As Spring approaches we have a lot to plan on!! First, our monthly meetings have moved if you were not aware. Not location, but day of the week. We now meet the second Wednesday of each month at the Austintown Senior Center. 110 Westchester Drive address. We have several activities coming up in the amateur radio community. First is SkyWarn training at Austintown Fitch High School. This is on Wednesday April 25th. Sign in is at 5:30PM and presentation begins at 6:00PM. Remember, this is open to the public and you do not have to be an Amateur Radio Operator to attend. So bring family and friends who are interested in SkyWarn training as well!!
NVIS day is Saturday April 28th. We will set up with ARES at the Austintown Senior Center. We will have snacks and beverages available as well. Come out and get some practice on NVIS. Not sure what it all entails or how to set it up. Come out and join us!! More information on time to come. We will have several radios up and running this day as well. Come out and make some contacts!!
May will bring us the St. Rose 5K on Saturday May 19th. If you can help please contact Andrew KD8YRA or Shawn KD8ENU. They will be coordinating the event for the amateur radio operators.
Planning for Field Day is underway. Field Day is June 22-24th at Austintown Township Park. Mark your calendars now to attend. Dotti KC8SYF is heading up the food for this year and will have more information on the Field Day Family Dinner. Camping will begin on Friday at Pogany Pavilion. More information to come.....
Our Hamfest is on Sunday July 8th from 8AM till 1PM. Admission is Free and tables are just $10.00. Flea Market spaces outside are just $5.00 each. Reservations can be made ahead of time. Dotti has been working for sponsorship's and thus far, DX Engineering has agreed to send gift certificates and some hourly prizes. ICOM already sent some items. MFJ is sending a hamfest prize package and Kenwood is on the list too!! It will be exciting to see what she is able to gather up this year!! Food will be available in the 20/9 Kitchen as well.
That is all I have for this month. We hope to see everyone at the Regular Club meeting on Wednesday April 11th at 7:00pm at the Austintown Senior Center.
Well Spring is underway.....Or Sort of.....We at least hope to see improvement in the temperatures and precipitation areas!! With that thought, lets think warm weather!! How about we start with Saturday June 2nd. We will be participating in Safety Day at the Craig Beach Volunteer Fire Department. This will be from 10A till 2P with set up starting at 830AM. Come out for a fun day with plenty of Safety information and FREE health screenings at the Fire Department.
June is also Field Day month. June 22nd through the 24th at Austintown Township Park. As always, we will have our 20/9 Family Dinner on Saturday evening at 6pm. This year I am asking A-N bring a cold dish and M-Z bring a hot dish. We would like everyone to bring a dessert or fruit to share. The club will provide the main dishes and I will be working with the officers and members to figure those out. We would like to change things up a bit this year!!
In July we get to help light up the sky...or at least watch it being lit up over the Austintown Plaza. We will once again be assisting with Austintown 4th of July Fireworks. This year will be on Sunday July 1st. Plan to come out and help!! This is a great evening with plenty to do and see.
We hope to see everyone at the regular club meeting on Wednesday April 11th at 7pm.
73 for now,
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.
With the addition of three new crew members, the International Space Station (ISS) now has a full complement of six. Astronauts Ricky Arnold, KE5DAU, and Drew Feustel, and cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev headed into space on March 21 aboard a Soyuz MS-08 vehicle, launched from Kazakhstan.
The new ISS residents were welcomed on March 23 as part of the Expedition 55 crew by station commander Anton Shkaplerov and crew — Scott Tingle, KG5NZA, and Norishige Kanai. During his time in space, Arnold, a former educator, will wrap up NASA’s Year of Education on Station, an initiative to engage students and educators in human spaceflight and science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) careers.
Arnold and Tingle will take turns handling all scheduled Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) school contacts in April.
On February 21, US Army civilian contractor Tim Millea, AJ7UU, and MARS Volunteer Doug Smith, W7KF, embarked on the hospital ship USNS Mercy from San Diego to Hawaii to begin its deployment for “Pacific Partnership 2018” (PP18), a humanitarian assistance exercise that will include several Pacific stops. Their mission during the first leg of the voyage was to conduct Technician and General Amateur Radio classes for more than a dozen military and civilian personnel crewing the Military Sealift Command hospital ship, and to provide training in military HF communication procedures.
The pair provided two or three training classes a day for the crew, who took the classes following their work shifts. Classroom training was interspersed with on-air activities in the ship’s Amateur Radio room. The Mercy is utilizing the Weak Signal Propagation Reporting (WSPR) tool under K6MRC.
On March 3, the Mercy docked in Hawaii, where a group of local Volunteer Examiners (VEs), headed by ARRL Pacific Section Manager Joe Speroni, AH0A, administered Technician and General licensing exams to the students.
“The ARRL VE Team in Honolulu was fantastic to work with,” Smith told ARRL. “Due to spotty internet connectivity while at sea and strict base access and security issues in port, the VEs in Hawaii had to exhibit extraordinary patience and persistence to administer the exams aboard Mercy.” Smith singled out ARRL VEC Manager Maria Somma, AB1FM, for being “super helpful throughout this endeavor.”
More than 18 sailors and civilians assigned to the USNS Mercy passed their Amateur Radio exams, administered on March 3 in Pearl Harbor. The successful candidates had their new call signs or upgraded tickets by March 5.
Among those upgrading was Captain David Bretz, WH6FIR, the PP18 Mission Commander. “I am very excited to host the trainers on Mercy,” Bretz said. “We will be researching the effectiveness of using Amateur Radio aboard the Mercy for the duration of PP18. Amateur Radio operators have played a huge role throughout history assisting in humanitarian and disaster relief efforts. I am looking forward to gathering research on how this older technology can still be relevant in current humanitarian and disaster relief missions, such as PP18.” The Mercy arrived in Guam this week.
PP18 has a Facebook page. — Thanks to Doug Smith, W7KF, and Robert Mims, WA1OEZ, Region 1 US Army MARS Director
Amateur Radio volunteers with WX1BOXat the National Weather Service in Taunton, Massachusetts, and various ARES groups had their hands full during March, as Mother Nature’s hat trick of nor’easters brought severe weather conditions and a lot of snow to the northeastern US. The storms caused the Cape Cod ARES team to extend activations for SKYWARN, WX1BOX, and regional shelter operations.
“This has been a very active period of significant severe weather for the region after a relatively quiet stretch from late January through the end of February,” observed Rob Macedo, KD1CY, the Eastern Massachusetts Assistant Section Emergency Coordinator for SKYWARN.
The first in the trio of nor’easters — on March 2 and 3 — brought mostly heavy rain and wet snow to parts of Massachusetts, Connecticut, eastern New York, and northern New England. Strong to damaging winds swept central and southern New England, with hurricane-force gusts across southeastern New England and Cape Cod and the Islands. The storm caused severe coastal flooding across multiple high-tide cycles.
WX1BOX volunteers were active for 17 hours straight, and afterward, some continued to monitor high tides and strong winds, which persisted into the weekend. The volunteers handled more than 1,000 reports of wind damage, wind gusts measured 40 MPH or higher, localized road flooding from heavy rainfall, and coastal flooding. At the height of the storm, nearly a half million customers in Massachusetts alone lost electrical power. Macedo said Amateur Radio nets were active on repeaters, and on the New England reflector on EchoLink® conference node 9123/*NEW-ENG3*/IRLP 9123 system.
“Some of the highest astronomical tides of the year coupled with wind gusts of more than 70 MPH — and as high as 93 MPH at the Barnstable County, Massachusetts, emergency operations center (EOC) — to trigger some of the worst coastal flooding in decades,” Macedo recounted.
Eastern Massachusetts ARES was on stand-by, and Cape Cod ARES was active for several days with a regional sheltering operation until power was largely restored to Cape Cod. “Marc Stern, WA1R, guarded the HF net on 75 meters during the nor’easter,” Eastern Massachusetts Section Emergency Coordinator Marek Kozubal, KB1NCG, reported. WC1MAB at the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency Region 2 Headquarters was also active through the efforts of Mike “Sparky” Leger, N1YLQ.
Only a few days later, a second nor’easter brought heavier snowfall to southern New England, although winds and coastal flooding were not as severe as in the first storm. In the interior of southern New England, temperatures hovering around freezing meant heavy wet snow, sparking another round of downed trees and power lines and nearly a half-million customers without power in Massachusetts and Connecticut. Eastern Massachusetts ARES was on standby during the storm and for several days afterward until most power was restored.
At WX1BOX, another 14 hours of SKYWARN operations ensued. Amateur Radio nets in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island fielded reports of heavy snowfall, including “thunder snow,” wet snow damage, strong gusty winds, heavy rainfall, and minor coastal flooding. Widespread snowfall amounts totaled up to 16 inches in interior southern New England. As much as 30 inches of snow fell in western Massachusetts as well as in parts of New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine.
Macedo said it became clear from SKYWARN reports that the region would experience extended power outages. “These reports were noted by state emergency management and the media, and used to inform the public about storm risks and to prepare and act accordingly,” Macedo said. SKYWARN nets were also active in the Greater New York City area, reporting damage from wet snow, strong winds, thunder snow, and snowfall totals.
The third storm turned out to be a major nor’easter and blizzard that affected the entire New England region with heavy snowfall — 2 feet or more in more northern areas. Wind gusts greater than 70 MPH across Cape Cod and the Islands, combined with the weight of wet snow, took down trees and utility lines. “Minor coastal flooding also occurred at high tide, but lower astronomical tides again precluded a more significant coastal flood event,” Macedo said. Eastern Massachusetts ARES went on standby once more after blizzard warnings were posted.
SKYWARN nets were active throughout the region, gathering snowfall and wind reports from around southern New England. WX1BOX volunteers were on duty for 16 hours, bringing the monthly total to 47. Macedo said, “The [National Weather Service] Forecast Office is in the process of moving, but antennas for VHF/UHF were left in place, and volunteers provided their own gear to operate over the course of these three nor’easters.”
Wind gusts well into the hurricane range were recorded on Cape Cod, along with significant damage from the wet snow, and seven Cape Cod ARES volunteers provided communication at shelters, as cell phone service was disrupted during the blizzard. Cape Cod ARES District Emergency Coordinator Frank O’Laughlin, WQ1O, said the volunteers “seamlessly” transitioned from providing situational awareness to addressing communication failures. He said six ham volunteers supported the regional shelter operation, and two of them put in more than 50 straight hours.
The storm-weary northeast is monitoring another potential coastal storm or nor’easter that could hit at mid-week. — Thanks to Rob Macedo, KD1CY
Starting in April, Philip Gairson, N7NVK, will begin working on Wake Island, which is in grid RK39 for those participating in the 2018 ARRL International Grid Chase (IGC). His schedule calls for 3 months on the island, and then 1 month off — a pattern that will repeat over the course of about a year. Wake is 12 hours ahead of UTC.
Gairson does not yet know what days or times he will be on the air, but he plans to post his availability on his QRZ.com profile page and notify ARRL to include it in its DX bulletin. Contacting him could prove challenging. He’s taking along an Elecraft KX3 along with a G5RV or Buddipole for an antenna, running low power. He will operate split, and he asks for patience because he’s not used to being the focus of a pileup. Internet connectivity on Wake will be limited, but he plans to use LoTW. — Thanks to The Daily DX
Hamvention® 2018 is May 18-20 at the Greene County Fairgrounds and Expo Center in Xenia, Ohio. The largest annual Amateur Radio gathering in the US, this year’s event has been sanctioned as the 2018 ARRL Great Lakes Division Convention. The theme for this year’s Hamvention is “Amateur Radio...Serving the Community.” ARRL has responded in that spirit, and four ARRL-sponsored forums — to include many guest presenters — will comprise a Public Service Communications track on Friday and Saturday of Hamvention.
People who attend three or more of the ARRL-sponsored Public Service Communications forums will earn an ARRL certificate in recognition of their commitment to ham radio public service training and development.
Hamvention has also organized activities that fold into this year’s public service theme. Preble County, Ohio, ARES Emergency Coordinator Gary Hollenbaugh, NJ8BB, has coordinated a display of mobile emergency communications vehicles and equipment at Hamvention for 10 years. “The purpose of the display is to promote emergency communications, and for groups who build and operate mobile communications facilities to display their equipment and demonstrate their capabilities,” Hollenbaugh said. “It’s also a chance for the groups to talk about how to develop emergency communications in the field and to exchange ideas with Hamvention visitors.”
The centerpiece of the ARRL’s participation at Hamvention is ARRL EXPO 2018, a spacious exhibit area that will be located in Building 2 at the Greene County Fairgrounds and Expo Center. Corey and Bailey have organized an Amateur Radio Public Service exhibit for ARRL EXPO, which will include a small stage and seating so attendees can enjoy 15-minute public-service-themed presentations throughout the convention.
The exhibit will include a display of ARRL Ham Aid equipment. Ham Aid kits were used throughout Puerto Rico for the hurricane relief and recovery effort. Following the 2017 hurricanes, more than 600 donations to supply and re-supply the Ham Aid program were received from radio clubs, individuals, and several Amateur Radio retailers and manufacturers.
Other ARRL highlights at Hamvention 2018 include the popular ARRL Member Forum, moderated by ARRL Great Lakes Division Director Dale Williams, WA8EFK. The ARRL Member Forum — at noon on Saturday in Room 3 — is your opportunity to hear from national and local ARRL officials on key areas of member interest. All are welcome.
On Friday at 2:25 PM in Room 3, “ARRL International Grid Chase 2018 — Get in the Chase!” will offer an update on ARRL’s year-long on-the-air event aimed at working as many grid squares as possible before next year. ARRL Contest Branch Manager Bart Jahnke, W9JJ, will provide tips on participating, uploading your contact data to ARRL’s Logbook of The World (LoTW), scoring, and awards.
The ARRL Collegiate Amateur Radio Initiative Forum will gather on Saturday, 4-5 PM, in Room 3. Moderators will be Andy Milluzzi, KK4LWR, and his brother Tony Milluzzi, KD8RTT. A growing number of campus radio clubs and student radio amateurs are sharing ideas and suggestions on the ARRL Collegiate Amateur Radio Initiative (CARI) Facebook page. They’re among those inspiring a renaissance of ham radio on campuses. CARI provides a space for students to meet and to network. The ARRL Collegiate Amateur Radio Initiative is sponsored in part by the W1YSM Snyder Family Collegiate Amateur Radio Endowment.
“Reaching the Public with Ham Radio” will be the focus on Sunday from 9:15 AM to 10:15 AM, in Room 2. Presenters will be Tommy Gober, N5DUX, an ARRL Teachers Institute on Wireless Technology instructor, and ARRL Marketing Manager Bob Inderbitzen, NQ1R. Many radio clubs organize displays and exhibits to garner interest for Amateur Radio. They recruit new hams at Maker Faires, school and Scouting events, county fairs, public events, and science and technology conventions. Clubs also set up displays for the general public during ARRL Field Day. Participants will learn and share different methods for organizing exhibits and engaging the public at non-radio events.
China’s twin-launch Chang’e 4 mission to the far side of the moon will place a pair of microsatellites in lunar orbit this spring “to test low-frequency radio astronomy and space-based interferometry.” The two satellites, unofficially called DSLWP-A1 and DSLWP-A2 (DSLWP = Discovering the Sky at Longest Wavelengths Pathfinder), could launch this spring. The pair represent the first phase of the Chang’e 4 mission, which involves placing a relay satellite in a halo orbit to facilitate communication with the Chang’e 4 lander and rover, which will be sent to the far side of the moon in December. Because the moon’s far side never faces Earth, the satellite is needed to serve as an Earth-moon relay. The Chang’e 4 mission will be the first-ever attempt at a soft-landing on the far side of the moon.
The two spacecraft also will carry Amateur Radio and educational payloads, but not a transponder. Developed by students at the Harbin Institute of Technology, the Amateur Radio payload on DSLWP-A1 will provide a telecommand uplink and a telemetry and digital image downlink. Radio amateurs will be able to transmit commands that allow them to send commands to take and download an image.
The satellites will piggyback on the Chang’e 4 relay package and will deploy themselves into a 200 × 9,000 kilometer lunar orbits. The 50 × 50 × 40 centimeter spacecrafts each weigh about 45 kilograms and are three-axis stabilized. Two linear polarization antennas are mounted along and normal to the flight direction. The satellites will use the moon to shield them from radio emissions from Earth.
The Harbin Institute of Technology team has proposed downlinks for A1 on 435.425 MHz and 436.425 MHz. Downlinks for A2 would be 435.400 MHz and 436.400 MHz using 10K0F1DCN or 10K0F1DEN (10-kHz wide FM single-channel data) 250 bps GMSK with concatenated codes or JT65B.
Equipped with low-frequency antennas and receivers, the astronomy objectives of DSLWP-A1 and -A2 will be to observe the sky at the lower end of the electromagnetic spectrum — 1 MHz to 30 MHz — with the aim of learning about energetic phenomena from celestial sources.
The launch is anticipated for May or June on a CZ-4C vehicle, putting the satellites’ deployment about 6 months ahead of the launch of the Chang’e 4 lander and rover.