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We Now Know What SOS Really Stands For:
by on October 14, 2017
“Save Our Ship!” “Save Our Souls!” “Save On Socks (at Sal’s Irregular Sock Emporium)!” These are all things that “SOS,” the international abbreviation for distress, does not stand for. Best known for its appearances in desert island cartoons, maritime movies, and earworms by ABBA and Rihanna, the letters SOS have been used as a code for emergency since 1905. But what does SOS stand for, actually? The answer, dear readers, is nothing -- and that’s exactly why it’s important. Unlike WD-40, CVS, and TASER, SOS is not even an acronym: It’s a Morse code sequence, deliberately introduced by the German government in a 1905 set of radio regulations to stand out from less important telegraph transmissions. Translated to Morse code, SOS looks like this: “. . . – – – . . .” Three dots, three dashes, three dots. At a time when international ships increasingly filled the seas, and Morse code was the only instantaneous way to communicate between them, vessels needed a quick and unmistakable way to signal that trouble was afoot. At first, different nations used different codes. Britain, for example, favored CQD; as the Titanic sunk into the ocean in April 1912, it broadcast a mix of CQD and SOS calls (the resulting confusion helped take CQD out of use for good).

Propagation Forecast Bulletin #41 de K7RA:
by W1AW Bulletin via the ARRL on October 13, 2017
At 0326 UTC on October 12 the Australian Space Forecast Centre issued a Geomagnetic Disturbance Warning: "The high speed streams associated with a recurrent positive polarity Northern hemisphere coronal hole are expected to persist for a few days. If the Bz component of the IMF turned strongly southward for prolonged periods, earth could experience Minor Storm conditions on 13 October." "Increased geomagnetic activity expected due to a coronal hole high speed wind stream for 13 October 2017."

Ham Radio Operators Have Butte County Emergency Role:
by on October 13, 2017
When the Red Cross signaled it would open a evacuation center in Oroville for the Cherokee and La Porte fires, there was a small band of volunteers that may have not been noticed. They were hauling boxes of equipment to a back room at the Church of the Nazarene. They were part of the Golden Empire Amateur Radio Society, providing communication capabilities to the Red Cross. Whenever the Red Cross establishes a evacuation center, the ham radio society sets up. It helps with communication between the Red Cross operations, centers and headquarters. GEARS is part of the American Relay League. The process was repeated in February during the Oroville Dam spillway crisis, in July with the Wall Fire, in August with the Ponderosa Fire, and now with the Cherokee and La Porte fire. Volunteers donated more than 500 hours of service during those local emergencies. “We provide emergency communications for the Red Cross. When the Red Cross opens a shelter, we set up,” said Kris Koenig, who is involved in the program.

Radio Club Offers Aid for Hurricane Recovery:
by on October 13, 2017
When Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico in September, it left in its wake a trail of destruction as nearly 100 percent of the island’s telecommunications systems were lost. In the aftermath, citizens of the United States called upon a sometimes overlooked means of communication to aid in Puerto Rico’s recovery process. This method of communication is known as amateur radio. It allows transmissions via the radio frequency spectrum specifically for individuals without commercial interest. This type of broadcasting has many purposes that can range from simple, private correspondence to assistance with emergency-related services. Amateur radio even has a place at Michigan State University in the form of the MSU Amateur Radio Club, or MSUARC. According to Reece Cole, the president of MSUARC, it’s one of the oldest clubs on campus. “We’ve been around since 1919,” said Cole.

California Firestorms Reveal Wireless Network Fragility in Emergencies:
by on October 13, 2017
The fires that ripped through California’s wine country moved with deadly speed, trapping people in their houses and in their neighborhoods. In many cases, the only warning victims received was if they happened to see the flames in the distance. Other residents were able to escape the wind-driven flames if they were able to receive phone calls from neighbors, family or friends. Emergency service authorities in Napa, Sonoma and Mendocino counties sent out warnings and evacuation orders as quickly as possible. They also sent police and fire units into threatened neighborhoods with sirens blaring and emergency lights flashing to alert residents to the danger. Unfortunately, many people out of hearing of those sirens never received evacuation orders or phone calls because the cellular networks in the devastated areas were already out of commission. Worse, the same communications infrastructure that supports cellular service also supports public safety communications in many communities. This means that local authorities and community groups are relying on ham radio operators to provide critical communications. Currently, the Sacramento Bee is reporting that ham operators are providing the only communications with hospitals in some areas.

Chiddix Student to Contact International Space Station with Ham Radio:
by on October 12, 2017
At the end of the month, eighth-graders at Chiddix Junior High School in Normal will get a chance of a lifetime. Chiddix has been selected as one of 11 schools or educational centers across the country -- and the only one in Illinois -- where students will be able to speak with an astronaut currently on board the International Space Station. They’ll do this through a ham radio transmission. The project was the brainchild of Dhruv Rebba, a 13-year-old eighth-grader who is one of the youngest licensed ham radio operators in the country.

Reinvention of Amateur Radio:
by WIA on October 12, 2017
Lack of growth in radio amateur numbers, and how to make Amateur Radio attractive and relevant to young people, is very much on the minds of many International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) member societies, including the Wireless Institute of Australia (WIA). A common practice is for any organisation, commercial or otherwise, to reinvent itself about every 10 to 20 years. Think about this process that happens in the business world, and with community and social activities. In Australia, we introduced the Limited licence -- fondly dubbed the Z-call, after the first callsign suffix block issued -- then the Novice, and later, the Foundation licence. These responded to the need for reinvention in their eras. That time has come again, only more quickly, driven by the exponential growth in technology. A few years ago, the WIA began work with the regulator, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), to plan a future for Amateur Radio. Recently, the WIA consulted widely with members and non-members on the future Licence Condition Determination (LCD). A review and reform of the LCD is now expected to begin soon, to be finalised in 2018. Keeping in mind that a new LCD could remove the barriers that hamper the use of existing and future technologies, we must also broaden the scope of Amateur Radio to make it an obvious choice for today’s tech-savvy young people and for future generations. It’s time for current radio amateurs to more than ever think about the future, and take action to recruit technically-minded or inquisitive people interested in exploring what the dynamic and diverse activities Amateur Radio offers now, and will continue to develop in the years ahead. The recent IARU Region 1 General Conference held a workshop on ‘The Future of Amateur Radio’, and discussed many things that the WIA has been exploring to make the hobby more attractive and relevant to today’s technology-rich society. The Region 1 workshop has provided many ideas from member societies in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Northern Asia. Reprising the Region 1 initiative, "Attracting youth to Amateur Radio" will be the theme for the late 2018 Conference of IARU Region 3, comprising member societies across Asia and the Pacific.

DX News -- ARRL DX Bulletin #41:
by W1AW Bulletin via the ARRL on October 12, 2017
This week's bulletin was made possible with information provided by NT5V, 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 October 12, 2017
Just Ahead In Radiosport:

Ham Radio Bridging the Gap In Wildfire-Stricken California:
by The ARRL Letter on October 12, 2017
More than a dozen wildfires in Northern California have damaged or destroyed cellular telephone and internet infrastructure in some areas, and Amateur Radio has helped to fill the communication gap. Mendocino County Sheriff Thomas Allman told news media on Tuesday, October 10, that damage to cell towers and fiber optic telephone and computer lines had left officials relying on Amateur Radio operators to communicate with area hospitals.

Vice President Visits 'Force Of 50,' RC Invites Volunteers to Extend Stay:
by The ARRL Letter on October 12, 2017
Vice President Mike Pence visited "Force of 50" volunteers and emergency responders at the Puerto Rico Emergency Operations Center (PREOC) in San Juan's Convention Center on October 6. "He gave a very motivating speech, and our very own Gary Sessums, KC5QCN, shook his hand," volunteer Valerie Hotzfeld, NV9L, reported.

ARRL Expresses Gratitude for Outpouring of Ham Aid Donations:
by The ARRL Letter on October 12, 2017
ARRL thanks the Amateur Radio community for its generosity in support of the ARRL Ham Aid Fund, which is making it possible to provide relief and recovery communications in Puerto Rico. Overall, there have been more than 600 donations to the Ham Aid program in response to a call from ARRL President Rick Roderick, K5UR, and nearly $125,000 has come in from clubs and individuals. Several Amateur Radio retailers and manufacturers also have stepped up to donate needed equipment. Roderick said he was amazed at the overwhelming response, including those who answered his call to join the "Force of 50" now deployed in Puerto Rico.

The Doctor Will See You Now!
by The ARRL Letter on October 12, 2017
"Dirty Transmitters" is the topic of the new (October 12) episode of the "ARRL The Doctor is In" podcast. Listen...and learn!

Hurricane Nets Activate for Nate:
by The ARRL Letter on October 12, 2017
The Hurricane Watch Net (HWN) and the VoIP Hurricane Net activated for Hurricane Nate last weekend. Both stood down on October 8. "Nate spared the New Orleans area any significant wind damage and storm-surge flooding, but pockets of tree and wire damage and wind gusts to hurricane force were recorded in parts of Mississippi and offshore oil platforms in the Louisiana coastal waters," said VoIP Hurricane Net Director of Operations Rob Macedo, KD1CY. "Storm surge values of 3-7 feet were recorded in portions of southern Alabama, southern Mississippi, and extreme southeast Louisiana."

ARRL Headquarters Welcomes New Communication Manager Dave Isgur:
by The ARRL Letter on October 12, 2017
This week, ARRL Headquarters welcomed Dave Isgur, who will be the League's Communication Manager. A Boston-area native and 1979 graduate of Boston University with a bachelor's degree in journalism and a minor in economics, he brings to ARRL a rich background in journalism and public relations. Expect him to have a call sign after his name in the near future.

<-- Page 4 --> News Articles
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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