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     March 2008

Articles from the

March 2008 issue
of CQ posted on our

website include:





The big news as the March issue of CQ heads to the printer is that Sunspot Cycle 24 has officially begun, bringing with it high hopes for a return to good DXing conditions on the upper HF and lower VHF bands. We cover different aspects of this news in various parts of the issue.

 This month's lead feature is a first-person report from John Kountz, T6EE/KE6GFF, on his long but ultimately successful efforts to bring Afghanistan back onto the ham bands. Next, we have the CW results of the 2007 CQ World Wide WPX Contest. Again, despite poor propagation due to being at the bottom of the sunspot cycle, participation was up yet again, and the top single-band entries on the supposedly dead 10-meter band managed to round up more than 1000 contacts each.

"The Magic of Wireless" is the broad focus of an article by Dick Knadle, K2RIW, which started out as a correction of some factual errors in January's "Zero Bias" editorial. It turned into a fascinating look at how hams are still able to conduct research and contribute to the state of the radio art and it should be required reading for anyone who's ever been told (or ever told anyone) that propagation on UHF is limited to line of sight.

To get the new sunspot cycle off to a good start, we've updated the rules for the CQ WPX Award, and expanded the bands and modes on which eligible contacts may be made. We have introduced a new Digital WPX Award and opened up eligibility for contacts made on all HF bands (160-10 meters) plus 6 meters. We've also added single-band endorsements for the added bands. The new rules are published in the March issue and posted here on the CQ website.

Among our columns, we start out with "Public Service," in which column editor Bob Josuweit, WA3PZO, shares the praises sung for hams by the Governor of Oregon, among others. "Math's Notes" editor Irwin Math, WA2NDM, takes a look at step-up and step-down voltage regulators; "Washington Readout" editor Fred Maia, W5YI, looks back at ham radio news in 2007; and "World of Ideas" editor Dave Ingram, K4TWJ, continues his ongoing series on "Hamming from the Shadows," with more ideas for getting on the air from antenna-restricted locations. Following that theme, one of the new antennas highlighted by New Products Editor Anthony Luscre, K8ZT, in his "What's New" column is a low-profile rotatable multi-band dipole from MFJ.

"Weekender" editor Phil Salas, AD5X, shares reader feedback on various LED projects he's featured in past articles; and we cover some "basics" territory in "Beginner's Corner" (grounding), "Antennas" (what those "antenna plot" charts mean) and "How it Works" (HF propagation basics).

Next, "VHF-Plus" Editor Joe Lynch, N6CL, details plans for a proposed geosynchronous amateur satellite (dubbed Phase IV lite) and how it could really bring amateur satellite communications into the hobby's mainstream. Awards Editor Ted Melinosky, K1BV, clarifies what "counts" for CQ's USA-CA (Counties) award and introduces a series of awards from the Dutch national ham organization as well as a variety of slow-scan TV awards. DX Editor Carl Smith, N4AA, takes a look at upcoming DXpeditions; and Contest Editor John Dorr, K1AR, makes a detour into a personal column about how his father (who recently passed away) helped encourage his interest in ham radio and contesting even though his dad was never a ham himself. Finally, Propagation Editor Tomas Hood, NW7US, introduces the new sunspot cycle and continues his multi-part primer on the mechanics of radio wave propagation, focusing this month on the ionosphere itself.

That's a sampling of what's ahead in the March 2008 issue of CQ, which should be on newsstands and in subscribers' mailboxes by late February.

Remember - The SSB weekend of the 2008 CQ WPX Contest is on the weekend of March 29-30.

Zero Bias

"The Sunspot Cycle is Dead! Long Live the Sunspot Cycle"




CQ Contest Calendar


Rules: CQ WPX Awards


Febarury 2008
Contest Calendar

March 2008
Contest Calendar

April 2008
Contest Calendar

May 2008
Contest Calendar



February 2008


March 2008



On The Cover
George Dominick, W4UWC, of Knoxville, Tennessee