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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
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
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
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
"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
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
"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
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
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 Â±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
"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
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
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
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:
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Timewave Technology, Inc
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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
Fan Speed Controller
PS/2 CW Keyboard
Field Day Satellite Tracker
RF Probe with LED Bar Graph
Azimuth/Elevation Rotator Controller
Solar Battery Charger Monitor
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
donÂ’t already have a login, go to Â“W5KUBÂ” and click on Â“Live Events and
Chat RoomÂ” 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
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.
Â“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,Â” said Lt. Lane
Munroe, command center chief and public affairs officer at Sector North
Carolina. Â“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
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
LISTEN HERE : STATION ONE | STATION TWO
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
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