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I wish all a Merry Christmas and a healthy New Year to all my readership, even the new no code "tech lite" hams...

WEEKEND EDITION: Heat wave this morning on the foggy island of Cape Ann and about 40 degrees, not bad....big tourist day in town with all the shops and galleries open with xmas cheer, workshops for kids and adults, music, food, etc.....Raspberry pi stuff...I find the numbers a little hard to believe in this article, two million inspired?....

Two killed in accident at Antarctic research station

Two fire technicians at a US scientific station in Antarctica have died after being found unconscious, according to the National Science Foundation (NSF).

The two technicians had been working on a fire-suppression system at McMurdo station on Ross Island, the foundation said on Wednesday. It said they were found on the floor by a helicopter pilot who had landed after spotting what appeared to be smoke from the building.

Both were taken from the building and given CPR. One died at the scene. The other was flown to a clinic and pronounced dead shortly after.

It happened on Tuesday eastern US time at a generator building that powers a radio transmitter near the McMurdo station.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/dec/12/antarctica-two-technicians-dead-mcmurdo-station-ross-island

Amateur Radio Newsline Report 2146 for Friday, December 14 2018...rehash of the news..

JOURNEY OVER FOR AMSAT'S FOX-1 SATELLITE

STEPHEN/ANCHOR: We open this week's report with discouraging news for satellite enthusiasts who were looking forward to the commissioning of the newly launched Fox-1Cliff/AO-95 CubeSat. Newsline reported last week that AMSAT-North America was preparing for it to become its fourth Fox-1 amateur radio satellite. AMSAT's vice president of engineering Jerry Buxton N-ZERO-J-Y announced that problems with the receiver, discovered during the commissioning process, has put an end to those plans. The commissioning process began on Tuesday, the 4th of December but is now at an end. Jerry issued a statement on December 9th saying: "Many of you have probably built a project and had to troubleshoot it on your bench. we are in a troubleshooting situation here with the additional challenge of being 600 km away from our bench." [endquote] Meanwhile, he said, engineers will continue to evaluate what happened.

NORTH CAROLINA HAMS CHANGE GIFT-GIVING TRADITION

STEPHEN/ANCHOR: In this season of giving and sharing, one ham radio club in North Carolina changed a holiday tradition and spread some needed cheer. Paul Braun WD9GCO has that story.

PAUL: In local disasters, national emergencies and even extreme weather events, hams’ efforts at helping almost always shine. In Gaston County, North Carolina, that was also the case recently when the Gaston County Amateur Radio Society decided they would make a difference – not by what they did, but by what they did NOT do.
The hams have a tradition of hosting a gift exchange at their annual holiday party and it has come to be expected. This year, however, was different. When the group gathered for the festivities on Monday, December 3rd, hams like Pat N4DOX and Cy K1CY had already made a decision where their gift money was going to go. They donated it instead to the Empty Stocking Fund operated by the local newspaper, Gaston Gazette.
Cy told the newspaper [quote] “the idea was to do something for someone else. There really is a big need out there.” [endquote].
The funds raised by the amateurs will be given to the Salvation Army who will purchase clothes, toys and food for holiday meals for families and local seniors. According to the newspaper, this is one of many gestures the radio club has made in the county, where they are always ready to respond to emergencies – large and small.
The newspaper wrote, in its December 4 article: [quote] “The match between the Gaston County Amateur Radio Society and the Salvation Army is a good one: Both are ready to pitch in and help when needed.” [endquote]
For Amateur Radio Newsline, I’m Paul Braun WD9GCO.

HISTORIC TRANSMITTER RETURNS TO AIR FOR HOLIDAY

STEPHEN/ANCHOR: Another holiday tradition - this one involving a historic transmitter - will be back on the air in Sweden, as we hear from Jeremy Boot G4NJH.

JEREMY: Christmas Eve morning will bring coffee, cake and CW for radio enthusiasts who’ll be gathering at Sweden’s World Heritage Grimeton Radio Station for an annual tradition: the tuning up of the Alexanderson 200 kW transmitter, a relic from 1924, to send out a Christmas message in CW on the VLF frequency of 17.2 kHz. It is especially significant this year since organisers reluctantly announced the cancellation of last year’s scheduled message because maintenance work needed to be completed on the nearly one-hundred-year-old transmitter.
The radio station welcomes QSLs and listener reports for this special holiday message by email, direct mail or bureau. The email address is info at alexander dot n dot se (info@alexander.n.se)
Meanwhile, to mark the event, amateur radio station SK6SAQ will be operating on three frequencies: using CW on 7.035 kHz or 14.035 kHz or using SSB on 3.755 kHz.
Hams and other radio listeners unable to be present in Sweden will not be left out, of course: the event will be broadcast live on YouTube, as the message goes out at 0800 UTC, or 9 a.m. local time. You will, however, have to supply your own coffee and cake.
LONG ISLAND CLUB HOSTS 2 SEASONAL ON-AIR EVENTS

STEPHEN/ANCHOR: In New York, the Great South Bay Amateur Radio Club believes there's no place like being with hams for the holidays -- so they're hosting two events to celebrate the season. Here's Neil Rapp WB9VPG.

NEIL: What better way to celebrate Christmas than a 12 Days of Christmas Special Event Station?  This special event starts on Friday, December 14th and runs for... yes... 12 days, which would make it end on Christmas day.  Each day has its own special 1x1 callsign, like W2P is the Partridge in a Pear Tree station; or the W2L Nine Ladies Dancing station.  Collect as many days as you want, and you can get a fabulous certificate if you work just one or more.  And of course, you can go for the clean sweep of all 12!  But if you do, that's a lot of birds.  184 to be exact.  Lou Maggio, NO2C, tells us about how you can find this first time offering of the extra special event.

LOU:  These are all operators that are seasoned.  We don't have any people doing this that have never done anything like it before, so we're kind of letting them pick the bands, pick the frequencies, and then they'll spot themselves.  The way I usually do it: SES and then 12 Days of Christmas... and that generally is enough to attract anyone that wants to get the certificate.

NEIL:  To get your certificate, you'll just need to upload your log in cabrillo format after the event is over.  But wait, there's more!  On December 25th, there's an extra, extra special event for those people like Lou and Newsline's own Caryn Eve Murray, KD2GUT, who have birthdays on Christmas day.  Lou tells how the Christmas Birthday Special Event started.

LOU: Caryn and I are in the same club, and we happened to have a conversation one day and realized we were both born on Christmas Day.  So, we said ok let's take and do a special event on VHF on Christmas day and see how many people check in.  And, quite a few people checked in.  So, we did it again the second year, and it was even more popular.  So this year, because we had so much luck with HF special events, we said well let's do it on HF this time.  So we figure we'll do it on the 25th.  So anyone who actually has a birthday on the 25th, and that includes Christmas babies, Boxing Day babies, New Years Eve babies, anybody who has a holiday related birthday in around the 25th, we're hoping will check in; and then they’ll be able to download a certificate from our website commemorating the contact.  And we’re going to probably be on any frequency that ends 25... 3.825, 7.225, 14.325 are the ones that we're going to be calling on.  And we'll be spotting on the cluster also. 

NEIL:   So listen for the 12-days of Christmas stations starting on December 14th and for K2B on December 25th. Fire up those rigs, warm your hands to the glow of the amplifier, and have fun with these two special events.  And from all of us here at Newsline, we wish our editor, Caryn, a very Merry Birthday

WHEN A QSL CARD BRINGS CALLSIGN DEJA VU

STEPHEN/ANCHOR: It’s not unusual for one ham’s transceiver to show up in another ham’s shack, one ham’s antenna to find its way across the country to another ham who needed it or even an old, treasured straight key given away by someone who doesn’t need it any longer. But a ham in Oklahoma and a ham in California recently learned they shared something entirely different, as Mike Askins KE5CXP explains.

MIKE: On November 25, 2018, Mike Olsen NQ6C and Roger Simpson K5RKS had a QSO on 17 meters at 1831 UTC using FT8 mode. Not long after, Mike received Roger’s QSL card and something else – a second, older QSL card in the same envelope which left Mike feeling as if he were looking into a mirror.
Mike told Newsline in an email: [quote] “The first QSL card on top had NQ6C which was my call sign but it wasn’t one of my cards.” [endquote] Mike was assigned the call sign earlier this year and clearly this QSL card went back much further in time than that. His temporary confusion ended when he looked at the other QSL card – the one from their recent contact – and saw that Roger had written, at the very bottom: “What a surprise to work my old call!”
It turns out Roger had been assigned the call sign in November of 1982 after passing his Extra Class exam at the FCC’s San Francisco office. Mike, of course, had no clue about its history when it became his turn to be assigned the call sign in March.
It’s not every day you get to connect with your digital doppelganger. Now, says Mike, NQ6C has not just become a treasured call sign and QSL card but a piece of personal history -- and he might just have this card framed.
For Amateur Radio Newsline I’m Mike Askins KE5CXP.

YLRL AWARDS SCHOLARSHIPS TO 3 PROMISING AMATEURS

STEPHEN/ANCHOR: The Young Ladies' Radio League has just awarded three promising amateurs with scholarships to continue their studies as we hear from Heather Embee KB3TZD.

HEATHER: Readers of YL-Harmonics, the official publication of the Young Ladies’ Radio League, were greeted by three smiling faces on the cover of the group’s November-December issue: Jordyn Mann, W1KXJ; Anna Veal, W0ANT; and Trina Boyce, KI6GZG all have good reason to smile. They have all been named YLRL Scholarship winners receiving gifts that honor three Silent Keys: Ethyl Smith K4LMB; Martha Wessel K0EPE and Mary Lou Brown NM7N. Jordyn is a computer science major at MIT and has been an intern at NASA. Anna, a graduate of the STEM high school in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, plans to study computer science at the University of Colorado. She is also a past winner of Amateur Radio Newsline’s Young Ham of the Year award. Trina, who is a doctoral candidate at Colorado Technical University, has two master’s degrees and teaches online as an adjunct professor at Brigham Young University. Applications will be open soon for the 2019 scholarships and are due by April. For more information check the website of the Foundation for Amateur Radio at farweb dot org (farweb.org). Meanwhile, congratulations to this year’s winners.

WORLD OF DX
In this week’s world of DX, be listening for Ben DL6RAI who is operating in Aruba as P4/DL6RAI. You can listen for him until the 27th of December on 160 and 80 meters. QSL via Club Log's OQRS, LoTW  or  via his home call.

In Curacao, Anders, SM4KYN will be active as PJ2/SM4KYN through the 14th of January. Send QSLs direct to his home call.

In Antarctica, Felix, DL5XL is active again as  DP1POL  from the German research station "Neumayer III" until February 2019. He is operating mainly CW and digital modes. Send QSLs via DL-ONE-ZED Bee Oh (DL1ZBO), direct or by the bureau, and on LoTW.

Starting on the 26th of December, Chie, 7L3PFH be active as KH0TG from Tinian in the Mariana Islands where she will be operating until the 1st of January. She will operate CW and SSB on 160 through 20 meters. QSL direct to JL1UTS.

KICKER: WHEN DXING TAKES A DETOUR

STEPHEN/ANCHOR: We end this week's report with a story of some DXing that took a detour. For one ham in Austria, the childhood chase of a QSL card brought home a very unexpected message. Ed Durrant DD5LP tells that story.

ED: In an interview recently with the Austrian state broadcaster ORF, Erich Moechel OE3EMB shared the story of his pursuit of a QSL card back when he was a 16-year-old schoolboy. It happened in the early 1970s – during the Cold War – after he and a friend had become devoted shortwave listeners, starting first as broadcast DXers.
ERICH: We would sit there and listen and it was all Cold War blaring into the household at that time. Voice of American on one side, Radio Liberty on the same side – and on the other side, Radio Peace and Progress from Moscow and numerous other strong, strong stations all around Europe. Every day the postman would bring at least one QSL card for a while because I had spent all my pocket money on stamps.
ED: After getting their fill of pop and rock on pirate radio and receiving signals and QSL cards from China, Cuba and Russia, Erich and his friend looked elsewhere for more exciting and interesting reception reports.
ERICH: Both of us became utility DXers, Normally by law it was somehow in the gray zone in Austria. It was de facto forbidden to listen to phone calls and we wouldn’t do that.
ED: Still, there were definite concerns outlined in the shortwave listening newsletters the boys received.
ERICH: There were warnings in these newsletters not to send reception reports to certain stations. Amongst them was Cable and Wireless in London and Norddeich Radio in Germany.
ED: One day by accident, however, he intercepted a conversation without knowing he was hearing the German Federal Intelligence Service and the UK’s Secret Service, a shortwave exchange not meant for the public. Still, he and his friend wondered: since they get such beautiful QSL cards from Cable and Wireless in Central Africa and Liberia, why not London? So they sent their reception reports – but instead of getting a card, Erich’s parents received a formal complaint: Officials from the Austrian Ministry of Transport and Telecommunications in Vienna had been contacted by officials in Germany and the UK. They warned: Erich must stop listening or face confiscation of his radio equipment.
ERICH: Only very much later I learned that these were the centers of radio communication in England and Germany and it was the secret service guys checking everything and promoting a policy of intimidation.
ED: Erich now spends his time on HF and he’s pursuing QSL cards as a seasoned ham. He notes on his page on QRZ.com that his policy is “ultra relaxed” when it comes to QSL cards. People can send them – or not. “Just say hello the next time we meet on the bands” he writes. In case you’re wondering, cards from shortwave listeners are always welcome too.

TGIF EDITION: I haven't got much feedback, but I think everyone had a good time yesterday at HRO....I am hoping someone can send me the name and callsign of all in the photos..

HRO Thursday at the K1JEK Annual Xmas Party

Ok, who was the guy who photo-bombed the picture? By the way, could Joe- K1JEK be any happier in this picture?

Broadcasters Intruding on Exclusive Amateur Radio Frequencies

The International Amateur Radio Union Region 1 (IARU-R1) Monitoring System (IARUMS) reports that Radio Hargeisa in Somaliland has returned to 7,120 kHz after a break of several weeks, while Radio Eritrea has been reported on 7,140 and 7,180 kHz. Radio Sudan has been transmitting on 7,205 kHz with excessive splatter, IARUMS said. German telecommunications authorities have filed official complaints.

IARUMS has also reported digital signals attributed to the Israeli Navy on 7,107 and 7,150 kHz. In addition, a Russian military F1B signal was observed in mid-November on 7,179 kHz. A Russian over-the-horizon radar has returned to 20 meters on 14,335 – 14,348 kHz. It was monitored on November 22. Earlier this fall, IARUMS reported digital signals from the Polish military daily on 7,001.8 kHz where Amateur Radio has a worldwide primary allocation. Telecommunications officials in Germany filed a complaint.

IARUMS has received reports of short “beeps” exactly 1 second apart, as well as frequency hopping between 10,108 and 10,115 kHz and 18,834 and 18,899 kHz. The signals are believed to emanate from a site near Chicago associated with an FCC-licensed Experimental operation involved with low-latency exchange trading on HF (see “Experiments Look to Leverage Low-Latency HF to Shave Microseconds off Trade Times”). Although Amateur Radio is secondary on 30 and 17 meters, Experimental licenses may not interfere with Amateur Radio operations.

Foundations of Amateur Radio #184

Contest Headphones and glorious HF SSB

Recently I managed to get some quality on-air time when I participated in a contest. This isn't about contesting. Although I suppose tangentially it is. It was a most enjoyable experience shared with some friends and because we did it at a local radio club, Sunday morning had all manner of visitors joining us for a little social chat, just the ticket for breaking the monotony of calling CQ.

Normally when I do a contest I wear headphones, actually it's a headset, that is something over my ears with an attached microphone to capture my contacts without me having to use my hands or move my head towards a fixed location while I'm making the contact.

One hour in my trusty headset broke clean in half. They've been with me since 2012 so I was a little disappointed. They weren't cheap. I'm not going to tell you what brand it is, but they're very popular in the contesting community and I bought them based on those recommendations.

Given that I now had no headset I immediately went to the nearest social media outlet to ask for recommendations on what to do next and the typical responses included different brands, ways of repairing, better models, those kinds of things. Everything you'd expect from a community which has some experience in creating a headset that actually works within the context of amateur radio.

Don't get me wrong some of these suggestions were great but I don't particularly fancy spending $500 on a headset that is suited to listen to glorious HF SSB. If you're not familiar, think long distance AM radio playing music you can barely hear hosted by a DJ you can almost make out. Making a contact using HF SSB is really an exercise in deciphering really bad audio, often with lots of people on the same frequency at the same time, all vying for your attention. Making a contact, a QSO, in that kind of pile-up can be a challenge.

The contest ran for 48 hours so in my down time I had to come up with a solution since making a repair within the time available seemed unrealistic, even though I happened to have spare parts somewhere in my shack. As an emergency standby I brought along my mobile phone in-ear headphones.

They're lightweight, cheap, and they block out the audio from nearby conversations in the shack. Everything you want in a contesting headphone. I used a microphone on a boom, attached to the desk, but that wasn't ideal, moving your head, looking at the logging screen, operating the radio, from a user interface perspective, it left me wanting.

I should add that I prefer to operate a contest using Voice Operated Control, or VOX, that is, setting up your radio in such a way that you don't need to push any buttons to talk, you open your mouth and the radio automatically starts transmitting. Very helpful when you have your hands on the keyboard and the foot-pedal is just out of reach or making your leg tired because you have to hold it up so you don't accidentally key up the transmitter.

It occurred to me that I'd never seen this particular use of a headphone in the context of amateur radio. After the contest I went out to find a similarly spartan microphone. I'm still weighing up the options but I think I might have settled on the idea of pursuing headphones and microphones intended for use on a mobile phone, precisely because they are designed to deal with blocking out surrounding audio from both the earpiece and the microphone.

As I'm describing this to you it occurs to me that it doesn't even need to be wired, a simple Bluetooth audio module plugged into the radio with wireless mobile phone headsets might just be the ticket.

What has been your recipe for success in creating an environment where you can hear a HF SSB QSO in a contest environment without spending half the value of the radio?

I'm Onno VK6FLAB

To listen to the podcast, visit the website: http://podcasts.vk6flab.com/.

Hackaday: Weaponizing the radio spectrum

Dan Maloney KC1DJT writes on Hackaday about the talk "Electronic Warfare; a Brief Overview of Weaponized RF Design" given by radio amateur Jeremy Hong KD8TUO to the Hackaday Superconference

From fighter jets that are flying Software Defined Radios, to the cat and mouse game of law enforcement and radar detectors, here's a fascinating peek into Electronic Warfare.

Read the Hackaday article at
https://hackaday.com/2018/12/13/jeremy-hong-weaponizing-the-radio-spectrum/

Watch Hackaday Supercon - Jeremy Hong KD8TUO : Electronic Warfare; a Brief Overview of Weaponized RF Design

First FT8 Roundup is a huge hit

The ARRL report the first FT8 Roundup held December 1–2 attracted some 1,300 logs with about 131,200 contacts recorded

Ed Muns, W0YK, who’s NCJ “Digital Contesting” contributing editor, said FT8 Roundup participation compared favorably with that for the ARRL RTTY Roundup, which has averaged around 1,700 logs in recent years.

Read the ARRL story at
http://www.arrl.org/news/first-ft8-roundup-is-a-huge-hit

THURSDAY XMAS PARTY EDITION: I hope Joe gets a good turnout today for the annual Christmas Party today, the weather is decent for traveling- have fun today! Pictures please, I don't think I can get away from commitments I have here....Screw Sports Illustrated....

French ham radio license fee...this should go over well with the riots going on...

REF reports the Finance committee of the Senate has tabled an amendment to the French Finance Act 2019 concerning the annual amateur radio license fee

The annual license fee in France is currently 45.73 euros and yields about 600,000 euros.

The amendment says that collecting the license fee costs 409.6% of the amount recovered and proposes "removing this tax".

REF notes "amendment has yet to pass to the Assembly and perhaps to the Joint Committee, it seems that there has been an echo of our proposal at (see this link) "

REF in Google English
https://tinyurl.com/FranceREF

WEDNESDAY EDITION: Let's not forget the party this week at HRO in Salem, NH this Thursday. We like to get there at about 11am and socialize in the HRO showroom and check out the radio gear and accessories. We expect a good crowd and the lunch is next door at the Chinese Restaurant and the food has been pretty good in the past. All are welcome.....we are a friendly bunch!...If you are up early in the AM, tune in to 3940 for the Inter-Continental Net. Nice bunch of hams, over 100 checked in this morning, from all over the country with weather reports. I heard stations from Florida to NH, and many mid-western stations.....

How to Choose a Two-Way Radio

Popular Mechanics magazine article says Walkie-talkies, CB radios, and Ham radios are a fun and useful way to communicate with your group of friends and family

Two-way radios are usually either citizens-band, a.k.a. CBs, GMRS, or ham radios. They all operate on different frequencies, and have varying wattage outputs and ranges. Our handy guide explains the differences.

Read the Popular Mechanics article at
https://www.popularmechanics.com/adventure/a22818698/two-way-radio-ham-cb-gmrs/

Electromagnetics, the W8JK Antenna, and the “Wow!” Signal
Or, “My friend, the Ohio State Professor, Dr John Kraus, W8JK”

Bob Houf-K7ZB

Antenna enthusiasts will recognize the call sign W8JK as the inventor of the classic array known as the W8JK flat-top beam. The antenna has unique characteristics that make it popular today and the interested ham can search the internet to find an almost overwhelming number of references for this design.

If you’re truly an old timer, you would know it as the ‘8JK flat-top beam antenna, originally described in the March and June (1937) issues of Radio Magazine and further discussed by Kraus in his QST article in the June, 1982 issue.

After spending 6 years in the Submarine Service of the US Navy I returned to school in pursuit of my Electrical Engineering degree at The Ohio State University. I had been an amateur radio operator as a 13-year-old teenager in 1963 and now it was the mid-1970’s and I was finally achieving my goal of obtaining my BSEE.

The first years went by at Ohio State and I began taking the core EE courses which included two semesters of Electromagnetics – starting with static charges, progressing through Maxwell’s Equations and on to antenna theory.

I was privileged to have as my instructor Dr John Kraus, W8JK, a distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering and Director of the OSU Radio Observatory known as “Big Ear”. Dr Kraus had authored several text books on Electromagnetics and Antennas and his books were translated (sometimes illegally, as was done in the Soviet Union) in languages for use all over the world.

I had Dr Kraus for Electromagnetics for both courses and found him to be a very personable, if world-renowned expert in the subject matter.

His exams were always the most thoughtful and insightful of all the EE courses I took at Ohio State – he tested to see if you understood the core concepts he taught – each was an open book exam and if you did not understand the principles of the subject you stood little chance of doing well.

Now I had heard of the ‘8JK beam antenna some years earlier and one day in the second semester of Electromagnetics it finally dawned on me that, indeed, my professor must be the very same W8JK who invented the antenna.

So, I came up to Dr Kraus after one lecture on antennas and told him I was a ham and asked if he was the real W8JK – and the inventor of the array.

He was delighted I recognized his work – he had not made it known to our class that he was a ham – and said, yes, he was one and the same.

With that encouragement I went back to our little one room apartment in married student housing and began to really study his textbook analysis of the W8JK array.

I was rewarded for my effort when I discovered on the Final Exam for the course that Spring, that for one of the questions Dr Kraus had us analyze his W8JK antenna design!

A nice relationship was developed during that Junior year of school with Dr Kraus and when I discovered that he was the Director of the Ohio State Radio Observatory I went up to the top floor of the Caldwell Lab Engineering Building and spoke with Bob Dixon, W8ERD, the Assistant Director, about the possibility of becoming involved with the Observatory.

A very good friend of mine and fellow EE student, Mike Mraz, N6MZ (of DXpedition fame) was also interested in working in some capacity at the Radio Observatory so we both were encouraged to speak to Dr Kraus and he created a work-study project for us in our Senior year of school, working at the Radio Observatory just north of Columbus in Delaware, Ohio.

Mike took the lead with my assistance and we designed and developed a 50-channel active filter for the receiver for use in the sky scan of the heavenly sphere that was underway at the Radio Observatory.

Our filter was put into service in Spring of 1977 and was part of the receiver system that copied the famous “Wow! Signal” which has baffled the scientific community for decades. It was a narrow-band emission from a certain region of space that may have been from an intelligent source.

Whether that is true or not has been the subject of intense debate since August of 1977 when it was received. All one has to do is search the internet for the “Wow! Signal” and you can find articles, videos, analyses and debate which have raged nonstop for over 40 years. There have even been T-shirts made with the famous 6EQUJ5 signal strength report in the original computer printout for the Wow! signal…

During our Senior year of school, Dr Kraus invited Mike and I and our significant others to his home for dinner and a discussion of his research. He was a gracious host along with his lovely wife Alice and we thoroughly enjoyed the evening.

As members of the Electrical Engineering Honorary, Eta Kappa Nu, Dr Kraus hosted a picnic for us at his estate north of Columbus.

The small pond on his property was full of largemouth bass and I wangled permission from Dr Kraus to come out and fish for them when I had spare time.

On one of my visits to his home he showed me his radio shack and introduced me to his technique for determining if an HF band was open to a certain part of the world.

He would point his W8JK beam in the desired direction and send a single ‘dit’ and pause to listen – if he heard a delayed dit come back he knew the band was open for that frequency and azimuth since the ‘8JK beam has a bi-directional radiation pattern.

As a result of that visit and conversation I received my only QSL card from W8JK and for the frequency of the contact he paused, looked up at the ceiling and said, “Well, this was a person-to-person QSO so I guess the frequency must be in the visible light spectrum!” and he wrote 680nm for the wavelength of our QSO.

As the years passed I was able to occasionally keep up with Dr Kraus by letter and made one final visit to see him after his retirement.

He was as busy and productive in his retirement years as he was when he taught and did research at Ohio State.

I recall seeing him leaving the campus one day after the last class in the afternoon and he looked at me and said, “Now the second day begins!”.

73 and RIP, Dr Kraus.

Apollo 8 50th Anniversary Special Event Set for December 21 – 27

Several NASA Amateur Radio clubs will mark the 50th anniversary of Apollo 8 on December 21 – 27, concluding the year-long NASA on the Air activity, which celebrates NASA’s 60th anniversary. The agency was created in 1958 through an act signed by President Dwight Eisenhower.

Apollo 8 was launched on December 21, 1968, and splashed down 6 days later on December 27. It was the first manned spacecraft to leave low-Earth orbit, orbit the moon, and return safely.

Special event operation will be on various bands and modes, and participating stations will self-spot on the DX cluster as well as via Facebook and Twitter.

Contact Rob Suggs, KB5EZ, at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center for more information.

Working Amateur Radio Satellites....space junk...

Stephen 2E0SSM recently did a talk at the Lincoln Shortwave Club about working amateur satellites and he has now published an article on his website

This is a basic introduction explaining the things Stephen had to learn when he first started.

A guide to working amateur satellites is now available at   http://mcbainsite.co.uk/working-amateur-radio-satellites/

Artist made a radio out of a kitchen sink

The IEEE Spectrum magazine reports on Amanda Dawn Christie’s work which commemorates the fading glory of shortwave radio

Some artists work in oils, say, or marble. Amanda Dawn Christie works in radio. Not radio in the sense of performing on air. But radio in the sense of the giant cultural and technological phenomenon that is broadcasting, and specifically shortwave broadcasting.

For decades, shortwave was the only way to reach a global audience in real time. Broadcasters such as the BBC World Service and Voice of America used it to project “soft power.” But as the Internet grew, interest in shortwave diminished.

Christie’s art draws from shortwave’s history, representing it in sculpture, performance, photography, and film. Her focus is the life of the Radio Canada International (RCI) transmitter complex, located in Sackville, New Brunswick, near Christie’s hometown. The transmitter was in operation from the 1940s until 2012.

“Those towers were always just a part of the landscape that I grew up around,” says Christie. It took a radio-building workshop to spark her interest: “I built a radio out of a toilet-paper tube.... I thought I did a great job because I picked up Italian radio. It turned out I did not—I was just really close to this international shortwave site.”

Read the full story and watch video Requium for Radio : Full Quiet Flutter at
https://spectrum.ieee.org/geek-life/profiles/this-artist-made-a-radio-out-of-a-kitchen-sink

TUESDAY EDITION: I checked in to the "Friendly Bunch on 3919 Monday early evening and I have to admit, they are a friendly bunch of hams. A refreshing touch in ham radio. If you check in and behave yourself over a period of time you will be issued an official membership number. Give them a listen! Bobby-KB4ABJ  is doing a good job quarterbacking the group, they have a Facebook page as well......This guy was pissed...Info on noise that was driving us nuts on 75 at night....FYI for new readers of this page, do not click on the images in the top banner section of the page, I warned you!....Big boys toys, great xmas ideas......Maintaining interest with kids about ham radio...

Suspicious package’ at post office was ham radio equipment

The Gainesville Sun reports the U.S. Post Office on Southwest 34th Street was briefly evacuated after the discovery of a suspicious package

The newspaper says:

A suspicious package found Thursday at U.S. Post Office on Southwest 34th Street was deemed non-threatening by law enforcement.

An email sent by Gainesville Police Department spokesman Capt. Jorge Campos said several officers responded to a call from the post office about a large package with pipes and wire coming from it.

Campos wrote that the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office bomb squad was called out and the building was evacuated.

It was eventually determined to be ham radio parts protruding through the box.

Employees were able to return to work.

Source
https://www.gainesville.com/news/20181207/suspicious-package-at-post-office-was-ham-radio-equipment

Santa Net 2018 Looking for net operators.

EST        23 Dec.  24 Dec.
2PM         AA4EE    AA4EE
3PM         K0BOT    K0BOT
4PM
5PM
6PM
7PM
8PM
9PM

FREQUENCIES-14.325- OR- FIRST CLEAR FREQUENCY

Rules are simple:
1. Time slots are one hour. I put myself down 2x.
2. Choose a time slot for yourself.
3. Whoever starts net at 14.325 or look for a clear frequency
4. Ignore deliberate interference
5. All licensed hams welcome to participate
6. For newcomers, Santa visits your station, and anyone who checks in,
can speak to Santa. Of course, when Santa speaks to young children, he
asks them what they want for Christmas.
7. Santa's helpers (relay stations) are always helpful and appreciated.
8. YL and XYL Operators are more than welcome! When Santa is busy in the 
workshop, Mrs. Claus does an outstanding job!
9. Use discretion- never promise a child he or she gets what they want;
sometimes a Shetland pony is not in the cards!
10. Any questions: contact me at aa4ee@mac.com-or 954-741-6200
11.if you wish me to speak to you, call 954-741-6200
12. As slots are filled in, I will send this to all participants.

WSJT-X 2.0 full release now available

The WSJT-X 2.0 software suite has been released, and developer Joe Taylor, K1JT, is urging FT8 and MSK144 users to upgrade to what will become the new standard

The ARRL says:

The FT8 and MSK144 protocols have been enhanced in a way that is not backward compatible with older versions of the program. That includes any version 1.9 releases.

"The new protocols become the worldwide standards starting on December 10, 2018, and all users should upgrade to WSJT-X 2.0 by January 1, 2019," Taylor said on the WSJT-X home page. "After that date, only the new FT8 and MSK144 should be used on the air."

Quick Start Guide for WSJT
https://physics.princeton.edu/pulsar/k1jt/Quick_Start_WSJT-X_2.0.pdf

FT8 Operating Guide by ZL2IFB
http://www.g4ifb.com/FT8_Hinson_tips_for_HF_DXers.pdf

Fox-1Cliff/AO-95 Receiver Suffers Apparent Failure...more space junk

The receiver on the newly launched Fox-1Cliff/AO-95 CubeSat seems to have suffered a receiver failure that could render the satellite unusable, AMSAT said over the weekend. Efforts continue by AMSAT Engineering to establish the cause of the problem and determine if a fix is possible. AMSAT Vice President-Engineering Jerry Buxton, N0JY, reported over the weekend that the issue cropped up during efforts to commission Fox-1Cliff/AO-95.

“After a few days of tests, analysis, and discussion, it appears that Fox-1Cliff/AO-95 will not be commissioned as our fourth Fox-1 Amateur Radio satellite,” Buxton said. Commissioning began on December 4, right after the CubeSat’s successful launch a day earlier.

“AMSAT Engineering will continue to evaluate and test Fox-1Cliff/AO-95 for solutions to the anomaly, and your continued help in providing telemetry is appreciated so that we can have data throughout her daily orbits, rather than limited data over our US stations,” Buxton said. “The data, analysis, and testing could lead to a positive solution, but at the very least will be important to AMSAT's satellite programs in providing information that would help us and others avoid similar situations with future missions.”

In a post to AMSAT-BB, Buxton mentioned one suggestion of employing a high-power station to see if AO-95 could hear its signal, but he added that AMSAT Engineering would not be offering a blow-by-blow narrative of its efforts to restore the satellite to operating condition, “unless it is something of merit or actionable.”

Buxton noted that AMSAT’s resources are limited, and all involved are volunteers. “Most — if not all — of our remaining Fox-1 engineers are also involved in the GOLF-TEE project, so I have asked them to give that first priority with their available volunteer time in order to keep the schedule,” Buxton said. “AO-95 is in orbit now, and we can vary the amount of attention on her as resources allow in order to achieve both goals. If the results of our investigation point to a possibility of recovery, be it partial, full, or some workaround method, we would all like to see her working as much as the rest of you, and that is a driver for this investigation.”

Buxton said he anticipates that AMSAT Engineering will continue to seek the cause of the apparent receiver failure, “until we have results or reach a dead end, because of the inability to take the lid off and look inside AO-95.”

“I will certainly be keeping everyone posted when we have something new to report,” Buxton said.

ARRL Bill Leonard Audio Reporting Award Presented in New York City

The 2017 ARRL Bill Leonard W2SKE Professional Media Award for Audio Reporting was presented in New York on December 6 to the producers and staff of the radio program “The Takeaway.” The program, a joint production of Public Radio International (PRI), WGBH, and WNYC, aired a number of stories about Amateur Radio’s role in supporting disaster relief agencies in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria.

ARRL Emergency Preparedness Manager Mike Corey, KI1U, presented the Leonard Award for Audio Reporting to the program's executive producer, Arwa Gunja, and the show's staff. “The Takeaway” had interviewed Corey about how radio amateurs were supporting the American Red Cross’s efforts to convey “safety and wellness” messages from the island commonwealth to relatives on the US mainland.

Corey and ARRL CEO Howard Michel, WB2ITX, also toured the WNYC studios, where the program is produced.

MONDAY EDITION:.My readers in the Carolina's and Virginia got a taste of what we get in the winter- snow, wind, and power outages and the local DPW trying to deal with snow on the roads....nice sunset, twenty degrees and calm here today....Ok, what the hell is this broadband noise on 75 meters starting when the band goes long, starting  few days ago. It is horrible and everyone is talking about it. Is it foreign government jamming, some lunatic ham broadband jamming? I am going to give the ARRL and Boston FCC office a jingle and see if they are aware, they must be....sounds of RFI....Marijuana becoming legal is interesting, big companies wouldn't touch it. However now that they see the money, its all about money, Marlboro invested 1.8 billion in Canadian Marijuana.....how close are we to levitation boards....

The January Edition of Digital QST is Now Available! Lots of fun Ad's and a few articles...

The January of Digital QST is now available for viewing on your desktop or laptop. Click here to view the issue. It is also available for reading on your Apple, Android, or Kindle Fire device.

● Build a slot-cube antenna for 2 meters.

● Learn how to operate FT8 in the upcoming ARRL RTTY Roundup contest.

● Use a tiny monitor and a Raspberry Pi microcomputer to display your QSLs.

● See how flying and Amateur Radio combine.

…and much more!

Enjoy Content You Won’t Find in the Print Edition…

● See a video review of the SteppIR UrbanBeam 40- to 6-meter antenna by Pascal Villeneuve, VA2PV.

NASA On The Air

Listen for amateur radio clubs at NASA facilities as they participate
in the NASA On The Air activity to commemorate the 50th anniversary
of the Apollo 8 mission that spanned launch December 21, 1968, to
splashdown on December 27, 1968.

The 50th anniversary event will start on 0000 UTC December 21, 2018
through 2359 UTC December 27, 2018.

14.271 MHz and other bands depending on conditions with spotting
announcements on DX clusters, FaceBook, and twitter.

QSL and a certificate with information available on QRZ.com

This marks the concluding event of the year-long NASA On the Air
celebration of 60th anniversary of NASA.

See https://nasaontheair.wordpress.com/

1940s Radio Times now online

The BBC Genome Project has released the next batch of pages from the publication Radio Times, this time covering the 1940s

The BBC have issued a warning about the content of the Radio Times saying "This historical record contains material which some might find offensive"

Read the copies of the Radio Times at
https://genome.ch.bbc.co.uk/
issues#decade-1940



New England Hams you might run across 75 meters.........

K1TP- Jon....Editor of As The World Turns....
2017 HRO CHRISTMAS LUNCHEON
W1GEK- Big Mike....Nearfest Cook, big motor home, electronics software engineer ...
AA1SB- Neil...Living large traveling the country with his girlfriend...loves CW
N1YX- Igor....peddles quality Russian keys, software engineer
K1BGH...Art.....Restores cars and radio gear, nice fella...
N1XW.....Mike-easy going, Harley riding kind of guy!
K1JEK-Joe...Easy going, can be found at most ham flea market ...Cobra Antenna builder..
KA1GJU- Kriss- Tower climbing pilot who cooks on the side at Hosstrader's...
W1GWU-Bob....one of the Hosstrader's original organizers, 75 meter regular, Tech Wizard!!!
K1PV- Roger....75 meter regular, easy going guy...
W1XER...Scott....easy going guy, loves to split cordwood and hunt...
WS1D- Warren- "Windy" - Bullnet
KB1VX- Barry- the picture says it all, he loves food!
KC1BBU- Bob....the Mud Duck from the Cape Cod Canal, making a lot of noise.
W1STS- Scott...philosopher, hat
connoisseur,
KB1JXU- Matthew...75 meter regular...our token liberal Democrat out of VT

KA1BXB-Don....75 meter Regular......residing on the Cape of Cod, flying planes and playing radio
KMIG-Rick....75 Meter Regular....teaches the future of mankind, it's scary!
K1PEK-Steve..Founder of Davis-RF....my best friend from high school 

K9AEN-John...Easy going ham found at all the ham fests
K1BXI- John.........Dr. Linux....fine amateur radio op ....wealth of experience...
K1BQT.....Rick....very talented ham, loves his politics, has designed gear for MFJ...
W1KQ- Jim-  Retired
Air Force Controller...told quite a few pilots where to go!
N1OOL-Jeff- The 3936 master plumber and ragchewer...
K1BRS-Bruce- Computer Tech of 3936...multi talented kidney stone passing ham...
K1BGH- Arthur, Cape Cod, construction company/ice cream shop, hard working man....
W1VAK- Ed, Cape Cod, lots of experience in all areas, once was a Jacques Cousteus body guard....
KD1ZY- Warren....3910 regular with WIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIDE signal
N1YSU- Bob,  easy going, kind of like Mr. Rogers until politics are brought up then watch out...
K1BNH- Bill- Used to work for a bottled gas company-we think he has been around nitrous oxide to long .

Silent KeyVA2GJB- Graham...one of the good 14313 guys back in the day.
Silent Key K1BHV- David...PITA
Silent Key W1JSH- Mort...Air Force man
Silent Key K1MAN--Glen....PITA
Silent KeyKB1CJG-"Cobby"- Low key gent can be found on many of the 75 meter nets.........
Silent KeyWB1AAZ- Mike, Antrim, NH, auto parts truck driver-retired

Silent KeyWB1DVD- Gil....Gilly..Gilmore.....easy going, computer parts selling, New England Ham..
Silent Key W1OKQ- Jack....3936 Wheeling and Dealing......keeping the boys on there toes....
Silent Key W1TCS- Terry....75 meter regular, wealth of electronic knowledge...
Silent Key WIPNR- Mack....DXCC Master, worked them all!.. 3864 regular for many years...
Silent Key
WILIM- Hu....SK at 92... 3864 regular for many years...
Silent Key N1SIE- Dave....Loves to fly
Silent Key:
N1WBD- Big Bob- Tallest ham, at 6'10", of the 3864 group
Silent Key: W1FSK-Steve....Navy Pilot, HRO Salesman, has owned every radio ever built!
Silent Key: W4NTI-Vietnam Dan....far from easy going cw and ssb op on 14275/313
Silent Key:K1FUB-Bill- Loved ham radio....