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News Articles

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'Force Of 50' Volunteers' Puerto Rico Hurricane Recovery Mission Ends:
by The ARRL Letter on October 19, 2017
The 22 "Force of 50" radio amateurs who deployed to Puerto Rico earlier this month as American Red Cross volunteers have ended their mission and will be back on the US mainland by week's end. They had been in Puerto Rico for about 3 weeks.

Puerto Rico Volunteer Aids Burn Victim, Contacts Family via Ham Radio:
by The ARRL Letter on October 19, 2017
"We had a stressful night on the island!" That's how Puerto Rico volunteer Jeremy Dougherty, NS0S, described an October 12 medical emergency on the island of Culebra, in which Amateur Radio played a major role. Dougherty, a Force of 50 American Red Cross volunteer who was supporting communication at Culebra Hospital, said fumes from a gasoline fuel container ignited, seriously injuring a woman. Dougherty was unable to raise any of the other volunteers in San Juan -- likely because of the late hour -- but the only doctor at the hospital at the time called Centro de Medico on a satellite phone to coordinate transportation for the patient. The only other after-hours staff was a nurse.

The Doctor Will See You Now!
by The ARRL Letter on October 19, 2017
"Dirty Transmitters" is the topic of the latest episode of the "ARRL The Doctor is In" podcast. Listen...and learn!

New Bands Spring to Life; Veteran LF Experimenter Denied Access to 2200M:
by The ARRL Letter on October 19, 2017
Amateur Radio's two newest bands came to life on Friday the 13th. Both 630 meters (472-479 kHz) and 2200 meters (135.7-137.8 kHz) are now available to radio amateurs who have notified the Utilities Technology Council (UTC) of their intention to operate and did not hear anything back during the ensuing 30 days.

California Fire Situation Improves:
by The ARRL Letter on October 19, 2017
San Francisco Section Manager Bill Hillendahl, KH6GJV, who evacuated briefly earlier this month when the Tubbs Fire got too close for comfort, told ARRL this week that the communications emergency has largely abated, with most cell sites now back up, at least with temporary equipment, and public safety systems are now "rock solid."

Global Effort Under Way to Restore Dominica's Amateur Radio Capabilities:
by The ARRL Letter on October 19, 2017
The Yasme Foundation, Yaesu USA, the Foundation for Amateur International Radio Service (FAIRS), and individual GoFundMe donors have joined forces to restore country-wide Amateur Radio communication on Dominica in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. Private pilots Brian Machesney, K1LI, and Dave Bridgham, N1AHF, arrived in Dominica from Vermont with a planeload of Amateur Radio gear, relief equipment, and supplies to better prepare the small Caribbean island nation for future disasters. Bridgham is a volunteer for the Dominica "Angels to Eden" airlift spearheaded by round-the-world pilot Brian Lloyd, WB6RQN.

Caribbean Telecommunications Union Head Calls for 'New Generation' of Hams:
by The ARRL Letter on October 19, 2017
In remarks made on International Disaster Reduction Day, Friday, October 13, Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU) Secretary-General Bernadette Lewis described Amateur Radio as a "bedrock of sustained communications" during emergencies, and strongly suggested cultivating a new and younger generation of radio amateurs to carry this role forward. She spoke as part of a panel on emergency telecommunications during the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) World Telecommunication Development Conference 2017 (WTDC-17), now under way in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The CTU, she said, has been considering the role of Amateur Radio in light of this "very, very, violent hurricane season."

World Radiosport Team Championship Announced 63 Teams to Compete Next July:
by The ARRL Letter on October 19, 2017
World Radiosport Team Championship 2018 (WRTC 2018) organizers have announced the 63 teams that have been invited to compete in the international event next July in Germany. WRTC is a competition among two-operator teams. Team leaders have been selected for each qualifying region based on 2 years of qualifying contest scores. Team leaders may choose any operator as a teammate.

In Brief...
by The ARRL Letter on October 19, 2017
Reminder: This is JOTA Weekend: With nearly 600 stations in the US registered to take part in Scouting's 60th Jamboree on the Air (JOTA) October 20-22, and many more planning to operate around the world, expect some additional activity on the bands. Listen for JOTA stations, and help to introduce some Scouts to Amateur Radio. JOTA uses Amateur Radio to link Scouts and hams around the world, around the nation, and in communities. The Boy Scouts of America has posted operator guidelines and suggested frequencies.

Nevada County Amateur Radio Services Operators Assist in Fire Emergencies:
by on October 18, 2017
Representing Nevada County Amateur Radio Services and with the approval of the county Office of Emergency Services, Jason Eaton (KJ6HNP) and Cal McKitrick (AI6MC) responded to the Red Cross request for assistance at the First Baptist Church shelter set up to assist area fire evacuees. The amateur radio operators assignment was from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m., handling any requests for health and welfare or other necessary message requests deemed necessary by the shelter managers. By morning, the number of shelter occupants was minimal. Evacuees started returning home as electricity was restored in areas cleared from evacuation status.

Akron Man Survives Hurricane, Returns Home Thanks to Kenny Chesney:
by on October 18, 2017
AKRON - An Akron man rode out Hurricane Maria in a radio shack and was rescued from St. John Island thanks to country singer Kenny Chesney, but he wants you to remember the stories of those still suffering in the Caribbean. Communication is key during disasters. George Riedel knows that well. The retired consultant is also a ham radio operator. After Hurricane Irma, he volunteered his services to the island of St. John. “We were totally isolated. There was no power. All the critical infrastructure was gone,” he said. With cell phone towers and broadband wiped out, ham radios become a crucial and sometimes the only means of communications. Riedel relayed health and welfare traffic between nearby islands. “The big thing that we did was relay from Myra Keating hospital, a traffic count of all the injured people that were brought to Myra Keating for transport,” he explained. He planned to volunteer for one week, but 12 days after Hurricane Irma, Maria showed up. The Category 5 hurricane brought another round of devastation to St. John. Riedel rode out Maria in a radio shack. He survived and continued to volunteer. Three weeks had passed and he really needed to get home to Akron, but couldn’t. Boats and planes off the island were scarce.

Scientists in Alaska Attempt to Produce Artificial Aurora:
by on October 18, 2017
Sometimes, experiments don’t work out as planned. In late September, Christopher Fallen and technicians at the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) near Gakona, Alaska, switched on a giant array of 180 antennas. They were hoping to produce radio-induced airglow, also known as artificial aurora, as a way to better understand the mechanics of natural aurora. Such airglow would be difficult to see with the naked eye, so Fallen had set up two low-light video cameras to capture it. And he tweeted his plans, in the off chance that someone else might catch a glimpse. After all, some of the most impressive artificial aurora displays to date have been produced at HAARP. But the sky was too cloudy. And by the time it was dark enough, the ionosphere had deteriorated too much, with relatively few electrons per cubic centimeter. Fallen wasn’t able to generate any airglow during four days of experiments. But not all was lost. He had also embedded images into the powerful radio wave that HAARP uses to heat a patch of the ionosphere, and alerted amateur radio enthusiasts through Twitter. As the experiment ran, his feed began to light up with tweets from listeners who were sending the images back to him. They had used slow-scan TV, which reproduces images based on patterns in audio signals, to decode the images. Fallen, an assistant professor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Geophysical Institute, had transmitted two UAF logos, a cat photo, and a QR code granting the recipient 0.001 Bitcoin. Messages returned from Pueblo, Colo., and Victoria, British Columbia. The resolution wasn’t high enough for anyone to claim the Bitcoin, but the cat was easy enough to make out. Given that HAARP’s antennas point directly up at the sky instead of out toward the horizon, Fallen was pleased with the results. “As powerful as HAARP is, it’s just a big radio,” he says.

Ham Talk Live #86 -- Satellites:
by D Neil Rapp (WB9VPG) on October 17, 2017
Thursday night at 9 PM Eastern on Ham Talk Live!, Sean Kutzko, KX9X, joins us once again... but this time to talk about getting started with satellite operations! So if you want to know how to get started, be sure to tune in and call in with your questions for Sean!

What Do Solar Indices Mean?
by Ian Poole (G3YWX) on October 17, 2017
Anyone using the HF bands will need to have a working knowledge about ionospheric propagation. Knowing about propagation helps the best use to be made of the bands. Some days propagation may be poor, whereas on other days it will be excellent.

IARU Watching Wireless Charging Technology:
by WIA on October 17, 2017
The International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) continues to consider the issue of Wireless Power Transfer (WPT) as it prepares for the ITU World Radiocommunications Conference in 2019 (WRC-19). Agenda item 9.1.6 is about Wireless Power Transmission (WPT) for electric vehicles. It will consider the effect this will have on radiocommunication services, and through harmonised frequency ranges seeks to minimise any impact on existing services. WPT is promoted as being able to recharge the batteries of electric vehicles that are stationary, or in motion, without a direct electrical connection. Energy is transferred using a wireless link. WPT systems are likely to use high power levels, so they have the possibility of causing harmful interference to radiocommunication.

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Manager - AB7RG
Clinton Herbert (AB7RG) Please submit any Amateur Radio related news or stories that you would like to see, here on If you need any help, we are glad to assist you with writing your article based on the information you supply. If there are any problems please let me know. (This includes any inappropriate posts on a topic, as I cannot monitor every topic.) Sincerely 73 de Clinton Herbert, AB7RG