The Flying Pigs QRP Club International, W8PIG

A guy is stopped at an intersection when a farm truck comes whipping past him. As the truck takes the corner, a pig comes flying out and lands on the road. The driver of the car puts the pig in his car and takes off after the farm truck. As he’s speeding along trying to catch up with the truck, he goes through a speed trapand gets pulled over. The driver explains to the police officer that he’s just trying to return the pig. The officer says, “Well, you’ll never catch it now, you should just bring the pig to the zoo.” The driver agrees, and off he goes.

The next day, the cop is patrolling, and who should he see drive by but the same guy. He still has the pig in the passenger seat, but now the pig is wearing sunglasses and a baseball cap. The police officer pulls the car over, and confronts the driver. “I thought I told you to take that pig to the zoo!”

The man replies, “I did. We had such a great time that I’m taking him to the ball game today.”

class=SpellE>NetMeister style='font-size:13.5pt;color:red'>: href="mailto:MIKE-WB8ICN@worldnet.att.net">Mike – WB8ICN – FP#-68 style='font-size:13.5pt'>

The Simplified Flying
Pig NETS check-in procedure.

I will send: "CQ FP CQ FP CQ FP de WB8ICN K" … and then listen for check-ins.

At this point, you would just send your callsign once or twice. I will acknowledge each check-in by sending their callsign and _AS_ After all stations are logged, I will go to each station in order of check-in. If you are on short-time, send "ST" after your call, followed by "K".
For example: W8DIZ W8DIZ ST K Short-timers will go first to accommodate their time constraints.
SCHEDULE OF NET DATES TIMES FREQUENCIES and Net Control Operator.

When

Freq

Control OP

Every Wednesday night at 8 PM Eastern

Usually 7044 +/-

KE1LA

Every Sunday
night at 8 PM Eastern

Usually 7044 +/-

WB8ICN

Every Friday Night at 9PM PST

Usually 3705 +/-

N7MFB

Dah-Dit-Dah, 73′s, Mike…WB8ICN

The Official Story of how FISTS got it’s Name

I used to be a member of TOPS before it went out. Quote on their banner was “Where FISTS Make Friends”. A “FIST”, as you know, is nothing more than a CW ops’ reference to another ops’ keying characteristic. Phil (TOPS founder/sec) was delighted when I told him of the connection though he was later to follow his XYL and his beloved dog, but I will never forget the enthusiasm which came back from his old vibro. 73 de Geo

FISTS is a well established and recognized CW organization in the world of amateur radio. Founded in 1987 by Geo Longden, G3ZQS, it now has a membership in the thousands, is world-wide, and growing daily.

What FISTS wants to accomplish

1. To further the use of CW on the amateur bands.
2. To encourage newcomers to the CW mode.
3. To engender friendship within the membership.

FISTS ACTIVITIES and CALLING FREQUENCIES

The club has many activities and membership in FISTS is not required to participate, just a love of Morse! All FISTS activities are designed to promote camaraderie among members of the club and help hams hone and improve their Morse skills.

CALLING FREQUENCIES

FISTS members can be found on or near any frequency ending in .x58 (.058, .158, .258, etc)

Here are recommended calling frequencies by band. REMEMBER, these are recommended CALLING frequencies and QSO’s should be moved to another frequency.

2m 144.058 MHz
6m 50.058 MHz
10m* 28.058 MHz
12m 24.918 MHz
15m* 21.058 MHz
17m 18.085 MHz
20m* 14.058 MHz
30m 10.118 MHz
40m* 7.028 MHz — All IARU Regions
40m 7.058 MHz — IARU Region 2
80m* 3.558 MHz
160m* 1.808 MHz

———-

* Note 1: The calling frequencies for 10m, 15m, 20m, 40m – All IARU regions, 80m, and 160m, are only 2 kHz. below QRP calling frequencies (7.030 MHz is the QRP calling frequency in Europe). Please only QSY *down* from these frequencies.

———-

U.S. Novice sub-bands
10m 28.158 MHz
15m 21.158 MHz
40m 7.118 MHz
80m 3.708 MHz

———-

Note 2: Please use the Novice sub-band calling frequencies as much as possible. It will benefit Novices, and also provide support for retaining the spectrum.
———-

Weekly Nets

Sunday Century Award Net
1500 EST/2000 UTC
1500 EDT/1900 UTC
14.058

Sunday Slow Speed Chat
1700 UTC
21.158

Tuesday Slow Traffic Net
2100 EST/0200 UTC
2100 EDT/0100 UTC
3.682

Thursday Slow Traffic Net
2100 EST/0200 UTC
2100 EDT/0100 UTC
3.682

Saturday QSO Groups
2000 UTC
14.058

2300 UTC
7.058

NOTE: Daylight Savings Time (DT) runs from 0200 local time the first Sunday in April through 0200 local time the last Sunday in October

We now have four “SPRINTS” each year, on the second Saturday in February, May, July, and October . These events are a CW free-for-all, from 1700-2100 UTC. Click HERE for the rules and scoring information.

The first week in September we have a “Straight Key” Week. Click HERE for more information.

There is a “Code Buddies” program which matches up experienced operators with new ones that want to develop their skills. To volunteer contact the program manager Nick, K3NY. For more information, visit The Code Buddies Information Page

The club sponsors two awards. The “Century Award”, awarded to those that earn 100 points by working FISTS stations around the world, and the FISTS WAS award. Click HERE for more information on these awards. Check sheets are available to keep track of your contacts for these awards and are available for downloading on the Awards Page.

Ending a CW QSO

From: “Scott Hedberg”
To: SolidCpyCW
Subject: [SolidCpyCW] Ending a QSO
Date: Tue, 17 Jan 2006 08:40:11 -0500

I have a few CW QSOs under my belt now, but I’m a little uncertain over how to end a QSO. I think it is probably an issue of not being certain when to use the prosigns AR and SK.

My understanding is that with my last line of text – “TKS FER QSO CUL 73″ I should put AR at the end. Then my next line would be “ DE KD7PJQ” followed by SK.

Is this the correct way to end a QSO?

73 Scott KD7PJQ

From : Box SisteenHundred
Sent : Tuesday, January 17, 2006 10:59 AM
To : SolidCpyCW
Subject : RE: [SolidCpyCW] Ending a QSO

No..

Prosigns (AR) AND (SK) come BEFORE the callsigns…

Examples…

WX HR NICE TODAY TEMP ABT 40 F = SO BK TO U SCOTT (AR) KD7PJQ DE KA8VIT KN

RRR OK SCOTT HV TO RUN = TNX FB QSO = 73 CU SN (SK) KD7PJQ DE KA8VIT Dit-Dit

Hope this helps…

Bill KA8VIT

http://ka8vit.com

From : Makos327
Sent : Tuesday, January 17, 2006 8:50 AM
To : SolidCpyCW
Subject : Re: [SolidCpyCW] Ending a QSO

Scott,

There are many opinions. Different guys will tell you different ways. It’s always been my understanding that it would be:

W2LJ de KD7PJQ SK – if you intend to amke more QSOs; and
W2LJ de KD7PJQ CL – if you’re ending things for the day/night.

There’s been a discussion on the CW reflector by the old time Ops that all that is needed is K. Just K and nothing else. No KN, no CL, no AR, no nothing.

As long as you identify at the end and use something -you’ll be okay.

73 de Larry W2LJ


Larry W2LJ
QRP – When you care to use the very least!

http://www.qsl.net/w2lj

From : Brian
Sent : Tuesday, January 17, 2006 10:00 AM
To : SolidCpyCW
Subject : [SolidCpyCW] Re: Ending a QSO

Scott,

I would tend to agree with the CW “old timers”…
Really all that I have ever heard is basically a 73 my call their call and then “K”.
I will usually end like so… Tnx fer FB QSO (or call) es RST =
73 es take care KD7PJQ DE KC9FAV SK Dit dit.

I have heard the AR prosign before it was passed back to me. Used as …however the conversation is going then AR KC9FAV DE their callsign “K”.

From : Dan KB6NU
Sent : Tuesday, January 17, 2006 11:14 AM
To : SolidCpyCW
Subject : Re: [SolidCpyCW] Ending a QSO

I’ve always considered SK and CL to be equivalent. That is, both are used when you’re turning the radio off (or at least not intending to make any more contacts) after the QSO is complete. SK is short for “silent key,” after all.

The ARRL webpage that defines prosigns defines SK as “out; clear (end of communications, no reply expected).” It doesn’t really say anything about whether or not you intend to make more QSOs, so perhaps Larry’s explanation is correct. It says nothing at all about the CL prosign.

The ARRL defines AR as “end of message (end of record copy).” I think that this is more properly used in message handling, and probably is not used properly when just ragchewing.

Having said that, I don’t use any prosigns. I just send the callsigns and then K if I’m letting the other guy make the last transmission and “dit dit” if I’m making the final transmission.

73!

Dan KB6NU

From : Reply-To : SolidCpyCW
Sent : Tuesday, January 17, 2006 11:34 AM
To : SolidCpyCW
Subject : Re: [SolidCpyCW] Ending a QSO

I decided to pop on over to AC6V.com. This is from his Website:

“A signoff looks like this:

DX11DX DE WF6TTT, FB VLAD TNX NICE QSO HPE CUL VY 73 GM SK DX11DX DE WF6TTT Use SK or CL (Closing Station) on your final transmission not AR or K(N)”

But as Dan points out “K” is pretty much universal. You can’t go wrong by ending a QSO with just a “K”. Everyone will know tthat it’s the end of the QSO just from listening.

73 de Larry W2LJ

Larry W2LJ
QRP – When you care to use the very least!

http://www.qsl.net/w2lj

QSL Card

From : Fred LeBlanc
Sent : Monday, January 23, 2006 6:34 PM
Subject : QSL Card

Hi Scott
This afternoon I received your QSL card pertaining to our contact on PSK.
I visited your website, very interesting information.
I see you had a similar situation while posted away from home as I had.
I was in the Royal Canadian Signals from 1953 to 1969 (one of my trades was a teletype operator) and during that time I was posted as a peacekeeper in the Congo in 1962 and the only way I could get to talk to my wife and children was through the Amateur Radio patch to Trenton Ontario and them to Fredericton New Brunswick, unfortunately I was able to do it once as I was sent to other parts of the Congo when they did not have communication except the ones through United Nations.
How technology has changed, now they can communicate with home just about everyday.
I did get an introduction to hamming in 1954, was interested in it but not enough to get my licence until 1974 and haven’t looked back since.
For the past few years I seem to be on the digi modes more than anything else, I enjoy being able to make wonderful contacts in lower powers.
Will get a card out to you in the very near future.
Thank you very much.
Take care and have a nice evening.
73 de Fred VE9UN and VE9SIG

Cold War Phone Patch from Europe to US

A ‘ham’ makes a transatlantic love connection
Friday, January 20, 2006
SENTIMENTAL JOURNEY

I can’t believe that it has been 51 years since I served in the U.S. Army at the age of 21.

My mind is aging faster than my body at this particular juncture in my life. But my observation of my army stint was brought into clear focus this week when I was reading about our brave men and women who are serving in the Middle East. Modern technology allows them to be in instant touch with their relatives and friends via e-mail and satellite communications. When I was in the service, the average soldier had to rely on air mail as the fastest form of communication with our loved ones at home. It got me to thinking how things have changed since that cold and snowy December in 1956 when I was stationed in the Bavarian Alps as a Morse code intercept operator. I had contacted the local base communications officer and found that a transoceanic phone call to my wife in Hamilton Township would cost $12.95 per minute. When you are a lowly corporal sending an allotment home, the balance in your pocket leaves pitifully little to spend on such luxuries.

I was about to encounter the fascinating world of amateur radio. One of my bunkmates was a “ham” from West Virginia. He heard me mention the high cost of a phone call to the states. It turns out that the army brass let him utilize the amateur radio station which the signal corps boys had set up in the control tower of the Luftwaffe airfield where we were stationed. He offered to attempt a “phone patch.”

For my non “ham” readers, a phone patch is a bit complicated. Let me explain. We amateur radio operators are allowed to freely operate on radio frequencies designated by the Federal Communications Commission for amateur use. In this case, the frequency range was “40 meters,” or the amateur frequencies in the 7.200 area of the radio spectrum.

I wrote to Judy well in advance and told her I was going to attempt to contact her on a prearranged evening and time, and that she should be near the phone just in case we succeeded in accessing a patch. So, at 1 a.m. on that below-zero morning in 1956, we trudged through the snow to that old Luftwaffe control tower.

I was about to fall in love with amateur radio. My ham buddy Al Poland took his seat near an impressive Collins “KWS-1″ transmitter and an adjacent 75A4 radio receiver. He flipped a couple switches, waited for the radio to warm up, and began speaking a strange language: “CQ, CQ, CQ central New Jersey, Hello, CQ, CQ Central New Jersey area, this is DL4RK portable W8 looking for a phone patch to Trenton, New Jersey.”

With bated breath I waited for a reply. Nothing was heard except for the substantial interference from other stations on a typical evening on “40 meter phone.” Al repeated the “CQ” which is amateur radio for “hey, anybody out there hear me?”

And then it happened!

“DL4RK, DL4RK, this is W3XXX . . . . Downingtown, Pennsylvania.”

(I don’t recall the answering station’s call sign). The contact was made, and the incoming signal was very strong. Hams call each other “old man,” and a lady is known as an “XYL” for ex-young lady.

“Thanks for answering the call old man, the name here is Al. Any chance of a patch through to Trenton?”

“No problem, Al,” came the answer, “Let me have the number.”

The number is JU7-0009 I repeat, J for Juliet, U for Uncle, seven, zero, zero, zero, niner.”

“Stand by, Al, I’m dialing now.”

Over that Collins 75A4 I heard a telephone ring. Once, twice, and then, “Hello?”

“Is this Judy Glover?”

“Yes it is.”

“I have your husband Tom on the phone from Germany. He’s calling from an amateur radio station over in Germany. Will you accept the charges from Downingtown, Pennsylvania?”

I can’t explain the thrill I experienced as Judy and I spent 10 wonderful minutes conversing on the telephone via transatlantic radio, with only an occasional fade of the signal. As we signed off, that wonderful gentleman in Downingtown told my wife that he was picking up the toll call from Downingtown to Trenton. As an ex-G.I. he said he was more than happy to pick up the tab.

As we walked back to the barracks that evening, Al explained the “ins and outs” of amateur radio, and when I mentioned how nice it was that the Downingtown gentleman paid for the phone call, Al said most amateurs are known for their courtesy and generosity. He also told me that my 30-word-per-minute proficiency in Morse code would hold me in good stead if and when I decided to go for an amateur radio license.

As it turned out, it would be another 15 years before the bug bit me again, and I became an amateur radio operator with the call sign, WA2RVU, which I hold to this day. To my mind, the amateur radio fraternity is much like a college fraternity, only on a worldwide basis. We all seem to make instant friends with the many contacts we make all over the globe. I have spoken to amateurs in South Africa where the temperature was in the 90s, when outside my Hamilton window the snow was six inches deep and the temperature in the teens. I spent a few minutes conversing with the late Larry Ferrari of WFIL fame, a fellow amateur, and with numerous stations from Great Britain to South America.

Amateur radio: An absolutely fascinating fraternity of men and women.

– — –

Anyone interested in Mercer County history can view my Web site, “Tom Glover’s Hamilton,” at (www.glover320.blogspot.com).

NOTE: Born and raised in Hamilton, Tom Glover has had a lifelong interest in history and newspapers. Past president of the Hamilton Township Historical Society, he is an archivist on local history at the Hamilton Township Public Library.

January 19, 2006 80M Straight Key/Bug Sprint

RULES:
Date and time:
Thursday, January 19, 0130-0330 UTC
(Newcomers – remember that’s Wednesday evening here in the USA)

Bands Used This Month:
80 meters only

Special Award:
It’s a bit complicated, so put on your thinking caps and read carefully. To be eligible for the award you must make your personal best score among all the NAQCC sprints you’ve entered. Just as an example, if the best you ever did previously in one of our sprints was 1,850 points, and you score 2,150 points in this January sprint, you are eligible. The winner of the award will then be the highest January score among all those who are eligible. Whew! All past sprint scores are here on the web site if you don’t remember your personal best score. Now go out there and do your best. This is something I personally do in all contests. I try to beat my previous best score. That way I’m only competing against myself and not against someone with vastly superior equipment.

Entry Deadline:
All entries must be postmarked or email dated before 2400Z on Jan 25, 2006.

Other Rules:
For rules that are common to all of our sprints, check General Sprint Rules (http://www.arm-tek.net/~yoel/sprintrules.html)

ARMAD Information Nets Scheduled

Beginning Sunday, January 22 at 2030 Eastern Time, 0130 UTC there will be a nationwide (worldwide?) tri-weekly information and planning net scheduled in preparation for “Amateur Radio Military Appreciation Day” which will take place on Saturday, May 27. The purpose of the nets will be to assist individual amateur radio operators, clubs, and any other interested group with any information that they need on how to participate and get involved.

If you and or your club wish to get involved with ARMAD or just want more information you can check into the net in the *ARMAD* EchoLink Conference, or connect to node 146670, 52301, 106819 or 241401 and check into the net beginning at 0130 UTC on January 22nd. Also if you know of a friend or relative in the military services or a civilian working with the military that is an amateur operator, be sure to let them know about EchoLink and this net so we can help them get involved. You can also get your local American Legion, VFW, DAV, AMVETS, & etc involved in ARMAD.

Real RF radio is the primary tool used for ARMAD and EchoLink, IRLP, and other modes are used to tie it all together and make it all possible. Many troops as well as civilians overseas cannot have any sort of ham shack set up even a simple HT because of where they are, local laws, distance from repeaters, and so forth. However many can get computer and internet access to use EchoLink with their callsigns. This can allow them to connect to an EchoLink node on their local repeater back home and talk to folks as if they were there using a radio through the local repeater. This works both ways as we can also use our RF modes through EchoLink to send our greetings and talk to them from baseball fields, shopping malls, and any other location by connecting from our radios to an EchoLink enabled repeater or simplex link and talking to them on their EchoLink computer node.

For more about ARMAD visit: Armad.Net

Listen to an interview with Emery McClendon here: Emery’s Radio Interview 1-8-06

Following is a history of ARMAD and what it is all about.

Amateur Radio Operators have begun a unique way of showing support for our Military Veterans, and Active Duty Members. Emery McClendon, KB9IBW, founded ARMAD – Amateur Radio Military Appreciation Day as a way to allow the people of communities worldwide to express thanks, and appreciation to those that serve in the military.

Since the inception of ARMAD in May 2004, ARMAD has grown, at a rapid rate, with Amateurs joining in from locations around the world to spread messages of support during this “LIVE” forum.

It all started when Amateurs from Two local clubs decided to hold an event during Memorial Day weekend at a local Baseball stadium. Amateurs were able to set up radio stations inside and around the stadium to allow the fans a chance to say thanks to military members, and to show support to their families during the game. The idea took off with over 25 other Amateur radio groups from around the US, and 7 International groups joining in the effort after hearing about the idea. The Fort Wayne, Indiana event at the stadium drew a crowd of over 6,600 people. Contact was made to several military bases, ships, and foreign military units serving as part of the Coalition Forces. ARMAD 2005 involved over 100 locations worldwide, and troops from Iraq were on the air to listen to the members of our communities say thank you. These troops also responded, and let the world know how much it meant to them to hear our LIVE voices. Emails and letters are great, but through the gift of Amateur Radio those that serve heard expressions of appreciation LIVE, and were also able to respond back with joy, and thanks to us. ARMAD expects to continue to grow, and invites amateur Radio Operators, Clubs, local community members, and Military Amateur Operators to participate in future events. Amateurs can help to bring awareness to our hobby by spreading the word about ARMAD, and setting up for these events at public venues. Together we can “Ham It Up For The Troops.”

The next main ARMAD event will be on May 27, 2006. For more information please visit Armad.Net, and get involved. Please post this information for your organisation members, and consider a link to the ARMAD web page on your web sites.

Ham Maps

I got one of these for the world and one for the US – great maps!

Millennia Arts’ new Ultimate DX World Map™ wall map combines contemporary cartography with updated Amateur Radio DX communication representation for a map that will look great in any setting. Extraordinary detail and quality make this an exceptional choice for reference or display, whether it’s for the ham shack or a contest.

The Ultimate DX World Map™ is a complete Mercator-style political world map. It has been designed to assist all amateur radio operators in their pursuit of DX (distance) communications. The map has been divided into CW and time zones. All countries displayed on the Ultimate DX World Map™ have their respective DX call sign prefixes. Comprehensive band plan charts for the amateur radio allocation are also conveniently located on the map for quick reference as well as other helpful frequency and communication information. In addition to being functional, the Ultimate DX World Map™ has also been designed to be aesthetically pleasing.

http://www.hammaps.com/

VA Digital Emergency Network

This site is dedicated to the people providing emergency and backup communications in VA using Amateur Radio Digital modes. This is done by amateur radio operators on their own time and at their own expense as a public service to their communities and the state. VDEN supports both ARES and RACES operations. The primary 1200 baud frequencies are 145.73 and 446.075 with the UHF used as a backbone and forwarding frequency whenever possible. 441.050 (9600bps) is used for high speed connections from the greater Fredericksburg area, to the VA EOC and on down to the greater Tidewater area. Any frequency may be used for local operations but a link to 145.73, 441.050 or 446.075 is a must for relaying messages to the VA EOC. Keyboarding should NEVER be used during an activation or drill on 145.73! The ability of keyboarding to literally bring a network to a halt is as well known as is the infamous “dead carrier” that pops up during drills and activations. We also have Pactor operations as needed. When the network is not operating under a activation or drill, it functions as a normal statewide network. The term “network” is used to describe the emergency communications package that VDEN brings to Virginia. If you want to join the private, no spam, VDEN list server for system updates and information, please send me an message with your name and callsign. I also operate APRS using UI-View and AF MARS Digital stations to provide additional ECOM (emergency communications) support as needed. The VDEN mindset is that you can never have too many assets in times of ECOM needs!

Problems with Phase 3

I finsished phase 3 but when it came time to test the xmit mixer and 7MHz filter circuit, I did not get the proper results. After double checking, triple checking my work and looking for any other problems, I called Ten-Tec and talked to Gary. After I explained my problem, the first thing he said was to check the capacitor in C70, that it was suppose to be a 47pF capacitor as opposed to the 470pF that is called for in the instructions. He also mentioned if I had listened for the 11MHz crystal oscillator, which wasn’t mentioned in the instructions and I hadn’t done. So – I replaced the capacitor without too much trouble. Tested everything again and still no luck.