News items for tag hamradio - Koos van den Hout

2021-06-20 Ik luister ook eens wat marifoon kanalen
Gisteren op een zeilboot geweest en vanuit mijn hobby als radioamateur was ik natuurlijk ook benieuwd naar de radio aan boord. Daar werd niet veel mee gedaan omdat de eigenaar van de zeilboot nog geen marifoon bedienings certificaat heeft. Verder leuk een stukje mee gevaren. Ik heb geen idee van zeilen maar met iemand er bij met kennis en inzicht is het leuk om mee te maken.

Dat was natuurlijk wel aanleiding om me eens te verdiepen in de ontvangst van het marifoon verkeer. Hier in Utrecht is er niet zoveel te beleven maar er zijn een paar bruggen en sluizen met misschien wat verkeer wat ik zou kunnen ontvangen. Dus ik heb de programmeerkabel voor de QYT KT-8900 opgedoken en na wat zoeken deed deze het weer. Marifoonkanalen en gebruik gevonden op Marifoon kanalen en marifoon frequenties en de frequenties via Overzicht VHF marifoonkanalen - frequentieland en daarnaast nog Marifoonkanalen Nederland - Binnenvaart kennis.

Uiteindelijk een set kanalen gevonden die kans gaven op verkeer en deze in de radio geprogrammeerd. Puur voor ontvangst, niet om daar ooit op te willen zenden!

De kanalen en frequenties waarvan ik denk dat ze interresant zijn:
KanaalFrequentie schipFrequentie walGebruik
1156.050 MHz160.650 MHzCentrale meldpost IJsselmeer
6156.300 MHzSimplexIntership
10156.500 MHzSimplexIntership
13156.650 MHzSimplexIntership
15156.750 MHzSimplexIntraship
17156.850 MHzSimplexIntraship
16156.800 MHzSimplexNoodoproepen
18156.900 MHz161.500 MHzSluizen en bruggen, Merwedekanaal
20157.000 MHz161.600 MHzSluizen en bruggen
22157.100 MHz161.700 MHzSluizen en bruggen
61156.075 MHz160.675 MHzVerkeersbegeleiding blokkanaal Maarssen Amsterdam-Rijn kanaal
72156.625 MHzSimplexSociaal
77156.875 MHzSimplexSociaal
84157.225 MHz161.825 MHzSluizen en bruggen
85157.275 MHz161.875 MHzSluizen en bruggen
Een deel van de kanalen zoals die voor sluizen en bruggen hebben een aparte schip en wal frequentie. Dat zorgt natuurlijk dat de brugwachter of sluiswachter altijd het woord kan nemen en een mededeling kan doen zonder dat er een radio vanaf een schip doorheen kan storen.

Met het lezen over marifoon gebruik en kanalen is het wel duidelijk dat het allemaal zeer goed gestructureerd is en gebruikers dienen te weten welk kanaal voor welk gebruik is en hoe de procedures zijn. Sociaal gebruik was eerst helemaal niet de bedoeling, bij uitbreiding van de kanalen is daar iets ruimte voor gekomen. De frequenties laten zien dat de uitbreiding van de beschikbare kanalen is gekomen door het overschakelen op een ander kanaalraster.

Dus nu staat de radio constant deze frequenties en daarnaast diverse amateur frequenties en pmr frequenties te scannen. Voorlopig is de conclusie dat het vrij rustig is op de marifoon kanalen en dat als ik wat hoor de communicatie volgens nette regels gaat en vrij kort is, er is duidelijke etherdiscipline. Daarnaast hoor ik op PMR kanaal 7 soms een babyfoon en soms gesprekken die me het idee geven dat een restaurant dat kanaal gebruikt voor communicatie. Ik denk dat ze elkaar niet horen, ik heb een veel hogere antenne.

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2021-05-31 I participated in the CQ WPX CW contest 2021
This weekend was the CQ WPX CW contest 2021 and on Saturday I had some time to participate between family things.

I started on the 10 meter band and stayed there: I managed to get 29 contacts in the log on that band, there were good signals across most of Europe.

I had fun and surprised myself by decoding some morse by ear better than my computer (yes, I consider this very assisted when I use both spotting networks and a morse decoder). I noted a serial number 246 that my computer completely did not decode so I wasn't very sure. The next serial number was indeed 247 so I got it right in one go!

Claimed score is 812 points. I'll see what happens when the logs are checked. At least contesting is good for other rankings: I now have Poland and Lithuania confirmed in morse.
Read the rest of I participated in the CQ WPX CW contest 2021

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2021-05-14 Really nice 10 meter openings
The 10 meter amateur band (starting at 28 MHz) can have interesting propagation depending on weather. The kind of 'atmospheric interference' that once plagued analog TV broadcasts can cause signals to reach much further than planned.

Today was a day with good propagation that way and I had time to play with the radio. I started with some digital contacts on the 10 meter band (FT8) but soon switched to voice communications (SSB) because those were getting loud too. I started answering some of the amateurs calling CQ for new contacts. I made contacts with Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Serbia and Slovenia. Some where short contacts but others wanted to have a longer and more personal chat.

It doesn't happen often that signals are strong enough to get over the local interference. Nice to see this and make new friends.

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2021-04-24 Getting some new countries on the 17 meter band, 10 meter opening
With a bit of trying and retrying I tuned my home endfed to the FT8 frequency in the 17 meter amateur band. I'm chasing 'slots' on that band: countries I haven't worked on that band before. Today I got the Balearic Islands, Wales, Kenya, Indonesia and Lebanon in the log, all new on this band for me.

Before that there was a nice 10 meter opening during the day, where I worked several European stations.

Nice to see good propagation!

Update 2021-04-25: On Sunday I tried FT8 on 17 meters again, this got me Thailand as a completely new country! And Belarus, Latvia, Lithuania new on the 17 meter band.

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2021-04-07 The NTP ham clock is ticking
esp32 based NTP ham clock on breadboard Recently the parts for the NTP ham clock I saw in the Electron magazine arrived: an ESP32 module and a TFT display. It took a bit before I had time to actually do something with them but recently I put the modules on breadboard and started making the needed connections. There are not a lot of those, only 8 wires need to be connected between the ESP32 microcontroller and the TFT display.

After some fiddling it worked and I managed to program it all with the settings I like, such as the right timezone rules for the Netherlands, 24 hour display on both clocks and it fetches the NTP time from the NTP server in the shed so it doesn't rely on outside connectivity.

Now to find a case for it and wire it neatly.

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2021-04-05 I participated in the EA RTTY contest 2021
RTTY Contest on websdr Last weekend was the EA RTTY Contest 2021 edition. I decided to participate because I appreciate the contests organized by the Unión de Radioaficionados Españoles.

Participation time was somewhat limited due to other things happening in the easter weekend. In the end I made 79 contacts and entered my log in the 'SINGLE ALL LOW POWER DX' category. As 'low power' is defined as 'below 100 watts' and my RF amplifier isn't working at the moment this is the fitting category.

Update 2021-05-05: Results are in: 71 valid contacts, 117 qso points and 51 multipliers: rank #225 of the single operator multiband low power DX category.

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2021-04-04 New country in the logs: South Korea
Another case of having luck and being at the radio at the right time and frequency: I saw a few stations from South Korea show up in FT8. Tried making contact with more than one of them and the second or third station became stronger after a few minutes and with some trying the contact was made with HL5BLI.

It was a really short opening, five minutes later I saw no traces of stations from South Korea.

Update 2021-04-05: And the contact is confirmed on Logbook of the World too.

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2021-03-28 Chasing awards: the full set of SX1A .. SX9A in the log
With some alerts set to get the last of the Special Event Station series to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Hellenic War of Independence against Ottoman Turks in the log I now have the full set: at least one contact with each of the special event stations.

Which means the website will generate a nice digital certificate for me which I could print out and hang on the door of the room where I have my radio setup. But that door is already filled so I'll just keep the digital certificate and leave it at that.

It was fun chasing them! My thanks to the organization behind this.

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2021-03-27 The paddle works on the radio too!
Making a video about my new paddle is one thing, actually using it with the radio is another. I have seen radio amateurs buy expensive morse gear and finding out that learning morse is hard.

I connected the paddle to the radio via the nanokeyer I built and called CQ in a part of the 20 meter band where I expect other users with slow speed.

After one CQ I got an answer from PA5ABW Ab. The same person who taught me morse code!

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2021-03-27 I bought a secondhand morse paddle and made a video about it
For a while I had a notification set for someone selling a morse paddle. Finally one came along at a reasonable price so I bought it.

And.. I mentioned this detail to some people at work. Who had an idea of what a morse key is, but didn't know about morse paddles. So with my big mouth I said "I'll make a video about it". This was triggered by the fact that I recently learned about OpenShot non-linear video editor which is available for Linux too.

So I created a video. And found out making a video of 30 seconds is a lot more work than 30 seconds. I watched some tutorial videos about OpenShot first and thought about what I wanted to show. I haven't added spoken comments because I didn't feel like doing those too.

The video isn't great, I can see several beginner mistakes. But I get the point across of what a paddle does. There is a continuity problem because I used sunlight. Which isn't very constant. And I made several clips because I didn't think I would get everything I wanted to show right. But now there are changes in light and a bit in camera angle, even with using a tripod.

And our neighbours were busy hammering indoors, so that can be heard too.

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