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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

CQ Zone, ITU Zone, Grid Square Maps, etc.

Have you even wondered what ITU Zone you were in? Or, what countries were in CQ Zone 34? Maybe you need to know what Continent for W.A.C. purposes a particular country is in? Or, do you need to know where a particular grid is in the world? Well, CLICK HERE for a great resource to fulfill those needs. All these maps and more are on this one page (be sure you scroll down the page to see all the maps.) And, the maps have "sub pages" so you can click on a Zone and the map will expand and add more data. Click on the CQ Zone map and then click on a Zone and the map will expand to show that Zone and the countries found in that Zone will be listed underneath the map along with the Continent and ITU Zone for that country.  Use your "Back" button to return to the previous page.

In addition to the above map resource (which also has a world-wide Maidenhead Grid Map), CLICK HERE for an interactive Google Map to show Maidenhead Grids around the world. If you know the 4 or 6 digit Grid Square you want (or something close to what you want), just enter it in the "Grid square:" box at the top of the map. If you don't know the Grid Square, just navigate the map by double-clicking again and again on the area of interest and/or dragging the map around. The "Scroll Wheel" on your mouse will also activate the Zoom function. You can then find any location on the surface of the Earth and click on it to see what the Grid Square is.

Finally, if you need to compute the beam heading and distance between two locations on the Earth, go to THIS SITE and download "wingrid.exe" by clicking on the heading "New Improved" WinGrid4.0 (wingrid.exe) This will download a small program to your computer which you need to run by clicking on the "wingrid.exe" file. Then, enter the latitude and longitude of your home QTH and press the "Calc.Grid" button to determine your Home Grid. Once you do, pull down "Main" from the Menu Bar and chose "Save Home." Then, everytime you open the program, it will start with your own QTH as the "Home" location. Just enter the other station's grid in the "Destination Grid" box and press Calc. Lat/Lon or "Calc. Dist./Heading" and you will be presented with the beam heading (both direct and reverse) and the distance between you and the other station. Also, double-clicking anywhere inside the borders of WinGrid will change the input fields from "Degrees-Minutes-Seconds" to "Degrees" and decimal portions of a degree.

WinGrid does not install itself as a "Program" on your computer. It is just an "excutable file" that you have to start by clicking (or double-clicking) on the WinGrid.exe file wherever you downloaded it. You can easily place a "Shortcut" on your desktop to the WinGrid executable file so that you can find it easily to start the program as you will use it often.

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