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AMATEUR RADIO NEWS FROM THE NET

3081- 3111 of 3111 News Items
ARES Helps Iowa Water Utility to Resolve RFI Issue
Des Moines (Iowa) Water Works (DMWW) uses secure radiotelemetry to monitor various remote-site parameters to alert staff to problems. Earlier this year, DMWW experienced periodic and sometimes total failure of the radio system. After no solution could be found, staff reached out to various resources, including the FCC. Polk County ARES also was brought in, and eight operators assembled to track down the interference, working the late shift. After a process of elimination, the ARES volunteers pinpointed the interfering signal to defunct equipment atop a downtown Des Moines building. The team contacted the owner of the license associated with the equipment and got permission to disable it, and DMWW confirmed that the signal interference was gone. Collectively, the Polk County ARES volunteer team spent approximately 70 hours to assist DMWW. Following the experience, DMWW installed a more robust radio system with encryption and established stronger relationships with several entities that can assist if similar problems arise. — Thanks to H2Oline and The ARES E-Letter
Nellie Ohr: Ham radio not used for Russia contacts (Massachusetts)
A transcript made public on Thursday by a GOP lawmaker in Congress shows that the wife of a top Justice Department official said she got a ham radio license as part of an effort to help with local community emergencies, not as part of any effort to communicate with anyone overseas, or to monitor broadcasts from Russia associated with the Steele Dossier.
CY0C Sable Island DXpedition
Some time ago, we had scheduled fall of 2019 for Sable Island DXpedition. Due to circumstances we had to reschedule to 2020. Hopefully this will be better for propagation. The permit process took over a year of emailing, phone calls, and furnishing documents. Sable at this point is no longer easily "permitted" for Ham Radio DXpeditions, as the policies have changed with the change in administration. In fact our permit finally was graciously authorized as a "one time special use permit". We believe that it is very probable that permits in the future may be essentially "nil" for a very long time.
AMSAT Academy to be Held Prior to Hamvention
AMSAT Academy will take place on Thursday, May 16, the day before Hamvention. AMSAT says this is a unique opportunity for both beginners and advanced satellite operators to learn about Amateur Radio in space and working the FM, linear transponder, and digital satellites now in orbit. AMSAT Academy will take place on Thursday, May 16, 9 AM until 5 PM, at the Dayton Amateur Radio Association (DARA) clubhouse, 6619 Bellefontaine Road, in Dayton. The $85 registration fee includes a full day of instruction taught by some of the most-accomplished AMSAT operators; a digital copy of Getting Started with Amateur Satellites (2019 ed.); 1 year of AMSAT Basic membership; pizza buffet lunch, and an invitation to the Thursday night AMSAT get together at Ticket Pub & Eatery in Fairborn.
Hamvention Opening Gates to All on Final Day of 2019 Show
Hamvention has announced that it will open the gates to all, without charge, on the final day of the annual gathering at Greene County Fairgrounds and Expo Center in Xenia, Ohio. Hamvention 2019 General Chair Jack Gerbs, WB8SCT, said the idea is to encourage the curious to see what attracts some 30,000 visitors to Hamvention each spring. "We have decided to open the doors to Hamvention to the public on Sunday, May 19, without buying a ticket," Gerbs said. "This will make it a little easier and cheaper for someone with just a little interest in Hamvention to see what all the excitement is about."
IARU Argues for Protection from Wireless Power Transfer Spurious Emissions
The International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) was represented April 8 – 10, when CEPT Committee SE24 – Short Range Devices met in Ankara, Turkey, to undertake further work concerning wireless power transfer/transmission (WPT). SE24 is considering WPT for electric vehicles (WPT-EV) and also for generic applications. IARU already provided extensive input on the potential impact on radio communications resulting from spurious emissions from WPT devices, as detailed in CEPT ECC Report 289, published in January. According to that report, given the planned density of WPT systems for electric vehicles operating in the 79 – 90 kHz range, it is calculated that there will be a widespread and serious impact for the Amateur Service in the vicinity of WPT systems, should spurious emissions, measured at 10 meters, be at the current limits of ERC Recommendation 74-01. At the Ankara meeting, IARU and other interested parties provided further input. SE24 will meet again in early July to focus on WPT issues.
Three BIRDS Constellation CubeSats Delivered to ISS for Orbital Deployment
A Cygnus resupply mission to the International Space Station (ISS) on April 11 also delivered three CubeSats of the BIRDS-3 constellation and three other CubeSats. The BIRDS-3 constellation is a project of students at the Kyushu Institute of Technology. The additional CubeSats include Swiatowid, KrakSat, and EntrySat. All BIRDS-3 CubeSats are of the same design and have been coordinated to operate on a common downlink frequency of 435.375 MHz. Each will transmit a CW beacon and 9.6 k GMSK telemetry. The CubeSat deployer in the ISS Kibo module will deploy the BIRDS-3 CubeSats at a later date.
Annual Armed Forces Day Crossband Test Set for May 11
The Army Military Auxiliary Radio System (MARS) will host the traditional military/Amateur Radio communication tests to mark the 68th annual Armed Forces Day (AFD) on Saturday, May 11. The event is open to all radio amateurs. Armed Forces Day is May 18, but the AFD Crossband Military-Amateur Radio event traditionally takes place 1 week earlier in order to avoid conflicting with Hamvention®. Complete information, including military stations, modes, and frequencies, is available on the US Army MARS website. "For more than 50 years, military and amateur stations have taken part in this event, which is only an exercise scenario, designed to include hobbyist and government radio operators alike," the event announcement said. "The AFD Crossband Test is a unique opportunity to test two-way communications between military communicators and radio stations in the Amateur Radio Service, as authorized in 47 CFR 97.111. These tests provide opportunities and challenges for radio operators to demonstrate individual technical skills in a tightly-controlled exercise scenario that does not impact any public or private communications."
Radio signals reach homes of missing persons (India)
Kolkata: West Bengal Radio Club (WBRC), an organisation of ham radio enthusiasts in the state, helped to reunite two Bihar residents —a nonagenarian man and an elderly woman— with their families on Monday. These two elderly persons went missing after they got estranged from their respective groups at Gangasagar Mela.
ARRL Field Day Site Locator is Live, Promotional Material Available
ARRL Field Day is June 22 – 23. See the May issue of QST, page 85, for the Field Day announcement. The Field Day site locator is now up and running, and so far more than 430 sites already are in the database. To find a Field Day site near you, enter your town and state in the "Location or Call Sign" box at the upper left. Listings also are available by state or Canadian province.To add a site, visit the Add Field Day Station page. Information on promoting Field Day is available. Also, visit the Field Day social media page for information on promoting your Field Day operation via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube.
National Voice of America Museum of Broadcasting to Expand Hours during Hamvention
The National Voice of America Museum of Broadcasting, located at the site of the former Voice of America Bethany Relay Station in West Chester, Ohio (between Dayton and Cincinnati, off the I-75 Tylersville Road exit), will expand its hours during Hamvention 2019 weekend. The WC8VOA station will be open. The museum includes a comprehensive collection of Drake Amateur Radio gear. Extended hours for Hamvention attendees will be Thursday and Friday, May 16 and 17, 4 – 9 PM; Saturday, May 18,1 – 9 PM, and Sunday, May 19, 1 – 5 PM. More information is on the VOA Museum website.
Mobile Event App will Help Dayton Hamvention Visitors to Navigate the Show
Dayton Hamvention® 2019, host of the ARRL National Convention, will mark the debut of a free mobile event app to help attendees navigate the extensive Hamvention program, activities, and exhibits using their smartphones or tablets. A collaborative effort between ARRL and Dayton Hamvention, the app was developed by TripBuilder Media™. ARRL Convention and Event Coordinator Eric Casey, KC2ERC, has been readying the app, with content contributions from Dayton Hamvention Com
RSGB Cricket World Cup Radio Marathon Set
The Radio Society of Great Britain (RSGB) has announced a Cricket World Cup Amateur Radio Marathon, from May 30 until July 14. The Cricket World Cup will take place in England and Wales. UK and international call signs will be active on nine HF bands on SSB, CW, and digital modes. Award certificates will be offered based on the number of contacts made with the special UK and international stations. Sponsors are inviting other countries to take part and to activate special call signs with the suffix "19CWC" or similar. A total of 31 special call signs will be on the air in the UK, with GB19CWC representing the 2019 Cricket World Cup Headquarters in England. Listen for other "GB19" prefix call signs. Teams will field special event stations as well. Details, including the rules for awards and a list of international call signs, are on the RSGB website. Follow your progress on the Ham Log website. Email for more information on the marathon. — Thanks to Nick Totterdell, G4FAL 
Former Hamvention Home Hara Arena Damaged From Dayton Tornado
A State of Emergency has been issued in the City of Trotwood due to severe damage of storms and suspected tornadoes hit the area Monday night. Hara Arena suffered extensive damage when tornadoes and severe storms moved through Monday night. Drone footage shows the roof and side of the structure blown off in several places. Trotwood schools are closed, and several homes and businesses have been severely damaged.
Germany permits 50 MHz ham radio contest operation
The DARC reports German radio amateurs are permitted to take part in Contest Operating in the 50 MHz band from May 1 until September 30.
On-the-Air Activity to Mark 50th Anniversary of First Market Reef DXpedition
The Aland Islands Postal Administration is issuing a postcard this year to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first DXpedition to Market Reef, OJ0MR, in late December 1969 and its attainment of DXCC status. Soon after that initial operation, the permanent lighthouse keeper, Karl-Erik, OJ0MA, also hit the airwaves, and a stream of DXpeditions followed, establishing Market Reef as a dream location for hundreds of operators. The Northern California DX Foundation and the Finnish DX Foundation later assisted the Finnish Light House Society (FLS) to restore the remote DX outpost between the Aland Islands and Sweden. This year, many veteran DXpeditioners will return to Market Reef, including some up-and-coming young DXers from Finland and Sweden. The activity, which got under way on June 8, may even extend into the winter in order to catch the best low-band openings. OJ0A and OJ0Z will be on the air starting on July 6. Market Reef will also be active as OJ0B during the IARU HF World Championship Contest over the July 13 – 14 weekend. Youth Week will follow, with OJ0C on the air starting on July 15, followed by an Islands on the Air operation as OJ0DX, starting on July 27. For International Lighthouse/Lightship weekend, August 17 – 18, the call sign OJ0O will be active.
Make: Magazine Going Dark
Maker Media, which published Make: magazine and produced Maker Faire, has laid off its staff and is terminating operations due to financial problems. Maker Media CEO and founder Dale Dougherty confirmed to TechCrunch that the company was ceasing operations and that it had laid off all 22 employees, citing financial difficulties with publishing a magazine and the lack of corporate sponsorship.
Orkney Islands DXpedition Announces Call Sign
The Perseverance DX Group (PDXG) team planning the 2020 DXpedition to Orkney Islands will use the call sign VP8/VP8DXU. The team reports that radio and antenna strategies are complete, and work is under way on detailed project plans. Elecraft will provide K3S transceivers as well as amplifiers and panadapters for the adventure.
Proposed WRC-23 Agenda Items Causing Concern
Two proposals under discussion in Europe as possible World Radiocommunication Conference 2023 (WRC-23) agenda items "could impact important Amateur Radio frequencies," IARU Region 1 President Don Beattie, G3BJ, reported this week on the IARU Region 1 website. Included is a proposal from France to consider the 144 – 146 MHz band as a primary allocation to the Aeronautical Mobile service, as part of a broader consideration of spectrum allocated to that service. IARU has cautioned the amateur community against overreacting to the news. France will submit a paper containing a proposal for an agenda item for "new non-safety Aeronautical Mobile applications" at the June 17 – 21 Conference Preparatory Group meeting of the European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations (CEPT) in Prague. Beattie pointed out in his account that 144 – 146 MHz is a primary global Amateur and Amateur Satellite allocation.
via the RSGB: High altitude balloon launches on 20th at 27th
hi-impact will be launching two high altitude balloon flights this month, on the 20th and 27th of June. Working alongside Altrincham Prep School and South Wirral High School, they plan to launch from Welshpool at 11am, subject to any operational changes, which will appear on their Facebook and Twitter feeds, @hiimpactconsult. Both flights are HABDuino equipped, and assistance from amateurs and SWLs in receiving the data and feeding it into HABHUB via DL-FLDigi is appreciated.
Over-the-Horizon Radars Continue to Plague Amateur Bands
The International Amateur Radio Union Region 1 Monitoring System (IARUMS) reports a "new kind" of over-the-horizon (OTH) radar on 20 meters. The intruding signal, which appears to be emanating from the Far East, was monitored during May on 14.140 – 14.150 MHz. Another Chinese wideband OTH radar has been showing up on 15 meters, with a signal 160 kHz wide. An Iranian radar has appeared on 10 meters, centered on 28.860 MHz, and is audible in Europe during sporadic-E conditions. The signal is about 46 kHz wide. The Russian OTH radar "Konteyner" OTH radar centered on 14.127 MHz continues to be observed, with a 12 kHz wide signal.
Radio Amateur to Lose License as Part of Enforcement Case Settlement
A New Jersey radio amateur, David S. Larsen Sr., WS2L, of Highland Park, will surrender his Amateur Extra-class license and pay a $7,500 civil penalty as part of a Consent Decree with the FCC to settle an enforcement action. An FCC Enforcement Bureau Order released June 18 said Larsen violated the Communications Act of 1934 and Part 90 rules by operating on frequencies licensed to the Borough of Highland Park for public safety communication.
SAQ transmission next weekend
The annual SAQ VLF transmission on Alexanderson Day on 17.2kHz from the Alexanderson Alternator will take place Sunday, 30 June 2019. Two transmissions are scheduled.Tuning will start at 0830UTC for the message at 0900UTC, then 1130UTC for the transmission at 1200UTC. Both transmission events will be broadcasted live on YouTube.
2m crosses the Atlantic
An historic contact was made on Sunday, 16 June 2019, when the Atlantic was spanned for the first time on 144MHz. D41CV on Cape Verde Islands off the coast of Africa managed to work FG8OJ in Guadeloupe on 144.174MHz using FT8.
Online Contest Scoreboards Available for Field Day
If your club wants to see how its Field Day efforts are faring in comparison with others in your category, check out the Contest Online ScoreBoard. It will be supporting ARRL Field Day. In addition, Bruce Horn, WA7BNM, has developed Score Distributor, which will relay your score to all scoreboards that support the event. Scoreboards can be very attractive to younger operators, in addition to enhancing the fun factor, and they can really motivate teams to keep on the air and active.
via the RSGB: Update on 144MHz and 23cm threats
The IARU was represented this week at the meeting of CEPT Project Team A—one of the groups leading WRC-19 preparations—which finished in Prague on Friday, 21 June 2019. Of particular interest were discussions on two proposed agenda items for WRC-23, concerning the sharing of the 1240-1300MHz band with the Galileo satellite navigation system and the proposal from France to study a range of frequencies, including the 144MHz amateur band, for future primary aeronautical applications. The meeting considered views that the Galileo issue did not currently warrant a WRC23 agenda item and should be first investigated within CEPT. However, regarding new aeronautical frequencies including 144MHz, the proposal was unfortunately not strongly opposed by other administrations; this has been carried forward to the higher level CEPT-CPG meeting in August.
IARU Attends CEPT Project Team Meeting in Switzerland
IARU was represented at a recent meeting in Switzerland of the European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations (CEPT) Project Team D. This was the last of the CEPT project team meetings preparing European Common Proposals (ECP) for a number of agenda items for World Radiocommunication Conference 2019 (WRC-19) this fall in Egypt. WRC-19 agenda item 1.1, which addresses the possibility of a "harmonized" Region 1 50 MHz allocation, was the key issue to be resolved. The Project Team agreed on the text of an ECP for WRC-19, which, if adopted by the delegates, would see an entry in the International Table of Allocations for Region 1 and allocate 50 – 52 MHz to Amateur Radio on a secondary basis. In addition, the team agreed upon the addition of a footnote to the International Table to permit individual CEPT countries to introduce a national primary allocation in the 50.0 – 50.5 MHz subband.
144 MHz and the WRC process
RSGB has been a key part of a joint International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) effort and are working hard on both national and international levels to ensure a positive outcome for World Radio Conference-19 (WRC-19) items (50 MHz, Wireless Power, microwave bands etc) and WRC-23 Agenda proposals (144-146 MHz and 23cms). With regard to 144-146 MHz, for the avoidance of doubt we have been deeply engaged in the joint IARU effort regarding future agenda items (which has also included 23cm/Galileo). If adopted and agreed, a French proposal would add aeronautical mobile across the global Primary 144-146 MHz amateur and amateur satellite allocation. As proposed, it is not an eviction or re-allocation of amateurs, but nonetheless is unwelcome and presents significant challenges. Unlike some other bands where amateurs do share, aeronautical applications are amongst the most difficult due to the altitudes and long free-space distances involved.
Restraint Urged in Response to 2-Meter Reallocation Proposal
Representatives of International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) member-societies in Europe are advising restraint in the wake of a proposal to consider the allocation of 146 – 148 MHz to the Aeronautical Mobile Service (AMS) at World Radiocommunication Conference 2023 (WRC-23). France recently raised the prospect during a European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations (CEPT) meeting in Prague, held in advance of WRC-19. A WRC-19 agenda item would call for studying a range of frequencies for AMS applications, including 144 – 146 MHz, and a decision could be made at WRC-23. The French draft resolution seeks studies of possible new AMS primary allocations in several bands in the range from 144 MHz to 22.2 GHz on a primary basis, "while ensuring the protection of existing services in those bands and, as appropriate, adjacent bands, and not constraining future development of these services." The Radio Society of Great Britain (RSGB) released a statement this week, in part pointing that as proposed, the French resolution "is not an eviction or re-allocation of amateurs, but nonetheless is unwelcome and presents significant challenges. Unlike some other bands where amateurs do share, aeronautical applications are amongst the most difficult due to the altitudes and long free-space distances involved."
ARISS-International Delegates Meet in Montreal
Nine nations were represented as Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) held its 2019 "face-to-face" meeting of international delegates at the Canadian Space Agency in Montreal, June 26 – 28. ARISS-Canada was the host for the gathering. A high point of the conference came when Kenwood software manager Shin Aota, JL1IBD, presented two Kenwood TM-D710GA transceivers to ARISS-Russia delegate Sergey Samburov, RV3DR. One of the TM-D710GA radios will replace aging Amateur Radio equipment currently in use on the International Space Station, while the other will remain on Earth as a spare for training cosmonauts. For more than a year, these radios have undergone detailed NASA qualification testing followed by final software configuration and verification.
Historic Amateur Radio Contact Reported via Moon-Orbiting Satellite
A contact between a radio amateur in Germany and China took place on July 1 via the moon-orbiting LO-94 satellite, DSLWP-B, launched in May 2018. The two-way exchange between Reinhard Kuehn, DK5LA, in Soerup, Germany, and Harbin Institute of Technology club station BY2HIT (operated by Wei Mingchuan, BG2BHC), in Harbin, China, occurred between 0551 and 0728 UTC, according to reports. The GMSK-to-JT4G repeater onboard DSLWP-B was used to make the contact, the first ever made via a lunar-orbiting repeater.
via HACKADAY: The Backbone Of VHF Amateur Radio May Be Under Threat
A story that has been on the burner for a few weeks concerns a proposal that will be advanced to the ITU World Radiocommunication Conference 2023. It originates with French spectrum regulators and is reported to be at the behest of the Paris-based multinational defence contractor Thales. The sting in its tail is the proposed relegation of amateur radio to secondary status of the widely used two-meter band (144 MHz) to permit its usage by aircraft. The machinations of global spectrum regulation politics do not often provide stories for Hackaday readers, but this one should be of concern beyond the narrow bounds of amateur radio.
Nature Article Suggest a "Grand Solar Minimum" Lies Ahead
A juried research paper in Nature, "Oscillations of the baseline of solar magnetic field and solar irradiance on a millennial timescale," suggests that a "grand solar minimum" — similar to the legendary "Maunder Minimum" — is approaching, starting as early as next year and lasting for three solar cycles. That would be bad news for HF enthusiasts, who are already struggling with marginal conditions.
IARU President Offers Assurances Regarding French 144 – 146 MHz Allocation Proposal
International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) President Tim Ellam, VE6SH/G4HUA, said his organization empathizes with the concerns of radio amateurs worldwide regarding a French proposal to allocate 144 – 146 MHz to the Aeronautical Service on a primary basis, essentially sharing it with Amateur Radio. The band is currently allocated to Amateur Radio on a primary basis around the world. Ellam this week offered assurances that the IARU is on top of the matter, which is still a regional issue, and is already working to keep the band in the hands of radio amateurs. While the issue could end up on the agenda of World Radiocommunication Conference 2023 (WRC-23), a lot would have to happen first.
Chinese CAS-7B Satellite Carrying an FM Transponder to Launch
Another Amateur Radio satellite is set to launch from China. CAMSAT CEO Alan Kung, BA1DU, reports that CAS-7B (BP-1B) is expected to launch on July 22 at 0500 UTC, on the Hyperbola 1 vehicle. CAS-7B is a spherical spacecraft, 500 millimeters (approximately 19.7 inches) in diameter with a mass of 3 kilograms (about 6.6 pounds). The CW telemetry beacon will be on 435.715 MHz. The V/U FM 16 kHz wide transponder downlink is 435.690 MHz, and the uplink is 145.900 MHz. The launch from Jiuquan will be into a 300-kilometer (approximately 186-mile), 42.7° inclination orbit.

 

 
 
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