News Newsfeed

09/19/2017 08:22 PM
Ham Talk Live #82 -- Public Relations:
Thursday night at 9 PM Eastern time, Scott Westerman, W9WSW is on the big show to talk about Ham Radio Public Relations and also the upcoming Great Lakes Ham Convention! Tune in to get some ideas of how to make your club more visible and relatable!

09/19/2017 08:21 PM
IARU Addresses New Radio Spectrum Pollution Threat:
The International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) Administrative Council (AC) held its annual in-person meeting on 15 and 16 September in Landshut, Germany, just before the IARU Region 1 Conference. It has addressed High Power Wireless Power Transfer (WPT) for electric vehicles, seen as having a significant potential for interference to radiocommunications. The AC, consisting of the three IARU international officers and two representatives from each of the three IARU regional organisations, is responsible for policy and management. A media release issued on September 17 reported that the meeting reviewed its priorities and positions for the 2019 World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-19) of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). The agenda for WRC-19 along with WPT includes several other items of potential concern to radio amateurs, a possible Region 1 allocation of 50-54 MHz to the Amateur Service to harmonise with allocations in the other two regions. The IARU budget, based on anticipated financial contributions from Member Societies, was also reviewed to minimise expenditure, and adopted. The theme for World Amateur Radio Day, 18 April 2018, was confirmed as "Celebrating Amateur Radio's Contribution to Society."

09/19/2017 08:20 PM
S-24 Pgns Admin Urges Ham Radio to Reunite Nepali Man:
Kolkata: The South 24 Parganas district administration has urged the West Bengal Radio Club -- an organisation of Ham Radio operators in the state -- to reunite a Nepali man who has been lodged at a district hospital for more than three months with nobody turning up to take his responsibility.

09/18/2017 08:26 PM
Hurricane Redux: Amateur Radio Community Goes on Alert for Maria:
Caribbean Island residents and the Amateur Radio community have hardly had a chance to catch a breath from Hurricane Irma as recovery operations continue, but now Hurricane Maria is knocking on the door. The Hurricane Watch Net (HWN) activated today on 14.325 MHz, with plans to maintain operations on that frequency during the day and on 7.268 MHz after dark. "As propagation dictates, we may operate using both frequencies at the same time," HWN Secretary Stan Broadway, N8BHL, said in making the announcement. The VoIP Hurricane Net will activate today at 1500 UTC until further notice, to track Hurricane Maria and its potential impact to the Leeward Islands. WX4NHC, the Amateur Radio Station at the National Hurricane Center, will activate at 2100 UTC.

09/17/2017 08:09 PM
New Plymouth Amateur Radio Celebrates 90 Years On Air:
Ninety years is a long time to ride a wave. An airwave that is. This month a group of amateur radio operators in New Plymouth is getting set to celebrate 90 years of keeping in touch with each other and the community. The New Plymouth Amateur Radio Club started in 1926 and has evolved to become a vital link in the community, especially in emergencies when it helps police, search and rescue and civil defence when required. Club secretary Daniel Vandenberg said it was just one of the many roles the club provided. "We have a group of fully trained operators who are able to help support emergency communications," Vandenberg said. "We're one of the longest running service clubs in New Zealand." There were many different aspects to the amateur radio hobby, he said. Some used it to for keeping in touch with others while some clubs have competitions as well.

09/16/2017 08:04 PM
Tunisia Legalizes Individual Licenses:
The Ministry of Telecommunications of Tunisia has approved and issued a decree organizing amateur radio activity in Tunisia. It is now possible for Tunisian amateurs to apply, pass an exam and get their own amateur radio licenses.

09/16/2017 08:03 PM
A Texas Homage to Amelia Earhart's Around-the-World Flight:
Exactly 80 years after Amelia Earhart attempted her round-the-world flight, the solo journey has finally been completed in a single-engine aircraft for the first time, ending in Kestrel Airpark in San Antonio. "This was an amazing journey," says Brian Lloyd, who flew 28,000 miles in Spirit, his plane, during his circumnavigation of the globe. "It required more of me than I ever imagined it could, but I also found in myself the reserves of patience and energy to keep going no matter what." Like Earhart's plane, Spirit has a high frequency radio, which Lloyd used to communicate with hundreds of people across the world. "Every place I went I was warmly greeted with open arms, even in places where we are told that the US is not liked," Lloyd says. "The key thing to remember is that the aviation and amateur radio communities are united around aviation and radio, and not really around politics or religion."

09/16/2017 08:00 PM
Amateur Radio Roundtable:
Please join Katie Allen, WY7YL, Dave Casler, KE0OG, and Tom Medlin, W5KUB Tuesday nights for Amateur Radio Roundtable. This week Mike Caper WA9PIE will be showing us HRD. Cory Sickles, WA3UVV, will be talking about Yaesu's new products and discussing system fusion. Plus shack pictures and much more.

09/16/2017 03:53 PM Debutes with YCCC/40: - the web site which brings near real time scoring into QSO Party world, will offer support of the first USA QSO Party next week.

09/16/2017 03:53 PM
Please Keep Clear of Hurricane Nets:
In view of the arrival of Hurricane Max on the coast of Guerrero, Mexico, the FMRE National Emergency Net has activated. The net is operating on 7.060 MHz and 14.120MHz so please avoid causing interference on or around those frequencies.

09/15/2017 08:40 PM
WIA Team Compete in Overseas ARDF Events:
Amateur Radio Direction Finding (ARDF) competitions in the USA, and at the IARU Region 3 championship in Mongolia - saw the WIA Team win a swag of medals. Ewen VK3OW, Jenelle VK3FJTE and Jack VK3WWW were at the Harrison Ohio event in July, which was coupled with the IARU Region 2 ARDF Championships. Fierce competition saw them win medals. Then they broke up, most back to Australia for a rest, and another caught up with a stateside relative. Next was the 11th IARU Region 3 Championships hosted by the Mongolian Radio Sports Federation. The original three were joined by Peter VK3ADY and Kristian VK3FDAC. The WIA Team of five scored well in the medal tally. Congratulations to all.

09/15/2017 08:39 PM
'Sergio and Sergei' Ron Perlman On True Story of Cosmonaut Trapped In Space
From writing partners Ernesto and Marta Daranas and directed by the former, Sergio and Sergei is one of the most unusual, intriguing comedies to premiere at the Toronto Film Festival this year. A Cuban film starring Tomás Cao, Héctor Noas and Ron Perlman -- the only American actor on the production -- Sergio and Sergei tells the story of the unusual friendship formed between a Cuban philosophy professor and a Russian cosmonaut who finds himself trapped in space following the collapse of the Soviet Union. "It's based on an actual story that took place in 1991, where there's a Russian cosmonaut that's been sent up to the Mir Space Station for a three month period, and he's now in his fifth or sixth month and he doesn't know what the hell's going on. He finds this ham radio aficionado who happens to be a professor of philosophy in Cuba -- in Havana -- and he goes, 'Don't you know what happened man? The wall came down and the Soviet Union collapsed.' And they sort of deduced that there's nobody to get him down," Perlman explains. "The country that sent him up there is disintegrated, and the new federation -- the Russian Federation -- is busted, they've got no money, so they couldn't get him down if they wanted to. The Cuban guy gets in touch with this American journalist, who's the reason why he has this ham radio outfit to begin with, and he says, 'Man, what can we do?' An executive producer on the project, Perlman's character lived in New York, communicating with the other characters in the film through ham radio alone. But for the actor, taking on the project came with a desire to get the full Cuban experience. While all of Perlman's scenes are New York interiors, New York was recreated on a Cuban interior set.

09/15/2017 08:39 PM
When Natural -- or Any -- Disaster Strikes, Being Prepared Matters:
(TNS) -- Earthquakes, floods, fires, wind storms, oh my. These are just a few examples of the potential natural disasters that could hit Ridgecrest and the Indian Wells Valley. In light of the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, which flooded Houston and other Texas cities, and Hurricane Irma, which hit Florida and the Caribbean islands, it's best to prepare for such disasters, according to Kern County Emergency Services Manager Georgianna Armstrong. "There are ongoing disasters that are ever present and they can affect us in ways to varying degrees," Armstrong said. "The control that they can affect us directly correlates to how well we have been preparing our families and ourselves to withstand those events." "When we talk about preparing for disaster, we are really talking about building family strength and resiliency," Armstrong said. Another group that plays a pivotal role in emergencies and natural disasters are ham radio operators. Ham radio operators, through groups like ARES and RACES, are citizens trained and licensed to operate radio communications. Armstrong cited a quote from a skilled emergency services manager she knew. "If she had to choose between water and the ham radio operators, she would take the ham radio operators," Armstrong said. "They can be your last line of defense when communications fail so they are incredibly important to overall communications."

09/15/2017 05:49 PM
Foundations of Amateur Radio -- #119:
There is so much stuff associated with Amateur Radio that your family might be forgiven in thinking that your hobby is all about being in the middle of a junk-yard surrounded by the carcasses of disassembled gear, components, failed projects, obsolete equipment and scraps of wire, solder and countless screws, resistors and other bits and pieces that are just too valuable to dispose of.

09/15/2017 05:48 PM
VK6ARN NewsWest for Sunday 17 Sept 2017:
VK6ARN NewsWest for Sunday 17 Sept 2017:

09/15/2017 11:44 AM
FCC Opens 630/2200-Meter Bands; Stations Must Notify UTC Before Operating:
The FCC has announced that the Office of Management and Budget has approved, for 3 years, the information-collection requirement of the Commission's March 29 Report and Order that spelled out Amateur Radio service rules for the two new bands - 630 meters and 2200 meters.

09/15/2017 11:43 AM
Propagation Forecast Bulletin #37 de K7RA:
At 0005 UTC on September 15 the Australian Space Weather Forecast Centre issued a Geomagnetic Disturbance Warning. "The previous geomagnetic warning is extended for two more days. The high speed streams associated with the coronal hole is expected to persist for a few days. If the Bz component of the IMF turned strongly southward for prolonged periods, earth could experience minor storm conditions. Otherwise, expect mostly unsettled to active condition for the next two days (15 and 16 September).

09/14/2017 08:06 PM
Role Still for Radio:
Amateur radio enthusiasts from across the state came together on Sunday for Shepparton and District Amateur Radio Club's swap meet. Club secretary Andy Ashley said the meet had been held annually for the past 30 years. ''Pretty well every town in Australia has a ham radio technician,'' he said. ''In the Shepparton CBD alone there are five.'' Mr Ashley said there would be about 3000 to 4000 ham radio operators across the country and it had been a hobby for more than 100 years. Described as the original social media, he said the club was working hard to encourage young people to become involved.

09/14/2017 08:06 PM
Here's Where Cold War 'Numbers Stations' Broadcast Spies' Secret Codes:
IF YOU TUNED into just the right shortwave radio frequency in the 1970s, you might hear a creepy computerized voice reading out a string of numbers. It was the Cold War, and the coded messages were rumored to be secret intelligence broadcasts from "number stations" located around the globe. Photographer Lewis Bush is obsessed with these stations to "an almost irrational degree" and hunts them down in Shadows of the State, featuring 30 composite satellite images of alleged number stations from Germany to Australia. The series took two years and endless research. "It's a difficult project to quantify in terms of man hours wasted on it," he says. Numbers stations go back as far as World War I. During the Cold War, there were hundreds of secret broadcasts. Intelligence agencies sometimes started a transmission with a bit of music (one UK station was dubbed the "Lincolnshire Poacher" because it began with a few notes from an English folk song), then recited the code five numbers at a time. Operatives with the key listened and transcribed top secret messages. By the '70s, regular folks were picking up the frequencies on ham radios and geeking out on their possible meanings. Numbers stations even found their way into pop culture, with references in TV shows like The Americans, movies like Vanilla Sky and songs by Moby. Evidence suggests number stations are still used in countries like Cuba and North Korea.

09/14/2017 03:39 PM
Emergency Preparedness Fair in Milpitas on Saturday:
In an effort to help prepare residents for the unthinkable, the Milpitas Fire Department's Office of Emergency Services will host a variety of agencies at its Emergency Preparedness Fair at Civic Center Plaza on Saturday. "September is National Preparedness Month. This is a timely opportunity, given the hurricane devastation, to remind folks why being prepared is so important," Toni Charlop, the city's emergency services coordinator, said via email last week. "Earthquakes, our biggest natural disaster on the West Coast, come with zero warning, it is imperative that families plan for these circumstances. This event is to bring awareness to preparedness." The event will feature a Milpitas Fire Department's engine company visit, a Milpitas police K-9 demonstration, ham radio operators, Pacific Gas and Electric Co. representatives giving advice on securing a water heater and having a potable water source for emergencies, and American Red Cross representatives talking of the need to be prepared and accepting donations for Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma relief.

09/14/2017 03:38 PM
Offaly Telescope Detects Huge Explosions On the Sun:
The new LOFAR telescope in Birr, Co. Offaly, has detected an explosion on the sun, an event that could result in a visible aurora in our skies tonight, Wednesday, September 14. A similar event last week resulted in solar storms and the Northern Lights being visible over parts of Ireland. The past two weeks have been very stormy for the sun, and the recently installed LOFAR radio telescope in Birr has been key to helping scientists keep an eye on weather conditions on the sun and to forecasting its effects here on Earth. "This sunspot group has unleashed one of the the largest flares in over a decade and one of the biggest in the last 40 years", according to Professor Peter Gallagher, a solar physicist in the School of Physics at Trinity,

09/14/2017 12:45 PM
DX News -- ARRL DX Bulletin #37:
This week's bulletin was made possible with information provided by QRZ DX, the OPDX Bulletin, 425 DX News, The Daily DX, DXNL, Contest Corral from QST and the ARRL Contest Calendar and WA7BNM web sites. Thanks to all.

09/14/2017 12:42 PM
Amateurlogic No 108 is Released:
A little bit of everything. George visits friends at Huntsville Hamfest, Tommy explores Icom's IP100H IP Handi Talkies, Emile studies ITU Designations, and Peter discusses recent FT8 Updates.

09/14/2017 12:40 PM
Ham Talk Live #81 -- VoA Museum Celebration:
TONIGHT at 9 PM Eastern on Ham Talk Live!, the guys from the National Voice of America Museum of Broadcasting in West Chester, Ohio stop by to talk about the new Powel Crosley exhibit and their big gala celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Voice of America on September 23! And, there's upgrades to the WC8VOA club station there as well!

09/14/2017 11:05 AM
Seven Massive Solar Flares Have Erupted from Furious Sunspot In Seven Days:
The sun blasted out seven massive solar flares in as many days in an extraordinary period of space weather that has sparked stunning geomagnetic storms above the earth. Between September 4 and September 11, NASA observed seven flares, all classed in its strongest "X" category, with the most impressive registering at X9.3, a very significant event. The latest, at X8.2 also a significant flare, peaked at 12:06 p.m. EDT on Sept. 10. It prompted warnings of possible radio blackouts from the Space Weather Prediction Center, which also issued a geomagnetic storm warning for Wednesday and Thursday.

09/14/2017 10:57 AM
During Hurricanes, Emergency Officials Turn to Ham Radio:
VERO BEACH, Fla. -- Operators of amateur radios, also known as ham radios, play a vital role in the gathering of information during hurricanes like Irma. "We take for granted our communications," said Etta LoPresti, emergency management coordinator for Indian River County. "But when you have something catastrophic like they do in the Keys and in the west coast of Florida, where you're not going to have communication, these amateur radio operators take care of things for us." In Indian River County, Paul Bartoszewicz and Willie Thompson work 14-hour shifts during Hurricane Irma. They're part of the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) -- a group of licensed radio operators who help with communication during storms.

09/14/2017 10:56 AM
Just Ahead In Radiosport:
Just Ahead In Radiosport:

09/14/2017 10:56 AM
Help the Ham Aid Response Effort In Florida and the US Virgin Islands:
Due to this busy hurricane season, ARRL's inventory of Ham Aid kits has been severely depleted. ARRL's Ham Aid program loans Amateur Radio equipment kits to established ARES and partner agencies during disaster response, in order to establish Amateur Radio communications support.

09/14/2017 10:55 AM
Amateur Radio Volunteers Respond to Historic Hurricane Irma:
Hurricane Irma is history, but the recovery continues. ARRL West Central Florida (WCF) Section Manager Darrell Davis, KT4WX -- who is also Hardee County Emergency Coordinator -- reported that the storm's eye passed over the Hardee County emergency operations center just before midnight EDT on September 10. The storm, which left death and destruction in its wake, eventually moved inland, carrying with it heavy rainfall and consequent additional flooding. By mid-week, FEMA had flagged most of the Florida peninsula for "significant river flooding," imminent or occurring. Irma also has left many in Florida without electrical power.

09/14/2017 10:54 AM
Emergency Net Activated In Wake of Earthquake In Mexico:
The National Emergency Net of the FMRE -- Mexico's national Amateur Radio association -- activated on 7.060 MHz (the net also operates on 3.690 and 14.120 MHz) to handle any emergency traffic after a late-evening earthquake occurred off Mexico's coast on September 7. Radio amateurs not involved in the earthquake disaster should avoid those frequencies, if active.

09/14/2017 10:54 AM
The Doctor Will See You Now!
"How High is High Enough" -- a discussion on the effects of antenna height -- is the topic of the latest episode of the "ARRL The Doctor is In" podcast. Listen...and learn!

09/14/2017 10:54 AM
QST Announces 2017 Antenna Design Competition Winners:
QST has announced the winners of its 2017 Antenna Design Competition.

09/14/2017 10:53 AM
Not All 'Intruders' On Ham Bands are Illegal -- But a Lot of Them Are:
The monthly newsletter of the International Amateur Radio Union Region 1 Monitoring Service (IARUMS) typically makes for some interesting reading. While the reports that come from more than 2 dozen contributors can be a bit visually dense, the content conveys the impression that that there are myriad intruders on the Amateur Radio bands. However, not all of them are illegal, as IARUMS points out, but a lot of the signals heard are not supposed to be where they were monitored. The individual reports can be a bit humorous too.

09/14/2017 10:53 AM
Collegiate Amateur Radio Symposium Holds Second Annual Meeting:
The Amateur Radio Club at Yale University (W1YU) was the host for the 2nd annual Collegiate Amateur Radio Initiative (CARI) forum at the ARRL New England Division Convention, September 8-10, in Boxboro, Massachusetts. ARRL CEO Tom Gallagher, NY2RF, who -- in light of the increasing number of reactivated and newly formed radio clubs at colleges and universities -- has been a prime mover behind the League initiative, opened the session. Four presentations by participating institutions followed.

09/14/2017 10:52 AM
Dr. Scott Wright, K0MD, Tapped as New NCJ Editor:
Dr. Scott Wright, K0MD, of Rochester, Minnesota, will assume the helm of National Contest Journal (NCJ) starting with the January/February 2018 issue. He will succeed Pat Barkey, N9RV, who has served as NCJ's editor since 2015. Licensed as a teenager in 1977, Wright is a very active contester and operator.

09/14/2017 10:52 AM
In Brief...
In Brief...

09/14/2017 09:48 AM
Massive Sunspots Solar Flares: Scientists Don't Know Why:
If you still have your solar viewing glasses from the eclipse, now is a good time to slap them on and look up at the sun. You'll see two big dark areas visible on our star. These massive sunspots are regions of intense and complicated magnetic fields that can produce solar flares - bursts of high-energy radiation. You can just make them out with solar viewing glasses, but they're better viewed through a solar telescope. These two huge sunspots are currently causing quite a bit of consternation and interest. The solar storms they've sent toward Earth may affect communications and other technologies like GPS and radio signals. They're causing amazing displays of the Northern and Southern Lights. And space weather scientists like us are excited because we wouldn't normally expect this much activity from the sun at the moment.

09/10/2017 05:30 PM
Amateur Radio Roundtable:
Please join Katie Allen, WY7YL, and Tom Medlin, W5KUB Tuesday nights for Amateur Radio Roundtable . Katie will be talking to Chris, KD8YVJ and his dad Jocelyn, KD8VRX about the Dave Kalter Memorial Youth DxPedition InCosta Rica.

09/09/2017 08:08 PM
Communication is Key to Surviving a Disaster:
There's always plenty of Monday-morning-quarterbacking after major disasters, criticizing the way it was handled is easy when everything is in full view after the fact, and there will always be the "what ifs." But disasters are inherently unpredictable -- they wouldn't be "disasters" if they weren't. Nonetheless, there are precautionary measures that go a long way towards mitigating the loss of life and property during a disaster. Being able to communicate during a catastrophic event is one of the most important aspects of survival. Events like Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Sandy back in 2012, often knock power lines down, cut off cable and Internet services, and cell phone networks can fail from being so overloaded, possibly for long periods of time. Your best bet to stay in contact with loved ones and emergency services is to go old-school: ham radio, satellite phones, and even crank radios.

09/09/2017 08:07 PM
Ham Radio Groups Work Behind the Scenes of Emergencies to Help Community:
With the advent of cellphones and all things tech, one might wonder if there is still a need for amateur radio operators. Any local radio operator will readily tell you there is -- or as Orem operator Keith McQueen explains, "We're a backup communication resource when everything else goes to pot." Amateur radio, also dubbed ham radio, has been around more than 100 years -- and in a small way it was the world's first internet, the world's first cellphones. By bouncing signals off multiple radio towers, amateur radio operators could chat with people all across the state, and often across the world.

09/09/2017 08:07 PM
Irma, Not the Only Storm: Major Space Weather Event In Progress On the Sun:
Everyone knows that NOAA monitors weather conditions on earth, but few realize that there is also a Space Weather service which is another division of NOAA that focuses on the weather conditions as they exist on the sun. This is mainly intended for use by utilities and anyone operating satellites as well as any occupants of the International Space Station, but NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center can be important to everyone when the sun's surface becomes extremely active. A popular hobby from the early days of the last century through about the time of the creation of the internet was ham radio or amateur radio. These pioneers of the communications arena have almost been forgotten by most people today, but they are still very active and play a critical part in emergency management even today. Why, you may ask, is amateur radio important in these days of satellites and free internet video conference via SKYPE? The answer is simple if you think about it. How do you send a message to the next state or the other side of the world when the cell tower is destroyed, and the phone lines are all laying on the ground? Ham radio operators are the only people who are equipped to communicate with distant locations entirely independent of satellites, the internet, and phone wires. Many of them are prepared to operate off the grid and network with other operators around the world right from their "shack." Solar storms can interfere with long distance radio communications, but those are usually very brief occurrences which pass away in minutes or hours entirely on their own, as opposed to having to replace hundreds of miles of telephone lines. In addition, the major ham organization is called the American Radio Relay League and relay is an important part of that group's name because when long distance radio contact is disabled due to electromagnetic storms the league members link together and forward messages in shorter hops even when they can't bounce messages off the ionosphere to the other side of the continent or world.

09/08/2017 08:22 PM
Watch these Manhattan Beach Kids Make Radio Contact with an Astronaut:
Hundreds of students gathered in the Manhattan Beach Middle School gymnasium Friday morning for a rare chance to watch a group of kids speak with an astronaut on the International Space Station over amateur radio. Right on time at five past 10 a.m., the sometimes fuzzy voice of astronaut Paolo Nespoli came over a public address system as the space station traveled 250 miles overhead.

09/08/2017 08:22 PM
Ham Radio Operators Can Be Last Line of Communication During Severe Weather
CALABASH, NC (WWAY) -- It takes a lot of manpower during severe weather and other events that threaten life and property to keep us safe. But did you know that a key branch of communications during those times is comprised of people just like you? The Amateur Radio Emergency Service consists of licensed amateur volunteers who use radio equipment to assist with communications when disaster strikes. The ARES organization in Brunswick County works directly with emergency management officials. These amateur radio operators can become especially valuable in situations where severe thunderstorms or hurricanes knock out other forms of communication.

09/08/2017 08:21 PM
Massive Sunspots, Huge Solar Flares Mean Unexpected Space Weather:
(THE CONVERSATION) If you still have your solar viewing glasses from the eclipse, now is a good time to slap them on and look up at the sun. You'll see two big dark areas visible on our star. These massive sunspots are regions of intense and complicated magnetic fields that can produce solar flares - bursts of high-energy radiation. You can just make them out with solar viewing glasses, but they're better viewed through a solar telescope. These two huge sunspots are currently causing quite a bit of consternation and interest. The solar storms they've sent toward Earth may affect communications and other technologies like GPS and radio signals. They're causing amazing displays of the Northern and Southern Lights. And space weather scientists like us are excited because we wouldn't normally expect this much activity from the sun at the moment. The sun goes through 11-year cycles of solar activity. What scientists call a solar maximum is the time in the cycle when the sun is putting out the most energy. That's when we tend to see the most sunspots, solar flares and associated solar storms. Some solar maxima are larger or more active than others - such as the 1990-1991 solar max. But this last cycle, which peaked in 2014, was quite small, and there were few large geomagnetic storms.

09/07/2017 08:03 PM
Radio Amateurs in CT Prepare to Help with Irma Relief Efforts:
NEWINGTON, CT (WFSB) -- As Hurricane Irma approaches Florida, radio amateurs in Connecticut are gearing up to assist with relief efforts as once the powerful storm makes landfall in the United States. Channel 3 visited the National Office for Amateur Radio in Newington and got a closer look at how people are assisting with communication down south. When natural disasters strike, the ability to communicate can become much* more difficult. "Cellular networks can be disrupted, public safety networks can be disrupted," Mike Corey, who is the emergency preparedness manager at the American Radio Relay League, said. "And of course, the number of volunteer organizations like the Red Cross and Salvation Army that respond to these, also need communication support." Corey explained there are about 750,000 licensed amateur radio operators in United States. These operators can make calls for help and support first responders in dire situations.

09/07/2017 08:02 PM
FEMA, FCC Prep Emergency Comm Ahead of Hurricane Irma:
As one of the strongest storms ever recorded in the Atlantic makes its way to the continental United States, the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Emergency Management Agency have begun preparing communications systems and capabilities for Hurricane Irma's landfall. FEMA has prepositioned 700 personnel in Irma's path through the Caribbean, including on Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, to help with logistics and emergency preparedness, FEMA Administrator Brock Long said. As part of its preparations, FEMA on Sept. 5 notified amateur radio operators of frequencies that would be available in the path of Irma. The American Radio Relay League said in a notice that FEMA could activate 5 MHz/60-meter band frequencies in support of a response to Hurricane Irma. Private radio operators can be a crucial link in disaster zones, particularly as strong storms disrupt normal communications networks.

09/07/2017 08:02 PM
Emergency Preparedness Fair Helps Locals Prepare for Catastrophes:
Tropical Storm Harvey -- a hurricane when it made landfall on Friday night on the Gulf Coast in Texas -- dumped more than 50 inches on the Houston area. The calamitous flooding left more than a third of Harris County, which includes Houston, underwater. Now, Hurricane Irma is sweeping through the Caribbean. If not for the extensive system of reservoirs and dams found throughout California, the Central Valley may have suffered a similar fate earlier this year. Winter conditions, including rainfall amounts, were similar to those in 1862, which turned the valley into a vast inland sea. The fair will provide information about everything from the basics, such as putting together evacuation and shelter-in-place kits, to advanced skills like cooking with a solar oven or using a Ham radio, she said.

09/07/2017 12:49 PM
Jamestown Man Bound for Houston:
JAMESTOWN, Mo. -- As Thomas Shands watched the disaster recovery images from Hurricane Harvey, the American Red Cross volunteer said, "I want to be there." He will head to the Houston area soon with the Central and Northern Missouri Chapter, which is sending four emergency response vehicles to help in the recovery. "I have a lot of respect for the volunteers who are down there, even those in their boats who don't belong to any organization -- it's just people helping people," he said. Shands, who first volunteered with the Red Cross in 1975 as a CPR/first aid trainer, specializes in sheltering. However, he is prepared to do whatever the situation needs during his deployment, which could last up to three weeks. Although the Jamestown ranch owner has responded to many disaster relief events in his 42 years with the Red Cross, this will be his first time working such a large-scale event. Shands took his volunteer efforts to a new level after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. When he could not join the military again -- after 20 years in the Missouri National Guard, plus serving in Vietnam with the U.S. naval construction battalions (Seabees) -- Shands said he decided he could do other things to help. "It's a good feeling to be able to help your neighbors," he said. After the Joplin tornado in 2011, Shands said he was assigned to help ham radio operators keep communications open for emergency personnel and for families to reunite. "It's very rewarding to be able to help people who are down and out, who can't see tomorrow," he said. "We help them move forward. It's a blessing to talk with them, to hear their stories and let them talk through their disaster."