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WELCOME!

Welcome to the Jackson County Amateur Radio Association's web site. It shall be our purpose to further the exchange of information and cooperation among members, by promoting radio knowledge and individual operating efficiency. JCARA conducts club programs and activities to advance the general interest and welfare of Amateur Radio within the county and surrounding areas of South Mississippi.

Club Meeting

The JCARA Club meetings are held monthly on the last Tuesday of the month.  The next Club Meeting will occur on April 29, 2014 at the St. Martin Community Center starting at 6:30 p.m.

The Program for this month's meeting (April) will be on Solar Power. It will be presented by Richard, AF5AQ. May's Program will be presented by Charlie, AG5CC. He will discuss JCARA's Repeater Plan. Please make arrangements to attend both of these interesting and informative meetings. This is your club so we welcome and encourage your participation.

If you wish to become a member of the JCARA please click here and fill out the application then get in touch with a Club Officer.

From The President's Desk

Charlie Hardt - N2PKWA lot was accomplished at our last meeting March 25, 2014.  Charlie, AG5CC gave an outstanding brief on BOD considerations for our vision for The JCARA, Inc. in the upcoming year.   Charlie, AG5CC acted as the facilitator for the BOD during the two days of meetings examining what we do well and what needs improvement.   I want to make things perfectly clear, the JCARA, Inc. is in great shape, and financially we are sound.  The last couple of years we have seen growth in membership and incoming revenues, enjoying very successful Hamfests over the last few years; qualifying for a grant from The Southern Company for our new state of the art, upgradeable to the new digital modes, industrially ruggedized two meter Motorola Repeater for our W5WA site; running a very successful Round Island Light House Re-Activation.  The outgoing officers have plenty to be proud of and have left our club in great shape.

But, now the other shoe drops.  The success of our club was borne on the backs of a few for the many.  As was discussed during out BOD meetings, we have not implemented delegation through the ranks of our membership in support of our committees.  Also some our officers are also not known for delegating very well (Yea I am talking about me).  It is understandable that some of our members may be apprehensive of taking on a large task, but breaking down the committee members responsibilities into small manageable tasks would bring more volunteers.  This will work better than naming a committee chairman and telling him to make it happen.  Not a whole lot of people would volunteer to take on that kind of responsibility, and right now that is what we are doing.  Now this is in no way taking away the ability of a Committee chairman to run his committee.  I am a very firm believer in giving ownership to a committee chairman, allowing him to run his committee as he sees fit.  But guidelines are being drawn for the committees, as to what the BOD sees as their responsibilities and if required to assist the chair people to get the right members to undertake these newly developed and achievable responsibilities.  This is work in progress and we will be discussing this more in the coming months.

A budget was passed during the last meeting, coming within twenty dollars of a balanced budget.  With the changing of the guard in numerous areas of responsibilities in our club, myself, the treasurer and the rest of the BOD felt we needed a more conservative budget.  We know that this year may bring more in repeater expenditures.  That topic is going to be next month’s subject.  Nick, K5BQJ and Charlie, AG5CC are presently working on a JCARA Repeater plan to be presented to the club’s members in the near future.  But one causality of the balanced budget was the club’s yearly buy of Field day and Hamfest T-Shirts.  I am very disappointed over the loss of club activity T-shirts, but it is the BOD’s desire to lead this club in a professional and businesslike manner and I concur with the decision.  Some decisions are just harder than others.  More on this later.  The BOD meetings are scheduled for the Saturdays before the monthly meeting, held at the Gautier Public Library at 1:00 pm.  These are open meetings, all members in good standing are invited.  This club does not have a BOD member at large, so your input at the BOD meetings is important.  

Hope to hear all of you on the nightly net.

73, Charlie - N2PKW
President - JCARA, Inc.

Centennial: W1AW Centennial Operations are in Mississippi until April 23 (UTC)

The ARRL Centennial W1AW WAS operations taking place throughout 2014 from each of the 50 states now are in Mississippi (W1AW/5). They will relocate at 0000 UTC on Wednesday, April 23 (the evening of April 22 in US time zones), to New Jersey (W1AW/2) and New Hampshire (W1AW/1). During 2014 W1AW will be on the air from every state (at least twice) and most US territories, and it will be easy to work all states solely by contacting W1AW portable operations.

In conjunction with the 100th anniversary of the ARRL, the ARRL Centennial QSO Party kicked off January 1 for a year-long operating event in which participants can accumulate points and win awards. The event is open to all, although only ARRL members and appointees, elected officials, HQ staff and W1AW are worth ARRL Centennial QSO Party points. Working W1AW/x from each state is worth 5 points per contact.

To earn the "Worked all States with W1AW Award," work W1AW operating portable from all 50 states. (Working W1AW or W100AW in Connecticut does not count for Connecticut, however. For award credit, participants must work W1AW/1 in Connecticut.) A W1AW WAS certificate and plaque will be available (pricing not yet available).

Some schedule changes have been made, and the schedule has been updated to reflect these. Maine and New Mexico have swapped weeks. New Mexico's second week will start September 24, and Maine's second week will begin December 3. The District of Columbia's week has been moved to the week of October 1. North Dakota's second week has been shifted to the week of August 20. Puerto Rico will now have a second week of operation starting November 26.

The ARRL has posted an ARRL Centennial QSO Party leader board that participants can use to determine how many points they have accumulated in the Centennial QSO Party and in the W1AW WAS operations. Log in using your Logbook of The World (LoTW) user name and password, and your position will appear at the top of the leader boards. Results are updated daily, based on contacts entered into LoTW.


W1AW/x Portables, W100AW, and W1HQ Can QSL via Bureau

You may request that QSL cards be delivered via the ARRL QSL Bureau system for contacts with the W1AW/x portable operations, W100AW, and W1HQ, now underway during the ARRL Centennial. You must first have an account with the QSL Bureau that handles your cards and have sufficient postage or envelopes on file with that bureau. Any cards that cannot be delivered will not be held or stored.

Please do not send any cards for W1AW/x portable operations, W100AW, or W1HQ to ARRL via the bureau. While we appreciate the thought, we do not have room to store or file them and would rather you have fun working all the Centennial stations!

This is a one-time only use of the QSL Bureau for this purpose. QSLs to stations outside the US via the QSL Bureau will be handled normally. Click here, enter your call sign, and click SUBMIT to request delivery of W1AW/x portable operations, W100AW, or W1HQ QSL cards via the Bureau. -- Thanks to Membership and Volunteer Programs Manager Dave Patton, NN1N

French Radio Amateur Still Active at 100 Years

Ivan - F3ATIvan Pastre, F3AT, of Saint Georges sur Baulche, France, turned 100 years old on April 7. A ham since 1931, when he was licensed as F3AU, he remains very active on the air after 83 years, still chasing new band countries for the DXCC Challenge. F3AT is at the top of the DXCC Honor Roll. He's a member of FOC, CDXC(F) and other organizations. Pastre has also operated as FQ3AT (1947), FQ3AT/FE (1947), FE8AB (1948), and FF8AG (1951). Joyeux anniversaire, Ivan! -- Thanks to Maurice Charpentier, F5NQL; QRZ.com





Radio History: New Website Offers Treasure Trove of Vintage Ham Radio Photos, QSL Cards

The grandson of Thomas "Tom" Russell Gentry, W5RG (SK), has developed a website (click here) that is certain to be of interest to vintage radio enthusiasts. Don Retzlaff, who is not a ham, said his grandfather was among the earliest Amateur Radio operators, getting his license in the early 1920s -- at one point identifying as NU5RG -- and remaining active until he died in 1979. The W5RG call sign has since been reissued.

(At Left: Tom Gentry, W5RG (SK), at his station in an undated photo.)

He collected QSL cards from other amateur operators all through his life," Retzlaff said of his grandfather. "In recent years I became interested in those cards and my grandfather's hobby."

With the help of his father Donald Retzlaff, W5MIY, Retzlaff located all of the QSLs -- some 5700 in all -- as well as other memorabilia documenting his grandfather's ham radio activities and his time in the Army Air Corps shortly after World War I. He painstakingly scanned both sides of each card along with dozens of photos of now-vintage stations -- many with operators -- that his grandfather had collected and posted them all on a website dedicated to his grandfather and his life as an Amateur Radio operator.

Among other features, the site offers an opportunity to leave comments. "This has definitely been a labor of love," said Retzlaff, who retired this year as a Principal Lecturer in the Computer Science Department at the University of North Texas.

Broadcast Band DXing - How Many Have You Logged?

Here is a list of AM Broadcast Band clear channel stations by frequency in Canada, United States, Mexico and the Bahamas.

540 CBK Watrous, Saskatchewan
540 CBT Grand Falls, Newfoundland and Labrador
540 XEWA San Luis Potosí, San Luis Potosí
640 CBN St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador
640 KFI Los Angeles, California
650 WSM Nashville, Tennessee
660 WFAN New York, New York
670 WSCR Chicago, Illinois
680 KNBR San Francisco, California
690 CKGM[a] Montreal, Quebec
690 XEWW Tijuana, Baja California
700 WLW Cincinnati, Ohio
710 KIRO Seattle, Washington
710 WOR New York, New York
720 WGN Chicago, Illinois
730 CKAC Montreal, Quebec
730 XEX Mexico City, D.F.
740 CFZM[b] Toronto, Ontario
750 WSB Atlanta, Georgia
760 WJR Detroit, Michigan
770 WABC New York, New York
780 WBBM Chicago, Illinois
800 XEROK Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua
810 KGO San Francisco, California
810 WGY Schenectady, New York
820 WBAP Fort Worth, Texas
830 WCCO Minneapolis, Minnesota
840 WHAS Louisville, Kentucky
850 KOA Denver, Colorado
850 XETQ Ixhuatlancillo, Veracruz
860 CJBC Toronto, Ontario
870 WWL New Orleans, Louisiana
880 WCBS New York, New York
890 WLS Chicago, Illinois
900 XEW Mexico City, D.F.
940 silent[c] Montreal, Quebec
940 XEQ Mexico City, D.F.
990 CBW Winnipeg, Manitoba
990 CBY Corner Brook, Newfoundland and Labrador
1000 KOMO Seattle, Washington
1000 WMVP Chicago, Illinois
1000 XEOY Mexico City, D.F.
1010 CBR Calgary, Alberta
1010 CFRB Toronto, Ontario
1020 KDKA Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
1030 WBZ Boston, Massachusetts
1040 WHO Des Moines, Iowa
1050 XEG Monterrey, Nuevo León
1060 KYW Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1060 XEEP Mexico City, D.F.
1070 silent[d] Moncton, New Brunswick
1070 KNX Los Angeles, California
1080 WTIC Hartford, Connecticut
1080 KRLD Dallas, Texas
1090 KAAY Little Rock, Arkansas
1090 WBAL Baltimore, Maryland
1090 XEPRS Rancho del Mar, Rosarito, Baja California
1100 WTAM Cleveland, Ohio
1110 KFAB Omaha, Nebraska
1110 WBT Charlotte, North Carolina
1120 KMOX St. Louis, Missouri
1130 CKWX Vancouver, British Columbia
1130 KWKH Shreveport, Louisiana
1130 WBBR New York, New York
1140 WRVA Richmond, Virginia
1140 XEMR Monterrey, Nuevo León
1160 KSL Salt Lake City, Utah
1170 KFAQ Tulsa, Oklahoma
1170 WWVA Wheeling, West Virginia
1180 WHAM Rochester, New York
1190 KEX Portland, Oregon
1190 XEWK Guadalajara, Jalisco
1200 WOAI San Antonio, Texas
1210 WPHT Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1220 XEB Mexico City, D.F.
1500 KSTP Saint Paul, Minnesota
1500 WFED Washington, D.C.
1510 WLAC Nashville, Tennessee
1520 KOKC Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
1520 WWKB Buffalo, New York
1530 KFBK Sacramento, California
1530 WCKY Cincinnati, Ohio
1540 KXEL Waterloo, Iowa
1540 ZNS-1 Nassau, Bahamas
1550 CBEF[e] Windsor, Ontario
1550 XERUV Xalapa, Veracruz
1560 KNZR[f] Bakersfield, California
1560 WQEW New York, New York
1570 XERF Ciudad Acuña, Coahuila
1580 CKDO[g] Oshawa, Ontario

Try listening after 8:00 p.m. You might be surprised at how many you can hear. Good DXing.

FT5ZM Operation Approved for DXCC Credit

The ARRL DXCC Desk has approved the 2014 operation of FT5ZM -- Amsterdam & St Paul Island -- for DX Century Club credit. If a DXCC credit request for this operation has been rejected in a prior application, contact ARRL Awards Branch Manager Bill Moore, NC1L, to be placed on the record update list. Note the submission date and/or application reference number. DXCC is Amateur Radio's premier award that hams can earn by confirming on-the-air contacts with 100 DXCC "entities," most of which are countries in the traditional sense. Learn more. -- ARRL Awards Branch Manager Bill Moore, NC1L

The FT5ZM DXpedition has shut down, although the trip home remains. That news may be welcome to non-DXers who have been contending with huge and sometimes chaotic split-operation pileups that occasionally occupied substantial segments of spectrum, but depressing for operators who were unsuccessful in snagging this rare one. The Amsterdam Island DXpedition team logged on the order of 165,000 contacts on SSB, CW and RTTY. AA4SC had the honor of completing the final FT5ZM contact -- on February 12 at 0220 UTC. Amsterdam Island is the seventh most-wanted DXCC entity, according to the ClubLog DXCC Most Wanted List.

"All the team members are now safely aboard the Braveheart as of 0520 UTC," FT5ZM Pilot Station Val Hotzfeld, NV9L, reported on February 13. "There is a strong storm right behind them. This should make for rough seas but favorable winds pushing them to Perth."

Earlier seas were too rough to load the boat, leaving the DXpedition team and gear stuck on shore.

All FT5ZM logs have been uploaded to ClubLog, and the Online QSL Request Service (OQRS) for FT5ZM now is online. The budget for the DXpedition was $450,000, which, to date, has not been met. More information on the Amsterdam Island DXpedition budget and on the DXpedition is available on the Amsterdam Island FT5DX website. The ARRL made a Colvin Award grant to help support the DXpedition. -- Thanks to The Daily DX, FT5ZM

DX: TT8ES, T6EU Operations Approved for DXCC Credit

The ARRL DXCC Desk has approved the 2014 operation of TT8ES -- Chad -- and the current operation (through May 3, 2014) of T6EU -- Afghanistan -- for DX Century Club credit. This operation was

previously approved for 2012 and 2013, and the license has been extended through February 28, 2014. If a request for DXCC credit for this operation has been rejected in a prior application, contact ARRL Awards Branch Manager Bill Moore, NC1L, to be placed on the list for an update to your record. Please note the submission date and/or reference number of your application in order to expedite the search for any rejected contacts.

DXCC is Amateur Radio's premier award that hams can earn by confirming on-the-air contacts with 100 DXCC "entities," most of which are countries in the traditional sense. You can begin with the basic DXCC award and work your way up to the DXCC Honor Roll. Learn more. -- ARRL Awards Branch Manager Bill Moore, NC1L

DX: North Korea Still Tops The DX Magazine's Most Wanted Survey

The DX Magazine has published the results of its most-wanted DXCC entities, and, once again, North Korea (P5) is number 1. Here are the Top 10 overall worldwide results, as they appeared in The DX Magazine's January/February 2014 issue.

2013

Prefix/Entity

2012

1

P5 North Korea

1

2

KP1 Navassa Island

2

3

3Y/B Bouvet

3

4

FT5W Crozet

6

5

FT5Z Amsterdam

4

6

VK0/H Heard Island

5

7

BS7H Scarborough

7

8

ZS8M Marion Island

9

9

VP8/S South Sandwich

8

10

FT5T Tromelin Island

10

DX Magazine logo


"It is interesting to note that the same 10 places are there for both 2012 and 2013," QRZ DX/The DX Magazine Editor Carl Smith, N4AA, said. "There are a few slight changes in ranking, but it is the same 10. That should change somewhat for 2014 with Tromelin and Amsterdam, both scheduled for major DXpeditions." The complete Top 100 Most Wanted list is available on the DX Publishing website. The continental rankings appear in the January/February issue of DX Magazine; band/mode breakdowns will be published in the March/April 2014 issue.

Tokyo Hy-Power Files for Bankruptcy

Tokyo Hy-Power, a manufacturer of Amateur Radio amplifiers, antenna tuners, and other equipment, is in bankruptcy, and its plant, in Saitama Prefecture near Tokyo, has been shuttered. Telephones at the company no longer are being answered, and its Japanese website has been taken down, although the company’s US website remains working. Company CEO/President Nobuki Wakabayashi, JA1DJW, founded Tokyo Hy-Power Labs in 1975. He blamed “the recent depression in the industrial RF power products area [which] has led to the very difficult financial position.”

Tokyo Hy-Power’s early products were HF antenna couplers, although within a couple of years it began manufacturing amplifiers for the Amateur Radio market, including solid-state mobile amplifiers. Among its early products was the HL-4000 linear amplifier, which the company claimed was “the first real HF band high-power linear of its kind in Japan.” It has been manufacturing RF products for the industrial market since 1984.

The company also once marketed the HT-750, a portable, low-power SSB/CW transceiver for 40, 15, and 6 meters in a hand-held transceiver form factor. At Dayton Hamvention® 2013, the company displayed a prototype of the XT-751, an advanced model it hoped to develop, covering 40 through 6 meters and with an internal antenna tuner. Among its latest products were solid-state HF amplifiers, as well as amplifiers for 6 and 2 meters.

In a December 26 news release, Ham Radio Outlet (HRO) reacted with “disappointment” and said it was “deeply saddened” to learn that Tokyo Hy-Power had gone into bankruptcy.

“This action in Japan appears to be similar to a Chapter 7 action here within the United States, as the process in this case appears to be the liquidation of organizational assets in order to attempt to fund some portion of its debt obligation(s),” the HRO release said. “This appears to indicate that a court has deemed the organization unable to be effectively reorganized under Japan’s Civil Reconstruction Code.”

HRO said it was working with AVSL, the current US service provider for Tokyo Hy-Power products “to discuss the opportunity of continued maintenance at the component level of the US-sold Tokyo Hy-Power line of amplifiers.” HRO also said it’s been in touch with the former US Tokyo Hy-Power representative Tom Rum, W5RUM, about providing telephone support — which will continue at least through January.

HRO said it has not been in direct contact with Tokyo Hy-Power regarding the bankruptcy and learned about it via the news media.

CQ To Realign Publications, Launch Digital Supplement

CQ Communications Inc has announced plans to realign its publications lineup and to launch a new online supplement to its flagship magazine, CQ Amateur Radio.

“The hobby radio market is changing,” said CQ Communications President and Publisher Dick Ross, K2MGA, “and we are changing what we do and how we do it in order to continue providing leadership to all segments of the radio hobby.”

Effective with the February 2014 issue of CQ, said Ross, content from the magazine’s three sister publications — Popular Communications, CQ VHF and WorldRadio Onlinewill be incorporated into CQ’s digital edition as a supplement to be called CQ Plus. The print editions of Popular Communications and CQ VHF will be phased out, and WorldRadio Online will no longer exist as a separate online publication. Current Popular Communications, CQ VHF and WorldRadio Online subscribers will be converted to CQ subscribers and receive CQ Plus at no additional charge. Details will be posted on each magazine’s website.

CQ Communications says the change will offer hobby radio enthusiasts a single source for articles from shortwave listening and scanner monitoring to personal two-way services and Internet radio, as well as Amateur Radio. Richard Fisher, KI6SN, currently editor of both Popular Communications and WorldRadio Online, will be editor of CQ Plus.

“Our primary audience is ham radio operators, but very few hams began their radio involvement as amateurs,” Ross said. “Most of us started out as shortwave listeners, broadcast band DXers, CBers or scanning enthusiasts. Many continue to be involved in many different aspects of the radio hobby in addition to Amateur Radio.” Ross said consolidating four specialized publications into one will keep “multidimensional readers” informed on all aspects of the radio hobby, at the same time exposing non-hams “to all the excitement and opportunities that Amateur Radio has to offer.”

The expanded material will be an integral part of the digital edition of CQ and will be included as part of a standard digital subscription. Each month’s digital edition will continue beyond where the print edition ends, offering supplemental material on all aspects of hobby radio communication and selected columns carried over from the other magazines. The added digital content will make full use of the multimedia opportunities presented by digital publications.

A preview of the February issue’s table of contents is available on the CQ website.

DX: ARRL DXCC Desk Approves ZD9KX Operations

The ARRL DXCC Desk has approved the 2012 and 2013 operation of ZD9KX -- Tristan Da Cunha & Gough Islands for DX Century Club credit. If a request for DXCC credit for this operation has been rejected in a prior application, contact ARRL Awards Branch Manager Bill Moore, NC1L, to be placed on the list for an update to your record. Please note the submission date and/or reference number of your application in order to expedite the search for any rejected contacts.

DXCC is Amateur Radio's premier award that hams can earn by confirming on-the-air contacts with 100 DXCC "entities," most of which are countries in the traditional sense. You can begin with the basic DXCC award and work your way up to the DXCC Honor Roll. Learn more. -- ARRL Awards Branch Manager Bill Moore, NC1L

2013 JCARA Annual Christmas Dinner And Awards Ceremony

Here is a report on the JCARA annual Christmas Dinner and Awards Ceremony held at McElroy's Restaurant in Ocean Springs, MS on Tuesday 10 December 2013. All had a great time singing Christmas Carols and visiting, as well as eating.

Dan Miller AE5JG and Richard Warner AF5AQ shared the "Ham Of The Year" award.

Marilyn Warner AF5DP, Charlie Carney AG5CC, Barb Miller KE5QHZ, Fred Platts N5GJ and Carl Killebrew WU5D all received Certificates of Achievement for their outstanding contributions to the JCARA, Inc. and the Amateur Radio Community.

Outgoing President Kurt Oberhofer K5KDO, Vice-President Richard Warner AF5AQ and Treasurer Dan Miller Sr. AE5JG all received plaques and Special Recognition Certificates for their dedicated service to Amateur Radio.

The JCARA, Inc. officers for 2014 are listed below with their photos on the OFFICERS web page:

President - Charles Hardt - N2PKW,
Vice-President - Marilyn Warner - AF5DP
Secretary - Valerie Ulmer - N9RQX,
Treasurer - Charles Carney - AG5CC
Past-President - Kurt Oberhofer - K5KDO.

The JCARA hopes everyone had a Merry Christmas and here's to a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year.

73,

Dan Miller - AE5JG

Licensing: New Technician Class Question Pool Released

The NCVEC Question Pool Committee has released the new 2014-2018 Technician Class, Element 2, question pool to the public. This pool will take effect on July 1, 2014, and will remain valid until June 30, 2018. The current Technician question pool, released in 2010, is valid until June 30, 2014. -- Maria Somma, AB1FM, ARRL/VEC Manager

DX: T6TM Operation Approved for DXCC Credit

The ARRL DXCC Desk has approved the current operation of T6TM -- Afghanistan for DX Century Club credit. If a request for DXCC credit for this operation has been rejected in a prior application, contact ARRL Awards Branch Manager Bill Moore, NC1L, to be placed on the list for an update to your record. Please note the submission date and/or reference number of your application in order to expedite the search for any rejected contacts.

DXCC is Amateur Radio's premier award that hams can earn by confirming on-the-air contacts with 100 DXCC "entities," most of which are countries in the traditional sense. You can begin with the basic DXCC award and work your way up to the DXCC Honor Roll. Learn more. -- ARRL Awards Branch Manager Bill Moore, NC1L

Voice of Russia Update - Shortwave Broadcasts To Continue In 2014

Voice Of RussiaTo paraphrase Mark Twain, reports of the demise of the Voice of Russia (VOR) may have been greatly exaggerated. Earlier this year the Voice of Russia -- the former Radio Moscow during the Soviet Era -- appeared poised to cease shortwave broadcasts as of January 1, 2014. In the wake of a December decree signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin that merged the Voice of Russia with several other state-run news agencies, SWL Tom Witherspoon, K4SWL, contacted VOR.

"We are glad to let you know that the Voice of Russia will stay on the air in 2014, however, considerable changes in our frequency schedule are expected," the broadcaster told Witherspoon and as he reports on his blog.

The posted VOR schedule, which runs through March, indicates 38 aggregate hours of shortwave broadcasts to all parts of the world, most beamed at the Middle East and Asia. Shortwave broadcasts to Europe, Latin America, Oceania, and Africa account for just 15 aggregate hours. VOR, which claims to be the first radio station to broadcast internationally, also broadcasts online, via satellite, on FM, and via three medium-wave transmitters. In 2003 VOR was among the first major international radio broadcasters to launch daily broadcasts to Europe in Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM).

The JCARA Hamfest Was A Huge Success.

The JCARA Hamfest, which was held on November 15-16, 2013, was a huge success for the third year in a row.

Winners of the major prizes were:

ICOM 718 HF Transceiver: Richard Warner - AF5AQ
YAESU FT-7900R/E Dual Band Mobile Transceiver: John King - K5PGW
YAESU FT-60R Dual Band (submersible) HT Transceiver: John Beicher - KF5OPB

The dedication, loyalty and hard work of all of the volunteers is, and has been, very much appreciated. As the outgoing Hamfest Chairman, I thank all of them for their efforts in making the last three years a tremendous success. To the volunteers I say, "It has been an honor to work with each and everyone of you."

73,

Dan Miller - AE5JG

Unusual DX Opening on 6 Meters

SunspotsSix-meter operators look forward to the peak of a sunspot cycle for occasional F2-layer band openings that permit intercontinental DX on "the Magic Band." The current Cycle 24, however, has been too weak to feature any of these openings -- until November 9. The ARRL Letter reports that the 90-minute opening provided 6-meter ops across the U.S. the opportunity to work into the Caribbean and Central and South America. It's not the transatlantic or transpacific DX which occurred during the last sunspot peak in 2000-2001, but it's the best that the current cycle has offered so far.


Courtesy of CQ Newsroom

ARRL Files Symbol Rate Petition With The FCC

The ARRL has asked the FCC to delete the symbol rate limit in §97.307(f) of its Amateur Service rules, replacing it with a maximum bandwidth for data emissions of 2.8 kHz on amateur frequencies below 29.7 MHz. The ARRL Board of Directors adopted the policy underlying the petition initiative at its July 2013 meeting. The petition was filed November 15.

"The changes proposed would, in the aggregate, relieve the Amateur Service of outdated, 1980s-era restrictions that presently hamper or preclude Amateur Radio experimentation with modern high frequency (HF) and other data transmission protocols," the League's petition asserted. "The proposed rule changes would also permit greater flexibility in the choice of data emissions." Symbol rate represents the number of times per second that a change of state occurs, not to be confused with data (or bit) rate.

Current FCC rules limit digital data emissions below 28 MHz to 300 baud, and between 28.0 and 28.3 MHz to 1200 baud. "Transmission protocols are available and in active use in other radio services in which the symbol rate exceeds the present limitations set forth in §97.307(f) of the Commission's Rules, but the necessary bandwidths of those protocols are within the bandwidth of a typical HF single sideband channel (3 kHz)," the ARRL's petition pointed out.

The League said that while bandwidth limitations are reasonable, the symbol rate "speed limit" reflective of 1980s technology, prohibits radio amateurs today from utilizing state-of-the-art technology. Present symbol rate limits on HF "actually encourage spectrum inefficiency," the League argues, "in that they allow data transmissions of unlimited bandwidth as long as the symbol rate is sufficiently slow." The League said eliminating symbol rate limits on data emissions and substituting a "reasonable maximum authorized bandwidth" would permit hams to use all HF data-transmission protocols now legal in the Amateur Service as well as other currently available protocols that fall within the authorized bandwidth but are off limits to amateurs.

The League said it's been more than three decades - when the Commission okayed the use of ASCII on HF since the FCC has evaluated symbol rate restrictions on radio amateurs as a regulatory matter. "The symbol rate restrictions were created to suit digital modes that are no longer in favor," the ARRL noted in its petition. Modern digital emissions "are capable of much more accurate and reliable transmissions at greater speeds with much less bandwidth than in 1980."

As an example, the League pointed to PACTOR 3, which is permitted under current rules, and PACTOR 4, which is not. Despite PACTOR 4's greater throughput, both protocols can operate within the bandwidth of a typical SSB transmission.

"If the symbol rate is allowed to increase as technology develops and the Amateur Service utilizes new data emission types, the efficiency of amateur data communications will increase," the ARRL concluded.

ARRL General Counsel Chris Imlay, W3KD, has emphasized that there is no broader plan on the League's part to seek regulation by bandwidth.

The FCC has not yet assigned an RM number and put the League's petition on public notice for comments, and there is no way to file comments until that happens.

16 Boy Scouts Qualify For Their Radio Merit Badges

BSA Radio Merit BadgeSunday, November 3, 2013, JCARA conducted a 4 hour seminar that included the scout’s participation during a special JCARA Emergency Net called for Training.  Sixteen scouts ages 11 to 15 years successfully completed all the required items in the Radio Merit Badge Workbook and qualified for the Radio Merit Badge.  There were 53 items that had to be discussed and required the Boy Scout involvement in the BS Radio Merit Handbook. This included a QSO on the air involving Phonetics and Q-Signals.  Eight JCARA Amateur Operators supported the net.  

I want to thank the eight Amateurs who supported the training net: 

AF5AQ  Richard
AF5DP   Marilyn
K5BQJ   Nick
N9RQX  Valerie
N9RRI    Chuck
AE5JG   Dan
KE5QHZ Barbara
K5KDO  Kurt 

AF5AQ Richard, thanks for the use of your great portable 2 meter ground plane, AF5AQ Richard and N9RRI Chuck, thanks for directions, when someone moved St Martin high school on me.  All in all a great day, one our club should be proud of!!

Charlie, N2PKW

Round Island Lighthouse Special Event Is History

On Thursday morning, October 17, 2013, the Jackson County Amateur Radio Association and 599DXA members began preparing the Round Island Lighthouse Park in Pascagoula, MS for their "K5R" Special Event. This event was held from 00:00 UTC October 18 through 23:59 UTC October 20, 2013. To check out photos and additional information click here.

Round Island Lighthouse Special Event

A Lovely Experience From Two Perspectives

Valerie - N9RQXChuck and I were privileged to take part in the Round Island Lighthouse Reactivation Event this past weekend.  I got some experience in working CW in a very interesting and challenging setting.  Interesting?  Yes!  Making contacts with other hams from many different states, including my first DX on CW, in Ontario, Canada.  Many signals were fairly clear, a few were very clear, and then there were some that were in the “mud.”  What a challenge to dig them out, and what a thrill when I succeeded!  I wanted to get all the pertinent info that I could, including call sign, name, state, and RST numbers (readability, signal strength and tone).  The necessary information was imparted to them, concerning QSL information, and the fact that info at “www.qrz.com” was good.  Sometimes, I wanted to stick the radio in my ear, to hear the signals correctly. I imagine we’ve all been there, when hearing a faint station.  The challenging part was in two ways, and helped me in my concentration skills.

1.  While during a QSO, sometimes another station would come in.  In HF, sometimes a station may not hear a QSO in progress, due to distance, propagation or band conditions (which can change quickly).  I learned to block them out and concentrate on my QSO.  It got easier with time.

2.  We live in the woods.  Out of all of our windows, trees are seen and our house is two miles away from our mailbox, and our road is very primitive.  We occasionally hear a neighbor driving his truck to work or back, but that’s all.  All other sounds around us are various birds, including many varieties of songbirds and red tailed hawks.  We have deer, rabbits, an armadillo, a very cute and vociferous squirrel and his family, frogs, and lots of katydids, cicadas, and many kinds of grass bugs.  It sounds like a jungle at night, and we just love it!  In the winter, however, only a few hardy birds and the wind in the trees can be heard.  At the Special Event site we had to block out the sirens, traffic and city noise that we are not at all used to, and that was the other challenge.  It was all worth it, and anyone who couldn’t take part for health or other reasons; we hope you are able to do something like this in the future!  We plan on it!  While I was making contacts, Chuck logged them in for me, and I couldn’t have done it without him!  He encouraged me, and got me coffee when I wanted it, to keep the brain going.  We’re a team, and a good one.  There!  That’s my perspective on the event.

Valerie - N9RQX

Chuck Ulmer - N9RRIAnd now, my turn.  Way back in the spring, I promised to put in an article and I kept putting it off, until now.  This Event that Val described above; is our first one.  This is not going to be our last, Lord willing.  I may not have gotten on the air but I did the logging for Val and had a lot of fun doing it!  As she called out the call signs, I logged them and helped her to remember them when she returned their contacts back to them.  Both of us were very busy before the Event and afterward, helping to put up and then take down the shelters.  During the Event, Val was able to hold her Friday night Net right at her CW Station, making it easier for her to continue, “Pounding the Brass” right after the Net!  Now, as I look back, I suppose I could’ve gotten someone to take over, doing Val’s logging, so I could have made contacts myself but we have worked as a team for over 27 years, it would be hard to change now.  Don’t you worry, I’ve made HF contacts at home and I’ve had fun doing it.  We spent approximately 12 hours “on the job” and instead of driving home to George County we spent the nights at a Motel in Moss Point – very convenient to the Event Site and well worth it.  Taking a shower is so refreshing after 12 hours!  As a Club family, we worked together very well, even letting Val get involved in putting the shelter pipes together.  We need, as a Club, to do something like this every quarter.  It can only strengthen our Club.  There!  That’s my perspective!.

Chuck - N9RRI

TQSL 2.0 Software Released For Logbook Of The World

A new version of the TQSL software for use with Logbook of The World (LoTW) is available, and it has major changes. This latest update, TQSL 2.0, has been revamped to combine TQSL-Cert and TQSL into a single program, adds additional documentation for certificate operations, and includes a new, task-oriented user interface. Where previous versions had two icons on your desktop -- TQSL and TQSL Cert -- the new version has just one. You'll now be able to log onto your user account from TQSL. In addition, icons within the TQSL user window are larger and easier to identify.

With v 2.0, you get auto-uploading of TQ8 log files and TQ5 certificate requests. In addition, there's automatic dupe checking to prevent previously uploaded QSOs from being uploaded again, saving LoTW server resources. TQSL 2.0 will check for updates in the software and configuration files and notify the user.

Once the user approves the update request, TQSL does the rest.

Individual station locations -- if you have more than one registered -- are managed in a folder tree format. TQSL 2.0 also incorporates cross-checking to prevent users from entering invalid zones, states or provinces. TQSL 2.0 will back up your call sign certificates, station locations and uploaded QSO log, so it's easy to move from one computer to another or recover from a hard disk failure.

It's easy to upgrade. Install TQSL 2.0, and the installer will automatically uninstall older versions of TQSL while preserving your configuration information. Several things will be obvious the first time you run the new TQSL program. The user interface is completely different, with buttons to carry out major operations. It also provides tabs to access operations for Station Locations and Call Sign Certificates. The Station Location tab displays your station locations and associated call signs.

If you're new to LoTW, instructions on the ARRL website explain how to participate. More than 60,000 radio amateurs use LoTW to confirm their contacts and to apply for awards, such as DXCC. Nearly 78 million contact confirmations have resulted to date.

DX: Operation Approved for DXCC Credit

The ARRL DXCC Desk has approved the 2012 and 2013 operations of T6MH -- Afghanistan for DX Century Club credit. If a request for DXCC credit for this operation has been rejected in a prior application, contact ARRL Awards Branch Manager Bill Moore, NC1L, to be placed on the list for an update to your record. Please note the submission date and/or reference number of your application in order to expedite the search for any rejected contacts.

DXCC is Amateur Radio's premier award that hams can earn by confirming on-the-air contacts with 100 DXCC "entities," most of which are countries in the traditional sense. You can begin with the basic DXCC award and work your way up to the DXCC Honor Roll. Learn more. -- ARRL Awards Branch Manager Bill Moore, NC1L

DX: Advice to Avoid DXpedition Confusion

The Daily DX Editor Bernie McClenny, W3UR, offers some basic recommendations to avoid problems when trying to work the "many juicy DXpeditions" that are active (see The Daily DX Calendar) this month.

"DXers do not depend on the cluster spots to tell you who is on what frequency," McClenny says. He notes that it's fine to use DX spots as a reference point, but to make sure you know for certain which station you are hearing/calling, so that you log the correct call sign. Don't assume.

Also, DXpeditions all work split and typically listen a few kilohertz up. Pay attention to your VFOs, and don't transmit on top of the DX station. "If someone does transmit (calls) on top of a DXpedition, you are better off not getting involved and making things worse," McClenny advises. "Don't be a DX pileup policeman!"

He also has some advice for DXpedition operators. "DXpeditioners, before firing up on a frequency make sure your transmit frequency is clear. Listen around to make sure some other DXpedition is not too close to your transmit or receiving frequencies." And, he adds, "Please send your call sign often!"

McClenny says that ultimately the DXpedition operator is responsible for the pileup. "Remember it takes two to make a QSO, and we DXers at home and those on DXpeditions have certain responsibilities to keep the confusion at a minimum, especially with all the DXpeditions that will be QRV [on the air] during this month."

Regulatory: FCC Sets Higher Vanity Call Sign Fee Than First Proposed

A new FCC regulatory fee of $16.10 to apply for an Amateur Radio vanity call sign will become effective sometime in mid-September, when the new fee schedule appears in the Federal Register. (ARRL will report the exact date as soon as it becomes available.) Earlier this year, the FCC had proposed upping the vanity call sign fee from its current $15 to $15.20. The vanity call sign fee has fluctuated over the 17 years of the current program -- from high of $50 when the program debuted in 1996 to a low of $11.70 in 2007.

In a Report and Order in MD Docket 13-140, released August 12, the FCC ordered a broad schedule of new fees for all services and waived the usual 30-day waiting period following Federal Register publication,

because there would not be time for new fees to become effective before the start of the new federal fiscal year on October 1, 2013. The FCC says it expects $230,230 in revenue to cover the costs of administering the vanity call sign program. It anticipates 14,300 vanity call sign applications.

Applicants must pay the regulatory fee not only when applying for a new vanity call sign, but also when renewing a vanity call sign (those holding "heritage" vanity call signs issued prior to 1993 are exempt).

The ARRL VEC will process license renewals for vanity call sign holders for a modest fee. The service is available to ARRL members and nonmembers, although League members pay less.

Vanity HQ Site Pulls The Plug

Vanity HQAfter serving the US Amateur Radio community for 14 years Mike Carroll, N4MC, has shut down his Vanity HQ website.

"Vanity HQ is closed," now greets visitors to the site. "It's been a good 14 years. Thank you everyone for participating, sending bug reports and comments, and I especially thank all the Elmer volunteers who have helped me over the years. It is time for me to move on. Regards to all."

The site has had its ups and downs over its lifetime. Carroll made a similar announcement in 2004, citing "a shift in my priorities," but the site eventually remained open. Over the years Vanity HQ often was the first stop for radio amateurs seeking a vanity call sign. Among other information, it provided a list of recently issued vanity call signs as well as available call signs and active vanity call sign applications.

In 2008, the ARRL Board okayed a partnership with the Vanity HQ site to have QST Silent Key listings included in the Vanity HQ history project in an electronically searchable format.

After Carroll announced he was shutting down in 2004, Eldon Lewis, K7LS, inaugurated his RadioQTH website, which offers essentially the same information Vanity HQ did.

Reflections - Field Day 2013

Dipole antennas strung all through the trees
Yagis on crank-ups that sway in the breeze
Verticals reaching right up to the sky
SPF50 or you're gonna fry!

When the rain comes
When the bands close
When mosquitoes bite
I simply remember the contest is on
And I can stay up all night!

Ice-cold libations are Red Bull or soda
Taking a break at the station for GOTA
Barbecued brisket or burgers and dogs
Eat, drink, and nap but fill out all your logs.

J-poles with twin-lead and good propagation
Baluns and bug-spray and DXing stations
FM and SSB, RTTY
PSK31, give it a try!

Emergency power and portable towers
Keying for hours and could use a shower
Why do hams do this and go so berserk?
Cause when all else fails, ham radio works!

When the storms come
When the phones die
When it's all berserk
We simply remember that when all else fails
The Amateur Radio...works!


73, Ward NØAX

Computer Savvy - The Difference Between http:// and https://

Most of you may know this, but for those of you who don't, it's good to be aware.

Once in a while, there is something that comes down the pike that is of real importance.  What is the difference between http and https? Don't know how many of you are aware of this difference, but it is worth sending to any who do not.

The main difference between http:// and https:// is that it is all about keeping you secure. HTTP stands for Hyper Text Transfer Protocol.  The S (big surprise) stands for "Secure." If you visit a website or web page, and look at the address in the web browser, it will likely begin with the following: http://. This means that the website is talking to your browser using the regular "unsecured" HTML language. In other words, it is possible for someone to "eavesdrop" on your computer's conversation with the website.

If you fill out a form on the website, someone might see the information you send. This is why you should never ever enter your credit card number in an http website! But if the web address begins with https://, that basically means your computer is talking to the website in a secure code that no one can evesdrop on.

If a website ever asks you to enter your credit card information, you should automatically look to see if the web address begins with https://. If it doesn't, you should NEVER enter sensitive information...such as a credit card number, SS #, etc.

Thanks to Joe, K5OS for passsing this info along.

Notes From An Old Ham

Hurricane season is upon us. We as Amateurs have contributed many times over by providing communications before and after a big storm approaches our coastline. Nick Conner, K5BQJ has been through many of these over the years. He has taken the time to jot down a few notes based on his past experiences. Read and enjoy his article by clicking here. "Notes From An Old Ham."

Check Out Ham Corner

There is a new file available in the Ham Corner section of our Web Site. The file is Coax Loss Calculator. It is a cool way for you to compare various brands of cable for loss at popular operating frequencies. You can enter your transmitter output power and see the loss at any given frequency. You can customize the tool to show the actual output power at the antenna connector. It is a great way to choose the right coax for your operating preferences whether it be HF, VHF or UHF.

Thanks to Nick, K5BQJ for furnishing the link.

Patrick Fagan - WA5DVV

My Power Plan (Or How To Not Burn Down The Shack)

When I became a ham a couple of years ago I started looking at how I was going to distribute power to all my gear. LOL at that time all my gear was a Yaesu FT-100d with a 30 amp power supply. I looked at power distribution strips from MFJ, West Mountain, and several other companies. I noticed that they all had one thing in common, high price tags. Well this did not set too well with me because I am a frugal person (read that as cheap). So I started researching how other hams were dealing with the issue and I discovered the world of Anderson Powerpoles. I thought to myself that these things were a home brewers dream. There were plans all over the internet on building devices and adapters with them. I also noticed that most people involved with ARES and RACES were using these. In fact there is a RACES standard configuration.

I did a search on Ebay and found tons of people selling the powerpoles so I invested in a few. Well let me tell you something, when you start building and making adapters with these things it gets addictive real fast. You walk around the shack and think, "what else can I put these on?"

PowerPole #1PowerPole #2

Since I first started using them my gear list has grown to include not only the Yaesu but now also a Tentec Omni 6+, a Icom v8000, and an automatic antenna tuner. Plus I have set up a solar array (90 watts of the Harbor Freight panels) and use powerpoles to distribute that power to my in shack LED lighting, 12v fan, and radio gear. I have power distribution boxes, 12v wall outlets, and adapters for everything under the sun. Every piece of equipment I have can now be powered by any power source in my shack because they all use the same powerpole configuration. If I need to operate from emergency power all I have to do is clip an adapter onto a battery and plug my gear into that. If you like to tinker and build stuff then Anderson powerpoles are for you, they are like legos and erector sets for adults. Try your hand at making something with them, you will enjoy the feeling of I made this.

I am including some links I found that show how to install them and many examples of things you can make for the shack.

http://www.wb3w.net/powerpoleinst.htm
http://www.qsl.net/wd4bis/connect.htm
http://wd6cmu.antennalaunchers.com/pp.htm
http://www.repeater-builder.com/astron/ss30-powerpoles.html
http://www.nj2x.com/2012/12/project-anderson-powerpole-polarity.html
http://home.comcast.net/~buck0/hampage.htm
http://www.wentztech.com/radio/Projects/Projects_files/Power%20Poles.html
http://radio.mcdougallshome.net/bench/w7mri-powerpole-hub/
http://www.nj2x.com/2011/11/project-car-power-adapter-to-anderson.html http://hamradionation.com/browse_vidfeeders.php?tag=Anderson+Powerpole

Richard Warner - AF5AQ

Computer Security - Be Prepared

We all know somebody that has been hacked at some time or another. Hacked or hacker is kind of an incorrect term. A hacker is somebody who is fluent in programming and programming languages. They hack a program to make it better or to make it do something they want it to. Sometimes they hack a program just so they can use it for free. Most hackers are not malicious, misguided maybe, but normally not malicious.  Hackers are a curious lot, they hack into programs just to see if they can do it.

What really happens to us as home computer users is that we get cracked. A cracker much like a safe cracker or burglar breaks into your system with the intent to steal your data or to wreak havoc on your system. Why do crackers do what they do? Financial gain of course! They steal your info and sell it, mainly to identity thieves but also to companies that specialize in making and selling lists to the dreaded tele-marketers and spam advertisers.  Unlike hackers, crackers are malicious. They create havoc in your computer, most of the time just to cover their tracks but other times just because they can.

It is sad to say but the only real way to keep your computer safe is to not ever hook it up to the internet or even to other computers via a network.

That being said I know that you are not going to stay off the internet. As hams we use the internet to research projects, look up callsigns, monitor DX clusters, and lots of other things. So knowing that we are going to be on the internet we have to now think about how to use it safely. It is like anything else you do nowadays, you have to be prepared.

Preparedness for your home computer is knowing what you dealing with and having the right tools. It also involves following a few do's and don'ts. Like anything else in life it involves unlearning bad habits and learning new good habits.

Here is a list of tools that I as a computer tech use to clean computers. And the best part about these tools are that they are free to download from doenloads.com which is sponsored by cnet.com.

1: Glary Utilities
2: Malwarebytes
3: AVG antivirus
4: Spyware Terminator

Richard Warner - AF5AQ

Computer Definitions Every HAM Should Know

Computer virus:

 A computer program that is designed to replicate itself by copying itself into the other programs stored in a computer. It may be benign or have a negative effect, such as causing a program to operate incorrectly or corrupting a computer's memory.

 Trojan or Trojan horse:

 1: a program that appears desirable but actually contains something harmful; the contents of a Trojan can be a virus or a worm.
 2: A bug inserted into a program or system designed to be activated after a certain time or a certain number of operations

 Worm:

  A malicious program that replicates itself until it fills all of the storage space on a drive or network.

 Malware:

1: Malicious computer software that interferes with normal computer functions or sends personal data about the user to unauthorized parties over the Internet.
2: Software that is written and distributed for malicious purposes, such as impairing or destroying computer systems. Computer viruses are malware.

Spyware:

1: Software that secretly gathers information about a person or organization.
2: Any malicious software that is designed to take partial or full control of a computer's operation without the knowledge of its user.

Adware:

1. Software that displays advertisements and is integrated into another program offered at no charge or at low cost.
2: A  type of spyware that gathers information about an Internet user's browsing habits and displays targeted or contextual advertisements.

Tracking cookie or just cookie:

A cookie, in computer terms, is a small data file that stores information on your computer. When this information is used to record the movements your computer makes throughout one or more websites, it is called a tracking cookie, because it tracks your pathways from one page to another. The tracking cookie file takes up very little space on your computer because it uses only text, no images or other data-heavy sources.

Read more: Definition of Tracking Cookies | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/info_8087985_definition-tracking-cookies.html#ixzz2RO7lzzQS

Computer Security Software:

Computer security software covers a wide variety of potential risks, including hacker intrusions, destruction of data, harmful viruses, Trojan horses and other malicious attacks. Computer security software is available either within the computer's operating system or add-ons freely downloaded or purchased. Computer security software offers peace of mind amid a growing array of risks that increase exponentially as more PCs become accessible through the Internet

Read more: Definition of Computer Security Software | eHow.com

http://www.ehow.com/about_5087808_definition-computer-security-software.html#ixzz2ROBzDuVK

Firewall:

A system designed to prevent unauthorized access to or from a private network. Firewalls can be implemented in both hardware and software, or a combination of both. Firewalls are frequently used to prevent unauthorized Internet users from accessing private networks connected to the Internet, especially intranets. All messages entering or leaving the intranet pass through the firewall, which examines each message and blocks those that do not meet the specified security criteria.

A good site on computer security:

http://www.us-cert.gov/sites/default/files/publications/TenWaystoImproveNewComputerSecurity.pdf

A small list of security software that is available for download from Cnet.com. Best of all they are free.

1: Glary Utilities
2: Malwarebytes
3: AVG Antivirus
4:Spyware Terminator

Some do's and don'ts for home computer security:

Do's:

• Create strong passwords that are at least eight characters long, and including at least a numerical value and a symbol, such as #, to foil password-cracking software. Avoid common words, and never disclose a password online.

• Change your password every ninety days.

• Perform regular backups of important data.

• Delete any message that refers to groups or organizations that you are not a part of.

• Download and install software only from online sources you trust.

• Never click on a link from an untrusted source.

• Close windows containing pop-up ads or unexpected warnings by clicking on the “X” button in the upper most right hand corner of that window, not by clicking within the window.

• Use antivirus software, and update it on a regular basis to recognize the latest threats.

• Regularly update your operating system, Web browser, and other major software, using the manufacturers' update features, preferably using the auto update functionality.

• Set Windows or Mac updates to auto-download.

Don'ts:

• Never write down your password. Especially on a Post-It note stuck to your computer!

• Never give out your password to anyone, whether you know them or not.

• Never select the "Remember My Password" option. Many applications do not store them securely.

• Never purchase anything promoted in a spam message. Even if the offer isn’t a scam, you are only helping to finance and encourage spam.

• Please refrain from opening an e-mail attachment, even from someone you know well, unless you were expecting it.

• Avoid creating common passwords such as your name, social security, UNI, etcetera.

• Do not leave your laptop unattended, even for a few minutes.

• Never reply to e-mail(s) requesting financial or personal information.

• Avoid opening e-mail(s) or e-mail attachments from an unknown sender.

• Please refrain from clicking on the close button within pop-up ads.

• Under no circumstances should you install or use pirated copies of software.

• Do not install P2P file sharing programs which can illegally download copyrighted material.

• Never set your e-mail program to "auto-open" attachments.

Richard Warner - AF5AQ

Heathkit Is Back! Maybe Or Maybe Not

Heathkit LogoIn 2011 it was announced that Heathkit was returning to the kit-building business. Unfotunately this never got off the ground. Several months later they went into bankruptcy before the first kit was brought to market. As part of the bankruptcy proceedings the Heathkit name, logo and rights to previous equipment designs were put up for auction. There was a winning bidder although it is not clear who this is. 

There is an extensive survey online which suggests the new owner(s) may be very serious this time. If this comes to fruition it may mean they could become a serious player in the amateur radio market again. They are soliciting input from former Heathkit builders and potenial new customers. If you would like to participate you can find the survey here.

Patrick Fagan - WA5DVV

JCARA Survey Results

Congratulations to our club members for the terrific response to our 2013 interest survey! Any surveying organization would be envious of our 60%-plus response rate. What more can we say about our members’ level of interest in their club?

I won’t recap the survey here; Dan Miller, AE5JG and I did that at the May 29 meeting. Suffice it to say that members provided a wealth of information upon which our leadership team can base its plans for the future.

I was especially encouraged by the expressions of support for activities to help new hams. Ours is a self-sustaining hobby; there’s no one out there recruiting for us. The more we do to attract and nurture new hams, both individually and as a club, the more secure the hobby will be in the future.

I also enjoyed the discussion, triggered by a survey question, of a potential special event sometime this fall. It was great to hear members’ enthusiasm for the activity.

Among all of the useful information and ideas the survey elicited, a couple of negative comments also appeared in the report. Negative comments are an inevitable consequence of anonymity. The most important thing is to keep them in perspective. The two negative remarks in the report represented a very small proportion of the responses received. We won’t gain much ground by either ignoring them or getting angry about them. I hope we can determine what situations might have motivated them, figure out whether the situations are more than isolated incidents, and, if so, address the causes. And then move on.

There’s a lot of very useful information to be mined from your survey responses, and I’m sure our leaders are already considering how they can put that information to work. From my own experience, I know that leadership in voluntary organizations can be challenging; it ain’t a job for sissies. They need our support as they plan ways to serve our members’ interests.

Charlie Carney - AG5CC

   

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