Saturday, 20 December 2014


Andreas OE8APR wrote me and some other bloggers some time ago with the request to write something about his social media project called socialhams. I did read some other blogposts which did actually not review the site but just linked to it. I don't want that and really want to express my opinion and thoughts about this website.

So I became a member and visited this "new" social media website a few times. Did post some things on it and took a look around. What I write about this website is my personal opinion and I hope I'm not too critical about it. I think Andreas has put a great amount of time and effort in it and I guess the site is still in state of development. These times it is not the only "social" site on the net and if you want to be succesfull you need to have apps, things and gadgets that no one else has. I'm not able to test the socialhams android app as I don't have a android device so I can't tell anything about it but I think that is one of the things other sites don't have yet. Socialhams is kind of a facebook but then only interesting for hamradio enthousiasts. Andreas is promoting this site not for nothing as he needs users to create interesting content and "social" contacts. The site has a lot of interesting
features and the most important are the modules called apps which you can switch on or off if you like. I tried the logbook and uploaded part of my logbook to see how it would behave. Actually it didn't behave too well. The site locked up when I try to view and try some things. I tried afterwards and could view some things but no really interesting statistics or so. You can rate QSOs, I really don't know why I should do that. You can view a map of your logged QSOs although I think my computer is too slow to manage that as the site did lock up again several times. I tried the DXcluster, it's just a telnet cluster with some filters not like the "graphical design" clusters you can find on the internet these days. The NCDXF beacon is a nice tool to check propagation. World clock is just a standard map not interactive. The Library is nice but mainly in the german language. The Elmer's corner has a few nice posts with info on how to use the DX cluster, APRS and the NCDXF apps. I can't tell about APRS, I don't know anything about it. Did try it about 10 years ago but don't have interest in it. Of course you can do a lot of other social things on the site and that is what it is ment for. You can make friends, you have a timeline like in facebook, you can make or take
part in groups. You can add blogposts, events, sites, polls, videos, files, photos, suggestions and you can take part in a referral program. Actually I think this site has a lot of potential, a lot or a bit too much? And here I am getting critical. I don't know if the hamradio community needs another "social" site? A lot of my hamradio friends are on facebook and I doubt they will move to socialhams actually or may be they would do it as a addition. A year ago CQfriends was very populair and in my eyes that was a different kind of social site, it was very different from facebook. It was more interactive with the radiohobby being the first social media of all.  And it was very populair as well, unfortenately it is not there anymore and I think many hams really miss it. I hope socialhams would fill the gap but in my opinion at the time it is much facebook like. Of course Andreas is still developing and if he doesn't get ideas and suggestions the site will not evolve. And now we come to the real reason why I wrote about socialhams. I want to have a chance to get that Baofeng GT-3 Mark II which is offered if you get some registrations through a referral link. Read all about that on the socialhams site.

So please if you're interested to take a look inside the socialhams site use this link to register. 


Thursday, 18 December 2014

EURAO Party - Autumn 2014: be digital, explore 30m

The European Radio Amateurs' Organization, together with the 30 Meter Digital Group , announce a new
party on the air, this time with the motto: "be digital, explore 30m".

Remember this is not a contest, it is just a radio meeting with a few simple 'rules', better to call them recommendations. Purpose: to promote this magnificent band, all digital modes, have fun and meet other hams all over the world. Of course also SWLing is welcome.

Date & time: December 20th and 21st, 2014, Saturday and Sunday, 00:00-24:00 UTC.
Bands & modes: these are the recommended modes/frequencies (+/-) for the 30m band: CW/10.100-10.130, SSTV-N/10.132 and 10.144, WSPR/10.1386, JT65/10.138-10.140, BPSK31/10.140-10.142, RTTY/10.142-10.145, ROS/10.144-10.145, FeldHELL/10.144, APRS/10.1491-10.1495 MHz.

Tools: HamSpots, Band Chart.
Call: "CQ EURAO Party".
Exchange: because this is a QSO event, not a contest, you can talk about whatever you want, in any language, and for as long as you like. Here are some topic suggestions to get the conversation going: name, city, locator, weather, antennas, rigs, etc. Also talk about QSL interchange. Tell the truth. Say "no, thanks" if you are not interested in QSL cards. But if you would like to have a memory of your contact, feel free to use our EuroBureauQSL (see below).

Logs: for statistic purposes only, we ask participants to submit their logs to in ADIF format, where the filename should be your callsign (e.g. EA3RKF.ADI). There will be no results or league tables, only statistical information about number of QSOs, countries, callsigns, OMs/YLs/Clubs, etc.

Certificate of Participation: for those sending the log and with a minimum of 10% QSOs confirmed.

EuroBureauQSL: you can use it to interchange QSLs even if you are not member. In this case, just send the QSL to the entry point of the country of the station you have contacted.

Sunday, 14 December 2014

ARRL 10M contest day 2

Event: ARRL 10M contest (day 2 of 2)
Logger: N1MM+ most updated version
Station: Icom IC-706MKIIG, 100W
Antenna: HB9CV at 6m AGL

Second day of the contest. I was up very early before sunrise. Not surprised I could actually hear some stations. First contact with 4J6RO the hamradio club of the russian community in Azerbaijan at 06:31 UTC already, it was still dark. XW4YT from Laos has been the most populair DX this weekend I guess. I heard first signals from him at 7 UTC and still heard him at 13 UTC with 5/9+ but pile-up was huge all the time and although several dutch stations made it into the log I was unable to break through. Same for Japan and Australia, heard them but they didn't hear me. However I had no trouble to reach other stations from that area. I spend several hours in the contest today a lot more as yesterday, not to the amusement of my XYL and daughter. I tried to explain that this is the last contest of the year and only possible contacts at daylight. Besides that this could be the last good 10m contest for years. I took a break around lunchtime and spend some time with my family to balance things. Returned after tea time here and made as much QSOs with the USA/Canada as possible. Shot a video as well. I think in the next years when there are no 10m conditions for years I will be looking at this post & video regularly and dream from things to come. I hope to have a real mast and antenna in the next solar maximum so I can work the stations that I was unable to work now...Anyway of course it was a very enjoyable contest with reasonable propagation. With a little perseverance and luck you could work the DX. Certainly the use of my HB9CV did help this time and score was better as last year.

Most interesting DX worked: V31MA (Belize), FR4NT (Reunion Isl), NP2X (U.S.Virgin Isl), YN5Z (Nicaragua), HK1T (Colombia), 4J6RO (Azerbaijan), HS0ZHC (Thailand), VR2XAN (Hong Kong), BG6CCP (China), YY1YLY (Venezuela), CO6LC (Cuba), TG9IIN (Guatemala), FM1HN (Martinique Isl.), J6/AD4J (St.Lucia), XE2JS (Mexico)