Ham Radio News Feeds

  • RadioShack “Express Stores” to Open in HobbyTown USA Locations

    According to a July 13 article in the New York Post, RadioShack is planning to open “express stores” within HobbyTown USA locations. The nearly century-old, twice-bankrupt retailer has signed a deal with HobbyTown USA to put a mini-RadioShack outlet in some 50 HobbyTown USA stores across the country that would sell items that might appeal to radio amateurs and experimenters. Those locations wil...

    07/18/2018 01:52 PM

  • US ARDF Champions Prepare for International Competition in Korea

    Results of the 18th USA National Championships of Amateur Radio Direction Finding (ARDF) are now in the record books. Some of those who took part in that event now are hoping to win positions on ARDF Team USA, which will travel to Sokcho, Korea, in early September for the 19th ARDF World Championships. IARU rules limit national teams to three persons per age/gender category.

    This year’s USA Nati...

    07/18/2018 09:20 AM

  • AMSAT-NA Mailing Corrected 2018 Board of Directors Ballots

    Due to a printing error, the beige colored ballots mailed to AMSAT-NA members for the 2018 Board of Directors election on July 15, 2018, have been declared void; any such ballots received at the AMSAT-NA office will not be counted.

    New ballots labeled "CORRECTED BALLOT 7/20/2018" and printed on yellow card stock are being mailed to all AMSAT-NA members. Vote for no more than three of the 2018 ca...

    07/18/2018 09:01 AM

  • Jack Gerbs, WB8SCT, Appointed General Chairman for Hamvention® 2019

    The Dayton Amateur Radio Board of Directors has appointed Jack Gerbs, WB8SCT, of Springboro, Ohio, as the General Chairman for Hamvention® 2019. Gerbs, who served as Assistant General Chairman for the 2017 and 2018 Hamventions, succeeds Ron Cramer, KD8ENJ, who served in the post for the 2017 and 2018 shows.

    “Jack worked very closely with me the last 2 years and is very familiar with all aspects ...

    07/17/2018 11:05 AM

  • WRTC 2018 Teams Produce Amazing Contact Totals Despite Poor Conditions

    [UPDATED to reflect official, final scores.] A crack team of contesters from Lithuania has won the gold medal in World Radiosport Team Championship 2018 (WRTC 2018), held over the weekend in Germany. Operating as Y81N, Gedas Lucinskas, LY9A, and Mindis Jukna, LY4L, topped the real-time scoreboard for much of the event, which is held as a competition within a contest in conjunction with the IARU...

    07/16/2018 02:11 PM

  • Shop AmazonSmile on Prime Day and Help Support ARRL!

    Amazon Prime Day is here! Deals started at 3 PM EDT (1900 UTC) today, July 16 and run through Tuesday, July 17. Prime Day is one of the biggest shopping days of the year. As you browse the great deals available exclusively to Amazon Prime members, we invite you to shop at AmazonSmile, choosing the ARRL as your charity of choice.

    With every qualifying purchase you make through AmazonSmile, Amazon...

    07/16/2018 01:56 PM

  • Final Preparations Under Way for Youth on the Air 2018 in South Africa

    07/16/2018 08:46 AM

  • ARRL Represented at IEEE Symposium in Boston

    07/13/2018 02:18 PM

  • Friedrichshafen Emergency Communications Gathering Hears Reports

    IARU Region 1 Emergency Coordinator Greg Mossup, G0DUB, has posted a report on the Emergency Communications Meeting held at June’s Ham Radio event in Friedrichshafen, Germany. Mossup said some 20 emergency communicators attended the June 1 meeting, sponsored by the IARU.

    “After the introduction and Region 1 report, there were interesting presentations followed by a good exchange of information i...

    07/13/2018 01:32 PM

  • Contest Branch Reports ARRL International DX Contest Phone Results Posted, Other News

    07/13/2018 12:39 PM

  • ARRL Announces Two Career Opportunities at Headquarters

    07/13/2018 10:28 AM

  • The K7RA Solar Update

    As of Thursday, July 12, there have been no sunspots visible for 16 days consecutively.

    Spaceweather.com pointed out that to find an equally long stretch of no sunspots, we must look back to November 2009 when we were emerging from the deepest solar minimum in a century. At the lowest of the low activity in 2008, the sun was blank for 52 consecutive days, they reported, and that seems to be from...

    07/13/2018 06:24 AM

  • WRTC 2018 Call Signs Will Be Y81A through Y89U

    WRTC 2018 organizers today officially announced the list of call signs to be used during the World Radiosport Team Championship 2018 (WRTC 2018) competition that gets under way at 1200 UTC on Saturday, July 14. The call signs to be used will be Y81A through Y89U.

    Y##-prefix call signs, once used by radio amateurs in the former German Democratic Republic (East Germany) were inherited by the Germa...

    07/12/2018 04:34 PM

  • FCC Administrative Law Judge Dismisses Radio Amateur’s Long-Standing License Renewal Application

    [UPDATED 2018-07-12 @ 1937 UTC -- This story corrects some incorrect statements included in an earlier post.]

    A California man embroiled in a long-running license renewal proceeding has lost the next step in his fight to remain a radio amateur. In a July 9 Order, FCC Administrative Law Judge Richard L. Sippel terminated the decade-old license renewal application of William Crowell, W6WBJ (ex-N6A...

    07/12/2018 03:00 PM

  • CQ World Wide Contest Rules Updated for 2018 Contest Season

    07/12/2018 12:25 PM

  • Milton Amateur Radio Club Host Radio Event:

    MILTON -- The Milton Amateur Radio Club hosted an event July 14 drawing ham radio enthusiasts from Santa Rosa and Escambia Counties to shop and talk "ham." The event, held at the Santa Rosa County auditorium, was filled with both vintage and modern ham radio equipment for purchase as well as other items such as phones, radio accessories, and novelty items. But the event was about more than shopping, according to Ken Dunn, a member of the radio club and one of the event coordinators. "It is an event where we have camaraderie," Dunn said. "where we have a chance to exchange equipment."

    07/18/2018 02:12 AM

  • The Sunspot Cycle is More Intricate than Previously Thought:

    The sun's pockmarked surface is always shifting. Sunspots and solar flares rise and fall every 11 years, a cycle associated with regular reversal of the star's magnetic field. Huge quantities of plasma -- known as coronal mass ejections -- fly into space, which can disrupt satellites and other electronic signals if they reach Earth. More solar activity during the cycle also amplifies auroras and warms Earth's temperatures slightly. Yet careful study has shown that longer periodicities exist, too. The Gleissberg cycle, first identified in 1862, strengthens and weakens the 11-year cycle over the course of a century (shown in yellow). One paper posits that the Gleissberg pattern is caused by a slow swaying of the sun's magnetic pole. The Suess-DeVries cycle (green) lasts about 200 years, whereas the Hallstatt cycle (blue) runs on the order of 2,400 years. Still, the sun can also be erratic, making it tricky for physicists to predict future sunspots, says Alexei Pevtsov, an astronomer at the National Solar Observatory in Boulder, Colo.: "There's an element of randomness."

    07/18/2018 02:11 AM

  • 2019 Hamvention Chairman Announced:

    Planning for Hamvention 2019 is officially underway with the appointment of General Chairman Jack Gerbs, WB8SCT, by the Dayton Amateur Radio Association (DARA) board of directors. Gerbs served as assistant general chairman for the 2017 and 18 Hamventions.

    07/17/2018 09:18 PM

  • Ham Talk Live #124 -- NASA on the Air Update:

    Back at our usual time, 9 PM Eastern (0100z) on Thursday night, Ham Talk Live!'s guests will be from NASA on the Air! 4 of NOTA's finest will give us an update on how the year long special event is going, and how it's going to really ramp up soon with the Apollo 11 anniversary. From Marshall Space Flight Center, Dr. Rob Suggs, KB5EZ; from Langley Research Center, Mike Logan, KM4WUO; and from Johnson Space Center, Tanner Jones, W9TWJ, and Ken Ransom, N5VHO (ARISS project manager). These guys will take your calls and answer your questions live on the show!

    07/17/2018 09:18 PM

  • Ham Radio Operators Gather at Peace Garden:

    Ham radio enthusiasts converged on the International Peace Garden, south of Boissevain, for the annual Hamfest on July 14th. Hamfest started 55 years ago and is a gathering of ham radio operators from Canada and the United States. This year's program attracted more than 80 people from Manitoba, North Dakota, Saskatchewan and Minnesota. Jim MacKenzie of Regina has been a ham radio operator for several years and this was his third trip. "It's always a good chance to see my fellow ham radio hobbyists. A lot of people think they don't need us anymore because of the internet but the truth is we are needed more than ever. It's important when there are emergencies and if the power grid goes down or there's a big disaster like the bombing at the Boston Marathon the cell networks get overloaded so the ham radio still has a really important purpose during emergency coordination." Ham radio numbers continue to grow with more than 100,000 licenses in Canada and more than 1.2 million in the United States. "It's partly because it is easier than ever to get a call sign, it's free and it's a lifetime thing and people think that talking to people just using the ionosphere and radio waves is a pretty fun hobby."

    07/17/2018 01:46 AM

  • Indian Scientists Discover Way to Predict Erratic Space Storms:

    PLASMA jets within the Sun can help foretell the erratic patterns of sunspots on its two hemispheres, allowing scientists to predict the occurrence of solar flares and space storms that sometimes render satellites useless, a study has found.

    07/17/2018 01:46 AM

  • Being a Skywarn Spotter Not for Everyone During a Storm they Help Everybody

    OKEECHOBEE -- From a young age, humans become fascinated by the sky with its big bright yellow blob and endless clouds in which you can see everything your imagination tells you is there. Then, usually soon after our first storm scares us inside, most of us find more important things to focus on, and weather becomes something to plan around, endure, complain about and use to start awkward small talk. Some people, however, never outgrow their fascination with the sky and simply must study it -- they grow up to be meteorologists -- and then there are others who fall somewhere in between and who, when the opportunity arises, want to learn more about it. Just a handful of other folks were in the room on Flag Day, June 14, when I was the last to arrive at the Glades County Emergency Operations Center for the session. It soon became obvious that a few were there just for a refresher and already were certified weather spotters; at least two were also amateur radio operators licensed by the Federal Communications Commission, a distinction that can make them even more valuable to authorities during a weather emergency than regular old weather spotters. (Maybe I'll take that up when/if I retire.)

    07/16/2018 12:40 AM

  • RSGB: New Service to Replace AROS:

    Following an extensive review of the Amateur Radio Observation Service, AROS, the RSGB has decided to create a new service to provide guidance to operators who experience misuse of the amateur bands by others. This service will be known as the Operating Advisory Service, or OAS, and will replace AROS. The change will come into effect over the next few months.

    07/16/2018 12:38 AM

  • NanoRacks Completes 14th CubeSat Deployment Mission from ISS:

    NanoRacks successfully completed the 14th CubeSat Deployment mission from the Company's commercially developed platform on the International Space Station. Having released nine CubeSats into low-Earth orbit, this mission marks NanoRacks' 185th CubeSat released from the Space Station, and 217th small satellite deployed by NanoRacks overall. EnduroSat One, the first Bulgarian amateur radio CubeSat mission, is a multipurpose CubeSat platform engineered for space application and research. The electrical power system and solar panels will provide power for the mission. Two ultra-high frequency Transceivers type II and UHF deployable antenna will deliver a high-reliability communication system for tracking, telemetry and control (TTC) and data. A network of actuators and sensors will enable spacecraft control and processing capabilities will be provided through the low power consumption and high performance onboard computer.

    07/15/2018 02:05 AM

  • The Breathtaking Complexity of the Wireless Spectrum:

    Everything from space exploration signals to ham radios are vying for room on the radio spectrum, in which frequencies range from 3Hz to 3,000GHz. This spectrum acts as the "transportation system" for all wireless communication, and blocks of it are divvied up for specific uses. Nearly all of the radio spectrum is already divided into a number of civilian and military uses. Some of the most prominent blocks (turquoise on the map) are set aside for television and radio broadcasting, as well as various types of navigation and satellite communications. The spectrum also has a number of blocks dedicated to amateur radio and satellite.

    07/15/2018 02:05 AM

  • VK6WIA NewsWest for Sunday, 15 July 2018:

    It's our NEW AMATEURS week, where we celebrate new, upgraded and returning calls. We'll also discuss gear and portable operations. Onno talks QRP and where you need to go, in order to obtain your license.

    07/15/2018 02:07 AM

  • Amateur Radio Emergency Service Receives Grant from W.S. Darley Foundation:

    Itasca, IL - Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) operators of DuPage County have received a grant of 2,000 dollars from The W. S. Darley Foundation of Itasca, IL. This grant was made in the name of William J. Darley, former Chairman of the Board and CEO, of the W. S. Darley and Company, who passed away in April of this year. The funds will be used to purchase additional radios and support equipment so additional emergency field stations can be operational in any community disaster or public service event.

    07/14/2018 12:34 AM

  • Making Do With What You Have:

    It's been 12 years since I stepped on the yellow footprints aboard the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego, California. In the years since, the one thing I took for granted most was how much growing up on a ranch prepared me for the Marines and life in general. Toward the end of the deployment we were given a tricky mission: find a way to talk via shortwave radio from Djibouti -- a tiny country in "the horn" of the continent -- to Nigeria, clear out on Africa's west coast. The Nigerians didn't have access to our satellites, so we had to rely on the High Frequency bandwidth utilized by Ham radio operators. However, when we measured it out, the shot was almost twice the distance of the United States from coast-to-coast. I instantly identified a problem: we'd have to get a more powerful transmitter and do some math and figure out how to make it work.

    07/14/2018 12:33 AM

  • NASA Plans to 'TOUCH' the Sun with Today's Solar Space Probe Launch:

    The world-first space achievement will give us an incredibly close look at the Sun, deepening our understanding of our closest star: LATER today, NASA will launch a probe into space that will end up flying directly into the Sun's atmosphere. The incredible mission aims to give NASA an up-close look at how our nearest and dearest star works. The Sun is arguably the most vital source of energy for life on Earth, but its inner workings are mysterious To answer some of the big questions facing scientists, Nasa is today launching the Parker Solar Probe.

    07/14/2018 12:32 AM

  • Foundations of Amateur Radio #162:

    It seems that when you categorically state something, like I did recently, you get emails and feedback, almost immediately, pointing out the folly of your assertion.

    07/14/2018 12:11 AM

  • Propagation Forecast Bulletin #28 de K7RA:

    As of Thursday, July 12, there have been no sunspots visible for 16 days consecutively. Spaceweather.com pointed out that to find an equally long stretch of no sunspots, we have to look back to November 2009 when we were emerging from the deepest solar minimum in a century. At the lowest of the low activity in 2008, the sun was blank for 52 consecutive days, they reported, and that seems to be from July 21, 2008 through September 10, 2008, as shown here:

    07/13/2018 02:00 AM

  • Commissioners Learn About Amateur Radio:

    COUDERSPORT -- The Potter County Board of Commissioners hosted a couple who spoke about the role of amateur radio, or ham radio, for emergencies. Diane and Thomas Guilfoy attended the July 5 meeting to raise awareness of amateur radio uses. Amateur radio is usually a hobby for personal use. One use for it is to call for help in places where there is no cell phone service. Thomas Guilfoy said it's still very important and vital because people need to be able to call others in places in case of emergency. He said it plays a large role in the world. Examples when it has been used includes after the 9/11 attacks, the Boston Marathon bombing and after the hurricanes in Puerto Rico. Thomas Guilfoy said that the radios can be on top of a mountain or down in a valley and still be use to call for help. He can talk to almost any other ham operator around the world just with a radio, an antenna and a car battery.

    07/13/2018 12:23 AM

  • Aussies Head to ARDF World Championships:

    Later this year a team of amateurs from Austalia will experience thorn Bushes, deep ravines along with daily temperatures about 20 degrees celsius. They also need to be prepared for rain and cold. No, this is not a SOTA report but a description of the terrain facing competitors in the 19th IARU World ARDF Championships. Competition commences September 2nd and finishes September 8th 2018. It is expected that over 400 people from 25 Amateur Radio Societies around the world will be meeting in Sokcho City Ganwon-Do Province South Korea, this championship event is being hosted by the Korean Amateur Radio League. Among the competitors will be a team of 5 including VK3OW, VK3FJTE, VK3FDAC, VK3ADY and VK3WWW representing Australia.

    07/13/2018 12:22 AM

  • Google's Gboard Keyboard Now Lets You Communicate Through Morse Code:

    Google today announced that it is bringing Morse code as an input method to Gboard for iOS. The company first integrated Morse code into the Android version of Gboard (in beta form) shortly after its I/O 2018 keynote. Alongside the debut on iOS, Google says it has made numerous improvements to the Android experience, too. When activated, Morse code fills the keyboard area with two large dot and dash icons. As you tap the icons, word suggestions will appear at the top of the on-screen keyboard just as they do when you're using the QWERTY version. Google has created a Morse Typing Trainer game that it says can teach users Morse code in under an hour. You can play it on both mobile and desktop.

    07/13/2018 12:22 AM

  • Ham-Designed Gear Used In Thailand Cave Rescue:

    Unless you live in a cave, you've probably heard a little about the thirteen people -- mostly children -- trapped in the Tham Luang Nang Non cave in Thailand. What you may have missed, though, is the hacker/ham radio connection. The British Cave Rescue Council (BCRC) was asked for their expert help. (Rick Stanton), (John Volanthen) and (Rob Harper) answered the call. They were equipped with HeyPhones. The HeyPhone is a 17-year-old design from (John Hey, G3TDZ). Sadly, (G3TDZ) is now a silent key (ham radio parlance for deceased) so he didn't get to see his design play a role in this high-profile rescue, although it has apparently been a part of many others in the past. The HeyPhone is actually considered obsolete but is still in service with some teams. The radio uses USB (upper sideband, not universal serial bus) at 87 kHz. The low frequency can penetrate deep into the ground using either induction loop antennas like the older Molephone, or -- more commonly -- with electrodes injecting RF energy directly into the ground.

    07/13/2018 12:20 AM