EVARC Events/Announcements

May 29, 2016
Vol 16, No 20




EVARC Upcoming Events/Announcements
Test Sessions
From the ARRL Letter - May 26, 2016
     Hamvention® 2016 Youth Activities a Hit -- and HF Too!
     ARRL "Strongly Supports" Petition to Drop 15 dB Restriction for Amateur Amplifiers
     Amateur Radio to Play Major Role in June Pacific Northwest Earthquake Exercise
     Search Continues for STMSat-1 Radio Signal
     New ARRL Extra Class License Manual Available as Softcover, Spiral-Bound, or E-Book
In Brief
Education and Training
Closing Items



EVARC Upcoming Events/Announcements


Next meeting of the Elkhorn Valley Amateur Radio Club
Date:  Saturday, June 11, 2016
Time:  08:30 AM
LocationBailey's Bistro & Lounge
                 1201 S 13th St
                 Norfolk, NE

Minutes from the May 2016 meeting are available and can be read on the EVARC Web page

Visitors and guests are always welcome to the meeting.

For more Information see the EVARC Web Page



Field Day 2016

The Club will be participating in Field Day again this year.  The annual event will be Saturday through Sunday, June 25 - 26.  We will be setting up at The Park in Woodland Park, east of Norfolk starting Saturday morning, June 25.  Further details will be provided in the near future



Special Event Station

The Club will be participating in the Norfolk 150 celebration on July 4.  We will set up at the Elkhorn Valley Historical Museum Monday morning July 4 and plan on operating from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM.  We will be using the club HF radio and mobile tower trailer.  Operations are planned to operate 14.280 MHz and 7.275 MHz.  If you can be available to help with set-up and/or operations please contact Nick Brekenfeld, KBØGMQ, or Monty Wilson, NRØA


Midwest Division / Nebraska Section News

The Midwest Division ARRL Newsletter for May 2016 is available on the EVARC Web site.

The Nebraska Sections news from January 18, 2016 has been posted.



ARRL Legislative News

The ARRL Legislative News is now available on the EVARC Web site.  Check out what legislation is being proposed and status of on-going legislation.





Test Sessions within 100 miles of Norfolk, NE

For more testing locations see the ARRL Testing Web page

    Sponsor: AksarbenARC/Omaha Area VE Team
    Date: May 31 2016 
    Time: 6:30 PM (Walk-ins allowed) 
    Contact: Gregory S. Ross
                (712) 566-2698
    Email: Greg.Ross@BHMI.COM
    Location: American Red Cross
                    2912 S 80th Avenue
                    Near 84th and Center
                    Lower Level West Side
                    Omaha	NE	68124-3250
     Sponsor: Lincoln ARC
     Date: Jun 02 2016 
     Time: 6:30 PM (Walk-ins allowed) 
     Contact: Christopher W. Evens
                    (402) 613-3484
     Email: webmaster@cvctrailblazers.org
     Location: Northside Cafe
                    2701 N 48th St.
                    Lincoln	NE	68504-1425
     Sponsor: Siouxland ARA
     Date: Jun 10 2016 
     Time: 7:00 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
     Sponsor: Prairie Dog Amt Radio Club
     Date: Jun 14 2016 
     Time: 4:00 PM (No walk-ins) 
     Contact: Fred L. De Roos
                    (605) 665-2590
     Email: flderoos47@gmail.com
     Location: Christ the King Luthern Church
                    305 W 25th St
                    Yankton	SD	57078-1317
     Sponsor: Amt Radio Assoc Nebraska
     Date: Jun 15 2016 
     Time: 6:00 PM (Walk-ins allowed) 
     Contact: Allen D. Harpham
                    (402) 462-4619
     Email: aharpham@wd0dxd.com
     Location: The Grey Center
                    1100 N Elm Ave
                    Room 108
                    Hastings	NE	68901-9999
     Sponsor: Southwest Iowa ARC
     Date: Jun 28 2016 
     Time: 6:30 PM (Walk-ins allowed) 
     Contact: Gregory S. Ross
                    (712) 566-2698
     Email: Greg.Ross@BHMI.COM
     Location: American Red Cross
                    705 N 16th St
                    Council Bluffs	IA	51501-0105


l Hamfests/Conventions


The Greater Midwest Radio Show
     Start Date: 06/18/2016
     End Date: 06/18/2016
     Location: Hastings College - Kiewitt Gymnasium
                    710 Turner Avenue
                    Hastings, NE 68901
     Website: http://greatermidwestradio.org
     Sponsor: Amateur Radio Association of Nebraska
     Type: ARRL Hamfest
     Talk-In: 145.130 - (PL 123.0)
     Public Contact: Allen Harpham , KBØASQ 
               1126 North Briggs Avenue Hastings, NE 68901
     Phone: 402-462-4619
     Email: info@w0wwv.org
Pioneer ARC's 19th Annual Flea Market
     Start Date: 07/09/2016
     End Date: 07/09/2016
     Location: St. Charles Parish Center
                    8th & Locust Streets
                    North Bend, NE 68649
     Website: http://www.k0jfn.com
     Sponsor: Pioneer Amateur Radio Club
     Type: ARRL Hamfest
     Talk-In: 146.67/07
     Public Contact: Richard Mehaffey	, KBØARZ	
                              230 West 11th Street North Bend, NE 68649
     Phone: 402-652-3410
     Email: 4randjme@futuretk.com

For a complete listing of Hamfests go to the ARRL Hamfest Search page



From the May 26, 2016 ARRL Letter


Hamvention® 2016 Youth Activities a Hit -- and HF Too!

Hamvention® 2016 had a lot to offer the next generation of radio amateurs. ARRL's first Youth Rally on Saturday, May 21, attracted a full house of attendees, and some Hamvention visitors observed that younger radio amateurs and potential licensees seemed in greater profusion this year than in the past. Guiding the day-long Youth Rally activities were ARRL volunteer educator Tommy Gober, N5DUX, and his wife Jennifer, KE5LNK. Tommy Gober said the Youth Rally fed off energy generated during the earlier Hamvention Youth Forum, led for the 29th year by Carole Perry, WB2MGP, and featuring such young speakers as 17-year-olds Maria Lysandrou, KD9BUS, and Kelsey Seymour, K3LSY, speaking on a range of topics.

"ARRL Youth Rally participants heard from other hams [at the Youth Forum] discussing how to get others involved and the various operating experiences they've had," Tommy Gober said. Youth Rally participants ranged in age from 11 to 26. They also got to sample other ARRL EXPO offerings, including opportunities to see Amateur Radio up close, and even to get directly involved in operating.

"ARRL Media and Public Relations Manager Sean Kutzko, KX9X, shared the fun of this year's ARRL National Parks on the Air (NPOTA) initiative," Tommy Gober said. "Sean showed how even those with Technician licenses can activate a national park with a dipole in a tree and a simple digital setup using a tablet, sound card interface, and HF radio." He said members of the group were able to make a 10 meter SSB contact when Youth Rally activities took to the open air outside Hara Arena for a backpack radio demonstration.

Afterward, Youth Rally attendees headed back to ARRL EXPO, where Gerry Hull, W1VE, headed up the "Discover the HF Experience" demonstration. There, well-equipped remotely operated stations in the US and in Sweden provided young operators with a chance to do some real radio.

"Several youth made their first Amateur Radio contacts from this experience, while others enjoyed working HF -- many for the first time," Tommy Gober said.

Hull said that while the "Discover HF" demo was a huge hit, radio conditions failed to cooperate with the venture over Hamvention weekend. "Despite that, we had a lot of interest from both young and older hams," he said. Young Amateur Extra op Eric Edstrom, KC9SRB, got on the air via SK3W in Sweden to make his first HF contacts with stations in Asia, Europe, and the US. "We certainly opened his eyes," Hull allowed.

Youth Rally attendees also worked on a hands-on electromagnetic buzzer construction project to teach circuit basics, oscillation, and elementary building techniques.

ARRL Contest Advisory Committee Chair George Wagner, K5KG, met with Youth Rally participants during their lunch break to pitch participation in the Youth in Amateur Radiosport Survey. "I spoke with them about the Youth Survey and why it was important for them to take it," Wagner said. He and Glenn Johnson, W0GJ, handed out promotional survey cards at Hamvention, some 300 in all. "We are getting a good response to the survey," Wagner said. "Currently, we have in excess of 800 responses. I am seeing some interesting trends." The survey ends on August 31.

New ARRL CEO Tom Gallagher, NY2RF, also joined the lunch to learn how ARRL can better serve young people in Amateur Radio and offer opportunities that appeal to them. During a presentation, newly minted Virginia Tech PhD (electrical engineering) Nathaniel Frissell, W2NAF, shared his experiences of operating from Antarctica and other remote locations and highlighted how Amateur Radio served as a foundation for his career path.

"It was busy. Really busy," Gallagher said afterward of his first-ever Hamvention experience, noting that he'd covered a lot of ground over the weekend. "There were a lot of young people there, and we had a really good Youth Rally."

Gallagher and new ARRL President Rick Roderick, K5UR, greeted many Hamvention visitors over the weekend. At the ARRL Member Forum, Gallagher stressed his focus on improved ARRL Headquarters service.

The Dayton Amateur Radio Club (DARA) presented ARRL Development Manager Lauren Clarke, KB1YDD, and President Roderick with $5000 to fund the ARRL Teachers Institute, and $5000 for the DARA scholarship administered by the ARRL Foundation. DARA also made a $10,000 payment toward its $100,000 Second Century Campaign pledge.

At the Youth Forum, Yasme Foundation President Ward Silver, N0AX, presented Carole Perry with the Yasme Excellence Award for her work with youth.



ARRL "Strongly Supports" Petition to Drop 15 dB Restriction for Amateur Amplifiers

In comments (attached below) filed on May 26, the ARRL said it “strongly supports” a petition to the FCC seeking to eliminate an Amateur Service rule, spelled out in §97.317(a)(2), that amateur amplifiers not be able to boost the RF input signal by more than 15 dB. The Petition for Rule Making (RM-11767), was submitted in April on behalf of an amateur amplifier distributor, Expert Linears America LLC of Magnolia, Texas.

“The Petition proposes relief that is in the nature of eliminating unnecessary regulatory underbrush, and it continues an effort started by the Commission on its own motion in 2004…to do precisely that,” the ARRL said in its comments. “The rule proposed to be eliminated is outdated; it constituted overregulation when it was adopted long ago, and it now substantially limits the flexibility of Amateur Radio operators to experiment with the current generation of software-defined Amateur Radio equipment.”

The 15 dB provision came into the rules during an era when the FCC initiated various actions to rein in a major interference problem resulting from the use of illegal 11 meter amplifiers during the Citizens Band radio boom of the 1970s. “In its effort to address that problem, the Commission enacted a series of largely redundant and overlapping regulations that, in their overall effect, unnecessarily (and inappropriately) penalized the wholly innocent Amateur Radio operators,” the League asserted. “There was created a plethora of restrictions on manufacturers of external RF power amplifiers.”

The ARRL noted that while the FCC eliminated some of the unnecessary regulations in 2004, others remain, including the 15 dB gain restriction. The rules adopted in 1978 also called for type acceptance (certification) of manufactured RF power amplifiers operating below 144 MHz, including a 50 W minimum drive power requirement and a ban on amplifiers capable of operation between 24 and 35 MHz.

“Indeed, precisely the same rationale for elimination of the 50 W minimum drive power rule in 2006 applies to the elimination of the 15 dB gain rule for amateur amplifiers,” the ARRL said in its comments. “There is no continued justification for retaining the 15 dB gain limitation.”

The League agreed with the petitioner that a current generation of low-power Amateur Radio transceivers, including software-defined designs, cannot drive an amplifier to full legal power given the 15 dB limitation. “It should not be necessary to configure an Amateur Radio station to include an additional amplifier stage in order to make use of current SDR technology in the Amateur Service,” the ARRL said.



Amateur Radio to Play Major Role in June Pacific Northwest Earthquake Exercise

Cascadia Rising, the largest FEMA exercise of 2016, will get under way on June 7, and Oregon and Washington ARES/RACES organizations both will be heavily involved, with a significant investment of HF activity planned. The scenario will be an earthquake and tsunami disaster involving the entire Pacific Northwest, and the exercise will start with a blackout of all normal, regular communication systems. Emergency/disaster alternate communication systems will be provided by Amateur Radio, and participants will include Maxim Memorial Station W1AW at ARRL Headquarters.

The initial plan calls for W1AW to be active and monitoring, and possibly passing traffic, if necessary, W1AW Station Manager Joe Carcia, NJ1Q, said. ARRL Emergency Response Manager Mike Corey, KI1U, said Cascadia Rising will also involve the Emergency Response Team at ARRL Headquarters.

“Along with on participation via Winlink and HF voice, we will use it as an opportunity to exercise the ARRL Headquarters Emergency Response Team,” Corey said. “This team is called up to support the ARRL Field Organization during a major disaster, when support cannot be provided during normal business hours. The last activation of the team was during hurricane Irene in 2011.”

According to FEMA, a 9.0 magnitude earthquake along the Cascadia Subduction Zone (CSZ) and the resulting tsunami would be the most complex disaster scenario that emergency managers and public safety officials in the Pacific Northwest could face, and Cascadia Rising is an exercise to address that disaster. The exercise will conclude on June 10.

According to FEMA, emergency operations centers (EOCs) and emergency coordination centers (ECCs) at all levels of government and the private sector will activate to conduct simulated field response operations within their jurisdictions and with neighboring communities, state EOCs, FEMA, and major military commands. Both Washington and Oregon’s military departments will activate.

“Conducting successful life-saving and life-sustaining response operations in the aftermath of a Cascadia Subduction Zone disaster will hinge on the effective coordination and integration of governments at all levels — cities, counties, state agencies, federal officials, the military, tribal nations — as well as non-government organizations and the private sector,” FEMA said. “One of the primary goals of Cascadia Rising is to train and test this whole community approach to complex disaster operations together as a joint team.”

A Washington National Guard communications drill — “Exercise Vital Connection 2016” earlier this spring was a ramp-up to Cascadia Rising. The earlier exercise made use of the Amateur Radio 60 meter channels for civil authorities to interface with federal partners. — Thanks to John Core, KX7YT, Oregon ARES District 1 Emergency Coordinator for some information



Search Continues for STMSat-1 Radio Signal

Youngsters at St Thomas More Cathedral School in Virginia remain optimistic that their STMSat-1 CubeSat, deployed on May 16 from the International Space Station (ISS), will begin transmitting a signal. Helping in the search is the Space Science Center at Morehead State University in Kentucky, which is using its 21 meter dish to scan multiple frequencies for the spacecraft's signal. STMSat-1 is supposed to transmit on 437.800 MHz FM and transmit slow-scan television (SSTV) pictures back to Earth.

"Morehead University picked up something within our frequency range last night," STMSat-1 Education Manager Emily Stocker said May 25 in response to an ARRL inquiry. "It may have been us; it is possible it was MinXSS." The University of Colorado's MinXSS deployed from the ISS at the same time as STMSat-1. Stocker said they were trying to determine if Morehead State picked up a beacon, which probably would suggest a MinXSS signal, or SSTV data, which would likely confirm a signal from STMSat-1. In addition, JA0CAW posted a tweet reporting a signal heard on 437.800 MHz at 1225 UTC on May 25.

The school thanked students at Morehead State for staying up all night listening in the 437 MHz range. Their next step is to install SSTV software to see if they can decode a signal.

The CubeSat was rebooted from the ground just after 0400 UTC on May 24. The reboot was scheduled after the satellite had not been heard from for 7 days. STMSat-1 was supposed to turn itself on once its batteries were fully charged and its mechanized antennas deployed.

Pupils at the school built STMSat-1 during a 4-year-long project, and the satellite was launched to the ISS last December. After being placed in orbit (it is object 41476), the CubeSat initially continued roughly in the same orbit as the ISS and of other satellites deployed on May 16, but it's been moving away a little bit each day. The youngsters have been tracking its orbit.

The satellite is designed to transmit slow-scan television (SSTV) images (Robot 72) of Earth on 437.800 MHz FM. Stocker advised all those interested to follow the STMSat-1 Twitter feed, @STMSat11, to stay up to date.

The satellite is the first to be designed and built by grade schoolers, who were supported by NASA technical advisors and local radio amateurs. NASA's Technology Demonstration Office provided the school with a mobile "clean room" for the construction, and a ground-station antenna. The agency has been advising the school on tracking the satellite and finding its signal.



New ARRL Extra Class License Manual Available as Softcover, Spiral-Bound, or E-Book

Achieve the highest level of Amateur Radio license. The new ARRL Extra Class License Manual (11th edition) is available in softcover, spiral-bound, or e-book versions. With the optional academic-style spiral-bound edition (ARRL Item no. 0550, ISBN: 978-1-62595-055-0, $32.95), the manual lies flat, making it more convenient for both students and instructors.

The exam question-and-answer key is built from the latest Amateur Extra class question pool, which goes into effect on July 1, 2016. Expert instruction will lead you through all of the knowledge you need to pass the 50-question exam -- rules, specific operating skills, and more advanced electronics theory. You can use the Extra Class License Manual in conjunction with ARRL's Extra Q&A (4th edition) and ARRL's online Exam Review for Ham Radio, so you won't have any surprises on test day.

The ARRL Extra Class License Manual is also available in traditional softcover (ARRL Item no. 0451, ISBN: 978-1-62595-045-1, $29.95). ARRL Amateur Extra class licensing guides are available from the ARRL Store or from a local ARRL Dealer. Call ARRL Publication Sales, (860) 594-0355; toll-free in the US, (888) 277-5289, to place an order.

ARRL has just released a digital edition of The ARRL Extra Class License Manual in Kindle format from Amazon. The ARRL also offers Kindle editions of The ARRL Ham Radio License Manual, The ARRL General Class License Manual and its question-and-answer study guides, ARRL's Tech Q&A, ARRL's General Q&A, and ARRL's Extra Q&A.


  • The K7RA Solar Update - Tad Cook, K7RA, Seattle, reports: Solar indices pulled back this week. The average sunspot number was 25.3 for May 19-25, down by 38.8 points from the previous week. The average daily solar flux over the same period was 97, down by 3.4 points from the previous week. Planetary A index average was 7.1, down by 2.8 points, and average daily mid-latitude A index was 7, down by 3.9. This overall decline in solar activity should continue at least for the next 4 years. Compared to past cycles, this one is considerably weaker. The latest forecast from NOAA/USAF shows solar flux at 95, 90, and 85 on May 26-28; 90 on May 29-30; 85, 95, 90, and 95 on May 31-June 3; 90 on June 4-7; 95 on June 8; 100 on June 9-10; 95 on June 11-12; 90 on June 13-16; 85 on June 17-20; 90 on June 21-25 (except 85 on June 23), and 95 on June 26-30. The latest prediction for planetary A index is 12, 14, 8, 12, 16, and 8 on May 26-31; 5, 12, 15, 35, 30, and 15 on June 1-6; 5 on June 7-10; 12 on June 11-13; 8 on June 14-15; 5, 15, 12, and 10 on June 16-19; 5 on June 20-21; 12, 10, 8, 5, 15, 12, and 8 on June 22-28; 15 on June 29-30; 35, 30, and 15 on July 1-3, and 5 on July 4-7. Sunspot numbers for May 19 through 25 were 38, 43, 17, 15, 13, 24, and 27, with a mean of 25.3. The 10.7 centimeter flux was 98.8, 99.5, 97.8, 97.4, 97.4, 94.3, and 93.6, with a mean of 97. Estimated planetary A indices were 8, 6, 15, 7, 5, 6, and 3, with a mean of 7.1. Estimated mid-latitude A indices were 8, 6, 16, 5, 4, 6, and 4 with a mean of 7. Send me your reports and observations!

  • DX Engineering Announces New Acquisitions: DX Engineering has acquired exclusive rights to Clifton Laboratories' ham radio product line. Clifton Laboratories manufactured preamplifiers and filters, which DX Engineering will now produce. DX Engineering said that part numbers and design specifications will remain the same. The company will manufacture more than a dozen Amateur Radio products and will offer parts and tech support for owners of Clifton Laboratories legacy products. DX Engineering also has just purchased TW Antennas, the maker of the TransWorld Antenna and related components. The TransWorld Antenna is popular with hams who enjoy portable operation, because it's small and easily transported. DX Engineering is tooling up to begin production of Clifton Laboratories' products and of the TransWorld Antenna and accessories by mid-summer.



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 FEMA ISP training web sitee.  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

  • 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-filesssssss



    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.