Monday, 22nd September 2014

ARRL Simulated Emergency Test Set for October 4-5 Weekend

The national ARRL Simulated Emergency Test (SET) is slated for the October 4-5 weekend, although the window for local and regional exercises is September 1 through November 30 each year. All groups conduct their events over the course of 48 hours. The SET is a nationwide exercise in disaster response and emergency communication, administered by ARRL emergency coordinators and net managers, in w...

ARDF Team USA Takes Home a Silver Medal from World Championships

A member of Amateur Radio Direction Finding (ARDF) Team USA medaled in the 17th ARDF World Championships earlier this month in Kazakhstan. Vadim Afonkin, KB1RLI, of Boston, Massachusetts, took home a silver medal in the men’s age 40-49 category in the 2 meter competition on September 8, the first day of competition. The Kazakhstan Federation of Radiosport and Radioamateur (KFRR) hosted the cham...

W1AW Centennial Operations Heading to New Mexico and Idaho

The ARRL Centennial W1AW portable operations taking place throughout 2014 from each of the 50 states are now in North Carolina (W1AW/4) and Connecticut (W1AW/1). W1AW operations will transition starting at 0000 UTC on Wednesday, September 24 (the evening of September 23 in US time zones), to New Mexico (W1AW/5) and Idaho (W1AW/7). W1AW has visited each of the 50 states for at least 1 week so fa...

Saturday, 20th September 2014

Wisconsin Ham Dies in Fall from Tower

A Wisconsin radio amateur lost his life on September 16 as he was performing maintenance on the 100 foot tower of a fellow ham. Killed in the fall was 59-year-old James G. Linstedt, W9ZUC, of Eau Claire, who succumbed to injuries sustained after he fell 95 feet from a tower owned by Ronald Anderson, W9RMA, in Eagle Point, just outside of Chippewa Falls, on the shores of Lake Wissota. Linstedt w...

Friday, 19th September 2014

The K7RA Solar Update

On September 11 and 12 two powerful CMEs hit Earth, producing a G3 class geomagnetic storm. The result was a planetary A index of 44 on Friday, and during the final three hours of the UTC day (2:00 PM to 5:00 PM PDT) the planetary K index reached 7, which is very high.

Overall solar activity is down, with the average daily sunspot number declining from 152 to 124.9 in the latest reporting period...

Thursday, 18th September 2014

FCC Turns Down Petition to Create a 4 Meter Band in the US

It does not appear that US radio amateurs will gain a new band at 70 MHz anytime soon. The FCC has denied a Petition for Rule Making filed earlier this year by Glen E. Zook, K9STH, of Richardson, Texas, seeking to add a 4 meter band to Amateur Radio’s inventory of VHF allocations. Zook had floated the proposal in 2010, and his petition was dated January 27, 2010, but the FCC said it did not rec...

ARRL Website Will Be Unavailable on September 19 Starting at 2000 UTC

The ARRL website is scheduled to be offline on Friday, September 19, starting at 2000 UTC. The length of the outage could run for several hours and possibly into Saturday, September 20. The ARRL IT Department will be performing maintenance in the process of testing and, if feasible, switching the site to a new server.

A “Down for Maintenance” message will appear for the duration of the outage wh...

Wednesday, 17th September 2014

AMSAT-NA Announces Board of Directors Election Results

AMSAT-NA has announced the results of its recent Board of Directors election. These candidates have been elected to serve 2-year terms: Tom Clark, K3IO; JoAnne Maenpaa, K9JKM; and Lou McFadin, W5DID.

Jerry Buxton, N0JY, will serve the year remaining on the term of the late Tony Monteiro, AA2TX.

The First Alternate is Drew Glasbrenner, KO4MA, and the Second Alternate is Frank Griffin, K4FEG.

The re...

IARU Region 1 General Conference, IARU Administrative Council to Meet in Bulgaria

Representatives of the countries comprising IARU Region 1 (Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Northern Asia) will gather this month for the Region 1 General Conference. The Bulgarian Federation of Radio Amateurs, (BFRA) will host the meeting September 21-26 in Albena on the Black Sea Coast. Regional general conferences are held every 3 years.

“At General Conferences IARU Region 1 makes major d...

High-Value ARRL “Red Badgers” Will Hand Out Centennial QSO Party Points on September 21

The next ARRL “Red Badges on the Air” activity is just days away. On Sunday, September 21 UTC (starting the evening of Saturday, September 20, in US time zones), holders of red ARRL name/call sign badges will be on the air en masse, offering a chance to boost your ARRL Centennial QSO Party total. ARRL officers, elected officials such as Director or Section Manager, as well as Headquarters staff...

Tuesday, 16th September 2014

“Last Man Standing” Special Event Set for September 28

A Hollywood-style Amateur Radio special event is set for later this month from the so-called “Seinfeld Stage” on the CBS Studio Center lot in Studio City, California. The K6H “Hollywood Hamnado” special event station will be on HF and D-STAR, September 28, from 1400 until 2200 UTC. Hosts for the event will be Amateur Radio crew members of the ABC television series “Last Man Standing.” On the sh...

Qatari Es’hail 2 Satellite will Include AMSAT-DL Phase 4 Amateur Radio Transponders

Gunter’s Space Page has reported that the Es’hail 2 communications satellite will carry analog and digital Amateur Radio transponders. The new satellite, which will be operated by Es’hailSat, the Qatar Satellite Company, will be in a geostationary orbit, positioned at the 26° East “hotspot” position for TV broadcasting to the Middle East and North Africa. Launch is planned for late 2016.


Colorado ARES Team Wins an Honorable Mention in Citizen Corps Awards

The Boulder County (Colorado) ARES team (BCARES) received an honorable mention in the Citizen Corps 2014 Individual and Community Preparedness Awards. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced the nationwide award recipients on September 3.

BCARES was cited under the Technical Innovation category for its use of Amateur TV and APRS and for its Mountain Emergency Radio Network (MERN...

Monday, 15th September 2014

Moon-Bound Ham Radio Payload Will Transmit Your Message from Space — But Hurry!

The Amateur Radio payload on the lunar-orbiting 4M-LXS spacecraft will carry up to 2500, 13-character digital messages into space for retransmission via JT65B mode on 145.990 MHz. But wannabes will have to act fast. The message collection site will close Wednesday, September 17 at 12:00 Central European Time (1100 UTC) the 4M website announced today. China recently announced plans to launch the...

W1AW Centennial Operations Heading to North Carolina and Connecticut on September 17 (UTC)

The ARRL Centennial W1AW portable operations taking place throughout 2014 from each of the 50 states are now in Colorado, New Hampshire, and Texas. W1AW operations will transition starting at 0000 UTC on Wednesday, September 17 (the evening of September 16 in US time zones), to North Carolina (W1AW/4) and Connecticut (W1AW/1). W1AW has visited each of the 50 states for at least 1 week so far du...

New $21.40 Vanity Call Sign Fee Now in Effect

The new Amateur Service vanity call sign regulatory fee of $21.40 became effective on September 11. The FCC released a Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (R&O) on August 29, in which it recalculated the fee to $21.40 for the 10-year license term. The $5.30 increase represents the largest vanity fee hike in many years. In past years, new vanity fees did not become effecti...

Friday, 12th September 2014

Amateur Radio Society of India Wants Less-Burdensome Amateur Radio Licensing Rules

The K7RA Solar Update

We saw a nice increase in the level of solar activity this week, and the outlook for the near term looks good, or at least, interesting.

Average daily sunspot numbers for the period September 4-10 increased from 85.1 to 152.1, and average daily solar flux rose from 126.7 to 155.8. Geomagnetic indicators were quiet, with average planetary A index declining from 14.7 to 7.9, and average mid-latitu...

Thursday, 11th September 2014

Radio Scouting Webinar Set

A webinar, "What is Radio Scouting and What Does it Mean to Me?" is set for September 18 at 0100 UTC (Wednesday evening, September 17, in US time zones). The presenter will be Jim Wilson, K5ND, chairman of the Boy Scouts of America's Radio Scouting Committee, president of the K2BSA Amateur Radio Association, and member of the World Scouting JOTA-JOTI Team.

“Radio Scouting” includes all things Am...

No Easy Answers for RadioShack’s Slow, Downward Slide

Friday, 5th September 2014

Team USA Competing in Amateur Radio Direction Finding World Championships in Kazakhstan

Members of Team USA will compete in the 17th Amateur Radio Direction Finding (ARDF) World Championships, which get underway Saturday, September 6 in the mountains of Kazakhstan, and continue until September 13. Invitations to join the US team were issued earlier this summer, based on results of the 2014 USA Championships near Boston and the 2013 USA Championships in North Carolina. Up to three ...

Tuskegee Airman and Congressional Gold Medal Recipient George Mitchell, K6ZE, SK

ARRL Life Member, long-time Amateur Radio operator and Tuskegee Airman George T. Mitchell, K6ZE, of San Diego, California, died September 4. He was 94. During World War II Mitchell taught Morse code to the pioneering black aviators known as the Tuskegee Airmen.

In 2007, Mitchell was among the group of Tuskegee Airmen veterans to belatedly receive the Congressional Gold Medal, the United States’...

The K7RA Solar Update

Sunspot activity continued to weaken over the past seven days (August 28 through September 3). Average daily sunspot numbers declined from 113.4 to 85.1, and average daily solar flux went from 130.5 to 126.7. Geomagnetic activity was up recently, with average planetary A index increasing from 7.4 to 14.7, nearly double the values from the August 21-27 period week earlier.

The latest predicted so...

Thursday, 4th September 2014

Time Again to Get Your Qs on Route 66

Fox-1 Satellites to Offer Slow-Speed Telemetry During Normal Transponder Operation

The Fox-1 series of CubeSats will be capable of transmitting continuous telemetry during normal transponder operation, while contacts are taking place. The satellites will feature slow-speed (200 bps) telemetry data that accompany transponder audio or voice ID activity. The slow-speed data are contained in the audio spectrum below 300 Hz. Using DSP techniques, high-pass filtering is applied to ...

Wednesday, 3rd September 2014

Moonbounce Enthusiasts Enjoy Conference, Brittany Coast

The site of the gigantic antenna in France that received the first live TV broadcast from the US via the Telstar satellite served as the backdrop August 25-26, as more than 100 moonbounce (EME) enthusiasts from 18 countries gathered to compare notes and to socialize. The 16th International EME Conference was held at the Parc du Radôme in Northern Brittany. In July 1962, the 64 meter Radôme was ...

Next “Red Badge Day” on September 21 is a Chance to Rack Up Serious Centennial QSO Party Points

“Archie’s Ham Radio Adventure” Comic Artist Stan Goldberg is SK

Stan Goldberg, the artist who, with Mike Esposito, drew the “Archie’s Ham Radio Adventure” comic for ARRL in the 1990s, died August 31. He was 82. A New York City native, Goldberg was Marvel Comics’ chief colorist during the 1960s, when most of the characters now associated with Marvel were created.


“He’s the reason Spider Man’s costume is red and dark blue, the reason the Incredible Hulk’s ski...

New QST QuickStats Poll Posted

This month’s QuickStats poll has been posted! Check the QuickStats page and answer these questions . . .

• Is your station computer used for activities other than Amateur Radio?

• Do you leave your station computer on at all times?

• Is your primary station computer a desktop, laptop or tablet?

• If your primary station computer is a laptop or desktop, have you ever suffered a hard drive failure?


New Amateur Radio Vanity Call Sign Fee Set at $21.40

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