QRZ Forums - Amateur Radio News


The ARRL Letter, October 30, 2014

Posted: 30 Oct 2014 12:15 PM PDT

The ARRL Letter

October 30, 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.]

Hawaii ARES Volunteers Finalize Plans for Possible Lava Flow

ActivationSatellites Carrying Amateur Radio Payloads Among Those Lost in

Launch ExplosionIndian Radio Amateurs Continue Communication Support

Following CycloneColorado EOSS-202 Balloon Flight Carrying Amateur Radio

Payloads "Awesome"Bidding in Ninth Annual ARRL On-Line Auction Ends on

Thursday, October 30ARISS Encourages Schools to Apply Now for Space Station

Ham Radio Contact OpportunitiesW1AW Centennial Operations Set Sights on

Washington and Kansas, Plus American Samoa4M Moon Orbiter Completes Lunar

FlybyKP1-5 Project Gets Permission to Activate Navassa Island (KP1) in

January 2015Indonesia's New Leaders are Radio AmateursNCDXC Donates Radio,

Accessories to 3B9FRSpecial Event Call Sign VI6ANZAC Will Mark 100th

Anniversary of ANZACFormer ARRL Staff Member Mary Lau, N1VH, SKMirage, KLM

Co-Founder Kenneth E. Holladay, K6HCP, SKBill Orr Award Recipient Harry

R. "Bob" Schroeder, N2HX, SKA Century of Amateur Radio and the ARRLThe K7RA

Solar UpdateGetting It Right!Just Ahead in RadiosportUpcoming ARRL Section,

State, and Division Conventions and Events

Hawaii ARES Volunteers Finalize Plans for Possible Lava Flow Activation

ARRL Pacific Section Manager Bob Schneider, AH6J, said this week that

Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) volunteers on the Big Island of

Hawaii are ready to activate, if needed, in response to the Puna lava flow.

"It's basically on the edges of the populated part of town [of Pahoa],"

Schneider said on October 30. "At this point, it's 'get ready and see what


Like the 1958 horror movie "The Blob" -- indescribable, indestructible, and

nothing can stop it! -- by late in the week, the lava flow was threatening

to consume dozens of homes in Pahoa and cut across the town's main highway.

The lava claimed its first structure -- a shed -- on October 28. Schneider

said the flow oozed across a cemetery this week too. The lava originated

from new "vents" in the Earth as a result of the Mt Kilauea volcano, which

began erupting more than 30 years ago. After grinding to a halt nearly a

month ago, the lava flow recently resumed its slow and devastating crawl

toward populated areas. Now the National Guard has been called out, and

some 20 families have been ordered to evacuate. Hawaii's Civil Defense has

been fully deployed.

Lava flows are nothing new to Hawaiians; Schneider and others call them "a

slow-motion disaster." In September ARRL deployed Ham Aid kits to Hawaii

for a possible lava flow response then. As it turned out, ARES members

there needed the gear for Hurricane Ana first, since the lava flow had

abated by the time the equipment got to Hawaii.

Schneider told ARRL Headquarters this week that District Emergency

Coordinators were establishing area-specific ARES standard operating

procedures in the event of an activation. "[East Hawaii DEC Kim Fendt,

WH6HIM] has put together a volunteer shelter-response team," Schneider

said. "They all realize that this may involve multiple shifts for a

considerable time."

Hawaii County Puna Makai District Councilor Greggor Ilagan reported that

the flow was advancing at a rate of up to 17 yards per hour. At 2000

degrees Fahrenheit, the lava incinerates nearly everything in its path,

generating smoke and leaving flames behind. Residents downwind with smoke

sensitivity or respiratory problems were being advised to "take necessary

precautions" and to remain indoors.

According to Schneider, conventional telecommunication systems are "solid"

for now, and there is no critical need for an ARES activation, although, he

conceded, that could change once the lava crosses the road. "Power to the

area is still holding," he reported. Schneider told the ARRL that the power

company attempted to protect some tall wooden utility poles by surrounding

them with rocks and dirt, but the lava simply consumed the poles from the

bottom, making them appearing to sink into the ground.

"We did have a brief power outage [October 28], and the emergency net came

up right away," Schneider recounted. "From what we could tell it was mostly

on the east side of the island."

Schneider said schools in Pahoa have been closed, and a shelter location

has been established, but, he explained, due to the "slow-motion" aspect,

residents have had time to deliberate their evacuation plans. The lava flow

has affected Election Day plans for some 2000 voters. Those who normally

vote at the Pahoa Community Center now will cast their ballots at the

Hawaiian Paradise Community Center.

"FEMA is offering a course on how to handle the psychological effects of

this thing," Schneider added. "[A] lot of people are having trouble dealing

with it."

Satellites Carrying Amateur Radio Payloads Among Those Lost in Launch


The RACE and GOMX-2 CubeSats, both carrying Amateur Radio payloads, were

among more than 2 dozen satellites lost after an unmanned Orbital Space

Sciences (OSC) Antares 130 vehicle exploded spectacularly shortly after

launch at 2222 UTC on Tuesday, October 28, from the Mid-Atlantic Regional

Spaceport at Wallops Island on Virginia's Eastern Shore. The Antares is a

new medium-class launch vehicle developed by OSC. The rocket exploded about

6 seconds after launch, sending a huge ball of fire hurtling toward the

ground and igniting a massive fire at the NASA launch site.

"While NASA is disappointed that Orbital Sciences' third contracted

resupply mission to the International Space Station was not successful

today, we will continue to move forward toward the next attempt once we

fully understand today's mishap," said William Gerstenmaier, Associate

Administrator of NASA's Human Exploration and Operations Directorate. "The

crew of the International Space Station is in no danger of running out of

food or other critical supplies." Indeed, a smaller resupply mission,

launched from Russia, reached the ISS the next day.

The Radiometer Atmospheric Cubesat Experiment (RACE) CubeSat was a joint

project of The Texas Spacecraft Laboratory (TSL) at the University of

Texas-Austin and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). Built by a

30-student team, it carried a 183 GHz radiometer, a new science instrument

designed by JPL. The spacecraft was equipped to transmit using GMSK at 38.4

k and CW telemetry on a downlink frequency of 437.525MHz.

TSL's Glenn Lightsey, KE5DDG, a UT engineering professor, oversaw the

student project that worked hand-in-hand with NASA staff in creating a

satellite that aimed to measure water vapor in Earth's atmosphere.

"It's unfortunate, but it is also part of the aerospace industry," Lightsey

told the Texas Statesman newspaper. "The nature of building space vehicles

is that it is not a 100 percent reliable process. Getting into space is

really the hardest part."

The 2U GOMX-2 CubeSat was intended to test a de-orbit system designed by

Aalborg University in Denmark. Karl Klaus Laursen, OZ2KK, is listed as

the "responsible operator" on International Amateur Radio Union frequency

coordination documents. The Amateur Radio payload proposed using a 9.6 k

MSK data downlink on 437.250 MHz. Also on board was an optical

communications experiment from the National University of Singapore. The

mission also aimed to flight qualify a new high-speed UHF transceiver and

SDR receiver built by an Aalborg University team.

The Antares 130 resupply mission was carrying some 5000 pounds of cargo to

the International Space Station. The Antares 130 also was carrying the

Flock-1d array of 26 satellites as well as Arkyd-3 and Cygnus CRS-3. RACE,

GOMX-2, and the other satellites were to be launched into orbit from the

ISS later.

Indian Radio Amateurs Continue Communication Support Following Cyclone

More than 2 weeks after Cyclone (hurricane) Hud Hud hit Vishakhapattanam

and surrounding communities on India's Bay of Bengal, radio amateurs are

continuing to provide communication support to authorities and residents.

In the storm's immediate aftermath, all communication with Vishakhapattanam

-- known as "Vizag" -- and the wider region was via Amateur Radio. With

electric power knocked out, no mobile or landline telephone service was

available, but Amateur Radio Society of India (ARSI) National Coordinator

for Disaster Communication Jayu Bhide, VU2JAU, said the Amateur Radio

emergency communication network ran smoothly. Bhide told ARRL that it will

take some time before things are back to normal in the stricken region.

"The debris is getting cleared [and] rehabilitation is in progress," he

reported over the weekend. A half-dozen radio amateurs from Odissa have

been assisting both authorities and the public with communication. Bhide

said a few stations working under the National Institute of Amateur Radio

(NIAR) banner set up to assist with police and other administrative

communication needs.

"The landline telephones are under repair, and part of [the system] has

started working," Bhide said. "Mobile towers also are under repair and will

be in working condition soon." He said authorities have been working hard

to make drinking water available to the public.

Fifteen-year-old Tom Jose, VU3TMO, was among the NIAR volunteers. According

to an article in The Hindu, Tom was stationed at the Vishakhapattanam

police station, receiving message traffic from other radio amateurs in the

cyclone-affected areas and passing it on to the administration for relief


At week's end, radio amateurs in West Bengal and Hyderabad were on alert as

Cyclone Nilofar approached Gujarat. -- Thanks to Jayu Bhide, VU2JAU, and

Jim Linton, VK3PC, Chairman IARU Region 3 Disaster Communications Committee

Colorado EOSS-202 Balloon Flight Carrying Amateur Radio Payloads "Awesome"

An Edge of Space Sciences (EOSS) balloon flight, launched on October 25 by

students from Colorado and New Mexico, and carrying three ham radio

payloads into near-space surpassed its planned altitude. The mission,

designated EOSS-202, took off under a clear sky from Deer Trail, Colorado.

The Douglas County, Colorado, STEM School and STEM Academy and Spartan

Amateur Radio Club, AB0BX, sponsored and coordinated the balloon flight.

"It was awesome," said Paul Veal, N0AH, a Rocky Mountain Division Assistant

Director and AB0X trustee. "It was simply the best weather any of us could

have hoped for. According to EOSS, our flight reached one of the highest

altitudes they've had in years -- nearly 104,000 feet!"

Veal said a large number of young students participated "with great

enthusiasm throughout the morning cold at sunrise throughout the heat of

the day." Several of the more than 2 dozen students taking part in the

project are radio amateurs.

The "AB0BX Spartan Space Sciences" mission carried seven student-designed

payloads aloft. All payloads were retrieved after the balloon burst, at

first tumbling and then descending gently to Earth borne by a parachute.

Video from the ground was able to capture the balloon's burst as it

attained its maximum altitude. The onboard ham radio payloads served to

track the balloon during flight and recovery and also transmitted telemetry

during the mission.

Veal said the only major snafu involved the onboard Go-Pro cameras, which

were equipped with 8 GB cards. "We really needed 32 GB [cards], so we got

awesome pictures but only up to around 80,000 feet," he explained.

Veal said a parent-led chase team convoy was able to see with the naked eye

the sun's light reflecting from the balloon when it was more than 84,000

feet up. "This included several parents and students who tagged along in 13

vehicles -- around 50 of us altogether." The balloon traveled more than 70

miles, 19 more than predicted.

"The farming-ranching community in and around the recovery area near Cope,

Colorado, gladly helped us to recover the balloon on private land," Veal

said. "All payloads were recovered with no serious damage."

"Data from the various experiments, along with photos and videos from EOSS

and spectators, will be collected in the next few weeks," said Veal. "I am

hoping that the school can create a student team to formulate a digital

book to count toward credit." As a result of the balloon project, he said,

several project-based lesson plans for grades 6 through 12 can be

formulated along STEM standards.

Bidding in Ninth Annual ARRL On-Line Auction Ends on Thursday, October 30

Bidding in the ninth annual ARRL On-Line Auction concludes on Thursday,

October 30 (October 31 UTC). Bid closing times are staggered beginning at

0230 UTC and finishing at 0307 UTC on October 31. More than 230 items are

on the block, including 24 pieces of gear that were the subject of

QST "Product Review" articles. One-of-a-kind items include a hardcover 2014

Centennial edition of The ARRL Handbook, imprinted with "Hiram Percy Maxim,

W1AW," and a hardcover edition of the 2014 Centennial Handbook bearing

serial number 100. Other unique items include an autographed script from

the "Last Man Standing" TV show, starring Tim Allen, who plays a radio

amateur on the show and now is licensed for real.

Primo items include Kenwood's top-tier TS-990 transceiver, the recently

reviewed Hilberling PT-8000A transceiver, and the TEN-TEC Argonaut VI HF

QRP transceiver.

Proceeds from the On-Line Auction benefit ARRL educational programs,

including activities aimed at licensing new hams, strengthening Amateur

Radio's emergency service training, offering continuing technical and

operating education, and creating instructional materials.

Check items in which you have an interest, as bidding end times for each

item are staggered.

Previous ARRL On-Line Auction participants may log into the auction site

using the password they've already established. Check your ARRL user

profile to ensure that all address and credit card information remains the

same. Those who are not registered and have not yet place a bid must first

register in order to participate.

ARISS Encourages Schools to Apply Now for Space Station Ham Radio Contact


The Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) program has

announced that the application window is open for proposals from formal and

informal educational institutions and organizations to host an Amateur

Radio contact with an ISS crew member. The deadline to submit proposals is

December 15. Educational entities may apply individually or in concert with

other institutions or organizations. ARISS anticipates that ham radio

contacts with the space station will take place between May 1 and December

31, 2015.

"Crew scheduling and ISS orbits will determine the exact contact dates,"

the ARISS announcement explained. "To maximize these radio contact

opportunities, ARISS is looking for organizations that will draw large

numbers of participants and integrate the contact into a well-developed

education plan."

Since December 2000, crew members aboard the International Space Station

have taken part in scheduled Amateur Radio contacts with students on Earth.

Contacts typically last about 10 minutes -- depending upon the ISS orbit --

and follow a question-and-answer format. Schools and educational

organizations are encouraged to partner with a local Amateur Radio club or

group to handle the technical aspects of the contact.

An ARISS contact is a voice-only communication opportunity via Amateur

Radio between astronauts and cosmonauts aboard the space station and

classrooms and communities. ARISS contacts afford education audiences the

opportunity to learn firsthand from astronauts what it is like to live and

work in space and to learn about space research conducted on the ISS.

Students also will have an opportunity to learn about "satellite

communication, wireless technology, and radio science."

The ARRL website has more information about the program, including details

on expectations, audience, proposal guidelines and application form, and

dates and times of informational sessions. Contact ARISS with any questions

or for additional information.

ARISS is a cooperative educational initiative of the ARRL and AMSAT, in

partnership with NASA and other international space agencies.

W1AW Centennial Operations Set Sights on Washington and Kansas, Plus

American Samoa

The ARRL Centennial W1AW portable operations taking place throughout 2014

from each of the 50 states are now in Wyoming, Massachusetts, and the US

Virgin Islands. They will transition at 0000 UTC on Wednesday, November 5

(the evening of November 4 in US time zones), to Kansas (W1AW/0) and

Washington (W1AW/7). Some W1AW/0 operation from Kansas will take place from

the Marshall Ensor Memorial Organization Amateur Radio Club in Olathe. In

addition, W1AW/KH8 will be on the air from American Samoa starting on

Sunday, November 2, with operation continuing for about 12 days. So far

during 2014, W1AW has visited each of the 50 states for at least 1 week,

and by year's end W1AW will have been on the air from every state at least


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


Working W1AW/x from each state is worth 5 points per mode/contact, even

when working the same state during its second week of activity.

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. Participants must work W1AW/1 in Connecticut.) A

W1AW WAS certificate and plaque will be available.

An ARRL Centennial QSO Party leader board shows participants 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.

4M Moon Orbiter Completes Lunar Flyby

The recently launched 4M (Manfred Memorial Moon Mission) Amateur Radio

payload completed its loop around the moon on October 28 between 0030 and

0215 UTC. Among the 13-character onboard messages posted prior to launch

was a encomium for Manfred Fuchs, to whom LUXspace dedicated the mission.

Fuchs was the founder of LUXspace parent OHB. Roland Zurmely, PY4ZBZ, the

first station to receive the 4M signal, was also the first to piece

together the 158 JT65B 13-character messages comprising dedication, which

described Fuchs as playing "an outstanding role in the European space

industry over the last decades." Fuchs died earlier this year at the age of


The 4M payload downlink is on 2 meters (145.980 ±Doppler shift),

transmitting continuously at a power of 1.5 W into a quarter-wave monopole.

For its first 12 hours, the 4M payload was powered by rechargeable

batteries. It then switched automatically to non-rechargeable high-energy

density cells. Even as the spacecraft is on its return trajectory,

receiving the signal requires a high-gain antenna. Stations in the Southern

Hemisphere have the best chance of hearing the 4M payload. Radio amateurs

have been encouraged to receive and report the spacecraft's signals. As of

October 29, the spacecraft was some 255,000 miles from Earth. A 4M tracking

calculator and payload blog also are available.

A Chinese Long March 3C/G2 rocket carried the 4M lunar flyby experiment

into space at 1759 UTC on October 23 as a private payload on China's

Chang'e-5-T1 mission. Chang'e-5-T1 represents the third phase of China's

lunar exploration program, aimed at validating technologies for a future

lunar sample return probe. If successful, this mission would mark the first

successful re-entry of a Chinese space vehicle into Earth's atmosphere.

"Here at LUXspace, we are really thankful and grateful to all in the radio

amateur community who definitely [are] major actor[s] in the success of

this mission," Ghislain Ruy, LX2RG, of LUXspace, said this week. -- Thanks

to AMSAT-UK via AMSAT News Service

KP1-5 Project Gets Permission to Activate Navassa Island (KP1) in January


The KP1-5 Project has received word from the US Fish & Wildlife Service

(USFWS) that it may activate Navassa Island (KP1) in January 2015. The

DXpedition, using the call sign K1N, will be a maximum of 14 days, and

exact dates will be determined by USFWS mission requirements and weather


"Our experienced team of 15 is complete and is ready for the challenge,"

said an October 22 KP1-5 Project news release from President Bob Allphin,

K4UEE, and Vice President Glenn Johnson, W0GJ. "The weeks ahead will be

extremely busy as the team has less than 90 days before the DXpedition

comes on the air."

As the announcement explained, January is the month of minimum bird nesting

activity, and the USFWS had asked that the operation be completed during

that month. Weather is unpredictable in January, however, and because

Navassa is surrounded by cliffs, a safe landing by boat would be difficult

or impossible.

"For safety reasons and in order to maximize our time on the island and on

the air, a helicopter operation is planned," the team's news release

said. "Navassa is over 100 miles (160 km) from the nearest helicopter

staging point, and as many as 10 round trips will be required at the

beginning and end of the operation. Obviously, this means that there will

be a significant cost for activating this No 1 ranked DXCC entity."

The KP1-5 Project said it will be working with USFWS over the next few

weeks to firm up details. The KP1-5 Project team has committed to fund 50

percent of the DXpedition's tab. "We are hopeful the DX community at large

will fund the remainder," The announcement concluded.

INDEXA has announced that it will provide substantial financial support for

the Navassa Island KP1-5 Project DXpedition. More than half of the

DXpedition team members are INDEXA officers, directors, and members.

In other pending-DXpedition news, landing permission has been granted by

the Norwegian Polar Institute for a DXpedition on Bouvet (3Y/B). Landing

permission covers the period from mid-January to mid-April 2016.

Indonesia's New Leaders are Radio Amateurs

Indonesia's new national leaders are both Amateur Radio licensees.

President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo, YD2JKW, holds a General class license. Vice

President Jusuf Kalla, YC8HYK, is an Advanced class licensee.

Elected in July, Jokowi, 53, and Kalla, 72, were inaugurated on October 20

in Jakarta. Indonesia is the world's third-largest democracy, with a

population of approximately 250 million. Secretary of State John Kerry

represented the US at the inauguration and met with the new president


Jokowi previously served as Governor of Jakarta and as Mayor of Surakarta.

NCDXC Donates Radio, Accessories to 3B9FR

The Northern California DX Club (NCDXC) has donated a radio and accessories

to Robert Felicite, 3B9FR, to keep his Rodriguez Island station on the air.

According to Rusty Epps, W6OAT, Felicite had been seeking help to get his

current transceiver repaired, and Epps raised the topic at the club's

September meeting. Members were eager to help.

Ross Forbes, K6GFJ, offered to donate an entire station that he was not

using to help 3B9FR get back on the air. Kip Edwards, W6SZN, and Rich

Stempien, W6RS, made sure the transceiver was in good operating condition

before shipping it off to Rodriguez Island. The NCDXC sent an Icom

IC-756PROIII transceiver, Icom SP-23 speaker and SM-20 desk mic, and a hand

mic, as well as a MicroHAM microKEYER interface and a Heil Pro-Set Plus!

Headset -- along with all documentation and cables.

The donation will enable 3B9FR to be active on 160 through 6 meters, CW,

SSB, RTTY, and FM, as long as he has the requisite antennas. -- Thanks to

The Daily DX via Ross Forbes, K6GFJ

Special Event Call Sign VI6ANZAC Will Mark 100th Anniversary of ANZAC

Special event station VI6ANZAC will be on the air for 24 hours, starting at

1600 UTC on October 31, from Albany, Western Australia. The operation will

commemorate the centennial of the departure from Albany of the first ship

convoy transporting Australian and New Zealand troops, later known as ANZAC

-- Australian and New Zealand Army Corps -- to the World War I battlefront

in Europe.

The operation, being carried out by the Southern Electronics Group VK6SR,

will be on 160-10 meters, with operation primarily on SSB. CW and digital

mode operation is possible.

QSL via VK3CAM. -- Thanks to The Daily DX

Former ARRL Staff Member Mary Lau, N1VH, SK

Former ARRL Headquarters staff member Mary E. Lau, N1VH (ex-N7IAL), of

Newington, Connecticut, died October 15. She was 61 and had been suffering

from ALS. Lau worked in several League Headquarters departments from 1985

until her retirement in 2005, including Field and Educational Services

(F&ES), where she was projects supervisor and secretary of the ARRL

Foundation, assisting young Amateur Radio operators to secure college

scholarships and administering the prestigious Goldfarb Memorial

Scholarship. Lau headed the Field and Educational Services support team

that produced the "Leap into Amateur Radio" brochure aimed at elementary

schoolers. She also contributed technical assistance in the preparation of

the Active Club Primer. She edited the "At the Foundation" column for QST

while she was the Foundation secretary.

"Mary loved radio, was a hard worker, creative at finding solutions, would

bull-dog things she believed in, was quite enthusiastic about learning new

things, empathetic to anyone who came to her, super organized, happy to be

at ARRL Headquarters, and was overall a 'glass is half full' type of

person," said former ARRL Field and Educational Services Manager Rosalie

White, K1STO.

A native of Los Angeles, Mary also spent some time in the Pacific

Northwest, where she became licensed as N7IAL. She met her husband Zack,

W1VT, at ARRL Headquarters, and she enjoyed many fun operating activities

over the years. Read more.

Mirage, KLM Co-Founder Kenneth E. Holladay, K6HCP, SK

The co-founder of Mirage Communications and KLM, Ken Holladay, K6HCP, of

Gilroy, California, died October 14 after an extended illness. He was 75.

Holladay and Everett Gracey, WA6CBA (SK) co-founded

Mirage Communications, now a part of MFJ. He was also the "K" in KLM

Electronics, Inc, which he co-founded with Leeland "Mel" Farrer, K6KBE, and

Mike Staal, K6MYC.

A radio amateur from his high school days and an ARRL Life Member, Holladay

was a California native and attended San Jose Junior College. He wrote

several articles in the 1960s and 1970s for Ham Radio magazine and for QST.

He and his wife Jacqui published Electro Buyers Guide. He was an active

builder and experimenter on the VHF and UHF bands and was an early

participant in EME activity on 50 MHz and 1296 MHz. Read more.

Bill Orr Award Recipient Harry R. "Bob" Schroeder, N2HX, SK

Bob Schroeder, N2HX, of Ewing Township, New Jersey, died October 22 after a

brief illness. He was 62 and had recently retired from the New Jersey State

Police. Orr was the recipient of the 2009 ARRL Bill Orr, W6SAI, Technical

Writing Award. He was cited for his article "Electromagnetic Pulse and Its

Implications for EmComm," which appeared in the November 2009 issue of QST.

Schroeder served as the New Jersey State Police Office of Emergency

Management RACES officer for many years, and is credited with having fully

integrated Amateur Radio into New Jersey OEM response plans. An ARRL and

IEEE member, Schroeder was president of the Delaware Valley Radio

Association and served as its repeater director. His technical

column "Balanced Lines" had appeared in the DVRA newsletter since 1998.

Schroeder received his degree in Electrical Engineering from what is now

the College of New Jersey in 1976 and was a member of the Institute of

Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) for more than 20 years. --

Thanks to Gary Wilson, K2GW

A Century of Amateur Radio and the ARRL

A photo story in "Up Front in QST" in January 1993 noted that President

George H.W. Bush had made an official visit to Springfield, New Jersey, to

meet with local and state officials. One of those officials was Jeff,

WB2DCJ, who coaxed the President into greeting some locals on 2

meters. "Hey, how are you guys doing?" Bush said on the radio. "Nice to

talk with you."

That same issue of QST noted that DXCC credit was now being given for

contacts with three new entities -- Croatia, Slovenia, and

Bosnia-Hercegovina -- that emerged from the breakup of the former


By 1993, as the number of licensed amateurs increased, so did the number of

intentional violations of FCC rules.The Commission responded by getting

tough and levying severe fines on intentional wrongdoers, and in some cases

taking offenders to court.

The July 1993 issue of QST published the tale of K3KMO's 10,500 mile

motorcycle trip from Maryland to Alaska and back, all the while operating

HF CW in motion. CW contacts with hams all over the world helped while away

the long hours driving along the road.

In the 1970s, the FCC banned amateur communications for business purposes.

The vague wording of those rules became interpreted in a progressively

stringent manner over the years, however, curtailing the use of Amateur

Radio to support even meritorious public service activities. In July 1993,

the FCC changed its rules to allow hams to provide communication for

worthwhile public service activities. The final rules were adopted almost

verbatim from the suggestion made by ARRL.

The 10th anniversary of Amateur Radio as part of NASA space shuttle

missions was observed in 1993, with five shuttle crews requesting that ham

radio be part of the payload that year. -- Al Brogdon, W1AB

The K7RA Solar Update

Tad Cook, K7RA, Seattle, Washington, reports: Strong solar activity

continued this week, with average daily sunspot numbers rising 36 points to

119.9 and average daily solar flux up 24 points to 198.

If you are recording solar flux and sunspot data, the DRAO site in

Penticton has its archive (text) (HTML) of solar flux data now current, and

it's updated three times per day. You can also download an update of the

data file for Scott Craig's solar data plotting utility. You can update the

data file weekly using this bulletin.

The current prediction has daily solar flux at 145 on October 30, 135 on

October 31 through November 2, 130 on November 3-4, 120 on November 5-6,

165 and 160 on November 7-8, 165 on November 9-10, 175 on November 11-12,

then peaking at 200 on November 19-20, and reaching a low of 110 on

December 12.

The predicted planetary A index is 12 on October 30, 8 on October 31

through November 4, 12 on November 5, 8 on November 6-7, 5 on November 8-9,

8 on November 10-11, then 5 and 8 on November 12-13, 12 on November 14-15,

then 22, 15 and 10 on November 16-18, and 8 on November 19-21.

Conditions should be good this weekend for ARRL November Sweepstakes CW.

This is the weekend that Daylight Saving Time ends, but UTC is consistent,

so you don't get another hour of contesting when the clocks "fall back" by

60 minutes on Sunday at 2 AM local time.

If you are not a diehard contester, you might still enjoy handing out

contacts to the bleary-eyed, hungry hordes in final hours of the event --

especially if you happen to live in a rare or semi-rare ARRL/RAC section.

This weekly "Solar Update" in The ARRL Letter is a preview of

the "Propagation Bulletin" issued each Friday. The latest bulletin and an

archive of past propagation bulletins is on the ARRL website.

In Friday's bulletin look for an updated forecast and reports from readers.

Send me your reports and observations.

Getting It Right!

A story, "Actor Tim Allen Gets His Ham Ticket for Real," in the October 2,

2014, edition of The ARRL Letter contained incorrect information about one

of the show's characters. It should have read, "Allen plays Mike Baxter,

KA0XTT, and the show, which starts its new season October 3, has featured

ham radio in some episodes (Allen's TV daughter, Mandy Baxter, is KF0XIE)."

Just Ahead in Radiosport

October 31-November 2 -- Haunted Lighthouse QSO Party

November 1 -- IPA Contest

November 1-2 -- Ukranian DX Contest

November 1-2 -- Himalayan Contest

November 1-2 -- Radio Club of America QSO Party

November 1-3 -- ARRL November Sweepstakes (CW)

November 1-3 -- Collegiate ARC Championship

November 2 -- DARC 10-Meter Digital "Corona"

November 3 -- OK1WC Memorial Contest

November 4 -- ARS Spartan Sprint

November 6 -- CWOps Weekly Mini-CWT Tests

November 7 -- NS Weekly RTTY Sprint

November 7 -- NS Weekly CW Sprint

November 8-9 -- Worked All Europe DX Contest

November 8-9 -- ARRL EME Contest

November 8-9 -- 10-10 Fall Digital QSO Party

November 8-9 -- Japan International DX Contest

November 8-9 -- OK-OM DX Contest

November 8-9 -- Straight Key Weekend Sprintathon

November 8-9 -- Kentucky QSO Party

November 8-10 -- CQ WE (Western Electric)

See the ARRL Contest Calendar for more information.

Upcoming ARRL Section, State, and Division Conventions and Events

October 24-25 -- Oklahoma Section Convention, Ardmore, Oklahoma

November 1 -- TechFest 2014, Lakewood, Colorado

November 1-2 -- Georgia State Convention, Lawrenceville, Georgia

November 8 -- Alabama State Convention, Montgomery, Alabama

November 15-16 -- Indiana State Convention, Fort Wayne, Indiana

December 12-13 -- West Central Florida Section Convention, Plant City,


January 4 -- New York City/Long Island Section Convention, Bethpage, New


January 10 -- TECHFEST, Lawrenceville, Georgia

January 23-24 -- Mississippi State Convention, Jackson, Mississippi

January 23-25 -- Puerto Rico State Convention, Hatillo, Puerto Rico

February 7 -- South Carolina State Convention, North Charleston, South


February 7 -- Virginia State Convention, Richmond, Virginia

Find conventions and hamfests in your area.

The ARRL Letter appreciates the support of these advertisers:


Radio City

Radio Lights

RF Concepts

Low Loss PWRgate

HRD Software

Timewave Technology, Inc

ARRL members can opt to receive The ARRL Letter (with color images!)

directly via e-mail. If you are not an ARRL member, consider joining now to

receive this and other benefits, including the monthly ARRL journal, QST

(and the QST online digital edition). The ARRL — the national association

of Amateur Radio is the only organization representing Amateur Radio in the

US. As an ARRL member you support the ranks of thousands of other ham radio

enthusiasts shaping the Amateur Radio Service today. If you consider

yourself an active ham, you need ARRL now. Membership costs as little as

$39 a year. ARRL members have access to the ARRL Archive and Periodical

Search, the Product Review Archive, E-Mail Forwarding, a voice in the

affairs of ARRL and ham radio through locally appointed volunteers and much

more! Become part of the future of ham radio. Join the ARRL today!

ARRL -- Your One-Stop Resource for Amateur Radio News and Information

Join or Renew Today! ARRL membership includes QST, Amateur Radio's most

popular and informative journal, delivered to your mailbox each month.

Listen to ARRL Audio News, available every Friday.

Subscribe to...

NCJ -- National Contest Journal. Published bi-monthly, features articles by

top contesters, letters, hints, statistics, scores, NA Sprint and QSO


QEX -- A Forum for Communications Experimenters. Published bi-monthly,

features technical articles, construction projects, columns and other items

of interest to radio amateurs and communications professionals.

Free of charge to ARRL members: Subscribe to the ARES E-Letter (monthly

public service and emergency communications news), the ARRL Contest Update

(bi-weekly contest newsletter), Division and Section news alerts -- and

much more!

Find us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

The ARRL Letter is published Thursdays, 50 times each year. ARRL members

and registered guests may subscribe at no cost or unsubscribe by editing

their profile.

Copyright © 2014 American Radio Relay League, Inc. All Rights Reserved


Live Webcast Arduino for Ham Radio 30th October from W5KUB

Posted: 30 Oct 2014 10:14 AM PDT


Please join us for a special webcast featuring our special guest, Glen

Popiel, KW5GP, author of the newly released ARRL publication, Arduino for

Ham Radio. This event will be webcast from W5KUBÂ’s personal ham shack on

Thursday, October 30th at 8:00 PM CT (0100 UTC). Arduino devices are

powerful and inexpensive microcontrollers, and they are an easy way for ham

radio operators, students, and professionals to create devices that

interact with their environment using sensors and actuators. Glen will

discuss Arduino and its many applications. Glen will show and demonstrate

projects from his book. He may even bring some surprise projects not in

the book. GlenÂ’s projects include:

Random Code Practice Generator

Talking GPS/UTC Time/Grid Square Indicator

CW Beacon and Foxhunt Keyer

Iambic Keyer

Fan Speed Controller

Waveform Generator

Digital Compass

PS/2 CW Keyboard

Weather Station

Field Day Satellite Tracker

RF Probe with LED Bar Graph

Azimuth/Elevation Rotator Controller

Solar Battery Charger Monitor

CW Decoder

On-Air Indicator

Lightning Detector

Talking SWR Meter

CDE/Hy-Gain Rotator Controllers

To join the webcast go to http://W5KUB.com where the fun begins! For the

first time, there will be a telephone line for viewers to join the

webcast. Viewers can ask questions or discuss their own Arduino projects.

During the live webcast, viewers can chat with us or other ham radio

operators from around the world.

Viewers can win prizes, including autographed Arduino for Ham Radio books

and some Arduino items donated by Glen Popiel. To be eligible for prizes,

you must have a registered chat room login account on W5KUB.COM. If you

don’t already have a login, go to “W5KUB” and click on “Live Events and

Chat Room” where you can either log in or set up a new user account. This

year over $10,000 in prizes have been awarded to viewers of our webcast!

Of course, no purchase is necessary to win a prize because we donÂ’t sell

anything!! W5KUB is not affiliated with any products or companies.

Following Arduino, our guest will be John Amodeo, NN6JA, Producer of

ABCÂ’s hit TV show Last Man Standing featuring Tim Allen. John will provide

an update of the recent K6H Special Event.

Please join our group on Facebook at
https://www.facebook.com/groups/w5kub/ for more details and to keep up with

our webcasts.

Also, please help spread the word by posting this announcement in

Facebook and forwarding this message to your ham radio friends that may not

have received this message!


Tom Medlin, W5KUB



Coast Guard seeks assistance in identifying hoax caller in North Carolina

Posted: 30 Oct 2014 07:01 AM PDT

WILMINGTON, N.C. Oct 28, 2014

Coast Guard Sector North Carolina personnel are requesting assistance from

the public in identifying a suspected hoax caller who is suspected to have

made seven false distress calls during the past two years in the vicinity

of New Bern.

During the months of September through December of 2012-2013 and September

through October of 2014, a similar male voice broadcast similar distress

calls to Sector North Carolina personnel from the area surrounding the

junction of the Neuse and Trent Rivers near New Bern on seven different

occasions, with the most recent call on Oct. 16.

The Coast Guard issued urgent marine information broadcasts and launched

response boat crews, helicopter crews or both in each instance. The

combined response efforts to the calls is estimated to have cost the Coast

Guard more than $150,000. That cost does not include the expense of local

fire department crews or Marine Corps rescue helicopter crews who also

responded as a result of the calls.

Making a false distress call to the Coast Guard is a federal felony offense

with a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, an $8,000

civil penalty and mandatory reimbursement to the Coast Guard for the cost

of performing the search.

“When the Coast Guard dispatches vessels and aircraft for false distress

broadcasts, it obligates limited resources to unnecessary searches and puts

additional costs on the Coast Guard and the taxpayer,” said Lt. Lane

Munroe, command center chief and public affairs officer at Sector North

Carolina. “Above all else, it puts the lives of our personnel at risk. We

are asking anyone with information about this caller to please come


The Coast Guard is offering a $2,000 reward for information that leads to

the arrest and prosecution of the individual responsible for making a false

distress call to the U.S. Coast Guard.

One North Carolina resident was recently sentenced and two others were

indicted on making false distress calls.

Brandon Garner and Charles Dowd Jr., both of Beaufort, were indicted on

Oct. 14, by a federal grand jury for the Eastern District of North Carolina

in Greenville for hoax distress calls they allegedly made to the Coast

Guard in 2013. Both men are facing five years in federal prison and $18,000

in restitution.

Homer Blackburn of Atlantic Beach was sentenced to 18 months in federal

prison and required to pay more than $288,000 in restitution after making a

hoax distress call in October 2013.

Anyone with information that can identify the hoax caller is requested to

call 910-343-3880.



HamRadioNow: Ham Radio at the State Fair

Posted: 29 Oct 2014 01:29 PM PDT


Episode 171: Ham Radio at the State Fair

"We should set up a ham radio demonstration at the State Fair!"

Or the County Fair, or other big event that'll draw thousands of people.

Ever hear that comment at your radio club? How far did you get? Maybe next


Well, here's a group who made it happen (and this is the second year in a

row). The Road Show Amateur Radio Club in western North Carolina led a

group of area ham clubs in putting together a big demonstration tent and

Special Event Station (N4F), and staffing it for the 10-day run of the

Mountain State Fair (the fair for the western side of the state).

This is a typical HamRadioNow in-depth look at how they did it, what

worked, and what didn't, with an eye toward encouraging other clubs to take

on (or run away screaming from) a major operation like this. (So Bert is

going to complain that we should edit it more... but we won't. It's all


Episode 171: Ham Radio at the State Fair

Watch all our programs on our web page:


HamRadioNow is supported by viewer contributions

If you enjoy the programs, visit www.HamRadioNow.tv and "click the pig"

THANK YOU to all our contributors!

Show more