Cambodia (XU) Gets On The ‘Air’

 

Cambodian Amateur Radio Club

Some years ago unknown Koreans amateur radio operators left behind a very complete set of ham radio equipment and antennas at  the National Polytechnic Institute of Cambodia (NPIC) near Phnom Penh. This great shack was sitting idle for some years until the Engineering Service Team of FEBC,  through  locally resident engineer, Mike Adams  (XU7AJA/KH0AS) made contact with the school.

NPIC thought it might help interest students in radio careers if an amateur radio club could be started and the shack brought back into operation, which is how the NPIC Amateur Radio Club was born. Since anyone can be behind the mic as long as a properly licensed control operator is present, lots of professors and students got to spend time on the radios.The radio club has been active in contests, using Adams’ XU7AJA call sign.

FEBC International – Engineering Service Team  held the first ARRL VEC Amateur Radio examination session in Cambodia  on April 5.2018.
FEBC – Far East Broadcasting Company)  an association of local broadcast ministries.

For further information checkout: https://guychrisfebc.blog/tag/npic/

The National Radio Society of Ireland Formed

NRSI has just been founded this 2020 to provide representation for all those amateur radio operators and shortwave listeners within Ireland who want it. It’s membership is open to anyone with an interest in amateur radio communications, who is either a full-time resident or who has in the past spent a minimum of two months in Ireland as a visitor.

NRSI became a member association of EURAO to share ham spirit with other similar entities around the world.

Colin Butler – 14th June 2020

Frontier-Women Conquers Summits

Eva – YO6EVA & SOTA Activators

Frontier-women conquers Summits – By Péter Váry O.

Women usually go to the hairdresser, go shopping, and usually do “feminine” things when they have time off. Éva Gajdó, a teacher of computer science at Tivadar Puskás Vocational High School, who teaches programming on CNC (computer-controlled) machines, does not like this. She climbs mountains. And up there on the summit, she transmits radio signals. It may seem a strange combination  at first, but it is recognised as a sport.  Established for less than a decade and a half, it is already gaining in popularity and Éva Gajdó has accomplished something very big in this sport in a short time. Her success is the envy of her fellow men, which as she is a Szekler, does not often happen. (The Székelys derive their name from a Hungarian expression meaning “frontier guards”.)

Éva Gajdó has been roaming the mountains since she was a child. She became a true lover of climbing when one of her teachers took her on an expedition. Then life sank into the ordinary course of events: she got married, the children came and there was little opportunity to conquer the peaks.
Several years ago however, talking about childhood dreams with a group of friends, Eve recalled that when she was sixteen, she was determined to climb Mont Blanc. But it seemed it would  remain just a dream.  Then, a few days later, a friend told her that the Szeklers were hiring amateur climbers and heading to Mont Blanc.”I didn’t think, I called Tulit Sombor, and  applied,” says Eve.

Two months of tough training was unsurpringingly not enough to qualify for the team. She also found her gear was unsuitable. She  hiked in velvet pants and her ancient boots caused problems; the two months were agonizing. But Sombor reassured her that she  had all the skills and with a little training, could climb Mont Blanc.  It became a passion and she has not missed a weekend in five years and  even celebrated New Year’s Eve on top of a mountain.

She  applied for another expedition, but unfortunately before her departure she sprained an ankle. She was able to climb this year, but couldn’t use the  radio.

In order to understand why Eve should have been broadcasting radio signals from the highest peak in the Alps and what activation means we need to introduce the sport called SOTA. The acronym comes from ‘Summits on the Air’, this radio competition was launched in 2002 by radio amateurs who combined there passion with mountaineering.

The competition (Edit: SOTA is not a contest it is based on your own self fulfilment) consists of climbing the designated peaks – at least 150 meters above its surroundings – by hiking, and from the ‘summit’ the hiker must establish at least four radio links with other radio amateurs around the world (meaning activation).
The peaks  score between 1 and 10 according to their height and can be activated once per year.

The map provided by NASA to radio-operators in Romania has about two hundred SOTA peaks, of which 250-300 can be climbed under normal conditions, ie on a more or less well-marked path.

A walkie-talkie can achieve the necessary score if it is successfully activated, that is, it has been climbed and  a minimum of four mandatory contacts made. After earning a thousand points, the title ‘Mountain Goat’  and trophy will be awarded to the competitor. Achieving a thousand points usually takes several years to complete. Eva did a special job here too.

Eva Activating

Eve met a man in Jezer (Bosnia and Herzegovina)  on a hike,  while trying to establish a radio connection at the summit. He was interested in the subject, because there is a radio club at Puskás Tivadar Vocational School, Budapest, and he was wondering how to create something new and interesting for the students.  At that time, he had no plans to start radioing himself, or that hiking would become a competitive climb. He asked a teacher at Transilvania University in Brasov, Csaba-Zoltán Kertész, if he  would come and  introduce SOTA to the children.

Since January last year, Csaba has gone to St. George every Tuesday, trying to infect students with the radio virus. Because amateur-radio amateur is well-suited to the younger generation, SOTA is becoming more and more popular, including foxhunting, but knowing the basics of radio is essential.

Eve had no childhood dream of becoming a radio amateur but her dedication to teaching led her there. Csaba Kertész enthusiastic for  the Tuesday afternoon classes included taking the students on several trips, where they could experience “live” what  walking radio was about.

Eva thought that if Csaba couldn’t come for some reason, it would be a good idea if someone could take care of the children. But to do that she needed a radio license.
– You have to take a very tough exam: electronics, knowledge of frequencies, first aid. You have to learn the phonetic alphabet that is used in radio,  to know what phrases can be heard and what are not, so there are ethical rules as well.

She passed and received her radio callsign: YO6EVA.  (YO = Romania ID, 6 represents the area, and EVA unique, individual)

I’ll do it in a year – As I had passed my exam, I went with Csaba to a SOTA marathon. It was staged in the Bihari Mountains, Romania, and was worth exactly one thousand (1000) points for someone who had done it for six or seven years. I told Csaba, as I go to the mountains, I could earn a thousand points in a year.

In the beginning it was really hard because I didn’t know anything about radio, I didn’t have any equipment, I borrowed a walkie-talkie, which had only 300 meters range I went up the mountain and couldn’t activate it.  I persuaded Csaba to come with me to collect points,  but the points accumulated very slowly. Finally, I bought a serious radio, and then the “party” started.
– Has a thousand points been reached in one year?
– Not easily, but it was.  I went to Nagykő (Transylvania, Romania) alone and for the first time spoke on the radio and I was so scared I switched it off.

There was bad weather at Nagyhagymás, I went up four times, but never activated it; in minus ten (-10) degrees activating radio was not a lot of fun.

Disappointed I told Csaba it wouldn’t work for me, but with the support of friends, somehow I hung on and continued. The biggest challenge was to get to the summits that I would not have gone to otherwise, I had to cut through a sign or path like in the jungle. Finally a thousand points were reached, 131 different peaks in a year.
– 131 peaks in a year, one average every three days.
– Most were the four eight-point peaks in a single day, 40 kilometers of walking at 3500 meters.

What’s next?

With her unique performance, Eve has earned the envy of many of  the male walkie-talkie operators,  She reached a thousand points in May – since then, the number of activations in Romania has increased, with another SOTA marathon being organized by December 1,  interest in the sport has revived..
Although Eve has achieved what she set herself to do, she does not intend to stop walking but not as intense as before. Also  because all of the closest peaks have been  activated and  new ones are usually a two-day hike away – She would like to climb the highest peaks in Europe, but she would need to take another license before she could broadcast abroad.

Eve talks enthusiastically about everything, but when it comes to the mountains, her eyes shine the most.  What does mountain climbing, mean to her?

Its an  obsession with me, an addiction. The mountain has given me so much, I try to pass that on to the students. Everything revolves around the mountain, I don’t go to the beautician or to the shops, and my daughter says you have seven pairs of hiking pants, but you just don’t have anything to go to school. SOTA has exposed a whole new side of climbing and fox hunting.

Author: Péter Váry O.    Publication date: 2018-12-29
Háromszék (Romanian publication in Hungarian)  Saturday, December 29, 2018, Report
Szekler at the summit https://www.3szek.ro/load/cikk/119391/szekely-a-csucson

Further:

1st  YL Mountain Goat in Romania.

YO6EVA Eva Kelemen Gajdo reached a thousand points in May 2018 becoming the first YL Mountain Goat in Romania. An admirable achievement, showing great dedication and a nice example to follow. What is truly amazing, that she achieved this goal in just under a year after obtaining her HAM license, learning all about  what it takes to operate a radio while hiking  around the summits of Romania, whatever the conditions or difficulties.  Hail, the rain, bad propagation could not deter her in achieving her target.

https://reflector.sota.org.uk/t/eva-yo6eva-newest-mountain-goat-in-romania/17546

Further:

Romanian yl  Éva YO6EVA active on Argentina Mountain

yl from Romania – YO6EVA Éva Gajdo and Csaba YO6PIB with colleagues from SOTA Mendoza, Argentina, activated SOTA (LUM/PC-004) Jan. 2020.

Éva Gajdó  YO6EVA and  Csaba-Zoltán Kertész YO6PIB  came to climb and activate Aconcagua during the first two weeks of January 2020.  Aconcagua (LUM/PH-001) is the highest summit in the SOTA programme, altitude. 6960m.

However they could not reach the summit due to very high winds. They began  their descent as per schedule feeling very disappointed, especially regarding the Mendoza radioclub friends who had supported the expedition, prepared to ‘chase’ (on air) and even to make ‘summit-to-summit’ contacts. They made 2 attempts and spent 3 nights at over 6000m.

On their arrival back in Mendoza,  Eva and Csabone had one day left before catching their plane home to Romania. Tthe  Argentina SOTA group was also disappointed and it was decided to activate another summit where they could communicate in VHF and HF as originally planned.

The route was chosen so that  Eva and Csaba could enjoy seeing animals from the local Villavicencio reserve, mostly guanacos. The group was also lucky enough to see several condors flying over the activated peak in the Paramillos area.

The group were surprised by the number of active  stations that made contact. Many operators were keen to communicate their enthusiasm at contacting the visitors and to wish them a safe journey back to Romania. Unfortunately propagation conditions for HF were not good, although some contacts were achieved.

The Argentinians were happy that Eva and Csaba had managed to activate an Argentine summit and although it was not Aconcagua, that they had enjoyed the local hospitality of Mendoza.

LUM/PC-004, Paramillos  3356m This peak  is not well known and does not have a name,  near Termas Villavicencio, Mendoza (Argentina). Value 8 SOTA  points,

YouTube by LU1MAW Alejandro Ciro Weber  https://youtu.be/mxC0kf5kIGk

See Éva Gajdó Facebook: Album Acongaua 6700 méteren

Aconcagua       [32°39’12.35″S – 70° 0’40.00″W]

Aconcagua  is a mountain in the Principal Cordillera of the Andes mountain range, in Mendoza Province,. east of Argentina’s border with Chile.  Aconcagua is the highest mountain outside Asia, at 6,961 meters (22,838 feet)

The mountain and its surroundings are part of the Aconcagua Provincial Park. Aconcagua Provincial Park is 185 km away from the city of Mendoza, near the border with Chile.

The mountain has a number of glaciers. Aconcagua is arguably the highest non-technical mountain in the world, since the northern route does not absolutely require ropes, axes, and pins. around 3,500 climbers tackle Aconcagua each year with a success rate of about 60%.  Aconcagua has one of the highest death tolls of the world’s highest peaks.

There are severe winds and low temperatures, but it’s Aconcagua’s altitude that presents the greatest problem. Every year sees several deaths on Aconcagua – mainly people who underestimated the task and help may take several hours to arrive. Climbing the mountain will require on average of around 21 days.

The official visiting season is from November 15 to March 15. During the summer, the temperature at night above 5,000 meters (16,400 feet) is about -20°C (-4°F), and the usual temperature at the summit is -30°C (-22°F). In the rain shadow of the Andean crest, the park is one of the most barren parts of the Andes, with only a discontinuous cover of prostrate shrubs and grasses. At the highest altitudes, it is almost pure scree and snow.

 

OSCAR 100 – DATV Beacon Frequency Change

Extracted off GB2RS – 29th March

“The DATV beacon on the QO-100 satellite has changed frequency and symbol rate to allow more space on the transponder for other users. The new transmission is on 10491.5MHz with a symbol rate of 1500kS, DVB-S2, FEC 4/5. A new band plan is being developed and will be published on the Wideband Spectrum Monitor https://eshail.batc.org.uk/wb/ as soon as it is finalised.”

Checkout OSCAR 100 – HERE .

Shepparton & District ARC Use Radio Australia’s Curtain Array

Radio Australia Array

Over the weekend  of 14th and 15th of March, the Shepparton & District ARC will connect amateur transceivers to the curtain array and rhombic antennae at the Broadcast Australia site in Shepparton, which is located in North Central Victoria, Australia. This location was previously a short wave Radio Australia broadcast site. VI3RA will be on the air from 2300UTC next Saturday the 14th of March until 2300UTC on the 16th using the 7, 10, 14, 18 and 21MHz bands.

For further information go to QRZ.com and checkout VI3RA.

Contests For The Listener (SWL)

Contests for the listening amateur –  by PA3DTX

The NL (Netherlands) committee (NLC) of the VERON organizes a number of contests for listening amateurs throughout the year. These are accessible to every radio enthusiast. They are, of course, primarily intended for the active listening amateur, but radio amateur broadcasters may also simply participate, for example if circumstances do not allow them to transmit. You also do not necessarily have to be a member of the VERON to be allowed to participate. For example, it has been apparent for years that more than half of the participants come from abroad. But we would like to see a large Dutch participation.

Our listening contests have different levels of difficulty, although none is really difficult.

The “New Year Contest” is on the first Sunday of the year. In addition to beginners, more experienced contesters participate every year. The contest costs you a maximum of three hours and you can only make connections in speech. A trophy is available for the winner and every participant who has logged at least ten connections will receive a certificate of participation.

Then there is the series “Short Listening Period” contests (SLP).
These are held 8 times a year and are planned in such a way that they coincide with large contests for radio amateurs, so that sufficient pressure on the amateur bands is guaranteed. It is the intention that during an SLP weekend you log three hours of radio amateur connections that you choose yourself in speech. Choosing the most favorable hours makes the contest more suitable for the experienced contester. But also beginners are encouraged to participate, as they learn by doing. There are also prizes attached to the SLP and anyone who participated in at least 3 SLPs in one year will receive the SLP certificate.

In the second full weekend of December, the NLC organizes a 48-hour contest on the 10-meter band, the “28MHz SWL Contest”. This coincides with a large international contest on the 10 meter band. In this contest we have two participation categories: speech (SSB, FM) and morse (CW).
Prizes and certificates are also made available for this.

The complete information, such as regulations, results and information about a special logging program for listening contests can be found https://a03.veron.nl/contesten-voor-de-luisteramateur/?fbclid
Source: VERON.nl.   (Association for Experimental Radio Research in the Netherlands)

Good news for the two-metre band

The past week has seen CEPT meet in Turkey, where it finalised positions on a wide range of WRC-19 Agenda Items, including proposals for WRC-23. So let’s look at the matters that interest radio amateurs. At 144MHz, after a major effort, the 144 to 146MHz frequency range was successfully withdrawn from the French WRC-23 aeronautical […]