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QRM NEWSLETTER PUBLISHED BY
BRISTOL AMATEUR RADIO CLUB VIRGINIA/TENNESSEE - USA
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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 her 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
MFJ in partnership with InnovAntennas and G0KSC
MFJ Enterprises a manufacturer of a broad range of products for the amateur radio industry specializing in station accessories, antennas and antenna tuner units and InnovAntennas Limited a designer and builder of modern computer optimized directional antenna systems, today announced a partnership which will increase the availability of InnovAntennas smaller antennas in addition to providing a new and up to date range of computer optimized directional antennas for Hy-Gain and Cushcraft, two of the legacy brands of MFJ Enterprises.
Justin Johnson G0KSC, owner of InnovAntennas Limited (a member of the International Ham Store Group) who is also a contributor to the ARRL Antenna Book 2016 provided the following statement.
"This is really exciting news for both companies. InnovAntennas have not been able to fully service the US market due to an inability to meet global demand.
The MFJ facility in Starkville MS will be building some of the smaller antennas we produce under the InnovAntennas label and I have already visited the factory last year to established production methods using MFJ/Hy-Gain and Cushcraft tooling."
Justin continued by saying "most of our popular models will be covered by MFJ, including the LFA (Loop Fed Array) Yagi and OWL (Optimized Wideband Low impedance).
Additionally, new computer optimized and yet unreleased HF and VHF mono and multiband Yagis will be released through the Hy-Gain and Cushcraft brands, neither of which have released new Yagis in quite some time".
GigaParts Opens Las Vegas Location with Former AES Employees
After Amateur Electronic Supply went out of business in July, GigaParts began hiring the AES staff in Las Vegas and working on moving the operation to a new location less than 5 minutes from the famous Las Vegas Strip and just 3 miles from the former AES building. Although the retail showroom won't be ready for visitors for another few months, starting today, the Las Vegas store becomes the primary distribution center for GigaParts shipments to the western half of the US. That means fast, affordable shipping to the huge population of hams in California and other western states, without sales tax!
Former AES customers will see some familiar faces at GigaParts Las Vegas, including AES’s former shipping manager, Terry Spaulding, and store manager, Julio Suarez. "I'm excited to be back and I'm looking forward to helping all of my old friends again," said Julio. "AES was iconic in ham radio and it was sad to see it die off, but we have an opportunity with GigaParts to do things better than we ever could before," he continued.
In addition to the new and improved facility, another improvement over the AES business model will be a single toll free number for customers wishing to place orders by telephone: (866) 535-4442. Sue Stephens, Customer Service Manager for GigaParts: "Technology has come a long way in the 70 years since AES first opened. Our state-of-the-art call center in Huntsville handles calls and online chats from all over the world. The guys in Las Vegas are going to be a huge asset to us by helping with employee training, adding new product lines and even backing up our reps on the phones during peak call times."
Jeff Sinclair, the e-Commerce Division Manager at GigaParts, states, "This is a significant move forward for GigaParts as we continue to expand our distribution capabilities in North America. The new facility in Las Vegas doesn't just mean faster shipping to our west coast customers, but the employees there add decades of experience in customer service and ham radio product knowledge."
Initially, the Las Vegas store will carry the complete lines of amateur radio and maker equipment with more product lines being added later. Understanding that hams come to Las Vegas from all over the country and all over the world, GigaParts plans on making the retail showroom more of an interactive showcase of the latest equipment rather than a self-service shopping experience common amongst other amateur radio outlets.
Special Call Sign Prefixes Available to Celebrate Canada’s Sesquicentennial
Radio Amateurs of Canada (RAC) has secured permission for all Canadian radio amateurs to use special call sign prefixes to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Canada’s Confederation during 2017. Starting on January 1, radio amateurs and clubs with VA-prefix call signs may use CF instead, and those with VE-prefix call signs may use CG instead. Amateurs and clubs with VO-prefix call signs may substitute CH instead, while those holding VY-prefix call signs may substitute CI. Use of the special prefixes is optional, and Canadian radio amateurs may choose if and when to use the special prefix at any time during the year. VY1AAA, the Yukon Canam Contest Club, will mark the sesquicentennial with special call sign XK150YUKON from January 1 until March 1. For the rest of 2017, VY1AAA will operate using either CI1AAA or VY1AAA.
Registration is Now Open for Contest University at Dayton Student registration is now open for 2017 Dayton Contest University (CTU), all day on Thursday, May 18, 2017, at the Crowne Plaza hotel in downtown Dayton, Ohio. CTU sessions have been held in 11 countries over its 11-year history, and more than 5,000 students have attended to learn the ins and outs of Amateur Radio contesting from CTU’s “professors.” Scholarships to cover the registration fee are available from CTU through a grant from the Northern California DX Foundation (NCDXF) for students 25 years old and younger. Click the “Contact Us” button on the CTU website for more information. Student registration information is available on the CTU website. Anyone who has given (or will give at Hamvention 2017) a talk about Amateur Radio to any club, hamfest, or group since May 17, 2016, qualifies for a $10 registration fee discount. Use the “Registration with Club Talk Discount” option on the CTU website, which has much more information.
Logbook of The World to No Longer Accept Contacts Signed by TQSL Versions Earlier Than 2.0 As of 1400 UTC on January 16, ARRL Logbook of The World (LoTW) no longer will accept contacts that have been digitally signed by versions of TQSL earlier than version 2.0. Users of earlier versions are encouraged to upgrade as soon as possible, as older TQSL versions contain uncorrected defects and display inaccurate error messages. The current versions of TQSL for Windows, OS X, and Linux are available online at https://lotw.arrl.org/lotw-help/installation/. This action does not affect data already uploaded to LoTW; all QSOs remain in the LoTW database in perpetuity.
QCWA Donation to Support ARISS Hardware Upgrade
Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) in late December announced a “notable contribution” from the Quarter Century Wireless Association (QCWA) to help support the development and certification of new radio hardware for the International Space Station. ARISS-International Chair Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, thanked the QCWA for its contribution and said that it arrived at a most critical time.
“Our radio system design is nearly complete, and we’re about to start fabrication and the very expensive hardware certification effort,” he said. “It is fantastic to see Amateur Radio groups like QCWA donating to ARISS, as it demonstrates to our larger benefactors and potential sponsors that the Amateur Radio community has ‘skin in the game’ and is willing to sacrifice to further the ARISS cause.”
QCWA President Ken Oelke, VE6AFO, expressed the hope that the donation might inspire other groups and individuals to follow suit. ARISS reports its hardware team has made good progress over the past year in developing the new radio system. But the October failure of the 17-year-old Ericsson VHF handheld in the ISS Columbus module made completion of the project far more urgent. The failure shut down 2-meter APRS operation, and ARISS operations must now be carried out using an Ericsson UHF handheld in the Russian Service Module. This requires astronauts to make a round trip from one end of the ISS to the other in order to carry out 10-minute school contacts.
ARISS-International Treasurer Rosalie White, K1STO, said, “QCWA members now understand it’s important to hams to have the ARISS radio for APRS and other modes, and it’s caused a number of hams and their local clubs to donate toward helping to get the radio system upgraded.”
ARISS welcomes donations toward the hardware upgrade project via the AMSAT website. Click on the “ARISS Donate” button, or visit the donation page on the ARISS website. Contributions may be tax deductible. Those contributing $100 or more will receive an ARISS Challenge Coin. Contact Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, if you or your organization wishes to make a more substantial contribution.
The Second ARRL License Exam held aboard the USS Missouri
75 years and 10 days after the attack on Pearl Harbor the Emergency Amateur Radio Club (EARC) in Honolulu, an ARRL affiliated club, held the second Amateur radio test session aboard the USS Missouri. Testing on board this historical ship seems to be a popular event as our section manager received a special request to conduct it on board.
We are happy to report six new operators passed the FCC Exam and will be granted Amateur Radio Licenses to operate on the appropriate bands for the licenses they achieved. All six tested for the entry-level exam, Technician, and two of the six took the exam for the extra class license and passed. A three-person ARRL Volunteer (VE) Exam team administered the exams.
We had people testing for a myriad of reasons. A general license operator from Texas, Matt, KE5WRU, had read about the testing on board and it coincided with his vacation to Hawaii he had to sign up for the Extra examination. A young teenager, Hunter, who is interested in propagation on 2 meters and HF took the Technician examination. He was impressive to be talking about propagation at that young age.
One gentleman, Joe Morrison, flew in from Hong Kong and took all 3 exams and passed. He plans on retiring back to Hawaii in the summer of 2017 and wanted to do all the things he did as a young kid. We also had two military guys take the exam, one Navy and one Army. The Army person works MARS and needed to upgrade to General.
VE Team: Joe Speroni, AH0A, the Pacific Section Manager, Julius Vea, AH6VE, and Stacy Holbrook, KH6OWL.
Boy Scouts’ Radio Merit Badge Requirements to Include Amateur Radio Direction Finding Option
The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) have updated the requirements for the Radio Merit Badge for 2017, although a formal announcement is pending the publication of the 2017 Boy Scouts Requirements pamphlet. A new option for the Radio Merit Badge is Amateur Radio Direction Finding (ARDF). ARRL ARDF Coordinator Joe Moell, K0OV, said he’s “really excited” about the move, and he credited Jamboree on the Air Coordinator (JOTA) and K2BSA trustee Jim Wilson, K5ND, with being the “spark plug” behind the ARDF addition.
“Jim visited a training session at the USA ARDF Championships in Texas last April and realized what an excellent activity that on-foot hidden transmitter hunting can be for Scouts,” Moell recounted. “Working with Brian Coleman, KB0MAP, Jim authored the new ARDF Radio Merit Badge syllabus, which was then reviewed by several leaders of US ARDF community.”
A first draft of the new merit badge pamphlet is anticipated later this month or in early February. Moell said the new merit badge requirements should become effective just in time for the July 2017 National Scout Jamboree in West Virginia, where an ARDF course and equipment will be available to Scouts of all ages. He also hopes there could be a role for ARDF in JOTA.
The Radio Merit Badge ARDF option combines orienteering and foxhunting, and opens a new interactive component to this program. Other new Radio Merit Badge options include cellular telephones and different types of radio modulation.
Key requirements being dropped from the Radio Merit Badge include open, closed, and short circuits, as well as schematic symbols and components, because these are covered in the Electricity and Electronics Merit Badges.
The BSA also made some minor editorial changes and reordered requirements for the Amateur Radio option. The radio broadcasting option now includes internet streaming, regulations, and power levels. A medium-wave and shortwave listening option includes both types of listening, as well as listening via streaming services on a smartphone.
The BSA has posted a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs). Scouts are encouraged to follow the new requirements, although the guidelines may allow use of the previous requirements in some cases.
The Doctor Will See You Now!
Restoring Old Radios” is the topic of the latest (December 29) 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.
630 Meters Becoming a “Mainstream” Amateur Band, Experiment Coordinator Says
The coordinator of ARRL’s WD2XSH 600-Meter Experimental Group — Fritz Raab, W1FR — said in his latest quarterly report that 630 meters is becoming quite active, with both Amateur Radio and Part 5 Experimental stations taking advantage of the band, which is still not available in the US.
“Band activity has been very high, and there are often more WSPR stations — more than 110 stations — on 472 kHz than on 80 or 160 meters!” Raab said. WSPR, which stands for “Weak Signal Propagation Reporter,” is software designed for transmitting and receiving low-power transmissions to test propagation paths on MF and HF.
“In a sense, 630 meters has become a mainstream ham band, in spite of not being authorized in the US,” Raab said. To boost activity, a second annual Midwinter 630-Meter Operating Activity Night will take place on February 4-5. Details will be announced.
Raab also said in his report that MF propagation appears to be improving as the solar cycle declines. “The paths to VK and JA have remained good,” Raab said. “This was not the case last year, so perhaps it is an effect of the coming solar minimum. Many reports have been received for WSPR transmissions with relatively moderate power. There have been a number of polar and high-latitude openings to LA2XPA from North America. Many long-time operators say that they have never seen anything like that. There have also been a number of openings from the US west coast deep into Europe.”
Countries now permitting Amateur Radio access to the 630-meter band include Germany, Greece, Malta, Monaco, Norway, Philippines, Czech Republic, Ireland, Switzerland, New Zealand, Finland, Spain, France, Poland, Bulgaria, Canada, Vietnam, Japan, Cayman Islands, Reunion Island, and Hungary. “It appears that more than 100 DXCC entities have permission to operate on 630 meters,” Raab said in his report.
In April 2015, the FCC proposed a new secondary 630-meter allocation at 472 to 479 kHz to Amateur Radio, implementing decisions made at World Radiocommunication Conference 2012 (WRC-12). At the same time, the FCC allocated a new LF band, 135.7 to 137.8 kHz (2,200 meters), to the Amateur Service on a secondary basis, in accordance with the Final Acts of WRC-07.
No US Amateur Radio operation will be permitted in either band until the FCC determines the specific Part 97 rules it must frame to permit operation in the new bands. That process is ongoing at the FCC, but the change in administration and the consequent resignation of the current FCC chairman has put FCC action on any proceeding on hold, at least until a new chairman is in place.
FEMA Interoperability Exercise Deemed a Success, Monthly Exercises Set for 2017
Laura Goudreau, KG7BQR, Regional Emergency Communications Coordinator for FEMA Region X, said a December 21 Region X interoperability communications exercise on 60 meters went well. FEMA Region X, which consists of Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington, now has announced that it will hold similar exercises each month in 2017, with all radio amateurs welcome to participate.
“We had 48 check-ins, of which 42 were amateurs,” Goudreau said of the December event. “It was very successful and also included our first digital test.” The “COMMEX” event consisted of check-ins from authorized state, tribal, federal, and Amateur Radio stations to test HF interoperability in case of an emergency or disaster response. The interoperability aspect between federal stations and Amateur Radio licensees was coordinated and authorized by the NTIA and the FCC.
The net included a digital component, intended as a one-way broadcast to test FEMA’s ability to send messages and for remote stations to receive them. Goudreau said that while there’s still room for improvement in the digital area, overall, she was happy with how the exercise played out.
During 2017, FEMA Region X will hold a communication exercise (COMMEX) on the third Wednesday of each month, 1500-2100 UTC. The initial exercise will take place on January 18.
“The intent of [each] COMMEX is to test and exercise interoperable communications (federal/state/local/tribal/amateur) during a major disaster, where communications infrastructure would be significantly damaged or destroyed,” a FEMA Region X announcement said. FEMA Region X will use the call sign WGY910. Others taking part in these exercises will include, but are not limited to, other FEMA stations, SHARES stations, and Air Force and Army MARS stations. All stations are encouraged to participate.
The COMMEX will use the five 60-meter channels: 5,330.5 kHz, 5,346.5 kHz, 5,357.0 kHz, 5,371.5 kHz, and 5,403.5 kHz. The area of operation is the Continental US
QRP Fox Hunt 0200Z-0330Z, Feb 1
+ Phone Fray 0230Z-0300Z, Feb 1
+ CWops Mini-CWT Test 1300Z-1400Z, Feb 1 and
1900Z-2000Z, Feb 1 and
0300Z-0400Z, Feb 2
+ UKEICC 80m Contest 2000Z-2100Z, Feb 1 + NRAU 10m Activity Contest 1800Z-1900Z, Feb 2 (CW) and
1900Z-2000Z, Feb 2 (SSB) and
2000Z-2100Z, Feb 2 (FM) and
2100Z-2200Z, Feb 2 (Dig)
+ NCCC RTTY Sprint 0145Z-0215Z, Feb 3
+ QRP Fox Hunt 0200Z-0330Z, Feb 3
+ NCCC Sprint Ladder 0230Z-0300Z, Feb 3
+ YLRL YL-OM Contest 1400Z, Feb 3 to 0200Z, Feb 5 + Triathlon DX Contest 0000Z-0759Z, Feb 4 (CW) and
0800Z-1559Z, Feb 4 (SSB) and
1600Z-2359Z, Feb 4 (RTTY)
+ Vermont QSO Party 0000Z, Feb 4 to 2400Z, Feb 5
+ 10-10 Int. Winter Contest, SSB 0001Z, Feb 4 to 2359Z, Feb 5
+ Black Sea Cup International 1200Z, Feb 4 to 1159Z, Feb 5
+ F9AA Cup, CW 1200Z, Feb 4 to 1200Z, Feb 5
+ FYBO Winter QRP Sprint 1400Z-2400Z, Feb 4
+ Minnesota QSO Party 1400Z-2400Z, Feb 4
+ British Columbia QSO Party 1600Z, Feb 4 to 0400Z, Feb 5
+ AGCW Straight Key Party 1600Z-1900Z, Feb 4
+ FISTS Winter Slow Speed Sprint 1700Z-2100Z, Feb 4
+ Mexico RTTY International Contest 1800Z, Feb 4 to 1759Z, Feb 5
+ North American Sprint, CW 0000Z-0400Z, Feb 5
+ ARS Spartan Sprint 0200Z-0400Z, Feb 7
+ QRP Fox Hunt 0200Z-0330Z, Feb 8
+ Phone Fray 0230Z-0300Z, Feb 8
+ CWops Mini-CWT Test 1300Z-1400Z, Feb 8 and
1900Z-2000Z, Feb 8 and
0300Z-0400Z, Feb 9
+ NCCC RTTY Sprint 0145Z-0215Z, Feb 10
+ QRP Fox Hunt 0200Z-0330Z, Feb 10
+ NCCC Sprint Ladder 0230Z-0300Z, Feb 10
+ CQ WW RTTY WPX Contest 0000Z, Feb 11 to 2359Z, Feb 12
+ SARL Field Day Contest 1000Z, Feb 11 to 1000Z, Feb 12
+ Asia-Pacific Spring Sprint, CW 1100Z-1300Z, Feb 11
+ Dutch PACC Contest 1200Z, Feb 11 to 1200Z, Feb 12
+ SKCC Weekend Sprintathon 1200Z, Feb 11 to 2400Z, Feb 12
+ KCJ Topband Contest 1200Z, Feb 11 to 1200Z, Feb 12
+ OMISS QSO Party 1500Z, Feb 11 to 1500Z, Feb 12
+ New Hampshire QSO Party 1600Z, Feb 11 to 2200Z, Feb 12
+ FISTS Winter Unlimited Sprint 1700Z-2100Z, Feb 11
+ AWA Amplitude Modulation QSO Party 2300Z, Feb 11 to 2300Z, Feb 12
+ Balkan HF Contest 1200Z-1800Z, Feb 12
+ CQC Winter QSO Party 0100Z-0259Z, Feb 13
+ ARRL School Club Roundup 1300Z, Feb 13 to 2359Z, Feb 17
+ PODXS 070 Club Valentine Sprint 0000Z-2359Z, Feb 14
+ QRP Fox Hunt 0200Z-0330Z, Feb 15
+ Phone Fray 0230Z-0300Z, Feb 15
+ CWops Mini-CWT Test 1300Z-1400Z, Feb 15 and
1900Z-2000Z, Feb 15 and
0300Z-0400Z, Feb 16
+ AGCW Semi-Automatic Key Evening 1900Z-2030Z, Feb 15
+ NCCC RTTY Sprint 0145Z-0215Z, Feb 17
+ QRP Fox Hunt 0200Z-0330Z, Feb 17
+ NCCC Sprint Ladder 0230Z-0300Z, Feb 17
+ ARRL Inter. DX Contest, CW 0000Z, Feb 18 to 2400Z, Feb 19
+ Novice Rig Roundup 0000Z, Feb 18 to 2400Z, Feb 26
+ SARL Youth Day Sprint 0800Z-1000Z, Feb 18
+ Russian PSK WW Contest 1200Z, Feb 18 to 1159Z, Feb 19
+ Feld Hell Sprint 1900Z-2059Z, Feb 18
+ Run for the Bacon QRP Contest 0200Z-0400Z, Feb 20
+ SKCC Sprint 0000Z-0200Z, Feb 22
+ NAQCC CW Sprint 0130Z-0330Z, Feb 22
+ QRP Fox Hunt 0200Z-0330Z, Feb 22
+ Phone Fray 0230Z-0300Z, Feb 22
+ CWops Mini-CWT Test 1300Z-1400Z, Feb 22 and
1900Z-2000Z, Feb 22 and
0300Z-0400Z, Feb 23
+ UKEICC 80m Contest 2000Z-2100Z, Feb 22
+ NCCC RTTY Sprint 0145Z-0215Z, Feb 24
+ QRP Fox Hunt 0200Z-0330Z, Feb 24
+ NCCC Sprint Ladder 0230Z-0300Z, Feb 24
+ CQ 160-Meter Contest, SSB 2200Z, Feb 24 to 2200Z, Feb 26
+ REF Contest, SSB 0600Z, Feb 25 to 1800Z, Feb 26
+ UBA DX Contest, CW 1300Z, Feb 25 to 1300Z, Feb 26
+ South Carolina QSO Party 1500Z, Feb 25 to 0159Z, Feb 26
+ North American QSO Party, RTTY 1800Z, Feb 25 to 0559Z, Feb 26
+ High Speed Club CW Contest 0900Z-1100Z, Feb 26 and
1500Z-1700Z, Feb 26 + SARL Digital Contest 1300Z-1600Z, Feb 26
+ North Carolina QSO Party 1500Z, Feb 26 to 0059Z, Feb
The website update for the February meeting was missed due to Technical dificuties. Sorry !
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