Sunday, July 19, 2009

LIDS Announce DXpedition

LIDS is proud to announce a unique dual DXpedition as part of their observance of International Frequency Police Month. The Lost Island DX Society is sponsoring not one, but two simultaneous DX operations from rare entities. During August, LIDS will be active from Kazakhstan (UN) and Sri Lanka (4S) in a unique and rare double operation.

To commemorate International Frequency Police Month and this unique double DXpedition, LIDS have obtained special callsigns for both operations. The Kazakhstan DXpedition will be using the call UP5LID and the Sri Lankian DXpedition will be using 4Q2LID.

In order to maximize opportunities for all to work both operations, a unique procedure will be used on the air. Instead of each operation occupying a separate frequency and running separate pileups, both will use the same transmit frequency and operate with the same split. This way DX operators can work both stations simultaneously.

The DXpedition will be operate primarily CW and can be easily identified by their unique ID pattern of "UP5LID" followed quickly by "4Q2LID". They will sign these calls repeatedly, so they should be easy to identify.

"UP5LID ...... 4Q2LID..."

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Contest Community College Announced

For the last two years, a top notch collection of Big Guns have conducted Contest University on Thursday prior to the Dayton Hamvention. This has been an excellent opportunity for Big Gun wannabees to learn from the best of the best and rub elbows with the Big Gun contesters.

An informal survey of the membership of the Lost Island DX Society (LIDS) has indicated that a significant number of LIDS are intimidated by the high power subject matter presented by the Contest University. Many just don't feel they are ready to tackle contesting at the level presented by the Big Guns at CU.
So the LIDS are sponsoring a new venue for contest education - Contest Community College. Contest Community College (CCC) will help budding contesters overcome their perceived lack of background and prepare them to to attend CU.

A tenative curriculum for CCC has been announced:

- Proper Mic Gain Adjustment - Helllooooooo Raaaaaay-dio

- Finding a Clear Frequency - QRZCQCQCQ, The Art Of Micro-pauses

- Dipoles for Dummies, Yagis for Yahoos

- Setting up Computer Logging or How To Occupy Your Time in the Two Weeks Before The Contest

- Operating Distracted - The Wonderful World of DX Clusters

- Fi Ni - Everybody Knows What You Mean

- Whittling, Golf, and Napping - How to Stay Occupied Waiting for the Contest Results

- Certificates and Plaques - Things You'll Never Win
The venue for Contest Community College has not been announced, but is likely to be a small hamfest near you. Stay tuned for additional details.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Contest Confusion in IARU Contest

During last weekend's IARU contest some participants encountered a handful of stations handing out seemingly non-sequitur responses to their contest exchanges. In response to the usual signal report and zone, they were confronted with exchanges such as "yes", "no", "maybe", and "depends". Many thought it was the work of pranksters.

It turns out a scheduling conflict resulted in the puzzling exchanges.

In addition to the regularly scheduled IARU contest, the Philosophical Radio Society had unintentionally scheduled their Descartes Day Radio Exchange, also known as the I Are, Are You? contest, where participants exchange their responses to Descartes' "cogito, ergo sum" proposition. The Philosophical Radio Society apologies for any confusion caused by the conflicting schedules and is looking for an alternative date for next year's event. Under consideration are the last weekend in October and the third weekend in November.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

New Skimmer Technology to be Deployed

Word though the grapevine is that there is an alternative version of the Skimmer automatic cw decoder and analyzer program in the works. This new version, being developed independently, will be deployed from a remote receiver site in 5N-land to monitor the DX bands worldwide. The alternative Skimmer program will decode callsigns, just like the original Skimmer, but will also have the capability to execute automatic lookup of all calls, using QRZ or other callsign database resources, and will automatically generate emails to all stations with offers to participate in a lucrative scheme to help transfer several million dollars out of the country from an abandoned bank account. The new program will be entitled Scammer. Coming soon to an email account near you.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Ham to the Bone

In almost every society, one of the signs of a true bada$$ is the tattoo. To permanently ink your body is a sign of true dedication. Or insanity. From the Maori warriors in New Zealand, to the Yakuza gangsters of Japan, to the Hell's Angels in the United States. All proudly identify their 'tribal' affiliation by tattooing their bodies.

Amateurs radio operators are not known for being such bada$$es. Maybe in another life they inked up while in the Navy, but ham radio tattoos? Sounds like a joke. But it's not. There are some ham radio bada$$es out there. Glenn, AE0Q, is just such a guy. This guy deserves the title of Big Gun just for the tats on his guns. Check those babies out!

AE0Q can't be the only inked bada$$ out there in radioland. We're announcing a contest here at the Fi-Ni Report. Send us a photo of your radio related tats to We'll pick the baddest tattoo out of the bunch and send them a Lost Island DX Society tee-shirt. No Big Gun should be without one. Our odds are on the Arizona Outlaw Contest Club. Seems of bunch of them hombres ride to their meetings on Harleys.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Ham Claims New Tower Is Not Overcompensating

Richard Small, W0DIE, of Duluth, MN says his 100-ft tall Big Bertha tower is not overcompensation for other deficiencies, despite what neighbors and fellow hams claim. Small recently installed the heavy duty, freestanding radio tower as a belated fiftieth birthday present to himself, he claims, simply to improve his station's signal. Fellow hams in the area wonder why Small reqiures such a large tower to support a simple dual-band VHF/UHF vertical antenna. "Those Big Bertha's are capable of supporting multiple large HF beams with lots of windloading. That vertical is, what, maybe a half-square foot windload, if that," says neighbor and fellow ham, Al Knowing, K1DDG, "Plus, they ain't cheap." W0DIE maintains he simply wanted to improve his signal into the area repeaters. "Before putting 'ol Bertha up I could barely hit the machines in Hibbing. Now I can kerchunk repeaters as far away as Thunder Bay and on a good day even Milwaukee," claims Small. "I don't care what Richard says, I know why he really put that tower up," says Small's wife, Wanda, while gesturing with her pinky.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Venutian QSL Update

There are new developments on the previously reported "Venus QSL" received by German hams who accomplished the first amateur Earth-Venus-Earth (EVE) transmissions.

Since discovering the cryptic holographic runes emitted by the mystery plate, several groups of hams and amateur cryptographers around the world have been working to decipher their meaning. The significance of decoding the Venutian writing has staggering implications for humanitiy's future interactions with alien lifeforms.

Thanks in large part of the folks over at Alien Downlink, a partial translation has been been completed. Although the accuracy of the translation is still debatable, it appears that the message was not an SWL or QSL report at all. Instead, it appears to be the interplanetary equivalent of an FCC 'pink slip'. The message warns of intentional interference and appears to accuse the German hams of being out of band. The Germans have defended themselves saying that there was no intentional interference, as they could hear no other signals from Venus and any perceived out-of-band reception must have been due to Doppler shift. While such accusations are potentially serious, the far more serious part of the message appears to be a threat that repeated violations may be subject to "pftkesq". The translation of "pftkesq" is unclear and opinions of its meaning range from some sort of monetary fine to planetary annihilation.