Contesting notes – January 2022

A summary of radiosport topics for the casual contester

As we enter the new year, our calendars start to fill up with contesting opportunities. There are hundreds of contests each year, some of which are bound to be of interest to almost any ham.

The first general-interest contest of the year is the ARRL RTTY Roundup. A classic for decades, the RTTY Roundup now includes all digital modes, so it will be attractive to newer hams and anyone else who has been bitten by the FT8 bug. Continue reading “Contesting notes – January 2022”

Six meter beacon temporarily shut down (it’s back on now)

Update: We’re back on the air as of 4 December 2019. Please post reception reports via your favorite retail DX cluster.

As of 4 June 2020, the original transmitter is back in service. It seems to be running at slightly reduced power but that should not impact receivability when the band is open. Already reports have been received from EM31 and EM60.

(Previous post:)

The NF8M/B beacon at 50.0763 MHz is shut down effective 22 November 2019.

The beacon has been using a temporary transmitter (first a Kenwood TS-690, then a Yaesu FT-817 after lightning damaged the 690). I’m working on a replacement for the transmitter and don’t wish to tie up the 817 for a long period of time; thus, the shutdown.

I hope to have another transmitter in place in the near future and apologize for the service interruption.


Six meter beacon on the air after an extended outage

Update: To take advantage of the 6 meter propagation we’re having, the beacon is temporarily back on the air at 2200z on 3 June using a substitute transmitter set for an output of 8 watts. I also replaced the quarter wave groundplane antenna with a Cushcraft Ringo which hasn’t noticeably changed the effective-radiated power.

The NF8M beacon at 50.0763 MHz is off the air as of 2000z on 24 January 2019 for an unknown period of time. The output seems to be quite dirty and is full of chirpy spurious emissions up and down the band and into non-amateur spectrum below 50 MHz. Also, the antenna sustained some damage in the last week or so, which is probably not the cause of the issue.

The beacon transmitter will be re-examined and repaired if possible; however, there’s a chance that the beacon could be shut down for an extended time period. Further updates will be posted here.