ARRL American Radio Relay League
Amateur Radio growth in the US continues to soar. At the end of 2014, the total number of radio amateurs in the FCC’s Universal Licensing System (ULS) database reached an all-time high of 726,275. The trend has continued in the first 2 months of 2015, which saw the ham population rise to slightly more than 727,000. The figures exclude expired licenses that are within the 2-year grace period, and club station licenses. Outside of a little dithering last fall, growth in the Amateur Radio Service in 2014 was steady, according to figures compiled by Joe Speroni, AH0A, on his FCC Amateur Radio Statistics web pages. Over the past decade the number of Amateur Radio licenses in the ULS database grew by some 8.1 percent. But 2014 also was a banner year for the ARRL Volunteer Examiner Coordinator (VEC).
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The Government of Canada will provide more than $25,000 (CDN) to the Saint Lucia Amateur Radio Club to improve Amateur Radio coverage and communication in the small Caribbean island nation in the event of a disaster. The project will install two repeater systems including solar back-up power, train 90 radio operators, and increase coverage for all of Saint Lucia’s 18 districts.
“Rising sea levels, coastal erosion, and an escalation in the frequency and intensity of tropical storms and hurricanes threaten homes and businesses across the Caribbean. These situations can have a significant negative impact on sustainable economic growth and result in loss of life,” the Canadian Government said in announcing the grant.
According to the announcement, the Saint Lucia Amateur Radio Club repeater system will provide enhanced two-way communication during normal and disaster conditions, allowing for Amateur Radio coverage in all communities — and especially in known high-risk areas.
“The project will ensure that, in future hazard events, reliable and accurate information can be passed from communities to response teams, leading to more timely and effective assistance to those communities,” the announcement said.
The nearly year-old Saint Lucia Amateur Radio Club secured support for this project through the Canada Caribbean Disaster Risk Management Fund (CCDRM), part of Canada’s $600 million Caribbean Regional Program. The fund is designed to support Caribbean-based non-governmental organizations, community groups, and governmental agencies working at the community level to reduce risks from natural hazards and climate change. — Thanks to the Canadian High Commission, Bridgetown
The end is near for RadioShack. It seems inevitable that the once seemingly ubiquitous electronics and cell phone retailer will liquidate its assets, after which RadioShack would cease to exist. A number of legal steps would come first, including a likely bankruptcy filing. The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) delisted RadioShack on February 2, after the company failed to provide a plan to address a lack of compliance with NYSE rules related to maintenance of company value. Bloomberg Business has reported that behind-the-scenes talks are under way to sell approximately half of RadioShack’s owned-and-operated stores to Sprint and shutter the remaining outlets, although other scenarios involving other entities are possible.
The nearly century-old Fort Worth, Texas, based retailer — once a go-to shop for electronic components and, at one point, even Amateur Radio and shortwave receivers — has lost 90 percent of its value over the past year, despite efforts to refinance and modernize its stores. Before it was delisted on Monday, RadioShack’s stock was selling for just 24 cents a share.
The hedge fund Standard General LP loaned the retailer $535 million last fall and would be the lead bidder in a bankruptcy filing and debtor-in-possession financing, Bloomberg Business said.
RadioShack once offered entry-level short-wave receivers, Citizens Band gear, a wide array of discrete components — including transistors, resistors, and capacitors — and, for a time, a fairly popular 2 meter hand-held transceiver and two different models of 10 meter single-band transceivers, although it failed in its effort to market a VHF/UHF hand-held radio. Over the years, RadioShack has offered fewer discrete components in its brick-and-mortar stores, moving that stock and other products to its online outlet, as it shifted its marketing focus to cell phones, consumer electronics, and various battery-operated gadgets.
A year ago, after a dismal holiday showing, RadioShack announced plans to close 1100 stores, including 900 company-owned outlets. Due to the high costs involved with closing the stores, liquidating merchandise, lease penalties, and severances, however, the company has been able to shut down fewer than 200 outlets. RadioShack was reported to have about $60 million in cash heading into the 2014 holiday season.
RadioShack has had no comment on the reports.
Members of Australia’s Wireless Institute Civil Emergency Network in South Australia (WICEN SA) have been assisting an emergency animal rescue and recovery organization in the wake of the so-called Sampson’s Flat bushfire in the sheep and cattle-ranching region of Adelaide Hills. The fire, which has burned uncontrolled since early January, has blackened some 31,000 acres of land and destroyed numerous houses and sheds, and at least four businesses, and killed some 120 animals. The bush and grass fires have pushed temperatures above 100° Fahrenheit, and the heat, coupled with winds greater than 55 MPH, has sent more than 20 people, including firefighters, to the hospital. One man remains in a serious condition after being hit by a falling tree.
WICEN President Nic McLean, VK5ZAT, reports that he has been at the One Tree Hill staging area to assist members of South Australia Veterinary Emergency Management (SAVEM) — a response and recovery agency for animals — and to Department of Environment and Natural Resources workers. According to SAVEM, WICEN volunteers installed a seven-unit hand-held communication system, complete with a range-enhancing aluminum tower, at the SAVEM control center. SAVEM reports that its field teams have assessed koalas, kangaroos, horses and sheep. SAVEM said an emerging issue has been a lack of available animal feed — from hay bales to dog food — within the fire-affected areas.
McLean said WICEN works very closely with SAVEM, enabling the veterinary medical community to effectively respond to emergency incidents that involve companion animals, wildlife, and livestock. While SAVEM does not provide an evacuation service for pets and other animals, it does help any animals caught up in an emergency.
WICEN SA operates as a separate identity under the auspices of the Wireless Institute of Australia. Listed officially under the State Disaster Plan, WICEN provides radio communications and cooperates with the State Emergency Service, The Salvation Army and the Red Cross during disasters and emergencies. In 2013 WICEN and SAVEM concluded an aid agreement to support the group with communications. McLean says SAVEM, with its veterinarians and nurses, has been doing good work triaging, treating and, where necessary, euthanizing animals, as well as providing some emotional support to the farmers and animal owners.
A forecast of cooler weather should dampen the fire threat, but locals know they need to remain vigilant and prepared for the rest of summer. — Thanks to Jim Linton, VK3PC, Chairman, IARU Region 3 Disaster Communications Committee
Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) volunteers on the Big Island of Hawaii are putting plans in place in case they need to activate in response to the Puna lava flow, reported today (October 29) to be 100 yards from the nearest home and with another 40 to 50 homes in its path. On October 28, the lava claimed its first structure — a shed in Pahoa. The lava originated from new “vents” in the Earth as a result of the Mt Kilauea volcano, which began erupting more than 30 years ago. After grinding to a halt nearly a month ago, the lava flow recently resumed its slow and devastating crawl toward populated areas. Residents in the path of the flow have been notified of a possible need to evacuate, and an evacuation advisory for down-slope residents remains in effect.
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When severe weather erupted in Southern New England on July 27 and 28, SKYWARN volunteers went on alert to help forecasters track conditions and, afterward, to assist authorities with assessing the damage. A super-cell storm system organized over northern Norfolk County, Massachusetts, on the morning of July 28 and raced through portions of northeastern Massachusetts, causing wind damage in sections of Needham, SKYWARN Coordinator and ARRL Eastern Massachusetts Assistant Section Emergency Coordinator Rob Macedo, KD1CY, reported.
“The storm was tracked using the SKYWARN self-activation protocol,” he said. The system subsequently generated an EF-2 tornado, which swept through Revere, Massachusetts, leaving a swath of significant damage in its wake. “Within 15 or 20 minutes of the storm’s passage, the Amateur Radio SKYWARN network received reports of many trees and wires down and structural damage in Revere,” Macedo said. “Other pockets of straight-line wind damage and flash flooding occurred elsewhere in Southern New England, rounding out a 2-day stretch of severe weather in the region.”
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In an FCC forum on earthquake communications preparedness, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Craig Fugate described the Amateur Radio operator as “the ultimate backup, the originators of what we call social media.” The forum-- held May 3 at FCC Headquarters in Washington, DC -- brought together officials from the White House, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the United States Geological Survey (USGS), FEMA, the FCC and the private sector. Fugate and FCC Bureau of Public Safety and Homeland Security Chief Jamie Barnett gave the opening remarks.
Later in the forum, Fugate spoke more on Amateur Radio. “During the initial communications out of Haiti, volunteers using assigned frequencies that they are allocated, their own equipment, their own money, nobody pays them, were the first ones oftentimes getting word out in the critical first hours and first days as the rest of the systems came back up,” he told the forum. “I think that there is a tendency because we have done so much to build infrastructure and resiliency in all our other systems, we have tended to dismiss that role ‘When Everything Else Fails.’ Amateur Radio oftentimes is our last line of defense.”
Fugate said that he thinks “we get so sophisticated and we have gotten so used to the reliability and resilience in our wireless and wired and our broadcast industry and all of our public safety communications, that we can never fathom that they’ll fail. They do. They have. They will. I think a strong Amateur Radio community [needs to be] plugged into these plans. Yes, most of the time they’re going be bored, because a lot of the time, there’s not a lot they’re going to be doing that other people aren’t doing with Twitter and Facebook and everything else. But when you need Amateur Radio, you really need them.”
You can watch a video of the forum on YouTube. Fugate’s remarks begin at 18:55.
The Hurricane Watch Net (HWN) is celebrating its 50th straight season of serving the National Hurricane Center in Miami, and it’s starting the 2014 Hurricane Season with an additional title — NOAA Weather-Ready Nation Ambassador. NOAA launched the Weather-Ready Nation initiative to “improve the nation’s readiness, responsiveness and overall resilience against extreme weather, water and climate events.” As a WRN Ambassador, the HWN is committed to working with NOAA to assist in effort to make the nation better ready to handle severe or extreme weather.
“One of the most severe weather events is the hurricane, and Amateur Radio’s ability to communicate under extremely stressful conditions has helped spread information into the affected areas and receive critical reports to be relayed to the National Hurricane Center,” HWN Net Manager Bobby Graves, KB5HAV, said. “Amateur Radio operators are still able to get through in spite of challenges presented by loss of power, high wind, and storm surge.”
Graves said that by incorporating the Weather-Ready Ambassador message, the Hurricane Watch Net will help to spread the word about preparedness for severe weather.
Founded by Jerry Murphy, K8YUW, in 1965 during Hurricane Betsy, the HWN has continued to operate during every hurricane threatening land in the Atlantic, Caribbean Basin, and Gulf of Mexico, and has established a formal association with the National Hurricane Center in Miami. The Net activates on 14.325 MHz whenever a hurricane is within 300 miles of projected landfall or becomes a serious threat to a populated area.
Owing perhaps to grand coincidence, the 100th birthday of the ARRL — the actual day — will fall on Sunday, May 18, the final day of Dayton Hamvention® 2014. On that date a century earlier, Amateur Radio pioneers Hiram Percy Maxim and Clarence Tuska, founded the American Radio Relay League. On Sunday, May 18, at 9:15 AM in Room 1 of Hara Arena, ARRL President Kay Craigie, N3KN, and Chief Executive Officer David Sumner, K1ZZ, will host a party, complete with a cake, to wish the ARRL a happy 100th birthday.
Dayton Hamvention is a Regional ARRL Centennial Event. W100AW/8 will be on the air from Hamvention as a special event station.
ARRL EXPO in the Ballarena will be the nerve center of the League’s Hamvention presence, which will include booths highlighting various League activities. Visitors can pick up a free Centennial Coin, while supplies last. The ARRL Store will offer for sale various ARRL publications and all manner of gear — don’t forget ARRL Field Day supplies (T shirts, hats, mugs, posters)! Visitors who join ARRL or renew their League memberships at ARRL EXPO will receive a free gift. Join or renew for 3 years and take home a free ARRL Centennial Edition Handbook. ARRL Dayton 2014 buttons also will be available for free.
For the rest of the story, click here > http://www.arrl.org/news/arrl-to-celebrate-its-100th-birthday-at-Dayton
On a beautiful New England spring day, yet under an umbrella of heightened security, more than 300 Amateur Radio volunteers provided communication support on April 21 for the 118th running of the Boston Marathon — a 26.2-mile race from Hopkinton to Boston, Massachusetts. In a show of solidarity following last year’s tragic bombings close to the finish line, a near record numbers of runners — upward of 36,000 — turned out for the Patriot’s Day event along with a huge outpouring of spectators. The Boston Marathon is a major public service event for the region’s Amateur Radio volunteers.
“We received a fantastic showing of volunteer support across the start, course, and finish line from the Amateur Radio community in the wake of the 2013 bombings,” said Steve Schwarm, W3EVE, Boston Marathon Course Coordinator. The level of ham radio support for the 2014 event demonstrated that “Boston Strong” remains a rallying cry in the wake of last year's tragedy, he said.
Amateur Radio communication support became critical in the aftermath of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings, when conventional telecommunications systems, such as cellular telephone, quickly became overloaded and confusion reigned.
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“The National Hurricane Conference leadership continues to recognize the valuable contribution of the Amateur Radio Emergency Service and again invited us to participate with three sessions,” Rehman said. “We encourage you to visit and participate in all the activities you can and learn more about Amateur Radio Emergency Service communication.” All three Amateur Radio-oriented sessions will take place Tuesday, April 15.
NHC Session #1 — 10:30 AM to 12 Noon: Presentations from Dr Richard Knabb, Director of the National Hurricane Center; Bob Robichaud, VE1MBR, of the Canadian Hurricane Center, and members of WX4NHC, the Amateur Radio Station at the National Hurricane Center
NHC Session #2 — 1:30 PM to 3 PM: Emergency communication operations in the Orlando area; the 2013 Boston Marathon disaster, and two different views on Hurricane Sandy.
NHC Session #3 — 3:30 PM to 5 PM: The operations of the Hurricane Watch Net (HWN) and the VoIP Hurricane Net, together with an ARRL update and an introduction of ARRL’s new Southeastern Division Director, followed by an Amateur Radio “rap” session — the Emergency Manager’s “Hidden Resource.”
Amateur Radio presentations will be recorded and streamed live on the National Hurricane Conference and VoIPWX websites by James Palmer, KB1KQW. Door prizes will be awarded. Register online or via fax.
2014 National Hurricane Conference Presenters
A few dozen special event stations will take to the air April 26, 0000 UTC to 2359 UTC, to commemorate International Marconi Day (IMD). Among them will be GB4IMD, in Cornwall, England, OE14M, in Vienna, Austria, IY0IMD in Italy, VO1AA, on Signal Hill in St Johns, Newfoundland, VK2IMD in Australia, and WA1WCC on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. All stations planning to participate are urged to register. A list of registered participants is on the IMD 2014 website.
International Marconi Day is a 24 hour Amateur Radio event held annually to celebrate the birth of Guglielmo Marconi on April 15, 1874. IMD is held each year on a Saturday close to Marconi’s birthday, with Amateur Radio stations on the air from around the world, including some Award Stations operating from historically significant sites.
The event is not a contest; it is an opportunity for amateurs around the world to make point-to-point contact with historic Marconi sites using HF communications techniques similar to those used by Marconi, and to earn an award certificate for working or hearing a requisite number of Marconi stations. — Thanks to The Daily DX; International Marconi Day
The “Ham Video” transmitter aboard the International Space Station is scheduled to be installed on March 6, with commissioning to follow. The European Space Agency (ESA) postponed the installation and commissioning of the Ham Video system last month because NASA Astronaut Mike Hopkins, KF5LJG — who is handling the installation and commissioning — had other priorities. Amateur Radio on the International Space Station-Europe (ARISS-EU) Chairman Gaston Bertels, ON4WF, said that a couple of the commissioning steps now may be combined, to condense the process. Hopkins will also install the camera and support arm. Following installation the transmitter will be powered on just long enough to check cable and antenna connections.
Here is a link from the ARRL to take a tour of W1AW.
The collapse of two radio towers in North-Central West Virginia on February 1 resulted in three deaths and injuries to two individuals. The tragedy also resulted in the loss of three Amateur Radio repeaters belonging to the Stonewall Jackson Amateur Radio Association (SJARA) and forming part of the HamTalk linked repeater system, which were available to assist with emergency and disaster communication. Richard Wilt, K8TPH, reported that one tower went down, killing two workers on the 300 foot structure and taking down a second, shorter tower. An emergency responder died after being struck by falling debris. Two other tower workers suffered minor injuries.
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The ARRL DXCC Desk has approved the 2013 operation of CYØP — Sable Island — for DX Century Club credit. If a request for DXCC credit for this operation has been rejected in a prior application, contact ARRL Awards Branch Manager Bill Moore, NC1L, to be placed on the list for an update to your record. Please note the submission date and/or reference number of your application in order to expedite the search for any rejected contacts.
DXCC is Amateur Radio’s premier award that hams can earn by confirming on-the-air contacts with 100 DXCC “entities,” most of which are countries in the traditional sense. You can begin with the basic DXCC award and work your way up to the DXCC Honor Roll. Learn more. — ARRL Awards Branch Manager Bill Moore, NC1L
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Joe Musachia, W5FJG, a telecommunications technician and trainer, has been assigned to the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station and will be operating from KC4AAA, the Amateur Radio station there. The station offers a kilowatt into 6 element 20 and 3 element 40 meter monobanders fixed on the US and a tribander fixed toward Europe. He reports that KC4AAA does not have the ability to operate CW as it’s currently configured, so he will operate SSB only on weekdays and some weekends, through the winter season, until November 2014. He also hopes to have a 3 element 17 meter beam aimed at North America, that is supposed to go up this month. Listen for KC4AAA with W5FJG at the helm on or near 14.243 MHz. Almost all activity is currently on 20 meters. QSL to Larry Skilton, K1IED. — Thanks to The Daily DX
“This will be our 15th year of participation in the SRD, and our 33rd year of public service at NHC,” said Julio Ripoll, WD4R, the WX4NHC Amateur Radio assistant coordinator. “The purpose of this event is to test the Amateur Radio Station operations and equipment between NWS Office nationwide and is sponsored by NOAA. This event is excellent practice for ham radio operators as well as NWS staff to become familiar with the unique communication skills available during times of severe weather. It is also a fun event.”
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With the communication infrastructure in typhoon-ravaged regions of the Philippines largely in shambles, ham radio operators are playing a critical role in the rescue and recovery operation now underway. Officials estimate that the death toll in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan (called “Yolanda” in the Philippines) could go as high as 10,000. One storm chaser called the damage wrought by the category 5 hurricane and a resulting storm surge “unimaginable.”
“No words to describe what my beloved Philippines is going through,” Thelma Pascua, DU1IVT, posted to her Facebook page. Rescue operations continue, although authorities have been unable to reach some afflicted locations to assess the damage or human toll. Many houses and buildings have been destroyed, affecting millions of residents. Ramon Anquilan, DU1UGZ, of the Philippine Amateur Radio Association (PARA), reports that its Ham Emergency Radio Operations (HERO) — PARA’s ARES organization — continues to help authorities and residents by handling relief messages. PARA activated HERO in advance of the typhoon’s landfall three days ago. Earlier, hams helped to track the hurricane, reporting on wind and rainfall, storm surges, damage and communication and power outages. The National Telecommunications Commission continues to monitor HERO operations on 7.095 MHz and 144.74 MHz. Anquilan said Nathan Eamiguel, DU5AOK, and other RADNET (District 5 Radio Amateur Network) members are on the air as DX5RAN in one of the worst-affected areas of Tacloban.
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As rainfall tapers, ARRL Colorado Section Emergency Coordinator Robert Wareham, NØESQ, says the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) is mobilizing Amateur Radio operators from throughout the state to assist with damage assessment. Now in its fifth day, devastating flash flooding there has claimed at least a half-dozen lives. Hundred remain unaccounted for, untold numbers of homes have been destroyed, and more than 1000 residents are awaiting evacuation, according to media accounts.
“The [Colorado] Office of Emergency Management predicts that Amateur Radio operators will be needed next for damage assessment, as many local hams have been working 12 hours plus per day since the flooding started,” Wareham said in a post to the ARRL Colorado Section Facebook page. “Hams continue to staff evacuation shelters throughout the region and emergency operations centers (EOCs) for the state and multiple counties and municipalities.” The National Guard has been mobilized to help with evacuations and rescue operations.
Wareham said that hams not directly involved in the disaster response have been serving as storm spotters for the National Weather Service, providing reports on rainfall, creek and river levels. SKYWARN spotters have been asked to submit their rainfall totals to the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail & Snow Network (CoCoRaHS).
For the rest of the story, click here > http://www.arrl.org/news/colorado-ares-teams-to-mobilize-for-flood-damage-assessment
Tuolumne County RACES Radio Officer Phil Fish, WB6GGY, told ARRL that with telephone circuits overloaded and cell service spotty, ham radio is keeping open the lines of communication. ARES-RACES members are helping to support communication between local government and the American Red Cross shelter. “They were just hungry for hams,” Fish said of local emergency management officials. “We’ve had a great response from the local ham community.” The Red Cross is sheltering on the order of 100 evacuees.
Other ARES-RACES volunteers are helping to handle telephone traffic in the county emergency operations center. Fish said about 2 dozen hams have been volunteering and putting in "some long days." Tuolumne County ARES EC Carl Croci, NI6Z, said volunteers from Calaveras County ARES also have been pitching in. Fish described the terrain in Tuolumne and Mariposa counties as “very, very, very rugged,” and he expects the Rim Fire is unlikely to be out for months.
According to the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC), the Rim Fire now covers nearly 144,000 acres, with 14,360 acres burned over in the past 24 hours. The Rim Fire has destroyed some two dozen structures. Roads into Tuolumne City are closed due to heavy emergency traffic, and only community residents and emergency officials are permitted to pass.
An unidentified ham in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, avoided serious injury or worse after falling July 16 from a ham radio tower he was disassembling. The man, whom media reports called “a certified tower expert” fell backward from the tower and became trapped about 35 feet in the air. The Edmonton Journal quoted District Fire Chief Lorne Corbett: “He had on the proper harness, that’s what saved him. He also had his legs entangled in the tower itself.” When the rescue team showed up, the man was upside down, and firefighters went up the tower to stabilize him and orient him upright. Firefighters got the man down using a bucket on a fire ladder. Although bruised, he was able to walk to the ambulance. The ARRL offers antenna and tower safety tips on its website. Universal Radio also has posted a list of general recommendations for installing outdoor antennas. — The Edmonton Journal; The Edmonton Sun
Authorities in California suspect that vandals late on July 28 or early on July 29 cut several guy wires supporting the Rocky Ridge radio tower in the hills of the Las Trampas Regional Wilderness above San Ramon and Danville, causing the 200 foot structure to topple.
“The Rocky Ridge Tower has been a key communications tower for amateur, commercial, and public safety radio operators, alike,” says Jim Siemons, AF6PU. “This was an important communications hub in the Contra Costa and Alameda counties’ East Bay Regional Communications System Authority. (EBRSCA) group that is just now providing P25 communications to many municipalities and districts within the San Francisco East Bay.”
Siemons says several ham radio groups had repeater equipment on the tower, including his own Mount Diablo Amateur Radio Club. MDARC had a packet/APRS digipeater operating on 144.390 MHz that Siemons says was in constant use up until the tower came down. “There will certainly be challenges with coverage in areas unless or until the tower is replaced in parts of Walnut Creek, Alamo, Danville, Diablo, Blackhawk, San Ramon, Moraga, and Canyon,” Siemons added.
KCBS Radio in San Francisco reported that police were investigating the tower collapse. No injuries occurred, and authorities believe vandalism was the cause. Damage could go as high as $1 million. A Contra Costa County Fire official told the radio station that the tower collapse has affected some dispatch services in the western part of the county, but police say back-up systems headed off any disruptions. According to KCBS, police “are trying to determine why vandals would target the tower, which is located in a remote area of the park behind multiple gates and fences.” — Thanks to Jim Siemons, AF6PU, and KCBS Radio
Pikes Peak Amateur Radio Emergency Service (PPARES) volunteers on August 9 provided communication support to several organizations during the Waldo Canyon flood in Manitou Springs, Colorado. PPARES members assisted the El Paso County Emergency Operations Center, the Colorado Springs EOC, the National Weather Service-Pueblo/SKYWARN, the Pikes Peak Chapter of the American Red Cross and one Red Cross shelter.
“We deployed several operators with hand-held radios and mobile radios, even to areas blocked off from non-emergency traffic, as well as operating on two nets and at least three repeaters,” PPARES PIO John Bloodgood, KDØSFY, told ARRL. “It was a hectic 6 to 7 hours, but we were able to pass some valuable information and observations for our served organizations.”
Some two dozen operators checked in with reports on rainfall rates, creek and roadway water levels, traffic and shelter populations, he said. PPARES activated again on August 12 and 14 to support the EOCs and NWS-Pueblo, providing rainfall rates, street flooding, creek levels, and hail occurrences, Bloodgood said.
“Our SKYWARN program holds daily nets with briefings from NWS-Pueblo and is able to [validate] NWS products and observations critical to their decision process regarding issuing weather warnings,” he explained. “We deploy observers to pre-designated creek observation points to enable the EOCs to make evacuation and emergency response decisions. We also support the flow of information from Red Cross evacuation shelters to the main Red Cross chapter, facilitating their processes regarding supplies, emergency needs, and shelter utilization.”
Scouting’s 56th Jamboree on the Air (JOTA) 2013 takes place the weekend of October 19-20, from 0000 local time Saturday to 2400 local time Sunday. Held each year on the third weekend of October, JOTA provides an opportunity for members of the Boy Scouts of America to experience Amateur Radio firsthand, perhaps planting the seed for a lifetime of hamming. JOTA is the largest Scouting event in the world, with nearly 750,000 Scouts participating from 6000 stations in 150 countries around the world. Not a contest, JOTA’s goal is to foster Scout-to-Scout communication across borders. “The idea is to contact other Scout stations and allow as many Scouts as possible to talk to other Scouts and learn about who they are and what they are doing,” the BSA says in its JOTA guidelines, which offer suggested frequencies. Licensed mentors often open their stations to Scouts on JOTA weekend, serving as control operators. Radio operation will be on 80 through 6 meters and 2 meters and 70 centimeters FM simplex, all modes. Through its Radio Scouting sponsorship, Icom America is providing stations for JOTA and other Scouting events, including the loan of five stations that will be on the air for JOTA 2013. In 2012 more than 18,500 US Scouts took part in JOTA from more than 200 stations, up by nearly 500 percent from a year earlier.
The ARRL will host a webinar Monday, July 15, 8-9:30 PM EDT [July 16, 0000-0130 UTC], to present information about the 2013 hurricane season and the Amateur Radio response. The program will offer presentations from representatives from the National Hurricane Center and WX4NHC, the VoIP Hurricane Net, the Hurricane Watch Net and the ARRL. Webinar registration is open to all, but will be of particular interest to radio amateurs in hurricane-prone areas. If you are interested in emergency communication and hurricane preparedness and response, you are invited to attend this online presentation. Topics will include a meteorological overview of the upcoming season, Amateur Radio station WX4NHC at the National Hurricane Center: Who We Are and What We Do, ARRL Media and Public Relations, the National Hurricane Center, the Hurricane Watch Net, the VoIP Hurricane Net, and ARRL coordination and interface. The session will conclude with a Q&A session. Click to register. — Mike Corey, KI1U, ARRL Emergency Preparedness Manager
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After an EF5 tornado swept through Oklahoma on May 20, radio amateurs in that state assisted the American Red Cross with its communications efforts. “Amateur Radio operators were asked to support voice communications from the American Red Cross Oklahoma City Chapter Headquarters to their feeding station at the Incident Command Post located in Moore,” explained ARRL Oklahoma Section Emergency Coordinator Mark Conklin, N7XYO. Moore, located about halfway between Norman and Oklahoma City, suffered the brunt of the tornado damage. As of 8:30 CDT on May 22, all Amateur Radio operations in support of the American Red Cross ceased.
For the rest of the story, click here > http://www.arrl.org/news/amateurs-in-oklahoma-respond-to-storm-aftermath
With April 20 being the second day of GlobalSet, the Global Simulated Emergency Test, CRAC/CRSA Headquarters station BY3CQ made contact with BG8DE, who was also on his way to the earthquake area to assist.
The Chinese Radio Sports Association and Chinese Radio Amateur Club ask all amateurs to avoid 3855, 7050 and 14270 kHz as these frequencies will be used for disaster relief communications.
Our thanks to Fan Bin, BA1RB
As has happened many times in years past, over 200 Amateur Radio operators participated in communications for the Boston Marathon on Monday, April 15, 2013. Unlike prior challenging situations such as very warm weather for the runners or other weather-related challenges, this year’s marathon will be remembered for the bombings that took place at the finish line. Despite this heinous act, professional first responders, medical volunteers from the American Red Cross that staffed the route, and Amateur Radio operators performed magnificently in the face of adversity.
“Within minutes, cell phone systems became overloaded and making phone calls and text messages was difficult. Amateur Radio operators performed communication duties under duress and performed admirably. No Amateur Radio volunteers were injured on the course in this terrible act,” said Steve Schwarm, W3EVE, who is the Amateur Radio Course Communication Coordinator and associated with a consortium of clubs and groups known as Marathon Amateur Radio Communications (MARC).
For the rest of the story, Click here > http://www.arrl.org/news/view/radio-amateurs-provide-communication-support-in-boston-marathon-bombings
For the rest of the story, click here > http://www.arrl.org/news/2013-world-amateur-radio-day-april-18-celebrates-100-years-of-disaster-communications
J. Kenneth Pulfer, VE3PU, of Ottawa, Ontario, passed away Sunday, March 31 after a long illness. He was 80. In 1994, Pulfer became the Secretary, then Secretary Treasurer for the Radio Amateurs of Canada (RAC), that country’s IARU Member Society. He also served as the RAC’s Vice President for Government Affairs and Vice President for International Affairs. When former ARRL Chief Technology Officer Paul Rinaldo, W4RI, retired in 2009, Pulfer took over as Chairman of the ITU Radiocommunication Sector’s Working Party 5A Working Group 1, the “home” of the Amateur and Amateur-Satellite Services in the ITU structure. He served as an IARU Technical Representative for 15 years, culminating with the 2012 World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-12).
For the rest od this article, click here > http://www.arrl.org/news/j-kenneth-pulfer-ve3pu-sk
NASA will televise the launch and docking of its next mission to the International Space Station (ISS) beginning at 3:30 PM EDT on Thursday, March 28 (1930 UTC). NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy, KF5KDR, and Russian cosmonauts Pavel Vinogradov, RV3BS, and Alexander Misurkin are scheduled to launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 4:43 PM EDT (2043 UTC). They will join Canadian Space Agency astronaut Chris Hadfield, VA3OOG/KC5RNJ, NASA astronaut Tom Marshburn, KE5HOC, and Russian cosmonaut Roman Romanenko -- already aboard the ISS -- for Expedition 35.
It will take Cassidy, Vinogradov and Misurkin only six hours to reach the ISS. NASA will begin its live coverage of the docking at 8:30 PM (0030 UTC on Friday, March 29). The trio will dock at 9:32 PM (0132 UTC), and hatches are scheduled to open between the Soyuz and the ISS at 11:10 PM (0310 UTC).
Hadfield, Marshburn and Romanenko are scheduled to return to Earth in May 2013. Cassidy, Vinogradov and Misurkin are scheduled to return to Earth in September 2013
You can watch live online on the NASA TV Public and Media channels, or on your television. Contact your local provider for the NASA TV channel in your area
After a day of exploring the Green Swamp Wildlife Management Area -- which covers 50,692 protected acres in Florida’s Lake, Polk and Sumter Counties -- with his grandson, Joe Cody, KE4WDP, of Winter Haven, Florida, saw that the roads were flooding and becoming hazardous. As he tried to drive out of the area, Cody’s small pick-up truck got bogged down in the mud. Since he was out of cell phone range, Cody tried calling for help on the Dade City 146.880 repeater. Richard Parker, KF4ORW, of Dade City, Florida, heard the call and answered.
After hearing the situation, Parker called 911 in Pasco County, who put him in touch with the dispatch in neighboring Polk County. Cody passed his location on to Parker, who in turn passed it on to the Polk County Sherriff’s Office. “Polk County 911 took over trying to get help,” Parker said. “They called me back several times for more information and I was able to relay information from Joe to them. Then Ted Bulmanski, W4TKB, who is also from Dade City, started monitoring and copying Joe’s information.”
About 30 minutes later, Parker saw a helicopter fly over and around Cody’s position, and after another 30 minutes, Cody radioed back on the repeater, saying he was on his way home -- thanks to a Lake County Deputy in a Sherriff’s Office truck that had a winch. “We learned that Joe was eight miles inside Lake County,” Parker explained. “That’s why the Lake County Sherriff’s Office responded instead of the Polk County authorities. The Polk County Sherriff’s Office called me back to say that the helicopter from Lake County found the truck inside Lake County and sent both a deputy from Lake County, as well as a Fish and Game Officer and winched him out of the mud. They called me back to thank us for assisting the stranded pair. Ham radio still works when other forms of communications don’t.” -- Thanks to ARRL West Central Florida Section Public Information Coordinator Kevin Poorman, KV4CT, for the information
As a blizzard swept across New England February 9-10, SKYWARN was ready. The storm dumped heavy snowfall -- with some areas receiving upwards of 3 feet of snow -- as blizzard conditions brought hurricane force winds that created power outages and significant tree and power line damage over Southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island. ARRL Eastern Massachusetts Section Emergency Coordinator Rob Macedo, KD1CY, helped lead operations at WX1BOX, the Amateur Radio station at the National Weather Service office in Taunton, Massachusetts, where hams were active for 28 continuous hours. Macedo also serves as the ARES SKYWARN Coordinator for the NWS office in Taunton.
For the complete story, click here. http://www.arrl.org/news/hams-across-new-england-and-the-maritimes-respond-to-blizzard
Three new “how to” videos have been posted on the ARRL website’s Multimedia page at www.arrl.org/multimedia.
--How to attach a PL259 connector to coaxial cable
--How to use CTCSS in a typical FM transceiver
--How to enjoy split-frequency operating
All three videos are hosted by Joe Carcia, NJ1Q, the W1AW Station Manager. (There is a video tour of W1AW available on the same page.)
To view these videos your Web browser must support Flash technology. Also, some Internet Explorer browsers may have compatibility issues when attempting to view Flash video within Windows 7 and 8. If you do not see the individual video player screens on the Multimedia page, click your Internet Explorer “Compatibility View” icon located in the right-hand section of the Internet Explorer address entry window
It’s that time of year again -- time to start gearing up for ARRL Field Day, June 22-23, 2013! ARRL’s flagship operating event -- always held the fourth full weekend in June -- brings together new and experienced hams for 24 hours of operating fun.
Field Day packets are now available for download and include the complete rules, as well as other reference items such as forms, ARRL Section abbreviation list, entry submission instructions, a Frequently Asked Questions section, guidelines for getting bonus points, instructions for GOTA stations and a kit to publicize your event with the local press. New for 2013: Stations operating as Class A or B may begin setting up at 0000 UTC on Friday (which will be Thursday 8:00 PM EDT, 7:00 CDT, 6:00 MDT and 5:00 PDT). The groups may start and stop their set-up, resuming the set-up later, but may spend only a maximum of 24 hours cumulative time for setting up their sites.
A brief one-page flier with basic “What is Field Day?” information has also been included in this year’s Field Day packet. Amateur Radio clubs individuals are encouraged to reproduce this flyer as a handout for information tables.