QRZ Forums - Amateur Radio News



Posted: 07 Feb 2014 06:02 AM PST

Is it expensive to become a ham?

The news is that the answer is ‘no’, and its actually GONE DOWN over time.

HereÂ’s a summary of some research IÂ’ve done since 2011.

First I used ebay, qrz, and craigslist, and the internet(in general) to

find the price(including PS's) of operational HF transceivers circa 1970 or

later. This is the year (actually 1969-1971) when the Japanese started

flooding the market with cheap transceivers, putting Hallicrafters,

Hammarlund, National, (later Swan, Heathkit, and Drake)and many others out

of business. There were lots of Trios and FT-1xxs, and Swans and National

NCX's and Heath SB and HW's and IC-7xx's, and so on.

I found 860 used transceivers (80-10m, no QRP), selected for an ‘all in’

cost of less than $400, and then wanted to see how expensive it is for

someone as an HF entry in ham radio in the US. HereÂ’s the percentage

breakdown of those used radios (with some roundoff):

$100 or less: 19%

$101-$200: 39%

$201-$300: 28%

$301-$400: 14%

I then went and priced out NEW HTÂ’s for 2M: go do this exercise yourself,

but the cheapest are between $30-$50.

My conclusion: if you are a new ham, you can get OTA BOTH HF and VHF (UHF?)

for a TYPICAL cost of between $200-$250.

My anecdotal estimate for (crappy) used gear getting started in 1971-1972

would be around $1100 in todayÂ’s dollars for a (no HTÂ’s, btw, only TR-22Â’s

and bricks) used gear entry.

WhatÂ’s your experience? How can we use this news to help new hams come on



Chip W1YW


Technical Excellence Award winner W1HKJ

Posted: 06 Feb 2014 04:03 PM PST

Congratulations to David Freese Jr, W1HKJ, 2014 Technical Excellence Award

winner, for his development and distribution of the Fast Light Digital

Modem Application (fldigi) family of programs for use in amateur and

emergency communications. Fldigi is an easy-to-use, free, and open-source,

multi-platform digital computer soundcard modem program for Amateur Radio.

( http://www.w1hkj.com for program details )


Fifth Round of CubeSat Space Mission Candidates Announced

Posted: 06 Feb 2014 02:50 PM PST

NASA Press Release:


NASA has selected 16 small satellites from nine states to fly as auxiliary

payloads aboard rockets planned to launch in 2015, 2016 and 2017. The

proposed CubeSats come from universities across the country, a primary

school, non-profit organizations and NASA field centers.

CubeSats are a class of research spacecraft called nanosatellites. The

cube-shaped satellites measure about 4 inches on each side, have a volume

of about 1 quart and weigh less than 3 pounds.

The selections are from the fifth round of the agency's CubeSat Launch

Initiative. After launch, the satellites will conduct technology

demonstration, educational research or science missions. The selected

spacecraft are eligible for launch after final negotiations, depending on

the availability of a flight opportunity. The organizations sponsoring

satellites are:

-- Boston University, Boston

-- Brown University, Providence, R.I.

-- Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, Fla.

-- Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, Md.

-- Lincoln Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Lexington,


-- Marquette University, Milwaukee

-- NASA's Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.

-- NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

-- New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, Socorro, N.M.

-- St. Thomas More Cathedral School, Arlington, Va.

-- The Aerospace Corporation, El Segundo, Calif.

-- University of California, Los Angeles

-- University of Florida, Gainesville

-- University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

-- Utah State University, Logan (2 CubeSats)

In the previous four rounds of the CubeSat Launch Initiative, 99 CubeSats

from 28 states were selected. To date, 27 CubeSats have launched through

the initiative as part of the agency's Launch Services Program's

Educational Launch of Nanosatellite Program. This year, four separate

launches will carry 17 CubeSats.

For additional information on NASA's CubeSat Launch Initiative, visit:



The ARRL Letter, February 6, 2014

Posted: 06 Feb 2014 02:14 PM PST

The ARRL Letter

February 6, 2014

Rick Lindquist, WW1ME, Editor

[Note: Clicking on the story links below will take you to the news article

as it appears in The ARRL Letter on the ARRL website.]

Recognitions: Dayton Hamvention® Announces 2014 Award WinnersYour League:

ARRL Offering Three Teachers Institute Sessions in 2014Public Service:

Slovenian Radio Amateurs Fill Communication Gap in Wake of Severe

WeatherHam Radio in Space: Radio Amateurs Receive Rosetta Spacecraft

Signals from Deep SpaceOn the Air: School Club Roundup is February 10-14!On

the Air: ARRL Field Day Information Packet Now AvailableARRL Centennial:

ARRL Centennial Convention Registration is Open!ARRL Centennial: W1AW

Centennial Operations Now in Georgia and HawaiiARRL Centennial: A Century

of Amateur Radio and the ARRLTower Tragedy: Fatal West Virginia Tower

Collapse Takes Out Ham Radio RepeatersMilestones: Past ARRL Foundation

Directors Conferred with Emeritus StatusMilestones: Indianapolis

Entrepreneur, Politician, Publisher Beurt SerVaas, W9WVO, SKIn Brief The

K7RA Solar UpdateJust Ahead in RadiosportUpcoming ARRL Section, State and

Division Conventions and Events

Recognitions: Dayton Hamvention® Announces 2014 Award Winners

Two radio amateurs with close ARRL ties are among the winners of Dayton

Hamvention 2014 awards. Hamvention will honor three Amateur Radio operators

and one ham radio club for their “significant contributions to the Amateur

Radio Service” when the annual, 3 day gathering gets underway May 16. Named

Amateur of the Year is Larry E. Price, W4RA, President Emeritus of the ARRL

and of the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU). ARRL CEO David Sumner,

K1ZZ, will receive the Special Achievement Award. The Technical Excellence

Award winner is David Freese Jr, W1HKJ, and the Club of the Year is the

Gwinnett Amateur Radio Society (W4GR) of Georgia.

“We believe the winners have all made excellent contributions to the ham

radio community,” said Hamvention Awards Chairman David Crawford, KF4KWW,

adding that the number of worthy nominees presented the Awards Committee

with a tough task. “We were impressed with the quality of the nominations,”

he noted.

Hamvention Chairman Charles Kaiser, KD8JZR, praised the winners. “On behalf

of the Dayton Amateur Radio Association (DARA) and Hamvention 2014, it is

my pleasure to congratulate this year’s award winners,” he said. “Please

join me in recognizing the outstanding contributions and the many years of

devotion the winners have given to the Amateur Radio Service.”

Price served as president of the IARU from 1999 to 2009, and as ARRL

president from 1984 to 1992. HamventionÂ’s Awards Committee said PriceÂ’s

leadership “had significant and direct impact on the development of Amateur

Radio throughout the world.” Among his noteworthy achievements, the panel

cited the protection of frequency allocations; the adoption of ITU

Recommendation ITU-R M.1544 -- minimum qualifications of radio amateurs;

the expansion of the 40 meter band in ITU Regions 1 and 3, and the

allocation of new LF bands for ham radio.

As Special Achievement Award winner, Sumner was cited for his contributions

to the international Amateur Radio community through the IARU and for his

leadership in the fight against Broadband over Power Line (BPL)

interference to radio amateurs.

A Technical Excellence Award winner, Freese was recognized for his

development and distribution of the Fast Light Digital Modem Application

(fldigi) family of programs for use in amateur and emergency

communications. Fldigi is an easy-to-use, free, and open-source,

multi-platform digital computer soundcard modem program for Amateur Radio.

The Club of the Year Award winner, the Gwinnett Amateur Radio Society,

serves Gwinnett County, Georgia. The Gwinnett Amateur Radio Society offers

several, well-rounded training programs for all ages. The club regularly

hosts and supports Amateur Radio programs and participates in a multitude

of public service events, the Awards Committee said. “Their last effort for

Field Day was a massive effort that included eight stations,” Hamvention

said in announcing the awards. “Their TechFest is an opportunity for the

community to become aware of the many modes of operation of radio amateurs

and view some of the preparations taking place by public service volunteers

in the ham radio community.” The club also maintains a wide-area repeater

system that is home to several nets.

Dayton Hamvention 2014 will take place May 16-18 at Hara Arena near Dayton,


Your League: ARRL Offering Three Teachers Institute Sessions in 2014

The ARRL Education & Technology Program (ETP) will offer three Teachers

Institute (TI) sessions this year. The ETP is aimed at preparing teachers

to meet the “STEM Challenge” -- introducing science, technology,

engineering, and mathematics in their classrooms. Two sessions of the basic

program (TI-1), which will provide an introduction to wireless technology,

and one session of the advanced program (TI-2), which will focus on remote

sensing and data gathering are planned for this summer. Educators must

complete the basic program before taking the advanced session.

“The ARRL Teachers Institute is an intensive, expenses-paid, 4 day

in-service teacher training opportunity,” explained Debra Johnson, K1DMJ,

ARRL’s education services manager. “It is designed to help participating

teachers develop a deeper understanding of basic electronics, the science

of radio, space technology, microcontroller programming, and basic

robotics.” Johnson said the objective of the basic seminar is to guide

teachers in making connections between science and math concepts, as well

as to demonstrate the engineering and technical application of those

concepts and to offer some hands-on exploration. Sessions are open to

active teachers of grade levels 4-16 at a school, college, or professional

educational organization, and to leaders of school-affiliated enrichment


“We look for teachers with a vision for how to apply the training they will

receive at the Teachers Institute in their classrooms,” Johnson said. An

Amateur Radio license is required for advanced session participants; basic

session participants do not need to hold an Amateur Radio license. The

basic sessions are limited to 12 people, while the advanced session is

limited to 10 participants.

The introductory sessions will address fundamental concepts of wireless

technology, microcontroller essentials, and the teaching of basic robotics.

The advanced session on remote sensing and data gathering will concentrate

on basic sensor electronics, the microcontroller programming involved in

accessing the sensors, and the use of radio to communicate sensor output

data to users.

Johnson points out that Amateur Radio has long been fertile ground for

gaining knowledge with electronics and for hands-on experimentation and

application of technology. “Drawing upon this,” she said, “the ARRL

Education & Technology Program provides an opportunity for educators to

learn how basic electronics and radio science are applied, and how to

convey these concepts to their students.”

The two TI-1 sessions -- Introduction to Wireless Technology -- will take

place June 23-26 at the Dayton Amateur Radio Association, Dayton, Ohio, and

July 22-25 at ARRL Headquarters in Newington, Connecticut. The TI-2 session

-- Remote Sensing and Data Gathering -- will take place July 8-11 at ARRL


More details and a downloadable application are available on the Teachers

Institute web page. An enrollment fee of $100 is required with

applications, although this will be refunded if the applicant is not

admitted. The application deadline is May 1. For additional information,

e-mail or call the ARRL Education & Technology Program at 860-594-0296.

The ARRL ETP and the Teachers Institute are funded entirely by


Public Service: Slovenian Radio Amateurs Fill Communication Gap in Wake of

Severe Weather

Amateur Radio operators in Slovenia are helping to support communication

after the Eastern European nation was hit by extreme winter weather that

has included heavy snow and sleet, and accompanying ice damage to power and

telecommunications lines -- not to mention to Amateur Radio antennas.

Accumulated ice and snow took down power lines and even toppled support

towers, cutting the electrical supply to a reported 25 percent of

households, according to the European Union. Continued bad weather has

complicated repairs to the power grid, prompting Slovenia to ask the

European Union to help by providing mobile generators.

“What is happening since Thursday last week is something unseen in this

region,” Miha Habic, S51FB, in Ljubljana, told ARRL. “Even the oldest

persons canÂ’t remember such [a] natural disaster, especially while almost

[the] whole country is suffering.” Habic, the IARU liaison to ZRS,

SloveniaÂ’s IARU Amateur Radio society, said only the northeastern part of

Slovenia has been spared. Serbia and Croatia also have been affected.

“The risks associated with winter weather continue across Europe,” said

Kristalina Georgieva, the European Union Commissioner for International

Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response. “[T]he European

CommissionÂ’s experts in crisis response will remain vigilant, keeping their

national counterparts informed on any developments and ready to coordinate

further assistance if needed.”

While there has been no national callout of Amateur Radio emergency

operators, some radio amateurs are reported to be helping out on a local

level, and others are prepared to respond if needed. Weather-related damage

has disrupted the cellular telephone network and public service radio


Austria was one of the countries responding to the request to provide

emergency generators. Because of SloveniaÂ’s uncertain communication

infrastructure, the Austrian responders asked Austrian ham radio emergency

operators to provide a link between the two countries using Pactor and

Winlink. AustriaÂ’s Emergency Communications Coordinator Gregor Vehzely,

OE1VGC, has asked radio amateurs in Europe to keep clear of frequencies

supporting the links. These include 3.644 MHz (S51SLO), 3.608 and 3.617 MHz

(OE3XEC), and 3.601 MHz (OE6XPD). Germany and the Czech Republic also

responded to the EU request.

Habic confirmed that there has been no huge demand for Amateur Radio

support, although repeaters were reported out in some communities. He said

February 4 that the situation was “a bit more stable,” but that snow and

rain predicted for some regions could mean more trouble. He said heÂ’s

already heard reports of weather-related damage to Amateur Radio, including

S57DX in Vrhnika, which he said was “completely destroyed.” S50K in

Logatec, and Radioclub MoravceÂ’s S50G as well as S58M in Moravce suffered

severe damage, he said.

He predicted, in contests coming up, the amateur community will notice when

it hears “no big competitors from Slovenia.” Read more.

Ham Radio in Space: Radio Amateurs Receive Rosetta Spacecraft Signals from

Deep Space

James Miller, G3RUH, was among a handful of Amateur Radio operators to

receive the X band signal January 21 from the European Space AgencyÂ’s

Rosetta spacecraft, some 500 million miles from Earth. Miller used the 20

meter dish at the Bochum Amateur Radio facility in Germany, run by AMSAT-DL

and IUZ Bochum Observatory. In an AMSAT-BB post, Miller noted the frequency

at the spacecraft was 8421.786900 MHz, and the signal was “about 14 dB”

below that of the STEREO A/B spacecraft. Perhaps more astonishing, Bertrand

Pinel, F5PL, was able to track Rosetta 65 kilometers from Toulouse using

his “home-rigged” 3.5 meter dish and receiver. And Viljo Allik, ES5PC, a

member of Estonian Student Satellite Program team reported his group was

able to detect the satelliteÂ’s signal using a slightly smaller dish.

“We have recently established our own small ground station for mostly

educational purposes to get more interested students into space

technology,” Allik said in a reply to Pinel’s European Space Agency blog

post. The Estonians used a 3 meter dish. Allik said the signal-to-noise

ratio was in the range of 3 to 5 dB in a 1 Hz bandwidth. “So it was really

exciting to see the signal from such large distance with our very simple

receiving station. The elevation of the Rosetta spacecraft at our location

was only about 4° during the reception.”

The equipment used was “a kind of amateur design,” he said. “We detected

signals from other spacecraft like Gaia and STEREO A/B too, but the signal

from Rosetta is the most-distant signal we have detected so far.”

Launched in 2004, Rosetta will both orbit and land on a comet, which it

will reach this August, and send data back to Earth. The spacecraft

consists of the Rosetta space probe and the Philae robotic lander.

On the Air: School Club Roundup is February 10-14!

The “Winter/Spring Term” School Club Roundup gets underway Monday, February

10 at 1300 UTC, and continues through Friday, February 14, at 2359 UTC.

Stations may operate no more than 6 hours in any 24 hour period (up to a

maximum of 24 hours). The twice-yearly event is an opportunity for school

club stations -- from elementary school to college -- to get on the air for

a friendly radio activity. Non-school clubs and individuals are encouraged

to participate too.

Sponsored by the ARRL, the ARRL Hudson Division Education Task Force, and

the Long Island Mobile Amateur Radio Club (LIMARC), the contest aims to

foster contacts with and among school radio clubs.

Stations exchange signal reports, class (“Individual”, “Club,” or

“School”), and US state, Canadian province/territory, or DXCC entity.

Stations may operate on all amateur bands except 60, 30, 17 and 12 meters

(no repeater contacts, and VHF/UHF contacts must be on recognized simplex

frequencies, except calling frequencies). Stations may operate phone, CW,

or digital modes. The top three entries in each category will receive an

Award Certificate. Entry categories are Elementary,

Middle/Intermediate/Junior High School, Senior High School

College/University. Non-school clubs or multiop groups and individuals are

also eligible for certificates.

See “Getting Organized for School Club Roundup“ for some helpful tips! Stay

up to date on SCR by subscribing to the School Club Roundup reflector.

On the Air: ARRL Field Day Information Packet Now Available

The 2014 Field Day packet is now available. ARRL Field Day is the most

popular on-the-air event. It takes place each year in the US and Canada on

the fourth weekend in June, when thousands of radio amateurs gather with

their clubs, in groups, with friends, or by themselves to operate “in the

field” to simulate an emergency communication situation.

In 2013, the ARRL received more than 2500 Field Day entries, representing

participation by more than 36,000 radio amateurs who completed in excess of

1.2 million individual contacts on CW, phone, and digital modes.

Field Day 2014 is June 28-29, and itÂ’s not too early to start planning. The

Field Day Locator will help you find a Field Day site near you. Rules in

Spanish also are available. E-mail ARRL Headquarters for more information,

or call 860-594-0236.

ARRL Centennial: ARRL Centennial Convention Registration is Open!

Registration now is open for the ARRL National Centennial Convention,

Thursday, July 17, through Saturday July 19, at the Connecticut Convention

Center, to celebrate 100 years of the ARRL. Thousands of League members and

friends will gather in Hartford -- the ARRLÂ’s birthplace -- to celebrate

the first century of ARRL members’ “Advancing the Art and Science of Radio.”

The three days are packed with activities. The first day, Thursday,

includes training workshops. Among these are Contest University, DX

University, RFI 101, and a Public Service Communications Academy. The

Exhibit Hall, open Friday and Saturday, will feature ARRL program

representatives, Amateur Radio manufacturers, equipment sellers, and an

indoor flea market. The Friday evening ARRL Centennial Banquet will be

followed by a Wouff Hong ceremony. A Presidents Breakfast will be held on

Saturday. On all three days there will be opportunities to tour ARRL

Headquarters and W1AW.

A 3 day adult ticket is $75; youth (21 or younger) is $50, which includes a

training workshop on Thursday and access to the exhibit hall and indoor

flea market on Friday and Saturday, plus all forums and a coach bus trip to

ARRL Headquarters and W1AW. A 2 day (Friday/Saturday) adult ticket is $25;

youth are free. Other ticket options are available, including

spouse/companion tickets that include alternative non-ham activities.

Advance registration is recommended. Join us in celebrating 100 years!

(Visit http://arrl2014.org!)

ARRL Centennial: W1AW Centennial Operations Now in Georgia and Hawaii

The ARRL Centennial “W1AW WAS“ operations that are taking place throughout

2014 from each of the 50 states are in Georgia (W1AW/4) and Hawaii

(W1AW/KH6) until February 12 (UTC), when they will shift to California

(W1AW/6) and Wisconsin (W1AW/9).

During 2014 W1AW will be on the air from every state (at least twice) and

from most US territories, and it will be easy to work all states solely by

contacting W1AW portable operations.

In conjunction with the 100th anniversary of the ARRL, the ARRL Centennial

QSO Party kicked off January 1 for a year-long operating event in which

participants can accumulate points and win awards. The event is open to

all, although only ARRL members and appointees, elected officials, HQ staff

and W1AW are worth ARRL Centennial QSO Party points. Working W1AW/x from

each state is worth 5 points per contact.

To earn the “Worked all States with W1AW Award,” work W1AW operating

portable from all 50 states. (Working W1AW or W100AW in Connecticut does

not count for Connecticut, however. For award credit, participants must

work W1AW/1 in Connecticut.) A W1AW WAS certificate and plaque will be


ARRL Centennial: A Century of Amateur Radio and the ARRL

The “European War” began on July 28, 1914, and the United States entered

the renamed “World War” on April 5, 1917. The three American military

services -- the Navy, the Army, and the Army Air Service -- quickly

realized how ill prepared they were in the area of communication, having

neither enough operators nor enough equipment to wage a modern war.

The Navy soon called on President H. P. Maxim and the ARRL for help. At

that time, the ARRL boasted some 6000 hams, who were experienced radio

builders, repairmen, and highly trained operators -- some with as many as

15 years of experience. The Navy asked Maxim to help it find 500 operators

immediately, which was accomplished! Later, the Navy issued a second call,

this time for 2000 more volunteer radio operators; again, that requirement

was quickly met. Another 1000 hams went into Navy service later in the war.

The Army and the Army Air Service raised comparable numbers of operators

from among the ranks of American radio amateurs.

When these hams provided their services to the military, their station

equipment often went with them. The military branches were as equipment

poor as they were operator poor.

The amateurs who went into the various branches of the military did fine

work. The quality of American communication links often made a great

difference in the outcome of battles. The performance of American hams

garnered accolades from many people, including Commendattore Guglielmo

Marconi, the chief signaling officer of the Italian Army.

Soon after the war ended on November 11, 1918, the US Secretary of Commerce

said, “The officers in charge of the wireless operations of our armies in

France commend highly the skill, ingenuity and versatility of the licensed

amateur radio operators who volunteered in large numbers for military

service and served in dangerous and responsible positions.”

However, things quickly took a turn for the worse for the amateur radio

community. WeÂ’ll look at that unexpected and dangerous development next

week. -- Al Brogdon, W1AB

Tower Tragedy: Fatal West Virginia Tower Collapse Takes Out Ham Radio


The collapse of two radio towers in North-Central West Virginia on February

1 resulted in three deaths and injuries to two individuals. The tragedy

also resulted in the loss of three Amateur Radio repeaters belonging to the

Stonewall Jackson Amateur Radio Association (SJARA) and forming part of the

HamTalk linked repeater system, which were available to assist with

emergency and disaster communication. Richard Wilt, K8TPH, reported that

one tower went down, killing two workers on the 300 foot structure and

taking down a second, shorter tower. An emergency responder died after

being struck by falling debris. Two other tower workers suffered minor


“The towers are an important link in maintaining cell service and repeaters

for several commercial companies locally,” Wilt said. “The towers also were

in use by the Amateur Radio community with three repeaters located on the

towers. These Amateur repeaters are a major part of the North-Central West

Virginia emergency communications to assist the Office of Emergency

Management of Harrison County, FEMA, and the American Red Cross.”

The Stonewall Jackson ARA has a memorandum of understanding with the

Harrison County Commission and the cities of Clarksburg and Bridgeport to

assist during emergencies that require communication support. SJARA Vice

President David Anderson, N8YPE, is the Harrison County Emergency

Coordinator. Wilt said the club has moved its weekly emergency net to

another repeater, but he said itÂ’s not known when the towers will be

replaced. He said the SJARA spent a substantial amount last year on

repeater maintenance, and he expressed concerns about the cost of replacing

the repeaters.

According to news accounts, West Virginia State Police said three workers

approximately 70 feet above the ground and a fourth man about 20 feet above

the ground were on the tower. They were said to be repairing structural


Milestones: Past ARRL Foundation Directors Conferred with Emeritus Status

Two past members of the ARRL Foundation Board of Directors have been

honored with emeritus status. Named as a Director Emeritus were Thomas W.

Comstock, N5TC, who served on the ARRL

Foundation Board from 1991 until 2012 and chaired the Scholarship

Committee, and Eugene H. Hastings, W1VRK, who served on the ARRL Foundation

Board from 1993 until 2014 and was a member of the Scholarship and

Proposals Committees. The honors were unanimously approved by the ARRL

Foundation Board of Directors at its Annual Meeting on January 21. The

Board expressed its appreciation to both for their “many years of dedicated

service to the ARRL Foundation.”

Established in 1973 by the ARRL as an independent and separate IRS

501(c)(3) organization, the ARRL Foundation administers programs to support

the Amateur Radio community. It is funded entirely through the

contributions of radio amateurs and friends.

Milestones: Indianapolis Entrepreneur, Politician, Publisher Beurt SerVaas,


Beurt SerVaas, W9WVO, of Indianapolis, Indiana, died February 2. He was 94.

Known in his home city as the politician who revamped Indianapolis and

Marion County politics, he presided over the City-County Council for three

decades. Outside of Indianapolis politics, though, he may be best

remembered as the person whose publishing company rescued The Saturday

Evening Post magazine in the 1970s and moved it to Indianapolis.

“Indianapolis has lost one of its greatest champions and chief architect of

its success,” Mayor Greg Ballard said a statement. “Beurt set a gold

standard for public service in this city that all current and future

leaders should emulate.”

A World War II US Navy veteran, SerVaas served as an OSS intelligence

officer during the war and later worked for the Central Intelligence

Agency. According to his obituary in The Indianapolis Star, The Saturday

Evening Post was one of an eclectic variety of businesses that SerVaas

owned or started. His first was an electroplating business he bought in the

1950s. He entered politics in the early 1960s, winning election to the

Indianapolis City Council. He retired from politics in 2002 and, then in

his 80s, sold off most of his businesses at around the same time.

SerVaas also was an ARRL member and staunch supporter of the League during

his active years.

“Beurt was a generous and gracious donor,” said ARRL Chief Development

Officer Mary Hobart, K1MMH. “On a visit to Indianapolis he gave me a tour

of the city and shared his fascinating experiences with the OSS. He was

truly a remarkable man!”

Elsewhere in the Amateur Radio arena, SerVaas played an integral role in

establishing popular special event station W9IMS at the Indianapolis Motor

Speedway. Read more. -- Thanks to Brian D. Smith, W9IND

In Brief

CubaÂ’s 5 MHz Band Comes with Strings Attached: CubaÂ’s Ministry of

Communications (ACS) recently granted radio amateurs on the island nation a

12 kHz wide band at 5 MHz, -- 5418 to 5430 kHz -- rather than a channelized

system. Now the ham who provided the initial information, Pavel Milanes

Costa, CO7WT, has reported that the ACS clarified during an FRC (Federación

de Radioaficionados de Cuba) gathering that hams in Cuba may not make

contacts with hams outside of Cuba on the new band. “The ACS made it clear,

the band is for emergencies and experimentation [within] the national

territory, and only with Cuban hams,” Milanes Costa said. “No contact is

allowed with other countries until further notice.” The ACS also said that

developing procedures to handle the license updates required to use the new

band “will take a while,” Milanes Costa said. -- Pavel Milanes Costa,

CO7WT; Southgate ARC

Amsterdam Island DXpedition to End February 12: According to FT5ZM

DXpedition team leader Ralph Fedor, K0IR, the FT5ZM team will start taking

down the Antonelli site on the morning of February 12 local time (UTC + 5

hours). The Mataf site will continue to operate for part of February 12 but

will be off the air by the end of the day. FT5ZM logs are available online.

US West Coast operators reported working FT5ZM on 160 meters February 4

between 1400 and 1530 UTC. W1YY/7 in Washington reported FT5ZM was “hitting

S-9” on his half-sloper antenna. The DXpedition recently topped 100,000

contacts -- Thanks to The Daily DX; FT5ZM

W9RAN Wins January QST Cover Plaque Award: The winner of the January QST

Cover Plaque award is Robert Nickels, W9RAN, for his article “Virtual Radar

from a Digital TV Dongle.” The QST Cover Plaque Award -- given to the

author or authors of the most popular article in each issue -- is

determined by a vote of ARRL members on the QST Cover Plaque Poll webpage.

Cast a ballot for your favorite article in the February issue today.

CYØP Operation Approved for DXCC Credit: The ARRL DXCC Desk has approved

the 2013 operation of CYØP -- Sable Island -- for DX Century Club credit.

If a DXCC credit request for this operation has been rejected in a prior

application, contact ARRL Awards Branch Manager Bill Moore, NC1L, to be

placed on the record update list. Note the submission date and/or

application reference number. DXCC is Amateur RadioÂ’s premier award. Hams

can earn it by confirming on-the-air contacts with 100 DXCC “entities,”

most of which are countries in the traditional sense. Learn more. -- ARRL

Awards Branch Manager Bill Moore, NC1L

ARRL/TAPR Digital Communications Conference Dates Set: The 33rd annual

ARRL/TAPR Digital Communications Conference (DCC) will take place in

Austin, Texas, September 5-7, at the Marriott South Hotel. More information

will be posted to the TAPR DCC web page. The ARRL/TAPR Digital

Communications Conference is an international forum for radio amateurs to

meet, publish their work, and present new ideas and techniques. -- TAPR

The K7RA Solar Update

Tad Cook, K7RA, Seattle, Washington, reports: Solar activity surged this

week, with average daily sunspot numbers increasing by nearly 55 points,

from 101.4 to 156.3. Average daily solar flux rose by nearly 38 points,

from 142.9 to 180.4. Geomagnetic indices remained quiet -- so quiet, in

fact, that on February 4 the high-latitude college A index near Fairbanks,

Alaska, was zero, because each of the 3 hour K index readings that day were

zero. The same thing happened on January 19.

Geomagnetic numbers will increase over the next few days, with planetary A

index predicted to be 5, 8, 12, 10, and 8 on February 6-10, followed by 5

on February 11-16, 8 on February 17-18, 5 on February 19-24, then 8 on

February 25, and 5 through the end of the month.

Solar flux should be strong, with values of 198, 195, 190, 185, and 180 on

February 6-10, 170 on February 11-12, followed by 140, 135, 130, and 140 on

February 13-16, and 145 on February 17-22. Solar flux is expected to hit

200 on March 1, drop slightly, then peak at 210 on March 5, followed by a

low of 130 on March 14.

Last FridayÂ’s bulletin reported that something seemed amiss with the

predicted solar flux and A indices from the USAF/NOAA prediction, which

became apparent on the spreadsheet that we use to archive the forecasts.

Sure enough, we uncovered an error that NOAA is fixing. WeÂ’ll have more

about that in the Friday bulletin, as well as an update to our 3 month

moving average, which looks quite strong. WeÂ’ll also have details about a

rare find at a rural library in the Western Washington Division.

Send your reports and observations, and tell about all the fun youÂ’ve had

on the air this week.

Just Ahead in Radiosport

Feb 7-9 -- YL-OM Contest

Feb 8 -- Asia-Pacific Sprint

Feb 8 -- FISTS CW Winter Sprint

Feb 8-9 -- YLISSB QSO PartyFeb 8-9 -- CQ World Wide WPX, RTTY

Feb 8-9 -- Worldwide EME Contest

Feb 8-9 -- Dutch PACC Contest

Feb 8-9 -- Straight Key Weekend Sprintathon

Feb 8-9 -- OMISS QSO Party

Feb 8-9 -- New Hampshire QSO Party

Feb 8-9 -- RSGB - First 1.8 MHz Contest

Feb 8-9 -- AWA Amplitude Modulation QSO PartyFeb 9 -- Milwaukee FM Simplex

ContestFeb 9-10 -- Classic Exchange, phone

Feb 10-14 -- ARRL School Club Roundup

Feb 12 -- NAQCC Monthly QRP Sprint

Feb 12 -- CWops Monthly Mini-CWT Test

Feb 12 -- NAQCC Straight Key/Bug Sprint

Feb 12 -- QRP Fox Hunt

Feb 12-13 -- CWops Mini-CWT Test

Feb 14 -- QRP Fox Hunt

Feb 14 -- NCCC Sprint Ladder

Feb 14-15 -- PODXS 070 Club Valentine Sprint

Feb 14-15 -- Russian World Wide PSK Contest

Feb 15-16 -- ARRL IntÂ’l DX Contest, CW

Upcoming ARRL Section, State and Division Conventions and Events

February 7-9 -- Northern Florida Section Convention (Orlando HamCation® --

Regional ARRL Centennial Event), Orlando, Florida

February 14-15 -- Arizona Section Convention, Yuma, Arizona

February 22 -- Vermont State Convention, South Burlington, Vermont

March 1-2 -- Alabama Section Convention (BirmingHAMfest 2014), Birmingham,


March 7-8 -- North Carolina Section Convention (Charlotte Hamfest),

Concord, North Carolina

March 7-8 -- West Gulf Division Convention, Claremore, Oklahoma

March 14-15 -- Delta Division Convention, Rayne, Louisiana

March 15 -- Nebraska State Convention, Lincoln, Nebraska

March 15 -- West Texas Section Convention, Midland, Texas

March 22 -- South Texas Section Convention (Greater Houston Hamfest),

Rosenberg, Texas

March 22-23 -- Communications Academy, Seattle, Washington

March 28-29 -- Maine State Convention, Lewiston, Maine

March 29 -- Microhams Digital Conference, Redmond, Washington

April 4-6 -- International DX Convention, Visalia, California

April 19 -- Roanoke Division Convention, Raleigh, North Carolina

April 25-27 -- Idaho State Convention, Boise, Idaho

April 26 -- Aurora ‘14 Conference, White Bear Lake, Minnesota

May 3 -- South Carolina Section Convention, Spartanburg, South Carolina

May 16-18 -- Dayton Hamvention -- Regional ARRL Centennial Event, Dayton,


Find conventions and hamfests in your area.

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