EVARC Events/Announcements

October 26, 2014
Vol 14, No 26

 

- IN THIS EDITION -

 

EVARC Upcoming Events/Announcements
Test Sessions
Hamfests/Conventions
From the ARRL Letter - October 23, 2014
     ARRL Board May Seek Member Input on 15 Meter Novice/Tech Digital Privileges
     IARU Administrative Council Resolution Seeks to Rein in Electromagnetic Interference
     4M Moon Orbiter Carrying Ham Radio Payload to Launch on October 23
     Edge of Space Sciences Balloon Flight Carrying Amateur Radio to Launch October 25
     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

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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.

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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

 

10/29/2014

     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
     VEC:
ARRL/VEC
     Location: VE Residence
                      714 W Front St
                     
North Platte NE  69101-4343

 

11/06/2014

     Sponsor: Lincoln ARC
     Date: Nov 06 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

 

11/08/2014

     Sponsor: Bellevue ARC
     Date: Nov 08 2014
     Time: 1:00 PM (Walk-ins allowed)
     Contact: Robert F. McCoy
                     (402) 871-5077
     Email:
nb0b@arrl.net
     VEC:
ARRL/VEC
     Location: Alegent Health Midlands Hospital
                      11111 S 84 Street
                      McArdle Suite
                      Papillion NE 68046-3920

 

11/21/2014

     Sponsor: Siouxland ARA
     Date: Nov 21 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

 

11/25/2014

     Sponsor: AksarbenARC/Omaha Area VE Team
     Date: Nov 25 2014
     Time: 6:03 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

 

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l Hamfests/Conventions
 
 

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 October 23, 2014 ARRL Letter

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ARRL Board May Seek Member Input on 15 Meter Novice/Tech Digital Privileges

A proposal aired at the July ARRL Board of Directors meeting endorsing additional HF digital privileges for Technicians and referred to the ARRL Executive Committee (EC) for study came in for considerable discussion when the EC met on October 4 in Memphis. The original motion by ARRL Southeastern Division Director Doug Rehman, K4AC, had called for a Petition for Rule Making to the FCC seeking digital privileges for Techs on narrow segments of 80, 40, and 15 meters. Rehman’s motion had noted that Technicians already enjoy digital privileges on 10 meters, a band with highly variable propagation that will diminish as the sunspot cycle declines.

After discussing the proposal’s pros and cons, the EC put the ball back into the Board’s court in a modified form: The EC recommended that the Board consider soliciting input from the membership on adding Novice/Technician data privileges within their existing 15 meter subband. In his original proposal, Rehman had pointed out that text messaging, a medium preferred by today’s youth, bears “great similarity with amateur digital communications.”

“This is not a proposal that the Board adopt data privileges for Techs and Novices on 15 meters as an objective, and it is most definitely not an ARRL proposal to the FCC,” stressed ARRL CEO David Sumner, K1ZZ, a non-voting member of the EC. “That would come later, if at all, after the Board has had an opportunity to weigh membership input.”

In other matters, ARRL General Counsel Chris Imlay, W3KD, told the EC to expect an FCC Notice of Proposed Rule Making “sometime in the next few months” that will propose the elimination of the existing symbol rate limit on HF data communication. The NPRM, in response to an ARRL Petition for Rule Making filed last November, is expected to leave open for comment the specific bandwidth limitation that should replace it, and it may address additional topics.

Imlay also briefed the committee on recent discussions with US House Telecommunications Subcommittee staff regarding “The Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2014.” The bill, H.R. 4969, had attracted 47 co-sponsors by the time Congress recessed. Another 10 representatives have committed to signing on when Congress returns next month after the elections.

Imlay noted there has been no action on the League’s 2012 Petition for Rule Making to create an MF Amateur Service allocation at 472-479 kHz, nor on ET Docket 12-338, regarding implementation of the Final Acts of World Radiocommunication Conference 2007. There also was nothing new to report regarding other allocation issues, including an Amateur Service allocation at 135.7-137.8 kHz and upgrading 1900-2000 kHz to primary.

Imlay observed there had been a recent uptick in enforcement activity by the FCC. The EC also discussed the status of the 1984 agreement between the FCC and the ARRL that established the Amateur Auxiliary to the FCC Field Operations Bureau — as a part of the Official Observer program — and the desirability of revitalizing this relationship with the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau. Imlay further reported that a review of power line interference case files is underway to identify serious cases still in need of attention.

The panel also discussed Amateur Radio’s role in a “model city” that would provide a real-world test stand for the evaluation of new wireless technology and spectrum-sharing strategies. In its comments in the model city proceeding, ET Docket 14-99, the ARRL called the Model City concept “a welcome development in proving sharing concepts in the real world.” The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) had conceived the creation of an urban test city as a public-private partnership. ARRL has urged significant Amateur Radio involvement in the concept and stressed that the chosen test bed be free of public, private, or environmental antenna regulations that could preclude establishment of a representative environment.

In other matters, the EC approved a draft letter from the League to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel that lent support to efforts to postpone the dismantling of the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) facility in Alaska. The ARRL urged Hagel to maintain HAARP “in its current condition” until the National Science Foundation completes its review of a proposal by the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks to take over the site from the US Navy Research Lab. The League took no position on whether future operation of HAARP is the best way to pursue ionospheric research.

“However,” the letter concluded, “as it is an existing facility with impressive capabilities that was constructed at considerable expense, it is only reasonable to preserve these capabilities until that question can be answered definitively.”

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IARU Administrative Council Resolution Seeks to Rein in Electromagnetic Interference

The International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) Administrative Council has called upon International Telecommunication Union (ITU) signatory nations to take steps to ensure that the operation of “electrical apparatus or installations of any kind, including power and telecommunication distribution networks,” does not cause harmful interference to Amateur Radio operations. The Council adopted a resolution expressing concern with the “rapid and largely uncontrolled growth” in devices that generate RF energy “as an unnecessary and undesirable consequence of their operation.” It cited such devices as switching power supplies, power inverters, plasma video displays, and wireline telecommunication systems that employ such technologies as Broadband over Power Lines (BPL).

The AC said new technologies such as wireless power transfer are likely to be deployed widely in the near future, and it expressed “deep concern” that present standards, regulations, and enforcement resources are inadequate to protect radio services, including Amateur Radio, from harmful interference.

The Council’s action, which came during its annual meeting (see attached "Summary Record") on September 27 and 28 in Albena, Bulgaria, followed the recommendation of IARU EMC Coordinator Thilo Kootz, DL9KCE. The resolution encourages IARU member-societies and regional organizations “to pursue implementation of the resolution as a matter of the highest priority,” requests standards-setting bodies and regulators to fully support the resolution’s objectives, and implores designers and manufacturers to “minimize radio spectrum pollution emanating from their products.”

The AC also revised and updated a 2008 resolution concerning operating practices. Noting that Amateur Radio relies on self-regulation for effective use of its allocations, and that “poor operating behavior adversely affects the enjoyment of all radio amateurs,” the Council encouraged all radio amateurs to operate proficiently and with “proper consideration for others using the Amateur Radio bands.” The Council urged IARU member-societies to teach and promote correct operating behavior.

The Council endorsed and recommended the ethical principles set out in the booklet, Ethics and Operating Procedures for the Radio Amateur by John Devoldere, ON4UN, and Marc Demeuleneere, ON4WW. Recognizing, however, that the detailed operating practices the booklet discusses are subject to occasional revision, the AC encouraged each IARU region “to consider this booklet, with a view to adopting the ethical principles therein, including any regional variations that might be felt appropriate.”

Council members also reviewed IARU positions on each WRC-15 agenda item relating to or affecting Amateur Radio, including Agenda Item 1.4, the addition of a new allocation within the band 5250-5450 kHz, which the AC called “a high priority for the Amateur service.” WRC-15 will consider “the possibility of making an allocation of an appropriate amount of spectrum, not necessarily contiguous, to the Amateur Service on a secondary basis within the band 5250-5450 kHz.”

In other actions, the Council:

  • expressed support for Region 1 in its effort to obtain a CEPT proposal for post-WRC-15 conference agenda items for worldwide harmonization of 160 meters, harmonization of 6 meters and an allocation at 3.4 GHz.
  • approved a contribution of $1000 for the IARU International Beacon Project.
  • adopted the IARU Emergency Telecommunications Guide for use by the IARU member-societies to strengthen Amateur Radio disaster preparedness, response, and mitigation. The Guide will be released soon.
  • adopted various strategies related to improving Amateur Radio disaster preparedness, response, and mitigation and to promote the role of Amateur Radio in such activities to the general public and to governmental and non-governmental organizations.
  • created the ad hoc IARU Member-Society Relations Project Team and adopted Terms of Reference for the project. Following its 2013 meeting, the Administrative Council announced that it was “studying ways to work with the non-IARU societies to ensure that the interests of all the amateurs are represented in those countries where the IARU member-society fails to do so.”
  • adopted a system to provide more efficient remote monitoring of certain ITU meetings that may impact Amateur Radio. •reviewed The Plan for the Development of Support for Amateur Radio Frequency Allocations 2012-2017.
  • reviewed and updated the September 2013 version of the IARU Spectrum Requirements, the working document that sets out the spectrum requirements of the Amateur and Amateur-Satellite services.
  • expressed the importance of obtaining the ITU Advance Publication Information (API) numbers from administrations for Amateur-Satellite projects, so that information about the number of operating satellites can be maintained for frequency coordination and interference-resolution purposes. The IARU will work with administrations to establish protocols for satellite frequency coordination and to raise awareness of the satellite regulations.
  • identified International Telecommunication Union (ITU) meetings at which IARU representation will be required for the remainder of 2014 and for 2015, and reviewed plans for representation at those meetings.
  • received information about the Hamsphere Initiative from Martti Laine, OH2BH, and will review the initiative and seek further information from the project leaders.

As 2015 will mark the 150th anniversary of the ITU, the Administrative Council adopted the theme “ITU & IARU: Celebrating 150 years of Advancing the Telecommunication Art" for the next World Amateur Radio Day, April 18, 2015.

The AC is responsible for the policy and management of the IARU and consists of the three IARU international officers and two representatives from each of the three IARU regional organizations. Attending the meeting were IARU President Tim Ellam, VE6SH/G4HUA; Vice President Ole Garpestad, LA2RR; Secretary Rod Stafford, W6ROD; regional representatives Hans Blondeel Timmerman, PB2T, Dennis Green, ZS4BS, Reinaldo Leandro, YV5AM, José Arturo Molina, YS1MS, Gopal Madhavan, VU2GMN, Wisnu Widjaja, YB0AZ and recording secretary David Sumner, K1ZZ. Also present as observers were Ramón Santoyo, XE1KK, from Region 2, and Don Beattie, G3BJ, observer and President-elect from Region 1.

The Administrative Council will hold its next in-person meeting near Yogjakarta, Indonesia, in October, 2015 in conjunction with the IARU Region 3 Conference.

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4M Moon Orbiter Carrying Ham Radio Payload to Launch on October 23

The Manfred Memorial Moon Mission (4M) lunar flyby experiment, which will carry an Amateur Radio payload, is set to launch from China, attached to the final stage of a Chinese Long March 3C rocket. The launch will take place within a narrow window on October 23, with lunar flyby to occur, nominally, on October 28. Integration of the LX0OHB-4M Amateur Radio payload was completed on October 12. During the lunar flyby, the spacecraft will be about nearly 248,000 miles from Earth and between 7440 and 14,480 miles from the Moon.

The ham radio payload will transmit continuously on 145.990 MHz using JT65B mode, which can be decoded using a version of the free WJST software that Joe Taylor, K1JT, developed especially for this mission. The 14 kg battery-powered payload known as 4M-LXS, was developed at LUXspace in Luxembourg. The orbiter is one of the test models for Beijing’s new lunar probe Chang’e-5, which is designed to land on the moon, collect samples, and return to Earth.

Gislain Ruy, LX2RG, of LUXspace said the 4M mission may be as short as 100 hours — at least ensuring a lunar flyby — but could extend for some weeks, if the attitude is favorable. Contrary to earlier reports, the spacecraft will not re-enter Earth’s atmosphere after the lunar flyby but will go into what Ruy has called “a wonderful orbit.” Ruy said teams are setting up ground stations and are especially looking for stations in the Southern Hemisphere, which are best situated to listen for the spacecraft’s first signals. The onboard transmitter will put 1.5 W into a quarter-wave monopole antenna, offering a signal-to-noise ratio comparable to Amateur Radio moonbounce (EME) signals on Earth's surface.

The launch will take place at approximately 1759 UTC on October 23, and the lunar flyby will take place at 0033 UTC on October 28. 4M is expected to begin transmitting on October 23 between 1917 UTC and 1927 UTC.

The mission honors the late Professor Manfred Fuchs, founder of LUXspace’s parent, the OHB group, who died earlier this year. The 4M-LXS ham radio package will carry up to 2500, 13-character digital messages into space for retransmission. The message collection closed on September 17. The International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) is a partner in the experiment.

The 4M mission was detailed during a presentation the EME 2014 conference held recently in France. A paper, “4M Mission: A Lunar Flyby Experiment” also is available. — Thanks to LUXspace, AMSAT-UK, AMSAT News Service

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Edge of Space Sciences Balloon Flight Carrying Amateur Radio to Launch October 25

Students from Colorado and New Mexico plan to launch a balloon carrying three ham radio payloads into near-space on October 25 from Deer Trail, Colorado. The Douglas County, Colorado, STEM School and STEM Academy and Spartan Amateur Radio Club, AB0BX, are sponsoring and coordinating the next Edge of Space Sciences (EOSS) balloon flight — EOSS-202. The “AB0BX Spartan Space Sciences” mission involves students from several schools and school Amateur Radio clubs. If successful, EOSS-202 will carry seven student-designed payloads to an altitude of 100,000 feet. The plan calls for recovering the parachute-equipped balloon once it descends back to Earth. Onboard ham radio payloads will help to track the balloon during flight and recovery and also transmit telemetry during the mission.

“On this flight we have three ham radio signals coming down from the balloon, all related to EOSS’s tracking and recovery,” Flight Coordinator Jim Langsted, KC0RPS, told ARRL. These are AE0SS, the CW beacon used for direction finding, used to help locate the payload string once the balloon is back on the ground; AE0SS-11, the primary APRS beacon, which shows the balloon’s position and provides a telemetry data stream that includes battery voltage, reference voltage, barometric pressure, inside temperature, and outside temperature, and AB0BX-11, the secondary APRS beacon. All payloads will transmit on 2 meters.

Langsted said the AE0SS payload also can receive a signal from the ground to cut away the balloon from the payload string to terminate the flight, if necessary. “A secondary flight termination method such as this is required by FAA regulation,” he explained. “The primary flight termination method is balloon burst.”

The APRS payload will transmit away from the national APRS frequency, in order to avoid interference with the Denver APRS network, which it will see in its entirety when at altitude. “We arrange for several IGATES that will port APRS from this frequency over to the APRS servers to allow real-time tracking via the internet as well as recording of the APRS history on the servers,” Langsted said. “The FAA uses this method to monitor the balloon’s position during the flight.” The beacon contains a TNC that is capable of digipeating and digital node functions. EOSS uses the digipeater capability to relay the positions of the tracking team to each other as well as back to the ground station and the Denver area.

The plan calls for seven payloads, including three from the Douglas County STEM School and Academy and Colorado Early College of Douglas County, one from the Boulder Amateur Radio Club Junior members, one from the Pueblo West Amateur Radio Club, and two from Albuquerque Public School STEM students. One of the Albuquerque payloads is a CubeSat, and the other will include a Go-Pro camera that will record the entire mission. Payloads will involve a number of experiments, including one that will attempt to answer the question, “Is there sound in space?”

Many of the students involved are radio amateurs. They include:

  • Anna Veal, W0ANT, AB0BX STEM School and Academy ARC/STEM School and Academy — Amateur Radio liaison and graphic design.
  • Skyler Fennell, KD0WHB, AB0BX STEM School and Academy ARC/Denver School of the Arts — payload team.
  • Curt Yowell, W0FGG, W0DK Boulder ARC/Red Rocks, Community College — payload team.
  • Divyam Mishra, KD0OOE, W0DK Boulder ARC/Peak to Peak Charter School — payload team.
  • Jerome Dinakar, KE0BBQ, W0DK Boulder ARC/Jefferson Academy — payload team.
  • Gary Bailey, KD0TRO, W0DK Boulder ARC/Centennial Middle School — payload team.
  • Connor Neal, KG5BFV, New Mexico STEM/Valley High School — payload team.
  • Jeremy Trujillo, KG5BFQ New Mexico STEM/Valley High School — payload team.
  • Devon Conn, KD0YZO, NA0PW Pueblo West ARC/Corwin International Magnet School — payload team.

“We have another 30 STEM students who have worked on the various payloads, many of whom are wanting to get their Amateur Radio tickets,” Langstedt said.

The alternate launch date for EOSS-202 is October 26. The payload plan has additional information.

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Radio History: A Century of Amateur Radio and the ARRL

A first took place on Space Shuttle mission STS-37. SAREX (Shuttle Amateur Radio EXperiment) provided live communication from the shuttle into many school classrooms to teach the students about space exploration and Amateur Radio.

In July 1991, N6CA and KH6HME set a new record on 3456 MHz between California and Hawaii. Each was running 5 W to a 4-foot dish.

In 1992, after 8 years as ARRL President, Larry Price, W4RA, declined to run for re-election. The League's Board of Directors subsequently chose him as the next International Affairs Vice President, which provides liaison with the IARU, which Price served as Secretary. George Wilson, W4OYI, succeeded Price as ARRL President.

N7FKI and W7ZOI reported in the March 1992 QST that they had built a one-transistor 10 meter CW transmitter and made contacts with it using lemon power -- essentially a cell made by inserting appropriate electrodes into a lemon. If life gives you lemons, make contacts!

During the early 1990s, interest in digital communication grew, and QST published many articles on the subject that helped fan the flames. Also, hams became interested in the old concept of direct-conversion receivers. KK7B presented one of the best in the August 1992 issue of QST. Another old receiver circuit was also revived -- the regenerative receiver. WJ1Z described one for 40 meters in the September 1992 issue of QST.

By the early 1990s, digital signal processing (DSP) had made its appearance, and had begun to be used by both homebrewing hams and equipment manufacturers.

A September 1992 QST article, "ABC: The First Electronic Digital Computer," recounted the fascinating tale of the first real computer, the Atanasoff-Berry computer -- a vacuum tube device -- designed in 1939 and 1940 by university professor John Atanasoff and built by electrical engineering student Clifford Berry, W9TIJ. -- Al Brogdon, W1AB

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lIN BRIEF
  • Solar Update - Tad Cook, K7RA, Seattle, Washington, reports: Solar activity is making a healthy comeback, just in time for the SSB weekend of the CQ World Wide DX Contest. A series of large solar flares erupted this week. The most powerful was an X1.6 flare on October 22. The sunspot is now directly facing Earth. Average daily sunspot numbers rose from 55.1 during October 9-15 to 83.9 this week, and average daily solar flux increased from 117.4 to 174. The predicted solar flux for this weekend is 220, higher than on any day since January 7. Prior to that, we didn´t see solar flux values this high since late October 2003. Accompanying the high solar flux back then was a great deal of geomagnetic activity. On October 29, 2003, the mid-latitude A index hit 199! Several 3-hour K index values were 9, the top of the scale. On the same day the daily sunspot number was 330. Predicted solar flux is 215 on October 23, 220 on October 24-27, 215 on October 28-29, 205 on October 30, 140 on October 31, 130 on November 1-3, dropping to a low of 110 on November 8, and rising to 180 on November 19-20. Along with that relatively high solar flux this weekend will be unsettled geomagnetic conditions. The predicted planetary A index is 15 on October 23-24, 10 on October 25, 12 on October 26-27, 10 on October 28-29, 8 on October 30, 5 on October 31 through November 3, 8 on November 4, 10 on November 5, 8 on November 6-7, 5 on November 8-9, 8 on November 10-11, then 5 and 8 on November 12-13, 12 on November 14-15, 15 and 12 on November 16-17, 15 on November 18-19, then 12, 10, and 8 on November 20-22, and 10 on November 23-24.  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.

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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 - 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

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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.