decide whether to keep it here on QRPer.com or on the SWLing Post–I certainly didn’t want two copies and I didn’t want to separate the hobbies with two different posts. In the end, since I’m now the shortwave radio columnist for The Spectrum Monitor magazine, I decided the SWLing Post would be the best place to hold the post.

I plan to update this app list regularly to include new apps and remove ones which are no longer available. If you have a favorite radio app that isn’t listed, please comment on the SWLing Post. Click here to read the article!

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This Wouxun dealer is giving up…

I’ve never owned a Wouxun radio, but I know several people who have.

KG-UV6D-xOne of my readers, Jarno (PA3DMI) over at the SWLing Post, just apprised me of Wouxun.us, who is giving up on the Wouxun brand (though he’ll continue to carry accessories).

Wouxun.us states:

“I’ve finally given up on Wouxun.
They refuse to correct a known defect* in their dual band HT’s.
They also will not support any warranty on their radios.
Over the past four to five years, I’ve replaced about 500 defective radios out of my own pocket and I’ve finally said, Enough is Enough”

With that warning in place, Wouxun.us currently has a closeout price of $109.95 on their Wouxun KG-UV6D v2. Check out the mostly positive review on eHam.net.

Me? I’ll probably pass.

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Tokyo Hy-Power ceases trading

Tokyo Hy-Power headquarters in Japan

Tokyo Hy-Power headquarters in Japan

It appears the Japan amateur radio manufacturer, Tokyo Hy-Power, has filed for bankruptcy and ceased trading.

Their main Japanese corporate website is now offline.

Read the full story on the Southgate ARC website.

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Happy Thanksgiving: “Mike” on Ham Radio

Many thanks to Ray Novak for sharing this video from the ABC series Last Man Standing:

Happy Thanksgiving to all (even if you’re not State side)! And, please, savor your ham.
-K4SWL

Posted in Funny, Videos | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Philippines Amateur Radio Association committed in aftermath of Haiyan

herologo(Source: Southgate ARC)

Hams still involved in Philippines typhoon disaster

While humanitarian aid continues to flow albeit slowly in some areas in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan in central Philippines, the Ham Emergency Radio Operator network stations are handling lots of vital messages.

The death toll has been put at 2,000 or so officially, even though estimates have been much higher.

Ramon Anquilan DU1UGZ, of the Philippines Amateur Radio Association (PARA), said its Ham Emergency Radio Operator or HERO network is working inside the disaster areas, and sending messages on HF and VHF elsewhere in the archipelago.

He reports that the first improvements in the relief response were felt with cellular mobile companies beginning to restore their services in hard hit Tacloban.

The RADNET HERO station there had been handling inquiries about the whereabouts of people in the Tacloban and the nearby Palo areas, but when Internet services became available the pressure from residents was greatly reduced. The RADNET station could not operate after dark due to a curfew imposed to maintain law and order.

Ramon DU1UGZ said that the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) has now used the HERO network for several messages.

“It appears that NTC had an emergency meeting and decided to provide hams in the area with mobile rigs and hand-held portables.

“The NTC’s awareness of the importance of Amateur Radio is maturing and there are talks of our clubs training and maintaining stations at NTC regional offices,” he said.

The national agencies have relocated the Command Post to the Tacloban Grandstand. For coordination reasons, the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Mitigation Council (CDRRMC) has joined them.

Ramon DU1UGZ said that the hard-working DU5AOK station is left by itself in the second floor of city hall in Tacloban, with security, food, and logistics problems starting to emerge.

“We are urgently requesting assistance to sustain the DU5AOK station and ensure operations in the other hard struck areas are established – Samar, Panay, Cebu, Biliran, and the tourist area of Palawan,” he said.

“We need equipment (field deployable systems, power source generators and antenna systems), food or ration packs and operators tent.”

Financial donations are also welcome via the PARA Paypal account.

Jim Linton VK3PC

Chairman IARU Region 3 Disaster Communications Committee

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W1SFR offers an array of products for the QRPer

The KX3 helper non-slip pad.

The KX3 helper non-slip pad tilts your KX3 at an optimum angle for operation.

Steve Roberts (W1SFR) has recently informed me about his new website, KX3helper.com where he sells an array of products for QRPers.

Steve’s product line includes:

  • KX3/KX1 Helper: A foam stand lined with non-slip material to hold the KX3 at a high angle (also other rigs with the controls display on the top surface such as: KX1, HB1-B, TenTec 40/ series, and PFR).
  • QRPad: A foam stand lined with non-slip material for rigs with front-facing controls such as MFJ, OHR, Weber, and Open QRP.
  • FistRest: Neoprene mat covered with non-slip material to provide support when using keys.
  • EndFed 40-6m Antenna: 31 feet long and made with genuine “Wireman” 18 ga Silky Antenna wire. The 9:1 UnUN weighs 3.92 oz. The Antenna wire and lug weigh 3.12 oz. Total weight about 7.34oz.

I’m impressed that Steve tries to source all of his products and materials locally and that his items are quite affordable.

Check out Steve’s site by clicking here.  Many thanks to Graham (G3ZOD) who also informed me about KX3helper.

Posted in Announcements, News, Portable, Product Announcements, Websites | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment