Tuesday, December 12, 2017

ARRL International Grid Chase 2018

Source: The ARRL International Grid Chase

Get ready to kick off 2018 with a new year-long operating event!

Bart Jahnke, W9JJ
ARRL Contest Branch Manager

You may not know this, but your station is in a Maidenhead grid square. The entire world is divided into thousands of these 1° latitude × 2° longitude squares, each one with a unique designation. They're all part of a geographic location system adopted in the 1980s at a meeting of the VHF Working Group in Maidenhead, England.

Unless you are a VHF enthusiast, this nugget of information may not mean much. But at 0000 UTC on January 1, 2018, the global Amateur Radio community will be very interested in grid squares.

Get in the Chase

The objective of the ARRL International Grid Chase is simple: Work stations in as many grid squares as possible and upload your log data to ARRL's Logbook of The World. If you are not currently registered with Logbook of The World, this is a good reason to get started. Go to https://lotw.arrl.org/lotw-help/getting-started/. Registration and uploading are free.

Every new grid square contact confirmed through Logbook of The World counts toward your monthly total, so you have an incentive to start the chase as soon as you ring in the New Year.

Just turn on your radio and start calling "CQ Grid Chase," or listen for others doing the same. Make the contact, enter it into your log, and you're on to the next (see the sidebar, "Tips for the Chase").

At the end of each month, your totals on the Grid Chase leader board will reset to zero. Fear not, though. The online scoring system will maintain your monthly totals for a grand total at the end of the year, when an annual summary will be released and awards given to top finishers in various categories.

The ARRL International Grid Chase is open to all amateurs, regardless of location or license class. Any operating mode is eligible as well as every band, except 60 meters. You'll find the complete rules at www.arrl.org/aigc2018.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

New "BIRD" In The Air

AO-91 is an FM repeater [1] satellite with a strong 2 meter downlink (receivable with a rubber duck) and an incredibly sensitive receive system on the 70 cm uplink. There are reports of people getting into the bird using a handheld inside a house. That is incredible. This will likely become another “Easy Sat” like AO-51 was. It’s currently being tested by AMSAT-NA but it will be open for general use very soon.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Holiday Dinner December 6th

SEKARC will be having it's SECOND annual Holiday Dinner. It will be held at Barto's Idle Hour Wednesday December 6th 2017 at 6 PM.. The radio nets will not be held that evening. Everyone is invited and XYL's and kids or anyone you would like to bring are also welcome to come!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

November Breakfast Meeting

Our November meeting will be at Hardee's for coffee and breakfast Saturday November 25th at 9am! Thanksgiving weekend is a busy time for family and shopping so if you can, stop in for a meet and greet. Have some good coffee and great biscuits.

Monday, November 20, 2017

QRP... In This Solar Cycle ??


QRP is fun in any cycle!! Just ask some of our QRP fans in the club. Sure it is challenging, but these days so is using 100 watts or more !! The latest podcast from the ARRL features QRP so give it a listen !!

Friday, November 10, 2017

Digital Modes and FT8

Here is a great video that covers the growth and progress of digital modes and the through the current explosion of the new FT8 mode! This guy explains things very well and is very informative. I follow him on YouTube and I suggest you do also. He also explains the development of modes from Joe Taylor K1JT and how Taylor has changed the ham radio world!

FT8 is the newest weak-signal mode from Joe Taylor, K1JT, and friends. It operates very much like JT65 but is four times faster and more automated. Learn a little about the history of digital modes and conversational vs bare essential modes! Two sample QSOs!

Friday, November 3, 2017


Have you tried the new digital mode FT8? It is truly incredible what signals can be decoded and not heard or even seen on the waterfall! Well if you are like me, you kind of like have a conversation with your QSO you might try OLIVIA mode. It also uses low power and I have decoded signals with it that I could not hear and barely see on the waterfall. Sure OLIVIA is slower and if you are looking for speed then FT8 is your ticket!

Watch this review of OLIVIA from Ham Radio Concepts, then watch his follow up video next talking about CONTESTIA mode!! Great alternatives for low power digital QSO's!


Sunday, October 29, 2017

Foxhunt - Chilly Success !

2m made from video
 The first SEKARC Foxhunt was a chilly success! The coldest morning of the fall but we still had over 10 hams and XYL's out hunting that pesky fox. We started the morning with breakfast and coffee at Hardee's while planning the hunt.

The location was Lincoln Park in Pittsburg KS. We had a great turnout for a chilly Saturday in October. Hams there were Joe WØMQY, Matt KØVLL, John ADØKA, Loren KDØRTX, Jeff KAØEGE, Tyler KBØPQP and his wife Meg, Steve N5SD, Jim ADØOD, Bill WBØLXZ and Keanan (passed Tech/Gen waiting on call).

The previous post here had instructions for two antennas, the video was for a 2 meter beam and the photo was for a 70cm version. Several members had built the 2m version and those seemed to work really well! Steve N5SD had a vintage version of a foxhunt antenna which was interesting. John ADØKA had a homebrew as well with attenuater and other pieces.

Bill WBØLXZ built a 70cm beacon operating from a solar panel that he planted the night before and that one proved to be challenging to find but it did get found. One of the challenges with that one was that the frequency was published at 433.92 but with some solar power limitations it drifted down to about 433.6.