EVARC Events/Announcements

July 23, 2016
Vol 16, No 28




EVARC Upcoming Events/Announcements
Test Sessions
From the ARRL Letter - July 21, 2016
     Amateur Radio Plays Key Role in Major FEMA Earthquake Disaster Exercise
     Future FAA Rules Could Affect Some Amateur Radio Antenna Support Structures
     Amateur 47 GHz Allocation Avoids 5G Juggernaut in the US for Now, Worldwide Defense Continues
     Pikes Peak ARES Supports Pikes Peak International Hill Climb
     Two Young Radio Amateurs are First Americans to Take Part in YOTA Camp
In Brief
Education and Training
Closing Items



EVARC Upcoming Events/Announcements


Next meeting of the Elkhorn Valley Amateur Radio Club
Date:  Saturday, August 13, 2016
Time:  08:30 AM
LocationBailey's Bistro & Lounge
                 1201 S 13th St
                 Norfolk, NE

Minutes from the June 2016 meeting are available and can be read on the EVARC Web page

Visitors and guests are always welcome to the meeting.

For more Information see the EVARC Web Page


Midwest Division / Nebraska Section News

The Midwest Division ARRL Newsletter for July 2016 is available on the EVARC Web site.

The Nebraska Sections news from June, 2016 has been posted.





Test Sessions within 100 miles of Norfolk, NE

For more testing locations see the ARRL Testing Web page

     Sponsor: AksarbenARC/Omaha Area VE Team
     Date: Jul 26 2016 
     Time: 6:30 PM (Walk-ins allowed) 
     Contact: Gregory S. Ross
                    (712) 566-2698
     Email: Greg.Ross@BHMI.COM
     Location: American Red Cross
                    2912 S 80th Avenue
                    Near 84th and Center
                    Lower Level West Side
                    Omaha	NE	68124-3250
     Sponsor: Lincoln ARC
     Date: Aug 04 2016 
     Time: 6:30 PM (Walk-ins allowed) 
     Contact: Christopher W. Evens
                    (402) 613-3484
     Email: webmaster@cvctrailblazers.org
     Location: Northside Cafe
                    2701 N 48th St.
                    Lincoln	NE	68504-1425
     Sponsor: Bellevue ARC
     Date: Aug 13 2016 
     Time: 1:00 PM (Walk-ins allowed) 
     Contact: Robert F. McCoy
                    (402) 871-5077
     Email: nb0b@arrl.net
     Location: Alegent Health Midlands Hospital
                    11111 S 84 Street
                    McArdle Suite
                    Papillion	NE	68046-3920
     Sponsor: Amt Radio Assoc Nebraska
     Date: Aug 17 2016 
     Time: 6:00 PM (Walk-ins allowed) 
     Contact: Allen D. Harpham
                    (402) 462-4619
     Email: aharpham@wd0dxd.com
     Location: Central Community College
                    Easy Hwy 6
                    Room 108
                    Hastings	NE	68901-9999
     Sponsor: Southwest Iowa ARC
     Date: Aug 30 2016 
     Time: 6:30 PM (Walk-ins allowed) 
     Contact: Gregory S. Ross
                    (712) 566-2698
     Email: Greg.Ross@BHMI.COM
     Location: American Red Cross
                    705 N 16th St
                    Council Bluffs	IA	51501-0105


l Hamfests/Conventions


Victoria Springs Hamfest
     Start Date: 07/30/2016
     End Date: 07/31/2016
Victoria Springs SRA
                    Anselmo, Nebraska
     Website: http://cnarc.club/
AK-SAR-BEN Amateur Radio Club Flea-Esta
     Start Date: 09/10/2016
     End Date: 09/10/2016
     Location: Sarpy County Fairgrounds 4-H Building
                    100 Main Street
                    Springfield, NE 68059
     Website: http://www.aksarbenarc.org
     Sponsor: Ak-Sar-Ben Amateur Radio Club
     Type: ARRL Hamfest
     Talk-In: 146.940
     Public Contact: Dave Rice	, N0JSB	
                              8002 Crown Point Avenue 
                              Omaha, NE 68134
     Phone: 402-571-8915
     Email: davegr@netzero.net

For a complete listing of Hamfests go to the ARRL Hamfest Search page



From the July 21, 2016 ARRL Letter


Amateur Radio Plays Key Role in Major FEMA Earthquake Disaster Exercise

Amateur Radio played a major role in meeting the objectives of the June 6-10 Cascadia Rising 2016 Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) exercise in the Pacific Northwest. In the exercise scenario, a magnitude 9.0 earthquake and consequent tsunami has struck the Pacific Northwest, causing a blackout of all conventional communication channels -- a natural opening for Amateur Radio to step in. ARES/RACES organizations in Oregon and Washington were heavily involved, and ARRL Headquarters was also in the loop. Upward of 500 Amateur Radio volunteers in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho took part in the exercise. Success of the exercise depended in large part on Amateur Radio point-to-point communication.

"Amateur Radio operators not only provided communications continuity for Emergency Management Agencies, they worked with the Washington State Patrol, Washington State Guard, Washington National Guard, and the Federal Aviation Agency," ARRL Western Washington Section Manager Monte Simpson, AF7PQ, said in his Western Washington Section after-action report, released this week. Simpson is also Washington's State RACES Officer. He said radio amateurs supported approximately 32 city, county, state, tribal, and federal agencies during the event.

"We were able to support all our served agencies and clients," Simpson recounted. "Volunteers were able to provide communications support on location and during the planned participation period." He said US Amateur Radio responders established cross-border communication with the emergency operations center in Langley, British Columbia, which was holding its own province-wide exercise, Coastal Response.

"Overall, our objectives of being able to communicate with external agencies via voice and Winlink were achieved," Simpson said. "It was great to be able to participate in an exercise of this magnitude to get a feeling for what it would be like to have this many people trying to send and receive data. All of our operators felt this was very beneficial."

Simpson said that including Amateur Radio as "an actual functional part" of Cascadia Rising was a big plus, and that the participants felt they were "actually part of the team and not some auxiliary group that was being tolerated."

Among his recommendations, Simpson said there should be more standardization on language and forms, as well as coming up with a method of establishing contact with communities that lack communication if repeaters go down. He also advised that ARES and RACES teams exercise their equipment on a regular basis, to avoid unexpected outages and failures during a real-world event.



Future FAA Rules Could Affect Some Amateur Radio Antenna Support Structures

Yet-to-be-developed Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) rules stemming from the recent passage in Congress of H.R. 636, the FAA Reauthorization Act, could pose additional marking requirements for a small number of Amateur Radio towers. The bill instructs the FAA to enact rules similar to state-level statutes now in place that are aimed at improving aircraft safety in the vicinity of meteorological evaluation towers (METs) set up in rural areas. In the wake of fatal crop dusting aircraft collisions with METs, often erected on short notice, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recommended in 2013 that states enact laws — sometimes called “crop duster” statutes — requiring marking and registration of METs. While some state crop duster laws exempt ham radio towers, the federal legislation does not. ARRL General Counsel Chris Imlay, W3KD, said, however, that the list of exemptions in the federal legislation restricts application of the new rules to a very small subset of Amateur Radio towers.

“The FAA Reauthorization Act has very little application to Amateur Radio antennas. We will have a good opportunity to address the final FAA rules through the normal rulemaking process,” Imlay said. “We’ll be meeting soon with FAA officials to learn their intentions as well as to advance our own concerns to the agency. Uniform federal regulation is beneficial to hams, because it eliminates a patchwork of state statutes that can impose significant constraints on ham antennas in rural and agricultural areas.”

The FAA Reauthorization Act gives the FAA 1 year to issue regulations requiring the marking of towers covered by the new legislation. Marking of towers covered by the legislation will be in the form of painting and lighting in accordance with current FAA guidelines.

The law covers towers that are “self-standing or supported by guy wires and ground anchors;” are 10 feet or less in diameter at the above-ground base, excluding concrete footings; are between 50 feet above ground level at the highest point and not more than 200 feet above ground level; have accessory facilities on which an antenna, sensor, camera, meteorological instrument, or other equipment is mounted, and are located outside the boundaries of an incorporated city or town or on land that is undeveloped or used for agricultural purposes.

Imlay said the law excludes towers erected adjacent to a house, barn, electric utility station, or other building, or within the curtilage (enclosed area occupied by a dwelling, grounds, and outbuildings) of a farmstead, among other exclusions. He said “undeveloped” land refers to a defined geographical area where the FAA determines that low-flying aircraft routinely operate, such as forested areas with predominant tree cover below 200 fee, and pasture and range land.

The FAA will develop a database containing the location and height of each covered tower, but Imlay noted that the database contents may only be disclosed for purposes involving aviation safety.

“We do not anticipate that a significant number of Amateur Radio antennas will be subject to these rules,” Imlay said, “but we need to monitor the FAA rulemaking process carefully to head off requirements that could put the cost of installing and maintaining affected structures out of any reasonable reach.”



Amateur 47 GHz Allocation Avoids 5G Juggernaut in the US for Now, Worldwide Defense Continues

There's good news regarding the future of Amateur Radio's primary allocation at 47 GHz in the US. Still a test bed for point-to-point propagation experimentation by dedicated enthusiasts, the 47-47.2 GHz band is among those under consideration at the next World Radiocommunication Conference in 2019 (WRC-19) to accommodate so-called 5G wireless broadband devices. Early this year, some FCC commissioners indicated they would include bands on the WRC-19 agenda in the Commission's "Spectrum Frontiers" 5G initiative. As the Commission put it this week as it made nearly 11 gigahertz of spectrum above 24.25 GHz available for licensed, unlicensed, and shared use: "High-band millimeter wave spectrum is key to unlocking the potential for 5G." The FCC's Spectrum Frontiers included several of the bands set for consideration at WRC-19, but not the 47 GHz band -- although it did target 47.2-50.2 GHz.

"Maintaining the status quo in the 47-47.2 GHz band is a win for continued Amateur Radio use of the band in the United States, and amateurs continue to do great things there," ARRL Chief Technology Officer Brennan Price, N4QX, allowed. He pointed to the new US-Canada distance record of 215 kilometers set recently by radio amateurs from both countries. But, he suggested, Amateur Radio could be doing more at 47 GHz.

Spectrum in the millimeter range has come under increasing scrutiny, because the demand for greater throughput has driven demand for bandwidth -- hence, the greater focus on spectrum above 24.25 GHz for next-generation 5G wireless broadband applications. As Price explains, it's easier to find 200 megahertz of spectrum in the millimeter range than at UHF.

Price noted that radio amateurs have set up broadband networks on several lower microwave bands, nearly all of which are allocated to hams on a secondary basis. "The 47 GHz band is allocated to the Amateur Service and the Amateur-Satellite Service on a worldwide primary and exclusive basis," Price pointed out. "We don't have to work around others in this space."

He suggested that Amateur Radio broadband experimenters consider and expand upon the work of Ted Rappaport, N9NB -- the founding director of NYU Wireless at New York University's Tandon School of Engineering -- whose investigations have demonstrated that the millimeter waves may serve next-generation broadband systems. "For a long time, millimeter waves were thought to be most suitable for the point-to-point work that radio amateurs perfected and continue to advance," Price said. "Ted's work indicates that point-to-multipoint systems are feasible at this range, and the world has taken notice."

Price stressed the need going forward for the worldwide Amateur Radio community to maintain a staunch defense of all spectrum allocated to the Service, as the 47 GHz band remains under consideration by other countries. The International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) is organizing the protective effort on this and other issues, as it continues to get ready for WRC-19, he added.



Pikes Peak ARES Supports Pikes Peak International Hill Climb

In late June, members of the Pikes Peak Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) Region 2, District 2 team ("Pikes Peak ARES") supported the 100th anniversary running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb -- "The Race to the Clouds" -- the second-oldest motorsport event in the US (right behind the Indy 500). One hundred vehicles attempt the course, from a starting point of 9390 feet above sea level to the 14,110 foot summit. A good run is less than 10 minutes, although two made it in less than 9 minutes this year.

Although the race occurred on Field Day weekend, Pikes Peak ARES deployed 27 operators along the course to provide vehicle tracking, alternate communication, course status, weather observations, and other functions. One operator comes from Texas each year to support the race, while most of the others were locals.

Once multiple vehicles are on the course, the pace of radio communication and message traffic becomes lightning fast, with brief tactical call signs interspersed with legal FCC IDs every 10 minutes.

Launching vehicles from the starting line as frequently as every 60 seconds requires strict net discipline, the use of very specific terminology, the ability to pick out hard-to-read vehicle numbers streaking past at speeds in excess of 100 MPH and spot any problems, and being ready to quickly adapt from normal race pace to a full-on emergency.

Led by veteran race operators Don Johnson, K0DRJ, at net control, Al Glock, KC0PRM, at liaison with race officials, and Dan Martin, KD0SMP, as the mission coordinator, the team handled hundreds of calls during the event. When a racer slammed into a guardrail and needed to be airlifted from the course, the ability to get the initial report to race officials and to maintain control of the net testified to the operators' skills.

Such situations can be a matter of life or death, and fatalities have occurred during the event. Amateur Radio operators also were the first to notice debris and fluid on the course, alerting Race Safety officials who closed the course until the hazard could be cleared.

The mountain and Colorado weather often throw curve balls at the operators and participants alike, and sometimes spectators misbehave, racers crash, and vehicles break down. Through it all, Pikes Peak ARES and associated Amateur Radio operators provide this volunteer service year after year. -- Thanks to Pikes Peak ARES EC John Bloodgood, KD0SFY, via The ARES E-Letter



Two Young Radio Amateurs are First Americans to Take Part in YOTA Camp

Two young ARRL members are among the more than 100 attending the Youngsters On The Air (YOTA) camp in the Austrian mountains this week. Sterling Coffey, N0SSC, of St Louis, Missouri, and Sam Rose, KC2LRC, of Syracuse, New York, are the first two Americans to take part in the week-long YOTA camp. Participants not only enjoy a variety of Amateur Radio activities, they hone their electronics and contesting skills and make new international friends.

"Being at YOTA is really something beyond amazing," Coffey tweeted on July 17.

Begun in 2011, YOTA has grown exponentially since, and camps have been held in Romania, The Netherlands-Belgium, Estonia, Finland, and Italy. Since the IARU Region 1 General Conference in Albena, Bulgaria, in 2014, YOTA has been an official International Amateur Radio Union Region 1 (IARU-R1) activity. Open to participants ranging in age from 15 to 25, the sixth YOTA in Austria is the largest ever and the first to include young hams from the US and Asia. The Northern California DX Foundation (NCDXF) subsidized the two Americans' participation in YOTA 2016. The Yasme Foundation supported the teams from Ethiopia and Tunisia at YOTA 2016.

Rose, an electrical engineering graduate from Clarkson University, last year inaugurated the Collegiate Ham Radio Operators Facebook group, aimed at college ham radio club members interested in sharing and collaborating on college ham radio activities. He also spoke on "Advantages of College Ham Radio Clubs" at the Hamvention 2016 Youth Forum. Coffey, who majored in electrical engineering at the Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla, is a past ARRL Youth Editor who handled the Youth@HamRadio.Fun web column on the ARRL website. He served as a member of ARRL Ad-Hoc Committee on Youth in the Second Century, prior to the ARRL Centennial.

YOTA 2016 has featured a full slate of Amateur Radio activities. A successful Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) contact took place on July 18 with astronaut Jeff Williams, KD5TVQ, on the International Space Station, an event that IARU Region 1 Youth Working Group Chair Lisa Leenders, PA2LS, called "a historical day for youth and Amateur Radio." Twenty of the YOTA 2016 participants had a chance to pose questions to Williams, and Austria's ORF television channel covered the event.

YOTA 2016 participants set up a 5 GHz HamNet Wi-Fi link to use in their Summits On The Air (SOTA) activation on July 21. The link will connect the team on the mountain with the YOTA base camp.

The Austrian Amateur Radio Society ÖVSV, which is celebrating its 90th anniversary, is hosting the YOTA 2016 summer camp near Salzburg. OE2YOTA has been on air on various bands and modes. YOTA 2016 wraps up on July 23.


  • The K7RA Solar Update - Tad Cook, K7RA, Seattle, reports: All solar indices rose over the past week, and geomagnetic indicators were lower. Average daily solar flux rose from the previous 7 days at 52.6 to 58.1, and average daily sunspot numbers rose from 91.6 to 103.6. The average daily planetary A index went from 15.7 to 10.6, and the average daily mid-latitude A index dipped from 14.1 to 11.1. The late July 20 predictions for solar flux show 105 on July 21-22; 100 and 95 on July 23-24; 90 on July 25-26; 85 and 80 on July 27-28; 70 on July 29-August 4; 80 and 95 on August 5-6; 105 on August 7-16; 100 on August 17-18; 95, 90, 80, and 75 on August 19-22, and 70 on August 23-31. The next few days following the end-of-August prediction show a sharp rise in solar flux. Predicted planetary A index levels are at 16, 12, 10, and 8 on July 21-24; 5, 8, 12, 10, and 9 on July 25-29; 8 on July 30-31; 5 on August 1-2; 20 on August 3-4; 15 on August 5; 10 on August 6-7; 20, 8, 12, 10, and 8 on August 8-12; 5 on August 13-14; 8, 12, and 15 on August 15-17; 10 on August 18-19; 8 on August 20; 5 on August 21-23; 8 and 9 on August 24-25; 8 on August 26-27; 5 on August 28-29, and 20 on August 30-31. At 2341 UTC on July 19 the Australian Space Forecast Centre issued a geomagnetic disturbance warning: A shock wave signature was detected in the solar wind on 19 July at 2300 UTC. A geomagnetic sudden impulse is expected, followed by increased geomagnetic activity up to minor storm levels. The forecast anticipated increased geomagnetic activity due to coronal mass ejection over the July 20-22 period. Sunspot numbers for July 14 through 20 were 54, 73, 47, 51, 68, 58, and 56, with a mean of 52.6. The 10.7 centimeter flux was 95.1, 102.1, 106.6, 105.2, 107.1, 100.8, and 108, with a mean of 91.6. Estimated planetary A indices were 12, 11, 8, 6, 4, 10, and 23, with a mean of 15.7. Estimated mid-latitude A indices were 16, 10, 8, 10, 4, 11, and 19 with a mean of 14.1.  Send me your reports and observations!

  • The Doctor Will See You Now! -  "Propagation" is the topic of the latest (June 30) 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 doctor@arrl.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. Just ahead: "Are Linear Amplifiers Really Worthwhile?"
  • "Triumvirate" to Oversee CQ World Wide DX Contest: CQ World Wide DX Contest Director Doug Zwiebel, KR2Q, has announced that he, Scott Robbins, W4PA, and Bob Naumann, W5OV, will serve as CQ WW DX Contest co-directors. "We will all share the various tasks of 'director,' and we all will provide backup or contingency coverage for each other for most, if not all, aspects of CQ WW Committee leadership," Zwiebel explained. "We are all equals." Robbins and Naumann are veteran contesters and well-known in the Amateur Radio community. Formerly Amateur Radio product manager for TEN-TEC, Robbins now is the proprietor of Vibroplex. Naumann, who previously served on the CQ WW Contest Committee for 20 years, is sales manager of DX Engineering; he worked previously for Array Solutions.


l Education and Training
  • ARRL Certification and Continuing Education course registration - The ARRL has many ways to continue your education in things Amateur Radio.  For more information go to the ARRL Training web page.

  • FEMA Online Training - FEMA has numerous Independent Study Program courses available for Ham Radio Operators and others interested in emergency support and are recommended by ARES.  For a list of courses check the FEMA ISP training web site.  Look for the 100, 200, and 700 series courses.

  • Weather Spotter Training - To be a certified Weather Spotter in the State of Nebraska, you must attend a weather spotter training session, take two on-line courses, and pass a written exam provided by your local Emergency Coordinator.  The on-line courses can be found on the ucar.edu web site.


  • Did you know you can practice code on-line? The ARRL posts their code practice files on the web. These audio files can be played on line or downloaded for later play back on your own computer. Practice files are available for 5, 7.5, 10, 13, 15, 18, 20, 25, 30, 35, and 40 Words per Minute. To find the files click the following link: http://www.arrl.org/code-practice-files



    The EVARC weekly net meets every Monday evening at 7:30 PM on the club 2 meter repeater (146.73 -). Check-in to the net to hear an update on activities of other club members,  announcements of local interest, and any late breaking information. Everyone is welcome to check in.


    The purpose of this newsletter is to provide information to local hams with items of interest.  It is compiled from local, regional, and national sources an includes national, regional, and local news items and events.  Created by Monty Wilson, NRØA. Contact  NRØA with comments or questions.