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Amateur Radio at the National Hurricane Conference in Orlando
Posted: 14 Mar 2014 08:28 AM PDT
The National Hurricane Conference will be held April 14 -17 at the Hilton
Orlando, 6001 Destination Parkway, Orlando, FL. There will be several
amateur radio activities on Tuesday, April 15. As usual there is no
registration fee needed to attend these sessions. The National Hurricane
Conference (NHC) leadership continues to recognize the valuable
contribution of the amateur radio emergency service and again invited us to
participate with three sessions. A great opportunity for amateur radio!
NHC Session #1: Tuesday, April 15, 2014, from 10:30 am to 12:00pm.
Presentations from Dr Richard Knabb, Director of the National Hurricane
Center, VE1MBR-Bob Robichaud from the Canadian Hurricane Center and from
members of WX4NHC, the Amateur Radio Station at the National Hurricane
Center in Miami.
NHC Session #2: Tuesday, April 15, 2014, from 1:30 pm to 3:00 pm.
This session covers EMCOMM operations in the Orlando area, the 2013 Boston
Marathon disaster and two different views on Hurricane Sandy.
NHC Session #3: Tuesday, April 15, 2014, from 3:30 pm to 5:00 pm.
This session will cover the operations of the Hurricane Watch Net, the VoIP
Hurricane Net, together with an ARRL update and an introduction of the new
Southeastern Division Director and followed by an Amateur Radio Rap session
- the Emergency Manager's Hidden Resource.
The amateur radio presentations will be recorded and streamed live on the
Internet by James Palmer, KB1KQW at, www.nsradio.org/stream.htm and
All hams are invited, at no cost to attend the amateur radio sessions.
Door prizes will be awarded, including a dual band handheld radio.
For additional information:
National Hurricane Conference Presenters:
Special Guest Speaker, Dr. Knabb, Director National Hurricane Center.
Special Guest speaker, Bob Robichaud, VE1MBR, Canadian Hurricane Center
John McHugh, K4AG - WX4NHC Coordinator Amateur Radio, National Hurricane
Julio Ripoll WD4R - WX4NHC Assistant Coordinator Amateur Radio at NHC
Rob Macedo, KD1CY - Director of Operations VoIP Hurricane Net and ARRL ARES
SEC E. Ma.
Dennis Dura K2DCD, Assistance Director Office of Emergency Management NJDHS
Bobby Graves, KB5HAV, Hurricane Watch Net Manager
Keith Kotch, KF4BXT, Communications-Warning Coordinator Orange County EOC
Mike Corey, KI1U - ARRL Emergency Preparedness Manager
Doug Rehman, K4AC, ARRL Southeastern Division Director
We encourage you to visit and participate in all the activities you can and
learn more about amateur radio emergency service communications. Hope to
see you there!
John Mc Hugh, K4AG
Coordinator for Amateur Radio
National Hurricane Center, WX4NHC
Home page:- http://www.wx4nhc.org
The ARRL Letter, March 13, 2014
Posted: 13 Mar 2014 08:15 PM PDT
The ARRL Letter
March 13, 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.]
Regulatory: FCC Cites Ham's "History of Compliance" in Reducing Fine for
Unlicensed BroadcastingRegulatory: FCC Cites New Jersey CB Shop for
Marketing Unauthorized RF DevicesPublic Service: Amateur Radio Played Role
in Missing Airliner ResponsePublic Service: ARES Group Joins Forces with
Delaware State PolicePublic Service: New SATERN Emergency Disaster Services
Ham Station Can Be Remotely ControlledPublic Service: 2014 Preparedness
Summit to Highlight Importance of Amateur RadioHam Radio in Space: "Ham
Video" Transmits Live Images of Astronaut Mike Hopkins, KF5LJG, From the
ISSTechnology: Hams' Experimental VLF Signals Heard in the UK,
EuropeTechnology: KickSat CubeSat to Deploy Smallest Earth-Orbiting
SatellitesCentennial: W1AW Centennial Operations Shift to Tennessee, New
Mexico, and Guam on March 19Media: NPR's "All Things Considered" Segment
Includes Spark Gap Morse from ARRLInternational: Number of Newcomers Rises,
Overall Numbers Fall in GermanyInternational: Industry Canada Rolls Out
Updated Ham Radio Question Pool, New Exam GeneratorEducation: Foundation
for Amateur Radio Invites Scholarship ApplicationsFeature: A Century of
Amateur Radio and the ARRLIn BriefThe K7RA Solar Update Just Ahead in
RadiosportUpcoming ARRL Section, State and Division Conventions and Events
Regulatory: FCC Cites Ham's "History of Compliance" in Reducing Fine for
The FCC has cited the otherwise clean record of an Amateur Radio licensee
in deciding to reduce his fine for "willfully and repeatedly" violating the
Communications Act and FCC rules. Brian R. Ragan, KF6EGI, of Suisun City,
California, was found liable for operating an unlicensed FM broadcasting
station for 6 months and for failing to allow FCC personnel to inspect his
station. In a Forfeiture Order released March 10, the FCC fined Ragan
$13,600 -- a $3400 reduction of the $17,000 the Commission initially
proposed to levy in the case, which dates back to 2012. In deciding to
reduce Ragan's fine, the FCC said it took into account Ragan's "history of
compliance as an Amateur licensee."
"Prior to this violation, Mr Ragan had no violations of the
[Communications] Act or the [FCC] rules as an Amateur Radio operator," the
FCC said in the Forfeiture Order, "and, therefore, consistent with the
[forfeiture] adjustment factors, we find that reduction of the forfeiture
based on Mr Ragan's history of compliance is warranted and reduce the
forfeiture by $3400."
As precedent the Commission cited the case of Amateur Extra class licensee
Joaquim Barbosa, N2KBJ, of Elizabeth, New Jersey. In a July 2012 Notice of
Apparent Liability (NAL), the FCC found Barbosa liable for operating an
unlicensed transmitter that interfered with a government communication
system, and for not allowing an FCC inspection. The FCC reduced its initial
$20,000 levy to $16,000, citing Barbosa's "overall history of compliance
with the laws, including the Commission's rules."
As required by the NAL, Ragan submitted a statement that he is now in full
compliance with the Communications Act and no longer engaged in
unauthorized operation on 104.9 MHz. Ragan also said he is willing to allow
FCC personnel to inspect for verification. Read more.
Regulatory: FCC Cites New Jersey CB Shop for Marketing Unauthorized RF
The FCC has issued a Citation to a New Jersey Citizens Band radio shop for
marketing unauthorized RF devices to consumers in violation of the
Communications Act of 1934 and FCC Part 2 rules. The Citation to Thomas
Wilson, doing business as Redman CB Stop, in Absecon, New Jersey, was
issued March 5.
"Redman CB Stop should take immediate steps to discontinue the marketing of
unauthorized radio frequency devices, and to avoid any recurrence of the
misconduct described herein," the FCC Citation directed.
Last October an agent from the FCC Enforcement Bureau's Philadelphia office
browsed the website of the online retailer of CB and Amateur Radio gear.
The agent "observed for sale 16 makes and models of non-certified RF power
amplifiers" capable of operation on both the 11 meter Citizens Band and the
10 meter ham band. The FCC said such devices may not be offered for sale
prior to FCC certification. In addition, FCC rules prohibit marketing or
selling external RF amplifiers capable of amplification between 26 MHz and
The FCC gave Redman CB Stop 30 days to respond to the Citation. The
Commission said it will use "all relevant material information before it,"
including information the retailer may disclose, to determine what, if any,
enforcement action may be necessary "to ensure your compliance with the
Communications Act and the Commission's rules."
Public Service: Amateur Radio Played Role in Missing Airliner Response
Following the mysterious disappearance on March 8 of the Malaysian Airline
Boeing 777-200ER jetliner with 239 passengers aboard, the airline's
Emergency Management Centre (EMC) at Kuala Lumpur Airport provided hotel
accommodations for passengers' next of kin. Malaysian Amateur Radio
Transmitters' Society (MARTS) President Mohd Aris Bernawi, 9M2IR, said his
organization was asked to provide a link between the airport and the hotel.
MARTS quickly set up a station, led by Zanirul Akhmal Zanirun, 9M2PRO, with
Azizi Samsuri, 9W2ZZE, as the airline's team leader. The Negeri Sembilan
Amateur Radio Club (NESRAC) provided volunteers for the station at the EMC.
MARTS set up a cross-band VHF/UHF link to avoid any unnecessary
interference to and from public service communications, and later added an
During the callout, 11 Amateur Radio volunteers were at the EMC, and 23
volunteers were at the hotel. 9M2IR, who oversaw the entire process, said
MARTS -- an IARU member-society -- was pleased to be able provide the
communication link as the search for flight MH370 continues. -- Thanks to
Jim Linton, VK3PC, Chairman IARU Region 3 Disaster Communications Committee
Public Service: ARES Group Joins Forces with Delaware State Police
The Delaware State Police are teaming up with the Sussex County (Delaware)
Amateur Radio Emergency Service to ensure reliable back-up communication,
should primary law enforcement communication systems fail.
"Delaware must always be aware of the threats of hurricanes, nor'easters,
severe snow, and other disasters," Delaware State Police Sussex County
Operations Officer Maj Robert Hawkins said in a Cape Gazette
article. "Thankfully, we don't get hit often, but when we do, communication
is absolutely essential, and having Amateur Radio operators available to
fill in gaps will be a real asset."
When back-up communication is needed, the Delaware State Police will
designate locations for ARES stations to set up. ARES members then will
handle any necessary traffic within this network. The initial program will
be limited to Sussex County, but it may be expanded to include Delaware's
other two counties -- Kent and New Castle.
Sussex County covers approximately the lower half of Delaware. Bill
Duveneck, KB3KYH, is the Sussex County ARES Emergency Coordinator. -- Cape
Gazette via John Bigley, N7UR, Nevada Amateur Radio Newswire
Public Service: New SATERN Emergency Disaster Services Ham Station Can Be
WB5ALM, the new Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network (SATERN) ham
station for the Alabama-Louisiana-Mississippi (ALM) Division of the
organization's Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) Center is capable of being
controlled remotely via the Internet.
"The goal is to allow for a select group of qualified, trained net control
operators to operate a state-of-the art SATERN station that is centrally
located within the ALM Division and the Southern Territory from their home
location anywhere in the Territory," said Territorial SATERN Net Manager
Ken Standard, AD5XJ.
SATERN volunteers inaugurated WB5ALM by checking into the International
SATERN Net on March 5. The new call sign, which reflects the initials of
Salvation Army founder William Booth as well as its ALM organizational
division, will be used for the fixed station at the Division EDS Center and
for mobile operation from the SATERN Coordinator's vehicle or the
Territorial Communications Trailer. Acquisition of the vanity call sign
culminated a nearly year-long process of building the
Alabama-Louisiana-Mississippi Division's new SATERN station.
"This new station will make it easier to recruit SATERN operators to
operate the station during a disaster or emergency by reducing the need for
them to be physically present at the EDS Center," said Territorial SATERN
Coordinator Bill Feist, WB8BZH.
The SATERN Net operates on 14.265 MHz on HF. SATERN volunteers use Amateur
Radio to coordinate the organization's emergency response and relief
operations and to convey health-and-welfare messages following a disaster.
Its director is Rick Shirran, VE3NUZ. -- Thanks to The Salvation
Army/SATERN, John Bigley, N7UR
Public Service: 2014 Preparedness Summit to Highlight Importance of Amateur
The annual Preparedness Summit, the largest public health preparedness
conference in the US, will take place April 1-4 in Atlanta, with some 2000
preparedness professionals expected to attend the multidisciplinary event.
This year, the Preparedness Summit is highlighting the importance of
Amateur Radio, and special event station N4P will operate from the Exhibit
Hall. N4P will be on the air from 1700 until 2330 UTC on Wednesday, April
2, and from 1500 until 2030 UTC on Thursday, April 3. Stations contacting
N4P will receive a special QSL card.
On VHF and UHF, N4P will monitor the 146.88 W4BTI repeater, the 442.875 MHz
K4RFL repeater, and the D-STAR 440.6875 B-Node operating as KK4OIO. On HF
SSB, look for N4P on 28.365 MHz, 21.365 MHz, 14.265 MHz, and 7.265 MHz. N4P
also will be on EchoLink.
The National Association for County & City Health Officials (NACCHO)
offered Amateur Radio licensing webinars in February and March in advance
of the gathering. Testing will be administered April 3 at the Preparedness
Summit. NACCHO is offering an in-person review session at the Summit on
April 2. The webinars have been recorded and are available via the Summit
Ham Radio in Space: "Ham Video" Transmits Live Images of Astronaut Mike
Hopkins, KF5LJG, From the ISS
As one of his final actions during his duty tour aboard the International
Space Station, NASA Astronaut Mike Hopkins, KF5LJG, installed and
commissioned the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station
(ARISS) "Ham Video" system over the March 8-9 weekend. Hopkins returned
safely to Earth March 10 aboard a Soyuz lander with crew members, Russian
cosmonauts Oleg Kotov and Sergey Ryazansky. The Amateur Radio digital
television (DATV) setup can transmit video of the crew and the interior of
the Columbus module on the 2.4 GHz band (S-band). The ARISS project, led by
ARISS-EU, AMSAT-Italy, and the European Space Agency (ESA), eventually will
enhance ARISS school contacts by providing a video and audio downlink plus
an audio-only uplink. Operating under the call sign OR4ISS, the S-band
transmitter can utilize one of two ARISS patch antennas installed on
Columbus. Radiated RF power is on the order of 10 W EIRP. The received DATV
signal was streamed via the web to a global audience via the British
Amateur Television Club (BATC) server.
"Congratulations to the Ham TV team on today's outstanding commissioning
success!" said ARISS International Chair Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, who works for
NASA. "Several stations in Italy were able to receive [the] video and audio
downlink." He explained that while the video camera and transmitter aboard
the ISS are referred to as "Ham Video," the entire digital TV/audio
downlink and FM voice uplink system is being called "Ham TV."
The commissioning process primarily involved making sure that ground
stations in Europe would be able to copy the DTV downlink signal, and the
results exceeded expectations. A large, high-gain dish at the Matera,
Italy, ground station worked in concert with smaller-dish stations that are
planned as future Ham TV ground relay stations. ARISS had several
additional ground stations around the world tuned in and providing
reception reports of the so-called "blank transmission" mode, with the
transmitter on and the camera turned off. Those blank transmissions will
continue until the next commissioning step set for April 12, and ARISS
Commissioning of the Ham TV system marks the culmination of more than a
decade of planning and preparation within ARISS. Although there are no
immediate plans to employ the Ham TV system for educational contacts with
schools in North America, Bauer said several US radio amateurs are testing
this capability, as are stations in other parts of the world. "If this
shows educational value," Bauer said, "it will be employed in the US." Read
more. -- Thanks to ARISS International President Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, AMSAT
News Service, and ARISS-EU Chairman Gaston Bertels, ON4WF
Technology: Hams' Experimental VLF Signals Heard in the UK, Europe
In what's believed to be a "first," a very low frequency (VLF) signal from
a ham radio experimenter in New York was heard across the Atlantic. Bob
Raide, W2ZM, was transmitting on 29.499 kHz under a Part 5 Experimental
license, WH2XBA/1. His very slow-speed (QRSS) CW signal was initially
detected in the UK just before 0000 UTC on March 3 by Paul Nicholson, an
SWL, and later by Mike Dennison, G3XDV, and Markus Vester, DK6NM, in
Germany. Nicholson also copied a 29.501 kHz transmission from Dex McIntyre,
W4DEX, in North Carolina, operating as WH2XBA/4.
"In recent weeks a number of amateur tests have been running from the USA
to Europe around 74 kHz and at 29.499 kHz using several hundred watts to
large antennas," blogged Roger Lapthorn, G3XBM. He said that signals on 74
kHz were "well copied," but that "the surprise" was detecting the 29.499
kHz signal. "As far as I know, these 29.499 kHz VLF signals are the first
amateur VLF [transmissions] to span the Atlantic -- fantastic results by
well-equipped stations using suitable receivers and good software."
Warren Ziegler, K2ORS, who is on the Experimental license as WH2XBA/2, told
ARRL that he and several other radio amateurs have obtained Part 5 licenses
to experiment on 500 kHz and on 137 kHz. Ziegler, who has been a
participant in the ARRL-sponsored experimental operations on 500 kHz as
WD2XSH/23, said Raide wanted to be the first to span the Atlantic on VLF,
which he defined as between 3 kHz and 30 kHz, so Ziegler applied for and
received the WH2XBA Experimental grant, and included Raide and four others
on the license.
"I was ready," Raide told ARRL. His transmitter has a 3CX3000A7 tube in the
final, running grounded grid and generating 800 W. The effective isotropic
radiated power (EIRP), however, was estimated to be approximately 1 mW. To
operate on 10,000 meters, Raide has a 90 foot vertical antenna using a
reconfigured Zepp, fed via a huge loading coil that is 4 feet tall, more
than 1 foot across and comprised of some 2000 feet of #14 wire. He employs
a few thousand feet of "chicken wire" for his radial system.
The transmission consisted of "XBA" sent at a rate of 120 seconds (2
minutes) per dot and 360 seconds (6 minutes) per dash of CW. In the UK
Nicholson copied the signal on software using a PC sound card with a
preamplifier ahead of it. His antenna is a pair of orthogonal loops, each
20 meters square, at ground level, transformer coupled to the preamplifier.
Read more. -- Thanks to Warren Ziegler, K2ORS, Bob Raide, W2ZM, and Joe
Technology: KickSat CubeSat to Deploy Smallest Earth-Orbiting Satellites
When the third SpaceX ISS resupply mission launches on March 16 from Cape
Canaveral, it will carry the 3U KickSat CubeSat into orbit. NASA TV is
scheduled to broadcast the launch live. If all goes according to plan,
KickSat, in turn, will release 200 "Sprite" satellites -- each about the
size of a small cracker -- into Earth orbit. Zac Manchester, KD2BHC -- a
Cornell University PhD student in aerospace engineering -- is heading up
the project, which was funded via Kickstarter.
The tiny Sprite spacecraft will be single-function, short-lifespan units
operating on 437 MHz. Each is essentially a double-sided printed circuit
board measuring 3.5 cm Ã— 3.5 cm, incorporating a microcontroller or two,
radio, and solar cells. Each can carry single-chip sensors, such as
thermometers, magnetometers, gyroscopes, and accelerometers. All Sprites
operate on the same frequency -- 437.240 MHz -- and use Code Division
Multiple Access (CDMA). Transmitters run 10 mW output.
When KickSat reaches its appropriate attitude and orbit, a command signal
from the ground will trigger deployment, and the Sprites will be released
as free-flying spacecraft. The Cornell ground station in Ithaca, New York,
will monitor telemetry and sensor measurements from the individual Sprites,
with assistance from several other Amateur Radio ground stations around the
Due to their low orbit, the Sprites can remain in orbit for as long as 6
weeks in a best-case scenario, depending on atmospheric conditions.
KickSat is being planned as a technology demonstration mission for the
Sprite spacecraft. It's being launched through NASA's Educational Launch of
Nanosatellite (ELaNa) program. Read more.
Centennial: W1AW Centennial Operations Shift to Tennessee, New Mexico, and
Guam on March 19
The ARRL Centennial "W1AW WAS" operations that are taking place throughout
2014 from each of the 50 states will relocate at 0000 UTC on March 19 (the
evening of March 18 in US time zones), from Arizona and Ohio to Tennessee
(W1AW/4), New Mexico (W1AW/5), and Guam (W1AW/KH2). During 2014 W1AW will
be on the air from every state (at least twice) and most US territories,
and it will be easy to work all states solely by contacting W1AW portable
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
available (pricing not yet available).
The ARRL has posted an ARRL Centennial QSO Party leader board that
participants can use to determine how many points they have accumulated in
the Centennial QSO Party and in the W1AW WAS operations. Log in using your
Logbook of The World (LoTW) user name and password, and your position will
appear at the top of the leader boards. Results are updated daily, based on
contacts entered into LoTW.
Media: NPR's "All Things Considered" Segment Includes Spark Gap Morse from
As part of its series of vignettes exploring a "counterfactual"
history, "What if World War I had never happened?" NPR afternoon news
magazine "All Things Considered" aired a segment on March 11 to explore how
history would have unfurled, if the assassination of Archduke Franz
Ferdinand had not been not successful.
"They needed a sound of a telegraph relaying the message of the failed
assassination attempt," said ARRL Media and Public Relations Manager Sean
Kutzko, KX9X. "They wanted it to be as authentic as possible, so we
explained that in 1914, it would have been relayed via spark."
The ARRL Lab has a working spark transmitter, so Kutzko got the desired
text from NPR, which he sent by hand and recorded. "They said it
was 'perfect,'" he reported. "It was a real thrill being able to help NPR;
I used to work at NPR affiliates in Illinois and Indiana in the 1990s, so
being able to help the network was exciting."
The final result? Well, if you wanted to hear the spark Morse code on the
air, you had to listen closely and quickly; it was soon voiced over by a
faux voice dispatch relating the faux news. NPR's "All Things Considered"
segments are available on the NPR website.
International: Number of Newcomers Rises, Overall Numbers Fall in Germany
The Deutscher Amateur Radio Club (DARC) reports that the number of
newcomers obtaining ham tickets in Germany rose by 14 percent in 2013, with
829 receiving licenses, compared with 724 in 2012. The DARC said 909
applicants took license exams in 2013, up from 804 a year earlier -- a 13
The number of examination participants was at its highest point since
2007," the DARC said. On the other hand, there were 2255 fewer German
Amateur Radio licenses on record at the end of 2013 -- a 3.2 percent drop
from 2012. The DARC cited statistics provided by the Bundesnetzagentur,
Germany's telecommunications regulator. As of December 31, 2013, 68,191
Amateur Radio licenses were on record, down from 70,446 at the end of 2012,
71,659 at the end of 2011 and 72,293 at the end of 2011.
The DARC said the rise in DN-prefix training call sign assignments
continued in 2013, with 2711 issued, 183 more than in 2012. The statistic,
the DARC continued, reflects the success of trainers' efforts, with more
than 27 percent more youth involved in training programs than in 2010 -- a
trend the DARC called "encouraging." German DN call signs are held by
Amateur Radio trainers for use by newcomers, who operate under a trainer's
International: Industry Canada Rolls Out Updated Ham Radio Question Pool,
New Exam Generator
Radio Amateurs of Canada (RAC) reports that telecommunications regulator
Industry Canada (IC) has released a new Amateur Radio examination question
bank -- or pool -- based on recommendations from RAC. IC also launched a
new exam generator.
"This is good news that we were eagerly anticipating," RAC President Geoff
Bawden, VE4BAW, said. "We were pleased to work with IC on this issue of
significant importance to Amateur Radio operators."
RAC entered into a contract with IC in January 2013 to update the question
pool in English and in French -- Canada's official languages. The review
team examined more than 3000 questions and 12,000 possible answers for the
Basic and Advanced examinations in English and French "and aimed for
perfection in every one," the organization said. "Technical and linguistic
accuracy were equally important in the review."
RAC said changes included correcting factual errors, replacing obsolete
language and examples, making questions and answers clearer, and ensuring
that questions addressed current Amateur Radio practices and regulations.
Comments elicited from radio amateurs in Canada helped the team identify
where changes were needed. RAC wrapped up its work a year ago.
Following the release of the new examination question banks, RAC received
reports of typographical or transcription errors in the exam
questions. "Fortunately the new system IC has developed makes it easy and
quick to correct such errors," said Vincent Charron, VA3GX/VE2HHH, RAC's
Director of Communications and Fundraising. "RAC will assist in conveying
the information. Anyone wishing to report errors is invited to send these
reports by e-mail." -- RAC
Education: Foundation for Amateur Radio Invites Scholarship Applications
The Foundation for Amateur Radio (FAR) is accepting applications from
Amateur Radio operators for scholarships for the 2014-2015 school year. The
application deadline is April 15. Some scholarships give preference to
radio amateurs from California, Delaware, Florida, Maryland, Ohio,
Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
FAR, a non-profit, all-volunteer organization, manages 52 scholarships
worth a total of $72,100. There are no age restrictions for any of the
scholarships, and applicants do not have to attend a four-year institution.
All applicants must be full-time students.
Availability of these scholarship awards may offer an incentive to students
considering getting a license or already studying for the test to take
action before April 15.
FAR's scholarship program is one of the largest for Amateur Radio licensees
in the US. FAR's purpose is to further Amateur Radio in all of its various
facets. FAR sponsors training, seminars, and other events in support of
Amateur Radio. -- Dave Prestel, W8AJR, Chairman FAR Scholarship Committee
Feature: A Century of Amateur Radio and the ARRL
As the US edged ever closer to entering World War II, more restrictions
were placed on hams. They were still allowed to operate, but only to make
contacts within the country -- no DX!
There was strong evidence of subversive activities and clandestine radio
stations in America. The FCC ordered all radio licensees, both commercial
operators and hams, to furnish a full set of fingerprints, a passport-type
photo, and proof of US citizenship by October 15, 1940.
It was necessary for the FCC to ramp up its monitoring activities, and the
September 1940 issue of QST put out a call for amateurs to fill 500 new
positions as FCC monitoring operators. Those 500 positions were quickly
filled, almost entirely by hams. FCC's well-known Radio Intelligence
Division was thus supervised and staffed mainly by hams, under the
direction of George Sterling, W3DF.
The Navy Communications Reserve and the Army stepped up their recruitment
of amateurs to enlist as radio operators and repairmen, and hams again
responded in great numbers. In addition, the Civilian Conservation Corps
and the National Youth Administration recruited hams to serve as radio
instructors. During this period, ARRL inaugurated its code proficiency
program, with more than 900 hams submitting W1AW copy of the first
Our nation was still in the phase of "positive neutrality," but there were
many efforts in which US hams helped the war effort before we entered the
fray. One of those efforts was the Civilian Technical Corps, which
maintained and operated British radars, then operating in the upper HF and
lower VHF range. One of those early radars was quite important -- Britain's
Chain Home radar system, an early warning system to detect incoming German
bombers early enough to scramble fighters to meet the enemy at altitude
over the English Channel. Chain Home operated at 22 to 25 MHz. Although
that frequency range presented problems, it could be built and put into
service quickly, using existing technology and equipment.
Sets of three or four 360-foot towers were built at various locations on
the English Channel's coast to support the very large wire antenna arrays.
Some of those towers still exist, now supporting commercial antennas.
Next week: I'll tell the tale of a war effort that I became very familiar
with by working with some of the hams who developed and put the Proximity
Fuze into action. -- Thanks to Al Brogdon, W1AB
Hams Detect Signal from Retired NASA Deep-Space Probe: Radio amateurs from
AMSAT-DL (Germany) and Bochum Observatory detected the beacon signal of the
retired NASA International Cometary Explorer (ICE) deep space probe on
March 1 and 2. After some changes to the ground equipment and aligning the
receiving antenna to the predicted position in the sky, the beacon signal
could positively be identified due to its frequency, the position in the
sky, and the frequency shift due to Doppler shift. They used a 20 meter
radio telescope. Launched in 1978 as the International Sun-Earth Explorer 3
(ISEE-3), ICE was the first spacecraft to detect the "solar wind"
approaching Earth. In 1982, the spacecraft was renamed the International
Cometary Explorer and diverted to the Moon, where its gravitational pull
placed ICE into a heliocentric orbit. Support for the ICE mission was
terminated in 1997, although the spacecraft transmitter was left on. It was
last detected by NASA's Deep Space Network in 2008. -- Thanks to AMSAT-DL
HRD Software Acquires Rights to SAM Callbook CD, Database: HRD Software LLC
has acquired the rights to the SAM Callbook CD and database, begun in the
early 1990s by RT Systems before begin purchased by VIS. HRD has said it
will honor the current subscriber base and continue to ship the monthly
CDs. It will also develop a Windows interface for the Callbook and plans to
incorporate the Callbook data into the Ham Radio Deluxe logbook. HRD also
has announced its release of the preview/beta 2.1 version of Ham Radio
DX Dinner Announces Featured Speaker: David Collingham, K3LP, will be the
featured speaker for their 29th annual DX DinnerÂ®, sponsored by the
SouthWest Ohio DX Association (SWODXA). The dinner, held in conjunction
with the 2014 Dayton HamventionÂ®, is Friday, May 16, at the Marriott Hotel
in Dayton. Collingham has been on more than 65 DXpeditions, operating from
51 different DXCC entities. His topic is "The Humanitarian Side of DXing
Building a Super Station 30th Anniversary Edition Now Available: The 30th
anniversary edition of Building a Super Station by David Robbins, K1TTT, is
available free for download.
ARRL DXAC Committee Report Available: The ARRL has posted the DX Advisory
Committee (DXAC) report submitted at the January 2014 ARRL Board of
The K7RA Solar Update
This week saw sunspot numbers and solar flux decline. Average daily sunspot
numbers dropped from 199.3 to 138.7, while solar flux dipped from 162.9 to
Sharp-eyed readers may notice that I reported average daily sunspot numbers
last week at 202.4, but I spotted a discrepancy between what I reported
last week for March 4 and 5 and what we see from NOAA. I'm not sure if NOAA
revised the sunspot numbers for those days, or I just erred, but sunspot
numbers on those dates actually were 160 and 191, thus changing the average
sunspot number for that week.
The most recent prediction has solar flux at 145 on March 13, 140 on March
14-15, then 135 and 155 on March 16-17, 140 on March 18-19, 135 on March
20-22, then 145, 150 and 145 on March 23-25, 140 on March 26-27, and 135 on
March 28-29. After that, we see a short-term low of 110 on April 5-7, and
then rising to 140 on April 20.
Predicted planetary A index is 5 on March 13-16, 8 on March 17-18, 5 on
March 19-29, 8 on March 30 through April 1, 5 on April 2-5, and then 12, 10
and 8 on April 6-8, then back to 5.
The spring equinox is next week! The first day of spring is Thursday, March
20, at 1657 UTC -- an optimum time for HF propagation.
This weekly "Solar Update" in The ARRL Letter is just a preview of the
Propagation Bulletin issued every Friday. The latest bulletin and an
archive of past propagation bulletins is on the ARRL website.
In the March 14 Propagation Bulletin look for an updated forecast and
reports from readers. Send me your reports and observations.
Just Ahead in Radiosport
Mar 15 -- Feld-Hell Leprechaun Sprint
Mar 15-17 -- BARTG HF RTTY Contest
Mar 15-16 -- Russian DX Contest
Mar 15 -- Virginia QSO Party
Mar 16 -- North American Sprint (SSB)
Mar 17 --Run For the Bacon (CW)
Mar 18 -- CLARA and Family HF Contest (CW+SSB)
Mar 20 -- NAQCC Monthly QRP Sprint (SSB)
Mar 22 -- FOC QSO Party (CW)
Mar 22 -- Oklahoma QSO Party
Mar 22 -- QCWA Spring QSO Party
Mar 22-23 -- Louisiana QSO Party
Mar 29 -- Feld-Hell Worked all Americas Full Day of Hell
Mar 29-30 -- CQ WPX Contest (SSB)
Visit the Contest Corral for details.
Upcoming ARRL Section, State and Division Conventions and Events
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 11-13 -- Eastern VHF/UHF Conference, Manchester, Connecticut
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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The ARRL Letter is published Thursdays, 50 times each year. ARRL members
and registered guests may subscribe at no cost or unsubscribe by editing
Amateur Radio Newsline Report 1909 March 14, 2014
Posted: 13 Mar 2014 07:07 PM PDT
Amateur Radio NewslineÂ™ Report 1909 Â– March 14, 2014
Amateur Radio Newsline report number 1909 with a release date of March 14
2014 to follow in 5-4-3-2-1.
The following is a Q-S-T.
Ham radio is called to play a part in the Malaysian Airlines mystery; the
DARC says the number of German ham radio operators is declining; a new GPS
system forces the closure of a pair of amateur television repeaters; steps
1 and 2 of the commissioning of the new ISS Ham Video transmitter
considered a success, lots happening on the FCC enforcement scene and FEMA
introduces a new wireles alert frequently asked questions web page. Find
out the details are on Amateur Radio NewslineÂ™ report number 1909 coming
your way right now.
(Billboard Cart Here)
RESCUE RADIO: MISSING FLIGHT SEARCH INVOLVES AMATEUR RADIO EMCOMM
The disappearance of a Malaysian Airline Boeing 777 jetliner with 239
passengers on board is a mystery that nine nations are trying to solve.
But during its early hours ham radio was called in to help with the human
aspect of the situation as we hear from Amateur Radio NewslineÂ’s Jim