This Week in Amateur Radio

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This Week in Amateur Radio: North America's Amateur Radio News Magazine. Articles on amateur radio and news stories in the media featured here.
Updated: 1 hour 41 min ago

Lynyrd Skynyrd Founding Member Larry Junstrom, K4EB, SK

Sun, 10/13/2019 - 12:25
Southern Rocker Larry “LJ” Junstrom, K4EB, died on October 6. He was reported to be 70.Junstrom was a founding member and bassist of Lynyrd Skynyrd, although he left the group before it recorded its first album. He’s better known as a member of another Southern Rock band, 38 Special, with which he performed from 1977 until retiring in 2014.“The Big Man on the Big Bass has left us,” said a sta...

FCC Proposes Fining New York Radio Amateur $17,000 for Deliberate Interference

Sun, 10/13/2019 - 12:25
A New York Radio Amateur — Harold Guretzky, K6DPZ, of Richmond Hill — is facing a $17,000 fine imposed by the FCC. Guretzky was issued a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL) on October 3 for causing intentional interference on a local repeater and preventing other radio amateurs from using it.“Given his history as a repeat offender, this violation warrants a significant penalty,” the FCC said in the NAL.

IARU Administrative Council Steps Up Efforts to Combat Radio Spectrum Pollution

Sun, 10/13/2019 - 12:25
The International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) Administrative Council (AC) met on September 28 and 29 in Lima, Peru, to conduct a final review of IARU preparations for the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) World Radiocommunication Conference 2019 (WRC-19). The Council’s annual meeting took place just ahead of the triennial IARU Region 2 (IARU R2) General Assembly. Responsible for IARU p...

Space Weather Update: DSCOVR not to come back online until early 2020

Sun, 10/13/2019 - 12:25
As we have reported before, the real time solar wind monitoring satellite Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) which is located at the Sun-Earth L1 point is being kept in a safe hold at the moment. A glitch in its position system triggered the safe hold and that means it does not transmit any data back to Earth. However, there is light at the end of the tunnel for DSCOVR.

New Amateur Radio License Conditions in Effect for Australian Radio Amateurs

Sun, 10/13/2019 - 12:25
The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has published changes to the Amateur Radio license conditions, effective on September 21. According to the Wireless Institute of Australia (WIA), all restrictions on emission modes have been removed for all licensees, and restrictions on permitted transmission bandwidths have been lifted for all licensees on all bands allowed for each lic...

Tokelau Islands ZK3A DXpedition Ceases Operation Early

Sun, 10/13/2019 - 12:25
Due to the illness of a ZK3A Tokelau Islands DXpedition team member, the operation has shut down a couple of days ahead of schedule.“ALL TEAM MEMBERS ARE FINE!” said an announcement on the ZK3A website. “A person on the island is ill. So, they have sent the boat there early to get this person medical help. The team has ceased operations and [is] packing up all equipment to get on that boat, bec...

Report: North Korea Testing Digital Broadcasting on 80 Meters

Sat, 09/21/2019 - 12:25
Radio World reports that the People’s Democratic Republic of Korea (North Korea) has resumed testing digital radio broadcasting on the 80-meter amateur band after a 2-year absence. North Korea is transmitting with the Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) protocol. The latest transmissions on 3.560 MHz began in mid-August.“It appears unclear at this time, however, whether the current series of transmiss...

Nevada ARES/RACES Members Deploy for "Storm Area 51" Event

Sat, 09/21/2019 - 12:25
A social media joke early this summer setting up a "Storm Area 51, they Can't Stop Us All" group now has spiraled into emergency declarations in two Nevada counties and spurred an Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES)/Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES) deployment of personnel and equipment. Some predictions say the "Storm Area 51" event will draw thousands — many possibly ill-equipped to be out in the desert environment — to the Nevada Test and Training Range, which contains the US Air Force facility known as Area 51. ARES teams plan to staff and support six incident-specific locations along the 50-mile event corridor known as Extraterrestrial Highway, starting on September 19 and continuing until September 24. ARES/RACES personnel in Nevada began gearing up for Storm Area 51 on Monday, and Storm Area 51 visitors already have begun showing up.

ARRL Renews Request for FCC to Replace Symbol Rate with Bandwidth Limit

Sat, 09/21/2019 - 12:25
In ex parte comments filed on September 17 in WT Docket 16-239, ARRL renewed its request that the FCC delete symbol rate limits below 29.7 MHz for data transmissions in the Amateur Service rules. As it did in its initial filing, ARRL asked the FCC to couple the removal of the symbol rate limits with the adoption of a 2.8-kHz bandwidth limit. In response to ARRL's 2013 ARRL Petition for Rulemaki...

ARRL Seeking Emergency Management Director

Sat, 09/21/2019 - 12:25
ARRL is seeking an emergency management director to oversee a team responsible for supporting ARRL emergency communication programs and services, including the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) and National Traffic System (NTS), and to work with staff to develop standards, protocols, and processes designed to support the Field Organization. This is a full-time, exempt position at ARRL Hea...

FCC Readies for Hurricane Dorian

Wed, 09/04/2019 - 02:25
As Hurricane Dorian nears the US southeast coast, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai reports the agency been working throughout the weekend to finalize preparations for the storm and coordinate with federal and state partners.“Our staff has reached out to wireless carriers and broadcasters to offer assistance,” Pai said in a statement. “With our government partners, including FEMA, we have worked to ensure...

Tracking Dorian: Hurricane Watch Net Hunkered Down for the Long Haul

Wed, 09/04/2019 - 02:25
The Hurricane Watch Net (HWN) has been in continuous operation for Dorian since last Saturday at 2100 UTC, and it plans to remain in operation on 14.325 MHz and 7.268 MHz until further notice, HWN Manager Bobby Graves, KB5HAV, said. The storm, then a Category 5 hurricane, made landfall on Grand Bahama Island with maximum sustained winds of 180 MPH, where it stalled for a day and a half. Only on...

Storm Watch Continues Along Southeastern US Coast

Wed, 09/04/2019 - 02:25
As of 1500 UTC, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) was reporting that a hurricane warning has been extended northeastward along the North Carolina coast. The storm was located 90 miles east-northeast of Daytona, Florida, and 205 miles south of Charleston, South Carolina. A Category 2 storm, Dorian is packing sustained winds of 105 MPH.The Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES®) activation statu...

Major Hurricane Dorian Prompts Sustained Activations

Tue, 09/03/2019 - 02:25
Hurricane Dorian, now a dangerous Category 5 storm, hit the island of Abaco in the Bahamas with 185 MPH winds and heavy rain. The Hurricane Watch Net (HWN) on 14.325 MHz (7268 MHz alternate) and the VoIP Hurricane Net (EchoLink WX_TALK Conference) remain activated in conjunction with WX4NHC at the National Hurricane Center to keep on top of ground-truth weather information and to handle emergen...

FCC Grants Temporary Waiver Permitting Use of PACTOR 4 for Hurricane Response and Relief

Tue, 09/03/2019 - 02:25
The FCC has granted ARRL’s emergency request for a temporary waiver to permit only those radio amateurs active and involved in Hurricane Dorian response and relief efforts to use the PACTOR 4 digital protocol on HF. The waiver is valid through 2100 UTC on Friday, September 6. The waiver request was necessary because Section 97.307(f) of the FCC’s Amateur Radio Service rules limits digital data ...

ARES on Alert for Hurricane Dorian’s Possible Arrival

Tue, 09/03/2019 - 02:25
With Hurricane Dorian essentially stalled over the northern Bahamas wreaking havoc, the waiting game for the dangerous Category 4 storm continues in the US Southeast. Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES®) teams in the ARRL South Florida Section are reported fully activated, and more than 20 evacuation shelters have been opened. Northern Florida is at a Level 3 status — monitoring the situation, and West Central Florida (WCF) has opened shelters opened in several counties and is at a Level 2 alert. ARES organizations in all three ARRL Florida Sections convened via conference call today to continue coordination of preparedness activities for Amateur Radio emergency communication. Another conference call is scheduled for tomorrow morning following the 1100 EDT advisory to assess the situation at that point. An online Florida ARES Operator Application is available. Applicants should be Florida residents and meet all qualifications stated on the application.

Florida ARES Members Volunteer in Preparation for Hurricane Dorian

Sat, 08/31/2019 - 12:25
The Florida’s three ARES® Section Emergency Coordinators are collecting information from ARES volunteers in preparation for the arrival of Hurricane Dorian. The SECs have set up a volunteer form for Florida ARES members to express their desire to help in the areas of Florida affected by the impending hurricane. The volunteer’s information will be used to fulfill mission requests and allow SECs ...Read more - via American Radio Relay League

Florida Division of Emergency Management Seeking Qualified Amateur Radio Volunteers

Sat, 08/31/2019 - 12:25
Florida’s Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) has notified the state’s Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES®) groups that it’s soliciting in-state Amateur Radio volunteers to assist with emergency communication in preparation for Hurricane Dorian. The storm is predicted to make landfall on the southeastern Florida coast on Monday. Volunteers must register with the Florida Division of Emerge...Read more - via American Radio Relay League

via the RSGB: Good news for the two-metre band

Fri, 08/30/2019 - 12:25
The past week has seen CEPT meet in Turkey, where it finalised positions on a wide range of WRC-19 Agenda Items, including proposals for WRC-23.So let’s look at the matters that interest radio amateurs.At 144MHz, after a major effort, the 144 to 146MHz frequency range was successfully withdrawn from the French WRC-23 aeronautical proposal.This hot topic had been the subject of detailed submissions by the IARU, France and Germany. This excellent result for amateur radio occurred in parallel to a number of other proposals being adopted to support aeronautical interests. There’s more positive news at 50MHz.

Dorian Gains Hurricane Status, Forecast to Strengthen into Major Storm

Fri, 08/30/2019 - 12:25
Amateur Radio resources are in position as now-Category 1 Hurricane Dorian gradually moves away from the northeastern Caribbean. It is expected to become a “dangerous hurricane” in the western Atlantic, the National Hurricane Center said in its 2100 UTC update. Dorian is about 45 miles northwest of St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands, with maximum sustained winds of 80 MPH and moving northwest at 14 MPH. The storm could make landfall along the southeastern Florida coast. A Hurricane Warning is in effect for Vieques and Culebra, the US Virgin Islands, and the British Virgin Islands. A Hurricane Watch and a Tropical Storm Warning are in effect for Puerto Rico. “Dorian should continue to move near or over the US and British Virgin Islands during the next several hours and then move over the Atlantic well east of the southeastern Bahamas on Thursday and Friday,” the National Hurricane Center said. “Dorian is forecast to strengthen and become a powerful hurricane during the next few days over the Atlantic waters.”

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