MONDAY EDITION: The weather was a hoot here
last night. We experienced torrential rain, wind, and thunder
and lightning plus a little hail thrown in for chuckles....Harry
and Meghan leave the royal family, flee to Canada, and now
surface in a mansion in LA. Amazing how much they hated and
trash talked Trump and the USA but this is where they decide to
plunk their spoiled little asses. NO, we should not provide any
security for them....I am trying to limit food shopping to once
a week during the special "senior only" shopping slot at Markt
Basket. Scary times, thank goodness for ham radio to pass some
time...Greatest country in the world and can't keep up with
toilet paper and paper towel production, go figure. How hard is
it to tool up and manufacture N95 masks and distribute them to
healthworkers? A damn simple paper product, be afraid
people.....I was reading that online remote testing by W5YI for
a ham license is being explored due to the lack of testing
available during the Covid 19 pandemic, not sure where that is
headed. I am going to predict that the current tech license will
be offered in the future with no testing sponsored by the
ARRL, basically going online and paying a fee for a call sign...
Murray McMurray Hatchery,
of Webster City, Iowa, ships day-old poultry through the Postal
Service, and is almost completely sold out of chicks for the
next four weeks. “People are panic-buying chickens like they did
toilet paper,” said Tom Watkins, the vice president of
Down at your Tractor Supply
Company, a national chain of farm stores, long lines snake out
the door into the parking lot before the store opens on the
morning of a chick delivery. Many feed stores report they are
selling out of chicks almost as fast as they can get new orders
Some of these buyers are simply
replenishing their flocks, having put in orders weeks or months
ago. But many people who have bought chicks in the last week are
ILLW 2020 and COVID-19
Hopefully by the time we get to August and the
International Lighthouse Lightship Weekend 2020, things
will have returned to some kind of normality. Please rest
assured that whatever the situation the ILLW will still be
The decision to participate will rest with each and every
entrant depending on the circumstances in his or her country at
In view of the fact that the 75th anniversary of Victory in
the Pacific, or VP day, takes place on 15th August, the normal
weekend for the iLLW, it was decided, out of respect for those
wishing to commemorate that event, to move the ILLW to 22nd-23rd
The move hasn’t so far affected entries as 134 have
registered so far. Numbers are expected to be down on previous
years due to the closure of national parks and country borders
but rest assured there is no intention to close it down.
One of the more interesting entries for this year involves an
Englishman and his 14 year old daughter. They intend to ride
their bicycles (pedal) from Lands End in Cornwall to John
O’Groats and then across to Cape Wrath Lighthouse at the top end
Coronavirus: Ham radio operators practice their social
distancing on air
The Gardner News describes how radio amateurs responded to a
request to provide 50 N95 masks for ICU physicians
While amateur radio operators may not be
able to help you rescue that romance you’ve been trying to
revive, they are good at long-distance relationships, especially
when “social distancing” is the proverbial law of the land, and
many of them can use their acquired skills to literally send an
SOS, three “dahs,” then three “dits,” then three more “dahs,” if
need be, across the airways, in communicating important
information through Morse code during an emergency such as the
In Johnson County alone, within the past
week the members of no fewer than three amateur radio clubs or
social groups associated with the hobby have “gathered on the
air” to vocally exchange pleasantries and inquire about the
well-being of each other because they had already decided not to
assemble at their usual meeting places to avoid possible
exposure to the coronavirus that now has millions of Americans
sheltering in place or staying close to home at the very least.
But even as they were holding their virtual meetings, they were
ever-ready at the drop of a hat to swing into action on behalf
of the community at large in moving messages from Point A to
Extra Class Exam Questions – Part 2
Station restrictions and special operations: restrictions on
station location; general operating restrictions; spurious
emissions; antenna structure restrictions; RACES operations
WEEKEND EDITION: Another day in paradise, it sure is
a ghost town around here, another lonely day at the
beach....Dayton, Nearfest, and most New England Hamfests
cancelling one at a time. It should be interesting how Field Day
plays out..That new ARRL OO program sure is working well, listen
up on 7200 days and 3860 nights....
HamSCI 2020 Workshop Successfully Reworked as a Virtual
Despite the coronavirus pandemic, the March 20 – 21
Workshop went on as scheduled, moving to
a free, all-digital webinar workshop. The theme of the 2020
workshop was “The Auroral Connection — How does the aurora
affect amateur radio, and what can we learn about the aurora
from radio techniques?” Organizer and University of Scranton
professor Nathaniel Frissell, W2NAF, told ARRL that he was
quite happy with the outcome, after the in-person workshop
had to be called off as a result of the coronavirus
“In some ways, it was good for us,” Frissell said. “We
actually got many more participants than had we just held it
in person.” Expectations for the live event were for about
100 participants. Online, Zoom — the webinar platform used
for the workshop — reported 290 unique logins from 24
countries. After cancellation of the in-person workshop,
Frissell had to scramble to make the virtual event a
“Some of the challenges included making sure we had an
appropriate Zoom license,” he said. “We also needed to train
presenters and panelists how to use Zoom. I had the webinar
running in practice mode for about 2 or 3 days before the
workshop, and I let presenters log in whenever they wanted
to test things out. It was actually quite fun. Sort of like
talking on the radio. I would be around the computer and
wait for calls. When people called in, I would answer their
questions regarding Zoom and make sure their audio worked
Another hurdle to overcome was figuring out how to
to electronic format. “The
group really helped out with that,” Frissell said, noting
that Aurorasaurus Project manager Laura Brandt came up with
a method for presenting the posters electronically and made
sure the poster session ran smoothly.
In a blog post, Brandt called the workshop
“the first of its kind in heliophysics.” The Aurorasaurus
Project theme is “Reporting Auroras from the Ground Up.”
“The annual HamSCI Workshop provided the perfect
opportunity to introduce citizen scientists and scientists
from the aurora and ham radio communities and build
connections for future collaboration,” Brandt said. “Both
aurora and ham radio citizen scientists work closely with
the Earth’s atmosphere and ionosphere, but aurora folks tend
to think about how what we see reveals aspects of the
ionosphere, ham radio operators tend to think about what
radio waves can tell us about the ionosphere.”
Oral presentations were delivered as originally scheduled
and in the same format, as if they were being delivered at
the in-person workshop.
The workshop served as a team meeting for the
HamSCI Personal Space Weather Station project
that’s funded by aNational Science Foundation (NSF) grant to Frissell as
its principal investigator. The project seeks to harness the
power of a network of radio amateurs to better understand
and measure the effects of weather in the upper levels of
Workshop speakers included Elizabeth MacDonald, the
NASA researcher who founded and leads the Aurorasaurus
citizen science project. James LaBelle, a professor of
physics and astronomy at Dartmouth University and auroral
radio physicist, discussed radio signatures of the aurora.
Phil Erickson, W1PJE, of Haystack Observatory in
Massachusetts spoke on “Amateur digital mode based remote
sensing: FT8 use as a radar signal of opportunity for
ionospheric characterization.” David Hallidy, K2DH, a
retired microwave engineer and well-known for his work in
auroral mode propagation, discussed his practical
experiences of using the aurora for radio communication.
Contester and DX Engineering CEO Tim Duffy, K3LR,
who was to be the banquet speaker,spoke on the topic, “Let’s Push the Exploration of the Ionosphere to the
Many individuals and groups organizing events for
Day 2020 have been contacting ARRL for
guidance on how to adapt their planned activities in
this unprecedented time of social distancing and
“Due to the unique situation presented this year,
this can be an opportunity for you, your club, and/or
group to try something new,” ARRL Contest Manager Paul
Bourque, N1SFE, said. “Field Day isn’t about doing
things the same way year after year. Use this year to
develop and employ a new approach that is in line with
the current circumstances.”
Social distancing and state and local requirements
very likely will impact just how — and even whether —
you are able to participate in Field Day this year. ARRL
continues monitoring the coronavirus situation, paying
close attention to information and guidance offered by
the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
If social distancing means that Class A with a 30-member
team set up in a city park won’t work this year, then
it’s time for a Plan B. Part of the Field Day concept
has always been adapting your operation to the situation
at hand. At its heart, Field Day is an emergency
communication demonstration. Field Day rules are
flexible enough to allow individuals and groups to
adjust their participation and strategies in a way that
still addresses their needs while being fun. Some
Encourage club members to operate from
their home stations on emergency power (Class E).
Use the club’s repeater as a means for
individual participants to keep in touch during the
Family members interested in operating Field Day
and unable to participate as part of a larger group
may want to consider setting up a portable station
in the backyard with a temporary antenna.
One big impact this year will be a decline in public
visibility and any interaction with the visitors.
Prudence may dictate dispensing with the ham radio PR
table to attract passersby, should you set up in a more
public location. It’s okay not to score all the bonus
points you may have attempted in the past. Local and
served agency officials may be unwilling to visit, which
is understandable under the circumstances. Do be sure to
reach out to them as part of your preparations and
remind them that you look forward to continuing your
working relationship with them in the future.
The impact will differ from place to place, so ARRL
recommends that all amateur radio clubs participating in
Field Day stay in regular contact with local or state
public health officials for their advice and guidance on
hosting Field Day activities.
Demonstrating an understanding of the health crisis
we all face and your willingness to adapt will show that
you and your club or group are good working partners
with local or served agencies.
“With any emergency preparedness exercise, it’s not
about adapting the situation to your operation, it’s
about adapting your operation to the situation that
presents itself,” Bourque said. “Try something
different. Learn something new about how you prepare. It
may be a challenge, and you may have to ask yourself if
you’re up to the challenge. We hope to hear you on the
air over the June 27 – 28 weekend.” — Thanks to Paul
Bourque, N1SFE, and Dan Henderson, N1ND
Foundations of Amateur Radio
Listening from the ground up
When I started learning about antennas I was told height
is might. The higher the better. For many years I've
followed that advice and like a good little parrot I've
dispensed that advice. Turns out that as is usual in our
hobby, that's not the whole story.
I first came across a ground based antenna with a BOG,
that's a Beverage On Ground antenna. It's essentially a long
length of coax that's pointed at what you want to hear. You
can either terminate the end, or not, different effects
result with plenty of discussion about directivity, angles,
lobes and the like.
One of the things you'll notice with you use a Beverage
antenna is that it's quiet. All signals are reduced in
strength, but that also means that noise is reduced. Turns
out that this pays off and you hear stuff that you've not
heard before. Excellent for a field day or if you want to
hear some serious DX stations.
There's plenty of stuff that's not nice about a Beverage
antenna. For one, it's highly directional, it takes up lots
of space and if you want to listen in another direction,
you'll either build a second or third and switch between
them. That, or you'll be rolling up and laying out the coax
to point at a new DX entity.
You also cannot transmit with a Beverage antenna. While
we're on the subject, often a beverage can be combined with
a vertical, one for receive, the other for transmit. It's
one of the projects that lying in my to-do pile. I've even
got a remote controlled coax switch, but I'm still figuring
out how to make my FT-857d do the switching.
I could stop there, but I came across another idea a
couple of weeks ago. At the time I was being introduced to
the local emergency communications team. They showed me
their HF stand-by gear. Long piece of wire that you could
chuck out on the ground and make contact. As a good little
amateur I remember thinking to myself, these poor people
they have a lot to learn. I'm glad I'm an eager apprentice
in learning the art of keeping my big mouth shut.
During F-troop, a weekly net for new and returning
amateurs, you'll find details on vk6flab.com, another
amateur was talking about putting a wire near the ground,
like about a foot off the turf with great results.
I tried it on the weekend with a friend. We were out
camping for a local amateur contest, miles from anywhere and
anyone and I recalled the emergency communications people
and the story during F-troop. We had some time to play, so
we started with a long-wire, actually, pretty-much a wire
dipole on the ground. Plugged it in, turned on the radio,
magic. Same kind of sound effect as a Beverage antenna. Nice
and quiet, good signals to be heard. We turned the whole
contraption 90 degrees, no difference. Since then I've
learned that it's pretty much omni directional and unlike a
Beverage antenna, you can use it to transmit.
Of course it's not going to act in quite the same way as
a dipole high in the air, and that's pretty obvious, since
it's not in the air. It'll give you communications that are
called NVIS, or Near Vertical Incident Skywave, essentially
stuff that goes straight up and comes down, stations up to
about 400 km or so away. For scale, that's enough to cover
all of Holland. In Australia it's enough to cover the state
of Victoria, or the width of the UK, and most of the width
of the State of New York.
Before you get all huffy and point out that this is not a
great DX antenna I'll beat you to it and tell you that this
is not a great DX antenna. It's not meant to be. Nor is it
intended to be an instruction on what antenna to build next.
This is purely intended to illustrate that antennas come in
all manner of shapes and sizes and there is lots to be
learnt from trial and error.
I know that this is a "compromise" antenna. Guess what,
so is every other antenna. Today the compromise is that we
don't need any poles, trees or unsuspecting human support
structures to keep an antenna in the air. You can
essentially try this one for free at any time, on your own,
on the beach, in a park or on the side of a mountain.
Another great use is to talk to your friends who live in
the same city on HF. I have no doubt you could even manage
some FT8 contacts using this antenna.
Next time someone tells you to put your antenna in the
air, ask them who they want to talk to. If it's locals, then
there is absolutely no need at all. As for mastering the art
of keeping my big mouth shut, we'll see.
I'll leave you with this. It's not the answer that's
important, it's the question, for everything else there's
I'm Onno VK6FLAB
Stuck in the shack? Make use of your downtime
The Fair Lawn Amateur Radio Club
Monthly Speaker series videos are available on YouTue
For over five years, the Fair Lawn (NJ) Amateur Radio
Club has presented a live monthly speaker series for its
members and guests highlighting the leading talent from
the local amateur radio community.
The Club reminds hams everywhere that these monthly
club videos are available for you to view to stay active
in the hobby while isolated because of the coronavirus
Topics include the development of FT8/FT4,
propagation and the 2018 solar eclipse, using
oscilloscopes, Echolink and related technologies, MESH
networking, using SDR radios, understanding propagation,
building a ground radial system, DX’ing, and making the
most of QRP among others.
Stay safe. Remember amateur radio is contagious and
it won’t make you sick!
The club has also started a nightly health and
welfare net for hams to stay in touch with each other at
1845 EDT on the W2NPT repeater located at 145.470 (-)
with a PL tone of 167.9 or NJ2BS located at 146.835 (-)
with a PL tone of 151.4. The net is also available via
Echolink nodes 300501 or 171198.
The net is open to all hams regardless of location or
If you have any questions, please contact Ed Efchak
at 802-282-6700 or at
FRIDAY EDITION: Good morning to all.
Congratulations! We are the epicenter in the world with Covid
19....Neafest in NH is officially cancelled but will return as
scheduled in the fall....Nuts! The bizarre
CIA 'fake scrotum' designed to enable downed pilots to
conceal an escape radio - even if they were strip-searched
....Going stir crazy, play a little radio and set some goals.
Try making a contact with one new country or one new state
per day....try cw or maybe a digital mode (if you are really
K1TP posing for picture, I had over 400
pots and a commercial lobster license in the 80's...my part time
job after work. 26 foot wooden boat with an old Chevy solid
lifter truck engine..the exhaust pipe wrapped with asbestos
tape...I fished out of Pigeon Cove Harbor in Rockport. We built
all of our pots from precut red oak kits and knitted the
nylon kitchen and parlor heads in the winter months. A great
memory except for getting bait over in Gloucester at the fish
cutting plants, today lobstermen usually buy a lot of their bait
frozen. Back in the day, fish were unloaded off the boats in
tubs with the fish iced down, then went directly to a
conveyer belt where the cutters would fillet the fish, and the
racks came out on a conveyer belt and we caught them in our bait
barrels. $25 cash only a barrel. That money was a bonus for the
owner who had hundreds of barrels a day of bait available. Today
a lot of fish are unloaded in Gloucester and shipped out west to
be cut and flash frozen for Gorton Seafood Corporation. The
frozen fish blocks are shipped back to Gorton's in Gloucester
and cut into fish products...breaded fish sticks, etc.
Coronavirus: Bengal Ham radio operators help police in
Outlook India reports "Ham radio operators in West Bengal are
helping police in tracking down mass gatherings and sending
vagabonds to the shelters during the nationwide lockdown imposed
in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, officials said on
The magazine says:
Police in various
districts have received inputs from licenced amateur radio
operators in identifying spots and places where social
gatherings have been taking place, a senior officer said.
"This helps us taking swift action against those who are
defying the 21-day lockdown," the police officer said.
The Ham operators have licences to conduct such communications
under specific radio frequencies by the Union Ministry of
West Bengal Amateur Radio Club secretary
Ambarish Nag Biswas VU2JFA said around 280 Ham
operators are working round the clock in tracking down spots of
social gatherings and also helping people, who are in distress,
during the lockdown.
"After discussion with police, we
have opened a helpline number and are using our network to track
areas of social gatherings and rescuing people in distress.
There is a chain through which the network is working," Biswas
Elaborating about their activities through the
network, Biswas said there are around 10-12 Ham radio operators
in each district, barring Darjeeling.
Coronavirus: Radio listening booms while music streaming
BBC News report that people staying at home due to the
coronavirus pandemic appear to be listening to more radio rather
than music apps, figures suggest.
Global, which owns Capital FM and talk station LBC, said
online radio listening had risen by 15%.
The BBC said streaming of its radio stations had risen 18%
since last week.
Meanwhile, data from two US analytics companies suggested use
of music-streaming apps such as Spotify had dipped by about 8%.
"These figures indicate that the public are turning to radio
in times of crisis," a Global spokeswoman said.
BBC Radio and Education director James Purnell said: "People
turn to us during significant events for our news and analysis
but also for music, entertainment and companionship.
The K7RA Solar Update
We saw another week with no sunspots, which were
last observed just briefly over two weeks ago on two days,
March 8-9. Spaceweather.com reports that so far in 2020, the
percentage of days that have no sunspots is the same as all
of 2019, when it was 77%.
Last week we saw the spring equinox, always a good
seasonal indicator for better HF propagation.
Last week’s bulletin ARLP012 reported the average
daily solar flux at 70.1. This reporting week is just one
point higher on average, at 71.1.
Geomagnetic indicators remain quiet, with average
planetary A index at 7.7, a little higher than the previous
week’s average, which was 5.9. Average mid-latitude A index
was also 5.9, up from 4.1 last week.
This point in the solar cycle is a great time for
160-meter propagation because of quiet geomagnetic
conditions, although as the seasons change, we no longer
enjoy those long winter nights, and will eventually see the
return of summer conditions with increased atmospheric
Predicted solar flux for the next 45 days is 71 on
March 27 through April 3, 70 on April 4, 72 on April 5-18,
70 on April 19 through May 1, and 72 on May 2-10.
Predicted planetary A index is 5 on March 27-29, 12
on March 30-31, 8 on April 1-3, 5 on April 4-5, then 10 and
8 on April 6-7, 5 on April 8-13, then 8, 12 and 8 on April
14-16, 5 on April 17-22, then 12 and 8 on April 23-24, 5 on
April 25 through May 2, 10 and 8 on May 3-4, and 5 on May
Geomagnetic activity forecast for the period
March 27 until April 22, 2020 from F.K. Janda, OK1HH of the
Czech Propagation Interest Group, who has been compiling
this report for the past 42 years.
Geomagnetic field will be quiet on: April 10
quiet to unsettled on: March 30, April 2-3, 7, 11-13, 20
quiet to active on: (March 27-29,) 31, April 1, (4-6, 8-9,
16-19) unsettled to active on: (April 14-15, 21-22)
active to disturbed: None
Solar wind will intensify on: March (28-31),
April (1-6,) 9, 12-13, (15,) 16-19, (20)
- Parenthesis means lower probability of
activity enhancement. - The predictability of changes
remains lower as there are no indicators.
Chip, K7JA, reports from his shack in Garden Grove,
California. "Between 0238 and 0338 UTC on March 23 (the
evening of March 22 Pacific Time, 1938-2038 local), I worked
3D2AG, VK4WDM, JR6EZE, and KH6U on 28 MHz FT8. Several other
Australian and Japanese stations were heard at the same
time. 3D2AG was loud enough to have been a solid
almost-local-sounding contact on FM!
“In the same time frame but extending later in the
evening (until 0410 UTC or 9:10 PM local), 15 meters was
alive with Asian and Pacific stations including Hong Kong,
China, Japan, Indonesia, and even JD1BHA on Ogasawara
“Twenty meters was open to the Pacific and South
America until almost midnight local time.
“It's fun to catch these little "tidbit" openings;
they give hope for better propagation ahead! Hope all
is well--stay away from the corona bugs!"
Sunspot numbers for March 19 through 25, 2020 were
0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, and 0, with a mean of 0. 10.7 cm flux was
72.1, 71.7, 70.8, 70.2, 70.4, 71.2, and 71.2, with a mean of
71.1. Estimated planetary A indices were 12, 7, 8, 7, 12, 4,
and 4, with a mean of 7.7. Middle latitude A index was 7, 5,
5, 7, 10, 4, and 3, with a mean of 5.9.
Kosovo scouting trip
Operators Erik ON4ANN and Erik
ON4CCV will be active as Z68AN and Z68EC (callsigns
pending), respectively, from Kosovo between April 27-30th.
They are there scouting out and making arrangements for a
later trip between September 21-29th, with a much larger team of
During this trip, activity will be limited to 40/20 meters.
The September trip will focus on the low bands.
Annual Intrepid Spirit Award Goes to the VP8PJ DXpedition
The annual Intrepid-DX
Group Intrepid Spirit Award will go to the
Perseverance DX Group’s VP8PJ South Orkney Island DXpedition
team for its “superb activation” from Signy Island.
“This DXpedition was extremely well planned and
executed from this very remote, cold, and harsh Island,” the
Intrepid-DX Group said in announcing the award. “This award
is to recognize the entire team’s collective effort to
activate these challenging and much-needed entities on
behalf of a grateful global DX community. We acknowledge the
team’s pursuit of operating excellence in making these
The award normally is presented at the April
International DX Convention in Visalia, California, which
has been canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic. The
award recognizes and honors individuals or teams that
“boldly activate rare entities where their own personal
safety is secondary to their pursuit of providing contacts
to the DX community,” the Intrepid-DX Group said.
THURSDAY EDITION: It looks like it
will be a nice day here, cold but sunny..When you have too
much time on your hands....Think you are smart, you won't
reading this....I was listening to 3927 last night while
watching TV, as per usual, channel master Bruce orchestrated the
frequency and pissed people off once again. It is amazing how he
grates people with his know it all attitude, telling people to
shut up, demanding people answer his yes-no slanted questions,
but amusing to listen to how others respond to him. It usually
turns into a free for all cage match...Thursday (3/26) at 9 pm
EDT at hamtalklive.com, Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, the Amateur Radio
on the International Space Station international chairman, will
be here to tell us all about the new radio on the ISS and answer
your questions LIVE....I never trusted these
NEAR-Fest XXVII been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic?
We have not formally canceled NEAR-Fest XXVII despite the
fact that a large number of all kinds of events, including the
Dayton Hamvention, Anime Boston and the 2020 Tokyo Summer
Olympic Games have already made this decision on their own or
have had it made for them by government executive order.
With this in mind please hold off on making any hotel
reservations or plans. As it stands right now (Tuesday, March
24th) it doesn't seem very likely the Spring 2020 ‘Fest is going
to happen. On March 16th NH Governor Chris Sununu issued an
executive order setting a limit of 50 people on any group
gathering that will end on April 6th. However, given the
current situation this executive order most likely will be
extended which will effectively cancels NEAR-Fest XXVII and we,
of course, will comply.
The above notwithstanding, we are
closely monitoring the rapidly evolving global, national and
local situation. We will follow the guidance of the Centers for
Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO) and
the NH State Department of Health. The NH Department of Health
COVID-19 website is here:
Deerfield is in
Rockingham county with the highest number of cases in NH.
On March 16th the CDC recommended mass events with over 50
people such as ours not be held for 8 weeks. They are leaving
it to the individual states to issue orders.
will continue to monitor these government agencies sites and are
responding as appropriate. Be assured that we will err on the
side of caution as we do not want anyone contracting this
illness at our event especially since most of us are in the age
range who will be at the greatest risk.
We have up to
Friday April 24th, 2020 to cancel some of the services we use
such as table and chair rentals, chemical toilets, garbage
removal, etc, which add to the cost of running the hamfest.
Postponement is not an option for us. The Deerfield
Fairgrounds are fully booked until the end of the year which
includes NEAR-Fest XXVIII on October 16th.
We will, or
course, honor the terms of our contract with the Fair
Association but it will likely still cost us our deposit which
was over $3,000.00. Our contract does not contain a Force
Majeur provision. I am not so worried about this because our
friends who run the Deerfield Fair have much bigger problems.
All their events for the foreseeable future will not be
happening either and they are always booked solid through
October. In addition, the 2020 Fair is scheduled for October
1st through the 4th and hopefully this nightmare we are living
will be over by then. But there are no guarantees.
main objective is to make sure we keep ourselves, our
families/loved ones, our staff and our attendees safe without
worrying about monetary costs. This is paramount.
promise you that NEAR-Fest will survive because we know that you
are loyal attendees and do not want to lose our hamfest. We are
making plans to sell “futures” and are asking you all to support
us like many of you did in 2007 when we started it. We will
soon be offering tickets and passes for NEAR-Fest XXVIII which
is scheduled for October 16th and 17th 2020 and we are urging
you to buy them early. There will be incentives. Details will
be posted here soon. If for any reason NEAR-Fest XXVIII cannot
held due to the emergency measures in effect at that time all
tickets and passes will be valid at the next one when this is
over. So you can’t lose.
When will NEAR-Fest and other
such events resume? No idea at this time, of course, but
realistically it probably won’t be very soon. The best
barometer will likely be pro sports events. When the Boston
Garden or Foxborough Stadium start filling up again we will know
that it will be safe to resume hamfesting.......
MisterMike, W1RC, and the NEAR-Fest Management Team.....
May QST Going Out to Members on Time, W1AW Adjusts Its
ARRL wants to assure members that the COVID-19 shutdown
of ARRL Headquarters will have little or no impact on
publication schedules. The print edition of May QST
is now off the presses and will enter the mail stream next
week, and the US Postal Service anticipates no delivery
Digital QST and the pending digital debuts of
QEX and NCJ are expected to be posted on
schedule. May QST will include more details on the
QEX and NCJ digital editions — a new member
benefit — as well as an intriguing cover article on “The
Lightbulb QSO Party.”
Although ARRL Headquarters is closed, W1AW continues
operating, but on a slightly altered transmission schedule.
Morning code practice and qualifying run transmissions have
been suspended; evening transmissions, including qualifying
runs, will go on as usual. W1AW remains closed to the
Members should direct questions
ARRL Interim CEO Barry Shelley, N1VXY, thanked members for
their patience during this adjustment period.
ESA invitation to Space Talk, today March 26, 2020
In Europe and around the world, we've been getting used to a
different way of living in recent weeks. On Thursday, 26 March,
ESA and long-time partner Asteroid Day will host
#SpaceConnectsUs - a chance to connect across borders
and hear from space explorers, artists, and scientists about how
to manage ourselves and our environment as our communities
battle a global pandemic.
#SpaceConnectsUs is an online event running on March 26th
from 16:00-21:00 CET (15:00-20:00 GMT) on ESA WebTV and ESA
YouTube to help everyone practising social distancing or in
isolation enjoy science, our home planet, and our dreams of the
sky above us.
The programme will feature remote connections with astronauts
and guests from all over the world. The presenters and guests
will speak to children, young adults and their families and
friends about their experience and techniques in confined
places, lessons in life from space exploration, their trust in
science and their sources of inspiration. The programme runs in
five language segments starting at 16:00 in Dutch, followed by
German (17:00 CET), Italian (18:00 CET), French (19:00 CET) and
English (20:00 CET, 19:00 GMT).
The organisers have announced the popular
Electromagnetic Field, EMF 2020, event planned for July
23-26 has been cancelled
An amateur radio contact with
an astronaut on the International Space Station had been planned
to take place during the three-day event.
on their website says: With great regret, we have to
announce that Electromagnetic Field 2020 is cancelled.
EMF will return in summer 2022, as scheduled.
If you have
a ticket for EMF 2020, you are eligible for a full refund and a
guaranteed ticket to EMF 2022. We will contact all ticketholders
with further details next week.
The continuing spread of
COVID-19 makes it very unlikely the UK will be back to “business
as usual” by July. Continuing to organise EMF 2020 would put our
attendees’ money, our volunteers, and our organisation at risk.
We know this is terrible news, but after much consideration
we feel that cancelling now is the right choice.
WEDNESDAY CORONA FREE EDITION: We are still good
here, I have instructed all my staff to work from home with full
pay and benefits, cause that's the way I roll....Still unable to
buy flour because some simple minded selfish Americans decided
to buy all they could off the shelf and they probably don't even
know how to use it...$1200 bucks stimulus check a person coming
from the government according to the news this morning...Report
Space Weather Woman.....HRO in Salem, NH in lockdown, call
your order in and I guess you pick it up at the door. The
showroom is shut down......The branch bank here in Rockport
closed and directed us to the next and only town on the island
branch bank. Drive-in window only, What could go wrong? Only
about a 20 plus car backup of Generation X pulling cash out,
panic stricken assholes...
CQ Magazine offers free issues
On March 19th, CQ Magazine announced the following:
In view of the "stay at home and flatten the curve"
recommendations from the health experts during this
worldwide pandemic, CQ would like to give everyone the
opportunity to escape the news alerts for a brief period and
enjoy the hobby they love through the pages of CQView the
March and April issues of CQ magazine at no charge! It's
easy, simply send an E-mail to (FreeIssues@cq-amateur-radio.com)
and we'll send you the March issue now and the April issue
on April 1st!
Take advantage of this opportunity to read CQ - free of
charge - and keep connected with the latest trends and
activities in amateur radio!
Club Log Allocates 100% of its Computing Resources to
COVID-19 Protein Research
Michael Wells, G7VJR, has announced that
Club Log is contributing 120 CPU cores (most
running at 3.4 GHz) to the
Folding@Home Project that’s simulating the
dynamics of COVID-19 proteins to hunt for new
therapeutic opportunities. Wells said he’s assigned a
higher priority to the Folding@Home work, so radio
amateurs may experience slightly longer upload times.
“You can help, too, by contributing your own computer
to the project,” Wells said. “If you have a recent home
computer with a good graphics card, and if a lot of
people make a contribution, it will make a significant
difference to the research, potentially reducing decades
of work to a far shorter time frame that will make a
practical difference this year.” He cautions that
computers involved in the project will be operating at
100% CPU, when not otherwise in use.
International Amateur Radio Union Adjusting to
The International Amateur Radio Union (IARU)
has reported on how it is addressing the COVID-19
pandemic, given the various restrictions in place to
slow the spread of the virus. IARU said the
International Telecommunication Union (ITU)
Headquarters in Geneva remains off limits to
visitors until April 17 at the earliest. ITU has
cancelled some meetings, postponed others, and
converted others into online gatherings. IARU
representatives are adjusting plans accordingly and
following a similar pattern.
While Dayton Hamvention has canceled its 2020
show, Europe’s largest amateur radio gathering, HAM
RADIO in Friedrichshafen, Germany, is still
scheduled for June 26 – 28. IARU plans to have a
two-part booth, with one dedicated for youth.
Whether the event will take place is unknown at this
IARU Region 2 Emergency
Communications and Satellite Communications
workshops set for May 30 – 31 in Trinidad and Tobago
will now be held online. IARU reports that interest
and registrations have surged since the
announcement. These workshops will be held in
English, but preparations are under way for
workshops in Spanish to be held later.
IARU Region 3 has cancelled its
first Youngsters on the Air (YOTA) Camp
that had been planned for Rayong, Thailand, in early
World Amateur Radio Day is April 18, this year
celebrating the 95th anniversary of the IARU’s
founding. IARU has allowed that amateur radio “is
the best way to practice social distancing.”
IARU Region 1 (Europe, the Middle East, and
Africa) has asked member-societies to “reconsider
their position” on Field Day events over the next
“Field Days bring radio amateurs together and,
therefore, represent an environment where social
distancing is difficult to achieve,” IARU Region 1
President Don Beattie, G3BJ, said. “We must
recognize that many radio amateurs are in the older,
higher-risk age groups.” IARU will not sponsor the
Region 1 HF CW Field Day in June but said national
societies have to make their own decisions as to
whether their Field Day events will go forward.
Beattie said single-operator contests “remain a
great way for those forced to stay at home to enjoy
the magic of amateur radio.”
Don- KA1BXB, this might be the problem!
TUESDAY EDITION: I just got back from Market
Basket, it wasn't to bad with the exception of no TP, limit of 2
rolls of paper towels, and only two bags of flour per customer.
No chicken noodle soup but i could make my own better.....plenty
of dairy products and produce but a shortage of meats. This PC
generation is still hoarding, I, me and myself...screw everyone
Not exactly gloating,
stockpiling ‘preppers’ enjoy moment
TOLEDO, Ohio — Curt La Haise has put up with plenty of
razzing from friends over the years who have called him
paranoid for stockpiling an eight-month supply of food in
his basement and having enough fuel to power his generator
for almost an entire winter.
They’re not laughing anymore amid panic buying that has
cleared store shelves across the U.S. and growing fears that
the new coronavirus will force many Americans to
self-quarantine for weeks in their homes.
“Now my friends are like, `What should I do, what should
I get?”‘ said La Haise, who operates a firearms and safety
training business near Sun Prairie, Wisconsin. “Prepping
doesn’t look so bad now.”
For those in the often-mocked “prepper” community, this
is quickly becoming their “I told you so” moment. But many
are resisting saying that, even if it’s in the back of their
minds. What they hope is that they’ll finally be taken
seriously and that more people will follow their lead.
“We’re not laughing. We’re not saying, `I told you so,’
when people are out there fighting over toilet paper and
hand sanitizers,” said Paul Buescher, of Northfield Center
Buescher is one of 32 members of a group in northeastern
Ohio that shares a farm packed with enough canned and
dehydrated food and water to last for years. He said he is
now getting calls all day long asking for advice.
Survival supply stores can’t keep up with the demand for food
kits and medical supplies.
“Every single business that has to do with emergency
preparedness is overloaded,” said John Ramey, founder of a
Colorado-based prepper website called The Prepared.
Most preppers say they are about self-reliance and common
sense and are quick to distance themselves from the “doomsday
preppers” who are depicted on television shows awaiting the day
most of the world’s population is wiped off the map.
“The vast majority of this is `beans and Band-Aids,’ not
`bullets and bunkers,”‘ Ramey said.
Jim Cobb, a disaster readiness consultant and editor-in-chief
of Prepper Survival Guide magazine, said he has seen a few
fellow preppers gloating on social media about people who are
crowding stores in search of disinfectants.
“I hate the thought of alienating any of them because they
think were a bunch of elitist goofballs.” he said. “We’re trying
to take advantage of the opportunity that for once they’re not
laughing and pointing fingers at us.”
While most people who have tested positive for the virus
experience only mild or moderate symptoms, there’s a greater
danger and longer recovery period for older adults and people
with existing health problems.
Experts say it’s most important to practice safe hygiene:
Wash hands frequently, cover sneezes and coughs, and stay home
if fever or other symptoms arise.
As for the preppers, they have their own recommendations for
anyone who is unsure of what to do next:
* Be ready to stay at home for at least two weeks. Have
plenty of food and water. Don’t forget about your pets and
medicines. That includes over-the-counter products for fevers
* Yes, toilet paper is important, but so are hand sanitizers,
disinfectants, sanitation wipes, eye protection and gloves.
* Get your finances in order. Make sure you can pay your
bills and have cash on hand.
* Maybe most important, relax and don’t panic. And pay
attention to the news and what’s happening around you.
TRIVIA: Captured Taliban radio repeater
system in Afghan
Radio amateurs participate in Russian international contest
The Gulf Times reports the Qatar Amateur Radio
Society (QARS) participated in the 27th edition of the
Russian International Amateur Radio Competition (RDXC-2020)
The newspaper says:
[The event was] organised by the
Russian Amateur Radio Union to allow all radio amateurs in the
world to participate in the competition.
participation at the association’s headquarters was replaced in
this year’s competition with the sole participation of Qatari
radio amateurs stations, each from their home, provided that
participation from the association’s headquarters is limited to
only one participant who co-ordinates with the rest from their
homes to work as one team representing QARS in this
In preparation for this
competition, the QARC prepared a special station at the
association’s headquarters, allowing participation in several
sub-competition categories that range from one operator category
with low transmission capacity (100 watts) to one operator
category for all bands with a transmission power (5 watts) to
several operators with a low transmission capacity as well as a
group of several operators for all bands, the association
participated in the international call sign of the Qatar
Wireless Amateur Association (A73A).
Chairman Board of
Directors of QARS, Abdullah bin Hamad al-Attiyah emphasised that
the association’s participation in this competition for this
year is of special importance, especially in light of the
conditions the world is going through following the spread of
the coronavirus (Covid-19), adding that the association’s
participation is to confirm its continuation with its
international activities even in the case of the inability to
He indicated that the association has prepared
a model station with a number of modern devices and high-quality
antennas for the participation in this international
The goals of the Qatar Amateur Radio
Society are to develop the hobby among citizens and organising
its practice in accordance with the laws applied locally and
internationally, along with co-operating with the relevant
authorities in developing regulations related to granting
licences to practise the hobby and operate devices that are used
for this purpose within the framework of international
agreements that regulate the use of radio frequencies.
Radio Amateurs Team Up to Help University Design Low-Cost
Amateur radio volunteers from around the world have
volunteered to assist University of Florida Professor Sam
Lampotang and his engineering team in their quest to rapidly
develop an open-source, low-cost patient ventilator that can
be built anywhere from such commonly available components as
PVC pipe and lawn-sprinkler valves. The amateur radio
volunteers are developing Arduino-based control software
that will set the respiratory rate and other key parameters
in treating critically ill coronavirus victims.
Multiple volunteers responding to a call for help from
Gordon Gibby, MD, KX4Z, included noted software developer
Jack Purdum, W8TEE, and uBITX transceiver
maker Ashhar Farhan, VU2ESE. University of Florida
physicians are working to address the critical legal aspects
as the design moves closer to fruition.
The ventilator’s valves would precisely time compressed
oxygen flow into patient breathing circuits under Arduino
control, allowing exhausted patients with “stiff” lungs
impacted by viral pneumonia to survive until their body can
clear the infection. The software design team is also adding
simple features such as an LCD display, encoders to choose
parameters, and watchdog safety features. -- Thanks to
Gordon Gibby, KX4Z
ARRL Headquarters is Closing
ARRL Headquarters will comply with an executive order
from Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont that all non-essential
businesses and not-for-profit entities reduce in-person
workforces by 100% no later than March 23, 2020, at 8 PM.
ARRL will equip as many Headquarters staffers as possible to
W1AW bulletin and code practice transmissions will
continue. Customer service representatives will be available
to take calls, although response times could be longer than
usual. Operations at the ARRL Volunteer Examiner Coordinator
(VEC) will also continue, and the best way to receive a
timely response is via email, as call volume has been heavy.
The ARRL publication schedule will remain unchanged.
The ARRL warehouse will be working with a reduced staff,
so orders will be delayed, and ARRL will not be able to
respond to expedited shipping orders. ARRL Headquarters will
remain open until 5 PM on March 23, as managers and staff
prepare for the shutdown.
ARRL will keep members posted on this situation.
MONDAY EDITION: We now have three confirmed
cases on the island, that threw me for a loop. Naive I guess on
my part as a lot of residents work out of town and commute to
Boston, etc. for a living. Life goes on but the future will
never be the same for the good old USA. We learned a lot about
this 30-50 year old generation, when the shit hits the fan, this
group runs for their life, fuck everyone in their way......3927
has turned into a nightly shit show....7200 and 3860 need the
FCC/ARRL super OO team to respond asap...3843 grows in numbers
nightly.... RIP Kenny Rogers.....Hams are dreaming about
their free government stimulas check and plan to piss it right
away on a new ham radio. No problem, my grandkids will pay for
it.....Our local repeater is sponsoring a nightly Health and
/welfare Net at 6pm for hams to check in and talk about the
current situation and blow off some team. It is working ell and
QSO Today Amateur Radio Podcast - Bob Nagy - AB5N
Bob Nagy, AB5N, is having the time of his
life in retirement. He teaches technology and the
Russian language in his adopted community of Hot Springs,
Arkansas, creates You-Tube instructional videos, builds
solar powered devices for hiis house and ham shack, and
operates the digital modes.
His expertise and improvements of the audio
characteristics of the microphones on amateur transceivers
is unmatched. AB5N is my QSO Today.
If you see no reason to attempt to attract other potential
amateur radio licensees to our hobby, read no farther. If you
don’t agree that the best way to keep our hobby vibrant and
exciting is to grow its numbers, go on back to however you were
wasting time before you clicked on this article. If you are
convinced we will never recruit that many more new folks to come
enjoy ham radio as you and I have, that we are wasting our time
and energy trying, then resume your previous activities and
don’t bother yourself by reading on.
Now, if you fall into one of those categories in the opening
paragraph above yet are still reading, what is wrong with you
and why are you so dense and deluded?
Of course, there is value in growing our ranks! The more
people we have, the more diversified and interesting our hobby
becomes. The bands are not overly crowded. Not every innovation
or idea has been shared and developed and applied. Simply out of
the goodness of our hearts we should be motivated to help others
experience the same benefits, learning, public service
satisfaction, excitement, competition, and just plain fun we
have. Oh, and there is that little thing about allotted
spectrum. As RF becomes even more crucial in how we live our
daily lives (5G and all the other Gs to follow, anybody?), we
need more and more justification for retaining the vast slices
of territory we are allowed to roam…often exclusively.
“But Don,” you say. “It’s useless. Kids have cell phones and
video games. Adults are too busy. Females will never adopt a
technical hobby. We’re just an old man’s pastime and society has
long since left ham radio in the dust. We’re wasting time and
effort we could better apply to our 75-meter ragchew every
night. Plus, the ARRL is only interested in making money and
does nothing to grow the hobby, so why should I?”
My reaction? I get white around the mouth, squint my eyes,
wag my finger in your face as I attempt to not totally lose my
cool at the sheer ignorance of such a goofy response. Whew! Now,
a bit calmer, I push back. Hopefully with convincing logic and
not a literal shove.
At last estimate, there are 372 million people in the U.S.A.
38 million in Canada. Almost 8 BILLION humans populate planet
earth. And since people do what people do, those numbers are
increasing algebraically. Which is polite language for real dang
And you are arguing that there are not a few million or so
who might be interested in the most dynamic, versatile and
exciting hobby there is?
Yes, kids are exposed to more technology than we old geezers
could have ever imagined when we were their age. I was
fascinated by a remote control for the TV so my dad no longer
had to yell, “Don, change to channel 6!” And by Radio Moscow
coming in on the radio at night in our living room. But is it
not possible that such an early introduction to sophisticated
and ubiquitous technology might just entice several million
young folks to want to dig deeper? To maybe consider modern ham
radio to be a hands-on entry into a lifelong career? Is it not
feasible that young people who are exposed to RF, digital
communications, and more might be easier by far to reach than
kids of my generation who had no idea what might be possible one
day? Also, to say females have no interest in a “technical”
hobby is not only sexist, it is blatantly wrong. Women are more
and more likely to become engineers and scientists and to pursue
technical careers, thanks to the emphasis on STEM education and
their own immersion in technology over the last half century.
I will bite my tongue and resist preaching about the value of
what the ARRL does every day to try to grow the hobby. But I am
more enthusiastic than ever about recent initiatives by the
League to not only reach potential new hams but to give them
good, well-researched reasons why they may want to put down
Pinterest or Tiktok long enough to consider something new and
exciting. Plus, I am thrilled that the League is also working to
not just get newcomers interested and licensed but also to get
them ON THE AIR. That is what will truly grow the hobby!
Those who know me and who may have read my amateur radio
books know that I advocate getting new hams beyond the
HT-with-a-rubber-duck-antenna and on to other aspects—and those
are limitless—of our hobby. They will naturally gravitate to the
areas that fit their likes and technical interest. And they will
either be more infected and become contagious or they will
decide this radio stuff ain’t for them and move on. But at least
they found out what the hobby is really about. And that the
possibilities are virtually endless. And pretty dadgum exciting,
Now, all this being said, I believe we all—and the ARRL
included—are missing a mighty big pond teeming with hungry fish
in which to cast our lines. And it is not because I am one of
those fish in that big pond.
I am talking about senior citizens. Or those approaching that
Yes, let’s do all we can to reach and convert teens (or
younger kids). Middle-age people should not be ignored, even if
they are so pre-occupied with career, paying bills, raising kids
and funding the 401K that they hardly have time to come up for
air. And it is a positive that if we truly bring younger people
to the path of amateur radio righteousness, they will be
supporters of—and missionaries for—the hobby for the next
seventy or eighty years.
But here are just a few reasons I think a coordinated
campaign to evangelize to gray-hairs makes sense.
As they approach and enjoy retirement, most are
enthusiastically searching for ways to remain active, to
continue learning, and to commune with others with similar
interests. They soon discover golf five days a week or
watching The Price is Right is not nearly as
thrilling as they anticipated. They have a strong appetite
for exactly what ham radio offers them. We just need to make
sure they know what is on the menu.
The media has finally gotten through to them that being
active, being social, and learning new things can improve
cognitive function and extend their lives. Become a ham and
live longer, Grandpop!
From empty nest to SK, they will have more time to do
things they enjoy doing. There is no reason to be bored. Not
with a hobby like ours to help get the most from that new
commodity, spare time.
Many of the other interests they have developed over the
years and that they will pursue after retirement dovetail
with ham radio so beautifully it is an easy sell. Camping,
traveling, hiking…make your own list. And regardless their
other interests, ours is a great way to find and share with
others with the same proclivities.
As the kids graduate college and start accumulating
their own children and crushing debt, many seniors finally
find themselves with enough disposable income that they can
buy their own toys. Oh, and the occasional trinket for the
Baby Boomers and Millennials have grown up with rapid
technological change. That means many of them will be
intrigued with—not fearful of—how things work and what they
can do and learn. Those of us who vividly remember the first
moon landing are still amazed we can use amateur radio
satellites and speak with astronauts in space.
Among all those retirees out there is an amazingly broad
cross-section of life experiences. How many of those
potential converts are skilled at public speaking,
marketing, managing people, advertising, teaching, technical
development, writing…all talents that could help reach those
kids with their silly phones and annoying social media.
For some reason, when many of us turn 60, we develop a
strong interest in weather. I don’t know why but it’s true.
I’d love to see the demographics on purchasers of home
weather stations. Just imagine how many of those sky-gazers
would love the opportunity to become storm spotters.
On a similar note, people who no longer have to punch a
clock often desire to become more active in public service,
mentoring, and the like. Ham radio is a natural conduit for
those who want to volunteer, to help, to give back, adopt
and serve a cause, or just make their towns better places in
which to live.
While many older people tend to become hermits or go
into a shell, the fact is that most of them become more
communal. They want to share time and a beverage of choice
with those with whom they have common ground.
Those are just a few reasons why I believe it would serve us
well to fish where the fish are, and especially since many of
them are looking for precisely the bait we would be dangling.
FT8 DXCC experiment completed !
Finally we got it! On Saturday,
21st of March, we finished the 100 DXCC with
This took 7 days, 7,5 hours (18 hous break) with a small
station with 50 wtts and longwire-antenna.
We will publish more detailed statistics in the next few
days. First of all, we are happy to have reached the goal. Many
thanks to all the HAMS who have worked with us over the last
days. You have helped us to reach this goal.
But what can already be said now: You can have different
opinions about FT8, but the DXCC is always a milestone that has
to be worked out. Every HAM can be proud if he has reached this
goal, no matter in which mode of operation!
No matter which mode you use, enjoy your hobby and make the
best out of it, it is a great hobby!
The special event QSLs will be sent out via office in the
next few weeks, the ADIF-Files will be uploaded to Clublog, LotW
and eQSL in the next days.
Coronavirus: IARU Contests
Radio amateurs will share the concerns of everyone about
the seriousness of the COVID-19 outbreak. Governments all
over the world are advising “social distancing” to slow the
spread of the virus and to give health services the chance
Field days bring radio amateurs together and
therefore represent an environment where social distancing
is difficult to achieve. We must recognise that many radio
amateurs are in the older, higher risk age groups.
IARU Region 1 therefore asks national societies which
promote field days and multi-operator contests to reconsider
their position on these events for the next few months of
Field days are essentially team contests, and so IARU
will not sponsor the Region 1 HF-CW Field Day in June.
It is a matter for national societies to decide whether and
how they continue with their national field day events.
IARU Region 1 believes more generally that
multi-operator contests are not consistent with the
principle of ”social distancing” and should not be promoted
at this time.
The position on other IARU events in
2020 which involve multi-operator categories is under
Single operator contests, however, remain a
great way for those forced to stay at home to enjoy the
magic of amateur radio!
Amateur radio satellite spreads Fight Coronavirus message
Indonesia's national amateur radio society ORARI
reports the ham radio satellite LAPAN-A2 (IO-86) is being used
to send a Fight Coronavirus message using APRS
A translation of the ORARI post says:
spreads the text message "Stay Healthy, Stay at Home
This was conveyed by Researcher
of the Center for Satellite Technology, Sonny Dwi Harsono when
contacted, Friday, March 20, 2020.
Sonny explained, this
action was a form of support for government policies on social
distancing. The policy encourages all of us to reduce activities
outside the home and interactions with others. "So this message
was sent by the LAPAN A2 satellite via the APRS (Automatic
Packet Reporting System) beacon which was transmitted throughout
Indonesia. APRS is a text based communication system for short
messages such as SMS on mobile phones. But this APRS message can
only be received through HT (Handie Talkie) which has the
recipient of the APRS message," he said.
messages that have been disseminated can be received by anyone
by setting the HT radio frequency to 145.825 MHz. To date
corona's message has been received by dozens of members of the
Indonesian Radio Amateur Organization (ORARI) spread throughout
The dissemination of the message "Stay
Healthy, Stay at Home #LawanCorona" , continued Sonny, was
carried out starting March 20, 2020. For the time being the
message dissemination was carried out on the APRS mission only.
But it will try to spread the message one time at a LAPAN-A2 /
LAPAN-ORARI track every 100 minutes. "Later if possible, we try
to distribute 24 hours nonstop every 100 minutes under certain
conditions. Currently we are discussing the technicalities. The
messages from the government can also be disseminated via the
LAPAN-A2 satellite, "he concluded.
WEEKEND EDITION: Still Corona free here on
the island but the word is out that the summer home owners are
starting to invade us EARLY TO AVOID THE VIRUS....AND BRING IT
HERE . The population goes up 20K here in the summer time...Take
3927 of your evening listening, it has turned into a free for
all that is not enjoyable to listen too. Between Bruce's
constant babbling, Wilkie thinking he owns the frequency, and
Tom-N1FM's babble, it is a true shit show....WB1ABC bought an
amplifier and is sounding sweet on 3927 afternoon New England
Coronavirus: W&S Open and Serving Your Hobby
A statement from Waters and Stanton about their Service to
the Hobby during the Coronavirus crisis period by Peter
Watch CORONAVIRUS - We Are Open and Serving Your Hobby
ARRL Headquarters Remains in Operation, Many Staffers
Interim ARRL Chief Executive Officer Barry Shelley, N1VXY,
informed members on March 20 that ARRL will remain
operational to meet their needs during the coronavirus
pandemic. Shelley noted that ARRL is taking steps to help
protect the health and safety of ARRL Headquarters
employees, in line with the recommendations provided by US
and Connecticut health officials and government leaders.
“We have arranged for many of our staff, depending on their
job responsibilities and requirements, to work remotely
during this unprecedented time,” Shelley said. “This helps
the organization reduce the number of people in the building
and improve our ‘social distancing’ capabilities.”
At present, all departments at ARRL Headquarters are
functioning, and customer service representatives remain
available to answer members’ questions or direct them to the
appropriate department for assistance. Shelley advised that
ARRL is encouraging members to use email as the preferred
method of communication with ARRL, in order to get a timely
As previously announced, ARRL has suspended all tours and
guest visits to ARRL Headquarters and to W1AW until further
notice. ARRL has also posted a
relating to Field Day and the coronavirus situation.
“We will continue to monitor conditions from this
outbreak and follow any additional guidelines provided by
federal and state health professionals and government
officials. We thank you for your understanding and patience
during this difficult time,” Shelley said.
FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly Nominated for Another Term
after doing such a great job cleaning up ham radio jamming..
President Donald Trump has nominated FCC Commissioner
Michael O’Rielly for another 5-year term on the Commission.
The nomination was sent to the US Senate on March 18.
O’Rielly was initially appointed to the FCC in 2013 by
President Barack Obama.
“During my tenure at the
Commission, I have advocated for preserving and advancing
American free market principles to develop common sense
regulation and eliminate unnecessary rules that hurt
consumers,” O’Rielly said in a statement, expressing
appreciation to President Trump.
“I hope to continue this work should the Senate decide to
approve my nomination.” If the Senate confirms O’Rielly’s
nomination, the new term would date retroactively to last
July and end in 2024.
In a statement, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai praised O’Rielly’s
work in such areas as 3.5 GHz spectrum policy.
Foundations of Amateur Radio
What level of preparedness are you at?
An often repeated statement about the purpose of our hobby is
related to emergency preparedness. The various peak bodies
around the world devote plenty of resources to the concept, with
helpful examples, umbrella organisations, training,
coordinators, grants and funding, photo-opportunities and all
the other trimmings that come from the idea that you and I are
going to be of assistance in the case of some or other
Looking up the various emergency coordination groups is a
disappointing experience. From broken web-sites with
non-existent pages to latest news that's over two years old,
through to the latest sausage sizzle and fun-run. Entreaties to
make sure that you have your current Membership ID card,
otherwise you won't be covered for insurance purposes. As I
said, all the trimmings with lots of evidence of paper pushing
and little or no evidence of actual preparedness, let alone
public information that might help any new or old radio amateur
Back to the topic at hand and leaving aside the nature of the
emergency for a moment, given that the response for a bush-fire,
a cyclone, flood or pestilence is likely to be different.
Let's look at the things we have direct control over.
If you have at any time taken your radio out of the shack and
carried it into a paddock, connected it to an antenna, fired it
up and made a contact, you're well ahead of the curve.
There are plenty of amateurs who have never ever considered
what going field-portable might look like, let alone tried it.
That's fine if you live in a bunker, have independent power and
are able to withstand all manner of disaster scenarios, but
realistically it likely means that your emergency assistance
will be of the kind that's outside the emergency zone. Helpful
to be sure, but there's plenty of those stations to be found -
unless the issue is global, in which case we have a completely
different set of problems, pandemic, anyone, anyone?
Let's focus on the other side of the fence.
You're in an emergency zone. Doesn't matter what kind of
emergency. Communications are limited or overwhelmed,
information is restricted, messaging is hampered and you're a
radio amateur with a working radio. If all goes well you should
be able to help.
So what does a working radio look like and what does helping
First thing to think of is power. Have you got a battery? Is
it charged? When was the last time you tested it? How long has
it been sitting on the shelf? Did it discharge in the meantime?
What about a charger? Have you got a generator? What about fuel
and oil? What about spare parts? Have you got something else,
like a solar panel, a wind generator or a water turbine? What
about a push-bike with a dynamo attached? How long does your
radio run on a battery and at which transmitter power level is
After thoroughly investigating power, what does your actual
emergency station look like? Will it be used for voice
communication, or will it be used as a digital gateway? Can you
use it to send rudimentary messages, or can it be used as an
internet gateway for a local community?
What bands are you planning to operate on? Do you have an
antenna? What happens if your current antenna is taken out by a
fire, lighting strike or something else? When was it last
tested? Do you have a back-up antenna? Have you actually used
this antenna? Does it have all the right connectors and are they
with the antenna?
So, pretend that you got all that right. What about you? Have
you got spare clothes? Food? Shelter? Medication? What about
Personal Protective Equipment, masks, gloves, what-ever? What
about ancillary items like pen and paper? Do you have power for
the laptop that's being used to create the digital mode
Note that I've not said a word about the usefulness of any of
this. This is the base level of preparedness just so you can
actually look yourself in the mirror and say that you have at
least got a level of ability to be of assistance in the case of
You can of course argue that you should hook up with the
local emergency services and offer your skills as a radio
amateur. That's helpful, but what if you cannot actually go to
the muster point? How does that help?
Now lets pretend that you actually have done all this. When
was the last time you tested it?
What does the actual helping look like?
Have you ever attempted to pass emergency messages? What
about messages that must be transferred absolutely 100%
correctly, think medication dosages? Who did you pass them to?
When was the last time you did a regional emergency simulation
between your amateur friends? How often do you do this? Once a
decade, or more often than that? What if the local repeater
isn't working? What about in your club or your local
neighbourhood? Do your neighbours even know you exist?
The point of all of this is to reveal that the level of
emergency preparedness for radio amateurs is in my opinion
spotty at best. If you disagree with me because you are prepared
I'd like to ask if you helped prepare your local amateur
community and the wider community around it? I don't doubt that
there are individuals, even groups who are prepared, but I
suspect that they are far and few between.
When was the last time you actually went into the field for a
week and played radio, for real, battery only, limited
resources, no outside help?
I'd love to believe that this is universal, but you and I
both know that there is plenty more to be done. How realistic is
your emergency preparedness and what are you going to do about
I'm Onno VK6FLAB
Coronavirus: Spain's URE makes magazine PDF freely available
Spain's national amateur radio society is making the PDF of
the April edition of their magazine Radioaficionados
available to all
Following Royal Decree 463/2020 on March 14 the Postal Service
in Spain has been suspended making it impossible for the
URE to distribute the paper edition of the magazine. In
response the URE has decided to make the magazine PDF freely
New England Hams
you might run across 75
Jon....Editor of As The World
Ari..Bought an amp and now we
can here him on 75 meters,
worships his wife, obsessed with
broadcast engineer, confused and
gullible, cheap, only uses
single ply toilet paper KB1OWO-
,only cuts lawn in August, plows
snow the rest in Jackman, Maine 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
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
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
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
talented ham, loves his
politics, has designed gear for
W1KQ- Jim- Retired
Controller...told quite a few
pilots where to go! N1OOL-Jeff-
The 3936 master plumber and
Computer Tech of 3936...multi
talented kidney stone passing
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.... K1BNH-
Bill- Used to work for a bottled
gas company-we think he has been
around nitrous oxide to long .
Linux....fine amateur radio op
....wealth of experience... Silent KeyVA2GJB-
Graham...one of the good 14313
guys back in the day.
Mort...Air Force man
Low key gent can be found on
many of the 75 meter
Mike, Antrim, NH, auto parts
going, computer parts selling,
New England Ham..
Silent Key W1OKQ-
Jack....3936 Wheeling and
Dealing......keeping the boys on
regular, wealth of electronic
Mack....DXCC Master, worked them
all!.. 3864 regular for many
Hu....SK at 92... 3864
regular for many years...
Silent Key N1SIE-
Dave....Loves to fly
Big Bob- Tallest ham, at 6'10",
of the 3864 group
Pilot, HRO Salesman, has owned
every radio ever built!
Dan....far from easy going cw
and ssb op on 14275/313
Loved ham radio....