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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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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HamCation & the ARRL Convention has been postponed until February 2022

ARRL and the Orlando Amateur Radio Club (OARC) have announced that the ARRL National Convention and Orlando HamCation® — who was supposed to host the convention — have been postponed until February 10 – 13, 2022.

Health and Safety

“The joint decision came after considering the national public health emergency including the health and safety of all participants, the uncertainty that continues to impact our organizations, and the reluctance to travel to, and attend, large events,” said ARRL CEO David Minster, NA2AA. “We regret the disruption to the hard work already completed by so many volunteers preparing for the ARRL National Convention and HamCation.”

Creds to ARRL.Org A Difficult Decision

“While postponing was a difficult decision, our top priority is delivering a safe and successful HamCation experience for everyone, including our attendees, dedicated volunteers, exhibitors, and service partners,” said HamCation General Chairman Michael Cau…

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