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NewsWest for Sunday, February 19, 2017:
by WA Amateur Radio News on February 19, 2017
NewsWest, has an interesting variety for you this week:

Amateur Radio Society Upgrading Smokey Repeater:
by on February 19, 2017
The Smokey amateur radio repeater site located 15 kilometers north of Williams Lake is receiving some much-needed upgrades, said Cariboo Chilcotin Amateur Radio Society president Dr. Mike Smialowski. “As soon as you drive west out of Williams Lake and go over the hill and underneath the telephone lines you have no cell service,” Smialowski said. “Last summer a person got lost south of Charlotte Lake and the only repeater that would get into the area was our amateur radio repeater.”

Louie the Cat Can Operate a Ham Radio, Seriously:
by on February 19, 2017
My people and place of residence: Don and Billie Kerouac, of rural Kankakee. A little bit about me: I was rescued from a local shelter when I was about 12 weeks old. I enjoy bird watching from my house in the country. Since I was 9, I have needed to take medicine every eight hours. It's sometimes necessary to remind my humans ... they think I have a built-in kitty clock! Of course, I require a treat afterward! Favorite toy: Anything with catnip in it! Favorite treat: Twinkies and tuna Tricks I can do: I can send Morse code on my human's ham radio. My mom was a teacher and she taught me to shake hands (paws), bow, sit up and give kisses on command (as long as there is a treat involved).

Youth Take Up Amateur Radio from Inside Central Victorian Bus in the Bush:
by on February 18, 2017
Castlemaine student Kezia Hamilton is a product of radio communications, so to speak -- her parents met while talking on CB radio as teenagers. "They had this certain station where they would meet people and would go on a separate frequency to chat," Kezia said. "They decided they would like to meet outside my mum's house, kind of like the equivalent of Facebook in those days." The 17-year-old is part of a group of eight Castlemaine Venturers learning amateur radio in a converted bus located on a bush block on the outskirts of town. "It's pretty cool talking to other people! We once had someone from France and we talked to a couple of people in New Zealand," Kezia said. But it is not just the fun factor of amateur radio that appeals to Kezia. "I think it could be very useful in emergencies and stuff because sometimes the phone towers break down," she said. In the digital age of mobile phones, instant messaging and social media, many swear by amateur radio's resilience.

Group Puts Skills to Test at Winter Field Day:
by on February 18, 2017
The Gaston County Amateur Radio Society hosted a Winter Field Day event at the home of George Poteat (NC0G) Jan. 28-29. Ten club members and two guests made more than 180 national and international radio contacts, using a variety of modes of radio communications. Winter Field Day is an event with the purpose of encouraging amateur radio emergency preparedness under extreme weather conditions. "Since emergencies and disasters are unpredictable by nature, the goal is to enhance radio communication skills in a less than favorable weather scenario," said Tom Agerton, a member of the group. "Being prepared is the key to a timely response during any emergency event and this is what is expected of amateur radio operators by local authorities and the general community."

Radio-Heads Give Bhubaneswar a Peep into Airwaves from the Past:
by on February 18, 2017
Spread over three days from February 12, the exhibition was held to mark the World Radio Day on February 13. The centre of attraction was a radio of the General Electric Company make dating back to 1906. Sanjeev Manna, the proud owner of the radio, said he had bought it from a man in Madras (now Chennai). It was touted as the oldest radio at the fair. A self-proclaimed radio activist, Subrat Kumar Pati, also the organizer, said: "The fair brought ham radio, old and new radio sets and broadcasting equipment under one roof." He added that his romance with the radio started early on in life. His fascination for the equipment saw him working with every aspect of it over the years. A valve radio, the predecessor of transistor, was also a top draw. Its owner Akshay Patnaik said, "I collected it from one of my friends at Manikagada in Khurda." A radio collector, Patnaik is credited with having over 350 radio sets. His set, one of the oldest at the exhibition, dates back to the 1920s, said Pati. "Who says the popularity of the radio is on the decline?" asked Pati with an online radio station making its debut at the fair. People bought as many as 2,000 new sets from the fair, which points to the growing popularity of the radio, added Pati. The 'Outreach International Radio Fair', as the exhibition was called, lived up to its name with the participation of three international broadcasters.

The Social Media of 1939:
by on February 18, 2017
In the first two decades of the 20th century, a new subculture embraced a new technology. Ham radio operators built their own transmitters, traded and modified each other's designs, negotiated complicated covenants that let them share the unregulated ether, and formed groups to enforce the rules. They battled the military (figuratively speaking) for the right to use the airwaves, and they invented broadcasting at a time when virtually everyone assumed that radio would be used only for point-to-point communication. They were often young, often anonymous, and often prone to pranks. They were the social media of a century ago, and you can draw whatever parallels you'd like between their subculture and the subcultures of today. Before long the government would be regulating the airwaves, broadcasting would be professionalized, and the ham operators would be confined to their own segment of the spectrum, where the rules they followed became more strict. But on that reservation they kept their kind of social media alive. Here is an artifact from that middle period of amateur radio, after the anarchic early era but before it stopped seeming unusual to hear live voices from another side of the world: a 1939 "Pete Smith specialty" called Radio Hams.

Ham Radio for Dummies Books Available:
by on February 18, 2017
With the explosive growth in amateur or ham radio, the Cedar Creek Amateur Radio Club decided to spread the word about the over 100-year-old hobby. There are now more licensed hams than at any time in history. And no wonder. You don’t need the Internet or Wifi or cell plans. Just a simple walkie talkie that now costs as low as $30 can connect you to repeater systems that will send your voice across the world. So how are new people exposed to the hobby? Through a book called “Ham Radio for Dummies” by Ward Silver. It is part of the “Dummies” series that explains topics and things in simple terms. And now that the ham license no longer requires a code test, anybody from age 5 to 95 can easily join in. The Radio club, financed in part by a grant from LDG Electronics of St. Leonard, MD, set out to put a copy of that book in most every school and public library in the tri-county area. The task of being the “Johnny Appleseed” of ham radio fell to Glenn Hughes, a club member and former teacher. Glenn visited with librarians, superintendents and key administrators as he delivered the books. Here are a few of their comments. “I delivered the books to the Junior High and High school libraries and visited with the Lead Librarian. She was very excited about sharing something new with the students,” said Brad Koskelin, Asst. Supt. of Mabank ISD.

Foundations of Amateur Radio -- #89:
by Onno VK6FLAB on February 17, 2017
Ask anyone who "knows" and they'll tell you that this is a hobby on Death's door with an ancient membership who are dying and taking our hobby with them. "Amateur Radio is irrelevant in this age of the Internet" and we just have to learn to make do with the shrinking population we communicate with. In this week's episode we discover that as Mark Twain put it, "the report of my death was an exaggeration" to say the least. Our community attracts new entrants at an increasing rate, but our retention lets us down. What can we do to make new Amateurs keep coming back?

Amateur Radio Newsline Report 2050 for Friday, February 10, 2017:
by James Pastorfield (KB7TBT) on February 17, 2017
The following is a QST. Hams test drive an experimental band in the U.S. Young amateurs prepare for School Club Roundup -- and we hear from the winner of the Dave Kalter Youth DX Adventure's essay competition. All this and more as Amateur Radio Newsline Report 2050 comes your way right now.

MacLoggerDX Version 6.08 Released:
by Don Agro (VE3VRW) on February 17, 2017
Dog Park Software is pleased to announce that version 6.08 of MacLoggerDX has been released.

Propagation Forecast Bulletin #7 de K7RA:
by W1AW Bulletin via the ARRL on February 17, 2017
In the last reporting week (February 9 to 15) average daily sunspot numbers declined from 21.3 to 17.6, and average daily solar flux rose from 73.5 to 75.1. Average planetary A index dropped from 12.9 to 4.7, and mid-latitude A index from 9.9 to 2.9.

Longlea School Powers Back Up as Bendigo Amateur Radio Club Moves In:
by on February 17, 2017
A 130-year-old Longlea school building has burst into the 21st century thanks to a local electronics and amateur radio club. The one-room Longlea School No. 1921 once educated up to 60 students at a time but has sat mostly empty since the mid-1990s. The Bendigo Amateur Radio and Electronics Club has moved in and begun filling blackboards with diagrams and mathematical equations. Club president Kevin Crockett said the new headquarters would be perfect for the club. “Overall it marks the end of a good 14-year period of trying to get good club rooms for us,” he said. Mr Crockett said the new headquarters had opened at a time when the club was working to get more people hooked on hobbies like electronics and amateur radio. The group had introduced a number of new programs. “(For example,) I started what in the club we call the Pedal Radio Group a few years ago,” he said. There’s a few of us who have two-way radios on our bikes and we go out riding, talking to each other and to those around the world. “It gave us a form of communication that then allowed us to provide assistance for the O’Keefe Marathon last year.”

57th Ham Radio and Computer Festival Set for Fairgrounds on Feb. 19:
by on February 17, 2017
MANSFIELD -- The Ham Radio and Computer Festival has been around since the 1960's, but Danny Bailey, an amateur radio connoisseur, still knows its value. The festival, Bailey said, is a great place to start for beginners. The event will run at the Richland County Fairgrounds Sunday, Feb. 19, from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Seeing Spots: NASA Video Shows 7 Years of Solar Activity:
by on February 17, 2017
Watch the sun break out in spots over and over again in a new NASA video of the sun showing seven years of sunspot footage, collected by the agency's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO). The SDO launched in December 2009 and has been in space long enough to see most of an 11-year solar cycle, which is characterized by a peak in activity, such as the appearance of sunspots and explosions of material from the surface. The mission is intended to help scientists learn more about the sun's influence on the Earth by studying the sun's atmosphere. In 2013, the SDO and other observatories observed the most muted solar peak in 100 years, which is captured in the video. Data in the video is represented up to January 2017. The larger, orange sun on the left side of the screen represents visible light captured by the HMI (Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager). The black dots are sunspots, which are concentrations of magnetic fields that appear darker than the surroundings. Simply put, larger and more frequent sunspots tend to correlate with more solar activity.

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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