Category Archives: Operating

D-Star in Dixie

Okay, this is not strictly SDR, but this site is dedicated to discussing the latest and interesting technologies  that are being used in Amateur Radio. Like a lot of hams, I had sort of dismissed D-Star as an expensive niche product. Last field day, a ham friend on mine mentioned that a new D-Star repeater had been brought up in the area. After the discussion, I thought I would take a second look at D-Star. I was surprised to see  so many D-Star repeaters had sprang up in Georgia (about 26 and still growing).  As a matter of fact, D-Star repeaters are popping up like weeds in the Southeast. Other areas of the country are also seeing growth in D-Star repeaters. I was also quite amazed to see that there were about 18,000 registered D-Star users worldwide . If you want to see the the statistics of how quickly D-Star is growing, take a look at the Watch D-Star Grow page. The daily number of new users joining the network is pretty eye-opening…

It’s Contest Weekend!

Of course there’s an argument that there’s a contest every weekend (and that’s true) but this weekend is the CQ WW WPX SSB Contest. Starting at 0000 GMT Saturday (Friday night for those of us in North America) and running 48 hours to 2359 GMT Sunday this is one of the big contests of the year.

And good news: There’s a good chance that conditions, especially on the higher bands, could be very good. (The certificate is from G8DYT who took First Place for High Power SSB Single Operator – 80 Meters in 2008. Cool!) Keep an eye on the propagation numbers.

So what does this mean to the new contester? It means your modest 100-watt signal into a dipole (a beam is preferable but we use what we have) on 15 and maybe even 10 meters can provide DXCC in a single weekend. This is especially true if the band opens to Europe in the morning and the Caribbean in the later afternoon where there are tons of separate countries.…