Thursday, December 31, 2015

DMR Radio takes on new Talkgroups in the UK (UPDATE)

DMR Radio is currently in a state of rapid development in the UK with the addition of new repeaters and new people taking up the hobby and old licence holders having another go.
This influx of extra traffic to the DMR system means that talkgroup changes have now taken place to improve system access. The UK repeaters can now handle the following talkgroups.

 
(Click on the above for a clear image)

Notes
TG800 and TG862 have been added to the above list.

The repeaters activated with the new talk Groups are as follows:
TG801 AK,CK,CL,EK,EX,IK,LD,SE
TG802 EP,GF,HR,ID,MP,NS,SC
TG810 AV,BK,C,3WE,WL
TG820 BR,CA,HM,LP,MB,MR,PN
TG830 FW,GB
TG840 CL,CT,DS,FU,LN,MK,PE
TG850 DD,EE
TG860 EL,HS,HX,LE,SR,TD,TP,XX
TG862 HS,HE,LE,MR,TD
TG870 HM.PN
TG880 LY,OM

TG1,TG2,TG13 & TG235 are calling talk groups please QSY to a user activated (UA) talk group after contact is made.
User activated groups have a 10 min time out.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

DX from North Korea (Test Station)

(Click on the above for a clear image)

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Review of UK DMR repeater talkgroups

A recent document has been made available which offers options to reconstruct the talk groups used by the DMR repeater system. DMR is a rapidly increasing Amateur Radio system in the UK and around the World and it's development is bringing many Amateures back to the hobby.

The document can be downloaded from:

DMR

(Thanks to Manx Repeaters for this information)


UK Spectrum Usage and Demand

A new document has been issued which considers the use of the radio spectrum in the UK. This interesting document has a section on Amateur Radio spectrum usage;
3.11 Amateur radio
Sector scope: A wide range of applications, all of which use designated frequency bands for strictly non-commercial activities. Radio amateurs are licensed based on their passing certain tests, and despite their non-commercial activities may be as experienced and well trained as professional radio users.
Pinch-points: 14
UK Spectrum Usage & Demand: Second Edition Summary Report v3 Issue date: 16 December 2015.
1. The main issue in most areas of the spectrum is interference, especially as many AR communications use weak signals
2. In HF and VHF congestion has reduced due to lower demand from other users, although noise floors continue to increase.
3. In UHF and higher bands congestion is increasing due to greater amateur usage from digital repeaters, demands from defence usage and loss of spectrum to commercial users.
4. The RSGB believes current AR primary allocations are insufficient and there are no primary allocations between 400 MHz and 24 GHz, threatening confidence, investment and growth in AR.The problem is greatest for satellite transponders, EME and narrowband terrestrial systems.
5. Additional spectrum is needed to relieve digital voice congestion, enable new technology experimentation, introduce and extend digital TV, introduce new data modes and higher speed data technologies and to continue to enable the UK’s lead in small satellites


The full document can be downloaded from:
Spectrum Use

The page asks for your personal details before downloading, but any information will get you to the download page (PDF file).

Saturday, December 12, 2015

A very interesting lecture about Digital Radio and Bandwidth requirements.


Many thanks to Ham Radio Now for this video.


K7UDR Lecture


Sunday, November 08, 2015

South African Amateur Radio Licence becomes age discriminative !


ICASA RULES ABOUT ZU LICENSES FOR PEOPLE OVER 25With the publication of the new radio regulations earlier this year, the much talked about age restriction for ZU license holders was implemented. Persons under 20 years old can write the class B examination and if successful can hold a ZU or class B license until 25 years old after which, if they would like to continue with Amateur Radio, have to sit the class A examination to qualify for a class A (ZS/ZR license).
During the discussion stage of this new regulation the SARL was requested to approach ICASA to review their decision, which the SARL did at two occasions when ICASA invited comments on their proposal.  ICASA strongly believes that the class B license prime purpose was to create opportunities for young people toenter Amateur Radio and based on that premises implemented the new regulation.
 The SARL requested ICASA to allow a reasonable period for ZU licences over 25 to upgrade. ICASA agreed to this.  The Authority has announced that all persons over 25 years old can no longer renew their ZU licence from 1 April 2017. In a letter to the affected licensees, currently being mailed, ICASA recommends that the affected persons enrol for a class A license course and write the next RAE in May or October 2016 

I understand that the UK have also talked about the first examinations being time restricted so that more people go for the full licence and gain greater knowledge and skills. Watch this space!



Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Emergency communications in the UK to move to 4g mobile phone network.

The UK emergency radio communications system currently operates on a Tetra system provided by a company called Airwave. The Airwave contract is due to be reviewed and it appears that EE a mobile phone company has won the contract to operate on it's 4g network. Currently the Airwave contract costs the UK around £450 million a year to operate and it is expected that the EE contract will cost around £1.2 billion over a 5 year period.

TETRA

This may be of interest to the Amateur Radio community as it means that many thousands of Tetra radios will become redundant over the next few years and I wonder if this digital technology will find its use in new TETRA amateur radio networks? (just another form of digital radio).




Sunday, October 18, 2015

Transmit (RF) DMR radio from your smartphone

DMR from your smart phone may be possible by adding a radio module.

DMR smartphone

Listen for a new UK prefix on the air in 2016.

Cornwall in the UK have just been given approval to us the prefix K (Kilo) in their callsign; this is the first time a UK region has been allowed to use such an identifier and it will allow the opportunity to easily recognise station from Cornwall and give them a call.
Here is more information from OFCOM:

(Click on the above for a clear image)

Here is an article from the local press explaining how it happened.

K for Cornwall


OFCOM to revoke Amateur licences

If you have not yet revalidated your British/UK Amateur Radio Licence OFCOM will remove it from you, a little time is left to sort things out.

(Click on the above for a clear image)

 

Friday, October 16, 2015

Are you ever asked about Amateur Radio?

If so play the following new RSGB introduction to the hobby.


RSGB

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

IOTA website compromised

(Please click on the above for a clear image)

Friday, September 25, 2015

Complete the RSGB Survey.

The RSGB would like to know what you think about it's organisation and how you feel it could improve.
Please have a look at their recent survey and spend some time answering the questions.

RSGB


Thursday, September 17, 2015

Russian Military and North Korean Diplomatic traffic on Amateur Bands.

Russian Military traffic is increasingly heard on the Amateur Bands. North Korean Diplomatic traffic can also be found on 14109.5 kHZ.

Read the latest IARU monitoring report:

IARU

Thursday, September 10, 2015

OFCOM is consulting on selling more of the radio spectrum.

(Click on the above for a clear image)

Monday, September 07, 2015

Real time band conditions.

This site is well work looking at it gives real time band condition information, trying it out proves it's value. It covers a number of countries.

(Click on the above for a clear picture)

Then look at the website Band Conditions

Saturday, September 05, 2015

Dates for the British/UK advanced radio examination.

If you wish to take the Advanced British/UK Amateur Radio licence you must plan to do it on specified dates as follows:

 (Click on the above for a clear image)


India must be one of the most difficult countries in the World to get an Amateur Radio Licence.

(Click on the above for a clear image)

Many thanks to Southgate ARS for this information

Friday, September 04, 2015

The Isle of Man gets it's first DMR repeater and goes live in the North of the Island.


(Click on the above for a clear image)

Thursday, September 03, 2015

How they do Amateur Radio in Essex England.

A nice youtube video about Amateur Radio activity in Essex (UK).
This professional video discusses supporting your local repeater; training and education for Amateur Radio and a virtual radio society and their activities.


Amateur Radio



Saturday, August 29, 2015

Who is registered to use DMR?

With my new interest in DMR communication I was keen to have a database/spreadsheet which told me who was on the radio when I could only see their Radio ID number on my Hytera radio screen. I therefore downloaded the DMR-MARC database and imported it into a spreadsheet to find 18,585 registered callsigns World wide (a small number of callsigns are registered twice on the system).
From this data I was also able to show the numbers registered from various countries, which is shown in the following list (6 records are missing from the analysis).


The spreadsheet is available from my Dropbox with the following link:

Friday, August 14, 2015

The next time you buy a gift for a young Amateur.

It looks like this product should be in every Christmas stocking of our young male amateurs.

The story

Watch the video



Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Warning from OFCOM to all licenced Amateurs

Please read this urgent message from OFCOM this morning (05/8/2015).

(Click on the above for a clear image)


Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Check that your UK/British licence is still valid on the OFCOM database.

I am hearing from a number of UK licenced Amateurs that OFCOM have removed their licence from their database even though they have completed the validation confirmation process.

It seems that OFCOM are having a sort out of unvalidated licences to tidy up the database and during that process are also removing some validated, active callsigns.

Check on the OFCOM.org.uk website via their online licensing service, to confirm that your own callsign is showing as valid.



Sunday, August 02, 2015

Improve you Digital mode reception

If you use digital modes you may not be aware that you are missing out on a lot of the received signal, here is a very interesting video which will help you resolve the BUG issue.

BUG VIDEO


(Click on the above article for a clear image)

Thanks to DKARS Magazine for publishing this article. 

Friday, July 31, 2015

Complete list of licenced German Amateur Radio callsigns.

The following information leads you to a 790 page PDF file of all German Amateurs. This link has been made available by CQ-DATV who have a free and very interesting magazine.
CQ-DATV


(Please click on the above for a clear image)

Sunday, July 26, 2015

American FCC Shows No Mercy, Sustains $22,000 Fine for Egregious On-Air Behavior by Michigan Licensee

Not operating Amateur Radio equipment in line with the law can be a very expensive matter!


(Click on the above for a clear image)
Thanks to ARRL for this information

Intermediate licence holder NoVs to be withdrawn

Only full British/UK licence holders will be able to apply for NoVs says OFCOM.


(Click on the above for a clear image)

Friday, July 24, 2015

DMR Radio

DMR repeaters are coming to the Island, if you need to learn some more about this technology here is a nice long video which talks about many aspects of this topic (over 1hr long).

Learn about DMR


RSGB Contest news

Are you up to date with the latest contest information, here is the latest news from the RSGB:

 (Click on the above for a clear image)
Many thanks to RSGB for this information.

Monday, July 06, 2015

AT150ITU will be celebrationg 150 years of the ITU

Various VU radio amateurs will be signing AT15Ă˜ITU on air from April through December 2015 on all the HF bands on various modes. 
Listen out for stations from India celebrating this event.

IARU HF World Championship - 11-12 July 2015

Contact the World next weekend.

IARU HF World Championship

Objective
To contact as many other amateurs, especially IARU member society HQ stations, around the world as possible using the 160, 80, 40, 20, 15 and 10 meter bands.

Dates
The second full weekend of July, beginning 1200 UTC Saturday and ending 1200 UTC Sunday. Both Single and Multi operator stations may operate the entire 24-hour period.

Log Submission Deadline
Entries must be postmarked or emailed no later than 30 days after the end of the contest . Entries sent as attachments to email must be sent to IARUHF@iaru.org.
By submitting a log to the IARU HF World Championships, the entrant agrees the log may be open to the public.

Awards
 A certificate will be awarded to the high scoring entry in each category in each ITU zone, each DXCC country and each ARRL Section.
A certificate of participation will be awarded to each IARU member society HQ station and to each Administrative Council and Regional Executive Committee station.
Achievement level awards will be issued to those making at least 250 QSOs or having a multiplier total of 75 or more.
Additional awards may be made at the discretion of each country’s IARU member society.

For more information, visit the ARRL IARU HF Championship page.


Sunday, June 21, 2015

Isle of Wight RAYNET gets funding to develope emergency communications.

Great news for the Amateur Radio community on the Isle of Wight.


RAYNET


Tuesday, May 26, 2015

A brilliant collection of DX videos

The following website contains a great collection of DX expedition videos, all free to watch on your computer.

DX in action

Enjoy.

(BS7H Scarborough Reef is particularly interesting)

Learn the secrets of Propagation and Radio Science

A new book available as a Kindle edition for £6.47 (amazon.uk) gives you details of the science of propagation; new or experienced in Amateur Radio this book provides a good learning tool.

(Click on the above text for a clear image)

Monday, May 25, 2015

South Africa gets a new power limit and a new band for propagation studies.

(Click on the above for a clear image)
Thanks to RSGB for this news

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Isle of Man a great DX location.

Three Amateurs from Scotland came to the Isle of Man to play radio; after a few hours working pileups they made around 2500 contacts around the World. The weather was poor, one operator maintained a regular coffee supply and they had a great time at this brilliant location.

(click on the picture for a better view)

Thanks go to James MD0MDI for the map (still about 200 contacts missing from the map) and thanks to the lads from Scotland for such a great effort promoting Amateur Radio.

More information available at:
 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

DXCC Most Wanted List top 10 locations

For those interested in DX here is the top 10 list of most wanted location:

Good DX!!

Use of Regional Secondary Locators (RSL) by UK licence holders.

(Please click on the above for a clear image)
(Many thanks to Southgate ARS for this information)

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

A further earthquake in Nepal

On 9N1EMERGECY Colin Wilson posted:
Following the announcement this morning of further earthquakes in Nepal we have activated 14205 kHz and our primary frequency for Emergency traffic to and from Nepal. 14215 has been activated also as a secondary frequency, stations wishing to assist should call net control on 215 not 205 thanks.


Please keep these emergency frequencies clear. 

Help with the UK Foundation Licence

If you are new to Amateur Radio and would like to know more about the first licence (Foundation) you need to pass before transmitting on the air;  have a look at
Foundation Licence
where you can see some very clear power point slides about the topics you need to learn.

Many thanks to Essex Ham for this information.

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

“Advanced radio equipment intended for the Radio Mala project has been locked up in Nepali customs since March"

Napal customs are holding up Amateur Radio equipment (and other emergency aid) which would help save lives following the earthquake.


(Click on the above for a clear image)
Thanks to ARRL for this information

Saturday, May 02, 2015

German Amateurs get very limited access to 70 MHz

German Amateurs+ get a short lived limited access to 70 MHz - listen out for them.
(Click on the image for a clear view)

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Urgent update on Nepal Emergency radio traffic!

URGENT UPDATE - TO ALL STATIONS !!!!
Due to the forthcoming Italian all mode contest this weekendthe Nepal disaster frequency will move at 1400z today Thursday 30th of April until further notice.

All emergency traffic will be passed on 14300 Khz 

Please keep this frequency clear & take great care if you are transmitting during the contest.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Update on the Nepal disaster

(Click the above for a clear image)

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Nepal Earthquake


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Will your local Amateur Radio site comply with Google changes?

Google are to take preference to sites which present well on mobile devices; if your local amateur radio site does not look good on a mobile device it may come at the bottom of a Google search; have a look at some discussion on this issue.

Google search



Friday, April 17, 2015

Spain gets permanent 4Meter allocation


(Click on the above for a clear image)

Many thanks to the Four Metres website for this information

Thursday, April 16, 2015

World Amateur Radio Day (18th April)

Will you be on the air for this important day?



(Please click on the above for a clear image)


Monday, April 06, 2015

Wireless networking in the developing World

Available for free download is a very well written book (PDF file) which has lots of interesting technical data about Wireless networking, well worth reading (520 pages).


This book can be downloaded from Wireless Networking"

Friday, April 03, 2015

New spectrum allocation for digital trials (not in Scotland)

(Click on the above for a clear image)
(Thanks to RSGB for this information)

Monday, March 30, 2015

Great little App works first time from your Chrome Browser

If you have a cheap (£11) RTL SDR dongle the following App is a must as it works first time (no extra USB drivers required) on you PC or Mac.

All you need to do is load the Chrome Browser and add the following App.

Radio Receiver


Friday, March 20, 2015

Amateur Radio in India

Seeing that the blog is occasionally accessed by individuals from India I thought it would be interesting to find out a little more about Amateur Radio in that country and so the following link gives you a comprehensive guide book to Amateur Radio in that country (it even discusses valves!).


Guide Book

Enjoy.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Russian DX Contest this weekend (21-22 March)

The Russian DX Contest takes place this weekend information can be found on the following website:

Russian DX Contest

The contest rules list Crimea as a Russian Region (following their illegal occupation of the country) and it may be valuable to consider the DX publication opinion on working Crimea stations during a contest before you operate.

Russian occupation of Crimea

Enjoy the contest.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Repairing/improving a FT-1000MP

The following video is a very interesting 2 hour presentation about repairs to a Yaesu tranciever.
The engineer presenting this video (Mr Carison's Lab) is clearly an expert in this engineering area and is well worth listening to.

FT-1000MP

Enjoy and subscribe to his YouTube presentations.

Thursday, March 05, 2015

The future of Digital Radio.

A very interesting (quite long) discussion about the possible future of digital voice radio. You must listen to the whole of this presentation as there is some very interesting discussion about the possible future of digital repeaters. Many thanks to HamRadioNow for this presentation.

Digital Radio

Friday, February 27, 2015

Contest News from 1st March 2015

(Many thanks to the RSGB for this information)
(Click on the above text for a clear image)

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Malta is now able to use 70 MHz

(click on the above for a clear image)

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Amateur Radio and family disputes

This video has been around for some time but I still find it entertaining: Amateur Radio a family affair

Sunday, February 08, 2015

MOTOROLA up for sale.

It seems that Motorola are considering selling their radio business.

Motorola sale"

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Indian government has suggested that ham radio technology may fall into hands of terrorists and has begun requiring a security clearance.

(Click on the above for a clear image)
(Thanks to ARRL for this information)

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Amateur in USA gets a very large fine for illegal transmissions.

(Click on the above for a clear image)

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

ARRL Library is open.

Here are some interesting slides about using NVIS (Near Vertical Incidence Skywave).

NVIS

Many thanks to ARRL for this information.

Thursday, January 08, 2015

OFCOM send out letters with incorrect callsigns.

(Click on the above for a clear view)
(Thanks to RSGB for this information)

If you have a UK Licence you may get a letter from Ofcom which contains an incorect callsign (Like GE0*** or ME6***) This is an error and not a requirement to change your callsign prefix.