Spring has sprung, and now is the time to get out and start working on your antennas. Be sure to check what this winter's strong winds and snow may have done. The club has a lot more activity coming up in the near future. The first major event will be April 8th with our Spring Craft Show. This event helps out quite a lot to fund our operations and different functions throughout the year.
We definitely will need some help setting up on Friday April 7th mid-, and again in the afternoon on Saturday for tear down. Saturday afternoon is generally pretty quick compared to the set-up. Please try to make it if you can.
The club repeater, as you probably are already aware, has been taken offline temporarily. The property where it was located was sold, and the tower which was owned by Andy from Youngstown Radio Service will be taken down. This kind of put us in a situation with the repeater. We don't have anything confirmed yet, but it will back up temporarily at the Senior Center while we evaluate our options.
April 22nd is going to be the Ohio NVIS day and this will also be our Club Open House. We will be putting out information for the general public to stop by to visit and see what we do, and maybe even perhaps interest some in getting licensed. We also hope to get newly licensed hams and past members out to operate on HF a little bit. NVIS Day is designed to demonstrate the propagation mode in the state of Ohio, which would be used in a state wide or regional emergency.
I hope to see all of you come out to our meetings which are always held the second Tuesday of every month at 7 p.m. at the Austintown Senior Center. Don't forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter. If you do have a Twitter account, you can follow us at @k8tka for news and updates as well. We still have several more kits for the end fed antenna. We can do a workshop or if you just like the purchase the kit yourself and put it together on your own time. The kit costs $25, and includes all the parts, the information and directions, wire and everything needed to put the antenna together. I have heard some good results from some who have put them together, and they were able to work several countries in Europe and South America.
The main prizes for the club's hamfest in July were decided and this year will be: A Yaesu VHF mobile, A Wolf River coils antenna (it's designed to be used either mobile or as a portable setup, very similar to some of those other sleeved tuned antennas and they get good reviews on eham.net), and we will also have a dual band HT. We will start selling raffle tickets for those prizes soon. They will be available at the club meetings and at other events we have, so there will be plenty of opportunity to buy tickets before our Hamfest. Tickets will be on-sale during the hamfest as well.
George Meleski KC8RJS
Hello Everyone!! HAPPY SPRING!!
Well the first order of business up is coming up Saturday April 8th. Our 20 / 9 Spring Craft Show and Vendor Expo at the Austintown Senior Center. Make sure to bring the kiddos out for pictures with the Easter Bunny. We will have THE BEST pictures and THE BEST prices available in town!! The Easter Bunny will be there from 9 a.m. till 3 p.m. on Saturday and pictures will be available all day. DoItHere.net Photography will be taking the photos. Pictures will be just $4 each, or you can get a Special Easter Picture Package for just $10. The package will include your choice of 3 items. Choose from a 4x6, 4 wallets, a 3" big button, or a double sided photo key chain. Don't miss our 75 tables of crafters and vendors who will be there for the show as well. We will be selling raffle tickets for the raffle items each vendor will have. Raffle tickets are just $5 for a book of 20 tickets. Each vendor will have a raffle item at their table and you can go around and select which items you'd like to place your tickets in.
Coming up on Saturday April 22nd will be the Ohio NVIS day at the Austintown Senior Center, and this will also be the 20/9 Spring Open House. Do you know anyone who's interested in the amateur radio? Do you know anyone who has interest in electronics? This event is for anyone to come and be able to find out more about amateur radio and the 20/9 Radio Club. Be sure to invite your friends and family to come see what you do and what we all do for our radio service. We will have radios on the air and operating this day and antenna setups in the parking lot.
Mark your calendars to come out and help on Saturday May 20th for the 1st Annual St. Rose Girard 5K and fun walk. We will have more information upcoming on times for assistance. The event will be starting in the morning and we will be assisting with communications and traffic control for the 5K run.
Last, but certainly not least, make sure you have your calendars marked for the 20/9 annual Field Day on June 23rd, 24th, and 25th. We will begin set up on Friday June 23rd, and we begin radio operations on Saturday June 24th at 2 p.m. We will run continually until Sunday June 25th at 2 p.m. Don't forget about the 20 / 9 family dinner on Saturday night June 24th at 6 p.m. Bring a dish to share with everyone and a dessert. Come out and spend time with all the 20 / 9 Family. We will have plenty of games and fun for the children and plenty of radio operation available too!!
Hope to see everyone soon. Until then....
Dues still remain the same $15 for an individual and $20 for family.
We have added a PayPal link to the website for membership.
You can also send in dues via mail to Rich Hamaker, Treasurer at the address listed below, or you can come to a club meeting at the Austintown Senior Center!!
20/9 ARC K8TKA P.O. Box 4006Youngstown, OH 44515
73, KB8YHC Rich Hamaker
20/9 Amateur Radio Club now has a scheduled monthly testing day. It is currently set for the first Monday of the month, 7 p.m. at the Austintown Senior Center. This date will also be published to the public on ARRL. If you wish to test or upgrade test for your license, please e-mail email@example.com to schedule for your testing. When you test, you will need to bring two forms of identification, a photo copy of your current license (if you are upgrading), a calculator (cell phones are not permitted), and two number 2 pencils.
If this date does not meet your schedule, please contact us to arrange for another date/time.
Field Day is on its way and 20/9 is calling on all members for all hands on deck. Field Day will be here before you know it, and we need everyone to help make it a success. This year, our goal is to have six stations on the air operating for the entire 24 hour period. This may sound like a simple goal to most; however, it does take some planning, coordination, and a little bit of organizing to accomplish this goal. The list of tasks is not that long, but each item on the list is important.
First, if you would like to operate or plan on operating, we need to know. There will be plenty of opportunities to get on the air, so all who are willing are welcome. Next, we will have a work day on April 18th at 4 p.m. at the Austintown Senior Center. The purpose of this work day, is to go through and test all cabling, cords, and equipment to make sure everything is operational and if we need to make any additional purchases. If we do, we need to have a list available for the next scheduled regular membership meeting for financial approval.
As of right now, the kick off for the Field Day setup will begin on Friday June 23rd at 8 a.m. at the Austintown Senior Center. We will be loading up trucks, trailers, and whatever we can to get all of the equipment from the center over to the field day site. Anyone wishing to join us, please let us know. No task is too small, any time dedicated is golden and all assistance is greatly appreciated. For more information or to add you to the list, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know when you can join us.
As amateur radio operators, most of us are prepared when it comes to emergency communications, but what about other important things such as children, pets, or other family members. Do you know the phone numbers of all your important family contacts? Does your child know what to do in the case of an emergency and you are not around?
If you as an operator become activated for communications during an emergency, do you have a plan in place for your family to be able to function in a secure environment in your absence? Also, how will you notify family members who are not in this area to let them know you and your family are doing fine?
There are several questions which can be asked and answered if you "Don’t Wait and Communicate" these things with your loved one.
At our next meeting on April 11th, Marianne Donley (KE8ENV) will give a presentation from Family Preparedness a program that is offered by FEMA. She will go over some of these items and let us know what we can do to be even further prepared for ourselves and our families.
Start Date: 04/01/2017
End Date: 04/01/2017
Location: Old National Guard Armory
2313 17th Street
Portsmouth, OH 45662
Sponsor: Portsmouth Radio Club
Type: ARRL Hamfest
Talk-In: 145.39 (PL 136.5)
Public Contact: Gary Caldwell , WX8G
65 Lois Avenue Wheelersburg, OH 45694
Start Date: 04/08/2017
End Date: 04/08/2017
Location: Emidio and Sons Party Center
48 East Bath Road
Cuyahoga Falls, OH 44221
Sponsor: Cuyahoga Falls Amateur Radio Club
Type: ARRL Hamfest
Talk-In: 147.270+ / 444.850+ (PL 110.9)
Public Contact: Michael Luoma , K8MAL
PO Box 614 Cuyahoga Falls, OH 44222
Start Date: 04/29/2017
End Date: 04/29/2017
Location: Family Life Center
150 Portsmouth Street
Jackson, OH 45640
Sponsor: Jackson County Amateur Radio Club
Type: ARRL Hamfest
Talk-In: 146.79 (PL 167.9)
Public Contact: Roman Brandau , WU8R
112 Montgomery Meadows Wellston, OH 45692
Start Date: 04/30/2017
End Date: 04/30/2017
Location: Athens Community Center
701 East State Street
Athens, OH 45701
Sponsor: Athens County Amateur Radio Association
Type: ARRL Hamfest
Public Contact: William McFadden , WD8RIF
12600 Adeline Circle Athens, OH 45701
Apr 1-Apr 9, 0000Z-2359Z, VE100VIMY, Vimy, FRANCE. Vimy Commemorative Station Society. 21.028/21.288 18.078/18.138 14.028/14.188 7.028/7.188 . Certificate & QSL. Richard Moen, N7RO, 2935 Plymouth Dr, Bellingham, WA 98225. 24/7 operation from the site of the Canadian victory in the WWI Battle of Vimy Ridge. Full details at ve100vimy.ca
Apr 1-Apr 2, 1000Z-1400Z, W5C, Decatur, TX. West Fork Amateur Radio Club. 28.340 21.340 14.260 7.240. Certificate & QSL. WFARC, P.O. Box 1134, Bridgeport, TX 76426. Please send SASE for QSL and/or certificate. 9:00am-9:00pm 04/01/17; 9:00am-1:00pm 04/02/17 CST. www.wfarc.org
Apr 3-Apr 9, 0000Z-2359Z, W0W, Petal, MS. Lemar Radio Club and Hattiesburg Amateur Radio Club. 14.255 14.033 10.115 7.033. QSL. Curt Waites, N5CW, P.O. Box 52, Petal, MS 39465. www.hattiesburgamateurradioclub.org
Apr 4-Apr 9, 1300Z-2000Z, W4S, Lakeland, FL. SUN n FUN Amateur Radio Group. 28.320 21.240 14.240. QSL. Robert "Bob" Flynn, 1281 Forrest Hill Dr., Clearwater, FL 33756. Held at Lakeland Linder Airport, Lakeland FL. email@example.com
Apr 7-Apr 9, 0001Z-2359Z, AC4RC, Wilmington, NC. Azalea Coast Amateur Radio Club. 14.225 7.175 3.800; CW/Digital all bands. Certificate & QSL. Azalea Coast Amateur Radio Club, P.O. Box 4044, Wilmington, NC 28406. Confirmation of Contact LoTW free; QSL Card W/SASE; Certificate requires $4 for postage and handling, QSL card may be included with certificate mailing if requested. ac4rc.org
Apr 8, 1600Z-2300Z, NI6IW, San Diego, CA. USS Midway (CV-41) Museum Ship. 14.320 7.250; PSK31 on 14.070; D-STAR on REF001C. QSL. USS Midway Museum Ship Radio Room, 910 N. Harbor Dr., San Diego, CA 92101.
Apr 8, 0800Z-1800Z, KF5THB, Wichita Falls, TX. Red River Amateur Radio Enthusiasts. 146.580 14.267 7.267. QSL. Michael B Boydston, 103 N. Crockett, Henrietta, TX 76365. Help get the Scouts on the Air! Give us a call during their spring encampment. THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED
Apr 11, 1200Z-2100Z, NY2SP/100, Albany, NY. Churchville (NY) Contest Club. 21.250 14.250 7.120. Certificate. Churchville Contest Club, 30 Baker St. , Apt 4, Churchville, NY 14428. The New York State Police was formed on April 11, 1917. This station celebrates 100 years of service to the people of New York State. www.qrz.com/db/ny2sp
Apr 13-Apr 17, 0000Z-2359Z, KB7QPS, Seattle, WA. L Greg Magone. 146.52 14.275 14.250. Certificate & QSL. L Greg Magone, 27492 254th PL SE, Maple Valley, WA 98038. This is the April special event station that is part of the 2017 KB7QPS Air, Space, and Technology Operating Event. airspacetechnology.webs.com
Apr 14-Apr 15, 1200Z-2200Z, various calls, various cities. Radio Officers World List. CW only; 28.052 21.052 14.052 10.118 7.020 3.520 1.824. Certificate & QSL. QSL to station worked;, For certificate, email, firstname.lastname@example.org. To receive QSL or certificate, send information to arrive by May 1. Certificate by email only. Please see website for complete information. www.trafficlist.net/mrd
Apr 15-Apr 30, 0001Z-2359Z, W8P, Howell, MI. Livingston Amateur Radio Klub. 21.300 14.226 7.185 3.850. QSL. Les Butler, P.O. Box 283, Howell, MI 48844. email@example.com
Apr 15-Apr 16, 1900Z-1900Z, W7ZA, Aberdeen, WA. Grays Harbor Amateur Radio Club. 14.255 14.050. QSL. GHARC Birthday Event, PO Box 2250, Aberdeen, WA 98520. gharc.org
Apr 15, 1400Z-1700Z, KS0KS, Strong City, KS. Santa Fe Trail ARC. 7.245 14.045 14.245 18.145. QSL. SFTARC, PO Box 3144, Olathe, KS 66063. www.sftarc.org
Apr 20-Apr 23, 0000Z-2359Z, NN4SA, Huntsville, AL. Marshall Space Flight Center ARC, NASA. 14.3XX 7.2XX. QSL. Donald Hediger, ES35, NN4SA Apollo 16, Huntsville, AL 35812. We will be self spotting. Most activity will be non-duty hours during the evenings and weekend. Also look for us during local lunchtime. Send an S.A.S.E. to receive a paper QSL. Also on LOTW and QRZ. nn4sa.wordpress.com
Apr 21-Apr 23, 2000Z-2300Z, KG5BKV, Bowie, TX. Montague County Amateur Radio Club. 14.250 7.250. QSL. Alan Walraven, N5MSE, 935 Picket Run Rd., Bowie, TX 76230. Bowie, TX, Montague County celebrating the 150th Anniversary of the Chisholm Trail. firstname.lastname@example.org
Apr 22, 1400Z-2000Z, W8PRC, Parma, OH. Parma Radio Club. 14.245 7.195. QSL. W8PRC, 7811 Dogwood Lane, Cleveland, OH 44130. Contact us to celebrate Earth Day. We'll be operating solely on power from Ol' Sol. www.parmaradioclub.com
Apr 22, 1600Z-2200Z, W5BMC, Franklin, LA. Bayouland Emergency Amateur Radio Service - BEARS. 14.260 7.260. QSL. Jackie Price, 708 Front St., Morgan City, LA 70380. Downtown Franklin, La. on the banks of the Bayou Teche with vintage motor boats sailing up and down the bayou
Apr 22, 0000Z-2359Z, W8TFC, Richwood, WV. The Family Center. 3.850 443.375. Certificate. Wally Howerton, The Family Center W8TFC, 3 Valley Ave, Richwood, WV 26261. Richwood's "Feast of the Ramson" has been described as "the granddaddy of ALL Appalachian Ramp Feeds. Ham operators at W8TFC will be monitoring the listed frequencies from 0001 - 2400, 22 April 2017. Certificates will be made available via e-mail. Follow website instructions. thefamilycenterofrichwoodwv.org
Apr 22, 0000Z-2359Z, KM1CC, Wellfleet, MA. Marconi Cape Cod Radio Club. 18.080 14.260 14.035 7.035 . QSL. KM1CC, Cape Cod National Seashore, 99 Marconi Site Rd., Wellfleet, MA 02667. Other historic Marconi Stations will also be on the air. www.facebook.com/KM1CC
Apr 22-Apr 23, 0000Z-2359Z, WS8EOC, Dimondale, MI. Michigan ARES. 7.230 7.065 3.950 3.560. QSL. John J. McDonough, 2211 Laurel Ln, Midland, MI 48642. Send SASE for QSL ares-mi.org/MSP100.php
Apr 22, 0000Z-2359Z, OE17ATOM, Zwentendorf, AUSTRIA EUROPE. OEVSV- Austrian Amateur Radio Society , Member of IARU-R1. 7.100. QSL. via Bureau to OEVSV- Austrian Amateur Radio Society , Member of IARU-R1, ADL303, Vienna, AUSTRIA EUROPE. https://www.qrz.com/db/OE17ATOM
Apr 22, 1300Z-2300Z, WA5PC, Carthage, TX. Panola County Amateur Radio Club. 21.400 14.270 7.275 3.875. Certificate. PCARC , 380 CR 1241, Gary, TX 75643. Celebrating 176 years in existence, this is the last marker known to exist. There were several of these markers placed, separating the US from the Republic of Texas. The marker is made of granite and is 9" square by about 10' long. Three sides are engraved, providing all the necessary details: Meridian Boundary, Established A.D., 1840 (actually placed on April 23, 1841) on one side, and sides two and three simply say U.S. and R.T., just to make sure you knew which side you were on. We will be operating from the actual site of the marker.
Apr 22, 1300Z-2100Z, W1BSA, Middleboro, MA. Massasoit Amateur Radio Association. 14.259 7.259. QSL. W1BSA C/O Rick Emord, KB1TEE, 135 Wareham St , Middleboro, MA 02346. www.w1mv.org
Apr 23, 1200Z-2000Z, W5APO, Saint Petersburg, FL. Uh-Tō-Yeh-Hut-Tee Lodge. 14.270. QSL. Robert Swain, 2130 Fairway Av S, Saint Petersburg, FL 33712. email@example.com
Apr 25-Apr 30, 0000Z-2359Z, W5A, Various. Menasco Amateur Radio Club. All bands, all modes. QSL. QSL to , amateur, worked. Club KC5NX will be sponsoring this special event commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the Chisholm Trail that moved over 5,000,000 cattle thru Texas and Oklahoma to Abilene Kansas during the late 1800s. Seven stations will be set up along the original trail using the call signs W5A, W5B, W5C, W5D, W5E, W5F, and W5G. QSL address info is listed under W5C on QRZ.COM. Please QSL to the station worked with SASE. https://www.qrz.com/db/w5c
Apr 25-Apr 30, 0000Z-2359Z, W5B, Various. Menasco Amateur Radio Club. All bands, all modes. QSL. QSL to , amateur, worked. Club KC5NX will be sponsoring this special event commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the Chisholm Trail that moved over 5,000,000 cattle thru Texas and Oklahoma to Abilene Kansas during the late 1800s. Seven stations will be set up along the original trail using the call signs W5A, W5B, W5C, W5D, W5E, W5F, and W5G. QSL address info is listed under W5C on QRZ.COM. Please QSL to the station worked with SASE. https://www.qrz.com/db/w5c
Apr 25-Apr 30, 0000Z-2359Z, W5C, Various. Menasco Amateur Radio Club. All bands, all modes. QSL. QSL to , amateur, worked. Club KC5NX will be sponsoring this special event commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the Chisholm Trail that moved over 5,000,000 cattle thru Texas and Oklahoma to Abilene Kansas during the late 1800s. Seven stations will be set up along the original trail using the call signs W5A, W5B, W5C, W5D, W5E, W5F, and W5G. QSL address info is listed under W5C on QRZ.COM. Please QSL to the station worked with SASE. https://www.qrz.com/db/w5c
Apr 25-Apr 30, 0000Z-2359Z, W5D, Various. Menasco Amateur Radio Club. All bands, all modes. QSL. QSL to , amateur, worked. Club KC5NX will be sponsoring this special event commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the Chisholm Trail that moved over 5,000,000 cattle thru Texas and Oklahoma to Abilene Kansas during the late 1800s. Seven stations will be set up along the original trail using the call signs W5A, W5B, W5C, W5D, W5E, W5F, and W5G. QSL address info is listed under W5C on QRZ.COM. Please QSL to the station worked with SASE. https://www.qrz.com/db/w5c
Apr 25-Apr 30, 0000Z-2359Z, W5E, Various. Menasco Amateur Radio Club. All bands, all modes. QSL. QSL to , amateur, worked. Club KC5NX will be sponsoring this special event commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the Chisholm Trail that moved over 5,000,000 cattle thru Texas and Oklahoma to Abilene Kansas during the late 1800s. Seven stations will be set up along the original trail using the call signs W5A, W5B, W5C, W5D, W5E, W5F, and W5G. QSL address info is listed under W5C on QRZ.COM. Please QSL to the station worked with SASE. https://www.qrz.com/db/w5c
Apr 25-Apr 30, 0000Z-2359Z, W5F, Various. Menasco Amateur Radio Club. All bands, all modes. QSL. QSL to , amateur, worked. Club KC5NX will be sponsoring this special event commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the Chisholm Trail that moved over 5,000,000 cattle thru Texas and Oklahoma to Abilene Kansas during the late 1800s. Seven stations will be set up along the original trail using the call signs W5A, W5B, W5C, W5D, W5E, W5F, and W5G. QSL address info is listed under W5C on QRZ.COM. Please QSL to the station worked with SASE. https://www.qrz.com/db/w5c
Apr 25-Apr 30, 0000Z-2359Z, W5G, Various. Menasco Amateur Radio Club. All bands, all modes. QSL. QSL to , amateur, worked. Club KC5NX will be sponsoring this special event commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the Chisholm Trail that moved over 5,000,000 cattle thru Texas and Oklahoma to Abilene Kansas during the late 1800s. Seven stations will be set up along the original trail using the call signs W5A, W5B, W5C, W5D, W5E, W5F, and W5G. QSL address info is listed under W5C on QRZ.COM. Please QSL to the station worked with SASE. https://www.qrz.com/db/w5c
Apr 25-Apr 27, 0001Z-2359Z, W5M, Lake Delton, WI. AF MARS SIMCOM 2017. 14.240 7.200 3.990 14.070. QSL. Carol Krueger, 4013 Mary Lynn Dr, Urbandale, IA 50322. QUESTIONS EMAIL K0ISP2017@GMAIL.COM AFMARS WILL BE OPERATING A ECOMM PLATFORM AS PART OF THE SIMCOM 2017 EVENT. QSL VIA EQSL, AND PAPER WITH SASE. WILL BE OPERATING PSK31 ON 14.070 USB, VOICE ON 14.240 USB, 7.200 LSB, 3.990 LSB AND ON THE 60 METER BAND AS PROPAGATION ALLOWS. K0ISP2017@GMAIL.COM
Apr 28-May 8, 0000Z-2359Z, N5B, Baton Rouge, LA. Baton Rouge Amateur Radio Club. 14.240 14.060 7.240 7.060. QSL. BRARC, PO Box 4004, Baton Rouge, LA 70821. brarc.org
Apr 29-May 5, 1600Z-1600Z, KM4RE, Mableton, GA. Russell Elementary Amateur Radio Club. 14.266 7.245. QSL. KM4RE: Russell Elementary ARC, 3920 South Hurt Rd, Smyrna, GA 30082. Recognizing the Russell Elementary School’s 19th annual Space Shuttle Mission Simulation. Russell Elementary is located in Smyrna, GA. Students train all year for different positions in Mission Control or the Space Shuttle Simulator Intrepid and then put their skills to the test during a 27-hour simulated mission. You can learn much more about our school’s space program at our program’s website: http://russellroadrunners.typepad.com/space/ All radio operation, QSO logging, and QSL card design and processing for this special event is done by the elementary school students. We will operate intermittently to work around student schedules. 100% phone. https://www.qrz.com/db/km4re
Apr 29, 1400Z-2000Z, W2M, Poughkeepsie, NY. QSY SOCIETY. 28.035 14.035 7.035. QSL. Scott Dunlavey, PO Box 146, Verbank, NY 12585. W2NTV@ARRL.NET or www.qrz.com/db/w2m
Apr 29, 1400Z-2000Z, N4M, Winston Salem, NC. Forsyth Amateur Radio Club. 7.044 7.244 14.044 14.244. QSL. Forsyth Amateur Radio Club, P.O. Box 11361, Winston Salem, NC 27116. The Forsyth Amateur Radio Club of Winston-Salem, NC, will sponsor Special Event Station, N4M, in celebration of the Reynolds House Museum of American Art’s Exhibition - Samuel F.B. Morse’s “Gallery of the Louvre” and the Art of Invention. www.reynoldahouse.org/exhibitions/detail/samuel-fb-morses-gallery-of-the-louvre-and-the-art-of-invention or www.w4nc.com
There is a Mahoning County Skywarn NET, The first Wednesday of the month. The next net will be, Wednesday April 5, 2017 at 8:30 P.M. on the W8QLY - Repeater 146.745 and it is open to all.
There will be Mahoning County Skywarn Training, Wednesday April 19, 2017 at:
Austintown Fitch High School
4560 Falcon Drive.
Austintown, Ohio 44515
Check in at 5:30 P.M. Training starts At 6: P.M.
Call On 146.745 if you need directions.
Mahoning County Skywarn
ART BURNETT (KB8UNJ)
DEAN DeMAIN (W8YSU)
DOUG SAGE (KB8TPG)
Maritime Radio Day will take place in mid-April, with activity — all on CW — centering on International Naval Frequencies, 1,824; 3,520; 7,020; 10,118; 14,052; 21,052, and 28,052 kHz. Maritime Radio Day is held annually to commemorate nearly 100 years of CW maritime wireless service. Register online.
The event gets under way at 1200 UTC on April 14 and concludes at 2200 UTC on April 15. Participants exchange QSA (signal strength, 1-5), QRK (readability, 1-5), name, call sign of last or favorite ship/aircraft/maintenance company and “additionally a tr, msg and/or a QTC, if you like.” SWLs are welcome to take part. A newly designed certificate of participation will be available.
Submit logs by May 1 via e-mail to Rolf Marschner, DL9CM, or Narzissenweg 10, 53359 Rheinbach, Germany. — Thanks to David Ring, N1EA
Skip Youngberg, K1NKR; Bill Machia, WM3N, and Dudley Allen, KD0NMD, were among those sponsoring World Association of Girl Scouts and Girl Guides’ “Thinking Day on the Air” (TDOTA) events in February that enjoyed enthusiastic participation. “Thinking Day,” officially February 22, commemorates the birthday of Lord Robert Baden-Powell, the founder of the Scout and Guide movements, as well as that of his wife, Olave, who was the first World Chief Guide.
“Talk about excitement, exhilaration, and satisfaction!” said Youngberg, an ARRL Life Member who got involved in TDOTA through his daughter Jill Galus, KB1SWV. She enlisted his club, the Nashoba Valley Amateur Radio Club (NVARC), to conduct an event in New Hampshire 3 years ago. This year, the NVARC set up in Shirley, Massachusetts, and in Raymond, New Hampshire.
TDOTA traces its heritage to Radio Scouter Les Mitchell, G3BHK (SK), who originated Jamboree on The Air (JOTA) in 1957 and initiated TDOTA about 25 years ago, Youngberg said.
On February 18 in Shirley, Youngberg and his NVARC compatriots introduced 41 Scouts and 15 leaders to world time, phonetics, Morse code, and — perhaps most important — getting on the air. The next day, the NVARC crew packed up and did the same for a similar group in Raymond, where 26 Scouts and 10 leaders “honed their communications experience,” Youngberg said.
Youngberg said the Shirley gathering snagged 25 contacts, including eight DX stations. The New Hampshire demonstrations managed 42 contacts, 23 of them “CW DX demonstration” contacts made during the ARRL International DX Contest.
Youngberg credited the Girl Scout organizers in Massachusetts and New Hampshire with “bravely treading into the unknown,” and said they’re already talking about TDOTA 2018.
In Maryland, Bill Machia, WM3N, got to thinking about getting Girl Scouts involved in ham radio. He wondered if the Amateur Radio community was missing out on an opportunity.
“I agreed to give a presentation to the Girl Scouts of Central Maryland on Girl Scout Thinking Day,” Machia told ARRL, who focused on generating excitement and interest in ham radio. “As I researched my presentation, I found ARRL had a patch for Girl Scouts, Radio & Wireless Technology. This meant they could go home with an accomplishment patch.”
Machia said he never expected the level of interest that developed. When the head count reached 75, Scout leaders decided to make that the limit. “We are probably going to need a second presentation,” he said.
Machia reached out to Maryland-DC Section Manager Marty Pittinger, KB3MXM, to help, and when the day came, Machia said he found himself before “the most respectful group of young people I had ever met. They even laughed at my bad jokes.”
“The presentation covered the necessary points needed for their patch,” Machia recounted. He and his team presented some electrical and magnetic theory experiments. A local repeater demonstration followed, and they even set up an HF station with its antenna supported on a pole in the auditorium. “The 3 hours flew by,” he said, adding that he is now trying to recruit mentors from area clubs to expand interest in Amateur Radio.
Boy Scout Troop 231 Assistant Scoutmaster Dudley Allen, KD0NMD, also believes girls need to be given the opportunity to get more involved in ham radio. TDOTA provided one, and members of the Mid-America Council’s Radio Scouting Club (KN0BSA) hosted a TDOTA event for Girl Scouts in Bellevue, Nebraska, on February 18.
“This was the first event of this kind hosted for the Girl Scout troops in the area,” Allen said. “Seven girls took time out of their Girl Scout cookie sales schedule to stop by the ‘shack’ and see what it was all about.” He had help from other Scout leaders.
“Jim Taylor, AJ0R, put girls in contact with Girl Guides in London, England, using EchoLink,” Allen said, and he, Ray McNally, N5SEZ, and Terry Gampper, N0BXQ, helped the young ladies contact Georgia and Texas on HF. Derek Winterstien, W0DBW, got on 2 meters so the girls could chat with some of the locals. Overall, Allen said, it was a lot of fun, and Radio Scouting is growing throughout the midwest.
Youngberg says that few non-hams understand what Amateur Radio has to offer. “Fortunately, Thinking Day on the Air is what you might call a self-defining special event,” he said. “Point the troop to available TDOTA materials, offer support, and engage in a conversation that binds the event to something you and the Girl Scouts can reasonably and successfully accomplish.”
The University of Virginia (UVA) reports that some of its engineering students are among those at other Commonwealth schools working on Amateur Radio satellites and matching ground stations to track them and collect data. UVA said its student-built satellite is set to go into space late next year aboard an International Space Station resupply vehicle for later deployment from the ISS. The UVA project will be part of a joint mission with other Virginia universities to conduct atmospheric density studies, to gain a better understanding regarding the rates at which low-orbiting spacecraft slow down and ultimately leave orbit when encountering the drag of the atmosphere’s outer edges.
“We’re building our own version of NASA’s Mission Control, to communicate with our own spacecraft,” said Christopher Goyne, a mechanical and aerospace engineering professor who serves as faculty adviser for the project. “Our students have a lot of work to accomplish prior to launch, and during the 6- to 12-month flight mission.”
The CubeSat, which will operate in the 70-centimeter amateur band, will be the first developed and flown by UVA. Assembly and testing will be completed this summer. UVA’s CubeSat is one in a constellation of three spacecraft being designed and built by students at UVA, Virginia Tech, and Old Dominion University through the Virginia Space Grant Consortium. Hampton University also is collaborating. Each university will operate its own ground station, and students will communicate with each other throughout the mission. They also are collaborating on many other aspects of the project.
“One of the most worthwhile aspects of this project has been working with the student teams at Virginia Tech, ODU, and Hampton,” said fourth-year student Colin Mitchell, KN4BBF, who is set to graduate this spring with degrees in mechanical engineering and physics. Mitchell is a member of the data and communications team, which is writing software for the UVA CubeSat and will handle the radio communication aspects. He and fellow student Tyler Gabriele, KN4BBE, studied for and obtained Technician tickets so they can test the radio gear, and other students associated with the project also will earn their licenses as the project develops.
Goyne’s group recently began work to construct the ground station, with assistance from the UVA Amateur Radio Club (W4UVA). The Amateur Radio club will provide technical expertise and assist in the operation of the ground station.
“We’ve got to configure this station properly and shake out any bugs before the mission starts,” said Mike McPherson, KQ9P, a UVA ham club trustee and ARES Assistant Emergency Coordinator for Albemarle County. “We’re going to spend about 6 months tracking other satellites as practice.”
UVA’s CubeSat is a multi-year project, passed down to each succeeding group of fourth-year engineering students as part of their final projects.
One of the enduring mysteries of the 20th Century was the disappearance in 1937 of famed aviator Amelia Earhart and her flight companion and navigator Fred Noonan, while she was attempting to circle the globe. It appeared that Earhart’s plane went down in the South Pacific, in the vicinity of Howland Island; her last-known radio transmission came from there. On February 18, a team from Nauticos — with stratospheric explorer Alan Eustace and aviation pioneer Elgen Long, WF7T — departed Honolulu for the vicinity of Howland Island, some 1,600 miles to the southwest, to complete the Eustace Earhart Discovery deep sea search for Earhart’s lost Lockheed Electra. Nauticos provides ocean technology services to government, science and industry. The team now is conducting a sonar survey of about 1,800 square miles of sea floor where it’s believed the aircraft may rest, and Amateur Radio has provided a means to link the crew of the research vessel Mermaid Vigilance with youngsters following the expedition, as well as with the International Space Station (ISS) crew.
Among those involved in the Earhart search is ARRL Midwest Division Director Rod Blocksome, K0DAS, of Iowa. Earhart was born and raised in Kansas and lived in Iowa and Minnesota. Bryan McCoy, KA0YSQ, of Iowa, also is on the Mermaid Vigilance, which is carrying out the deep-water sonar search for the lost aircraft. The team is using autonomous underwater technology provided by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution to image the ocean floor nearly 18,000 feet below. On March 17, the team launched the REMUS vehicle to search the depths of the Central Pacific.
On March 20, another Midwesterner — Tom Vinson, NY0V, of Minnesota — joined other crew members in making contact with US Astronaut and ISS Commander Shane Kimbrough, KE5HOD, who was at the controls of NA1SS aboard the ISS. A couple of Russian-speaking crew members also had the opportunity to speak with one of the cosmonauts onboard the ISS.
Earlier, on March 15, Vinson assumed Kimbrough’s role to host a question-and-answer session of his own, with Virginia 5th graders in the classroom of teacher Kathy Lamont, KM4TAY, an alumna of ARRL’s Teacher Institute. The contact was routed over 20 meters from the vessel to Hawaii, and then via EchoLink to Virginia. “My kids had a lot of fun,” she recounted later. Vinson said that promoting science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education “is what we’re all about,” with support from Rockwell-Collins.
According to The Daily DX, Vinson has been on 7.027 and 7.165 MHz around 0600 UTC “and whenever I am up on the sunrise across the US.” Blocksome will join him in Majuro, where they will operate April 5-7 using the V73 prefix with their home call signs.
A thorough and fully annotated discussion of Near Vertical Incidence Skywave (NVIS) is available in the research paper, “Radio Communication via Near Vertical Incidence Skywave Propagation: An Overview,” by Ben A. Witvliet, PE5B/5R8DS, and Rosa Ma Alsina-Pagès.
First investigated in the 1920s, NVIS propagation was rediscovered during World War II as “an essential means to establish communications in large war zones such as the D-Day invasion in Normandy,” the paper notes, adding that the US Army subsequently sponsored a lot of NVIS field research, especially between 1966 and 1973. More recently, NVIS has become a popular means to enable close-in communication on Amateur Radio HF bands between 3 and 10 MHZ. NVIS can be used for radio communication in a large area (200-kilometer radius) without any intermediate manmade infrastructure, and it has been found to be especially suited for disaster relief communication, among other applications, according to the paper.
“A comprehensive overview of NVIS research is given, covering propagation, antennas, diversity, modulation, and coding,” the Abstract explains. “Both the bigger picture and the important details are given, as well as the relation between them.” As the paper describes it, in NVIS propagation, electromagnetic waves are sent nearly vertically toward the ionosphere, and, with appropriate frequency selection, these waves are reflected back to Earth.
“The great reflection height of 80 to 350 kilometers results in a large footprint and homogeneous field strength across that footprint,” the paper says. “Due to the steep radiation angles large objects such as mountain slopes or high buildings cannot block the radio path.”
As for NVIS antennas, the paper stipulates that important parameters are antenna diagram, polarization, and bandwidth. “As only high elevation angles contribute to NVIS propagation, optimizing the antenna diagram for these elevation angles will increase the effectively transmitted power and improve the signal-to-interference ratio at reception.”
The Sun just finished an extended period (16 days) of zero sunspots. There were none on March 4, one visible on March 5, then none on March 6-20. Finally, one sunspot group appeared on March 21-23, with a sunspot number of 12 on all three days.
A sunspot number of 12 does not mean there were 12 sunspots. Every group of sunspots counts as 10 points, and every sunspot within those groups counts for one point. Therefore, the minimum non-zero sunspot number is 11. So, for the past three days, there were two sunspots in one group.
The average daily sunspot number this week (March 16-22) was 3.4, compared to zero during the previous seven days. Average daily solar flux increased from 70.3 to 71.2.
Average daily planetary A index increased from 8.1 to 10 and average mid-latitude A index increased from 6.4 to 7.1.
The mid-latitude A index is measured at one magnetometer at Wallops Island, Virginia while the planetary A index is calculated based on a number of magnetic observatories, most in the northern hemisphere.
Predicted solar flux is 75 on March 24-26, 78 on March 27-30, 72 on March 31 through April 4, 71 on April 5, 70 on April 6-17, 71 on April 18, 72 on April 19 until May 1 and 71 again on May 2.
Predicted planetary A index is 14 on March 24, 8 on March 25-26, then 20, 40, 35, 20 and 18 on March 27-31, then 15, 20 and 15 on April 1-3, 12 on April 4-5, 10 on April 6, 5 on April 7-16, then 8, 12, 20, 8, 5 and 8 on April 17-22 then 8, 35, 30, 20, 18, 15, 20 and 15 on April 23-30, and 12 on May 1-2.
The Australian Space Forecast Centre issued a geomagnetic disturbance warning at 2336 UTC on March 23: “Due to the continued effect of the high speed solar wind stream from a recurrent coronal hole, solar wind speed is still high. IF Bz shows sufficiently southward values for long enough intervals of time, there is some possibility for some minor storm periods to occur on 24 March.”
From F.K. Janda, OK1HH, geomagnetic activity forecast for the period March 24-April 19, 2017
Geomagnetic field will be:
Quiet on March 25, April 8-9, 14-15
Mostly quiet on April 13, 19
Quiet to unsettled March 26-28, April 10, 12, 18
Quiet to active on March 24, 31, April 1-4, 6, 11, 17
Active to disturbed on March 29-30, April 5, 7, 16
Amplifications of the solar wind from coronal holes are expected on March 24, 30-31, April 1-4, (5-8,) 12-13. (14,) 16-20, Dates in parenthesis are less likely to have enhanced solar wind.
This weekend is the CQ Worldwide SSB WPX Contest. The CW portion is on May 27-28. See http://www.cqwpx.com/rules.htm for details. One cool aspect of this contest is that unique prefixes count for multipliers. So, instead of counting states worked or countries worked and using those totals to multiply your final score, you total up the number of unique prefixes worked.
Right now, as K7RA, I am not in much demand for this contest, because the K7 prefix is quite common. But starting in the 1980s, I was KT7H, and this made my call sought after as a desirable multiplier, depending on how many other stations in the contest had a call sign starting with KT7.
The Washington Post comments on the naked Sun. Note there is a comment at the bottom from N3JLY. http://wapo.st/2nKw6nd
For more information concerning radio propagation, see the ARRL Technical Information Service at http://arrl.org/propagation-of-rf-signals. For an explanation of numbers used in this bulletin, see http://arrl.org/the-sun-the-earth-the-ionosphere.
An archive of past propagation bulletins is at http://arrl.org/w1aw-bulletins-archive-propagation. More good information and tutorials on propagation are at http://k9la.us/.
Monthly propagation charts between four USA regions and twelve overseas locations are at http://arrl.org/propagation.
Instructions for starting or ending email distribution of ARRL bulletins are at http://arrl.org/bulletins.
Sunspot numbers for March 16 through 22, 2017 were 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 12, and 12, with a mean of 3.4. 10.7 cm flux was 70.5, 70.5, 70.2, 71.2, 72.7, 71, and 72.5, with a mean of 71.2. Estimated planetary A indices were 6, 4, 2, 2, 3, 26, and 27, with a mean of 10. Estimated mid-latitude A indices were 5, 3, 1, 2, 2, 18, and 19, with a mean of 7.1.
During fires, earthquakes and other emergencies, licensed amateur radio operators provide a vital service to help communities communicate.
The Amateur Radio Emergency Services, or ARES, keeps key officials in contact during emergencies when more traditional communication methods may not be available.
“It’s a way to take your hobby and do something useful for the community,” said Lou Dartanner, Santa Barbara County ARES district coordinator who has participated in the organization since the 1980s.
“And especially in a disaster or emergency it allows us do some more mundane things that releases the fire personnel or law enforcement personnel to go do more important things.”
Dartanner said the volunteer organization provides its members with an opportunity to do what they can and like to do.
“You spend all this money on this radio equipment, it’s nice to be able to go out there and use it to do some good,” he said.
The ham radio operators are included in the county disaster plan, and during a declared emergency ARES members work out of the Emergency Operations Center, where a complete radio system allows communication between the Public Health Department and hospitals.
The 40 MHz OZ7IGY beacon was migrated to the Next Generation Beacons platform on March 25. The beacon was activated during a 60th anniversary event for OZ7IGY, making it the oldest ham radio beacon still on the air. The beacon was inaugurated at the start of the International Geophysical Year (IGY). The nominal frequency is 40.071 MHz. The beacon’s output power is 20 W into an omnidirectional halo antenna. The OZ7IGY beacon is now frequency- and time-locked to GPS.
The sequence is programmed to send PI4 (a digital mode specifically designed for beacons and propagation studies), followed by a short pause, and then the call sign and grid locator sent in CW, then a pause, and a carrier until start of the next cycle. To decode PI4, tune 800 Hz below the nominal frequency. PI4 is similar to JT4, JT9, and WSPR.
This completes the upgrading of the 12 beacons at OZ7IGY transmitting from 28 MHz to 24 GHz. — Thanks to Southgate Amateur Radio News via Bo Hansen, OZ2M
As part of an effort to tell the story of the International Geophysical Year (IGY) 60 years ago, a Cambridge, England, museum wants to hear from anyone who remembers the Soviet Union’s launch of Sputnik 1 on October 4, 1957. Many radio amateurs and shortwave listeners (SWLs) of the era were among those thrilled to receive the satellite’s 20 MHz beacon.
The Scott Polar Research Institute Polar Museum at Cambridge University will mark the IGY anniversary later this year. The IGY was a global effort to better map and understand the planet, and it put heavy emphasis on Antarctica as well as studies of space and the atmosphere. The Polar Museum exhibition recount the story of Sputnik, the establishment of scientific bases in Antarctica, and the individuals involved in the IGY.
“Although largely forgotten now, the International Geophysical Year involved many thousands of people from all of the world and from all walks of life,” said Museum Curator Charlotte Connelly. “We’d like to capture some of those experiences in our exhibition and show the phenomenal reach of this important moment for global science.”
Contact Connelly via e-mail, if you were among those monitoring and/or spotting Earth’s first artificial satellite. The exhibit, “The Year that Made Antarctica: People, Politics, and the International Geophysical Year,” opens on April 26.
Not long after promoting Amateur Radio to Boy Scouts, the Belize Amateur Radio Club (BARC) has introduced ham radio to University of Belize (UB) engineering students. The BARC presentation included a summary of the club’s educational goals, a short video, and a lesson on Amateur Radio basics — such as propagation and the RF spectrum, and a question-and-answer session.
BARC President Emil Rodriguez, V31ER, encouraged the students to take advantage of the opportunities Amateur Radio offers to expand their skills in their fields of study — mechanical and electrical engineering. The introduction represented a first step toward establishing a partnership between BARC and the UB Engineering Department, which envisions that students will learn such skills as antenna construction, electronic circuits, radio theory, and radio procedures necessary to obtain an Amateur Radio license in Belize.
Following the BARC presentation, students and staff members expressed their intention to establish a UB Amateur Radio club and station. BARC said that, in addition to its educational benefits, a permanent ham station at UB would also allow students to become involved in supporting emergency communication during hurricane season. — Thanks to International Amateur Radio Union Region 2 (IARU-R2) and BARC.
AMSAT has announced that the launches of its Fox-1Cliff and Fox-1D CubeSats have been rebooked from a single launch to separate launches. Both satellites initially were set to go into space on the Spaceflight Formosat-5/Sherpa mission aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 (Sherpa is launched as a rideshare program for small, low-budget satellites). Fox-1Cliff will launch on Spaceflight’s SSO-A dedicated rideshare mission aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 scheduled to launch from California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base in late 2017 or early 2018. Fox-1D will ride into orbit on an Indian Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle set to launch late this year.
“These moves will serve to expedite the launch of these two satellites, both of which carry an Amateur Radio U/V FM repeater and an experimental L/V FM repeater,” AMSAT said. “The satellites also carry scientific experiments from university partners Penn State, Vanderbilt University ISDE, Virginia Tech, and University of Iowa.”
Spaceflight said the recently announced 2017 SpaceX manifest would have a “significant” impact on the Formosat-5 mission. “We learned our launch would occur potentially much later than expected,” Spaceflight President Curt Blake, said in a March 2 statement. Spaceflight rebooked its Formosat-5 mission customers and found an alternative launch for each one, he said.
In addition to the launch of Fox-1Cliff and Fox-1D, AMSAT is awaiting the launches of RadFxSat and RadFxSat-2. RadFxSat is currently scheduled to launch this August 29 aboard the NASA Educational Launch of Nanosatellites (ELaNa) XIV mission, as a secondary payload with the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS-1) on a Delta II vehicle from Vandenberg Air Force Base. RadFxSat-2 will be launched no sooner than December 2017 by Virgin Galactic on its LauncherOne air launch system from Mojave, California on the ELaNa XX mission.
North of the Border, the University of Alberta’s AlbertaSat team has announced that Ex-Alta-1 — its first CubeSat — now has a ride. Ex-Alta-1 is set to launch this week aboard an Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral to the International Space Station for later deployment into low-Earth orbit.
Ex-Alta-1 is part of the QB50 project, an international network of 2U and 3U university-designed and built CubeSats deployed in a “string-of-pearls” configuration to carry out space weather and atmospheric studies for up to 18 months. Ex-Alta-1 will carry a digital fluxgate magnetometer and use the 70-centimeter Amateur Radio band (436.705 MHz, 9600 kB GMSK) to downlink its telemetry.
Three Australian-designed QB50 project satellites were delivered to the International Space Station on March 25 for later deployment — the University of New South Wales’s UNSW-EC0 and INSPIRE-2 (a joint project with the University of Sydney), and the University of Adelaide/University of South Australia’s SUSat. All three have been coordinated for telemetry downlinks (9600 kB GMSK) in the vicinity of 436 MHz. UNSW-EC0 also has a 2.4 GHz downlink. — Thanks to AMSAT News Service via Drew Glasbrenner, KO4MA; Jerry Buxton, N0JY, Larry Reeves, and other sources.
ARRL is accepting applications for summer 2017 Teachers Institute on Wireless Technology sessions until May 1. This summer’s sessions will be held in Dayton, Ohio — hosted by the Dayton Amateur Radio Association (DARA) — and at ARRL Headquarters in Newington, Connecticut. (DARA also helps to sustain the program as a generous contributor.”) Past participants who have completed the introductory (TI-1) course may consider signing up for the advanced (TI-2) session on Remote Sensing and Data Gathering. These expenses-paid, intensive professional development opportunities offer educators training and resources to explore wireless technology in the classroom using Amateur Radio.
Introductory (TI-1) ARRL Teachers Institute sessions will take place July 17-21 in Dayton, Ohio, and July 24-28 at ARRL Headquarters in Connecticut. One advanced (TI-2) ARRL Teachers Institute class will be held July 10-13 at ARRL Headquarters.
An article in the March issue of QST includes the schedule and description of offerings. The article “Amateur Radio in the STEM Classroom” in the April 2016 issue of Tech Directions discusses how four Teachers Institute graduates employ Amateur Radio in their classrooms. This video offers an inside look at the Teachers Institute. More information is available on the ARRL website. Register to receive news about ARRL Education & Technology Program activities and notifications about the summer 2017 Teachers Institutes.
Contributions from individuals and from corporate and institutional supporters make the annual ARRL Teachers Institutes possible.
United Nations Headquarters Amateur Radio club station 4U1UN representatives are still in talks with the UN Department of Public Information with an eye toward permanently reactivating the station. Although within the geographical confines of New York City, 4U1UN qualifies as a separate DXCC entity.
“Hopefully we’ll have an opportunity to plead our case to the new administration as well. Keep your fingers crossed,” said a post this week on the club’s Facebook page. “4U1UN might be back on the air soon!”
Earlier in March, the club alerted its Facebook page visitors to reports that a pirate identifying as 4U1UN was operating on RTTY. The station was on the air for real in 2015. To commemorate the UN’s 70th anniversary that fall, 4U1UN operated as 4U70UN from a station set up at a ground-level garden area within the UN Headquarters complex.
Unlike 4U1ITU at International Telecommunication Union Headquarters in Geneva, 4U1UN typically is not open for guest operation but is intended for recreational use by the UN Headquarters staff. Max de Henseler, HB9RS (SK), spearheaded the effort that resulted in the approval of a specially designated UN Headquarters Amateur Radio station, 4U1UN, in early 1978 (an Amateur Radio station under the call sign K2UN had operated previously).
The 4U1UN United Nations Headquarters Station was dismantled in 2010 due to extensive renovation of the Secretariat Building. Security concerns and logistics have since stood in the way of its returning to the air. All antennas have been removed from the roof, and equipment has been packed away.
Options reported to be under consideration have included controlling the station remotely, putting the station on the ground floor (and running some 400 to 500 feet of feed line to the top of the building), or moving the station to another sovereign UN building.
4U1UN said that all contacts on or after January 1, 2004, with 4U1UN have been uploaded to the ARRL Logbook of the World (LoTW). — Thanks to The Daily DX for some information
Engineering students at the University have been working on a project, CubeSat, which will track a small satellite using a ground station. The satellite will communicate with the ground station to gather data, which will be shared with information from other universities, such as Virginia Tech and Old Dominion.
CubeSat is sponsored by NASA and collaborates with other universities through the Virginia Space Grant Consortium. CubeSat will be collecting data on atmospheric drag in low earth orbit.
Currently, the students are finishing the design phase of the ground stations, which involves selecting proper equipment and securing funding for necessary purchases from the University. After the design phase of the project, students will start prototyping the stations.
International Space Station (ISS) Expedition 50 Commander Shane Kimbrough, KE5HOD, will take one more spacewalk on March 30 before he heads back to Earth in a Soyuz MS-02 vehicle on April 10, joined by crewmates Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko. The spacewalks are aimed at preparing the station for the future arrival of US commercial crew spacecraft and upgrading station hardware.
On March 26, Kimbrough and Flight Engineer Thomas Pesquet, KG5FYG, of the European Space Agency, wrapped up a 6.5-hour spacewalk, during which, among other things, they successfully disconnected cables and electrical connections on the Pressurized Mating Adapter-3 in preparation for moving it robotically from the Tranquility module. The PMA-3 provides the pressurized interface between the station modules and the International Docking Adapter, which will accommodate commercial crew vehicle dockings.
Kimbrough will join Flight Engineer Peggy Whitson, KC5ZTD, for the final spacewalk of his mission on March 30. Among other tasks, they will reconnect cables and electrical connections on the PMA-3 at its new home atop the Harmony module.
On April 6, Whitson and Pesquet will head outside the station to replace some hardware. Kimbrough’s two spacewalks mark the fifth and sixth of his career, while Whitson will be making the eighth and ninth spacewalks of hers — more than any other female astronaut. Pesquet will undertake the second and third spacewalks in his career.
The March and early April spacewalks will be the 198th, 199th and 200th in support of space station assembly and maintenance.
Expedition 50/51 crew members Jack Fischer, K2FSH, and Fyodor Yurchikhin, RN3FI, will launch to the ISS on April 30 from Kazakhstan. They’ll join Pesquet, Whitson, and Oleg Novitskiy. Pesquet will head home later this spring.
Visit the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) website for more information on ham radio in space.
The Daily DX, an e-mail, subscription-only newsletter edited by Bernie McClenny, W3UR, is celebrating its 20th anniversary on St. Patrick’s Day. The e-mail newsletter covers DX, Islands on the Air (IOTA), and contesting news from around the globe.
“It was 20 years ago today that 100 beta testers received the first issue of The Daily DX,” McClenny said in the March 17 edition. Of his 65 charter subscribers, 38 are still on board. “Since then, more than 15,000 Amateur Radio operators from more than 200 countries have experienced The Daily DX and The Weekly DX. I’d also like to thank KE3Q, Rich Boyd, who helped produce the idea and actually came up with The Daily DX name!” Boyd continues his association with The Daily DX, editing many of the Monday issues.
“To the subscribers, thank you for your financial support and input. Without it there would be no Daily DX,” McClenny added, also expressing appreciation to the newsletter's contributors.
Well known in the DXing community, McClenny also is the contributing editor for the “How’s DX?” column in QST (ARRL has no association with The Daily DX).
Telecommunication regulators in The Netherlands have scaled back considerably the liberal 60-meter privileges announced for radio amateurs in that country just days after the conclusion of World Radiocommunication Conference 2015 (WRC-15). Since December 2015, amateurs in The Netherlands have had access to a 100-kHz wide amateur band at 5 MHz, with a maximum power of 100 W.
Article 4.4 of the ITU Radio Regulations permits countries to authorize frequency assignments that are contrary to the international Table of Allocations, only on a non-interference, non-protected basis.
VERON, the IARU member society in The Netherlands, now reports that starting on April 1, Dutch radio amateurs will have to be content with the global secondary 15 kHz-wide allocation of 5351.5 kHz to 5366.5 kHz at up to 15 W effective isotropic radiated power that was agreed to at WRC-15.
“This outcome of WRC 2015 is implemented by means of the present modification of the scheme,” VERON said.
The ARRL has petitioned the FCC to allocate a contiguous 5 MHz band in the US while retaining four of the five channels already in use.
Radio amateurs in The Netherlands also will be permitted to conduct cross-band and duplex 50 MHz/70 MHz communication, starting on April 1.
Motorola Solutions has filed complaints in federal court (US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois), alleging that Hytera Communications’ digital mobile radio (DMR) products employ techniques and systems that infringe on Motorola Solutions’ patents and trade secrets. Already known for its Land Mobile Radio Service products, Hytera entered the Amateur Radio DMR market last year. Motorola alleges that proprietary and patented information was taken illegally by three former company engineers who now work for Hytera, as “part of a deliberate scheme to steal and copy” its technology.
“Motorola Solutions believes that Hytera is intentionally infringing its intellectual property and misappropriating its trade secrets, which has enabled Hytera to compete unfairly by bypassing investment in innovation,” Motorola said in a March 14 news release. Motorola Solutions General Counsel and Chief Administrative Officer Mark Hacker characterized the copying as brazen, blatant, and willful.
The three former Motorola engineers all signed non-disclosure agreements, agreeing to treat all Motorola trade secretes as confidential, when they left the company to assume similar positions with Hytera. According to the lawsuit, none of the three disclosed beforehand that they intended to go to work for Hytera.
Motorola contends that its digital radio products were rendering Hytera’s analog systems obsolete, and rather than develop its own digital products, Hytera stole Motorola’s ideas, its attorneys allege. Motorola said technology features it developed started showing up in Hytera products soon after Hytera began hiring engineers who had left Motorola in 2008, according to the lawsuit.
In a statement, Hytera, which said its policy is not to comment on cases presently before a court, then proceeded to do just that. The manufacturer, headquartered in Shenzhen, China, said it adheres to high ethical standards and complies with “the laws and regulations in markets where we operate,” and “firmly believes that its business practices and operations will be fully vindicated.” — Thanks to IWCE’s Urgent Communications, The Chicago Tribune, and Motorola Solutions for information used in this story
ARRL is reaching out to members of the Maker Movement to explore avenues of cooperation and collaboration, and perhaps to recruit some new radio amateurs. Considered an extension of the arts and crafts tradition, the Maker Movement gained its own magazine, Make, in 2005. The philosophy of the Maker Movement is reminiscent of an era when radio amateurs built their own equipment rather than buying it off the shelf. Those considering themselves makers have tended to focus on such areas as electronics and computers, robotics, 3D printing, metal and woodworking, and even Amateur Radio, among other avocations.
Recognizing the similar characteristics of radio amateurs and makers, the Ham Radio exhibition each summer in Friedrichshafen, Germany, has shared space with a Maker Faire, as maker gatherings are known, for the past few years. Maker Faires in the US have attracted thousands more attendees than even the largest hamfest; the Dayton of the Maker Movement takes place in San Mateo, California, and ARRL will have a presence at events in the Bay Area in May and in Chicago later this year.
“Maker communities and makerspaces are springing up across the country, becoming the latest nexus of youthful aspirants and exotic technology, as well as the locus of highly innovative forms of experimentation — including Amateur Radio,” ARRL CEO Tom Gallagher, NY2RF, wrote in his Second Century editorial, “Make It Happen,” appearing in April QST. Gallagher considers makers as “the next generation of hams.”
Gallagher suggests radio amateurs consider attending Maker Faires — not only to promote and give a presence to Amateur Radio but to learn what they have in common with makers, many of whom already are licensees. (An article in January 2017 QST, “Maker Faire Success for Ham Radio Clubs” by David Witkowski, W6DTW, is on Gallagher’s recommended reading list, as is an interview in the same issue with Jeri Ellsworth, AI6TK — well known in the Maker and gamer communities.)
Any radio amateur who enjoys tackling an Arduino or Raspberry Pi electronics project for the shack should find some common ground in the Maker Movement. Gallagher notes in his editorial that at last September’s Maker Faire in New York City, a club in Queens offered a simple build-a-code-practice-oscillator project, provided by QRPme.com, that only required five components. “The attendees were lined up six deep in two lines,” Gallagher recounted. “There is nothing to match the delight in the builder’s eyes when he or she first experiences the joy of oscillation.” He hinted that this could, in time, translate to new licensees.
Gallagher has more to say about the Maker Movement in his April “60-Second Century” video. ARRL began hosting these quick video clips in February, and each is posted on the ARRL YouTube channel as well as made available via social media. Each video will become available on the 10th of each month, coincident with the release of the digital QST, and will offer a glimpse at the content of each month’s QST editorial.
As Gallagher said about the Maker Movement in his April “60-Second Century” video, “It’s in our DNA. Explore, discover, create!”
Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) reports it has met a major milestone and now is “one giant step” closer to flying its new interoperable radio system to the International Space Station. Eventual plans call for installing a new JVC Kenwood TM-D710GA-based radio system on the station as part of an overall approach that will allow greater interoperability between the Columbus module and the Russian Service Module.
Lou McFadin, W5DID, and Kerry Banke, N6IZW, travelled to NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston in mid-February for preliminary testing of Banke’s “breadboard” version of the ARISS multi-voltage power supply that’s essential to the upgrade. They worked with JSC engineers and Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) Lab personnel to put the specially built power supply through its paces, checking against US and Russian space specifications for preliminary power quality and EMC tests.
With positive test results in hand, ARISS now can move on to the next step — fabrication of prototype and flight units. The JSC engineers said the ARISS breadboard power supply was the first hardware to have passed all of the space agency’s tests and complimented the ARISS Team on its professional-level hardware development and design.
“I was looking to come away with what we needed to move forward,” said Banke. “We achieved that.” Banke also said he was impressed with the support he and McFadin received from the testing group. Key players on those teams, who are also radio amateurs, told him and McFadin that they find equipment supported by hams earns particularly good marks.
ARISS-International Chair Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, thanked Banke and McFadin for spending several days putting the unit through the rigorous battery of NASA and Russian preliminary electrical tests. McFadin credited the level of cooperation and experience within the ARISS Team for the multi-voltage power supply’s high marks.
Now that testing of the breadboard unit has been completed, McFadin can purchase the necessary — and pricey — space-certified parts, to fabricate the final prototype and flight power supplies. He and Banke expressed confidence that the prototype and flight units will pass the even more rigorous final testing with flying colors.
The ARISS radio gear onboard the ISS is aging. A February supply vehicle carried a new Ericsson 2-meter handheld radio to replace one that failed a few months ago, disrupting ARISS activities. The VHF radio in the Columbus module was used for school group contacts and for Amateur Radio packet, which was temporarily shifted to UHF after the VHF radio failure. The newly arrived Ericsson radio will replace the Ericsson UHF radio supporting APRS packet and some school contacts, but Bauer made it clear last month that the new Ericsson transceiver is an interim measure.
To help support final fabrication and flight tests of the ARISS interoperable radio system, visit the ARISS website. Contributions are tax deductible. Those contributing at least $100 will receive an ARISS Challenge Coin.
[CORRECTED to UPDATE information on effective date: 2017-03-31 @ 1315 UTC] It’s been a long time coming, but the Amateur Service will get two new bands in the near future. The FCC on March 28 adopted rules that will allow secondary Amateur Radio access to 472-479 kHz (630 meters) and to 135.7-137.8 kHz (2,200 meters), with minor conditions. The FCC Report and Order (R&O) spells out the details. It allocates 472-479 kHz to the Amateur Service on a secondary basis and amends Part 97 to provide for Amateur Service use of that band as well as of the previously allocated 135.7-137.8 kHz band. The R&O also amends Part 80 rules to authorize radio buoy operations in the 1900-2000 kHz band under a ship station license. Just when the new Part 97 rules will go into effect is difficult to determine just yet; more on that below.
“It’s a big win for the Amateur community and the ARRL,” ARRL CEO Tom Gallagher, NY2RF, said. “We are excited by the FCC’s action to authorize Amateur Radio access for the first time on the MF and LF spectrum. As amateurs begin using these new allocations in the next few weeks, we encourage the entire Amateur Radio community, as secondary users, to be especially attentive to the rules.”
It has not been an easy win, however. ARRL has been trying since the 1970s to convince the FCC to allow amateur access to parts of the spectrum below the Standard Broadcast Band. Through the Utilities Telecoms Council (UTC), electric power utilities have opposed Amateur Radio use of the MF and LF spectrum, raising unsubstantiated fears of interference to unlicensed Part 15 power line carrier (PLC) systems used to manage the power grid. The FCC said the Amateur Radio service rules it has adopted for 630 meters and 2,200 meters allow for co-existence with PLC systems that use the two bands.
Here are the highlights:
In an unrelated action, the FCC allocated 1,900-2,000 kHz to the maritime mobile service (MMS) on a primary basis for non-Federal use in ITU Regions 2 and 3, and limited the use of this allocation to radio buoys on the open sea and the Great Lakes.
“We are persuaded by ARRL’s comments to adopt final rules that are better tailored to the places where the commercial fishing fleet can make reasonable and productive use of radio buoys,” the FCC said.
Amateur Radio was upgraded from secondary to primary in the 1900-2000 kHz segment in 2015. The FCC said it believes Amateur Radio and radio buoys “can continue to share this frequency band as they have done for many years.” It declined to make additional spectrum available for radio buoy use.
The fact that the new rules contain a new information-collection requirement — notification of operation to the UTC — makes it difficult to guess at an effective date. The FCC R&O says the Office of Management and Budget (under the Paperwork Reduction Act) must first approve the information-collection requirements (in §97.303[g]). Once that happens, the revised Part 97 rules sections will become effective after the FCC publishes a notice in The Federal Register “announcing such approval and the relevant effective date.”
Midway and Kure Islands have been placed on the list of DXCC deleted entities, effective August 26, 2016. This came about as an unintended consequence of action last summer by then-President Barack Obama that expanded the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument to include the northwestern Hawaiian Islands west of Ni’ihau Island, making it the largest contiguous protected conservation area under the US flag.
Midway (KH4) had qualified for DXCC status by virtue of its being governed by a separate administration. Because it is now under the administration of Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, however, it becomes a deleted entity. Approximately 50 people live on Midway, including US Fish and Wildlife Service staffers and contractors. The Battle of Midway, a turning point in the Allied World War II Pacific Campaign, took place in June 1942.
Now uninhabited, Kure Island (KH7K), a part of Hawaii, is separated from the rest of the state by Midway; because of that, it qualified for DXCC status under Section II, 2 (b) (iii) of the DXCC Rules — separation from its “parent” Hawaii. Midway Island’s change in DXCC status in turn made Kure Island no longer eligible for DXCC status, since Kure no longer is separated from the rest of Hawaii by intervening land or islands that are part of another DXCC entity.
Kure Island once was home to a US Coast Guard LORAN station, remnants of which are still evident. It has been a state wildlife sanctuary since 1981.
The relevant parts of Section II of the DXCC Rules follow:
A Geographic Separation Entity may result when a single Political Entity is physically separated into two or more parts. The part of such a Political Entity that contains the capital city is considered the Parent for tests under these criteria. One or more of the remaining parts resulting from the separation may then qualify for separate status as a DXCC Entity if they satisfy paragraph a) or b) of the Geographic Separation Criteria, as follows.
b) Island Areas (Separation by Water):
A new entity results in the case of an island under any of the following conditions:
iii) The island is separated from its Parent by intervening land or islands that are part of another DXCC entity, such that a line drawn along a great circle in any direction, from any part of the island, does not touch the Parent before touching the intervening DXCC entity. There is no minimum separation distance for the first island entity created under this rule. Additional island entities may be created under this rule, provided that they are similarly separated from the Parent by a different DXCC entity and separated from any other islands associated with the Parent by at least 800 km.
Neither Midway nor Kure was able to be activated without prior permission and only for a planned DXpedition. Only contacts made on August 25, 2016, or earlier will count for these two entities.
World War I commenced in Europe in August 1914, and the US, under President Woodrow Wilson, was determined to remain neutral. As the fighting and the enemy’s resolve intensified, however, and Germany began sinking ships attempting to evade a naval blockade of England as well as non-military vessels, including the Lusitania with a loss of nearly 1,200 lives, it became inevitable that the US would enter the fray, and the leaders of the newly formed American Radio Relay League encouraged its 3,000 members to be prepared.
The US officially declared war on Germany and Austria-Hungary on April 6, 1917, and the US government ordered most private radio stations in the US either to shut down or be taken over by the government. For the duration of WWI, it was against the law for private citizens to even own an operational radio transmitter or receiver, so amateur transmitting and receiving stations had to be disassembled. Amateur Radio operating privileges were not restored until November 1919 (QST resumed publication a few months earlier).
Once the US declared war, QST editorials urged qualified amateurs to volunteer their desperately needed skills to the military. Enlistees were particularly directed to the Navy, the nation’s principal service user of wireless. A specific program was developed to induct volunteer amateurs into the Naval Reserve for the duration — the Class 4 Naval Reserve. The requirements included citizenship, the ability to pass a physical examination, and the ability to send and receive Morse code at 10 WPM. Most volunteering radio amateurs chose to join this reserve, ARRL’s first Communications Manager Fred H. Schnell, 1MO, among them. He went to sea as a chief radioman.
ARRL co-founder Clarence D. Tuska received a commission as a lieutenant in the US Army Signal Corps, and he established a radio training school at Ellington Airfield near Houston, Texas.
QST itself suspended publication for the duration of the war. — Thanks to Mike Marinaro, WN1M, and United States Early Radio History by Thomas H. White.
A STANAG 4285 intruder has been showing up on 7101.8 kHz, according to the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) Region 1 Monitoring System (IARUMS).
“The signal was strong in South America, but rather weak in Europe,” the latest edition of the IARUMS newsletter reported. “We had the same problem in earlier times. Location probably Falkland Islands.”
Its unusual designation aside, STANAG 4285’s motorboat-like signals are pretty common on HF frequencies between about 2 MHz and 23 MHz. It is the data communication “modem” that North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) military agencies use for the purposes of standardization, and it comes in several flavors (sub-modes), with a variety of speeds — from 75 bps to 3600 bps — and interleaving, both short and long. BPSK, QPSK, and 8PSK are used with STANAG 4285 for specific speeds. The waveform consists of an 1800-Hz carrier with PSK modulation.
It’s not unusual to hear STANAG-4285 signals around the world, not all of them from NATO stations. Most of the traffic is encrypted, but sometimes it is not, and software is available on the Internet to decode it.
IARUMS further reported that a Russian Air Force F1B (frequency-shift keying) intruder (REA4) was showing up on 7.018 MHz during February, but another F1B intruder on 7.193 MHz from Kaliningrad, Russia, was no longer active at the end of February. German telecommunication authorities had filed a formal complaint. No complaint is possible regarding another Russian F1B signal on 14.308 MHz, however; it is legal under a footnote to the ITU Radio Regulations that allocates 14.250 to 14.350 MHz to the fixed service on a primary basis in Armenia, Azerbaijan, China, Côte d’Ivoire, the Russian Federation, Georgia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Ukraine. Reported splatter from Radio France International on 7.205 MHz has been cleared up.
An over-the-horizon radar from Asia is reported to be covering parts of 80 meters daily. Its likely location is China. A Chinese broadband OTH radar was observed on 20 meters, while the Russian systems-intelligence “Konteyner RLS” OTH radar, transmitting from in the Nizhny Novgorod region, is frequently spotted on 20 meters. It was reported disturbing parts of 40 and 20 meters, covering a 13-kHz swath of spectrum. Radio Hargaysa in Somalia is still being heard on 7.120 MHz, but the 7.175 MHz Radio Eritrea signal that was being interfered with from Ethiopia apparently is gone. Radio Taiwan and a Chinese jammer are being heard on 14.295 MHz.
In comments filed on March 20 with the FCC on its own January Petition for Rule Making (RM-11785), ARRL reiterated its case for a contiguous secondary 15-kHz wide 60-meter band of 5,351.5 to 5,366.5 kHz in addition to the four existing discrete 60-meter channels that fall outside the requested band, with a permitted power level of 100 W EIRP and retention of current operating rules. More than 5 dozen comments, all supporting the proposed allocation, were filed on the League’s petition, although some suggested more spectrum or higher power, or a combination. ARRL said, however, that it does not at this time favor any changes in its initial request for a new band. The League proposal would implement a portion of the Final Acts of World Radiocommunication Conference 2015 (WRC-15) that provided for a secondary international amateur allocation of 5,351.5 to 5,366.5 kHz at a maximum of 15 W EIRP.
“Each component of this proposal is intended to maximize spectral efficiency by permitting amateurs to operate throughout a band as conditions and availability warrant; to give primary service operations certainty as to where radio Amateurs will be located within the broader fixed and mobile service band between 5.250-5.450 MHz; and it protects those primary users with the same successful interference avoidance techniques and protocols that have been used for the past 15 years domestically, with which radio amateurs have the technical training and experience to comply,” ARRL asserted in its comments.
The League said the WRC-15 power limit of 15 W EIRP “would render the band unsuitable for emergency communication, especially between the US mainland and the Caribbean Basin during summer storms and hurricane season, when atmospheric noise can be severe.
ARRL said there were good reasons for hewing to the proposal it initially crafted and filed with the FCC, most relating to the fact that the spectrum is shared with federal government users and radio amateurs must avoid interfering with them. The ARRL also pointed out that there is no “European Model” for 5 MHz, noting that the vast majority of European countries have held to the 15 kilohertz agreed to at WRC-15, and some even to the 15 W EIPR power limit. The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), which regulates government spectrum, would have to sign off on any proposal, and, ARRL noted, it has twice expressed concern about a contiguous allocation at 5 MHz and did not favor the plan agreed to at WRC-15.
“While ARRL understands and agrees that there is a long-term, justifiable need for an allocation at 5 MHz that is larger than the 15 kHz made available at WRC-15, and there is a very practical need for power in excess of the 100 W PEP requested in ARRL’s Petition, there are practical considerations inherent in the ARRL Petition that stem from an urgent and ongoing need to share the Amateur allocation compatibly with other, primary users,” ARRL said. “The Amateur Service must, of necessity, avoid interference to the primary users of this band (which it has, to date) in order to be permitted to operate there.”
Citing its decades-long effort to obtain operating privileges in the vicinity of 5 MHz, ARRL said there’s “not really much room for debate about the size of the band and the power limit domestically at the present time, given the allocation status of the band (domestically and internationally) and the necessary interference protection requirements for primary users.”
“It is hoped that as regular Amateur operation in this contiguous band develops, with the operating parameters recommended in ARRL’s Petition,” the ARRL comments continued, “such operation will continue to demonstrate compatible sharing with federal and other users and the operating parameters and the band can be re-examined and adjusted equitably at a later time.”
ARRL said the most important thing is to have the FCC grant an allocation before offering initiatives to alter the plan it proposed in January. It urged the FCC to adopt the rule changes it’s proposed “at the earliest possible time, if at all possible in advance of the 2017 hurricane season.”