Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Prototype Eqso/Echolink Interface Card

After the assembly and test of the first interface card,
I went on to make this 2nd prototype interface card with
a few more donated parts. 1 of them is an old Modem box.

This is how it looks !

Overall view of the "new" completed unit with the

interface card inside.

Inside view of the 2nd prototype. Notice the 2 LEDs

and the addition of a speaker with an ON/OFF switch.

(for monitoring output from the rig during Gateway use)

Monday, August 29, 2005

QSO with International Space Station

This posting is from our own 9W2QC Sion Chow who managed to talk to the Astronaut Sergi on the 27Aug05.

Syabas to Sion who again has made us Malaysians all proud.



On the 27 August 2005, ISS passed over West Malaysia at 1945 Hours Malaysian Time or 1145 Hours UTC with a maximum elevation of 40 degrees. During this pass, the packet digipeater and mailbox were not heard and therefore I tried calling the crew as there were reports of the crew being active on voice half an hour ago.To my surprise, ISS ASTRONAUT SERGEI KRIKALEV, U5MIR ANSWERED MY CALL!!! (BTW, today is Sergei's birthday). This was the first time I made a contact with Sergei, and this was my 2nd contact with ISS's crew. Signals were very clear and nice, 59 all the way.No one else was active on this pass and I am happy to be the only station around this region to wish Sergei a very happy birthday. This is the first time in my life that I have wished a human out of the world, in space, happy birthday, and I am very happy that I did it. I guess amateur radio operators are very privileged as amateur radio is the only way an ordinary person can speak to an astronaut when he or she is in space. Also, not many people get the chance to wish another human in space happy birthday.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH, SERGEI (U5MIR) for the brief but memorable contact.

Equipment used were:
Rig: FT-847, running 50 Watts.
From left to right, Symek TNC3S, ICOM IC-PCR1000, ICOM IC-910H, Yaesu FT-847, Diamond SX-600 SWR and Power Meter, MFJ-969 ATU, ICOM IC-756PROIII
Antenna: Diamond 10-element 2M yagi, vertically polarized.

The picture shows the Diamond 2M Yagi, vertically polarized on the left, the 2.4 GHz S-Band 10 turn Helix, right hand circular polarized (RHCP) in the middle and the 11 element 70CM Quad, vertically polarized on the right (as seen from behind the Yaesu G-5500 rotator)

To download the recording, please click here. (1.18 MB MP3 Format)
Good DX.
73,Sion Chow Q. C.,9W2QC.

Mederka 2 Meter Net Annoucements

FYI, we will be conducting a live RF repeater linkage test to respective EchoLink gateway within the whole Malaysia on MOnday 29-08-2005 at 22:00 hours.

Care to Join in at EchoLink **Malaysia** Conference Room as the bandwidth can accomodate huge number of stations.

The Malaysia Merdeka Day 2 meter net via EchoLink will be on 30-08-2005 at 10.30pm as all station is linking live as advice by 9W2MCT Tony since we are counting down to 24.00 hours midnight to Mederka!!!



Sunday, August 28, 2005

Homebrew Echolink Interface in two days...

It took me one day to assemble the EchoLink interface circuit into the VeroBoard and another day to fully make the interface for my ICOM IC-2100 rig to the RJ45 plugs which controls the MIC and PTT plus another male phone jack to the rig's External Speaker socket.

Many thanks to all hams friends who help in giving ideas and suggestion as to the best settings to use especially 9W2SSJ, 9W2LW, 9W2YCC, 9W2PAT and many more ham's!

This intreface can be used for PSK31 to link PC to rig and chat over the air! This is what a senior ham member use to tell me... "This is the Age of Radio and Computers"!

Those who want to try to homebrew your own can do so by going to for building details and there is a Complete Setup guide for EchoLink SysOps configuration you can use to optimize your EchoLink Gateway. But you need to register your self with and send in your Ham Radio License copy to get your activation code for the EchoLink software to work.

Good Luck!




Thursday, August 18, 2005

Prototype Eqso/Echolink Interface Card

For the benefit of some people who are interested to make
the interface card, this is how mine was made..

Still has lots of room on the board to shrink it. I used
2 modem isolation transformers instead of the specified
600 ohm types from Radio Spares, but it finally turned out
to be working perfectly!

The 2 blue stereo jack plugs are for connecting to the
PC Sound card, while the grey RS232 plug goes to the
PC Com Port 1.

The other side 3 RCA female connectors are for connecting to
the Transceiver PTT (yellow), the audio connector to the rig
microphone (white), and the the red connector is to connect
the audio from the rig.

I have added one more red LED on the left hand side of the board,
(not in the circuit diagram) which will indicate when power
from the PC Comm port is available to this card.
It will alternate ON & OFF with the other RED LED when in
the transmit mode!

The copper track side ! (Resoldered by 9W2VA as my work was
very shoddy)

Close up of the Veroboard. The 2 transformers are brand
new ones, taken out from 2 perfectly working Aztech 56k
Modems that I had to buy!

Another view of the completed card ready to be installed in a box.

Hope your card will be easier to build & test, compared to mine.

Just a reminder..this interface card will only be required if you
will be using your Amateur rig as a "gateway" to access either
Eqso or Echolink software.

If you just want to communicate with other Hams around the
world using the Eqso or Echolink software, you will not need this


Wednesday, August 17, 2005

CW or not ?


Italy is reported to be the latest country added to the list of
those that no longer require Amateur Radio applicants to have
passed a Morse codeexamination to gain HF access.

The Daily DX <>reported this week
that current IW-prefix "no-code" VHF/UHF licensees in Italy
now will be allowed operate on HF.

Canada eliminated Morse as the"sole additional requirement"
for HF access in late July. To date, more than two dozen countries
around the world, including such major players as the
United Kingdom, Germany, Australia and New Zealand,
no longer requireAmateur Radio applicants to pass a Morse
code examination to operate below 30 MHz.

If the FCC's past observations on the subject are any clue, the
US may join the no-code-required club in the future."We believe
that an individual's ability to demonstrate increased Morse
code proficiency is not necessarily indicative of that individual's
ability to contribute to the advancement of the radio art," the
FCC maintained in itsDecember 1999 Amateur Radio restructuring
Report and Order (R&O)
"As a result, we find that such a license qualification rule is not
in furtherance of the purpose of the amateur service, and we do
not believe that it continues to serve a regulatory purpose
to require amateur applicants to demonstrate Morse ability.
In its Notice of Proposed Rule Making and Order (NPRM&O)<>
in WTDocket 05-235, released July 19, 2005,
the FCC proposed to eliminate the 5WPM telegraphy examination
altogether. At the same time, it dismissed petitions calling for,
among other things, a new entry-level license with HF privileges.
In wording that closely mirrored remarks in its 1999 restructuring
R&O, the Commission said its review of the 18 petitions and
comments in the proceeding showed that "the majority agree"
with its 1999 stance on theMorse requirement. The FCC said it
believes it should treat Morse code like any other Amateur Radio
The FCC further said it was not persuaded bythe ARRL's petition
request to retain the 5 WPM Morse requirement solely forAmateur
Extra applicants.But perhaps recalling what it also said in 1999,
that few issues coming before the Commission "present such a
clear dichotomy of viewpoints" asMorse code, the FCC
stopped short of making the Morse requirement disappear.
Instead, it invited another round of comments.
The US Amateur Radio community has taken up the
Commission's offer with great enthusiasm. As of week's
end, more than 1400 comments had been posted via the
FCC's Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS).
The majority focused solely on the Morse issue.
While most tend to file brief "yea" or "nay"comments,
many postings reflect the deeply emotional nature
of the Morse debate.Those favoring the Morse
requirement frequently suggest that dropping it altogether
will lead to a overall decline in the skill and dedication of
new operators.
Others cite Morse as a longstanding tradition that ought
not be cast aside lightly, and a few cite its potential i
in emergency communication.The FCC already dismissed
such arguments in 1999.Those endorsing its elimination
often assert that Morse is largely irrelevant today and
that retaining the requirement is keeping a lot ofpeople
from pursuing Amateur Radio. Several commenters also
have contended that Morse code should rise or fall on its
own now, not be mandated for licensure.
These are arguments the FCC essentially agreed with
in 1999 and again in 2005.Generally speaking, the
Commission has been disinclined to revisit what
it considers once-trod ground.

Following WRC-03, Switzerland became the first
country to announce it was eliminating Morse code
as a requirement for HF access. It was followed
in short order by the United Kingdom.

In addition to Italy, Canada, Switzerland, the UK,
Germany, Australia andNew Zealand,
the list of countries that have dropped Morse code
as arequirement includes the Czech Republic, Spain,
South Africa, Iceland,Sweden, Austria, Belgium,
Bulgaria, Denmark, Finland, France, Ireland,Kenya,
Luxembourg (provisional CEPT Class 2 HF access),
The Netherlands,Norway, Poland (limited),
South Africa, Hong Kong, Papua New Guinea and Singapore. refers.

Bloggers thoughts:

In my opinion, we should remove the requirement to pass the Morse code, to allow 9Ws get onto the 9M2 allowed bands, ahead of the year 2007.
This way, the interest in the hobby of Amateur Radio can be rekindled faster than the present state of new Ham Operators coming for the exams.

But for those that want to get CW qualified, there should still be an avenue for them to take the Morse Test, scheduled say, at least once a year, to get them suitably rated for inclusion in their Licence.


Friday, August 12, 2005

EchoLink Language

From the pages of ECHOLINK :

The *ENGLAND* Echolink Conference Server

The ENGLAND Echolink conference server (Node number 7889) is located in a Docklands secure computing facility close to the UK internet backbone. The system is permanently connected to the GB3DX repeater and monitored constantly. The bandwidth and service is kindly donated by The system itself is capable of supporting 1500+ concurrent conference users. The server is fitted with redundant power supplies including full UPS support to deliver a high availability 24x7x365 redundant Echolink conference server.
The conference server has a strict language and usage policy in place. All transmission must be made using the "English" language and sufficient breaks between overs must be maintained. Failure to adhere to this policy will in the initial stages result in the offending system being disconnected from the conference. Persistent offenders will be "banned" from the conference server for a short period whilst the issue is resolved.
The language policy is in place as the "team" prefer to be able to monitor "all" traffic across the system to prevent licence breaches.

From the above example,
It is imperative that only English is used during Echolink link QSO with the above server,
therefore, we should be start using the English language during our QSOs now, for practice.


Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Morse Code Test

From MCMC web site Quote:


The Second Morse Code Test 2005 8 August 2005
The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission will be holding the second Morse Code test for the year 2005 on:

Date: 27 and 28 September 2005 Venue: Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission
63000 Cyberjaya Selangor Darul Ehsan

For further information on the Notification, please click on the following links: Notification (English BM) Application Form The Notification will be advertised in the major newspapers (New Straits Times, The Star and Berita Harian) on Friday, 12 August 2005.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Approved Amateur Radio Rigs

For those who passed the RAE held recently in June this year, the following link will take you to the MCMC webpage where one can find the list of Approved Amateur Radio rigs.

The rigs on that page was tested by SIRIM and found to pass the stringent checks for transmitting devices.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Talking to Satellites

International Space Station Reference

Ham Radio

When astronauts, cosmonauts and mission specialists from many nations fly on the International Space Station, they will have amateur, or ham, radio as a constant companion.

As human space flight moves into a new uncharted era, an organization called ARISS, which stands for Amateur Radio on International Space Station, has been formed to design, build and operate equipment. In 1996, delegates from major national radio organizations and from AMSAT, which stands for the Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation, in eight nations involved with the International Space Station signed a Memorandum of Understanding to form ARISS.


Worldwide downlink for voice and packet
Worldwide packet uplink
Region 1 voice uplink
Region 2 and 3 voice uplink
Worldwide uplink for cross band voice repeater

Callsigns for the ISS:

Sergei Krikalev: U5MIR

John Phillips: KE5DRY

Russian callsigns: RS0ISS, RZ3DZR

U.S.A. callsign: NA1SS

For more information on the procedures used to contact the International Space Station, please visit the ARISS Web site, and

This is a photo of the initial radio station amateur equipment while it was being tested. After testing, the equipment was stowed aboard Space Shuttle Atlantis for delivery to the International Space Station during STS-106.

Do not forget to check if the ISS is over our skies first before attempting to communicate with the International Space Station!


Wednesday, August 03, 2005

The 2 Meter Collinear J Pole Antenna Project

The 2 Meter Collinear J Pole Antenna Projectby Sean M3FVB

Get ready for field day, mountain topping, emergency communications, roaming or just plane ham radio fun with this portable inexpensive 2 meter J designed to fit into a small foldup space that yields about 8db gain.

Indonesian Amateur Radio Licensing

As of the 9th August 2002, The Indonesian Telecommunication Authority has issued the Ministry Degree No.KM-49, 2002, to be applied for the Indonesian Amateur Radio Service purpose.

The following are the main-points for your attention:

1. The Prefixes for the Indonesian Amateur Radio are YB, YC, YD, YE, YF, YG and YH. Others than this as of the 9th August 2002 NOT VALID . The Prefixes JZA-JZZ, PKA-POZ, YBA-YHZ, 7AA-7IZ and 8AA-8IZ are located to Indonesia but only YBA-YHZ are valid for the Indonesian Amateur Radio prefixes.

2. The Suffixes A-Z, ZA-ZZ, ZAA-ZZZ are only for Organizational and Club-Station use or Special Event activities. Personal callsign using above suffixes ( one letter suffix or using Z as first letter suffix) NOT VALID as of the 9th August 2002.

3. For licenced Foreign Amateur Radio from Asean countries (no need for Reciprocal Agreement), and countries with Reciprocal Agreement to operate in Indonesia for short time (less than 3 month} as guest operator while visiting Indonesia, or long term (max 1 year) duration, please contact ORARI at least 2 month before your actual time activities.

For DX-pedition operation, no need for the Reciprocal Agreement Document, please contact ORARI at least 3 month before your actual time activities.

Frequency allocation and privileges :

YH (no code licence) no DX:

VHF = 144 – 148 Mhz

UHF = 430 – 440 Mhz

YD and YG ( novice class):

HF = 3,500 – 3,900 Mhz. DX on CW only, Phone no DX
7,000 – 7,035 Mhz. on CW mode only plus DX
21,000 – 21,100 Mhz on CW mode only plus DX
28,000 – 28,400 Mhz on CW mode only plus DX

VHF = 144 – 148 Mhz

UHF = 430 – 440 Mhz

YC and YF (general class) all mode and DX:

MF = 1,800 – 2,000 Mhz

HF = 3,500 – 3,900 Mhz
7,000 – 7,100 Mhz
21,000 – 21,450 Mhz
28,000 – 29,700 Mhz

VHF = 50 – 54 Mhz
144 – 148 Mhz

UHF = 430 – 440 Mhz

1.240 – 1.298 Mhz
2.300 – 2.450 Mhz

SHF = 3.300 – 3.500 Mhz
5.650 – 5.850 Mhz
10.000 – 10.500 Mhz
24.000 – 24.050 Mhz
24.050 – 24.250 Mhz

EHF = 47.000 – 47.200 Mhz
75.500 – 76.000 Mhz
76.000 – 81.000 Mhz
142.000 – 144.000 Mhz
144.000 – 149.000 Mhz
241.000 – 248.000 Mhz
248.000 – 250.000 Mhz

YB and YE (advance class) same as above plus :

HF = 10,100 – 10,150 Mhz CW only
14,000 – 14,350 Mhz
18,068 – 18,168 Mhz
24,890 – 24,990 Mhz

For more information please go to:

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

PSK or EchoLink homebrew

Many thanks to our dear fellow ham friend LikWei (VK6YLW / 9W2LW) from Penang for his homebrew contribution.

We appreciate your interest on sharing the hobby with all of us on the Fox Hunt, PSK or EchoLink homebrew electronics stuff.

Keep up the good work with the ham spirit in heart!