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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.

Ham radio: A Fun Hobby with a Purpose:
by on August 20, 2017
Plenty of people attending Hamfest 2017 at the Painted Hand Casino had talked to George Williams before, but they might know him by another name. He would be better known by his call sign VE5GTW, or “Great Tasting Whiskey.” “In ham we always put a strange tag on it. Victor echo five golf tango whiskey are the legal phonetics, but they call me Great Tasting Whiskey which is also GTW. I picked up that nickname long before I had the actual call sign.” Saskatchewan Hamfest 2017, in Yorkton for the first time hosted by the Parkland Amateur Radio Club, was the annual gathering of ham operators spread across the province to have a chance to meet in person. While Williams notes that they talk on the radio all the time, they don’t see each other very often. “It gives you a face to relate to, to me that’s important.” The other goal is to get more people into the hobby. One of the ways to do that is the flea market component of the fest, and the old equipment from many ham operators is put up for sale. Williams got his start with a used radio he bought at a flea market.

How Can Ham Radio Keep You Updated During the Total Eclipse?
by on August 19, 2017
COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO) -- If you have ever been at crowded festival or party, you might have noticed the quality of your cell phone reception gets slower when more people are around. So imagine what could happen next week when a million visitors come to the Midlands to check out the eclipse. Thankfully, the state’s Emergency Management Division has plan to make sure you will still be able to reach emergency personnel on Monday. SCEMD said they will have volunteers and staff members ready to go on Monday morning. “Just in case something happens, maybe cell activity with people on cell phones, so many will be using them it may cut some things out and we may be using them and there may be some emergency. We don’t know but we’re here, sitting ready in case there is need,” said longtime volunteer Ken Mooneyham.

Special Event Station, W0W:
by Larry Scantlan (KE0KZ) on August 19, 2017
Special Event Station, W0W, will be active November 10 – 12, 2017, to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of America’s First Vietnam Veteran Memorial which was erected December, 1967, in Wentzville, MO. Primary operators are Wade Grimes, K0MHP and Larry Scantlan, KE0KZ.

Livingston Emergency Preparedness Office Starts Ham Radio Group:
by on August 19, 2017
LIVINGSTON -- Mark Harrell, director of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness for Livingston Parish, has initiated the Amateur Radio Club, a group that will devote its time to ham radio operations. Harrell envisions the new club serving the community in various ways. Harrell said the group held its first meeting July 20 in a meeting room in his suite of offices at the Parish Council Building and that 21 potential amateur radio operators were present. “The first thing we learned was that we had had to find another place to meet because the room wasn’t big enough to hold us all. Besides, each person there promised to bring a new member to the next time we meet, so this thing is really taking off,” Harrell said. Amateur radio operators, commonly referred to as ham operators, acquire a knowledge of radio technology and operating principles. Operators send messages worldwide on frequencies not utilized by commercial radio.

Ham Operators to Station, Aid Emergency Response During Total Solar Eclipse
by on August 19, 2017
COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -- There will be added voices over the air waves, aiding emergency response over the Total Solar Eclipse weekend and also on Monday, August 21, for the actual event itself. Amateur ‘ham radio' operators will station in places along the Total Solar Eclipse path of totality across the state from Greenville to Columbia and Charleston. These are volunteers who will communicate with the South Carolina Emergency Management Division (SCEMD) at headquarters, should cell reception go down from the influx of crowds potentially jamming cell signal. The 'boots of the ground' will be relaying any emergencies or issues to radio communicators at SCEMD headquarters, who would then send that traffic out to others. Ham bands will be at individual county emergency operations centers, and at hospitals, among other places. They will be on standby to station at emergency shelters for the American Red Cross, should events happen that call for shelters to open.

Delaware Ham Radio Operators Support Statewide Weather Emergency Exercise:
by on August 19, 2017
Amateur radio operators, or “hams,” throughout Delaware spent Aug. 12 providing back-up communications for the Delaware State Full Scale Emergency Exercise. This drill was sponsored by the Delaware Emergency Management Agency and simulated a Category-3 hurricane, which brought damage and flooding across the peninsula. More than 75 amateurs volunteered their time and specialized radio equipment to participate in the event. Hams were stationed at state and county emergency operations centers in the three Delaware counties and at special locations established to provide meals and disaster support to simulated storm victims. In addition to conventional stations in New Castle, Wilmington, Smyrna, Georgetown, Lewes, Dover and Seaford, temporary stations were set up in Newark, Saint Georges and Milford.

Saanich Radio Tower Approved Over Neighbors Opposition:
by on August 19, 2017
When Brian Summers gets on his amateur radio, he’s not looking to strike up a conversation with people a world away. The Saanich resident uses his amateur radio to track the sun’s affect on radio signals. “I’m very interested in how radio propagation, which is how signals go from point to another, will change throughout a 24-hour period,” he said. “It changes through the year, through the season, through the 11-year sunspot cycle, because the sun has such a tremendous effect on what we do here on Earth, not only with radio but with other things as well.” While a lot of time and effort goes into Summers’ hobby, the real work may have been just getting the approval for the antenna that makes it all possible. Summers managed to overcome the opposition of some of his neighbours to erect a 15-metre radio tower in his backyard at 3451 Salsbury Way -- just in time for one of the biggest solar events in years: the Aug. 21 solar eclipse. “There was a lot of written arguments and objections,” said Summers, who received a letter from Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada last month informing him the process was complete and his application had been approved. “It’s the first time I’ve ever had to do that. I had a tower for 18 years in Ottawa, three in Calgary, 16 in Richmond, and never had an issue with neighbours until I came here,” he said, adding he found the formal consultation process educational.

Ham Experts Sniff Out Illegal Radio Sets in Darjeeling:
by on August 18, 2017
KOLKATA: Ham radio experts from the city, engaged by security agencies to monitor cross-border radio chatter in the Darjeeling Hills region, have helped in the detection of at least four trans-receivers operating in the Hills illegally. The monitoring, which started soon after the first round of violence on June 8, also confirmed security agencies' suspicion that unidentified receivers were tapping into police wireless communication. The Mamata Banerjee government in Bengal has already alluded to "external help" for the Gorkhaland agitation and suspected links with underground outfits from the northeastern states. The Gorkhaland Movement Coordination Committee has steadfastly denied these charges, calling them an attempt to tarnish the "image of the agitation". The ham radio experts, who were engaged by security agencies, told TOI that they had succeeded in picking up communication between "a senior pro-Gorkhaland leader" and unidentified persons from across the Indian border. "We have been engaged in radio communications for decades and do so for the better part of the day and have techniques that even security agencies do not have," one of the experts said on Friday. "That is why we are often engaged by security agencies to track down illegal sets operating in troubled areas," he added.

Revised NCVEC Form 605 Must Be Used at Exam Sessions Starting on August 21:
by W1AW Bulletin via the ARRL on August 18, 2017
With a revised FCC Form 605 - Quick-Form Application for Authorization in the Ship, Aircraft, Amateur, Restricted and Commercial Operator, and General Mobile Radio Services - soon going into effect, the National Conference of Volunteer Examiner Coordinators (NCVEC) has updated its unofficial NCVEC Form 605 that's used at volunteer examination sessions. The revised NCVEC Form 605 must be used at exam sessions starting on August 21. Both the new FCC and NCVEC forms ask applicants if they have been convicted of a felony in any state or federal court. This conforms with FCC requirements to evaluate an applicant's qualifications to hold any FCC-issued license. The FCC has been asking "the felony question" on other forms, and its omission on Form 605 was an apparent oversight.

Mysteries of Scope Probe Compensation:
by Ian Poole (G3YWX) on August 18, 2017
There is more to scope probes and their compensation than you think - why is compensation needed, what frequencies does compensation affect (very much lower than you might think), what is the normal circuit for a scope probe, why might a low bandwidth probe not work with a high bandwidth scope.

Propagation Forecast Bulletin #33 de K7RA:
by W1AW Bulletin via the ARRL on August 18, 2017
Several readers pointed out those averages for the various indicators we track were all wrong last week. Average daily sunspot number was 12.1 instead of 5, although the rest of the text in the bulletin was correct. Likewise, average daily solar flux was 73.2 instead of 71.

Foundations of Amateur Radio -- #115:
by Onno VK6FLAB on August 18, 2017
Previously I've explained how Radio-teletype or RTTY works from a technical perspective. There are several other ways of encoding information and today I'm going to look at Phase Shift Keying, or PSK, which I find humorous, because Phase is spelled with a P, but it sounds like an F, which links the FSK and PSK together, but then I've always had a strange sense of humour.

Ham Radio Operators Preparing to Ensure Communication During Solar Eclipse:
by on August 18, 2017
The highly anticipated solar eclipse is predicted to double Downtown Columbia's population to more than a million people. Emergency officials say that could mean spotty cell phone service. S.C. Emergency Management Division's Gabriel Turner says amateur radio operators will be staffed at emergency operation centers along the path of the total solar eclipse. "If someone can't pick up their cell phone, they'll still be able to get us information and get information from here," says Turner.

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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