Navigation coordinate systems for the Amateur Radio operator

OMs, pelase read the following if you are interested in navigation:


So, which i-apps are there for coordinates? The ones I found are:

Theodolite (great for USNG co-ordinates, has a total of 13 different coordinate systems to choose from; great for making photos with coordinates superimposed on the photos)

Maidenhead (8 digit Maidenhead locator)

GPS Status V1.2 (Long and Lat)

Ushahidi (Long and Lat; tool to immediately post your message on the internet with coordinates and photos or vids)

HamLog (8 digit Maidenhead, Long and Lat)

iAPRS (Long and Lat)

Compass (I think this one came with the iOS?; Long and Lat and Compass (or course...))

Locate! (USNG and Long & Lat)

Emergency (Long and Lat; emails result to whomever you choose)

I bet there are other apps out there as well, but I stopped looking since I found the ones I thought answered my question.

You OMs in Florida might like to look here too: https://twitter.com/USNGFlorida

Use this awesome FREE software:http://www.epcupdates.org/2013/01/mission-manager-free-software-for-sar.htmlIt is the one which generated the image attached to this post.

For multiple USNG articles, see this: http://www.epcupdates.org/search/label/USNG

Personally, I love the Maidenhead locator system, but - think it's very hard to relay that to a paper map which you may hold in your hand while hiking (and trying to save battery power). Seems like USNG is really the way to go in that scenario. What I did not know before reading up on USNG and Long & Lat: the Long & Lat system apparently has different "flavours", i.e. there are various systems around in determining the Longitude and Latitude, which make it ambiguous. Not good when you really want to be found fast!

One more thing about "Missionmanager", it allows you to plan your hiking route very nicely with topographic map contour lines, which might not be too much of a deal in FL (the state is nearly flat!), but here in AR it can make a huge lot of difference as you can see from the attached map!

73 de Marcus KD0JKM


Aeronautical mobile on A340-600 ?

Just boarded the LH428 flight from MUC to CLT, an Airbus A340-600. I inquired with the stewardesses who asked the Pilot if I could possibly operate / aeronautical mobile. Regrettably it seems that Airbus airplanes cannot switch the Pilot's radio to one of the cabin phones, so no on board operation possible. The pilot did however inform that this was technically possible on Boeing Aircraft!


Unable to operate /aeronautical mobile on 767-300

I am on flight UA906 from ORD to MUC in a Boeing 767-300 and inquired with the cockpit crew if there was a possibility for me to operate /aeronautical mobile.

I had read about operating /aeronautical mobile on various blogs, but reports were for the most part not with a current date.

Both the pilot as well as co-pilot were very receptive to the idea, and informed that I could very well listen in to one of the cockpit radios from one of the cabin phones as they had the technical capability to do this, but informed me that they had no technical possibility of switching transmit control from the cockpit of a 767-300 to one of the cabin phones.
They did however encourage me to inquire with the cockpit crews of other airplane makes and models, as these may indeed have such technical capabilities.

I would appreciate feedback if any HAM were to identify such an airplane make & model.


I planned to take and pass the Extra Class exam before leaving on vacation, but unfortunately misread the testing schedule in the greater Little Rock area and thus was unable to upgrade. I will thus operate DO/KD0JKM on 145.500 FM and APRS on 144.800.


N4KGL QRP: Down to Earth Antenna

N4KGL QRP: Down to Earth Antenna: I had seen a post on Markus KD0JKM's Blog about a grasswire antenna. So why not give it a try. I had some left over ribbon cable to mak...

If you are into Loop Antennas, please also look at the article by VK5ABN, which you can find here:
or here:

73 de KD0JKM


iron fence antenna

So today I thought I'd give a fence antenna a try... Went down to the apartment complex pool - no one around - rolled out my 80m wire, just layed it along the iron fence and clipped the end to the fence, no counterpoise (since I had forgotten to bring one along), tuned up and got an SWR 2.3:1. And what did I hear? N3QL as Netcontrol for the Razorback Net coming in loud and clear :)  Usually don't hear him that well with lots of static via the rainpipe antenna solution. But the fence antenna - MUCH better S/N. Also the rest of the check-ins came through mostly loud and clear tonight - best check-in session I've had until now. Seemed as if my signal was not any different to normally, I checked with N2QL, but it sure made a difference for me.
Thus - if you have no place to lay or hang an antenna - think about what else might work and give your tuner a try. All in keeping with the RaDAR spirit.
All usual precautions apply - as always - for yourself and everyone else. Safety is never to be compromised, don't give anyone an RF burn or worse!




KD0JKM/DL will be operating DL0DM on the 20m band on May 23rd from 11 to 12 CET (0900-1000 UTC), exact frequency to be determined.


operating DL0DM

KD0JKM will possibly be operating DL0DM on May 23, 2013 from 0900-1000h UTC.

Further details provided ASAP.


N4KGL QRP: And now for an Antenna you will really like!

See the post below for a nice KISS antenna idea by Greg N4KGL. Last thing you want when you are out portable is to have an antenna break on you. I don't see a Slinky antenna ever being able to break when you are /P or /PM ...

N4KGL QRP: And now for an Antenna you will really like!: My friends Marv KK4DKT and Phil KK4DWI have started using Slinky dipoles for portable ops. I had purchased a Slinky antenna off of Ebay a lo...


Rain pipe antenna

Another successful check-in into the Arkansas Razorback Net tonight with the rain pipe antenna (which I've always read would not work when it rains, which it did - and it still worked...). Maybe largely thanks to Ed N3QL who always seems to be able to fish my signal out from the mud when no one else hears me :)

My station: /P, 10W, rain pipe antenna on multistory building, counterpoise on balcony: 26.3' (= 8m), SWR 3.3

73 de Marcus

RaDAR-America: The RaDAR Challenge

So... I looked everywhere for an Amateur Radio program which promotes /P /PM and /m operation, can be used on a daily basis, is not only for QRPers (but rewards them as well for their resourcefullness) but also for those who have commercial or Green Radios which often have a minimum of 10W output, does not challenge me to going to more or less exotic places like mountaintops (which I can't climb on any regular basis), which promotes ragchewing (!) while doing portable ops and promotes the use of APRS and situational awareness maps. Wow - what a mouthful.

Thought about this for quite a while and it was the RaDAR concept from Eddie that made me come up with the RaDAR-Program which is now out there to Challenge you (thank you Greg N4KGL for that idea!). If you think that it all points towards EmComm friendly activities which are being rewarded in this program...

RaDAR-America: The RaDAR Challenge: 1. Aim The RaDAR Program is aimed at promoting the use of Rapidly Deployable Amateur Radio stations and is for all licensed radio amateur...

73 de Marcus


Mission Manager - Situational Awareness Tool

Written by people who have years of experience running real missions and managing emergency personnel.

Currently used by Sheriff, Fire and Police Departments, Hospitals, SAR/USAR Teams, Animal Rescue, Schools, Emergency Operation Centers, Civil Air Patrol and more.

Also features - amongst many other things - direct entry of USNG coordinates for multi-layer map (thus now the second map app that I have found to be able to do so). Truly enjoy using it since it's intuitive and thus easy to use.


Great fun going /PM today for RaDAR-America

Had great fun going to Hot Springs National Park today, doing some /PM operating with RaDAR-America. My XYL was the BEST, helping me set up and guy down my antenna mast for a Delta Loop and later on about 1 mile further for a Vertical setup. Images of the Delta Loop are below.



How to go to a USNG coordinate on a map

The only map that I found which is able to center on an entered USNG coordinate is this one:

Once there, you have to click:   Tools > US National Grid

and then you will be able to enter the USNG coordinates. That ESRI map tool however  lacks topographic overlays, which is really a drawback.


Rain pipe antenna

I read about the rain pipe antenna many times, but never thought it would work for me in an apartment. Finally gave it a try some weeks ago and have not regretted it. Rain pipe has one approx 33' (10m) horizontal and two 24' (8m) vertical elements. Connection is on the balcony via a thin insulated wire. Counterpoise is laying on the balcony, approx. 24', I am still playing with the optimal length. SWR 1.5:1 currently.

This gets me on the AR Razorback Net on 3987.5 every time I am able to set up my transceiver.
Reception reports throughout AR are variable, but sufficient to get me out.


Digital Amateur Radio in Support of Situational Awareness, Common Operating Picture and Community Resilience for 21st Century Emergency Communications

I have watched the presentation by Aleks Rohde W3JAG several times and it seems as if every time I watch it, I learn about a new facet in EmComms.

If the title of this post interests you even in the slightest, then I am sure that you will enjoy the video (Ham Radio Now, Episode 45) http://arvideonews.com/hrn/HRN_Episode_0045.html and will consider it time well spent. Enjoy!

73 de Marcus KD0JKM


US NATIONAL GRID - A Geo-Spatial Tool for Public Service Communications

See http://www.arrl.org/ares-el?issue=2013-03-20 for details.

To search for iPhone or Android apps, use keyword "MGRS".

I guess that US Amateur Radio operators may be well advised to migrate away from Maidenhead LOC and switch to USNG.

Kudos to Al, KF4KIR for pointing to this information and for immediately getting back to me with additional information!

Due to this new information, RaDAR-America Contest rules will be amended momentarily to the effect that USNG coordinates will be preferred for the logs of US HAMs.

73 de Marcus KD0JKM




Marcus Kessler, M.D., Ham Radio Operator, UAMS, Little Rock, AR
Ben Fry, General Manager, KUAR Radio, Little Rock, AR
Thomas BurgessAntique Radio Club of Arkansas, Little Rock, AR
Moderator -
Dorothy Graves, Ph.D., UAMS/Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Research Institute Assistant Professor
Director -
Linda Williams, M.S., Research Liaison, College of Medicine, UAMS; Science Author, Blog
Science cafe meets from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. on the 4th Tuesday of each month (except July, August, and December) at Vieux Carre/The Afterthought, 2721 Kavanaugh Blvd Little Rock, AR
**Free and open to the public. No registration needed. However, seating is limited.

Barrett 2090 CAT PTT control

CAT PTT control has been added to the MARS MIL-STD-188-110A Data Modem Terminal (DMT) software for the Barrett 2000 series (2050, 2090, etc.), thank you to Steve N2CKH for implementing it.

Transmit functions with the following changes to the basic config when running it with the US Navigator:
Data Port 0   9600
CAT COM Port 6  9600

In order to use this software, I am actively seeking fellow HAMs who are interested in digital communications with a Baud rate above 300 (60m Band only).

73 de Marcus KD0JKM


free HF APRS software

"Two way messaging smart Igate for HF APRS over PSK, QPSK and GMSK."

I have been looking for something like this for HF for ages since I am intrigued by the idea of being to able to message to one central place on the Internet in case of an emergency