EVARC Events/Announcements

August 17, 2014
Vol 14, No 22

 

- IN THIS EDITION -

 

EVARC Upcoming Events/Announcements
Test Sessions
Hamfests/Conventions
From the ARRL Letter - August 14, 2014
     ARRL Teachers Institutes Chalk Up Another Successful Summer
     "Pacific Endeavor-14" Exercise Stresses International Cooperation
     Radio Amateur Named to FEMA National Advisory Council
     Ham Radio Payload to Circle the Moon
     Shortwave Broadcasting "of Marginal and Continuously Declining Impact," Committee Concludes
     Radio History: A Century of Amateur Radio and the ARRL
    
In Brief
Education and Training
Closing Items

   

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EVARC Upcoming Events/Announcements

Next September meeting of the Elkhorn Valley Amateur Radio Club
Date:  Saturday, September 13, 2014
Time:  08:30 AM
LocationBailey's Bistro & Lounge
                 1201 S 13th St
                

Minutes from the August 2014 meeting are available and can be read on the EVARC Web page

Visitors are always welcome to the meeting.
Bring a Guest to the Meeting

For more Information see the EVARC Web Page

Midwest Division News

The Midwest Division ARRL Newsletter for August 2014 is available on the EVARC Web site.

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Nebraska Section News

The Nebraska Section news for June 2014 is available on the EVARC Web site.

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Test Sessions within 100 miles of Norfolk, NE

For more testing locations see the ARRL Testing Web page

 

09/04/2014

     Sponsor: Lincoln ARC
     Date: Sep 04 2014
     Time: 6:30 PM (Walk-ins allowed)
     Contact: John P. Hauner
                     (402) 486-1400
     Email:
jphusker@earthlink.com
     VEC:
ARRL/VEC
     Location: Northside Cafe
                      2701 N 48th St.
                      Lincoln NE 68504-1425

 

09/09/2014

     Sponsor: Prairie Dog ARC
     Date: Sep 09 2014
     Time: 4:30 PM (No walk-ins)
     Contact: Fred L. De Roos
                     (605) 665-2590
     Email:
flderoos@svtv.com
     VEC:
ARRL/VEC
     Location: Christ King church
                      305 W 25th St
                      Yankton SD 57078-1317

 

09/30/2014

     Sponsor: AksarbenARC/Omaha Area VE Team
     Date: Sep 30 2014
     Time: 6:30 PM (Walk-ins allowed)
     Contact: William H. Jackson
                     (402) 571-7540
     Email:
k9rz@arrl.net
     VEC:
ARRL/VEC
     Location: American Red Cross
                      2912 S 80th Ave
                      Near 84th and Center
                      Lower Level West Side
                      Omaha NE 68124-3250

 

10/02/2014

     Sponsor: Lincoln ARC
     Date: Oct 02 2014
     Time: 6:30 PM (Walk-ins allowed)
     Contact: John P. Hauner
                     (402) 486-1400
     Email:
jphusker@earthlink.com
     VEC:
ARRL/VEC
     Location: Northside Cafe
                      2701 N 48th St.
                      Lincoln NE 68504-1425

 

10/03/2014

     Sponsor: Siouxland ARA
     Date: Oct 03 2014
     Time: 7:00 PM (Walk-ins allowed)
     Contact: Gary L. Johnson
                    (712) 289-87631
     Email:
garywy0v@msn.com
     VEC:
ARRL/VEC
     Location: American Red Cross
                      4200 War Eagle Dr
                      Sioux City IA 51109-1700

 

10/14/2014

     Sponsor: Prairie Dog ARC
     Date: Oct 14 2014
     Time: 4:30 PM (No walk-ins)
     Contact: Fred L. De Roos
                     (605) 665-2590
     Email:
flderoos@svtv.com
     VEC:
ARRL/VEC
     Location: Christ King church
                      305 W 25th St
                      Yankton SD 57078-1317

 

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l Hamfests/Conventions
 
 

Ak-Sar-Ben ARC Flea-Esta

     09/06/2014
     Start Date: 09/06/2014
     End Date: 09/06/2014
     Location: Sarpy County Fairgrounds 4-H Building
                     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: David Rice , N0JSB
                              8002 Crown Point Avenue Omaha, NE 68134
                              Phone: 402-571-8915
     Email: davegr@netzero.net

 

  3900 Club Hamboree 2014

     09/27/2014
     Start Date: 09/27/2014
     End Date: 09/27/2014
     Location: Bellevue Volunteer Fire Department Hall
                   2108 Franklin Street
                   Bellevue, NE 68005
     Website: http://www.wd0bfo.com/hamboree-2014.html
     Sponsor: 3900 Club
     Type: ARRL Hamfest
     Talk-In: 147.06 (PL 131.8)
     Public Contact: Tom Huber ,WD0BFO
                            7518 Chandler Hills Drive
                            Bellevue, NE 68147
     Phone: 402-990-5135
     Email: wd0bfo@cox.net

 

 

For a complete listing of Hamfests go to the ARRL Hamfest Search page http://www.arrl.org/hamfests-and-conventions-calendar

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From the August 14, 2014 ARRL Letter

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ARRL Teachers Institutes Chalk Up Another Successful Summer

Thanks to the ARRL’s 2014 Teachers Institutes on Wireless Technology, nearly 3 dozen teachers will be heading back to school this fall better equipped to incorporate science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) principles into their curricula. A dozen educators also returned home with an Amateur Radio license or a license upgrade.

As part of its outreach to schools, the ARRL Education & Technology Program (ETP) sponsored two introductory Teachers Institute (TI) sessions and one advanced class during June and July. “Introduction to Wireless Technology” (TI-1) sessions took place in late June at Dayton, Ohio — hosted by the Dayton Amateur Radio Association — and at ARRL Headquarters in Newington, Connecticut. The advanced “Remote Sensing and Data Gathering” (TI-2) course was held at ARRL Headquarters in July. The 4-day, expenses-paid professional development seminars offer teachers from the elementary to the university level tools and strategies to introduce basic electronics, radio science, space technology, and satellite communication, as well as weather science, an introduction to microcontrollers, and basic robotics in their classrooms.

Two dozen teachers from 16 states attended the two introductory courses under the guidance of Instructors Tommy Gober, N5DUX, and Larry Kendall, K6NDL — a new instructor who is a middle school technology teacher in California.

“The curriculum is designed for motivated teachers and other school staffers who want to learn more about wireless technology and bring that knowledge to their students,” ARRL Education Services Manager Debra Johnson, K1DMJ, said. “Many expressed interest in coming back for more training with satellite communications, the MAREA [Mars Lander/Marine Amateur Radio Robotics Exploration Activity] program, and remote sensors and data collection.” MAREA is a hands-on activity designed to engage students in learning programming skills for command and control of land or marine robots via Amateur Radio packet.

During this summer’s advanced (TI-2) session on remote sensing and data gathering, Instructor Mark Spencer, WA8SME, demonstrated how to control the movements of a robot via data packets sent via the International Space Station (ISS) digipeater on 145.825 MHz. The satellite station at W1AW tracked the ISS during a July 10 pass. W1AW received and decoded movement instructions sent by Matt Severin, N8MS, in Eau Claire, Michigan. Those data then were transferred to the robot through a wireless UHF link. Ten teachers from nine states took part in the advanced course. All were Amateur Radio licensees and ARRL members. The introductory wireless technology course is a prerequisite.

New this year at the TI-2 course was a marine research buoy. The buoy is outfitted with sensors to measure surrounding air and water temperature and pressure, and it includes a GPS tracking device. A PIC controls data sampling and storage. A Yaesu FT-270 handheld transceiver was used to transmit data via the Automatic Packet Reporting System (APRS).

“Each teacher received a buoy, assembled it, and learned how the data measurements from the electronic sensors are converted to useable information about the environment, how to program the PIC to sample the data, how to configure APRS and receive the data and upload it into Excel for evaluation and analysis,” Johnson explained. “The buoy is a resource designed for classroom use as well as for easy deployment in local bodies of water. The teachers deployed their buoys in buckets, as they learned how to program and set up their buoy systems.”

Participants were enthusiastic in their anonymous post-session comments. “This seminar was my first experience with remote data and sensing using Amateur Radio,” one advanced course participant said. Another educator called the buoy project “exciting.”

A third participant expressed gratitude and appreciation to the donors, whose generosity funds the ETP and the Teachers Institutes. “The institute will directly benefit my students by building intellectual capital in me,” the TI participant commented. “The return on investment will be realized over the next 10 years of my career as I modify my courses by adding wireless technology activities to my classes. Without all of the travel, hotel, and other support, I would not have been able to attend this workshop. So, thank you to all of the donors connected with this program!”

To date, the ARRL’s Education & Technology Program has provided resources, including radio equipment, to more than 500 teachers and schools. Your contribution to support ARRL’s successful efforts to promote Amateur Radio in schools and to provide professional development for teachers in wireless technology is welcome.

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"Pacific Endeavor-14" Exercise Stresses International Cooperation

Military Auxiliary Radio Service (MARS) stations from Okinawa and the US West Coast joined members of the Canadian Forces Auxiliary Radio Service (CFARS) to participate in the first phase of the US Pacific Command's multinational "Pacific Endeavor-14" communication exercise that concluded on August 11 (UTC). The disaster scenario was a massive earthquake in Nepal that caused a large number of casualties and crippled the country's infrastructure.

MARS and CFARS members scanned "emergency center of activity" frequencies on the Amateur Radio HF bands, listening for information on the simulated disaster from Nepalese amateur operators. Unfortunately, poor propagation prevented Nepalese Amateur Radio operators from being heard by any other participants. The Army MARS gateway station at Fort Huachuca, Arizona, and the 311th MARS gateway in Okinawa then simulated on-scene traffic, allowing the other participants to complete the exercise. Details of the exercise will be reported during the Global Amateur Radio Emergency Communications (GAREC) conference August 12-15. GAREC-2014 is being held in conjunction with the Huntsville (Alabama) Hamfest.

Because MARS and CFARS may operate on both Amateur Radio and military frequencies, they can provide a bridge for radio amateurs outside the US and Canada to communicate with military units responding under the 24-nation Multinational Communications Interoperability Program in the disaster-prone Asia-Pacific region.

Part 2 of the Pacific Endeavor exercise is set for August 19. During the second phase, traffic from Nepalese amateurs reporting on earthquake aftershocks will be relayed to the US Pacific Command. -- Thanks to Bill Sexton, N1IN, Army MARS Public Affairs Officer

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Radio Amateur Named to FEMA National Advisory Council

A Nevada radio amateur is among 12 new members appointed to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) National Advisory Council (NAC). FEMA announced the appointments by FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, KK4INZ, this week. New NAC member Chris Smith, W4HMV, of Sparks, Nevada, was one of the speakers at this year's ARRL Nevada Section Convention.

"FEMA is just one part of our nation's emergency management team," Fugate said in a statement. "The National Advisory Council serves a vital role in guiding our plans and strategies by ensuring we remain informed by diverse viewpoints and experiences from every sector of society. I value the expertise and input of each of these members, and appreciate their dedication and commitment to ensuring effective emergency management."

Chris Smith comes from an Amateur Radio family. His father is Bill Smith, W7HMV, an ARRL Life Member and Emergency Coordinator for Clark County Nevada.

The NAC, which can include up to 35 members, provides recommendations to the FEMA Administrator on a variety of emergency management issues. "For example," a FEMA news release said, "the NAC recently made recommendations regarding regional response and recovery capabilities as well as regarding mutual aid agreements among different units of government."

Most NAC appointments are for 3-year terms.

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Ham Radio Payload to Circle the Moon

A lunar flyby with a ham radio payload transmitting JT65B mode on 145.990 MHz is expected to take place toward the end of this year, giving earthbound radio amateurs the opportunity to receive some otherworldly DX signals as the payload flies around the Moon.

China has announced plans to launch a lunar orbiter carrying a 14 kg battery-powered payload known as 4M-LXS, which was developed at LuxSpace. Signals from the Amateur Radio payload can be decoded using the free WJST software by Joe Taylor, K1JT.

The orbiter is one of the test models for Beijing's new lunar probe Chang'e-5, which will land on the moon, collect samples, and return to Earth. The launch, planned for 4th quarter 2014, is aimed at testing technologies that are vital for the success of the spacecraft. The orbiter will be launched into Lunar Transfer Orbit and then perform a lunar flyby before re-entering Earth's atmosphere after 9 days.

The orbiter, which arrived by air in Xichang, Sichuan, on Sunday, August 10, has been transported to the Xichang Satellite Launch Center. -- Thanks to AMSAT-UK

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Shortwave Broadcasting "of Marginal and Continuously Declining Impact," Committee Concludes

The Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) Special Committee on the Future of Shortwave Broadcasting foresees a dim outlook for the medium. The Committee this month released its assessment of the current and projected use of shortwave radio as a platform for programming by US international media.

"United States international media must optimize delivery by audience/market," one main finding concluded. "While there is still a critical need for shortwave in key countries, it is a medium of marginal and continuously declining impact in most markets." The report said that even in countries where shortwave radio will enjoys significant usage levels, "audiences will migrate to other platforms as they become more accessible."

Among other things, the Committee reviewed audience-based research, including analysis of user experiences and user choices, as well as opportunities and limits of the medium. It also examined "the characteristics and listening experience of shortwave users in the BBG's target markets, the use of shortwave radio by the BBG's networks, the networks' relative success in reaching their target audiences through shortwave, and the costs of operating the BBG's shortwave transmitting facilities."

The panel recommended that the Broadcasting Board of Governors take "an aggressive approach to reduce or eliminate shortwave broadcasts where there is either minimal audience reach or the audience is not a target audience based on the BBG's support of US foreign policy."

The report said that its evidence suggested that declining use of shortwave radio is primarily due to the availability of high-quality content on "preferred platforms" such as AM and FM radio, podcasts, and mobile streaming, which are more widely used for audio consumption.

The committee found that shortwave use does not increase during times of crisis. "Audiences continue to use their existing platforms (TV, FM, and the Internet) or seek out anti-censorship tools, including online firewall circumvention, private chat software, flash drives, and DVDs to access content," the report said.

The report also said that shortwave radio was "a relatively expensive platform to operate and maintain" and that digital shortwave radio (ie, Digital Radio Mondiale or DRM) "is unlikely to become an established mass media distribution methodology in enough of the BBG's current or future markets to justify the costs."

The committee said it largely supports the reductions in shortwave radio broadcasts previously approved by the Board. Those include recent cutbacks in a number of Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, and Radio Free Asia broadcasts. But, the committee added that given the current situation in Ukraine and nearby states with significant Russian-speaking populations, it recommended that the BBG revise its fiscal year 2014 operating plan to ensure that "shortwave broadcasts in Russian to Russia and the Caucasus be continued at current levels, subject to re-evaluation during FY16 budget formulation processes."

A fact sheet also is available. -- Thanks to Southgate Amateur Radio Club News via G0SFJ

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Radio History: A Century of Amateur Radio and the ARRL

A comprehensive and fascinating article on long-delayed echoes (LDEs) appeared in the February 1970 QST. LDEs are signals that have been transmitted, go away somewhere, and then are heard -- at low signal levels but often with good readability -- 10 or more seconds later. They were first heard on the ham bands in 1927. An article in the May 1969 QST described them and asked for reports from readers who had heard them. The 1970 follow-up article summarized more than 40 reports. A May 1971 QST article later reported on more than 90 observed LDE events.

The effort to get more amateurs on the VHF and UHF bands continued, with QST publishing articles on 432 MHz transmitters, 220 MHz kilowatt amplifiers, state-of-the-art low-noise receiver preamplifiers, new propagation modes and how to use them, portable beams for 2 meter mountain-topping, and more.

The number of hams using very low power -- QRP -- also continued to grow, with equipment and portable HF antennas featured in QST articles, as well as reports of QRP use by hikers and mountain-climbing hams.

Repeaters for 2 meter FM operation were becoming very popular, and their numbers were growing rapidly. QST described how to build repeater duplexers, control equipment, antennas, and control links, and it kept repeater control operators informed of relevant FCC rules as they were developed.

Amateur Radio satellites continued to attract more and more attention. QST articles provided information to encourage and help hams get up and running on the satellites. Topics covered in those many articles included how to plot satellite orbits, build beams that could be rotated in both azimuth and elevation, construct circularly polarized beams, determine when you can use the satellites for contacts over a given path, along with other tips and information. As each new OSCAR was built and launched, QST carried announcements and information on how to use it.

A nice article on "The $22,000,000.00 Ham Shack" appeared in the April 1970 QST. No, it wasn't an April Fool's article. It told of the first flight of the new Boeing 747, with WA7IBL using one of the aircraft's radios to make HF SSB contacts.

As the 1970s rolled along, many homeowners purchased hi-fi and stereo audio equipment. Most consumer electronic equipment was not built to reject interference from ham transmitters, however. Articles in QST during the 1970s told hams how to deal with those interference issues.

In 1970, the much-anticipated Heath SB-220 HF kilowatt linear amplifier came on the market, with a selling price of $350.

As transistors' performance continued to improve, homebrew solid-state equipment became progressively more popular. QST reported on many interesting projects that used transistors, including VFOs, QRP rigs, receivers and receiver preamplifiers, transmitting linear amplifiers, and accessories. -- Al Brogdon, W1AB

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lIN BRIEF
  • Solar Update - Tad Cook, K7RA, in Seattle, Washington, reports: Solar activity showed further signs of weakness this week, with the average daily sunspot number dropping 41.8 points to 94.9, while average daily solar flux declined 36.5 points to 113.1. In the 45-day forecast for solar flux, it was surprising to see on August 3 a new solar flux prediction of 150 for August 31 through September 3. I had anticipated that this prediction would drop, to be more in line with predicted values before and after that period, and in the August 11 forecast, this is just what happened. The predicted solar flux for those dates was revised to 125 for August 31 through September 2, then to 120 on September 3, where it remains today. That 45-day forecast predicts solar flux at 100 on August 14, 105 on August 15, 110 for August 16-17, 105 for August 18-19, then 110, 100 and 110 on August 20-22, 115 for August 23-24, 120 for August 25-26, then 125 and 130 on August 27-28, and 125 for August 29 through September 2. Flux values are expected to gradually drift upward to 135 by September 24, the day following the fall equinox. Predicted planetary A index is 10 on August 14, 8 for August 15-16, 5 for August 17-21, then 8, 5 and 8 on August 22, 23, and 24, 5 for August 25-27, 8 for August 28-29, then 5, 12, 10 and 8 on August 30 through September 2, 5 for September 3-5, 8 on September 6, 5 for September 7-8, 8 on September 9, and 5 until September 18. This weekly "Solar Update" in The ARRL Letter is a preview of the "Propagation Bulletin" issued each Friday. The latest bulletin and an archive of past propagation bulletins are on the ARRL website. In this Friday's bulletin look for an updated forecast and reports from readers. Send me your reports and observations.

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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 Courses & Training web pagee.

  • FEMA Online Trainingg - 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-filessss

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  • lCLOSING ITEMS

    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.

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    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.