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QRM NEWSLETTER PUBLISHED BY
BRISTOL AMATEUR RADIO CLUB VIRGINIA/TENNESSEE - USA
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Program For April
The program for April will be presented by Tom Shutters, K4FJW and he calls his program Yagi 101. Tom told me a couple of weeks ago about this program and I am sure he has put a lot of work and thought into it. Tom is very serious about Ham Radio and I am quite sure he has a great program prepared for us. Every one, try to come out and hear Tom’s program.
BARC Club Dues
The club dues for 2015 are now officially late! They are fifteen dollars per year and run from January 1 thru December 31 of the same year. You may give them to Toni Ward, Club Treasurer or you may mail them to:
BARC C/O Toni Ward, KF4BMW, 305 Honeysuckle lane, Bristol Tennessee, 37620. Thank You.
Bristol Two Meter Net
Each Tuesday night at 9:00 PM on the frequency of 146.670 minus offset and no tones there is a two meter net called The Bristol Two Meter Net. It is usually held by Dale Barker, KT4SQ net control station. Every one is welcome to check in and see what Dale is up to. If you have a desire to be a Net Control Station please give a call out to Dale or you can let Adam Dye club president or any of the Bristol Amateur Radio Club Officers know and they will give you all the info.
After each club meeting Ben Morris, K4EDI and his test team will be giving ham tests Tech thru Extra. Ben’s team do a heck of a job helping with and applying the tests for anyone who want to take the test. If you have a desire to take the Tech or to do an upgrade please contact Ben at 276-591-0102 or by email at email@example.com
For those interested in VHF and up the VHF Spring Sprints begin in April.
Complete information at the link below.
Vibroplex acquires the Bencher product line for Amateur Radio
Bencher, Inc. of Antioch Illinois announced the sale today of the Bencher Amateur Radio product lines to Vibroplex, LLC of Knoxville, Tennessee. This sale ends Bencher’s presence in the amateur radio field, thus allowing the principals, Jere Benedict, President, and Bob Locher, (W9KNI) to move towards retirement.
The product lines sold include the Bencher BY series of Iambic Paddles, (the world’s best selling iambic paddle, with over 150,000 sold) as well as the ST series of single lever paddles, the Bencher Hex Paddle, the N2DAN Mercury Paddle, and the Bencher RJ series Hand Keys. Also included in the sale are the HK-1 Universal Hook-up kit and the YA-1 Low Pass Filter.
Vibroplex has agreed to honor the manufacturer’s warranties of all covered products, and to offer parts and support for these products as well.
Vibroplex will continue to offer the Bencher products through existing marketing channels.
Vibroplex may be contacted at http://www.vibroplex.com, or at (865) 309-5073.
Jere Benedict and Bob Locher wish to express their gratitude to the amateur radio community for its interest and support since the sale of the first Bencher amateur radio products in the early 1970’s
SUN FIRES OFF ANOTHER SOLAR FLARE AND CME
Space Weather reports March 15th began with a solar bang. Between 00:45 and 02:00 UTC , a magnetic filament erupted in concert with a slow C9-class solar flare from sunspot AR-2297 that hurled a Coronal Mass Ejection or C-M-E into space.
At that time, modeling by analysts at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration suggested that the cloud would deliver a glancing blow to Earth's magnetic field during the late hours of March 17. They also estimated there would be a 50% chance of geomagnetic storms when the C-M-E arrived. But they were in for quite a surprise.
A severe solar storm smacked Earth with a surprisingly big geomagnetic jolt on Tuesday, March 17th. Two blasts of magnetic plasma that left the sun separately combined and arrived on Earth about 15 hours earlier and much stronger than expected. Forecasters figured it would come late Tuesday night into Wednesday morning. Instead it arrived just before 10 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time.
This storm ranked a 4 on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s 1-to-5 scale for geomagnetic effects. It is the strongest solar storm to blast Earth since the fall of 2013. It’s been nearly a decade since a level 5 storm, termed extreme, has hit Earth. It had forecast it to arrive at a level 1.
FCC FIELD OFFICE DOWNSIZING CONFIRMED
The Federal Communications Commission is considering the downsizing its EnforcementBureau and Field Office operations.
In a very governmental sounding reply, an FCC spokesperson responded to an inquiry from the on-line publication Radio Ink regarding the rumor of downsizing in the field operations.
To quote the response: "The Commission recently completed a thorough, data-driven review of our field programs with an eye toward improving efficiency while meeting our responsibilities both today and in the future. The commissioners are considering a proposal that meets these goals."
In its report, the ARRL went further. According to an internal March 10th FCC Enforcement Bureau memorandum obtained by the League, the Bureau plans to ask the full Commission to cut two-thirds of its field offices and eliminate nearly one-half of its field agents.
Under its "Phase I" field modernization scheme, the Bureau will recommend to the full Commission that it adjust the primary focus of its reduced field office complement to RF spectrum enforcement. It will also recommend "adjusting" the number of field agents from 63 to 33. At the same time, the Bureau would develop a so-called "Tiger Team" of field agents as a flexible strike force it could deploy as needed.
The ARRL’s Dave Sumner noted that the League is concerned that there is already no sense of urgency in the FCC's enforcement activities targeting spectrum polluters, such as utilities with noisy power lines, or the few violators in our own ranks. He went on to say that it is troubling to see recommendations for such drastic reductions in the Commission's geographic footprint and the number of field agents at a time when the Field staff is facing ever-increasing challenges.
Radio Ink seemed to echo the ARRL’s concerns but in relation to a different enforcement target. It said that with the Commission taking fewer and fewer actions against pirates, this news will be troublesome for many broadcasters, especially those in markets where such unlicensed signals are still a major issue.
According to the on-line magazine, actions against AM/FM and shortwave pirate stations last year were at their lowest level since 2000. In 2014 there were fewer than 200 actions were taken against these stations including those in New York, New Jersey, Florida and Boston which are still hot spots for pirate broadcast activity.
DINO ISLAND NO LONGER VALID FOR IOTA CREDIT
The United Kingdom-based Islands on the Air Committee has deleted Dino Island from its list of eligible entities. The actual decision came about this past January 1st after it was found that Dino no longer meets the requirements laid down for IOTA qualification.
Dino Island, which had been assigned the designation EU-144 is an Italian entity located at 37.90 to 40.38 North Latitude and 15.63 to 17.22 East Longitude. But over the years the distance separating the island from the mainland has reduced as the beach area gradually encroached into the channel and is now significantly less than the required 200 meters.
When it made its announcement, the Islands on the Air Committee says that credit will continue to be given for contacts with Dino made before January 1st of 2015,but not for any made after that date.
WORLD AMATEUR RADIO DAY 2015
Mark down April 18th as the day that radio amateurs worldwide take to the airwaves in celebration of World Amateur Radio Day. It was on that day in 1925 that the International Amateur Radio Union or IARU was formed in Paris, France .
Since its founding, the IARU has worked tirelessly to defend and expand the frequency allocations for Amateur Radio. Thanks to the support of enlightened administrations in every part of the globe, radio amateurs are now able to experiment and communicate in frequency bands strategically located throughout the radio spectrum.
Today, Amateur Radio is more popular than ever, with over 3,000,000 licensed operators scattered around the globe. World Amateur Radio Day is the day when IARU Member-Societies can show our capabilities to the public and enjoy global friendship with other Amateurs worldwide.
And in helping to keep with the spirit of the event, the IARU is providing a downloadable poster for World Amateur Radio Day 2015. Any group may download it and have it printed locally. Its in Adobe PDF- format at tinyurl.com/ward-poster-2015
HAMRADIO IN SPACE: FIRST GREEK CUBESAT NOW TRANSMITTING
Lambda-Sat, the first Greek CubeSat, was released from the International Space Station on March 4th and its developers have invited radio amateurs around the world to listen for its signal and to file reports.
The one unit size CubeSat transmits AX.25-protocol U I packets at 1200 bits per second using AFSK on 437.462 MHz. Its one watt transmitter identifies as KK6DFZ.
Lambda-Sat was constructed entirely by young volunteers from Greece , who traveled to California ’s Silicon Valley to participate in this project. More details on the web at www.cyhams.org.
HAM RADIO IN SPACE: TWO MILLION PACKETS UPLOADED TO FUNCUBE DATA WAREHOUSE
The FUNcube Data Warehouse has received some two million packets of telemetry data from ground stations around the world.
FUNcube-1 also known as AO-73 was launched on November 21, 2013 . Since then radio amateurs and schools have been receiving the telemetry packets transmitted by the satellite and passing them to the AMSAT-UK Data Warehouse for analysis and storage.
Statistics as of 09:53 UTC on March 15th show the number of registered users at 1529 with active users in last two weeks at 193. But here’s where it really gets impressive.
The number of packets transmitted by satellite since deployment stands at over eight million while packets uploaded by users before de-duplication sits at close to the same number. Deleting duplication, the number of packets stored in warehouse is in he process of passing the two million mark.
In DX, F5IVC is now active as 5V7SM from Togo . He recently informed the Ohio Penn DX Newsletter that he will be there for professional reasons for upward of 2 years or more. He also notes that he is currently is only on 10 meter SSB but is waiting for a multi-band antenna to arrive. QSL info for now is via his French address on QRZ.com.
5T-zero-JL has confirmed that he has been authorized to use the special callsign 5T2MM to operate from Mauritania between April 17th and the 20th including the CQ MM DX Contest on April 18th and19th. His QSL Manager is PY4KL.
DL1R-NT will be operational as 8Q7NT from Embudu, South Male Atoll in the Maldives between March 25th and April 2nd. Activity will be holiday style on 40 through 10 meters using mostly CW with some RTTY and PSK. QSL via his home callsign.
Lastly, a reminder that three operators from Poland will activate Kathmandu, Nepal, between March 18th and the 30th. Operators mentioned are SP2FUD, SP9FIH and SQ9CNN. For more details including updates and QSL routing take your web browser to 9n.dxpeditions.org.
W0GJ AND THE K1N NEVASSA ISLAND STORY
In DX up front, word that Glenn Johnson, W0GJ, the co- team leader of the recent K1N Nevassa Island DXpedition has written a detailed article regarding all aspects of planning and executing this recent operation. The article gives the complete story showing that DXpeditions of this scale take professional levels of planning, negotiations, and execution required during every step of the way. You can download a full color copy from the Twin Cities DX Association web site at tinyurl.com/the-k1n-story
SPRATLY ISLANDS IN APRIL
The exact dates are still not known for the D-X-zero-P operation from Pagasa Island that is supposed to take place sometime in April. Over the past two weeks it was mentioned that the team must leave Manila for Palawan Island on April 13th to recover their stored equipment. The plan was to stay overnight in Palawan and than go the next day to Pagasa. One there, activity is planned for 160 through 10 meters using CW, SSB, RTTY and JT-65. If you make contact QSL’s are to go via WA6LOS. For the latest information and updates be sure to check facebook.com/DX0P2015.
+ QRP Fox Hunt0100Z-0230Z, Apr 1
+ SARL 80m QSO Party1700Z-2000Z, Apr 2
+ QRP Fox Hunt0100Z-0230Z, Apr 3
+ LZ Open 40m Sprint Contest0400Z-0800Z, Apr 4
+ Missouri QSO Party1400Z, Apr 4 to 0400Z, Apr 5 and 1400Z-2000Z, Apr 5
+ Mississippi QSO Party1400Z, Apr 4 to 0200Z, Apr 5
+ SP DX Contest1500Z, Apr 4 to 1500Z, Apr 5
+ Montana QSO Party1800Z, Apr 4 to 0559Z, Apr 5
+ UBA Spring Contest, 6m0600Z-1000Z, Apr 5
+ ARS Spartan Sprint0100Z-0300Z, Apr 7
+ QRP Fox Hunt0100Z-0230Z, Apr 8
+ QRP Fox Hunt0100Z-0230Z, Apr 10
+ JIDX CW Contest0700Z, Apr 11 to 1300Z, Apr 12
+ New Mexico QSO Party1400Z, Apr 11 to 0200Z, Apr 12
+ Georgia QSO Party1800Z, Apr 11 to 0359Z, Apr 12 and 1400Z-2359Z, Apr 12
+ WAB 3.5/7/14 MHz Data Modes1200Z-2200Z, Apr 12
+ Hungarian Straight Key Contest1500Z-1700Z, Apr 12
+ 144 MHz Spring Sprint1900 local - 2300 local, Apr 13
+ Holyland DX Contest2100Z, Apr 17 to 2100Z, Apr 18
+ TARA Skirmish Digital Prefix Contest0000Z-2359Z, Apr 18
+ ES Open HF Championship0500Z-0859Z, Apr 18
+ Nebraska QSO Party1200Z, Apr 18 to 0200Z, Apr 19 and 1700Z-2300Z, Apr 19
+ CQ Manchester Mineira DX Contest1200Z, Apr 18 to 2359Z, Apr 19
+ Michigan QSO Party1600Z, Apr 18 to 0400Z, Apr 19
+ Ontario QSO Party1800Z, Apr 18 to 1800Z, Apr 19
+ North Dakota QSO Party1800Z, Apr 18 to 1800Z, Apr 19
+ YU DX Contest2100Z, Apr 18 to 1700Z, Apr 19
+ ARRL Rookie Roundup, SSB1800Z-2359Z, Apr 19
+ 222 MHz Spring Sprint1900 local - 2300 local, Apr 21
+ UKEICC 80m Contest2000Z-2100Z, Apr 22
+ 10-10 Int. Spring Contest, Digital0001Z, Apr 25 to 2359Z, Apr 26
+ SP DX RTTY Contest1200Z, Apr 25 to 1200Z, Apr 26
+ QRP to the Field1200Z-2359Z, Apr 25
+ Helvetia Contest1300Z, Apr 25 to 1259Z, Apr 26
+ Florida QSO Party1600Z, Apr 25 to 0159Z, Apr 26 and 1200Z-2159Z, Apr 26
+ 432 MHz Spring Sprint1900 local - 2300 local, Apr 29