Saturday, 10th December 2016

ARRL Vows Continued Pursuit of the Amateur Radio Parity Act in the 115th Congress

The Amateur Radio Parity Act, H.R. 1301, died an unbefitting death as the 114th Congress of the United States drew to a close today. After having passed the House of Representatives on a unanimous vote, the bill stalled in the Senate due to the intervention of only one member, Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL).

Over the course of the past year, Sen. Nelson has received thousands of e-mails, letters, and p...

Friday, 9th December 2016

The K7RA Solar Update

Average daily sunspot number for the past week (December 1-7) was 40.9, up 10 points from the previous seven days at the end of November.

Average solar flux changed hardly at all, moving from 82.6 to 82.2.

Average daily planetary A index dropped from 13.6 to 4.9, and average mid-latitude A index from 10.3 to 3.4

The latest prediction from NOAA and the US Air Force shows solar flux at 75 on Decembe...

Radio Amateurs Assisting in Wake of Indonesian Earthquake

Radio amateurs are providing emergency communication support during the response to a December 7 magnitude 6.5 earthquake in Indonesia’s Aceh Province. The death toll is reported at 100, with nearly 300 injured.

The IARU Region 3 Disaster Communications Committee’s Dani Hidayat, YB2TJV, reports that it took 2 hours for the ham radio group from the Indonesian Amateur Radio Organization (ORARI), A...

60 Meter News from Sweden, Denmark, Finland, and Dominica

The 60 Meter DX Group reports that Swedish Post and Telecom is issuing temporary (6-month) “experimental” licenses for access to 5,351.5-5,366.5 kHz, replacing four channels, 5,310, 5,320, 5,380, and 5,390 kHz. There is a fee. The WRC-15 recommendations regarding 5 MHz have not yet been implemented, but that may happen by January 2018, when the next national band plan is released. In the interi...

Phil Anderson, VE3FAS, Named to Canadian Amateur Radio Hall of Fame

The Board of Trustees of the Canadian Amateur Radio Hall of Fame has announced the appointment of Phil Anderson, VE3FAS, of Amaranth, Ontario, to the Canadian Amateur Radio Hall of Fame for 2016. The Constitution for the Hall of Fame specifies that the appointment is made “for outstanding achievement and excellence of the highest degree, for serious and sustained service to Amateur Radio in Can...

Thursday, 8th December 2016

IARU Continues Preparations for World Radiocommunication Conference 2019

Chinese, Turkish Amateur Radio Satellites Near Launch Dates

Bouvet Island 3Y0Z DXpedition Identifies Landing Zone

The Bouvet Island 3Y0Z DXpedition Team reports that it has found “a suitable landing zone on Bouvet Island” and identified the apparent “best operating location in the area” for the early 2018 venture. The proposed site is approximately 600 feet above sea level on the Slakhallet Glacier on Bouvet’s northeastern quadrant, the DXpedition team said in a December 7 news release. An on-site inspecti...

Wednesday, 7th December 2016

Ofcom Declines to Act in Nightmare Neighbour Next Door Ham Radio Episode

UK telecommunications regulator Ofcom has declined to act on formal complaints about an October 27 episode of the Channel 5 television program Nightmare Neighbour Next Door. That episode focused on 75-year-old Armando Martins, M0PAM, of Kent, whose neighbors had made unsubstantiated claims that RF radiating from his 30-foot vertical antenna was detrimental to their health.

The Radio Society of G...

Emergency Communication Exercise Uses “Hamsphere®” to Introduce Youth to Virtual Ham Radio

Fifty students in Dominica were introduced to ham radio on November 23, in the form of a simulated emergency drill conducted via the virtual Amateur Radio platform HamSphere. W1AW at ARRL Headquarters monitored the exercise. HamSphere is a virtual Amateur Radio transceiver, available for iOS and Android devices. Under supervision, selected youth teams competed for speed and accuracy in a hurric...

Wednesday, 7th December 2016

ARRL Transitioning to New Digital Publishing Platform

ARRL is moving to a new digital publishing platform! The January 2017 digital edition of QST will be the first produced using PageSuite. ARRL Publications Manager Steve Ford, WB8IMY, said the transition from the current NxtBook platform to PageSuite not only will improve members’ reading experience, it will be more convenient.

PageSuite provides a sleek, modern design that runs on desktop brows...

Elves at OF9X Bring the Spirit of Christmas to Ham Radio

As in past years, Santa Claus will be spreading the spirit of Christmas via Amateur Radio, but this year the elves are taking over the show. Twelve elves are operating OF9X (“Old-Father-Nine-Christmas”) for the entire month of December, each with a 3-letter identification. Radio amateurs can work OF9X on all bands and modes, from 630 meters (where authorized) to 70 centimeters. Each contact is ...

Use of New Web Log Upload App Encouraged for ARRL 10 Meter Contest Participants

Transatlantic Reception Anniversary Special Event Set for December 11

An Amateur Radio special event on December 11 will commemorate the 95th anniversary of the first transatlantic shortwave reception between Greenwich, Connecticut, and Scotland. A school near the original site is hosting the event. ARRL, the Radio Society of Great Britain (RSGB), and the Radio Club of America (RCA), are partnering in sponsoring the activity. The Greenwich Historical Society will...

Rare Polar Openings Reported on 630 Meters

John Langridge, KB5NJD/WG2XIQ, reports that “extremely rare polar openings” have been occurring the past three nights on 630 meters between a number of North American stations and Rolf Torvik, LA2XPA, in Norway.

“This path is straight through the auroral oval, and quiet geomagnetic conditions have allowed signals to traverse the polar regions,” Langridge told ARRL. He said LA2XPA has “an amazing...

Tuesday, 6th December 2016

ISS Packet Digipeater is Now on 70 Centimeters

The Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) packet digipeater aboard the ISS has been active for several days now on 437.550 MHz. The UHF frequency means users will have to make adjustments for Doppler on both uplink and downlink.

The change to 70 centimeters comes in the wake of a problem that has sidelined the Ericsson VHF transceiver, so the UHF model has been put into servic...

Radio Australia Shortwave Broadcasts to End on January 31

Another prominent shortwave broadcaster is going dark, “The SWLing Post” blog reports. Radio Australia has announced that it will cease its shortwave transmissions on January 31. The station, popular with SWLs, broadcasts in the 31-, 25-, 19-, and 16-meter bands.

“The move is in line with the national broadcaster’s commitment to dispense with outdated technology and to expand its digital content...

ARRL Foundation Board Approves Two New Scholarships for Young Radio Amateurs

USS North Carolina Battleship Memorial to Host December 7 Special Event

The USS North Carolina Battleship Memorial in Wilmington, North Carolina, will host a special event on Wednesday, December 7, to mark the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor Day. Operator Jack Jacobs, WD4OIN, reports that NI4BK will be on 20 meters on December 7, 1400-2100 UTC.

The USS North Carolina (BB-55) was commissioned on April 9, 1941, a few months before the Pearl Harbor attack. During Worl...

Slow-Scan Television Transmissions Scheduled from ISS

Slow-scan television (SSTV) transmissions from the International Space Station (ISS) are scheduled for December 8-9. The SSTV images will be transmitted from RS0ISS on 145.800 MHz FM as part of the Moscow Aviation Institute MAI-75 Experiment, using the Kenwood TM-D710 transceiver in the ISS Service Module.

MAI-75 activities have been scheduled on December 8, 1235-1800 UTC, and December 9, 1240-1...

Wednesday, 30th November 2016

FCC Special Counsel Laura Smith Says Amateur Enforcement Will Be Aggressive

FCC Special Counsel Laura Smith told a standing-room-only audience at the ARRL Pacific Division Convention (Pacificon) in October that, despite FCC cutbacks, Amateur Radio enforcement will not be compromised. Smith spoke for nearly an hour and a half on a variety of FCC issues related to Amateur Radio, and the entire presentation is available on YouTube, thanks to Bob Miller, WB6KWT, and his so...

Sign Up for ARRL’s 12 Days of Deals!

We’re making a list and checking it twice. Beginning Thursday, December 1, 2016, ARRL will be offering 12 days of deals.

Subscribe by entering your name, call sign, and e-mail address in the fields provided. You’ll receive an e-mail a day for 12 days with a special online deal. Each deal is valid for 1 day only at, and concludes Friday, December 16, 2016.

Sign up now and unwrap ...

Amateur Radio Volunteers Providing Shelter Communication Support in Tennessee

Amateur Radio volunteers are providing communication support to American Red Cross shelters in Sevier County, Tennessee. Wind-driven flames and embers from the Chimney Top Fire in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, now closed, spread on Monday to threaten the communities of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge in East Tennessee. Authorities have closed Highway 441 into Gatlinburg, although it remains ...

Tennessee ARES on Standby in Wildfire Emergency, Local Amateur Radio Volunteers Assisting

Tennessee Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) remains on standby if needed to assist in the response to more than a dozen wildfires blazing in East Tennessee. Radio amateurs in individual communities have been volunteering to support the fire response, however. The fires are threatening the resort communities of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Force, and thousands already have evacuated. Spurred on by...

Tuesday, 29th November 2016

“Giving Tuesday” an Opportunity to Support ARRL

UK Radio Amateur Receives Sir Arthur Clarke Award for Astro Pi Work on “Principia” Mission

News site Cornwall Live in the UK reports that radio amateur David Honess, M6DNT, of Penzance, Cornwall, is the recipient of a Sir Arthur Clarke Award in recognition of this Astro Pi work with the recent Tim Peake, KG5BVI/GB1SS “Principia” mission on the International Space Station. Clarke, who died in 2008, was a science and science fiction writer and futurist.

The award was presented on behalf...

December Youngsters on the Air Event Set

The annual Youngsters on the Air (YOTA) event takes place during the entire month of December, with YOTA stations attempting to contact many other young radio amateurs around the world. The event offers an excellent opportunity for get radio amateurs in their teens and early 20s to get together on the air.

“The idea of this is to show the Amateur Radio hobby to youth and to encourage youngsters ...

Hamvention® Solicits Nominations for 2017 Awards

The 2017 Hamvention® Awards Committee, chaired by Frank J. Beafore, WS8B, has announced that nominations are open for 2017 awards, sometimes considered the Academy Awards of Amateur Radio. The program will bestow awards for Amateur of the Year, Technical Achievement, Special Achievement, and Club of the Year.

“The Hamvention Awards event has been held since 1955,” a Hamvention news release said....

Monday, 28th November 2016

Support ARRL by Shopping AmazonSmile on Cyber Monday

Shopping this Cyber Monday? If so, remember to shop AmazonSmile, and Amazon will make a contribution to ARRL. This helps the League extend its reach in public service, advocacy, education, technology, and membership.

Support ARRL as you shop your holiday gifts, decorations, and more. You shop. Amazon gives. Bookmark ARRL’s link and support Amateur Radio and ARRL every time you shop online this h...

Dave Kalter Youth DX Adventure Offering Complete Ham Station to Essay Contest Winner

The Dave Kalter Youth DX Adventure (YDXA) has announced an exciting essay competition for young radio amateurs. Due to the generosity of the 2016 raffle winner Paul Ewing, N6PSE, and the co-founders of the YDXA, the winner of the essay contest will receive a complete Amateur Radio station.

The prize includes an Alinco SR8T HF, a 12 V, 30 A power supply (Jetstream or equivalent), vertical antenna...

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