July 31, 2021

NASA Updates Coverage, Invites Public to Virtually Join Starliner Launch

NASA Updates Coverage, Invites Public to Virtually Join Starliner Launch: NASA will provide coverage of the upcoming prelaunch, launch, and docking activities for the agency’s Boeing Orbital Flight Test-2 (OFT-2) mission to the International Space Station.

July 17, 2021

800 Counties Confirmed on qrz.com

There are a lot of US Counties!  To be exact, there are 3,007 US counties according to the US Census Bureau.  I am collecting them one at a time on amateur radio with confirmed contacts tracked on qrz.com as part of United States Counties Award.

So far, my strategy is to simply make random QSOs without regard to County location.  That will likely change if I ever decide I want to fill County gaps and make contacts with stations in less populated Counties.

Today I hit 800 confirmed US Counties out of 3,006 which is 26.6%.  Only 2,206 US Counties to go!  I have confirmed contacts with all Counties in three States.

Good DX and 73, NJ2X

June 25, 2021

The most popular ham radio event of all...

“The most popular ham radio event of all is called ARRL Field Day, held on the fourth full weekend of June every year. More”
― ARRL Inc., The ARRL Ham Radio License Manual

Have a safe and happy Field Day!



June 21, 2021

King Kamehameha Celebration 2021

I was delighted to receive this beautiful QSL card for participating in the 2021 special event celebrating King Kamehameha.

K6K QSL Card

Good DX and 73, NJ2X

June 18, 2021

Amateur Radio Kids Day 2021

Amateur Radio Kids Day 2021 falls on June 19, 2021 

Kids Day always runs from 1800 UTC through 2359 UTC. Operate as much or as little as you like.

The preferred exchange for kids day contacts is: name, age, location and favorite color. Be sure to work the same station again if an operator has changed.  When calling, the suggested call is: “CQ Kids Day.”

All participants are eligible to receive a nice certificate from the ARRL.  Check out the ARRL's kids day web page for more details:

Good DX and 73, NJ2X

May 30, 2021

Point Reyes to Mt. Loma Prieta WINS System Repeater (89 miles) on an HT

I recently went on a daytrip adventure up the California coast on the beautiful Route 1.  A nice long drive was the perfect opportunity to bring along my new 10w Wouxun KG-UV9D Mate dual-band FM transceiver and have some fun giving it a workout.

KG-UV9D Mate 10w dual-band HT

The radio performed very well throughout the trip using only the stock antenna.  I tested the radio's reception and transmitting capabilities at each turnout when we would stop to take in a vista.  The battery lasted all-day long with more than 75% remaining at day's end.

Of all the contacts I made during the day, I was most surprised at making 70 cm full-quieting contacts with the WINS System repeater on Mt. Loma Prieta, California (K6JSI) from both Mt. Tamalpias (66 miles) and again from Point Reyes Lighthouse (89 miles).

These impressive contacts are a testament to both the KG-UV9D Mate HT and the Loma Prieta WINS System repeater.  So the next time you find yourself at Point Reyes, California, be sure to make a call to the Loma Prieta, CA WINS System repeater (K6JSI) 442.900 MHz  (+) 162.2 Hz tone.

Good DX and 73, NJ2X

May 18, 2021

Completed the ARRL 15m Digital Worked All States Award from California

A big THANK YOU to N7MJ (Jack) for helping me complete the ARRL 15m Digital Worked All States (WAS) award with our FT8 15m contact between Wyoming and California.  We both confirmed on LoTW.  It is amazing how much fun you can have with 100w, a length of coaxial cable, and a little wire.

State flag of Wyoming

Good DX and 73, NJ2X

May 7, 2021

750 unique US State Counties confirmed on QRZ

A big THANK YOU to AA2EC, Ellie Mae, for completing my 750th confirmed unique US State county contact on QRZ.  Ellie Mae's QTH is in Columbia County, New York.  Ellie Mae, thanks for the new county on 17m.

Columbia County Flag, New York, USA

Good DX and 73, NJ2X

WSJT-X Tip #1: JTAlert

An outstanding companion to WSJT-X is JTAlert.  JTAlert monitors the stations you receive and provides feedback to help you choose which stations to select for a contact.  

Helpful alerts include:
  • Identifies stations you worked before
  • Color codes stations that are calling CQ in green
  • Color codes stations in grey that are in the middle of a QSO
  • Flags wanted callsigns
  • Flags wanted US States
  • Flags DXCCs
  • Ignores callsigns
 JTAlert is a must-have companion for anyone using WSJT-X.

Good DX and 73, NJ2X

Related posts

© Michael W. Maher and NJ2X.COM, 2021. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Michael W. Maher and NJ2X.COM with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

May 2, 2021

Completed the ARRL 30m Digital WAS Award from California

A big THANK YOU to W1BFA (Michael of Maine) for helping me complete the ARRL 30m Digital WAS award with our FT8 30m coast-to-coast contact between Maine and California.  We both confirmed on LoTW.  It is amazing how much fun you can have with 100w, a length of coaxial cable, and some wire.

Maine State Flag

Good DX and 73, NJ2X

April 27, 2021

Last Man Standing Special Event March 2021 Certificate!

My Last Man Standing Special Event March 2021 certificate arrived today!  Fun!  A big THANK YOU to the show and hams for putting on wonderful event.

Good DX and 73, 

April 10, 2021

Amateur Radio Wilderness Protocol

Radio amateurs spending time in the backcountry with their radios are asked to follow The Wilderness Protocol to potentially help someone in an emergency.  Communication capabilities in an emergency situation are extremely important.  Backcountry locations are often without mobile phone service and out of reach of amateur radio repeaters.  

Light-weight low-power amateur radio transceivers (handy-talkies) are easy to carry and provide the possibility of simplex communication in an emergency situation.  However, amateur radio in the backcountry is useful for summoning help only when there is someone listening.  The Wilderness Protocol is described in the ARRL ARES Emergency Resource Manual encourages radio amateurs to listen:
The Wilderness protocol calls for hams in the wilderness to announce their presence on, and to monitor, the national calling frequencies for five minutes beginning at the top of the hour, every three hours from 7 AM to 7 PM while in the back country. A ham in a remote location may be able to relay emergency information through another wilderness ham who has better access to a repeater. National calling frequencies: 52.525, 146.52, 223.50, 446.00, 1294.50 MHz.
The above frequencies are FM simplex calling frequencies in the the US.  It is a good idea to listen on all the prescribed frequencies that your radio is capable of receiving, even if your radio doesn't necessarily transmit on those same frequencies.  You may intercept a call for help and be able to relay it to another station on a frequency your radio does transmit on.

The Wilderness Protocol schedule of listening times are all local times.
  • 7:00 AM to 7:05 AM
  • 10:00 AM to 10:05 AM
  • 1:00 PM to 1:05 PM
  • 4:00 PM to 4:05 PM
  • 7:00 PM to 7:05 PM
California backcountry

It is also a good idea to transmit your call sign once or twice so that others will be alerted to your presence.  Someone experiencing an emergency may hear your transmission and be prompted to respond by asking for your help.
The Wilderness Protocol is simply a recommendation that those outside of repeater range monitor standard simplex channels at specific times in case others have priority or emergency calls. -- FM & Repeaters”, June 1996 QST, p. 85.
As radio amateurs, we can make a difference by using our radios, knowledge, skills, and The Wilderness Protocol.  Now that you know about The Wilderness Protocol, be sure share this information with others including your family, your ham friends, your child's scout troop, your fellow amateur radio club members, and others in your circle.

Good DX and 73, NJ2X

April 2, 2021

500th contact toward the ARRL DXCC Challenge Award

I have been chasing DX for more than a decade now on HF with nothing more than a 100w transceiver, a length of coaxial cable, and some wire slung up in the trees.  I enjoy the thrill of making new DX contacts in far away places.  The magic of radio never gets old.

I recently crossed a major milestone with my 500th DXCC contact toward the ARRL DXCC Challenge award.  This award requires 1000 unique contacts in a combination of band and DXCC entity.  This is indeed an aptly named award.  It is my goal finish it while I am above ground and able to enjoying the hobby.

I was positively delighted to have my 500th contact be with Antarctica 9153 miles from my QTH in California.  Now that is what I call DX!  I managed to complete one other contact with Antarctica many years ago which also happened to also coincide with the solar minimum.  Antarctica has remained one of my most memorable contacts since.  It was wonderful to have Antarctica be my 500th DXCC contact.  Achieving this 50% milestone has renewed my commitment to earn the DXCC Challenge award.  Hope to make many more contacts with Antarctica on my way to the 1000th DXCC contact.

A big THANK YOU to Felix, DP1POL for the contact on 30m.  DP1POL is located at the German research station Neumayer III in Antarctica, which is about 1,300 miles North of the South Pole.

Penguins in Antarctica

Good DX and 73, NJ2X