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Carleton Mabee, Biographer of Morse, Dies at 99:
by on December 26, 2014
Carleton Mabee, a history professor who won a Pulitzer Prize 70 years ago for his unsparing biography of Samuel F. B. Morse, one of the early developers of the electromagnetic telegraph, died on Dec. 18 in Gardiner, N.Y. He was 99. The cause was complications of a fall at his home, said his daughter, Susan Mabee Newhouse. Professor Mabee (pronounced like the word “maybe”), an emeritus professor at the State University of New York at New Paltz, was best known for “The American Leonardo,” his biography of Morse, whose name lives on in the Morse code, the system of taps representing each letter of the alphabet that was used to send the famous 1844 message “What hath God wrought?” on the new telegraph line from Washington to Baltimore.

Radio Enthusiasts 'Ham' It Up in Mill Creek's New Club:
by on December 25, 2014
MADISON -- The Mill Creek Ham Radio Club has one student who already has qualified for a license. Local enthusiasts are helping by sharing their knowledge of the field. This club at Mill Creek Elementary School currently has 16 members. The club will prepare students to successfully take the technician class licensing exam and earn their own ham radio license and call sign, club sponsor Jackie Smith said. One fifth-grade member, Callie Scroggins, already has earned the technician’s license and has received her official call sign from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). “Huntsville Amateur Radio Club (HARC) members were very helpful in guiding Callie through the exam process,” sponsor and fifth-grade teacher Jacqueline ‘Jackie’ Smith said. Several other students hope to sit for the exam in January; if successful, they will have a call sign by February. “After the Christmas holidays, we hope to have some HARC members visit our students at Mill Creek to share their knowledge and expertise,” Smith said. Because students are preparing for the exam, most time in club meetings focuses on reviewing test material. They also use two meter radios to make contacts with other local ham radio operators.

More Than Two Dozen New Ham Radio Operators Become Licensed:
by on December 25, 2014
The Sussex Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) offered a ham radio technician class on Dec. 6-7, at Sussex Technical High School in Georgetown. The objective of the class is to provide a course to assist those interested in obtaining an amateur radio (ham radio) Federal Communications Commission (FCC) -issued license. The course reviews the questions likely to be included on the licensing test, which is composed of 35 questions drawn from a pool of more than 300 possible questions. The course is taught by local amateur radio operators and is offered several times a year. The class ends with the administration of the FCC license exam, and those who pass the exam are issued a license by the FCC. The Dec. 6-7 class scored a 96 percent passing rate, yielding 25 new amateur radio operators in Sussex County. The class typically yields a 96 percent passing rate.

DX News -- ARRL DX Bulletin #51:
by W1AW Bulletin via the ARRL on December 24, 2014
This week's bulletin was made possible with information provided by 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.

WW1USA Special Event Station to Be On the Air Dec. 27-28:
by Randy Schulze (KD0HKD) on December 24, 2014
One-Hundred years ago, a great war was raging across Europe. Regardless of this conflict, a small miracle of peace occurred over the battlefield on Christmas Eve 1914. The Christmas truce (German: Weihnachtsfrieden; French: Trêve de Noël) was a series of widespread, unofficial ceasefires that took place along the Western Front around Christmas 1914, during World War I. Through the week leading up to Christmas, parties of German and British soldiers began to exchange seasonal greetings and songs between their trenches; on occasion, the tension was reduced to the point that individuals would walk across to talk to their opposite numbers bearing gifts. On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, many soldiers from both sides—as well as, to a lesser degree, from French units—independently ventured into "no man's land", where they mingled, exchanging food and souvenirs. As well as joint burial ceremonies, several meetings ended in carol-singing. Troops from both sides were also friendly enough to play games of football with one another, in one of the truce's most enduring images.

WB Govt to Use Ham Radio to Issue Warnings to Fishermen:
by on December 24, 2014
West Bengal government has taken an initiative to use amateur radio, popularly known as ham radio, to communicate warnings to fishermen engaged in deep sea fishing. The fishermen may soon get new technology that can send them weather bulletin and save them from venturing into the deep sea during extreme weather condition, the official sources here today said. Recently the regional meteorological department along with the state fisheries department organised a workshop at Digha to demonstrate the efficacy of ham radio with the help of a radio club that operates in the state and across the country.

New WIA Repeater and Beacon Licence Recommendation Policy:
by WIA on December 23, 2014
After lengthy consultation the WIA has released a new Repeater and Beacon Licence Recommendation policy. The policy aims to clarify the WIA's role in the licensing of amateur radio repeaters and beacons, where the WIA may make recommendations to the ACMA, and the ACMA has a long standing practice of having regard to the WIA’s recommendations and recognises the WIA’s expertise in regard to the use of Amateur spectrum.

Special Operating Event for FOCUS Anniversary:
by Ed Tobias (KR3E) on December 23, 2014
To celebrate 25 years of the First Class CW Operators Club's in-house magazine FOCUS, the 100th edition of which will be published on 1 January 2015, FOC members will be calling "CQ FOC25." Points will be earned, by members and non- members, for working FOC officers, FOCUS editors and any FOC members. A certificate will be issued to everyone who achieves 100 points.

Musselburgh Engineer Champions Radio Club:
by on December 22, 2014
An East Lothian amateur radio enthusiast is helping to develop his local club, which is searching for new premises in its 30th anniversary year. Cockenzie and Port Seton Amateur Radio Club was nominated for a BT People Award by John Innes, a transmission engineer with Openreach. The scheme recognises and rewards BT’s volunteering heroes, who offer their time and skills to help people in their local communities, by providing grants to organisations in which they are involved.

QSO Today - EP 21 - Eric Manning - VA7DZ:
by Eric Guth (WA6IGR) on December 21, 2014
Join Eric, 4Z1UG, in his QSO Today with Eric Manning, VA7DZ. Eric and Eric discuss the Reverse Beacon Network and the use of the CW Skimmer software as tools for contesting and understanding of real time low band openings.

Active Sun Unleashes Massive Solar Flare:
by on December 21, 2014
The sun fired off a massive solar flare late Friday (Dec. 19), after days of intense storms from our nearest star. The huge solar flare registered as an X1.8-class event, one of the most powerful types of flares possible, and was captured on camera by NASA's powerful Solar Dynamics Observatory. The flare triggered a strong radio blackout for parts of Earth as it peaked Friday at 7:28 p.m. EST (0028 Dec. 20 GMT), according to an alert from the U.S. Space Weather Prediction Center overseen by NOAA. The solar flare erupted from a sunspot region classified as Active Region 2242, and more sun storms could occur from the region.

Twisp Police Chief Ready to Train Citizens for Emergency Response Team:
by on December 20, 2014
To prepare for future large-scale emergencies, Twisp Police Chief Paul Budrow says his community needs to be able to survive for three days before outside agencies come in with assistance. Last summer’s fires “brought the issue into the forefront,” Budrow said. Not only should every family have an emergency plan, stored water and a 72-hour “comfort kit,” but Budrow also wants to create a Community Emergency Response Team -- or CERT -- that can respond quickly to neighborhood needs before police, fire or medical first responders can get there. “We need people in the community who have the training to help out,” when communications failures or road closures may prevent access to the immediate emergency services that people have come to expect by calling 911, Budrow said. And, as the Methow Valley learned during last summer’s wildfires, certain disasters may stretch on for days or even weeks. CERT is a program designed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) that trains citizen teams to provide immediate assistance to victims, organize volunteers, and gather information to help first responders prioritize and allocate resources following a disaster. The police chief and his fellow officers are currently studying for their ham radio licenses, which will enable them to communicate with “outside entities” during an emergency, using radio frequencies outside of law enforcement. This will allow them to send messages up and down the valley via the “huge base” of amateur radio operators already operating from home stations, Budrow said.

Propagation Forecast Bulletin #51 de K7RA:
by W1AW Bulletin via the ARRL on December 19, 2014
Solar activity made a strong comeback this week, with the average daily sunspot number on December 11-17 rising 57 points to 145.4 from the previous seven days, while average daily solar flux was up 28.1 points to 167.7.

See a Stunning Solar Flare Captured By NASA:
by on December 19, 2014
NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, which continuously watches the sun, captured an image of a solar flare Tuesday. This one was considered "mid-level" and peaked around 11:50 p.m., according to NASA. Solar flares are powerful surges of radiation that occur when magnetic energy connected to sunspots is released. Solar flares and sunspots are not unusual and occur with varying frequency depending on the solar cycle. "Space weather is always changing," according to the Space Weather Prediction Center at NOAA. Radiation from solar flares cannot hurt humans on the ground, but strong flares can interrupt the "atmosphere in the layer where GPS and communications signals travel," according to NASA.

Can You Hear Me Now?
by on December 19, 2014
LENOIR, N.C. – Once upon a time, there was a world without internet and telephones with international calling. In that world, men and women who wanted to communicate across the globe did so by sending Morse code through amateur radios. Although making a call from the Catawba Valley to South America or Europe might be easy today, if there were a natural disaster that cut the area off from traditional communications the skills these amateur radio operators have been honing for decades would be in great need and the members of the Lenoir Amateur Radio Club are ready and willing to serve. “We’re able to take our radios out into the field and go to the Sheriff’s Department or go with a deputy and offer our radios and services to them if they need it,” Lenoir Amateur Radio Club Vice President Thomas Land said. “In the past we helped provide backup communications during Hurricane Hugo, and we set up at Red Cross shelters to help communicate between the shelters and emergency management and the Red Cross providing information about supplies and occupancy.”

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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