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News Articles

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VA Tech Researchers Hope Studying the Eclipse Will Bring Meaningful Results
by wsls.com on September 26, 2017
BLACKSBURG, Va. - A team of Virginia Tech researchers is hoping to learn more from the August solar eclipse. Professor Greg Earle led a team of 15 graduate and undergraduate students on a project to learn from the rare event. He says they might find out more about how designers can make certain technology more reliable, like GPS devices and tools airports use to coordinate traffic. The team placed antennas across the country for the eclipse. Members set up in Oregon, Kansas and South Carolina. The group is hoping its one-of-a-kind project will shed light on how certain technology will react to out-of-the-ordinary space weather events, like eclipses. “I anticipate we’ll be able to infer a lot of things from this experiment that were surprises, things we didn’t expect, but I certainly can’t tell you yet what those are," Earle said. He said he hopes to have conclusions to the research one year from now. The team is looking at preliminary data now and will present some of its findings at a scientific conference in December in New Orleans. The events can also impact ham radio signals. The Virginia Tech team worked with thousands of ham radio operators to record data during the eclipse. One operator in South Carolina says he talked to someone in California, something that ordinarily wouldn’t happen during the daytime. The eclipse distorted the paths of the radio waves to allow them to travel, in some cases, twice as far.

The Cold War's Ghostly Radio Broadcasts:
by theweek.com on September 26, 2017
During the Cold War, shortwave radio broadcasts were critical to American espionage efforts. Shortwave transmission sites -- known as "number stations," because initial broadcasts were simply strings of numbers -- were used by both the U.S. and Soviet governments to send propaganda to foreign countries, since these high-frequency transmissions could reach such great distances. But they were also a secure means of sending coded messages to intelligence officers operating in other countries. As long as the agent had the station, air time, and encryption code, he could receive a one-time message that only he could understand. At the end of the Cold War, the number stations' transmissions decreased, but didn't disappear altogether. In fact, ghostly messages continue to reverberate across the airwaves. Dial into an AM frequency on a shortwave radio and you might just happen across a code-laden radio broadcast. The stations can be silent for days and then spring to life, buzzing and beeping with Morse code, artificial human voices, songs, and even nursery rhymes -- all in a number of languages. The sources of these mysterious messages are unknown. They are transmitted from anonymous, unlicensed shortwave radio towers whose locations are not always known.

Moyer Electronics to Shutter After 70 Years in Business:
by standardspeaker.com on September 26, 2017
HAZLETON -- An electronics parts store that has been doing business in the city for 70 years will be closing its doors Oct. 1. But Moyer Electronics will still be able to serve Hazleton customers from its other stores in Pottsville and Sunbury, its owner said. Bill Moyer, whose father, Charles, started the business in Pottsville in 1936 when he purchased the Jones Radio Co., where he was working, said technology has finally caught up with Moyer’s. “There is no longer a need for consumer electronics,” Moyer said. “It is too expensive to run a shop. The new stuff sells so cheap you can’t afford to fix it.” The local industrial market has changed, too. “There aren’t many companies still here who are allowed to buy local, because they are not locally owned,” Moyer said. “They buy from one supplier, unless they are in dire straits. They don’t purchase the way they used to. A lot of equipment does not provide on-site repair.”

New 630 Meter Band Available October 15:
by tom Medlin (W5KUB) on September 25, 2017
Join us Tuesday at 8 PM central time on W5KUB.COM. This week the new 630 meter ham band plus Katie visiting a ham club in Scotland.

Amateur Radio Enthusiasts are Handy in Emergencies:
by davisenterprise.com on September 25, 2017
Winters resident Joe DeAngelo became curious about radio communications as a child, after hearing people speak in various foreign languages on his grandparents’ console radio system. “I would listen to the shortwave radio and listen to stations coming in that were speaking in different languages and I would be curious about where were these speakers coming from and why I was able to hear them so far away,” he said. He made his first forays into amateur radio -- also known as ham radio -- when he was 14 years old after reading about it in various electronics magazines. Today, DeAngelo is part of a large network of amateur radio enthusiasts in Yolo County who use ham radio for emergency services. Jay Ballinger, the club coordinator for UC Davis Amateur Radio Communications, said that when amateur radio was first defined by the government, part of the charter was to make different waves of radio available to amateurs so they could communicate using techniques such as Morse code, particularly during emergency situations when phone lines were down. Emergency services during natural disasters remains one of the major uses of ham radio. During Hurricane Katrina, DeAngelo said many amateur radio operators -- or “hams” -- were stationed in shelters where they served as the main means of communication because commercial services, such as phones, were not working.

Ham Operators Deliver Messages from Maria-Battered Puerto Rico:
by newsday.com on September 25, 2017
Thanks to ham radio operators, some of Puerto Rico’s Hurricane Maria survivors have been able to let worried families and friends in the United States know they made it through. Bob Myers, 74, of Copiague, is one of the Long Islanders communicating with Puerto Rico, which was flattened Wednesday by the worst storm in a century, with this century-old technology. ‘It’s a wonderful feeling when you make that call, you can almost see the smile on the face,” said Myers, the vice president of the Great South Bay Amateur Radio Club.

Swindon and Cricklade Railway Join Worldwide Radio Communication:
by swindonadvertiser.co.uk on September 24, 2017
The Swindon and Cricklade Railway are this weekend teaming up with other heritage railways as part of Railways on the Air. Across September 23 and 24, the event will celebrate the anniversary of the first steam-powered passenger railway journey, which took place on 27th September 1825, between Darlington and Stockton-on-Tees in the north-east of England. 46 heritage railways are due to participate in the event, coordinated by the Bishop Auckland Amateur Radio Club.

Hurricane Damages Giant Radio Telescope -- Why It Matters:
by nationalgeographic.com on September 24, 2017
Staff at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico are safe, but the storm destroyed a key instrument, and conditions in surrounding towns are still unknown. After a tense 36 hours, scientists and ham radio operators have confirmed that the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico -- arguably the world’s most iconic radio telescope, which has a dish stretching a thousand feet across -- has come through Hurricane Maria mostly intact, but with some significant damage. More importantly, the observatory’s staff sheltering on-site are safe.

Breakall Receives High Honor from Radio Club of America:
by news.psu.edu on September 23, 2017
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- James Breakall, professor of electrical engineering at Penn State, has been awarded the Radio Club of America’s (RCA) Sarnoff Citation, for 2017. RCA established the award in 1973 to recognize an individual or club member for “significant contributions to the advancement of electronic communications.” According to the club, the award is intended for those “who have contributed to advancement of electronic communications in any significant manner, including nontechnical support of the wireless industry.” “I am very honored and humbled to receive this most prestigious award along with many past luminaries who received this honor,” Breakall said. “As a professor, I really feel that this award is really for not just me but all of my very deserving graduate students and colleagues who I have worked with over the years. I would not have been so honored without all of their help and support. I am so very much appreciative to have been given such recognition.” Breakall, who also is an antenna designer and an American Relay Radio League member, said that amateur radio inspired his career. His interest in ham radio began when he was 9 years old and by the age of 12, he had his ham radio license. “I did a lot of experimenting with antennas during my youth and up to the present. When I came to Penn State, I worked for Dr. Ferraro (emeritus professor of electrical engineering) on his experimental ionosphere facility at Scotia and was hooked into radio and antenna research,” Breakall said. “I then went to the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico and got even more fascinated with antennas since it has the largest in the world, a 1000-foot dish. After my Ph.D. at Case Western Reserve University working with the Arecibo antenna, I went to work at Lawrence Livermore National Lab in California on the only antenna simulation software at the time and then eventually came to Penn State as a professor in 1989, and have been working in the radio and antenna field ever since.” Known in ham radio circles as "Doctor Jim," Breakall is credited with developing the optimized wideband antenna (OWA) -- an antenna for ham radios that performed much better than any other at that time -- as well as antennas for such research facilities as Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico and High Frequency Auroral Research Program (HAARP), an ionospheric research program jointly funded by the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Navy, the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

Ham College 33 is Now Available:
by peter berrett (VK3PB) on September 23, 2017
Foreign contacts and third party traffic. Series and parallel Inductors. Inductor demonstration.

Long Island Ham Helps Relay Messages From Hurricane Victims In Puerto Rico:
by newyork.cbslocal.com on September 23, 2017
COPIAGUE, N.Y. (CBS NewYork) -- With Puerto Rico’s telecommunications down, frantic friends and relatives are unable to reach loved ones on the island following Hurricane Maria. Bob Meyers, of Copiague, Long Island, is trying to help. An engineering supervisor retired from CBS network news after 40 years and now a local amateur radio volunteer, Meyers is using his hobby to make a real difference. With the power grid wiped out, victims of Maria cannot receive -- but they can send out -- messages via volunteer ham radio, relaying the conversation right into Meyers’ Copiague home. “The FCC allocates frequency bands to us for use,” Meyers told CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan. “Our payback for it is that we provide community service, and that’s what we love to do.” The short-wave radio messages he transcribes and delivers are emotional. Of one communication, Meyers said: “He said the place looked like an atom bomb had hit it. He said everything is down. They have no running water, so they’ve been drinking and using cisterns.” Meeting grateful families makes all the difference.

Florida Pastor Uses Ham Radio to Get Information from Puerto Rico:
by fox25boston.com on September 23, 2017
A Florida pastor with a heart for helping is going old school to get information from Puerto Rico. An antenna coming out of his window, strung through the trees up over his house, is connecting Ian Thomas to the unreachable. Early Thursday morning, his ham radio was silent. "And by 9:30, things started jumping. And then we were talking to Puerto Rico,” he said. Many people in Central Florida, like Alexandra Ale, have family on the island that was devastated by Hurricane Maria. "I was feeling like I was suffocating because my hands are tied and kind of just waiting around to hear from someone," Ale said. Thomas is taking requests from people across the United States, then doing what he can to find out through radio waves if they're all right.

Foundations of Amateur Radio -- #120:
by Onno VK6FLAB on September 22, 2017
You've always been taught that VHF communications are line of sight and that the height of your antenna determines how far your 2m communication might go. So if I tell you that last week I spoke with a station that was 300 kilometres away on the 2m band you might be forgiven in thinking that I had managed to climb up most of the side of Mount Everest to around 7 kilometres so I could make my line-of-sight communications 300 kilometres away.

DogparkSDR Version 1.08 Released:
by Don Agro (VE3VRW) on September 22, 2017
Dog Park Software is pleased to announce that version 1.08 of dogparkSDR has been released.

Using Ham Radio During Natural Disasters:
by wsbt.com on September 22, 2017
ELKHART -- It's unlikely we'll see many strong earthquakes here. But when things like tornadoes touch down some areas have few options for contacting others. There's a group of people who can communicate despite the lack of connection. This way of communicating has been around since 1914. It doesn't need help from cell phone towers or electricity to send a message from here to other places throughout the world. Even when Mother Nature creates heavy damage this machine can send for help. One-way emergency responders communicate when the lines are down by using ham radio. "It doesn't require any external wires or antennas. We can do it all with what we pack in or what we bring in our own vehicles. Sometimes literally in backpacks,” said Goshen Amateur Radio Operator Dave Menges. Menges says they can hear damage reports from Puerto Rico through a network called Saturn. “That's a Salvation Army Network where they will put operators down there and then Health and Welfare messages can be relayed back to other countries. Particularly the United States or main land or other countries or islands. Without having to depend on a military network or something from the government to be setup,” he said.


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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 eHam.net. 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