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London Hams Bridge Communication Gap:
by on July 30, 2014
Since 1920, members of the London Amateur Radio Club (LARC) have filled the airwaves with banter both about the hobby itself, and about emergency preparedness. On July 19, a handful of LARC members put their talents on display at the Blackfriars Bridge in London. The second annual Historical Bridges On The Air event linked hams from around the world, including LARC, who set up camp with temporary shelters, and amateur radios powered by generators and using home-built antennas. While the Historical Bridges event was a fun way for local hams to make contact with colleagues around the globe, it also served as a reminder that during an emergency when all else fails, ham radio provides a communications mode critical to survival. Case in point: in late July, in the Colorado wilderness where cell phone service remains non-existent, a ham radio operator who never goes hiking without his handheld radio stumbled across an injured hiker and radioed for help. The ham radio operator saved the hiker’s life. “Some people may still think that amateur radio is an old, grey-haired, fossil hobby,” said LARC member David Lambert, call sign VE3KGK. “But it’s still an inexpensive, viable hobby. And we can help save lives.”

Conversations With the World:
by on July 30, 2014
GODFREY -- The Lewis and Clark HAM Radio Club has been a part of this area since 1984. This October, they are going to celebrate 30 years as an organization. Over those 30 years, the group has dedicated their time and talents to a hobby that can be used to help people in times of trouble as well as during community gatherings. Larry Roberts, whose call letters are W9MXC, said that HAM radio is a hobby with several facets. According to him, anyone with a basic interest in communications could find a place they would enjoy in the world of HAM radio. He described those who participate in the activity as genuinely nice people. “It’s basically a hobby where race, color, creed and stature make no difference,” Roberts said. “I could be talking to a dirt farmer in Texas or a Wall Street executive. I once spoke to King Hussein of Jordan.” King Hussein is an avid HAM radio enthusiast, and, Roberts claimed, many other celebrities and public figures are as well. He said that placing a CQ call allows anyone from anywhere to respond. Roberts added that there was no way of knowing who may respond.

Malaysia's Over 11,000 Radio Ham Operators Can Offer Help In Emergencies:
by on July 30, 2014
MELAKA, July 29 (Bernama) -- Malaysia currently has 11,626 amateur radio ham operators who can offer help in emergencies or natural disasters. Head of the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) Southern Region, Roszeta Kassim, said that of the total, peninsular Malaysia had 9,919 operators, including 1,090 in Melaka and Johor. Sabah had 1,487 and Sarawak, 220, she said. Amateur radio is a scientific hobby that involves construction, study and communication through means of radio waves that brings together fellow enthusiasts who use a set of pre-determined and allowed radio frequencies. Roszeta said the amateur radio operators played an important role to help the authorities during emergencies and disasters. "For example, when Johor was hit by the big floods in 2007, a group of amateur radio operators offered assistance as the cellular network was disrupted," she told Bernama. She said Malaysians aged 14 and above were eligible to become amateur radio operators after passing an MCMC-conducted test for a fee of RM50.

WIA: Temporary Reassignment of Commercial Services into 70cm:
by WIA on July 29, 2014
The 400MHz spectrum review process held in 2010 identified a need for using part of the 70cm amateur band, on a temporary basis, for the orderly repacking of 400MHz commercial services. The ACMA have now advised that, as part of the ongoing 400MHz band plan review, it will be necessary to temporary move some commercial services into the 442.5 -444MHz and 446.5-448MHz segments of the 70cm band. Commercial services will be assigned on a secondary basis (i.e. equal status with the amateur service) and the reassignment will be required from August this year to the end of 2015.

Army MARS at the ARRL Convention:
by Bill Sexton, N1IN on July 28, 2014
Hartford, Conn.--The “test range” was a plain-vanilla office table inside the big exhibition hall. At the left end sat the PRC-150, one of some 10,000 or so backpack HF radios carried by U.S. troops, its whip antenna extended and ready for action. The other end was occupied by an innovative new commercial radio with the look and feel of a late-model amateur transceiver priced in the upper-middle range.

Skywarn Warriors: Radio Buffs Work Front Lines for National Weather Service
by on July 28, 2014
The National Weather Service has radar, satellites, Doppler, and double Doppler. But even with all of that high technology, it still needs boots on the ground to know how the weather is affecting people. So when the power is out, many of its 6,500 Skywarn weather watchers in southern New England go the traditional route, using ham radio to file reports. "A lot of our reports do come from amateur radio," said weather service meteorologist Glenn Fields. "We do monitor Twitter and Facebook, so some spotters use that, as well as phone and Internet." Fields estimated that only about 650 of the trained severe weather spotters provide regular reports, but as many as a third of them use ham radios to file their reports. Ham radios are good because they are battery powered and it doesn't matter if the electricity goes out in a storm.

Amateur Radio Operators Descend on Civic Center for Annual Hamfest:
by on July 28, 2014
CULLMAN -- The nearly-full parking lot at the Cullman Civic Center was filled with cars Saturday, many of which were sporting multiple two- and three-foot-long antennas. The vehicles belonged to attendees of the 2014 Cullman Hamfest, an annual event for amateur radio enthusiasts, several of whom had custom license plates on their cars with their radio IDs, or “call signs.” Inside the center, some attendees wore caps and badges with their personal call signs. Close to 200 people milled about the tables displaying radio gadgets and accessories.

Ham Radio Users Could Be Vital Resource In Emergency:
by on July 27, 2014
Imagine that a massive storm is moving through the area, causing flash flooding, gusty winds and booming thunder. Phone service is knocked out, and roads are impassable. If McKean County Emergency Management director Bruce Manning has his way, he’ll be able to turn to a group of amateur radio operators for help. They would be able to fill in the communication gap between emergency responders. On July 31, Manning is calling a meeting to revive an amateur radio group that has been dormant for about two years. The meeting will start at 6 p.m. at the Emergency Management Agency office at 17175 U.S. Route 6 in Smethport. “It’s another tool in the toolbox that you hope you never have to use,” Manning said. Amateur radio, also known as ham radio, is a well-known hobby, but it can also be also a major public service. They have the equipment needed, in case all other communication fails. In fact, operators can exchange information with others operators, rain or shine, from across the county or the world.

The First Social Network: Chewing the Rag with India's Ham Radio Operators:
by on July 27, 2014
In an office in Qutub Institutional Area, Sandeep Baruah, Scientist-E with the Vigyan Prasar, a part of the Department of Science and Technology, sits down to listen for ham radio operators in a 7,000 mile radius around Delhi. His cabin, a small, cramped place, located in a corner of a second floor office is littered with books and radio equipment, an unfinished directional antenna, and a laptop connected to another receiver. Ham radio - once a derogatory, then later affectionate nickname for amateur radio - got its start at the beginning of the 20th century, when amateur radio lovers began tinkering with equipment to talk to each other. In many ways, it's the first social network - anyone with the right equipment can join, get a call sign, and start chatting. Kind of like an Internet chatroom, but without everyone asking "A/S/L?" all the time. While the technology is now mostly obsolete in the world of Internet connections and smartphones, there are still times when modern ham-operators can serve as essential communication channels, since ham-radios can be used without any major infrastructure.

New Book for Hams About Software Defined Radio:
by Andrew Barron (ZL3DW) on July 26, 2014
Hi folks, I have finally finished my book for amateur radio operators and short wave listeners who want to know more about SDR. It is called "An Introduction to HF Software Defined Radio".

MARS-Men Are From Texas?
by on July 26, 2014
AUSTIN, Texas -- Although they’re not from outer space, the Texas State Guard MARS Detachment is definitely reaching out across the atmosphere to bring people closer together. Older military members may remember MARS, the Military Auxiliary Radio System, as a way to keep in touch with family while stationed in Vietnam, or other far-flung posts around the world. The concept was, and is, fairly simple - a volunteer “ham” radio operator, using a phone patch switching station, receives a request via high-frequency radio to connect someone to a standard phone line. Although “MARSgrams” saw peak use during the 1960s and 70s, the technology has weathered the ensuing decades well, and with the technology’s relative simplicity, the MARS program is making a comeback. Since the basic infrastructure used, radio towers and phone lines, are already up and running, using MARS doesn’t cost the military anything past purchasing switching stations and other high-frequency equipment. Recognizing how valuable this type of communication is during disasters, the Texas State Guard stood up a special MARS detachment in 2008. Prior to that, TXSG members supported other parts of the Texas Military Forces for short periods in low-risk areas using personal equipment.

That Was a Close One! Study: Massive Solar Storm Barely Missed Us In 2012:
by on July 26, 2014
Two years ago, modern infrastructure came very close to a serious disruption. The culprit? One of the largest solar storms in recorded history. Plasma exploding from the surface of the sun in a coronal mass ejection barreled through space and crossed through Earth's orbital path on July 23, 2012. If the flare had erupted about one week earlier, Earth would have been squarely in the line of fire, Daniel N. Baker wrote in a study published in the journal Space Weather. (Baker is with the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado).

Propagation Forecast Bulletin #30 de K7RA:
by W1AW Bulletin via the ARRL on July 25, 2014
Last Thursday (July 17) had no sunspots at all, a sobering reminder of how weak this solar cycle is. We have to go way back to August 14, 2011 to find the last spotless day, and there was only one other day with no sunspots in 2011, on January 27.

ARNewsline Report 1928 -- July 25 2014:
by Bill Pasternak (WA6ITF) on July 25, 2014
The following is a QST. FEMA and the ARRL announce a new Memorandum of Agreement; The International Amateur Radio Union Region 2 Executive Committee meets in Connecticut; several 2 meter channels in the UK being used for the Commonwealth Games; Australian launched ham radio balloon reaches South America; WA1ZMS named to receive the first Triennial Brendan Medal and the last big Collins shortwave transmitter saved from the scrap heap. All this and more on Amateur Radio Newsline report number 1928 coming your way right now.

Amateur Radio Enthusiasts Hosting Event In OKC:
by on July 25, 2014
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Amateur radio operators from across central Oklahoma are gathering this weekend for the 41st annual Ham Holiday event. The non-profit Central Oklahoma Radio Amateurs host the event, which will run Friday and Saturday. Joel Harrison, the past president of the National Association of Amateur Radio, will be the special guest speaker.

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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