ICOM IC-7610 “Contest Grade” SDR Transceiver introduction

Recently ICOM UK were able to experience  a pre-production sample of the new IC-7610 HF/50MHz SDR transceiver and took the chance to  produce a short introduction video giving their first impressions.

The video classes the transceiver as “contest grade” and demonstrates that it has a significant number of additional features compared to the widely acclaimed and significantly cheaper IC-7300, including digital front end selectivity, dual receivers, multiple antenna sockets and inbuilt server.

EANET Sprint Contest Nov 5 2017 0800 to 1200 utc

Devoted to the “Radio Clubs of the World” the 2017 EANET Sprint takes place on November 5 from 08:00 to 12:00 UTC.

In just four hours you have the chance to win original and funny prizes that you can share with your mate or friends: hotels, restaurants, wellness or adventures.

Moreover, you will have the opportunity to contact those radio clubs you still needed to complete the EANET Award.

EANET Sprint Contest 2017 – Radio Clubs of the World Award

As a tribute to all associations and Radio Clubs of the World, key elements in maintaining the spirit of amateur radio, the EA Digital Federation (FEDI-EA), with the support of the European Radio Amateurs’ Organization (EURAO) , established in 2008 the EANET Award, of international scope and permanent duration.

This Contest is intended to complement that Award with an specific activity, fun and entertaining, with a certain degree of competitiveness, necessary to keep the ability to operate in adverse circumstances.

Contest Rules

  1. Participants: Any radio amateur and radio club who desire can participate in EANET® Sprint Contest, with no discrimination of nationality nor association membership.
  2. Purpose: To contact as many stations as possible, around the world, participating in this Contest.
  3. Bands and modes: Any frequency and mode authorized for amateur service, including satellites.
  4. Period: Valid contacts are those done from 08:00 to 12:00 UTC of November the 5th of 2017.
  5. Categories: Two main categories of participants will be established: radio amateurs and radio clubs, according to if the holder of the callsign is an individual or an association.In its turn, these categories could be divided in two subcategories: National and International, depending on if the participant’s station is in Spain or in another country.In the case of radio clubs, besides, also two subcategories will be considered: members and friends, depending on their relationship with FEDI-EA and/or EURAO.
  6. Punctuation: Each contact done, and confirmed, will have a value in points depending on the kind of correspondent:
    • member radio club: 5 points
    • friend radio club: 3 points
    • radio amateur: 1 point.

    Only ONE contact between a participant and another specific one will be considered, so repetitions are worth zero additional points.

    For both, radio amateurs and radio clubs, only the amount of points received will be taken into account, ie the QSOs actually confirmed by the correspondents lists.

    As multipliers, the number of different contacted countries and continents will be used, the final score will be the outcome of the formula:

    Points x Countries x Continents.
    In order to encode the location of each station, standard ISO 3166-1 alpha-3 is taken into consideration for the country and one of the following abbreviations for the continent: AF, AN, AS, EU, NA, OC or SA. Or what is the same, the hierarchical address of the closest packet radio BBS.
  7. Call: “CQ EANET Sprint Contest“.
  8. Lists: To validate contacts, participants should send their log in Cabrillo or ADIF format to: eanet-sprint@fediea.org, within two weeks of the contest.The subject must contain: “EANET Sprint log of XXXXXX”, where XXXXXX is the callsign used during the contest. The attached log file should be named “XXXXXX.log” or “XXXXXX.adi”, replacing, if applicable, any “/” (bar) with “-” (dash).The body of the message will show: full name or corporate name, category in which it participates (radio amateur/radio club), preferred language.
  9. Prizes: For the first, second and third finishers in each category there will be the following packs of incentive:
    1. Weekend Hotel
    2. Restaurant
    3. Wellness or Adventure (spa, rafting, …)

    All the stations with at least 25% of the scoring champion in its category will get Certificate of participation.

  10. Registrations: Sending lists of participation shall be deemed registration for this Contest, assuming full acceptance of its conditions.
  11. Unforeseen: Any circumstance not covered in these rules shall be settled by the Organization of the Contest and its decision is final.

Explanatory notes

  • Unlike the EANET Award, this Contest is not based on eQSL for contact verification, but on the lists received from the participants themselves.
  • Note that, for the consideration of country, DXCC is not taken into account, but the geo-political definition of a territory in accordance with standard ISO 3166.
  • Do not forget to express log time in UTC. Otherwise, the software may consider some contacts invalid.
  • Alternatively, those who can not provide their log in ADIF or Cabrillo format, may do so using this Excel spreadsheet. Special attention must be given to the time field that should be 4 numbers but formatted as text.
  • Those associations that have not club station callsign assigned, but wish to participate in radio club category, may do so with a temporary callsign authorized by their PTT. The Organization reserves the right to request copies of relevant documents for verification.

Windows 10 updates and device drivers

Ian G3NRW has posted a new HOWTO on installing wanted versions of Windows 10 drivers which applies to anyone using Windows 10 to control any rig

Ian reports that several people have experienced issues lately with device drivers being silently replaced with different versions following Windows 10 updates. In particular this has sometimes stopped serial link drivers (for example, for FTDI USB adapters or Silicon Labs USB drivers) working properly.

The problem is that Windows searches suppliers’ sites for their latest drivers. Most times this is the sensible thing to do, but occasionally the latest driver has a bug that prevents it working properly. In this case you may want to retain an earlier version that does work, and wait for the supplier to fix the bug.

So, all you need to do is remove any old drivers from the system, then re-install the version you want. Then tell Windows not to override your wanted version.

Ian has now added a HOWTO to his Resources site with step-by-step instructions explaining how to do this. Click on HOWTOs
<http://g3nrw.net/TS-590/?page_id=256>, and download HOWTO #30: “HOWTO install Windows 10 Device Drivers”.

RadFxSat Fox-1B FM Satellite Set to Launch November 10th

The next AMSAT Fox-1 satellite, RadFxSat (Fox-1B), is scheduled to
launch on November 10 at 0947 UTC. RadFxSat (Fox-1B), which will
carry a 435/145 MHz FM transponder, is one of four CubeSats making
up the NASA ELaNa XIV mission, riding as secondary payloads aboard
the Joint Polar Satellite System-1 (JPSS-1) mission. JPSS-1 will
launch on a Delta II vehicle from Vandenberg Air Force Base,
California.

Information on ElaNa can be found at,
https://www.nasa.gov/content/about-elana .

RadFxSat is a partnership with Vanderbilt University Institute for
Space and Defense Electronics (ISDE) and hosts four payloads for the
study of radiation effects on commercial off-the-shelf components.
It will carry a Fox-1 style FM U/V repeater with an uplink on
435.250 MHz (67.0 Hz CTCSS) and a downlink on 145.960 MHz. Satellite
and experiment telemetry will be downlinked via the DUV subaudible
telemetry stream, which can be decoded using FoxTelem software.

The FoxTelem software can be downloaded from,
https://www.amsat.org/foxtelem-software-for-windows-mac-linux/ .