NVIS and HF ALE Fun Times – New band assignment approved Hello 60m

Geneva. 18 November 2015 – The main plenary session of WRC-15 approved the new amateur service allocation at 5 MHz. The new 60 meter band is 15 kHz wide, from 5351.5 kHz to 5366.5 kHz. It is the first new HF ham radio allocation since WARC-1979 gave hams the 30 meter, 17 meter, and 12 meter bands.
Hams already have and use in USA and Canada  the following channels Max 100w ERP
Power limits:  ITU Region 1 and 2 =15 Watts EIRP,  (Canada and USA)
ITU Region 3 =15 Watts EIRP
Mexico = 20 Watts EIRP,
Central America, South America, Caribbean = 25 Watts EIRP.
The new WRC15 ITU Radio Regulations don’t go into effect until after 1 January 2017

Geneva. World Radiocommunication Conference 2015 (WRC15). 12 November 2015 5Mhz

Geneva. World Radiocommunication Conference 2015 (WRC15). 12 November 2015. – A compromise proposal for a global secondary 60 meter VFO band for Amateur Radio seems to be gaining favor among many delegates to the conference. The proposal includes a 15 kHz VFO band at 5351.5 to 5366.5 kHz.

This smaller VFO band is scaled back considerably from the 5250 kHz to 5450 kHz original proposals, which many governments strongly opposed. The compromise proposal is now in the Conference Working Group 4B. A part of the compromise is that 15 Watts would be the maximum radiated power for this worldwide allocation.

This proposed new worldwide VFO band allocation would not prevent or supersede other channelized or VFO bands that are already existing for the use of hams within separate countries.

Some countries already have domestic assignments of channels, mini-bands, or band segments that are compatible or overlap with the proposed5351.5 to 5366.5 kHz VFO band. For example, USA, Canada have a channel at 5357.0 kHz USB, which has seen ALE activity with the HFN ALE net in Emcomm exercises. Australia has a WICEN Emcomm channel at 5355.0 kHz. The UK has a mini-band segment at 5354.0 to 5358.0 kHz. Several European, African, and Asian countries have a VFO band in the general 5250.0 to 5450.0 kHz range.

Next week, this 5 MHz issue comes up again at the WRC conference, and the 15 kHz wide VFO band has some chance of being approved. If so, this would be the first new worldwide amateur allocation since 1979, when the “WARC Bands” 30 meters, 17 meters, and 12 meters, were added to the Amateur Service.

DMR Best Practices – A California View Point

The North America Talkgroup is again going through a discussion

The North American Calling “Rule” is not a hard and fast rule.  It is a common sense understanding of your impact while communicating.  Be reasonable.   In DMR, we are only asking that you use the minimum amount of spectrum, i.e. pick the appropriate Talk Group that minimizes the # of repeaters needed for the QSO.

The North American “rule” is a BEST PRACTICE.  That document is posted on the front page (Home page) of http://DMR-MARC.net  at the top right corner under “Member Toolbox”.

Basically my viewpoint is that if you look to DMR to ragchew with DX stations then use D-Star and choose the general use reflector. DMR is a great mode but the North America talkgroup keys up over 300 repeaters at once so your rag chew can be heard everywhere and you will be asked to keep it short. The purpose of the NA talkgroup is really more of a calling channel and then move to a local talk group. However, If I leave the NA then the K6xxx station cannot talk to me on any other talk group unless both repeater access points support the talkgroup. A great example is that the Canadian repeaters do not have access to 1776 and the US repeaters don’t have access to Canada wide.

What is meant by Best Operating Practices? CAL DMR’s Definition

  • DMR does not belong to one group, rather it is a network that belongs to all that use it. With this privilege come certain responsibilities. These responsibilities are not codified in a set of rules; rather they are outlined in a set of principles and guides for best practice.
  • Operators should respect the intended usage of Talk Groups and utilize the systems so that the minimum amounts of resources are used on each transmission.
  • Training, Mentoring, Understanding (user comprehension) is what leads to “best practices”!

Wide Area VS Local VS User Activated

  • Wide Area Talkgroups include those talkgroups that are  available on a network or repeater 24/7 and cover wide areas including World Wide, Continent Wide, Nation Wide, Regional Wide
  • Could even include State Wide in those states with a lot of repeater

Local Talkgroups

  • Can be that repeater, or a group of repeaters on a town or city

User Activated (UA)

  • Usually not operational 24/7 but available for use with a simple PTT
  • Network administrator programs how long it stays active since last local PTT
  • Usually User Activated activation only controls one repeater or RPT group on a manager… typically this provides active talkgroup audio on just 2 or a few repeaters while local PTT activity remains active

Best Operating Practices

  • Requires Training
  • Knowledge of radio & system
  • User Competency & Understanding



The North America Talkgroup is connected to the central bridge and every other connecting bridge that has added the talkgroup to its zone list

dmr marc

Lake Simcoe Repeater Association adds a 6M repeater

LSRA is pleased to announce (after some delays we had no control over),

that the 6M repeater on 53.070 is now operational.  Transmit on 52.070 and no PL is required.  Thanks to VA3LM, VA3SD,VA3VD, and VE3ODR to name a few for being at the site a few times to get things sorted.

The 6M is cross linked to VHF 146.850 in the short term.  We have not yet decided on long term connectivity options, but we welcome your input.

Please experiment and we look forward to hearing your reports and comments.

Keith / VA3YC

lsra rack

Check out the York Region Amateur Radio Club 6 metre repeater is operational as of June 17, 2015 on 53.49 MHz negative offset with no CTCSS tone required. It is linked to the other repeaters for extended york region coverage and even outside of the GTA




Navassa K1N – The QSL card is in the mail

I love this radio stuff and working Dxpeditions

I checked the Navassa web site for QSL card info and I was directed to Clublog

$6 us plus a donation via paypal and the QSL card is in the mail

A week later i got my QSL card and its a real nice one. A bi-fold in full colour .This is awesome!

Now if South Cook islands can go Clublog as well that would be cool!

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PackTenna Marconi NVIS End fed

As per some conversation at the last ham radio echelon round table my Marconi Variant came up.

After, the Napkin sketch and another round of Grappa for my friends the concept became that much clearer

The Marconi antenna is just a 1/4 wave antenna. My variant is that its an end fed antenna with a vertical radiator component to get it up to about 10′-15′ and then have the horizontal element.

It does mimic the traditional Marconi antenna but I wanted something that did not need radials and could be a 80m and 40m player, hence the end fed

The 29′ radiator length seems to work well on 40m and if you extend the antenna as a sloper then it seems a better performer on 20m and up where you do want a lower radiation angle. Best is a vertical with the antenna wrapped loosely around a 32′ fiberglass telescoping mast

I need to try it with a longer element and maybe the 84-85′ or 53′ length would make a difference on 80m.

Back to the field for more antenna work.


packtenna marconi NVIS endfed

The 40m to 10m version




Drake TV-3300-LP – A Peek a Boo Inside

I think every ham in the 70 and 80s owned this wonderful TVI filter (if not it was the Kenwood model)

Recently, I was challenged in trying to get a signal out on 50 Mhz on all 4 of my HF radios. I could get a signal out working portable but not at home. WTF was wrong?

When I dug behind the radio shack to refit some grounding I saw the culprit. The TVI filter. It did a fantastic job of reducing my 50MHz signal to my antenna. I took it out and now 6 meters is alive again in my shack.

Too bad if you have gone Free to Air (FTA) or what I call TV in 1978 because your Plasma TV is causing me grief


sale - LPF 30MHz

Looks like a nice 70-80 db drop above 41 Mhz. The filter is doing its job nicely.