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Patients at St. Joseph's Children's Hospital Talk to Santa Over Ham Radio:
by on December 16, 2017
TAMPA, Fla., Dec. 15, 2017 -- Patients at St. Joseph's Children's Hospital in Tampa had a direct link from their hospital room to Mr. and Mrs. Claus in the North Pole on Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017, thanks to Santa's helpers from the Bay Area Emergency Amateur Radio Service (BEARS) and the hospital's Child Life team. For the past nine years, volunteers with BEARS along with St. Joseph's Hospitals Facility Technician and BEARS Coordinator Christopher Perry have turned their amateur radio station housed in the hospital's emergency communications center into the "Santa Net Control Center." When not being used to connect patients to the North Pole, BEARS operates as a community based emergency response station under the call sign W4TCH. "You just can't help but smile when you hear the pure joy these kids have in talking to Santa," said Perry. "They're usually surprised that he's thinking of them while they're in the hospital and reassured that he knows where to leave their presents on Christmas Eve."

The 43rd Annual Tampa Bay Hamfest, a Gathering of Ham Radio Enthusiasts:
by on December 16, 2017
Dozens of men and women in customized ball caps and insulating flannels rummaged through bins full of wires and rotor cables early Saturday morning. From a table in the corner a soft voice rang out, beckoning patrons to examine her wares. Anna Montesano, 15, picked up a walkie-talkie and excitedly radioed her soon-to-be stepdad, informing him when people stopped at their booth. Despite the gloomy day, Montesano was all smiles as she chatted about getting her radio license and discussed her passion for the art of amateur radio. She was a ham through and through. By the end of the two-day event, hundreds had walked through the Strawberry Festival Ground’s Expo Hall for the 43rd annual Tampa Bay Hamfest, a gathering of amateur radio enthusiasts, otherwise known as “hams.” Amateur radio uses radio frequency spectrums to exchange messages. Though it can be traced back to the late 19th century, the craft is receiving a resuscitation as more and more people apply for radio licenses. According to the National Association for Amateur Radio, the number of licensees in the United States has steadily inclined since 2008. Then there were 663,564 licensees. In 2015, there were 735,405.

Nellie Ohr: Are Anti-Trump Conspirators Using Ham Radio to Communicate?
by on December 16, 2017
Harmless hobby or a conspiracy to conceal communications? VERO BEACH, FL (TruNews) Nellie Ohr, the wife of the senior DOJ official demoted for failing to disclose conflicting interactions with the producers of the infamous Trump Dossier, obtained a HAM radio license 1 month after Fusion GPS hired a former British spy to produce the salacious document. According to FCC records, a Nellie H. Ohr from Mclean, Virginia, was granted, a still active, Group D HAM radio operators license on May 23rd, 2016. Christopher Steele, the former MI6 spy, was hired by Fusion GPS in April, 2016. Months later, Mrs. Ohr joined Mr. Steele at the opposition research firm, after being hired by Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson to investigate then-presidential candidate Donald Trump. Additionally, her husband, Bruce Ohr, reportedly met with Mr. Steele during this time period, and with Mr. Simpson after President Trump's victory.

Fusion GPS Used Ham Radio to Create Debunked Dossier?
by Infowars on December 16, 2017
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Nellie Ohr, the wife of demoted FBI official Bruce Ohr, not only worked for Fusion GPS, she is Russia-speaker with ties to the CIA who holds advanced academic degrees in Russian literature and history. has speculated that the reason FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe abruptly canceled his closed-door testimony in front of the House Intelligence Committee was that he feared being asked about Bruce and Nellie Ohr, with specific reference to Nellie Ohr’s work for Fusion GPS. Nellie Ohr is the holder of an amateur ham radio license, granted by the Federal Communications Commission on May 23, 2016, that she might have obtained to communicate “outside the normal risk of communication intercepts” with Christopher Steele, the British intelligence agent responsible for producing the Fusion GPS opposition research dossier on Donald Trump.

Santa to Talk to Local Kids via Radio Dec. 16:
by on December 15, 2017
HUNTINGTON -- Santa Claus has agreed to talk with children - and the young at heart - on amateur radio from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 16, at the Museum of Radio and Technology, located at 1640 Florence Ave., Huntington, according to a news release from the museum. "One of the little-known facts about Santa Claus is that to communicate with all of his helpers and elves and high-level managers, Santa uses amateur radio," Mark Killen, president of Tri-State Amateur Radio Association and treasurer of the Museum of Radio and Technology said in the release. "Amateur radio (ham radio) is a popular service that brings people, electronics and communication together. ... Santa has found that radio is much more reliable than emails, Twitter, Snapchat or even cellphones," he said in the release.

MFJ North American Distributor for Xiegu X5015:
by MFJ on December 15, 2017
MFJ is the exclusive North American Distributor of this new ultra-portable multimode HF transceiver.

Antietam Elementary Students Flying High After Radio Chat with ISS:
by on December 15, 2017
It took over a year planning and preparation, but then on Monday, December 11, 2017, their ship -- the International Space Station -- came in. Students at Antietam Elementary School in Lake Ridge used a Ham Radio to speak with Astronaut Astronaut Mark Vande Hei. The window to speak to speak to the station was short -- about 10 minutes. And the timing had to be just right, too. As the ISS made it’s approach over Virginia, flying in space at 17,500 mph over the U.S. from west to east, the students put out a call. “NA1SS, this is KM4TAY for our scheduled contact,” said one student. After about three tries, the space station came in loud and clear and the audio was piped over a loudspeaker for the more than 600 students that packed the school’s cafeteria to listen. Selected students lined up to ask questions about what life in space is like, about the food astronauts eat, about working in zero gravity, sleeping on a wall, and if an asteroid has ever stricken the station.

Propagation Forecast Bulletin #49 de K7RA:
by W1AW Bulletin via the ARRL on December 15, 2017
Over the past reporting week (December 7-13) we saw three days with zero sunspots (December 8, 9 and 13). Compared to the previous seven days, average daily sunspot number more than doubled to 6.9 and average daily solar flux increased from 69.6 to 71. One new sunspot group (2691) emerged on December 10 with one spot, which increased to three over the next two days, but by December 13 it had all disappeared.

Students Chat with Italian Astronaut Aboard Space Station:
by on December 15, 2017
Northern Rhode Island students recently made history when they spoke with Italian astronaut Paulo Nespoli, who is aboard the International Space Station. This was the first “space chat” from the Space Station with a Rhode Island high school. St. Mary Academy – Bay View sophomore Justice A’Vant, of Lincoln, and Bishop Hendricken High School junior Matthew Smaldone, of Foster, were chosen to ask the astronaut the questions. They spoke with Nespoli at precisely 12:02 p.m. on Nov. 30 from the Dr. Daniel S. Harrop Theater at Bishop Hendricken. The space chat was arranged through the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station Program (ARISS), which promotes STEM learning opportunities for students. The program accepted Hendricken’s proposal to become a space chat host school and through an “Ask the Astronaut” contest, A’Vant and Smaldone were chosen to ask the astronauts questions. There were 200 questions entered into the contest, and 16 of the questions were chosen, including theirs. Students chosen from Bay View traveled to Bishop Hendricken during the school day for the space chat.

City's Radio Shack One of the Last Still in Business:
by on December 15, 2017
At one time, there were more than 7,300 Radio Shack stores nationwide and in four foreign countries. That number has steadily dropped as the business model changed and stores were closed. Now, there are less than 600 stores -- with one of those few standing in Derby at 707 N. Baltimore. It’s a franchise store, meaning owners Mark Brecheisen and Sean Hadipour have paid Radio Shack a fee to use the name and order a minimum amount of merchandise each year. In addition to the independent dealers, there are some corporate-owned stores left, but only about 70 -- just a shell of the multi-billion dollar company that was founded in 1921 and could once claim that 95 percent of households lived within three miles of an outlet.

DX News -- ARRL DX Bulletin #50:
by W1AW Bulletin via the ARRL on December 14, 2017
This week's bulletin was made possible with information provided by the OPDX Bulletin, 425 DX News, DXNL, Contest Corral from QST and the ARRL Contest Calendar and WA7BNM web sites. Thanks to all.

Just Ahead In Radiosport:
by The ARRL Letter on December 14, 2017
Just Ahead In Radiosport:

Ham Volunteers Support Evacuation Shelters in Fire that Refuses to Die:
by The ARRL Letter on December 14, 2017
Since its start on December 4, the massive and only partially contained Thomas Fire in southern California by mid-week had consumed nearly 240,000 acres, destroyed more than 700 single-family residences and threatens thousands more, and caused residents in fire-threatened areas to evacuate. Amateur Radio volunteers have been supporting communication for American Red Cross shelter sites in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, passing traffic between evacuation centers. One of several fires that have broken out across Southern California, the Thomas Fire is far and away the largest. The Ventura County Auxiliary Communication Service (ACS)/Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) Net activated on December 5, "as smoke filled the air, and the fire grew to catastrophic proportions," said Ray Smith, KI6VED, who volunteered with his wife Jade, KI6VFQ. Their home was included in an evacuation order.

Logbook of the World to Add Support for CQ WAZ Award:
by The ARRL Letter on December 14, 2017
Participants in CQ magazine's Worked All Zones (WAZ) award program will soon be able to use the Logbook of The World (LoTW) system of ARRL, the national association for Amateur Radio, to apply for the WAZ award and its endorsements, ARRL and CQ announced on December 14.

The Doctor Will See You Now!
by The ARRL Letter on December 14, 2017
"Listener Mailbag" is the topic of the current (December 7) episode of the "ARRL The Doctor is In" podcast. Listen...and learn!

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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