W0ZSW is back!

W0ZSW is back on line with a new host computer running Windows 7 and an IC-7200.

IRB sound is no longer available as a sound option for transmit and receive. All sound is ported by Skype.  Since the IC-7200 is not directly supported in the W4MQ software, some functions on the interface are not available.  The basic functions of mode, frequency, and transmit/receive are available as usual.

Please hang up your Skype call when finished using the station.

USB desk microphone & LCD screen showing w4mq client.
USB desk microphone & LCD screen showing w4mq client.

W0ZSW periodic outages

Dual position antenna switch
The manual antenna switch at W0ZSW is used to switch in the dummy load during testing.

W0ZSW will be offline periodically during testing of a new TS-590S station running Kenwood ARHP-590 hosting software. While the TS-590S is in use, the antenna will be unavailable for W0ZSW and the station will be offline. Please use W0EQO instead.

Replacement Climate Observatory Satellite Launched

In a February 11, 2015 announcement, NOAA gave us some good news:

Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) satellite was successfully launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida on February 11, 2015.

NOAA’s DSCOVR satellite launched successfully at 6:03 pm ET on February 11, 2015, from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Watch the DSCOVR launch on NASA’s YouTube channel.
Visit www.nesdis.noaa.gov/DSCOVR for more about NOAA’s first deep space mission. 

NOAA’s Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) lifted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, at 6:03 p.m. EST on its way to an orbit one million miles from Earth. DSCOVR will give NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) forecasters more reliable measurements of solar wind conditions, improving their ability to monitor potentially harmful solar activity.

Read the entire story on NOAA.gov.

(NOAA & NASA)

Checking Status Message

Operating tip:  If you get a “checking status” message when opening the W4MQ software, it could mean that the station you have selected, either W0ZSW or W0EQO, is off line.  Let’s determine what is going on.  Suppose you get the “checking status” message with W0ZSW selected.  The first thing to do is to change the selection to W0EQO to see if that station is working.  If it is working, you can go ahead and use it since W0ZSW is off line.  However, if W0ZSW and W0EQO both show “checking status” messages, there are TWO possibilities:

  1. Both stations are off line at once, which is unlikely since they are located hundreds of miles apart and share no common infrastructure.

  2. Your own internet connection is down or there is some reason your computer running the client software is not connecting to the internet.  This is the more likely place to look for a problem.  Open a website and make sure that you are connected to the internet.  Sometimes Windows Update may cause this to happen.  Install the updates and reboot.  Everything should now work fine.

February 2015 On the Air

W0ZSW station with TS-480HX
W0ZSW station

My husband, Bruce (N1LN), is definitely a real contester and true DX chaser. He has been anticipating the Navassa Island DXpedition as I’m sure many of you have also. Be sure to check the DXpedition’s website for further information: http://www.navassadx.com/ Happy hunting!

On the weather front, may the temperatures be a little warmer this month than they were in January.

Until next month….

Regards,

– Laurie Meier, N1YXU

Table of Contents:

Events Highlighted by Handiham Members:

Be sure to check out the updated Handiham Net information. There are several opportunities throughout each week.

  1. Editor’s Pick of the Month:

Hands-down – This month’s pick is the Navassa Island DXpedition. The bands will be hopping! Happy hunting! Here is the website: http://www.navassadx.com/

  1. Hamfests and Conventions:

For ARRL Announced Hamfests and Conventions, go to the following URL:

http://www.arrl.org/hamfests.html

  1. Monthly Contests
  1. Special Events:

ARRL Announced Special Events

  1. Exam Sessions:

ARRL Exam Sessions can be found on the following website:

http://www.arrl.org/arrlvec/examsearch.phtml

Exam sessions can be found by state, country, or proximity to a specific US zip code.

W5YI Exam Session can be found on the following website:

http://www.w5yi.org/vol-exam.htm

Click on the state where you will take the exam. Examiners are listed by zip code within the state. Contact the examiner to determine the next exam session.

Detailed Information Follows:

Events Highlighted by Handiham Members

Handiham Nets:

We are on the air daily at 11:00 (USA Central Time), plus Wednesday & Thursday evenings at 19:00 (USA Central Time).  If there is not a Net Control Station available, the net will be a simple roundtable.

USA Daylight Time Change: All nets remain true to local USA Central Time – For example, 11:00 AM both summer and winter. In the summer during DST, the difference between MN time and GMT is -5 hours. In the winter during standard time, the difference is -6 hours.

Days: Monday through Sunday

When we are on the air:

Daily at 11:00 hours United States Central Time

Special evening sessions:

Wednesday & Thursday sessions at 19:00 Central Time.

Where to find us:

Twin Cities: All of these are Echolink connected at all times.

145.45 FM, negative offset with no tone

145.47 FM, negative offset with a tone of 114.8 Hz (Camp Courage, Maple Lake MN)

444.65 MHz with 114.8 Hz tone. (Heard more easily in the Eastern Twin Cities.)

444.325 MHz with 131.8 Hz tone – MSP International Airport – perfect for travelers!

443.000 MHz with tone 100 Hz, KA0KMJ-R, Chaska, MN (Southwest Metro)

223.94 negative offset, Tone 100 Hz – KA0PQW (link) Arden Hills, MN

Welcome to the NX0P repeater, 146.685 with a tone of 100Hz, Echolink node number 513917. The NX0P machine is near Albert Lea in far southern Minnesota, near the busy intersection of US Interstate highways 90 and 35.

South Dakota:

147.500 no tone, K0VVY-L, Rapid City SD.

Echolink nodes:

HANDIHAM conference server Node 494492 (Our preferred high-capacity node.)

KA0PQW-R, node 267582, Ellendale, MN, 442.925 with tone 114.8 Hz and 224.64 MHz with tone 110.9 Hz or touch tone access 11.

KA0PQW-L, node 53813, 146.595 simplex, tone 114.8 Hz in Faribault, MN

N0BVE-R, node 89680

Other ways to connect:

IRLP node 9008 (Vancouver BC reflector)

WIRES system number 1427

No ham radio license? No radio? No problem! Listen to our net on line using your computer or tablet/smartphone at 11:00 AM Central Time daily – Everyone welcome!

POLICY STATEMENT

  1. All nets are to be identified as Handiham Radio Club nets at the beginning of the nets and when the NCS identifies the nets, consistent with FCC regulations and good operating practice.
  2. The Net Manager sets policy and must be informed about and approve any substantive changes.
  3. The Net Manager will approve net information before it is posted on public Handiham websites.
  4. Everyone will work together as a team, maintaining a positive, helpful, and respectful attitude.

Join our worldwide daily 11:00 AM USA Central Time Echolink net and a roundtable session on Sundays. If you are not available during the daytime, try our 7:00 PM USA Central Time Wednesday evening session that includes a trivia question. All licensed operators are welcome. The net is controlled but informal, and there is no need to be a Handiham member to participate. Sometimes the net control station will throw out a discussion topic to liven things up! Listen in a few times if you are shy, and then take the plunge and throw out your callsign.

Operating tip: Because so many different nodes and repeaters are connected across the world, there can be a bit more delay between transmissions than you might be used to. Be sure to allow a few seconds before keying after the net control station calls for check-ins. This allows the nodes and repeaters in the network to all get synchronized.

The Wednesday evening Echolink net is at 19:00 United States Central Standard time, which translates to +6 hours, or 01:00 GMT Thursday morning during North American Standard Time. (In the North American summer during DST, the GMT schedule is +5 hours.) Connect from any Internet-enabled computer in the world, and come out on Twin Cities repeater N0BVE on 145.450. Remember that GMT is AHEAD of Minnesota time, so to translate to GMT you need to add 5 hours in the summer and 6 hours in the winter to Minneapolis time.

On the second Sunday of March in the United States, we move to Central Daylight Time, at least in most places. That means that hours for our daily nets are adjusted accordingly, beginning with the midday Echolink net, which is on at 11:00 Minnesota time. Since the local time has shifted ahead one hour, you will now find the daily net at 11 + 5 = 16:00 GMT Monday through Saturday.

A question we get every year at this time is, “Why do you change the net times to follow Daylight Saving Time? Wouldn’t it be easier to just stick with GMT and not change the times?”

The answer is that we have tried staying with GMT in the past, but received complaints from net members who liked staying on their local time schedules. Also, we ran up against other nets using the same frequencies unless we maintained the “local” times.

HF Operations

Here are some other nets and times:

Friday CW Net:

7.112 MHz CW, 09:00 – 12:00 ET, plus whatever time is needed to wrap up the last contact: This is the Handiham Informal slow speed CW Net. Look for Paul, W8IRT. You may e-mail Paul at w8irt@aol.com with your ideas and signal reports, or to find out about schedule changes for the CW net. Paul advises us that the net remains true to local time, which means a one hour shift when changing to or from Daylight time in the Spring and Autumn.

The PICONET operates on a frequency of 3.925 MHz, Lower Side Band:

Monday – Saturday 0900 – 1100

Monday – Friday 1600 – 1700

Everyone is welcome. You do not need to be a member, and the net is relaxed, friendly, and informal. The PICONET does have an assigned net control station and will take NTS traffic. It has a long time association with the Handihams. Handiham members can easily participate in PICONET via the remote base stations W0EQO or W0ZSW.

If you have a correction in any part of the net schedule, please e-mail wa0tda@arrl.net.

Editor’s Pick of the Month

Hands-down – This month’s pick is the Navassa Island DXpedition. The bands will be hopping! Happy hunting! Here is the website: http://www.navassadx.com/

Contests

For an extensive list of contests that will take place in February, you should check out the following URL: http://www.hornucopia.com/contestcal/.

February Contests:

The ARRL publishes a very concise listing of contests for given months. The contests are not just those sponsored by the ARRL. The contest name, dates, and rules are available via the following link: http://www.arrl.org/contest-calendar

February
9-13    School Club Roundup
21-22   International DX – CW

Special Events

Listed below are some highlights of the Special Events that are happening in February. If you would like to find more Special Events, please go to the following URL: http://www.arrl.org/events/search

·        02/01/2015 | 50th Anniversary of the Canadian Maple Leaf Flag

Feb 1-Mar 1, 0000Z-0500Z, CG350F , Mississauga, ON. Robert Emerson. 28.525 24.940 21.295 14.270. QSL. Robert Emerson, VE3RHE/CG350F, 6950 Summer Heights Dr, Mississauga, ON L5N 7E9, CANADA. QSL Cards will be available after the event. QSL via VE3RHE direct or bureau. canada-150th.ca

·        02/14/2015 | 2015 Daytona Speedweeks/Daytona 500

Feb 14-Feb 22, 0000Z-2359Z, N4DAB, Daytona Beach, FL. Daytona Beach CERT Amateur Radio Club. 21.260 21.070 14.260 14.070. Certificate & QSL. N4DAB c/o Steve Szabo, Daytona Beach Police Department, 129 Valor Blvd, Daytona Beach, FL 32114. Certificate and QSL requests via PayPal ($5.00 for printed certificate, envelope, postage); QSL only via SASE to N4DAB, c/o Steve Szabo, Daytona Beach Police Department, 129 Valor Blvd, Daytona Beach, FL 32114 See www.daytonacert.net for information. http://www.daytonacert.net

·        02/14/2015 | Freeze Your Acorns Off – FYAO

Feb 14, 1500Z-2100Z, K8BF/FYAO, Kent, OH. Portage County Amateur Radio Service. 14.250. Certificate. Bob Hewett, K8FEY, 3670 Sea Ray Cove, Aurora, OH 44202. /FYAO stations will be active on CW & Pho in the General areas of the 6, 10, 15, 20, 40 & 80 meter bands. Power limit for /FYAO stations is QRP. Participating stations will be using their own call sign/FYAO or calling CQ FYAO. Only stations at the Freeze Your Acorns Off event site should use the /FYAO designator. www.portcars.org

 ·        02/18/2015 | Jalapeno 100 Bike Ride

Feb 18-Feb 28, 0000Z-2300Z, K5J, Harlingen, TX. Fun N Sun Ham Radio Club. 147.140. Certificate. Dolores Maeder, 1400 Zillock Rd, Lot-Neighborly 134, San Benito, TX 78586.

·        02/21/2015 | Protect the Panther

Feb 21-Feb 22, 1830Z-1830Z, W4P, West Palm Beach, FL. Wellington Radio Club. 21.260 14.260 7.160 Echolink via WB2NBU. QSL. Georg Samulkewitsch, K4WRC, 12190 Broadleaf Ct, West Palm Beach, FL 33414. The PROTECT THE PANTHER event station commemorates the 30th anniversary of the first confirmed sighting of the endangered Florida Panther at this QTH, the Corbett Wildlife Management Area. SASE for QSL. qsl.net/k4wrc

W0ZSW back on line following outage

W0ZSW station with TS-480HX
W0ZSW station

IRB station W0ZSW went offline Sunday evening February 1 due to a network failure.  It is on line as of Monday morning, February 2, 2015.  Please notify us if you cannot resolve the IP address and get an “Available” on your W4MQ software interface.