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Bellefonte Area Students Could Get Chance to Communicate with Astronauts:
by on July 14, 2017
BELLEFONTE -- Students at Bellefonte Area Middle School could get a glimpse of what it’s like in space. The school is one of 13 in the country to be approved for the second phase of a selection process to host the Earthbound part of amateur radio contact with the International Space Station crew. Representatives from the International Space Station are in the process of selecting schools to host ARISS contacts in early 2018.

Large Sunspot Traveling Across the Sun:
by on July 14, 2017
High up in the sky, the sun looks the same day in and day out. But looking closer and with the right equipment, you can see areas of the sun showing signs of activity: sunspots. Sunspots are cooler regions on the surface of the sun where temperatures can be nearly 2,000 degrees less than the surrounding surface. They are believed to be caused by the sun's magnetic field. Right now, the largest sunspot of 2017 is traveling across the sun's surface. It's part of a group so large, that 11 Earths could fit inside! Finding sunspots like these will be harder in the next few years because of the sun's solar cycle, a change in the sun's activity that happens about every 11 years.

Ofcom Sets Rules for Mobile Spectrum Auction:
by on July 14, 2017
Ofcom has announced how valuable airwaves will be released to meet the growing demand for mobile broadband, including new measures to safeguard competition. People and businesses increasingly need reliable, high-speed mobile broadband to support devices such as smartphones and tablets. Ofcom is helping to meet this demand by releasing extra spectrum, allowing mobile operators to increase their networks’ capacity. Later this year we will auction licences to use 190 MHz of spectrum in two ‘frequency bands’, increasing the airwaves available for mobile devices by almost one third. 40 MHz of spectrum will be auctioned in the 2.3GHz band. This band is already supported by mobile devices from manufacturers such as Apple and Samsung. These airwaves could be used immediately after release to provide extra capacity, meaning faster downloads and internet browsing for mobile users.

DX News -- ARRL DX Bulletin #28:
by W1AW Bulletin via the ARRL on July 13, 2017
This week's bulletin was made possible with information provided by QRZ DX, the OPDX Bulletin, 425 DX News, The Daily DX, DXNL, Contest Corral from QST and the ARRL Contest Calendar and WA7BNM web sites. Thanks to all.

Just Ahead In Radiosport:
by The ARRL Letter on July 13, 2017
Just Ahead In Radiosport:

FCC Crackdown on Pirate Broadcasters Targets at Least One More Licensee:
by The ARRL Letter on July 13, 2017
A recent flurry of FCC Enforcement Bureau correspondence to alleged unlicensed broadcasters has targeted at least one more radio amateur -- this time in the Greater New York City area. It's not the first time Winston A. Tulloch, KC2ALN, of Paterson, New Jersey, has heard from the FCC, which has had Tulloch in its sights for at least several months regarding a pirate FM station on 90.9 MHz. Last November, the Enforcement Bureau sent Tulloch a Notice of Unlicensed Operation after receiving information that he was operating a radio station. FCC agents used direction-finding techniques to zero in on a signal on 90.9 MHz coming from his residence.

Ham Radio Volunteers in British Columbia Reported Assisting Relief Agencies
by The ARRL Letter on July 13, 2017
Radio Amateurs of Canada (RAC) reported last weekend that it was monitoring the wildfire situation in British Columbia. Acting British Columbia/Yukon Section Manager Bill Gipps, VE7XS, advised RAC that Amateur Radio Emergency Service teams had not been called out, and that the wildfire situation "has not become a communications event." A state of emergency has been declared in Canada's westernmost province. More than 250 wildfires were reported active in British Columbia as of July 12, and 21 of them are considered "of note." Fires had spread over nearly 99,000 acres by midweek.

BIRDS-1 Cubesats Deployed from ISS, Carry Amateur Radio Payloads:
by The ARRL Letter on July 13, 2017
The five CubeSats making up the BIRDS-1 (Joint Global Multi-Nation Birds) constellation were deployed into orbit from the International Space Station (ISS) on July 7. Each carries an Amateur Radio payload but no transponders. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) module's remote manipulator arm was used to accomplish the launches.

The Doctor Will See You Now!
by The ARRL Letter on July 13, 2017
"APRS" is the topic of the current episode of the "ARRL The Doctor is In" podcast. Listen...and learn!

WWV 25 MHz Signal Swapped to Circular Polarization, Reports Invited:
by The ARRL Letter on July 13, 2017
The resurrected 25 MHz signal of time and frequency standard station WWV is now emanating from a circularly polarized turnstile antenna. WWV had used a vertically polarized antenna on 25 MHz in the 1970s. Silent since 1977, the 25 MHz signal returned to the air on an "experimental basis" in April 2014, and it's been transmitting ever since -- initially on a broadband discone until August 2015, when it switched back to a vertical, which it used until the July 7 switch to circular polarization.

New FT8 Mode Included in WSJT-X Beta Release:
by The ARRL Letter on July 13, 2017
A beta release of WSJT-X, version 1.8.0-rc1, includes a new FT8 mode, featuring a faster turnaround, and it's already showing up on the bands. According to the notes for the candidate release, FT8 offers "sensitivity down to -20 dB on the AWGN channel," and contacts four times faster than JT65 or JT9. An auto-sequencing feature offers the option to respond automatically to the first decoded reply to your CQ.

WRTC 2018 Teams Prep in Europe for the Big Event:
by The ARRL Letter on July 13, 2017
There's no substitute for being there, and for elite contester and WRTC 2018 participant Tim Duffy, K3LR, and other competitors, this meant traveling to Germany, where WRTC 2018 will take place in 1 year, in part to prepare for the big show. Duffy said getting on the air from Germany during the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) HF Championship this past weekend provided an opportunity to test the waters, so to speak, by making sure that equipment works as it should, that propagation from Europe is understood, and that he and his teammate Sandy Raeker, DL1QQ/N0QQ, have a good shot at winning.

ARISS to Celebrate 20th Anniversary with SSTV Event:
by The ARRL Letter on July 13, 2017
The Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) program is planning a slow-scan television (SSTV) event starting on Thursday, July 20, and continuing for 2 days, to commemorate its 20th anniversary. Transmissions, set to get under way around 2125 UTC, will feature 12 images from past and present ARISS activities. The SSTV signal should be available nearly anywhere on the globe at some point during the event.

Group Selected to Pursue DXpedition to Baker Island Wildlife Refuge:
by The ARRL Letter on July 13, 2017
The Pacific Islands Refuges and Monuments Office of the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has selected the Dateline DX Association (DDXA) -- the DXpedition group that activated Howland Island in 2009 and Wake Island in 1998 -- to pursue a DXpedition to Baker Island. Dates have not yet been determined.

Ham Radio Volunteers Support Michigan's 'One Helluva Ride' Bicycle Tour:
by The ARRL Letter on July 13, 2017
Some two dozen Amateur Radio volunteers supported communication for the Ann Arbor Bicycle Touring Society's (AABTS) 41st running of the One Helluva Ride (OHR) bicycle tour on July 8 in Michigan. The race derives its moniker from the fact that the longer route options pass through the town of Hell. The annual loop tour, which starts and finishes at the Chelsea Fairgrounds, offers rides from 15 miles to 100 miles.

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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