11/21/2017 07:03 PM
Ham Radio Coming to PCHS:
You could feel the excitement in the room as Pocahontas County High School students gathered recently to learn about an exciting project being launched at their school. Eight Rivers Ham Radio Club members Rudy Marrujo, Jan Cozart and Lee Wolfe visited PCHS where they were met by a large group of bright-eyed and anxious students who want to learn more about becoming ham radio operators. Amateur (ham) radio is a medium by which people can communicate on specific frequency ranges designated by the FCC for personal, hobby, educational/training and emergency purposes. During the demonstration, students were given the opportunity to handle the equipment and were eager to ask questions. The program is the brainchild of Jean Srodes, who works with students in Pocahontas County. Srodes came up with the idea of bringing ham radio to the school while exploring STEM activities. Her idea for a student-operated ham radio base was presented to the Eight Rivers Ham Radio Club, and club members were immediately on board to purchase equipment and to establish a radio base at the school. Although this is primarily a STEM Club activity, the opportunity is open to all interested students. "The response to this was overwhelming," Srodes said.
11/21/2017 07:02 PM
Ham Radio Operators Assist With Puerto Rico Recovery:
Two months after Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico residents are struggling to recover. Power has not been fully restored, and fresh water and other supplies are still hard to come by. In the days immediately after the storm, a southern Illinoisan decided to lend his help -- in connecting others who could lend a hand. Taylor Vessel of WSIU's River Region Evening Edition reports on Tim Maloney's trip.
11/20/2017 08:02 PM
Amateur Radio Service Helps Fight Hunger:
The Portage County Amateur Radio Service, a local Ham Radio Club, is giving back to the community with a donation to the Center of Hope in Ravenna. The Amelia DiGirolamo Center of Hope is dedicated to enhancing the nutrition of low-income people in Portage County, where local food pantries are not present. Hot meals are offered at no cost five days a week and are typically served to between 75 and 100 individuals each day. Groceries are available monthly through the Christian Cupboard. Opportunities for socialization, cooking classes and referral services are also offered. Outgoing PCARS President Rick Kruis, K8CAV, said he's "honored to be a part of an organization as giving as the members of PCARS are." Incoming PCARS President Jim Wilson, AC8NT, said that "continuing to serve our community will be an important function of PCARS as we move into 2018."
11/20/2017 08:02 PM
Ham Radio Operators Vital if Disaster Strikes:
If disaster strikes, emergency officials say we will likely be reliant on a growing network of amateur radio operators. Mark Sheppard with the Seattle Department of Emergency Management says we've learned a lot since the Nisqually Earthquake in 2001. And today, the backup communication system is much more robust. "It's not just the radio, it's the people," he said. "We have a team of people who have been through emergency preparedness training and learned how to communicate in emergencies under pressure."
11/20/2017 11:35 AM
Michigan Section Manager Appointment Begins on January 1:
Jim Kvochick, K8JK, of Brighton, Michigan, has been appointed as
Michigan Section Manager for the first half of next year. His
appointment will begin on January 1, 2018, and will continue through
June 30. Kvochick was appointed by ARRL Radiosport Manager Norm
Fusaro, W3IZ, in consultation with ARRL Great Lakes Division
Director Dale Williams, WA8EFK, and outgoing Michigan Section
Manager Larry Camp, WB8R. Camp, who has served as SM since 2012,
intends to step down from the volunteer position on December 31,
when his term of office concludes.
11/19/2017 07:05 PM
Ham Radio Devotees Unite:
Sherri Williams and her five siblings all earned ham radio licenses as young adults. It was dad's hobby ... and his orders. In his mind, a driver's license and an amateur radio license were almost a package deal. This was 30 or 40 years ago, well before every teen carried a cellphone. "We all had radios in our cars, and we talked back and forth for safety," Williams said. "Being in Oklahoma, there were always ice storms, and we were always in the ditch." Safety is just one of the reasons ham radio operators fall in love with the hobby. Some get a thrill from talking to people halfway around the world. Others like the technical challenges. The 45th annual Hamfest and Computer Expo this weekend in Memorial Coliseum's Expo I and II appeals to each of those aspects and more. More than 125 vendors have booths, selling every sort of wire, plug, switch and adapter imaginable.
11/18/2017 07:49 PM
Santa Claus is Getting Saginaw Children's Wish Lists the Old Fashion Way:
In today's electronic social media world, children are probably sending their wish list to Santa Claus by text or email. Saginaw Valley Amateur Radio Association President Mike Dougherty says this weekend the clock is being turned back to the mid-1800s, with telegrapher Jim Wades sending hundreds of messages by telegraph from the Saginaw Children's Zoo. The messages are going to Wades' fellow ham radio operator in Fairbanks, Alaska, who will then take them to the North Pole.
11/18/2017 07:48 PM
Solar Minimum Surprisingly Constant:
Using more than a half-century of observations, Japanese astronomers have discovered that the microwaves coming from the sun at the minimums of the past five solar cycles have been the same each time, despite large differences in the maximums of the cycles. In Japan, continuous four-frequency solar microwave observations (1, 2, 3.75 and 9.4 GHz) began in 1957 at the Toyokawa Branch of the Research Institute of Atmospherics, Nagoya University. In 1994, the telescopes were relocated to NAOJ Nobeyama Campus, where they have continued observations up to the present. A research group led by Masumi Shimojo, assistant professor at NAOJ Chile Observatory, including members from Nagoya University, Kyoto University, and Ibaraki University, analyzed the more than 60 years of solar microwave data from these telescopes. They found that microwave intensities and spectra at the minimums of the latest five cycles were the same every time. In contrast, during the periods of maximum solar activity, both the intensity and spectrum varied from cycle to cycle.
11/17/2017 08:14 PM
WIA: Amateur Licensee Numbers Remain Stagnant, Sustained by Churn:
Recent amateur licence statistics reveal a small growth over the past year, restoring licensee numbers close to where we were over a decade ago. It seems that those leaving the hobby and those becoming silent keys are being replaced by both new licensees and lapsed licensees returning to the hobby in significant numbers. This "churn" has driven up amateur licence numbers slightly this past year and seems to have maintained them, with some small variation, over the years since 2006. Peeling back the layers of the onion of amateur licensing statistics reveals an intriguing picture. If we start with the latest annual report of the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), released in October, it reveals total amateur licence numbers grew a mere 15 to 15,144 to June 2017. That number includes beacons, repeaters, clubs and those amateurs with multiple call signs. Wireless Institute of Australia (WIA) Statistician, Marc Hillman VK3OHM, has trawled through the ACMA licence register and found that the total number of individual amateurs was 14,009, an increase of 175 from 2016. Although not statistically significant, it's a move in the right direction. That was achieved despite the ACMA reporting a fall in assessments. Over July 2016 to June 2017, the ACMA report records a total of 486 Foundation, Standard and Advanced assessments conducted by the WIA, which is well down on the 1271 held in the previous year. So, although assessments declined sharply, amateur licences increased.
11/17/2017 08:13 PM
Scouts Participate in World's Largest Scouting Event:
Area Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts recently participated in the 60th annual Jamboree-on-the-Air at Russell Woods Forest Preserve in Genoa. JOTA uses amateur radio to link Scouts and ham radio operators around the world, nation and in their own community. It takes place annually the third weekend in October. The World Scout Bureau reported that the 2016 JOTA had about 13 million Scout participants from more than 30,000 locations, and reached 156 countries. Four Cub Scouts (Webelos) from Pack 339 of United Methodist Church of Waterman, and Pack 173 of St. Mary's Catholic Church in DeKalb, enjoyed communicating with Scouts from other units in the region on a ham radio station specifically set up for their use.
11/17/2017 07:00 PM
Martin F. Jue on Amateur Radio Roundtable:
Tuesday November 21 8 PM Central join Martin F. Jue
and Tom Medlin for a night of ham radio. We
go back 60 years in ham radio. We talk about
first shacks, rigs, antennas, etc. Martin
will answer viewers questions. Let's see what
Katie Allen WY7YL is up to.
11/17/2017 09:12 AM
Propagation Forecast Bulletin #46 de K7RA:
Thirteen days of zero sunspots ended on Tuesday, with sunspot numbers
of 14, 14, and 15 on Tuesday through Thursday. In this week's bulletin average daily sunspot numbers increased from
0 to 4, while average daily solar flux decreased slightly from 70.8
to 70.3. Average planetary A index decreased from 15.6 to 12.3, and
average mid-latitude A index declined from 12.4 to 8.6.
11/16/2017 07:29 PM
MSU Club Fosters World-Wide Communication with Century Old Hobby:
For the next few days, WKAR reporters are sharing how technology built or tested here in Michigan may change our lives. But some of the most useful technology for modern day communication is over a century old. WKAR's Karel Vega visited a dedicated group on Michigan State University's campus devoted to ham radio.
11/16/2017 07:27 PM
Amateur Radio Association Seeking Broadcasters:
Mike Swiader is President of the Amateur Radio Association of Newton County. The organization has been in existence for six months and now has a 501c3 status as a non-profit. And it is currently looking for grants for repeaters it needs to install off of a local water tower near Rensselaer. If everything goes according to plan for Swiader and his team of broadcasters, he will soon be teaching locals how to become certified in the unique service of amateur radio, often referred to as "ham radio."
11/16/2017 07:27 PM
Hurricane-Battered Arecibo Telescope Will Keep Studying the Skies:
After years of financial uncertainty and weeks of hardship caused by Hurricane Maria, staff at the legendary Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico were relieved to find out Thursday that their telescope will remain operational. For about a decade, the National Science Foundation, which owns the observatory and supplies about two-thirds of its $12 million budget, had been mulling downsizing or even shuttering the telescope to free up funds for other projects. Instead, the NSF will continue scientific operations at the facility in collaboration with an unnamed partner organization, according to a Record of Decision signed this week. Given the high demand for fuel on the island, though, the dish is operating in lower-power mode, without the function that lets astronomers aim the telescope at different areas of the sky. But the first priority is the well-being of people in Puerto Rico, not astronomy. According to the journal Science, observatory staff volunteered their services, communicating via ham radio and handing out water in Maria's aftermath. The observatory's generators, storage space and fresh water from its well have also been shared with surrounding communities.
11/16/2017 01:20 PM
RadFxSat (Fox-1B) Launch Reset for November 18:
The twice-delayed launch of the United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta
II rocket that will transport the AMSAT RadFxSat (Fox-1B) CubeSat
carrying an Amateur Radio payload and other payloads into orbit now
is set for Saturday, November 18, at 0947 UTC. The Joint Polar
Satellite System (JPSS)-1 mission launch from Vandenberg Air Force
Base, California, had to be postponed on November 14, ''due to a
range safety hold and high upper-level winds,'' ULA said in a tweet.
The launch had to be put off on November 6 due to a faulty battery
on the booster.
11/16/2017 11:00 AM
DX News -- ARRL DX Bulletin #46:
This week's bulletin was made possible with information provided by
AA3B, AJ9C, the OPDX Bulletin, 425 DX News, DXNL, Contest Corral
from QST and the ARRL Contest Calendar and WA7BNM web sites. Thanks
11/16/2017 10:59 AM
US Court Of Appeals Upholds Dismissal of Lawsuit in Ames V. ARRL Case:
A defamation lawsuit filed by former ARRL Eastern Pennsylvania Section
Manager Joseph Ames, W3JY, of Malvern, Pennsylvania, against ARRL and
several of its officers and Board members was dismissed with prejudice
by the United States District Court in Philadelphia in December 2016.
11/16/2017 10:59 AM
International Grid Chase Will Allow Use of 630 and 2200 Meters:
ARRL Contest Branch Manager Bart Jahnke, W9JJ, has clarified that the
new 630- and 2200-meter bands will be fair territory in the ARRL
International Grid Chase. The year-long
operating event begins on January 1, 2018 at 0000 UTC (New Year's Eve
in US time zones). The object is to work stations in as many Maidenhead
grid squares as possible, and radio amateurs around the world are
encouraged to take part. Contacts made on the 60-meter band will not be
eligible for award credit, however.
11/16/2017 10:58 AM
Section Managers to Begin New Terms of Office on January 1:
One ARRL Section will welcome a new Section Manager (SM) when the New
Year begins, while incumbent SMs will continue to head five others. In
Western Massachusetts, Raymond Lajoie, KB1LRL, of Lunenburg, will
become the new Section Manager in January. He was the only candidate
nominated for the position by the time the September 8 deadline
arrived. He will succeed Ed Emco, W1KT, the current SM, who has decided
not to run for another term after leading the Western Massachusetts
Field Organization since 2006.
11/16/2017 10:58 AM
The Doctor Will See You Now!
"NVIS: Near Vertical Incidence Skywave" is the topic of the current
(November 9) episode of the "ARRL The Doctor is In" podcast. Listen...and learn! More than a
half-million downloads since its debut in April 2016 attest to the
11/16/2017 10:57 AM
Round 2 of Sweepstakes Plus The ARRL 160 Meter Contest Just Ahead:
The phone portion of the ARRL November Sweepstakes is this weekend, November 18-20
(UTC), on all bands 160, 75, 40, 20, 15, and 10 meters. The exchange is
serial number plus Precedence (Q/A/B/U/M/S) plus Your Call Sign plus Check
(usually year first licensed) plus ARRL/RAC Section. It's that simple, and
it's lots of fun! (See "Aiming for a Clean Sweep is Big Part of ARRL
for more details and information. SS phone logs are due by November 25.
11/16/2017 10:56 AM
RadFxSat (Fox 1B) Launch Reset for November 18; More Foxes on the Way:
The twice-delayed launch of the United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta II
rocket that will transport the RadFxSat (Fox-1B) CubeSat carrying an
AMSAT Amateur Radio payload and other payloads into orbit now is set
for Saturday, November 18, at 0947 UTC. The Joint Polar Satellite
System-1 (JPSS-1) mission launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base,
California, had to be postponed on November 14, "due to a range safety
hold and high upper-level winds," ULA said in a tweet. The launch was
put off on November 6 due to a faulty battery on the booster.
11/16/2017 10:55 AM
SKYWARN Recognition Day is Saturday, December 2:
A heads up: SKYWARN Recognition Day (SRD)
will take place this year on Saturday, December 2 from 0000 until 2400
UTC (starts on the evening of Friday, December 1, in US time zones).
11/16/2017 10:55 AM
Microwavers Report Successful US-Canada Contacts on 78 GHz:
Microwave enthusiast Mike Seguin, N1JEZ, has reported several
successful 78 GHz contacts between the US and Canada on November 9. "We
believe these contacts may be the first W/VE on 78 GHz," Seguin said in
a post to several VHF/UHF/microwave-oriented reflectors.
11/16/2017 10:54 AM
'Yellow Cards' in the Netherlands; Dropping the 'N' in Iceland:
Netherlands telecommunications regulator Agentschap Telecom reports
that radio amateurs who fail to use their call signs correctly have
been fined or issued formal warnings -- called "yellow cards" in the
Netherlands. The regulator announced on November 9 that it had imposed
an administrative fine on a radio amateur who did not use his call sign
or did not identify at required intervals. Despite warnings, the
behavior did not change, the regulator said, resulting in a fine.
11/16/2017 10:53 AM
Radio Caroline Heard On 648 kHz as It Prepares Its Legal Return to Airwaves
Medium-wave broadcast listeners (BCLers) recently reported a signal
with continuous music and announcements on 648 kHz -- the frequency of
the former pirate broadcaster and soon-to-be reconstituted Radio
Caroline. BCLers from the
UK, The Netherlands, Belgium, France, and Austria reported hearing the
signal. Some reports, according to Mike Terry of The SWLing Post, referred to a co-channel Romanian or
Slovenian station. Terry said he believed the testing was done at a
lower power level than the permitted 1 kW.
11/16/2017 10:52 AM
Getting It Right!
The volunteer count was incorrect in the article "Amateur Radio
Volunteers Continue New York City Marathon Tradition," in the November
9 edition of The ARRL Letter. There were more than 250 volunteers. The
news brief "Mother, Daughter Radio Amateurs Active from Nepal," in the
same edition misspelled the nickname of Tejaswita (Teju) Kharel, 9N1DX.
11/16/2017 10:51 AM
MacDoppler Version 2.26 Released:
Dog Park Software is pleased to announce that MacDoppler
Version 2.26 has been released and can be downloaded from:
11/14/2017 07:12 PM
Ham Talk Live #90 -- Remote Hams:
Thursday night at 9 PM Eastern on HTL!, Scott
Avery, WA6LIE will be here to take your
questions about Remote Hams, a framework for
using stations remotely. It's a great way for
people who can't put up antennas or isn't in
the propagation line to work HF!
11/14/2017 07:11 PM
Amateur Radio Operators Pitch In When Storms Hit in the Northland:
When severe weather moves through the region, the National Weather Service in Duluth turns to a network of amateur radio operators to gather on-the-ground weather reports. The 15 volunteers on the Arrowhead Skywarn Response Team work in shifts at the NWS Duluth office during storms to receive on-the-ground weather observations from amateur radio operators -- trained weather spotters from across a 15-county area extending from Koochiching County in Minnesota to Iron County in Wisconsin. "We get on the radio and we talk to people in the area where the storm is just starting to hit. The meteorologists say they have all kinds of information and they can learn all kinds of things by looking at radar, but they can't tell you exactly what's happening right on the ground," said Grant Forsyth, an operator on the Skywarn team.
11/14/2017 07:10 PM
Sheriff: Wildfires Point to Usefulness of Old Technology:
Wildfires that killed nine people in a remote Northern California county last month also crippled land lines, cell phones and internet service, the local sheriff said Thursday, saying the disaster shows old-fashioned sirens and ham radios have a place in emergencies. Failures of modern technology can cost "all connectivity to the world," Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman said at a news conference. When lives are at stake, "we need to notify people immediately that this is a real disaster, we need to get out of here."
11/14/2017 07:10 PM
Raspberry Pi Learns Slow Morse Code:
It wasn't long ago that you needed to know Morse code to be a ham radio operator. That requirement has gone in most places, but code is still useful and many hams use it, especially hams that like to hack. Now, hams are using the Raspberry Pi to receive highly readable Morse code using very low power. The software is QrssPiG and it can process audio or use a cheap SDR dongle. There are a few reasons code performs better than voice and many other modes. First, building transmitters for Morse is very simple. In addition, Morse code is highly readable, even under poor conditions. This is partly because it is extremely narrow bandwidth and partly because your brain is an amazing signal processor.
11/13/2017 07:55 PM
Extra Frequencies for Argentina Amateurs:
Amateur radio operators in Argentina are to gain access to the 60m and 630m bands, and some of their other bands are being extended. The new allocations will be effective in 90 days.
11/12/2017 08:00 PM
Ham Radio Network Keeps Capital Region Commuters Rolling Along:
TROY, N.Y. -- It's not cellphones or the Internet, but 127-year-old technology that helps to ease the burden of commuting around the Capital Region. Jock Elliott of Troy coordinates the Capital District Commuter Assistance Network, a group of volunteer amateur, or HAM, radio operators who provide information about travel hazards in an effort to ease traffic congestion. Commuter Net, as it's called, is a 20-year-old system that has sustained itself without dues, bylaws or regular meetings. "When I started, I felt that if it were my wife or son out there, I would want there to be somebody to help," said Elliott. "I got involved as a participant in 1997, and one day, I found myself thrust into being net controller." "Dawn patrol," as he calls it, means waking up each day at 5:30 a.m. to feed the household pets before initiating the network at 6 a.m. The commuter network operates for 2 1/4 hours during the morning, and no day is ever the same. Time can range from blissfully boring to frantic, he said. The control center receives traffic information via radio and relays it to the proper authorities and the Traffic Management Center in Latham. Unlike cellphones, the radios do not cause a driving hazard and Commuter Net volunteers are trained to provide detailed information, such as landmarks like mile markers that help authorities determine the exact location of the hazard. Elliott stressed volunteers must adhere to two rules: "Don't cause anything" and "When in doubt, report." MIke Alecksynas of Columbia County is a longtime HAM radio operator who feels Commuter Net is just another extension of his passion for public service. He joined the network after retiring from his local volunteer fire department and rescue squad. Compared to Elliott, he is relatively new to Commuter Net, becoming involved four years ago, after he heard someone checking in on Interstate 90. "Someone called in an incident to Jock and the radio, and Jock got ahead of the traffic -- Alecksynas recalled. "I drive my wife back and forth to St. Peter's (Hospital in Albany) every day and decided to be part of it\& There are some areas where a radio signal will get through when nothing else will."
11/12/2017 08:00 PM
Erie Man Walked His Way to 105:
Leo Weiner has walked more than 24,000 miles during his long life. Spoken words have never been Leo Weiner's favorite way to express himself. Weiner, who will turn 105 on Monday, operated a ham radio for nearly 80 years, communicating with other ham operators from all over the world. But the Erie man never talked with them -- he instead tapped the Morse code he learned as a teenager while building his first crystal radio set. When he wasn't sitting at the radio or working as a machine designer at GE Transportation, Weiner played classical music on a piano that was always present in the Weiner home. "He was classically trained," said Mary Anne Weiner, 75, the oldest of Weiner's four daughters. "His aunt graduated from the Erie Conservatory of Music and recognized his talent. Dad later played professionally with (swing) bands and accompanied a local chorus."
11/11/2017 09:07 PM
Amateur Radio Roundtable Live Event:
This show featuring Emmett Hohensee, W0QH,
Chief Engineer of RadioWavz has been
rescheduled for Tues Nov 21. Emmett
Hohensee III will be talking about a
special drone project he has been involved
in. He will also talk about getting your
antennas ready for winter and also what to
inspect after the storm. Find out
whats new with Katie Allen, WY7YL. Tom,
W5KUB, will give a short update on the
Cobweb antenna that he and Walter are
11/11/2017 09:06 PM
Amateurlogic Episode 111 is Out!
Tommy builds a dummy load with a scope sample port. Peter controls an Arduino from his phone with Bluetooth. George experiments with LED current draw. Emile's got a new tuner.
11/11/2017 09:03 PM
Saint Andrew's Student Among 11 Selected to Speak to Astronaut Aboard ISS:
From aboard the International Space Station (ISS) to the South Florida Science Museum and Aquarium, connection between an astronaut in space and 11 lucky Palm Beach County students was established on Monday, Nov. 6 in West Palm Beach. The 11 students from different PBC elementary schools were winners of an essay contest where students had to write about a question they would ask an astronaut. The communication was made possible by ARISS, the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station, which provided students with an exciting interaction with crew members aboard the ISS in a live talkback. Students, students' families, museum attendees and the press all patiently glued their eyes to a nearby monitor showing a live global map of ISS' location. The students only had an eight minute window to ask their questions to Italian astronaut Paolo Nespoli as the ISS sped at a rate of 17,600 mph within the radius of communication. Questions from students were planned and approved and sent to Nespoli weeks prior to ensure each student would be able to ask their question.
11/11/2017 09:02 PM
Hurricanes Shine Light on Emergency Communications:
The Atlantic hurricane disasters this year left more than 260 dead with 300 billion dollars in damages, making them the costliest ever. There were three main hurricanes and two others. Hurricane Harvey was the costliest tropical cyclone on record. The weather system was tracked through the Caribbean as it weakened, then intensified to a Category 4 as it hit the US State of Texas. Hurricane Irma inundated Barbuda and Puerto Rico, before moving to Florida Keys in the US. While Hurricane Maria, regarded as the worst natural disaster on record in Dominica, also caused catastrophic damage and a major humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico. The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) chairman, Ajit Pai, spent two days in Puerto Rico during which he recognised Amateur Radio volunteers in praising those who turned out to help. The FCC had earlier granted the ARRL's request to waive current Amateur Radio rules to permit data transmissions at a higher symbol rate in order to facilitate hurricane relief communications A string of other Caribbean islands, including the British Virgin Islands, Turks and Caicos, Cuba, and Saint Martin, have been affected. Attention to the role of Amateur Radio has been drawn in comments on International Disaster Reduction Day (October 13), by Caribbean Telecommunications Union Secretary-General Bernadette Lewis who described Amateur Radio as a "bedrock of sustained communications" during emergencies. She spoke as part of a panel on emergency telecommunications during the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) World Telecommunication Development Conference 2017 (WTDC-17), in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Her clear message was to cultivate "a new and younger generation of radio amateurs" to carry out continue provision of emergency communications. From Trinidad and Tobago, Ms Lewis said: "Amateur Radio has been a staple, and it is because of\&the Amateur Radio operators in the region that we get a lot of the information that we need."
11/10/2017 08:17 PM
With Ham Radios and GoPro Cameras, Hobart Students Track Weather Balloons:
The sun poked through the clouds just as the countdown began on the 30-yard line at the Hobart football stadium. Hobart High engineering students checked and made last minute adjustments on their weather balloons, nicknamed Genesis and Exodus, as the helium-filled orbs bobbed in the gusty air. Within an hour Thursday, both balloons were cruising near Nappanee on a course toward Ohio. Each balloon carried an antenna so the licensed ham radio operators Mark Skowronski, of St. John, and Chuck Hill, of Valparaiso, could track it in real time. The balloons also were equipped with a GoPro Hero 3 and a 360 HD camera to record their flights.
11/10/2017 08:17 PM
Mendocino County Sheriff Examines Lessons Learned from Redwood Valley Fire:
A month after the Redwood Valley fire took nine lives and destroyed 313 homes in Mendocino County, Sheriff Tom Allman identified several actions Thursday to improve the county's capacity to warn residents of future fires. The suggestions came during a news conference to recount emergency response efforts, in minute-by-minute detail, during the first 12 hours of the blaze, starting from the first call at 11:34 p.m. Oct. 8 in Potter Valley. An hour later, dispatchers received their first emergency call about fires in neighboring Redwood Valley, to the west. "We're going to document this as well as possible because if we don't remember history, certainly we will repeat history," Allman said to a small crowd in the county supervisors' chambers in Ukiah. "And we don't want in 50 years for this fire to occur again." Allman also noted decadesold technology -- ham radio -- was instrumental in relaying emergency information when land and cellphone lines went down around the fire-affected area.
11/10/2017 08:16 PM
How NASA Scientists are Tracking Solar Activity to Look for Weird Behavior:
The sun had been making headlines recently. In September, NASA announced it had released its biggest solar flare for 12 years. This was pretty unusual considering it is supposedly heading into a period of quiet, where activity on its surface becomes muted -- also known as the solar minimum. Scientists' understanding of the sun is relatively limited. Sitting 93 million miles from Earth, NASA is currently planning a mission to "Touch the Sun," in which a probe will be sent closer to the surface than any spacecraft before. The mission will explore the sun's outer atmosphere, making observations that should help researchers better understand the workings of our star. What we do know is that the sun operates on 11-year cycles, where activity peaks and wanes. The solar minimum is the period when fewer sunspots (active regions on the surface) appear, while the solar maximum is when most sunspots are recorded. The last solar minimum was in 2008.
11/10/2017 08:00 PM
Say 'NO' to Parity, and 'YES' to Freedom:
Homeowners and Citizens need alternatives to cellular phones. Did you know In the Santa Rosa/Napa fires over 80 cell phone towers burned leaving people with no communications. This is where Amateur, Citizens Band, FRS, and GMRS radio steps in to provide a communications path for the public.
11/09/2017 08:19 PM
Amateur Radio Enthusiasts Invited to HamJam 2017:
ALPHARETTA, Ga. -- Everyone interested in amateur radio, wireless technology and STEM fields is encouraged to visit this year's HamJam. Hosted annually by the North Fulton Amateur Radio League, HamJam is an opportunity to learn more about ham radio and hear from some of the biggest names in the field. And as their slogan says, "It's all about the youth." While admission is free, all proceeds from donations or the raffle will go directly to youth scholarships and educational outreach programs. Some of the benefiting groups and activities include the Girl Scout Super STEM Expo, Atlanta Maker Faire exhibit and American Radio Relay League Teachers Institute on Wireless Technology. "It's a great hobby," said North Fulton Amateur Radio League spokesman John Kludt. "It's a real and fun way to get into the world of electronics and communication\& I've been in it for 55 years, and there's always something new to learn, something different, and a great way to augment the STEM curriculum."
11/09/2017 08:18 PM
On Air, in Thiruvananthapuram:
"VU2LVJ this is VU3ZFD/VU2CLU signing off. 73." Vishnu Prasad, a young electronics engineer whose radio call sign is VU3ZFD, concluded the demo radio conversation he had with Lesley Paul (VU2LVJ) residing at Peroorkada. 73 is the old telegraph code for 'best regards', while 88 is for 'hugs and kisses'! Vishnu switches off the transceiver at the HAM/Amateur radio club (VU2CLU) inside Kerala Science and Technology museum and we go back to join his fellow HAMs of Trivandrum Amateur Radio Society (TARS) who are hard at work, cutting and soldering copper pipes to make a slim-jim antenna used for very high frequency (VHF) communication.
11/09/2017 01:28 PM
When All Else Fails, South FL Emergency Personnel Use Radio To Communicate:
The ability to communicate during emergencies, like Hurricane Irma , is critical. When phones and the internet go down, there's something else South Florida emergency operations centers, or EOC's, can turn to: amateur radio operators. It's sometimes referred to as "ham" radio, and the operators are sometimes called "hams." In Broward County, there are ham radio antennas mounted on all of the hurricane shelters and some of the hospitals, ready to be activated. There's also a room full of ham radios at the Broward County EOC. Jeff Stahl, coordinator for Broward County's amateur radio emergency services, recently spoke with WLRN's Peter Haden about the county's communications plan "when all else fails."