Sunday, May 21, 2017

Jerry Rosalius, WB9Z, and Bill Moore, NC1L (SK) Inducted into CQ DX Hall of Fame

    
 
      (Xenia, OH - May 19, 2017) - CQ magazine today announced the induction of two new members to the CQ DX Hall of Fame, which honors those DXers who not only excel in personal performance but who also "give back" to the hobby in outstanding ways. CQ DX Editor Bob Schenck, N2OO, presented Hall of Fame plaques at an induction ceremony held at the annual Dayton DX dinner on May 19.
 
The 2017 inductees to the CQ DX Hall of Fame are:
 
Bill Moore, NC1L (SK) - the ARRL's DXCC Manager for over 20 years. A public face of the program at hamfests around the world, Bill was also a major contributor behind the scenes, leading the transition from DXCC paper records to a computer database, then years later, guiding a major upgrade to the system that is in use today. Bill was severely injured in an auto accident in 2014 and became a Silent Key last year.
 
Jerry Rosalius, WB9Z - an accomplished DXer and DXpeditioner, he has "worked them all" with the exception of North Korea, and participated in multiple major DXpeditions, including seven that were named as "DXpedition of the Year" by the Southwest Ohio DX Association. He is a frequent speaker at club meetings and hamfests and regularly makes his home station available for training new contesters.
The CQ DX Hall of Fame was established in 1967 to recognize those amateurs who have made major contributions to DXing and DXpeditioning. This year's inductions bring the total number of members of the CQ DX Hall of Fame to 71.
 

Dave Robbins, K1TTT, and Bob Wilson, N6TV, Inducted into CQ Contest Hall of Fame

 
 
     (Xenia, OH - May 20, 2017) - CQ magazine today announced the induction of two new members to the CQ Contest Hall of Fame, which honors those contesters who not only excel in personal performance but who also "give back" to the hobby in outstanding ways. CQ Contesting Editor David Siddall, K3ZJ, presented Hall of Fame plaques at an induction ceremony held at the annual Dayton contest dinner on May 20.
 
The 2017 inductees to the CQ Contest Hall of Fame are:
Dave Robbins, K1TTT, is the builder and owner of a contest superstation in western Massachusetts. Soon after assembling his first contest station, Dave wrote in the introduction to his book, Building a Superstation, "I realized I was not a 48-hour iron pants operator and decided to start doing multi-ops from here..." Over the past 30+ years, Dave has hosted legions of operators at his multi-multi station, some veterans, some newcomers, and willingly shared his knowledge and experiences, both in his building book and his annual Contest Cookbooks, distributed to members of the Yankee Clipper Contest Club (YCCC), of which Dave is a past president. You can see webcams of his current station and much more information at <www.k1ttt.net>.
Bob Wilson, N6TV, is an accomplished contester and contest DXpeditioner, but his achievements behind the scenes are as significant as those he's made on the air. A regular speaker at Contest University and the International DX Convention's Contest Academy, Bob has developed new techniques and technologies to enhance logging and score-keeping software and to advance SO2R (Single Operator, 2 Radios) operating, along with the efficiency of software defined radios, CW Skimmer, the Reverse Beacon Network and more.
The CQ Contest Hall of Fame was established in 1986 to recognize those amateurs who have made major contributions to the art of radio contesting. This year's inductions bring the total number of members of the CQ Contest Hall of Fame to 69.

Announcing: 2017 Inductees, CQ Amateur Radio Hall of Fame

    (Xenia, Ohio - May 19, 2017) - The CQ Amateur Radio Hall of Fame has 18 new members for 2017, CQ magazine announced today. This brings to 310 the total number of members inducted since the hall's establishment in 2001.
The CQ Amateur Radio Hall of Fame honors those individuals, whether licensed hams or not, who have made significant contributions to amateur radio; and those amateurs who have made significant contributions either to amateur radio, to their professional careers or to some other aspect of life on our planet.
 
The 2017 inductees (listed alphabetically) are:
  • King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand, HS1A (SK)
  • John Brosnahan, W0UN (SK) - President of Alpha Power, NOAA physicist and instrumental in design and construction of the HAARP facility in Alaska.
  • Garrett Brown, W3AFF - Inventor of the Steadicam, which earned him both Oscar and Emmy awards for filmmaking technology
  • Britton Chance, W2IBK (SK) - Pioneer in magnetic imaging; MIT professor, team leader in MIT Radiation Lab developing WWII radar; US Olympic gold medalist (sailing, 1952)
  • John Crockett, W3KH - Repeater coordination pioneer; developed Southeastern Repeater Assn (SERA) Universal Coordination System; managed SCHEART system of linked repeaters in hospitals; VP Engineering for SC Educational TV network
  • Julius T. Freeman, KB2OFY (SK) - Tuskegee Airman and Congressional Gold Medal recipient; frequent speaker at schools and civic organizations
  • Limor Fried, AC2SN - Founder of Adafruit Industries, major supplier of open-source electronics to the Maker community; honored by President Obama in 2016 as a "Champion of Change" and by the Internet of Things Institute as one of the 25 most influential women in the IoT industry
  • Robin Haighton, VE3FRH (SK) - Founding member of Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS), former president of AMSAT-NA
  • David Honess, M6DNT - Developed AstroPi project, which sent two Raspberry Pi computers to the International Space Station as platforms for students on Earth to write and run their own computer code in space; honored for this work with the Sir Arthur Clarke Award, presented by the Arthur C. Clarke Foundation and the British Interplanetary Society
  • Pete Kemp, KZ1Z (SK) - Author and educator, directly responsible for licensing over 700 new hams
  • Kristen McIntyre, K6WX - Apple software engineer and inventor (her name is on 22 granted or pending patents), promoter of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) subjects for girls through various talks and YouTube presentations
  • Pat McPherson, WW9E (SK) - Founder and longtime coordinator of SATERN (Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network)
  • Andy Nguyen, VK3YT - Pico-ballooner, pioneered round-the-world microballoon flights carrying amateur radio
  • Tim Peake, KG5BVI - UK astronaut very active in ARISS program during time on International Space Station; coordinated ISS end of the AstroPi project (see David Honess, above)
  • Mike Santana, WB6TEB (SK) - Two-way radio engineer, designed Clegg FM-76 220-MHz transceiver and President line of CB rigs, favorites for conversion to 10 meters
  • Allan Steinfeld, W2TN, ex-KL7HIR (SK) - Longtime Race Director of the New York City Marathon, considered one of the fathers of the modern running movement
  • Gerald Youngblood, K5SDR - Pioneer of software defined radio (SDR) and founder of FlexRadio
Two new members each are also being inducted into the CQ DX and Contest Halls of Fame at the respective Dayton DX and Contest dinners. Their names will be announced separately.
-30-

Monday, May 1, 2017

Optimism About FCC Enforcement


FCC Chairman Ajit Pai (FCC photo)
ARRL General Counsel Chris Imlay, W3KD, told the League's Executive Committee in March that he feels the FCC may provide more effective enforcement on the ham bands in the future. Imlay said the Commission's new chairman, Ajit Pai, is very interested in improved enforcement and that Michael Carowitz, the new Chief of the Enforcement Bureau, is said to be "amateur friendly." According to the ARRL Letter,  Imlay told the committee he "foresees a potential window of opportunity for improved spectrum enforcement work, as well as the opportunity to build a stronger working relationship with the FCC on all issues."

In a related matter, the Letter reports that the ARRL has begun working on final language of a revised memorandum of understanding with the FCC on its Amateur Auxiliary program, which incorporates the ARRL's Official Observer program. A board committee is in the process of developing recommendations for the full board on revamping and revitalizing the OO/AA program.

FCC Proposes Massive Fine for Jamming NYC Police


Speaking of enforcement, the FCC has proposed fining a 20-year-old New York City man more than $400,000 for repeatedly making unauthorized transmissions and false alarm calls on city police frequencies. The ARRL Letter reports that the Commission issued a Notice of Apparent Liability (NAL) to Jay Peralta of Queens, New York, alleging that over the course of a year, he transmitted false bomb threats, false distress calls supposedly from NYPD officers, false claims of crimes involving firearms and threats against specific police officers. 

The proposed fine was announced personally by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, saying the action shows the FCC "will not tolerate unauthorized and illegal use of the radio spectrum." Peralta and two other men had been arrested last fall in connection with several robberies, although it is unclear if those cases are connected with the radio interference case.

League Committee Studying Survey Responses on Entry-Level License


The ARRL reports that response to its survey on potential changes to entry-level licensing were overwhelming, with some 8000 responses received rather than the 1500 it expected, according to the ARRL Letter. Last year, the League's board of directors created a committee to study possible changes to entice more people into amateur radio, with a focus on either revamping the Technician license or recommending creation of a new entry-level license.
 
Committee Chairman and ARRL New England Division Director Tom Frenaye, K1KI, said he originally thought a new license class might be the best approach but is now leaning toward re-examining both the privileges and the exam requirements for the Technician license. He is tentatively looking toward expanded HF digital privileges for Techs, along with aligning the exam questions with the operating privileges offered by the license. The committee plans to make its recommendations to the full ARRL board at its next meeting in July.

Midway and Kure Islands Deleted from DXCC List


The ARRL has deleted two Pacific islands from its list of "DX entities" that count toward the DXCC award and others that are based on the DXCC list. According to the ARRL, the decision is an unintended consequence of last year's expansion of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument to include the northwestern Hawaiian islands west of Ni'ihau, including Midway. That portion of the monument is now administered by the State of Hawaii. 

Until this change in status, Midway had separate administration – making it eligible for DXCC status – and Kure, previously under Hawaiian administration, was separated from the rest of the state by Midway, giving it separate DXCC status. With Midway now under Hawaiian administration, it no longer qualifies as a distinct entity, and Kure is no longer separated from the rest of Hawaii by a different DX entity. Both islands now count as part of Hawaii, with the change retroactive to August 26, 2016, the date the changes in governance took effect. Both islands are accessible only by permission.

FWS Seeks Comments on Allowing Baker Island DXpedition


Brown boobies are among 11 bird species that make their
homes on Baker Island in the Pacific Ocean. It is part of a
US National Wildlife Refuge. (US Fish & Wildlife Service photo)
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is asking for public review and comment on a "Draft Compatibility Determination for Amateur Radio Operation" on Baker Island (KH4), a Pacific island some 1800 miles southwest of Honolulu. According to the ARRL Letter, "(a)mateur radio operation is an existing use at Baker Island NWR (National Wildlife Refuge); however, it is not a common use." 

The statement notes that operations there offer value "as a source of public information about wildlife resources and to bring public attention to the refuge." Baker Island is the fourth-most-wanted DX entity, according to ClubLog. The most recent operation there, in 2002, generated 96,000 contacts. 

Comments should be submitted via e-mail to Monument Superintendent Laura Beauregard and include "Baker Amateur Radio Comments" in the subject line. Beauregard's e-mail address is <laura_beauregard@fws.gov>.

Spratly DXpedition Delayed Until March 2018


Ownership of the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea
is disputed among four countries. Hams nonetheless plan
to mount a DXpedition there. Layang Layang Island is part
of Sparrow Reef (circled) on this CIA World Factbook map.
A DXpedition to the hotly-contested Spratly Islands planned this December has been postponed until next March. 

The ARRL Letter's report did not include a reason for the delay in the planned 9M0W operation from Layang Layang Island, a part of Swallow Reef (IOTA AS-051). 

The Malaysian Navy has a presence on the reef (and Malaysia issued the license), but the Spratlys are at the center of South China Sea conflicts between Malaysia, China, Taiwan and Vietnam, all of which claim ownership.

WRTC-18 Seeking Young Contesters


Organizers of the 2018 World Radiosport Team Championship (WRTC) are planning to include three teams of young contesters (under age 26 at the time of the competition) among the 42 teams that will compete for bragging rights in Germany next July. 

According to the ARRL Letter, there are no qualifying requirements for the youth teams; prospective members need only to apply to be considered. Applications for WRTC referees are also being accepted at this time. For more information, e-mail <contact@wrtc2018.de>.

ISS Packet Digipeater Back on 2 Meters


The arrival of a new 2-meter handheld transceiver at the International Space Station has allowed theresumption of packet radio digipeater operation on 145.825 MHz. The ARRL Letter reports that the packet station had moved to 70 centimeters after the very old Ericsson VHF handheld failed. Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) voice contacts with schools were moved from the U.S. Columbus module to a Kenwood transceiver in the Russian Service Module. Installation of the new 2-meter HT has allowed digipeater operation to resume on VHF. It is unclear whether ARISS voice contacts have also moved back to the Columbus module.

 
On the subject of the ISS, current expedition Commander Peggy Whitson, ex-KC5ZTD, recently set a new record for time in space by any American astronaut, breaking the 534-day cumulative record previously set by Astronaut Jeff Williams, KD5TVQ. On a previous ISS mission, Whitson conducted numerous ham radio contacts with school groups under the ARISS program, but subsequently let her amateur license lapse.

ARRL Prohibits "Dueling CQs" in its Contests


The ARRL has made it clear that so-called "dueling CQs" on the same band by a single station are not permitted in its contests. Technically known as "in-band interleaved CQs," the practice involves calling CQ sequentially on two or more frequencies in the same band. There is never more than one signal from a given station on the band at the same time, but the practice effectively occupies multiple frequencies and violates the spirit if not the letter of the "one signal per band" rule. The ARRL Letter reports that the League decided to "clarify" its rules to specifically prohibit the practice, which is already against the rules in all CQ-sponsored contests.

Will 4U1UN Return to the Air?


The ARRL reports that representatives of the United Nations Staff Recreation Council Amateur Radio Club are negotiating with the world body's Department of Public Information in an effort to get amateur station 4U1UN permanently back on the air. 

QSL card from the most recent activation of the United
Nations Headquarters ARC, as 4U70UN in 2015 to mark
the world body's 70th anniversary (from 4U1UN website)

The station operated from the U.N. Secretariat building from 1978 until 2010, when it was taken off the air to accommodate extensive building renovations. All antennas were removed from the roof and equipment was put into storage. While the renovations have been completed, a combination of logistical issues and security concerns have stymied efforts to return the station to the air, except for a brief temporary operation in 2015 to mark the U.N.'s 70th anniversary. Several options are being considered to allow the station to resume operations while satisfying the administration's concerns.

PSK-31 for the Visually Impaired


The authors of Accessible Digipan are trying to raise
$10,000 via gofundme.com to support costs of
developing and updating the software. There is a link
from the main accessibledigipan.org webpage.
As a keyboard mode whose messages print out on a computer screen, hams with visual impairments have not been able to use PSK-31 and similar modes … until now. 

The ARRL Letter reports that a new app called "Accessible DigiPan" merges the popular digital mode software with the popular "JAWS" screen reader program. 

Two blind hams – Richard McDonald, KK6MRH, and Jim Snowbarger, WA0PSS – developed the app and are offering it for free to any amateur (although donations are encouraged). 

For more information or to download the app, visit <http://accessibledigipan.org/>.

Milestones: W0PW, WD5IVD, Silent Keys


Two amateurs well-known in the VHF/UHF community became Silent Keys within days of each other in late March, the ARRL Letter reported.
 
Don Hilliard, W0PW, was a founding member of the Central States VHF Society and of the Microwave Update conference. He developed the first ham gear for the 902-MHz band in the 1980s and designed a VHF Yagi antenna that is still popular today. Hilliard died on March 25 following a long illness. He was 81.

Greg Jones, WD5IVD, was only 54 when he became a Silent Key on March 30. A professor at the University of North Texas, Jones served as president of TAPR – Tucson Amateur Packet Radio – from 1993 to 1999. Under his leadership, the organization expanded from its regional base to national leadership in packet radio during its period of peak popularity.

IARU Emergency Telecommunications Guide Now Available in Multiple Languages



The International Amateur Radio Union's Emergency Telecommunications Guide is now available in four languages, English, Spanish, Portuguese and Romanian. The 94-page guide, originally published only in English, is designed to provide materials for amateurs participating in emergency and public service activities as well as guidance for individual hams in improving their EmComm skills, according to Southgate Amateur Radio News. It is hoped that translators will step up to provide editions in additional languages as well.

The English version of the guide may be downloaded at <http://bit.ly/2putdaR>; for the Spanish, Portuguese or Romanian versions, visit <http://bit.ly/2oQXrRg>.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

FLASH! FCC Approves New MF/LF Ham Bands

Hams in the U.S. will soon have two new bands on which to operate, experiment and contribute to the collective knowledge of "the radio art." In a Report and Order issued on March 30, the FCC approved creation of secondary amateur allocations at 135.7-137.8 kHz (2200 meters) and 472-479 kHz (630 meters), the first amateur bands with wavelengths above 200 meters since the dawn of radio regulation.


The new bands come with lots of strings attached, since they will be shared with "PLC" systems used by electric utilities to control the nation's power grid. Hams will be limited to fixed station operation, antennas no higher than 60 meters (196 feet) above ground and radiated power limits of 1 watt effective isotropic radiated power (EIRP) on 2200 meters and 5 watts EIRP on 630 meters (1 watt in some parts of Alaska). Plus, operation on these bands will not be allowed within one kilometer of electric transmission lines using PLC and advance notice of all planned operation to the PLC network coordinator will be required. Access to the bands will be open to all hams holding a General Class or higher license, and any mode may be used as long as it fits within the bands' very narrow bandwidths.

An effective date was not announced since additional government approvals will be required before the rules can be finalized. CQ will have more about the order and its implications in the next "MF & LF Operating" column in the July issue (the column debuts in the upcoming April issue). The complete text of the Report & Order (which is over 60 pages long) may be found at <https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-17-33A1.docx>.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Industry Changes Impact Hams



More bad news for builders: RadioShack has again filed for protection under Chapter 11 of the bankruptcy laws, leading to the closing of even more stores across the country. It is the retailer's second attempt at reorganization in the past two years. A company news release said it will be closing about 200 more stores and will be "evaluating options" on the remaining 1300. 
 
Another blow for circuit designers and builders is the announcement in March by International Crystal Manufacturing that it will be going out of business, most likely by the end of May. No reason was given for the decision in the letter posted on the company's website.

Ham Radio Outlet (HRO) has closed its Sunnyvale, California location, consolidating it with its store in Oakland, some 40 miles to the north. National Sales Manager Steve Gilmore blamed skyrocketing costs as well as traffic and parking problems for the decision to close the chain's Silicon Valley location.

ARRL Pushes FCC for Middle Course on 5-MHz Petition



Commenting on its own petition for expanded frequency privileges at 5 MHz, the ARRL in March told the FCC that its proposal comprises the best balance between added privileges for hams and continued protection of the 60-meter band's primary users. According to the ARRL Letter, the League said neither the final decision of the 2015 World Radiocommunication Conference nor proposals for more frequencies or higher power than it proposed will meet the needs of all users. 
 
The WRC-15 action created a worldwide secondary amateur allocation on the band at 5351.5 to 5366.5 kHz, with a maximum effective isotropic radiated power (EIRP) of 15 watts. The ARRL asked that the FCC add those frequencies, but keep the four currently allocated channels that are not in the WRC band segment, as well as the current US power limit of 100 watts EIRP. 

The League said reducing permitted power to 15 watts "would render the band unsuitable for emergency communications, especially between the US mainland and the Caribbean Basin during summer storms and the hurricane season."

Sputnik Launch Memories Wanted


Sputnik was the first manmade satellite, launched by the
Soviet Union in 1957 (NASA photo)
A museum in England is looking for people willing to share their memories of the launch of Sputnik by the then-Soviet Union in 1957. According to the ARRL, the Scott Polar Research Institute Polar Museum at Cambridge University is putting together an exhibition to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the International Geophysical Year (IGY) in 1957-58. Its focus will be on Sputnik, the establishment of scientific bases in Antarctica and the people involved in IGY research. 

Noting that "many thousands of people from all of the world" were involved in IGY activities, museum Curator Charlotte Connelly said, "We'd like to capture some of those experiences … and show the phenomenal reach of this important moment for global science." 

Anyone interested in sharing a Sputnik story – or perhaps other IGY-related stories – should e-mail Connelly at <museum@spri.cam.ac.uk>.

New Tower Law Cited as Too Broad by FCC Commissioner


FCC Commissioner Michael O'Rielly
(FCC photo)
A new law requiring the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to enact certain new tower marking rules is too broad, according to FCC Commissioner Michael O'Rielly, "and could use tweaks." 

The ARRL Letter reports that O'Rielly said the law could "force expensive retrofits to practically 50,000 existing towers," including broadcast and cell towers, "with little gain to air safety." The law's primary goal is to protect small low-flying aircraft such as crop-dusters from colliding with temporary meteorological testing towers, or METs. But O'Rielly said it is so broadly written that it could potentially affect tens of thousands of other towers that really do not need to provide the additional markings. 

Amateur radio towers were not specifically cited by O'Rielly, and the ARRL says the rules called for by the new law would affect only "a very small subset" of ham towers.

Ham Radio Youth Tie-Ins Span the Globe



We have news this month of three widely-separated activities with similar goals of increasing young people's interest in amateur radio. The World Association of Girl Scouts and Girl Guides' annual "Thinking Day on the Air" event took place in February, with groups of young women learning about amateur radio and getting a chance to get on the air. It's the Girl Scouts' version of the Boy Scouts' annual Jamboree on the Air. The ARRL Letter reports on activities in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maryland and Nebraska that drew large numbers of interested scouts. For more info on Thinking Day on the Air, visit <http://www.guides-on-the-air.co.uk>.

In Australia, Tony Falla, VK3KKP has outfitted an old public bus with a ham station designed to give young people an opportunity for hands-on discovery of ham radio's magic. Newsline reported on a recent demo for a group of Venture scouts, who made a chance contact with a ham in New Zealand who was operating from a mountain cabin with just a radio and a battery. Many of them decided to follow up and get their Foundation licenses (Australia's beginner license). Falla was also written up recently in an Australian newspaper, in an article titled, "My Place: The Science of the Hams."

Finally, a group of students in Virginia used ham radio to talk with the crew of a research vessel in the South Pacific that is using advanced technology to search the ocean floor for the remains of aviator Amelia Earhart's ill-fated Electra, which disappeared in 1937 on an attempted round-the-world flight. The ARRL Letter also reports that the ship's crew had the opportunity to make a ham contact with International Space Station Commander Shane Kimbrough KE5HOD, at the ISS ham station NA1SS. Some Russian-speaking crew members on the research vessel also got to talk with one of the Russian cosmonauts aboard the orbiting station.

New Radio System Slated for Launch to Space Station




Speaking of the International Space Station, the ARRL Letter reports that the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) program is "one giant step" closer to sending a whole new ham station up to the ISS. The plan is to eventually install a Kenwood TM-D7100GA-based system on the station as part of an effort to permit greater interoperability between the two separate ham stations currently on board, one on the Columbus module and the other in the Russian service module. The recent step was successful preliminary test of the breadboard version of a custom-designed multi-voltage power supply at the Johnson Space Center's Electromagnetic Compatibility Lab. The next steps will be to build prototype and flight units. ARISS is seeking contributions to help cover the costs of building the new station for the ISS.
 
On the topic of radios in space, there's been another schedule shift and "gate change" for AMSAT's Fox-1Cliff and Fox-1D satellites. Both had been slated to be launched together later this year by a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. Now, according to the AMSAT News Service, Fox-1D has been rebooked on an Indian launch vehicle scheduled to lift off late this year; Fox-1Cliff will ride a different Falcon 9 scheduled for launch from California either late this year or early next year. AMSAT is also waiting for upcoming launches of the RadFxSat and RadFxSat-2 satellites.

Moon Opera




The first successful decoding of an Earth-Moon-Earth (EME)
transmission using the Opera weak-signal digital mode.
(Courtesy EA5DOM)
The AMSAT News Service and the South African Radio League both report on a new moonbounce achievement by two amateurs in Spain – the first reception of signals off the moon using the "Opera" weak-signal mode. EA5DOM was listening for Opera signals transmitted by EA3HMJ. 

Initial tests on 1296 MHz resulted in a visible trace that was too weak to decode. That was followed by a successful decode on 70 MHz, the 4-meter band, which is available to hams in many parts of Europe and Africa. EA5DOM promised more tests but noted that "one decode was worth the effort." 

You can find out more about the Opera mode at <http://www.obriensweb.com/operaguide.html>
[Tnx Southgate AR News for the link].

Friday, March 3, 2017

Nominations Open for Young Ham of the Year Award


Is there a young ham in your community - or in your family - who's doing incredible stuff with or for ham radio? Is he/she helping to advance radio technology? Performing significant public service? Helping to promote the hobby in innovative ways?
 
Consider nominating that young person for Amateur Radio Newsline's annual Bill Pasternak Young Ham of the Year award, of which CQ is a proud co-sponsor. The nominating period is open until May 31. Nominees must be 18 or younger and live in the United States or its possessions, or in Canada. Complete information and nominating forms are available online at the YHOTY tab on <www.arnewsline.org>.

Hamvention® Honors Go Around - and Above - the World


Three leading radio amateurs and one club will be recognized for their contributions to our hobby next month by the Dayton Hamvention.® The Dayton Amateur Radio Association's Amateur of the Year for 2017 is Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, chairman of the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) program. 
 
CWops co-founder and former president Rob Brownstein, K6RB, wins this year's Technical Achievement award for the CW Academy program, through which more than 800 hams have been mentored in Morse code skills. Dayton's Special Achievement award goes to S. Ram Mohan, VU2MYH, Executive Vice Chairman and Director of India's National Institute of Amateur Radio, and the 2017 Club of the Year is the Clark County Amateur Radio Club, W7AIA, which serves southwestern Washington and northwestern Oregon. The club licensed 95 new hams last year, has a growing youth program and created the "Eyewarn" program, which was featured in the October, 2016, CQ Emergency Communications special issue. The awards will be presented at next month's Dayton Hamvention® in Xenia, Ohio.

Speaking of the Hamvention and Xenia, the ARRL reports that Xenia High School has decided to cancel classes on Friday, May 19, to allow students to attend the Hamvention's opening day. The world's largest hamfest will be held in Xenia for the first time this year, following the closure last year of its longtime home, Hara Arena.

Orlando Hits New Attendance Record


The 2017 Orlando Hamcation® set a new attendance record, which may now make it the world's third-largest hamfest. 

According to the ARRL Letter, official attendance this year at Orlando was 19,000, up 2,000 from 2016 and higher than Europe's largest hamfest, "Ham Radio" in Friedrichshafen, Germany. The only two larger hamfests are the Dayton Hamvention and the Tokyo Ham Fair in Japan.

Rep. Kinzinger Honored by ARRL


Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL)
(U.S. Congress photo)


Amateur Radio Parity Act sponsor Representative Adam Kinzinger has been honored with the ARRL's Barry Goldwater, K7UGA, Achievement Award for 2017.  The Illinois Republican has sponsored the bill to require homeowners' associations to permit some form of outdoor amateur radio antennas in the last three sessions of Congress. The bill has passed the House twice, but has yet to come up for a vote in the Senate.

Ex-FEMA Head: Training is Great, But…


Former FEMA Administrator Craig
Fugate, KK4INZ
Former Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Craig Fugate, KK4INZ, says the agency is willing to work with any amateur who has key information in an emergency, regardless of whether that amateur has formal emergency communications training or is a member of an EmComm-focused group, such as ARES or RACES. 

According to the ARRL Letter, Fugate told "Ham Radio Now" host Gary Pearce, KN4AQ, that "(t)raining is great," but "(w)e shouldn't think it's exclusionary." He said FEMA needs to be responsive even to a ham without formal training "because that person may be the only one up and running," adding that "If you have the luxury of being exclusionary, it's probably not a bad disaster."

The Letter also reported that Fugate told a House committee at the end of February that his former agency needs a new, and experienced, administrator soon, noting that "It's not a good job (in which) to do on-the-job training." As press time, a permanent FEMA administrator had not yet been nominated by the president.

First, the Woodpecker; Now, the Foghorn



Old-timers may remember the "Russian woodpecker," an over-the-horizon (OTH) radar system in the 1980s that moved through the HF spectrum, creating major interference on the ham bands whenever its signal passed through. Now, according to the ARRL Letter, a mysterious foghorn-like signal has been disrupting communications on the 40, 30 and 20-meter bands. The IARU's Region 1 Monitoring Service says it has traced the source of the signal to a Chinese OTH burst radar system.

FCC Takes Next Step on ARRL's 5-MHz Petition - March 20 Comment Deadline


The FCC responded to the ARRL's January petition to expand the 5-MHz (60-meter) band by requesting public comment on the proposal. The comment period opened in mid-February and closes on March 20. 

The League is asking the Commission to authorize a new, non-channelized, amateur allocation between 5351.5 kHz and 5366.5 kHz, to match the international allocation approved at the 2015 World Radiocom- munication Conference (WRC-15), as well as keeping four of the five current channels on the band (the fifth is within the band segment noted above). 

The petition also asks the FCC to retain the current 100-watt PEP power limit for the entire band, as opposed to the 15-watts EIRP limit set by WRC-15. The next step in the process would be for the FCC to issue a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to implement the request.