Return to home page June is Field day, June 2018
QRM NEWSLETTER PUBLISHED BY
BRISTOL AMATEUR RADIO CLUB VIRGINIA/TENNESSEE - USA
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July Meeting *** NO MEETING IN JULY! NO MEETING IN JULY! NO MEETING IN JULY!
Two Meter Net
Dale Barker, KT4SQ holds a net each Tuesday night @ 9:00 PM on the frequency of 146.670,no tones. Be sure to try to check in. Dale runs a very good net so check in to show him your support. Also this one of the oldest Nets on the East Coast.
Toni Ward, KF4BMW is now taking the club dues for 2017. They run from Jan 1,thru Dec.31 of the same year. You can give them to Toni at the next club meeting or mail hr a check to Toni Ward C/O BARC 305 Honeysuckle Lane, Bristol Tennessee, 37620. Thanks.
Ben Morris, K4EDI and his fellow amateurs who help give the tests are ready and able to go and give the tests after each club meeting..Ben says the correct change is always appreciated and a duplicate copy of your current license and a photo ID is also required. For more info you may email him at:email@example.com You can also call him at 276/791/0102.
Spacecraft Probe to Listen for ARRL Field Day Signals
The Enhanced Polar Outflow Probe (e-POP) onboard the Canadian Cascade Smallsat and Ionospheric Polar Explorer (CASSIOPE) satellite will again support Amateur Radio citizen science by participating in ARRL Field Day 2017, June 24-25. The HamSCI citizen science initiative says that, from a radio science perspective, Field Day is an ideal time for e-POP to study the structure of Earth’s ionosphere using participants’ transmissions. HamSCI was started by ham scientists who study upper atmospheric and space physics.
One of e-POP’s instruments is the Radio Receiver Instrument (RRI), a digital receiver with four 3-meter monopole antennas. Its scientific objective is to study natural and artificial radio emissions from 10 Hz to 18 MHz. The receiver’s monopoles can be electronically configured into a crossed-dipole setup, and it has two data channels — one for each dipole. Each channel is sampled at 62.5 kHz and passed through a 30-kHz bandpass.
During Field Day 2015, the receiver was activated for 2 minutes while e-POP was just north of Milwaukee, on a southeasterly heading. It was in a crossed-dipole configuration, with its two channels tuned to 3.525 and 7.525 MHz, respectively. A spectrogram that summarizes the results shows that not only were CW transmissions visible on the 40-meter channel (B), but they were only observed for about the first 30 seconds, even though the Reverse Beacon Network (RBN) showed that these stations transmitted throughout the experiment period. No signals were received on the 80-meter channel (A), and, at least theoretically, those signals should not have been able to penetrate the ionosphere and propagate to the receiver during the experiment.
The signals heard can be used to study HF propagation, and the advantage of using Amateur Radio transmissions is that call signs readily identify a signal’s source, which can be fed into a HF ray trace model, and then used to elucidate the properties of the ionosphere during the experiment. During Field Day 2015, 23 call signs were identified.
One hypothesis under investigation is that the ham signals disappeared as the spacecraft headed south into latitudes where the ionosphere was denser and blocked the transmissions.
For Field Day 2017, e-POP will dedicate all of its resources to studying HF radio wave propagation using ham radio transmissions. The Radio Receiver Instrument rwill be tuned to the 40- and 80-meter CW bands, although precise frequencies have not yet been determined. It is scheduled to be activated six times, in 10-minute increments, over Field Day weekend.
Fifth Annual Experimental MF/LF Outreach and Demonstration Set for Field Day Weekend
Again this year, several radio amateurs who also hold FCC Part 5 Experimental licenses for 630 and 2,200 meters will transmit Field Day greetings throughout Field Day weekend, June 24-25.
“This event has been organized for the fifth consecutive year to promote awareness of the new MF and LF amateur allocations ahead of the opening of the bands to hams in the US,” John Langridge, KB5NJD/WB2XIQ, told ARRL. “It’s an opportunity where hams and ham gear come together for a fun weekend, and we hope to add yet another layer to the mix.”
Participating stations will be on from throughout the US, including Alaska. Additional details and operational status will be posted as they become available.
Langridge encouraged Field Day stations to use HF rigs that include general coverage receivers capable of listening below 500 kHz, coupled to “whatever antennas they might have on site to listen for these stations and others.” He said HF dipoles and verticals are probably best, with any antenna tuners placed in bypass mode.
“Let’s face it: It’s summer, and noise is high, so some groups will have more success than others, particularly on skywave paths at night when the noise level increases tremendously,” Langridge said, “but we have found that the exposure to these bands through this event has been quite high in previous years.”
“I hope there are a lot of impromptu attempts to copy these stations,” Langridge said. “It’s a very good engineering exercise for those who like to build antennas on the fly to increase their signal-to-noise ratio.”
Reports are requested and may be sent to respective station operators, but stations are also encouraged to enter reports on the online QSO/Reception Report Form for the ARRL 600 Meter Experimental Group, WD2XSH. They also can earn Field Day points by sending NTS traffic to ARRL (225 Main St., Newington, CT 06111; 860-594-0200) indicating which stations were heard.
Just 9 Days Until ARRL Field Day!
ARRL Field Day — the most popular on-the-air operating event in Amateur Radio — is almost here, and official gear and supplies are still available from ARRL. Shirts, hats, pins, patches, stickers, and coffee mugs are a great way to acknowledge — and commemorate — your participation in this annual event. Two t-shirt color options are available for 2017 — red and white. Order one or both!
Encourage family, friends, and fellow hams to take part in ARRL Field Day with recruitment posters and attractive “Get on the Air” (GOTA) pins for newcomers. All items are available while supplies last.
Get your 2017 ARRL Field Day supplies from the ARRL online store or by calling 888-277-5289 in the US, Monday through Friday, from 8 AM to 5 PM Eastern Time (outside the US, call 860-594-0355).
The complete 2017 ARRL Field Day packet is online. For forms, rules, bands, log submissions, and more, visit www.arrl.org/FieldDay. ARRL encourages participants to register their Field Day operations using the FD Site Locator. If you have questions about Field Day, e-mail them or call 860-594-0232.
Quicker-Turnaround Digital Modes in Experimental Stage for WSJT-X Suite
Recent sporadic-E propagation openings on 6 meters and elsewhere have demonstrated the need for a digital mode with a faster turnaround time than what is offered by currently available software versions. A recent WSJT-X reflector discussion allowed that, while the slow ‘JT modes like JT65 and JT9 have excellent sensitivity, their nearly 1-minute-long transmissions may not permit completion of a contact when evanescent signals pop up and quickly disappear under certain E-skip conditions. MSK144 and the fast JT9 submodes allow much shorter transmissions, but they do not offer the multi-decode capability that JT65 users find so effective. Iain MacDonnell, N6ML, was among those remarking that, while the use of JT65 for working E-skip on 6 meters has really taken off, it’s too slow to be practical for openings that only last a couple of minutes or so.
Joe Dzekevich, K1YOW, of Harvard, Massachusetts, sounded a similar theme. “A few days ago we had a great opening on 6 meters, especially here in the New England area, given our latitude,” he noted. “I often find that often one cannot complete a QSO due to QSB and the ins and outs of Es. Yet, being a propagation buff, I love the idea that I can leave the rig on 50.276 in JT65 mode and then see who I hear throughout the day via PSK Reporter.”
WSJT-X developer Joe Taylor, K1JT, weighed in to express his appreciation to all who shared their ideas and experiences using JT9 and JT65 modes during recent multi-hop E-skip openings on 6 meters.
“We are very much aware that a mode with most of the excellent characteristics of JT65, but with faster turnaround time, would be a big winner in such situations,” Taylor commented on behalf of the WSJT-X development team. “We are experimenting with several such possibilities. Tentative goals include 15-second T/R sequences, sensitivity around S/N = -20 dB, occupied bandwidth less than that of JT65, and capability to decode as many as 10 or 20 signals in a 2-kHz bandwidth.”
But, Taylor added, developing new modes takes a lot of time, and results are not guaranteed. “We will report significant progress if and when available,” he pledged.
Bear is Unwanted Volunteer, as ARES Team Supports Colorado Road Race
Lots of things can go awry when Amateur Radio volunteers are supporting public service events, from technical and weather problems to lost or injured participants. The 2017 Garden of the Gods 10-mile and 10-kilometer races in Colorado was no exception. On Sunday, June 11, the Pikes Peak Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) deployed a dozen operators to support more than 1,400 runners in scenic Garden of the Gods Park just west of Colorado Springs. John Bloodgood, KD0SFY, Region 2, District 2 Emergency Coordinator and Public Information Officer said all was going well, with cooperative weather and only a slight delay due to traffic — nothing out of the ordinary.
“The real excitement came when a couple of the reporting positions called in to report that a bear was on the course,” Bloodgood said. “Bears are not uncommon in this area, and most of the locals aren’t too fazed by them; we know they will be out foraging this time of year.” But for runners unfamiliar with the lay of the land there, the sudden appearance of a bear can be alarming, he added.
“This bear was apparently trying to get across the road and wasn’t quite sure why all these people were running through its home so early on a Sunday morning,” Bloodgood said. “It finally saw a gap between groups of runners and dashed across the road, but not before local runner Donald Sanborn managed to get a few pictures of it. In the end, the problem resolved itself before any intervention was necessary.”
Bloodgood said Dan Huber, KN0MAP, saw the bear and was the first operator to call it in. Matthew Bowker, KD0THF, reported it based on reports from runners.
Bloodgood said the ARES volunteers tracked the first three male and female runners from both the 10-mile and the 10-kilometer races, reported on any medical issues, supported aid station logistics, helped to ensure the course was clear, tracked the last runners, and provided an operator on a bicycle for the sweep function.
Bears notwithstanding, Bloodgood said the event has been a fairly easy one to support and offers a good training ground for less-experienced operators. “Our most intense and demanding events, the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (vehicle race) and Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon (half and full marathons) are coming up,” he added.
ARRL Donors Feted at Dayton Reception The 17th Annual ARRL Donor Recognition Reception took place on May 18 at America’s Packard Museum in Dayton. Guests included ARRL’s most generous supporters, including Maxim Society and Legacy Circle members. QST Contributing Editor Joel Hallas, W1ZR, was the keynote speaker, and Maxim Society members received special recognition. ARRL CEO Tom Gallagher, NY2RF, and ARRL President Rick Roderick, K5UR, welcomed guests. Dayton Amateur Radio Association (DARA) Treasurer, Mike Kalter, W8CI, presented the club’s 2017 pledge payment to members of the ARRL Second Century Campaign (SCC) committee who were present that evening. DARA has made a $100,000 commitment to support ARRL’s Endowment. Photos from the ARRL Donor Recognition Reception are available online.
Amateur Radio Mesh Network Brought into Mix as Volunteers Assist in South African Fire Disaste An intense winter storm and severe drought in South Africa’s Western Cape region earlier this month resulted in devastating fires that ravaged parts of the Southern Cape Area, with the city of Knysna being the worst affected. Some fires were reported still burning, but contained, this week after winds subsided over the weekend. Johan Terblanche, ZS1I, in Mossel Bay, who administers the Amateur Radio Emergency Data Network (AREDN) Mossel Bay Mesh Network, said the call for volunteers went out on June 8, after cellphone, internet, and landline telephone service was disrupted in many areas. A half-dozen volunteers reported, an emergency net was activated, and message traffic was handled via the AREDN, as well as on HF, VHF, and UHF. Disaster communication links remained active until normal telecommunication service was restored on June 11, but the AREDN remained on high alert, Terblanche said. The fire disaster resulted in several fatalities, the destruction of more than 430 dwellings, and thousands of evacuees remain displaced. Disaster relief efforts continue.
Radio Amateur Hears Cassini Spacecraft Paul Marsh, M0EYT, has confirmed reception of the Cassini spacecraft, now in orbit around Saturn. “I copied Cassini on 8,429.247035 MHz during its last radio occultation experiment, where the TX is carrier-only mode on S, X, and Ka bands,” Marsh told ARRL. “I was using my 2.4-meter antenna at the time.” Marsh said his homebrew downconverter is locked to a 10-MHz station reference, and SDR processing is done with the RF Space kit. Launched in 1997, Cassini will crash into Saturn in early September. The research spacecraft, which carried the European Space Agency’s Huygens probe now on the surface of Saturn’s moon Titan, currently is executing about 2 dozen dives through Saturn’s rings. The Huygens probe separated from the orbiter in 2004 and transmitted data to Earth using the orbiter as a relay. This was the first successful landing in the outer solar system. Marsh is heavily involved with satellite tracking and monitoring activities and is a contributor to the Amateur Deep Space Network (Amateur-DSN) Yahoo! Group.
Hamvention Improvements Already in the Works for 2018!
Even before Hamvention® 2017 had wound down at its new Xenia, Ohio, location, plans were on the drawing board to enhance next year’s show. Hamvention 2017 “went reasonably well,” spokesperson Mike Kalter, W8CI, allowed, but he acknowledged that there are still a “lot of things to work on” for 2018. Kalter, who lives in Xenia, made the remarks in a video interview with DX Engineering’s Tim Duffy, K3LR, in the wake of the May 19-21 show, which is sponsored by the Dayton Amateur Radio Association (DARA).
Kalter told Duffy that the staff of the Greene County Fairgrounds and Expo Center on its own initiative met with him, Hamvention General Chair Ron Cramer, KD8ENJ, and others to say they were already formulating plans for improvements. The food and forum venues at the new location got high marks, Kalter told Duffy, but the flea market suffered badly from the effects of heavy rainfall.
“It rained hard, and it rained a lot,” Kalter recounted, adding that the flea market area was not as well drained as organizers had expected. “What exactly we’re going to do at this point, I don’t know,” he conceded. “We felt bad about that.”
The exhibitor tents were another issue, with crowded quarters, wind-blown rain getting into booth spaces, and a lack of lighting. Kalter told Duffy that DARA didn’t get the tents it wanted, and that more and better tents are high on the list for next year. DARA also has asked the Greene County Commission to purchase another building for the site, and the Commission will be installing air handlers in buildings for 2018.
On-site parking improvements also are in the works, after a massive traffic jam on opening day. “Traffic on Friday morning was pretty rough, for those that got caught in that, but we worked with the officials...and they fixed it overnight,” Kalter said.
“We know that we are stewards of a very important event [for Amateur Radio],” Kalter told Duffy. Hamvention “is not just DARA’s show,” and exhibitors and organizers alike are buying into the concept of “our Hamvention” and contributing to an effort to improve the event. Kalter called Hamvention “a pillar” that helps to keep Amateur Radio alive and “growing and functioning at a much higher level” than anywhere else.
“We’re out in front of it,” Kalter assured, “and I want to thank all of our volunteers,” referring to the 657 individuals who made Hamvention 2017 happen. “Most of what I heard was very positive.”
In a separate interview with HamRadioNow‘s Gary Pearce, KN4AQ, Kalter said that while he could offer no firm numbers, attendance was “the biggest I’ve seen at any Hamvention I’ve ever been to. It was absolutely wall to wall, from one end to the other.”
Consent Decree, Forfeiture Terminate FCC Interference Investigation
The FCC has again used a consent decree to resolve an enforcement matter. The FCC Enforcement Bureau recently concluded a radio interference investigation with “a negotiated settlement” and a $90,000 civil penalty. The case against AFX Inc. involved the marketing of unauthorized RF devices that interfered with AM/FM radio reception.
After the company’s NLL Series LED lighting fixtures were reported to be causing interference to broadcast radio reception last year, the Enforcement Bureau’s Spectrum Enforcement Division issued a Letter of Inquiry (LOI) to AFX directing it to submit a sworn written response regarding its marketing and sale of the fixtures, considered unintentional radiators under FCC rules. According to the FCC, evidence revealed that the suspect lighting fixtures had not been tested and authorized under FCC rules prior to marketing, and that AFX continued to market them during an approximately 5-month period after receipt of the LOI.
“[W]e find that the public interest would be served by adopting the Consent Decree and terminating the referenced investigation regarding AFX’s marketing of unauthorized radio frequency devices, and compliance with Section 302(b) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended and Sections 2.803(b)(2), 15.107(a), and 15.109(a) of the Commission’s rules (Rules),” the FCC said.
FCC and OSHA Release Communications Tower Best Practices Guide
The FCC and OSHA have announced the release of a free publication, Communications Tower Best Practices Guide. While aimed more at those who tend commercial communication towers, the guide offers information applicable to the Amateur Radio community and contractors working on Amateur Radio antenna support structures. The FCC said the guide was a result of two tower safety workshops.
“Recognizing the risks that tower employees face, OSHA and the FCC held a workshop on communication tower employee safety on October 14, 2014,” the new guide explains. “During this workshop, industry stakeholders, along with employee safety advocates and the families of communication tower employees who had been killed on the job, gathered to discuss issues affecting the safety of communication tower employees.”
A second workshop followed in February 2016, during which a panel of industry stakeholders and advocates discussed best practices that could reduce injuries and fatalities among tower workers. “This document is a collection of the best practices gathered from those workshops and from the discussions that continued beyond those events,” the guide says.
Among other points, the guide emphasizes that all tower workers need “to have and use proper safety equipment at all times,” and that, “no work should be done if proper safety equipment is unavailable or if the safety equipment available is not functioning properly.”
The guide also notes an increasing use of drones for tower inspection. “This technology has the potential to reduce unnecessary climbing and can avoid putting [tower workers] at risk,” the guide points out.
“Every tower climber death is preventable,” stressed FCC Chairman Ajit Pai.
The Doctor Will See You Now!
“The Mystery of Sporadic E” is the topic of the new (June 8) episode of the “ARRL The Doctor is In“ podcast. Listen...and learn!
Sponsored by DX Engineering, “ARRL The Doctor is In” is an informative discussion of all things technical. Listen on your computer, tablet, or smartphone — whenever and wherever you like!
Every 2 weeks, your host, QST Editor-in-Chief Steve Ford, WB8IMY, and the Doctor himself, Joel Hallas, W1ZR, will discuss a broad range of technical topics. You can also e-mail your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, and the Doctor may answer them in a future podcast.
Enjoy “ARRL The Doctor is In” on Apple iTunes, or by using your iPhone or iPad podcast app (just search for “ARRL The Doctor is In”). You can also listen online at Blubrry, or at Stitcher (free registration required, or browse the site as a guest) and through the free Stitcher app for iOS, Kindle, or Android devices. If you’ve never listened to a podcast before, download our beginner’s guide.
New Jersey Radio Amateur Receives International Astronomical League’s Gold Certification
Blair Hearth, KD2EPA, of Oceanport, New Jersey, has joined the select group of individuals who have received Gold certification in the Radio Astronomy Observation program of the International Astronomical League for making at least 10 galactic observations. Hearth, who already had qualified for Silver certification, used the InfoAge Science History Museum’s TLM-18 dish for a few of his observations, but most were accomplished by using Amateur Radio equipment to scan the void. A member of the Garden State Amateur Radio Association and the Society of Amateur Radio Astronomers, Hearth was the recipient of the ARRL Hudson Division Technical Achievement Award in 2015 for his work in radio astronomy and RFI. As Hearth explains on his QRZ.com profile:
“I use a low-frequency receiver to collect data that indicates sudden ionospheric disturbances. My venerable Kenwood R-600 receiver is dedicated to receiving Jovian radiation at 20.1 MHz. I also monitor and count meteors via radio reflection using a NooElec 2 dongle, SDR#, and HDRFFT software. I attempt observations of extra-solar radio objects in the 408 MHz ‘band’ using GNU Radio, an excellent LNA, and a DB8 bow-tie antenna.”
Hearth said he uses the TLM-18 60-foot dish for research into “the velocity of the sun with respect to the Local Standard of Rest.” He also will take part in data-gathering during the August solar eclipse. Hearth will deliver a presentation, “How to Use Ham Radio Gear to Do Radio Astronomy,” at the International Astronomical League’s 2018 international meeting. He enjoys QRP operating and has a WSPR beacon on 20 meters.
Jordan’s First CubeSat Set for Early 2018 Launch
Jordan’s first CubeSat — JY1SAT — will be launched next February, according to a news report. The spacecraft’s name recalls the famous Amateur Radio call sign of Jordan’s late King Hussein. JY1SAT will carry a FUNcube 435/145 MHz SSB/CW Amateur Radio inverting transponder and a Slow-Scan Digital Video (SSDV) system to transmit stored images.
The Jordan Times recently reported that a team of 16 university students has been constructing the 1U CubeSat, supervised by a group of experts and academics through weekly meetings at the Royal Jordanian Radio Amateurs Society (RJRAS). RJRAS members Nart Tahamouqa, JY5IB, and Rafiq Farmawi, JY4CI, serve as advisers to the project. The JY1SAT team includes 24-year-old Zeid Kawar, whose 2-month internship at NASA’s Ames Research Center inspired his interest in developing his country’s first nanosatellite.
The student team will develop and operate a special ground station (JY6JY). JY1SAT will transmit stored images reflecting Jordan’s historical and cultural heritage, which will be selected in advance of the launch through a national competition. JY1SAT applied to the IARU on May 15 to coordinate a telemetry downlink on 145.840 MHz and transponder downlink passband of 145.855-145.875 MHz, with an inverting uplink passband of 435.100-435.120 MHz.
A SpaceX flight will carry JY1SAT into orbit from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
Additional Countries Gain Bands at 5 MHz
Radio amateurs in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are among the latest to gain access to a 60-meter band. The allocation is 5,351.5-5,366.5 kHz at a maximum power of 15 W EIRP. Malta also has opened a 60-meter band for its Amateur Radio licensees. The island’s telecoms regulator, the Malta Communications Authority, published an updated National Frequency Plan in April that includes the WRC-15 secondary Amateur Radio allocation of 5,351.5-5,366.5 kHz at a maximum power of 15 W EIRP. Panama came on board with the same allocation in Dec.
The Netherlands telecoms regulator Agentschap Telecom (AT) has added a 60-meter band of 5,351.5-5,366.5 kHz to its frequency plan for Bonaire, Sint Eustatius, and Saba. Eligible licensees may run up to 25 W EIRP.
Radio Amateurs in Poland will soon have access to 5,351.5-5,366.5 kHz with 15 W EIRP. Mexico’s telecommunications regulator IFT has approved Amateur Radio use of 5,351.5-5366.5 kHz at up to 20 W EIRP.
Iceland’s telecommunication authority PTA has extended experimental license privileges for radio amateurs in the 5 MHz band until December 31, 2017. The privileges are for 5,260-5,410 kHz, with 100 W EIRP, CW, USB, PSK31, and other digital modes. Currently 25 licensees in Iceland have experimental licenses to operate on 60 meters.
In Hungary, the HG7BHB beacon on 5,352.5 kHz has been shut down. Established in 2015 by Hungary’s IARU member society MRASZ, the beacon went out of order in February. A substantial increase in activity near its frequency and the lack of a suitable alternative frequency led to the decision to switch it off altogether.
Meanwhile, Steve Kölcsey, HA0DU, has reported that temporary Amateur Radio licenses permitting 5 MHz operation in Hungary have expired, and there has been no 60-meter operation since May 1.
Centenarian ARRL Member Claiming Oldest Active Radio Amateur Crown
A 105-year-old ARRL member, Cliff Kayhart, W4KKP, of White Rock, South Carolina, is claiming the title of “World’s Oldest Operating Ham.” No official record of such milestones exists, but ARRL is not aware of any radio amateurs senior to Kayhart, and he is now quite likely the oldest active ham, at least in the US. Early this year, Charlie Hellman, W2RP, died at 106; he also may have been the longest licensed. Hellman outlived the former “oldest US ham,” Harry Wolf, W6NKT, by 8 days. Wolf was a couple of weeks shy of turning 108. Kayhart now lives at The Heritage at Lowman Home.
“I have had to get help getting set up after moving here from Tennessee,” he said in his QRZ.com profile. “Two local clubs, Dutch Fork Amateur Radio Group and Columbia Amateur Radio Club, have been there to help. It has been slow going. They tell me I may be the oldest operating ham.” Kayhart is active on 80 meters, as well as other bands.
Born in 1911, Kayhart was first licensed in 1937 as W2LFE in New Jersey. He then was W9GNQ before becoming W4KKP. Kayhart’s interest in Amateur Radio began in the early 1920s, when he built a crystal radio. After modifying the inductor, he began hearing hams on AM.
New Washington Distracted Driving Law IncludesAmateurRadioException
The State of Washington has a new distracted driving law aimed at discouraging the use of certain personal electronic devices while operating a motor vehicle. Governor Jay Inslee signed SSB 5289 into law on May 16, declaring its implementation an emergency, which means the new law becomes effective on August 16. In defining a “personal electronic device,” the pending law excludes two-way radio, Citizens Band radio, or Amateur Radio equipment. The law defines a “personal electronic device” as “any portable electronic 16 device that is capable of wireless communication or electronic data retrieval and is not manufactured primarily for hands-free use in a motor vehicle. ‘Personal electronic device’ includes, but is not limited to, a cell phone, tablet, laptop, two-way messaging device, or electronic game.” Their use while driving would be a secondary violation.
Thomas Pesquet, KG5FYG, and Oleg Novitskiy Return to Earth after 6 Months in Space
European Space Agency Astronaut Thomas Pesquet, KG5FYG, and cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy returned to Earth on June 2 after a 6-month duty tour on the International Space Station (ISS). It took the pair more than 3 hours to descend to Earth in a Soyuz MS-03 transporter. During his time on the ISS, Pesquet participated in several Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) school contacts. “It’s been a fantastic adventure and amazing ride. We got a lot of work done up here,” Pesquet tweeted just prior to his departure. The two space travelers landed without incident in the steppes of Kazakhstan. The departure of Pesquet and Novitskiy leaves three crew members on board the ISS — Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin, RN3FI; Peggy Whitson, ex-KC5ZTD, and Jack Fischer, K2FSH. The Expedition 52/53 crew increment of Paolo Nespoli, IZ0JPA; Randy Bresnik, and Sergey Ryazanskiy will head to the ISS in July.
W4DXCC DX and Contest Convention Registration Now Open
Registration now is open for the 2017 W4DXCC DX and Contest Convention, the Southeast’s largest and most popular DX and contesting event, September 22-23, at the MainStay Suites in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. The event will feature presenters speaking on DX and contesting, equipment manufacturers — on hand to demonstrate new products and answer questions face to face, and a banquet. This year’s convention will continue the Ham Radio Bootcamp to mentor newcomers and experienced hams alike on station and antenna construction, operating, digital modes, DXing, and contesting. The convention website has full details.
Register Now for the 2017 Central States VHF Society Conference
Registration is now open for the 2017 Central States VHF Society (CSVHFS) Conference, which is expected to attract VHF/UHF/microwave operators from across the US, Canada, and elsewhere to sunny Albuquerque, New Mexico (DM65) on July 27-30 at the Sheraton Airport Hotel. Lodging information, including the special conference hotel rate and reservation deadline, are on the convention website. An up-close-and-personal tour of the iconic NRAO Very Large Array (VLA) near Magdalena, New Mexico, has been arranged for Thursday, July 27. The deadline to submit papers for publication in the Proceedings, or to propose a presentation for this year’s conference, is Monday, June 12. CSVHFS continues its tradition of highlighting experimentation, research, design, and construction within the VHF/UHF/microwave community, and information, contact information, and guidance for all interested in providing papers or posters also is on the conference website. You do not need to attend or present at the conference for your paper to be published.
SAQ Transmission on Alexanderson Day Cancelled
There will be no Alexanderson Day over-the-air VLF transmission on Sunday, July 2, from SAQ, the Alexanderson alternator station in Sweden. SAQ periodically schedules transmissions with the nearly century-old electromechanical behemoth, which operates on 17.2 kHz from the World Heritage Grimeton Radio Station. SAQ said the event was cancelled due to ongoing maintenance work at the site.
The station will still observe Alexanderson Day with activities that include two startups of the Alexanderson alternator and a “local” transmission. These events will be streamed via YouTube. The site will be open to visitors.
Dating from the 1900s, the Alexanderson alternator — essentially a massive ac generator run at extremely high speed and connected to an extensive antenna system — could generate 200 kW of very low frequency RF. The unit at SAQ typically is operated at less than half that power level. Once providing reliable transatlantic communication, it is now a museum piece and only put on the air on special occasions. The unit at SAQ was built in the 1920s.
RAC Canada Day Contest 0000Z-2359Z, Jul 1
+ FISTS Summer Slow Speed Sprint 0000Z-0400Z, Jul 1
+ Venezuelan Ind. Day Contest 0000Z-2359Z, Jul 1
+ DL-DX RTTY Contest 1100Z, Jul 1 to 1059Z, Jul 2
+ Marconi Memorial HF Contest 1400Z, Jul 1 to 1400Z, Jul 2
+ Original QRP Contest 1500Z, Jul 1 to 1500Z, Jul 2
+ PODXS 070 Club 40m Firecracker Sprint 2000Z, Jul 1 to 2000Z, Jul 2
+ DARC 10-Meter Digital Contest 1100Z-1700Z, Jul 2
+ 10-10 Int. Spirit of 76 QSO Party 0001Z, Jul 3 to 2400Z, Jul 9
+ IQRP Quarterly Marathon 0800Z, Jul 3 to 2000Z, Jul 9
+ RSGB 80m Club Championship, CW 1900Z-2030Z, Jul 3
+ ARS Spartan Sprint 0100Z-0300Z, Jul 4
+ Phone Fray 0230Z-0300Z, Jul 5
+ CWops Mini-CWT Test 1300Z-1400Z, Jul 5 and
1900Z-2000Z, Jul 5 and
0300Z-0400Z, Jul 6
+ NRAU 10m Activity Contest 1700Z-1800Z, Jul 6 (CW) and
1800Z-1900Z, Jul 6 (SSB) and
1900Z-2000Z, Jul 6 (FM) and
2000Z-2100Z, Jul 6 (Dig)
+ QRP Fox Hunt 0100Z-0230Z, Jul 7
+ NCCC RTTY Sprint 0145Z-0215Z, Jul 7
+ NCCC Sprint 0230Z-0300Z, Jul 7
+ FISTS Summer Unlimited Sprint 0000Z-0400Z, Jul 8
+ IARU HF World Championship 1200Z, Jul 8 to 1200Z, Jul 9
+ SKCC Weekend Sprintathon 1200Z, Jul 8 to 2400Z, Jul 9
+ CQC Great Colorado Gold Rush 2000Z-2159Z, Jul 10
+ QRP ARCI Summer Homebrew Sprint 2000Z-2359Z, Jul 9
++ Phone Fray 0230Z-0300Z, Jul 12
+ CWops Mini-CWT Test 1300Z-1400Z, Jul 12 and
1900Z-2000Z, Jul 12 and
0300Z-0400Z, Jul 13
+ RSGB 80m Club Championship, SSB 1900Z-2030Z, Jul 12
+ QRP Fox Hunt 0100Z-0230Z, Jul 14
+ NCCC RTTY Sprint 0145Z-0215Z, Jul 14
+ NCCC Sprint 0230Z-0300Z, Jul 14
+ Russian Radio Team Championship 0700Z-1459Z, Jul 15
+ Trans-Tasman Low-Bands Challenge 0800Z-1400Z, Jul 15
+ DMC RTTY Contest 1200Z, Jul 15 to 1200Z, Jul 16
+ Feld Hell Sprint 1200Z-1359Z, Jul 15
+ North American QSO Party, RTTY 1800Z, Jul 15 to 0559Z, Jul 16
+ CQ Worldwide VHF Contest 1800Z, Jul 15 to 2100Z, Jul 16
+ RSGB Low Power Contest 0900Z-1200Z and 1300Z-1600Z, Jul 16
+ Run for the Bacon QRP Contest 0100Z-0300Z, Jul 17
+ Phone Fray 0230Z-0300Z, Jul 19
+ CWops Mini-CWT Test 1300Z-1400Z, Jul 19 and
1900Z-2000Z, Jul 19 and
0300Z-0400Z, Jul 20
+ NAQCC CW Sprint 0030Z-0230Z, Jul 20
+ QRP Fox Hunt 0100Z-0230Z, Jul 21
+ NCCC RTTY Sprint 0145Z-0215Z, Jul 21
+ NCCC Sprint 0230Z-0300Z, Jul 21
+ SA Sprint Contest 2000Z-2400Z, Jul 22
+ SKCC Sprint 0000Z-0200Z, Jul 26
+ Phone Fray 0230Z-0300Z, Jul 26
+ CWops Mini-CWT Test 1300Z-1400Z, Jul 26 and
1900Z-2000Z, Jul 26 and
0300Z-0400Z, Jul 27
+ RSGB 80m Club Championship, Data 1900Z-2030Z, Jul 27
+ QRP Fox Hunt 0100Z-0230Z, Jul 28
+ NCCC RTTY Sprint 0145Z-0215Z, Jul 28
+ NCCC Sprint 0230Z-0300Z, Jul 28
+ Feld Hell Sprint 0000Z-2359Z, Jul 29
+ RSGB IOTA Contest 1200Z, Jul 29 to 1200Z, Jul 30
+ ARS Flight of the Bumblebees 1700Z-2100Z, Jul 30