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 23 min ago

Tragic Drowning Cuts Short DXpedition to Rotuma

Fri, 01/17/2020 - 06:00
DXer Antoine “Tony” N’Yeurt, 3D2AG, reported over the weekend that his 11-year-old son had died in an accidental drowning in Rotuma. 3D2AG had been active in a DXpedition on Rotuma — the 58th most-wanted DXCC entity, according to Club Log. No details of the incident are available. N’Yeurt resides on Fiji but has operated from Rotuma and elsewhere in the past.John Mitton, KK7L, the president of the Utah DX Association (UDXA), said N’Yeurt — a tropical reef scientist — has played a role in making several DXpeditions to the Central Pacific possible, including the upcoming W8S DXpedition to Swains Island.

Sultan of Oman Qaboos Bin Said, A41AA, SK

Fri, 01/17/2020 - 06:00
The Sultan of Oman Qaboos Bin Said, A41AA, died on January 10. He was 79. The Diwan of the Royal Court has declared 3 days of mourning, with the flag flown at half-mast for the next 40 days. The sultan was the patron and sponsor of the Royal Omani Amateur Radio Society (ROARS) and its A47RS club station. He had been the Sultan of Oman since 1970.

Massachusetts Club Offers Support to Arecibo Observatory Following Earthquakes

Fri, 01/17/2020 - 06:00
Although not in the hardest-hit earthquake zone, Puerto Rico’s Arecibo Observatory nonetheless has been affected by the recent spate of earthquakes and aftershocks. The landmark Arecibo radio telescope and ionospheric radar facility was a victim of the devastation wrought by Hurricane Maria in 2017.Members of the Nashoba Valley Amateur Radio Club (NVARC) have stepped up to assist in support and...

Earthquakes Compromised Power Generation Capacity, Puerto Rico Section Manager Says

Thu, 01/09/2020 - 20:00
ARRL Puerto Rico Section Manager Oscar Resto, KP4RF, says small tremors continue on the island in the wake of the 6.4 magnitude earthquake that struck the southwestern part of the island on January 7. A magnitude 5.8 quake struck a day earlier. The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) reported widespread power outages after generating plants automatically activated protective shutdown s...

Norway Experiences Unexpected Ground Current “Shockwave”

Thu, 01/09/2020 - 20:00 reports that on January 6, unexpected electrical currents were detected in the soil of northern Norway starting at around 1930 UTC.“It seemed to be some kind of shockwave,” said Rob Stammes, who monitors ground currents at the Polarlightcenter geophysical observatory in Lofoten. “My instruments detected a sudden, strong variation in both ground currents and our local magnetic f...

Strong Earthquake Shakes Puerto Rico, ARES Standing By

Wed, 01/08/2020 - 05:00
A strong magnitude 6.4 earthquake hit Puerto Rico early on January 7 on the heels of a smaller magnitude 5.8 tremor a day earlier. The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority reported widespread power outages after generating plants automatically activated protective shutdown systems following the earthquake. Puerto Rico Governor Wanda Vazquez Garced urged citizens to remain calm.

Australian Bushfires Causing Major Telecommunication Outages, Hams Asked to Remain Alert

Sat, 01/04/2020 - 21:00
Wireless Institute of Australia (WIA) President Greg Kelly, VK2GPK, says the bushfires in Australia have caused or are expected to cause significant disruption of telecommunication services in the states of Victoria and New South Wales. “The scope and range of these impacts is unknown at this stage but are predicted to cover all internet and phone (fixed and mobile) and other commercial radio s...

New tropo records on 2m and 70cm

Sat, 01/04/2020 - 21:00
Congratulations to Ian, GM3SEK who set a new 70cm world record distance on tropo on 28 December 2019 by working D41CV at a distance of 4,565km. That put him in the unique position of holding both EME and tropo records on that band as, back on 12 March 1989, he worked ZL3AAD at 18,970km. On 1 January 2020, Callum, GM0EWX on the Isle of Skye managed to work D41CV on 2m FT8. This now extends the 144MHz IARU Region 1 tropo record to 4,776km.

Radio Amateurs of Canada Announces a New Section

Sat, 01/04/2020 - 21:00
The number of Sections needed for a clean sweep in the ARRL November Sweepstakes (SS) will rise to 84 in 2020, with the addition of a new Prince Edward Island (PE) Section. Radio Amateurs of Canada (RAC) announced this week that the new Section will become effective on April 1.RAC said its Prince Edward Island members have been working for some time to create a separate Section for RAC ARES act...

W1AW to be on the Air for Winter Field Day

Sat, 01/04/2020 - 21:00
Members of the Warren County (New York) Amateur Radio Club (W2WCR) will activate Maxim Memorial Station W1AW for Winter Field Day 2020 over the January 25 – 26 weekend. Winter Field Day is sponsored by the Winter Field Day Association (WFDA), which believes that emergency communication is important throughout the year. Winter Field Day is open to radio amateurs worldwide.

Space Weather Update: Official Solar Cycle 25 Forecast Update

Fri, 12/13/2019 - 14:25
The NOAA/NASA Solar Cycle prediction panel has issued an official statement yesterday with news about the upcoming Solar Cycle 25.The most notable bit of information is that we likely haven't passed solar minimum yet. The panel predicts solar minimum to occur in April, 2020 with an uncertainty range of +/- 6 months. The panel agreed that Cycle 25 will be average in intensity and similar to Cycle 24 with a peak in July, 2025 (+/- 8 months), with a smoothed sunspot number (SSN) of 115 which would make Solar Cycle 25 very similar to Solar Cycle 24.

SAQ, Sweden’s Alexanderson Alternator, Announces Scheduled Christmas Eve Transmission

Fri, 12/13/2019 - 14:25
SAQ, the call sign of the 1920s vintage Alexanderson transmitter in Grimeton, Sweden, is set to be on the air for its annual Christmas Eve transmission. SAQ transmits CW with up to 200 kW on 17.2 kHz. Tune-up is scheduled to begin at around 0730 UTC, with the holiday message transmitted on December 24 at 0800 UTC. SAQ will livestream the event. SAQ has introduced a new reception report form for...

Via the ARRL: Amateur Radio News from Antarctica

Fri, 12/13/2019 - 14:25
In Antarctica, Chris Cianflone, W2RTO, is on the air from KC4USV at McMurdo Station, mostly operating FT8 on 14.075 MHz. The station has a tribander for 20, 15, and 10 meters and a Kenwood TS-480 feeding a 500 W amplifier, which, he said “sounds like it’s on its last legs.” Given the 24 hours of daylight this time of year and the challenging terrain, the lower bands are unusable in Antarctica, ...

President Rick Roderick, K5UR, Heads ARRL Group on FCC Visits

Sat, 12/07/2019 - 20:25
President Rick Roderick, K5UR, and members of the ARRL Board’s Executive Committee undertook a round of visits to FCC Headquarters in Washington on November 4 and 5. Topics focused on a number of pressing amateur radio-related issues. In addition to Roderick, members of the ARRL contingent included Atlantic Division Director Tom Abernethy, W3TOM; New England Division Director Fred Hopengarten, ...

US State Department Seeks Foreign Service Information Management Technical Specialists – Radio

Sat, 12/07/2019 - 20:25
The US Department of State is currently accepting applications for Foreign Service Information Management Technical Specialists – Radio (IMTS-R) positions. Foreign Service IMTS-Rs design, install, and maintain radio and telecommunications systems. They provide radio support for presidential, congressional, and other VIP visits. These radio specialists work from a regional location, overseas or domestically. Extensive travel is required to support radio telecommunications systems, such as land mobile radio (LMR), HF, VHF, and UHF radio networks at State Department missions around the world. Potential applicants should read the vacancy announcement to ensure that they meet all of the requirements before applying. To begin the online application process, visit USAJOBS. The deadline to submit completed applications is December 31, 2019. Applicants must be US citizens, at least 20 years old to apply, and at least 21 years old to be appointed. Applicants must also be available for worldwide service and be able to obtain all required security, medical, and suitability clearances.

Via HACKADAY: Retrotechtacular: 934 MHz CB Radio

Sat, 12/07/2019 - 20:25
The radio spectrum is carefully regulated and divided up by Governments worldwide. Some of it is shared across jurisdictions under the terms of international treaties, while other allocations exist only in individual countries. Often these can contain some surprising oddities, and one of these is our subject today. Did you know that the UK’s first legal CB radio channels included a set in the UHF range, at 934 MHz? Don’t worry, neither did most Brits. Behind it lies a tale of bureaucracy, and of a bungled attempt to create an industry around a barely usable product.

UN Headquarters’ 4U1UN has been Back on the Air

Sat, 12/07/2019 - 20:25
The United Nations Amateur Radio Club, 4U1UN, at UN Headquarters in New York has been on the air recently. Adrian Ciuperca, KO8SCA, recently was on site to replace and test a serial cable, and, while there, made some 100 contacts. “Now that all works, we should hear the 4U1UN more often on the air,” he commented. QSL via HB9BOU.

FCC Amending Amateur Radio RF Exposure Safety Rules

Sat, 12/07/2019 - 20:25
The FCC is amending its Part 97 Amateur Service rules relating to RF exposure safety. In a lengthy document in ET Docket 19-226 released on December 4 that addresses a broad range of RF safety issues, the FCC said current amateur radio RF exposure safety limits will remain unchanged, but that the amateur-specific exemption from having to conduct an RF exposure evaluation will be replaced by the...

ARRL Asks FCC to Dismiss Petition Seeking Declaratory Ruling on Encoded Message Rule

Sat, 12/07/2019 - 20:25
ARRL has asked the FCC to dismiss a Petition for Declaratory Ruling filed by New York University (NYU), that in ARRL’s view proposes a new interpretation of the rule — Section 97.113(a)(4) — prohibiting “messages encoded for the purpose of obscuring their meaning.” In its December 2 filing, ARRL said NYU’s call to “clarify” the rule’s meaning to prohibit “effectively encrypted or encoded messages, including messages that cannot be readily decoded over the air for true meaning,” is not only vague but could weaken the prohibition against encryption.

Dayton Hamvention Admission, Fees to Increase in 2020

Sat, 12/07/2019 - 20:25
Dayton Hamvention® is increasing the cost of admission and its booth fees. Hamvention General Chair Jack Gerbs, WB8SCT, announced this week that general admission would rise by $4 per ticket to $26 in advance or $31 at the gate for all 3 days. The cost of flea market spots will go up by $5 per space, and inside exhibitors will pay $30 more.