News items for tag hamradio - Koos van den Hout

2022-01-08 Artikel op Veron A08 website geschreven over de morse cursus en het niet meer kunnen krijgen van 'CW included' via een examen in België
Ik ben al heel lang bezig met morse leren, en de nieuwste ontwikkelingen zijn dat het niet gaat lukken om de 'CW not included' op het pasje van Agentschap Telecom wat me identificeert als gelicenseerd zendamateur om te laten zetten in een 'CW included'. Dat was even een zware tegenvaller, maar ik heb die energie omgezet in een artikel met onze ervaringen. Misschien dat het nog ergens tot gevolg heeft dat er toch een route komt om dit op te lossen.

En daarnaast is het wel leuk om te schrijven merk ik. Misschien moet ik over meer onderwerpen die me bezig houden schrijven.

De illustratie bij het artikel van de 'CW not included' en 'CW included' op de pasjes heb ik zelf gemaakt (samenstelling van foto's van pasjes), de illustratie met de certificaten heeft Frank van der Pol PE2A gemaakt.

Het artikel is verschenen op België-route voor “CW included” niet meer mogelijk - Veron A08 Centrum en ook in sociale media gedeeld: België-route voor “CW included” niet meer mogelijk @pi4utr. Ook op het zendamateur.com forum: Morse examen in België niet meer mogelijk. Daar is een antwoord gekomen dat de stap via het Belgisch instituut voor postdiensten en telecommunicatie (BIPT) overgeslagen kan worden, dus die route gaan we proberen.

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2021-12-19 New entity in amateur radio: Mount Athos
Today I added a special 'country' in my list of countries I have had contacts with. I had a contact with Mount Athos which is an autonomous area in Greece with special rules. The wikipedia entries on Mount Athos and Monastic Republic of Mount Athos have all the details so I won't repeat them here.

The story goes that Mount Athos has no phone lines and therefore it seemed a good idea to give the monks that live at one of the monasteries on Mount Athos access to amateur radio so they can contact the outside world in an emergency.

As autonomous area with some rules different from Greek law it is seen as a separate entity for ARRL DXCC so 'everybody' chases for a contact with Mount Athos.

The monks do make it somewhat easy to get the contact, the radio station was running in FT8 fox/hound mode today. The next bit is getting it confirmed, and they really like a donation to the monasteries to get the confirmation.

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2021-12-13 New countries in amateur radio: Dominican Republic and Belize
Again amateur radio is good for learning geography: two new countries in the log where I really had to look up where they are!

This time in the Carribean: the Domican Republic and Belize right after another. In FT8 mode, on the 20 meter band. Usually the Americas are hard for me which is logical with my home antenna. The house is between the antenna and the north-east direction.

The Dominican Republic is already digitally confirmed. I'm waiting for confirmation of the contact with Belize. I also checked some other unconfirmed countries and send out a kind e-mail in the hopes of getting another country confirmed. The chase continues ;)

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2021-11-29 I participated in the CQWW DX CW contest
Last weekend was the CQ Worldwide DX contest CW and I participated on Saturday and Sunday. Again a 48-hour contest so lots of chances to participate between other things in the weekend and getting a good sleep.

I was planning to get more contacts in the log but it was a busy weekend and I was tired. But in the end I made 98 contacts which is not too bad for a morse contest. Bands I used were 20 and 40. An overview:
Band   160   80   40   20   15   10
QSO's    0    0   62   36    0    0
Cty      0    0   26   12    0    0
Zone     0    0    9    6    0    0
Pts: 132  Mul: 53 Score: 6996
For as far as I can tell this has given me a few countries in CW I didn't have before: Corsica, Estonia, Kazakhstan, Moldova, North Macedonia, and two new US states: Delaware and Arkansas.
Read the rest of I participated in the CQWW DX CW contest

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2021-11-01 I participated in the CQWW DX Contest SSB
Last weekend was the CQ Worldwide DX Contest SSB and I participated Saturday and Sunday. This is a 48-hour contest so I had multiple chances for making radio contacts between other things to do in the weekend.

I was planning to participate in this contest with the idea of getting some new countries in the log, but propagation decided to not cooperate very well. Looking back at the log I see a number of 'well-known' stations: other amateur radio stations that I see active in other contests.

In the end I made 81 contacts on the 20, 15 and 10 meter bands. Overview:
Band   160   80   40   20   15   10
QSO's    0    0    0   75    2    4
Cty      0    0    0   27    2    3
Zone     0    0    0    5    2    2
Pts: 96  Mul: 41 Score: 3936

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2021-10-23 More 10 meter openings, and another new country
Things are going well with amateur radio: today I managed to make contacts with Australia and Indonesia on the 10 meter band in FT8 mode. That was a nice opening to the east, probably with some greyline on their side. It was morning here, so after the greyline for me.

And later when 10 meter was silent I tried the 20 meter band, where a station from New Caledonia answered my call. I realized later that was a new country/entity for me, by that time the contact was already confirmed!

Update 2021-10-25: Actually looking at maps made me realize New Caledonia is quite far away: the distance was about 16330 kilometers! I will need to tweak the generated maps on pe4kh.idefix.net a bit to actually show the worked gridsquares in New Zealand and New Caledonia.

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2021-10-17 New countries in amateur radio and enjoying 10 meter openings
I am sitting behind the radio running FT8 on the 10 meter band and it's open in some interesting directions. According to PSK reporter my signals have been received in India(!) but I haven't made any contacts to India on 10 meters. The interesting contacts I have made on 10 meters were a few new countries on that band: South Africa, Swaziland, Lebanon and Georgia.

Earlier Swaziland was completely new for me thanks to the 3DA0RU DXpedition visiting there. I also got the DXpedition to Sao Tome & Principe in the log: S9OK.

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2021-09-27 I participated in the CQ World Wide RTTY DX Contest
RTTY Contest on websdr Past weekend was the 2021 version of the CQ World Wide RTTY DX Contest and I participated. I had time to participate in a few intervals during the weekend and it helped that it was a 48-hour contest so I could get some more contacts in the log Sunday evening.

In the end I made 151 contacts, a really nice number.

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2021-09-18 New countries in the log: Trinidad & Tobago, Taiwan and New Zealand
I haven't written about new countries I had contacts with via amateur radio for a while, but today I finally got New Zealand in the log, which has been on my wishlist for a while. Indeed all countries that I don't have in the log yet are on that wishlist, but ranked according to Clublog New Zealand should be the 'easiest' for me.

This morning I had a contact using the FT8 mode with ZL4AS on the 40 meter amateur band. This means a contact over a distance of 18726 kilometers. And by the time I write this the contact is already confirmed via Logbook of The World.

The previous new country was Taiwan, last Wednesday using FT8 on the 20 meter band. That contact was with amateur station BU2FF who also confirmed very fast.

And a while ago I had a contact with a station in Trinidad & Tobago but I haven't seen confirmation yet.

So I am still going strong with contacts on amateur radio, sometimes finding that rare opportunity for a new country.

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2021-09-15 Linux, serial devices that aren't modems and modemmanager
9 pin serial connector closeup from https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:9_pin_d-sub_connector_male_closeup.jpg
9 Pin serial connector closeup
Source https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:9_pin_d-sub_connector_male_closeup.jpg, license public domain
I always noticed that I had to plug in the USB cable for the remote radio with the radio switched off, otherwise the Kenwood TS480 would switch into transmit mode and stay there until I powered the radio off.

Annoying, and I thought it was something in the serial initialization. Recently I was thinking about this and remembered something about query sequences on serial devices triggering weird behaviour in other devices. From what I read about the Kenwood serial protocol the chance of a few stray characters changing something in the radio is quite possible.

So I considered what Linux software could do a query as soon as a serial port is added to the system. Well, modemmanager was the ideal candidate for this:
Package: modemmanager
[..]
Description-en: D-Bus service for managing modems
 ModemManager is a DBus-activated daemon which controls mobile broadband
 (2G/3G/4G) devices and connections. Whether built-in devices, USB dongles,
 Bluetooth-paired telephones or professional RS232/USB devices with external
 power supplies, ModemManager is able to prepare and configure the modems and
 setup connections with them.
And indeed, simply removing modemmanager made the problem go away. I can now plug in the USB cable when the radio is on and nothing happens.

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