The US Army, Air Force, Navy, and Coast Guard will sponsor the traditional military/amateur radio communication tests on Saturday, May 13 to mark the 66th annual Armed Forces Day (AFD). Armed Forces Day is May 20, but the AFD Crossband Military-Amateur Radio event will take place a week earlier in order to avoid schedule conflicts with those attending Hamvention.
Complete information, including military stations, modes, and frequencies, is available on the US Army MARS website.
The annual celebration is a unique opportunity to test two-way communication between radio amateurs and military stations (authorized under §97.111 of the Amateur Service rules). It features traditional military-to-amateur crossband SSB voice, CW, practice using legacy interoperability waveforms, and the opportunity for participating hams to utilize more modern military modes, such as MIL-STD Serial PSK and Automatic Link Establishment (ALE). Military stations and Amateur Radio stations are authorized to communicate directly on certain 60-meter interoperability channels — 5,330.5, 5346.5, and 5,371.5 kHz.
These tests give Amateur Radio operators and shortwave listeners (SWLs) a chance and a challenge to demonstrate individual technical skills and to receive recognition from the appropriate military radio station. QSL cards will be available on request for stations successfully contacting participating military stations.
The Armed Forces Day message will be transmitted via Military Standard radioteletype modes (MIL-STD 188-110A/B). Software is available to demodulate the military serial PSK waveform, and detailed instructions can be downloaded. Utilizing this mode with soundcard equipment can be challenging; review the instructions carefully.
A short practice transmission will be sent at 1930 and 2330 on May 6, 7, 10, and 12 on 13.506.5 MHz USB and 17.443.0 MHz USB.
Military FSK is Baudot at 850 Hz, 75 baud, low mark, and 2000 Hz center. Most RTTY programs can be set to decode this mode. To achieve low mark while receiving in USB, select reverse shift.
QSL cards are available for individuals that receive the Armed Forces Day test message. To receive a card, copy the printed text of the test message as received from the military station, and include it in your report. No attempt should be made to correct possible errors.
Stations copying Armed Forces Day messages transmitted from US Army and US Navy stations and requesting a QSL card, can complete the QSL report form online. Stations copying the Armed Forces Day message transmitted from US Air Force stations and seeking a QSL card should send a request to Armed Forces Day Celebration, Chief, Air Force MARS, 203 W. Losey St, Scott AFB, IL 62225.
Include a transcript of the received text, time observed, frequency observed, military station call sign, your full name and Amateur Radio call sign (if applicable), full mailing address (including ZIP code).
Automatic Link Establishment
Stations with Automatic Link Establishment (ALE) capability can contact a military station on specific half duplex crossband channels established for this purpose. ALE is a selective calling and linking method utilized by government, military, and amateur radio communications. Military stations will scan and receive certain amateur HFLINK ALE frequencies and transmit on the corresponding military ALE frequency. Military stations will also transmit ALE station identification (soundings) on each military frequency at 30- to 90-minute intervals. Amateur stations may scan military frequencies and monitor the soundings to build the LQA database or select the channel manually. Amateur stations will call military stations using ALE selective calling on one of the paired cross band channels.
My wife surprised me at the end of 2020 with a new random box of goodies from Wish and AliExpress. Today we unbox some of these ODD radios and radio accesories. Read more
Virgin Orbit’s LauncherOne is a go for launch on Wednesday, January 13, at 1500 UTC, carrying the AMSAT/Vanderbilt RadFXSat-2/Fox-1E CubeSat into space. The LauncherOne vehicle will carry 10 other satellites. RadFXSat-2/Fox-1E carries an in... Read more
WSJT-X 2.4.0 will introduce Q65, a digital protocol designed for minimal two-way QSOs over especially difficult propagation paths On paths with Doppler spread more than a few Hz, the weak-signal performance of Q65 is the best among all... Read more
“In a bizzare warning issued by the FCC and followed by a warning from the Association for Amateur Radio, The ARRL, ham are warned on a Sunday m... Read more
Full Title: Warning: Amateur and Personal Radio Services Licensees and Operators May Not Use Radio Equipment to Commit or Facilitate Criminal Act... Read more
Here is a brief information release regarding Radio SL8SUB, the 1st Submarine Flotillas official military amateur radio call sign: The 1st Submarine F... Read more
Firmware update for the IC-705, IC-7300 and IC-9700* offers smoother FT8 operation. One touch FT8 mode preset, Scroll mode and other updates for each... Read more
Orlando HamCation® has announced that ARRL Life Member Neil Rapp, WB9VPG, of Bloomington, Indiana, is the 2021 recipient of the Carole Perry... Read more
In a January 5 Public Notice, the FCC requested comments on whether the current 14 Volunteer Examiner Coordinators (VECs) are sufficient to facil... Read more
Using my new Icom IC-705 at 5 watts on the porch of my RV to connect to a Vara HF Winlink node 693km away on 40 meters, using the Cha Floop 2.0 magnet... Read more