Here are the latest Amateur Radio news, events, and commentary compiled by HQ ARRL.
Views expressed in this Amateur/Ham Radio News update are those of the reporters and correspondents. Accessed on 28 October 2022, 0614 UTC.
Content republished with permission of The ARRL. Copyright ARRL.
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October 27, 2022
John E. Ross, KD8IDJ, Editor
Radio Amateurs Support the Great ShakeOut 2022 in Puerto Rico
Students from the Crop Protection Student Association at the University of Puerto Rico in Mayagüez participated in a communications practice session as part of the yearly Great Puerto Rico ShakeOut Drill on October 20, 2022. International ShakeOut Day draws millions of people worldwide to participate in earthquake drills at work, school, or home.
ARRL Puerto Rico Section Assistant Section Manager Leyda Rios, WP4RBK, presented a conference entitled, “Radio Services and the Great ShakeOut,” which provided advice and hands-on activities about how to use different personal radio services in the event of an earthquake. Staff members and students learned about the Amateur Radio Service and several other radio services.
Participants had the opportunity to talk with several amateurs using simplex frequencies and repeaters. Many were interested in learning more about radio communications, and the event answered questions about how amateur radio can assist during emergencies when other means of communications fail. The drill was attended by students and staff members. Information on how to obtain an amateur radio license and where to obtain radio equipment was also available.
Student Radio Contact with the International Space Station Inspires Hurricane-hit Community
Students from Canterbury School in Fort Myers, Florida, were able to spend a few minutes on Monday, October 24, 2022, talking with Astronaut Josh Cassada, KI5CRH, onboard the International Space Station (ISS) using ham radio.
The radio contact, arranged by the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) program, provided hope for a community devastated by Hurricane Ian. School officials estimated that 30% of the school’s faculty, staff, and families were left homeless after the hurricane passed through their area.
The contact was made just after 1:30 PM EDT, and students were able ask Astronaut Cassada questions ranging from, “Is the sun brighter in outer space?” to “What’s your favorite meal?” The contact lasted just over 10 minutes, when the ISS was over the Caribbean Sea.
Members of the Fort Myers Amateur Radio Club, an ARRL Special Service Club, supported the school by providing students with technical instruction and radio equipment. The club’s call sign, W4LX, was used to operate the ground station that established and maintained the contact with the ISS. The school used a Kenwood TS-2000 transceiver for the event. Several students built a satellite tracking antenna system capable of locking onto and tracking a satellite while in range to receive the ISS signal.
An ARISS news release described that as the students were preparing for the big day, “they saw the first pictures of Hurricane Ian, as seen from the ISS, bearing down on the coast of Florida. Evacuations were ordered in advance of the catastrophic winds and storm surges, which eventually affected many of the homes of students, faculty, and staff. In the wake of this destruction, it was uncertain whether the ARISS contact could occur. However, if only for a moment of reprieve from their loss and destruction, the entire Canterbury school community, including the school’s staff/faculty, amateur radio operators, students and students’ families, decided to pull together to support the ARISS contact and thereby renew their sense of hope and inspiration in human space exploration.”
The Fort Myers Amateur Radio Club website has a link to a video of their entire contact with the ISS.
ARRL The National Association for Amateur Radio® is an ARISS sponsor.
New Wyoming Section Manager Appointed
Garth Crowe, WY7GC, was appointed as the new ARRL Wyoming Section Manager on October 12, 2022. He replaced Rick Breininger, N1TEK, who announced he was stepping down following the Rocky Mountain Division Convention held in early October. Breininger served as the Wyoming Section Manager since April 2019.
ARRL Field Services Manager Mike Walters, W8ZY, officially appointed Crowe after consultation with Rocky Mountain Division Director Jeff Ryan, K0RM. Crowe previously served as Wyoming Section Manager from 2009 until 2015. He will now serve for the remaining portion of Breininger’s term, which runs through March 31, 2023.
Nominating petitions for the next Wyoming Section Manager term of office, beginning April 1, 2023, are due at ARRL Headquarters no later than December 9, 2022.
Visit Section Manager Terms & Nomination Information on the ARRL website for more details.
Activity and Awards Increase at 222 and 1296 MHz
Interest in ARRL VHF and above Worked All States Awards (WAS) continues its flurry of activity, now on the 1296 MHz band.
As we reported in ARRL News in January, there have been several new-generation additions to the Worked All States Awards, now at 222 MHz (1.25 Meters) and at 1296 MHz (23 cm).
The original rush to 1.25 Meters WAS began in the early ’80s with the first 10 WAS Awards. More recently, the 1.25 Meters WAS ranks have grown to 16, with recent achievers including: #13 John Swiniarski, K1OR, of Pelham, NH; #14 David Kerl, N9HF, Ormond Beach, FL; #15 Ray Rector, Jr., WA4NJP, Gillsville, GA; and #16 Charles Betz, N0AKC, Eau Claire, WI.
An energized pool of rovers activating rare states at both 222 and 1296 MHz have recently contributed to the chase – with the addition of four new 1296 MHz WAS Award recipients: in early September, 1296 MHz WAS Award #4 was awarded to Frank Potts, NC1I, of Southwick, MA; in late September, WAS Award #5 was awarded to Vlada Masek, OK1KIR, of the Czech Republic; and also in late September, WAS Award #6 was issued to HB9Q (DX Group HB9CRQ) in Switzerland. In late October, Zdeneck Samek, OK1DFC (also in the Czech Republic) was awarded WAS Award #7.
Recent award efforts accentuated a 14-year history of increased activity on the band, starting in the summer of 2007, when 1296 MHz WAS Award #1 was achieved by Al Ward, W5LUA, followed by Jay Liebmann, K5JL, who achieved 1296 MHz WAS Award #2. In August 2021, Al Katz, K2UYH, earned WAS Award #3 (Katz is known worldwide for supporting the EME — Earth-Moon-Earth — community with his 432 and Above EME Newsletter from 1995 to present, as well as earning the first 432 MHz Worked All Continents [WAC] Award in 1976).
Many 23-centimeter operators have benefitted from the flurry of portable and rare state activations during the past 2 decades, by Gary Perryman, WA5WCP, and Pete Van Horne, KA6U (activating rare States Nationwide); Gene Shea, KB7Q, and Gary Lauterbach, K6MG (activating Western States); and the NC1I team (activating States throughout New England).
“These rover operations substantially benefitted DX Stations, including the likes of OK1KIR, HB9Q (known for many things VHF+, including their EME scheduling/logger page); and OK1DFC (well known for his Septum Parabolic Dish Feeds and other Microwave-Band support hardware, detailed on QRZ),” said ARRL Radiosport Manager Bart Jahnke, W9JJ. “It is important to realize that these DX-location 1296 MHz WAS Award winners had to contact all 50 states via Moonbounce.”
“The new class of 222 and 1296 MHz WAS Award recipients sought these awards often during efforts of several decades, and as such they deserve recognition. Congratulations to all of the newest 222 and 1296 MHz WAS Award recipients on their extraordinary accomplishments,” said Jahnke. “Heartfelt thanks to those rovers and support groups who continue to help make these EME and beyond-line-of-sight contacts happen!”
For more information on the Worked All States Awards, visit www.arrl.org/was.
The Andrew Johnson Amateur Radio Club Receives Two Grants
The Andrew Johnson Amateur Radio Club (AJARC) in Greeneville, Tennessee, recently received two grants to help promote growth and understanding of amateur radio.
AJARC Secretary/Treasurer Larry Whiteside, KN4MVH, said the club received a $500 grant from their local Walmart Distribution Center. Dennis Holt, N4DWH, works for the center and is involved with Walmart’s Volunteerism Always Pays (VAP) program. Walmart provides grants to eligible organizations where their employees volunteer.
The grant was used to purchase amateur radio books for the Greeneville/Greene County Public Library.
“We were able update the library with current and used books about amateur radio, including licensing and equipment,” said Whiteside.
The second AJARC grant of $5,570 was from the ARRL Foundation Club Grant Program, funded by Amateur Radio Digital Communications (ARDC).
“That grant,” said Whiteside, “will help create a science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM) class for Greene County youth from 8 to 18 years old.” The “Youth STEM through Amateur Radio Project” is designed to help students expand their knowledge of amateur radio and get their Technician-class licenses.
The program will be administered with the Greene County Makers and Free Wildlings Homeschool Playgroup. The AJARC will furnish all materials and equipment, including a radio, which will be installed at the Greene County Makers location.
“We actually had a trial program before writing the submission for the grant,” said Whiteside. “Not only did the youth participate, but so did many of the parents!”
FCC Seeks Electronic Engineers for Honors Program
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced this week that it is opening a new window for applications under its Honors Engineer Program. The one-year developmental program may lead to a term or permanent appointment. The Commission is accepting applications from recent graduates with an engineering degree and current students graduating in December 2022.
Among the duties included in the job description is training to perform “propagation analysis of terrestrial, satellite and/or airborne systems or evaluating the emission characteristics of various transmitters to validate the co-existence with neighboring systems. Projects may also involve various computer software engineering and scientific applications.”
“Engineers are deployed throughout the FCC, and from space innovation to new broadcast standards to 6G and beyond, the FCC’s policy portfolio is filled with interesting and challenging engineering work,” said FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel. “Our Honors Engineer program is a unique opportunity for the newest engineers to work closely with experienced professionals in this field to ensure that the FCC is best prepared to face the challenges of next-generation communications networks.”
The announcement will close once 175 applications have been received or on December 2, 2022; whichever occurs first. Visit USAJOBS for the complete position summary and to apply, at www.usajobs.gov/job/685101100.
Read the complete story on ARRL News.
Amateur Radio in the News
ARRL Public Information Officers, Coordinators, and many other member-volunteers help keep amateur radio and ARRL in the news.
“A trusty ‘last resort’ of emergency communications | North State Voices” / Enterprise – Record (California), October 20, 2022. — Ron Angle, K6KYJ, is an ARRL member.
“Young amateur radio operator selected for expedition to Antarctica” / Telangana Today (India), October 25, 2022. — Sarabjeet Singh Chhabra, VU2CUW, received his amateur radio license in 2015.
“If China declares war, these ham radio enthusiasts could be crucial” / Los Angeles Times (California), October 27, 2022. — Thanks to the Chinese Taipei Amateur Radio League [CTARL].
Share any amateur radio media hits you spot with us.
The latest episode of the ARRL On the Air podcast includes Arc Thames, W4CPD, the Section Emergency Coordinator of ARRL’s Northern Florida Section and Emergency Coordinator of Santa Rosa County Florida. Thames shares some of his experiences from supporting emergency communications during Hurricane Ian.
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.
Registration is now open for Nashua Area Radio Society’s Fall 2022 Ham Bootcamp. The online event is scheduled for Saturday, November 5, 2022, from 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM EDT. There is no charge to attend the Ham Bootcamp which entails a variety of informative presentations and activities related to amateur radio, and is geared toward new operators of any license class that wish to learn more about getting on the air. Additionally, Ham Bootcamp allows those thinking of becoming hams to see what the hobby is all about. The sessions usually have 100 – 400 attendees and over the past several years, more than 800 have attended. More information is available at the Nashua Area Radio Society’s website. The Nashua Area Radio Society of New Hampshire is an ARRL Special Service Club.
Fraser Wenseth, MM0EFI, of Aberdeenshire, Scotland, has become a Summits on the Air (SOTA) Mountain Goat. Wenseth amassed 1,000 activator points, and his qualifying activation was on Ben More Summit (GM/SI-003) on the Isle of Mull off Scotland’s west coast. He is well-known within the SOTA community for producing high-quality films of his SOTA exploits. These can be found on his YouTube channel. Wenseth also appeared on BBC One’s Countryfile program when SOTA was featured on the show. More information about SOTA is on their website.
The K7RA Solar Update
Tad Cook, K7RA, of Seattle, Washington, reports for this week’s ARRL Propagation Bulletin:
Sunspot activity seems listless. Average daily sunspot numbers went from 57.3 to 58.4 (see note at the end of the bulletin concerning last week’s averages) while solar flux went from 119.6 to 113.2.
The middle latitude geomagnetic numbers this week seem wrong. See what I mean.
The middle latitude numbers presented here are my own estimates,
trying to correlate with the high latitude and planetary numbers.
Average daily planetary A index went from 18.6 to 10.4, and middle latitude numbers from 8.1 to 9.1.
Predicted solar flux is 120 on October 27; 118 on October 28 – 30; 114 from October 31 through November 2; 112 on November 3 – 5; 118 on November 6 – 9; 115 on November 10 – 12; 112 on November 13 – 14; 110 on November 15; 108 on November 16 – 18; 104 on November 19; 100 on November 20 – 23; 98 on November 24 – 25; 100 on November 26, and 105 on November 27 – 28.
So, the rise in solar flux to 160 in the first week of November presented in the previous two bulletins seems to be gone from the current prediction.
Predicted planetary A index is 10, 14, 18, 22, and 16 on October 27 – 31; 12, 12, and 8 on November 1 – 3; 5 on November 4 – 9; 18, 18, and 15 on November 10 – 12; 5 on November 13 – 17; 25, 18, 17, and 12 on November 18 – 21; 5 on November 22 – 23, and 8, 15, and 20 on November 24 – 26.
In last week’s bulletin, ARLP042, the averages were wrong.
The correct averages for the numbers at the end of the bulletin in ARLP042 were 57.3, 119.6, 10.6, and 8.1 for sunspot number, solar flux, planetary A index, and middle latitude A index, respectively. The wrong numbers were actually from the previous week.
Sunspot numbers for October 20 through 26, 2022, were 33, 60, 55, 65, 46, 72, and 78, with a mean of 58.4. The 10.7-centimeter flux was 115.8, 109.4, 105, 108.4, 114.8, 116.3, and 122.4, with a mean of 113.2. Estimated planetary A indices were 7, 5, 27, 16, 8, 5, and 5, with a mean of 10.4. Middle latitude A index was 5, 4, 24, 15, 7, 5, and 4, with a mean of 9.1.
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.
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Hawaii County, ARRL Pacific Section