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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.”

DX News -- ARRL DX Bulletin #50:
by W1AW Bulletin via the ARRL on December 18, 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.

ARTSAT2: DESPATCH Satellite is Now FO-81:
by W1AW Bulletin via the ARRL on December 18, 2014
AMSAT-NA has designated the ARTSAT2: DESPATCH (DEep SPace Amateur Troubadour's CHallenge) satellite as Fuji OSCAR 81 or FO-81. OSCAR Number Administrator Bill Tynan, W3XO, said the Japanese deep-space satellite "appears to have met all of the requirements for an OSCAR number, including IARU coordination." Tynan said he applied the "Fuji" designation "in recognition of the long history of contributions the Japanese have made to Amateur Radio satellites."

New Element 3 (General Class) Question Pool Released:
by W1AW Bulletin via the ARRL on December 18, 2014
The Question Pool Committee of the National Conference of Volunteer Examiner Coordinators (NCVEC) has released the 2015-2019 Element 3 (General Class) question pool. The new question pool becomes effective for all Element 3 examinations administered on or after July 1, 2015, and it remains valid until June 30, 2019.

Just Ahead In Radiosport:
by The ARRL Letter on December 18, 2014
Just Ahead In Radiosport:

'Amateur Radio Parity Act' Campaign Will Resume In New Congress:
by The ARRL Letter on December 18, 2014
Largely as the result of a grassroots campaign, "The Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2014" (H.R. 4969) attracted the support of 69 members of the US House of Representatives in addition to that of its sponsor, Rep Adam Kinzinger (R-IL).

Boy Scouts Recognize ARRL Amateur Radio Service to Scouting Award:
by The ARRL Letter on December 18, 2014
The Boy Scouts of America's National Awards and Recognition Committee has officially recognized the ARRL "Amateur Radio Service to Scouting Award" as part of its family of Community Organization awards.

Pennsylvania and Iowa Will Host Final W1AW Centennial Operations:
by The ARRL Letter on December 18, 2014
The ARRL Centennial W1AW portable operations taking place throughout 2014 from each of the 50 states are now in Maryland, Hawaii, and Georgia. They will transition at 0000 UTC on Wednesday, December 24 (the evening of December 23 in US time zones), to Pennsylvania (W1AW/3) and Iowa (W1AW/0). These will be the last W1AW portable activations of the ARRL Centennial Year. During 2014, W1AW has visited all 50 states at least twice, as well as some US territories.

ARRL RTTY Roundup is Always a Mid-Contest Season Favorite:
by The ARRL Letter on December 18, 2014
Dust off those keyboards! The ARRL RTTY Roundup takes place January 3-4, 2015. It's very easy to get on RTTY and other digital modes, and some late-model transceivers even have RTTY and other digital capabilities built right into the radio. Participation in this annual operating event has grown along with the enthusiasm for digital modes. In addition to conventional Baudot, RTTY Roundup ops may use ASCII, AMTOR, PSK31, and Packet (attended). Newcomers are always welcome to join the fray.

ARRL's Last 'Red Badges On the Air Day' is December 31!
by The ARRL Letter on December 18, 2014
The last day of 2014 (UTC) will be your final opportunity to rack up those remaining ARRL Centennial QSO Party points -- before you celebrate the arrival of the new year. To help with that goal, the League is sponsoring its final "Red Badges on the Air Day" on Wednesday, December 31. That's when those high-value red ARRL identification badge bearers will be out in force on the bands.

IARU President Addresses ITU Telecom World '14 In Qatar:
by The ARRL Letter on December 18, 2014
International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) President Timothy Ellam, VE6SH/G4HUA, highlighted the benefits of Amateur Radio during disasters in remarks at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Telecom World '14, December 7-10 in Doha, Qatar.

Centenarian ARRL Member Says Congressional Gold Medal for CAP WAS Overdue:
by The ARRL Letter on December 18, 2014
A 100-year-old ARRL member from North Carolina was among those honored on December 10 when the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) received a Congressional Gold Medal for its World War II service, and, for Weldon Fields, W4AJT, of Greensboro, the recognition was long overdue.

Cross-Borders ARES Exercise Tests Northeast Communication Capabilities:
by The ARRL Letter on December 18, 2014
Maine ARES Section Emergency Coordinator (SEC) Phil Duggan, N1EP, wants to expand Amateur Radio's reach during emergencies in the Northeast. To that end, he convened a 40 meter "cross-borders" net on Saturday morning, December 13, on 7262 kHz to test the communication paths for that band and time for operators in Maine, New Hampshire, and the bordering Canadian provinces. The exercise was spurred by Maine Emergency Management Agency Communications Manager Steve Mallory's suggestion that Maine hams should put extra effort into training and exercising with neighboring states and provinces, since disasters do not recognize borders.

Preparations Under Way for January DXpedition to Iran:
by The ARRL Letter on December 18, 2014
Preparations continue on the part of the Rockall DX Group to make Iran number 33 on ClubLog's DXCC Most Wanted List -- available through a DXpedition to Kish Island (IOTA AS-166).

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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