The Wirral & District Amateur Radio Club

Twice Winner of the RSGB Region 3

'Club of the Year' Trophy for 2013 & 2014

Club Members' News Page

 With all the latest Amateur Radio and Technical News
      from Wirral, UK and around the World !

   Click for the RSGB NEWS for Radio Amateurs & SWL's

 

Looking for an archived News Item from last 12 months to read again ? click ARCHIVED NEWS

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Wednesday 18th March 2020

As many of you will be aware we have reluctantly decided to suspend all our Club Meetings at Irby Cricket Club and D&W meetings in local hostelries around Wirral until at least mid June 2020.  This is in line and supports UK Government requests due to the seriousness of the rapid spread of Coronavirus.

Last night (Wed 18th March) it was rather hurriedly proposed that since many of us are retired and perhaps now restricted to staying at home for much longer periods than we are used to, it might be that we could encourage a few of us to come on the radio and just have a natter for ½ an hour or so.  I didn't even get time to announce it on the website !

However, an email was sent out to a handful of members and  we were blown away to find some 14 people responded which included a couple of non-members and great to hear them as well.  S13 (145.325MHz) many years ago used to be the Wirral & District Amateur Radio Club's local chat frequency.  With something like 30+ mobiles driving around Merseyside for their work, there were often continuous QSO's during the day, both with other mobiles plus those at home as people drove in and out of the simplex coverage area.  It was also good fun to call CQ in the Mersey Tunnel and have a QSO while driving through.  I remember doing that on many occasions and once had a reply and QSO with the local area Radio Communications (RA) radio enforcement van.  Great fun !!

We are going to attempt to repeat the success again next Wednesday 25th April this time at 8pm, same frequency 145.325MHz S13 and we hope for even more local stations coming on to join in.  With this Coronavirus not going away in a hurry we will not be meeting together for some time and so keeping in touch by radio in this way is an excellent opportunity to both play radio with a purpose and maintain conversations with friends.

Is 8pm start time suitable for everyone ?  If anyone has a problem please feed back to out secretary Simon G6XHF.

Please keep checking the website regularly as any changes and updates will be announced here.

Finally a BIG thank you to those who came on last night. (in no particular order) :-  Geoff, G4WUA, Tom, G4BKF, Gordon, G8MMM, Neil M0WBG, Stuart M1SMH, Denis, G3UVR, Paul GW0MDQ, Paul, G0JZP, Simon G6XHF, Russ, G0VEO, Peter, G8CVF, George, M0HWO and Neil G4OAR

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Wednesday 25th March 2020

Another great Net Night on 145.325MHz on Wirral tonight !

Wednesday night, traditionally our Club Night for the Wirral & District Amateur Radio Club brought another enjoyable "on air" evening instead of our usual Club or D&W meetings.  Well done to Simon G6XHF, Brian G0VAX, Tom G4BKF, Graham G0KOS, George M0HWO, Denis G3UVR and Katie 2E1CES who all called in.

Please feel free to join us again next week.  We start at 8pm but you can call-in at any time after that and whilst the net has lasted for over an hour and a half the last two weeks, you don't have to stay on air for he whole duration.  Dip in and out as suits you.  See you next week 8pm 145.325 S13 FM +/- QRM  73

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New Multimode Digital Gateway for the West of Ireland

Thursday 2nd April 2020

A new Multi-mode Digital Gateway, EI2BED, was placed on air from Roscommon Town in the West of Ireland on the 23rd of March 2020.

Following a week on air a few minor fine tweaks have been made to perfect the transmitted audio levels.

The Gateway is operating on 144.8625 and currently running DMR and C4FM. The DMR is connected to the Irish Brandmeister Server and has a static Talk Group TG2722 which is the Irish Calling channel, C4FM is connected to YSF Ireland and D-Star will default to DCS 049 I .

As there are no D-Star operators in the area, D-Star is not fully operational but can be connected when an interest arises. Paul, EI9HQB is the Sysop of the Gateway which is located at his home QTH. Steve EI5DD and John MI0AAZ, from the Galway Digital Radio Group assisted with the set up of the project.

If you are within the coverage area of this Gateway please give a call through the system as reports are always welcomed.

More information may be found at
https://galwayvhfgroup.blogspot.com/2020/01/ei2bed-multi-mode-digital-gateway-for.html

The Galway Digital Radio Group are on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/groups/745516459124467/

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Coronavirus: Call to dust off amateur radios and get talking in East Lancs

Thursday 2nd April 2020

The Lancashire Telegraph interviews Nick Isherwood 2E0NJI about the role of amateur radio and RAYNET East Lancashire during the Coronavirus outbreak

The newspaper says:
A CALL out has been made for residents to dust off their old ham radios in a bid to tackle lockdown loneliness and to potentially play a key role in the battle to prevent coronavirus deaths.

Nick Isherwood, who is the group controller of RAYNET East Lancashire, is hoping to hold bi-weekly 'gatherings' of amateur radio operators in the region to ensure people with access to the technology – who can often be isolated – are not in need of any help.

Mr Isherwood can also see the 15-strong members of RAYNET East Lancashire, which is affiliated to RAYNET-UK and one of four groups covering the whole of the county, being asked to fulfill a communication or co-ordination role as community groups spring up across the county to help assist the Lancashire Resilience Forum (LRF) in the battle to contain the coronavirus and prevent unnecessary deaths.

Read the full story at
https://www.lancashire
telegraph.co.uk/news/18349197.coronavirus-call-dust-off-amateur-radios-get-talking-east-lancs/


What is Amateur Radio?
http://www.essexham.co.uk/what-is-amateur-radio

Essex Ham provide free online Foundation amateur radio training
https://www.essexham.co.uk/train/foundation-online/

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SolderSmoke Podcast 220 available

Thursday 2nd April 2020

Bill Meara M0HBR / N2CQR has released another edition of the amateur radio SolderSmoke podcast

This edition includes:
• Hallicrafters S-38E
• Phasing Rig Project
• Mailbag  

Listen to the podcast
http://soldersmoke.com/soldersmoke220.mp3

Soldersmoke blog
http://soldersmoke.blogspot.co.uk/

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Intrepid-DX Group news

Thursday 2nd April 2020

The annual Intrepid Spirit Award goes to the VP8PJ Team

The Intrepid-DX Group is pleased to announce the recipients of the annual "Intrepid Spirit Award".

This year's award goes to the Perseverance DX Group's VP8PJ South Orkney Island team for their superb activation from Signy Island.
This DXpedition was extremely well planned and executed from this very remote, cold and harsh Island.

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.

The team was comprised of Dave/K3EL, Les/W2LK, Gene/K5GS, Arliss/W7XU, Heye/DJ9RR, Laci/HA0NAR, Vadym/UT6UD, Walt/N6XG, Rob/
N7QT, Steve/W1SRD, Mike/WA6O, Ken/NG2H, Hans-Peter/HB9BXE and Alan/VK6CQ.

We acknowledge the team's pursuit of operating excellence in making these difficult activations. It is for these reasons that we are honoring them with our Intrepid Spirit Award. This award would normally be presented in front of their peers at the International DX Convention in Visalia, CA.

This "Intrepid-Spirit Award" is made in memory of our fallen friend
and member, James McLaughlin, T6AF, who was killed in Kabul, Afghanistan in April, 2011.

The award is intended to recognize and honor those 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.

While we do not encourage DXers to go into harm's way, we recognize that
circumstances sometimes require that, and we recognize those Intrepid
DXers with the Intrepid Spirit Award.

Thank you,
The Intrepid-DX Group

OPDX

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IOTA News from the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

Thursday 2nd April 2020

Island activities:
Compiled by Andreas, DK5ON

IOTA QRGs
CW: 28040 24920 21040 18098 14040 10114 7030 3530 kHz
SSB: 28560 28460 24950 21260 18128 14260 7055 3760 kHz

AS-207; R0K, Chukchi Sea Coast Centre group:
Rolf/DL6ZFG and Victor/UA3AKO both report that operators Alexander/ RA3AV, Yuri/UA0KBG, and Victor/ UA3AKO are still en route for their all-time new activation of AS-207 (Losa Dvukh Pilotov).
The group were due to board their plane to Chukotka on the 29th March.
They plan to operate from the island as R207RRC between April 3 and 10 with two rigs on 40-15m (CW, SSB). QSL via ClubLog OQRS, UA3AKO.
http://r207rrc.ru/en/

NA-025; J8, The Grenadines: Brian/GW4DVB had to cancel his planned
activity as J88PI (April 6 to 14).

Deutscher Amateur Radio Club
e-mail: iota@dxhf.darc.de

RSGB IOTA website

Check-out the latest IOTA News bulletin from OPDX

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Friedrichshafen - Ham Radio 2020 update

Wednesday 1st April 2020

The organisers of the Ham Radio 2020 in Friedrichshafen, June 26-28, say they are working intensively to plan the upcoming event, they expect to provide a further update in mid-April

A press release issued by the organisers says:-

Friedrichshafen – The 45th edition of the Ham Radio will take place on the exhibition grounds in Friedrichshafen from June 26 to 28, 2020 (based on the information status as of March 31, 2020).

Friends of amateur radio meet to get to know each other and exchange ideas and information with like-minded people as well as take the opportunity to go shopping on Lake Constance.

"We are working intensively to plan the upcoming International Amateur Radio Exhibition under the assumption that the event can take place and maintain close contact to our patron Deutscher Amateur-Radio-Club (DARC) e.V.", explains Project Manager Petra Rathgeber, referencing prevailing developments relating to the topic of the coronavirus and the current cancellations of many other exhibition events."In mid-April we can give you more information."

More than 180 exhibitors from 32 countries were present in Friedrichshafen last year, presenting their products, trends, and innovations in the field of radio transmission as well as the associated technology. The German Amateur Radio Club (DARC) invites you to participate in its 71st conference, taking place on Lake Constance with numerous lectures (also based on an information status as of March 31, 2020).

Ham Radio Friedrichshafen
https://www.hamradio-friedrichshafen.com/

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International Marconi Day 2020 cancelled

Wednesday 1st April 2020

The ARRL reports International Marconi Day 2020, planned for Saturday, April 25, has been cancelled

The annual International Marconi Day (IMD) ham radio operating event that was set to take place on April 25 has been cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic. The 24-hour amateur radio event celebrates the birth of Marconi on April 25, 1874.

Sponsored by the Cornish Radio Amateur Club, which operates as GB4IMD, International Marconi Day features participating stations operating at sites having a personal connection to Marconi, including places where he set up transmitting and receiving stations.

Source ARRL
http://www.arrl.org/news/international-marconi-day-2020-has-been-canceled

International Marconi Day
http://gx4crc.com/gb4imd/
https://twitter.com/GB4IMD

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RSGB Hope QSO Party

Wednesday 1st April 2020

A series of 90 minute duration daytime contests that has been introduced on a temporary basis to help and support radio amateurs who are isolated at home and would appreciate contact with other people

These contests are expected to start on Monday, April 6.

Further details at
https://www.rsgbcc.org/hf/rules/2020/rhqp.shtml

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Coronavirus - Folkestone Repeater Group

Wednesday 1st April 2020

The Folkestone Repeater Group repeaters have been very busy during the coronavirus lockdown.

GB3FK has been very active with locals looking out for each other daily.
A local Amateur Stan G6ZNW has been active and on hand for anyone wanting shopping or medicine delivered.

The repeater has always been very much a local community repeater with good activity levels. We have also welcomed many call in's from Echolink stations.

The other group repeaters have also been busy during this period on DMR, and DSTAR.

Please feel free to call in and join in!

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Mauritius Class B amateur radio licence

Wednesday 1st April 2020

The Mauritius Amateur Radio Society's Pat 3B8GF, together with Billy GM6DX, have made available an online study course for anyone interested in obtaining the Mauritius Class B amateur radio licence (RA24). This online course is entirely free and already open for registration.

The online course consists of 46 lessons in a mix of documents and videos. Subjects are; introduction to the B licence, B licence conditions, technical basics, antenna and feeders, propagation, operating procedures, safety including electromagnetic compatibility (EMC), functioning of transmitters and receivers including software defined radio (SDR). Each section has a quiz to help the student check on progress.

At the end of the course there are mock exams as a preparation to the full exam and a post-exam information section.

To register for this course: click on this link. Then click on the blue button marked “Enroll for Free“. Register with name, e-mail and create a password. Finally click on “Sign Up” and enter the course.

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Special Award 'Vilnius Gaon 300'

Wednesday 1st April 2020

2020 year was announced in Lithuania as a year of the Great Lithuanian Rabbi Elijas ben Saliamon Zalman, known also as Vilnius Gaon, born in April 300 years ago.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vilna_Gaon

To celebrate this big event there will be 2 active special amateur radio stations on the air :

LY300GAON from Lithuania and 4Z0GAON from Israel,

The date of beginning: 01.04.2020 till 30.04.2020

To receive this special e-award need to make 6 contacts on 3 different bands and on 2 different modes with the special event stations: LY300GAON (3 QSO) and 4Z0GAON (3 QSO)

Also need to make 5 contacts with any LY and 5 contact with any 4X/4Z stations.

Total 16 contacts on any bands or modes.

Please send your award applications to:
Award Manager , Rolandas LY4Q  ly4q@qrz.lt , till 31.05.2020
QSL Manager , Valerijus LY2QT

Good luck,
Sekmes

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Shoot The Moon with this homebrew hardline RF divider

Wednesday 1st April 2020

There's a very interesting article on the Hackaday website regarding EME or moonbounce. They say:

You can say one thing for [Derek]’s amateur radio ambitions — he certainly jumps in with both feet. While most hams never even attempt to “shoot the Moon”, he’s building out an Earth-Moon-Earth, or EME, setup which requires this little beauty: a homebrew quarter-wave hardline RF divider, and he’s sharing the build with us.

For background, EME is a propagation technique using our natural satellite as a passive communications satellite. Powerful, directional signals can bounce off the Moon and back down to Earth, potentially putting your signal in range of anyone who has a view of the Moon at that moment. The loss over the approximately 770,000-km path length is substantial, enough so that receiving stations generally use arrays of high-gain Yagi antennas.

You can read the full Hackaday article and watch the video at
https://hackaday.com/2020/03/31/shoot-the-moon-with-this-homebrew-hardline-rf-divider/

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Update: Request to change the format of XS Manchester

Wednesday 1st April 2020

Ofcom has rejected a request from Real Radio XS to change the format of XS Manchester.

A radio station’s Format describes the type of programmes it is required to provide under its licence.

Real Radio XS requested to relaunch XS Manchester – currently a rock and speech service for 35-64 year olds – as ‘Capital XTRA’, playing urban contemporary music of an Afro-Caribbean origin.

Having carefully considered the feedback to our consultation, including the views of around 70 listeners who opposed the change, we have decided not to grant the request. We concluded, among other things, that the substantial local speech content requirements in the XS Manchester Format, which many respondents considered crucial to the Mancunian flavour of the service, make it more distinctive than the proposed new Format.

A statement setting out our decision in full is available.

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RSM COVID-19 update

Wednesday 1st April 2020

New Zealand's regulator Radio Spectrum Management (RSM) have issued the following advice:

With the increase in the COVID-19 alert to level 4, all essential RSM services will still be available. 

All of our people are working remotely, however workflows will be prioritised to essential services first, so expect some delays if your enquiry is non-essential. 

The register is available as usual and we don’t anticipate there will be any impact with the processing of licensing applications.

If you have any queries about your licence application please email us at RSMLicensing@mbie.govt.nz and we will respond to you as soon as practicable.

Please refer to the COVID19.govt.nz website for all other information from government.

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Feeling lonely? NC Ham radio operators use old tech to create a new social network

Wednesday 1st April 2020

The News&Observer reports how radio hams in North Carolina use amateur radio to stay in touch during the Coronavirus outbreak

They say:

On Sunday morning at 11, Randy Stark activated the microphone of his radio and sent the same transmission that he has sent at the same time every day, for the past nine days: “Good morning, everybody,” he said, to an audience that spanned as far east as the Outer Banks, and as far south as Pinehurst. “This is November 4 Romeo Sierra Sierra -- WN4RSS ...

“In just a moment, we’ll start taking check-ins.”

His voice crackled over the airwaves, before a short burst of static and then a brief moment of silence. Soon, check-ins from around the state commenced. So began the daily call Stark leads, from his home in Cary, in an effort to keep its participants informed and connected amid the shutdowns and stay-at-home orders related to COVID-19, the coronavirus disease.

Stark, 70, has been leading these calls since March 20. Since, they’ve grown to include about two dozen people -- all of them, to some degree, enthusiasts of amateur radio. Communicating by amateur radio, perhaps better known as ham radio, conjures thoughts of a simpler, less technologically-advanced time. It is in some ways a decades-old throwback.

Listen to the report at
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/coronavirus/article241608001.html

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Coronavirus: Spain grants special authorization to radio hams

Tuesday 31st March 2020

Spain's national amateur radio society URE has talked to their regulator and obtained permission for unlicensed people to use amateur stations during the Coronavirus lockdown

A Google translation of part of the URE announcement says:

After the publication of Royal Decree 463/2020, of March 14, declaring the state of alarm for the management of the situation of health crisis caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19), for this purpose, and with the In order to accompany radio amateurs in the exceptional situation caused by the spread of COVID-19, the URE, in its commitment to collaborate and help to cope with the complicated situation we are currently experiencing in our country, presented to the Secretary of State for Telecommunications and Digital Infrastructures a request for special authorization.

Today, the Secretary of State for Telecommunications and Digital Infrastructures has issued a resolution granting temporary authorization for the use, under certain conditions, of radio amateur stations by people who do not have the required administrative authorization under the supervision of authorized radio amateurs. , while the validity of the state of alarm and its corresponding mandatory measures of confinement.

That the use of the aforementioned radio amateur stations will be carried out under the responsibility and direct and face-to-face supervision of the radio amateur and under the conditions established in the Regulations for the use of the radioelectric public domain by radio amateurs.

Read the full URE announcement at
https://tinyurl.com/SpainURE

The authorization is at
https://avancedigital.gob.es/espectro/radioaficionados/autorizaciones/Documents/resolucion-autorizacion-radioficionados-estado-alarma.pdf

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Coronavirus: Portugal's QSL Bureau closed

Tuesday 31st March 2020

Due to the state of emergency declared in Portugal due to Covid-19, the services of the Rede dos Emissores Portugueses (REP) association are physically closed, we keep the minimum services on telework

We appreciate that you suspend the entire service of sending the QSL bureau, orders are not delivered and may be returned by postal services.

Please inform the persons responsible for QSL BUREAU do not send to Portugal at this time which includes Azores and Madeira (CQ-CU).

We wish you all good health.

Take cover and stay at home!

Best regards

73 Carlos Nora, CT1END
President of REP

REP http://www.rep.pt/

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Denby Dale amateur radio club goes to Zoom

Tuesday 31st March 2020

Our club has moved all it’s meetings to Zoom.
Members are excited about our up coming meetings.

Club meetings will now be held on Zoom on the first and third wednesday of the month

Facebook Denby Dale amateur radio club for details

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Hubnet daily net on the national emergency

Tuesday 31st March 2020

Hubnet are running a daily welfare net regarding the national emergency on the m0hoy-l echolink channel node number 973498

It starts at 0900 bst

Any ham is welcome to join in and talk about how they are coping with the national emergency

Hubnet has many repeaters and simplex links connected around the world

You can download the free echolink program from the echolink website
http://www.echolink.org/
Echolink works on windows android and ios

If you need any help with the program please email me g3zhi@hotmail.com

73 Ian g3zhi

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BBC Radio Humberside interviews radio amateur

Tuesday 31st March 2020

The RSGB report they helped to set up a brief interview on Monday, March 30, with Tony Cobb, G0WJK – Chair of Hull and District ARS – on BBC Radio Humberside breakfast show

RSGB say the presenter James Piekos, was very enthusiastic about Amateur Radio.

The interview begins just after 40:43 mins into the recording at
https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p087lp4p

RSGB
https://twitter.com/theRSGB

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Star Trek special event station

Tuesday 31st March 2020

Look for special event station GB5ST to be on the air to celebrate 54 years of the hit TV show Star Trek, spin off shows, many Star Trek movies and for the continuing new shows upcoming in the future.

The GB5ST station will be on the air starting September 1st, and through the next 6 years.

QSL via the RSGB Bureau or direct to the address on QRZ.com.

Look for more details to be forthcoming.

OPDX

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Hamvention QSO Party - something new to do!

Tuesday 31st March 2020

The Dayton Hamvention for 2020 has been cancelled. The WWROF, in cooperation with the Hamvention organizers, wanted to create a fun way for people to celebrate the Hamvention experience over the air - the Hamvention QSO Party.

This is a 12 hour fun event on Saturday of Hamvention May 16, 2020.
There are special bonus points for working W8BI, the club call of the Dayton Amateur Radio Association (DARA is the host of Hamvention) which will be activated by DARA members from their home stations.

For complete details, see:
https://wwrof.org/hamvention-qso-party

ADDED NOTE: The event is in memory of Ron, W8ILC, who became a Silent Key just two days after the Hamvention 2020 cancellation announcement.
Ron had attended every Hamvention since the beginning.

OPDX

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President's letter about COVID-19

Monday 30th March 2020

Dear members and friends,

More than ever, we're witnessing an evolution of ham radio around the world. COVID-19 is just another catalyst that forces us to think wider than before, adaptive and think about changing seriously...

Some time ago, we were skeptical to accept new modes of working, like FT4 or FT8, accusing the lack of personalization of them. In my opinion it was only a link of our recent evolution triggered by the crossing of the barrier represented by AM and CW.

Looking for solutions is a characteristic of us and to adapt is a requirement of these difficult days. We love ham radio and I recommend doing everything to keep it as part of our existence.

Read more
https://www.eurao.org/en/node/1121

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ICQPodcast - Why Coax Fails

Monday 30th March 2020

In this episode, Martin M1MRB is joined by Leslie Butterfield G0CIB, Edmund Spicer M0MNG, Dan Romanchik KB6NU and Ruth Willet KM4LAO to discuss the latest Amateur / Ham Radio news. Colin M6BOY rounds up the news in brief and this episode’s feature is - Why Coax Fails

ICQ AMATEUR/HAM RADIO PODCAST DONORS
We would like to thank Dean Sproull (VE5SPR) and our monthly and annual subscription donors for keeping the podcast advert free. To donate, please visit - http://www.icqpodcast.com/donate

News stories include:
• Scientists Create Quantum Sensor that Covers Entire Radio Frequency Spectrum
• It’s Time for Remote Amateur Radio License Exams
• WIA Board Comment
• Need a new hobby? Try amateur radio!
• Fair Lawn Amateur Radio Club Begins Daily Health & Welfare Broadcasts
• Errata to 2020-2024 Amateur Extra-Class Question Pool Released
• Hamvention Names 2020 Award Winners
• EU to Impose VAT on Low Value Parcels
• Ofcom Awards Six New Community Radio Licences

The ICQPodcast can be downloaded from http://www.icqpodcast.com

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IRTS Contest News update

Monday 30th March 2020

In the light of the current public health situation, we have made a number of changes to the arrangements for our contests.

Firstly, in line with social distancing advice, until further notice contest entries will only be accepted from single-operator stations.

Secondly, the Easter Monday 70cms and 2 metres contests and the June CW Field Day have been cancelled. An additional 80 metres Evening Counties Contest on 28th April has been added to the calendar. www.irts.ie/contests has the revised Contest Calendar for 2020.

The 80 metres Evening Counties Contest held last Tuesday was well supported, with good band conditions prevailing for most of the hour-long contest. More than 30 logs from this event have already been submitted. Even if you had only a few QSOs, Joe EI7GY the contest manager would like to receive your log, to assist in the cross-checking process.

Logs should be sent to IRTS /dot/ Contests/at/ gmail.com

IRTS

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BBC local radio teams up to offer DAB radios to over 70s

Monday 30th March 2020

BBC local radio has joined forces with loneliness charity WaveLength and a number of manufacturers and retailers to offer free DAB radios to vulnerable people over 70.

The initiative is part of the BBC’s Make a Difference campaign, launched at the onset of the coronavirus outbreak, and aims to ensure as many people as possible have access to radio in this difficult time.

The radios have been donated by a range of companies including Argos, Currys PC World, John Lewis & Partners, Pure and Roberts Radio, with Duracell providing batteries.

Thousands of radios have been set aside for the scheme, and anyone can nominate someone for one by completing an online application form from March 30th.

Tony Hall, the director-general of the BBC, said, “Local radio is a lifeline at this time and has never been more important as a source of trusted local news and information, and also as a companion for people who are isolating.

“Make A Difference is already having a huge impact right across the country with 28,000 thousand calls in just five days. It is offering support and practical solutions to people who have nowhere else to turn.

“We want everyone who needs access to the radio to have it, that’s why we’re giving away DAB radios. I’m proud we’ve been able to coordinate this initiative with our partners who have been so generous in offering their resources.”

WaveLength’s chief executive Tim Leech added, “WaveLength has been fighting loneliness for the last 80 years. We are delighted to come together with all partners to help provide radios to those over 70s most in need.
This is what Wavelength was born to do!”

Make a Difference is a coordinated campaign run across all of 39 BBC Local Radio stations in England.

It aims to work as a virtual community notice board, linking together those who want to give help with those in need.
https://www.radiotimes.com/news/radio/2020-03-27/bbc-offers-dab-radios-for-over-70s/

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Amateur Radio guide to Social Distancing

Sunday 29th March 2020

Spotted on the web ...  “In the current climate, Social Distancing is very important and Keith G6NHU has put together a reminder for radio amateurs showing how to remember the recommended distance to keep apart”  !

Thanks to Keith G6HNU for some excellent humour

Visit Keith's website - click here

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USA conducts first all-online ham radio exam

Sunday 29th March 2020

The first remote all-online amateur radio Technician license exam was carried out in the United States on March 26, 2020

Marcel Stieber @AI6MS Tweeted:

Yesterday [March 26], our working group ran an "all-virtual" amateur radio technician license exam for the first time in history! Thanks to @W5YI for being supportive of this effort. Stay tuned, we hope to have a scalable solution available for broader use soon!
https://twitter.com/AI6MS/status/1243772831415988225

Joseph Talbot sat the exam and his FCC Technician license callsign KJ7NNU was granted on March 27. His entry in the FCC database can be seen at
https://wireless2.fcc.gov/UlsApp/UlsSearch/license.jsp?licKey=4267101

Since 2010 there have been other exams sessions carried out remotely but they have had an in-person proctor present at the exam session. This was the first remote online Technician exam session carried out with everybody online.

On March 15 Sam Hulick had tweeted Ajit Pai, Chairman of the USA's communications regulator FCC, asking:
Please open up amateur radio exams/licensing remotely. People should not be attending physical classes to be able to obtain a license.

https://twitter.com/SamHulick/status/1239259361932906497

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai speedily tweeted his reply just 14 minutes later
Thanks for the suggestion. Let me look into this—stay tuned
https://twitter.com/AjitPaiFCC/status/1239262974939971585

On March 24 Stirling Mann @N0SSC reported Remote Testing Working Group Underway
http://n0ssc.com/posts/1044-anchorage-vec-remote-testing-results-in-a-new-extra-remote-testing-working-group-underway

 

ARRL reports on early remote exams

http://www.arrl.org/news/the-weather-outside-was-frightful-during-first-antarctic-ve-session
http://www.arrl.org/news/kalaupapa-hawaii-is-site-of-second-arrl-remote-ve-testing
http://www.arrl.org/news/arrl-vec-conducts-remote-exam-session-with-applicants-in-antarctica

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Ham College 63

Sunday 29th March 2020

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

1:03:01

Download

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Small Scale DAB radio licences extended again

Sunday 29th March 2020

Radio Today report that the ten trial Small Scale DAB multiplex operators have had their temporary licences extended till the end of 2021.

The contracts were awarded by Ofcom five years ago to run for just nine months, but were extended a number of times, and were due to run out on March 31st 2020.

But the regulator told the licence holders this month they will now be able to operate their multiplexes till December 31st, 2021.

In addition, a clause that Ofcom could terminate any multiplex licence with 30 days notice has now been removed.

An Ofcom spokesperson told RadioToday: “We recently communicated with trial licensees to tell them we have extended their licences until December 31, 2021, as their existing licences expire on 31 March.”

The industry has been waiting for Ofcom to begin advertising Small Scale DAB licences in other parts of the UK, following Government approval to do so last year.

During the call for expressions of interest to run multiplexes, over 400 applications were submitted covering over 300 locations.

Ofcom tells us more information regarding the roll-out plans for Small Scale DAB will be announced in the coming weeks.

https://radiotoday.co.uk/2020/03/small-scale-dab-radio-licences-extended-again/

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DXCC Country/Entity Report

Sunday 29th March 2020

According to the Amateur Radio Cluster Network for the week of Friday, 20th March, through Friday, 27th March there were 219 countries active.

Countries available:

3A, 3B8, 3D2, 3V, 3W, 4J, 4L, 4O, 4S, 4X, 5A, 5B, 5H, 5N, 5R, 5T, 5W, 5Z, 6Y, 7X, 8P, 8Q, 9A, 9G, 9H, 9J, 9K, 9M2, 9M6, 9Q, 9V, 9X, 9Y,

A2, A3, A4, A6, A7, A9, AP, BV, BY, C3, C5, C9, CE, CE0Y, CE9, CM, CN, CP, CT, CT3, CU, CX, D2, D4, DL, DU, E4, E5/s, E7, EA, EA6, EA8, EA9, EI, EK, EL, EP, ER, ES, EU, EX, EY, EZ, F, FG, FK, FM, FO, FR, FS, FY, G, GD, GI, GJ, GM, GU, GW, H4, HA, HB, HB0, HC, HH, HI, HK, HK0/a, HL, HP, HR, HS, HZ, I, IS, J3, J5, J6, J7, JA, JD/o, JT, JW, JX, JY,

K, KG4, KH0, KH2, KH6, KL, KP2, KP4, LA, LU, LX, LY, LZ, OA, OD, OE, OH, OH0, OK, OM, ON, OX, OY, OZ, P2, P4, PA, PJ2, PJ4, PJ7, PY, PY0F, PZ, S0, S2, S5, S7, S9, SM, SP, SU, SV, SV5, SV9, T33, T5, T7, TA, TF, TG, TI, TK, TN, TR, TT, TU, TZ, UA, UA2, UA9, UK, UN, UR, V3, V4, V5, V7, V8, VE, VK, VK9N, VP2E, VP2M, VP8, VP9, VR, VU, XE, XX9, YA, YB, YI, YJ, YL, YN, YO, YS, YU, YV, Z2, Z3, Z6, Z8, ZA, ZB, ZD7, ZD8, ZF, ZL, ZL7, ZP, ZS

* PLEASE NOTE: The report "could" contain "Pirate/SLIM" operations or more likely a "BUSTED CALLSIGN". As always, you never know - "Work First Worry Later".

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IOTA News from OPDX

Sunday 29th March 2020

Island activities:

AS-207. (Reminder/NEW) Members of the Russian Robinson Club (RRC) will be active as R207RRC from Kosa Dvukh Pilotov Island (RDA CK-05, WW Loc AP18gg, RRA RR-11-05) in the Chukchi Sea Coast Centre group for the first time ever between April 3-10th (estimated dates). Operators mentioned are Victor/UA3AKO, Yuri/UA0KBG and Alexander/RA3AV. Activity will be on 40/30/20/15 meters using CW, SSB and possibly FT8 (F/H). QSL via UA3AKO, direct, by the Bureau or ClubLog's OQRS. For more details and updates, watch QRZ.com or the Web page: http://r207rrc.ru
They need your financial support because of the complex and expensive logistics. PayPal address is: r207rrc@gmail.com

From RSGB HFCC (Posted March 24th, by the RSGB Communications Manager, Heather Parsons): IOTA Contest and additional contests -- We have reached a point with COVID-19 that it is inappropriate for us to run the IOTA Contest in July 2020 in its usual format. We cannot encourage our participants to operate in multi-operator groups nor to travel to island locations where visitors are not currently welcome. We would like your opinion on whether we should cancel outright or should retain a contest this year for single operator, home stations only.

We are also conscious that a large number of our members are going to be spending more time at home than normal. Unable to enjoy many of our favorite outdoor contests we are proposing a series of home-based day-time contests to entertain and support one another.

Both these issues are detailed in a survey which we invite you to complete. This is at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/RSGB_HFCC_2020. The survey is open until Friday 3 April after which the outcomes will be made public.

PLEASE NOTE: Since the Webmasters of the new <www.iota-world.org> have decided NOT to post or dedicate a Web page to announce upcoming IOTA operations, PLEASE send your IOTA operations information to the OPDX, and we will post it here in an upcoming bulletin......

Check-out the latest IOTA News from the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

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Stuck in the shack? Make use of your downtime

Saturday 28th March 2020

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 epidemic.

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.

The link to all videos can be found here http://youtube.FairLawnARC.org on the Fair Lawn Amateur Radio Club’s YouTube channel.

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 affiliation.

If you have any questions, please contact Ed Efchak at 802-282-6700 or at wx2r@arrl.net.

For more information, please visit the club's website at www.fairlawnarc.org or call 201-791-3841.

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Coronavirus: Ham radio clubs connect amid social distancing

Friday 27th March 2020

ARRL report members of the K7UAZ Amateur Radio Club in Tucson -- a student organization at the University of Arizona -- have moved their radio club meetings to the radio

The ARRLsays:

As college campuses have sent students home to finish their classes online, members of the K7UAZ Amateur Radio Club https://sites.google.com/site/k7uazclub/ in Tucson -- a student organization at the University of Arizona -- have moved their radio club meetings to the radio. K7UAZ Station Manager Curt Laumann, K7ZOO, said that when the university largely shuttered its campus, club President Ken Gourley, KM6BKU, immediately transitioned regular meetings to an on-the-air format using the university repeater. The club was already holding a weekly net on Monday nights, but the added on-air club meetings offer another opportunity to get on the radio.

In recent months, in-person K7UAZ club meetings have hosted presentations on such topics as EME (Earth-moon-Earth) communication and an AMSAT CubeSat simulation. As meetings move on the air, Gourley explained, he will send out a copy of meeting presentation slides so members can follow along. "I will lead the net and start with check-ins," he said. "We will work our way through the slides, discussing previous events, upcoming activities, the treasurer's report, projects, etc. I will take new check-ins every 5 - 10 minutes. We will conclude with officer comments and general comments. Hopefully it won't take more than 30 - 45 minutes."

ARRL staff member Bob Inderbitzen, NQ1R, who liaises for the ARRL Collegiate Amateur Radio Initiative (CARI https://www.facebook.com/groups/ARRLCARI), underscores the importance that all radio clubs encourage on-the-air activity in this challenging time. "While I know many businesses and schools have moved to online meetings and learning, I can think of many advantages for a radio club to move club meetings to on-air," Inderbitzen said. His list includes:

- Holding short meetings on the air will encourage individual club members to practice their personal radio communication capabilities. Station and skills readiness are tenets of the Amateur Radio Service.

- Nets generally help new radio amateurs gain practical operating experience. Think of this current challenge as an opportunity to encourage your club's new hams to get on the air.

- As online fatigue and a feeling of isolation will inevitably creep into our "new normal," being on-air will introduce variety into our communication practices. As many of us are now homebound working or studying, turning on a radio to connect with your ham radio peers will be welcome respite!

At K7UAZ, experienced club members provide instruction for members to access the K7UAZ ARC repeater from 2 meters and via EchoLink. The club also offers members the opportunity to borrow handheld radios or to be patched in via HF or videoconferencing, if they live too far away from the repeater.

ARRL is encouraging university radio clubs to network with other clubs and students via ARRL's CARI Facebook group. "Keeping our campus radio clubs going will ensure we are, together, advancing the art, science, and enjoyment of amateur radio. It's our collective mission,"
Inderbitzen said.

Source ARRL
http://www.arrl.org/news/ham-radio-clubs-connect-amid-social-distancing

ARRL Coronavirus COVID-19 news page
http://www.arrl.org/arrl-news-coronavirus-covid-19

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Coronavirus: Radio listening booms while music streaming stalls

Friday 27th March 2020

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.

Article continues here:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-52037461

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Noctilucent clouds over the South Pacific

Friday 27th March 2020

Are you ready to see an electric-blue cloud made of frosted meteor smoke?

The odds are improving. Not so long ago, noctilucent clouds were confined to Earth's polar regions. Recently, however, they have spread to record-low latitudes. The latest sighting comes from Macquarie Island in the South Pacific.

Visit Spaceweather.com for the full story

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The American Radio Relay League's round-up of the forthcoming week's DX activity on the amateur radio bands

Friday 27th March 2020

This week's bulletin was made possible with information provided by The Daily DX, the OPDX Bulletin, 425 DX News, DXNL, Contest Corral from QST and the ARRL Contest Calendar and WA7BNM web sites. Thanks to all.

TURKEY, TC10. Members of the Turkish Radio Amateur Club are QRV from special event station TC105GL until March 30. Activity is to commemorate the Gallipoli campaign of World War I. Activity will be on various HF bands using CW and SSB. QSL via the info on QRZ.com.

CAPE VERDE, D4. Max, IZ4DPV is active as D4F from Sao Vicente Island (AF-086) until March 31. Activity has been on the lower bands using SSB. Look for him also in the CQ WW WPX SSB Contest. QSL via home call.

ALASKA, KL7. Members of the Russian Robinson Club are planning an activation of Kiska Island (NA-070) from June 17 to 19 as KL7RRC/p.
They will be taking two rigs for CW, SSB and FT8. QSL via N7RO.

EGYPT, SU. Tom, DL2RMC is QRV as SU9TH on 40, 20, 15 and 10 meters using FT8, FT4, CW and SSB. He will be in the country until the end of April. QSL via DL2RMC, ClubLog or LoTW.

VANUATU, YJ. Chris, VK2NYA/VK2YUS will be active as YJ0CA from Port Vila, Efate Island (OC-035), until April 1. Activity is 40, 20 and 15 meters and possibly 10 meters, using SSB only. He also plans to be in the CQ WW WPX SSB Contest as a Single-Op entry. QSL direct via home call.

BRAZIL, ZZ4. Members of the Serra Lopo DX Team will be active as ZZ4A during the CQ WW WPX SSB Contest as a Multi-Single entry. QSL via PY2RMZ.

OMAN, A4. A42K will be QRV in the CQ WW WPX SSB Contest. QSL via EA5GL or LoTW.

CUBA, CO. Members of the SMP DX Club will be QRV as T42DX until March 30 on 80 to 10 meters using CW, SSB, RTTY, FT8 and FT4, including and entry in the CQ WW WPX SSB Contest. QSL via CO2AME.

SCOTLAND, GS0. Members of the Scarlett Point Club are active as GS0SP. Their length of stay is unknown. QSL via LoTW only.

ETHIOPIA, ET. Ken, K4ZW will be QRV as ET3AA starting March 27 for one week, pending successful flight arrangements.

MARTINIQUE, FM. Laurent, FM5BH will be active in the CQ WW WPX SSB Contest on all bands. QSL via W3HNK or LoTW. Also, Miguel, EA1BP will be active as TO7BP during the CQ WW WPX SSB Contest. Outside of contest he will be signing FM/EA1BP on various HF bands. QSL to home call via the Bureau.

EASTER ISLAND, XR0. A Polish team will be active as XR0YSP from September 15 to 30. Operators include Jan, SP3CYY, Jurek, SP3GEM, Wlodek, SP6EQZ, Janusz, SP6IXF, Roman, SP9FOW and Piotr, SP9RCL.Activity will be on 160 to 10 meters using CW, SSB and FT8. QSL via SP6IXF, ClubLog's OQRS, LoTW or via the Bureau.

THE NETHERLANDS, PA75. Operators Harm, PA0HPG, Michel, PA0VCC, Ad, PA2PCH, Nico, PA3ADU, Gerrie, PA7TT, Harm, PD0GIB, Bert, PD2B and Gerard, PD2VW will activate special event station PA75ASN from April 1 to May 7 to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Assen City. Operations will be on 80, 60, 40, 30, 20, 17 and 15 meters using CW, SSB and FT8/FT4. QSL via PA0VCC, direct or by the Bureau.

LUXEMBOURG, LX. The LX7I team celebrates its 20th anniversary with the call sign LX20I during the CQ WW WPX SSB Contest. QSL via LX2A.

CZECH REPUBLIC, OK. The Czechoslovak DX Club celebrates its 30th anniversary on the air as OL30DXC until the end of the year. QSL via OK2PXJ.

THIS WEEKEND ON THE RADIO
The CQ WW WPX SSB Contest, FOC QSO Party and QCX Challenge are on tap for this weekend. The QRP Fox Hunt, Phone Fray, CWops Mini-CWT Test and UKEICC 80 Meter Contest are all on April 1.

Please see March QST, page 79, and the ARRL and WA7BNM contest web sites for details

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FREE UK Foundation License online course

Thursday 26th March 2020

Hi,
I have created a FREE UK foundation license course. I have designed this because of the COVID-19 allowing people to study material for their exam.

it is called
'Gettin tae grips' with the UK Foundation Amateur Radio License

Available here:
https://gm6dx.thinkific.com/

Billy GM6DX

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Electromagnetic Field 2020 is cancelled

Thursday 26th March 2020

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.

An announcement 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.


Read the full announcement at
https://blog.emfcamp.org/2020/03/25/emf-2020-cancelled/

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ISWL callsigns for April 2020

Thursday 26th March 2020

The following ISWL club callsigns will be used throughout the month of April 2020:

G4BJC and GX4BJC - Operated from Heathfield, in East Sussex, by Arthur, G0KOC (WAB Square - TQ62 - England, IOTA EU-005, WLOTA 1841)..

MX1SWL/A - Operated /A, from Walton on the Naze, in Essex, by Herbie, G6XOU (WAB Square - TM22 - England, IOTA EU-005, WLOTA 1841).

ALL QSLs will be handled by Dick, M5DIK - The QSL Manager and NOT the individual operator

The I.S.W.L. is a member of the European PSK Club. All QSL info is on www.iswl.org.uk or www.qrzcq.com or www.qrz.com or via www.eQSL.cc.

NO LoTW

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Ofcom awards six new community radio licences

Thursday 26th March 2020

Ofcom has just announced the award of six new community radio licences in England.

Licences have been awarded to:

A news release with more information is available

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Hamfest and convention cancellations

Thursday 26th March 2020

The ARRL has created a Web page that lists all hamfests and conventions that have advised the League that they are canceling scheduled events due to the concerns over the coronavirus (currently there are 31 listed; up from 17 last week):
http://www.arrl.org/hamfests/search/page:1/keywords:Canceled/model:Event

* ADDED NOTE: ARRL Suspending Tours and Guest Visits to Headquarters, W1AW:
http://www.arrl.org/news/view/arrl-suspending-tours-and-guest-visits-to-headquarters-w1aw

OPDX

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Turkish special event

Thursday 26th March 2020

Members of the Turkish Radio Amateur Club (TRAC)[YM3KB], have activated special event station TC105GL and will be on the air until March 30th.

Activity is to commemorate the Gallipoli (GELIBOLU) campaign (March 18, 1915) of World War I.

Activity will be on various HF bands using CW and SSB.

QSL via the info on QRZ.com.

OPDX

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Coronavirus: Radio amateurs to help university design low-cost ventilator

Wednesday 25th March 2020

ARRL reports 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

The ARRL say the aim is that it 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

Source ARRL
http://www.arrl.org/news/radio-amateurs-team-up-to-help-university-design-low-cost-ventilator

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It’s time for remote amateur radio license exams

Wednesday 25th March 2020

Dan Romanchik KB6NU writes in his blog about the need for remote amateur radio license exams

Dan notes that in the USA remote exams have been permitted since 2014 but to-date only Alaska has implemented them.

Read Dan's blog post at
https://www.kb6nu.com/its-time-for-remote-amateur-radio-license-exams/

In the British Isles, TestReach, the company that does the online amateur radio exams, is capable of providing a remote invigilation facility so people can do exams from home, see
https://www.testreach.com/remote-invigilation-online-proctoring.html

Page 80 of the July 2019 issue of RadCom notes:
“With remote invigilation, candidates do not need to take the exam at an RSGB-registered exam centre but can take the exam at home. This will be of assistance to candidates with mobility issues or where there is no access to a local examination centre”

As yet this remote invigilation service has not been enabled for amateur radio exams.

TestReach article: The Radio Society of Great Britain Depends on TestReach to Provide Innovative, Efficient and User-Friendly Online Exams
https://www.testreach.com/customer-story-radio-society-great-britain.html

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The Space Weather Woman

Wednesday 25th March 2020

The latest space weather forecast from Dr Tamitha Skov

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Coronavirus: RSGB HFCC and VHFCC update to recent rule changes

Wednesday 25th March 2020

The RSGB HF and VHF Contest Committees have made an announcement regarding Portable, Alternative address and Multi-Operator stations following the government’s updated position on people’s movements

Read the announcement at
https://rsgb.org/main/blog/news/rsgb-notices/2020/03/24/rsgb-hfcc-and-vhfcc-update-to-recent-rule-changes/

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Ofcom: Approach to the coronavirus (Covid-19)

Wednesday 25th March 2020

This is an unprecedented time for our country, and keeping communications going across the UK has never been more important.

Over the next few months Ofcom’s sectors will play a vital role in supporting families, businesses and individuals as we all adapt the way we live, work and communicate in the wake of the coronavirus.

See more about what this means for our areas of work.

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Easter Island DXpedition

Wednesday 25th March 2020

A Polish team will be active as XR0YSP from Easter Island (SA-001, WW Loc. DG52GU) between September 15-30th.

Operators mentioned are Jan/SP3CYY, Jurek/SP3GEM, Wlodek/SP6EQZ, Janusz/SP6IXF, Roman/SP9FOW and Piotr/SP9RCL.

Activity will be on 160-10 meters using CW, SSB and FT8.
Suggested frequencies are:
CW - 1814.5, 3530, 7030, 10110, 14030, 18085, 21030, 24905 & 28030 kHz
SSB - 1840, 3793, 7180, 14265, 18125, 21280, 24970 and 28445 kHz
FT8 - 1840, 3573, 7074, 10136, 14074, 18100, 21074, 24915 and 28074 kHz
FT8(F/H) - 1908 (JA), 3580, 7080, 10139, 14090, 18095, 21090, 24910
and 28090 kHz

QSL via SP6IXF, ClubLog's OQRS (recommend), LoTW or by the Bureau. LoTW and e-QSL: All logs will be uploaded within 6 months after the DXpedition
ends.

There is now a Web page available at: http://xr0ysp.dxing.pl

OPDX

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Covid-19 impact

Wednesday 25th March 2020

The following expeditions have all been cancelled due to the pandemic:

VU4R March 20-31
TU2R March 23-April 03
FM/EA1BP March 24-31
ZF2PG March 25-30
ZC4MK March 26-April 01
VP5/W2TT March 26-April 02
VP5/AF3K March 26-April 02
VP5V March 28-29
TO7BP March 28-29
NH7A March 28-29
XW4XR March 30-April 12
4V5H May 09-15
V62P May 2020
V62S May 2020
PZ5G Easter 2020
ZA/HG2DX June 21-July 03
DU2/SP5APW April 2020

Please also watch the DX portal sites for up-to-date information.

DXNL

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IOTA News from the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

Wednesday 25th March 2020

Island activities:
Compiled by Andreas, DK5ON

IOTA QRGs
CW: 28040 24920 21040 18098 14040 10114 7030 3530 kHz
SSB: 28560 28460 24950 21260 18128 14260 7055 3760 kHz

AN-008; various, South Orkney Islands: The VP8PJ DXpedition logged 83,778 QSOs with 20,595 different callsigns (Europe 52.67%, North America 34.78%, Asia 6.44%, and 6.11% with the rest of the world).
More than 19000 contacts were made on 20m, over 16000 on 17m, and 30 and 40m netted over 14000 QSOs each. Almost half of the QSOs were made on CW (47.93%), FT8 (32.40%), SSB (16.77%), RTTY (2.91%).  For a log to search see:
https://www.m0urx.com/oqrs/logsearch.php?dxcallsign=VP8PJ

EU-116; GD/MD, Isle of Man: Billy/GM6DX, Iain/GM5YTT, and Stevie/GM2TT will be active as GT0SP in the WPX contest. QRV also before and after on 160 to 15m on CW, SSB, and FT8 as GD6DX, GD5YTT, and GD2TT. QSL via LoTW.

SA-001; CE0, Easter Island: Mike/VE7ACN had to cancel his operation as CE0Y/VE7ACN due to cancelled flights.

Deutscher Amateur Radio Club
e-mail: iota@dxhf.darc.de

RSGB IOTA website

Check-out the latest IOTA News bulletin from OPDX

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Ofcom engineers shine a light on interference issue

Tuesday 24th March 2020

When they investigated a case of RF interference Ofcom discovered it was caused by polluting light bulbs

The team were contacted by National Air Traffic Services to let them know that aircrafts flying in and out of Glasgow airport were being affected by interference when they were between 6,000 and 10,000 feet in the air.

The interference was affecting voice communications between the controllers on the ground and the aircraft. Whenever the aircraft were in the vicinity of the interference the crew would not hear any air traffic control messages as the signal was swamped by the noise of the interference.

Read the full Ofcom story at
https://www.ofcom.org.uk/about-ofcom/latest/features-and-news/interference-issue/

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Radio amateurs participate in Russian international contest

Tuesday 24th March 2020

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.

Mass 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 international competition.

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 assemble.

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 competition.

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.

Source Gulf Times
https://m.gulf-times.com/story/659033/Amateur-radio-buffs-participate-in-Russian-interna

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Comet ATLAS is half as wide as the sun

Tuesday 24th March 2020

Comet ATLAS (C/2019 Y4) just keeps getting better.

The rapidly brightening emerald green comet is now half as wide as the sun. It's not yet visible to the naked eye, but could soon be.

Visit Spaceweather.com for observing tips and the full story.

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AMSAT office closed until further notice

Tuesday 24th March 2020

Due to Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan's order closing all non-essential businesses in the State of Maryland in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the AMSAT office is closed until further notice, effective today at 5:00pm EDT.

While the office is closed, AMSAT will continue to accept new and renewal memberships. However, membership packets will not be mailed until the office reopens. T-shirts, hats, and other items stocked in the office will also not be available until the office reopens. Digital downloadable content, including SatPC32 and MacDoppler will remain available from the AMSAT store. Antenna, name badge, and awards orders will be forwarded for processing.

The March/April issue of The AMSAT Journal will be produced on time.

However, it may only be possible to publish it in digital format. Stay tuned for further updates.

Any questions about memberships, orders, or office operations can be sent to info at amsat.org. Please note that no mail or phone service will be available until the office reopens. Vendors billing AMSAT for goods or services may email the above address to arrange payment.

AMSAT office

ANS

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CQ Magazine offers free issues

Tuesday 24th March 2020

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 CQ!

View 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!
Stay home . . stay well!

OPDX

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Official QO-100 International Emergency Frequency

Monday 23rd March 2020

In order to coordinate potential emergency communications, a frequency has been assigned as the international emergency frequency on the QO-100 geostationary satellite narrow band transponder

QO-100 International Emergency Frequency
Downlink: 10489.860 MHz
Uplink: 2400.360 MHz
SSB channel: max. 2.7kHz bandwidth

All users on QO-100 are encouraged to monitor this frequency, but keep it clear for emergency traffic!

QO-100 Information
https://amsat-uk.org/satellites/geo/eshail-2/

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AMSAT Treasurer's report posted

Monday 23rd March 2020

During the AMSAT Board of Directors meeting held March 17, 2020 Robert Bankston, KE4AL, AMSAT Treasurer presented a report to the board members.

Bankston said," Now that I’ve had a few months to settle into my new position as AMSAT Treasurer and spend a little time digging through the numbers, I thought it was time to share what I have found and set the record straight about some of the misinformation that is being spread about AMSAT’s financial position.

" Despite rumors and misquotes of AMSAT being on an unsustainable path, let’s look at where we really are and how we are doing.
- Over the past ten years (2010-2019), AMSAT has averaged a $34,357
- increase in net assets (what most people refer to as profits) per year.
- Our combined revenues over expenditures (profits) for the past 5 years (2015-2019) were $110,962, which includes launching 4 amateur satellites into space, readying RadFxSat-2 (Fox-1E) and the ARISS InterOperable Radio System for flight, and getting started on GOLF and Lunar Gateway projects.
- In 2019, AMSAT generated $756,256 in revenues with $617,425 in expenditures.

"Year to year fluctuations are generally a result of timing differences between project fundraising efforts and when AMSAT needs to spend money. In addition, AMSAT maintains its reserves in investment accounts, which are subject to market price fluctuations and must be included in our financial statements.

"2018 is a perfect example:
- AMSAT authorized a $62,055 payment to NASA, which was not reimbursed until 2019.
- AMSAT spent $62,397 on the initial hardware development for GOLF.
- AMSAT launched two satellites in 2018, Fox-1D (AO-92) and Fox-1 Cliff (AO-95).
- AMSAT had to report a $77,128 fair market value loss in investments (which was fully recovered in 2019)."

Bankston adds, "Don’t get me wrong – there is certainly room for improvement. I have already identified and started to implement cost- saving and budgetary control measures that can and will make us more efficient. As AMSAT Treasurer, it is my job to safeguard AMSAT’s resources from both fraud and waste, and I intend to do exactly that.

I look forward to what more we can achieve."

In his report Bankston also summarized a number of other financial matters.

Membership

- Membership revenues continue to rise and have increased 65.68% in just that past 5 years, all without any increase in dues rates for its members.
- New memberships, renewals, life memberships, and AMSAT Store purchases for the first three months of 2020 are on track to exceed the same revenue sources for 2019.

Transparency

AMSAT is fully committed to financial transparency. Its financial statements and regulatory informational reports (Form 990's) are and have always been publicly available. Furthermore, to add confidence, an independent certified public accounting firm reviews AMSAT's financial statements and includes their report with our financials.

AMSAT financial reports and related documents are available online at www.amsat.org/audit-and-other-financial-reports/.

Solvency

AMSAT is on a solid financial footing and headed in the right direction. AMSAT started this year with over $134,000 in cash and over $591,000 in investments. The level of its reserves, its ability to generate more revenues than expenses, and its ability to continue to grow its members has AMSAT fiscally positioned to accept whatever challenges and opportunities tomorrow brings.

Bankston concluded his report by saying, "AMSAT does not expect to fully fund itself with membership dues. Member dues are meant to cover member services and benefits. Funding for everything else must come from other sources.

"In 2019, member dues accounted for only $134,570 of AMSAT’s total revenues. The remaining $621,686 came from the kind hearts of our donors and the incredible work of our volunteers – seeking out new revenue streams and securing grants to further support our mission.

"We, at AMSAT, are keeping our promise to Keep Amateur Radio in Space and doing so in a fiscally responsible manner."

This report including graphs and charts can be seen at https://www.amsat.org/amsat-treasurers-report.

Robert Bankston, KE4AL
AMSAT Treasurer

ANS

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Clubs/branches to cease meetings

Monday 23rd March 2020

The COVID-19 situation continues to deteriorate across the globe with an undoubted upshift in cases across the Middle East, Europe and the Americas.

This is a particularly fluid time with NZ Government moving into top gear to delay the onset in New Zealand and prepare for the worst-case scenario should that occur. We do not want to have the situation in Italy and other
countries where the health system is overwhelmed, and the mortality rate is very high.

There is little doubt what we are seeing unfold before us is a once in a generation crisis on a global scale to which we in New Zealand are, for now, at a relative distance – this is highly likely to change. This virus is different to anything we would have encountered in our lifetime– it is more contagious than the flu, has asymptomatic transmission and there is no human
immunity to it at this time. A vaccine will be a minimum of 12 months away (likely longer of general distribution) according to health experts and we are heading into the winter period.

Once the initial upswing in infections tails off, be in no doubt that a second round of infections will occur, and this will be more severe than the first and more dramatic (based on the 1917/1918 Spanish Flu pandemic).

While there is no community transmission in NZ at this stage, it is inevitable that this will occur at some point which means we, as members, need to maintain a close watch on the developments and look for the “trigger points” which will dictate the way you conduct your club business. A large portion of our clubs are in the “at risk” category and as such you have a duty of care to your membership.

It would be easy to overreact so we need to take our advice from Government agencies and respond in a evidence based manner.

Therefore, NZART Council is recommending that all clubs and branches cease all face-to-face meetings immediately, including committee meetings.
Those approaching their AGM’s need to cancel or postpone those as well (aka NZART AGM).

Meetings could be held on your local VHF/UHF Repeater for example.
Please keep informed by visiting the Government web site https://covid19.govt.nz

NZART Council

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IARU Region 2 COVID-19 response

Monday 23rd March 2020

Radio amateurs throughout the Americas share the concerns of everyone about the seriousness of the COVID-19 outbreak. Governments all over the world are advising “social distancing” and “self-isolation” to slow the spread of the virus and to give health services the opportunity to minimize its impacts on all of us.

Amateur radio offers a unique way for us to maintain our social contacts while remaining physically separate from each other.  Many radio cubs and national societies are activating local repeater and other emergency communications networks to be prepared should the need for their services arise.  Now is a good time to get on the air to exercise our equipment, our skills, learn something new by trying a new band or mode, and expand our circle of friends.

Radio Club meetings, multi-operator contests, and other events that bring radio amateurs together make social distancing difficult. We must recognise that many radio amateurs are in the older, higher risk age groups.  We need to act responsibly to reduce the risk of exposure to our fellow amateurs, our families, and everyone else that we may come in contact with. 

The IARU R2 Executive Committee asks that all radio amateurs, radio clubs, and national societies modify or suspend any in-person activities while this ongoing health emergency continues.

73

Ramón Santoyo, XE1KK

President - IARU Region 2  

IARU Region 2 https://iaru-r2.org/

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Leaflet: 'Amateur Radio in the GHz Bands'

Monday 23rd March 2020

The UK Microwave Group has made available a PDF of their trifold printed leaflet 'Amateur Radio in the GHz Bands'

It aims to inform the public who may ask what you are doing when out portable or for publicising amateur microwaves

PDF: https://microwavers.org/files/UKuG_Leaflet.pdf

Printed copies: leaflets<at>microwavers.org

 

UK Microwave Group
https://microwavers.org/
https://twitter.com/UKGHZ

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IRTS Counties Contest

Monday 23rd March 2020

The IRTS 80 metres Evening Counties Contest takes place this Tuesday 24th March at 20:00 UTC.

This is a one hour contest with separate SSB only and SSB/CW sections. Multipliers are the EI and GI counties; for EI and GI stations, overseas DXCC entities also count as multipliers.

See www.irts.ie/contests for links to the rules, which include permitted frequency ranges. Note that there is a upper limit of 100 watts PEP for this contest.

Due to social distancing advice, entries for this contest will only be accepted from single-operator stations.

With the current constraints on face to face contact, an event like this contest is a great opportunity for local ops to meet up on the air; we hope that many who would not normally participate in contests will join in on this occasion.

IRTS

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DXCC Country/Entity Report

Monday 23rd March 2020

According to the Amateur Radio Cluster Network for the week of Sunday, 15th March, through Sunday, 22nd March there were 222 countries active.

Countries available:

3A, 3B8, 3B9, 3D2, 3V, 3W, 4J, 4L, 4O, 4S, 4X, 5A, 5B, 5H, 5N, 5R, 5T, 5W, 5Z, 6W, 6Y, 7X, 8P, 8Q, 9A, 9G, 9H, 9J, 9K, 9M2, 9M6, 9Q, 9V, 9X, 9Y,

A2, A3, A4, A5, A6, A7, A9, AP, BV, BY, C3, C6, C9, CE, CE0X, CE0Y, CE9, CM, CN, CP, CT, CT3, CU, CX, D2, D4, DL, DU, E4, E5/s, E7, EA, EA6, EA8, EA9, EI, EK, EL, EP, ER, ES, ET, EU, EX, EY, F, FG, FK, FM, FO, FP, FR, FS, FY, G, GD, GI, GJ, GM, GU, GW, H4, HA, HB, HB0, HC, HH, HI, HK, HL, HP, HR, HS, HZ, I, IS, J3, J6, J7, JA, JD/o, JT, JW, JX, JY,

K, KG4, KH0, KH2, KH4, KH6, KL, KP2, KP4, LA, LU, LX, LY, LZ, OA, OD, OE, OH, OH0, OK, OM, ON, OX, OY, OZ, P2, P4, PA, PJ2, PJ4, PJ5, PJ7, PY, PY0F, PZ, S0, S2, S5, S7, SM, SP, ST, SU, SV, SV5, SV9, T33, T5, T7, TA, TF, TG, TI, TK, TN, TR, TT, TU, TZ,

UA, UA2, UA9, UK, UN, UR, V2, V3, V5, V7, V8, VE, VK, VK9N, VP2E, VP2V, VP8, VP8/h, VP9, VR, VU, XE, YA, YB, YI, YL, YO, YS, YU, YV, Z2, Z3, Z6, Z8, ZA, ZB, ZD7, ZD8, ZF, ZL, ZL7, ZP, ZS

* PLEASE NOTE: The report "could" contain "Pirate/SLIM" operations or more likely a "BUSTED CALLSIGN". As always, you never know - "Work First Worry Later".

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IOTA News from OPDX

Monday 23rd March 2020

Island activities:

NA-070. Members of the Russian Robinson Club team will be active as KL7RRC from Kiska Island between June 10-15th. Operators mentioned are Vyacheslav/OK8AU, Yuri/N3QQ, Yuri/UA9OBA and possibly Tim/NL8F and Alexey/NW7M. Activity will be on 40/30/20/17/15/12/10/6 meters using CW, SSB and FT8(FH), with three stations. The frequencies will be published on their Web page at:
https://www.na-234.com

QSL via N7RO. All donors will receive QSL direct.

NA-149. Col, MM0NDX, reports that the 4V5H team will not activate one of Haiti's IOTA coastal islands in May as planned, but will postpone their operation for sometime later this year.

SA-091. Members of the Russian Robinson Club, who were active as XR8RRC from Wellington Island (SA-032), will not be active from Riesco Island (SA-091) nor Bolivia (CP) because Chile has closed all their airports due to the coronavirus.

PLEASE NOTE: Since the Webmasters of the new <www.iota-world.org> have decided NOT to post or dedicate a Web page to announce upcoming IOTA operations, PLEASE send your IOTA operations information to the OPDX, and we will post it here in an upcoming bulletin......

Check-out the latest IOTA News from the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

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Coronavirus: IARU Contests

Sunday 22nd March 2020

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 to cope

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 2020.

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 review.

Single operator contests, however, remain a great way for those forced to stay at home to enjoy the magic of amateur radio!
 
Don Beattie, G3BJ
President IARU Region 1
https://iaru-r1.org/

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Amateur radio satellite spreads Fight Coronavirus message

Sunday 22nd March 2020

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:

The satellite spreads the text message
"Stay Healthy, Stay at Home #LawanCorona".

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.

Sonny explained, 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 Indonesia.

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.

Source ORARI https://tinyurl.com/IndonesiaORARI

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Remote from rare IOTA and DXCC

Sunday 22nd March 2020

A lot of new DXCC and IOTA on HamSphere 4.0
LIBYA, KALININGRAD, PITCAIRN, ST. MAARTEN, ANDORRA, IRAQ, GIBRALTAR, IRAN, BURKINA FASO, NEW CALEDONIA, SAO TOME AND PRINCIPE, BOLIVIA, SAUDI ARABIA, SWAZILAND, GUERNSEY, SYRIA, GUADELOUPE, ALBANIA, TAJIKISTAN, URUGUAY, DJIBOUTI, TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS, ARUBA, MACEDONIA, OMAN, PANAMA, NORTHERN MARIANA ISLANDS, AMERICAN SAMOA, PALESTINIA, MARTINIQUE, FRENCH POLYNESIA, VIRGIN ISLANDS (U.S.), GUATEMALA, TAIWAN, CUBA, GUAM, SERBIA, SURINAME, CAPE VERDE, SUDAN, NICARAGUA, UZBEKISTAN, CAYMAN ISLANDS, GUINEA, BERMUDA, BARBADOS, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, BELARUS, PERU, BANGLADESH, SOLOMON ISLANDS, MYANMAR, EGYPT, PARAGUAY, ECUADOR, JERSEY, ANTARCTICA, SAINT HELENA, PAKISTAN, REUNION, ICELAND, FRENCH GUIANA, GEORGIA, JORDAN, SOMALIA, NIGERIA, GRENADA, CAMBODIA, JAMAICA, BOTSWANA, EL SALVADOR, SARDINIA, MOZAMBIQUE, GREENLAND, CURACAO and many more.

More of 60 REMOTE from rare QTH in the world by amateur radio on HS 4.0 It is possible now if you are a Ham to have REMOTE from many QTH in the world exept some countries like North koréa, etc. It is also possible to work RM even you are not a Ham. Like 140RM1 in Antarctica, Concordia Station is a scientific base built in Antarctica by the French Polar Institute (IPEV) and the Italian Antarctic Programme (PNRA).

In this period of confinement because of the virus it is nice to use Virtual Ham Radio Via Internet. Many amateur radio have problems for antenna or too much QRM and stop amateur radio. With VoIP no problems like this.

We have virtual propagation which is very realistic, directives antennas, ans many thinks like on real amateur radio, QSL cards, CW, contest, awards, etc.

I hope to contact you from my remote on FY, FJ, FO and FT or with my normal call near Paris. You can try HamSphere ( you need a computer, a microphone and internet connection ) If you are a ham enter your call, if not you will receive an identifiant like 26HS12345.

Free tr!ial for one month
http://hs4.hamsphere.com/download

73 de FØDUW Frank

https://hamspheref0duw
.blogspot.com/2020/02/hamsphere-40-free-trial-for-one-month.html

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Coronavirus: How is IARU adjusting to COVID-19?

Saturday 21st March 2020

Don Beattie G3BJ provides an update on how the IARU is dealing, as of March 19, with the restrictions now in place to slow the spread of COVID-19

On the IARU-R1 site he writes:

The ITU has cancelled some meetings, postponed others, and converted still others into E-meetings with no in-person dimension. ITU Headquarters in Geneva is not accessible to visitors until April 17 'at the earliest.'
IARU representatives are adjusting their plans accordingly.

The largest amateur radio gathering in Europe, Ham Radio in Friedrichshafen, Germany, is still scheduled for June 26–28 and plans are going forward for a two-part IARU stand, including a dedicated one for youth. Whether the event will take place is unknown at this time.

The IARU Region 1 Executive Committee was scheduled to meet April 17–19. A series of virtual meetings will be held instead.

IARU Region 2 was planning workshops on Emergency Communications and Satellite Communications in Trinidad & Tobago, May 30–31, but has announced that the workshops will be held online instead. Interest and registrations have surged since the announcement. These workshops will be held in English but preparations are underway 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 October.

Reminder: World Amateur Radio Day, April 18, is just a few weeks away! Help us celebrate amateur radio’s contributions to society, the 95th anniversary of the founding of the IARU, and that amateur radio is the best way to practice social distancing!


Source IARU Region 1
https://www.iaru-r1.org/2020/how-is-iaru-adjusting-to-covid-19/

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RSGB launch coronavirus updates page

Saturday 21st March 2020

The RSGB has launched a new Coronavirus updates web page to serve radio amateurs

The Society Tweeted:

These are challenging times. However, licensed radio amateurs have a great way of keeping in touch across the world. We have launched a new Coronavirus updates page, bringing together some positive ideas as well as our important announcements:
https://rsgb.org/main/news/coronavirus-updates/

Follow the RSGB at https://twitter.com/theRSGB

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Foundations of Amateur Radio

Saturday 21st March 2020

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 emergency.

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 become prepared.

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 mean?

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 that?

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 messages?

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 an emergency.

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 it?

I'm Onno VK6FLAB

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Women radio hams majority in LABRE-MA board

Saturday 21st March 2020

LABRE MA, the amateur radio society in the Brazilian state of Maranhão, has announced its new board, the majority of whom are women

A translation of the announcement on the LABRE site reads:

I don't remember seeing a board with its majority formed from YL. Congratulations and our best wishes for success.

According to the election held on March 6, 2020, at the headquarters of LABRE / MA, the following were elected for the 2020/2022 biennium, as follows:

Chief Executive Officer: Alcy PU8MAF
Vice-President: Ana PR8ANA
Chairman of the Board: Erinet PR8MEF
Vice-Chairman of the Board : Maria da Glória PR8GL
Social Director: Inglide PU8MIN
Administrative Director: Jheniffer PU8OJC
Council Secretary: Ely PU8OES
Financial Director: Lima PR8DX

We invite everyone to visit our website www.labre-ma.org.br there you will find all the other directors.
 

Jheniffer - Inglide - Glória - Erinet - Ana and Alcy

Source LABRE https://tinyurl.com/BrazilLABRE

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WIA 2020 Annual Conference cancelled

Saturday 21st March 2020

The Wireless Institute of Australia wishes to advise members and friends that the WIA 2020 Annual Conference has been cancelled.

This is to comply with the Federal Government directive that precludes meetings or gatherings of more than 100 people and to also refrain from unnecessary travel.

The WIA apologise for any inconvenience caused.

A request has been made to ASIC for a delay in holding the Annual General Meeting.

The WIA 2021 Annual Conference will be held in Hobart and the date will be advised soon.

Again we apologise for any inconvenience caused and we hope to see you in Hobart in 2021.

73, WIA Board.

Wireless Institute of Australia

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Coronavirus: Spain's URE makes magazine PDF freely available

Saturday 21st March 2020

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 available.

Download "Abril 2020 Revista" from  
https://ure.es/descargas/?categoria=revistas#

URE in Google English
https://tinyurl.com/SpainURE

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Coronavirus: W&S Open and Serving Your Hobby

Saturday 21st March 2020

A statement from Waters and Stanton about their Service to the Hobby during the Coronavirus crisis period by Peter Waters G3OJV

Watch CORONAVIRUS - We Are Open and Serving Your Hobby

Waters and Stanton
https://twitter.com/wsplc

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EU to impose VAT on low value parcels

Saturday 21st March 2020

Elektor magazine reports on an EU regulation that will adversely impact electronic hobbyists, including radio amateurs, in the 27 EU member countries

"Following an amendment to Regulation (EU) 2015/2446 on EU customs rules, from 1 January 2021 it will be possible to declare goods up to €150 with a simplified customs declaration. The existing VAT exemption for goods up to 22 € will thus be abolished - the popular shipments from China with the label "Gift, 10$" will then be a thing of the past."

Read the full Elektor magazine story at
https://www.elektormagazine
.com/news/new-eu-customs-regulation-ends-vat-exemption-for-under-22-parcels

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Online Satellite and Emergency Communications Workshops

Friday 20th March 2020

IARU Region 2 is holding two amateur radio workshops online, for Satellite Communications and Emergency Communications

IARU R2 Emergency Communications Workshop 30 May 2020

This 3-hour online workshop is an opportunity for all English speaking interested Radio Amateurs in the Caribbean portion of IARU Region 2 to meet:

- Share information on Amateur Radio response to emergencies and disasters in IARU Region 2 with a focus on the Caribbean.
- Increase the capacity for Amateurs to respond to large scale, multinational communication emergencies and disasters
- Provide basic Winlink training and share experience
- Provide an opportunity for national level Amateur Radio emergency communications leaders to network and increase the level of cooperation and collaboration.
- Attendees will be Amateurs with a high level of expertise or interest in providing disaster and emergency communications

IARU R2 Satellite Communication Workshop 31 May 2020

This 3-hour online workshop is an opportunity for all English speaking Radio Amateurs in IARU Region2 and specifically the Caribbean to meet and share their experience with amateur satellite communications. No prior experience in satellite communications is required.

Tentative workshop agenda will include:

- How to get started in satellite communications
- A practical demonstration using inexpensive and simple components (Handy and portable Antennas)
- Useful tools, helpful tips, techniques and websites to find information on how to get started
- Explain the different components of a ground station for more  advanced users (LNA, Cross-Polarized Antennas, phased lines, coaxial loss at VHF and upper frequencies, equipment, SDRs, etc.).
- Using satellite communications as a way to encourage young people to become Amateurs and generate connections and projects with local universities, college and schools in STEM programs
- Attendees are all Amateurs interested in satellite communications, whether experienced or wanting to learn how to get started

Workshops General Information:

- Working language will be English for both workshops.
- Registration: https://www.iaru-r2.org/workshop-2020 If you wish to be a speaker, please also indicate your topic.

Joaquin Solana, XE1R    
Editor de Noticias - News Editor - IARU R2
https://iaru-r2.org/

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Errata to 2020-2024 Amateur Extra-Class Question Pool released

Friday 20th March 2020

The NCVEC Question Pool Committee has issued errata to the new (2020-2024) Amateur Extra-class question pool that goes into effect on July 1.

Most changes are minor, involving typographical or style errors.

In the syllabus at the top of the pool:
E1C - Changed "bandwith" to "bandwidth"
E3B - In sub-element heading, deleted "grayline"
E9D - Changed "feedpoint" to "feed point"

In sub-element 3, changed "41 questions" to "40 questions."

In the question pool:
E1C13 - In answer C, changed "Utilities Telecom Council" to "Utilities Technology Council (UTC)"
E1C14 - In question, changed "Utilities Telecom Commission" to "Utilities Technology Council (UTC)"
E1D03 - In answer, choices C and D, changed "earth" to "Earth"
E2A02 - In question, changed "inverted" to "inverting"
E3B - In sub-element heading, deleted "grayline"
E3B08 - Question withdrawn from pool and marked as deleted. The remaining questions in E3B were not renumbered, leaving 11 questions.
E5B04 - In question, changed "220 microfarad" and "1 megohm" to "220-microfarad" and "1-megohm"
E7C09 - In answer B, added a space between "1" and "kHz"
E8C10 - In question, changed "symbol" to "data"
E9C02 - In question, changed "1/4 wavelength" to "1/4-wavelength"
E9C03 - In question, changed "1/2 wavelength" to "1/2-wavelength"
E9D - in sub-element heading, changed "feedpoint" to "feed point"
E9E09 - Removed brackets after answer (C).

The Amateur Extra-class question pool will be updated to reflect these changes. Submit feedback or questions to the Question Pool Committee via email at, qpcinput@ncvec.org .

ARRL

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Coronavirus: RSGB Amateur Radio Exam bookings paused

Friday 20th March 2020

The RSGB has announced that with immediate effect and until further notice, the RSGB Exam Department will not be accepting or processing any new exam bookings

Read the RSGB announcement at

https://rsgb.org/main/blog/uncategorized/2020/03/19/new-exam-bookings-paused-until-further-notice/

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OARC suspend meetings

Friday 20th March 2020

Following the government's advice regarding Coronavirus. Oldham Amateur Radio Club Greater Manchester are temporarily suspending all club meetings.

Club on-air nets will continue and additional nets are being arranged so that members are able to "play" radio during the club's closure.
Members and non-members are welcome to participate in all club nets.

The club committee will continue to monitor the situation and advice given by the government.

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Coronavirus: Changes to RSGB AGM arrangements

Friday 20th March 2020

In response to the government’s latest Covid-19 recommendations the RSGB Board has changed the arrangements for the Society’s AGM on 25 April 2020

The physical meeting in Birmingham will not take place and the information which would have been made available at the AGM will now be made available online.

Read the full announcement at
https://rsgb.org/main/blog/news/rsgb-notices/2020/03/19/changes-to-the-agm-arrangements/

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Coronavirus: RSGB HF and VHF contest rules changes

Friday 20th March 2020

As a result of the UK government's recent advice on social distancing during the COVID-19 outbreak the RSGB Contest Committees have announced rule changes for HF and VHF contests

It is with regret that the HF Contest Committee (HFCC) and the VHF Contest Committee (VHFCC) have decided that, with immediate effect and until the end of June 2020, we will no longer accept multi-operator contest entries for any RSGB Contest.

Single operator entries from shared stations will also not be accepted, unless the station is being shared by family members living at the same postal address. The HFCC has taken the decision that the RSGB HF CW NFD Contest (June) is cancelled for this year.

We have decided not to ban portable operation by single operators because of the potential mental health benefits associated with engaging in hobbies etc. as well as the lack of person-to-person contact in normal single operator contesting. However, we encourage everyone to follow the government guidelines regarding social distancing and unnecessary travel.

We will review these rule changes regularly in line with the most recent government advice to determine if we need to extend or modify the restrictions. In early June we will decide if the VHF NFD, the IOTA Contest and SSB NFD can go ahead as planned.

The actual wording of their decision is on the UKAC Contest web page.

Source - RSGB Contest Committees
https://www.rsgbcc.org/cv19.shtml

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TDARS suspends all meetings

Friday 20th March 2020

Like other organisations and clubs in the current Corona virus situation, the Telford and District Amateur Radio Society (TDARS) has suspended all face-to-face meetings for the time being.

The club will give notice of a return to normality as soon it possible.

We have arranged a radio net at the time the club would have been having a meeting, please call in around 8pm Wednesday on 144.6MHz FM Club nets

Club ‘meeting’ net: Wednesday 8pm local 144.6MHz FM Club regular net: Sunday 9pm 144.6MHz FM HF net: Mondays & Fridays 08:45 on 3657KHz +/- qrn/m SSB 2m net: Evenings at 20:30 on 144.325MHz

If you have Facebook – say hello to us on telfordhams

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Coronavirus: BATC offers amateur radio clubs free streaming service

Thursday 19th March 2020

In order to support the worldwide amateur radio community during the COVID-19 virus pandemic, BATC is offering clubs free use of the BATC Video Streaming Service for virtual meetings

The BATC announcement says:

In order to support the worldwide amateur radio community during the COVID-19 virus pandemic, BATC is offering free use of the BATC Video Streaming Service and chat facility to any radio club or group of radio amateurs which can be viewed using a standard browser on any device including mobiles and tablets.

This will enable clubs to hold virtual meetings with HD video and audio streaming and a membership chat window for real time feedback and discussion. To enable this, we are offering free 1 year "cyber membership" to any radio club or group of radio amateurs.

See the full BATC announcement at
https://wiki.batc.org.uk/Radio_Club_membership_2020

BATC on Twitter
https://twitter.com/BATCOnline

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FCC levies $18,000 fine on Louisiana amateur radio licensee

Thursday 19th March 2020

ARRL reports that in an enforcement case prompted by complaints filed in 2017, the FCC has imposed an $18,000 forfeiture on Jerry W. Materne, KC5CSG, of Lake Charles, Louisiana, for intentional interference and failure to identify

The ARRL say:

The FCC had proposed the fine in a Notice of Apparent Liability (NAL) in the case in July 2018, and, based on Materne’s response to the NAL, the agency affirmed the fine in a March 12 Forfeiture Order (FO).

As the FCC recounted in the FO, an FCC agent “observed Materne causing intentional interference to a local repeater by generating digital noise into an analog radio.” The agent further reported that Materne failed to transmit his call sign, as required.


Read the full ARRL story at
https://www.arrl.org/news/view/fcc-levies-18-000-fine-on-louisiana-amateur-radio-licensee

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Conference 2020 is cancelled

Thursday 19th March 2020

NZART (New Zealand Association of Radio Transmitters) Council has made the decision to cancel the Conference in Shantytown this year.
This is due to the COVID-19 situation and taking on board all the advice for doing so.

NZART Council expresses its thanks to the Conference 2020 Organising Committee for all the hard work put in to run this event, and the preparations done to date.

Those who have registered to attend in Shantytown, contact Debby at HQ by email nzart@nzart.org.nz, advising a bank account for their registration payments to be refunded to.

NZART AGM Postponed to Saturday 5 September 2020
NZART AGM is postponed and relocated to Wellington on Saturday 5 September 2020.

The AGM will be run as a one day event in Wellington, there is to be no Conference associated with the AGM, therefore there will be no alternative programme, no forums, there is no organising committee. NZART will organise and run the AGM.
It is intended to book the Brentwood Hotel, 16 Kemp Street, Kilbirnie, Wellington for the AGM.

The AREC AGM will be held after the NZART AGM at the same location.
All dates and locations for the AGM are subject to change.

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Spen Valley ARS meetings move 'on the air'

Thursday 19th March 2020

In response to the advice given regarding social gatherings in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, The Spen Valley Amateur Radio Society in Mirfield, West Yorkshire have decided to suspend their physical meetings temporarily.

Instead the long standing society will be holding their regular meetings On the Air!

We will be active using the club callsign GX3SVC on 28.750Mhz from 20:00 on the first and third Thursdays of each month, and are also looking to be active on 80m.

Members and non-members are equally welcome to participate.

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Need a new hobby? Try amateur radio!

Thursday 19th March 2020

KTVO TV News reports Amateur radio, also known as Ham radio, is a vital tool that can help with emergency communication

The Northeast Missouri Amateur Radio Club will be holding classes for people who are interested in learning about amateur radio at the end of March.

Dave Krueger AB0DK of the Northeast Missouri Amateur Radio Club explained how amateur radio can be useful in emergency situations.

"There's a thrust towards emergency communications," Krueger said. "And this is probably what I'm going to present at the class, more or less, on the emergency side. So, access to a program called Winlink would give you access to email over the radio in case the internet was down or the internet channels were clogged."

Watch the TV news report at
https://ktvo.com/news/local/need-a-new-hobby-try-amateur-radio

What is Amateur Radio?
http://www.essexham.co.uk/what-is-amateur-radio

Foundation Online – UK Amateur Radio Training
https://www.essexham.co.uk/train/foundation-online/

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Comet ATLAS is brightening faster than expected

Thursday 19th March 2020

Get ready for a wild ride. Comet ATLAS (C2019 Y4) is plunging toward the sun and, if it doesn't fly apart first, it could become one of the brightest comets in years.

Amateur astronomers are already getting fantastic images as the comet brightens even faster than expected.

Visit Spaceweather.com for the full story

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Yeovil Amatuer Radio Club

Thursday 19th March 2020

The Yeovil Amatuer Radio Club are postponing their Thursday meetings and replacing them with a Thursday net on 145.350 at 8pm.

The QRP Rally at Sherborne on 5th April has been postponed as well.
A new date if arranged will be duly advertised.

regards
Bob g8ued
sec

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Interest in Ham Radio soaring as country grips with virus outbreak

Wednesday 18th March 2020

The number of Americans obtaining their ham radio licenses is soaring as the country comes to grips with the coronavirus pandemic.
Just as shoppers are hoarding necessities and food in panic buying, more people have quickly studied to become amateur radio operators to ensure they can maintain communications with others in emergency situations and disasters.

More than 765,000 in the United States already have their amateur radio licenses from the Federal Communications Commission, however, data from the FCC indicates a recent uptick in the number of new hams, especially since the outbreak of COVID-19 worldwide. In addition, HamRadioPrep.com, a website that teaches prospective hams what they need to know to pass the FCC tests, also has experienced a huge surge in new students in the past two weeks as news continues to evolve about the pandemic.

In a comparison of the time period from March 5-13, 2020, to the same days in 2019, the number of persons signing up for amateur radio license courses on HamRadioPrep.com has soared more than 700% since news of the coronavirus outbreak dominated headlines. At the same time, the FCC shows a 7.1% percent uptick in new amateur licensees in the first week of March in 2020 vs the same week in 2019

Read more at:
http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/4623310#
ixzz6GyaDCCSz

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ZS95SARL at the Secunda Radio Club Field Day

Wednesday 18th March 2020

The Secunda Radio Club, ZS6SRC, will hold its annual Field Day week from 20 to 29 March 2020 (during the school holidays) at the Trichardtfontein Dam, just outside Secunda. This is a perfect opportunity to gain experience in a simulated DXpedition.

ZS6SRC and ZS95SARL plan to operate on HF - 160, 80, 40, 20, 17, 15, 12 and 10 m and on VHF/UHF – 6 m and satellites (voice and digital) and QO-100 Satellite operation will also be available.

The Club has the following items available for the raffle:
a DT830B Digital Multimeter – R20 per ticket;
a Diamond VX30 VHF/UHF antenna – R50 per ticket;
an SDR Dongle – DVB-T+FM+DAB – R50 per ticket
and a Raspberry PI Premium Starter Kit – R100 per ticket.
The Starter Kit includes Raspberry Pi, Power Supply, HDMI Cable, Plastic Case and Micro SD Card.

Tickets can be purchased in cash at the event from Gert Botha, ZS6GC or can be bought via EFT to the following bank account -
Secunda Radio Club, First National Bank, Savings Account, 741 363 164 83, e-mail proof of payment and contact details to gertb@cybersmart.co.za and he will issue you with the ticket numbers bought.

The draw will take place at 15:00 UTC on Saturday 28 March 2020 by an independent person. EFT purchases will close at 16:00 on Friday 27 March 2020 to enable consolidation.

SARL

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HamSCI 2020 Workshop retools as a free virtual event

Wednesday 18th March 2020

ARRL reports despite the coronavirus pandemic, the March 20–21 HamSCI Workhop will go on, moving to an all-digital webinar workshop. Registration and participation will be free and open to all

The League say:

A tentative agenda has been posted. Participants may register online. The workshop will be presented using the Zoom webinar platform.
Those planning to take part should visit the Zoom website, create a free account, and download the client software. Frissell encouraged participants to set up a Zoom account, so they can get familiar with the system.

The theme of the 2020 workshop is “The Auroral Connection — How does the aurora affect amateur radio, and what can we learn about the aurora from radio techniques?” Oral presentations will be as originally scheduled and in the same format, as if they were being delivered at the in-person workshop. Instructions for the electronic poster session are now posted, Frissell said.

“There are some really good things that are coming out of this switch to an e-workshop format,” Frissell continued. “I think the best thing is that it will enable greater participation, especially from people who wanted to come but were unable to before.”

Read the full ARRL story
http://www.arrl.org/news/hamsci-2020-workshop-retools-as-a-virtual-event

HamSCI Agenda and Free Registration at
https://hamsci.org/hamsci-2020-program

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NASA Administrator March 17 statement on Agency response to coronavirus

Wednesday 18th March 2020

The following is a statement from NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine:

“Agency leadership continues to monitor developments regarding coronavirus (COVID-19) around the nation. We are closely following the advice of health professionals and the White House Coronavirus Task Force to keep our workforce safe. Implementing best practices early and quickly will increase likelihoods for better outcomes.

“This evening, NASA leadership has decided to elevate all centers and facilities to Stage 3 of NASA’s Response Framework. Effective immediately, all employees and contractors will move to mandatory telework until further notice. Mission-essential personnel will continue to be granted access onsite. Please contact your supervisor as soon as possible if you have any questions.

“Although a limited amount of employees have tested positive for COVID-19, it is imperative that we take this pre-emptive step to thwart further spreading of the virus among the workforce and our communities. A list of collaboration tools and information supporting telework is available on NASA’s Remote Collaboration Services webpage.

“I strongly encourage you and your families to follow all local, state and federal guidelines to stay healthy and to help slow the spread of the virus. The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention website lists many resources available if you need help, specific state health websites can be found here. Additionally, I urge all NASA employees to follow President Trump’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America, announced yesterday afternoon. You can find these 15 Day guidelines on whitehouse.gov, or by visiting https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/03.16.20_coronavirus-guidance_8.5x11_315PM.pdf.

“Agency leadership will continue to monitor the rapidly-evolving risks COVID-19 poses to our workforce. You should anticipate continued frequent communication from your center director, myself and others. Up-to-date agency announcements and guidelines are available on the NASA People website, please check it often.

“NASA’s early and thoughtful actions in coordination with our country’s unified response to this health emergency is an incredible display of national solidarity. Thank you for your vigilance and flexibility. I am confident your diligence and commitment will ensure our mission will continue. Please make certain you are giving the appropriate attention to your health and that of your family.”

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The SARL National Convention

Wednesday 18th March 2020

The 2020 SARL National Convention will take place at the Wanderers Conference facility in Illovo, Johannesburg on 3 and 4 April - that is two weeks from now.

On Friday 3 April the Convention starts with the SARL Unlocking Amateur Radio Technology Symposium and on Saturday 4 April, the SARL AGM and the SARL 95 Celebration and Awards Dinner Dance. The programme for the Symposium and the AGM is available in the 2020 National Convention Booklet. The Booklet and the Registration form is available on the front page of the League website.

Have you registered for the Convention weekend? Please fill in the form and submit it as soon as possible – even if you are only attending the AGM. Send your registration form to admin@sarl.org.za, artoday@sarl.org.za and secretary@sarl.org.za.

Tips for Nico

As mentioned in SARL News of 16 February, there are no motions for discussion at the AGM. Agenda point 11 for the AGM is Discussion Points and this is where your ‘Tip for Nico’ will be discussed. To date, four tips have been received, if you have a Tip for Nico, please send it by e-mail to secretary@sarl.org.za, the closing date is midnight on Wednesday 26 March 2020.

South African Radio League

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Halton RAF Radio Society postpones meetings

Wednesday 18th March 2020

Halton RAF Radio Society has postponed all meetings until further notice.

The Society is based at RAF Halton in Buckinghamshire not far from Tring.

Its members will keep in touch using the local repeater GB3TU

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IOTA News from the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

Wednesday 18th March 2020

Island activities:
Compiled by Andreas, DK5ON

IOTA QRGs
CW: 28040 24920 21040 18098 14040 10114 7030 3530 kHz
SSB: 28560 28460 24950 21260 18128 14260 7055 3760 kHz

AS-206; JA1,2,7,0; Honshu's Coastal Islands East: Take/JA8COE activates Sado Island (JAFF-0053) between the 19th and 22nd as JA8COE/0 on HF (CW, FT8). QSL via ClubLog OQRS, JA8COE (d/B).

EU-127; DL, Schleswig-Holstein State South West group: A large group of operators plans to operate as DA0HEL from Helgoland between March 19 and 29 on HF (CW, SSB, digital modes) and via QO-100. They also want to operate from Helgoland's Duene Island as DL0IH for a few days. QSL via bureau.

OC-017; T30, Gilbert Islands: Alex/5B4ALX informs that he had to postpone his trip (T30ET) to Kiribati to October 2020.

SA-001; CE0, Easter Island: Mike/VE7ACN operates as CE0Y/VE7ACN from Easter Island between March 19 and 30. QRV on 80 to 10m, maybe also on 160, on CW. QSL via LoTW, VE7ACN (d/B).

SA-099; PJ2, Curacao:  Curacao's airport has cancelled all incoming flights from Europe. As a consequence, Andreas/DK5ON had to postpone his operation as PJ2/DK5ON to 2021.

Deutscher Amateur Radio Club
e-mail: iota@dxhf.darc.de

RSGB IOTA website

Check-out the latest IOTA News bulletin from OPDX

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Coronavirus: RSGB Amateur Radio Exams

Tuesday 17th March 2020

The RSGB has announced they are offering clubs new flexibility if they need to postpone exams during the current Coronavirus situation

Read the RSGB announcement at
https://rsgb.org/main/blog/news/rsgb-notices/2020/03/16/exam-flexibility-during-the-coronavirus-situation/

The RSGB Tutors email group can be found at
https://groups.io/g/RSGBtutors

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RSGB Train the Trainers event Telford is postponed

Tuesday 17th March 2020

The upcoming RSGB Train the Trainers event hosted by TDARS in Telford is now postponed due to the Coronavirus situation.

Discussions were held over the weekend and the health of hosts, delegates and trainers is of the utmost importance. It is therefore, with regret, we have decided to postpone the Train the Trainers course in Telford that was due to take place on Saturday 21st March.

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All Ham radio amateurs invited to participate at the VERON VHF QSO party

Tuesday 17th March 2020

Now the flea market at Rosmalen can’t continue due to the new measures to stop spreading the corona virus, VERON is organizing a VHF QSO Party from 21 March till 22 March.

All radio hams around the world are invited to participate in the VERON VHF QSO party. It is not a contest but a QSO party to meet each other on the VHF, 2 meter band.

Even with large groups there will be no risk in spreading the virus with ham radio, the 2 meter band will be occupied and a national and international social network will emerge spontaneously.

VERON wants to invite hams to experiment and make connections with different modes.

• All connections must be made from home
• Single user only
• When: from 21 march 08.00 – 22 march 17.00 UTC
• Band: 2 meter
• Modes: all CW, SSB, FM, FT8, C4FM, DSTAR, RTTY etc.
• It is not a contest but we like to measure the activity. That’s why we ask you to upload your log in ADIF to
https://vhf-uhf.veron.nl/contesten/contestrobot/

on a voluntary basis.
• You have 8 days to upload your log

More information can be found on the website, it is in Dutch but Google translate is patience.
Look at https://www.veron.nl/nieuws/vhf-en-hoger-qso-party/

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Sweden's national ham radio society cancels AGM

Tuesday 17th March 2020

Due to the spread of the Coronavirus virus, the Board of SSA has unanimously decided to cancel the annual meeting which would have taken place on Sunday, April 26, 2020 in Östersund

The annual meeting will be held at a later date when circumstances permit. When new information about the annual meeting and the weekend in Östersund comes, it will be published on the websites of SSA and Jemtlands Radioamatörers. We regret what happened but hope for an understanding of the action.
 
The Board of SSA
SM6ZEM Hans-Christian
https://tinyurl.com/SwedenSSA

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Amateur Radio Homebrewing Hack Chat

Tuesday 17th March 2020

Hackaday's Dan Maloney KC1DJT says join us on Wednesday, March 18 at noon Pacific Time (1900 GMT) for the Amateur Radio Homebrewing Hack Chat with Charlie Morris ZL2CTM

For many hams, the most enticing part of amateur radio is homebrewing. There’s a certain cachet to holding a license that not only allows you to use the public airwaves, but to construct the means of doing so yourself. Homebrew radios range from simple designs with a few transistors and a couple of hand-wound coils to full-blown rigs that rival commercial transceivers in the capabilities and build quality — and sometimes even surpass them. Hams cook up every piece of gear from the antenna back, and in many ways, the homebrewers drive amateur radio technology and press the state of the art forward.

Taking the dive into homebrewing can be daunting, though. The mysteries of the RF world can be a barrier to entry, and having some guidance from someone who has “been there, done that” can be key to breaking through. New Zealand ham Charlie Morris (ZL2CTM) has been acting as one such guide for the adventurous homebrewer...

Read full Hackaday article at
https://hackaday.com/2020/03/16/amateur-radio-homebrewing-hack-chat/

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IARU R2 Emergency Communication and Satellite Workshops to be online

Tuesday 17th March 2020

With the travel restrictions and self-isolation requirements of many countries due to COVID-19, the May 30 and 31 workshops will be online

The new format will be 3 hours for each workshop to be held on the same dates starting at 1400 local time AST/ET, 1800 UT.

Access will be via Zoom, an easy to use online conference tool available on a number of platforms. Attendees will get an agenda for each workshop and information on how to participate in mid-May.

Please continue to sign up at
https://www.iaru-r2.org/workshop-2020

George Gorsline VE3YV

Secretary IARU R2

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BBC Performance Tracker – notification of changes

Tuesday 17th March 2020

Ofcom is proposing to make changes to its BBC Performance Tracker to ensure it remains up-to-date and fit for purpose.

Our BBC Performance Tracker measures viewers and listeners’ perception of and attitudes towards the BBC. We are now preparing the 2020 wave of the research and, following a thorough review, are proposing a number of modifications to the survey. We plan to change or remove some existing questions, as well as adding new ones.

More details on our proposed changes to the survey are available, and we invite feedback by 4pm on Monday 30 March.

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TU2R DXpedition cancelled

Tuesday 17th March 2020

Nine days before leaving for Côte d’Ivoire, the TU2R Team members have decided to postpone the expedition to a later date in 2020. 

Due to the current pandemic situation, we took the decision in the interest of health and safety. 

We will keep you informed of our new plans. 

Thank you for your understanding.

Best regards & 73  

Olivier ON4EI/EI8GQB
for TU2R team

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Coronavirus: Hamvention 2020 cancelled

Monday 16th March 2020

Hamvention 2020, planned to take place May 15-17 in Xenia, Ohio, has been cancelled  

An announcement on the event website says:

The Hamvention Executive Committee has been monitoring the COVID19 pandemic. We have worked very closely with our local and state health Departments.

It is with a very heavy heart the Hamvention Executive Committee has decided to cancel Hamvention for this year.

This decision is extremely difficult for us but with around two months until the Great Gathering we felt this action necessary.

More specific details regarding the closure will soon be posted here.

Thank you for your understanding in this time of International Crisis.

Jack Gerbs
General Chairman HV2020
https://hamvention.org/committee-cancels-hamvention-2020/

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Coronavirus: Ham radio youth events cancelled

Monday 16th March 2020

A number of sub-regional events for young people in IARU Region 1 (Europe, Africa, Middle East) have been cancelled due to Coronavirus

Among the cancelled events are:
- Balkans On The Air (BOTA), the first YOTA sub-regional camp in Serbia
- Nordics On The Air (NOTA), sub-regional camp in Norway  
- Youth Contest Program at 9A1A contest station in Croatia

Further information can be found on the Youngsters On The Air site
https://www.ham-yota.com/news/
https://twitter.com/hamyota

Also see the IARU-R1 site
https://www.iaru-r1.org/

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AMSAT-Brazil QO-100 FT8 QRPp experiment

Monday 16th March 2020

AMSAT-BR is organizing a reverse beacon FT8 QRPp experiment/contest via the QO-100 geostationary amateur radio transponder

The first 10 spotted stations with lower SNR will receive a Certificate of Accomplishment. The dead line will be May 1st 2020. To qualify, the SNR must be lower than -18 dB (as measured by the ft8 decoder).

The receiver will be active on Saturdays and Sundays from 12:00 UTC to  24:00 UTC and will be tuned to 10.489540 GHz with a 3.5 kHz bandwidth. All stations calling CQ will be logged.

The objective for the project is to incentive low power experimentation through the QO-100 narrow band transponder. Stations participating in the experiment are welcome to send a brief description of their setup, including information about RF power output, hardware and software setups, antenna type and gain, photos, etc. to the email address
py2sdr at gmail dot com.

73, Edson PY2SDR

You can listen to the QO-100 transponder downlink online at
https://eshail.batc.org.uk/nb/

QO-100 information
https://amsat-uk.org/satellites/geo/eshail-2/

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Midway Island update

Monday 16th March 2020

Ron, KH6DV, posted on March 14th, the following on QRZ.com:

"We all know that one of the easiest ways to catch a respiratory infection is to travel by airline, visit a hospital or clinic waiting room, or pass through an airport.

Expedition operators aren't going to want to travel while this pandemic is active, then get on a boat with cramped quarters and undertake a 6+ day voyage with others who have also traveled.

I've been looking for Coronavirus forecasts, and have finally found what looks like a reliable one. An expert who has accurately predicted other pandemic time-lines stated on February 11th that the Coronavirus would burn itself out in 6 months. He didn't state if that was 6 months from discovery or 6 months from the date of his statement.

Using 6 months from the date of his statement, travel should be safe by the end of the first week in August. We are assuming that, because travel for our expedition will be almost two months later, THE EXPEDITION WILL BE UNAFFECTED."

OPDX

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Update from the AMSAT President

Monday 16th March 2020

The past six weeks since becoming AMSAT President has flown by with great speed. Thankfully I’m not travelling at 27,000 km/hour like our popular satellite AO-91.

Speaking with many of our volunteers and members, I’ve felt the level of excitement and enthusiasm for the great launch opportunities ahead.

One of my tasks was to speak with the Directors and convene a meeting to conduct AMSAT corporate business.

Tuesday, March 3, AMSAT held an informal working session for the Board of Directors. We are moving forward with a called Board of Directors meeting scheduled on Tuesday, March 17. The next meeting will allow Directors to put forward motions for new business, hear a status update from our officers, and set future trajectory.

The amateur radio community has felt the impact of COVID-19
(Coronavirus) with the cancellation of some regional events. Even as this health emergency has been raised to World Health Organization (WHO)’s highest level, its Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus remains hopeful that COVID-19 can be curtailed.

AMSAT is closely monitoring the upcoming 2020 Hamvention being held over 60 days away in Xenia, Ohio. The Dayton Amateur Radio Association (DARA) has publicly stated they are following guidance from the State of Ohio and Greene County. Barring further information from DARA, AMSAT will continue to make plans for our representation at the 2020 Hamvention.

AMSAT officers are also working on contingency plans if Hamvention is canceled. These plans include virtual presentations and other real- time online activities during Hamvention weekend.

Our next edition of the AMSAT Journal will be going through the editing review process soon. It will contain more detailed information about the health of AMSAT, its mission status, and share exciting news for 2020.

If you’re not a member receiving the Journal, please consider joining at our website www.amsat.org.

73,
Clayton W5PFG
AMSAT President

ANS

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COVID-19, Amateur Radio and the SARL

Monday 16th March 2020

The Council of the SARL (South African Radio League) has taken note of the measures as announced by President Ramaphosa in his TV address to the nation on Sunday evening 15 March 2020.
 

The COVID-19 virus is on the agenda for the Council meeting on Wednesday evening 18 March, following the meeting a SARL Communication will be sent out giving information about the National Convention, the RAE and other amateur radio matters that could be influenced by the virus.
 
Noel Hammond, ZR6DX of the Sandton and Hammies ARCs is talking to the Wanderers Club about the National Convention.
 
The Secunda ARC has notified the SARL Council that the Field Day planned for 20 to 29 March 2020 has been postponed to a later date.
The Cape Town ARS meeting of 28 March has been cancelled.
 
Please follow the health instructions and be safe.
 
Dennis Green, ZS4BS
secretary@sarl.org.za

The South African Radio League

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NASA Administrator statement on agency coronavirus status

Monday 16th March 2020

The following is a statement from NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine:

“As we navigate this difficult time, the protection and care of the NASA family continues to be our top priority and the key consideration as we make decisions on how to move forward. NASA leadership is coordinating closely with the White House Coronavirus Task Force and interagency partners in our nation’s unified response to coronavirus (COVID-19), and regularly re-evaluating the conditions at each center.

“As you are aware, Ames Research Center in California was elevated to Stage 3 of NASA’s Response Framework after an onsite case of COVID-19 was confirmed on March 8. We recently received confirmation that an employee at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama has tested positive for COVID-19. As with Ames – in consultation with Marshall Center Director Jody Singer, NASA Chief Health and Medical Officer Dr. J.D. Polk, and in accordance to agency response plans ­– Marshall has been elevated to Stage 3 and is in mandatory telework status, with restricted access to the center until further notice.

“While we do not have any confirmed cases of COVID-19 at any other NASA center as of today, March 14, out of an abundance of caution, all other NASA centers are transitioning to Stage 2 of our response framework. Center directors have been in contact with their employees about this status change and steps moving forward.  

“In Stage 2, telework is strongly encouraged for employees who can work remotely. I’ve directed employees to take home their laptop computer, power cord, NASA badge, and any other equipment needed to work effectively from an alternate location, as well as essential personal items they may need. The workforce is asked to stay in regular contact with supervisors. Travel that is not mission-essential, as defined in the response framework, will be limited agencywide.  

“More information on leave and telework is available on the NASA People website.

“As I’ve told the NASA community, if you are performing mission-essential work on center,  do not go to work if you feel sick. Everyone should take extra precautions to protect themselves and others. I’ve asked employees to please continue to follow guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the agency’s chief health and medical officer, and if they have questions, don’t hesitate to talk with their supervisor.

“As the COVID-19 situation evolves, we’ll continue to closely monitor and coordinate with federal, state, and community officials to take any further appropriate steps to help safeguard the NASA family. The NASA People website is regularly updated with employee additional guidance. 

“The vigilance our workforce has displayed in our response to coronavirus is remarkable and has placed our agency in a position of strength as we confront this national emergency. I’m grateful for all the members of the NASA community and everything they’re doing to care for the health of our workforce and keeping the mission going. We will get through this together and NASA will continue to accomplish amazing things for our country and all of humanity.”

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ICQPodcast - Kit Building Tips

Monday 16th March 2020

In this episode, Martin M1MRB is joined by Chris Howard M0TCH, Martin Rothwell M0SGL, Ed Durrant DD5LP and Frank Howell K4FMH to discuss the latest Amateur / Ham Radio news. Colin M6BOY rounds up the news in brief and this episode’s feature is - Kit Building Tips.

ICQ AMATEUR/HAM RADIO PODCAST DONORS
We would like to thank David Strachan (2M0WHX) and Terry Bradford and our monthly and annual subscription donors for keeping the podcast advert free. To donate, please visit - http://www.icqpodcast.com/donate

News stories include: -

• Clubs as Hubs?
• New Ham Radio Syllabus: Exam Pass Rate Figures Released
• Motorola wins Copyright Infringement Case against Hytera
• RSGB Exam Papers
• Attracting youth to ham radio: Get out of their way!
• A Working Scale Model of a HF Curtain
• Ofcom Stops Issuing Short Full Calls
• New QO-100 Band Plan Announced
• Hamvention Officials Keeping an Eye on Coronavirus

The ICQPodcast can be downloaded from http://www.icqpodcast.com

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DXCC Country/Entity Report

Monday 16th March 2020

According to the AR-Cluster Network for the week of Sunday, 8th March, through Sunday, 15th March there were 228 countries active.

Countries available:

3A, 3B8, 3B9, 3D2, 3V, 3W, 4J, 4L, 4O, 4S, 4U1U, 4W, 4X, 5A, 5B, 5H, 5R, 5T, 5W, 5X, 5Z, 6W, 6Y, 7X, 8P, 8Q, 9A, 9G, 9H, 9J, 9K, 9L, 9M2, 9M6, 9N, 9Q, 9V, 9X, 9Y,

A2, A3, A4, A6, A7, A9, AP, BV, BY, C3, C5, C6, C9, CE, CE9, CM, CN, CP, CT, CT3, CU, CX, D2, D4, DL, DU, E5/s, E7, EA, EA6, EA8, EA9, EI, EK, EL, EP, ER, ES, EU, EX, EY, EZ, F, FG, FJ, FK, FM, FO, FP, FR, FS, FY, G, GD, GI, GJ, GM, GU, GW, H4, HA, HB, HB0, HC, HH, HI, HK, HL, HP, HR, HS, HV, HZ, I, IS, J2, J3, J6, J7, J8, JA, JD/o, JT, JX, JY,

K, KG4, KH0, KH2, KH6, KL, KP2, KP4, LA, LU, LX, LY, LZ, OA, OD, OE, OH, OH0, OK, OM, ON, OX, OY, OZ, P2, P4, PA, PJ2, PJ4, PJ5, PJ7, PY, PY0F, PZ, S0, S5, S7, SM, SP, ST, SU, SV, SV5, SV9, T30, T32, T5, T7, TA, TF, TG, TI, TK, TR, TT, TZ,

UA, UA2, UA9, UK, UN, UR, V2, V3, V4, V5, V6, V8, VE, VK, VK9N, VP2E, VP2M, VP2V, VP5, VP8, VP8/h, VP9, VR, VU, XE, XU, YA, YB, YI, YK, YL, YN, YO, YS, YU, YV, Z2, Z3, Z6, Z8, ZA, ZB, ZD7, ZF, ZL, ZL7, ZP, ZS

* PLEASE NOTE: The report "could" contain "Pirate/SLIM" operations or more likely a "BUSTED CALLSIGN". As always, you never know - "Work First Worry Later".

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IOTA News from OPDX

Monday 16th March 2020

 Island activities:

AS-118. (Postponed) Neil, G0JHC, reports that the Kuwait Amateur Radio Society's 9K2F Failaka Island IOTA DXpedition has been post poned. Operation was to take place between March 11-15th.

EU-107. Operators Gil/F4FET, Antoine/F5RAB and friends will be active as TM7P from Petite Island during the RSGB IOTA Contest (July 25-26th) as a Multi-2 entry. They plan to be active some days before and after the contest weekend. QSL via F4FET.

EU-118. Col, MM0NDX, reported this past week, "There's been no activity from there (Flannan Isles) since 2010 when the MS0INT crew made about 8K QSOs. I recently contacted the boat operator who took us out there 10 years ago and they now say all landing areas have been eroded away and only recommend 'fit' people attempt to go there nowadays as 'it's very difficult to land'. So unless it's reactivated soon I guess this could become a real rare one in the years ahead."

NA-034. Lou, W0FK, who was expected to once again be operating as W0FK/4 on Longboat Key between from March 1-14th, had to postponedhis operation until later this year.

NA-092. Markus, DJ4EL, is planning to be active as PZ5G from Papegaaien Island, Suriname, sometime during Easter (April 12th). Activity will be on various HF bands. QSL via ClubLog's OQRS or LoTW. Look for more details to be forthcoming.

OC-092. (Cancelled) Jacek, SP5APW, who was expected to be active as DU2/SP5APW from Calayan Island in April, has canceled his operation due to possible travel issues because of the Corona-virus.

SA-029. Members of the CabreuvaDX Team will once again be active as ZV1C from Cedro Island between May 1-3rd. Activity will be on 160/80/40/20/17/15/10 meters using CW, SSB and FT8. There will also be activity on 2 meters satellite. QSL via PU2VCP. For more details and updates, see QRZ.com.

SA-032/SA-091 By the time you read this, members of the Russian Robinson . Club will be finishing their activity as XR8RRC from Wellington Island (SA-032, which is located in a heart of Chilean Patagonia) possibly on March 16th. Activity is planned to be on various HF bands (depends on propagation) using CW, SSB and FT8 modes. Once XR8RRC goes QRT, the team will then head to Puerto-Natales, and then possibly activate Riesco Island (SA-091), weather and transport permitting. Activity will be up to 48 hours. QSL via ClubLog's OQRS (strictly preferable!), or direct via EU7A: Andrey N. Teterukov, P.O. Box 13, Mogilev-30, 212030, Belarus.
For more details and possible updates, watch:
https://rv6ali.wixsite.com/patagonia2020

IOTA TOUR (V6, MICRONESIA). Jonathan, XE2BRX, will be on a "Micro DXpedition" to the islands:
1) Namoluk OC-254 5) Piherarh (Pisaris) OC-155
2) Losap OC-011 6) Nomwin OC-253
3) Houk (Pulusuk) OC-155 7) Weno OC-11
4) Polowat OC-155
He states, "This will be a work related travel, my operation time will be limited to my free time and schedule of affairs. Please don't expect much, as this won't be a full time DXpedition. When I have more info it will be posted on QRZ.com."

PLEASE NOTE: Since the Webmasters of the new <www.iota-world.org> have decided NOT to post or dedicate a Web page to announce upcoming IOTA operations, PLEASE send your IOTA operations information to the OPDX, and we will post it here in an upcoming bulletin......

Check-out the latest IOTA News from the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

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AmateurLogic 141: The Great Toilet Paper Famine

Sunday 15th March 2020

RSPDUO Tone and DCS Decoding, Exploring RigPi Deeper, Coronavirus Hoarding, and more.

1:17:39


Download

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Grand Strand Amateur Radio Club cancels April meeting

Sunday 15th March 2020

(Myrtle Beach, South Carolina)

From Matt Tumbleson KM4MIF, GSARC President:

Based on the declaration of a local state of emergency, the continued threat of viral illness to our membership and the potential need for activation of emergency operations - I would suggest at this point we cancel the April meeting.

While it hurts us to have to cancel a meeting and lose the chance for camaraderie, it is in the best interest of the membership, in the long run, to do so. We ask that everyone stay safe and observe sensible precautions

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SolderSmoke Podcast Special Coronavirus Edition

Sunday 15th March 2020

Bill Meara M0HBR / N2CQR has released another amateur radio Soldersmoke podcast, this special edition suggest projects to do during the Coronavirus outbreak

Bill says: We thought it would be nice to put out a special edition of the podcast to help listeners keep up their morale during this difficult time.  So we’ll do our regular kind of show, but we’ll try to emphasize things you can do to stay busy and keep up morale while stuck at home.

Listen to the podcast
http://soldersmoke.com/soldersmoke219.mp3

Soldersmoke blog
http://soldersmoke.blogspot.co.uk/

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Activity days 'The warriors of Vinnitsa' 2020

Sunday 15th March 2020

20 - 23 of March 2020 will be activity days of the Club WW radio amateurs in Vinnitsa region of Ukraine.

3 QSO (SWL) with radioamateur station of Vinnitsa region (UR#N, UT#N, US#N e.t.c.) will provide you an opportunity to get a memorial AWARD "The warriors of Vinnitsa".

QSO with club station of UR4NWW will give you 2 point QSO.

"The warriors of Vinnitsa" is amateur radio diploma in honor of 76th anniversary of the liberation of the Vinnitsa from nazi invaders in 1944.

Send your request with log to our mailbox: ur4nww@gmail.com until 31 of March 2020.

More info: http://ur4nww.qrz.ru/memorial/

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Foundations of Amateur Radio

Saturday 14th March 2020

On the shoulders of giants we stand.

One of the things I love most about this hobby is the ability to randomly dart off into any related direction and learn new stuff. For example, the names Nikola, Guglielmo, Heinrich and Edwin emblazoned on a t-shirt sent to me by a very appreciative listener Jack KI4KEP, started an exploration into the deeds and misdeeds of the people behind those names.

The first three might be somewhat familiar, Nikola Tesla whom we have to thank for inventions like Alternating Current, the Tesla coil, wireless power, radio remote control and many others. The Tesla company is named as a tribute to him. The magnetic flux density uses the letter T as its symbol and its called the Tesla.

As a side note, if you've ever struggled to decide if a symbol needs to be a capital letter or not, like say the V for volt, the A for ampere, the O for ohm, the m for meter, the s in second or the K in kelvin, you just need to remember that if the unit is named after a person, the symbol needs to be a capital letter. That does assume that you know that the unit is named after an actual person, like say the Earl of Sandwich.

Name two in our list, Guglielmo Marconi is the person whom we can thank for the practical development of radio communication, using improved spark-gap transmitters, the development and commercialisation of long-distance radio transmissions and his association with many other services such as a transatlantic radio-telegraph service, providing communications to shipping such as Jack Phillips and Harold Bride who were employed by the Marconi International Marine Communication Company to act as radio operators on the RMS Titanic on its fateful voyage.

Our third name, Heinrich comes into sharp focus when I add his surname, Hertz. His name continues on in our day-to-day language and Heinrich Hertz is responsible for validating many of the underlying principles of our hobby. Using a spark-gap transmitter he was the first to conclusively prove the existence of electromagnetic waves which were predicted by James Clerk Maxwell. He also came up with the parabolic antenna, the dipole antenna, measurement of electric field intensity, electromagnetic waves and many other experiments. If you've ever seen a bullet hole in glass, you've seen a Hertzian cone.

The last name had me stumped. It took a question to learn that Edwin shares a name with a famous cyclist and a famous astronaut, namely Armstrong. Edwin Howard Armstrong has been called "the most prolific and influential inventor in radio history".

If you're like me you may not have heard of Edwin Armstrong. You might be surprised to learn that he's responsible for the regenerative circuit, the super-heterodyne circuit and while he was working on defending his invention against a claim made by a patent attorney he stumbled on the super-regeneration circuit. If you're a radio amateur, you'll likely have heard those terms, if not, they're electronic circuits that make radio receivers more sensitive which forms the basis of many radios in use today. My Yaesu FT-857d is a super-heterodyne radio for example.

It doesn't stop there. The biggest claim to fame that Edwin Armstrong brings to the table is the invention of FM radio. It took many years and a protracted lawsuit that lasted until almost a year after he died to finally have Armstrong formally established as the inventor of FM.

Not for a minute will I suggest that my exploration was comprehensive or in-depth, but it made my day when I put on a t-shirt with the names of those inventors who made it possible for me to be here and share this with you today.

On the shoulders of giants wearing a t-shirt with their names I stand.

I'm Onno VK6FLAB

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Announcement from American Radio Relay League headquarters

Saturday 14th March 2020

Newington, CT – March 13, 2020 – As part of the efforts underway to help protect the health and safety of ARRL Headquarters employees and volunteers from the impacts of the coronavirus, the American Radio Relay League, Inc. has decided to suspend all tours and guest visits to ARRL Headquarters and the Hiram Percy Maxim Memorial Station, W1AW, effective Monday, March 16.

Out of an abundance of caution, this suspension will be in effect until further notice.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause to our ARRL members and their guests who had been planning to visit us in Newington, CT. However, we feel that this is a necessary precaution and is in keeping with the guidance being provided by federal and local health professionals.

Again, we appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding as we all endeavour to deal with this difficult public health situation.

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Ofcom finalises rules for mobile airwaves auction

Saturday 14th March 2020

Ofcom has confirmed how they will release important airwaves to help improve mobile broadband and support the rollout of 5G

To help improve mobile services and give more people access to 5G networks, we will release more mobile airwaves through an auction. Following consultation, we have today confirmed the rules for how the auction will work.

The auction will involve companies bidding for spectrum in two different frequency bands.

The 700 MHz band. We are releasing 80 MHz of spectrum in the 700 MHz band. These airwaves are ideal for providing good-quality mobile coverage, both indoors and across very wide areas – including the countryside. Today we have also published a progress update on work to clear the band of its current uses for digital terrestrial TV and wireless microphones.

The 3.6-3.8 GHz band. We are releasing 120 MHz of spectrum in 3.6-3.8 GHz band. These important airwaves are part of the primary band for 5G and capable of carrying lots of data-hungry connections in concentrated areas.

Similar to our 2018 spectrum auction, this year’s auction will involve two stages:

Principal stage. Companies first bid for airwaves in separate ‘lots’ to determine how much spectrum each company wins.
Assignment stage. There is then a round of bidding to determine the specific frequencies that winning bidders will be allocated.

To give mobile operators the opportunity to create more continuous ‘blocks’ of 5G-ready spectrum, the assignment stage allows winners of 3.6-3.8 GHz spectrum to negotiate their placements within the band among themselves.  And to help maintain strong competition in the UK mobile market, we will impose a 37% cap on the overall spectrum that any one mobile company can hold following the auction.

Following the Government’s confirmation of agreement with the four mobile network operators to set up the Shared Rural Network to improve mobile coverage, we will not include coverage obligations in our auction.

Ofcom announcement
https://www.ofcom.org.uk/about-ofcom/latest/media/media-releases/2020/mobile-airwaves-auction

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Hamzilla and VERON Rosmalen rallies postponed

Saturday 14th March 2020

Just for info; The VERON Dutch rally at Rosmalen on 21st March was cancelled on 11th March. A few LEFARS members were going and have had to defer Eurotunnel bookings. The hotel cancelled at no cost.

More locally, the Hamzilla rally in Dover on 29th March has also announced a postponement.....

John G8DZH

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Cosmic rays are increasing at aviation altitudes

Saturday 14th March 2020

New high-altitude balloon measurements inside the Arctic Circle show that cosmic rays are increasing at aviation altitudes.

Commercial flight crews and passengers traveling over Earth's poles now experience as much as 12% more radiation than they did just a few years ago.

Check out the data--and find out why this is happening--on today's edition of Spaceweather.com

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USA to BVI

Saturday 14th March 2020

Tuesday an international group set sail from New York to the British Virgin Islands to re-activate the VP2VB call sign of Yasme fame for 6 days, focusing on the low bands with two stations.

VP2VB was the call sign of the legendary Danny Weil, VP2VB, skipper of the Yasme series of sailing vessels that carried the adventurer traveled from one DX location to another in the 1950s and early 60s.

His activities provided the impetus to create The Yasme Foundation.

This month?s VP2VB DXpedition will trace Weil's original route in the British Virgin Islands under a special license authorization, to pay homage to those early years of DXing and to honor the spirit he embraced, which inspired a generation of DXers.

This latter-day VP2VB DXpedition will count toward Yasme awards and marks the first activation of VP2VB in more than 60 years.

WIA

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British Amateur Radio Teledata Group anniversary award

Friday 13th March 2020

BARTG was established 60 years ago and to celebrate this anniversary the group is running a special award. 

The callsign GB60ATG is being activated week by week from one of the seven UK countries and the logs uploaded to Hamlogs.net. 

Each activation works as many bands and digital modes as possible and one point is awarded for each band/mode slot across all bands 160m to 70cm thus making 12 band slots per mode and with operations on FT8, FT4, RTTY, PSK, JT65, JT9 and others then up to 72 band slots per country are possible. 

This is not as easy as it seems but can be achieved within the year to 30th June 2020. 

Certificates for single or mixed modes can be applied for with Bronze (20 slots), Silver (40), Gold (60) and of course Diamond (75) being available by application to the BARTG Awards Manager. 

When and where the callsign is used is given on the Diamond Jubilee schedule page on the BARTG website at
http://bartg.org.uk/wp/gb60atg-schedule/

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Coronavirus: RSGB National Radio Centre to close temporarily

Friday 13th March 2020

The RSGB website has announced that the National Radio Centre (NRC) at Bletchley Park is to close temporarily due to Coronavirus

The NRC is a very popular attraction at Bletchley Park, even during the winter month of February it still had 6,873 visitors.

The Society says:

"The RSGB has taken the difficult decision to close the NRC temporarily from Wednesday 18 March. It will open as normal this weekend to run the ‘Build a radio’ events which are sold out, and the NRC will be open but without public access to the Radio Room on Monday and Tuesday."

Read the full RSGB announcement at
https://rsgb.org/main/blog/news/rsgb-notices/2020/03/12/the-rsgbs-nrc-to-close-temporarily/

Concerning the RSGB AGM planned for April 25 in Birmingham the Society has Tweeted:

The RSGB is, like all responsible organisations, following government advice about coronavirus. We're still planning to hold the AGM in Birmingham but will change these plans if advice about public meetings is upgraded. Check website and social media channels for updates #hamradio

https://twitter.com/theRSGB/status/1238077448824262656

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Switzerland: Ham radio Taskforce processes consultation response

Friday 13th March 2020

The Swiss Telecommunications Act (FMG, 784.10) has been comprehensively revised. The revised law will enter into force on January 1, 2021

A translation of the USKA post reads:

As part of the necessary adjustments to several ordinances, the responsible Federal Office of OFCOM sent the draft of the affected or new ordinances in a consultation process . The USKA was also addressed in the consultation process. The USKA is therefore legitimized to submit a statement.
(The USKA had already submitted several applications during the consultation process on the law, which are mentioned in the summary).

On Saturday, March 7, 2020, the permanent USKA commission "Task Force Legal Framework for Amateur Radio" met in Belp for a full-day meeting. The meeting was chaired by Bernard Wehrli HB9ALH. Willi Vollenweider HB9AMC, our new board member Jean-Michel Clerc HB9DBB, Dr. iur. Markus Schleutermann HB9AZT, Walter Kägi HB9XBG, Renato Schlittler HB9BXQ, Niklaus Blaser HB9GUJ and Christian Huber HB9FDS.
 
The main item on the agenda was the examination of the ordinance texts proposed by OFCOM, insofar as they relate to amateur radio. Several proposed changes and additions were discussed as drafted proposals and approved by the task force. Bernard HB9ALH will edit the consultation entry. After internal consultation, it will be submitted to the USKA Board of Directors for approval so that it can be submitted on time by March 25, 2020.

Another item on the agenda was the implementation of the new amateur radio article FMG 37a into cantonal and municipal law. Various ideas and approaches were discussed. The sections have been aware for some time that the implementation in their cantons requires good contacts with cantonal politics and cantonal authorities.

In almost all sections there are members who are or were active in official functions. Or otherwise work in professional positions that provide them with the necessary contacts. Those present in Belp believe that the USKA task force should coordinate these efforts and support the sections in fulfilling their plans in this regard. For this purpose, further conferences are certainly required, to which the board members and politicians from the sections are then invited.

I would like to thank all participants in this important task force meeting for the lively discussion and for their valuable contributions. With such activities, USKA makes a significant contribution to ensuring that amateur radio can continue to thrive in Switzerland. We thank all USKA members for their support of these important activities.

It should be remembered once again how important it is that all Swiss radio amateurs are members of the USKA! This is the only way we can act credibly vis-à-vis authorities and politics and hope for understanding of our interests.


Willi Vollenweider HB9AMC

Source USKA
https://tinyurl.com/SwitzerlandUSKA

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Coronavirus: ITU to conduct meetings remotely

Friday 13th March 2020

In response to the Coronavirus outbreak the ITU has announced that from Monday, March 16 it will conduct meetings remotely

The ITU Secretary-General says:

In response to the general requirement for organizations to scale down activities and meetings  and in order to mitigate the effects of the rapidly evolving Covid-19 situation, I would like to inform you that ITU Management has decided that international meetings scheduled at ITU Headquarters in Geneva as from Monday 16 March 2020 will be conducted with remote participation only until further notice, and at least until Wednesday 15 April 2020.

The ITU premises in Geneva will not be accessible to delegates during this period.


ITU Covid-19
https://www.itu.int/en/Pages/covid-19.aspx

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BT fined £245,000 for overcharging EE customers for 118 calls

Friday 13th March 2020

Ofcom has fined BT £245,000 after an investigation found that the company overcharged EE’s mobile customers for making calls to 118 directory enquiries services.

Although use of directory enquiries has declined in recent years, many people still rely on them as an important means of obtaining the number they need. Older people and those without internet access are more likely to make 118 calls.

To protect vulnerable people and ensure fairer prices, we introduced a price cap on 118 phone numbers in April 2019. Our investigation found that BT did not implement this immediately for EE customers.

As a result, over a three-month period, between April and June last year, almost 6,000 EE customers were overcharged by around £42,000 for making calls to 118 numbers. However, BT was able to correct most bills before EE customers paid them. This meant that around £10,000 of the total amount overcharged was paid by EE customers. All customers have since been refunded.

BT’s failure to implement the 118 price cap was a serious breach of our rules, particularly taking into account the potentially vulnerable people that use directory enquiry services. So we have imposed a penalty of £245,000 on BT.

The penalty includes a 30% discount in recognition that BT admitted its failings by agreeing to settle the case.

The money raised from the fine, which must be paid to Ofcom within 20 working days, will be passed on to HM Treasury.

More information on our decision is available
.

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Coronavirus: Southdown ARS postpones all future meetings due to COVID-19

Friday 13th March 2020

After careful consideration and in light of the fact that a significant proportion of our membership is particularly vulnerable to COVID-19, the Southdown Amateur Radio Society Committee has taken the decision to indefinitely postpone all future monthly meetings.

https://sars.club/2020/03/future-meetings-postponed-due-to-covid-19/

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Swains Island DXpedition

Friday 13th March 2020

Postponed but.....
The fact that we had to postpone the DXpedition so shortly before the initially planned date does not mean that
Swains2020 is no longer alive. The opposite is true....

A new planning brings many new logistical challenges with which the team is busy to resolve. Not all equipment can wait for half a year in a box for shipping and the team members also have to adjust their travel plans to the new goals. This all sounds simple, but for sure it is not.

The new date also means a different season and therefore different circumstances on the island and a change in expected propagation.
This means that the operating manual needs some adjustment as might the planning.

The team is happy that their sponsors and supporters show so much understanding for the situation and continue to support the team in the realization of this great project. It is this trust and support that gives extra motivation to the team to make the postponed DXpedition a success. Without this support a project like Swains2020 is not possible.

THANK YOU

OPDX

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Coronavirus: FUNK.TAG ham radio event cancelled

Thursday 12th March 2020

The amateur radio event FUNK.TAG planned to take place in Kassel, Germany on April 18 has been cancelled due to coronavirus

The FUNK.TAG Kassel is organized by the DARC Verlag GmbH and is aimed at radio amateurs, makers and electronics enthusiasts.

A translation of the announcement on the DARC site says:

5th FUNK.TAG on April 18, 2020 will not take place.

Due to the current developments in the case of corona infections, the organizer has decided to cancel FUNK.TAG in Kassel, which was originally planned for April 18, 2020.

The DARC board follows the recommendation of Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn, who currently advises to refrain from events with over 1000 visitors.

Source DARC
https://www.darc.de/nachrichten/veranstaltungen

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IARUMS February newsletter now available

Thursday 12th March 2020

The latest IARU-R1 Monitoring System newsletter notes the Russian Over The Horizon Radar (OTHR) "Contayner 29B6" affects radio amateurs often and very badly

The newsletter highlights the extremely detailed articles by Tony Roper about the Russian OTHR available on his website.

The International Amateur Radio Union Monitoring System (IARUMS) Region 1 February 2020 newsletter can be read at
https://www.iaru-r1.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/IARUMS-Newsletter-20-02.pdf

Recordings of military transmissions can be found on the Signal Identification Guide Wiki at
https://www.sigidwiki.com/wiki/Category:Military

Monitor the short wave bands on-line with a web based SDR receiver at
http://www.websdr.org/

IARU Monitoring System (IARUMS)
https://www.iarums-r1.org/

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Coronavirus: Ham radio events cancelled in Norway

Thursday 12th March 2020

Among events affected is the annual general meeting of Norway's national amateur radio society NRRL that have been planned for Sunday April 19

A translation of the NRRL announcement reads:

An unanimous and extended Executive Board of NRRL, in an extraordinary meeting, on March 11, 2020, decided that NRRL cancels all events and activities organized by NRRL in connection with Norwegian Hammeeting 2020 at Leto Arena.

This has the following consequences:

• NRRL's general meeting, Sunday, April 19, 2020, will be postponed for the time being. The release will be announced in QST-LA, on NRRL's web and in social media. The Executive Board hopes that a deferred general meeting will be held in August / September 2020. A new written notice will come no later than one month before.
• NRRL's party dinner on Saturday, April 18 is cancelled
• NRRL will not stand in the exhibition hall in connection with Norsk Hammeeting 2020

The aforementioned cancellations have been made following clear advice given by the health authorities due to the prevailing circumstances surrounding COVID-19. NRRL's Executive Board therefore considers that the implementation of the organization's planned activities at Norsk Hammeeting 2020 can no longer be carried out responsibly.

Source NRRL
https://tinyurl.com/NorwayNRRL

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What Hams Do podacast - The Future of Amateur Radio

Thursday 12th March 2020

Are young people involved in Amateur Radio? That’s an existential question because if they’re not, there’s no future in ham radio  

But, fortunately, Jay Silber, WA2UAR, (on the Eastern Pennsylvania ARRL leadership team) found young people are definitely getting involved, but in ways that just might surprise you.

Listen to “The Future of Amateur Radio” – our latest episode of What Hams Do
https://epa-arrl.org/what-hams-do-podcast-episode-1/

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Coronavirus: 2020 International DX Convention cancelled

Thursday 12th March 2020

The International DX Convention planned for April 12-14 in Visalia, California, has been cancelled due to Coronavirus

A statement from the organizers says:

We send out our apologies to all our perspective patrons of the 2020 International DX Convention. Due to concerns, health and well-being of our amateur radio family, our age group and possible compromised health issues; we are taking the side of safety and canceling the convention.

Even though the percentage of COVID-19 is low, there are person(s) who have the illness but mild form and have not seen a physician. It only takes 1 person to pass the virus to a person with a compromised illness.

We will be in close proximity of each other, yes the timing is bad, but all of your lives and families are more important.

We will be refunding everyone’s reservation funds/shirt request funds. We appreciate your support and patience while we proceed with sending refunds back to each person.

Cathy Gardenias, K6VC
Kris Jacob, KC6TOD
The entire IDXC Committee 2020

Source https://www.dxconvention.org/

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Nigel in Mauritius for Commonwealth Contest

Thursday 12th March 2020

Nigel, G3TXF, will once again be active as 3B8XF from Mauritius (AF-049) during the 2020 Commonwealth Contest (BERU) [March 14-15th].

This is Nigel's 14th DX-trip made specifically to take part in the RSGB's Commonweath Contest, and the 4th time from Mauritius.

He will be active March 27th, and will operate mostly on 80m/160m after the BERU Contest.

QSL via G3TXF or ClubLog's OQRS (for both Bureau or direct QSLs).
DO NOT SEND QSLS THROUGH THE BUREAU.

For more details and possible updates, see:
http://www.g3txf.com/dxtrip/3B8XF-2020/3B8-Mar-20.html

OPDX

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GMDX Convention postponed

Wednesday 11th March 2020

It is with much regret and great reluctance that The GMDX Committee has decided to postpone the GMDX Convention which was due to be held on 4th April.

The current Coronavirus situation looks to be escalating and there will no doubt be a significant increase in severity by the date of the convention.

We cannot take the risk of holding the Convention in these circumstances. The median age of our members is certainly within a “high” risk category and we would not wish to put them or even the Hotel staff at risk.

We will of course keep you informed as to when we can reschedule the Convention. Hopefully that will be sometime later this year.

In the meantime I shall be contacting all those members who have paid upfront to sort out refunds.

Those of you who have booked rooms with the Hotel please contact them directly on 01786 811666 to cancel your booking. The Hotel have been very understanding and we look forward to supporting them at a later date.

Sorry to be the bearer of such disapponting news.

73
Rob GM3YTS
Chairman
GMDX Group

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ARISS celebrating successful launch carrying Interoperable Radio System to ISS

Wednesday 11th March 2020

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) is celebrating the successful launch and docking of the SpaceX-20 commercial resupply mission to the International Space Station (ISS). One payload on the flight is the ARISS Interoperable Radio System (IORS), which ARISS calls "the foundational element of the ARISS next-generation radio system" on the space station.

Amateur radio has been an integral component of ISS missions since 2000. The Dragon cargo capsule docked successfully with the space station on March 9. ARISS-US Delegate for ARRL Rosalie White, K1STO, said hundreds of ARRL members contributed to make the IORS project happen, and ARISS is celebrating the 4-year-long IORS project.

"ARISS is truly grateful to ARRL and AMSAT for their co-sponsorship and support of ARISS since day one," White said. "ARISS greatly appreciates the hundreds of ham radio operators who have stood by ARISS, sending financial support and encouragement. A robust ham station is on its way to replace the broken radio on the ISS, and tens of thousands of hams will enjoy strong ARISS packet and ARISS SSTV signals as a result.

In addition, thousands of students will discover and use ham radio to talk with a ham-astronaut. We hope to see the trend continue where more ARISS teachers and local clubs set up school ham clubs." The new system includes a higher-power radio, an enhanced voice repeater, updated digital packet radio (APRS), and slow-scan television (SSTV) capabilities for both the US and Russian space station segments.

White called the March 7 launch, "beautiful, flawless." ARRL President Rick Roderick, K5UR, told ARISS that he had his fingers crossed for a successful launch.

According to NASA Mission Control, it will take the three ISS crew members up to a month to unload and stow the 4,300 pounds of cargo on board the Dragon capsule, and the IORS is not a priority. The actual ham equipment will be installed in the ISS Columbus module.

Another IORS unit is in line to be launched and installed in the Russian segment of the ISS later this year.

The IORS consists of a custom-modified JVCKenwood TM-D710GA transceiver, a multi-voltage power supply, and interconnecting cables.
The ARISS hardware team will assemble four flight units - and 10 IORS units in all - to support onboard flight operations, training, operations planning, and hardware testing.

ARISS-International Chair Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, said earlier this year that future upgrades and enhancements to the next-generation system are in various stages of design and development. These include a repaired Ham Video system - currently planned for launch in mid-to-late 2020, an L-band (uplink) repeater, a microwave "Ham Communicator," and Lunar Gateway prototype experiment.

ARRL

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Ham radio operators made communication easy

Wednesday 11th March 2020

The Times of India reports members of the Radio Amateur Society of Ananthapuri (RASA) assisted the district administration and police with communications

The newspaper says:

At a time when thousands throng an area, communication becomes the toughest task. For police and disaster management wing, proper communication is paramount. For the first time, the district administration roped in a group of amateur/ham radio operators, who made communication seamless.

Members of Radio Amateur Society of Ananthapuri (RASA), who functioned inside the police control room near the Attukal temple premises and control room at collectorate, coordinated crucial information such as co-ordination of 108 ambulances, shifting of foreigners from the pongala area, search for missing children etc.

Read the full story at
https://timesofindia.
indiatimes.com/city/thiruvananthapuram/ham-radio-operators-made-communication-easy/articleshow/74558801.cm

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RAC office phone service has resumed

Wednesday 11th March 2020

Service to the Radio Amateurs of Canada (RAC) phone system has been successfully restored and individuals who left messages yesterday will be contacted during the work day.

The RAC Office can once again be reached by calling 613-244-4367 or 877-273-8304 from 10 am to 4 pm EST/EDT, Monday through Friday (except statutory holidays).

Thank you again for your patience.

RAC Office Coordinator
Adam MacDonell

Radio Amateurs of Canada

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Hamvention names 2020 Award winners

Wednesday 11th March 2020

Dayton Hamvention has named five radio amateurs and one ham radio club as the recipients of its 2020 awards.

Each year, Hamvention honors award winners in several categories:
Amateur of the Year -- Yasuo "Zorro" Miyazawa, JH1AJT
Special Achievement Award -- Jordan Sherer, KN4CRD
Technical Achievement Award -- Steve Franke/K9AN, Bill Somerville/G4WJS
and Nobel Laureate Joe Taylor/K1JT
Club of the Year -- The South Canadian Amateur Radio Society (SCARS)

For complete details, see the "ARRL Letter" for March 4th, or the ARRL Web page at:
http://www.arrl.org/news/view/dayton-hamvention-names-2020-award-winners

OPDX

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Climate change: New rules could spell end of 'throwaway culture'

Wednesday 11th March 2020

BBC News report: New rules could spell the death of a "throwaway" culture in which products are bought, used briefly, then binned.

The regulations will apply to a range of everyday items such as mobile phones, textiles, electronics, batteries, construction and packaging.

They will ensure products are designed and manufactured so they last - and so they're repairable if they go wrong.

It should mean that your phone last longer and proves easier to fix.
That may be especially true if the display or the battery needs changing.

It's part of a worldwide movement called the Right to Repair, which has spawned citizens' repair workshops in several UK cities.

The plan is being presented by the European Commission. It's likely to create standards for the UK, too - even after Brexit. That's because it probably won't be worthwhile for manufacturers to make lower-grade models that can only be sold in Britain.

'Ambitious' proposal
It's all part of what one green group is calling the most ambitious and comprehensive proposal ever put forward to reduce the environmental and climate impact of the things we use and wear.

Proposals aim at making environmentally-friendly products the norm.
It could mean manufacturers using screws to hold parts in place, rather than glue.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-46797396

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SADARC at Radio Australia site

Wednesday 11th March 2020

Members of the Shepparton and District Amateur Radio Club (SADARC, VK3SOL) will activate the Shepparton location of Radio Australia on March 14 and 15th.

Look for them on 40, 30, 20, 17, and 15m with the callsign VI3RA.

All QSOs will be confirmed with a special QSL card.
http://www.sadarc.org/

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IOTA News from the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

Wednesday 11th March 2020

Island activities:
Compiled by Andreas, DK5ON

IOTA QRGs
CW: 28040 24920 21040 18098 14040 10114 7030 3530 kHz
SSB: 28560 28460 24950 21260 18128 14260 7055 3760 kHz

AS-068; R0B, Kara Sea Coast Centre group: The Arctic Legends Expedition 2020 began its journey on March 5 in Tazovsky. The team will assemble on March 12/13 at the weather station Sopochnaya Karga. From there, they will proceed to Rastorguyev Island and operate as RI0B. QSL via ClubLog OQRS.

AS-118; 9K, Kuwait group: Members of the Kuwait Amateur Radio Society acticate Failaka Island as 9K2F between the 11th and 15th.  QSL via 9K2RA.

EU-159; F, Aquitaine Region group: Thierry/F6CUK will be active from the lighhouse Cordouan (DIFM AT032, FFF-2820, DPLF PB018, WLOTA 0271, ARLHS FRA-007) between March 13 and 15 with the callsign TM8C on 40,30, and 20m (CW, SSB). QSL via F6CUK (d/B).
https://www.phare-de-cordouan.fr/

SA-032; CE8, Ultima Esperanza Province North group: Operators Vasily/R7AL, Vlad/RK8A, Leo/RW9JZ, Igor/UA3EDQ, and Slav/OK8AU (RW8A), all members of the Russian Robinson Club (RRC), activate Wellington Island (WW Loc. FE20tu) from the 12th to 16th as XR8RRC. QRV on 40 - 15m on CW, SSB, FT8. Depending on weather conditions, they will try to operate from Riesco Island (IOTA SA-091) as XR8RRC/p for 48 hours between the 19th and 21st. QSL via ClubLog OQRS, EU7A (d). https://rv6ali.wixsite.com/patagonia2020

SA-099; PJ2, Curacao Island: Andreas/DK5ON returns to Curacao from March 15 to 31. QRV as PJ2/DK5ON on 80 to 6m, including 60m, on CW, SSB, RTTY, and FT8/4. Also watch out for him in the Russian DX and CQ WW WPX contests. QSL via DK5ON (d/B), LoTW, ClubLog OQRS.

Deutscher Amateur Radio Club
e-mail: iota@dxhf.darc.de

RSGB IOTA website

Check-out the latest IOTA News bulletin from OPDX

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Coronavirus: Communications Academy 2020 cancelled

Tuesday 10th March 2020

ARRL reports the Communications Academy 2020, planned for April 24-26, has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 outbreak

The Communications Academy would have been two days of training and information on various aspects of emergency communications. Amateur Radio Emergency Services (ARES©); Auxiliary Communications Service (ACS); EOC Support Teams; Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES) were among the groups planning to attend.

The ARRL story says:

Because of the COVID-19 outbreak and upon advice from the Washington State Department of Health, Communications Academy 2020, due to be held in Seattle April 24 – 26, has been cancelled. “We are taking this precaution to protect the health and safety of all our attendees,” the announcement said. Those who have already registered will automatically receive a full refund.

— Thanks to ARRL Northwestern Division Vice Director Mark Tharp, KB7HDX


Source ARRL
http://commacademy.org/index.php?page=about-the-academy

Communications Academy
http://commacademy.org/index.php?page=about-the-academy

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Coronavirus: Announcement by Italy's ARI

Tuesday 10th March 2020

The President of Italy's national amateur radio society ARI has made an announcement about the impact of Coronavirus

A translation of the announcement on the ARI website says:

In view of containment and management of the health emergency, we inform you that the headquarters in Via Scarlatti in Milan, will remain closed in deference the provisions issued by the competent bodies.

For the disengagement of urgent and indifferent activities will be possible contact the offices at the email addresses in use which, at present, remain unchanged.

Everyone is aware that measures have been taken at national level restrictive measures aimed at contrasting the spread of the covid-19 virus; for the region Lombardy particularly restrictive rules have been enacted in consideration of regional epidemiological data, with invitation to employers public and private to promote the use by employees of periods of ordinary leave and holidays.

Rules have also been issued which provide for the suspension of conferences, meetings, meetings and social events, the latter provisions impose the deferral of all social activities in compliance to the decree of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers of 8 March and one careful reading of the decrees in force in the individual regions of interest.

Pending further measures by the competent bodies, I invite everyone to compliance with current provisions, with the hope that the spread of the virus will be contained within the limits within which it is possible to provide for the treatment of the infected.

Pending new provisions, I trust in compliance with the legislative requirements.


Palermo / Milan 9 March 2020.

President Vincenzo Favata IT9IZY

Source ARI https://tinyurl.com/ItalyARI

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Spring youth and newcomer camp in Vienna

Tuesday 10th March 2020

Austria's ÖVSV reports the Landesverband Wien (LV1) is organizing a youth and newcomer camp in Vienna for all young, motivated radio amateurs from all regional associations in Austria
 

The event takes place on the first weekend in May (April 30th to May 2nd), and accommodation has already been organized for you.

The following activities are planned:
- May 1st AOEE: joint contesting (including introduction to contesting) and setup of the station
- May 1st Fox hunt in the Prater - direction finder available
- Fieldday at the Bisamberg (various bands - bring your equipment)
- Kit project in the LV1 workshop
- Activation of club stations with special callsigns
- Visit to the Technical Museum in Vienna

Key data:
Date: Thursday, April 30th Afternoon to Saturday 02.05. afternoon
Accommodation: Brigittenau youth hostel, 1200 Vienna
Age: 0-30 years

Registration: by email to me at oe1mpr@oevsv.at

If you have any questions, please just contact me.

73 de Matthias OE1MPR

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Radio Caroline North March

Tuesday 10th March 2020

After last month's disappointment due to Storm Dennis, we are hoping to be back on our radio ship Ross Revenge for the third Radio Caroline North broadcast of 2020.

Join us on Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th March for all the best music from the 60s – early 90s, plus the chance to win some goods from our Web Shop.

We're LIVE from the River Blackwater from 10.30 am on Saturday.
Listen in on 648 AM in the South and South-East, on 1368 AM in the North and North-West courtesy of our friends at Manx Radio, around the world online via the Radio Caroline app and Radio Player, and on smart speakers.

We'd love to hear from you – email us during the broadcast at memories@radiocaroline.co.uk and remember, it's the only address that gets you straight through to us directly onboard.

The biggest little bar in Epping – with great live music and sports TV. We serve beer, wine, cocktails, coffee and bagels day and night.

Web Shop Competition:
This month's sponsor is Les Salter from Hull, East Yorkshire.

http://radiocaroline.co.uk/home.html

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Ham Radio featured in IOM Today

Tuesday 10th March 2020

The Isle of Man Today interviewed radio amateur Ronnie Allcote MD0RLA at Scarlett Tower, Castletown

The newspaper says:  

In an abandoned coastguard’s tower, out of view of the public and with views of Langness and the Calf of Man, Ronnie Allcote lives out his favourite pastime, amateur radio. Reporter Jess Ward met him at Scarlett Tower to find out more.

They call me ’Captain Scarlett’ here in Castletown, said Ronnie.

The 71-year-old shows me a mug with the Scarlett Tower printed on it while we stand in a small kitchen at the base of the tower - one that he says he’s rented for ’years and years’.

’I wanted it for the history,’ he said. ’It was built in 1950s and in 1971 the coastguard left. I rent it from the landowner for £1 a month.

’I got my Ham licence about 40 years ago. It was a lovely feeling. It’s like passing your test - I will always remember that day,’ he said.

You can read the full story at this link


What is Amateur Radio?
http://www.essexham.co.uk/what-is-amateur-radio

The RSGB provide an online Course and Exam Finder to help you locate a nearby course, see
https://rsgb.org/main/clubs-training/course-exam-finder/

Essex Ham provide free online Foundation amateur radio training
https://www.essexham.co.uk/train/foundation-online/

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CANCELLED - AMSAT at ScienceCity in Tucson AZ

Tuesday 10th March 2020

Writing in the Amsat BB, Patrick WD9EWK/VA7EWK says:

Hi.
Last week, I mentioned AMSAT would be supporting the K7UAZ radio club's presence at the ScienceCity science fair next weekend (Saturday and Sunday, 14-15 March 2020) on the campus of the University of Arizona in Tucson.

I have just received a notice that ScienceCity has been cancelled, due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) situation.

73.

Patrick WD9EWK/VA7EWK
http://www.wd9ewk.net/
Twitter: @WD9EWK or
http://twitter.com/WD9EWK

ANS

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NASA Administrator statement on Coronavirus situation

Tuesday 10th March 2020

The following is a statement from NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine:

“On Sunday, March 8, we received confirmation an employee at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19). We believe the exposure at the center has been limited, but -- out of an abundance of caution, and in consultation with Ames’ Center Director Eugene Tu, NASA Chief Heath and Medical Officer Dr. J.D. Polk, and in accordance to agency response plans -- Ames Research Center is temporarily on mandatory telework status with restricted access to the center until further notice.

“Limiting personnel at the center will allow Ames medical personnel and public health officials to determine potential contacts and assess areas that may require additional cleaning and mitigate potential exposure to center personnel. Working with county officials, Ames leadership and medical personnel are working to trace the contacts of the employee and notifying individuals who may have had significant contact with that person.

“Access to Ames is restricted to essential personnel only as required to safeguard life, property, and critical mission functions approved at the level of the associate center director. More guidance will follow for those who do not have equipment to work from home or who work in labs or other facilities requiring similar technical equipment that are fixed assets.

“In addition, due to the current uncertainty about the coronavirus situation in the United States and its potential impact on travel during the next few weeks, three NASA Earth Science airborne science campaigns slated to deploy across the country this spring have rescheduled their field activity until later in the year. The campaigns are DeltaX, Dynamics and Chemistry of the Summer Stratosphere (DCOTTS), and Sub-Mesoscale Ocean Dynamics Experiment (S-MODE), which would include flights from Ames. The scientific returns of these projects are not expected to be impacted by this change of plans.

“Last Friday’s agencywide voluntary telework exercise was a good test of NASA’s large-scale preparedness with no reported issues to the overall IT system. I’ve asked all NASA employees to continue to follow guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the agency’s Chief Health and Medical Officer, and if they have questions, don’t hesitate to talk with their supervisor.

“You’ve heard the agency’s leadership say the protection and care of our NASA team is the top priority and critical to the success of the agency’s mission, and it’s true. As the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation evolves, we’ll continue to closely monitor and coordinate with federal, state, and community officials to take any further appropriate steps to help safeguard the NASA family.”

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VP8PJ South Orkney DXpedition

Tuesday 10th March 2020

Pilot Glenn, KE4KY reported that the VP8PJ team has left Signy Island. During the day, logs for the VP8PJ operation were uploaded to: https://www.m0urx.com/oqrs/logsearch.php?dxcallsign=VP8PJ

The team went QRT on March 6th, at 0100z.
Current statistics show VP8PJ worked 82232 total QSOs with 20657 Unique callsigns.
QSO Modes: 40222/CW, 13979/SSB, 27128/FT8, 1/PSK and 2440/RTTY.
By Continent: 766/AF, 1/AN, 5393/AS, 44110/EU, 29133/NA, 601/OC and 3754/SA.

The following are VP8PJ media pages to watch:
The VP8PJ Web page is at: https://sorkney.com
The VP8PJ Twitter page is at: https://twitter.com/SouthOrkneyDX
The VP8PJ Groups.io group is at:
https://groups.io/g/VP8PJ

OPDX

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FT-8 experiment called-off

Monday 9th March 2020

After receiving almost 100 requests for skeds in the last 24 hours, it was decided with a heavy heart to cancel the test with DR4K.

The intention was to explore how quickly one can reach a goal with a small station and a modern operating mode. I didn't expect that an announcement posted on Friday, would cause a real hype so quickly.

On the one hand, the enthusiasm of the interested radio amateurs is a sign of a lively hobby; on the other hand, the parameters for the test have already been disturbed in such a way that one should not expect a valid result.

So the test will be carried out at a later date without prior notice and will only be communicated afterwards. I am sure that the decision taken is in line with the spirit of our experimental radio service.

73 and thank you for your interest!

Torsten, DL8KFO
 

You can read our original news item here:
FT-8 experimental event

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Willis Island DXpedition

Monday 9th March 2020

Murray Adams, WA4DAN, informs OPDX of the following:
The 2016/2019 CY9C team, and the upcoming Sable Island DXpedition CY0C team, is pleased to announce our next DXpedition.

After the Sable CY0C DXpedition, we will be going to Willis Island VK9W in 2021. Eight operators from those two teams will comprise the 2021 Willis Island DXpedition team.

Boat arrangements have already been made. We are currently working with the Australian government for the necessary permits.

Much more information will be released in the coming months

OPDX

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Dominican Republic radio hams get 5 MHz band

Monday 9th March 2020

The Dominica Amateur Radio Club Inc (DARCI) reports the use of the WRC-15 60-meter (5 MHz) band with an EIRP of 25 watts has finally been approved in the Dominican Republic

On March 4, the Executive Branch of the Dominican Republic, through decree 91-20, approved the update of the National Frequency Allocation Plan (PNAF), according to recommendations of the Dominican Institute of Telecommunications (INDOTEL). The Dominica Amateur Radio Club was consulted and recommended hosting the same IARU band plan.

In the document, the 60 meter segment is assigned to amateur radio as follows.

5351.5 - 5366.5 KHz FIXED MOBILE except for aeronautical mobile Radio amateurs (5.133B)

5.133B Stations in the amateur radio service using the 5351.5-5366.5 kHz frequency band should not exceed a maximum radiated power of 15 W (e.i.r.p.). However, in Region 2 in Mexico, amateur radio stations using the 5.351.5-5366.5 kHz frequency band should not exceed a maximum radiated power of 20 W (e.i.r.p.).
In the following countries of Region 2: Antigua & Barbuda, Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Dominica, El Salvador, Ecuador, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, St. Lucia, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Vincent & Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago, Uruguay, Venezuela and the overseas territories of the Netherlands in Region 2,  amateur radio stations using the 5351.5-5366.5 kHz frequency band should not exceed a maximum radiated power of 25 W (e.i.r.p.). (WRC-15)

INDOTEL resolution
https://transparencia.indotel.
gob.do/media/143280/resolucion_004-19_consulta_
publica_plan_nacional_de_
atribucion_de_frecuencias_2019_-_version_final_23_
enero_2019.pdf


Executive Branch approves modification of the National Frequency Allocation Plan (PNAF)
https://indotel.gob.do/noticias/poder-ejecutivo-aprueba-modificaci%C3%B3n-del-plan-nacional-de-atribuci%C3%B3n-de-frecuencias-pnaf/

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A 'radio-active' sunspot from the next solar cycle

Monday 9th March 2020

A new sunspot is emerging in the sun's southern hemisphere.
Its magnetic polarity identifies it as a member of new Solar Cycle 25.

Although the spot is relatively small, it is also dynamic, and has produced one of the first loud shortwave radio bursts of the new solar cycle.

Visit today's edition of Spaceweather.com to hear the outburst of static.

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Gilnahirk Listening Station

Monday 9th March 2020

GB0GLS is a special event station to commemorate the role played by the work of the Radio Security Service in Northern Ireland during WWII, in particular Gilnahirk Listening Station which was manned by the civilian staff of the General Post Office (GPO).

All are welcome to listen out for it and QSO with it on the air. Historical information will be available shortly on its QRZ page.

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YASME News

Monday 9th March 2020

Starting on Tuesday March 10, 2020, an International group now in New York will set sail to the British Virgin Islands and activate the VP2VB call sign for 6 days focusing on low-bands with two stations.

The team roster is KO8SCA, Adrian; OH2BH, Martti; OH2GEK, Niko; and VE7NY, Sandro. Their pilot stations are Don, K8MFO; Steve, N2AJ; Ken K4ZW; and Pertti, OG2M.

QSL via OH2BH.

Danny Weil, VP2VB, was a British watchmaker with a sense of adventure.
His initial sailing voyage was to the British Virgin Islands on a sail- boat named YASME. (Yasme is derived from “yasume”, Japanese for “to make tranquil.”) Legendary DXer Dick Spencely, KV4AA, became aware of Danny’s aspirations, and suggested that he combine amateur radio with his ambitious travel itinerary. Spencely taught Danny CW and helped him secure the call VP2VB.

During the period 1955 – 1962, Danny operated from several locations in the Caribbean, as well as the Pacific. The Don Chesser (W4KVX) DX Magazine chronicled all of those operations.

All was not “smooth sailing.” There were at least three YASME sailing vessels. One blew up in a British harbour before ever going to sea. Another sank in the Caribbean near St. Vincent, and another went down near Papua – New Guinea. Not to be deterred, Danny was always able to raise funds and find sponsors for securing a new vessel. The Hallicrafters Company supplied him with ham radio equipment. Other companies did the same.

Danny’s last expedition into the Pacific included stops at HC8 and FO8 – Clipperton. The latter was a particularly harrowing experience and life threatening. Danny’s new wife, Naomi, was with him at the time. The Mexican Navy had to rescue Danny and tow YASME to California. Danny went solo to several more stops in the Pacific before retiring from DXpeditioning. He eventually settled in Texas, where he opened a small shop. There was no more ham radio activity from Danny, although he listened frequently on a Collins receiver.

Don, K8MFO, remembers Danny’s distinctive operating style. In spite of starting from scratch and developing his skills in massive pileups, Danny became a very good CW operator. He didn’t waste much time, usually termi- nating his QSOs with a snappy “DIT DIT.”

Danny’s activities provided the reason to create the YASME Foundation with Dick Spencely – KV4AA conducting aggressive fund raising. Of course, later on, Lloyd, W6KG, and Iris, W6QL Colvin were the most prominent faces of YASME, continuing their travel under the original spirit of Danny Weil and his sailboat, YASME. The VP2VB call sign for this DXpedition will, of course, count for the Yasme Award, the first activation of VP2VB in more than 60 years.

The upcoming VP2VB DXpedition will return to the first historical traces of Danny Weil in the British Virgin Islands under a special authorization of the local Telecom authority to pay homage for those early years of DXing that should not be forgotten. Danny was a true adventurer and the spirit continues.

Ken Claerbout, K4ZW
Director, Vice-President and Secretary
The Yasme Foundation

Board of Directors:
Ward Silver, NØAX, President
Ken Claerbout, K4ZW, Director, Vice-President and Secretary
Rusty Epps, W6OAT, Director and Treasurer
Fred Laun, K3ZO, Director
Martti Laine, OH2BH, Director
Robert Vallio, W6RGG, Director
Hans Blondeel Timmerman, PB2T, Director
Marty Woll, N6VI, Director
James Brooks, 9V1YC, Director

OPDX

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Timor-Leste DXpedition

Monday 9th March 2020

The preparations are on the move. A team, including Peter/DB6JG, Gerd/DJ5IW, Markus/ DJ7EO, Heye/DJ9RR, Chris/DL1MGB, Dietmar/DL3DXX, Ulf/DL5AXX, Paul/DL5CW, Tom/DL5LYM, Ben/DL6FBL, Dieter/DL8OH, Robert/SP5XVY and Bernd/VK2IA will operate from Timor-Leste from October 11th until November 8th. This includes the participation as Multi-Multi entry in the CQWW SSB.

First payments have been made to the two lodges that will host our 10 stations. For most bands we will have at least two antennas with us to work in two modes on these bands simultaneously.

Many thanks to our first corporate sponsors:

* Spiderbeam for supporting us and our wildest ideas on antennas
* WiMo for providing hardware like rotators and antennas
* b.o.c. for providing computer and network infrastructure

The Web site of our DXpedition is online now: http://timor-leste-dx.de
Learn more about the Lagunaria DX Group and visit our website at:
http://lagunaria-dx-group.org

Christian Janssen, DL1MGB

OPDX

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Portuguese radio amateurs seek license changes

Sunday 8th March 2020

On February 26 Portugal's amateur radio associations submitted a joint proposal for legislation for the Amateur Service and Amateur Satellite Services to the Secretary of State

A translation of an ARLA post reads:

Revision of DL 53/2009

As informed, the representatives elected by the associations of radio amateurs (AR), were, February 26, 2020, received at the Secretary of State.

The meeting was guided by cordiality and the exchange of information about amateur radio, the legislative process that follows and, above all, the first joint analysis of our proposals.

There follow, therefore, some procedural phases, where it will be necessary to discuss options different from ours that we will be confronted with and, as is usual and customary, it should end with an extended public consultation.

The step taken today is a first but important step on the path that, democratically, radio amateurs affiliated to different associations of radio amateurs have traced.

It is recalled that our proposals include, among others, the following points:

• Emphasize the recognition of the quality of association of radio amateurs.
• Exempt young people up to 16 years old, inclusive, from the exam fee.
• Establish that young people aged 17 to 25, inclusive, will pay 25% of the exam fee.
• Apply the CEPT syllabus to amateur exams.
• Establish 3 categories - to the detriment of the current 6 - making the equivalence between old classes A, B and C and the current categories 1, 2 and 3.
• Establish that, after six months of granting the category 3 code, the radio amateur can apply for an exam for any of the following categories.
• Assign, for training and education, to category 3, of sub-bands in the 80, 40, 10 m bands, in addition to the 2 m and 70 cm bands, the amateur satellite service being excluded.
• Exclude supervision in the use of broadcasting amateur stations, with the exception of radio amateurs under 16 years of age.
• Abolish the minimum age for entry into category 3.
• Make it possible to reassign call signs (IC) as long as they are available (prefix and suffix).
• Eliminate the assignment of prefixes by classes (CT, CS and CR).
• Reassignment of prefixes CU1 to CU9 in the Azores, in line with the island where the stations are located.
• Issuance of a HAREC certificate to all categories 1, A and B radio amateurs, who require it.
• Equating analog or digital signaling stations to stations in common use (EUC) operating under the responsibility of an amateur, with power less than 5W PAR.
• Assign an operating license to the repeater stations (EUC) to be installed, regardless of the emission mode, after a trial period for one year, without complaints.
• Enable ICO assignment for up to 30 days.
• Consign ICOA free of charge when required by an association of radio amateurs.
• Keep the current fee regime unchanged


Although we are a little ahead of the agreed timetable, it will follow, on the part of the RA, an invitation to associations that are not part of the process to join it.

The legislative process, which will culminate in the publication of new legislation, will be long, but it is necessary to go through it until we have the repeal of the current legislation.

Amateurs deserve it!


Source ALRA
https://arla.org.pt/site/2020/02/27/comunicado-4-nova-legislacao-para-o-servico-de-amador/

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SANSA release new HF propagation App

Sunday 8th March 2020

The South African National Space Agency (SANSA) has released a new HF radio propagation app called Ionospheric Characterisation, Analysis and Prediction (IOCAP)

The Defence Web site says:

The South African National Space Agency (SANSA) has for several years been providing space weather data to the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) so that it gets optimal High Frequency (HF) radio signal performance, and has now released an app that assists it, and other users, make best use of HF frequencies depending on space weather.

SANSA said its software engineers have made the forecasting easier than ever by developing a visual, intuitive tool called Ionospheric Characterisation, Analysis and Prediction (IOCAP). “Before, operators relied on unintuitive tables of raw data – a wall of numbers, so to speak – to make sense of how space weather conditions might affect the way HF signals travel (or propagate),” SANSA said.

“These products are technical, and very hard to read, so people wanted an operational solution,” said SANSA’s Piet van Zyl, responsible for developing the IOCAP tool.

Technical operators who cut their teeth on HF communications are adept at interpreting the “wall of numbers” software, and it is still ideal for research. But younger operators, not as clued up on the underlying science yet, need something visual and intuitive for forecasting. “It’s a formidable thing to study,” said Van Zyl.

Read the full article at
https://www.defenceweb.co.za/featured/sansa-helping-sandfs-secure-communications/

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Attracting youth to ham radio: Get out of their way!

Sunday 8th March 2020

ICQ Podcast presenter Frank Howell K4FMH says radio amateurs should encourage, sponsor and assist young people to create their own youth-driven groups. Get out of their way but be available to help when called upon!

The article notes that the RSGB and ARRL could:
- tag youth-driven or youth-oriented clubs in their Find-A-Club databases
- buy adverts in gaming magazines
- provide a “build a club” set of actions to help young people Start Their Own Club

Read the article at
http://k4fmh.com/2020/03/03/attracting-youth-to-ham-radio-get-out-of-their-way/

ICQ Podcast
https://www.icqpodcast.com/

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New acitvity of EHSC and SHSC on 3.567 MHz

Sunday 8th March 2020

Dear OM, as from the 01.03.2020, I am the new President and Secretary of the EHSC and SHSC.

I am very happy to do this and to inform you, that we have an activity frequency on 3.567 MHz now.

Everybody is very kindly invited to come there, members, non members and all lovers of CW.

We will try to keep the QRQ alive, but also we want to promote newcomers. We want to take away the fear of QRQ CW, also to call QRQ stations on the bands.

Everybody is committed to key the possible speed of the calling more QRS operator.

To overrun somebody is not the idea of us and CW.

CW is leisure time and fun.

Further information about the clubs you will find on: http://www.morsecode.nl

For information about me please take a look at Qrz.com.

I think, we will find the Silk Cut Of Performance

Urs Olaf, DL1OP

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Historic Portuguese Callbooks

Sunday 8th March 2020

Portugal's national amateur radio society REP reports PDFs of callbooks from 1953 and 1993 are available for download

They can be downloaded from this link

Source REP
https://tinyurl.com/PortugalREP

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DXCC Country/Entity Report

Sunday 8th March 2020

According to the Amateur Radio Cluster Network for the week of Friday, 28th February, through Friday, 6th March there were 215 countries active.

Countries available:

3A, 3B8, 3D2, 3V, 3W, 4J, 4L, 4O, 4S, 4U1U, 4W, 4X, 5A, 5B, 5H, 5R, 5T, 5U, 5W, 5X, 5Z, 6W, 6Y, 7X, 8P, 8Q, 9A, 9G, 9H, 9J, 9K, 9L, 9M2, 9M6, 9N, 9Q, 9V, 9Y,

A3, A4, A6, A7, A9, AP, BV, BY, C3, C5, C6, CE, CM, CN, CP, CT, CT3, CU, CX, D2, D4, DL, DU, E5/s, E7, EA, EA6, EA8, EA9, EI, EK, EP, ER, ES, ET, EU, EX, EY, F, FG, FK, FM, FO, FP, FR, FS, FY, G, GD, GI, GJ, GM, GU, GW, H4, HA, HB, HB0, HC, HH, HI, HK, HL, HP, HR, HS, HV, HZ, I, IS, J2, J3, J6, J7, JA, JD/o, JT, JW, JY,

K, KG4, KH0, KH2, KH6, KL, KP2, KP4, LA, LU, LX, LY, LZ, OA, OD, OE, OH, OK, OM, ON, OX, OY, OZ, P2, P4, PA, PJ2, PJ4, PJ5, PJ7, PY, PY0F, PZ, S0, S5, S7, SM, SP, SU, SV, SV5, SV9, T7, TA, TF, TG, TI, TK, TR, TU, TZ,

UA, UA2, UA9, UK, UN, UR, V2, V3, V4, V5, V7, V8, VE, VK, VK9N, VP2E, VP2M, VP5, VP6, VP8, VP8/o, VP9, VR, VU, XE, XU, YA, YB, YJ, YK, YL, YN, YO, YS, YU, YV, Z3, Z6, Z8, ZA, ZB, ZD7, ZD8, ZF, ZL, ZP, ZS

PLEASE NOTE: The report "could" contain "Pirate/SLIM" operations or more likely a "BUSTED CALLSIGN". As always, you never know - "Work First Worry Later".

OPDX

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IOTA News from OPDX

Sunday 8th March 2020

Island activities:

EU-010/EU-012 (Cancelled/Update) Fraser, G4BJM, was expected to be active as GM4BJM from Yell Island (EU-012) for the RSGB IOTA Contest (July 25-26th), but had to cancel because "their accommodation had fallen through and was unable to find an alternative that was acceptable to his XYL."
(LAST MINUTE UPDATE): Fraser has found an alternative, and has booked the QTH and ferry to near North Uist, Outer Hebrides Islands. His activity will be CW only.

EU-127. Ralf, DK8FA, reports that 30 operators will be active as DA0HEL from Helgoland Island between March 19-29th. Activity will be on all bands/modes and activity on the QO100 satellite. There will be a side trip to Helgoland Dune signing as DL0IH. For safety reasons, activity from the Dune will only be between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. QSL via Bureau.

NA-249. By the time you read this, David, KN4ZKT, will be active as KP4/KN4ZKT from Vieques Island, Puerto Rico, until March 13th.
Activity will be holiday style on the 40/20 meters, and possibly the 17/15 meters, mostly in the late afternoons (3-6pm local time) and sometimes in the morning (8-10am local time).  David states, "I'll have a linked dipole for both bands (40/20m) and a vertical for 20m running QRP on SSB mode with a Yaesu FT-817.
Please spot me (I may or may not have internet/cell service), or look for self-spots on http://dxsummit.fi "

QSL via his home callsign. Check QRZ.com in the future for schedule updates.

OC-129. Lenny, N7MOT, is now active as DU6/N7MOT from Panay Island, which is part of the Visayan Islands, Philippines. He retired here (his XYL's homeland, DV6/N5CMG) in April 2019. Activity will be on 80-6 meters using SSB and FT8. It is suggested to listen for him on 20 meters between 2300-0300z and 80/40 meters between 1200-1600z. QSL via ClubLog, eQSL or LoTW. No direct (Postal mail doesn't work in the Philippines).

PLEASE NOTE: Since the Webmasters of the new <www.iota-world.org> have decided NOT to post or dedicate a Web page to announce upcoming IOTA operations, PLEASE send your IOTA operations information to the OPDX, and we will post it here in an upcoming bulletin......

Check-out the latest IOTA News from the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

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Foundations of Amateur Radio

Saturday 7th March 2020

All bands + All modes + All countries

A regular lament is the lack of things to do in our hobby. I know, it's foreign to me, but there are plenty of amateurs who express frustration at the lack of activity, no contacts, nothing new, no challenges.

For my poison, I started the process of contacting 100 different countries using 5 Watts. I've been at it for a number of years and truth be told, since my latest domestic move, over two years ago now, my efforts have been put on hold. Not because I didn't want to, but because I was getting annoyed with having to leave my home and wanting desperately to have a functional shack at home. As you might know, that's a project that's still in hand and thanks to some magnificent assistance from various places, I'm still making progress.

That said, your perspective might be dulled by the notion that this pretty much concludes the on-air activity possibilities that exist. Within my own license class, until recently, I was permitted to use voice modes like SSB, AM and FM and I was permitted to use hand-keyed Morse. I have access to 10 Watts and am currently allowed to use six different amateur bands, namely 80m, 40m, 15m, 10m, 2m and 70cm. So together with the four modes, I'd be able to make 24 different contacts to 100 different countries, that's 2400 different combinations.

Of course there are more than 100 countries, that is, DXCC entities. The 2018 list has 340 of them, so that's over 8-thousand different options for getting on air and making noise.

Last year all that changed. The local regulator in Australia, the ACMA decreed that all amateurs in Australia were permitted to use all modes.

It's taken a little while for that to sink in. Specifically what it means for me.

A quick search reveals that there are at least 60 different digital modes, think RTTY, Olivia, PSK31, etc. In addition to those, there's a plethora of other modes like IRLP, AllStar Link, EchoLink, CODEC2 and Brandmeister.

So conservatively I'm going to estimate that I now have got access to over a hundred different modes, across six bands with 340 countries, that's over 200-thousand different options for making a contact.

Of course it's unlikely that I'll make a contact between say Belize V3A and Perth VK6 on 2m using Olivia, but even if we limit our calculation to HF, we still have at least 136-thousand opportunities for adding something interesting to your logbook.

I've been hunting for a canonical list of all the various amateur modes and the tools needed to make and receive them. No doubt that will take me some time. I'll be documenting it on the projects page on vk6flab.com if you want to follow along. Speaking of which, you'll also find past episodes of this podcast there.

I suppose I should start by converting my current efforts into some pretty pictures that show what I've been up to so far, but that's a mapping exercise that I'll have to add to my to-do list, since I'm guessing it involves learning how to use some fun mapping tools.

If 136-thousand opportunities isn't enough, you can also add grid-squares, large and small, different prefectures in Japan, provinces in the Netherlands, CQ zones across the world or ITU areas, prefixes and operating modes.

Clearly there's plenty to do and see.

I wonder if there's an award for all modes all bands all countries and I wonder what happens if someone invents a new mode?

I'm Onno VK6FLAB

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Coronavirus: Ham radio event postponed in Iceland

Saturday 7th March 2020

As a result of coronavirus Iceland's IRA board has decided to postpone the amateur radio flea market announced on the winter schedule to be held on Sunday, March 8

The national amateur radio society IRA say:

The reason is, prevalent conditions due to the spread of coronary virus causing CONVID-19 disease, in Iceland there have been a total of 35 cases.

The flea markets of the IRA have, in recent years, been the most visited events in the organisation and there have often been over 50 people in Skeljanes. Clearly, when such a crowd meets in the hall, there will be great congestion. Professionals were asked for an opinion on this today and we are advised to postpone the event, if possible.

It has therefore been decided to postpone the flea market of IRA 2020 until Sunday, May 3. As sorry as it is to postpone events, it is our opinion that it is better to show precaution in this matter.

Source IRA https://tinyurl.com/IcelandIRA

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Special authorization required to use ham radio 13cm band

Saturday 7th March 2020

Switzerland's national amateur radio society USKA reminds amateurs wishing to use 13cm in the Swiss Activity Contest (SwAC) that they must apply for special authorisation to ue the band

A translation of the USKA post reads:

For the 13cm band, OFCOM authorisation must be obtained in order to work on it. Marco HB9OCR has prepared an application in 3 languages that can serve as a template and is suitable for use in the SwAC Contest.

SwAC page
https://www.uska.ch/swac/

Es'hail-2 page
https://www.uska.ch/amateurfunkpraxis/operating/amateurfunk-satelliten/eshail-2/

USKA in Google English
https://tinyurl.com/SwitzerlandUSKA

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Youth Coordinator Volunteers update

Saturday 7th March 2020

At the start of March IARU Region 2 put out a request for young people who wanted to remake Amateur Radio for the 21st Century, volunteers from 12 different countries applied

IARU R2 Secretary George Gorsline VE3YV has released this update:

Thank you to everyone who responded to our request for young hams to help make amateur radio more attractive and relevant in the 21st century in the Americas. It is great to know how many care about our shared love of amateur radio and understand the importance of changing for the future.

We already have a large response, with volunteers from Argentina to Canada and 10 other countries in between. If you are interested in volunteering and haven’t yet applied, please hold off for now. Let’s get a pilot group going and then see what comes next.

We’ll post updates as things progress, understanding that this will take some time. We wouldn’t be doing this if the answers were simple or easy. For those who have already applied, more information will be coming your way in the next few days.

IARU Region 2
https://iaru-r2.org/
https://twitter.com/IARU_R2

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European 24 hour Contest

Saturday 7th March 2020

European 24 hour contest SSB on HamSphere 4.0
Date 2020-03-07 at 07:00 UTC end 2020-03-08 at 07:00 UTC. Total 24 hours

Stations will need to work as many operators who are located in countries and territories which belong to the constant and negotiating members of the European Union, along with all other operators for distance points.

Mode: SSB
160, 80, 60, 40, 30, 20, 17, 15, 12, 11 and 10 meters.

All contest contacts MUST be above 35kHz from the bottom of each band (example: 7.035 and up, 14.235 and up, 21.335 and up). Any contest contact made below the 35kHz contest band edge will not count.

You can work all stations (EU and non-EU) and you will receive points for distance between you and operator (as follows):

1 point per QSO (0-500km)
2 points per QSO (500km-2500km)
3 points per QSO (2500km-5000km)
4 points per QSO (5000km-10000km)
5 points per QSO (10000km +)

1 point for each multiplier of a new worked country and/or territory belonging to the constant and negotiating members of the European Union.

You can work all stations (EU and non-EU) and you will receive points for distance between you and operator (as follows):

Repeated QSOs with the same operator are valid on every new band. 15 minutes must have passed before you can contact the same op on a different band.

Total points for distance x (Total multipliers for each new worked European country and/or territory according to DXHS list+1) +1 is for cases where operator did not work with any EU country.

Aaland islands (EU territory of Finland) AX Albania (negotiating member) AL Austria AT Azores islands (EU territory of Portugal) 1D Balearic islands (EU territory of Spain) 2B Belgium BE Bulgaria BG Crete (EU territory of Greece) 7C Croatia HR Cyprus CY Czech republic CZ Denmark DK Dodecanese (EU territory of Greece) 6D Estonia EE Faroe islands (EU territory of Denmark) FO Finland FI France FR Germany DE Greece GR Guernsey (EU territory of United Kingdom) GG Hungary HU Iceland (negotiating member) IS Ireland IE Isle of Man (EU territory of United Kingdom) IM Italy IT Jersey (EU territory of United Kingdom) JE Latvia LV Lithuania LT Luxembourg LU Macedonia (negotiating member) MK Malta MT Market Reef (EU territory of Finland) 1M Montenegro (negotiating member) ME Netherlands NL Poland PL Portugal PT Romania RO Sardinia (EU territory of Italy) 1S Serbia (negotiating member) RS Slovakia SK Slovenia SI Spain ES Sweden SE Turkey (negotiating member) TR United Kingdom GB

HamSphere 4.0 is a virtual ham radio via internet VoIP. You can have a free trial:

https://hamspheref0duw.blogspot.com/2020/02/hamsphere-40-free-trial-for-one-month.html

I will be active from my REMOTE on Amsterdam island FT5Z/F0DUW !

73 and hope to copy you soon on HS 4.0

Frank FØDUW, FJ/FØDUW and FT5Z/F0DUW

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FT-8 experimental event

Friday 6th March 2020

Special FT-8 event starting 09 March

On Monday, 9th we will start an experimental event:
How long does it take to get the DXCC in FT8?

Today, more than 80% of the QSOs are made by FT8 operators. Our goal is to get the DXCC in a shortest possible time.

We have to stick to these conditions:
The operators of DR4K may not use Cluster, FT8-monitoring etc.
No fox/hound, only regular FT8
DR4K must call CQ
output is limited to 50 wtts

We will try to work on 80/40/30/17/15/12 m as much as we can. No f/h, only regular FT8.

As soon as we have reached our goal, the experiment is over! After that you probably will never reach DR4K in FT8 again!

All QSOs will be confirmed with a special event-QSL.

QSL via Clublog, LOTW, QRZ.COM, eQSL also guaranteed.

Start will be Monday, March 9 at 6:00 UTC. We would be happy to have as many great connections from all over the world.

73, es gd dx

The DR4K contest team

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Clubs as Hubs?

Friday 6th March 2020

Amateur Radio Clubs in the Somerset Area of the UK are being invited to take part in a local day conference later this year to find ways of supporting each other, connecting with people in a rural setting, and growing the hobby.

Richard, G4JJP, one of the organisers, said: “Increasing age, declining membership, and apparent irrelevance don’t have to define Amateur Radio. But we do need to change the way we connect with each other and with interested groups if we are to halt the decline.”

The Chairmen of seventeen clubs in the Somerset area have been invited by MidSomerset Amateur Radio Club to discuss the proposal with their members. Richard said: “We’ve already had great support from Clubs as far apart as Glastonbury and Exeter, and the local RSGB reps have offered some great new thinking. The idea of Clubs as ‘Hubs’ in a wider network is one idea that we will be exploring”

For more information, go to www.WESSEXHAM.co.uk, where you can download the proposal letters and other conference information.

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Dominican Republic Winlink Emergency Communications Agreement signed

Friday 6th March 2020

On February 11, the Dominican Institute of Telecommunications (INDOTEL) and the Emergency Operations Center (COE) signed an agreement that formalizes the use of Amateur Radio bands and processes to be used in case of a disaster

The signing took place at the Emergency Operations Center by General Juan Manuel Mendez of COE and Mr. Nelson Guillen President of Indotel.  After the document signing, they highlighted the important work of radio amateurs and the support they provide to the community during and after any disaster event.

The document commits radio amateurs to use the WINLINK system as a means of transferring information to and from the Dominican Republic, and providing local communications support for disaster response for Civil Defense, the COE, and the Dominican Red Cross and other aid agencies.

Rafael Martinez Hi8KW
RCD IARU Liaison

Source IARU Region 2 https://iaru-r2.org/

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The world's oldest amateur radio society

Friday 6th March 2020

Next Wednesday, the 11th March will be the 110 anniversary of the meeting in Sydney of the Experimenters of the day who were trying to get a better deal from the authorities.

From that meeting grew the Wireless Institute of New South Wales, later the NSW Division. Over time the other Divisions and the WIA developed. The date of 11th March 1910 - through the W I A makes it the oldest National Amateur Radio Society in the world.

Amateur Radio New South Wales is the name adopted by the former NSW Division to avoid confusion with the WIA and is proud to be able to trace its origin back to that first meeting.

ARNSW will be holding a small celebration at the March Trash & Treasure being held at Dural on Sunday the 29th of March

Tim VK2ZTM

Wireless Institute of Australia

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AMSAT Academy to be held prior to Dayton Hamvention

Friday 6th March 2020

Come join us the day before Hamvention, for AMSAT Academy – a unique opportunity to learn all about amateur radio in space and working FM, linear transponder, and digital satellites currently in orbit.

AMSAT® Academy will be held Thursday, May 14, 2020, from 9:00am to 5:00pm, at the Dayton Amateur Radio Association (DARA) Clubhouse, located at 6619 Bellefontaine Rd, Dayton, Ohio.

The $85 registration fee includes:

• Full day of instruction, designed for both beginners and advanced amateur radio satellite operators, and taught by some of the most accomplished AMSAT operators.
• Digital copy of Getting Started with Amateur Satellites, 2020 Edition ($15 value)
• One-Year, AMSAT® Basic Membership ($44 value) • Pizza Buffet Lunch • Invitation to the Thursday night AMSAT® get together at Ticket Pub and Eatery in Fairborn.

Registration closes May 8, 2020. No sign ups at the door. No refunds, no cancellations.

Registrations may be purchased on the AMSAT store at https://www.amsat.org/product/2020-amsat-academy-registration/

Robert Bankston, KE4AL
Vice President - User Services

www.amsat.org/

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Andaman Islands DXpedition news

Friday 6th March 2020

VU4R Team will be active from 20th March 2020 to 31st March 2020 in Neil Islands, Andamans.

Thanks to the Government officials for support to grant the license.
The operation will mainly focus on low bands 160M,80M,40M.

We propose to activate 60M for the first time from VU4R Dxpediton.
We will also be operating during the CQ WPX SSB Contest, giving the contest’s yet another Rare prefix!

We do have concern band limitation on 160M due to the recent changes in our WPC which we are working on to resolve the Frequency Spectrum issue. Based on that we will also announce later final frequency and operating schedule.

The location will be the Northern tip of the Neil Island with clear opening to Europe / USA and All the antennas will be on the beach.

Our Team has decided that Charles, M0OXO, of great repute will be the QSL Manager, ClubLog and Online Log will be uploaded during or after the Expedition as the network permits. We will also be active on Eshail satellite for one day.

A minimum of three stations will be active, more will be operation depending on propagation and resources.
We will be using SteppIR / Hex beam for the high bands. Verticals for the low bands.

We need to hire the boat from Portblair to Neil Islands. The Island has intermittent power supply. We have to hire generators and many other items needed to procure for this activity in addition to Station Rooms in Resort for 11 days.

We will be operating over 150m from the beach. A large QTY of Low Loss LMR cables, poles and many items are required. Your contribution to this DXpedition is "welcome" and every contribution will acknowledge and updated in our website.

All individual supporters 25$+ will receive direct QSL.
All individual supporters 50$ + will receive direct QSL + VU4 Pin
All individual supporters 100$ + will receive direct QSL + VU4 Pin
+ Custom T-Shirt.

Our Website is http://vu4r.vu3rsb.org for more information – Please support via paypal or international bank....

73s and CU, from VU4R

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IOTA op postponed due to coronavirus

Friday 6th March 2020

Members of the Nara DX Association Japan (NDXA) who were planning an IOTA DXpedition to OC-253 (Murilo Island, Hall Islands) this year have announced the following:

Thank you for your showing an interest in our next V6J IOTA trip. Although we received many mails asking about our trip to OC-253, we decided to postpone OC-253 until 2021 or later. We hope the propagation will be better then. We hope spreading of coronaviruses will be stopped right away. We pray for the people who got infected with coronaviruses..

We look forward to meeting you on the air in 2021 or later.....
Best regards,
V6J Team

OPDX

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New review to protect the future of radio

Friday 6th March 2020

Media Minister John Whittingdale recently announced the scope of the Digital Radio and Audio Review that will examine the issues facing radio in the next decade as the digital revolution continues at pace.

"Ever since Chelmsford in Essex became the birthplace of radio in 1920, Radio has demonstrated its ability to adapt and compete with new technologies. I’m very pleased to bring together key partners so that we can collectively look ahead to ensure a vibrant and sustainable future for the UK’s cherished radio and audio sector."

Details here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-announces-details-of-new-review-to-protect-the-future-of-radio

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Coronavirus: Ham radio events in Japan cancelled

Thursday 5th March 2020

JARL reports a number of amateur radio events planned for March have been cancelled as a result of coronavirus

A translation of their post updated on March 3 reads:

The government has recently announced a policy regarding the new coronavirus infection, requesting that the event be stopped, postponed, or reduced in size for the next two weeks, stating that "events that attract large numbers of people have a large risk of infection."

The Federation, in line with government policy, has requested that all events scheduled for the next two weeks be cancelled or postponed for the time being.

Events that have been decided to be cancelled or postponed (branch meetings, etc.) are as follows.

Cancelled:

• The 19th West Nippon Ham Fair: March 8 (Sun)
• Tochigi Branch Ham Gathering: March 8 (Sun)
• Chugoku Regional ARDF Competition: Sunday, March 15
• Saitama Chapter Meeting: March 15 (Sun)
• Nara Branch Meeting: March 15 (Sun)
• Kagawa Prefectural Chapter Ham Festival in Kagawa: Sunday, March 22

Source JARL https://tinyurl.com/JapanJARL

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Wythall Hamfest cancelled

Thursday 5th March 2020

With regret, Wythall Radio Club have decided to CANCEL this year’s Hamfest, on Sunday 15th March.

As a responsible Club, we have taken this step to minimise any risks to the expected 400+ visitors and traders from the Covid-19 virus, due to the uncertainties regarding the spread of the virus.

PLEASE PASS THIS INFORMATION TO ANYONE YOU THINK MAY BE INTENDING TO VISIT THE HAMFEST

We are currently contacting all traders, and would like to thank them for their support for this year’s event.

http://www.wythallradioclub.co.uk/hamfest-cancelled/

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Interference from solar panel installations

Thursday 5th March 2020

Sweden's national amateur radio society, SSA, reports on work to identify and resolve the radio interference that is caused by solar panel installations

A translation of their post says:

Together with the Swedish Energy Agency, the Swedish Electricity Safety Authority has for some time been reviewing solar installations around the country. We wrote about this in December last year here on our site.

The Swedish Electric Safety Authority finds that it is mainly installations with so-called optimizers that cause radio interference. Some plants, on the other hand, have very good EMC properties, so you should not categorically accuse photovoltaic systems of interfering, says the Swedish ESA.

Radio amateurs in the Kungsbacka area have reported disturbances that they believe come from installations with solar panels and the Swedish Electric Safety Authority has recently been there and made measurements. The authority is happy to receive more reports of radio interference that may be due to installations with solar panels. This, in contrast to interference in general and which may conceivably come from radio broadcasts, you must report to PTS.

According to ITU radio regulations , amateur radio is not considered to be "safety service", which is why you cannot claim interference free in all situations. Occasional strong disturbances may also be tolerated, whereas it is more serious if entire frequency ranges are totally extinct.

In order to look after the neighbor it is always good to communicate with the neighbor before a notification. Therefore, if you suspect a specific installation, you should first ask the neighbor to shut down your plant to confirm the suspicions.

When reporting a suspected malfunction from a photovoltaic installation to the ESA, it should be detailed. Describe whether the disturbance is continuous or how it occurs intermittently. Please attach audio file and pictures from your frequency display. State where and when the observations were made and preferably a little about your equipment. Do you think you know where the source of the disturbance is located and who it is that has it, you can also specify this. Also, keep in mind that everything you write to an authority becomes public action. Send your application to: registrator@elsakerhetsverket.se


SM6ZEM Hans-Christian


Source SSA https://tinyurl.com/SwedenSSA

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60m for Senegal

Thursday 5th March 2020

Yves F5PRU / 6W1TA in Senegal has been informed by ARTP, the Senegalese Telecom Regulatory Authority, that the new WRC-15 Amateur Secondary Allocation 5351.5 – 5366.5 kHz is now allowed in the country.

The IARU Region1 bandplan should be used with a maximum power limit available of 15W EIRP.

Yves has been living in Senegal for 18 months. He is mainly QRV around 5354 kHz in CW mode and sometimes on 5357 kHz FT8 Mode. He lives near Dakar and although he suffers from QRM early evenings, this lessens later on in the night.

Paul G4MWO

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Agencies on alert as use of illegal wireless sets detected

Thursday 5th March 2020

The New Indian Express reports the use of unauthorised wireless sets have become a cause of worry for licenced radio amateurs in Kerala

The newspaper says:

Raising major security concerns, unauthorised wireless set users from the state are tapping into the same air frequency used by HAM radio operators for communication. Intelligence agencies have launched a probe after inputs revealed that there have been a couple of instances of unauthorised wireless communication taking place in the state.

Agencies, which have been keeping a tab on very high frequency (VHF) communication channels, are closely monitoring the situation based on information that licenced HAM users have been hearing interceptions in their channels.

“We suspect that a few groups are using smuggled cordless handsets to communicate in unapproved bandwidths. Even repeaters to strengthen the signals are being set up illegally by these groups to extend their reach,” said an intelligence officer.

There are more than 100 licenced HAM users in Kerala and the functioning of unauthorised wireless sets have become a cause of worry for them.

“People using illegal handsets should be booked,” said a HAM user from Thrissur. “We hear communication of these illegal operators though they cannot hear us. We operate in the range between 144-146 MHz on VHF,” he said.


Read the full story at
https://www.newindian
express.com/states/kerala/2020/mar/03/agencies-on-alert-as-use-of-illegal-wireless-sets-detected-2111298.html

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Story of ham radio moon bounce pioneer on ABC News

Thursday 5th March 2020

ABC News recalls achievements of Australian amateur radio moon bounce pioneer Ray Naughton VK3ATN who passed away in 2012

The ABC News story says:

You probably haven't heard of Ray Naughton's feat of science — not many people have. But 55 years ago, the quiet electronics store owner from Birchip, in western Victoria, successfully completed Australia's first ever moon bounce.

The amateur radio fanatic had spent most of his time alone in a paddock, tinkering away on an antenna capable of bouncing a radio signal off the moon and back again.

Ray Naughton was told at the time that it was impossible with what experts said was limited equipment but he proved industry experts wrong, resulting in an all-expenses-paid trip to the US to share his knowledge with scientists.

Read the ABC story at
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-03-04/australias-first-moon-bounce-schocked-us-experts/11339552

The first Amateur Lunar tests & contacts web site records Ray had decided to start with the 144 MHz band and his antenna consists of four rhombics with 342 feet on each leg. The individual beams are stacked roughly one wavelength apart with a mean height of 24.4 feet.
Apex angle for 144.090 Mc is 11 degrees 28 minutes. Calculated gain is approximately 34 dB with a main-lobe radiation angle of 4 degrees. This is approximately the performance one might expect from a 150 foot diameter parabolic reflector. The half-power beamwidth is 3.5 degrees which allows about 8 to 10 minutes of moon time at full gain. (Minus 1 dB points.)

On July 18, 1966 at 2259 GMT Ray received the first copyable signals from K6MYC in California. On November 28, 1966 he had a two-way contact with K32MWA/2 in New Jersey and on December 29, 1966 at 1146 GMT Ray and K6MYC in California finally completed a two-way contact after nine months of trying.

The first Amateur Lunar tests & contacts
http://www.ok2kkw.com/eme1960/eme1965eng.htm

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Icom renews commitment to WRTC 2022

Thursday 5th March 2020

Press release

Icom has announced that they are renewing their sponsorship commitment to the World Radiosport Team Championship (WTRC) 2022 Italia, to be held in Bologna.

As a leading manufacturer of amateur radio equipment, Icom is proud to provide a financial commitment as the first Platinum Level Sponsor for this world-wide contesting event.

The WRTC is an on-site ham radio competition that is held every four years. It provides a platform for the world’s leading amateurs to compete and show their impressive contesting skills. This year the competition will take place in Bologna, Italy, in July 2022 and is by invitation only.

When WRTC asked Icom America's Senior Sales Manager, Ray Novak, N9JA, about his feelings on the sponsorship, he said "I'm happy to represent Icom as the first Platinum Sponsor. We believe in WRTC! Icom has had good results in the past events (sponsoring the winners in WRTC 2014) so here we are again! We are always up to date with the development of new technologies and this always benefits the WRTC competitors."

Icom has long supported the efforts and activities of the WRTC, and was even one of the original sponsors for the first WRTC event that was held locally in Seattle, 1990. Icom is continuously dedicated to designing and manufacturing the best amateur shortwave VHF/UHF radio equipment on the market and takes great pride in involving themselves within various communities and organizations to support a hobby they are passionate about.

For the love of ham radio.

To learn more about Icom's Amateur products, please visit us online. Make sure to Follow Us on Twitter or Like Us on Facebook for show information.

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Electronics students earn FCC ham radio licenses

Thursday 5th March 2020

The Dover Post reports electronics students at Sussex Technical High School recently earned their federal amateur radio operator technician class licenses, a new step along their career pathway

The newspaper says:

Eight sophomore students earned the Federal Communications Commission certification, which allows them to operate an amateur, or “ham,” radio station and communicate with other operators worldwide.

Earning their licenses were Bonnie “Abby” Gerhardt, of Greenwood; Jack Blatz, of Laurel; Shaun Stanton, of Milford; Chase Horton, of Millville; Kenneth “Jack” Morris and Alexander Horan, of Milton; and Austin Drace, Seaford; and Callum Neely, of Selbyville.

“Amateur radio is a great entry into the world of radio frequency engineering, as well as a useful asset in emergency communications for the community,” said Sussex Tech electronics teacher Anthony Carmen, himself a licensed ham radio operator.

Volunteers from the American Radio Relay League, the Sussex County Amateur Radio Emergency Services, and the Sussex Amateur Radio Association all assisted with training and preparing students for the licensing exam.


Source Dover Post
https://www.doverpost.com/news/20200304/sussex-tech-electronics-students-earn-fcc-ham-radio-licenses

Sussex Amateur Radio Association
http://www.sussexamateurradio.com/

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Dayton Hamvention officials keeping an eye on coronavirus situation

Wednesday 4th March 2020

ARRL reports with Dayton Hamvention® 2020 a little more than 10 weeks away, Hamvention officials say they are closely following the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation

The ARRL say:

Show organizers will post updates as the May 15 – 17 event nears, but they’re optimistic that coronavirus will not be an issue.

“At this time, the Hamvention Executive Committee has been in contact with the Greene County Public Health Department, and we do not anticipate any impact because of this issue,” a March 3 Hamvention statement said. The Greene County Public Health Department reports that no cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Ohio.

“Greene County Public Health is working closely with the Ohio Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and are prepared to respond, should there be a community spread of COVID-19,” the Hamvention statement noted. “The current risk to the general public is very low. Travel advisories are in effect, and can change anytime, so please see the CDC Travel Advisory webpage before traveling.”


Read the full story at
http://www.arrl.org/news/dayton-hamvention-officials-keeping-an-eye-on-coronavirus-situation

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Remake Amateur Radio for the 21st Century

Wednesday 4th March 2020

IARU Region 2 request help from young people to remake Amateur Radio for the 21st Century

Are you a “young” ham?  Want to help remake Amateur Radio for the 21st century?  

Frustrated that there are so few of your friends and age group that are interested in ham radio?  Frustrated that amateur radio is in a rut, not doing more or different things with technology?  Concerned that an aging demographic means ham radio is dying?  And that our frequencies will be sold out to the highest bidder because there aren’t enough hams to show that we use them?

So are we.  And we want to do more than talk – we want to do something about it.  

IARU Region 2 is looking for a few volunteers to work together to brainstorm ideas and possible actions to increase ham radio’s attractiveness.  We’re not looking for a single magic approach.  After all, amateur radio means many things to many people.  Rather we’re looking for possible ways to target specific interests that are either part of ham radio today or could be part of ham radio in the future to recruit and retain new amateurs.

Are you interested?   Are you:
• A radio amateur who has been licensed for more than a year?
• Between 18 and 35 years of age?
• Are a self-starter, willing to take initiative?
• Willing to volunteer your time and exercise creativity?

If so, send an email to secretary@iaru-r2.org telling us why you are interested in volunteering to be part of this group, your current interests (in ham radio, what you do: job, student, etc) and your thoughts on what may be done.  Ideally we would like to have as many parts of the Americas represented as possible*.

With the exception of a liaison person sitting in, the formalities of committees won’t apply: the group will figure out how it wants to work (Facebook, WhatsApp, video meetings, etc), and develop ideas of what it thinks will be worth trying out.

This is more than a think tank.  We’re prepared to provide funding to try out some of the proposed ideas to see how well they work.  We expect that some ideas will work, others won’t, and different things will work in different parts of the Americas – one size will not fit all.  As part of the work, IARU R2 would propose to send one person to the IARU R1 YOTA youth camp to experience the camp, meet with the R1 youth coordinators to learn about what they are doing in Europe and Africa, to exchange ideas, and explore what joint activities might be done.

Who are we:
IARU Region 2 is the Americas part of the International Amateur Radio Union.  Like ITU, IARU has 3 regions: Region 1 Europe/Africa, and Region 3 Asia/Pacific.  IARU is best known for being the international representative of ham radio at the ITU, defending our spectrum.  
IARU does more than that, working through the national societies in each member country, coordinating WINlink networks, band planning, satellite frequency coordination, and training among many others.  And of course, IARU is very concerned about the future of amateur radio, especially in attracting new amateurs.  R2 has an Executive Committee made up of representatives of each of the 7 areas, a President and a Secretary.  All are volunteers, dedicated to seeing that our hobby not only survives but prospers with new ideas and ways to do ham radio.


*IARU Region 2 is divided into 7 areas:
Area "A" - Northern part of North America including Canada and Bermuda.
Area "B" - Central part of North America including the United States of America: also including Puerto Rico and the U. S. Virgin Islands, and also Hawaii and all of the Pacific Ocean islands administered by the United States of America within the boundaries of IARU Region 2.
Area "C" – Mexico and the Caribbean Islands of Antigua-Barbuda, Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique, Montserrat, Anguilla, British Virgin Islands, St. Kitts and Nevis, and Turks and Caicos.
Area "D" - Central America including Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama.
Area "E" - Northern part of South America including Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, and the Caribbean Islands of Netherlands Antilles, Trinidad and Tobago, Aruba, Barbados, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Lucia, Grenada and Dominica.
Area "F" - Central part of South America including Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador and Peru.
Area "G" - Southern part of South America including Argentina, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay.

Joaquin Solana, XE1R    
News Editor - IARU R2
https://iaru-r2.org/

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Mobile LoRa-APRS via QO-100

Wednesday 4th March 2020

An article by Andreas Malek OE3DMB describes his experiment to transmit a mobile LoRa-APRS signal via the transponder on the QO-100 geostationary satellite

Andreas generated a 20 watt 125 kHz bandwidth LoRa signal on 2.4 GHz which was fed into a small omni-directional antenna mounted on the roof of a car.

Read the article at
http://aprs.org/LoRa_Documentation.pdf

QO-100 geostationary satellite information:

Narrowband transponder
https://amsat-dl.org/en/p4-a-nb-transponder-bandplan-and-operating-guidelines/

Wideband transponder
https://amsat-dl.org/en/p4-a-wb-transponder-bandplan-and-operating-guidelines/

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Freeview TV - 700 MHz clearance update

Wednesday 4th March 2020

In early February Ofcom issued an update on Moving Freeview to make more airwaves available for mobile - the ‘700 MHz Clearance Programme’

The update says:


The final changes occur between February and April this year. When changes happen in their area, viewers affected should check whether they have lost service on any Freeview channels, including their local TV or High Definition TV channels.

Where Local TV channels are broadcast, they are available on channel number 7 or 82 on your TV remote. High Definition channels are available on channel 101 upwards (available for TVs carrying the Freeview HD logo and some other Digital Terrestrial Television providers such as YouView and BT TV). If any services are missing after the changes are made, most viewers should be able to restore them by retuning their TVs or set-top boxes.

A very small minority of viewers – estimated to be less than 1% of households may need to replace their rooftop aerial to continue receiving services. Support for viewers affected is available (see information below). Some services, mainly +1 channels and HD simulcasts of SD channels, will cease broadcasting from the Sheffield transmitter following the completion of clearance at this transmitter group.

Read the full update at
https://www.ofcom.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0024/190707/700-mhz-clearance-programme-update-feb-2020.pdf

Ofcom Ongoing projects - UHF: 700 MHz
https://www.ofcom.org.uk/spectrum/spectrum-management/ongoing-projects

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IOTA Honour Roll and Annual Listings 2020

Wednesday 4th March 2020

The IOTA Honour Roll and Annual Listings 2020 has now been published online.

All in all there are 1647 entries; 253 operators have registered confirmations of more than 1000 IOTA references, 9A2AA being in the lead with 1129 (out of 1133).

https://www.iota-world.org/de/

DXNL

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Zambia DXpedition

Wednesday 4th March 2020

Just a reminder that the 9J2LA team will be active from Zambia between March 5-15th.

Activity will be on 160-6 meters using CW, SSB, RTTY and FT8.

QSOs will be uploaded to ClubLog if internet access is available.
QSL via M0OXO QSL service.

The 9J2LA Web page is available at: https://9j2la.com
Facebook and Twitter will be used for “Breaking News” the weeks before departure and during the Expedition.
The media Web pages are:
FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/9j2la
Twitter:
https://twitter.com/9J2LA

OPDX

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Ofcom awards four new community radio licences

Wednesday 4th March 2020

Ofcom has announced the award of four new community radio licences in England and Scotland.

Licences have been awarded to:

A news release with more information is available.

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IOTA News from the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

Wednesday 4th March 2020

Island activities:
Compiled by Andreas, DK5ON

IOTA QRGs
CW: 28040 24920 21040 18098 14040 10114 7030 3530 kHz
SSB: 28560 28460 24950 21260 18128 14260 7055 3760 kHz

AF-014; CT3, Madeira Archipelago: Rosel/DL3KWR and Hardy/DL3KWF return to Madeira once more from March 6 to April 1. QRV as CT9/homecalls on HF (including 60m) on CW and some FT8. QSL via homecalls (d/B), LoTW, eQSL. http://dl3kwr.de/

AF-017; 3B9, Rodrigues Island: David/F8AAN will be active holiday-style during the nighttime hours as 3B9AN between the 9th and 18th on 80-17m. QSL via ClubLog OQRS, F8AAN (d).

EU-013; GJ/MJ, Jersey: Hans/DK8RE, Wolf/ DL1CC, Hans/DL8UUF, and Wies/SP1EG will be airing MH0ESP, a callsign of the International League of Esperantist Radio Amateurs (ILERA), from Jersey between the 8th and 20th. QSL via SP1EG.

NA-100; V2, Antigua and Barbuda: Flavio/IW2NEF will be active from Jolly Harbour/Antigua (WW Loc. FK97bb) between March 6 and 13 as V26FP on 40 to 10m (SSB, FT8). QSL via LoTW, ClubLog OQRS, or direct via IK2DUW (d).

Deutscher Amateur Radio Club
e-mail: iota@dxhf.darc.de

RSGB IOTA website

Check-out the latest IOTA News bulletin from OPDX

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Copyright infringement: Motorola wins case against Hytera

Tuesday 3rd March 2020

The ARRL report Motorola wins multimillion dollar theft of trade secrets case against Hytera

ARRL say:


A jury for the US District Court of the Northern District of Illinois has awarded Motorola Solutions damages of $764.6 million in its theft of trade secrets and copyright infringement lawsuit against Hytera Communications of Shenzhen, China— the maximum Motorola Solutions had sought.

In early 2017 Motorola filed complaints in federal court alleging that Hytera’s digital mobile radio (DMR) products employed techniques and systems that infringed on Motorola Solutions’ patents and trade secrets. Already known for its Land Mobile Radio Service products, Hytera entered the Amateur Radio DMR market in 2016. Its ham products include the Hytera AR482Gi digital mobile radio.

Motorola alleged that proprietary and patented information was taken illegally by three former company engineers who went to work for Hytera, as “part of a deliberate scheme to steal and copy” its technology. The company said it would seek a global injunction to prevent Hytera from trade secret misappropriation and copyright infringement, a Motorola spokesperson said following the verdict.

“Today’s verdicts are a tremendous victory for Motorola Solutions and a clear repudiation of the illegal and anticompetitive tactics employed by Hytera over the last decade,” the company said in a statement.

Motorola said technology features it developed started showing up in Hytera products soon after Hytera began hiring former Motorola engineers in 2008, according to the lawsuit.


Read the full story at
http://www.arrl.org/news/view/motorola-wins-multimillion-dollar-theft-of-trade-secrets-case-against-hytera

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IARU-R1 VHF-UHF-Microwave newsletter

Tuesday 3rd March 2020

The edition 85 of the free IARU Region 1 VHF-UHF-Microwave newsletter is now available for download

The newsletter looks ahead to the 25th IARU-R1 General Conference that will be held in Novi Sad, Serbia, on October 11-16.  

The amateur radio 1240-1300 MHz allocation is threatened by the Galileo GNSS constellation that transmits across 1260-1300 MHz. The newsletter notes the Galileo team has witnessed interference from amateur TV transmissions which resulted in station shut down and has experienced interference from high power EME operations too.

Work is at an early stage and the IARU will continue to try and minimise the impact on amateur operations however it is likely that some changes will be necessary to the way we use the band.

The topic is closely related to the WRC-23 and agenda item 9.1b reported in the last newsletter.

Download edition 85 of the IARU-R1 VHF-UHF-uW newsletter from
https://www.iaru-r1.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Newsletter85.pdf

Previous editions are at
https://www.iaru-r1.org/about-us/committees-and-working-groups/vhf-uhf-shf-committee-c5/vhf-newsletters/

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RSGB Exam Papers

Tuesday 3rd March 2020

The RSGB have made an announcement regarding the use of randomised answers in exam papers

Read the announcement at
https://rsgb.org/main/blog/news/rsgb-notices/2020/03/02/announcement-regarding-randomised-answers-in-exam-papers/

The RSGB Tutors email group can be found at
https://groups.io/g/RSGBtutors

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March GEO Newsletter available for download

Tuesday 3rd March 2020

The March PDF of the GEO Newsletter weather satellite publication produced by the Group for Earth Observation is now available for free download

The Group for Earth Observation's aim is to enable amateur reception of weather and earth imaging satellites that are in orbit or planned for launch in the near future.

Membership of GEO is free.

In this edition Francis Bell G7CND writes about the planned visit to EUMETSAT’s HQ in Darmstadt, Germany and he provides an update on the Dundee satellite receiving station.

David Taylor GM8ARV writes about enhancing your Meteor M2 experience with the LRPT Image Processor app.

Download the GEO Newsletter from
http://www.geo-web.org.uk/geoquarterly.php

Group for Earth Observation
https://groups.io/g/GEO-Subscribers
https://twitter.com/GEOWEBUK
https://www.facebook.com/groupforearthobservation

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#BeAnAstronaut: NASA seeks applicants to explore Moon, Mars

Tuesday 3rd March 2020


NASA's new class of astronauts – the first to graduate since the agency announced its Artemis program – appear on stage during their graduation ceremony
 at the agency’s Johnson Space Center in Houston on Jan. 10, 2020. The class includes 11 NASA candidates, as well as two Canadian Space Agency (CSA) candidates,
 selected in 2017. Credits: NASA

For the first time in more than four years, NASA began accepting applications Monday for future astronauts. Aspiring Moon to Mars explorers have until 11:59 p.m. EDT Tuesday, March 31, to apply.

The call for more astronauts comes at a time when the agency is preparing to send the first woman and next man to the Moon with the Artemis program. Exploring the Moon during this decade will help prepare humanity for its next giant leap – sending astronauts to Mars.

U.S. citizens may submit applications to #BeAnAstronaut at:
https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/561186900

“America is closer than any other time in history since the Apollo program to returning astronauts to the Moon. We will send the first woman and next man to the lunar South Pole by 2024, and we need more astronauts to follow suit on the Moon, and then Mars,” said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. “We’re looking for talented men and women from diverse backgrounds and every walk of life to join us in this new era of human exploration that begins with the Artemis program to the Moon. If you have always dreamed of being an astronaut, apply now.”

NASA expects to select final astronaut candidates in mid-2021 to begin training as the next class of Artemis Generation astronauts. When the agency last sought astronaut candidates, in late 2015, a record-breaking 18,300 people applied. After more than two years of intensive training, 11 new astronauts selected from that pool graduated earlier this year in the first public graduation ceremony the agency has hosted.

“Becoming an astronaut is no easy task, because being an astronaut is no easy task,” said Steve Koerner, NASA’s director of flight operations and chair of the Astronaut Selection Board at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. “Those who apply will likely be competing against thousands who have dreamed of and worked toward going to space for as long as they can remember. But somewhere among those applicants are our next astronauts, and we look forward to meeting you.”     

Since the 1960s, NASA has selected 350 people to train as astronaut candidates for its increasingly challenging missions to explore space. With 48 astronauts in the active astronaut corps, more will be needed to serve as crew aboard spacecraft bound for multiple destinations and propel exploration forward as part of Artemis missions and beyond.

The basic requirements to apply include United States citizenship and a master’s degree in a STEM field, including engineering, biological science, physical science, computer science, or mathematics, from an accredited institution. The requirement for the master’s degree can also be met by:

Candidates also must have at least two years of related, progressively responsible professional experience, or at least 1,000 hours of pilot-in-command time in jet aircraft. Astronaut candidates must pass the NASA long-duration spaceflight physical.

As part of the application process, applicants will, for the first time, be required to take an online assessment that will require up to two hours to complete.

After completing training, the new astronauts could launch on American rockets and spacecraft -- developed for NASA’s Commercial Crew Program -- to live and work aboard the International Space Station, 250 miles above Earth. There they will take part in experiments that benefit life at home and prepare us for the Moon and Mars.

They also may launch on NASA’s powerful new Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft, docking at the Gateway in lunar orbit before taking a new human landing system to the Moon’s surface. After returning humans to the Moon in 2024, NASA plans to send astronauts to the lunar surface once per year on expeditions and establish sustainable lunar exploration by 2028. Gaining new experiences on and around the Moon will prepare NASA to send the first humans to Mars in the mid-2030s.

For more information about a career as a NASA astronaut, and application requirements, visit:
http://www.nasa.gov/astronauts

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Beyond Exams (BE) Coordinator appointed

Tuesday 3rd March 2020

The RSGB have announced that Chris Colclough G1VDP has been appointed to the role of Beyond Exams (BE) Coordinator  

He was first licensed in 1986 and enjoys operating on HF using CW, is active on RTTY, CW and most other digital modes and enjoys working DX with the new FT8/FT4 modes.

Chris is a founder member of the Strumble Head DX and Contest Club and an active member of the Hinckley Amateur Radio & Electronic Society.

Source RSGB
https://rsgb.org/main/blog/news/rsgb-notices/2020/03/02/beyond-exams-be-coordinator-appointed/

Beyond Exams schemes – Region 13 Pilot
https://rsgb.org/main/clubs/beyond-exams-schemes-region-13-pilot/

Leicester Radio Society - Beyond Exams
https://www.g3lrs.org.uk/312-beyond-exams.html

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Somalian operation in need of help

Tuesday 3rd March 2020

Ali, EP3CQ, will once again be active as 6O1OO and will stay until March 25th. Activity will be limited to his spare time because he works for the UN Department of Safety and Security (UNDSS) in Mogadishu.

Operations are on 160/80/40/30/20/17/15/10/6 meters (mostly on 40/20 meters FT8) using CW, SSB and FT8. The 6O1OO station, currently is the only active and licensed Amateur Radio Station in Somalia.

Ali informs OPDX that he posts updates on his QRZ.com page and is looking for some equipment donations. He posted the following on his QRZ.com page:
"Due to the harsh weather conditions super (hot, humid, windy and,salty) there is a necessity to change the equipment antennas, wires, UPS and defect RF units (due to overheat), I need and rely on your donations to keep the station running. Sponsors and equipment donors, please contact me (EP3CQ) directly."

REMINDER: Effective as of February 11, 2019, the callsign, 6O1OO, has been accepted for DXCC credit.

QSL direct to: Ali Solhjoo, Schnacken- burgstr. 3, Berlin 12159, Germany. QSL cards will be replied to on a bi-monthly basis. IRC's are not accepted. See QRZ.com for more info and picture of his station. Flash news will be posted via Twitter: @ep3cq

OPDX

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Coronavirus forces Kiribati postponement

Tuesday 3rd March 2020

Alex, 5B4ALX, has postponed his T30ET operation that was scheduled between March 18th and April 2nd, due to the Tarawa's Ministry of Health of Kiribati announcement/communication.

He was informed that he would "need to undergo the 14 days quarantine in Honiara and to obtain a medical clearance before traveling to Kiribati."

Alex states, "Therefore T30ET is currently postponed – NOT DELETED – indicatively to October 2020, ever if the COVID-19 situation will be resolved."

You can read the bulletin received from Kiribati MINISTRY of HEALTH & MEDICAL SERVICES at:
http://www.5b4alx.cloud/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Revised-Health-Travel-Advisory-180220-1-2.pdf

OPDX

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Project for school QO-100 ham radio stations

Monday 2nd March 2020

DARC reports on a Practical Seminar about the amateur radio QO-100 geostationary satellite transponders. Part of seminar fees goes to the "School stations on QO-100" project

A translation of the DARC post reads:

Top-class seminar in the DARC office in Baunatal: On February 28, experts from AMSAT-DL e.V. gave around 40 people a detailed insight into the possibilities offered by the QO-100 amateur radio transponders on the geostationary satellite Es'hail-2.

AMSAT-DL President Peter Gülzow, DB2OS, started with a keynote speech. Workshops with four lecturers dealt with different operating modes, different hardware concepts and readily available software solutions for the PC.

Part of the attendance fee will go to the joint project of DARC and AMSAT-DL "School stations on QO-100". Together they want to equip ten schools that already have a training call sign with a complete reception system for the narrowband transponder.


DARC and AMSAT-DL want to motivate more young people for amateur radio through the possibilities that QO-100 offers.

Source DARC https://darc.de/

QO-100 info
https://amsat-uk.org/satellites/geo/eshail-2/

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MyHam.net

Monday 2nd March 2020

Share your passion for the hobby with the rest of the community. A new social network called “MyHam Network” has been established by IECRO.

This new online portal will provide all amateur radio operators across Ireland and Britain with a number of new exciting services. No matter what your favorite topic is in the hobby, MyHam aims to provide something for everyone.

The site will bring together into one online place valuable information such as european-based amateur radio news, european contests/DX, the MyHam callbook, tutorials/howto’s, study/mentoring for people wishing to become licenced, DMR, Echolink registration and much more.

All amateurs holding an EI, GI or MI callsign are welcome to join the MYHam Network website for free by visiting www.myham.net.

IRTS

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RSM no longer accepting Kiwibank cheques for annual licence fee payments

Monday 2nd March 2020

From 28 February, New Zealand's regulator RSM will no longer be accepting Kiwibank cheques as payment for annual licence fees. 

Kiwibank have advised they are going cheque-free from 28 February 2020. Payment made by Kiwibank cheques may no longer be honoured by Kiwibank.

Read about the changes to Kiwibank cheques

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DXCC Most Wanted

Monday 2nd March 2020

The 'DXCC Most Wanted' entities list has been updated on ClubLog as of February 27th. The list contains 340 entities.

The following are the top 26 entities:

1. P5 DPRK (North Korea)
2. 3Y/B Bouvet Island
3. FT5/W Crozet Island
4. BS7H Scarborough Reef
5. CE0X San Felix Islands
6. BV9P Pratas Island
7. KH7K Kure Island
8. KH3 Johnston Island
9. 3Y/P Peter 1 Island
10. FT5/X Kerguelen Island
11. FT/G Glorioso Island
12. VK0M Macquarie Island
13. YV0 Aves Island
14. KH4 Midway Island
15. ZS8 Prince Edward & Marion Islands
16. VP8O South Orkney Islands
17. PY0S Saint Peter and Paul Rocks
18. PY0T Trindade & Martim Vaz Islands
19. KP5 Desecheo Island
20. SV/A Mount Athos
21. VP8S South Sandwich Islands
22. EZ Turkmenistan
23. KH5 Palmyra & Jarvis Islands
24. JD/M Minami Torishima
25. YK Syria
26. ZL9 New Zealand Subantarctic Islands

The complete "DXCC Most Wanted" entities list (340) is available at:
https://secure.clublog.org/mostwanted.php

OPDX

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ICQPodcast - Launching the Illinois Young Ham Club plus BRATS Rally

Monday 2nd March 2020

In this episode, Martin M1MRB is joined by Leslie Butterfield G0CIB, Edmund Spicer M0MNG and Dan Romanchik KB6NU to discuss the latest Amateur / Ham Radio news. Colin M6BOY rounds up the news in brief and this episode’s feature is - Launching the Illinois Young Ham Club and a report from the BRATS Rally.

ICQ AMATEUR/HAM RADIO PODCAST DONORS
We would like to thank our monthly and annual subscription donors for keeping the podcast advert free. To donate, please visit - http://www.icqpodcast.com/donate

News stories include: -

• Successful 47 GHz Ham Radio Moon Bounce Test
• Amateur Radio Operating Procedures
• British Radio Antenna Arrives at Space Station
• Spy Radio Found During Archaeological Dig
• SOTA Flavours Challenge DV Week 1-7 March 2020
• ICQPodcast's Ruth on Air
• UK 5 MHz Beacon to Close
• ISWL Callsigns for March 2020
• Distracted Driving Regulations in Canada Update

The ICQPodcast can be downloaded from http://www.icqpodcast.com

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DXCC Country/Entity Report

Monday 2nd March 2020

According to the Amateur Radio Cluster Network for the week of Sunday, 23rd/February, through Sunday, 1st/March there were 212 countries active.

Countries available:

3B8, 3B9, 3D2, 3DA, 3V, 3W, 4J, 4L, 4O, 4S, 4U1U, 4W, 4X, 5A, 5B, 5H, 5R, 5T, 5Z, 6W, 6Y, 7X, 8P, 8Q, 9A, 9G, 9H, 9J, 9K, 9M2, 9M6, 9N, 9Q, 9V, 9Y,

A4, A6, A7, A9, AP, BV, BY, C3, C5, C6, CE, CE9, CM, CN, CP, CT, CT3, CU, CX, D2, D4, DL, DU, E4, E6, E7, EA, EA6, EA8, EA9, EI, EK, EL, EP, ER, ES, ET, EU, EX, EY, F, FG, FK, FM, FO, FP, FR, FS, FY, G, GD, GI, GJ, GM, GU, GW, H4, HA, HB, HB0, HC, HH, HI, HK, HL, HP, HR, HS, HZ, I, IS, J2, J3, J6, J7, JA, JD/o, JT, JW, JY,

K, KG4, KH0, KH2, KH6, KL, KP2, KP4, LA, LU, LX, LY, LZ, OA, OD, OE, OH, OK, OM, ON, OX, OY, OZ, P2, PA, PJ2, PJ4, PJ7, PY, PY0F, PZ, S0, S2, S5, S7, SM, SP, ST, SU, SV, SV5, SV9, T7, TA, TF, TG, TI, TK, TN, TR, TU, TZ,

UA, UA2, UA9, UK, UN, UR, V3, V4, V5, V6, V7, V8, VE, VK, VK9N, VP2E, VP5, VP6, VP8, VP8/o, VP9, VR, VU, XE, XX9, XZ, YB, YI, YK, YL, YN, YO, YS, YU, YV, Z3, Z6, Z8, ZA, ZB, ZD7, ZF, ZL, ZP, ZS

PLEASE NOTE: The report "could" contain "Pirate/SLIM" operations or more likely a "BUSTED CALLSIGN". As always, you never know - "Work First Worry Later".

OPDX

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IOTA News from OPDX

Monday 2nd March 2020

Island activities:

EU-107. Gil, F4FET, will once again be active as TM7P from Petite Island during the RSGB IOTA Contest (July 25-26th). QSL via F4FET.

EU-116. Fred, ON6QR, will once again be active as GD/ON6QR from Man Island during the RSGB IOTA Contest (July 25-26th). QSL via his home callsign.

EU-159. Thierry "Terry", F6CUK, will be active as TM8C from the lighthouse on Cordouan Island (AT-032, FFF-2820, DPLF PB018, WLOTA 0271 and ARLHS FR007) between March 13-15th. Activity will mainly be on 40/20 meters, possibly 30m, using CW and SSB, with K3 and 300 watts into dipole antennas and delta loop. QSL via his home callsign.

NA-069. Member(s) of the Black Mountain Radio Group will be active as W1JXN/4 from Gasparilla Island between now and March 4th. Activity will be holiday style on 40/30/20 meters using mainly CW. QSL via info on QRZ.com.

IOTA DXPEDITIONS. Gil, F4FET, reports that he plans to come back to IOTAs EU014-EU100-EU104-EU164 in Corsica, like he did as TK0INT, TK1INT and TK2INT in 2013, during the periods of autumn 2020 or at end of winter in 2021. He plans to stay a 2 full weeks in Corsica. He states that he has changed his job recently and will have to accumulate leave days. Look for more info to be forthcoming.

PLEASE NOTE: Since the Webmasters of the new <www.iota-world.org> have decided NOT to post or dedicate a Web page to announce upcoming IOTA operations, PLEASE send your IOTA operations information to the OPDX, and we will post it here in an upcoming bulletin......

Check-out the latest IOTA News from the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

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Ham College 62

Sunday 1st March 2020

Extra Class Exam Questions – Part 1
Operating Standards: frequency privileges; automatic message forwarding; stations aboard ships or aircraft; power restriction on 630 and 2200 meter bands.

52:49

Download

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The March-April 2020 Communicator

Sunday 1st March 2020

The March-April Communicator is now on-line at https://ve7sar.blogspot.com/2020/02/the-march-april-2020-communicator.html

Over 70 Pages Of projects, news, views and reviews from the South West corner of Canada and elsewhere.

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Upcoming SpaceX CRS-20 launch

Sunday 1st March 2020

The spouse of ARISS Hardware team member Ed Krome, K9EK, pointed out that the ARISS next generation radio system, the InterOperable Radio System (IORS) is prominently described as a primary payload, not secondary, on the SpaceX CRS-20 mission which will be launched no earlier than March 6, 2020 (ET).

The ARISS Team wants to express our heartfelt thanks to everyone that has contributed to helping ARISS realize this major milestone.

It should be noted that the ARISS hardware team is still very busy on IORS development and final certification. While certified for launch and stowage on ISS, the team is still in deep into the final certification of the IORS for flight operations. Also, the build of the second flight unit is in progress in Florida and in San Diego.
While CRS-20 represents the launch of SN 1001, the first flight unit, it also represents the beginning of the "ARISS factory build" and certification of all ten units.

The ARISS team also notes that November 13, 2020 will represent the 20th year of ARISS continuous amateur radio operation on ISS!

Frank Bauer, KA3HDO
AMSAT Vice President, Human Space Flight

ANS

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New QO-100 Band Plan announced

Sunday 1st March 2020

Just in time for the 1-year anniversary of the successful commissioning of the two transponders of Qatar-OSCAR 100, an encore is pending:
The capacity of the NB transponder will be expanded from about 250 KHz to almost 500 KHz.

In addition to extended areas for the various operating modes, more space is also being created in particular for "mixed mode" and other special operating cases. In addition to frequencies reserved for emergency radio operations, more experiments are to be made possible here.

But all this only with a maximum bandwidth of 2.7 kHz.
Automatic operation requires a special license from the local licensing
authorities and must be coordinated with the operator beforehand;
this task is performed by AMSAT-DL on behalf of QARS and Es'hailSat.
To take account of user behavior, AMSAT-DL has almost doubled the SSB range in particular.

Detailed information is available at
https://amsat-dl.org/en/neuer-qo-100-bandplan/

AMSAT-DL, ANS

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If you would like to read more news from previous months

then click on More News

This page will be regularly updated to reflect Club News and Activities and both UK and World News Items deemed to be of interest to members.  If you have an announcement which you think would interest Club members and would like it mentioned here, please send details to:-  webmaster@wadarc.com