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Ham Radio Day in Huntsville Celebrates, Supports Amateur Radio Operators:
by on April 1, 2015
If you want to talk to someone, it’s likely you reach for a cell phone, tablet, or computer. A group of people who gathered in Huntsville Saturday use radios. Amateur, or Ham, radio experts and enthusiasts came to Gigaparts in Huntsville to network, talk technology, and shop. They tell us Madison County has the largest per-capita population of ham radio operators in the country. That’s a good thing, because experts say amateur radio has played an important role during severe weather disasters in the area. Ed Clifford, Gigaparts Sales Manager, explained, “Hams literally saved lives in the area. They were the only means of communication because the internet was down, phones were down, power was out.”

New System Watches for Things that Go Bump in the Night:
by on April 1, 2015
Imagine taking the world’s most powerful radio telescope, used by scientists around the globe, and piping a nearly continuous data stream into your research laboratory. That is exactly what scientists at the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) in Washington, D.C. have done in collaboration with the National Radio Astronomy Observatory’s Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (NRAO VLA). The newly-completed VLA Low Band Ionospheric and Transient Experiment (VLITE for short) has been built to piggyback on the $300 million dollar infrastructure of the VLA. “This new system allows for continuous specification of ionospheric disturbances with remarkable precision. VLITE can detect and characterize density fluctuations as small as 30 parts per million within the total electron content along the line of sight to a cosmic source. This is akin to being at the bottom of Lake Superior and watching waves as small as 1-cm in height pass overhead. This will have a substantial impact on our understanding of ionospheric dynamics, especially the coupling between fine-scale irregularities within the lower ionosphere and larger disturbances higher up,” says NRL ionospheric lead scientist Dr. Joseph Helmboldt. Ionospheric disturbances represent one of the most significant limitations to the performance of many radio-frequency applications like satellite-based communication and navigation (including the GPS in your phone) as well as ground-based, over-the-horizon systems (think ham radio or AM radio). While the fine-scale irregularities that VLITE is especially sensitive to aren’t large enough to make your smart phone think you are at your neighbor’s house when you’re really at home, they are quite problematic for vital remote sensing surveillance systems like over-the-horizon radar. The additional insights provided by VLITE into the nature of these ionospheric ripples will help us to better understand how to cope with their effects on such systems.

Huntington's Museum of Radio and Technology Has a Lot to Offer:
by on March 31, 2015
Much of what used to exist in Huntington's Harveytown neighborhood has vanished. Mayo Grocery Store is gone. The Shelby Earl Glass Company closed its doors several generations ago. The Old Beach swimming hole has dried up, and Irby Junior High School was reduced to a pile of ashes years ago. Through it all, education is still alive and well at the site of the former Harveytown Elementary School on Florence Avenue. For more than 20 years, this historic building has housed the Museum of Radio and Technology. Classrooms which were once alive with yesterday's students now provide a well-documented history of the evolution of electronic communication. Charter member Geoffrey Bourne says the building is completely accessible and provides visitors of all ages an opportunity to experience mass communication from the days of Marconi into the 21st Century. "Tours begin by showing radio in its infancy," Bourne said. "We start with a replica of a radio repair shop from the 1920s. There are battery-powered radios and wooden glass cases full of vacuum tubes, crystal radio kits, battery displays, radio parts and headsets. Along the walls there are old cardboard radio advertisements. There are models of windup phonographs along with an array of 60 to 70 early radios. There's even an operating crystal radio that visitors can listen to."

Ham Radio Webcast:
by tom Medlin (W5KUB) on March 30, 2015
There is a new ham radio program called Amateur Radio Roundtable every Tuesday night at 8:00 PM central (0100 UTC Weds) on W5KUB.COM guests from around the world and all aspects of ham radio discussed.

Ham College Episode 3 is Out:
by peter berrett (VK3PB) on March 30, 2015
Ham College, the new show for those new to the hobby and those wishing to get into Amateur Radio.

Antennas Raised at Hamfest:
by on March 30, 2015
The 23rd annual Down East Hamfest took place at Lenoir Community College on Saturday, where Pink Hill resident Don Smith and another amateur radio enthusiast discussed radio equipment -- Smith displayed a Flex digital radio, a 29-year-old Kenwood and an ICOM radio more than 20 years old. One day you’re tooling around on your ham radio, as you do, only to hear the king of Jordan leaving the conversation. “I got checked into a net about two minutes after he checked out,” Byron Highland said at the annual Down East Hamfest on Saturday. “I heard him -- his call sign was JY1 -- and I heard him say, ‘JY1, off and clear.’” To those outside the amateur radio community, it may come as a surprise that the late major world leader was an aficionado of the activity. David Sumner, CEO of the American Radio Relay League, said of King Hussein when he died in February 1999, he was “an enthusiastic radio amateur whose support was invaluable to us in obtaining new amateurs bands at the 1979 World Administrative Radio Conference.”

Are You Going to Gallipoli?
by WIA on March 29, 2015
The Turkiye Radyo Amatorleri Cemiyeti (TRAC) wants to know the names and callsigns of any Australian and New Zealand radio amateurs who will be on the Gallipoli Peninsula for ANZAC Day this year. TRAC would like to meet with the VK and ZL radio amateurs and show them a little hospitality and international friendship. If you are going to be there for the occasion, then immediately contact the WIA Director and ANZAC 100 Coordinator, Fred Swainston VK3DAC by email will pass on your details. Meantime, the WIA reports that its ANZAC 100 program is generating a lot of interest both locally and overseas with 30 events already listed. All electronic QSL cards for ANZAC callsigns are now ready. The first log to be entered is from the successful Darwin Amateur Radio Club VI8ANZAC commemoration of the Albert Chalmers Borella VC journey re-enactment. Each QSO with an ANZAC-suffixed callsign in 2015 will be acknowledged by eQSL, with logs from all events also to appear on Logbook of The World. There are eight eQSL cards, each with a different callsign.

QSO Today Episode 35 -- Tracy Lenocker - WA6ERA:
by Eric Guth (WA6IGR) on March 28, 2015
In California, San Bernardino County Fire has a unique program that includes over 200 amateur radio volunteers to provide auxiliary communications to the county during disasters and special events. Tracy Lenocker, WA6ERA, heads this group of ham radio volunteers that is one of the most comprehensive public services by hams to the largest county in the United States. Tracy joins Eric, 4Z1UG, in his QSO Today.

Living with a Capricious Star: What Drives the Solar Cycle?
by on March 28, 2015
You can be thankful that we bask in the glow of a relatively placid star. Currently about halfway along its 10 billion year career on the Main Sequence, our Sun fuses hydrogen into helium in a battle against gravitational collapse. This balancing act produces energy via the proton-proton chain process, which in turn, fuels the drama of life on Earth. Looking out into the universe, we see stars that are much more brash and impulsive, such as red dwarf upstarts unleashing huge planet-sterilizing flares, and massive stars destined to live fast and die young. Our Sun gives us the unprecedented chance to study a star up close, and our modern day technological society depends on keeping a close watch on what the Sun might do next. But did you know that some of the key mechanisms powering the solar cycle are still not completely understood? One such mystery confronting solar dynamics is exactly what drives the periodicity related to the solar cycle. Follow our star with a backyard telescope over a period of years, and you’ll see sunspots ebb and flow in an 11 year period of activity. The dazzling ‘surface’ of the Sun where these spots are embedded is actually the photosphere, and using a small telescope tuned to hydrogen-alpha wavelengths you can pick up prominences in the warmer chromosphere above.

Zenith Trans-Oceanic, The 'Royalty of Radios':
by on March 28, 2015
Last month, we took a look at the beginnings of what would be the age of connectivity on the go, the battery portable radio. This month I'll feature a line of battery powered tube radios that brought the technology to its pinnacle. The Zenith Trans-Oceanic series of shortwave portables would stretch from 1941 through 1982, with tube models produced until 1963. The radios performed so well, and became so popular, that they earned the nickname "The Royalty of Radios."

Spectrum Policy Forum Urges UK Industries to Cooperate More:
by on March 28, 2015
Report looks at cross-industry spectrum requirements in the medium-long term: The first of a series of reports on UK Spectrum Usage and Demand has today been launched by the industry-led sounding board to the Government and Ofcom, the UK Spectrum Policy Forum. The study included views on the importance of spectrum as a national resource fo the space, utilities, business radio, meteorology and mobile industries. The research, by Real Wireless, also featured views of a panel of contributors from each sector. The UK Spectrum Usage and Demand report aims to foster open discussion and mutual understanding, reflecting on contradictory priorities from different industries. The report revealed the different needs of different sectors in relation to their contributions to social and economic value. Real Wireless found four key sector trends. Public mobile infrastructure and consequent increasing data consumption will put pressure on spectrum allocations, and change how spectrum is used by the sector. For the utilities sector, a combination of networks that can provide more security and resilience seems to be taking over with consumers moving away from reliance on wireless and adopting 'smart' utilities. The business radio industry also showed signs that there is a high demand for always-on connectivity and increasing data usage as driving the move to digital radio. The nature of these communications will require a high level of resilience, and for some users this will be a synonym of desire for dedicated spectrum bands in mission-critical scenarios. A growing sector for the UK is space. The research found that there is the need to preserve and secure existing spectrum holdings and seek expansion opportunities to maintain innovation and investment. The report today realised comes one year after the publication of the UK Spectrum Strategy, announced by Prime Minister David Cameron at CeBIT 2014. Later this year, a second chapter will be made available containing information on Defence, Short-range devices and Wi-Fi, Broadcasting, Amateur Radio, Fixed Wireless Access and Transportation.

ARNewsline Report 1958 -- March 27 2015:
by Bill Pasternak (WA6ITF) on March 27, 2015
The following is a QST. Thailand’s new master frequency list takes 6 meters back from ham radio; U-K regulator Ofcom uses ham radio input in Ultra Wideband device rule making decision; International Telecommunications Union symposium endorses small satellite regulation; a successful transmissions of two new ham radio shows from Germany and our annual April 1st roving reporter is back with the latest on the FCC enforcement cutbacks as only he can imagine them. All this and more on Amateur Radio Newsline report number 1958 coming your way right now.

Propagation Forecast Bulletin #13 de K7RA:
by W1AW Bulletin via the ARRL on March 27, 2015
Sunspot numbers and solar flux both rose this week. Average daily sunspot numbers from March 19 to 25 were up 24.8 points to 83.9, compared to the previous seven day period. Average daily solar flux rose from 117.5 to 122.4.

A Radio Ham:
by on March 27, 2015
ROCK ISLAND COUNTY, I’ll. (KWQC) -- He talks to people all over the world. It’s a way of life for Dave Mayfield. Fascinated by electronics, Mayfield is a ham radio operator. The Rock Island County man has a ham shack in his basement. He collects, restores, and uses ham radio equipment. Ham radio is a backup communication system for the United States. Mayfield has some vintage equipment in his basement. Much is retired military equipment. Some of it is similar to what was on the airplane which dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. Dave also uses digital equipment, typing and replying to people by using a more high tech method. Whether by voice, code, or digital, he has made many friends through the world of ham radio communication. He has conversed with people in England, Guantanamo Bay, Russia, and even outer space. Ham operators also swing into action, assisting with emergency communications and working with public service agencies. That was especially true during Hurricane Katrina.

Fort Smith Hosts Amateur Radio Event:
by on March 27, 2015
The Fort Smith Area Amateur Radio Club will host its 17th annual Hanging Judge Hamfest from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 4 at Columbus Acres, 10203 Columbus Acres Road. The event includes Volunteer Examiner (VE) testing, many forums to attend and learn about ham radio and new technology. The event also includes vendors, tailgaters, buying and trading amateur radio equipment, prizes and more.

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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