Friday, August 29, 2008

425 toolbar

On the 425 toolbar you have up to 16 engines for your searches. They are: Google, 425 bulletins, QRZ, DxWatch, DxZone, Latest spots, IK3QAR managers, Hamcall, Dxscape, eHam, DXcalendar, F5LEN DXCC info, Wikipedia, eBay, YouTube and NoBids. If you have other engines to suggest use the msg button on the toolbar to send me your comments.

Another feature in the 425 toolbar is the antenna heading/distance calculator, powered by Click the drop down menu at the Earth icon ;the last item is the antenna heading/distance: fill the field with your gridlocator and choose between kilometers and miles. The table will appear for all the DXCC countries. For example, to beam 9X Rwanda from JN35ub point 150°/330° (short/long path) and the distance is 5681 km. Give it a try ! If you still don't have the 425toolbar you can freely download it here!

And last but nor least the Google, Microsoft and Yahoo zoomable maps. You can find them clicking the button on the toolbar. The 425 toolbar has already been downloaded by 4426 users and every day about 500 operations are performed with the toolbar. For Explorer and Firefox browser and it's FREE !

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Two new DXCC countries ?

Russia has recognized the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

KM9D on the way to OC-163

The Winlink report received Tue, 26 Aug 2008 00:00:00 UTC locates the Don Henry (with Jan KF4TUG & Mike KM9D on board) at the 13-47.77S / 165-14.44E location, "en passage, bound for Ndende Island, Santa Cruz group" entering Solomon isl. Soon the rare OC-163 ref will hopefully be activated using probably the H40MY callsign. The only previous activity from that ref has been made by Bernhard, DL2GAC as H44MS.

Update 1: Report received Wed, 27 Aug 2008 00:00:00 UTC: Location 11-55.84S / 165-36.83E RH28TB30 aboard 'Don Henry', en passage, 65nm remaining for Ndende Island.

Update 2: Report received Thu, 28 Aug 2008 00:15:00 UTC: Location 10-44.22S / 165-49.80E RH29VG90 aboard 'Don Henry', lying to anchor, Luesalo (aka Shaw Pt.) Graciosa Bay, Ndende

My TripAdvisor

Thursday, August 21, 2008

P29NI: la mia 1000esima IOTA

Non sono l'unico ad attendere la prossima spedizione di Derek ad Hermit Island (OC-041) come P29NI. In effetti l'ultima attività da questa referenza è ormai lontana nel tempo ad opera del solito Bernard DL2GAC. Non per altro solo il 5.1% dei partecipanti al programma IOTA può "vantarsi" di aver accreditato OC-041. Ma per me rappresenterà un traguardo importante. Per quanto abbia delle conferme in arrivo prima di ottobre, attenderò di udire il segnale di Derek in QSO con qualche europeo per poi richiedere subito la QSL ed inserire il tutto nel database online IOTA, per raggiungere il (per me) mitico punteggio di 1000 IOTA confermate. Poi, prima di febbraio 2009 avrò sicuramente incrementato ancora il punteggio di qualche QSL di cui sono in attesa, ma è per me simbolico che la 1000esima sia proprio una attività del mio carissimo amico G3KHZ, col quale ho condiviso due fantastici viaggi, a Sonsorol e nel Borneo. La mia nuova situazione (marito e padre) mi ha impedito di partecipare alle successive attività di Derek da P29 (non per altro gli ho "regalato" la mitica verticale di UJX affinchè ne facesse buon uso. Allora in bocca al lupo P29NI! Io il mio dovere, contribuendo per la spedizione (via PayPal) l'ho fatto, chi altri vuol essere altrettanto generoso ?

Another DXpedition by Derek G3KHZ

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

LCWO: avanti italiani !

Ci ho messo un giorno intero per tradurre il sito LCWO in italiano e spero che questo stimoli qualche OM nostrano ad iscriversi e provare le sessioni CW. Son proprio curioso di vedere nelle classifiche qualche bel nominativo italiano. Ci è già arrivato Arturo IK7JWY e nell'elenco utenti vedo anche IW0HK, IK0XFD e IZ1KGL. Allora forza con i tentativi per arrivare ai vertici delle graduatorie. Ed ancora grazie a Fabian Kurz, DJ1YFK per l'ottima idea.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

LCWO: Learn CW online

A new website to learn and practice Morse telegraphy has been launched: - Learn CW Online

There are already hundreds of training programs, MP3/CD courses and practice aids available, but LCWO follows a radically different concept: While sticking to well-proven methods for learning and practice, all you need for using LCWO is a web browser!
This gives the user the liberty to practice CW wherever an internet connection is available, always retaining the personal settings, scores and statistics.
Currently the site, which is available in five languages (English, French, German, Italian and Portuguese) offers a complete Koch method Morse course, code group practice, callsign- and plain text training modes and also allows to convert random text to Morse MP3s.
A high score list is available to compare results with other users, personal statistics help to track training progress. is a non-commercial project. Creating a free account only takes a few seconds, and you can start practicing CW right away!

Fabian Kurz, DJ1YFK (15. August 2008)

Monday, August 18, 2008

DXCC Rule Removal

Aug 18, 2008 13:39 ET
Bill Moore, NC1L

From the July 2008 ARRL Board of Directors Meeting:

"The Board also acted on the Programs and Services Committee report, voting to eliminate Rule 5 from Section III of the DXCC Rules. The Committee realized that while publishing log data can have a detrimental effect on operating awards, it was not possible to control such actions and the rule cannot be enforced. As part of an effort to maintain the integrity of operating awards programs, the Board called on staff to create resources and guidelines for QSLing and for QSL managers. These guidelines will help people who QSL to understand the "best practices" and help to support the work of the QSL manager so that access to log data won't degrade Amateur Radio's long tradition of the "honor system."

The rule reads:

5. The presentation in any public forum of logs or other representations of station operation showing details of station activity or other information from which all essential QSO elements (time, date, band, mode and callsign) for individual contacts can be derived creates a question as to the integrity of the claimed QSOs with that station during the period encompassed by the log. Presentation of such information in any public forum by the station operator, operators or associated parties is not allowed and may be considered sufficient reason to deny ARRL award credit for contacts with any station for which such presentations have been made. Persistent violation of this provision may result in disqualification from the DXCC program.

"This rule cannot be enforced. In its place staff will create resources and guidelines for QSLing and for QSL managers in order to maintain the integrity of operating awards programs."


DX Bulletin Reader

From the DX Atlas, CW Skimmer, Ham Cap, Iono Probe, Band Master (etc) authors here is the new ham software: DX Bulletin Reader is a tool for viewing, archiving and searching the DX news bulletins. It highlights all prefixes, calssigns, IOTA ref and grid squares and, best of all, it highlights the items that are on your DXCC and IOTA needed lists ! Freeware from Afreet Software Inc.

tnx IK1ADH

KL7DX NA-234 video

KL7DX NA-234 Cleveland Volcano DXpedition 2008

KL7DX NA-234 IOTA Contest July 2008

Sunday, August 10, 2008

P29 2008 website

Dxpedition to three IOTAs:

OC-181 Garove - P29VLR (QSL via SM6CVX)
OC-041 Hermit - P29NI (QSL via G3KHZ)
OC-025 Manus - TBA (QSL via K6HFA)

Thursday, August 07, 2008

VO2A update

From QRZ.COM: Aug 7, 2008, 12 UTC - Yesterday morning the weather took a big dip, with very dark clouds and lower temperatures - perfect for polar bears getting active (hihi). Based on local weather forecast our guide has insisted that we prepare to leave the island rather than being stranded. Made a little ~1600 QSOs, but are happy that we logged all continents, including our friends in VK, ZL, JA, UA9/0, 4X, PY, YV, etc. Yesterday night I had a short run on 30 m, followed by an even shorter one on 40 m, before the bands died on me like someone pulled the plug. First I checked the power, but the battery was fine, then I asked the guide (who never slept during the night, having his shotgun ready and walking the dogs around the camp (despite the fact that the camp was secured with an anti-bear alarm fence) to check if the antenna is standing, because the wind gusts dropped it once earlier. 'The antenna is up', he said, 'but you should get out of there if you want to see some Northern Lights'. The display was absolutely magnificent: almost half of the sky - or so it appeared - seemed on fire and then I understood why the bands died like that. Under the circumstances, I decided to take a 3 hour nap (my only in 3 days since we walked up in Goose Bay, hihi). A truly big thank thank you to EU stations for kindly following our instructions to QRX while we were targeting other parts of the world or specific areas of EU. Presently very cold in Nain, with the wind effect around 0C. We hope to be QRV from NA-205 starting around 17 UTC - depending how the transportation and camp set-up goes. The good news for us is that the possibility of polar bear presence at this time of year on Paul Is. is almost nil (not zero though) and it's only the black bears patrolling the ground. They are not to be ignored, but our guide indicated that it's a different ball-game.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Garriott's Space Mission

Per poter volare nello spazio come suo padre, Richard Garriott spenderà una fortuna, 30 milioni di dollari. Ma che soddisfazione ! Il padre, Owen fu un astronauta Nasa a bordo dello Skylab nel 1973 e successivamente sullo Spacelab nel 1983. Il figlio adesso farà il turista spaziale a bordo della Soyuz nel percorso verso la ISS ad ottobre. I Garriott ovviamente comunicheranno via radio (il padre effettuò il primo collegamento Ham Radio da uno Shuttle nel 1983, missione STS-9 col nominativo W5LFL). Interessante (e ben fatto) il sito di Richard. Ci sono dei posti liberi per i voli in programma nel 2009. Se interessati visitate Next Generation of Spaceflight (sic!)

Digital audio over HF SSB

FDMDV is the latest digital voice mode on HF - it caters to high quality digital voice under poor band conditions, in only 1100Hz bandwidth!. More information about the mode will be here Read more on ARRL news.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008



The special callsign TC4X will be activated on several occasions during 2008. A new alliance between Turkish and Finnish hams includes OH2BH, OH2PM, OH8NC, TA1HZ and others. The location is in the city of Alanya, Southern Turkey, Asia.

Detailed info will be on and

Their first activity from August 5 will coincide with the WAEDC Worked All Europe DX Contest (CW).