EVARC Events/Announcements

October 18, 2014
Vol 14, No 25




EVARC Upcoming Events/Announcements
Test Sessions
From the ARRL Letter - October 16, 2014
     ARRL Executive Committee Adopts Mobile Amateur Radio Operation Policy
     Young Ham Recognized for Navigation Aid for Visually Impaired
     School Club Roundup is Coming to Town!
     ARES Volunteers Stand Ready as Tropical Storm Ana Aims for Hawaii
     Radio History: A Century of Amateur Radio and the ARRL
In Brief
Education and Training
Closing Items



EVARC Upcoming Events/Announcements


Radio Merit Badge Training

The Club has agreed to provide Boy Scout Radio Merit Badge training on Nov 1, 2014 at the Northeast Community College Life Long Learning Center.  If you can assist please contact Fred, N0VLX.  Time will be announced later.


Next September meeting of the Elkhorn Valley Amateur Radio Club
Date:  Saturday, November 8, 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 October 2014 is available on the EVARC Web site.


Nebraska Section News

The Nebraska Section news for June 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



     Sponsor: N. Platte Progressive ARC
     Date: Oct 29 2014
     Time: 7:00 PM (Walk-ins allowed)
     Contact: Kevin D. Curtis
                     (308) 539-6160
     Email: k0kdc@q.com
     Location: VE Residence
                      714 W Front St
North Platte NE  69101-4343



     Sponsor: Lincoln ARC
     Date: Nov 06 2014
     Time: 6:30 PM (Walk-ins allowed)
     Contact: John P. Hauner
                     (402) 486-1400
     Location: Northside Cafe
                      2701 N 48th St.
                      Lincoln NE 68504-1425



     Sponsor: Bellevue ARC
     Date: Nov 08 2014
     Time: 1:00 PM (Walk-ins allowed)
     Contact: Robert F. McCoy
                     (402) 871-5077
     Location: Alegent Health Midlands Hospital
                      11111 S 84 Street
                      McArdle Suite
                      Papillion NE 68046-3920



     Sponsor: Siouxland ARA
     Date: Nov 21 2014
     Time: 7:00 PM (Walk-ins allowed)
     Contact: Gary L. Johnson
                    (712) 289-87631
     Location: American Red Cross
                      4200 War Eagle Dr
                      Sioux City IA 51109-1700



     Sponsor: AksarbenARC/Omaha Area VE Team
     Date: Nov 25 2014
     Time: 6:03 PM (Walk-ins allowed)
     Contact: William H. Jackson
                     (402) 571-7540
     Location: American Red Cross
                      2912 S 80th Ave
                      Near 84th and Center
                      Lower Level West Side
                      Omaha NE 68124-3250



l Hamfests/Conventions

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



From the October 16, 2014 ARRL Letter


ARRL Executive Committee Adopts Mobile Amateur Radio Operation Policy

The ARRL Executive Committee adopted an updated Policy Statement on Amateur Radio mobile operation during its October 4 meeting in Memphis. While agreeing that driver inattention is a leading cause of auto accidents and that concern over driver distraction “is not unreasonable,” the policy cites Amateur Radio’s 70-year history of two-way mobile operation as evidence that such radio use does not contribute to driver inattention. The policy points out that Amateur Radio operation differs from cell phone communication, in part because the device need not be held to the face to listen, no text messaging is involved, and mobile ham operators only need to pick up a microphone to make “brief and infrequent” transmissions.

Prompting the policy update is the 2012 federal law “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century” or MAP-21, which requires states to enact and enforce statutes that prohibit “texting through a personal wireless communications device while driving” in order to qualify for federal grants to support a state’s program. The League “encourages the use of the language in MAP-21 in state statutes and municipal ordinances dealing with mobile telephone and mobile text-messaging limitations,” the updated policy states.

Many states already have statutes in place that restrict the use of cell phones and other communication devices to a greater or lesser degree, and several exempt Amateur Radio. A lot of these laws predate MAP-21, however, and because MAP-21 permits no specific exception for Amateur Radio operation, some may need to be revised in order to comply with its requirements. The ARRL is urging states or localities to adopt motor vehicle codes that narrowly define the class of regulated devices, in order to exclude Amateur Radio specifically.

“Given the necessity of unrestricted mobile Amateur Radio communications in order for the benefits of Amateur Radio to the public to continue to be realized, ARRL urges state and municipal legislators considering restrictions on mobile cellular telephone operation and mobile text messaging to narrowly define the class of devices included in the regulation, so that the class includes only full-duplex wireless telephones and related hand-held or portable equipment,” the League policy recommends.

The ARRL policy suggests statutory language for state and local motor vehicle codes that defines a “personal wireless communications device” as one through which “commercial mobile services, unlicensed wireless services, and common carrier wireless exchange access services are transmitted.” This would include such devices as cell phones and anything used for text messaging or paging, but the suggested wording specifically excludes “two-way radio communications equipment, such as that used in the Amateur Radio Service.”

For states or localities considering banning all but hands-free cell phone use, the ARRL recommended wording that would prohibit the use of a personal wireless communications device “in any manner” while driving, unless the motorist is using hands-free capability. The suggested statutory language would not apply to anyone using the device while the vehicle is parked or “to contact or receive calls from an emergency response vehicle or agency.”

ARRL CEO David Sumner, K1ZZ, addressed the issue in his November 2013 QST “It Seems to Us” editorial, “Distracted Driving Legislation: Proceed with Caution.” In the editorial, Sumner wrote, “For decades, radio amateurs have been operating while driving without being perceived as a threat to highway safety. In the face of legislation to ban unsafe practices such as texting while driving it is natural to want clear exemptions for Amateur Radio — but beware of unintended consequences.”

Sumner described one of those “unintended consequences” relating to Connecticut’s distracted driving statute, which the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) advised was not in compliance with MAP-21, because its Amateur Radio exception was not one of the three permitted under the law. Connecticut revised its law in 2013 to limit the use of a hand-held radio by an Amateur Radio operator to emergencies only — “exactly what we were hoping to avoid,” Sumner wrote.

As further evidence of Amateur Radio’s mobile safety record, the policy points to a 2009 letter to the ARRL from the National Safety Council. In the letter, the Council said it neither had nor was aware of evidence that using Amateur Radio or two-way radio while driving posed significant crash risks. “Until such time as compelling, peer-reviewed scientific research is presented that denotes significant risks associated with the use of amateur radios, two-way radios or other communication devices, the NSC does not support legislative bans or prohibition on their use,” the Council said.

A 1994 joint congressional resolution expressed support for Amateur Radio as national policy and declared that “reasonable accommodation be made” for effective Amateur Radio operation “from residences, private vehicles, and public areas,” and that laws should “facilitate and encourage Amateur Radio operation as a public benefit.”



Young Ham Recognized for Navigation Aid for Visually Impaired

A young radio amateur from California is one of nine Popular Mechanics "Future Breakthrough Award" winners. Shiloh Curtis, KK6ISM, developed a "hat-based, hands-free, haptic navigational aid for visually impaired individuals." As the publication explained, after a friend from her school's robotics club described going blind as losing "two eyes and one hand," Curtis determined to come up with a way to free up the hand that would be wielding the classic white cane. Robotics was the key.

"A robot is blind until you put sensors on it," she told Popular Mechanics. "Why don't we put sensors on the blind, so they can navigate like robots?"

She combined a wide-brimmed hat, vibrating motors, and a robot vacuum cleaner's laser distance sensor to come up with the wearable device that warns the wearer of obstacles through vibrations.

Shiloh Curtis is a junior at Laughing Thunder Academy in Sunnyvale, California. She has been recognized as the winner of California State Fair "Project of the Year" and was an Americas Regional finalist in the Google Science Fair. She is the daughter of Dave Curtis, N6NZ. -- Thanks to Ward Silver, N0AX, and Bob Wilson, N6TV



School Club Roundup is Coming to Town!

Is it the ARRL November Sweepstakes that kicks off the ARRL's fall HF contest season? No! School Club Roundup (SCR) leads the parade, warming up students across the land. By this time, fall quarter or semester is well underway, and clubs are at full throttle. October

typically exhibits good fall propagation, and clubs should find it easy to make contacts across the continent and around the world, even with a modest station. Unlike most contests, this one takes place through the week, beginning at 1300 UTC on October 20 and running through October 24 at 2359 UTC. Stations may operate for a maximum of 24 hours through the entire contest and are limited to 6 hours of operation during any single 24-hour period.

Participation is simple, and there's a home for everybody. There are five categories of club entries: Elementary/Primary, Middle/Intermediate/Junior High School, Senior High School, College/University Club, and Non-School Club. There is also an Individual category.

If you just want to get on the air and hand out contacts, enter in the Individual category. Any mode -- SSB, CW, or digital -- is okay. Tune around and listen for SCR stations calling CQ, or do it yourself and see who answers (call "CQ School Clubs," if you aren't a club station). Once you make a contact, exchange a signal report, category (School, Club, or Individual), and your state, province, or DXCC entity. After the contest is over, submit your log online (preferred) or by paper.

The most popular time for younger students is during the after-school hours, but the older students may be on the air at any time. All groups are limited to one transmitter on the air. By no means do the older students automatically win. The February SCR results were a shootout with the K1BBS Burr and Burton ARC high school team prevailing over all challengers, edging out the K5LMS Lampasas Middle School Youth ARC.

The School Club Roundup is co-sponsored by the ARRL and the Long Island Mobile Amateur Radio Club (LIMARC), and results appear in QST as well as online. Bruce Horn, WA7BNM, has created a web entry service that accepts scores and logs. Paper logs and summary sheets are still available, but participants might want to try the logging program SCR-LOG, which is written especially for the School Club Roundup. Other logging program choices are listed on the SCR website.

Once the contest is over, browse to the WA7BNM web service and upload your log. As soon as the log deadline passes on November 8, the web service automatically sorts and displays all claimed scores. Logs are reviewed by the LIMARC team, and final results are posted afterward. Certificates will be generated at the same time for downloading and printing.

While you're at it, upload some photos of your school team in action to the ARRL Soapbox to show off your team members. -- Thanks to Ward Silver, N0AX



ARES Volunteers Stand Ready as Tropical Storm Ana Aims for Hawaii

Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) volunteers in Hawaii are on alert for possible activation as Tropical Storm Ana, which is forecast to become a Category 1 hurricane, bears down on the Hawaiian Islands. As of 1200 UTC on October 16, Ana was 740 miles southeast of Honolulu and moving at about 10 MPH with maximum sustained winds of 60 MPH. The storm is expected to reach the islands on Saturday. ARRL Pacific Section Manager Bob Schneider, AH6J, said he attended an informational meeting at Hawaii County Civil Defense on Wednesday and will attend another Thursday.

"All beaches, parks and schools are closed starting Friday, including Hawaii Volcano National Park," Schneider told ARRL Headquarters. He said he expected to deploy Ham Aid equipment kits to several schools. The Ham Aid kits -- sent in September from ARRL as a lava flow was threatening communities on the Big Island -- include HF gear as well as VHF and UHF equipment. Schneider also cancelled two ARRL-sanctioned ham radio gatherings scheduled for Saturday -- one on the Big Island and the other on Oahu.

"We are in tropical storm watch and expect to upgrade that Friday morning to a hurricane watch," Schneider said. "A hurricane warning may also go up soon. The storm is wandering a little. I still expect it to become a Cat 1 hurricane with very heavy waves on the northeastern quadrant. I heard the mayor instruct the Kona people to be sure and get the surfers out of the water as he expected the Kailua-Kona beaches to be hit hardest."

The National Weather Service Central Pacific Hurricane Center anticipates that the first significant swells from Ana will arrive late on Thursday, and large, potentially damaging surf will follow the next day. The Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency was advising residents of Punalu'u, Kalapana, Pohoiki, and Kapoho to take precautions and move to higher ground.

The NWS has issued a flash flood watch for Hawaii Island from noon Friday through 6 PM Sunday, with forecasts of 10 to 15 inches of rain, and locally up to 20 inches along southeast-facing slopes. The heavy rain raises the possibility of landslides in areas of steep terrain.



Radio History: A Century of Amateur Radio and the ARRL

The October 1990 QST reported on the 3Y5X Bouvet Island DXpedition of 1989-1990. This $330,000 venture -- funded by the participants and by donations from hams around the world -- produced nearly 50,000 contacts on all HF bands on SSB, CW, and RTTY.

The first World Radiosport Team Championship was held in Seattle in 1990, as part of the International Goodwill Exchange Event.

Marking the 75th anniversary of QST, the magazine's December 1990 issue published an overview of those 75 years, written by WJ1Z. The article noted that at the time the first issue of QST was published, the League's membership was 635.

On October 28, 1990, W5UN worked his 100th country via EME (moonbounce). Not content to rest on his laurels, by November 4 he was up to 104 countries. Dave might have made EME DXCC earlier, had it not been for a tornado that wrecked his first 32 dBi-gain moonbounce array.

The FCC instituted the new "codeless" Technician license on Valentine's Day 1991. Within the first two weeks, 313 people had applied, and the first such license was issued to N3IFY.

An interesting airplane accident story was published in March 1991 QST. Gary, V31KX, was aboard a flight in Belize that went down on November 14, 1990. After the forced landing, Gary retrieved his 2 meter handheld from his luggage, connected it to the aircraft's 121 MHz antenna and made a successful call for help.

Operation Desert Storm began in 1990, and MARS stations were activated to handle personal messages, including phone patches, between members of the military and their families back home -- a major morale-booster. Those efforts of American amateurs operating under their counterpart MARS call signs generated a great amount of positive publicity for Amateur Radio.

The May 1991 QST article, "Last Voice from Kuwait," told how Abdul, 9K2DZ, hid his amateur gear from Iraqi soldiers when they came to confiscate it. When they demanded his radio equipment, he gave them a broken radio! After that, he used AMTOR and APLINK to handle health-and-welfare messages in and out of Kuwait. Many of Abdul's messages were forwarded to the media, Department of Defense, Department of State, and the White House. Again, good reviews for Amateur Radio.

During 1991, many hams made contact with the Soviet Mir space station, thanks to the efforts of operator Musa, UV3AM. Another Amateur Radio first occurred in 1991: The entire crew of the space shuttle Atlantis on its STS-37 mission (April 5-11, 1991) was comprised of hams, and Space Amateur Radio EXperiment (SAREX) ham gear was aboard. -- Al Brogdon, W1AB


  • Solar Update - Tad Cook, K7RA, Seattle, Washington, reports: Solar activity declined this week, with average daily sunspot numbers dropping from 98 last week to 55.1 in the week that ended Wednesday, October 15. Average daily solar flux slipped from 131.9 to 117.4. The average planetary A index rose from 6.4 to 10.4. The most unsettled geomagnetic day was Tuesday, October 14, when the planetary A index was 18, and the planetary K index reached 5 for 9 hours overnight. In Alaska, the college A index reached 21, but this was because the same 9-hour period of activity all occurred by the end of the day (UTC), while the planetary K index reached 5 for 6 hours as Tuesday ended and 3 hours as Wednesday began. The latest prediction for solar flux is 130, 140, and 150 on October 16-18, 160 on October 19-22, 140 on October 23-25, 135, and 130 on October 26-27, and 125 on October 28-29. The predicted planetary A index is 18 and 12 on October 16-17, 8 on October 18-20, 15 on October 21-24, and 10 on October 25-28. 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 Friday's bulletin look for an updated forecast and reports from readers. Send me your reports and observations.

  • AMSAT Offering Fox Satellite Collectable Coin - AMSAT has announced that it's making available a collectable "challenge coin" for qualifying donations to the Fox satellite program. AMSAT commissioned the coin for those contributing at least $100 to the campaign.  "This challenge coin is shaped as an isometric view of a Fox-1 CubeSat, complete with details such as the stowed UHF antenna, solar cells, and camera lens viewport," AMSAT's Drew Glassbrenner, KO4MA, said in making the announcement. The coin is 3 mm thick brass and plated with antique silver and finished in bright enamel. The reverse side displays the AMSAT Fox logo. The coins were scheduled for delivery prior to the just-concluded 2014 AMSAT Space Symposium. They also will be made available upon request to qualifying donors who contributed since the Fox-1C announcement on July 18. The Fox program is designed to provide a platform for university experiments in space, as well as provide FM repeater capability for radio amateurs worldwide. Fox-1A and 1C are set to launch in 2015, and Fox-1B -- also known as RadFXSat -- is awaiting NASA ELaNa launch assignment. Donations to the Fox satellite program may be made via the AMSAT website, the FundRazr crowdsourcing app, or via the AMSAT office, (888) 322-6728. -- AMSAT News Service via Drew Glasbrenner, KO4MA


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.