No Rig? No Antenna? Want QSOs? No Problem!

No Rig? No Antenna? Want QSOs? No Problem!

Get the new CORMAC CQ100 transceiver!  Now you can make solid QSOs on Phone or CW all around the world. I already worked several countries during the free 30-day trial period. I understand that is you do not extend your membership, the transceiver is always available on Sundays!

Details here:

Have fun and learn Morse code in the process!

  • Layne AE1N

Huh? 2 meter QSO into Canada!

Ok, this is slightly misleading but it’s true.  I had a QSO with a Canadian station over 200 miles away on 2 meters. From my car none the less!

You may wonder how this was done. I had some help from above that’s how. I discovered that on the International Space Station (ISS) is this cool thing called a digipeater.  Now I’m no pro at this but I will attempt to explain in hopes that someone else can enjoy getting their toes wet in Amateur Satellite opportunities.

To start, here is an eQSL card of my from my first QSO of this nature:


Note the mode on this card. It’s packet. The digipeater on the ISS relays APRS messages.  This was all foreign to me prior to this contact. I discovered all of this by accident while I was monitoring the ISS frequencies for voice and SSTV. APRS transmissions were pouring out of my radio. Curiosity got me to research the sounds and ultimately steered me towards giving it a go.

Although I already had all the parts and pieces to start my way I lacked the knowledge of what to do. It took some figuring out, but I now have a simple and relatively low-cost way of working some satellites. Unlike voice mode you do not need a directional antenna to do packet through the ISS. I use my mobile radio in my car, an omnidirectional antenna, a USB SignaLink sound card and an inexpensive Windows tablet pc. I downloaded UISS and AGW packet engine (both are free).  I think I blew a brain fuse or two figuring out how it all goes together, but in the end it works.

The uplink and downlink frequency for this is the same : 145.825

Go ahead, tune in and listen while the ISS is over your location.  There are many websites and smart phone apps to give you the pass schedule.

If you are interested in this and want help getting started on this for yourself then feel free to shoot me an e-mail

Hope to hear you on the air!

Curtis (KB1RTQ)

6M Propagation to Europe on JT65.

Wow, six meters was wide open this morning to Europe. I started playing on CW, but the signals were so steady that I decided to go to JT65 so I could see where I was being heard. I have included a map filtered for my station for the previous 6 hours. The snapshot was taken at 20160613_1805UTC. Beam was between 45 and 60 degrees. The USA stations were all off the back of 3 element Yagi. Running 70 watts. Rig was my Flex-5000.

The ARRL VHF contest this weekend also had great openings, primarily state side, although I did work an EA8.

This is the time of year to get on 6 meters.