O'Connell teacher Melissa Pore, whose amateur radio call sign is KM4CZN, used her expertise and connections to arrange the call to the International Space Station through a program called ARISS -- Amateur Radio on the International Space Station. "It's National STEM Day, so it's fun to capitalize on the day," said Pore. "To see students excel and do things I never could -- I never had the door open to me. I am here to open doors and provide more pathways to the students, more opportunities to engage not just in traditional lecture style, but with all hands-on engineering classes. The excitement is infectious between us all." Mark Steiner, an ARISS team member, explained the program and introduced students to ham radio.
11/13/2018 09:05 PM
The next launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is set for Thursday at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The rocket will carry a payload designed to take amateur radio to new heights. Elon Musk's space company will reportedly launch the reusable "Block 5" booster that was used in July's Telstar 19V mission. This time around, however, it will carry Qatar's Es'hail-2 satellite to geostationary orbit. "Es'hail-2 will also provide the first Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation (AMSAT) geostationary communication capability that connects users across the visible globe in one single hop and in real-time," the statement reads. A number of amateur radio satellites are already in space, but almost all are in low-earth orbit. Es'hail-2 will operate much higher in a geostationary orbit where it will have a "view" of more than a third of the globe. That will allow for communications, for example, between India and Brazil for so-called "hams."
11/13/2018 09:05 PM
CHAPIN, SC (WIS) -- When 107-year-old Cliff Kayhart was a young man, he was first introduced to a radio broadcast and was forever hooked. 100 years later, he is regarded as the worlds oldest ham radio operator. The walls of his room at the Lowman Home in Chapin bear the postcards of many people from around the world Kayhart has communicated with over the years. He still remembers the first time he heard the crackle of voices on radio airwaves. "I didn't notice too much what they were saying, it's the fact that I was hearing a human voice coming out of the air someplace. I became fascinated with it." Kayhart could never have guessed where that fascination would lead. He entered the Army's Signal Corps during World War 2 where his radio engineering skills were in high demand.
11/13/2018 09:04 PM
A ham radio operator in Florida helped the Coast Guard rescue a man far off the North Carolina coast on Saturday. Coast Guard officials said a rescue helicopter pulled the unnamed 57-year-old man suffering chest pains off the cutter Spencer after its crew rendezvoused with his sailboat and retrieved him Saturday morning about 200 miles southeast of Cape Hatteras. Public Affairs Specialist 2nd Class Corinne Zilnicki told Navy Times on Sunday that watchstanders at the Fifth District Command Center in Portsmouth, Virginia, received the first alerts from the Personal Locator Beacon and Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon registered to the 48-foot sailboat Marie Elena around noon on Friday. But communication with the sailboat crew wasn't established until about 30 minutes later, when a high frequency radio operator with the Maritime Mobile Service Network in Inverness, Florida, established a connection between the watchstanders in Virginia and the Marie Elena's crew, Zilnicki said. Coast Guard officials in Norfolk on Sunday credited the ham radio operator and the Marie Elena's Personal Locator Beacon and Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon for helping to make the rescue operation a success.
11/13/2018 09:03 PM
Thursday night at 9 PM EST (11/15), Michael Cauley, W4MCA, the chairman of Orlando Hamcation, will be on Ham Talk Live! to take your calls and questions about Hamcation! Michael has a major announcement to make on the program. We will talk about planning your trip from accommodations to transportation, and the many improvements being made for 2019.
11/13/2018 08:59 PM
There's that tree. Ham radio operators have never been more diverse, nor more of them. The branches of ham radio spread like an ever-growing tree. The newest is digital communications. Some use ham radio satellites via antennas made of PVC pipe and steel measuring tape. Operators bounce signals off the moon or meteors. A dedicated group strives to contact others using the smallest amount of power possible, as in a fraction of a watt. Others just like to turn on the radio and chat.
11/12/2018 09:20 PM
A group of ham radio enthusiasts didn't let a little cold weather stop them from honoring veterans, specifically Marine Lance Cpl. Zack T. Addington, on Sunday at Clermont City Park. "I think it's turned out a lot better than I thought it would," Lanierland Amateur Radio Club President Mike Hall said. "This morning when we were sitting here freezing I thought 'nobody's gonna come. Do we really want to do this?' We talked about it, and I said 'we did it to honor a veteran. I think we need to stay.' As the morning went on people started coming in." The club set up ham radios for people in the community to communicate with people around the world from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Veterans Day. "The neat thing is, and we didn't exactly plan this, but somebody reminded us that on Veterans Day, 11 o'clock is the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, so we had a moment of silence," Hall said. "A gentleman who was here earlier was a minister, so we asked him to lead us in prayer, then we pledged the flag. We found out how many veterans we had, and one of the fellas went around and thanked everybody for their service. It was just a little beautiful ceremony that we did around here." "Altogether today we've had four ham operators who were veterans, and we've talked to a number a veterans. They'll tell us they appreciate that we're doing this," Hall said. "...a lot of ham operators are veterans and may have gotten into ham radio because of doing radio in service."
11/12/2018 09:19 PM
On Nov. 8, the Grant County Amateur Radio Emergency Service participated in a statewide exercise to test communications methods in a scenario that disabled all phone and internet services. In the scenario, a state-sponsored terrorist organization targeted Oregon with a computer virus that knocked out both cell and wireline telephone networks and a biological virus that killed thousands. Counties were pitted against each other as people fled the cities to escape the deadly biological virus in the scenario. Part of the exercise was what became known as the MacGyver Task. In this contingency task, all normal radio antennas used for emergency work were blown down in a freak windstorm. Radio operators had to quickly implement an alternate plan. This task required a short message to be sent and relayed using three different modes of communications.
11/12/2018 12:06 AM
The eleventh of November is always a significant historical day. Remembrance Day 2018 is especially significant as it is the centenary of the signing of armistice between the allies of World War I and Germany. It took effect at eleven o'clock in the morning of the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month -- one hundred years ago. The war to end all wars was finally over.
11/10/2018 11:51 PM
Alex Muggli served in the Navy from 1942-1946. He was originally drafted into the Army, but joined the Navy when he realized he could get a better deal. Now living at St. Gabriel's in Bismarck, the facility got a turn to say thank you. Muggli was one of 25 veterans honored for their service. "I never expected this and I'm just as happy as can be about it and surprised. It's just wonderful," said Muggli. Muggli's journey started back in 1942. He was a radio technician instructor in the Navy, teaching students about radar. After his discharge in 1946, he continued his radio skills as a ham radio operator for 80 years, something he passed on to his son.
11/10/2018 11:51 PM
On August 4, 1972, dozens of mines seemed to spontaneously explode off the waters of Hon La, Vietnam. The weapons had been planted there as part of Operation Pocket Money, a U.S. plan to block North Vietnam from maritime trade during the Vietnam War, and they were supposed to detonate in the presence of ships. But on that summer day in 1972, U.S. troops flying overhead did not see any vessels that might have caused the mines to go off. As Becky Ferreira reports for Motherboard, a new study accepted to the journal Space Weather has put forth a possible solution to this mysterious wartime event. The mines, according to the researchers, were likely triggered by a powerful solar storm, which triggered the mines' magnetic sensors and led to unexpected explosions. The new research is based in part on declassified Navy documents, "long buried in the Vietnam War archives," according to the study authors. Navy officials immediately launched an investigation into the unexplained detonations, and they soon suspected that solar activity was the culprit. As Brett Carter explains in the Conversation, many of the mines that seemed to randomly go off were "magnetic influence sea mines," which are designed to detect changes in magnetic field caused by passing ships. By the 1970s, it was well known that solar activity could disrupt the magnetic field here on Earth, but Navy officials wanted to confirm that solar activity could also trigger deeply submerged mines. They consulted with experts at the Space Environment Laboratory at the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and concluded with a "high degree of probability" that the mines had been set off by an intense solar storm.
11/10/2018 11:50 PM
The Indian Government's Telecommunications regulator has published a 2018 Update to the Indian National Frequency Plan, effective from the 25th of October. It lists new amateur bands at 5MHz, 472 and 136kHz. In more detail that means 5351.5 to 5366.5kHz as Secondary users with 15W EIRP. 472 to 479kHz is also as a Secondary user, this time with 1W EIRP. Finally, there's 135.7 to 137.8kHz, again as a Secondary user with 1W EIRP.
11/10/2018 12:03 AM
At 2244 UTC on November 7 the Australian Space Forecast Centre issued a geomagnetic disturbance warning due to a co-rotating interaction region ahead of a coronal hole high speed solar wind stream on November 9-10. Active geomagnetic conditions are predicted for November 9, and unsettled to active conditions on November 10. We saw another week with no sunspots, and the average daily solar flux softened from 68.6 to 67.7. Average planetary A index rose from 4.4 to 12, while average mid-latitude A index went from 3.4 to 8.1. On November 5 the planetary A index rose to 35, while Alaska's college A index went to 44, indicating disturbed conditions.
11/09/2018 05:17 PM
If there's ever an emergency in Ramona, a good person to call on is Stephen Stipp, president of the Ramona Outback Amateur Radio Society (ROARS). Not only does Stipp know the lay of the land as a Ramona resident since 1989, he can be relied on to communicate critical messages even when cell phones can't. Stipp, 64, said ROARS has a new trailer with the capability to set up emergency communications equipment in 15 minutes. He added that ROARS is one of two amateur radio clubs in San Diego County that operates on solar power so the trailer isn't dependent on gasoline generators. "The solar charges batteries on the trailer so it can run all night on batteries and never have a problem," Stipp said. "We could be set up anywhere in this town. If Mt. Woodson burns down, your fancy cell phone won't work and all you'll have is ham radio." One of the key things ROARS can do is relay messages across the United States to let people know if someone is OK and surviving a disaster.
11/08/2018 09:35 PM
New Zealand scientists returning to Antarctica this summer will mark ten years contributing to two worldwide networks that look at space weather and lightning, and how these natural phenomena impact Earth. Physicist Dr James Brundell, from the University of Otago, says Space weather has very real impacts here on Earth. A radio receiver placed near New Zealand's scientific facility, Scott Base, spends 24/7 listening to very low frequency (VLF) bands of radio and sends that information back to the University of Otago. While commercial AM radio stations broadcast at around 1000 kHz, VLF works in the 3-30 kHz range and can capture solar activity and lightning strikes. One source of radio waves Dr Brundell and his colleagues use is the radio transmitters used by the world's military. Although they can't interpret their messages, they can use the radio source to monitor the upper atmosphere. "We piggyback on military radio signals to monitor how Space weather, generated by the sun, impacts our atmosphere and the technologies we use every day. Satellites, GPS and power networks and mobile phones can all be affected. Our monitoring gives us a better understanding of the volatility of near-Earth Space and how we could lessen the impact of Space weather events" says Dr Brundell.
11/08/2018 09:34 PM
This week's bulletin was made possible with information provided by The Daily DX, the OPDX Bulletin, 425 DX News, DXNL, Contest Corral from QST and the ARRL Contest Calendar and WA7BNM web sites. Thanks to all.
11/08/2018 02:00 AM
Just Ahead In Radiosport:
11/08/2018 02:00 AM
ARRL member Doreen Bogdan-Martin, KD2JTX, has been elected as Director of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT). Her election, on the first ballot in a three-way race, came on November 1 at the ITU's Plenipotentiary 2018 Conference in Dubai. Bogdan-Martin becomes the first woman on the ITU executive team. Running on a campaign theme of "Sustainable Digital Development for All," Bogdan-Martin said she would work toward a Telecommunication Development Bureau that helps its members benefit from the drivers of innovation and economic development.
11/08/2018 02:00 AM
In an FCC Enforcement Bureau case going back to early 2015, a Paterson, New Jersey, Amateur Radio licensee has been penalized in the amount of 25,000 dollars for allegedly continuing to operate an unlicensed FM radio station. The FCC issued a Forfeiture Order on October 30 to Winston A. Tulloch, KC2ALN, a General-class licensee. The fine followed an April 2018 Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL) issued to Tulloch for alleged "willful and repeated violation" of Section 301 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, by operating an unlicensed FM radio station on 90.9 MHz in Paterson. Tulloch did not respond to the NAL, the FCC indicated.
11/08/2018 02:00 AM
"External Speakers" is the topic of the new (November 8) episode of the "ARRL The Doctor is In" podcast. Listen...and learn!
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