Word From Navassa: Turn Off Those Speech Processors! K1N Tops 100,000 Contacts

The pressure to work K1N on Navassa Island continues. The DXpedition has topped 100,000 contacts as it enters final few days, but demand seems insatiable. The pileups continue to be fierce with little letup, K1N team member Glenn Johnson, W0GJ, said in a February 10 media release. A day earlier, during a satellite telephone interview with Wolf Harranth, OE1WHC, Johnson advised phone operators to turn off their speech processors when trying to break the pileups. He said the splatter generated when phone ops max out their speech processors in an effort to be heard “makes it almost impossible” to pick out individual callers.

World Radio Day, February 13, Will See Inauguration of Special 4U0ITU Call Sign

ITU International Amateur Radio Club station 4U1ITU in Geneva will mark World Radio Day on Friday, February 13. This event also marks the kickoff for the International Telecommunication Union 150th anniversary.

Experimental Website Offers HF Band Conditions at a Glance

A fairly new experimental website, bandconditions.com, offers radio amateurs and others interested in HF propagation a quick look at band conditions from the Continental United States. The site provides real-time conditions for 160, 80, 40, 30, 20, 15, and 10 meters. The site developer is Biz Wichy, K5BIZ, who lives in Texas.

Ham Among Devil’s Brigade Members to Receive Medal

A 90-year-old California radio amateur — Stan McEtchin, WB6KDZ, of Paradise — will be among the surviving members of the First Special Service Force (FSSF) known as “The Devil’s Brigade” to receive the Congressional Gold Medal on February 3. The medal recognizes the unit’s extraordinary heroism and service during World War II.

Navassa: We're on the way!

K1N Navassa Island DXpedition..

As you know, our plan was to begin helicopter trips this morning as soon as USFWS gave us the go-ahead. We hoped to get in as many as three trips in today. Because of the presence of a congressional delegation in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, air services prevented the first of the two Navassa-bound USFWS helicopter flights to take off until 1830z. The first flight carried three of the six USFWS personnel, so the helicopter had to return to Guantanamo Bay and return with the remaining three USFWS people. It's about an hour each way so all of the above equals delay.

New Scientist: Race to Put Internet Into Orbit

New Scientist magazine interviews radio amateur James Cutler KF6RFX as part of their story on plans to launch hundreds of Internet satellites into a 1200 km orbit. This month, Virgin Galactic and chip-maker Qualcomm announced their backing of a venture called OneWeb. This plans to put 648 satellites in orbit about 1200 kilometres above Earth's surface, where the round trip time for radio waves is just a few thousands of a second, fine for any online application. SpaceX immediately announced its own plan to do the same, building and launching 4000 satellites to a similar altitude.

WW1USA Observes Centennial Event from World War I, February 7th and 8th

As many of you know, WW1USA, the Amateur Radio Club of the National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial at Kansas City is hosting a number of Special Radio Events, commemorating moments in history during the four year centennial of the Great War. On the weekend of February 7th and 8th, such a special event will be 'on the air' in observance of the Beginning of War from the Air.

Unlicensed Religious Broadcaster Who Used Amateur Frequencies Ordered Off the Air

The FCC has ordered an unlicensed California religious broadcaster, who sometimes broadcast on a frequency in the 40 meter phone band, to shut down his station. The FCC’s Los Angeles District Office on December 31 issued a Notice of Unlicensed Operation to Martin K. Elliott of Inyokern, California. The FCC said it issued the Notice in response to a complaint of unlicensed operation on multiple HF frequencies, including some allocated to aeronautical stations. The FCC said its agents used radio direction-finding techniques to confirm that signals on 6280 kHz and 11,595 kHz were emanating from a residence located near Inyokern, and that property records indicated that Elliott was the current owner and resident.

2015 Burnaby Amateur Radio Club Annual Swap Meet

2015 Burnaby Amateur radio Club Annual Swap Meet Sunday February 22, 2015 Queensborough Community Centre, 920 Ewan Avenue, New Westminster, BC Doors Open - Dealers: 8:30 am Sellers: 9:00am Buyers: 10:00am to 1:00pm Cost $6.00 at the door per person. Children under 12 years free Tables are priced at $25.00 each. This includes one seller.

QRZ Logbook Now Offering Reciprocal Confirmation Credit and LoTW Download

QRZ Logbook now recognizes contact confirmations from ARRL’s Logbook of The World (LoTW). QRZ Logbook users now can download their contacts from LoTW directly into their QRZ Logbook. Contacts that exist in LoTW but not in QRZ Logbook will be added to your QRZ Logbook. LoTW automatically puts contacts made under a previous call sign into a user’s current call sign account. QRZ will automatically put contacts into the logbook associated with the call sign used when the contact was logged.

Marijuana Grow-lights Cause Problems for Ham-radio operators

The marijuana industry and Uncle Sam haven't been on the same page for 80 years, but these days, in a unique bit of weirdness, it's not the U.S. Department of Justice that could create a problem for pot growers: It's the Federal Communications Commission.
The FCC regulates the country's electronic communications, which is relevant because it turns out that, bizarrely, light ballasts used in the growing of cannabis emit radio-frequency interference that screws up amateur-radio transmissions being sent by local ham operators, a licensed, legally protected practice.

Basic Amateur Radio Course

The Nanaimo Amateur Radio Association will be holding a Basic Amateur Radio Course starting on January 31, 2015. Please email naratraining@gmail.com for information.


Extra Second to Be Added to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC)

The International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service (IERS) has announced at the Paris Observatory, in a bulletin addressed to the 'authorities responsible for the measurement and distribution of time' that it will be giving us 'more time.' The bulletin advises authorities an extra second will be introduced to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) during the final minute, of the final day of June. That means that right after the clock hits "23h 59m 59s," it will strike "23h 59m 60s" UTC.

ARRL Board Okays Changes to DXCC Program, VHF and Above Contesting Rules

The ARRL Board of Directors has tweaked the DX Century Club (DXCC) rules to clarify and expand their recognition of remotely controlled station technology. It also has added a rule that puts greater ethical responsibility on operators with respect to remotely controlled operation. In addition, the Board adopted changes to the ARRL VHF/UHF contest rules that are aimed at encouraging greater participation. The Board took the actions during its annual meeting January 16-17 in Windsor, Connecticut.

The ARRL Library Goes Live!

The ARRL have announced a free repository of educational presentations and oral histories. It is aimed at helping to preserve Amateur Radio’s history and to educate clubs and individuals. “This long-term project will be home to what I hope will eventually become one of the largest repositories of Amateur Radio-related papers and presentations, created by and for the Amateur Radio community,” said ARRL Media and Public Relations Manager Sean Kutzko, KX9X. “This is your opportunity to submit material for the betterment and education of all radio amateurs.”

FCC Fines Radio Ham $11,500 for Causing Intentional Interference

The US communications regulator, the FCC, has taken firm action in a case of deliberate interference to amateur radio communications. The ARRL report the FCC Enforcement Bureau has affirmed an $11,500 fine against Brian Crow, K3VR, of North Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, for deliberately interfering with other Amateur Radio communications. The FCC had first proposed the fine last July in a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL), and it released a Forfeiture Order on January 13.

System on a Chip - HT of the Future

HamRadioNow have released a four part presentation from the 2014 Digital Communications Conference (DCC) that describes the amateur radio handheld transceiver of the future.Chris Testa KD2BMH is designing the Whitebox, the "HT of the Future." It will be a multi-mode, multi-band ham radio that will look and work more like a smartphone: touchscreen display, apps, and all the analog and digital modes he can stuff in (and license). Chris is working with Bruce Perens K6BP on the Whitebox project.

The ARRL January VHF Contest Offers a Break from Winter’s Doldrums

If the Polar Vortex has been getting you down, then the ARRL January VHF Contest might just be the antidote! The event gets under way at 1900 UTC on Saturday, January 24, and it wraps up at 0359 UTC on Monday, January 26. The object is for amateurs in the US and Canada (and possessions) to work as many amateur stations in as many different Maidenhead grid squares as possible using frequencies above 50 MHz. It’s the US and Canada (and possessions) working each other and the rest of the world (think F2 propagation!).

British Columbia QSO Party 2015

Rebecca VA7BEC here, contest coordinator for the British Columbia QSO Party. First, let me wish you all a very happy new year - a little late, but it’s still January.) Hope 2015 brings good band openings when you need them and provides lots of DX and contesting fun. BCQP 2015 is coming up the first full weekend in February!

CQ Magazine Combining January, February 2015 Issues, Closing CQ Plus Digital Supplement

CQ magazine has announced that it will publish a combined January/February 2015 issue and cease publication of its CQ Plus digital supplement as of the March 2015 issue. Publisher Dick Ross, K2MGA, said that both moves are intended to help restore the magazine’s normal schedule for its print edition and to strengthen its foundations moving forward as it enters its 8th decade of publication.

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