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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Ubuntu For Amateur Radio Operator

Bert Kolts, AB0VI


This free operating system provides your PC with all of the usual features, including lots of ham radio applications.

If you have wanted to upgrade your PC to a new operating system, but haven’t wanted to pay the high cost for some commercial packages, then you might want to consider the world of open source software. Contrary to popular belief, there are several options available for PC operating systems.

After a string of never ending system bugs and finally a hard drive crash, I was finally prompted to look for an alternative operating system for my PC. The hard drive was easily replaced, but I wanted an operating system (OS) that wasn’t going to cost me hundreds of dollars, that would be more robust and would support my ham radio operation.

A suggestion from a friend and a little time spent surfing the Web quickly led me to the Ubuntu Web site. It looked like a good option, but the most important question in my mind was whether it would support any ham radio applications.

What is Ubuntu?

Simply put, Ubuntu is a full-fledged operating system based on Linux (the PC version of UNIX) that has a similar look and feel to other popular OSs, such as Microsoft Windows. The Ubuntu OS supports all of the usual PC functions but with software that is all open sourced. This means that the operating system and all of the programs that it includes are totally free. Over the last few years, Ubuntu has gained in popularity to the point where some PC vendors are now offering it as an option with some of their new products.

In case you might be wondering about the name Ubuntu, it is a concept that comes from several South African languages. It’s one of those terms that does not translate well into English, but according to The Official Ubuntu Book it can be roughly translated as meaning “humanity toward others,” or “I am because we are.”

The Ubuntu desktop looks similar to those of other operating systems. Figure 1 shows the desktop that I use for version 8.04 (also referred to as Hardy Heron). You might notice that the desktop does not have any individual program icons, but this is simply a matter of personal preference, icons can be added if you wish. All of my programs are listed under the APPLICATIONS menu, located at the top left of the display, where I can organize them into folders by program type. Also located in that corner of the display is the PLACES menu, which contains such items as disc drives and networks, as well as folders for pictures, videos, music, etc. The SYSTEMS menu has user preferences and system administration menus.

The Ubuntu OS uses Firefox as a Web browser and Evolution for e-mail. For office applications the OpenOffice suite is provided, which supports a full featured word processor, spreadsheets, presentations and more. The system also includes the usual games, photo, video and music programs as well. Some of the video programs will even support the European video formats. This is an important feature if you have friends or relatives in Europe, as we do, who like to send you home videos of the grandchildren.

Hardware support is good too. I have two different PCs that interface with a router, one via LAN and another wireless. Each has a different printer as well. All of these devices, including the wireless USB adapter, were identified during system installation and simply worked with no problems. Ubuntu supports a wide range of both old and new hardware and peripherals. A list of the supported hardware can be found on the Ubuntu Web site.

If you would like to give Ubuntu a trial run, you can go to their Web site and download the OS, or order a free CD. You could also choose to buy one of the books that provide an introduction to Ubuntu, many of which will also include a CD. Just be sure that the included CD is one of the recent Ubuntu releases. Version 10.04, Lucid Lynx, is the latest, as of this writing.

When installing the OS, you will discover that you have several options. You can either run Ubuntu directly from the CD, just to try it without installing it on your hard drive, or you can create a dual boot configuration and have both Ubuntu and your old OS available. Of course you can also take the big jump and simply install Ubuntu as your only OS.

With the OS up and running, software updates and support are likely to be the next concern. The Ubuntu community, which consists of developers and users, provides periodic software updates, documentation and user forums. These help to assure that your system is kept up to date and that users have a resource for questions and problems should they arise.

Ham Radio Applications

At this point, since Ubuntu is beginning to look like a really viable alternative OS, the next big issue is whether it will support the ham radio applications that we want to run. Fortunately, the answer to this question is — yes it will.

One of the nice features of Ubuntu is the Synaptic Package Manager. This system lets you search through thousands of programs for specific types of applications and once found, download and install them onto your PC. All of this is done in one simple operation. To help make life easier, the programs within the Package Manager are categorized by type, such as games, mathematics, network and science. There is even a separate category for Amateur Radio.

The ham radio applications include programs for Morse code training, APRS and packet programs, rig control, CW and digital mode terminal applications, satellite tracking, Smith Charts, logging, DX clusters and more. In most cases there are multiple programs available for each of these applications and there is also a logging program that interfaces with LoTW.

As an example, I use the program Xlog, shown in Figure 2, for my log. This program not only provides basic contact logging, but it also tracks your scoring for important awards and checks for previously worked stations. In addition to this, Xlog can also read your rig’s frequency, mode and power via the serial port. For contesters, there is a CW keyer mode that allows you to program the function keys with CW messages and, of course, it can also import and export log data in several common formats.

There are a number of programs available for Ubuntu that will support the various digital operating modes. One popular program for digital mode operation is fldigi. This program, shown in Figure 3, supports several digital modes including: CW, PSK, HELL, Olivia, RTTY and more. It also has the ability to perform rig control, measure frequency (calibrated to WWV), log contacts, run in contest mode and interface with QRZ.com.

Wine — It’s Not Just for Drinking

But what happens if you can’t find a Linux application for the task you need and a Windows program is the only solution? Fortunately all is not lost, because there are several ways that you can run Windows based programs on Ubuntu. One of these ways is with Wine.

Wine is a software package that lets you run many Windows applications within the Ubuntu Linux environment. It creates a virtual C: drive on your hard disc and there you will find the familiar Windows folder “Program Files” that contains your Windows applications. When you run a Windows application in Ubuntu it will execute under Wine, but the display will look just like does when it executes from a Windows operating system.

Figure 4 shows an example of the Windows program CircuitMaker, a circuit simulation program, running under Wine. CircuitMaker is an old program that is no longer supported, but in this case I needed this old Windows program to support some of my older homebrew projects. It runs as well now with Ubuntu and Wine as it did with my old Windows system.

The much newer circuit simulation program, LtspiceIV from Linear Technologies, can be run with Wine as well. I downloaded the file a few days ago and it loads and runs on my PC with no problems whatsoever.

Schematic capture and PCB layout applications are also necessary tools for those of us who like to do homebrew projects. The PCB vendor that I like to use for my PC boards provides free schematic and layout software, but unfortunately their software is only available in Windows versions. (Will software vendors ever learn that there are some of us who prefer to operate in Linux? Sigh.) Once again, it only took me about a minute to download their software onto the Wine C: drive and install the programs. As expected, they ran perfectly with no problems.

[Note that the Wine emulator works well for smaller applications such as those described above, but it should not be considered a replacement for a Windows OS. Most of the larger, more complex programs that run smoothly under Windows will run erratically — or not at all — in the Wine environment. — Ed.]

The Bottom Line

In today’s tight economy many of us are looking to get the most bang for our computer buck. Ubuntu, with all of its standard features and functionality, its large library of Linux based ham radio applications and its ability to run Windows applications if necessary, is certainly a viable option when considering an operating system upgrade. Best of all, since the Ubuntu system is open source software, this is all available for free, which makes Ubuntu Linux and ham radio a hard combination to beat. After 2 years of running Ubuntu on two of my home PCs, I find that the more I use it the more I like it, so give it a try.

More Information

This article can’t even begin to describe all of the functions, features and applications available with Ubuntu, so for more information about Ubuntu, Linux, Wine or any of the other applications mentioned here, or to download software, try the following links: Ubuntu, OpenOffice, FireFox, Evolution, Wine, fldigi, Xlog.

The following two books are the ones that I keep next to my computer and refer to most often. They provide a good introduction to Ubuntu for the novice user and they contain Ubuntu CDs.

• Hill, Burger, Jesse, & Bacon; The Official Ubuntu Book; Prentice Hall, 2008.

This is a good overview of Ubuntu, including its history.

• Grant, Rickford; Ubuntu for Non-Geeks; No Starch Press, 2008.

This book provides a lot of good practical “how to” information for the Ubuntu beginner.

All photos are by the author.

Bert Kolts, AB0VI, an ARRL Life Member, was first licensed in 1960 (previously WA2VQB and WA0WZI) and now holds an Extra class license. Bert is a retired electrical engineer who spent 37 years working for Hewlett Packard and its spin-off Agilent Technologies. He is currently refreshing his German via online courses, learning to program in Python and of course hamming, where he works mostly CW and PSK31. Bert has published numerous professional articles on test and measurement and has also articles in QEX and QST. Bert can be reached at 253 Steamer Ct, Estes Park, CO 80517.

taken from http://www.arrl.org/ubuntu-linux-for-hams

Get Ubuntu now http://www.ubuntu.com

To learn how to use Ubuntu, please download Ubuntu pocket guide here http://www.ubuntupocketguide.com/

Join us as Ubuntu ham radio operator https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UbuntuHams and check out our activities. If you like CW, dont hesitate to have a CWIRC Chat on irc.freenode.net #CW.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Amateur Radio Must Have Maps

Information About United States Amateur Radio Callsigns

Well! You followed this link so now you're gonna get my simplified description of the international allocation of radio call-signs.

Amateur Radio call-signs, or those issued for other radio services, are not assigned in a vacuum. The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) is the governing organization for all electronic communication regulations worldwide. ITU regulations are developed at various worldwide conferences where any signatory nation may propose changes to any regulations within the scope of the conference. The ITU pre-dates the United Nations and it has no power of itself to enforce the regulations decided at its conferences. The enforcement of regulations is on the shoulders of each nation that agrees to be bound by ITU regulations. Yes, there are rogue nations that don't participate and those that agree to be bound and yet do their own thing, causing headaches for the rest of the world.

The Federal Communications Commission is the agency charged by Congress to enforce the ITU regulations adopted by the United States and tailor those generally broad regulations into more specific rules suitable for everyday use. The FCC is also responsible for licensing individuals and entities that qualify for the various radio services and granting them licenses in those services. When issuing a license for a specific radio service, the FCC uses one of three letters of the alphabet assigned exclusively for use by the USA (there is actually a fourth, more on that later). This letter is known as a "prefix" and is what sets USA call-signs apart from those issued by other nations. Since there are a bewildering number of radio services administered by the FCC, a different type of letter and letter/number combination exists for each service. Some examples are:

WKRP ... Broadcast station
KBPA5404 ... Land Mobile radio service
KAØRNY ... Amateur Radio Service
KA2XXX ... Experimental (Note similar format to Amateur Radio)

Since I am most familiar with Amateur Radio Service calls, I will concentrate on those. Looking at my previous call, we can break it down to three parts: prefix, call area, and suffix. The prefix is KA, I was licensed in the tenth call district -- Ø, and my suffix is RNY, a sequentially assigned combination of letters generated by the FCC's computer. In other words, the prefix and call area of my call were predetermined by virtue of living in the USA in the state of Kansas and the suffix was the "luck of the draw." The entire call was actually determined by one other detail, the class of license I applied for in October, 1983, in this case Novice.

As I said earlier, there are three letters assigned exclusively to the United States. Those letters are K, N, and W. K and W are familiar to nearly every US citizen as the FCC has issued calls using both letters to radio and television broadcast stations. N is more obscure, its use being limited to Amateur Radio and a few other services. A fourth letter, A, can be used by the US in combination with a second letter. This group runs from AA to AL and any call heard with a prefix of AM to AZ is from one of several other countries. So, here are some legal U.S. amateur calls:

KAØRNY ... "two by three" format, Group D
W5DRT ... "one by three" format, Group C
KM5DH ... "two by two" format, Group B
NØNB ... "one by two" format, Group A
NJ5S ... "two by one" format, Group A
AAØMV ... "two by two" format, Group A
KØV ... "one by one" format, Special Event

These are the FCC designated formats and groups for calls. In general, shorter calls are assigned to higher class operators, if the operator desires it as operators may keep a call they are currently assigned even when they upgrade their operator privileges. The groups are assigned as such:

Group A: available only to Amateur Extra Class licensees.
Group B: available to Advanced or Extra Class licensees.
Group C: available to Technician, General, Advanced, and Extra class licensees.
Group D: available to Novice and higher licensees.
Since the higher license classes can get shorter calls, it stands to reason that those calls are the most limited in availability. So, the FCC devised a cascade system where if a certain group of calls in a given call district (Ø to 9) is exhausted by the computer, it will begin to assign calls from the next lower group. In fact Group C calls ran out a few years ago in all call districts after which the FCC assigned Group D calls to new Technician and General class licensees. This occurred because the FCC only assigned calls beginning with N from the Group C block and would not issue un-assigned calls beginning with K or W in Group C. The vanity call system has re-activated many of those dormant calls, more on that later, as well.

When the FCC started assigning the calls in the block mine was drawn from, they began with KAØAAA, the next was KAØAAB and so on. Somewhere around mid-1986 KAØZZZ was assigned and the computer assigned KBØAAA next. Notice the sequence. Suffixes are assigned from AAA to ZZZ and then the second letter of the prefix is incremented. In the case of Group C calls, when NØZZZ was reached, the computer started assigning somewhere in the KBØxxx block. For Group B, the suffixes run from AA to ZZ and then the second prefix letter increments. For Group A there are at least three scenarios. I'm sure you'll be able to guess the pattern of 1X2 and 2X1 calls, yes, it would go like this: KØAA to KØZZ, NØAA to NØZZ, and finally WØAA to WØZZ. The only trouble is the FCC hasn't assigned 1x2 calls sequentially for many years. Instead, when the FCC went to this sequential assignment system in early 1978 they opted to assigning 2X1 calls to those Amateur Extra Class licensees that applied for them. So the order went like this (grossly over simplified!) including the AA to AL prefix: AAØA to ALØZ, KAØA to KZØZ, then NAØA to NZØZ, and finally WAØA to WZØZ. When WZØZ was assigned the computer skipped to...? Well, it didn't go to Group B, instead the FCC set up a special Group A block that used Group B (2X2) format and is being assigned like this: AAØAA to ALØZZ. This is a detail that confuses some radio amateurs who mistake these Extra calls for Advanced calls.

The FCC has reserved several prefixes of all call districts for areas outside the "lower 48." These include: AH, KH, NH, and WH, for Hawaii and certain Pacific islands; AL, KL, NL, and WL for Alaska; KP, NP, and WP for Puerto Rico; and KV has been used for the Virgin Islands. These prefixes are not routinely assigned to hams in the Continental U.S., however, you will find active hams in the Continental U.S. sporting these location dependent prefixes. About the only way to get one of those prefixes is to have a mailing address in one of the locations. There are other prefix combinations reserved for other uses and if you're interested poke around the FCC's web site and you'll probably find out what they are!

The Special Event category deserves a closer inspection. These calls are not assigned by the FCC nor are they permanently assigned to individual licensees or clubs. They are, however, valid U.S. calls and you will find them in use as the calls of a special event station on the air celebrating some notable occasion. Special event calls are assigned for a limited time by an (independent of the FCC) call-sign coordinator and the assignee must use their permanently assigned call once per hour when using a special event call. For more details consult Part 97.

Beginning in mid 1996, the FCC inaugurated a new way of assigning calls, namely allowing radio amateurs to pick a call themselves! This represented a radical new direction in call assignment as hams had never really been able to ask for their call of choice except for a period in the '70s when Extra Class operators could pick a 1X2 call for a limited time. The Vanity Call System as it is known has been opened in several timed "gates," the first allowed current licensees, regardless of license class, the opportunity to reclaim any previously held call. The next gate allowed current licensees to claim calls assigned to deceased relatives. Gate 2, as the third gate was called, allowed any Extra Class operator to request any unassigned with up to 25 choices in order of preference allowed on the application form. Gate 3 allowed Advanced Class operators the same opportunity. Currently all gates have opened extending the opportunity to General, Technician Plus, Technician, and Novice Class operators. Of course, only currently unassigned calls can be issued and there is a two year period when a call is not assignable except under special circumstances when a license lapses its term.

As with the sequentially assigned system, operators will be limited by license class on what calls they can request. Extras, of course, may request a call from any of the four groups. Advanced operators may pick from Group B and lower. General, Tech Plus and Technicians, presumably from Group C and lower and Novices from Group D. An added twist to the system allows any operator in the contiguous 48 states to request an available call that would otherwise be outside his home call district. For example, someone in Kansas can, and has, request a call with a 1 as the digit even though Kansas is in the Ø/tenth call district. Finally, operators in the contiguous 48 states may not request a call that has a prefix reserved for Alaska, Hawaii, and the territorial possessions. To get one of those calls, an operator must apply with a mailing address in one of the qualifying areas. I suppose an operator in one of those areas could request a call assigned to the contiguous 48, but why would they want to?

Like a lot of other hams I decided to take part in the "Vanity Insanity" and request a call of my choice. Looking at the available calls revealed NØNB to be available. Not only are the last two letters my initials, it's not a bad CW (Morse Code) call and it sounds good on voice. My application was processed and NØNB assigned on December 15, 1998. KAØRNY has now been marked as inactive in the FCC's database and is not available for re-assignment for two years. As I understand it, I am the only licensee able to reclaim it in that two year period, but would have to give up NØNB to do so. Have I missed the old call? Yes I did for the first few months. After being very active on the radio with KAØRNY for nearly 15 years, the call assumed an alter identity and it took some time to adapt to NØNB. There were too many times when I started to identify and I said "K" before realizing I should have said "N..." Now, nearly a year after getting NØNB, I am pleased with my selection. It is my new alter-ego and has been fun to use on Field Day and other operating events. I am glad the FCC was finally able to establish a system that allows hams to choose call letters based on their personal criteria and not just "luck of the draw."

As you now know, considerable detail has been given by the FCC to the system of Amateur Radio call-sign assignments. Hams hold calls nearly more dear than their given names! There may be thousands of John Smiths in the world, but only one WB2YUZ. The thought given to international and domestic call-sign assignments sees to that. So, now you can believe me when I say I am truly "one in nearly five billion!"

taken from http://www.n0nb.us/ham-linux/ham/callsigns.html

Between Apparatus Assignment And Regional Band Plan

I am not a good writter but i will try my best to explian whats 40M (7 Mhz) all about .
Most of Hams knows that in Region 1 & 3 40Meter Band covers from 7.000Mhz – 7.100Mhz. and for Region 2 covers from 7.000Mhz to 7.300Mhz

During WRC03 ITU have agreed that for region 3 by March 2009 all broadcast station have to move away freq. 7.100 to 7.200Mhz. All country members agreed and the change will take effect on 29 March 2009. By end of 2009 most of the broadcaster have move to 7.200Mhz and above.

In January this year (2010) 9M2RS wrote an email to Ir Mohd Aris Barnawi of MCMC. He responded to 9M2RS,

"We have cleared 7100 to 7200 KHz from any broadcasting services since last year. The remaining station at 7199 KHz has also been cleared. All amateur radio operator is free to use this band now. Other broadcasting transmitter from neighbouring is taking their time to clear the band. You are cordially requested to use only part of the band whenever there is no such broadcasting service on the air." - Ir Mohd Aris Bernawi, Senior Director, Resource Assignment and Management Division, Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission
Tel : +60 3 8688 81 81

Now if anyone have doubt about this please call MCMC and please talk to the wright person.

Now we heard that a few 9Ms AND 9Ws question why 9Ms transmit on 7.100Mhz and above? To those who don’t want to come on 7.100 and above fine…maybe they have their own reason. But please don’t stop others from transmit on 7.100Mhz and above….

Now let’s see this….

The IARU groups of peoples have work hard to ask for wider spectrum way back before 2003. The reason why they request 7.000 – 7.200 in region 1 and 3 is because to harmonise the frequency where by in region 2 have wider spectrum on 40m band they have been granted 7.000 – 7.300Mhz long time ago.

Now lets look at the latest Region 3 Band Plan on 7Mhz please go to
www.iaru-r3.org/r3bandplan.doc what does its say. We are not blind.

Report for IARU Region 3 Member Societies:
The World Radiocommunication Conference 2003 (WRC-03)

June 9 - July 4, 2003

Compiled by the Directors, IARU Region 3

IARU WRC-03 Final Report from Geneva

The big news for radio amateurs is that there will be a dramatic improvement in the 40-meter band! After weeks of debate and efforts to resolve great differences between numerous proposals, including strong positions for no change, the conference agreed to shift broadcasting stations in Regions 1 and 3 out of the 7100-7200 kHz band and to reallocate the band to the amateur service in those two regions. The allocation in Region 2 of 7000-7300 kHz remains exclusively amateur. The broadcasting band in Regions 1 and 3 will become 7200-7450 kHz and in Region 2, 7300-7400 kHz. The change will take effect on 29 March 2009, less than six years from now -- a relatively short time by ITU standards.
In Regions 1 and 3 the 7100-7200 kHz band will become exclusively amateur on that date. A footnote containing the names of countries that are mainly in Region 3 and the Arab States makes the band also available to the fixed and mobile services in those countries on a primary basis.

8 Reason why 9Ms Transmit 7.000 – 7.200Mhz

1. The emails from the MCMC … we treat this as a directive.
2. WRC 03 – “ITU” Directive
3. “IARU” Final Reports on WRC 03 (as above)
4. Some 9Ms who renew their AA its printed out 7.000 – 7.200 Mhz
5. The freq. on upper portion less noise compare to 7.000 -7.100Mhz
6. We need to occupy the Freq. otherwise the upper portion will be occupy by other
station from the neighbor country.
7. IARU Region 3 Latest Band Plan www.iaru-r3.org/r3bandplan.doc
8. An Information Paper by the IARU Amateur Service Spectrum Requirements
7Mhz. http://www.iaru.org/7-MHz-Spectrum.pdf

Furthermore if we look at the new draft of the spectrum plan made by the MCMC it shows that Class B have more spectrum which covers also 7.000 – 7.200Mhz. Question why did the MCMC wrote 7.000 – 7.200Mhz ? Why don’t they just wrote 7.000 – 7.100 Mhz?

The IARU have been working very hard on this subject but sad to see some of us here still thinking backwards. Some might ask this question the Frequency is not stated in the AA.

Now let see in 1997 our Radio Communication Licence does not write any frequency at all its only wrote


So in those days the frequency is not printed in our licence so we can't even transmit in any frequency? Come on, we are now living in the era of technology, peoples can comunicate from any part of the world through internet and satellite communication.

If anyone have question regarding 7.100 - 7.200Mhz please contact the wright person in MCMC please dont talk to any Tom Dick and Harry...by wright there is no issue anymore regarding the above subjects...it had been clearly stated in the WRC03 and we should thankfull to the group of peoples in the IARU level who have done excelent job in the WRC 03. Credit also goes to

Ir. Mohd Aris Barnawi
Senior Director
Resource Assignment and Management Division
Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission

Who have granted us to use the freq. 7.100 - 7.200Mhz
Opsss dont forget we should thankful to HJ Rashid 9M2RS for his job.

The funny things here those hams who are not active on 40M they are the one who make the big noise.

Yesterday i heard someone said on 40m band "those up there who stop us from transmitting on 7.100 - 7.200 ask them to go and fly kites !!!" My dear brothers we are not born yesterday.

taken from 9M2AU's post http://advanced-skynet.blogspot.com/2010/06/whats-wrong-with-7000-7200mhz.html

Why We Should Learn English ?

Why learn English

That's right. Do you think it would be fun to have access to information that other people can't get? Talk and write letters to interesting people that others can't communicate with? Impress people around you whenever you opened your mouth? Make big jumps in your career, leaving others miles behind?

You can get all this if you speak English well.

Get access to knowledge

What are you interested in? Is it science? Music? Computers? Health? Business? Sports? Today's media — such as the Internet, television, and the press — give you almost unlimited access to knowledge about your favorite subjects. After all, we live in the information age, don't we?

There's only one problem. Most of this knowledge is in English.

Here are some examples of knowledge you can use if you know English:

  • Most pages on the Web. That's over a billion (1,000,000,000) pages of information! It's amazing that learning just one language gives you access to almost all knowledge on the Internet.
  • Books — on any subject, from all over the world. Read books by British or American authors, and books translated from other languages. Whatever you're interested in, you can read about it in English!
  • The press. Only English-language magazines and newspapers can be bought in every part of the world. You don't have to search for Time, Newsweek, or the International Herald Tribune!
  • Science. English is the key to the world of science. In 1997, 95% of the articles in the Science Citation Index were written in English. Only about 50% of them were from English-speaking countries like the USA or Britain.
  • News reports. Watch international television networks, such as CNN International and NBC. They broadcast news much faster, and more professionally, than smaller, national networks. And you can watch them everywhere in the world.

Communicate with people

We like to call English "the language of communication". Why? Because it seems all the people in the world have agreed to use English to talk to each other.

About 1,500,000,000 people in the world speak English. Another 1,000,000,000 are learning it. (source)
75% of the world's letters and postcards are written in English. (source)
Almost all international conferences and competitions are conducted in English. For example, the Olympics and the Miss World contest.
Diplomats and politicians from different countries use English to communicate with each other. English is the main language of organizations like the United Nations, NATO, and the European Free Trade Association.

If you can communicate in English, you can:

  1. Contact people from all over the world. Talk about your ideas and opinions on Internet discussion groups. Send e-mail to interesting people. Learn about their life and culture.
  2. Travel more easily. Communicate with people wherever you go — English is spoken in more than 100 countries (source). Ask directions, have a conversation, or... ask for help. Who knows, maybe English will save your life someday!
  3. Push your career forward

If you want a good job in business, technology, or science, get out of that armchair and start learning English now! (If you already have a good job, start learning before you lose it!)

Knowing English will let you:

  1. Put "excellent knowledge of English" on your CV. Get your dream job, and earn more money.
  2. Gain technical knowledge. English is the language of technology, especially high technology like computer science, genetics, and medicine. If you're going to read about technology, you'll probably have to do it in English.
  3. Learn computer science. Read technical articles without difficulty. Or write your own articles!
  4. Be a world-class businessman (or -woman). It's simple. International business is done in English. And all business today is international. So if you want to play, you have to know English — to contact other businesspeople, go to conferences, read international business newspapers and magazines, etc.
  5. Become a better scientist. Contact scientists from other countries, go to international conferences, visit academic centers abroad. Learn about new scientific discoveries by reading papers, books, and magazines.
  6. Use your computer more effectively. Most computer applications are in English, so you will understand them better — and become a better employee.
  7. Learn new skills for your job. The section "Get access to knowledge" explains how English helps you learn.
  8. Enjoy art like never before

English lets you feel the culture of the world like no other language. With a good knowledge of the English language, you can do wonderful things:

  1. Watch American and British films in the original. Once you try it, you'll never go back to dubbed versions!
  2. Read great books. Every famous book was written in English or it was translated into English. There is an amazing number of titles — from classic plays like Hamlet to modern thrillers like Jurassic Park.
  3. Enjoy English-language music more. Believe us: music is much better if you can understand the words.
  4. English is easy to learn

English is not only the most useful language in the world. It is also one of the easiest languages to learn and to use:

Simple alphabet — no special symbols such as é or ä. Type in sweet, part, film on your computer. Now try süß (German), (Polish), (Russian). Which is easier?
Easy plurals — simply add s to a word. One car, five cars; one telephone, two telephones... There are very few exceptions.
Words are easy to learn. In French, it's la fille and le chien. In German, it's das Mädchen and der Hund. In English, they're just a girl and a dog. And that's all you need to know.
Short words. Most of the basic words are short: run, work, big, go, man. Long words are often shortened: sitcom = situational comedy, fridge = refrigerator, OS = operating system. Speaking English saves you time. :-)
Words don't change. But in many languages, one word has many forms:
English: The man is blind.
German: Der Mann ist blind.

English: This is a blind man.
German: Das ist ein blinder Mann.

English: I see a blind man.
German: Ich sehe einen blinden Mann.
Call everybody "you". You can say "Do you speak English?" to your friend or to your teacher. In other languages, you have to use the right word for the right person. In English, everybody is equal. :-)
English is everywhere. You can easily access English-language television, music, websites, magazines, etc. You don't have to learn from boring textbooks. You can learn and use your English at the same time. Using your English is especially important because it increases your desire to learn.
Get satisfaction

English is not only useful — it gives you a lot of satisfaction:

  1. Making progress feels great. We'll never forget the moment we discovered we could speak with Americans or watch TV in English.
  2. You will enjoy learning English, if you remember that every hour you spend gets you closer to perfection.
  3. Using English is fun, too, because every sentence you speak or write reminds you of your success.
  4. English makes you a more powerful, happier person. It is not difficult to imagine some situations where knowing English gives you a great feeling.

Band Plan - Antara AA dan IARU Region 3, Yang Mana Satu ?


Sunday, March 27, 2011

Introduction Of Ham Radio / Amateur Radio By ExpertVillage

How to Use a Ham Radio : How to Rig On Air CQ on a Ham Radio

How to Use a Ham Radio : How to Rig a Ham Radio

How to Use a Ham Radio : Types of Ham Radio Signals

Introduction to Ham Radio : How to Modify Your Ham Radio to Get More Range

Amateur radio (ham radio) is the licensed and private use of designated radio bands, for purposes of private recreation, non-commercial exchange of messages, experimentation, self-training, and emergency communication. Amateur radio, like other regulated radio services, operates under rules that limit the maximum power and the technical and operational characteristics of transmissions. Amateur radio stations are issued with a designated call sign to allow identification of stations. The power of amateur radio equipment is restricted, and operators must not cause interference to other authorized radio users.

 They may not broadcast to or communicate with the public with their equipment. They are only allowed to communicate with other licensed operators. National regulations governing amateur radio use are coordinated under international agreements since radio frequency transmissions can cross multiple national boundaries.

The term "amateur" is used to differentiate it from commercial and professional two-way radio services. Amateur radio operation is licensed by national governments. Amateur radio operation rules are coordinated by the International Telecommunication Union. An estimated two million people throughout the world are regularly involved with amateur radio. - Wikipedia.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Thursday, March 24, 2011

/dev/dsp CWIRC Problem On Ubuntu

If you got problem with /dev/dsp for CWIRC on Ubuntu, try to launch X-Chat by typing padsp xchat on terminal. this is pulseaudio problem. Latest Ubuntu are using pulseaudio, not alsa.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Belajar Tentang Radio Amatur

Sekadar berkongsi,


terdapat banyak info di sini, bermula dari sillibus, pengetahuan am, pengetahuan tambahan, SOP, teknikal, morse code, antenna designing dan bermacam-macam lagi.

ehsan dari @onnowpurbo

Keliling Dunia pada Band-band HF

Melakukan kontak radio pada band-band high frequency (HF) bukanlah semata-mata dengan menghidupkan radio dan memanggil CQ. Melainkan, selain harus siap dengan perangkat yang memadai, Anda juga harus memiliki pola berpikir dan bertindak yang tepat.
Coba bayangkan bahwa anda akan bicara melalui radio dengan ratusan - bahkan ribuan - orang-orang yang tak Anda kenal. Apa jadinya bila Anda tak tahu apa yang akan dibicarakan? Bagaimana bila stasiun lawan mengirim kode Morse lebih cepat dari kemampuan Anda menerimanya? Bagaimana bila Anda tak tahu istilah-istilah amatir radio karena Anda seorang pemula? Berikut ini beberapa petunjuk praktis:
  • Berlatihlah lebih dulu tanpa mengudara. Ini dapat dilakukan dengan teman dan/atau dengan alat pengetuk kode Morse. Contoh-contoh ber-QSO dapat dilihat pada buku-buku pengantar amatir radio.
  • Pelajari istilah-istilah. Kode-Q dan singkatan-singkatan lainnya adalah vital untuk ber-QSO dalam telegrafi dan sebagian istilah ada juga yang digunakan untuk percakapan telefoni. Bertanyalah kepada teman.
  • Janganlah "dibodohi" oleh siapapun yang kelihatannya memiliki kemahiran. Janganlah beranggapan bahwa "mereka dulu pernah jadi pemula namun sekarang mereka tahu segalanya sedangkan saya tidak tahu apa-apa" Sebenarnya, mereka itu hanya tahu hal-hal yang belum Anda ketahui, dan karenanya perbanyaklah belajar.
  • Janganlah kecil hati karena peralatan orang lain lebih baik dari milik anda. Anda bisa keliling dunia hanya dengan 100 Watt dan antena vertikal - atau bahkan dengan sistem yang lebih sederhana.
  • Carilah seorang teman. Adalah wajar bila seseorang merasa kagok ketika ada di depan mikrofon atau mengetuk kode Morse untuk pertama kalinya. Jangan takut untuk minta bantuan teman agar bergabung dalam beberapa QSO awal yang akan Anda lakukan.
  • Jujurlah. Katakan pada lawan bicara bahwa ini adalah QSO yang pertama (atau kedua, atau ketiga). Mereka akan senang mendengarnya. Bagi seorang amatir radio, tak ada yang lebih menyenangkan dari pada membantu seorang teman/amatir.
  • Ingatlah beberapa kalimat penting, bila sedang panik. Dalam telefoni sebutlah: "mohon diulang", atau dalam telegrafi: "PSE RPT". Kalimat lain yang berharga dalam CW adalah "PSE QRS" yang berarti "ketuklah lebih lambat". Bila perlu, nyatakan itu berulang-ulang agar dia mengirim lebih lambat sampai Anda dapat menerimanya. Janganlah mengirim kode Morse lebih cepat dari pada kecepatan Anda dalam menerima. Kebanyakan operator cenderung meningkatkan ketukannya, tanpa sadar, untuk menyamai kecepatan yang diterimanya. Bila Anda menggunakan electronic keyer, aturlah kecepatannya yang memadai. Bila secara manual, ketuklah dengan santai dan jagalah agar kecepatannya rata.(Untuk berlatih, manfaatkan ORARI CW Net pada 3825 kHz, tiap hari, pukul 20.00 WIB --penerjemah)
  • Istirahatlah seusai tiap QSO. Karena Anda bereaksi terhadap pengalaman baru, bisa saja Anda menjadi tegang. Berjalan-jalan sejenak atau minum air akan membuat lebih rileks.
  • Tentukan tujuan-tujuan yang realistis dalam ber-QSO. Beberapa kontak awal, terutama dalam CW, belum tentu baik. Namun, keberhasilan sudah dapat dinilai dari cara Anda mengudara dan menyelesaikan tiap QSO. Yang penting untuk diingat adalah semua operator pernah jadi pemula. Mereka berhasil melewati QSO-nya yang awal. Jadi, kenapa Anda tidak?
 Persiapan Lainnya
Selain bersiap mengudara, penting juga untuk melengkapi ham shack dengan barang-barang seperti:
  1. Band Plan. Kecuali bila Anda sudah hafal, adanya daftar alokasi frekwensi (band plan) amatir di meja akan sangat berguna sebagai acuan untuk mencegah Anda bekerja di luar band.
  1. Buku Log. Sebuah buku log berguna untuk merekam kegiatan mengudara. Catatan di situ juga penting bagi Anda bila hendak meng-claim awards. Setidaknya, catatlah tanggal dan jam QSO (dalam UTC), nama panggilan stasiun lawan serta laporan sinyal yang dikirim dan diterima. Selebihnya bisa berupa nama, lokasi dan alamat tujuan untuk mengirim kartu QSL.
  1. Sesuaikan jam Anda dalam UTC (Universal Time Coordinated). Sistem penunjuk waktu internasional ini dipilih untuk menghindari kebingungan akibat perbedaan waktu. Apabila Anda menggunakan sistem waktu lokal, pastikan agar perbedaannya dihitung dengan benar.
  1. Peta Dunia. Dapat berupa peta biasa atau yang dibuat khusus untuk amatir. Keduanya mencantumkan keterangan pembagian waktu. Peta dunia amatir akan mencantumkan prefiks dan batas-batas kawasan untuk awards.
  1. Direktori Amatir Radio. Kebanyakan amatir lebih mengandalkan buku direktori untuk mendapat alamat lawan bicaranya. Info selengkapnya ada di Radio Amateur Callbook atau juga di disket-disket komputer (kini, sudah ada on-line database melalui internet --Jo)
Tuning In: Band Apa dan Kapan?
Band apa yang harus dipilih untuk berQSO? Pertanyaan yang mudah ini sebenarnya sulit dijawab! Anda harus lebih dulu mempelajari ilmu propagasi sinyal-sinyal elektromagnetis karena kondisi propagasi selalu berubah dalam hari, musim, tahun dan siklus sunspot dll. Majalah-majalah amatir radio selalu memuat prakiraan propagasi dalam tiap edisinya. Tabel-tabelnya dapat membantu Anda untuk memilih kapan waktu dan band yang terbaik untuk memanggil CQ. Namun, akan lebih mudah bila Anda menyalakan radio dan mendengarkan apakah ada aktifitas QSO. Cara ini akan menjamin Anda untuk bisa membuat kontak dengan seseorang.
Sidebands dan Frekwensi Split.
Berikut adalah beberapa kenyataan yang sering membingungkan para pemula:
Untuk QSO dalam telefoni, Anda harus memastikan apakah stasiun lawan bekerja pada USB atau LSB. Umumnya, LSB digunakan pada 40m, 80m band dan frekwensi yang lebih rendah. Sedangkan USB digunakan dari 20m, 15m dan frekwensi yang lebih tinggi. Namun, kadang-kadang terdengar juga QSO yang terjadi dengan pilihan sideband yang berbeda. Pengaturan itu tidak ditetapkan oleh FCC melainkan oleh konvensi. Hal lain yang acapkali juga membingungkan adalah bila sebuah stasiun bekerja split, yaitu memancar pada sebuah frekwensi dan menerima di frekwensi lainnya. Sering terdengar puluhan stasiun dalam satu frekwensi sedang memanggil satu stasiun yang seolah-olah tidak ada karena tak terdengar. Lalu, apa yang sebenarnya terjadi? Sudah pasti di situ ada stasiun yang sedang mengudara dari lokasi yang langka. Bekerja split akan menyebabkan frekwensi stasiun DX itu bebas dari gangguan sehingga stasiun-stasiun yang memanggilnya dapat mendengar jawaban. Pada CW, frekwensi split umumnya berkisar hanya 1 s/d 5 kHz. Sedangkan pada telefoni bedanya bisa 5 kHz atau lebih!
Bila Anda mendengar sebuah stasiun yang bekerja split, dengarkan baik-baik petunjuknya agar Anda dapat mengontaknya.
Bahasa Apa yang Digunakan?
Bahasa Inggris adalah lingua-franca para amatir di seluruh dunia. Jadi, tak perlu kawatir bila Anda bisa berbahasa Inggris. Walau tidak semuanya fasih, setidaknya Anda dapat bertukar info tentang nama dan kota/lokasi.Bila Anda menjadi amatir karena juga ingin belajar bahasa asing lainnya, maka bekerja pada HF adalah tepat. Selain bahasa Inggris, bahasa Spanyol dan Prancis juga digunakan oleh amatir di banyak negara.
Laporan Sinyal.
Bertukar laporan sinyal pada awal QSO adalah baik dilakukan karena hal itu akan memberi gambaran kepada kedua pihak tentang kondisi penerimaan di masing-masing stasiun
Dalam mode telefoni, laporan sinyal terdiri dari kejelasan (readibility) dalam skala 1 sampai 5; dan kekuatan sinyal (1 sampai 9). Laporan sinyal yang paling baik adalah 59. Nilai laporan di bawahnya, sampai 55 atau 56, berarti bahwa QSO masih bisa dilanjutkan dengan lancar, walau sesekali bisa terjadi pengulangan karena gangguan. Bila Anda benar-benar "ngotot" untuk menjalin kontak, Anda dapat terus berQSO walau harus bekerja dalam nilai laporan yang lebih rendah. Dalam mode CW, laporan hendaknya ditambah untuk Tone/Nada dalam skala 1 sampai 9. Jadi, laporan terbaik dalam CW adalah 599.
Peraturan FCC (yang juga diadaptasi juga oleh ORARI --penerjemah) hanya mengharuskan Anda untuk menyebut nama panggilan di akhir QSO, dan setiap 10 menit - bila kontak berlangsung lebih lama dari waktu tersebut. Namun, merupakan kebiasaan yang baik bila anda menyebut identifikasi lebih sering, misalnya setiap beberapa menit. Tapi, janganlah mengidentifikasi setiap kali giliran bicara.
Apa yang Dibicarakan?
Setelah bertukar laporan sinyal, nama panggilan, nama dan lokasi, apa lagi yang akan dibicarakan? Kebanyakan percakapan antaramatir berisi tentang peralatan. Radio apa yang digunakan? Antena apa? dll. Bersiaplah untuk menjawab pertanyaan-pertanyaan itu. Juga, dalam CW, ketahuilah singkatan-singkatan yang akan membantu Anda dalam memberikan informasi dengan benar. Setelah itu, Anda bebas bercakap-cakap dalam batas-batas legal dan sopan. Bila Anda memiliki atlas atau ensiklopedi, Anda dapat bertanya kepada lawan bicara tentang kampung, negara bagian atau negaranya. Ceritakanlah secara ringkas mengenai diri Anda. Pekerjaan dan/atau hobi Anda, aspek apa dalam dunia amatir radio yang paling Anda minati, bagaimana keadaan negara Anda dll. Topik-topik seperti ini akan membuat sebuah QSO bernilai lebih dari pada sehelai surat - tanpa perlu menjadi terlalu pribadi sifatnya. Singkatnya, ciptakanlah percakapan yang layak dilakukan oleh dua orang yang seolah-olah baru pertama kali bertemu muka.
Beberapa Petunjuk untuk DXing.
Beberapa kontak DX dapat terjadi dangan santai seperti layaknya sebuah QSO lokal. Namun, bila Anda mau bekerja DX untuk memperoleh stasiun-stasiun yang langka maka anda harus menghadapi pile-up dan bertukar info dengan singkat.
Apa rahasianya agar kita berhasil dalam kontak-kontak yang berharga seperti itu? Amatilah para DXer bekerja, dan Anda akan menyadari bahwa mereka hanya butuh waktu yang singkat. Bahkan, ketika mereka menemukan stasiun DX yang diinginkan, mereka tahu pentingnya memastikan gaya beroperasi lawan bicara, kondisi propagasi dan suasana "pile-up" itu sendiri. Kesemuanya itu menunjukkan fakta yang penting diingat oleh seorang amatir radio, yaitu otak akan selalu unggul dibanding otot. Memang, tidak selalu demikian, tetapi, bila Anda punya stasiun yang berdaya pancar rendah (low power),
Anda bisa puas dan berhasil mendapat banyak kartu QSL bila cekatan. Banyak bukti yang menunjukkan bahwa program 100 negara DXCC dapat dicapai hanya dengan transceiver 100 Watt dan antena kawat biasa. Jadi mengapa Anda tidak bisa?
 Di bawah ini, beberapa hal yang harus diperhatikan:
  • Simplex atau Split? Apakah stasiun DX sedang bekerja secara simplex atau split? Bila dalam split, Anda harus memastikan dimana frekwensi pancar dan terima-nya.
  • Pembatasan dari Si Pemanggil. Pastikan apakah dia hanya memanggil kawasan tertentu atau memanggil nomor tertentu dalam prefiks (misalnya, memanggil mereka yang punya nomor "3" saja dalam nama panggilannya). Jadi, janganlah membuat diri Anda sebagai "poor operator/lid" dengan menjawab di luar giliran. Sebab Anda akan membuat jengkel dan dia akan enggan untuk menjawab.
  • Pacing. Apakah operator DX itu menjawab panggilan yang terkuat, ataukah dia akan berdiam lebih dulu sampai huru-hara dalam pile-up berakhir, baru kemudian menjawab panggilan seseorang? Gaya yang disebut belakangan itu akan sangat menguntungkan bagi stasiun-stasiun yang berdaya rendah. Bila keadaan pile-up seperti sebuah pertandingan adu teriak -dan Anda merasa akan tergencet- hematlah suara (atau gerakan tangan pada kunci ketuk) Anda sampai pile- up mereda.
  • Durasi QSO. Apakah operator DX itu bicara dalam gaya ngobrol atau dalam gaya kontes? Jangan bicara berkepanjangan ketika stasiun lain ingin bekerja DX secara singkat. Namun, bila Anda merasa bahwa mereka bisa menunggu, lontarkanlah sebuah pertanyaan yang singkat dan cepat kepada operator DX itu.
  • Propagasi. Apakah stasiun-stasiun yang terdengar oleh stasiun DX itu berasal dari kawasan yang jauh dari Anda? Mungkin kondisi propagasi sedang buruk. Ini tidak berarti bahwa Anda harus menyerah, melainkan Anda bisa saja bekerja dengan stasiun lainnya di frekwensi lain dan beberapa saat kemudian kembali ke stasiun DX itu. Namun, bila Anda merasa bahwa propagasi akan makin memburuk, maka silakan terus mencoba.
  • Ukuran Pile-Up. Apakah kondisi pile-up sulit ditembus? Bila demikian, Anda dapat menghemat energi dengan meninggalkannya sejenak sampai keadaan membaik. Bersabarlah.
Kegiatan DXpedition - yaitu perjalanan ke lokasi-lokasi yang eksotis untuk tujuan yang spesifik yaitu menyelenggarakan kontak radio amatir - sangat mirip dengan suasana kontes. Umumnya, ukuran pile-up nya besar dan iramanya cepat. Bayangkanlah bila ribuan amatir radio secara bersamaan ingin bicara dengan satu stasiun di negara yang sudah tak terdengar di radio selama 20 tahun!
Apakah operator yang tak berpengalaman akan berhasil dalam situasi seperti itu? Tentu saja bisa. Yang diperlukan adalah kesabaran, sikap realistis dan cekatan dalam beroperasi. Jangan sekali-kali berharap akan dapat menembus tirai sinyal dari stasiun-stasiun yang berkekuatan ribuan Watt di hari pertama pile-up DXpedition. Mungkin, kesempatan untuk Anda baru akan tiba beberapa hari kemudian ketika kerumunan itu menipis.
Sambil menunggu, Anda dapat memanfaatkan waktu untuk mengamati beberapa frekwensi pada band-band lain yang digunakan oleh stasiun-stasiun DXpedition itu. Bila Anda siap dan kebetulan mereka muncul di frekwensi yang berbeda, maka Anda bisa berQSO lebih dulu dari pada operator lainnya yang sering menggunakan metode pencarian secara acak. DXpedition acapkali bekerja split, jadi catatlah frekwensi split yang sering digunakan (misal 14.195 MHz transmit dan 14.200 receive). Dengarkanlah informasi mengenai kegiatan DXpeditions dalam net-net pada band 2m atau HF.
Bila anda punya perangkat packet radio, periksalah pengumuman-pengumuman dalam buletinnya. Yang penting, perhatikanlah secara seksama semua instruksi/informasi langsung yang diberikan oleh operator DXpedition.
Apa yang terjadi setelah sebuah QSO usai? Apakah Anda hanya akan tutup buku log dan mematikan radio? Adakah hal-hal lain yang harus dilakukan? Berkirim kartu QSL dianggap sebagai sikap sopan-santun lanjutan dari sebuah QSO. Dari kartu itu, lawan bicara akan tahu bahwa Anda menyenangi pembicaraan yang pernah terjadi melalui radio. Juga, kartu QSL adalah sarana untuk memverifikasi kontak-kontak radio untuk meng-claim award.
Bagaimana Memilih Desain Kartu QSL?
Desain kartu QSL dapat bersifat pribadi. Namun, ada beberapa patokan yang harus diikuti untuk mencegah agar kreatifitas yang dituangkan tidak mengurangi nilai informasi. Kebanyakan operator di AS menggunakan kartu QSL yang berukuran sama dengan kartupos: 3,5 inci x 5,5 inci.
Ukuran kartu-kartu dari Eropa sering lebih besar. Anda bebas menentukan ukuran selama kartu Anda memenuhi ukuran dan ketebalan yang ditetapkan oleh kantor pos.
Percetakan yang mengkhususkan diri dalam bisnis kartu QSL sering memuat iklannya pada majalah-majalah amatir radio. Mereka menawarkan desain yang bervariasi. Beberapa toko kartu QSL bahkan memberi kesempatan bagi Anda untuk merancang sendiri tata-letak kartu, bisa berwarna, hitam putih atau dengan foto.Tak soal, apakah Anda membeli kartu jadi atau merancangnya sendiri, yang penting adalah nama panggilan stasiun Anda serta data QSO sebaiknya ada dalam satu halaman. Bila nama panggilan dicetak di halaman muka dengan gambar atau foto, pastikan agar nama panggilan itu juga tercetak di halaman belakang. Dengan demikian, operator kontes atau manajer DXpeditions akan lebih mudah memverifikasi data QSO karena mereka tak perlu repot membolak-balik halaman kartu QSL untuk menemukan data.
Pilihlah tipe huruf yang mudah dibaca. Bila seseorang tak dapat membaca nama panggilan Anda yang tercetak, maka Anda-lah yang rugi karena bisa tak memperoleh balasan.
Kartu QSL musti mencatat perincian QSO, seperti: tanggal, waktu, frekwensi, dan mode (CW, SSB, FM dll), nama panggilan stasiun lawan dan laporan sinyal. Semua data tersebut sangat diperlukan untuk perolehan awards. Dalam kartu QSL umumnya juga dicantumkan data perlengkapan serta ada ruang untuk pesan-pesan tertulis.
Mengisi Kartu QSL.
Tulislah data dengan jelas, bila tidak, maka si penerima akan sulit membaca informasi di dalamnya dan dia tidak akan menemukan data QSOnya dengan anda pada buku log.
Gunakan petunjuk waktu dalam UTC untuk menulis jam dan tanggal QSO. Bila ini diabaikan, bisa jadi kartu Anda dikembalikan setelah dicap "NOT IN LOG". Itu artinya bukan balasan yang diinginkan.
Cara menulis tanggal sering berbeda. Apakah "8/5/92" berarti 5 Agustus atau 8 Mei? Untuk menghindari salah faham, tulislah nama bulan secara lengkap (dalam Inggris) atau gunakan angka Romawi untuk nama bulan, misal: "5 VIII 1992" (Catatan: saya lebih senang menuliskannya menjadi 05 JUL '92 -Jo).
Rute QSL.
Apa yang harus dilakukan setelah kartu QSL ditulis? Itu tergantung pada di negara mana si penerima bermukim dan berapa besar dorongan dalam diri Anda untuk menerima balasannya. Umumnya, Anda boleh mengirim kartu QSL kepada operator di AS tanpa biaya/prangko untuk balasan. Jadi Anda cukup membubuhi kartu anda dengan prangko kirim. Namun, ada pengecualiannya. Operator di negara-negara yang langka akan menerima kartu QSL dalam jumlah yang banyak karena operator di negara lain perlu konfirmasinya. Uang yang digunakan oleh operator di negara yang langka untuk membeli prangko balasan bagi 1000 atau 2000 pemohon akan mencapai jumlah yang setara dengan harga sebuah radio baru! Jadi, akan sangat membantu bila Anda mengirimkan biaya/prangko balasan bersama-sama dengan kiriman kartu Anda. Cara ini juga berlaku bila Anda bekerja dengan stasiun istimewa (special event station) atau ketika mengirim kartu kepada para manajer QSL.
Bagaimana caranya untuk menemukan alamat-alamat? Milikilah Radio Amateur Callbook yang diterbitkan dalam berbagai versi setiap tahunnya. Informasi sejenis dapat pula diperoleh dari compact disk, microfiche dan buletin pada jaringan komputer/packet radio.
Seorang manajer adalah amatir yang mengelola kartu QSL amatir lain. Kebanyakan dari amatir dunia punya manajer di AS sehingga kegiatan pertukaran kartu QSL akan lebih mudah, murah dan cepat ketimbang harus menulisi langsung ke operator yang bersangkutan. Kirimlah SASE (self addressed stamped envelope) bila Anda minta jawaban dari manajer QSL. Bila anda perlu kartu QSL dari DXpedition, diharap agar Anda juga mengirim sumbangan untuk membantu biaya cetak kartu. Tindakan seperti itu adalah simpatik.
Biro-biro QSL
Mungkin Anda pernah mendengar ucapan di radio QSL via bureau. Apakah yang dimaksud dengan biro; dan keuntungan apa yang didapat dari sistem itu?
Biro-biro adalah wadah pelayanan penyebaran kartu QSL sehingga pertukaran kartu antaramatir dapat terselenggara dengan biaya yang murah. Biasanya biro-biro dikelola oleh organisasi amatir yang resmi di sebuah negara. Di AS, jaringan biro terbesar adalah milik The American Radio Relay League (ARRL).
Biro mendistribusi kartu dengan prinsip-prinsip pos yang ekonomis. Misal, Anda hanya punya dua atau tiga kartu untuk dikirim ke negara tertentu. Bila kartu anda itu digabung dengan ratusan kartu-kartu amatir lainnya maka biaya kirimnya bisa lebih murah. Setibanya di negara tujuan, kantong-kantong kartu QSL disortir berdasar nama panggilan dan selanjutnya dikirim ke alamat biro-biro di negara itu dengan biayapos domestik. Melalui biro, anda bisa mengirim 150 kartu ke luar negeri dengan hanya membayar beberapa dolar. Kelemahan sistem biro adalah dalam hal kecepatan pengiriman. Anda harus menunggu berbulan-bulan atau bahkan satu-dua tahun untuk menerima balasan melalui biro. Mengapa begitu?
Diperlukan waktu yang cukup untuk menyortir keluar-masuknya kartu sebelum pendistribusian. Lagi pula, kantong-kantong pos berisi kartu QSL umumnya tidak dikirim melalui pos udara. Di Amerika Serikat, penanganan kartu QSL di Biro ARRL dilaksanakan oleh tenaga sukarela. Walau sistem ini punya kelemahan, namun pengiriman/penerimaan melalui biro masih dianggap oleh para amatir sebagai cara yang paling layak untuk saling bertukar kartu QSL.
Pengiriman Langsung
Bila Anda ingin cepat menerima kartu balasan dari teman yang tidak diwakili oleh manajer QSL, Anda dapat mengirimnya langsung. Lagi, lengkapi kiriman Anda dengan SAE (self addressed envelope) dan sekedar biaya untuk prangko balasan. Selain adanya tempat-tempat yang menjual prangko luar negeri, cara lain untuk mengirim biaya pos adalah dengan menggunakan International Reply Coupons (IRC). IRC dapat diperoleh di semua kantor pos di AS (juga di Indonesia dengan harga yang - selama masa krisis moneter - lebih murah ketimbang 1,00 dollar AS --Jo)
Kini Tibalah Giliran Anda.
Hanya ada satu cara untuk belajar menyelenggarakan QSO DX pada band HF, yaitu: hidupkan radio dan panggilah. Tentunya, untuk itu Anda harus sudah memiliki izin (IAR --Jo). Kini, tibalah giliran Anda mencoba.
 (c) CQ Communications, Inc., USA, 1993.
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