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Revised AMSAT-NA Website In Development:

by AB7RG  2019-10-31
AMSAT http://www.amsat.org Treasurer and Vice President of User Services Robert Bankston, KE4AL, has announced that the AMSAT Board has approved his recommendations for an internet-based membership management system, the transition to a digital full-color edition of AMSAT Journal, and a complete overhaul of the AMSAT-NA website.

LAUSD Students Contact Astronauts in Space for the First Time:

by AB7RG  2019-10-30
Students at Vermont Avenue Elementary School were the first in the Los Angeles Unified School District to speak with astronauts in space through live ham radio. The USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences’ Young Scientists Program and Hughes Amateur Radio Club partnered with the school to develop a STEM curriculum, emphasizing space-themed topics. YSP is a program through USC’s Joint Education Project which aims to address a significant lack of science education in schools in the South Los Angeles area. The event, facilitated by the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station organization, allowed 10 students to ask International Space Station’s Italian commander Luca Parmitano questions about space while the station traveled over the school. The spaceship was tracked by the ISS Above device which allowed students to see the altitude, range and direction, as well as when it sets on the other side of the horizon, according to inventor Liam Kennedy. He also explained that the space station passes by the school multiple times a day.

Ham Talk Live! Episode 188 -- Stealth Antennas and HOAs:

by WB9VPG  2019-10-29
John Portune, W6NBC will be on HTL! Thursday (10/31) at 9 pm Eastern to talk about the challenges of having antennas in HOA restricted areas, and how antennas can blend in with the surroundings. Be sure to tune in to here his ideas and call with your questions!

Sun Explorer Spacecraft has Left for Launch Site:

by AB7RG  2019-10-29
Due to launch in February 2020, Solar Orbiter will perform unprecedented close-up observations of the Sun. It will allow scientists to study the Sun in much more detail than previously possible and to observe specific features for longer periods than can be reached by any spacecraft circling the Earth. In addition, Solar Orbiter will measure the solar wind close to the Sun and provide high-resolution images of the uncharted polar regions of the Sun. Professor Chris Owen, Principal Investigator on the Solar Wind Analyser instrument, from the UCL Mullard Space Science Laboratory, said: “We’re leading an international consortium from the UK, Europe and US to provide three sensors for an instrument on Solar Orbiter so it can robotically ‘sniff’ the solar wind, which is the steady outflow of charged particles from the Sun. “From this, we will learn how activity of the Sun links into interplanetary space, which is an essential step in successfully mitigating the damaging effects of solar weather on Earth. It’s a brave mission and one we can only achieve by collaborating with experts globally.”

In Brief...

by AB7RG  2019-10-31
Results and certificates from the Hiram Percy Maxim (HPM) Birthday Celebration - September 8 are now available. The 9-day operating event commemorated the 150th anniversary of the birth of ARRL cofounder and first president Hiram Percy Maxim, W1AW. Amateurs from 57 ARRL/RAC Sections and four countries submitted more than 25,000 contacts over the course of the event. Results of the event and downloadable certificates are on the ARRL Contests Page. A special HPM 150 QSL card is available for stations that worked W1AW/150 during the event. To receive a card, send your QSL with an SASE to W1AW, 225 Main St., Newington, CT 06111.

26th Annual Grant Amateur Radio Club Hamfest Nov. 2 in Georgetown:

by AB7RG  2019-10-30
On Saturday, Nov. 2, scores of amateur radio operators from south and central Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky and Indiana will convene in Georgetown for the 26th annual Grant Amateur Radio Club Hamfest. According to the American Radio Relay League a hamfest is “a meeting of people interested in amateur radio and offers exhibits, forums and a flea market for amateur radio operators or hams.” They are also social events where hams can have face-to-face conversations with people they talk with over the air as well as it is a public event where people interested learning more about the service and hobby can get first-hand knowledge from area amateurs. The Ohio section manager for the American Radio Relay League as well as the assistant director for the Great Lakes Division will have an exhibit and can provide information from the state, national and international perspective. In addition to individuals selling personal radio and electronic equipment, many non-hams attend hamfests to find items and miniature tools for making crafts and using with other hobbies and interests. Food will also be available.

Coming In 'Loud and Clear':

by AB7RG  2019-10-29
Spring Hill radio club enjoys hobby, ready for emergencies: SPRING HILL -- Young Dustin Henderson and his adolescent pals used one to save the world from monsters from another dimension in the hit TV series “Stranger Things.” What did they use? A ham radio. The Netflix series is pure fiction, but the idea that a ham radio was the vital link in an emergency isn’t farfetched at all, say members of the Spring Hill Amateur Radio Club, an organization dedicated to the hobby of ham radio. Communications have improved much in the 30 years since the period the television show depicts, and ham operators today are not as crucial as they once were. Nevertheless, they still stand ready to help when catastrophe strikes, said Lenny Sechrist, vice president of the Spring Hill Amateur Radio Club. Most notably, club members stepped in to handle help and welfare duties to the Florida Panhandle after Hurricane Michael roared through in a year ago. The help involved getting messages to and placing calls to family members to report the status of those impacted by the storm.

WiFi Is Illegal in This American Town. And Yes, People Actually Live There:

by AB7RG  2019-10-29
It’s the first of October and Route 92 into town is lined with trees dressed with greens, oranges, and yellows. Autumn is refreshingly crisp and colorful here in Green Bank, West Virginia. The road winds and curves past a convenience store, a school, a library, and a post office. There are no shopping plazas, fast food restaurants, office buildings, or apartment complexes here. There’s also no cell service. What is here, though, is one of the world’s most important facilities for the understanding of our universe. Right off of the road and nestled in a valley naturally protected by the Allegheny Mountains is the Green Bank Observatory. It opened in 1958 as the United States’ first national astronomy observatory and remains today a crucial facility in the field of radio astronomy with a number of active telescopes, including the world’s largest steerable radio telescope, the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope, or GBT. Over the last six-plus decades, the discoveries made at this observatory have come to define astronomy. Here, telescopes have found black holes, pulsars, radiation belts, and gravitational waves. Just last month, researchers at the GBO uncovered the most massive neutron star ever detected. In order to limit RFI, the Federal Communications Commission in 1958 established the National Radio Quiet Zone (NRQZ) covering approximately 13,000 square miles and parts of both Virginia and West Virginia. In the mid-20th century, this meant no radio towers, television antennas, or heavy machinery could be installed unless they met very restrictive guidelines set forth by the FCC (like highly directional antennas and reduced power). It also prohibited private citizens from operating their own radio equipment, like ham radios, within the zone.