Boy Scouts From Crystal Lake Try Out Amateur Radio

Nine members from Troop 165 in Crystal Lake tuned into radio frequencies on Sunday, October 18th, to connect with fellow scouts and amateur radio operators from across the planet as part of the annual Boy Scouts of America Jamboree-on-the-Air event.

Morse Code

The scouts were inspired as they adjusted the dials on various radio apparatus, which ranged from transmitting messages in Morse code to real-time voice conversations with people as far away as Texas and England. It truly helped the scouts express interest in obtaining their own government permissions to get on the air.

Members of the McHenry County Wireless Association brought hardware and their knowledge of radio operation to the Crystal Lake Park District Nature Center to help teach the scouts how to tune in and use frequencies that can allow communication across neighborhoods, counties, states, countries and oceans.

Bill Wacaser

Assistant scoutmaster Bill Wacaser also awakened …

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IARU Administrative Council Addresses Their Wide-Ranging Agenda Via Virtual Meeting

The International Amateur Radio Union Administrative Council (AC) met in a virtual session on October 8 – 10.

Serbia --> Internet

It consisted of the three IARU international officers and two representatives from each of the three IARU regional organizations, the council is responsible for IARU policy and management. The meeting, which had been set to take place in Novi Sad, Serbia, was conducted via the internet because of coronavirus pandemic travel restrictions. The virtual format had the benefit of allowing participation by additional observers from regional organizations and a real-time presentation of reports from specialized IARU coordinators and advisors.

Martin Sach

Recently appointed EMC Coordinator Martin Sach, G8KDF, reported on what is being done on behalf of the IARU in CISPR, the International Special Committee on Radio Interference. Martin and his predecessor, Tore Worren, LA9QL, continue to work together to address the need for…

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11 Schools Launched Balloons Carrying Amateur Radio Payloads

On October 9th, eleven schools across the US launched helium-filled balloons carrying amateur radio payloads.


The Smithsonian Air and Space Museum live-streamed the multiple launches of the balloons. The balloons are trackable via ham radio on APRS either 144.39 MHz FM or 144.34 MHz FM.


The balloons were intended to head east around the globe, although there’s no accounting for upper air currents. Altitudes were expected to be in the 20,000 – 25,000-foot range, with the balloons taking a few days to cross the Atlantic Ocean.

Some of the balloons are already out over the Atlantic, and one, the KS1LAS-1 balloon, launched from Washington, was reported over the Mediterranean on October 14, moving at a speedy 69 MPH at an altitude of some 40,400 feet.

Northern Virginia

The K4NVA-1 balloon launched from Northern Virginia was reported on October 11 just east of St. Johns, Newfoundland, at just over 23,100 f…

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Ham Radio & Sunspot Cycle 24

Sunspot cycle 24 began slowly diminishing back in 2014. Although, it's slowly subsiding, it will still produce some good DX opportunities for a few years.

The three-month sunspot moving average hit its lowest count in August 2008. No groundbreaking sunspot activity was observed ... until a sunspot persisted for five days at high latitudes before disappearing on June 4 2009.

Cycle 24 was born!

The sun's activity provided ham radio operators all over the world with a number of amazing signal propagation conditions. Now that it's pretty extravagant, we have to watch the sun's activity more closely to make the most of it.


A decent amount of information on solar-terestrial data and propagation conditions is available on N0NBH website. You can find the link to that website here:

It is known that N0NBH's website is one of the most informative sites on solar radiation and the sun's influence on sig…

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