Tag Archives: cw

Yes… the bands are open

Like you needed me to tell you about it.

I was initially licensed in 2001. Finally upgraded to General in 2005. Up to this point, my ham radio career has been under less than optimal propagation. From the oldtimers, I’d heard tales of 10 meters… when the sunspots where there, 10 meters could be worked around the world with only a wet clothesline (not even wet, just a bit damp). Frankly, it was hard to believe. My one prior 10 meter contact had been an opening QSO during the 2006 Field Day… Virginia to New York, some serious DX? [I thought so at the time.]

We’ve all heard the news… 10 meters is open. But from an HF standpoint, I was limited to my Buddipole, where I was nugging out CW contacts on the 40M Novice Band.

This weekend I threw up some wire and everything changed…..

Europe, the Caribbean, Alaska, 10 meter magic! (… I thought 6 meters was The Magic Band?) 10 meters was like a local 80 meter ragchew without the S5 noise floor, everybody has a 2KW amp, and the vast majority of the inbreds were nowhere to be found.

Thanks be to Apollo – may the sunspots continue!

Time to look about getting a 10-10 membership…. and, with a little luck, I might even have the cards for DXCC.(!)

…. need to put a map up on the wall.

Spy Radio: AN/PRC-64

Richard Fisher, KI6SN, had a post back in August 2009 that talked about an interesting transceiver that was in use by the military in the 1960s and 1970s: the AN/PRC-64. The radio is crystal controlled, limited to four channels between 2.2 to 6.0 MHz, has a max output of 5W for CW and 1W for AM PHONE. Its distinguishing factor is the rigs small form factor: 9.8 x 5.1 x 4.7 in.

What really makes this a spy rig is its ability to be paired with another device: the AN/GRA-71. The AN/GRA-71 is a burst encoder. The encoder allows the transmission of CW messages of speeds up to 300 wpm… some serious QRQ.

A government evaluation report on the radio concluded, based on tests conducted in Vietnam supporting Special Forces teams, that the radio had an effective range while operating in CW mode of between 40 and 300 miles. I imagine with both the power output and frequency range (and assuming the use of a field expedient wire antenna) the radios were not normally used for long haul communications… probably more like a range of not more than 75 miles.

10M?

Last week was busy – I spent the whole time down in Seoul attending meeting after meeting with my evenings spent on a bunk bed in a communal room (trying to save a little cash for Uncle Sam). The week was productive, but tiring. The main US military garrison in Seoul, Yongsan, has a lot of amenities that you will not find up at my camp. I got to enjoy many of the various restaurants located there as well as venturing off into Seoul itself, located just outside the gates. Two key finds in Seoul: a restaurant that serves American Chinese food and an Irish pub that serves Guinness from the tap. I enjoy Korean food quite a bit, but also like a variety. Most people know that Chinese food in the US does not come close to resembling the actual cuisine of China… and I have no problem with that. Serve me up some Orange Chicken or General Tsao and I am a happy man. Top it off with a fresh pint of Guinness… now you’re talking.

However, by Saturday morning I was still tired and unmotivated to put up my Buddipole… despite the lure of the 10M contest. I did have a QSO with my dad via EchoLink. He used an app on his Android cell phone and connected through my EchoIRLP node (EchoLink Node #496698 and IRLP Node #3370). My friend brought by some freshly made Hotteok. These pancakes are delicious and I enjoyed them while they were still hot with some coffee. Still wasn’t motivated to put up the Buddipole.

Sunday – the Buddipole went up. A 10M dipole with the Buddipole consists of only the 9.5ft whips on either side of the VersaTee. 10M was not really cooperating. In all I had only nine contacts: Australia, Malaysia, The Philippines, and Guam. Surprisingly, I only heard one JA and he couldn’t hear me. No stations from Asiatic Russia either.

After sunset, I switched the antenna from a 10M dipole to a 40M vertical. I thought I might look for some JA stations to practice my CW. I have yet to understand how the JA’s use 40M. The JAs can use phone down to 7.030 MHz. This compacts the CW to between 7.000 and 7.030 MHz. PSK-31 is suppose to be around 7.038, but I have never seen any PSK-31 traffic on 40M over here. I must be looking in the wrong place. Shortwave stations still come in at 7.100 MHz and above. So after sunset, all the 40M action is wedged between 7.000 and 7.100 MHz. So far I have not found any one band location where the QRS folks hang out (like the old Novice band in the US). Maybe with a bit more listening I can crack the code on how the JAs manage 40M.

As for the HLs… I’ve only heard two on the air. Where are all the HLs?

Here’s the good news… cue Bing Crosby… I am heading back to Kansas for leave this coming Friday! Christmas at home with the XYL and harmonics!!

A little DX


I spent Saturday filling out QSL cards, stuffing them in envelopes, and putting on $0.98 worth of postage for the USPS first class international air mail rate. To make life easier I ran both the return envelopes and main envelopes through the printer to get my address on. It would be easier to get some kind of mailing label sheets, which I think I will try to find when I get home for Christmas. Any way you slice it, filling out QSL cards and getting them in the mail takes a while. Keeping me entertained during the QSL card envelope stuffing session was the Insomniac Net through my IRLP node.

Sunday I woke up early and put up my Buddipole antenna, configuring it as a dipole for 20M. Exceptional DX catches for the day were:
UN7FU – Kazakhstan
WH0/WH7C – Northern Mariana Islands
FK8GX – New Caledonia Island
CW3TD – Timoteo Dominguez Island, Uruguay

I am continually surprised by my ability to work stations in South America. I’m not sure what path I am getting the propagation from. There is no one single time of day for my South American contacts – some are in the morning, others in the afternoon.


Today was the first day using my MicroHam USB III. The device is small, just larger than a pack of cards. The radio cable, which comes with the interface, is very well shielded. I used the USB III for both CW and PSK – the device worked well in both modes. Is the MicroHam USB III better than the West Mountain Radio USB PnP RIGBlaster? From a performance standpoint, I think it does a better. With PSK streams, I was able to detect and have QSOs with much weaker signals using the USB III. The fact that the USB III has its own soundcard is a big plus.


Almost done reading A Year of DX by Bob Locher, W9KNI. Bob details his year-long run in the CQ DX Marathon. The reader gets to sit side-by-side with Bob as he uses his Elecraft K3 and DX cluster alarm to work country after country. Bob demonstrates the importance of researching the various rare entities, determining when they might become active and how best to work them. The book is divided month by month, detailing the QSO with each new entity. Between the month chapters are useful chapters concerned with amplifiers, SSB phone techniques, and an amusing Walter Mitty-esque short story themed around DX contacts. I’m enjoying the book and recommend it (…potential stocking stuffer!).

Combustible CW


I had a QSO the other day with a gentlemen who was using a Navy flame-proof key. I had heard of the flame-proof key and knew that it was a military straight key – but I never really thought about why it was called flame-proof. If you have a sending speed >50 wpm, do you need to worry about fire breaking out in the radio shack? Well… the real answer is a qualified yes. I found the answer while perusing the Western Historic RADIO MUSEUM’s web page.

Many of the military keys were used with transmitters that were cathode keyed and sometimes had significant voltage on the key itself. Also, other types of equipment may have voltage levels or current levels that could cause sparking when the key breaks contact. This could present a problem in areas where flammable fuel vapors might at times be present, such as airplanes, tanks or ships during or after an attack where fuel tanks or fuel lines may have been ruptured and leaking. The flame-proof key enclosed the contacts in a sealed chamber to prevent exposure of the possible sparking to any combustible vapors so it would be possible to radio for help. The J-5-A on the left is a Signal Corps key that was introduced in the thirties but was built for many years, in fact the one shown is from WWII – built by L.B. Brach Mfg. Co. The key in the center is a Navy flame-proof key, the CAQZ-26026 built by Brelco Co. The key on the right is a British “Bath Tub” flame-proof key that is made out of bakelite. The bale clamp holds the upper part of the key (which has all of the key parts) down into the tub. There are many other types of flame-proof keys but all accomplish the same thing, isolation of the key contacts to prevent exposure of possible sparking to a combustible vapor.

… I am curious if the military actually learned this the hard way, deciding to encase the contacts only after an explosion or fire had occurred.

Field Day

My Field Day adventure started on Tuesday, 23 June. I finished the final touched to the eARSIB and then through every possible item I thought I might need (minus a 25 pin to 9 pin cable for a Kantronics KPC-3+ which I will talk about later) in a total of 3 footlockers. I packed up the truck, loaded up the dog and was on the road by 10:30am. There was good APRS coverage on my route along I-80 up until western Nebraska where I encountered an almost 200 mile gap. Once I hit Cheyenne, I was back in APRS coverage. My stop for the first night was Laramie, Wyoming, which I made before sunset.

The next day I pushed on west. While in western Wyoming I was able to check into the 40M Sparkle Net (7262 kHz) and talk with Dave, KE0DL, back in Leavenworth, Kansas. I also noticed on my GPS that one of the APRS stations was moving along I-80 the same direction that I was going. I gave a short call on the 2M National Simplex frequency and got a reply. We had both started the drive in Wyoming but parted ways in Salt Lake; he headed south on I-15 to Vegas, I kept west on I-80. I enjoyed the drive through eastern Utah. Park City, Utah is a place I had spent a lot of time skiing about twenty years ago. I’d been there often in the winter, but this was the first time seeing it during the summer.

Traffic was heavy through Salt Lake City and I did my best to make my way around the city as quickly as possible. West of the Great Salt Lake, I had an interesting HF QSO with a gentleman in Southern California who was using an Elecraft K3 with an the diminutive MT-1 antenna. My initial plan was to spend the night in Winnemucca, Nevada but upon arriving discovered they had me on the second floor in a non-pet room. Instead of hauling my footlockers up a flight of stairs I decided to push on to Fernley, Nevada (just east of Reno) where I found a great hotel with a first floor room I could practically back my truck up into. The dog liked it too.

Thursday morning I worked my way up the eastern side of the Sierra Nevadas, listening to a few 40M nets. I reached the Sonora Pass around noon and enjoyed the view. The dog a I hiked up to a nearby plateau and took in the view.

After traveling down the western side of the mountains I was able to raise my dad, KD6EUG, on a repeater near his cabin in Mi-Wuk Village. California Hwy 108 wound its way down from Sonora Pass. The drive was spectacular along the scenic route and traffic was sparse. I rolled down the windows and opened the sun roof to take in gorgeous day. Reaching the cabin in Mi-Wuk, both the dog and I got to strech our legs and rest up. Thursday night we assembled the gear that would become a permanent station at the cabin: an IC-706MKIIG, LDG Z-11 Pro, RIGblaster PnP, IC-208H, all powered by an Icom PS-125. In addition to the radio gear, the station would also integrate a Davis Vantage Pro2 weather station, beaconing the weather data view APRS.

To simplify the APRS setup in the cabin, I decided to use a special add-on piece of equipment from Davis specifically designed to be used for APRS – the WeatherLink APRS streaming data logger. The data logger, once configured, streams weather data directly to a TNC, eliminating the need for a computer (or UI-View32). With this setup, it was not necessary to leave a computer running to keep the weather station pushing data to the TNC and VHF radio. The weather data is formated by the data logger to be ready for transmission into APRS. The station also has a laptop which I installed the WeatherLink software that would allow me to configure the APRS data logger. Configuring the data logger was pretty straight forward. Setting the parameters in the TNC to grab the data loggers APRS weather info proved a bit more challenging. The challenge was further compounded by my forgetting to pack the 25 pin to 9 pin cable that connects the laptop to the Kantronics KPC-3+ TNC.

The real work started Friday. The first task was completing the installation of a Davis Vantage Pro2 weather station on the cabin roof. That was done without much trouble.

The next step would be to get the weather data out via APRS using the IC-208H paired with the Kantronics KPC-3+ TNC and the Davis APRS streaming data logger. With the lack of a good cable to use between the laptop and TNC as well as not knowing exactly what parameters were need in the TNC we decided that task would have to wait until after Field Day.

Now it was time to string some antennas. The first was a 132′ dipole which ran N/S. I’d packed my CVS19 Pneumatic Antenna Launcher (aka tennis ball launcher) which helped us position the antenna up about 40′.

Next we strung a G5RV going E/W. This is the same G5RV I bought from a fellow ham when I lived back in Virginia. He had never used it and I had used the antenna only once while running a special event station at Fort Monroe.

It quickly became apparent that we could not both operate using both antennas due to their proximity to each other and surrounding powerlines prevented us from placing the antennas end to end in order to minimize interference. The solution: my dad’s Force 12 Sigma 5. The problem: the antenna was back in San Jose. So Friday night consisted of my dad traveling back to the Bay Area to retrieve the vertical antenna while I continued to configure the laptop (N3FJP Field Day networked logging software, Digipan for PSK-31, and the Davis Weatherlink program) in addition to setting up my operating position on the back deck of the cabin.

My operating position setup consisted of a 10′x10′ pop-up shelter (with mosquito net) and a large table with comfortable folding chair. Inside the shelter I placed a large table with the eARSIB and my station’s laptop.

I verified that the laptops at either operating position (the one inside the cabin and mine outside on the deck) could communicate via WiFi using the N3FJP software: it worked like a charm. The software allows two (or more) operating positions to share one log. Each operator gets to see the combined log and is notified of potential dupes.

Saturday morning my dad arrived back from the Bay Area and we setup the Sigma 5.

My operating position on the deck had the antenna connections for both the G5RV and the Sigma 5, my dad’s position had the 132′ ladderline-fed dipole. Interference between the two positions was sometimes a problem. I could use the Sigma 5 vertical on 20M, 15M, and 10M as long as my dad stayed on 80M or 40M (as long as I wasn’t on 15M). While this slowed down operations a bit, it gave us time to take plenty of breaks. My dad started Field Day by working PSK-31 on 20M. I worked phone contacts on 15M and 10M. Later my dad switched to phone, which he really started to enjoy.

10M and 15M were really incredible. I was able to work all the way to the East Coast and up and down the West Coast. For dinner, I BBQ’d some brauts. By midnight we were both exhausted and decided to get some rest.

I enjoyed using my eARSIB. This is the first time I used a foot pedal for my PTT – paired with a Heil headset. That worked great, allowing me to use both hands on the keyboard. I had been unable to configure the West Mountain RIGtalk to work on my laptop – not sure why. But it wasn’t too hard to just flip the band in the logging software. I had not used my Logikey CMOS4 Keyer in some time. I paired it with my Vibroplex paddle and the two worked well together. I enjoyed a few QRS CW QSOs – thank you for those who took the time to slow down for me. I had picked up a marine battery to use with my PWRgate and that worked well.

Sunday I got up after four hours of sleep and started working 80M using the G5RV.

The G5RV worked nicely and I contacted stations from Western Canada down to Southern California and Arizona. I moved up to 40M and expierenced similar results – but was also able to work a station in Japan. My dad was up soon and started to work on 80M and 40M with the 132′ dipole while I switched to the vertical and worked stations on 20M. By about 11:30am we were both pretty much spent. Overall we made about 250 contacts, mostly phone but also a few PSK-31 and CW…. and we had a great time!

KD6EUG Brags About The Number of QSOs He Made

We slept well Sunday night and Monday morning had me back working on the Kantronics KPC-3+/Davis weather station. The biggest problem I was having was figuring out what value to use for the GPSHEAD parameter. Without the correct value, the KPC-3+ was not grabbing the weather data. GPSHEAD would pull in the data a place it in LT (a buffer). LPT setup the APRS path. BLT setup the amount of time in between the TNC initiating a beacon transmission containing weather data.

After a few calls to the Davis headquarters, I was able to figure out that “@” was the magic value for GPSHEAD. Now the weather station is up and operational.

It was then back on the road, up and over the Sonora Pass. I was able to talk to my dad, operating from the Mi-Wuk cabin station, on 80M from the top of the pass. I spent the night in Carson City, Nevada and the next day headed east on I-80. I had made the decision to take I-70 back to Kansas in order to try something different as well as seeing a part of Colorado I had never seen before. It was a long haul to Grand Junction, Colorado – I arrived around midnight. After a few hours of sleep, I was on the road again heading east through some of the most beautiful scenery of the trip. Aspen and Veil were beautiful cities – I hope I get a chance to go back there someday. But while the drive was scenic, the going was slowed and progress was not nearly as quick as I had experienced before while moving through Wyoming and Nebraska.

I finally emerged from the Rockies and headed into Denver, stopping at the Ham Radio Outlet located there. Terry, KC0VFO, and I talked about our Field Day experiences – he operated mobile. His call sign looked familiar and sure enough, I had worked Terry on 15M during Field Day.

Moving east through Denver I was back on the open road, moving rapidly along I-70. I heard a call coming over the 2M National Simplex frequency. It was a gentleman operating from the Mt. Evans Observatory – we had an enjoyable QSO and he went on to work others. The Canada Day contest was also underway and I started to hand out contacts from the mobile. I had planned to make it all the way back to Leavenworth, Kansas but realized I was too tired and needed to spend the night somewhere. I crossed the Colorado/Kansas border and arrived in Goodland, Kansas were I found a hotel room and promptly fell fast asleep.

My final day on the road was pretty easy driving. When you think about Kansas, it is usually what you see in western Kansas along I-70. Flat terrain, lots of farms, not much else. For some reason, the speed limit max in Kansas drops to 70mph (Nebraska, Wyoming, Nevada, Utah, and Colorado all have a max of 75mph). I listened to some of the morning HF nets on 80M and 40M, then made contact with K2L, a special events station in Charleston, South Carolina. I was also able to check into the Sparkle Net on 40M and then later worked two stations on 17M, both located in and around the western border area between North and South Carolina. Soon I was back home, arriving before 3pm.

Achieved the vision…

It has been a long time goal to be able to sit in a comfy deck chair out in the backyard and have CW QSOs using my Elecraft KX1. Tonight it happen!
Last weekend I routed a feedline from an antenna switch down in the ham shack up to the deck in the backyard. I played around with it a bit, using the internal tuner to get a nice SWR on 80M, 40M, 30M and 20M. I listened around and tossed out my callsign a few times but didn’t have any takers.
I found myself back out in the backyard after dinner tonight, enjoying a wonderful evening. I broke out the KX1 (when I should of been doing my homework) and was listening around on the former 40M novice CW band…. I heard WA0TYS ably using a straight key and a Heathkit rig, calling CQ at a speed I could comfortably handle. I answered and Craig picked me up after a few tries. It was a short QSO, but I was elated. I hope to repeat this performance on a regular basis – it goes along way in maintaining my sanity.

ANNUAL ARMED FORCES DAY CROSSBAND MILITARY/AMATEUR RADIO COMMUNICATIONS TEST (09 MAY 2009)

The Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard are co-sponsoring the annual military/amateur radio communications tests in celebration of the 59th Anniversary of Armed Forces Day (AFD). Although the actual Armed Forces Day is celebrated on Saturday, May 16, 2009, the AFD Military/Amateur Crossband Communications Test will be conducted 09 May 2009 to prevent conflict with the Dayton Hamvention (15-17 May 2009), which is the same weekend as the actual Armed Forces Day.

The annual celebration features traditional military to amateur cross band communications SSB voice tests and copying the Secretary of Defense message via digital modes. These tests give Amateur Radio operators and Short Wave Listeners (SWL) an opportunity to demonstrate their individual technical skills, and to receive recognition from the Secretary of Defense and/or the appropriate military radio station for their proven expertise. QSL cards will be provided to those stations making contact with the military stations. Special commemorative certificates will be awarded to anyone who receives and copies the digital Armed Forces Day message from the Secretary of Defense.

MILITARY-TO-AMATEUR CROSS BAND SSB & CW TEST CONTACTS.
Military-to-Amateur cross band operations will take place on the dates/times in ZULU (UTC), and frequencies listed below for each station. Voice contacts will include operations in single sideband voice (SSB). Some stations may not operate the entire period, depending on propagation and manning. Participating military stations will transmit on selected Military MARS frequencies and listen for amateur radio stations in the Amateur bands indicated below. The military station operator will announce the specific amateur band frequency being monitored. Duration of each voice contact should be limited to 1-2 minutes. The following stations will be transmitting on MARS frequencies listed below which are provided as “Window/Dial Frequency” in kHz.
Some stations will use CW to provide the opportunity to check in by Morse Code

Army Stations
STATION: AAZ (09 May 1400Z – 10 May 0300Z)
Frequency Emission Amateur Band
4038.9 kHz LSB 80M
6913.0 kHz LSB 40M
14.402.0 kHz USB 20M
13996.0 kHz USB 20M
18211.0 kHz USB 17M
7577.0 kHz CW 40M
13507.0kHz CW 20M

7639.5 kHz RTTY 40M
13512.5 kHz MT-63 20M
Location: Fort Huachuca, AZ
Address:
Commander NETCOM/9th ASC
ATTN: NETCOM-OPE-M (MARS) (31)
2133 Cushing Street
Ft. Huachuca, AZ 85616-7070
POC: Mr. Dewayne Smith
DSN: 821-7324
Commercial: (520) 533-7324

STATION: AAC (09 May 1300Z – 10 May 0100Z)
Frequency Emission Amateur Band
3348.5 kHz LSB 80M
7363.0 LSB 40M
9180.5 MT63 USB 30M
13910.5 kHz USB 20M
Location: Lexington, KY
Address:
HQ 1st BDE, 100th DIV (IT) MARS Station
Barrow Army Reserve Training Center
1051 Russell Cave Pike
Lexington, KY 40505
POC: Barry Jackson
Commercial: (859) 227-0137

STATION: ABH (09 May 1600Z – 10 May 2300Z)
Frequency Emission Amateur Band
3195 kHz LSB 80M
3360 kHz LSB 80M
4440 kHz LSB 80M
4466 kHz LSB 80M
7360 kHz LSB 40M
7720 kHz LSB 40M
8040 kHz LSB 40M
8094.5 kHz LSB 40M
14483.5 kHz USB 20M
14489.5 kHz USB 20M
17443.0 kHz USB 17M
17592.5 kHz USB 17M
20978.0 kHz USB 15M
20559.0 kHz USB 15M
Location: Schofield Barracks, HI
Commander, 396th Signal Company
30th Signal Battalion, 96857
POC: WO1 William Pemberton
Commercial: (808) 655-3387

STATION: ALM (09 May 1600Z – 10 May 2300Z)
Frequency Emission Amateur Band
13741.5 kHz USB 20M
4003.0kHz LSB 80M
7317.0 kHz LSB 40M
Location: Fort Wainwright
Commander, 507 the Sig Co, 99703
POC: CW4 Roderick Mitchell
507th Signal Company
Commercial: (907-353-0082

STATION: WAR (09 May 1200Z – 2400Z)
Frequency Emission Amateur Band
4020.9 kHz LSB/CW 80M
7504.0 kHz LSB/CW 40M
13512.5 kHz USB/CW 20M
20518.5 kHz USB/CW 15M

Location: Pentagon, Arlington VA
Address:
Pentagon ARC
PO Box 2322
Arlington VA 22202
POC CAPT Rick Low, USN
Station telephone:
Commercial: (703) 693-8423 DSN 223-8423

STATION: WUG-231 (09 May 1300Z – 10 May 0200Z)
Frequency Emission Amateur Band
4032.9 kHz LSB 80M
7.360.0 kHz LSB 40M
6.826.0 kHz LSB/CW 40M
14486.0 kHz USB 20M
14663.5 kHz USB/CW 20M
20973.5 kHz USB/CW 15M

Location: Memphis, TN
Address:
USACE Memphis District Office
ATTN: Jim Pogue
Public Affairs Office Room B-202
167 N. Main St.
Memphis, TN 38103-1894
POC: Mr. Jim Pogue
Commercial: (901) 544-4109

STATION: AAV (09 May 1300Z – 2000Z)
Frequency Emission Amateur Band
4038.9 kHz LSB 80M
7360.0 kHz LSB 40M
13963.5 kHz USB 20M
FORT MONMOUTH NJ
POC WILLIAM FITZSIMMONS
DIRECTOR REGION 2
N2LMU@JUNO.COM

Air Force Station
STATION: AIR (09 May 1200Z – 2400Z)
Frequency Emission Amateur Band
4517.1 kHz USB 80M
6996.1 kHz USB 40M
13985.1 kHz USB 20M
20737.6 kHz USB 15M
ROBERT WILLIAM STROH, A1C, SCORB, USAF
GLOBAL SYSTEM RADIO OPERATOR
89 CS/ 89 ASG
ANDREWS AFB, MD
DSN: 858-3109
COMM: 301-981-3109

STATION: AIR-2 (09 MAY 1200Z TO 2400Z)
Frequency Emission Amateur Band
4590.1 KHZ USB 80M
7540.1 KHZ USB 40M
13993.1 KHZ USB 20M
POC: Mr. AL EIERMANN
ADDRESS: AFCA / AF MARS
203W LOSEY ST
SCOTT AFB, IL 62225
COMMERCIAL: (618) 229-5963

Navy/Marine Corps Stations
STATION: NAV (09 MAY 1200Z – 09 MAY 2330Z)
FREQUENCY EMISSION AMATEUR BAND
4010.0 KHZ LSB 80M
7348.0 KHZ LSB 40M
14478.5 KHZ USB 20M
20994.0 KHZ USB 15M
ADDRESS: HQ NAVMARCORMARS RADIO STATION NAV CHEATHAM ANNEX BLDG. 117
108 SANDA AVE
WILLIAMSBURG, VA 23185-5830
POC: BO LINDFORS
COMMERCIAL: (757) 887-4494 DSN: 953-4494

STATION: NAV3 (09 MAY 1200Z – 10 MAY 0400Z)
FREQUENCY EMISSION AMATEUR BAND
4014.0 KHZ LSB 80M
7394.5 KHZ LSB 40M
13974.0 KHZ USB 20M
20997.0 KHZ USB 15M
ADDRESS: NAVMARCORMARS RADIO STATION NAV3
9035 OCEAN DR SUITE 3A
CORPUS CHRISTI, TX 78419-5234
POC: ITSC (SW) BROWN
COMMERCIAL: (361) 961-5002 DSN: 861-5002

STATION: NAV4 (09 MAY 1200Z – 10 MAY 0400Z)
FREQUENCY EMISSION AMATEUR BAND
4011.5 KHZ LSB/MT63 80M
7376.5 KHZ LSB 40M
14467.0 KHZ USB 20M
21758.5 KHZ USB 15M
ADDRESS: NAVMARCORMARS RADIO STATION NAV4
615 PREBLE AVE
CAMP BARRY, BLDG. 153
GREAT LAKES, IL 60088-2850
POC: ITC (SW/AW) STEPHEN ANDERSON
COMMERCIAL: (847) 688-3787 DSN: 792-3787

STATION: NBL (09 MAY 1200Z – 10 MAY 0400Z)
FREQUENCY EMISSION AMATEUR BAND
4041.5 KHZ LSB 80M
7371.5 KHZ LSB 40M
14391.5 KHZ USB 20M
20623.5 KHZ USB 15M
ADDRESS: NAVMARCORMARS RADIO STATION
4 LANTERN LANE
CHELMSFORD MA 01824-1316
POC: ROBERT VETH, DIRECTOR REGION ONE
COMMERCIAL: (978) 256-5264

STATION: NPL (09 MAY 1500Z – 10 MAY 0400Z)
FREQUENCY EMISSION AMATEUR BAND
4003.0 KHZ LSB 80M
7351.5 KHZ LSB 40M
14463.5 KHZ USB 20M
20936.0 KHZ USB 15M
ADDRESS: NAVMARCORMARS RADIO STATION
937 NORTH HARBOR DRIVE
SAN DIEGO, CA 92132-5100
POC: ITC (SW) TIGHE
COMMERCIAL: (619) 532-1490 DSN: 522-1490

STATION: NUW (09 MAY 1500Z – 10 MAY 0400Z)
FREQUENCY EMISSION AMATEUR BAND
4044.0 KHZ LSB 80M
7381.5 KHZ LSB 40M
13528.5 KHZ USB 20M
20952.5 KHZ USB 15M
ADDRESS: NAVMARCORMARS RADIO STATION
260 W. PIONEER FSC BLDG.
NAS WHIDBEY ISLAND, WA 98277
POC: MR. DIGGER O’DELL
COMMERCIAL: (360) 675-2823 DSN: 820-8038

PART II. SECRETARY OF DEFENSE MESSAGE TEST VIA DIGITAL MODES.
The Secretary of Defense message will be transmitted via digital modes including RTTY, PACTOR, AMTOR, PSK-31, MFSK and MT63 from the stations listed below, including frequencies, mode, and date/time in Zulu (UTC). All frequencies are listed for center of intelligence. Offset as appropriate for your TNC. Sound cards modes will use standard factory settings (Note: Not all stations may necessarily operate on all the frequencies listed, depending on propagation and available equipment.)

Army Stations
STATION: AAZ (HQ Army MARS and Western Area Gateway, Fort Huachuca, AZ)
Frequency Mode Broadcast Date/Time
6988.0 kHz RTTY 10 May/0110Z
PACTOR FEC 10 May/0130Z
MT63 10 May/0220Z
PSK-31 10 May/0250Z
14402.0 kHz RTTY 10 May/0110Z
PACTOR FEC 10 May/0130Z
MT63 10 May/0220Z
PSK-31 10 May0250Z

STATION: WAR (Pentagon MARS Station, Washington, DC )
Frequency Mode Broadcast Date/Time
6988.0 kHz Olivia 09 May/1700Z and 2300Z
MT63 09 May/1715Z and 2315Z
14440.0 kHz PACTOR FEC 09 MAY/1730Z
RTTY 09 MAY/1745Z
4020.9 kHz PACTOR FEC 09 MAY/2330Z
RTTY 09 May/2345Z

STATION: AAV
Frequency Mode Broadcast Date/Time
3243.5 kHz MT63 10May/0030Z
7358.5 kHz RTTY 10 May/0100Z

Air Force Stations
STATION: AIR-2 (Scott Air Force Base)
Frequency Mode Broadcast Date/Time
7831.1 kHz RTTY 09 May/1930Z
MT63 09 May/2030Z
MFSK 09 May/2100Z

14877.1 kHz RTTY 09 May/2130Z
MT63 09 May/2230Z
MFSK 09 May/2300Z

Navy/Marine Corps Stations
STATION: NAV (HQ NAVMARCORMARS RADIO STATION, WILLIAMSBURG, VA)
FREQUENCY MODE BROADCAST DATE/TIME
7346.5 KHZ RTTY 75 BAUD 09 MAY/2340Z
AMTOR FEC 10 MAY/0010Z
MT63 10 MAY/0040Z
14480.0 KHZ RTTY 75 BAUD 09 MAY/2340Z
AMTOR FEC 10 MAY/0010Z
MT63 10 MAY/0040Z

STATION: NAV3 (NAVMARCORMARS RADIO STATION, CORPUS CHRISTI, TX)
FREQUENCY MODE BROADCAST DATE/TIME
7393.0 KHZ RTTY 09 MAY/2340Z
AMTOR FEC 10 MAY/0010Z
MT63 10 MAY/0040Z
13975.5 KHZ RTTY 09 MAY/2340Z
AMTOR FEC 10 MAY/0010Z
MT63 10 MAY/0040Z

STATION: NAV4 (NAVMARCORMARS RADIO STATION, GREAT LAKES, IL)
FREQUENCY MODE BROADCAST DATE/TIME
7375.0 KHZ RTTY 10 MAY/0240Z
AMTOR FEC 10 MAY/0310Z
MT63 10 MAY/0340Z
14468.5 KHZ RTTY 10 MAY/0240Z
AMTOR FEC 10 MAY/0310Z
MT63 10 MAY/0340Z

STATION: NBL (NAVMARCORMARS RADIO STATION, GROTON, CT)
FREQUENCY MODE BROADCAST DATE/TIME
7370.0 KHZ RTTY 09 MAY/2340Z
PACTOR FEC 10 MAY/0010Z
AMTOR FEC 10 MAY/0040Z
14393.0 KHZ RTTY 09 MAY/2340Z
PACTOR FEC 10 MAY/0010Z
AMTOR FEC 10 MAY/0040Z

STATION: NPL (NAVMARCORMARS RADIO STATION, SAN DIEGO, CA)
FREQUENCY MODE BROADCAST DATE/TIME
7350.0 KHZ RTTY 10 MAY/0240Z
PACTOR FEC 10 MAY/0310Z
AMTOR FEC 10 MAY/0340Z
14465.0 KHZ RTTY 10 MAY/0240Z
PACTOR FEC 10 MAY/0310Z
AMTOR FEC 10 MAY/0340Z

STATION: NUW (NAVMARCORMARS RADIO STATION, NAS WHIDBEY ISLAND, WA)
FREQUENCY MODE BROADCAST DATE/TIME
7380.0 KHZ RTTY 10 MAY/0240Z
PACTOR FEC 10 MAY/0310Z
AMTOR FEC 10 MAY/0340Z
13530.0 KHZ RTTY 10 MAY/0240Z
PACTOR FEC 10 MAY/0310Z
AMTOR FEC 10 MAY/0340Z

SUBMISSION OF SECRETARY OF DEFENSE TEST MESSAGE ENTRIES.
Transcripts of the RTTY, PACTOR, AMTOR, PSK-31, MFSK and MT63 receiving test should be submitted “as received”. No attempt should be made to correct possible transmission errors. Provide time, frequency and call sign of the military station copied, including name, call sign, and address (including ZIP code) of individual submitting the entry. Ensure this information is placed on the paper containing the test message. Each year a large number of acceptable entries are received with insufficient information, or necessary information was not attached to the transcriptions and was separated, thereby precluding issuance of a certificate. Entries must be sent to the appropriate military address as follows:

a. Stations copying Secretary of Defense message transmitted from AAZ/WAR/AAV send entries to:

Armed Forces Day Celebration
Commander NETCOM/9th ASC
Armed Forces Day Celebration
Attn: NETC-OPE-MA (MARS) (31)
Fort Huachuca, AZ 85613-5000

b STATIONS COPYING SECRETARY OF DEFENSE MESSAGE TRANSMITTED FROM
NAV, NAV-3, NAV-4, NBL, NPL OR NUW SEND ENTRIES TO:
ARMED FORCES DAY CELEBRATION
CHIEF, NAVY-MARINE CORPS MARS
CHEATHAM ANNEX BLDG 117
108 SANDA AVE
WILLIAMSBURG, VA 23185-5830

c. Stations copying Secretary of Defense message transmitted from AIR-2 send entries to:

Armed Forces Day Celebration
AFCA / Chief, AF MARS
203W Losey St
Scott AFB, IL 62225

Learning the code

When I learned Morse Code, I learned just enough to pass the 5wpm exam. My approach back then has not set me up for success with CW now. I can function at the 5wpm level, but I really want to do better. I am trying to shed myself of some bad habits… counting dits and dahs or thinking “A Light is Lit” for “L” or “Kiss a Ewe” for “U”…. don’t get me started on “Dog Did It”.

Starting from ground zero I am trying the Koch Method. There is a Linux program called Aldo that works well and I just discovered a website called Learn CW Online. Learn CW Online does a great job of tracking your progress and keeping you motivated. With Koch, you start fast and stay fast.

My goal is to try and work exclusively CW for Field Day 2009.

To prep I can take advantage of the ARRL code practice and upcoming contests.