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: 31 min 40 sec ago

Ham Radio Newscast Producer Hap Holly, KC9RP, and The RAIN Report Retiring

Thu, 06/13/2019 - 13:25
Hap Holly, KC9RP, who’s been producing the The RAIN Report Amateur Radio newscast every week for 30 years, has announced that he’s retiring and closing down The RAIN Report (Radio Amateur Information Network). “The archives will remain online for those who want to download and/or broadcast them,” Holly told ARRL. “My thought is to expand the archive from RAIN Reports that have never been archived.” A ham since 1969, Holly, a prolific reporter of Dayton Hamvention news and forum accounts over the years, said he’ll produce a “Farewell to The RAIN Report” newscast. The grand finale could run over more than one episode and will include clips — now being solicited — from individuals heard on The RAIN Report in past years.

Ham Radio Equipment Donated in Dominica

Thu, 06/13/2019 - 13:25
Dominica News Online reports that four handheld Amateur Radio transceivers have been donated to the Dominica Association of Persons with Disabilities (DAPD), allowing DAPD members who have received Amateur Radio training to get on the air. Two Swedish members of the Dominica Amateur Radio Club Inc. (DARCI) who had joined the DAPD handled the presentation. During an interview with DBS Radio, DAPD Executive Director Nathalie Murphy expressed her gratitude to DARCI for the donation. “It’s one thing to do the theory, but it’s another thing to do the practicals, and without such devices that won’t be possible, so we want to extend a big thank you to the Dominica Amateur Radio Club Inc. for considering us and ensuring that the program that we followed now we are able to implement it practically,” Murphy said. “After you have had the training and you have been certified as an Amateur Radio user, you have to get your license issued by the National Telecommunications Regulatory Commission, and our applications are before them.”

Orkney Islands DXpedition Announces Call Sign

Thu, 06/13/2019 - 13:25
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.

Make: Magazine Going Dark

Thu, 06/13/2019 - 13:25
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.

FCC Settles with Massachusetts Pirate Broadcaster

Thu, 06/13/2019 - 13:25
After filing a civil action and seeking an injunction to stop a church-related pirate radio station from operating in Worcester, Massachusetts, the US Attorney’s Office this week reached a settlement with the station’s operators, Vasco Oburoni and Christian Praise International Church. US Attorney Andrew E. Lelling and FCC Enforcement Bureau Chief Rosemary Harold announced the settlement on June 10. Oburoni and the church admitted that they had operated an FM broadcast station without a license. According to a consent decree filed on June 10 and subject to court approval, Oburoni and Christian Praise International Church agree not to do so in the future. They also agreed to surrender all of their broadcasting equipment.

On-the-Air Activity to Mark 50th Anniversary of First Market Reef DXpedition

Thu, 06/13/2019 - 13:25
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.

China Set to Launch New Amateur Satellite with "Sail Ball" Stabilization

Sat, 06/08/2019 - 13:25
Chinese Amateur Satellite Group (CAMSAT) has announced the impending launch of the CAS-7B satellite, also designated as BP-1B, a short-lived spacecraft that will carry an Amateur Radio payload. An unusual feature of the spacecraft is its "sail ball" passive stabilization system. The 1.5-U CubeSat is attached to a 500-millimeter flexible film ball - or sail - that will offer passive "pneumatic resistance" stabilization. CAS-7B is expected to remain in orbit for up to 1 month. The spacecraft will carry an Amateur Radio transponder and educational mission. CAMSAT is working with Beijing Institute of Technology (BIT), a top aerospace school, which is providing launch support in launch of the satellite. BIT faculty and students are participating in the development and testing of the satellite, and, with CAMSAT's help, the university has established an Amateur Radio club (call sign BI1LG). CAMSAT said many students are now members, "learning Amateur Radio satellite communication and experience[ing] endless fun."

Developer: Part of Hara Arena must be demolished (Ohio)

Sat, 06/08/2019 - 13:25
Structural engineers are still examining Hara Arena, but the property's developer is confident that while the main arena structure can be saved, an attached section will have to be demolished. Michael Heitz is the Lexington, Ky.-based developer who has acquired several distressed Dayton industrial sites over the years, including the closed Hara Arena and its 120 acres last year.

Germany permits 50 MHz ham radio contest operation

Sat, 06/08/2019 - 13:25
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.

New ham radio regulations in Belgium

Sat, 06/08/2019 - 13:25
Belgium's national amateur radio society, the UBA, has published details of the May 24 decision of the BIPT Council on amateur radio frequencies, powers and transmission modes.

Amateur Radio's Role in the Wake of Major Hurricanes

Sat, 06/08/2019 - 13:25
Modern communication methods can sometimes falter in the wake of a major landfalling hurricane. What most people might not realize is emergency managers have a back up plan that relies on old school technology: amateur, or ham radio. There is a formal system in place, called the Amateur Radio Emergency Service, that's been around since the 1930s. It's comprised of local, licensed ham radio operators and their equipment that emergency officials can call into action if other means of communication are not reliably working. We explore this interesting aspect of emergency management with Robert Pantazes, he is the Treasurer of the Fort Myers Amateur Radio Club, and chair of its Technical Committee.

New FT4 Beta Release "Leaps and Bounds" Better than Earlier Iterations

Sat, 06/08/2019 - 13:25
User reports have been favorable in the wake of the release of another new beta version of the FT4 protocol by the WSJT-X Developoment Group this week. WSJT-X 2.1.0-rc7, which is now available for testing, is not compatible with any previous FT4 releases. A short mock contest session to wring out the contesting features of FT4 took place on June 4. "Thanks to all who participated in yesterday's FT4 mock-contest practice session — and especially to those who provided useful feedback. It is much appreciated!" said developer Joe Taylor, K1JT. "Everyone likes the 7.5-second T/R sequences, which provide operators with significantly more human interaction time than in previous revisions of FT4. Users also appreciated the sensitivity improvements and a larger range of acceptable time offsets (DT)." DT represents the combined clock difference for the transmitting and receiving computers, he explained.