Saturday, 28th March 2015

ITU Deploys Emergency Communication Equipment in Vanuatu

In an effort to coordinate relief efforts in Vanuatu in the aftermath of Tropical Cyclone Pam, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has deployed emergency telecommunication equipment to the Pacific Ocean island nation. The category 5 storm devastated parts of Vanuatu on March 13. The ITU has dispatched 40 satellite phones, 10 broadband global area network terminals, and 35 solar pane...

Two More Radio Amateurs Join International Space Station Crew

Friday, 27th March 2015

Oklahoma Amateur Radio Volunteers Activate Net to Track Severe Weather

Amateur Radio SKYWARN volunteers in Oklahoma went on alert March 25 as severe thunderstorms sparked tornadoes. The Southwest Independent Repeater Association (SWIRA) and Tulsa Region SKYWARN nets were active in support of tornado warnings in both the Oklahoma City and Tulsa Metropolitan areas. No Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) activation was required, however.

“March 25 was a busy after...

The K7RA Solar Update

Sunspot numbers and solar flux both rose this week. Average daily sunspot numbers on March 19-25 were up 24.8 points to 83.9, compared to the previous seven day period. Average daily solar flux rose from 117.5 to 122.4.

Average planetary A index dropped from 29.4 to 19.4, although conditions continued to be active. March 22-23 had planetary A index numbers at 24 and 21, but there was nothing lik...

Thursday, 26th March 2015

Amateur Radio Television Pioneer Don Miller, W9NTP, SK

Amateur Radio television Pioneer and past ARRL Central Division Director Don C. Miller, W9NTP, of Waldron, Indiana, died March 22. He was 91. An ARRL Life Member, he was licensed in 1943. In the 1960s Miller was instrumental in developing slow-scan TV (SSTV) for ham radio, working with Cop MacDonald, VY2CM, and others. Miller wrote several articles on SSTV for QST. In 1972, Dayton Hamvention® h...

“Radio DARC” Program Debuts on Ham-Operated German Shortwave Outlet

Wednesday, 25th March 2015

ARRL President, Directors and Officers Educate and Advocate on Capitol Hill

Two Centenarian Radio Amateurs are Honored by Their States

Two distinguished centenarian radio amateurs recently were honored by their respective states. In Alaska, 102-year-old ARRL member Arlene “Buddy” Clay, KL7OT, was inducted into the Alaska Women’s Hall of Fame for her work in rural justice administration among the Yup’ik people. Responding to a 1944 QST advertisement, Buddy Clay and her late husband Earl, KL7EM, went to work as air traffic contr...

ARRL Centennial Points Challenge, W1AW WAS Awards Application Window Open

The window to apply for ARRL Centennial Points Challenge and W1AW Worked All States awards is now open! The ARRL Centennial operating events were hugely successful, with participation way beyond anyone’s expectations.

“This was the biggest on-the-air operation in the history of Amateur Radio,” ARRL Chief Operating Officer Harold Kramer, WJ1B, said. More than 5.5 million Centennial event contacts...

Tuesday, 24th March 2015

Virginia Test Session Yields Winners from 9 to 90

None of the 34 candidates at a February 28 ARRL VEC Amateur Radio testing session in Virginia’s Tidewater region went home empty handed. Among the successful applicants was a nonagenarian former licensee who had been out of ham radio for 60 years, and sisters aged 9 and 12. Every applicant passed at least one of the tests attempted. Turnout at the session, sponsored jointly by the Hampton Publi...

Tuesday, 24th March 2015

Global Amateur Radio Emergency Conference Returns to its Roots for 2015

Ten years after its inaugural session in Tampere, Finland, the Global Amateur Radio Emergency Conference (GAREC) will return to that city on Tuesday and Wednesday, June 23-24. The theme of the international event will be, “Cooperating with Authorities.” GAREC 2015 has extended an invitation to all involved in emergency communication around the world.

Hosting GAREC 2015 will be the Finnish Amateu...

Friday, 20th March 2015

National Hurricane Conference Will Include Amateur Radio Sessions

Amateur Radio will again be represented at the 2015 National Hurricane Conference, March 30-April 2 in Austin, Texas. The conference theme is improving hurricane preparedness. All Amateur Radio sessions are free and will take place Tuesday, March 31.

The primary goal of the National Hurricane Conference is to improve hurricane preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation in order to save liv...

The K7RA Solar Update

The spring equinox is today, March 20, at 2245 UTC.

On Tuesday, March 17 a CME struck Earth producing the largest geomagnetic storm of the current solar cycle. Aurora was visible all the way down to the central United States. The planetary A index for the day was 117, an incredibly high number. It looks like the greatest impact was in the second half of the UTC day, when the planetary K index in...

Thursday, 19th March 2015

Vibroplex Purchases Bencher Amateur Radio Product Line

Bencher Inc has announced the sale of its Amateur Radio product line to Vibroplex LLC of Knoxville, Tennessee, owned by Scott Robbins, W4PA.

“This sale ends Bencher’s presence in the Amateur Radio field, thus allowing the principals, Jere Benedict, President, and Bob Locher, W9KNI, to move towards retirement,” the announcement said.

Product lines included in the sale include the Bencher BY series...

FCC, Regulatory Issues Dominate ARRL Executive Committee Meeting Agenda

Dayton Hamvention® Names 2015 Award Winners

Dayton Hamvention® has named its 2015 award winners. Three radio amateurs and a club will be honored during the annual ham radio gathering, which takes place May 15-17.

Named as Amateur of the Year was Tim Duffy, K3LR. Hamvention’s Special Achievement Award will go to Tom Medlin, W5KUB, and the Rev George Dobbs, G3RJV, will receive the Technical Excellence Award. Hamvention will pay tribute to t...

Tuesday, 17th March 2015

Emergency Communication Lacking in Vanuatu Cyclone Recovery Effort

With the telecommunications and electrical power infrastructure in Vanuatu knocked out by the Category 5 Cyclone (hurricane) Pam, which struck the Pacific archipelago over the weekend, no organized emergency communication system has stepped in to fill the gap. Many locations have not been heard from since the storm hit. The extreme storm, with winds in excess of 155 MPH, caused severe damage th...

Amateur Radio Roundtable Offers Live, Weekly Ham Radio Discussions

Tom Medlin, W5KUB, has launched Amateur Radio Roundtable, a new series of live, weekly webcasts on his website, Tuesdays at 0100 UTC. The March 17 edition will feature Mike Kalter, W8CI, of Dayton Hamvention fame; Bharathi Prasad, VU2RBI, and Gary Yohe, AJ4GL, as guests.

Amateur Radio Roundtable is an informal discussion of all aspects of ham radio, with the intent of allowing viewers to watch ...

KE4PT Wins March QST Cover Plaque Award

The winner of the March 2015 QST Cover Plaque award is Kai Siwiak, KE4PT, for his article “An Off Center Fed Dipole for Portable Operation on 40 to 6 Meters.”

The QST Cover Plaque Award -- given to the author or authors of the most popular article in each issue -- is determined by a vote of ARRL members on the QST Cover Plaque Poll web page. Cast a ballot for your favorite article in the April i...

Monday, 16th March 2015

ITU Symposium Endorses Small Satellite Regulation and Communication Systems Declaration

International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) representatives were in Prague earlier this month to join discussions on the regulatory aspects of orbits and spectrum usage for nanosatellites and picosatellites. On hand for the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Symposium and WorkshopMarch 2-4 were IARU Vice President Ole Garpestad, LA2RR, and former IARU Region 1 President Hans Blondeel Timm...

Tuesday, 10th March 2015

New Legislative Issues Advocacy Fund Will Power Capitol Hill Educational Campaign

The April Edition of Digital QST is Now Available!

The April Edition of Digital QST is Now Available

• Build a clever curve tracer for homebrewing or troubleshooting.

• Put LiPo batteries to work at your station with this handy project.

• Explore the various digital voice systems available for VHF and UHF.

• Take a fond look back at the W1AW portable operations that took place during the ARRL Centennial.

• Discover a radical approach to single sideb...

Monday, 9th March 2015

Southeastern Division Assistant Director Charles I. “Chuck” Baer, W4ROA, SK

Long-Time ARRL Southeastern Division Assistant Director Charles I. “Chuck” Baer, W4ROA, of Sunrise, Florida, died March 7 after a lengthy illness. He was 74. An ARRL member, Baer had served three ARRL Southeastern Division directors over the years.

“Chuck and I have worked together for over 30 years with local ARRL affairs,” said ARRL Southern Florida Section Manager Jeff Beals, WA4AW. “He was v...

Danish Astronaut is Among Latest Group of Space-Bound Radio Amateurs

Friday, 6th March 2015

Comments Due by April 6 on 76-81 GHz Radar Sharing Proposals

Comments are due by April 6 on an FCC proceeding that could lead to expanded spectrum for various radar applications in the 76-81 GHz band, which Amateur Radio shares with other services. The band 77.5-78 GHz is allocated to the Amateur and Amateur Satellite services on a primary basis, and to the Radio Astronomy and Space Research services on a secondary basis. The FCC released a detailed Noti...

Change Local Clocks This Weekend, But Not UTC

Daylight Saving Time in the United States begins at 2 AM local time on Sunday, March 8. That’s when clocks in most areas of the country will be set ahead one hour.

However, UTC time does not change. The only thing that changes is the relationship between local time and UTC.

If you live in an area that observes Daylight Saving Time, the following offsets apply:


Time Zone Hours Subtracted from UTC

The K7RA Solar Update

Weakening sunspot activity continues. Average daily sunspot numbers dropped from 59 in the previous seven days to 54.1 during the week of February 26 through March 4.

Average daily solar flux actually rose a little, with values increasing from 116.3 to 122.9 over the same two weeks. In addition, on March 5 the noon reading for solar flux in Penticton was 140.2, but this was an outlier, reduced b...

Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2015 Introduced in Congress

League Counters Another Mimosa Move for 10 GHz Wireless Broadband Sharing

The ARRL has told several US House and Senate members that the 10 GHz band, where the Amateur and Amateur-Satellite services have allocations, is not a suitable choice to expand wireless broadband. Three Republican and three Democratic lawmakers wrote FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler on March 2, asking the Commission to “explore potential sharing opportunities within the 10 GHz band” to alleviate “the ...

Thursday, 5th March 2015

FCC Offices, Rest of Federal Government Take a Snow Day

The federal government, including the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), is closed today as the nation’s capital confronts its most significant cumulative snowfall since the so-called “Snowmageddon” of 2010.

Nearly 15 inches of snow has fallen on Washington, DC, this winter, counting the 3 or 4 inches that has fallen since yesterday. Authorities are urging motorists to stay off the roads. ...

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