• [KB6NU] From my inbox: State QSO parties in 2022, Japanese government s

    From KB6NU via rec.radio.amateur.moderat@21:1/5 to All on Thu Feb 3 02:01:21 2022
    XPost: rec.radio.amateur.moderated

    KB6NU's Ham Radio Blog

    From my inbox: State QSO parties in 2022, Japanese government supports
    amateur radio, FRN number suspicion

    Posted: 02 Feb 2022 10:18 AM PST https://www.kb6nu.com/from-my-inbox-state-qso-parties-in-2022-japanese-government-supports-amateur-radio-frn-number-suspicion/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email

    I am on a lot of amateur radio email lists. Many of these contain tidbits
    that perhaps dont warrant an entire blog post, but that I feel would be interesting to my readers. Here are three of them

    State QSO parties starting up again

    This weekend, the Vermont and Minnesota QSO Parties will be the first QSO parties of the year. These contests also kick off the State QSO Party Challenge.

    If youre a fan of state QSO parties, as I am, then consider taking part in the challenge. Last year, my plan was to participate in all of the state
    QSO parties and earn a participation award. I started out strong, but
    flagged towards the end. I did participate in over half the QSO parties,
    but for many, I never submitted my scores. I hope to do better this year.

    For last years participation, I did manage to qualify for a silver

    I would love it if our FCC were as supportive.
    Japans Ministry of Communications supports ham radio

    In 2021 Japans Minister of Digital Agency, Dr. Karen Makishima (LDP
    Kanagawa), established an Advisory Board that aims to encourage youth into Amateur Radio

    Historically the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) considered amateur radio should be treated in the same way as those professional radio services whose purpose is to ensure reliable
    communication, but since the essence of amateur radio is experimental and educational it should be treated differently to professional/commercial
    radio users.

    In November 2021 the MIC produced the report Radio Policy Council in the
    Age of Digital Transformation which notes:

    The amateur radio population is declining, and we must continue to make amateurs through various efforts
    Young people will lead the future
    Consider creating an environment that makes it easier to start amateur radio
    We will proceed with studies toward the realization of a system and
    environment that makes it easier to utilize amateur radio, such as the realization of an experimental/research environment
    Speeding up the procedure from acquiring an amateur radio operator license
    to opening and operating radio stations

    Read the report at


    The Advisory Board held their first meeting on January 26, 2022


    Suspicion of FRNs?

    On the recently started, ARRL Education mailing list, someone wrote:

    Is anyone having problems with parents not allowing their kids to get
    FRNs?  I send home an information sheet with how to do it and why its needed.  This semester, so far, Ive had 2 students that told me their
    parents would not allow them to get the FRN, even if it means not getting
    their license.  Any ideas?

    That parents would have this attitude is a real shame. Someone pointed out
    that the Boy Scouts require that they be given at least much personal information, but of course, that information is not made public. Someone
    else pointed out that these parents might also not let their kids join the
    Boy Scouts because of this.

    The solution appears to be education. Perhaps if parents knew more about amateur radio, they wouldnt be so hesitant to let their kids participate.
    Many years ago, I wrote A Parents Guide to Amateur Radio, but I now see
    that I have to update this brochure.

    At any rate, Id like to ask if you have ever run into this? If so, what did
    you do?

    The post From my inbox: State QSO parties in 2022, Japanese government
    supports amateur radio, FRN number suspicion appeared first on KB6NUs Ham
    Radio Blog.

    2022 No Nonsense Technician Class License Study Guide: Station Setup and Operating Controls

    Posted: 01 Feb 2022 06:33 PM PST https://www.kb6nu.com/2022-no-nonsense-technician-class-license-study-guide-station-setup-and-operating-controls/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email

    Station setup
    When setting up an amateur radio station, choosing the radio is the most important consideration, but you must also choose a wide range of
    accessories, such as power supplies and microphones. In addition, how you connect all these pieces of equipment together is important for your
    station to operate properly.
    For example, a transceiver’s DC power cable should be made with short, heavy-gauge wires. The reason for this is that when transmitting, the transceiver draws a lot of current, and the resistance of the wires
    connecting the power supply to the transceiver will have a measurable
    voltage drop. If this voltage drop is too large, the transceiver will malfunction. Short, heavy-gauge wires have a lower resistance than long,
    thin wires, and therefore, a lower voltage drop.


    Why are short, heavy-gauge wires used for a transceiver’s DC power connection?

    A. To minimize voltage drop when transmitting

    B. To provide a good counterpoise for the antenna

    C. To avoid RF interference

    D. All these choices are correct
    When choosing a power supply, check the voltage and current ratings of the supply and be sure to choose one capable of supplying the proper voltage
    and current to power your radio. Let’s look at an example.


    Which of the following is an appropriate power supply rating for a typical
    50 watt output mobile FM transceiver?

    A. 24.0 volts at 4 amperes

    B. 13.8 volts at 4 amperes

    C. 24.0 volts at 12 amperes

    D. 13.8 volts at 12 amperes
    There are two reasons why D is the correct answer. First, most mobile FM transceivers are designed to operate with a supply voltage between 11 V and
    15 V. That means that the correct answer has to be either B or D. Second, B
    is incorrect because transceivers are 50% efficient at best, meaning that a
    50 W output transceiver will need at least 100 W of power to operate
    correctly. A supply providing 13.8 V at 4 amperes is supplying only 55 W of power (P = E x I = 13.8 x 4 = 55.2 W), so this supply would be
    under-powered. That leaves D—13.8 volts at 12 amperes—as the correct answer.
    A computer has become a common accessory in many amateur radio stations. Amateurs use them to operate digital modes, log contacts, and design
    circuits and antennas. I even use mine to Twitter while I’m on the air.
    When operating digital modes, such as FT8, you connect the transceiver’s receive audio, transmit audio, and transmitter keying to a computer. The transceiver audio output, such as the speaker connection, connects to the computer “line in.” Similarly, the transceiver audio input connects to the “line out” of the computer.


    What signals are used in a computer-radio interface for digital mode

    A. Receive and transmit mode, status, and location

    B. Antenna and RF power

    C. Receive audio, transmit audio, and transmitter keying

    D. NMEA GPS location and DC power


    How are the transceiver audio input and output connected in a station configured to operate using FT8?

    A. To a computer running a terminal program and connected to a terminal
    node controller unit

    B. To the audio input and output of a computer running WSJT-X software

    C. To an FT8 conversion unit, a keyboard, and a computer monitor

    D. To a computer connected to the FT8converter.com website


    Which of the following connections is made between a computer and a
    transceiver to use computer software when operating digital modes?

    A. Computer “line out” to transceiver push-to-talk

    B. Computer “line in” to transceiver push-to-talk

    C. Computer “line in” to transceiver speaker connector

    D. Computer “line out” to transceiver speaker connector
    Audio, microphone, and power supply cables in an amateur radio station sometimes pick up stray RF when you’re transmitting. At minimum, this RF
    can cause the audio to be distorted. At worst, it can cause a radio or accessory to malfunction. One way to cure this problem is by installing a ferrite choke on the shield of the microphone cable to block or “choke” any RF currents induced on the cable.


    Which of the following could you use to cure distorted audio caused by RF current on the shield of a microphone cable?

    A. Band-pass filter

    B. Low-pass filter

    C. Preamplifier

    D. Ferrite choke
    Good grounding techniques can help you avoid interference problems. When grounding your equipment, you should connect the various pieces of
    equipment to a single point, keep leads short, and use a heavy conductor to connect to ground. We sometimes call this process bonding.


    Which of the following conductors is preferred for bonding at RF?

    A. Copper braid removed from coaxial cable

    B. Steel wire

    C. Twisted-pair cable

    D. Flat copper strap
    If you plan to install a radio in your car and operate mobile, you have a different set of challenges. One is connecting the radio to the car’s power system. Some amateurs connect their radio with a cigarette lighter plug,
    but this plug is not designed for high currents. For permanent
    installations, you need to connect the negative power return to the 12 volt battery chassis ground.


    Where should the negative power return of a mobile transceiver be connected
    in a vehicle?

    A. At the 12 volt battery chassis ground

    B. At the antenna mount

    C. To any metal part of the vehicle

    D. Through the transceiver’s mounting bracket
    The positive connection can be made at the battery or through an unused position of the vehicle’s fuse block.
    You can also operate your equipment from a battery when operating portable
    or at home should the power be off. Of course, batteries have a finite
    life, and the more current you draw from the battery, the faster it will discharge. To determine how long you can operate using battery power,
    divide the battery ampere-hour rating by the average current draw of the equipment. For example, if you have a 10 amp-hour battery, and the average current draw is 1 amp, then you can operate for approximately 10 hours: operating time = 10 amp-hours / 1 amp = 10 hours.


    How can you determine the length of time that equipment can be powered from
    a battery?

    A. Divide the watt-hour rating of the battery by the peak power consumption
    of the equipment

    B. Divide the battery ampere-hour rating by the average current draw of the equipment

    C. Multiply the watts per hour consumed by the equipment by the battery
    power rating

    D. Multiply the square of the current rating of the battery by the input resistance of the equipment
    Operating controls
    To properly operate a transceiver, you need to know how to use the
    controls. Perhaps the most important transmitter control is microphone
    gain. Setting the gain too high will result in distorted audio.


    What is the effect of excessive microphone gain on SSB transmissions?

    A. Frequency instability

    B. Distorted transmitted audio

    C. Increased SWR

    D. All these choices are correct
    You also need to know how to properly set the operating frequency of your transceiver. One reason for this is that setting the frequency of an FM receiver above or below a signal’s frequency will result in distorted
    receive audio.


    What is the result of tuning an FM receiver above or below a signal’s frequency?

    A. Change in audio pitch

    B. Sideband inversion

    C. Generation of a heterodyne tone

    D. Distortion of the signal’s audio
    Many modern transceivers allow you to set the operating frequency in
    several different ways:

    Punching in a number on a keypad.

    Rotating the VFO knob.

    Storing it in a memory channel and then recalling it for quick access.


    Which of the following can be used to enter a transceiver’s operating frequency?

    A. The keypad or VFO knob

    B. The CTCSS or DTMF encoder

    C. The Automatic Frequency Control

    D. All these choices are correct


    What is a way to enable quick access to a favorite frequency or channel on
    your transceiver?

    A. Enable the frequency offset

    B. Store it in a memory channel

    C. Enable the VOX

    D. Use the scan mode to select the desired frequency
    Transceivers that allow you to store frequencies in memory often have the ability to step through those frequencies, one at a time, stopping when a signal is received. This is called scanning and allows you to tune through
    a range of frequencies to check for activity.


    What does the scanning function of an FM transceiver do?

    A. Checks incoming signal deviation

    B. Prevents interference to nearby repeaters

    C. Tunes through a range of frequencies to check for activity

    D. Checks for messages left on a digital bulletin board
    A common receiver control on VHF/UHF transceivers is the squelch control.


    How is squelch adjusted so that a weak FM signal can be heard?

    A. Set the squelch threshold so that receiver output audio is on all the

    B. Turn up the audio level until it overcomes the squelch threshold

    C. Turn on the anti-squelch function

    D. Enable squelch enhancement
    Another common setting on VHF/UHF transceivers is the offset frequency.
    This is especially important when operating repeaters.


    What is meant by repeater offset”?

    A. The difference between a repeater’s transmit and receive frequencies

    B. The repeater has a time delay to prevent interference

    C. The repeater station identification is done on a separate frequency

    D. The number of simultaneous transmit frequencies used by a repeater
    In recent years, radios that digitize one’s voice and then send the
    digitized voice over the air have become quite popular. The operating modes that these radios use are called digital modes. Two of the most popular
    digital modes are DMR (Digital Mobile Radio) and D-STAR (Digital Smart Technology for Amateur Radio).
    One of the reasons digital modes are so popular is that the digitized voice information can not only be transmitted over the air, but also over the internet. To connect to other radio amateurs over the internet, digital
    mode radios can use a repeater that is connected to the internet or a
    digital mode hot spot that connect to the internet via a personal computer
    or smart phone with an internet connection.


    What function is performed with a transceiver and a digital mode hot spot?

    A. Communication using digital voice or data systems via the internet

    B. FT8 digital communications via AFSK

    C. RTTY encoding and decoding without a computer

    D. High-speed digital communications for meteor scatter
    DMR has a feature called talkgroups. Talk groups are virtual channels, and
    when you access a talkgroup, your signal is routed to other radio amateurs
    who have also accessed that talkgroup, no matter where in the world they
    are. To use this feature, you must program your radio to properly access repeaters and the talkgroups. This programming information is contained in
    a DMR radio’s code plug.


    What does a DMR “code plug” contain?

    A. Your call sign in CW for automatic identification

    B. Access information for repeaters and talkgroups

    C. The codec for digitizing audio

    D. The DMR software version


    How is a specific group of stations selected on a digital voice transceiver?

    A. By retrieving the frequencies from transceiver memory

    B. By enabling the group’s CTCSS tone

    C. By entering the group’s identification code

    D. By activating automatic identification
    Part of the information sent when you use a digital voice transceiver, be
    it a DMR or D-STAR radio, is your call sign. Before you use the radio, you
    must program the radio with your call sign.


    Which of the following must be programmed into a D-STAR digital transceiver before transmitting?

    A. Your call sign

    B. Your output power

    C. The codec type being used

    D. All these choices are correct
    HF transceivers have many controls not found on VHF/UHF FM transceivers.
    For example, they are often equipped with a variety of different filters.
    The reason for this is that using the appropriate filter for the mode you
    are operating can make operating a lot easier.


    What is the advantage of having multiple receive bandwidth choices on a multimode transceiver?

    A. Permits monitoring several modes at once by selecting a separate filter
    for each mode

    B. Permits noise or interference reduction by selecting a bandwidth
    matching the mode

    C. Increases the number of frequencies that can be stored in memory

    D. Increases the amount of offset between receive and transmit frequencies


    Which of the following receiver filter bandwidths provides the best signal-to-noise ratio for SSB reception?

    A. 500 Hz

    B. 1000 Hz

    C. 2400 Hz

    D. 5000 Hz
    A common receiver control on HF transceivers is the Receiver Incremental Tuning, or RIT, control. Its purpose is to set the receive frequency
    slightly off from the transmit frequency.


    Which of the following controls could be used if the voice pitch of a single-sideband signal returning to your CQ call seems too high or low?

    A. The AGC or limiter

    B. The bandwidth selection

    C. The tone squelch

    D. The RIT or Clarifier
    A common transmitter control is push-to-talk, or PTT. Most of the time PTT refers to an actual switch on the microphone that an operator must push to begin transmitting, but it also refers to the name of a signal line on a transceiver’s accessory socket that can be used to automatically switch a transceiver into transmit mode.


    What is the function of a transceiver’s PTT input?

    A. Input for a key used to send CW

    B. Switches transceiver from receive to transmit when grounded

    C. Provides a transmit tuning tone when grounded

    D. Input for a preamplifier tuning tone

    The post 2022 No Nonsense Technician Class License Study Guide: Station
    Setup and Operating Controls appeared first on KB6NUs Ham Radio Blog.

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