The ARRL Letter, October 23, 2014


Hurricane Ana

In Hawaii, the passage of Category 1 Hurricane Ana over the weekend was less dramatic, and the storm skipped the most-populated island of Oahu for the most part. ARRL Pacific Section Manager Bob Schneider, AH6J, reported that ham radio volunteers supported shelter communications as Ana passed by Hawaii, causing heavy rain, large waves, and some minor flooding.

“A request came from American Red Cross to deploy to the shelter at Ka’u High School in Pahala,” Schneider said. The school is in the southeastern edge of the Big Island. “Sean Fendt, KH6SF, and I drove 45 miles and set up HF and VHF communications.” (Sean Fendt’s wife Kimberly, WH6KIM, is the East Hawaii DEC.)

“The shelter manager was very happy to see us, because in the last [weather] event they lost power and communications and had a full house. This time it was almost a non-event with the hurricane staying offshore to the south and west. There was quite a bit of rain and one road closure due to flooding. One couple that stayed in the shelter last night had been through several typhoons in Japan and didn’t want to take any chances, even though later forecasts showed tracks well offshore.”

Schneider said those later forecast tracks did not reveal the large amount of rain the storm brought along. The ARES volunteers primarily used HF on 40 meters, although they also made use of a VHF repeater that was linked to the Big Island Wide Area Repeater Network (BIWARN).

“We sent a couple of voice messages to SKYWARN headquarters located at NWS in Honolulu,” Schneider recounted. “Other weather spotters were using mostly Fldigi for messages to NWS. We were happy that there were no serious problems and power stayed up.” Read more. — Thanks to the Hurricane Watch Net, the VoIP Hurricane Net, ARRL Pacific SM Bob Schneider, AH6J, and The Daily DX.

via The ARRL Letter, October 23, 2014.

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Those of us who call Hawaii Island home were relieved that Hurricane Ana slipped west of Hawaii and did little reported damage.  According to Pacific Section Manager Bob Schneider (AH6J), Hawaii Island amateur radio operators staffed an emergency shelter in the Ka’u District and sent weather updates to the National Weather Service, adding that “We sent a couple of voice messages to SKYWARN headquarters located at NWS in Honolulu…other weather spotters were using mostly Fldigi for messages to NWS.”  Hurricane Ana thoroughly drenched Hawaii Island with rainfall ranging from 2 to 11 inches depending on elevation above sea level.

Thanks to The ARRL Letter, dated 23 October 2014, for this information.

For the latest Amateur Radio news and events, please check out the blog sidebars. These news feeds are updated daily.

Aloha es 73 de Russ (KH6JRM).

The ARRL Letter, October 23, 2014


A Century of Amateur Radio and the ARRL

A first took place on Space Shuttle mission STS-37. SAREX (Shuttle Amateur Radio EXperiment) provided live communication from the shuttle into many school classrooms to teach the students about space exploration and Amateur Radio.

In July 1991, N6CA and KH6HME set a new record on 3456 MHz between California and Hawaii. Each was running 5 W to a 4-foot dish.

In 1992, after 8 years as ARRL President, Larry Price, W4RA, declined to run for re-election. The League’s Board of Directors subsequently chose him as the next International Affairs Vice President, which provides liaison with the IARU, which Price served as Secretary. George Wilson, W4OYI, succeeded Price as ARRL President.

N7FKI and W7ZOI reported in the March 1992 QST that they had built a one-transistor 10 meter CW transmitter and made contacts with it using lemon power — essentially a cell made by inserting appropriate electrodes into a lemon. If life gives you lemons, make contacts!

During the early 1990s, interest in digital communication grew, and QST published many articles on the subject that helped fan the flames. Also, hams became interested in the old concept of direct-conversion receivers. KK7B presented one of the best in the August 1992 issue of QST. Another old receiver circuit was also revived — the regenerative receiver. WJ1Z described one for 40 meters in the September 1992 issue of QST.

By the early 1990s, digital signal processing (DSP) had made its appearance, and had begun to be used by both homebrewing hams and equipment manufacturers.

A September 1992 QST article, “ABC: The First Electronic Digital Computer,” recounted the fascinating tale of the first real computer, the Atanasoff-Berry computer — a vacuum tube device — designed in 1939 and 1940 by university professor John Atanasoff and built by electrical engineering student Clifford Berry, W9TIJ. — Al Brogdon, W1AB

via The ARRL Letter, October 23, 2014.

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Another installment of Al Brogdon’s (W1AB) “A Century of Amateur Radio and the ARRL.”  In this segment of the popular historical series, Al recounts some of the developments produced in the 1990s, including the first SAREX (STS-37) mission involving the Space Shuttle and school classrooms on Earth, the advent of digital signal processing (DSP), and a return to some classic regenerative and direct conversion receivers.  Great series.

For the latest Amateur Radio news and events, please check out the blog sidebars.  These news feeds are updated daily.  Thanks to The ARRL Letter, 23 October 2014, for the information.

Aloha es 73 de Russ (KH6JRM).

The ARRL Letter, October 23, 2014


Just Ahead in Radiosport

October 25-26 — CQ World Wide SSB Contest

October 31-November 2 — Haunted Lighthouse QSO Party

November 1 — IPA Contest

November 1-2 — Ukranian DX Contest

November 1-2 — Himalayan Contest

November 1-2 — Radio Club of America QSO Party

November 1-3 — ARRL November Sweepstakes (CW)

November 1-3 — Collegiate ARC Championship

November 2 — DARC 10-Meter Digital “Corona”

November 3 — OK1WC Memorial Contest

November 4 — ARS Spartan Sprint

November 6 — CWOps Weekly Mini-CWT Tests

See the ARRL Contest Calendar for more information.

Upcoming ARRL Section, State and Division Conventions and Events

October 24-25 — Oklahoma Section Convention, Ardmore, Oklahoma

November 1 — TechFest 2014, Lakewood, Colorado

November 1-2 — Georgia State Convention, Lawrenceville, Georgia

November 8 — Alabama State Convention, Montgomery, Alabama

November 15-16 — Indiana State Convention, Fort Wayne, Indiana

December 12-13 — West Central Florida Section Convention, Plant City, Florida

Find conventions and hamfests in your area.

via The ARRL Letter, October 23, 2014.

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Here’s the current list of Radiosport events through 06 November 2014, including the 25-26 October 2014 CQ World Wide SSB Contest and the 01-03 November 2014 ARRL November Sweepstakes (CW).  Also in this list is the upcoming ARRL Section, State and Division Conventionsa and meetings through 12-13 December 2014.  All information courtesy of The ARRL Letter, dated 23 October 2014.

For the latest Amateur Radio news and events, please check out the blog sidebars.  These news feeds are updated daily.

Aloha es 73 de Russ (KH6JRM).

The ARRL Letter, October 23, 2014


The K7RA Solar Update

Tad Cook, K7RA, Seattle, Washington, reports: Solar activity is making a healthy comeback, just in time for the SSB weekend of the CQ World Wide DX Contest.

A series of large solar flares erupted this week. The most powerful was an X1.6 flare on October 22. The sunspot is now directly facing Earth.

Average daily sunspot numbers rose from 55.1 during October 9-15 to 83.9 this week, and average daily solar flux increased from 117.4 to 174.

The predicted solar flux for this weekend is 220, higher than on any day since January 7. Prior to that, we didn’t see solar flux values this high since late October 2003. Accompanying the high solar flux back then was a great deal of geomagnetic activity. On October 29, 2003, the mid-latitude A index hit 199! Several 3-hour K index values were 9, the top of the scale. On the same day the daily sunspot number was 330.

Predicted solar flux is 215 on October 23, 220 on October 24-27, 215 on October 28-29, 205 on October 30, 140 on October 31, 130 on November 1-3, dropping to a low of 110 on November 8, and rising to 180 on November 19-20.

Along with that relatively high solar flux this weekend will be unsettled geomagnetic conditions.

The predicted planetary A index is 15 on October 23-24, 10 on October 25, 12 on October 26-27, 10 on October 28-29, 8 on October 30, 5 on October 31 through November 3, 8 on November 4, 10 on November 5, 8 on November 6-7, 5 on November 8-9, 8 on November 10-11, then 5 and 8 on November 12-13, 12 on November 14-15, 15 and 12 on November 16-17, 15 on November 18-19, then 12, 10, and 8 on November 20-22, and 10 on November 23-24.

This weekly “Solar Update” in The ARRL Letter is a preview of the “Propagation Bulletin” issued each Friday. The latest bulletin and an archive of past propagation bulletins is on the ARRL website.

In tomorrow’s bulletin look for an updated forecast and reports from readers. Send me your reports and observations.

via The ARRL Letter, October 23, 2014.

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Here’s the latest solar update from Tad Cook (K7RA).  Thanks to a series  of large solar flares associated with a huge sunspot facing Earth, “Solar activity is making a healthy comeback, just in time for the SSB weekend of the CQ World Wide DX Contest.”   Some of the M-class flares interrupted HF communications for shortwave stations and some amateur radio bands.  Cook says, “Along with a relatively high solar flux this weekend will be unsettled geomagnetic conditions.”  So, this could be an exciting weekend, propagation wise.

For the latest Amateur Radio News and Events, check out the blog sidebars.  These news feeds are updated daily.

Aloha es 73 de Russ (KH6JRM).

Are knobs and buttons toast? – KB6NU’s Ham Radio Blog


Are knobs and buttons toast?

october 23, 2014 by dan kb6nu 1 comment

In a recent column on EETimes, an old colleague of mine, Martin Rowe, says, “Knobs and buttons are slowly on their way out. Get used to it.” He’s referring to the controls on oscilloscopes, but if he were a ham, he might just as well be talking about amateur radio transceivers, too.

We already see this happening in amateur radio. FlexRadio, and a couple of other companies, already make transceivers with no front panel controls. You must use them in conjunction with a computer to use them.

Will computer screens like this to control amateur radio transceivers become the norm rather than the exception?

Might we even start to see this with handheld and portable equipment? For example, how much cheaper could they make a Baofeng if to use it, you had to also have an Android or iPhone app to act as the human interface?

To be honest, I haven’t really thought about this much myself. I’m enough of a dinosaur to still prefer buttons and knobs, I guess. Rowe claims, however, that “as the old-timers retire (or in our case as older operators become SKs), younger engineers (or hams) will expect every user interface to function like a phone or tablet. Don’t believe me? Just wait.”

What do  you think?

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filed under: everything else

Comments

KJ6ZZD says:

October 24, 2014 at 5:29 pm

I’m a younger ham, perfectly comfortable with my iPhone and iPad. Right now, it’s still cheaper to use a keypad like we see on most of our HTs than a touchscreen. I don’t expect we’ll see a transceiver that will require a separate device to operate, but we will see touchscreen transceivers once the price of the screens comes down far enough.

However, I don’t see a killer app for touchscreen radios. You can’t do much more through a touchscreen than you can do with the existing knobs and buttons. If you think about an iPhone, it’s not really a phone anymore, it’s a pocket internet device that happens to make phone calls. I don’t see a similar change taking place in the HT market*.

At the same time, knobs perform some tasks better than a screen can. Knobs provide some tactile feedback that a screen just can’t. This is a big reason why you’ll still see volume and tune knobs in cars that have a touchscreen infotainment center (even the iPhone has real buttons for volume control). I expect that base station and mobile radios will continue to have tuning and volume knobs even after they’ve incorporated touchscreens for most other functions.

* There might be an awesome product idea here for a handheld radio that basically lets you do packet radio from your pocket. Add in GPS for APRS and wifi for Broadband-Hamnet, and it’s be a pretty awesome device.

Reply

via Are knobs and buttons toast? – KB6NU’s Ham Radio Blog.

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Interesting article by Dan Romanchik (KB6NU).  It seems as if more computer-controlled transceivers are entering the amateur radio market this year.  Will the shift to computer-assisted rigs mean the end of the “knobs and buttons” we’ve used for decades to control our transceivers?  I tend to agree with the comment posted by KJ6ZZD, who believes the old adjustment buttons will stick around for a while because “knobs rovide some tactile feedback that screens cannot.”  Perhaps the real market for this shift in operating control will lie in HTs controlled by an app in your iPhone or Android smartphone/tablet. KJ6ZZD feels that “There might be an awesome product idea here for a handheld radio that basically lets you do packet radio from your pocket.  Add in GPS and ARPS and wi-fi for Broadband- Hamnet, and it’s a pretty awesome device.”  Fascinating concept.

For the latest Amateur Radio News and Events, please check out the blog sidebars.  These news feeds are updated daily.

Aloha es 73 de Russ (KH6JRM).

ILLW 2015 heads slowly to the ton | Southgate Amateur Radio News


Page last updated on: Tuesday, October 21, 2014

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ILLW 2015 heads slowly to the ton

Registrations for the International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend held next August number 75, with nearly half being Australian representing all states.

Leading the early-bird registrations is VK3 on 10, followed by VK7 with 8

including 2 at the Currie and Wickham lighthouses King Island.

The others are from Argentina, Canada, England, Finland, Germany, Malaysia, Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Puerto Rico, Scotland, South Africa, and the USA.

To register or learn more about the International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend on August the 15th and 16th 2015, visit the website illw.net

Jim Linton VK3PC

WIA

 

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via ILLW 2015 heads slowly to the ton | Southgate Amateur Radio News.

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The International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend is gearing up for its next event scheduled for 15-16 August 2015.  This event has gained in popularity over the years and is an excellent way to get some rare DX contacts.  You can register now and get on the approved list of stations.

For the latest Amateur Radio news and events, please check out the blog sidebars. These news feeds are updated daily.

Aloha es 73 de Russ (KH6JRM).

Lunar Ham Radio payload launched | Southgate Amateur Radio News


Page last updated on: Thursday, October 23, 2014

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Lunar Ham Radio payload launched

The 4M amateur radio payload with a WSJT JT65B 145.980 MHz beacon was launched on Thursday October 23 at 1759 UT

The Chang’e-5-T1 mission 4M payload launched on the Chang Zheng CZ-3C/G2 rocket from the LC2 launch complex at the Xichang Satellite Launch Center, Sichuan.

The first telemetry from the JT65B beacon was received at 1918 UT.

The spacecraft will head into Lunar Transfer Orbit (LTO), before performing a flyby around the Moon. Radio amateurs are encouraged to receive and report the signals.

http://moon.luxspace.lu/receiving-4m/

See the 4M payload Blog at

http://moon.luxspace.lu/blog/

4M Lunar Payload

http://amsat-uk.org/2014/10/15/4m-lunar-payload-integrated-keps-released/

AMSAT-UK

Website http://amsat-uk.org/

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/amsatuk

Twitter https://twitter.com/AMSAT_UK

 

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via Lunar Ham Radio payload launched | Southgate Amateur Radio News.

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On Thursday, 23 October 2014, a Chinese long march rocket, carrying the Manfred Memorial Moon Mission Lunar orbiter (4M Project), was launched successfully from the LC2 launch complex in Sichuan Province. The payload carries an amateur radio transmitter that will operate during the entire mission using the JT65B code on a frequency of 145.980 MHz. Reports from Europe and Oceania indicate the transmitter is working well with strong signals.

For the latest Amateur Radio news and events, please check out the blog sidebars.  These news feeds are updated daily.

Aloha es 73 de Russ (KH6JRM).

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