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Amateur Radio Test In Bend:
by on November 26, 2014
Bend, Ore. -- Local emergency officials participated in the “Oregon Section Amateur Radio Emergency Service Section Emergency Test” over the weekend. A total of 16 ham radio operators staffed radio stations at St. Charles Medical Centers at Bend and Redmond, the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office, and the Redmond Fire Department. Participants were not given details of the simulated emergency until just before the drill began early Saturday morning. As part of the drill, the Oregon Office of Emergency Management notified local officials about steam and ash eruptions at St. Helens and reported a collapse of the crater dome was imminent. A major ash eruption was predicted to occur within 48 hours. The main purpose of the drill was to exercise the communication systems used by local agencies during major disasters. The assumption in this drill was that local agencies lost their day-to-day communications and needed the ham radio operators to relay messages. The State of Oregon, Deschutes County, and the local ham radio operators have created a system where the hams can take digital messages from local agencies and transmit them by radio to other parts of the country where the internet is still working and put those messages onto the net.

Sheriff's Office Participates In Operation Thor:
by on November 26, 2014
On November 3-6, the Sinbad Desert Amateur Radio Club participated in a wilderness based rescue training exercise in conjunction with the Emery County Sheriff's Office Rope Rescue Team, Emery County Search and Rescue Rope Team, Black Dragon Rescue Systems and National Guard Civil Support Teams from New Mexico, Colorado, Idaho and Oklahoma. The Training took place among the high red rocks and deep canyons of Utah's picturesque San Rafael desert in eastern Utah. They trained in Cow Canyon and the CS teams also trained at the Hunter Power plant.

Calling to Santa Through Shortwave:
by on November 25, 2014
Kids chat with Santa on the North Pole and go secret shopping. Dressed in a shirt from Frozen and braids in her hair like the character Anna, Kapri Brumwell, 3, was beaming from ear to ear. “I talked to Santa,” she said proudly, following her sit down to radio with and speak to Santa Claus on a television at the North Pole on Saturday at the Western Development Museum (WDM) via shortwave. “I talked about the Rocking Mally Horse.” That was one of her requests for Christmas. She also said she wanted a Barbie whistle horse. Her mémère, grandmother Darlene Penna, was so pleased to see her granddaughter wearing such big smiles at the event. The Moose Jaw Amateur Radio Club put on the Shortwave to Santa event. The club made all the arrangements for the kids to be able to chat with Santa Claus.

Ham Radio Operators Drill for Emergency:
by on November 25, 2014
This past weekend, the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) conducted a statewide emergency communications drill that simulated a massive storm with flooding. This gave amateur radio operators all over the state the opportunity to practice their emergency radio skills. The communications test provides a public demonstration -- to agencies such as the Red Cross, state and local emergency managers, and the news media -- of the value that amateur radio provides. It helps radio amateurs gain communication experience using standard procedures and a variety of radio technologies, under simulated disaster-response conditions. Amateur radio operators, known as hams, use equipment that continues to work even when all power and cell towers fail. Hams have a long history of setting up communications for stricken areas around the world until the commercial systems area restored.

Showcase for Torbay Radio Buffs at Newton Abbot:
by on November 24, 2014
TORBAY Amateur Radio Society held its 50th annual communications rally at the Newton Abbot Racecourse. Almost 200 members of the public attended. With 26 different traders and stalls there was something for everyone. These events are a chance for amateur radio enthusiasts to meet each other face-to-face instead just making contact over the airwaves. As well as the usual stall where attendees can sell unwanted equipment for a small fee, there were stalls selling components, connectors, cables and also brand new and pre-used radios.

Amateur Radio Operators Attain Highest License:
by on November 24, 2014
Ellis County Amateur Radio Club is proud to congratulate the first members of the Amateur Extra class for passing the FCC test. This is the highest level of amateur radio licenses. John Denson coordinated the material for teaching the Technical and General license material for Amateur Radio, and then he saw the need for an Amateur Radio Extra class. The Technical Class License classes were taught by Tom Forhanafel. There have been several technical classes taught this year. What this means for Ellis County are more storm watchers and more people trained to help with communications if the need.

Warren County Students Design Device Inspired by Superstorm Sandy:
by on November 24, 2014
A Superstorm Sandy-inspired invention crafted by Warren County high school and college students may help fund the creation of the first-of-its-kind "hacker space" in the area. When Superstorm Sandy knocked out power and cell phone reception two years ago, emergency personnel called on ham radio operators to coordinate water distribution, White Township resident Rob Roschewsk said. There were places in the county where the radio operators couldn't get reception because of the dips and valleys. "We're looking at all these lampposts and wondering, 'Gee, how can we get an antenna on one of those,'" Roschewsk said. "That's kind of how this whole thing was born." About 10 young people who have an interest in ham radio operations designed last spring a system to carry antenna to the top of lampposts or telephone poles in an emergency, Roschewsk said. He's one of the adult mentors who helped the group of young inventors known as the 721st Mechanized Contest Battalion in their efforts. The device the battalion created fills a void, he said. The only way emergency personnel can carry out the same function now is if they have a truck or heavy equipment with a tower, Roschewsk said. The contraption the students created can fit in the trunk of an ordinary car.

HamRadioCoin: Crypto via Radio, Alternative Blockchain Channel:
by on November 23, 2014
HamRadioCoin utilizes the traditional Ham radio mesh to serve modern blockchain technology. This provides the blockchain and cryptocurrency with the first real alternative channel – a communications network that is both standardized and global. Ham radio has been in existence for over 80 years and who could have thought that its global array of operators would emerge as the perfect candidate for providing a P2P alternative to the internet. As we’ll explore below, the invaluable role of Ham radio extends its utility into science fiction as the “old” radio combines with the “new” blockchain.

Japan Records Huge Sunspot Cluster 66 Times Size of Earth:
by on November 22, 2014
TOKYO, Nov. 20 (Xinhua) -- Japanese space probe and observatory have recorded huge sunspot activity with a sunspot cluster 66 times the size of Earth, the Asahi Shimbun reported Thursday. Images of the sunspot cluster were released by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) on Wednesday. The solar observation probe Hinode and NAOJ took pictures of the sunspots on Oct. 16-30, before the sun's rotation obstructed the view. The sunspot cluster could be seen again on Nov. 15, but it had shrunk to one-third of its peak size on Oct. 26. Sunspots appear in big clusters when the sun is most active. Large solar flares, a phenomenon triggered by sunspot activity, were also observed on the surface of the sun on six occasions in October.

City Puts Curbs on Towering Backyard Antenna:
by on November 22, 2014
For several residents of Coombs Street in Napa, Jeff Hullquist is their least favorite neighbor – or rather, the 55-foot-tall antenna outside his house is. Since the longtime amateur radio enthusiast raised the spidery metal mast in April, some homeowners have attacked it for spoiling their views, and others claim the antenna has even disrupted their electronics – or, in one case, disabled a woman’s electric wheelchair. But their efforts to fight the mast in their midst has bumped against federal law Hullquist argues protects his right to build and use the antenna, even without a city permit. On Thursday, the city Planning Commission granted him a use permit for the ham radio antenna – but with limitations including a requirement to lower the mast to 21 feet between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. to avoid intruding on his neighbors’ views. (The city allowed an exemption to transmit during a local emergency.) Hullquist also was barred from operating his transmitter while the antenna is retracted. Afterward, Hullquist promised to appeal his case to the City Council – which also is scheduled to hear a counter-appeal from an opponent of the antenna. The decision continues a seven-month stalemate pitting Coombs Street homeowners – who say the antenna also disfigures the Napa Abajo-Fuller Park Historic District that includes the street – against Hullquist, who has argued a Federal Communications Commission memorandum from 1985 blocks cities from passing laws that make ham radio use impossible.

WW1USA Special Event, Dec 27-28:
by Randy Schulze (KD0HKD) on November 21, 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.

Propagation Forecast Bulletin #47 de K7RA:
by W1AW Bulletin via the ARRL on November 21, 2014
Average daily sunspot numbers rose this past week nearly 14 points to 98.9, while average daily solar flux increased 25 points to 164.4.

Solar Flares May Head to Earth:
by on November 21, 2014
GREENBELT, Md. (WUSA9) -- Scientists have their attention turned to the sun this week as solar flares could impact us here on Earth. NASA scientists are tracking a massive active sunspot that will rotate to face Earth this week. Last month this sunspot was the largest observed in 24 years. Radiation that is abruptly emitted from sunspots via solar flares can impact various types of technology. NASA scientist, Dr. Alex Young explains the worst case scenarios of solar flare impacts, "In the most extreme case the solar flare could cause radio blackouts for high frequency radio for the side of the earth facing, for maybe an hour or so. Also, we can see disruption in GPS. In the most extreme cases, fortunately the rarest cases, we can have an impact to our power grids which could be in the form of a brown out or even a black out." Solar activity cycles approximately every 11 years. Currently we are at a solar maximum of a slightly smaller cycle. Dr. Young explains why scientists are spending more time learning about solar activity, "The biggest concern here is that we have become more and more dependent on technology, and as we do that we become more and more susceptible to this type of solar activity."

WWII Navajo Code Talker Speaks at Mesalands:
by on November 21, 2014
Eugene Ross of Tucumcari talked a friend of his to make a visit to Tucumcari, and on Tuesday that friend, Thomas H. Begay, told about 100 students, and others about his experiences as one of the now-famed Navajo Code Talkers in World War II. Begay’s talk was part of Native American Heritage Day at Mesalands Community College. Begay, now 87, expected he would be placed in gunnery school when he joined the U.S. Marines in 1942 after he was recruited at a Navajo boarding school. He was 15 at the time but was accepted anyway. When he got to California’s Camp Pendleton for training, however, he found himself surrounded by fellow Navajos, he said. They told him he was going to be a Code Talker, he said, and he protested. “Too bad,” they told him. The Navajo recruits trained together and learned everything they could about radios, semaphore signals and Morse code, he said, before they started gathering to develop a code that used the “difficult” Navajo language as a basis. They developed a code that the Japanese could not break, he said, after they had broken nearly every other code the Allies could devise.

Telegrapher Connects At Event In Waterville:
by on November 21, 2014
It’s hard to believe Toledoan Barney Stickles hasn’t sent a telegram for official business in nearly a half century. With a sure hand and steady dots and dashes, Mr. Stickles, 83, hasn’t lost a beat since his time as a telegrapher for Wabash Railroad. He shared his experiences and the local impact of the railroad Wednesday at the Waterville Historical Society in Wakeman Hall with a crowd of about two dozen. The event was titled “Railroad Telegraphy: Connecting Waterville with the Outside World.” At 19, he heard the railroad was hiring telegraphers. After three months of schooling, Mr. Stickles passed the exam and had his first day of work July 22, 1951, in Lafayette, Ind. He later would become general agent in Toledo in 1964. Telegraphers, or “brass pounders,” were highly skilled workers, and some of the best paid, he said. He remembers bringing home $15 a week.

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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