What’s Your Grid Square?

In VHF/UHF, one of the main pieces of information usually exchanged is the grid square location. It consists of 2 letters, 2 numbers and then 2 letters and is derived from the latitude and longitude of a location. For example, the grid square location for a location in the middle of the river just above the Falls at Niagara Falls is FN03LC. Here’s a link to a web page which will tell you your grid square location, based on GoogleMaps. Just zoom in on the location you want the grid square location for and click on that location. The latitude and longitude of the location will be displayed, along with the grid square location.

Radio St Helena Day 2010

RSH << RSD 2010 Cancelled >> 10 September 2010

Radio St. Helena sincerely regrets to have to inform radio listeners everywhere that

>> Radio St. Helena Day 2010 has been cancelled << . This very difficult decision was necessary, due to severe technical problems with the shortwave antenna tower. RSH is quite confident that RSD will be able to continue in 2011. 73, Al Radio St Helena is a shortwave station that brodcasts only one day a year from the remote island of St Helena in the south Atlantic Ocean. Here’s your chance to hear this station again in 2010 and get one of their QSLs. This is a notice just posted on the ODXA (Ontario DX Association) list:

The following just came in from the Ardic DX Club. Saturday October 9th is Canadian Thanksgiving and American Columbus Day long weekends.

Radio St. Helena Day 2010 : Date, Times, and Targets

RSD 2010 will be on Saturday, 09. October 2010

Target Region       Times  (UTC )              Beam Heading
=============       ================           ============
EUROPE              1900 - 2030 UTC            10 degrees

INDIA               2030 - 2130 UTC            70 degrees

JAPAN               2130 - 2300 UTC            50 degrees

North America       2300 - 0030 UTC            310 degrees

Transmission frequency 11092.5 khz USB

Gary Walters, Station Manager of Radio St. Helena, has just confirmed the above information, and, as usual, Derek Richards will operate the RSD shortwave transmitting facility.

There will be a special email-address exclusively for the evening of RSD 2010. As soon as Gary sets up this special email account, we will publish the account name.

The RSD 2010 QSL cards are being sponsored by the Danish ShortWave Club International. Reception reports for RSD 2010 should be sent with sufficient return postage to RSH using the special Airmail address via Ascension and the United Kingdom — exactly the same procedure as for the RSD 2009 reception reports. ALL mail to RSH should use this procedure.

ALL 266 QSLs for RSD 2009 have been mailed and should now be arriving around the world.

The sunspot minimum between sunspot cycles 23 and 24 is the longest in history — much to the dismay of shortwave listeners everywhere. This minimum has lasted since 2007 and is still ongoing. There are not very many sunspots to “help” propagation, and there is no real sign of significant change. The UTC-times for broadcasting to the various target area have been very carefully selected to have the very best chance of good reception in each area. Also, we need to have the RSD broadcasts one after the other. After RSD 2009, it was decided to change the times somewhat and to move RSD from November to October (as was the case back in the late 1990’s — Thanks, John). RSH hopes that everyone around the world has excellent reception conditions during RSD 2010 and is looking forward to your emails and also, if possible, to your telephone calls.

Gary Walters , Station Manager of Radio St. Helena via Robert Kipp (Jaisakthivel, Ardic DX Club, India)

Mark Coady
Editor Shortwave Loggings
Shadow Lake Camp Convenor
Ontario DX Association

Sudden Receiver – FDIM 2009 Buildathon

The annual event hosted by the QRPARCI organization called FDIM (Four Days In May) at the Dayton, Ohio Hamvention usually gives attending hams an opportunity to build a small project during an afternoon period. In 2009, the project built was a Manhattan style version of the Sudden Receiver, with a circuit designed by G3RJV, George Dobbs, and kitted by Rex Harper, W1REX. Here is a link to a copy of the buildathon instructions, circuit diagram and pictures of the completed project, courtesy of QRPME. Check out the rest of his site, there is lots of interest there.

FDIM2009 sudden receiver

manhattan layout

My Radio Interests

I have had my ham license since 1965, a period of 45 years (in 2010). In that time, my interests within ham radio have varied. In the beginning, you concentrate on learning the code so that you can get your license, then study some more so that you can get the Advanced license. Once you have accomplished these, then exam writing is over and you can do what you wish to do within the limits of the license.

One of my biggest interests in ham radio is DX. DX is looking for and working stations far away from you around the world. When I lived in London, Ontario, I put up a 48 foot tower, with a tri-band beam and tried to work the world. I made many contacts with this setup in the years that it was up. My first DX contact with this setup was into the Canal Zone. i have worked (i.e. had a contact with) over 100 countries as well, and well remember one afternoon working many stations on 15 meters when sunspot conditions were better. That was a great afternoon!. One other great memory from my DX days is going to Antigua on vacation in 1981 and operating from there. I borrowed a radio and 2-element beam from a fellow ham there and made many contacts during that week. What an eye-opener to be on the other end of a pile up!

SW-20+ from SWLOne of my other interests now later in my ham life is QRP. With QRP, you use whatever receiver you like, but, to be considered a QRP contact, you must use 5 watts or less in transmit power. When you do this, your overall antenna system becomes much more important than if you are using more power. A lot has been and can be accomplished with QRP but you must realize that is not quite as easy as using more power.

More later…

73, Al