03/16/2018 07:52 PM
630M Group Playing WSQ2 in VK and ZL:
Recently the 630metre group has been very active on a new mode called WSQ2. This mode was developed by Murray Greenman ZL1BPU/ZL1EE and Con Wassilieff ZL2AFP/ZL2EE. After these two experienced some frustration with the weak signal non-QSO WSPR mode and slow QSO modes like Jason, they decided to create their own that was fast enough for QSO functionality. Enter WSQ or Weak Signal QSO mode - it uses Incremental Frequency Keying (IFK), making it moderately drift-proof and easy to tune. It has no error correction and even though it's baud rate is slower than Jason each symbol carries more information. It is equivalent of typing about 5 wpm.
03/16/2018 07:51 PM
Scanner Group Hopes to Equip Citizen Patrols with Radios:
The moderator of a Facebook group focused on local crime is seeking donations from its members to outfit a volunteer neighborhood watch program with radios. Jackson County Scanner Group administrator and co-owner Ryan Mallory is seeking about $4,000 from donors for radio equipment that will be used by the Scanner Group's Citizens Patrol, a group of screened volunteers. Citizens Patrol members are already on the streets keeping tabs on their own neighborhoods and 73 crime-ridden areas, then relaying suspicious activity to police. "Watch and report -- that's all we do," Mallory said. Currently the 150 invitation-only patrol volunteers are "working by cellphone," Mallory said, collaborating with a combination of Facebook messages and a smartphone GPS app. Mallory said he'd like to move to a radio system similar to what trucking companies use, citing volunteer safety. "We need to keep our eyes up," Mallory said. "We don't want people tempted to use their phone while they're driving." Volunteers uncomfortable or unable to patrol who "have great minds that want to participate" could take notes as dispatchers, he added. Toward that end, Mallory plans to install a radio repeater on a volunteer's property on Manor Hill, with the help of a team that includes three ham radio operators, a former electronics engineer, metal fabricators and database experts.
03/16/2018 07:51 PM
Mysterious Anomaly: the Sun Without a Single Stain for 37 Days:
The scientists noted that for thirty-seven days in the Sun no spots. The last time this occurred in 2009. This year is likely to be significant because the solar minimum has already exceeded two times the standard duration. How many more bodies will not activity? As a rule, at the end of one solar cycle lasts for eleven years, the activity of the main star is reduced to a minimum, but in our case this period was delayed. Most likely, the anomaly is related to the weakening of the solar wind and its magnetic field.
03/16/2018 12:09 PM
AmateurLogic.TV Episode 115 is Here:
AmateurLogic.TV Episode 115 is now available for download. Tommy, George and Emile visit the 2018 Acadiana Hamfest in Rayne, LA. Good food, good friends and good times in South Louisiana. We visit with vendors and attendees to find out what makes this event so special. Emile teaches Tommy and George the proper way to eat Crawfish.
03/16/2018 12:09 PM
Propagation Forecast Bulletin #11 de K7RA:
No sunspots were observed between March 2 and March 15. One sunspot
made a brief appearance on March 2, after a blank sun on March 1.
Average daily sunspot number dropped from 1.6 to zero this week, and
average daily solar flux rose fractionally from 67.6 to 67.7. We'll
be watching the latest sunspot appearance to see if it is as
fleeting as the March 2 sunspot.
03/15/2018 07:00 PM
John Moyle Memorial Field Day:
Denis VK4AE, WIA coordinator for the John Moyle Memorial Field Day 2018 reminds us that next weekend is the Field Day -Saturday the 17th to Sunday 18th March, 2018, the duration of the contest will be from UTC 0100 Saturday to 0059 on Sunday. The aim of the field day contest is to encourage familiarisation with portable operation and to provide training for operations in emergency situations. During the contest the field (portable) stations appreciate the support from home stations. However, in order to make the whole event a lot fairer, those field (portable) stations actually take part in effectively a separate event to home stations. In this way home stations are not given an unfair advantage, when compared the portable stations that do not have the advantages of a permanent antenna installation, mains power and the comfort of operating from their own home QTH. Home stations are single operator stations and Club Stations operating from their club premises are not operating portable. Last year we had a number of club stations wanting to claim portable operation from the clubrooms as it was likely to be raining during the contest and they were not keen to actually operate portable. In addition, there were club stations who felt that operating in the local caravan park using mains power was also 'portable' operation. Of course, none of these club stations were operated according to the rules or to the spirit of the contest. No matter how you plan to take part in the contest, after the activity is all over and the radio equipment has been packed away, there is one task that must be completed by all stations. They must submit their log for the contest for the validation of those contacts for the other stations.
03/15/2018 07:00 PM
RAYNET Active in Extreme Weather:
RAYNET groups around the country were activated during the heavy snowfall last weekend. Cardiff and District RAYNET were called in to assist with the transportation of key personnel, such as community care workers, as well as assisting stranded motorists to reach safety. Lothian and Fife RAYNET groups provided a communications net for the local 4×4 response group, passing over 800 messages during their 65 hours of continuous operation. Glasgow and Clyde RAYNET assisted Scotserve, a voluntary medical response group, who were transferring staff to and from the children's hospital in Glasgow, by giving them updates on local road conditions.
03/15/2018 11:55 AM
DX News -- ARRL DX Bulletin #12:
This week's bulletin was made possible with information provided by
KK9A, ON4EI, W2TT, The Daily DX, the OPDX Bulletin, 425 DX News,
DXNL, Contest Corral from QST and the ARRL Contest Calendar and
WA7BNM web sites. Thanks to all.
03/15/2018 11:54 AM
ARRL To Shine Spotlight on Public Service Communications at Hamvention 2018
Hamvention 2018 is May 18-20 at the Greene
County Fairgrounds and Expo Center in Xenia, Ohio. The largest annual
Amateur Radio gathering in the US, this year's event has been
sanctioned as the 2018 ARRL Great Lakes Division Convention. The theme
for this year's Hamvention is "Amateur Radio...Serving the Community."
ARRL has responded in that spirit, and four ARRL-sponsored forums -- to
include many guest presenters -- will comprise a Public Service
Communications track on Friday and Saturday of Hamvention.
03/15/2018 11:54 AM
Why ARRL is Recommending Enhanced HF Privileges for Technicians:
ARRL has asked the FCC to expand HF privileges for the entry-level
Technician license to include limited phone privileges on 75, 40, and
15 meters, plus RTTY and digital mode privileges on 80, 40, and 15
meters, where Technicians already have CW privileges. ARRL believes the
additional digital privileges will attract younger people to Amateur
03/15/2018 11:54 AM
The Doctor Will See You Now!
The Doctor opens the mailbag for the newest (March 15) episode of the
"ARRL The Doctor is In" podcast.
03/15/2018 11:53 AM
2018 ARRL International Grid Chase Update:
Our second month of the 2018 ARRL International Grid Chase (IGC) is now in the
books. Big numbers continue on the bands, with overall reporting up by
more than 5 percent from January. While WARC and VHF-plus band activity dipped a
bit, activity was up on the other HF bands.
03/15/2018 11:52 AM
Tennessee Middle School Students Will Send CubeSat Into Space:
NASA has informed Robertsville Middle School in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, that its
"RamSat" 2U CubeSat proposal has been accepted for participation in
NASA's CubeSat Launch Initiative (CSLI) for a
launch opportunity during 2019, 2020, or 2021. The Robertsville
proposal was one of 21 satellites selected or prioritized for
participation in the ninth CSLI selection. CSLI provides opportunities
for small satellite payloads built by schools and nonprofit
organizations to fly on upcoming launches. RamSat will be an
educational mission to develop and implement a middle school STEM
curriculum for building a CubeSat.
03/15/2018 11:52 AM
FT8 DXpedition Mode Field Test Attracts Upward of 500 Participants:
The "Fox" and the "Hounds" were on the bands March 6, as the WSJT-X
development group conducted a field test of the still-beta FT8
DXpedition Mode. A
second beta version of WSJT-X version 1.9.0, which includes the
DXpedition-mode-capable version of FT8 -- was released recently.
Version 1.9.0-rc2 was made available to allow further field testing of
the FT8 DXpedition mode, which is designed to permit DXpeditions to
make FT8 contacts at very high rates.
03/15/2018 11:51 AM
Getting It Right!
The article "History-Related Events Will Operate from Rare Grid in Cape
Cod National Seashore," in The ARRL Letter for March 8 contained an
error in the day of the week that the W1MGY Titanic memorial operation
begins. It should have said, "Operation will begin on Thursday, April
12, at 9 AM ET..."
03/15/2018 11:01 AM
Coax Loss vs Connector Loss:
A question that comes up regularly is one
about loss, specifically loss in the coax and
connectors between your radio and your
antenna. The general wisdom is that better
coax gives you better results and more
connectors is bad.
03/13/2018 07:13 PM
Astronaut Talks Life in Space with San Bruno Students via Ham Radio:
An astronaut flew over San Bruno on Wednesday and revealed to the 800 earthlings below that he wears socks to work, eats lasagna and spent part of this week fixing the space station toilet. And the Internet doesn't work any better in near-zero gravity than it does on Earth, spaceman Scott Tingle said. The 11-minute shortwave radio conversation with Tingle -- orbiting the Earth aboard the International Space Station -- was the biggest thing to hit Parkside Intermediate School in some time. That's because classes were canceled while Tingle spoke from 250 miles overhead on his special radio hookup. Students and teachers crammed into the school's gym, where local ham radio clubs had set up their equipment.
03/13/2018 07:12 PM
Bellefonte Students Make Direct Contact with Space Station:
BELLEFONTE -- The opportunities that lie ahead for students after graduation are robust, but having once-in-a-lifetime experiences while still in school is something Bellefonte Area School District really strives for. One of those experiences took place on Feb. 26 in the Bellefonte Area Middle School, also known as BAMS. Students had the opportunity to make real-time contact with astronaut Scott Tingle of the International Space Station as he flew overhead the school. This was part of a new initiative aptly called "BAMS in Space." "This event may have brought to light many things that the students might not have been interested in until now," said Bellefonte Area Middle School Principal Sommer Garman. "I hope they feel special to have been a part of an opportunity that so few get to do. It was amazing to see the support from all of the students and staff and how willing everyone was to jump in and bring this event together." During the event, which was livestreamed, students asked a panel of local experts from Penn State and AccuWeather various space-related questions before the much awaited direct contact took place. Several pre-chosen students then got to ask Tingle space- and NASA-related questions for approximately nine minutes. For many years, there has been a program called Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) that allows students across the world to make make contact with members of the International Space Station. The purpose is to inspire students to explore interests in careers in science, technology, engineering, and math, while also having them engage with amateur radio technology.
03/12/2018 07:03 PM
Ham Festival (the Radio Kind) Brings Enthusiasts to Hunterdon:
The Cherryville Repeater Association held its annual Hamfest and Technology Expo at the North Hunterdon Regional High School on Saturday. A large crowd turned out for an afternoon that included vendors, testing sessions for those who wanted to get their ham radio license or upgrade an existing license class. The association, founded in 1973, serves licensed amateur radio operators and their families. While most of whom live within 50 miles of Flemington, some live as far away as Bono, Arkansas. Members help provide coordination for parades, and health and welfare communication for triathalons, walkathons, horse trials, boy scout activities, school activities, and other places people gather, according to the organization. Its members also respond in times of community emergencies, working with the Hunterdon County Office of Emergency Management.
03/12/2018 07:02 PM
Want to Help First Responders? Amateur Radio May Be for You:
GREENFIELD -- If you want to help first responders in a disaster or weather emergency but don't know how, then getting your amateur radio license may be the choice for you. Greenfield Community College and the Franklin County Amateur Radio Club Inc. are holding a 15-dollar amateur radio licensing course at GCC, starting March 26. The class will provide students with the opportunity to gain FCC-issued amateur radio licenses, which can reach around the world and help in emergencies. "In the hill towns, the amateurs keep communication going, and FEMA and MEMA use amateur radio during disasters," said Jeanne Dodge, a GCC instructor who is helping to coordinate the course.
03/12/2018 07:02 PM
NASA Rendered a Massive Solar Eruption in 3D Using Three Satellites:
Solar storms are some of the most captivating events within our galaxy, and researchers invest a lot of time in documenting just how these events affect Earth. NASA recently developed a new imaging model the simulates just how eruptions and other coronal mass ejections (CMEs) could impact our lives. Thanks to partnerships with several solar observatories, scientists could develop models to see just how shocks associated with CMEs (often solar flares) could resonate throughout our solar system. The resulting images came from combining data from three NASA satellites in order to produce the most extensive and robust mapping of CME activity to date. It's important to note that CMEs and solar flares are not the same. CMEs happen when huge gas bubbles threaded with magnetic field lines get ejected from the Sun for hours. While it's not uncommon for solar flares to accompany that activity, most CMEs never have solar flare. However, CMEs and solar flares share an understanding that they can both impact earth. As the European Space Agency noted, "large geomagnetic storms have, among other things, caused electrical power outages and damaged communications satellites. The energetic particles driven along by CMEs can be damaging to both electronic equipment and astronauts or passengers in high-flying aircraft." Conversely, solar flares directly affect radio communications on Earth in addition to releasing magnetic particles into space itself.
03/12/2018 07:02 PM
Man Rescued from Atop Ham Radio Antenna:
An 80-year-old Edgartown man was rescued Monday morning by the Edgartown Fire Department from a ham radio tower in his yard. William Welch, an electrician and avid amateur radio operator, got his sneaker caught atop a 20-foot-tall backyard antenna after he scaled the structure to secure it ahead of the impending nor'easter, his wife Betty told The Times. Welch was taken into an Oak Bluffs ambulance for observation and released, his wife said. His pride is a little bruised, his wife said, but nothing else.
03/12/2018 07:00 PM
Ham Talk Live #106 -- SKYWARN Nets:
Thursday night (3/15) at 9 PM Eastern (0100Z)
on Ham Talk Live!, John Mills, KC9BRX from
Central Indiana SKYWARN will be on the show
to talk about local and regional SKYWARN
Nets. We will talk about what they do, and
how to properly run an efficient and accurate
net. And, we will take your questions live
03/12/2018 01:08 PM
DARA Gives Update on Hamvention:
Hamvention officials tell us whats new and
what changing for Hamvention 2018. Mitch
Stern will also tell us about a new (first
time) class to be given at Hamvention
where you can upgrade your license to
General, Plus much more. Hambot is back
with us and will be giving away another
prize to some lucky viewer. The chat room
and phone lines are open for viewers
comments and questions.
03/12/2018 07:58 AM
South Texas SM Stepping Aside; New South Texas SM Appointed:
ARRL South Texas Section Manager Lee Cooper, W5LHC, has announced
that he'll step down at the end of March due to time constraints and
the workload associated with his consulting business. "This was not an easy decision to make but one I felt best for the
future of our Section," Cooper said in a message to South Texas
Section members. "I have been the Section Manager for the South
Texas section since 2009. The position, if done well, can be a very
time-consuming but very rewarding one. I feel I have spent the past
9 years working to improve all areas of the Field Organization in
03/12/2018 07:57 AM
FOC 80th Anniversary Challenge:
In May 2018 the First Class CW Operators
Club, FOC, will be celebrating its 80th
Anniversary. Between 1st May and 31st May 2018 our
members from around the world will be
active on the bands with CW with special
call signs, many of them containing the
number '80' or an 'FOC' suffix. Points
will be awarded for working these special
03/11/2018 07:06 PM
Mendocino County Emergencies: When All Else Fails...Amateur Radio:
Last October was the most ferocious complex set of fires in Mendocino, Lake, Sonoma and Napa counties to have ever occurred in California. It caused the loss of almost 50 lives and damage that has yet to be accurately totaled. The fires also caused catastrophic failures in major cellular, microwave, cable, internet and radio communication systems. Some of these systems had seen earlier failures due to accidental and human causes. The early hours of Oct. 9, 2017 required another type of communication to be brought into play by the Offices of Emergency Services in all of these counties. Since amateur (ham) radio does not require wire or fiber infrastructure to operate, that means of communication was amateur radio. Local amateur radio operators from throughout the county responded to the call-out by Mendocino County OES for assistance. Those operators were dispatched to hospitals, medical clinics, shelters at Ukiah High, Willits High, and the Redwood Empire Fairgrounds.
03/11/2018 02:06 PM
Maidenhead Grid EL58hx Activation 2018:
(Venice, LA, USA) Wyatt Dirks, AC0RA, and
Clayton Coleman, W5PFG will travel to the
mouth of the Mississippi River in far
Southeast Louisiana to activate maidenhead
gridsquare EL58hx on Memorial Day weekend,
2018. The primary activities will be on
the 6m band and OSCAR satellites. This
will be Wyatt's first activation of EL58
in Louisiana and Clayton's second. Both
operators have conducted multiple,
successful portable activations over the
years, with Wyatt activating over 200 grid
squares and Clayton over 150. Dates, the
operating location in the grid, and
transportation arrangements are confirmed.
03/10/2018 07:03 PM
Orbiting Astronaut Talks Life In Space with Students via Ham Radio:
An astronaut flew over San Bruno on Wednesday and revealed to the 800 earthlings below that he wears socks to work, eats lasagna and spent part of this week fixing the space station toilet. And the Internet doesn't work any better in near-zero gravity than it does on Earth, spaceman Scott Tingle said. All 3 hostages, gunman dead at Yountville veterans home Editorial: On North Korea, Trump is right Source: 49ers agree to terms on 3-year deal with Richard Sherman Oakland coffee shop refuses to serve police officers -- and... Seeing San Francisco through new eyes after trip to tidy D.C. Does the Ferry Building still reflect the Bay Area's food... The Warriors once drafted a woman to play in the NBA: Here's... "It's very slow," he said. "But it's better than nothing." The 11-minute shortwave radio conversation with Tingle -- orbiting the Earth aboard the International Space Station -- was the biggest thing to hit Parkside Intermediate School in some time. That's because classes were canceled while Tingle spoke from 250 miles overhead on his special radio hookup. Students and teachers crammed into the school's gym, where local ham radio clubs had set up their equipment. Principal Kerry Dees blew a whistle and called the proceedings to order. She declared it a great day in the history of the mighty Parkside Panthers. "This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," Dees said. "This is beyond your imagination!" And then a dozen students trooped up to a bank of shortwave radios and read their questions into the mike. Each student had been instructed to say "over" at the end of each question, so that Tingle -- who was fed the questions in advance -- could rattle off his answers. All eyes were on the clock, because radio contact with the space station would last only about 11 minutes. At the precise moment, the radio folks twiddled their dials and history arrived at Parkside over frequency 145.805 megahertz.
03/10/2018 07:02 PM
An Autonomous Drone for Working Rare Squares:
Amateur radio is an extremely broad church when it comes to the numerous different activities that it covers. Most of the stories featuring radio amateurs that we cover here have involved home-made radios, but that represents a surprisingly small subset of licence holders. One activity that captivates many operators is grid square collecting. The map is divided into grid squares, can you make contact with all of them? Land-based squares in Europe and North America are easy, those in some more sparsely populated regions a little less so, and some squares out in the ocean are nigh-on impossible. As an attempt to solve this problem, the Jupiter Research Foundation Amateur Radio Club have put an HF transceiver and associated electronics in a WaveGlider autonomous seagoing vehicle. The idea is that it will traverse the ocean, and you can work it, thus getting the contact you require to add those rarest of grid squares to your list. The transceiver in question is a commercial portable one, an Elecraft KX3, and the brain of the payload is a Raspberry PI. It's operating the FT8 mode, and will respond to a call on 14074 kHz in an automated fashion (Or it would, were its status page not telling us that it is offline due to power issues). It's currently somewhere in the Pacific ocean, having been at sea now for a couple of months.
03/09/2018 07:01 PM
Update on the Melbourne University Space Program:
The Melbourne University Space Program is on the move. This update information has been provided by Gabriel Abrahams VK3EXO. From the RF perspective project personnel have successfully transmitted packets between the ground station and the satellite radio and interfaced the satellite radio with the flight computer. The satellite antenna has been deployed. All under test conditions. The ACMA recently approved the frequency allocation request and will be taking the application to the ITU on behalf of the project team. This is a huge achievement, particularly for an entirely student led organization.
03/09/2018 07:00 PM
Madison County Storm Spotters Do What Radar Can't:
ANDERSON -- If you pay close attention to the extended weather reports prepared by the National Weather Service in Indianapolis, there's an interesting notation at the bottom about "spotters" and whether they might be activated. In normal weather, the services of these men and women isn't needed. But when bands of thunderstorms capable of producing tornadoes roll across the countryside, these spotters are dispatched to key locations across Madison and other counties to report what's happening on the ground. You might ask, in this age of sophisticated Doppler radar and complex computer modeling, why human reports are needed. It's a fair question, said Senior Meteorologist Mike Ryan, who led an annual two-hour storm spotter class at Hoosier Park Racing and Casino on Tuesday night. And the answer is fairly straightforward. Radar energy tells experts a lot about what's happening in the atmosphere over long distances. But radar energy moves in a straight line, and the ground curves. That means meteorologists have less ground information at longer distances. Hence, the need for spotters. "We provide what the NWS calls 'ground truth,'" said Steve Riley of the Madison County Emergency Management Agency.
03/08/2018 07:06 PM
Radio Operators Connect at Acadiana Hamfest:
Ham radio operators from across the South are expected at the Acadiana Amateur Radio Association's 58th annual Hamfest, set for 3 p.m. Friday and 8 a.m. Saturday at the Rayne Civic Center. Ham operators use their home or mobile radio stations to talk with other amateurs across town or the other side of the globe. Hams also use their hobby to learn and develop electronics and provide public service communications during hurricanes, floods and other emergencies. Billed as the largest hamfest on the Gulf Coast, the Rayne event lets operators reunite with old radio friends or visit with other hobbyists for the first time. Top manufacturers and dealers of radios, antennas and other accessories display and sell their latest equipment. Hams also sell and trade used and antique gear at swap tables. They can also test their skills in a "fox hunt," a search for a hidden transmitter using handheld radios.
03/08/2018 07:06 PM
San Bruno students interview astronaut working on international space station: From 250 miles below, San Bruno middle schoolers discussed with astronaut Scott Tingle his preferred footwear, eating habits, bone density, exposure to radiation and countless other issues uniquely presented by life on an international space station. Parkside Intermediate School students jammed in the school's gym Wednesday, March 7, peppered Tingle with questions during an interview transmitted with help of local amateur radio enthusiasts.
03/08/2018 07:06 PM
A New View of the Sun from NOAA's Solar Telescope:
When the sun flared dramatically last September, causing geomagnetic storms and radio blackouts on Earth, a new NOAA solar telescope captured the drama from a different perspective. Now, NOAA has released these new images to the scientific community:images that scientists from NCEI and the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES)(link is external) have played a key role in capturing. "The Solar Ultraviolet Imager, or SUVI for short, is seeing big extended structures that we never knew were there, so we can address science questions that haven't been explored before," says Dan Seaton, a CIRES scientist working with NCEI. "SUVI complements what other solar imagers can do, adding the additional element of what's happening high above the sun."