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Musselburgh Engineer Champions Radio Club:
by on December 22, 2014
An East Lothian amateur radio enthusiast is helping to develop his local club, which is searching for new premises in its 30th anniversary year. Cockenzie and Port Seton Amateur Radio Club was nominated for a BT People Award by John Innes, a transmission engineer with Openreach. The scheme recognises and rewards BT’s volunteering heroes, who offer their time and skills to help people in their local communities, by providing grants to organisations in which they are involved.

QSO Today - EP 21 - Eric Manning - VA7DZ:
by Eric Guth (WA6IGR) on December 21, 2014
Join Eric, 4Z1UG, in his QSO Today with Eric Manning, VA7DZ. Eric and Eric discuss the Reverse Beacon Network and the use of the CW Skimmer software as tools for contesting and understanding of real time low band openings.

Active Sun Unleashes Massive Solar Flare:
by on December 21, 2014
The sun fired off a massive solar flare late Friday (Dec. 19), after days of intense storms from our nearest star. The huge solar flare registered as an X1.8-class event, one of the most powerful types of flares possible, and was captured on camera by NASA's powerful Solar Dynamics Observatory. The flare triggered a strong radio blackout for parts of Earth as it peaked Friday at 7:28 p.m. EST (0028 Dec. 20 GMT), according to an alert from the U.S. Space Weather Prediction Center overseen by NOAA. The solar flare erupted from a sunspot region classified as Active Region 2242, and more sun storms could occur from the region.

Twisp Police Chief Ready to Train Citizens for Emergency Response Team:
by on December 20, 2014
To prepare for future large-scale emergencies, Twisp Police Chief Paul Budrow says his community needs to be able to survive for three days before outside agencies come in with assistance. Last summer’s fires “brought the issue into the forefront,” Budrow said. Not only should every family have an emergency plan, stored water and a 72-hour “comfort kit,” but Budrow also wants to create a Community Emergency Response Team -- or CERT -- that can respond quickly to neighborhood needs before police, fire or medical first responders can get there. “We need people in the community who have the training to help out,” when communications failures or road closures may prevent access to the immediate emergency services that people have come to expect by calling 911, Budrow said. And, as the Methow Valley learned during last summer’s wildfires, certain disasters may stretch on for days or even weeks. CERT is a program designed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) that trains citizen teams to provide immediate assistance to victims, organize volunteers, and gather information to help first responders prioritize and allocate resources following a disaster. The police chief and his fellow officers are currently studying for their ham radio licenses, which will enable them to communicate with “outside entities” during an emergency, using radio frequencies outside of law enforcement. This will allow them to send messages up and down the valley via the “huge base” of amateur radio operators already operating from home stations, Budrow said.

Propagation Forecast Bulletin #51 de K7RA:
by W1AW Bulletin via the ARRL on December 19, 2014
Solar activity made a strong comeback this week, with the average daily sunspot number on December 11-17 rising 57 points to 145.4 from the previous seven days, while average daily solar flux was up 28.1 points to 167.7.

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.

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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