WX4NHC at the National Hurricane Center has Activated

Because of the upcoming threat of Tropical Storm Zeta, WX4NHC at the National Hurricane Center in Miami has responded immediately and has activated at 0000 UTC on October 27 (the evening of October 26 in North American time zones) to monitor 14.325 and 7.268 MHZ as well as the VoIP Hurricane Net and other resources.

Reports

WX4NHC requests surface reports from stations or vessels in the affected area, with or without weather data for use by NHC Forecasters. Reports may be filed using the WX4NHC online Hurricane Report Form.

“The NHC appreciates all the surface reports from the affected area during hurricanes, as they fill in gaps [in] weather data and give [forecasters] a real-time first-person perspective of what is actually happening on the ground,” said NHC Assistant Amateur Radio Coordinator Julio Ripoll, WD4R.

As of 2130 UTC, the Hurricane Watch Net (HWN) was in Alert Level 3, Standby Mode. This indicates that the net is keeping an eye…

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The FCC Relocates

The FCC Headquarters Relocates The FCC Headquarters have moved. It’s new address is 45 L St. NE, Washington, DC 20554. This change is effective immediately. Last spring, the FCC had announced plans to move but it was temporarily postponed due to the global pandemic covid-19.

Mail

Alike many other federal agencies, The FCC has its own zip code. Any mail that is in delivery via USPS that was sent to the former address will have no disruption. It’s important to note, that the FCC still prohibits the delivery of hand-carried documents, as well as all covid-19 restrictions/ instructions are valid at the new location.

Efforts

“The FCC continues to balance its efforts to be accessible to the public with the need for heightened security, health, and safety measures and encourages the use of the commissions electronic comment filing system (ECFS) to facilitate the filing of applications and other documents when possible.”

Covid-19

Due t…

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SOURCED DIRECTLY FROM THE ARRL: ARRL Logbook of The World Harmonizes Designation of FST4 Protocol

The Logbook of The World (LoTW) Committee worked with WSJT-X developer Joe Taylor, K1JT, to coordinate the creation of FST4 among WSJT-X, the ADIF standard, and LoTW.

Currently, the FST4 is only supported in a newly released beta version of the WSJT-X.

WSJT-X

The new beta released includes digital protocols particularly designed for communication on LF and MF bands, like the 2200 meters and 630 meters, and its developers say that during its first few months of testing, contacts have crossed intercontinental paths numerous times on those bands.

Both modes offer a range of options for T/R-sequence lengths and threshold decoding sensitivities extending well into the –40 dB range, developers said.

Captioned in the photo: Joe Turner Committee's Action to Avoid

The committee’s action was to avoid the sort of confusion that cropped up among LoTW users logging contacts in FT4 when that protocol was first included in WSJT-X. In the ca…

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DARC Cancels Emergency Amateur Radio Exercise Until 2021

Germany's DARC reports an amateur radio emergency exercise planned for November 13-15 has unfortunately been postponed due to the worldwide Covid-19 pandemic 

A translation of the DARC post reads: 

In February, the Emergency and Disaster Radio Department, together with the Executive Board, EmCom Luxembourg and representatives of the USKA, set the period from November 13th to 15th, 2020 for the emergency radio exercise and repeatedly checked over the course of the year whether and how this event could be carried out under Corona. 

Everyone involved in the planning - whether from Germany, Luxembourg, France, Belgium or Switzerland - was of the opinion that such an exercise is also possible under the officially prescribed rules for protection against Corona.

Bending & Breaking

However, it was always clear that there should be no exercise in “bending and breaking”. An exercise during corona times also means know…

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Amateur Radio Operators Assist With Earthquake Drills Worldwide

On October 15th, over 20 Mendocino County amateur radio operators — a.k.a ham radio operators — participated in the Great ShakeOut exercise.

Photo by Kate Maxwell. Worldwide Event

This is a worldwide event which mimics actual conditions if there was an actual large earthquake and/or tsunami. If such an event were to occur, there is a chance that the power, phone, cellphone and internet would be disrupted. Amateur radio is a communications system that operates independently of conventional infrastructure.

2017

In 2017, during the October fires in Mendocino County, much of the communications for the central part for the county — including police and fire communications — were disrupted for several days. In that event, local hams provided critical communications.

Observed

For the drill initiated on Oct. 15, volunteers observed and reported the status of bridges and rivers for both earthquake damage and a possible tsunami. Reports were …

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The Worlds Largest Amateur Radio Competition Starts Soon: Here are the details

The CQ WW is the largest Amateur Radio competition in the world. There are over 35,000 participants who take on the airwaves on the last weekend of October (SSB) and November (CW) with the main goal of making as many contacts with as many different DXCC entities and CQ Zones as possible.

Start Days

The 2020 CQ World-Wide DX ContestSSB: October 24-25 CW: November 28-29

Starts 00:00:00 UTC Saturday Ends 23:59:59 UTC Sunday

OBJECTIVE

For amateurs around the world to contact as many other amateurs in as many CQ zones and countries as possible.

BANDS

Six bands only: 1.8, 3.5, 7, 14, 21 and 28 MHz. Observance of established band plans is strongly encouraged.

CONTEST EXCHANGE

SSB: RS report plus CQ Zone number of the station location (e.g., 59 05). CW: RST report plus CQ Zone (e.g., 599 05).

Scoring Score

The final score is the result of the total QSO points multiplied by the sum of the zone and c…

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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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Meet Robert Bankston: The New President of AMSAT

The new president of AMSAT is Robert Bankston, KE4AL, from Dothan, Alabama.

Elected Him

The AMSAT Board of Directors elected Robert Bankston at its annual meeting on October 18, to succeed Clayton Coleman, W5PFG.

Bankston has served as treasurer and Vice President of User Services. He is a life member of both ARRL and AMSAT. He volunteered to develop and launch AMSAT’s online member portal and chaired the 2018 AMSAT Space Symposium.

Privilege

For his part, Clayton said that it had been “both a joy and a privilege” to serve as AMSAT president during 2020, which he called “a rather difficult year” for many in amateur radio.

“With the talented and capable individuals sitting on AMSAT’s new Board and its officers, I am confident in a bright future ahead for AMSAT and the amateur radio satellite service.”

Others Elected

Other officers elected included Paul Stoetzer, N8HM, as Executive Vice President; Jerry Buxton…

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RASA Writes to the President of the IARU

On October 1st over the chronic interference to the 40m band in Region 3, The Radio Amateur Society of Australia (RASA) wrote to the President of the IARU.

The great majority of the intruder stations speak Indonesian and do not identify. They operate in the bottom half of 40m, using USB, often in 10 kHz multiples.

Darwin, Australia

These stations are received repeatedly in Darwin, Australia and every afternoon/evening in the remainder of the Australian continent.

These stations are received repeatedly in Darwin, Australia. Then, every afternoon and evening in the remainder of the Australian continent.

The…

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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.

Live-Streamed

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.

East

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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