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Come in Star Command: Spaceman Beams Live in Chingford:
by on August 23, 2017
A crowd of youngsters from 26 countries spoke with an astronaut in space from a summer camp in Chingford. Live from the International Space Station astronaut Paolo Nespoli spoke to the gathering of 80 young people through amateur radio at Radio Society of Great Britain’s (RSGB) event in Gilwell Park, on Tuesday (August 8). The radio enthusiasts spent the week at the scouting activity centre for the seventh prestigious Youngsters on the Air summer camp. From ground control on Earth, Cameron Eales asked Paolo: “How important do you consider amateur radio to your set of technical skills?” The astronaut replied: “I was really into when I was young as my tutor had a radio and it helped me to refine my technical skills. So ham radio helped me in building my future.”

Total Solar Eclipse Does Not Disappoint:
by on August 23, 2017
With Creedence Clearwater Revival’s ‘Bad Moon Rising’ blaring out of the speakers, S and T’s Havener Center lawn was festive. A giant beachball expressing various student sentiments was tethered to the lawn and groups spread out on blankets just like a day at the beach. Large antennas were hovering over the university’s ham radio club, W0EEE, as they tweaked the knobs on their ham radio sets, calling through a sizzling ionosphere. By 12:30 p.m. the light was already getting getting weird and that only added to the excitement of many on the campus, experiencing their very first total solar eclipse. Four freshmen from India studying computer science were excited to be in Rolla to witness the special event. Kammna Pal said, “It’s something very rare, and we consider ourselves lucky to watch it now, here in the U.S.” “We will have memories [of this] of the total eclipse -- they didn’t get to see it in India,” said Nischitma Krishna. “This is amazing -- I didn’t even know about this!” said Kaysi Lee from St. Louis. Over at the ham radio club Comm Center it was all business. “Radio propagation has been studied a lot, but not during a total solar eclipse,” said Alex Hoeft, one of the members of the club. Hoeft said the sun’s surface activity excites the air where radio waves are carried, sometimes enabling radio waves to travel around the world. If the atmosphere isn’t charged as much, radio signals won’t travel as far. This group was collecting data to see how a total eclipse could affect radio wave propagation. “All the people making contacts from all over the world, from many locations, will see if they had more or less range than they expected,” explained Hoeft.

Amateur Radio Operators Participate in Eclipse from Indoors:
by on August 23, 2017
While most people ventured outside to watch Monday’s solar eclipse, a group of local amateur or ham radio operators stayed indoors to listen to the skies instead. Todd Baker and Jack Lambert set up their mobile radio equipment inside the Jackson County Visitor Center in Seymour and antennas outside to pick up signals and chatter from other radio operators across the country. It was their own unique version of a solar eclipse party. Early on, they had already talked with operators in North Carolina and South Carolina. Outside in the parking lot, Nick Klinger with Jackson County Emergency Management Agency was busy setting up the county’s mobile emergency command post. He also would be monitoring amateur radio communications along with local emergency airwaves.

Don't Encrypt Police Radio Transmissions:
by on August 23, 2017
Is encryption of police radio transmissions prudent for the safety of the police? Police officers do a dangerous job every day. They deserve our respect and cooperation. I am an amateur radio operator. My communications use all types of modes including digital, which the police currently use. I started listening to the police channels 50 years ago. Some facts regarding encrypting police radio transmissions need to be mentioned.

Ham Talk Live #78 -- Changes at WWV:
by D Neil Rapp (WB9VPG) on August 22, 2017
This week on Ham Talk Live!, WWV Chief Engineer Matt Deutch, N0RGT joins us to tell us about some of the latest changes happening at WWV! So if you have the time, listen in about the station that's all time... all the time! That's at 9 PM Eastern time on Thursday night at

Celebrating Ham Radio:
by on August 22, 2017
CHENNAI: Observing International Lighthouse Lightship Weekend (ILLW), three ham radio operators from Chennai are operating radios from the lighthouse in Mahabalipuram. The lighthouse lightship weekend is usually observed every third week of August. Ham radio or amateur radio involves use of radio frequencies for non-commercial or emergency exchange of messages, wireless experimentation, and as a hobby among others. More than 2000 operators across the world will operate ham radios in the lighthouses nearest to them. Over the weekend, Three people in Chennai and one from Goa will be talking to 300 people across 50 different countries including those in Europe, Australia and US using ham radios.

How Does the Solar Eclipse Affect Ham Radios?
by on August 22, 2017
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- Many ham radio operators are excited for the upcoming solar eclipse. "This is my first chance of being a part of a total solar eclipse," ham operator Ben Lowe said The upcoming eclipse is something he's been dreaming about for a while. His father used to share stories with him about how amazing they are. "He told me about seeing that last eclipse 99 years ago, so he would have been five years old at the time," Lowe explained. Now that he's an adult, he will be paying close attention to it. "This solar eclipse is providing a unique opportunity for the hams to measure the effects of the eclipse on the ionosphere propagation," Lowe said. Lowe said ham radios reflect their signals off the ionosphere. "And of course that is charged up by the sun, when the sun goes away during the two and a half minutes of the eclipse they are anticipating not having that much reflection or propagation," Lowe explained.

Researchers to Conduct Unique Study with Ham Radios During Solar Eclipse:
by on August 21, 2017
CHICAGO (WLS) -- Monday's total eclipse will be a historic even that will stretch from coast to coast, but some Chicago researchers are using the event to do some unique research. During the two minutes and 40 seconds of totality, the sun's outer layer will be visible and can be looked at with the naked eye. At the University of Chicago, Professor emeritus Jonathan Rosner is working with a nationwide network of ham radio operators during the eclipse. "To study the differences in radio propagation during the eclipse, and this happens not only during the path of totality but several hundreds of miles to one side or the either of it," Rosner said.

Eclipse Gives Radio Enthusiast Research Opportunity:
by on August 21, 2017
Like many people, Mike Naruta will be outside Monday afternoon safely watching the solar eclipse. “I’ll be out there with my grandchildren,” said the Port Huron Township resident. But he also will be listening to the eclipse. The long-time amateur radio enthusiast and electronics engineer will be one of many ham operators participating in an experiment to determine the solar eclipse’s effect on the Earth’s ionosphere. He will be monitoring radio transmissions from the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Fort Collins, Colorado. “They have transmitters there, and they send out a standard time signal on a standard frequency,” he said. The Earth’s ionosphere reflects the signal but “when the moon passes over the Earth, it interrupts the photons from the sun, solar radiation, plus it interrupts the solar wind,” Naruta said. “The wind is a stream of particles that’s always coming out of the sun.” He and others expect the interruption will cause a disturbance that will be detected by ham radio operators. “There are going to be stations all over the planet monitoring the strength and the frequency of those standard transmitters,” he said. NASA and other agencies will have telescopes and other instruments pointed at the Sun during the duration of the eclipse, “but this is outside of NASA,” Naruta said. “This is amateur scientists.”

Seize the Day: Hobbyists Become Citizen Scientists for Solar Eclipse:
by on August 21, 2017
Professional scientists around the world are seizing the precious few minutes of a total solar eclipse to make important measurements. But citizen scientists are equally excited about the research and education opportunities this less than once-in-a-blue-moon event affords. Meanwhile, in Huron County, west of Toronto, retired microbiologist Jeff Wilson has been putting the final touches on his DIY radio setup. He’s one of the hundreds of amateur or “ham” radio enthusiasts submitting data to a study of eclipse-related atmospheric changes based at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. The sun's radiation concentrates electrons in the upper atmosphere, which affects how radio waves travel. Scientists know that's why different radio frequencies are accessible at different times of day, but there's still a lot to learn. With the sun 70 per cent blocked by Ontario’s partial eclipse, Wilson might be able to pick up signals he normally gets only around sunset or sunrise. All day, he’ll be putting out his call sign -- the Morse code equivalent of “Hey, is anybody there?” -- on a frequency just above AM radio.

Amateur Radio Seeks to Help the Public During Eclipse:
by on August 21, 2017
Monday's total solar eclipse is expected to be the largest mass migration in U.S. history, and with so many people expected to pour into small towns like Weiser, it's going to put a major strain on cell towers. Emergency responders are getting creative when it comes to emergency alerts. "There is this misconception on the part of the public that radio isn't necessary because we have cell phones. Cell phones don't work all the time," said Bill Ward with the Latah County Radio Auxiliary team. Ward has had an interest in radio for quite some time so joining an amateur radio team was a no brainer. He said part of the draw is being able to help out the public in times of emergency. "By definition getting a few thousand people in Southern Idaho that don't normally live here is kind of an emergency," explained Ward. Ward said what will likely happen is that everyone is going to get their cell phones out to send text messages to their friends, make phone calls, and surf the web, but Ward said that's where the problem lies. "The cell service is going to crash," said Ward. That's where amateur radio comes in.

Volunteers Spread Rich History of Comms and Radio in Gladstone:
by on August 20, 2017
GLADSTONE locals are teaching others about the history of radio and communications in the area. Volunteer tour guide Zahra Lawson, 16, has been showing off radio technology to curious tourists aboard HMAS Gladstone for more than a month. "I'm a big lover of the navy," Miss Lawson said. "I enjoy telling people about how things work and how things went." An aspiring navy recruit, she plans to take a year off after high school before heading to Recruit School aboard HMAS Cerberus to study a communications course. After finishing school, Miss Lawson plans to save up some money before making the big move down to Victoria. On the other end of the generation scale, Gladstone Amateur Radio Club member and long-time ham radio hobbyist has been on the air waves for more than 50 years.

Ham Club to Experiment With Eclipse:
by on August 20, 2017
The coming eclipse means many things to many people. For members of the local ham radio club, it's an opportunity to experiment. John Nell says they have never had a chance to see what their equipment will do during a total solar eclipse. Nell tells The Big Z members of the Lewis and Clark Radio Club will set up and operate a Special Event amateur radio station in the park and attempt contact with other ham radio operators across the country during the eclipse.

Haywood Co. Ham Radio Signal Improved, Antenna Relocated to Stanton:
by on August 20, 2017
STANTON, Tenn. -- Residents of Haywood County can rest easy now that ham radio signals are being improved. Three years ago when the local ham radio operators’ original tower went down in Brownsville, the service became spotty. One of the aldermen in Stanton had the idea of bringing the old antenna from that tower and placing it on the Stanton water tower.

Eclipse Will Make Skies Dark. Why are People Planning for Disaster?
by on August 20, 2017
They’ve dealt with wildfires, hurricanes, mass shootings and warnings of potential earthquakes rumbling beneath their feet, but many first responders and emergency managers say preparing for the coming solar eclipse is unlike any challenge they’ve faced. While the skies will go black for only a few minutes Monday, local governments around the country have spent years preparing for the astronomical spectacle on a disaster-level scale. Medical centers have lined up extra ambulances and hospital beds. Emergency call centers have beefed up 911 staffing. And first responders are prepared to lean on ham radio operators or pay phones (the ones that still exist) in case their calls can’t power through the onslaught of celestial selfies jamming cellphone towers. Emergency planners know the sky is going dark, not falling. But unlike preparing for an Inauguration Day crowd or natural disaster, the eclipse isn’t confined to a particular location. Rather, millions of eclipse enthusiasts traveling this weekend are expected to strain roads, communications and public safety resources simultaneously across multiple states as they flood the 70-mile-wide strip that will experience total darkness coast-to-coast.

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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