Friday, October 26, 2007

This Weekend is the Big One!

Every year I look forward to the last weekend in October. That is because in the world of ham radio there is not another activity that can compare to it what happens this weekend. Thousands of hams from around the world will show up to participate.

So what is this monumental event - the CQ Worldwide SSB DX Contest

Yes, starting at 0000 UTC 27 Ocober 2007 (that is 2000 EDT this evening for you folks in Rio Linda California) and running for the next 48 hours the 160-80-40-20-15-10 meter HF bands will be full of amateur radio stations trying to work each other.

And even though there will be a lot of stations participating in this event, we are at the bottom of cycle 23, and will not start cycle 24 for a couple of more months. And while the DX won't be quite as plentiful as in years past (high end of the sunspot cycle), there are still some juicy targets to pursue by hams and SWLs alike.

Here are a few of the highlights to watch for this weekend courtesy of my friend Bill Feidt over at one of the best ham DX sites on the Internet

How many of the countries below do you shortwave broadcast DXers have in your logbook or QSLed? Oh yea, most of the 50 countries on the list below do not have SWBC stations transmitting in the HF spectrum as of presstime.

Afghanistan - T6EE
African Italy - IG9R
Aland Islands - OH0/SP7VC OH0B OH0R OH0Z
American Samoa - KH8/ON5AX
Antigua - V26B
Aruba - P40A P40PA P40W
Azores - CU2A
Bahamas - C6APR C6AQW
Balearic Islands - ED5ON/6
Barbadoes - 8P5A
Belize - V31FB
Bermuda - VP9/OH1VR
Bosnia & Herzegovina - T93M
Brunei - V8AQM
Cambodia - XU7MDY
Canary Island - AO8A
Dodecanese - SV5/G0RIF
Easter Island - CC0Y
Finland - OF4R OF5Z OF8X
Gambia - C50C
Grenada - J3A
Ireland - EI7M
ITU Geneva - 4U1WRC (Special event station for the World Radio Conference, a double collectible - country/special event)
Jamaica - 6Y1V
Kenya - 5Z4/YT1CS
Liechtenstein - HB0/HB9AON
Luxembourg - LX7I
Macedonia - Z37M
Madeira - CQ9K
Martinique - FM/K9NW
Mongolia - JT1DA
Montserrat - VP2MDG
Nepal - 9N7JO
Paraguay - ZP0R
Sardinia - IS0/K7QB IS0T
Scotland - GM0B
Senegal - 6V7G 6W1RY
Sov. Military Order of Malta - 1A3A
St. Helena - ZD7X (Beat the December rush)
St. Kitts & Nevis - V4/NE1RD
St. Martin - FS/K1XM
Svalbard - JW5E
Swaziland - 3DA0WWW
Tonga - A35RK
Tunisia - 3V8SS
Turks & Caicos - VP5T
Uruguay - CX6VM
US Virgini Islands - NP2B WP2/AH8DX
Wales - MW5W

If you are a true die-in-the-wool DXer and your blood isn't boiling after looking at that list - your probably taking the eternal dirt nap.

Now nothing could be easier folks. This is a voice contest. Just tune through the following bands in the mode indicated for contest activity:

Phone Segment (mode) Meter Band
1800-2000 (LSB) 160 Meters
3600-4000 (LSB) 80 Meters
7125-7300 (LSB) 40 Meters (look for possible DX 7030-7100 kHz LSB operating split)
14150-14350 (USB) 20 Meters (look for possible DX 14100-14150 kHz USB operating split)
21200-21450 (USB) 15 Meters (look for possible DX 21150-14200 kHz USB operating split)
28300-29300 (USB) 10 Meters

You can get an excellent full color Acrobat pdf frequency chart showing all the ham bands on the ARRL website at

You can find complete rules for this contest at

Additional station information, qsl routes and other info on this contest can be found at

A good reference aid for this contest is the CQ World Zone map at

If you are a collector of QSL cards, DX contest and contesters are excellent verifiers. And if you need to learn more about verifying amateur station don't forget to order our excellent publication -- the World QSL Book by Gayle Van Horn, W4GVH.

And if your a ham, give the contest a whirl. You might have a chance to put one of these on the radio shack wall.

CQ WW DX Contest Participants & Prop Bulletin

Courtesy of 425 DX English bulletin #860.

CQ WW DX SSB CONTEST ---> The following stations have announced their participation in this year's event (27-28 October):

02 VE2Z M/? Canada VE3ZF
05 VC2Z M/? Canada VE2BR
05 VP9I M/S Bermuda N1HRA
07 V31FB SO Belize W5JON
08 6Y1V M/2 Jamaica OH3RB
08 8P5A SOAB Barbados NN1N
08 C6APR M/S Bahamas K3IXD
08 C6AQW SOSB 40m LP Bahamas WQ5W
08 FG5JK SO Guadeloupe FG5JK
08 FM/K9NW SOAB Martinique K9NW
08 FS/K1XM SOAB Saint Martin KQ1F
08 FS/KN5H M/2 Saint Martin KN5H
08 J3A M/M Grenada WA1S
08 KP2/AH8DX SO US Virgin Islands AH8DX
08 NP2B M/? US Virgin Islands NP2B
08 T48K M/S Cuba DK1WI
08 TI5N M/S Costa Rica W3HNK
08 V26B M/? Antigua & Barbuda KA2AEV
08 V4/NE1RD SOAB LP St. Kitts & Nevis NE1RD
08 VP2MDG M/2 Montserrat K2DM
08 VP5T Turks & Caicos N2VW
08 WP2Z M/? US Virgin Islands KU9C
09 5K4C SO Colombia EA5KB
09 FY5KE M/S French Guiana FY5KE
09 HK3W SOSB 80m LP Colombia
09 P40A SOAB Aruba WD9DZV
09 P40PA SOAB Aruba W4PA
09 P40W SOAB Aruba N2MM
09 PJ4E M/2 Netherlands Antilles WA4PGM
10 HC1HC SOSB 80m Ecuador NE8Z
11 ZP0R SOAB Paraguay ZP5AZL
12 CC0Y SOSB 15m Easter Island 9A2AA
12 CE1W M/M Chile HA1AG
14 4U1WRC M/? ITU Geneva 4U1ITU
14 AO3K SOSB 20m Spain EA3GHZ
14 CU2A SOAB HP Azores OH2BH
14 EE1E SO Spain EA1CBX
14 EI2VNO SO Ireland NN5O
14 LX7I SOAB Luxembourg LX2A
14 MW5W M/M Wales M3SDE
14 ON9CMV SO Belgium N0HJZ
14 PA60LIM The Netherlands PE1NCP
14 PI4COM M/M The Netherlands PA3CAL
15 IF9A M/? Italy (Sicily) IT9ATF
15 IQ8OM Italy IZ8EDJ
15 IQ9BF M/S Italy (Sicily) bureau
15 IR5A M/S Italy IK5AFJ
15 IR9P M/? Italy (Sicily) IW9HMQ
15 IT9BLB SOSB 160m HP Italy (Sicily) IT9BLB
15 OH0/SP7VC SOAB Aland Islands SP7VC
15 OH0B SOSB 80m Aland Islands OH2BH
15 OH0R SOSB 20m Aland Islands OH2PM
15 OH0Z SOSB 15m Aland Islands W0MM
15 SO6V SOSB 40m LP Poland SP6DVP
17 EY8MM SOSB 80 or 160m Tajikistan K1BV
20 4X0C M/S Israel W8HC
20 4X0V M/2 Israel AA4V
20 C4I Cyprus LZ2HM
20 J48RT M/S Greece HA6NL
20 P33W M/S Cyprus RA3AUU
20 P3F M/2 Cyprus G3NKC
20 SV5/G0RIF SO LP Dodecanese G0RIF
20 YM0T SOSB 160m LP Turkey TA2RC
21 4L4WW SOSB 80m HP Georgia EA7FTR
21 9K2HN M/S Kuwait 9K2HN
21 EK0B M/2 Armenia SP9ERV
21 T6EE SO Afghanist KE6GFF
22 9N7JO SO Nepal
23 JT1DA SOAB HP Mongolia JT1DA
24 B1Z M/M China EA7FTR
24 B7P M/M China
25 D9K M/2 South Korea DS4NYE
26 HS0ZDG SOAB Thailand K4YT
26 XW1A SO Laos E21EIC
27 AH0BT M/2 (?) Mariana Islands 7L1FPU
27 AH2R M/S Guam JH7QXJ
28 9M2CNC SOSB West Malaysia G4ZFE
28 9M6LSC SOAB East Malaysia JF1SQC
28 V8AQM SOSB 20m LP Brunei W3HNK
28 YB0ZZ M/? Indonesia YB0ZZ
29 VK8AA SOSB 40m Australia VK6NE
30 VK4EJ SOSB 15m LP Australia VK4EJ
31 AH6XX M/? Hawaii
32 A35RK SOSB LP Tonga W7TSQ
32 E51NOU SO South Cook Islands N7OU
32 ZM2M SO2R New Zealand ZL2AL
32 ZM4A M/S New Zealand ZL4AA
33 3V8SS SO Tunisia bureau
33 AO8A M/2 Canary Islands EA8AH
33 CN2FB SOSB 80m Morocco DK4VW
33 CN2FF SOSB 160m Morocco DK4VW
33 CN2KT SOSB 10m Morocco DK4VW
33 CN2R SOSB 160m Morocco W7EJ
33 CN3A M/2 Morocco I2WIJ
33 CN4P SO Morocco EA5XX
33 CQ9K M/? Madeira CQ9K
33 CT9L M/? Madeira DJ6QT
33 IG9R SOSB 20m (African) Italy IK8HCG
33 IT9RBW/IG9 SOSB 10m (African) Italy ???
33 TS6A M/2 Tunisia YT1AD
34 SU8BHI SO Egypt HA3JB
35 6V7G SO Senegal EA1FDI
35 6W1RY SOAB HP Senegal F5VHJ
35 6W1RY SOAB HP Senegal F5VHJ
35 C50C The Gambia OM2FY
36 ZD7X SO LP St. Helena W0MM
37 5Z4/YT1CS SO Kenya YT1CS
38 3DA0WW M/2 Swaziland LZ3HI
40 JW5E M/S Svalbard

Thanks to the 425 DX gang.

And K7RA has issued his pre-contest prop bulletin. You can read about it on the ARRL website at

Another Government Loser - 700 MHz PS Band

If you don't like editorial comments then pass this puppy by. But I just can't sit back and let this one go any further. The opinions below are my own. Blame me and the first amendment if you don't like the message.

When the United States Government has a problem they have three things they can do to solve it.

1. Conduct more training of their employees.

2. Reorganize the organizational chart or create an entirely new organization from several others.

3. Throw lots of taxpayer money at the problem and hope that the problem goes away.

In the aftermath of 9/11, Congress decided to do all three to fix some of the perceived problems resulting from that terrorist attack. But what was the Congressional "big fix" as a result of the 9/11 attack? Why nothing short of the biggest boondoggle in the history of this country (next to Congress)...the creation of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Yes, you know who the Department of Homeland Security is. This is the government agency that wants every American home to put up plastic sheeting with duck tape to protect our population from a chemical, nuclear or biological attack.

These are the same folks who invented the elegant and most useful color-coded Homeland Security Advisory System.

And these are the same folks who disbursed $36,300 in taxpayer money in the form of a grant to the state of Kentucky to keep terrorists from playing bingo or running a charitable game to raise large amounts of cash.

Nope I am not kidding. I honestly couldn't make stuff like this up but they can. And their love for spending the taxpayer dollar does not stop with this insanity.

Where else on the planet would you find a government agency that has spent taxpayer money to design, print and distribute a 20 page coloring book for children on...can I have a drum roll please.....public safety communications interoperability?

Are you hearing me folks? I said a kids coloring book on interop. Bravo, just bravo DHS. You have given the children of the world such a great gift. Why I think there should be one of these waiting under the christmas tree this year for every choild in America.

So how well received has this DHS publication been in the public safety community? Here is Steve Jones' take on this DHS publication posted on the First Response Coalition blog:

"Now, I know what you must be thinking: 'first our tax dollars get spent on a ridiculous color-coded Threat Advisory System, and now a coloring book?'

"But hold on. SAFECOM (part of DHS-LVH) has actually produced what I think is a very useful document, especially for those not up to speed on the communications challenges first responders face."

Hey Steve. When was the last time you where drug tested my man. Just damn! Where are my crayons? I want to get started on this puppy right away.

So what morons thought this project up. Probably the same DHS employees who have wasted $2.1 billion dollars of taxpayer money on Public Safety interoperability spending, uh, oh yea, they call it investments these days.

Well, I officially award the DHS and the entire bunch at Safecom a golden fleece award. You have proven without a doubt that you can waste the tapayers money on absolutely nothing worthwhile.

But wait. Yes you guessed it. There is even more from the wonderful folks at DHS and Safecom.

They along with Congress are promoting the one thing that will help prevent the next attack and save the lives of our first responders. So what is this great savior of all of mankind that the buffoons in Congress and DHS/Safecom constantly push in the media. What is truly the Holy Grail of interoperability?

It is the 700 MHz public safety interoperability band.

But can DHS, the politically corrupt commissioners at the FCC, and the bunch in Safecom get this one right? Yep, you guessed it - no!

The Washington Post reports the 700 MHz public service radio network, designed to deliver interoperability for the nation’s law enforcement agencies, is at “high risk of failure,” according to the Justice Department’s Inspector General (pdf report). DHS has distributed $2.15 billion since 9/11, encouraging state and local agencies to use the federal funding to purchase Project 25 radios for interoperability, the GAO said. But the effectiveness of those standards in making systems more interoperable has not been proven, according to the GAO.

“Ambiguities in the standards have led to incompatibilities among products made by different vendors, and no compliance testing (by our government agencies-lvh) has been conducted to determine if those products are interoperable,” the GAO said.

The reason why the government hasn't conducted any compliance testing is that they are to busy designing and creating kids coloring books to help them describe their jobs.

If you would like to read an interesting speech that shows the depth of how much DHS just doesn't get the interop problem then look no further than a speech made by then DHS department head Tom Ridge in New Orleans a little less than one year before Katrina hit the city. You can read it at

So I think it is time for the taxpayers in this country to demand more from these idiots in Washington DC. DHS is a total waste of the taxpayer dollar, a huge waste of skin, and an agency that should have never been established in the first place by the losers in Congress. I say scrap the whole mess and let's start all over. Let's get it right this time. It is time to fire the deadwood in Washington and put some common sense in its place. So now can I take down my duck taped plastic sheeting?

Oh, one more thing dear reader. Did I mention that the pictures in the interop coloring book are already colored? Guess they had nothing better to do at Safecom.

Our founding fathers must be rolling over in their graves.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Latest Israeli Mossad Number Station Frequencies

E10 on the Enigma 2000 newsgroup has posted the frequency list below for the Israeli Mossad E10 numbers atations. More on these fascinating transmissions soon. Thanks to E10-agent and the Enigma 2000 newsgroup for this update. (Frequencies in kHz and mode is AM).

ART 2456.0 3415.0 4165.0 5435.0 6986.0
EZI 6840.0 7690.0 9130.0 11565.0 13533.0 15980.0 17410.0 19715.0
FTJ 2626.0 3360.0 4461.0 5339.0 6930.0 7358.0
JSR 2270.0 3230.0 4015.0 4648.0 5091.0 6912.0 7540.0
PCD 2515.0 3150.0 4270.0 5170.0 6498.0 8805.0
ULX 2743.0 3270.0 4880.0 5230.0 6270.0 7760.0
YHF 2844.0 3840.0 4560.0 5820.0 6370.0 7918.0 9202.0 10648.0

New freqs:
ART 2456.0 4165.0
EZI 7690.0
FTJ 3360.0 5339.0 6930.0
JSR 3230.0 4015.0 4648.0 6912.0
PCD 2515.0 5170.0
ULX 3270.0 5230.0
YHF 6370.0

EZI has dropped use of 23740.0 so far.
YHF has dropped use of 14530.0 so far, since early 2004.

Monday, October 22, 2007

GRE-500/600 and the VA STARS System

Field report on the GRE-500 regarding the VA STARS:

"Loaded VA STARS, it works (even better than the 96 or 396)."

I think we can close the files on this issue regarding the GRE scanner and the VA STARS radio network.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Original Report:

I had a piece of correspondence this morning regarding the issue of monitoring the VA STARS VHF System on the new GRE digital scanners, the PSR-500/600.

From the GRE staff I received this reply to my query, "Our STARS beta tester reported "flawless" performance on STARS."

I also understand that Uniden has fixed the problems they had with the BCD396T/996T scanners.

Since this system is still under test, no one can be 100% sure that the bugs are worked out (including the engineers working on the system). but I feel confident as a reviewer that both GRE and Uniden have the VA STARS TRS issues well in hand.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Israeli Mossad Numbers Station Schedule Online

Our friends over at Black Cat Systems on their website have posted an updated schedule for the Israeli Mossad E10 Numbers Stations ( This schedule is part of their Spy Numbers Stations on Shortwave Radio website. This is some real good stuff and many thanks to Chris for the service. Oh check out his Mac software also. You might find something you can use.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Exercise TOPOFF 4 to run from Oct 15-19

Thanks to J Doe and the Fedcom newsgroup for this interesting tidbit. Here is an upcoming DHS exercise that may provide some an interesting listening opportunity, but then again we might not hear a peep. Let us know what your hear.

The United States will test this month its preparedness for a large scale terrorist attack with a dirty bomb, a Homeland Security Department official said Wednesday.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security will conduct the largest and most comprehensive counterterrorism exercise to date from Oct. 15-19 in Arizona and Oregon, and the U.S. territory of Guam. Top Officials 4 (TOPOFF 4) is the fourth in a series of congressionally-mandated exercises and involves various federal agencies as well as the governments of Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom.

"The National Intelligence Estimate and recent activity overseas reinforce that we are in a period of increased risk," said Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff. "Exercises like TOPOFF help test response capabilities at all levels, strengthen national preparedness and deepen international coordination. By responding realistically to these simulated attacks, we're able to identify our strengths and weaknesses, build better partnerships, and gain valuable knowledge for securing the nation against terrorist attacks and other natural disasters."

TOPOFF 4 will involve more than 15,000 participants from all levels of government, international partners and the private sector in a full-scale, simulated response to radiological dispersal device attacks.

"TOPOFF stresses our preparedness and response systems with situations that no single agency or jurisdiction could handle on its own," said David Paulison, Administrator of DHS' Federal Emergency Management Agency. "The right response actually takes thousands of individuals working together. This exercise is about strengthening working relationships within our partners in federal, state and local agencies, emergency management communities and private industry groups. It's about increasing preparedness by sharing information and processes."

And from the DHS website at

TOPOFF 4: Exercising National Preparedness

Top Officials 4 (TOPOFF 4) is the Nation’s premier terrorism preparedness exercise, involving top officials at every level of government, as well as representatives from the international community and private sector. Taking place October 15-19, 2007, the TOPOFF 4 Full-Scale Exercise (T4 FSE) will feature thousands of federal, state, territorial, and local officials. These officials will engage in various activities as part of a robust, full-scale simulated response to a multi-faceted threat.

The exercise will address policy and strategic issues that mobilize prevention and response systems, require participants to make difficult decisions, carry out essential functions, and challenge their ability to maintain a common operating picture during an incident of national significance.

New Challenges in TOPOFF 4
The TOPOFF 4 Full-Scale Exercise builds on knowledge derived from earlier TOPOFF exercises and recent real world events, and contains several new elements:

-- Increased coordination with U.S. Department of Defense exercises to combat global terrorism

-- Expanded emphasis on prevention – the opportunity to piece together an intelligence “puzzle” and stop an attack before it occurs

-- Focus on mass decontamination and large-scale recovery and remediation issues

-- Focus on coordinating procedures and communications with a U.S. territory

Challenging the Entire Homeland Security System
Exercises such as TOPOFF are an important component of national preparedness, helping to build an integrated Federal, State, territorial, local, and private sector capability to prevent terrorist attacks, and rapidly and effectively respond to, and recover from, any terrorist attack or major disaster that does occur. The full-scale exercise offers agencies and jurisdictions a way to test their plans and skills in a real-time, realistic environment and to gain the in-depth knowledge that only experience can provide. Participants will also exercise prevention and intelligence gathering functions, which are critical to preventing terrorist attacks. Lessons learned from the exercise will provide valuable insights to guide future planning for securing the Nation against terrorist attacks, disasters, and other emergencies.

Is the New York VOLMET Still Down?

My old friend Jack NeSmith passed along a NOTAM notice that the New York Volmet broadcast on 3485.0, 6604.0, 10051.0, and 13270.0 kHz is off the air until further notice. This was as of 20 Sep 2007.

I haven't heard them recently. Anyone else?

Ariane 5 Launch Set for October 5

Arianespace will launch two geostationary satellites using their Ariane 5 rocket on October 5, 2007. The launch Window is from 2128 to 2213 UTC.

This launch will place the Intelsat 11 and Optus D2 satellites into orbit.

Intelsat 11 going to 43 degrees West, where INTELSAT 6B (25585 ) and INTELSAT 3R (23764 ) are currently parked.

Optus D2 is going to the 152 degrees East slot, where OPTUS B3 (23227 ) is parked.

There will be a webcast of the launch at

Thanks to Kevin Fetter and the Seesat-L gang for the heads up on this launch and video link.

ALE On The Air Week: 05-15 October

AOTAW (ALE On The Air Week) is an annual International Amateur Radio event sponsored by HFLINK, a resource for ALE, HF Interoperative Communications, and HF Emcomm. Ham radio operators worldwide are invited to participate in a 10 day readiness event of ALE HF activity on the air. AOTAW-2007 is an excellent chance to explore ALE communications.

Start: 0001 UTC Friday 05 October
End: 2359 UTC Monday 15 October

Thousands of amateur radio operators worldwide have ALE capability now, using HF ham transceivers and computers running PCALE software, Multipsk software, or commercial ALE HF transceivers adapted to ham radio ALE use. The experience gained by operator participation is also useful for HF Emergency / Disaster Relief Communications.

What Is ALE? Automatic Link Establishment. In the hands of a skilled HF ham operator, ALE is a force multiplier. With the capability to call up a specific HF station, a group of stations, a net, or a networked station, ALE is a versatile digital calling system for initiating and maintaining QSOs with SSB voice, data, text, instant messaging, internet messaging, or image communications.

Each ALE station uses the operator's callsign as the digital address in the ALE controller. When not actively in communication with another station, the transceiver constantly scans through a list of frequencies in multiple HF or VHF bands, listening for its callsign. To reach a specific station, the operator simply enters the callsign just like dialing a phone number, and transmits a short digital signal burst. When the distant scanning station detects the first few characters of its callsign, it stops scanning and stays on that frequency. The receiving station, which was muted up until now, typically emits an audible alarm and visual alert for the receiving operator of the incoming call. It also indicates the callsign of the linked station. The two stations' ALE controllers automatically handshake to confirm that a link is established and they are ready to communicate in any mode, such as SSB voice, text or image. All of this happens quite fast, usually within a few minutes.

A unique ALE Operator Certificate is available to operators who participate in AOTAW. To qualify for the certificate, the operator simply completes at least 5 QSOs through Automatic Link Establishment communications on HF or VHF. The initial ALE linking QSO can use SSB Voice or "AMD" Text Message (the standard text messaging format in all ALE systems). See AOTAW Guidelines and Details.

Additional certificate endorsements are issued to operators who link with 25 stations or more, or send 2 ALE-SMS text messages through High Frequency Network Pilot Stations.

ALE High Frequency Network (HFN)
The HFN Pilot Stations are equipped with scanning ALE transceivers, multiband antenna systems, and special software control systems for internet connectivity. Ham radio ALE users in the field on HF connect with the HFN Pilot Stations to exchange digital ALE-SMS text messaging to and from internet devices such as cell mobile phones, black berry type devices, PDAs, PCs and laptops. The free service includes:

HF-to-Cellphone message
HF-to-email message
HF-to-HF message

All HFN stations automatically exchange signal reports with each other every hour on every HF band, and all this ALE HF activity with signal reports and messages is displayed in real time on the web at ALE CHANNEL ZERO:

Organized ALE ham activity began about 6 years ago, when a group of operators started working together to experiment with various methods of HF selective calling on HF. The need to call up emergency nets or inter-operability and liaison with government HF systems led many hams to adopt the government ALE standard, called FED-STD-1045 or MIL-STD 188-141. This standard caught on slowly in the ham community, initiated by a few operators with limited government surplus gear and some with expensive commercial equipment having embedded ALE or hardware controllers. They adapted the system into what has come to be known as Ham Friendly ALE, which includes ham-specific programming and use of frequencies in the automatic subbands. Now, with a ham HF transceiver, a computer as the controller, and an appropriate antenna system, hams can harness the power of ALE using one of the available software ALE controllers.

How to Get Started in ALE
The number of hams with ALE has grown steadily each year. In mid-2007, when the ALE HF Network expanded to 24/7 operation, a big increase in daily ALE activity was noticed. Some operators are following the traditional ham curiosity to explore interesting aspects of communications; others are developing dependable HF nets for Emcomm; many are using it as a propagation tool; others are just using ALE for fun, or to keep in touch with a circle of ham friends. Whatever the reason, there's room for everyone.

The AOTAW "ALE QSO Party" in 2006 saw many new ALE calls on the air around the world. Some surprisingly good DX ALE contacts were made, despite the being at the bottom of the solar cycle. We look forward to another good ALE On The Air Week this October 2007.

more information: