Here are the latest Amateur Radio news, events, and commentary compiled by “The ARRL Letter.”
Views expressed in this Amateur/Ham Radio News update are those of the reporters and correspondents. Accessed on 13 October 2022, 2214 UTC.
Content republished with permission of “The ARRL.” Copyright ARRL.
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October 13, 2022
John E. Ross, KD8IDJ, Editor
Florida Amateur Radio Operators Activate for Hurricane Ian
As Hurricane Ian was making its way to Tampa, Florida, in late September, the Sheriff’s Tactical Amateur Radio Communications (STARC), W4HSO, was preparing for activation. ARRL member Tony DeAngelo, N2MFT, said STARC was activated on Monday, September 26, and continued operations through Thursday, September 29, 2022.
STARC has amateur radio equipment in five of the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) locations, as well as a Homeland Security office. “It’s a great working arrangement with all of the equipment provided for us,” said DeAngelo. “Our volunteers staffed those locations and the remainder worked from their homes.”
Over the course of the 4-day activation, 16 STARC volunteers worked 24 hours a day passing information for aid and assistance through the sheriff’s office using WebEOC, a web-based emergency management information system.
DeAngelo emphasized that STARC is not a club, but a service organization. STARC volunteers are required to undergo an extensive background investigation, including fingerprinting by the HCSO. STARC volunteers are civilians and employees of various Hillsborough County government agencies, Verizon, Tampa Electric, St. Joseph’s Hospital, Tampa Police Department, and other public and private agencies. In the event of a disaster, radio operators provide communications between participating agencies if normal means of communications are lost.
Ian, Julia, and Karl – The Latest Storm Updates
Cleanup and damage assessment from Hurricane Ian continues. Power outages peaked at 2.7 million customers, but new reports indicate power has been restored for 99% of the outages leaving less than 5,000 residents and businesses still off line. All power is expected to be restored by Friday, October 14, 2022.
Hardee County Emergency Management in West Central Florida lost power and all communications, but Hardee County Public Information Officer Alicia Woodard said it was amateur radio that stepped in to help.
“Our amateur radio operators here began relaying information to our county agencies,” said Woodard.
“A special thanks to Mike Douglas, W4MDD, ARRL West Central Florida Section Manager and ARRL Assistant Section Manager/ Technical Coordinator Darrell Davis, KT4WX, for their assistance during the storm.”
Hardee County received 27 inches of water. Normal flooding for the area is 16 inches and most power is now back on.
Hurricane Julia made landfall this past weekend over Nicaragua with winds of 85 miles per hour. Now downgraded, the storm has moved out to the Pacific Ocean but is till able to bring heavy rains to parts of Central America.
In Nicaraguan there were reports of power outages and 10,000 residents were moved to shelters. Officials there, report 25 casualties with over 50 people missing.
Hurricane Watch Net (HWN) Manager Bobby Graves, KB5HAV, reported late Wednesday morning that Karl is still a tropical storm. Although it is currently moving to the north-northwest, it is expected to make a sharp left-hand turn and head south-southwest on Thursday.
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) is currently forecasting Karl to make landfall near Veracruz, Mexico late Friday or possibly early Saturday morning as a tropical storm, possibly even a tropical depression.
“The Hurricane Watch Net is closely monitoring the track and intensity of Karl,” said Graves. “Should environmental conditions change allowing it to become a hurricane and threaten landfall as such, HWN will of course activate.”
San Angelo Amateur Radio Club Celebrates 100 Years
The San Angelo Amateur Radio Club (SAARC), based in San Angelo, Texas, will celebrate their 100th anniversary on October 15, 2022. The club has engaged in a century of community service, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education, emergency preparedness, and disaster response.
Founded in 1922, SAARC held their first meeting on June 14 of that year, and membership today has grown to 40 members. The celebration will take place at their clubhouse located at 5513 Stewart Lane in San Angelo. It will include a tailgate swap meet starting at 9 AM, amateur radio operators working to make contacts with 100 stations, and the Boy Scouts Jamboree-on-the-Air (JOTA).
The club call sign, W5QX, honors Carl Brinegar, who originally held the call sign of 5QX before the “W” prefix was added. He was one of the earliest members of SAARC.
SAARC is currently working in partnership with Angelo State University’s Mayer Museum, located on the campus of Angelo State University, to create an exhibit that will tell the story of local radio pioneers. Topics will include amateur radio operators, retail radio businesses, public safety radio innovators, and broadcast radio stations that formed in the Concho Valley area in the 1920s and 1930s.
Club member Mike Dominy, KD5URW, said SAARC is the only club within a 70-mile radius of San Angelo, Texas. “Our club and Amateur Radio Emergency Service® volunteers, cover 14,000 square miles with a population of 165,000,” said Dominy. “With cell phone coverage only along major roads and highways amateur radio is the only communication during storms and tornadoes.”
Dominy added that there are only 381 licensed amateur radio operators in the area, and the club is working on grants to add and upgrade repeaters under a 5-year plan.
The SAARC is an ARRL Affiliated Club.
Amateur Radio in the News
ARRL Public Information Officers, Coordinators, and many other member-volunteers help keep amateur radio and ARRL in the news.
“Amateur Radio Club returns, helps members obtain FCC licenses.” / The Baylor Lariat (Texas), October 4, 2022.
“Local ham radio club receives grant.” / The Astorian (Oregon), October 6, 2022. — The Sunset Empire Amateur Radio Club is an ARRL Affiliated Club.
“Project 425 Hosts Amateur Radio Operators.” / The Town-Crier (Florida), October 7, 2022. — Thanks to ARRL member Mike Bald, K4MIA, of Loxahatchee, Florida, for sharing his call sign in support of National POW/MIA Recognition Day.
Share any amateur radio media hits you spot with us.
The latest episode of the ARRL On the Air podcast includes On the Air and QST contributor Dino Papas, KL0S. Papas provides insight into the construction and tuning of a J-pole antenna, which he built for On the Air from a design by John H. Unrath, K6JHU.
Listen to ARRL Audio News, available every Friday. ARRL Audio News is a summary of the week’s top news stories in the world of amateur radio and ARRL, along with interviews and other features.
October 15 – 16 is session three of the ARRL EME Contest, for frequencies between 50 MHz and 1296 MHz. It’s never been easier to complete the Earth-moon-Earth circuit. Lance Collister’s, W7GJ, “6 Meter EME Array” document from 2010 talks about the minimum frequency you’d need to decode signals from the moon, which can be boiled down to a good antenna, reasonable radio, and appropriate software. Activity also helps. With a “regular” 6-meter antenna, it should be possible to copy signals from the moon at moonrise, taking advantage of ground gain. — Thanks to ARRL Contest Program Manager Paul Bourque, N1SFE, for this information.
Dayton Hamvention® has announced that the Ramada Inn in Xenia, Ohio, is closing. The Dayton Daily News is reporting that the city of Xenia will take full possession of the Ramada Inn on November 1, 2022. The land will be incorporated into the Xenia Towne Square revitalization project. Hamvention, the largest annual ham radio convention in the US, will be held May 19 – 21, 2023, at the Greene County Fairgrounds and Expo Center in Xenia. A list of other accommodations can be found on the Hamvention website at https://hamvention.org/travel-
The K7RA Solar Update
Tad Cook, K7RA, of Seattle, Washington, reports for this week’s ARRL Propagation Bulletin:
Average daily sunspot numbers and solar flux increased this week. Sunspot numbers went from 111.4 to 114.9, and flux values went from 149.2 to 155.3.
A feel-good exercise is to compare these numbers with those from a
year ago, when the sunspot reading in bulletin 41 was only 30.7, and flux was 86.9. Cycle 25 progression is better than predicted.
October 9 saw a planetary A index reading of 25. On that day, Spaceweather.com warned that sunspot AR3112 had a delta-class magnetic field with energy for strong solar flares.
Predicted solar flux from USAF and NOAA shows values peaking during the first week of November, at 160.
The forecast shows flux values of 140 on October 13 – 19; 138 on October 20 – 22; 140 on October 23 – 25; 145, 145, and 150 on October 26 – 28; 155, 155, and 152 on October 29 – 31; 160 on November 1 – 8; 150, 140, and 135 on November 9 – 11, and 130 on November 12 – 13.
Predicted planetary A index is 5 on October 13 – 14; 8 on October 15 – 16; 5 on October 17 – 19; 12 on October 20 – 21; 5 on October 22 – 26; 12, 15, 12, and 20 on October 27 – 30; 15 on October 31 through November 1; 18, 15, and 12 on November 2 – 4; 20 on November 5 – 6; 8 and 12 on November 7 – 8; 5, 5, 12, and 10 on November 9 – 12, and 5 on November 13 – 15.
Below is another of the many articles about the scary Carrington Event. This is the first time I have seen the claim that the flare was so powerful that telegraph messages could be sent through the aurora! 1859 was long before the invention of radio.
Sunspot numbers for October 6 through 12, 2022, were 139, 146, 137, 114, 134, 72, and 62, with a mean of 114.9. The 10.7-centimeter flux was 155.7, 159.7, 157.2, 160.5, 163.2, 150.3, and 140.6, with a mean of 155.3. Estimated planetary A indices were 18, 15, 12, 25, 10, 7, and 6, with a mean of 13.3. Middle latitude A index was 14, 12, 10, 18, 8, 7, and 4, with a mean of 10.4.
Send your tips, questions, or comments to email@example.com.
A comprehensive K7RA Solar Update is posted Fridays on the ARRL website. For more information concerning radio propagation, visit the ARRL Technical Information Service, read “What the Numbers Mean…” and check out the Propagation Page of Carl Luetzelschwab, K9LA.
Share your reports and observations.
A weekly, full report is posted on ARRL News.
Just Ahead in Radiosport
Visit the ARRL Contest Calendar for more events and information.
Upcoming Section, State, and Division Conventions
Search the ARRL Hamfest and Convention Database to find events in your area.
Getting it Right…
In last week’s edition of The ARRL Letter, the In Brief about the Digital Library of Amateur Radio and Communications (DLARC) included an incorrect email address for Program Manager Kay Savetz, K6KJN. The correct email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also in that edition, in the story “Amateur Radio Active During 2 Weeks Of Hurricanes,” a quote from Hurricane Watch Net Manager Bobby Graves, KB5HAV, was mistakenly attributed to another manager.
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