- October 22, 2017 at 11:04 am #27426
An Unofficial List of Resources for New Hams in Grid Square FN42
This document continues to be a work in progress!
FCC license search: http://wireless2.fcc.gov/UlsApp/UlsSearch/searchLicense.jsp
A directory of hams: http://www.qrz.com (registering is very useful if you want to QSL!)
Amateur Radio: a hobby for the 21st century (UK): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FYlmgc-xnso
To make QSOs after getting licensed and before buying a radio, you can try EchoLink: http://www.echolink.org
A local dealer: Ham Radio Outlet in Salem, NH: http://www.hamradio.com (please tell them you took our class)
See also ads in the N1FD newsletter, ARRL publications, hamfest program books, and the class study guide
ARES (emergency service) NH & Hillsborough County: http://www.nh-ares.org/, http://www.k1hil.org/
Illustrated guide to “go kits”: http://www.valleyradioclub.org/Misc%20PDF%20Files/Go_Kit.pdf
ARRL Field Day: http://www.arrl.org/field-day
Local repeaters & band plans: http://www.nerepeaters.com/, http://www.nesmc.org/rptr.html, http://www.nesmc.org/docs/bandplans.pdf, http://www.nesmc.org/docs/2mSPX-2013.pdf
Repeater etiquette: http://www.w9mar.org/repeateretiquette.php
Free HT programming software for repeaters: http://chirp.danplanet.com/projects/chirp/wiki/Home
Blogs & podcasts (see also Facebook, Twitter, and other social media outlets):
Nashua Area Radio Society (NARS, N1FD): https://www.n1fd.org
AB1OC & AB1QB: http://stationproject.wordpress.com
Ham Nation: https://twit.tv/shows/ham-nation
Ham Radio Now: http://arvideonews.com/hrn/
ICQ Podcast (UK): http://icqpodcast.com/
Guides for your 1st QSO: Suggestion: Make yourself a script of what you want to say! For ideas, see:
What to do next? http://tomsmerk.com/radio/newhams.pdf
or check out this list of chapter titles for ideas, even if you don’t buy the book:
Local hamfests & flea markets: http://www.near-fest.com/, http://boxboro.org/, http://www.fara.org, http://web.mit.edu/w1gsl/Public/ne-fleas, http://www.arrl.org/hamfests-and-conventions-calendar
Technician band chart: http://www.arrl.org/files/file/Tech%20Band%20Chart/Tech%20Band%20Chart.pdf
All-class band charts: http://www.arrl.org/graphical-frequency-allocations
Frequency guide: http://www.arrl.org/files/file/conop.pdf
All frequencies: https://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/publications/january_2016_spectrum_wall_chart.pdf
Logging contacts: http://www.arrl.org/keeping-a-log (start logging online ASAP to prevent a lot of work later)
US region map: https://www.arrl.org/files/file/Awards%20Application%20Forms/WASmap_Color.pdf
US grid square map: http://gatorradio.org/Operating_Training_Aides/Ham_US_Grids%202005.pdf
Convert an address to a grid square: http://www.levinecentral.com/ham/grid_square.php
World CU & ITU zones: http://www.icomamerica.com/en/amateur/amateurtools/2013_ITU_CQ_WorldMaps.pdf
Azimuth projection maps: http://www.wm7d.net/az_proj/az_html/azproj_form_short.shtml (or …_long.shtml)
More maps, logging, DX spotting: http://www.clublog.org
Building simple antennas: http://ke7hr.com/caveradio/Portable_VHF_antennas.pdf
(from http://www.dxzone.com/catalog/Antennas/VHF_UHF/), http://www.arrl.org/building-simple-antennas
Arduinos talking in Morse (but not using radios): https://raronoff.wordpress.com/2010/12/16/morse-endecoder/
More Arduino projects: http://www.dxzone.com/catalog/Technical_Reference/Arduino/
Use your favorite Internet search engine to find more, and please let us know if you find good sites!
Remember to be aware of electrical safety, stay clear of power lines, and wear a hardhat & safety glasses when launching lines over tree branches. Use proper fall restraints when climbing. Always operate within the limits of your FCC license class and always follow good radio operating practices, e.g. get comfortable with the “phonetic alphabet” and use it when identifying, even on local repeaters. Join a nearby group of hams who can “elmer” you. Most importantly, get on the air and have fun!
- Aron, W1AKIOctober 22, 2017 at 11:26 am #27437
Alan W1AHM gave me the link to this page by AC6V (SK) which is now maintained by his friends. There is a huge amount of good stuff there, check it out when you’re ready to drink from the firehose!
- Aron, W1AKIOctober 22, 2017 at 11:37 am #27439
I highly recommend operating during the ARRL Rookie Roundups. It’s designed for new hams or experienced hams who are new to a mode, so you don’t have to worry about any pressure. You can do it from the comfort of your own shack, a nearby hilltop, or with a group of others like the rotating rookies of N1FD. It’s a lot of fun and a “target-rich environment” to make QSOs, but without the crowding of the bands like in other contests. (And if you aren’t a rookie, please try to work them during the contest, I assure you they’ll really appreciate your QSO.)
- Aron, W1AKIOctober 22, 2017 at 12:10 pm #27445
Ever hear someone on the air calling “CQ NEQP”?
A great thing to try if you need a QSL from another state, province, or region (like New England, or region 7 out west) is a “QSO Party” (“QP” for short) for that state (or province, etc.) or for your own state. There are lists here, here, and here. The idea is to make QSOs between the state and other states, and for operators in the state to also make contacts with other counties (parishes, whatever) in the state.
The exchange usually includes a signal report (59 — in many constests people always give out perfect 59 signal reports so they don’t have to worry about reading the S meter) along with the 2-letter postal code (e.g. NH or “November Hotel” for New Hampshire) from an out of state operator or a three-letter abbreviation for the county (e.g. HIL or “Hotel India Lima” for Hillsborough County) from an in-state operator, or both from the in-state operator if it is a regional QSO party (e.g. HIL NH, or AZ APH for Apache County, Arizona — there are different rules for different events). There is usually a web site with the rules, and it includes a list of the county abbreviations. Search the internet to find them (e.g. “new england qso party county abbreviations”) — the NEQP list is here.
- Aron, W1AKIOctober 22, 2017 at 6:07 pm #27450
One of the things I find really interesting is working Special Event stations. Some are one-shots, some repeat; some commemorate historical events, some celebrate current events. They sometimes have a short, or a long multi-digit, call sign. (The short call signs might get reused in the future for other events.) They often have a special QSL card and sometimes there is a certificate you can get
W0W was used by a Native American powwow in So. Miss. in 2016.
K2K is used by the NH stations that have arranged to be part of the 13 Colonies event held each year during the week of the 4th of July. This has become an unimaginably popular event for hams around the world. You can get a certificate for operating just one of them, but many people try to get all thirteen stations for a “clean sweep.”
W9IMS operates each year during 3 races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
SC90SSA was celebrating the 90th anniversary of the Swedish amateur radio association.
OL700KAREL was celebrating the 700th Anniversary of the birthday of King of Bohemia and Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV.
I have worked all of the above from my home QTH with just 100 watts and a wire dipole antenna up in the trees.
- Aron, W1AKIOctober 22, 2017 at 8:13 pm #27475
p.s. Re: QSO Parties: Like I said, rules vary. I just worked a few stations in the Illinois QSO Party and they use 4-letter abbreviations for counties. Delaware only has 3 counties, so they can use a 1-letter abbreviation which they pre-pend to the state code.
- Aron, W1AKIOctober 23, 2017 at 11:18 am #27500
You have listed a lot of great resources.
Another resource are HF nets. My first contacts were on 40m nets, they are great for the “mic shy” first timer. Often it is just your Call, name, and QTH at check-in. Most have a on-line list that you are added to. When it is your turn you basically exchange the same information again with the net corrdinator and say no traffic. On a few nets you can select one or two stations for a short QSO. It is a great way to add states for a WAS.
Today many nets are using the app NetLogger available at NetLogger.org. There is a 4 part youtube video at https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=p0tUug187MU
On NetLogger you can see the list of active nets. Once you select a net you are added to the list and wait your turn as the progress bar progresses down the computer screen. Do not hesitate to join the YL, XYL, Navy or other nets. They like and need the traffic and especially like new hams.
When I still needed WA, OR, and UT I found nets covering these areas on NetLogger.
Even if you don’t transmit nets are useful to evaluate propagtion and antennas. As you watch the progress bar move down the net list you “know” who is transmitting. For example if the net is the So. California net and as the bar progresses through OMs in various states you only hear the NH, NY and PA stations and they are getting 59s, it probably time to tweak your antenna. By the same token if the Net Control is in NJ and you are hearing both sides of his QSOs with OMs in 6 other states loud and clear while others around you are leaving the net due to poor condition it say your antenna is doing its job.
Amherst, NHNovember 20, 2017 at 10:44 pm #28647
Good idea, Hamilton, thank you!
I got a few more states for WAS (and a new Canadian province for an RAC award) from the ARRL Sweepstakes (“SS”) this weekend. Unfortunately, I didn’t find these strategy guides until after the contest, when looking at a back issue of the ARRL “Contest Update” e-mail newsletter. They’ll be helpful next year, and maybe in some other contests between now and then!
Yes, the exchange is kind of long for this contest, but I heard a number of hams talking the other station through it, so remember that there is help out there.
- Aron, W1AKIJanuary 28, 2018 at 6:58 am #30710
Soon after I got my license, I found that the call with the ‘classic’ W1 prefix, and my initials as the suffix, was available, so I filed an application for a “vanity callsign” and changed my call to W1AKI.
Soon afterwards the World-wide Prefix competition came around, and I discovered that W1 calls were the least valuable ones in the entire world! Everybody had already worked a W1 station and didn’t have a big need to work another one.
I like my call sign, and I’m not about to change it again (I already got a hat with W1AKI on it!) but I do encourage people to think twice before changing their call (or at least before changing their call to one with a W1 or N1 or similar common prefix).
- Aron, W1AKI
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