QRZ Forums - Amateur Radio News
IT'S CHEAPER TO BE A HAM!
Posted: 07 Feb 2014 06:02 AM PST
Is it expensive to become a ham?
The news is that the answer is Â‘noÂ’, 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 Â‘all inÂ’
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%
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
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
-- 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 HamventionÂ® 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 HamventionÂ® 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 Â“significant contributions to the Amateur
Radio ServiceÂ” 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.
Â“We believe the winners have all made excellent contributions to the ham
radio community,Â” said Hamvention Awards Chairman David Crawford, KF4KWW,
adding that the number of worthy nominees presented the Awards Committee
with a tough task. Â“We were impressed with the quality of the nominations,Â”
Hamvention Chairman Charles Kaiser, KD8JZR, praised the winners. Â“On behalf
of the Dayton Amateur Radio Association (DARA) and Hamvention 2014, it is
my pleasure to congratulate this yearÂ’s award winners,Â” he said. Â“Please
join me in recognizing the outstanding contributions and the many years of
devotion the winners have given to the Amateur Radio Service.Â”
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 Â“had significant and direct impact on the development of Amateur
Radio throughout the world.Â” 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. Â“Their last effort for
Field Day was a massive effort that included eight stations,Â” Hamvention
said in announcing the awards. Â“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.Â” 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 Â“STEM ChallengeÂ” -- 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.
Â“The ARRL Teachers Institute is an intensive, expenses-paid, 4 day
in-service teacher training opportunity,Â” explained Debra Johnson, K1DMJ,
ARRLÂ’s education services manager. Â“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.Â” 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
Â“We look for teachers with a vision for how to apply the training they will
receive at the Teachers Institute in their classrooms,Â” 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. Â“Drawing upon this,Â” she said, Â“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.Â”
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
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.
Â“What is happening since Thursday last week is something unseen in this
region,Â” Miha Habic, S51FB, in Ljubljana, told ARRL. Â“Even the oldest
persons canÂ’t remember such [a] natural disaster, especially while almost
[the] whole country is suffering.Â” 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.
Â“The risks associated with winter weather continue across Europe,Â” said
Kristalina Georgieva, the European Union Commissioner for International
Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response. Â“[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.Â”
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 Â“a bit more stable,Â” 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 Â“completely destroyed.Â” 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 Â“no big competitors from Slovenia.Â” Read more.
Ham Radio in Space: Radio Amateurs Receive Rosetta Spacecraft Signals from
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 Â“about 14 dBÂ”
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 Â“home-riggedÂ” 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.
Â“We have recently established our own small ground station for mostly
educational purposes to get more interested students into space
technology,Â” Allik said in a reply to PinelÂ’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. Â“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 4Â° during the reception.Â”
The equipment used was Â“a kind of amateur design,Â” he said. Â“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.Â”
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 Â“Winter/Spring TermÂ” 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 (Â“IndividualÂ”, Â“Club,Â” or
Â“SchoolÂ”), 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 Â“Getting Organized for School Club RoundupÂ“ 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 Â“in the
fieldÂ” 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 membersÂ’ Â“Advancing the Art and Science of Radio.Â”
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!
ARRL Centennial: W1AW Centennial Operations Now in Georgia and Hawaii
The ARRL Centennial Â“W1AW WASÂ“ 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 Â“Worked all States with W1AW Award,Â” 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 Â“European WarÂ” began on July 28, 1914, and the United States entered
the renamed Â“World WarÂ” 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, Â“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.Â”
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
Â“The towers are an important link in maintaining cell service and repeaters
for several commercial companies locally,Â” Wilt said. Â“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.Â”
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
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 Â“many years of dedicated
service to the ARRL Foundation.Â”
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.
Â“Indianapolis has lost one of its greatest champions and chief architect of
its success,Â” Mayor Greg Ballard said a statement. Â“Beurt set a gold
standard for public service in this city that all current and future
leaders should emulate.Â”
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.
Â“Beurt was a generous and gracious donor,Â” said ARRL Chief Development
Officer Mary Hobart, K1MMH. Â“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!Â”
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
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 (FederaciÃ³n
de Radioaficionados de Cuba) gathering that hams in Cuba may not make
contacts with hams outside of Cuba on the new band. Â“The ACS made it clear,
the band is for emergencies and experimentation [within] the national
territory, and only with Cuban hams,Â” Milanes Costa said. Â“No contact is
allowed with other countries until further notice.Â” The ACS also said that
developing procedures to handle the license updates required to use the new
band Â“will take a while,Â” 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 Â“hitting
S-9Â” 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 Â“Virtual Radar
from a Digital TV Dongle.Â” 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.
CYÃ˜P Operation Approved for DXCC Credit: The ARRL DXCC Desk has approved
the 2013 operation of CYÃ˜P -- 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 Â“entities,Â”
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 HamCationÂ® --
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),
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 Â‘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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