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CQ September 2014
The social side of amateur radio is in focus in our September issue, with photo features on two major hamfests on two continents as well as the gathering of top contesters from around the world at WRTC-2014, the World Radiosport Team Championship.
We start with a visit to the ARRL National Centennial Convention in Connecticut in July, where CQ was well-represented, both in the exhibit hall and among forum presenters. We also have a photo essay (two, actually) from Europe's largest hamfest, "HAM RADIO" in Friedrichshafen, Germany. Our colleague from Greece, Nicolas Cassimis, KD2IR/SV0CY, shared his photos from the show, and Kit-Building Editor Joe Eisenberg, K0NEB, who made his first visit to Friedrichshafen this year, covers the show from a kit-builder's perspective in his column. Plus, QRP Editor Cam Hartford, N6GA, begins a multi-part look at low-power goodies that were featured this year in Dayton.
We continue our exploration of Yaesu's new digital voice and data mode, "System Fusion," as Cory Sickles, WA3UVV, reviews the FTM-400DR mobile transceiver and DR-1 digital/analog repeater (Cory's review of the FT1DR handheld appeared in our August issue).
Next, we have results of this past March's SSB weekend of the CQ WPX Contest. Once again, the complete scores are available only online; you'll find them here. We once again received a record number of logs this year, The competition resulted in 17 new records being set (nearly doubled from last year), including two new world records. Winners include: CQ8X, D4C, P40W, CQ3L, KG1E, CN2AA and ES9C. Congratulations to all!
We've also got this year's rules for the CQ World Wide DX Contest; the changes this year are minor (unlike last year), but should still be reviewed. The rules are also posted here on our website.
If you enjoy low-power operating but sometimes need a little extra "boost," WA2KBZ has a project for adding a second band (as well as a few other mods) to Ramsey Electronics' QRP amplifier kit. Note: This article is in two parts. Part 1 is in both the print and digital editions. Part 2, the step-by-step instructions on completing the project, are in the CQ Plus portion of the digital edition and posted here on our website.
And speaking of projects, KA6IRL describes a huge project that he and W6JRY took on to replicate the classic Eddystone "All World Two" regenerative receiver that was a vital - but little-known - element of Allied defenses in World War II.
Among our columns this month, Irwin Math, WA2NDM, shows you how to build a sensitive wide-range field-strength meter in "Math's Notes;" Emergency Communications Editor Richard Fisher, KI6SN, asks if ham radio EmComm groups need to polish up their social media skills, and International Editor Tom Smerk, AA6TS, writes about SOS Radio Week in the UK, along with a British ham whose slow-scan TV gear was among some up-and-coming technology projects presented at Buckingham Palace to Queen Elizabeth II and her husband, Prince Philip.
Richard Fisher, KI6SN, fills in at the Makers desk this month, sharing the story of his "Geek-o-Cycle," converting a normal bicycle to a two-wheeled ham station; Mobiling Editor Jeff Reinhardt, AA6JR, looks at pre-winter maintenance for your mobile setup, along with some unusual mobiling opportunities. "Learning Curve" editor Ron Ochu, KO0Z, tackles "station-building from the ground up" with a look at proper grounding techniques; and "VHF Plus" editor Tony Emanuele, WA8RJF, shares details of some history-making 6-meter openings around the 4th of July holiday in the U.S.
We reprise the first "Cheap Yagis" article by Antennas Editor Kent Britain, WA5VJB, from CQ VHF back in 1998; Awards Editor Ted Melinosky, K1BV, reports on some countries that issue their own prefix awards that you can earn while working on your CQ WPX award; DX Editor Wayne Mills, N7NG, offers a commentary on exactly what constitutes a DX entity (and what he thinks the criteria should be); Contesting Editor George Tranos, N2GA, looks at the broader contesting lessons we can learn from operating Field Day, and Propagation Editor Tomas Hood, NW7US, writes about "Living With a Star."
This month in CQ Plus, our digital-only supplement:
Vernon Harris, W7GGM, takes a unique approach to 2-meter operation with his Aqueous Antenna, using saltwater as its RF radiating element. His testing proves that it’s an efficient system that most certainly can be a great conversation piece, as well. Build one yourself!
Terry Joyner, W4YBV, has left to his grandchildren a snapshot of his longtime passion for amateur radio – actually a whole book of snapshots! See how he put together a 25+ page chronicle of his decades of ham activity in a bound volume for less than $40. Interested? You can, too.
If you own a tablet or iPhone you may already have most of what you need to make a panadaptor for your Elecraft KX3. Morse Code columnist Randall Noon, KCØCCR, gives step-by-step instructions on how it’s done. The project is easy and inexpensive.
In Aerials, the Krusty One explains the advantages of using a transmission-line balun – something he swears by, not at. Meanwhile, in Communications Horizons, Rob de Santos, K8RKD, explores the trend in cell phone habits that shows the time we spend talking is going down while multitasking in other areas of communication is going up.
Ever wonder just how high your antenna is above the ground when you’re operating out in the field? So did Bill Jones, KD7S. He devised a remarkably simple antenna “altimeter” based on the sounding lines used by 19th century mariners to determine sea depth. September’s Easy Does It focuses on how you can easily duplicate KD7S’s “altimeter” using items you probably already have around the shack.
In September’s FM & Repeaters, Bob Witte, KØNR, offers valuable tips for establishing efficient back-country communications on the VHF / UHF bands. It’s a must read for everyone hitting the dusty trail.
Patrick Tice, WAØTDA writes from the Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute Handiham Program in Ham Radio Challenges about how your attention to detail can make all the difference in the enjoyment you’ll have with that choice of a “new” HF rig. For example, size and layout certainly matter when considering keypads and tuning knobs.
Veteran SWLer Urban Bates, YJPC1UB, pinch hits for Gerry Dexter, WPC9GLD, in September’s Listening Post from his monitoring station atop Mount Tabwemasana, Espiritu Santo, on the South Seas island of Vanuatu. He’s not at all happy with the BBC, and he’s not bashful about telling you why!
Off the Air’s Cory GB Sickles, WA3UVV, puts his tongue in cheek to explain how “uncertain certainty” can be used to men’s advantage in the HF phone and CW bands. You’ve just got to use all the tools at your disposal.
And in WA3UVV’s Personal Communications, Cory gives readers a primer on MURS – the Multi-Use Radio Service, where his mantra is: No license, no problem! Explore this interesting radio service that is a perfect alternative to the busy and raucous Citizens Band and perhaps an excellent entrée into amateur radio.
Have you ever heard of the Santa Claus Polar Path? We hadn’t either, until Practical Propagation expert Carl Luetzelschwab, K9LA, gave us the low-down on this most interesting form of propagation. You can also link to CQ Propagation columnist Tomas Hood, NW7US’s, September propagation outlook for hams, SWLers and scanner monitors Check it out!
In Trail-Friendly Radio we revisit the Vietnam-era PRC-64 solid-state field transceiver – used by fighting radiomen in the jungles of Southeast Asia in the 1960s and ‘70s. Jerry Fuller, W6JRY, gives us the details of his painstaking restoration of this classic radio.
Also, take a look into the weird side of communications in this month’s Unwired. And Washington Beat brings you up-to-date on government actions affecting our hobbyist communications world.
That's a brief look at what's coming up in the September issue of CQ magazine. For information on becoming a CQ subscriber, Click Here to Subscribe.
Articles from the September, 2014 issue of CQ posted on our website include:
Zero Bias - “Ham Radio Glue”
Complete SSB Results, 2014 CQ WPX Contest
Rules, 2014 CQ World Wide DX Contest
Digging Deeper: Step-by-Step instructions for "A Low-Cost, Easy-to-Make, Dual-Band QRP 'Afterburner' "
September 2014 Contest Calendar
September 2014 Hamfests and Special Events
On the Cover: Dave Schank, KA9WXN, of Greenfield, Wisconsin. (Cover photo by Larry Mulvehill, WB2ZPI)