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News Articles

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Earth-Sized Sunspots are Moving Across the Face of the Sun Right Now:
by on July 19, 2016
After some relatively quite weeks, the sun has awakened again with a large group of sunspots moving across the Earth-facing side of our closest star. The dark sunspots are active regions of the sun that can shoot out solar flares, radiation spewed out from the sun's surface which can sometimes unleash large bursts of solar plasma out into the solar system. According to space scientist Karl Battams, the larger sunspots are about the size of the Earth, and the regions stretch across a part of the sun equal to the diameter of 16 Earths.

Amateur Radio Newsline Headlines for Ham Nation:
by James Pastorfield (KB7TBT) on July 18, 2016
Amateur Radio Newsline Headlines for Ham Nation:

CW Frequency: New Show to Watch Out for, See Trailer Here:
by on July 18, 2016
It’s the year 2016 and Raimy Sullivan (Peyton List) discovers she can talk to her dead father Frank Sullivan (Riley Smith) over the ham radio. The trailer just gives you enough of a glimpse to thrill you when this happens. Raimy’s dad had died in 2006 and when an unfortunate event brought them back together, they discovered a surprising way to solve a murder case. It is a supernatural relationship that brings both father and daughter on the verge of being so close, yet so far in reality. In the promo video of CW Frequency (see below), the real story starts when Raimy discovers the lit outhouse during a stormy night and she goes in to discover what’s going on. In a strange way that even Raimy could not understand, the old ham radio that’s sitting inside the outhouse begins to capture a seemingly random frequency that instantly puts her in communication with someone on the other line. During their laid back communication, their discussion becomes confusing for both sides, as Raimy then discovers the surprising, chilling reality of their situation: that she’s actually talking to her dead father.

Reforms to the Malaysian Licence System:
by WIA on July 18, 2016
The Malaysian Amateur Radio Society (MARTS) has advised that the Amateur Radio certification review was showing some positive future changes in that country. In the new structure there would be three classes of licence, namely Class A that give 1-kilowatts on all bands with upgraded privileges, Class B has most HF bands at 50-watts, and the new entry level Class C gives access to 2m 6m and 70cm.

Live Tuesday Amateur Radio Roundtable:
by tom Medlin (W5KUB) on July 17, 2016
Katie Allen WY7YL will be back with us Tues night (Yuly 19th) at 8 PMCT on Amateur Radio Roundtable on W5KUB.COM. This week we will be talking about the National Tribal Amateur Radio Association with Nathan Nixon N7NAN.

Boy Scouts Get Ham Radio Badges:
by on July 17, 2016
Boy Scouts at Camp Geiger wrapped up their week of amateur radio study and got their radio badge.

Radio Operators Prepare for Future Fire at Towers:
by on July 17, 2016
While fire crews continue to suppress the Black Fire, which originated from a lightning strike in the drainage beneath Black Peak, owners of communications sites on the peak began repairs from the fire and suppression techniques, while looking toward more preventative measures for the future. One of the communications sites on Black Peak is owned by the Gila Amateur Radio Society. While the blaze mainly burned away from the towers, society President Marc Levesque said the tower and antenna were damaged. The society also spent time Friday cleaning retardant used by crews to fight the fire off of solar panels at the site. “But we managed to get the repeater back on the air,” Levesque said in an email to the Daily Press. The amateur radio tower is crucial to operations for Grant County Search and Rescue, which uses the repeater while in the field.

New CQ World Wide DX Contest Director Restructures Contest Leadership:
by CQ Communications on July 16, 2016
(Hicksville, NY - July 16, 2016) -- Newly-appointed CQ World Wide DX Contest Director Doug Zwiebel, KR2Q, has announced a restructuring of the contest committee's leadership as his first formal act. Zwiebel is changing the director's position to a "triumverate," with Scott Robbins, W4PA, joining the committee and Bob Naumann, W5OV, re-joining the committee as co-directors. The change has the full support of CQ management.

90-Year-Old's Hobby is Ham Radios:
by on July 16, 2016
At 92, Ralph Dunn has been a ham radio operator for nearly 60 years. Dunn said he got his license on Christmas Eve 1957. “I worked at Alatex as an electrician,” he said. “It got to be involving a little electronics and I decided a ham radio would work right in my job.” Since then, it’s been his hobby. “It is a means of transferring voice from here to yonder all over the world,” he said. “We can talk all over the world, if you’re on the frequency they are on.” The last weekend in June is when local ham radio operators have their annual field day, but it’s not something the nonagenarian cares much for these days. “I used to participate,” he said. “It’s just not my thing anymore. It’s great for younger people to get together and have refreshments.” But he’s still into his ham radios. “I still do it,” he said. “I check in on the Alabama Net. That’s a place for transferring intelligence one place to another.” Dunn said ham operators are good during natural disasters. “You may not have communication, but a ham radio can communicate,” he said. One of his favorite memories is helping with the Elba floods. “There was no communications,” he said. “The telephones were out of order and we handled communication for the Red Cross out of Elba.” They handled 2,000 pieces of “traffic” out of Elba, he said. He said he’s talked to California many times and in the Canal Zone, and Europe. The love of it has kept him doing it all these years, he said.

Ham Antenna Rises to the Occasion:
by on July 16, 2016
There was a time when you could do what you wanted in your yard and hams could build giant antenna farms. These days, there are usually laws or deed restrictions that stop that from happening. Even if you can build an antenna, you might want to quickly put up something temporary in an emergency. [Eric’s] solution? Suspend a wire from a weather balloon filled with helium from the local WalMart. The 8 foot balloon took two containers (18 cubic feet) of gas before it would rise sufficiently. Once you have a floating balloon, the rest of the concept is simple: connect a wire (100 feet of 26 gauge), use a tuner to match the load to the transmitter, and you have instant antenna.

Propagation Forecast Bulletin #29 de K7RA:
by W1AW Bulletin via the ARRL on July 15, 2016
As this solar cycle declines, we will occasionally see periods such as the past week when activity perks up and it seems that happy days are back. Enjoy them when you can, while they last. Any recovery is unpredictable and temporary.

Soaring Above Midland County: Clubs Launch Weather Balloons:
by on July 15, 2016
Alarms rang in many middle and high school students’ houses on Friday, June 17, the first day of summer vacation. Why would these students want to get up early and congregate at Midland High School on their first day of summer bliss? The students were from Northeast Middle School’s Science Club and Midland High School’s Electronics and Wireless Communications Club and were excited to launch their culminating STEM projects, weather balloons, high over the skies of Midland. The clubs at both schools were supervised by Dr. Dennis Klipa, this year’s recipient of the local chapter of the American Chemical Society’s Education Volunteer of the Year. Klipa, along with fellow amateur radio enthusiast, Will Halphen, and other members of the Midland Amateur Radio Club, devoted many hours each week to the enhancement of physical science for students who wanted to apply technical knowledge beyond what was available to them in the classrooms. Students had prepared for this launch by exploring the related electronics and wireless communication needed to track and retrieve weather balloons by soldering circuit boards for flashlights and alarms, as well as building antennas and attenuators which were used in fox hunts to find hidden “fox” transmitters. They also learned about resistors, transistors, cathodes, diodes, generators and electromagnets, and explored different forms of energy transfer prior to beginning their weather balloon projects. In addition to celebrating the close of the year with a pizza party, these 30 young scientists applied their new understanding of electronics and wireless technology through a project that further enhanced their knowledge of the Earth’s atmosphere. The weather balloons, equipped with experimental electronic payloads that included amateur radio tracking equipment, as well as GoPro camera and cell phone technology, were built to sustain projected altitudes nearing 100,000 feet above the earth before bursting due to changes in atmospheric pressure.

It's Been Three Years Since the Last Telegram was Sent in India:
by on July 15, 2016
The Telegram service, which remained in India for 163 years, is no more in use. Here's a look at some interesting facts about the service which was last used on July 14, 2013. It's been two years since the last telegram was used in India. Technology gets obsolete all the time, especially since the advent of smartphones, the life-cycle on any new technology has reduced remarkably. Considering this time-scale, Telegram has served the humans for a much-much longer time. This technology was introduced by the British but remained in use till July 14, 2013.

New at DX Engineering: Geochron Ham Map:
by on July 15, 2016
DX Engineering now carries the Geochron Ham Map. Based on feedback from the Ham Radio community, the Ham Map was designed with help from the DX Engineering team and incorporates all of the original Geochron features, plus CQ zones and country prefixes. The Geochron is unique among maps in that it displays geography, plus local time (12 and 24 hour formats), Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), sunrise/sunset, all legal time zones, sun movement, daylight duration, and latitude/longitude. That wealth of information made the Geochron map a favorite of Amateur Radio operators. Sleek and elegant, Geochron maps are printed in full color on a belt that is driven continuously in synchronous movement with the Earth. The night/day boundaries are shown by backlit or shaded areas. The track of the sun is represented by a moving dot and the current time is displayed along the top of the map. The overall design allows anyone to quickly determine the local time at any location on the planet.

Slow Appearance of Sunspots Challenges Theory:
by on July 15, 2016
Solar active regions consist of strongly magnetic sunspots and surrounding regions of more diffuse magnetic field. These regions are the origin of solar activity which controls space weather and causes beautiful phenomena such as aurora but in some cases also damage to satellites or power grids. Solar active regions are thought to be the result of magnetic flux concentrations -- bundles of magnetic field lines -- rising from deep in the solar interior and penetrating the surface. A team consisting of researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research (MPS), The University of Göttingen, NorthWest Research Associates, and the High Altitude Observatory of the National Center for Atmospheric Research has now shown that these magnetic flux concentrations move upward through the solar interior at speeds of not more than about 150 m/s. This is much slower than predicted by the prevailing current model. For their study, which is published today in the journal Science Advances, they compared satellite observations and computer simulations. A clear sign of a magnetic flux concentration penetrating the surface of the Sun are regions with magnetic fields of opposite polarity. These polarities are clearly visible on magnetic maps provided by the Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager (HMI) instrument onboard NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO). The researchers used these images to identify active regions and to determine the moment of their emergence. Since its launch in 2010, SDO has provided an almost uninterrupted stream of data. “For our research we needed observations of a statistically significant number of active regions,” explains lead author Aaron Birch from the MPS. “HMI is ideal for our purpose as it provides high-resolution images of the complete solar disc with essentially continuous coverage in time,” he adds. Because of the Sun’s activity minimum in 2010, during which active regions occur much less often than usual, the team had to collect observations for several years.

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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