EVARC Events/Announcements

January 11, 2015
Vol 15, No 01




EVARC Upcoming Events/Announcements
Test Sessions
From the ARRL Letter - January 8, 2015
     ARRL Lab Receives a Major Upgrade, Thanks to Tektronix
     Revised ARRL HF Contesting Guidelines Now Available
     ARRL Survey Underway
     Nuts and Volts Magazine Launches New Ham Radio Column by Ward Silver, N0AX
     ARTSAT2: DESPATCH (FO-81) Satellite Goes Dark
     Radio History: A Century of Amateur Radio and the ARRL
In Brief
Education and Training
Closing Items



EVARC Upcoming Events/Announcements


Next September meeting of the Elkhorn Valley Amateur Radio Club
Date:  Saturday, February 14, 2015
Time:  08:30 AM
LocationBailey's Bistro & Lounge
                 1201 S 13th St
Minutes from the December 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


EVARC Club Officers - 2015

At the December 13 club meeting, the following individuals were elected as club officers for the 2015

President - Fred Wiebelhaus, N0VLX
Vice President - Nick Breckenfeldt, KB0GMQ
Secretary/Treasurer - Sue Askew, KD0JE


Midwest Division News

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


Nebraska Section News

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



Test Sessions within 100 miles of Norfolk, NE

For more testing locations see the ARRL Testing Web page


AksarbenARC/Omaha Area VE Team
     Date: Jan 27 2015
     Time: 6:30 PM (Walk-ins allowed)
     Contact: William H. Jackson
                     (402) 571-7540
     Email: k9rz@arrl.net
     Location: American Red Cross
                     2912 S 80th Ave
                     Near 84th and Center
                     Lower Level West Side
                     Omaha NE 68124-3250


Siouxland ARA
     Date: Jan 30 2015
     Time: 6:30 PM (Walk-ins allowed)
     Contact: Gary L. Johnson
                     (712) 898-7631
     Email: garywy0v@msn.com
     Location: American Red Cross
                     4200 War Eagle Dr
                     Phone call is preferred
                     Sioux City IA 51109-1700


02/05/2015      Sponsor: Lincoln ARC
     Date: Feb 05 2015
     Time: 6:30 PM (Walk-ins allowed)
     Contact: John P. Hauner
                     (402) 486-1400
     Email: jphusker@earthlink.com
     Location: Northside Cafe
                      2701 N 48th St.
                      Lincoln NE 68504-1425



l Hamfests/Conventions
Nebraska State Convention
Start Date
: 03/21/2015
End Date: 03/21/2015
Location: Lancaster County Event Center
                4100 North 84th Street
                Lincoln, NE 68501
Website: http://lincolnhamfest.org/
Sponsor: Lincoln Amateur Radio Club
Type: ARRL Convention pending Executive Committee approval
Talk-In: 146.76(-)
Public Contact: Reynolds Davis , K0GND
                         3901 South 42nd Street
                         Lincoln, NE 68506
                         Phone: 402-488-3706
                         Email: K0GND@arrl.net
Hamboree 2015
Start Date: 04/11/2015
End Date: 04/11/2015
Location: Boone County Fairgrounds Community Building
                1601 Industrial Park Road
                Boone, IA 50036
Website: http://www.3900club.com
Sponsor: 3900 Club
Type: ARRL Hamfest
Talk-In: 146.850 - (no PL tone)
Public Contact: Clay Conard , W0FS
                         PO Box 286
                         Stratford, IA 50249
                         Phone: 515-838-2285
                         Email: cgconard@globalccs.net

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



From the January 8, 2015 ARRL Letter


ARRL Lab Receives a Major Upgrade, Thanks to Tektronix

The ARRL Laboratory now has significantly superior measurement capabilities, thanks to Tektronix Corporation's generous donation of a mixed-domain bench oscilloscope (model MDO4104B-3). Alan Wolke, W2AEW, Senior Applications Engineer for Tektronix, visited ARRL

Headquarters on January 6 to introduce the Lab staff to the sophisticated 'scope. An ARRL Life Member, Wolke arranged for the donation.

"This oscilloscope is a huge benefit to us," commented ARRL Test Engineer Bob Allison, WB1GCM. "It will be particularly important, considering the fast-paced evolution of digital technology. The ARRL Lab is grateful to Tektronix, to Alan Wolke, and Tektronix Public Relations Manager Amy Higgins for this generous contribution."

The dual-function instrument has a bandwidth of 1 GHz, 5 GS/s for time-domain measurements and can make frequency-domain measurements up to 3 GHz. The MDO4104B-3 replaces the Lab's Tektronix TDS-3052B, a 500 MHz storage oscilloscope.

Wolke has personally produced a large number of quality training videos, for radio amateurs wanting to learn more about the practical applications of test instruments.



Revised ARRL HF Contesting Guidelines Now Available

The ARRL HF Contesting Guidelines have been revised, and the latest edition now is available. The latest guidelines, updated by an ARRL Contest Advisory Committee (CAC) team, address changes in technology that have affected contesting in recent years -- including remote station operation -- and present a current understanding of contesting standards and practices. Some sections also have been rewritten and reorganized to improve readability. George Wagner, K5KG, a member of the CAC team that undertook the update, said the goals of the revised ARRL HF Contesting Guidelines are to provide guidance and advice -- especially for new contesters -- and to encourage contest operation that advances the spirit and integrity of radiosport.

"The materials presented are facts, opinions and best practices," Wagner said. "Information presented in the document is not mandatory, and the individual contest operator is free to accept or reject its wisdom. In all cases, contest rules take precedence, so the collective advice is always to read, understand, and follow the contest rules" in letter and spirit, he said.

The Guidelines document presents frequently asked questions and answers and additional material about common situations encountered in HF contesting. The questions and responses only address HF contesting, and not VHF+ contesting.

ARRL Contest Branch Manager Matt Wilhelm, W1MSW, expressed his appreciation to the committee for taking on the task of updating the guidelines. "We often refer new contesters to the document, so the effort to revise it and include new technologies that affect radiosport is essential," he said.

A PDF version of the Guidelines is available for download. Address comments and suggestions about the HF Contesting Guidelines to the ARRL Contest Advisory Committee member from your ARRL Division.



ARRL Survey Underway

The ARRL has asked an independent research company specializing in survey research to conduct a survey of Amateur Radio operators in the US. Readex Research, headquartered in Stillwater, Minnesota, has conducted similar studies for ARRL in the past, including QST readership studies and other large national surveys.

This most recent survey is being conducted by mail and e-mail and will include representative populations of Amateur Radio operators from among ARRL members, as well as non-member FCC licensees. While not every member will receive a survey, participation from those individuals who are selected is critical for the success of this project.

Responses will be kept confidential and only used in tabulation with others; no data about survey participants -- including contact information -- will be shared with anyone.

Contact ARRL Marketing Manager Bob Inderbitzen, NQ1R, if you have any questions about the survey.



Nuts and Volts Magazine Launches New Ham Radio Column by Ward Silver, N0AX

Well-known ARRL Contributing Editor Ward Silver, N0AX, has debuted a new column for Nuts and Volts magazine -- "The Ham's Wireless Workbench." Nuts and Volts is written for "the hands-on hobbyist, design engineer, technician, and experimenter," which describes a lot of radio amateurs.

"The general idea is to open the door to ham radio for electronically inclined folks who either may not be aware of the hobby or who may find some of our technology interesting and/or useful," Silver said. "This is an excellent opportunity to provide outreach to the active and growing electronic 'maker' -- or do-it-yourselfer -- audience."

Every other month, Silver will cover a topic that showcases some aspect of Amateur Radio technology that is not typically covered by non-ham media. Such topics, he said, would include such things as antennas, transmission lines, connectors, propagation, transmitters, and modulation -- areas not often discussed outside of QST and other ham radio publications. His first column in the January 2015 issue is an introduction to antennas -- specifically how to make a VHF/UHF ground plane for listening to NOAA weather stations. First, though, Silver acquainted his readers with ham radio and pointed out that several Nuts and Volts editorial staffers -- including the print and digital publication's editor, Bryan Bergeron, NU1N -- as well as contributors and many readers are radio amateurs.

Silver pointed to a new Amateur Radio Technology Portal he developed for the ARRL website that offers links to some of the technical facets of Amateur Radio, without requiring visitors to be familiar with ham radio terminology or jargon. He said he's already received several e-mails through the site.



ARTSAT2: DESPATCH (FO-81) Satellite Goes Dark

The ARTSAT2: DESPATCH sculpture/satellite (FO-81) has stopped transmitting after 1 month. The satellite was one of two carrying Amateur Radio payloads that were launched December 3 onboard a Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) vehicle into an Earth-escape orbit as piggyback payloads of the Hayabusa 2 asteroid sample-return mission into deep space. Crafted as a physical art object, ARTSAT2: DESPATCH transmitted a CW beacon on 437.325 MHz. The other Amateur Radio payload was Shin’en 2 (Abyss 2). Ground controllers at Tama Art University, who had estimated the spacecraft's battery would last for 27 days, concluded the satellite’s mission on January 3.

“DESPATCH will continue to orbit around the sun as an artificial asteroid,” said Akihiro Kubota, a Tama Art University faculty member. “By examining the calculated results for the local minimum value of the distance between the Earth, DESPATCH will approach to less than 1 million km from Earth after about 350 years.” Kubota said it could come closer, “due to the interaction with unpredictable other celestial bodies.” The actual sculpture was created using a 3D printer.

Kubota expressed appreciation to the many Amateur Radio operators who received and reported the “super-weak” CW signal from DESPATCH’s 7 W transmitter in deep space. An algorithm running on the onboard computer drew on readings from all of the spacecraft’s sensors to compose and encode poetry “reflecting not only the sensor data but the artist’s subconscious personality.” The ground team used a “cooperative data reconstruction” approach, piecing together the received fragments of the satellite’s poetry broadcast to reconstruct the whole. DESPATCH received two reception reports — from PE1ITR and OK1DFC — when the satellite was some 2.9 million miles from Earth. “They were far beyond what we expected,” Kubota said.

Kubota said that while the satellite has stopped transmitting, “the life of DESPATCH as a sculpture around the Sun is almost eternal.”

The ARTSAT project will continue, Kubota added. “We already have started the conceptual design of ARTSAT3,” he reported. — Thanks to AMSAT News Service via Akihiro Kubota



Radio History: A Century of Amateur Radio and the ARRL

For years, the ARRL had been requesting the FCC to state that Commission rules preempted homeowners association restrictions or limitations on Amateur Radio antennas. At the end of 2001, the FCC suggested that the League take its case to Congress. ARRL representatives discussed the issue with members of Congress in February, a visit that ARRL President Jim Haynie, W5JBP, called "the best yet" for ham radio. H.R. 4720 was introduced in May. It would

AO-7 came back to life in 2002.

have required homeowners associations to reasonably accommodate Amateur Radio antennas.

During 2001, four North American distance records were set on 10, 47, 241, and 322 GHz, demonstrating that technical prowess, hard work, and persistence can lead to extraordinary technical accomplishments. VE4MA and W5LUA made the first EME contact on 24 GHz in August.

By early 2002, radio amateurs and the ARRL were looking at digital voice emissions as a potential new mode.

On January 31, 2002, President George W. Bush spotlighted five Florida volunteer groups, including Volusia County ARES. During his visit, the president addressed the Northern Florida ARES Net on 75 meters.

An excellent nostalgia article appeared in the June 2002 QST -- "The First Field Day," authored by W0AR, who operated in that 1933 event as W9NFV. Some 50 portable stations participated, causing ARRL's Ed Handy, W1BDI, to prophesy, "The enthusiasm greeting our first Field Day augers well for future similar occasions."

On June 21, 2002, signals from OSCAR 7, given up for dead 20 years earlier, suddenly reappeared! -- Al Brogdon, W1AB


  • Solar Update - Tad Cook, K7RA, Seattle, Washington, reports: All solar activity indicators rose this week -- sunspot numbers, solar flux and geomagnetic indices. On January 7 the interplanetary magnetic field tipped south, opening a crack to admit solar wind. This triggered the largest geomagnetic storm since September 2014. That same day the planetary A index jumped to 38, pushing the average for the week to 17.7. The previous 7 days (the last 7 days of 2014) the average planetary A index was 13.9. Average daily sunspot number on the first week of January was 108.1, compared to 102.9 in the final 7 days of 2014. Likewise, average daily solar flux increased from 134.9 to 144.7. The latest prediction has solar flux at 155 and 160 on January 8-9, 165 on January 10-11, 170 on January 12, 175 on January 13-15, then 170, 165, 160, 155, 145, 140, and 135 for January 16-22, and reaching a minimum at 130 on January 23-27. Solar flux then rises to a maximum of 175 on February 8-11. Predicted Planetary A index is 20 and 15 on January 8-9, 10 on January 10-12, 8 on January 13, 5 on January 14-20, then 10, 15, and 5 for January 21-23, then 10, 18, and 15 for January 24-26, then 8, 5, 10, and 12 on January 27-30, 15 on January 31 through February 1, then 10, 8, and 18 on February 2-4, 10 on February 5-7, and 5 on February 8-16. 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 is on the ARRL website.  In tomorrow's bulletin look for an updated forecast and reports from readers. Send me your reports and observations.

  • New WAS Award Application Processing on Hold: ARRL is redesigning the basic Worked All States (WAS) Award certificate and has put a hold on the processing of new WAS applications received after about December 24, 2014. "We are making the certificate the same size as a DXCC certificate (11×14), so we can return to using stickers for endorsements in most cases," said ARRL Field Services and Radiosport Manager Dave Patton, NN1N. "The ever-popular WAS program has grown in many ways here at Headquarters, and we need to reorganize for more consistency." Patton said the Triple Play certificate and plaque will not change.


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-filesssss



    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.