Link to my RasPi
Click for weather forecast
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An excellent introduction to HF Radio produced in conjunction with the ARRL can be downloaded from here using the link below. It is a Microsoft Powerpoint presentation (.ppt file). This version of the presentation has UK Band Plans and Licence provisions added and a note on beacons.
If you haven't got PowerPoint installed on your computer (part of the Microsoft Office suite), then download Power Point Viewer from here.
International Amateur Radio Database
Link to the electronic QSL Card Centre
I also send and receive paper QSL cards direct or through the RSGB QSL Bureau
Amateur Radio Awards
Most amateur radio operators, at sometime in their life, join clubs or societies which are either local, national or international. Most of these organisations sponsor awards for construction (e.g building equipment) or promoting operational expertise, using different transmitting modes and amateur frequency bands.
EPC ( The European Phase Shift Keying Club) promotes phase shift keying in the HF bands. 30MDG (The 30 Meter Digital Group) promotes digital activity - morse, rtty( teleprinting), psk etc. on the narrow amateur allocation just above 10MHz.
In the early days of the hobby, paper QSL cards (postcards) were exchanged between amateurs as written confirmation of each contact. To reduce postal charges as much as possible, national societies set up QSL Bureaux. The usual practice is still for individuals to send their QSL cards to their national bureau in batches (20 or 30) at a time, for example, bureaux then distribute them on their behalf locally and internationally, paying the postal charges from membership subscriptions. (QTH, QSL, QSO etc. - QTH means: My home address. Q code was developed by CW (morse) operators as 'shorthand' - contacts between stations, over long distances are often barely audible against a background of 'noise' often caused by interference, solar flares etc.
Paper QSL Card
eQSL QSL Card
More recently, with the advent of the internet, a number of electronic bureaux have been established - eQSL and LoTW (Logbook of the World) are examples. These are FREE!
Amateurs interested in collecting proficiency awards are able to submit paper or electronic confirmation ( sometimes both) of their contacts as evidence they have satisfied award criteria.
Some organisations, eQSL and LoTW, require a copy of the amateur radio licence as part of the registration process, and give their members Authenticity Guaranteed status.
Other clubs, such as EPC, 30MDG and DMC download award application software to their members, so that comparison can be made by the Award Manager with the club membership database and the members electronic logbook. Applications can then be made over the internet. This again is a FREE service to club members. ( Membership is usually free too!). The contribution made to Amateur Radio by YL and XYL operators. YL means 'young lady' and XYL, wife, has never been in doubt. They are positively welcomed to all aspects of the hobby.
MB7UEK APRS 144.800MHz Coverage
My UHF RF < > Internet Gateway which can be accessed from a mobile or hand held transceiver anywhere within the coverage area shown on the above map. It provides local amateurs with a facility to link to other amateurs worldwide or locally. The -L suffix after the callsign indicates a radio link station, -R indicates that it is an amateur voice repeater station, intended primarily for mobile to mobile voice linking. Most countries have networks of amateur repeater stations on VHF, UHF and SHF frequencies to enable mobile to mobile operation over difficult terrain. At these frequencies radio links are line of sight with an effective range to the visible horizon over flat terrain. Repeaters are usually sited on the highest points locally in the same way as local TV transmitters and Cellular Telephone Network Masts (Mobile phones are radio transceivers! - using more or less the same technology that Radio Amateurs have been developing with packet radio error correcting transmission protocols since the 70's).
A typical amateur rotatable aerial installation for HF, VHF and UHF operation
Either EchoLink or eQSO (similar to Skype) software is used in conjunction with a PC soundcard, and a suitable interface to switch the radio transceiver between receive and transmit. Voice over IP protocol (VoIP) is used for the speech and signal processing carried out by the soundcard.
Links to particular stations can either be made from a computer keyboard or from a radio transceiver using a touch-tone keypad. Each station using the system has both a registered name, usually the Station Callsign and a registration number. The software is only available to verified licenced amateurs, although shortwave listeners with restricted user rights are encouraged to participate using eQSO software. Amateur News Bulletins are also carried on the system for most National Radio Societies - the ARRL in the USA and RSGB in the UK are examples.
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