EVARC Events/Announcements

July 20, 2014
Vol 14, No 19




EVARC Upcoming Events/Announcements
Test Sessions
From the ARRL Letter - July 17, 2014
     ARRL President Issues Call to Action to Gain Support for HR.4969, the Amateur Radio Parity Act!
     ARRL Board of Directors to Meet July 21-22 in Hartford
     N6MJ and KL9A Take WRTC-2014 Gold, Slovak and German Teams Win Silver and Bronze
     HAARP Death Sentence Stayed, But Facility Being Dismantled Piece by Piece
     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, August 9, 2014
Time:  08:30 AM
LocationBailey's Bistro & Lounge
                 1201 S 13th St

Minutes from the June 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 July 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: Lincoln ARC
     Date: Jul 26 2014
     Time: 10:00 AM (Walk-ins allowed)
     Contact: John P. Hauner
                     (402) 486-1400
     Location: Victoria Springs State Park
                      6 Mi E of Anselmo, NE
                      20 Mi W of Broken Bow, NE
                      Anselmo NE 68813



     Sponsor: AksarbenARC/Omaha Area VE Team
     Date: Jul 29 2014
     Time: 6:30 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



     Sponsor: Lincoln ARC
     Date: Aug 07 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: Aug 09 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: Aug 15 2014
     Time: 7:00 PM (Walk-ins allowed)
     Contact: Gary L. Johnson
     Location: American Red Cross
                      4200 War Eagle Dr
                      Sioux City IA 51109-1700



l Hamfests/Conventions
  Heartland Hams Hamfest

     Start Date: 08/02/2014
     End Date: 08/02/2014
     Location: Indian Creek Museum
                   59256 380th Street
                   Emerson, IA 51533
     Website: http://www.heartlandhams.org
     Sponsor: Heartland Hams ARC
     Type: ARRL Hamfest
     Talk-In: 145.290-
     Public Contact: Donald Brown ,W0AF
                            53243 260th Street
                            Glenwood, IA 51534
     Phone: 712-526-2080
     Email: don_jean_2000@yahoo.com


  3900 Club Hamboree 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



From the June 17, 2014 ARRL Letter


ARRL President Issues Call to Action to Gain Support for HR.4969, the Amateur Radio Parity Act!

In a video, ARRL President Kay Craigie, N3KN, has issued an urgent call to action to all radio amateurs to get behind a grassroots campaign to promote co-sponsorship of HR.4969, "The Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2014." HR.4969 would require the FCC to extend PRB-1 coverage to restrictive covenants. It was introduced in the US House with bipartisan support on June 25 at the request of the ARRL, which worked with House staffers to draft the legislation. The measure would require the FCC to apply the "reasonable accommodation" three-part test of the PRB-1 federal pre-emption policy to private land-use restrictions regarding antennas. The bill's primary sponsor is Rep Adam Kinzinger (R-IL). It had initial co-sponsorship from Rep Joe Courtney (D-CT).

President Craigie also exhorted all radio amateurs regarding support for HR.4969 in remarks appearing in the The ARRL Legislative Update Newsletter. Craigie stressed in the Newsletter that the legislation stands to benefit not just today's radio amateurs but those in the future.

"Chances are, those Americans of the future will grow up in communities having private land use restrictions," she said "That is the way the country is going, and it is very bad for Amateur Radio. How can Amateur Radio thrive, if more and more Americans cannot have reasonable antennas at home? You and I have to stand for the Amateurs of the second century."

If the measure passes the 113th Congress, it would require the FCC to amend the Part 97 Amateur Service rules to apply PRB-1 coverage to include homeowners' association regulations and deed restrictions, often referred to as "covenants, conditions, and restrictions" (CC&Rs). At present, PRB-1 only applies to state and local zoning laws and ordinances.

An HR.4969 page now is open on the ARRL website. It contains information and resources for clubs and individuals wishing to support efforts to gain co-sponsors for the measure by contacting their members of Congress.



ARRL Board of Directors to Meet July 21-22 in Hartford

The ARRL Board of Directors will meet Monday and Tuesday, July 21-22, in Hartford, Connecticut, The slightly altered scheduling of the July meeting takes advantage of the fact that most Board members will already be in town for the ARRL National Centennial Convention July 17-19.

International guests at the gathering will include IARU Vice President Ole Garpestad, LA2RR, and Radio Amateurs of Canada President Geoff Bawden, VE4BAW.

The Board will hear reports from ARRL President Kay Craigie, N3KN, and from other League officers. This will be the final Board meeting that ARRL Chief Development Officer Mary Hobart, K1MMH, will attend in her official capacity. Hobart has announced her retirement, effective July 31. She has served the League for 13 years and was behind the creation of The Diamond Club, The Diamond Terrace, The Maxim Society, and the Second Century Campaign, among other initiatives.

"During Hurricane Katrina, she virtually single handedly created the Ham Aid Program that provides new gear to amateurs who have lost their equipment in disasters," ARRL Chief Operating Officer Harold Kramer, WJ1B, said in the August issue of QST. "Because of her efforts and those of her staff, she has raised millions of dollars for the ARRL and, ultimately, for the benefit of Amateur Radio."

Kramer pointed out that Hobart also was one of the founders of the successful Teachers Institutes for Wireless Technology. Funded by voluntary contributions, the annual summer workshops help to better acquaint classroom teachers and educators with wireless technology and the science behind it.

At its meeting, the Board will receive reports from ARRL officers as well as committee and coordinator reports. The agenda also calls for proposals for amendments to the Articles of Association and Bylaws.

Individual ARRL Directors will also have an opportunity to speak and to submit motions.

Board committees will be meeting on Sunday, July 20, and that the full Board will consider their recommendations over the course of its meeting.



N6MJ and KL9A Take WRTC-2014 Gold, Slovak and German Teams Win Silver and Bronze

After considerable deliberation over which team placed third in the 2014 World Radiosport Team Championship (WRTC-2014), it’s now official. At the awards ceremony July 14 concluding the international Amateur Radio contesting competition, the US team of Dan Craig, N6MJ, and Chris Hurlbut, KL9A, operating as K1A, took home the gold for their winning team effort. They racked up 7,184,844 points. There was little suspense about the top spot; Craig and Hurlbut had led the international pack of 59 competing teams literally from the start. Craig, 33, of Rancho Cucamonga, California, comes from a ham radio family and got his license when he was just 8 years old. He had competed in the last three WRTCs, finishing fourth in 2002, second in 2006 (with N2NL), and third in 2010 with KL9A. Hurlbut, 31, of Bozeman, Montana, became a ham when he was 10 and began contesting 4 years later.

Walking away with the silver was the Slovakia team of Rastislav Hrnko, OM3BH, and Jozef Lang, OM3GI, who operated as W1L and logged 6,816,144 points. Hrnko, 46, got into ham radio when he was about 10. He took part in WRTC-2000 and WRTC-2010. Lang, who’s 54, was licensed at 15. He also competed at WRTC-2000 and WRTC-2010. Both have been active members of the OM8A contest team.

Determining who landed in third place was not so simple, but in the final analysis, the W1P team of Manfred Wolf, DJ5MW, and Stefan von Baltz, DL1IAO, won the bronze medal with 6,421,383 points. The duo had ranked fifth in the “raw, unchecked claimed scores.”

Chief Judge David Sumner, K1ZZ, who was master of ceremonies for the awards presentations, said there was “a lot of pressure” on the judges to get it right, and they had to carefully scrutinize the logs of those placing the third, fourth, and fifth in the claimed scores.

“Because the skills of the operators were so high, the judges had a very, very difficult time resolving the position for number 3,” Sumner told the gathering. “We went to extraordinary lengths, given the time that we had available, checking logs. As a matter of fact, had we not checked to the depth that we did, the error rate at W1P would actually have been a bit lower.”

“In the end,” Sumner said, “there were 8000 points separating number 4 from number 3. That’s six-tenths of a multiplier.” Wolf and von Baltz edged out fourth-place finishers Kevin Stockton, N5DX, and Steve London, N2IC, who operated as W1Z and garnered 6,413,056 points.

Wolf, 42, was competing at his second WRTC. He took part in WRTC-2000 in Slovenia. Von Baltz, 38, was a competitor at WRTC-1996 and WRTC-2000.

The vast majority of the activity was on CW — a 5-to-1 ratio in the case of the number 1 team, although competitors did make SSB contacts.

Sumner pointed out that in one particular hour of the 24-hour event (0200 UTC) the 59 teams logged 13,573 contacts — an average rate of 115 contacts per hour per operator.

WRTC-2014 Co-Chair Doug Grant, K1DG, said “everything went smoothly” throughout the competition. WRTC-2014 has posted the final results on its website. Video of the closing ceremony also is available.



HAARP Death Sentence Stayed, But Facility Being Dismantled Piece by Piece

The US Air Force has given the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) facility in Gakona, Alaska, a death row reprieve of sorts. The Secretary of the Air Force told Alaska Sen Lisa Murkowski July 2 that it is “willing to slow the closure process and defer irreversible dismantling of the transmitter site” until May of 2015. Those pushing for HAARP to remain open as a scientific research facility include several radio amateurs. HAARP proponents claim, however, that despite the delay, the Air Force has been picking the plant apart piece by piece, and that critical research instruments already have been taken off site.

University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) Professor Chris Fallen, KL3WX, who has conducted research at HAARP, told ARRL that it was his “unofficial understanding” that the Air Force has already rendered HAARP reversibly inoperable through the removal or relocation of critical diagnostic instruments, instrument shelters, office furniture, and even tubes for the multiple transmitters. HAARP’s transmitters are capable of generating more than 3 gigawatts of RF in the HF spectrum, which its 180 antennas can direct upward to the ionosphere.

Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James told Murkowski that the Air Force “will proceed with removal of government property not essential to operations and will seek to reduce maintenance costs through additional storage of equipment and winterization; however, we will retain critical hardware to maximize the potential to reactivate the site, should it be transferred to another federal government agency or a private entity next year.”

In May Murkowski raised questions in Congress about the impending HAARP closure, and she took some credit for the shutdown delay. Murkowski had questioned why the Pentagon was planning to demolish HAARP, “asking whether it was fiscally sound to destroy an approximately $300 million facility when it costs less than one percent of that amount to operate it each year,” a news release from her office said. She said she supports handing control of HAARP over to the University of Alaska or another research entity to “keep the world-class facility open and running.”

“The [news release] states that the Air Force is in the process of removing ‘non-critical’ equipment, which essentially means anything not bolted to the floor such as generators, amplifiers, antennae, and control systems,” Fallen asserted. “While I would consider the diagnostic instruments as ‘critical’ to an ionosphere modification observatory, this apparently is not a universal interpretation.” He said HAARP’s diagnostic instruments, including the riometer and ionosonde, have not been available since June 2013 and are in immediate danger of being removed. Hams in Alaska have used data from both instruments in conducting their own ionospheric investigations.

UAF has been engaged in discussions with the Air Force with an eye toward taking over HAARP, although it’s not clear that these have gained any serious traction. The Air Force, the US Navy, and the Defense Advanced research Projects Agency (DARPA) have determined they no longer need HAARP, and the military would like to get the sprawling $300 million facility off its books — if not by finding another entity to run it, then by razing it altogether.

Fallen conceded that an uphill battle lies ahead to build a case to keep HAARP open, and he doesn’t see that happening without “one or more large benefactors” coming forward to bridge the funding gap. “UAF or any organization that wants to sustain HAARP through external funding is essentially in a situation where it’s trying to sell the Brooklyn Bridge, or least passes to it,” Fallen quipped. “In a way it’s worse, since it’s like the asphalt from the bridge is being removed by the state in the process.”

Fallen believes HAARP has “unique relevance to hams” and could become a self-sustaining facility. He said that if the dismantling of HAARP can be halted and operations or ownership transferred to UAF or another agency, “I will do everything in my power to maintain and expand access of the facility to US hams.” Fallen said he will attend tonight’s (Friday, July 11) meeting of the Arctic Amateur Radio Club (AARC) in Fairbanks to drum up support for HAARP’s preservation.

Ham radio author and researcher Eric Nichols, KL7AJ, said he plans to talk about HAARP at tonight’s AARC meeting. The author of Radio Science for the Radio Amateur and articles in QST — Nichols has said the loss of HAARP would be “a great loss to interior Alaska hams and many others.”

Fallen said he’ll distribute template letters at the AARC meeting asking for preservation of the HAARP facility. He is encouraging hams to personalize the letters as needed and send copies to US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel as well as to their congressional representatives.

“The US Government at all levels is receptive to citizen input,” he said. “The letter-writing campaign from scientists organized by the UAF Geophysical Institute has succeeded in delaying irreversible demolition of HAARP.””



Radio History: A Century of Amateur Radio and the ARRL

This week, we'll look at the 1950s. Danny Weil, VP2VB, began his well-known series of Yasme DXpeditions around the world in 1955, putting some rare countries on the air. That series lasted until 1963, and it gave thousands of DXers the opportunity to work some new ones.

In the mid-1950s, The FCC ran out of 1 × 3 call signs with W and K prefixes and began reissuing lapsed W and K call signs. When those ran out, they went on to 2 × 3 call signs with WA (and, later, WB) prefixes.

The log periodic antenna -- a new and very useful concept -- was introduced to hams in the late 1950s. It had been developed by D.E. Isbell at the University of Illinois.

Late in 1958, hams lost the shared use of 11 meters, which then became the Class D Citizens Band.

During the late 1950s, amateurs continued to push the limits of VHF and higher bands. W6NLZ and KH6UK ran regular schedules on VHF and succeeded in making two-way contact on 144 MHz in 1957, and on 220 MHz in 1959.

Another Amateur Radio first took place in 1960, when the first EME (moonbounce) contact was made on 1296 MHz between W6HB in California and W1BU in Massachusetts.

During the 1950s and 1960s, The USSR and the US were in the midst of the so-called "Cold War." Fearing that Soviet bombers could home in on radio signals to find their targets, the CONELRAD (CONtrol of ELectromagnetic RADiation) system went into effect from 1957 to 1962. For their part hams were required to (1) monitor an AM broadcast station at least every 10 minutes to be sure it was still on the air; and (2) shut down, if broadcast stations went off the air. In the event of such an emergency, key 50 kW AM stations would move to either 640 or 1240 kHz to broadcast emergency information. The stations on each of those frequencies would go on and off the air in a continually varying sequence, while all carried the same audio to provide continuous information to the public. -- Al Brogdon, W1AB


  • Solar Update - Solar activity is suddenly weakening, and yesterday, Thursday, July 17 the daily sunspot number was zero. We had no other zero sunspot days so far this year, none last year or in 2012, and only two in 2011, on January 27 and August 14. We had 48 days with a sunspot number of zero in 2010 (although Spaceweather.com reports 51 days, and they may be correct), and 260 days with a daily sunspot number of zero in 2009. 2008 had 239 spotless days, and 2007 had 152 days with zero sunspots. Just to revisit the deep trough of solar inactivity we emerged from a few years ago, 2006 had 70 spotless days, 2005 had just 17 days with no spots and 2004 saw only four spotless days. Prior to that we have to look way back to the twentieth century to 1998 to find any spotless days, (three) and 1997 had 57 days with zero sunspots. We have not seen any new sunspot regions emerge since July 10 and 11, when there was a new one each day. On July 8 two new regions appeared. Prior to that we saw a new sunspot region appear each day, from July 1 to 6. The short term outlook for solar flux shows a flux value of 90 on July 18 to 21, 95 on July 22 to 24, then 105, 115, 125, 135 and 140 on July 25 to 29, 145 on July 30 and 31, then it peaks at 155 on August 2, then drops to a minimum of 95 again on August 16 and 17. The same forecast shows planetary A index of 5 on July 18 to 20, 8 on July 21 and 22, 5 on July 23, 8 on July 24, 5 on July 25, 8 on July 26, and 5 again on July 27 through August 9. The average daily sunspot number for the recent seven-day reporting period (July 10 to 16) was only 96.9, down from 205.1 for the previous seven days. The solar flux average was 131.1, down from 193.9 a week ago.  Sunspot numbers for July 10 through 16 were 159, 166, 145, 102, 70, 25, and 11, with a mean of 96.9. 10.7 cm flux was 177.4, 166.3, 145, 126.8, 109.4, 100.6, and 92.1, with a mean of 131.1. Estimated planetary A indices were 8, 6, 6, 5, 9, 7, and 5, with a mean of 6.6. Estimated mid-latitude A indices were 11, 7, 7, 6, 10, 10, and 5, with a mean of 8.  More Information.


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

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

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



    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.