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

 


Interested in Radio & Electronics ? 

Get started right away, by acquiring a Short Wave or VHF receiver and listening to the activity on the amateur bands but if you want to transmit and talk to people then you will need a valid Amateur Radio Licence to achieve the full enjoyment of Amateur Radio.  This includes experimenting with antennas and much more.

WADARC has a team able to provide Foundation and Intermediate Licence tuition so if you are interested please contact our training team by sending an email with your details to the link at the bottom.

We hope to be starting an Intermediate Licence Course very soon, with other exam possibilities to follow.

If you would like to find out more, please send an email to training@wadarc.com explaining your interest.
 

 

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

 

Ham radio satellite ground station article in HackSpace magazine

Saturday 20th April 2019

The May edition of HackSpace magazine, issue 18, featuring articles by radio amateur Jo Hinchliffe MW6CYK is available as a free PDF

On pages 34-47 is his special feature on Space, which explains how you can build a SatNOGS satellite ground station to receive amateur radio satellites.

Jo's article Make a Slim Jim Antenna appears on pages 110-111.

Also in the magazine, on pages 96-99, Ben Everard explains how to build an ISS count‑down timer.

You can download the free HackSpace magazine PDF from
https://hackspace.raspberrypi
.org/issues/18


Direct link to the PDF
https://magazines-static.
raspberrypi.org/issues/full_pdfs/000/000/072/original/HackSpaceMag18.pdf

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NepaliSat-1 launched to ISS

Saturday 20th April 2019

The Kathmandu Post reports Nepal's first satellite NepaliSat-1 was launhed to the International Space Station (ISS) on Wednesday, April 17

As well as carrying an amateur radio payload on 435.375 MHz the 1U CubeSat will also collect information about the country’s topography and earth’s magnetic field. Meanwhile, officials said, the satellite itself will also be studied for developing more advanced satellites in the future.

NepaliSat-1 was launched under the ‘Birds-3 satellite launch to International Space Station project’ at 2:31am Wednesday by the Antares rocket which carried the Cygnus cargo aircraft from the Virginia Air and Space Center of National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

The NepaliSat-1, developed by two Nepalis, Abhas Maskey KG5WNC and Hari Ram Shrestha KI5COO, at Japan’s Kyushu Institute of Technology bears the Nepali flag and the logo of Nepal Academy of Science and Technology. Similar satellites from Japan and Sri Lanka were also launched alongside NepaliSat-1

Read the full story at
https://kathmandupost
.ekantipur.com/news/2019-04-18/nepals-first-ever-satellite-launched-into-space.html


Some information on NepaliSat-1 can be found in the BIRDS project newsletters
https://birds1.birds-project
.com/files/BIRDS_Newsletter
_Issue_No_36.pdf


IARU Satellite Frequency Coodination Page
http://www.amsatuk.me.uk/iaru/finished_detail.
php?serialnum=618

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The Space Weather Woman

The latest space weather forecast from Dr Tamitha Skov

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FUNcube Data Warehouse URL change

Friday 19th April 2019

Dave G4DPZ reports on a change to the URL used for Data Warehouse for the FUNcube amateur radio satellites

As part of the migration of the data warehouse to the new server, we are now redirecting all dashboard data submissions to:
http://data.amsat-uk.org/

(there is no need to change your dashboard settings)
Hence, all information at http://warehouse.funcube.org/ will no longer be updated.

I will be merging the scores at
http://data.amsat-uk.org/ranking
(I am at the top of the list because of data migration)

You can search for your site name or order the columns by clicking on the column header.

There have been requests for the existing style of ranking, including age colour, for each satellite. I will be implementing this in the next couple of days.

Hope you like the new site and and feedback will be welcome.

73
Dave, G4DPZ

g4dpz<at>funcube.org.uk

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Making a simple AM Radio

Friday 19th April 2019

Trainee electronics engineer Chelsea Back writes in Design Spark about her first experiences with radio frequency circuits

All the other projects I have made so far have been digital and microcontroller based, with the one exception to this being the Nutclough amplifier, which was assembled from a kit. The big difference in this project is that unlike the other ones which I have built from scratch it is an analogue RF circuit.

We already had some TA7642 AM receiver ICs in the workshop and some PP3 battery clips to hand, so I wanted to use both of these components in my circuit. Since I had never built any analogue circuits before I wanted to keep this fairly simple so would use an external test audio amplifier for testing.

Read Chelsea's article at
https://www.rs-online.com/designspark/making-a-simple-am-radio

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Ofcom consults on 3.4 GHz band changes

Friday 19th April 2019

BT-EE, Hutchison-3, Telefónica-O2 and Vodafone asked Ofcom to vary their 3.4 GHz band licences, this includes higher total radiated power (TRP) in-block and out-of-block power limits

The Ofcom announcement says:

Ofcom is consulting on a request from the UK’s main mobile network operators to make technical changes to their spectrum licences, to help support the rollout of ultrafast mobile services.

EE, Hutchison, Telefónica and Vodafone have asked Ofcom to vary their licences in the 3.4 GHz, 3.5 GHz and 3.6 GHz bands. These are important bands for future 5G services.

Making these changes will bring the licences in line with a recent European Union decision on the technical conditions that apply to spectrum in these bands.

Varying the licences to align with the decision would allow operators to deploy Active Antenna Systems (AAS). AAS can help deliver higher-quality mobile services in busy areas, by increasing network capacity and allowing spectrum to be transmitted to people’s devices more directly, so they get a stronger signal.

We are currently minded to accept the mobile operators’ request, which we believe will help support the rollout of 5G services, but are consulting on the changes and in particular seeking comments on the technical conditions.

The consultation closes on May 19, 2019, responses can be made via
https://www.ofcom.org.uk/consultations-and-statements/category-3/proposal-vary-3.4ghz-radio-spectrum-licences

PDF of consultation document
https://www.ofcom.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0025/144880/notice-proposal-vary-3.4-ghz-radio-spectrum-licences.pdf

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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 19th April 2019

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.

MAURITIUS, 3B. Rachid, 3B8FQ plans to be active in the CQ Manchester Mineira DX CW contest. QSL direct to home call.

UGANDA, 5X. Anders, SM0HPL is QRV as 5X7W from Kampala until April 27. Activity is in his spare time on 20 to 10 meters, and possibly 30 meters, using CW, JT65 and FT8. QSL to home call.

GHANA, 9G. Matteo, IZ4YGS is QRV as 9G5GS from Sanzule, West Takoradi until May 7. Activity is in his spare time on 160, 80, 60, 40, 30 and 20 meters using mostly SSB and FT8. QSL direct to home call.

MALTA, 9H. Sorin, YO7CKQ is QRV as 9H3YO from Qawra-Bugibba until April 21. Activity is on 20 and 17 meters using FT8 during his morning and evening hours. QSL to home call.

CUBA, CO. A group of operators from the Federacion de Radio Aficionados de Cuba will be QRV with special event station CO0HK from Cayo Jutias, Pinar del Rio province from April 19 to 21 in celebration of the IARU's 94th anniversary. Activity will be on 40, 20, 15, 20 and 2 meters. QSL via W7HU.

PHILIPPINES, DU. Chris, VK3FY and Dindo, DU1UD are QRV as 4E8T from Tawi-Tawi Island, IOTA OC-174, until April 23. Activity is on 40, 30 and 20 meters using FT8. QSL via M0OXO.

FRANCE, F. Members of the Radio Club du Val d'Issole are QRV with special event call TM500LDV until July 20 to mark the 500th anniversary of the death of Leonardo da Vinci. Activity is on the HF bands using CW, SSB, PSK and FT8. QSL via F4GPB.

FRENCH POLYNESIA, FO. Rich, KE1B and Anna, W6NN will be QRV as FO/KE1B from Bora-Bora from April 22 to 27, and then from Mo'orea from April 27 to May 3. Activity is mostly on 20 meters using FT8 with 10 watts. QSL direct to KE1B.

SAUDI ARABIA, HZ. Samir, HZ1SK will be QRV in the CQ Manchester Mineira DX CW contest. QSL via IZ8CLM.

ALAND ISLANDS, OH0. Marco, OH2LGW and Anne, OH2YL are QRV as OH0/OH2LGW and OG0YL, respectively, until April 23. Activity is on 80 to 6 meters using CW and SSB. QSL to home calls.

CRETE, SV9. Sepp, OH1VR will be QRV as SV9/OH1VR from April 25 to May 1. Activity will be on 80 to 10 meters using mostly CW with some SSB. QSL to home call.

EAST KIRIBATI, T32. Ken, KH6QJ is QRV as T32AZ from Kiritimati Island, IOTA OC-024, until April 23. Activity is on 80, 40, 20 and 15 meters, with a focus on 40 meters, using CW and SSB. QSL to home call.

UKRAINE, UR. Special event station EN185UNIV is QRV until the end of 2019 to celebrate the 185th anniversary of the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv. QSL via UT8UF.

BRUNEI, V8. Tamat, V85T plans to be QRV in the CQ Manchester Mineira DX CW contest. QSL via operator's instructions.

KOSOVO, Z6. Thomas, OZ1AA and Alex, OZ7AM are QRV as Z66Z until April 22. QSL via OZ1ACB.

ST. HELENA ISLAND, ZD7. Gilbert, ZD7BG plans to be QRV in the CQ Manchester Mineira DX CW contest. QSL direct to home call.

THIS WEEKEND ON THE RADIO
The NCCC RTTY Sprint, NCCC CW Sprint, Holyland DX Contest, ES Open HF Championship, Worked All Provinces of China DX Contest, YU DX Contest, QRP to the Field, CQ Manchester Mineira DX CW Contest, Michigan QSO Party, EA-QRP CW Contest, Feld Hell Sprint and Ontario QSO Party are all on tap for this weekend.

The Run for the Bacon QRP CW Contest is scheduled for April 22.

The CWops Mini-CWT CW Test, 432 MHz Spring Sprint, SKCC CW Sprint, UKEICC 80-Meter CW Contest and Phone Fray are scheduled for April 24.

The Canadian National Parks on the Air, CNPOTA, operating event runs for the entire year of 2019, with special stations active from Canada's parks and historic sites.

Please see April 2019 QST, page 87 and the ARRL and WA7BNM contest web sites for details

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IARU argues for protection from WPT spurious emissions

Thursday 18th April 2019

IARU was again represented at the meeting last week in Ankara, Turkey, where committee SE24 (Short Range Devices) met to undertake further work on the Work Item concerning Wireless Power Transmission 

SE24 is considering both WPT for electric vehicles and also generic WPT applications.

IARU has made extensive input on the potential impact on radio communications from spurious emissions from WPT devices and much of this is captured in CEPT ECC Report 289, published earlier this year
https://www.ecodocdb.dk/document/8214

At the Ankara meeting further input was made by IARU and other interested parties and there will be a meeting of SE24 dedicated to WPT issues in early July.

Also at Ankara IARU attended the SRD Maintenance Group meeting ( SRD/MG ) where it was noted that further work was needed in SE24 before spurious emission limits for WPT devices could be addressed in a regulatory sense.

IARU was represented in Ankara by Don Beattie G3BJ, Region 1 President, who is leading the IARU work on WPT.

IARU Region 1
http://iaru-r1.org/

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ARRL 'Radio Communications' billboard promotes Ham Radio on I-40

Thursday 18th April 2019

The ARRL reports amateur radio is being promoted on a billboard that's passed by 6 million vehicles a year

A new billboard on Interstate 40 in Tennessee promotes ARRL and Amateur Radio. Working with ARRL Product Development Manager Bob Inderbitzen, NQ1R, and Communications Manager Dave Isgur, N1RSN, ARRL Graphic Designer Sue Fagan, KB1OKW, completed a design for a the new 10 × 20 billboard, owned by ARRL Life Member Cliff Segar, KD4GT.

Segar says the average daily traffic count for the area along I-40 west bound, mile marker 336, is on the order of 6 million vehicles per year.

Source ARRL
http://www.arrl.org/news/view/arrl-radio-communications-billboard-promotes-ham-radio-on-i-40

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Foundation training manual released in Kindle format

Thursday  18th April 2019

The RSGB Foundation Licence Manual is now available in the convenient electronic Kindle format

The Foundation Licence Manual for Radio Amateurs is the RSGB course-book for those who wish to become radio amateurs in the UK.

This book sets out to provide the very latest information required to obtain a UK Foundation licence. Broken down into 15 easy to digest sections Foundation Licence Manual for Radio Amateurs covers all you will need to know to be successful in the examination.
This book provides insight into technical basics, receivers, transmitters, antennas, feeders and propagation. There are details of the operating practices & procedures you will need to know alongside safety considerations, electromagnetic compatibility and licence information.
The practical assessments are explained and there is a helpful guide to how to best approach the Foundation examination itself.

The manual is written for the new 2019 syllabus that will be used for exams from September.

Foundation Licence Manual
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07QS7C68V

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Neutron radiation detected on airplane flights over CONUS

Wednesday 17th April 2019

Spaceweather.com has continued its survey of cosmic ray neutrons at aviation altitudes with additional flights over the continental United States.

Our bubble chambers easily detect energetic neutrons, with whole body doses on individual cross-country flights comparable to panoramic dental X-rays. Dose rates on domestic flights over CONUS equal or exceed the international flights in our survey, a somewhat surprising result.

Visit today's edition of Spaceweather.com for more information and analysis.

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Advertisement of Local Radio Multiplex Licence: Channel Islands

Wednesday 17th April 2019

Ofcom is today inviting applications for a licence to provide a local digital radio ‘multiplex’ service for the Channel Islands.

A radio multiplex is the means by which digital radio stations are broadcast.

The 12-year licence will be awarded by Ofcom in a competitive process with applications judged against specific criteria detailed in the advertisement.

The closing date for applications is 17 July 2019

https://ofcom.cmail20.com/t/i-l-pltukdk-wklhtkyut-u/

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IOTA News from the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

Wednesday 17th April 2019

Island activities:

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

AF-049; 3B8, Mauritius Island: Rachid/3B8FQ plans to take part in the CQMM DX Contest. QSL via direct.

EU-002; OH0, Aland Islands: Marco/OH2LGW and Anne/OH2YL operate holiday-style from Aland (WLOTA 1373) as OH0/OH2LGW and OG0YL between the 19th and 23rd on 80 to 6m (CW, SSB). QSL via homecalls (d/B).

EU-011; G/M, Isles of Scilly: GB5SM activates Saint Mary's Island (WLOTA 0408) between the 20th and 27th on 160-10m (CW, SSB, digital modes) and maybe also via satellites. Operators are Steve/G4EDG, Jeff/G4ELZ, and Pete/G4GSA. QSL via LZ1JZ (d), LoTW or ClubLog OQRS.

OC-067; FO, Leeward Islands und OC-046; FO, Windward Islands: Rich/KE1B and YL Anna/W6NN will be active as FO/KE1B from Bora-Bora (DIFO FO-003) between the 22nd and 27th, and from Morea (DIFO FO-010, WLOTA 0465) between April 27 and May 3. QRV mostly on 20m on FT8 running 10W. QSL via KE1B (d) or LoTW.

OC-174; DU8, Tawi Tawi Group: Chris/VK3FY and Dindo/DU1UD are going to sign 4E8T from Tawi-Tawi Island (WW Loc.: PJ05ae). QRV between April 19 and 23 on CW and FT8 on 40-20m. QSL via M0OXO.

OC-183; VK6, Western Australia State (S.W. Coast) Centre group: Andy/VK5MAV and Vlad/ER1OO will be operating from Favorite Island between April 20 and 23. QRV on 40-10m with a KX3 + Juma 1000 amplifier and an FT-897. Their antennas are a groudplane for 40m and VDAs for 20 and 15m. QSL via ClubLog OQRS or via RN3RQ (d/B).
http://vk5mav.wixsite.com/dxpedition

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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Amateur Radio in Space pioneer astronaut Owen Garriott, W5LFL, SK

Tuesday 16th April 2019

ARRL reports the US astronaut who pioneered the use of Amateur Radio to make contacts from space — Owen K. Garriott, W5LFL — died April 15 at his home in Huntsville, Alabama. He was 88


The ARRL news story reads: 

Garriott’s ham radio activity ushered in the formal establishment of Amateur Radio in space, first as SAREX — the Shuttle Amateur Radio Experiment, and later as ARISS — Amateur Radio on the International Space Station.

“Owen Garriott was a good friend and an incredible astronaut,” fellow astronaut Buzz Aldrin tweeted. “I have a great sadness as I learn of his passing today. Godspeed Owen.”

An Oklahoma native, Garriott — an electrical engineer — spent 2 months aboard the Skylab space station in 1973 and 10 days aboard Spacelab-1 during a 1983 Space Shuttle Columbia mission. It was during the latter mission that Garriott thrilled radio amateurs around the world by making the first contacts from space. Thousands of hams listened on 2-meter FM, hoping to hear him or to make a contact. Garriott ended up working stations around the globe, among them such notables as the late King Hussein, JY1, of Jordan, and the late US Senator Barry Goldwater, K7UGA. He also made the first CW contact from space. Garriott called hamming from space “a pleasant pastime.”

“I managed to do it in my off-duty hours, and it was a pleasure to get involved in it and to talk with people who are as interested in space as the 100,000 hams on the ground seemed to be,” he said in an interview published in the February 1984 edition of QST. “So, it was just a pleasant experience, the hamming in particular, all the way around.”

Although Garriott had planned to operate on ham radio during his 10 days in space, no special provisions were made on board the spacecraft in terms of equipment — unlike the situation today on the International Space Station. Garriott simply used a hand-held transceiver with its antenna in the window of Spacelab-1. His first pass was down the US West Coast.

“[A]s I approached the US, I began to hear stations that were trying to reach me,” he told QST. “On my very first CQ, there were plenty of stations responding.” His first contact was with Lance Collister, WA1JXN, in Montana.

ARISS ARRL Representative Rosalie White, K1STO, met Garriott when he attended Hamvention, “both times, sitting next to him at Hamvention dinner banquets,” she recounted. “Once when he was a Special Achievement Award winner, and once with him and [his son] Richard when Richard won the 2009 Special Achievement Award. Owen was unassuming, very smart, kind, and up to date on the latest technology.” Garriott shared a Hamvention Special Achievement Award in 2002 with fellow Amateur Radio astronaut Tony England, W0ORE.

Richard Garriott, W5KWQ, was a private space traveler to the ISS, flown there by the Russian Federal Space Agency, and he also carried ham radio into space.

Source ARRL
http://www.arrl.org/news/amateur-radio-in-space-pioneer-astronaut-owen-garriott-w5lfl-sk

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Ham radio digital modes petition RM-11831 in EE Times

Tuesday 16th April 2019

Theodore Rappaport N9NB writes about the digital modes petition RM-11831 in EE Times (Electronic Engineering Times) an electronics industry magazine

RM-11831 asks the FCC to require all digital codes to use protocols that “can be monitored in [their] entirety by third parties with freely available, open-source software,” per §97.113(a)(4).

The proposal if implemented could lead to the banning of many amateur data and voice modes that are not formally Open Source.

N9NB starts his article by citing the Engineers' creed adopted by the National Society of Professional Engineers in 1954 and calls for the engineering community to write to the FCC, to file comments in favor of RM-11831.

He believes banning digital modes that aren't Open Source "is a vital prerequisite to attract young hams who can participate in the hobby and grow up with values comparable to the engineer's creed."

Read the article by Theodore Rappaport N9NB at
https://www.eetimes.com/author.asp?section_id=36&doc_id=1334565#

Petition seeks to limit Digital Modes to open-source software
http://www.southgatearc.org/news/2019/april/petition-seeks-to-limit-digital-modes-to-open-source-software.htm

Digital Modes Petition RM-11831 generates debate
http://www.southgatearc.org/news/2019/april/digital-modes-petition-rm-11831-generates-debate.htm

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Overview of IARU-R1 interim meeting proposals

Tuesday 16th April 2019

Daniel Estévez EA4GPZ / M0HXM has published an overview of the papers to be discussed at the IARU Region 1 meeting in Vienna on April 27-28

The IARU-R1 interim meeting is being held in Vienna, Austria, on April 27 and 28. This post is an overview of the proposals that will be presented during this meeting, from the point of view of the usual topics that I treat in this blog.

The proposals can be found in the conference documents. There are a total of 64 documents for the meeting, so a review of all of them or an in-depth read would be a huge work. I have taken a brief look at all the papers and selected those that I think to be more interesting. For these, I do a brief summary and include my technical opinion about them. Hopefully this will be useful to some readers of this blog, and help them spot what documents could be more interesting to read in detail.

Read Daniel's overview at
https://destevez.net/2019/04/an-overview-of-iaru-r1-interim-meeting-proposals/

IARU-R1 HF Conference Papers
https://vienna.iaru-r1.org/conference-documents/c4/

IARU-R1 VHF and Above Conference Papers
https://vienna.iaru-r1.org/conference-documents/c5/

IARU-R1 EMC Conference Papers
https://vienna.iaru-r1.org/conference-documents/c7/

IARU-R1 General Conference Papers
https://vienna.iaru-r1.org/conference-documents/general/

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Radio Caroline Easter Fundraiser

Tuesday 16th April 2019

Join us this Easter, our 55th Birthday, for our Annual Fundraiser.

We will be broadcasting Radio Caroline North live from our radio ship, Ross Revenge, anchored in the estuary of the River Blackwater, from 9:00 am on Easter Friday until 2:00 pm on Easter Monday (all UK times).

You will be able to hear us on 1368 AM (courtesy of Manx Radio) in the north west of the UK (and parts of Ireland) and on our own 648 AM frequency in the south east, and also round the world online at  www.radiocaroline.co.uk and on our mobile app.

In addition, you will be able to hear our regular Radio Caroline album format and Radio Caroline Flashback programmes on their normal channels, when they are not carrying the Radio Caroline North programmes.

It's been quite a year, with our 648 AM and London DAB transmissions both building a substantial new audience for Radio Caroline.

However, with each expansion, our annual running costs increase substantially. And there's lots more we would like to do.

This year, we have created a stylish Radio Caroline Bell teeshirt, based on a design that  was originally used for the Radio Caroline Roadshows.

Starting on Easter Friday, and ending at midnight UK time on Easter Monday, if you are able to make a one off donation of 25 Pounds or more, or join the Radio Caroline Support Group (for a minimum monthly donation of 7.50 Pounds, cancellable at any time), we will send you your Retro Radio Caroline Bell teeshirt.

And remember, donations of any amount will always be gratefully received.

The donation button will go live on our website early on Easter Friday.

After deducting the cost of the teeshirt, we are planning to use approximately one half of your donations to maintain and expand our broadcast operations, and the other half for the maintenance and upkeep of Ross Revenge.

Happy Easter!

Radio Caroline

www.radiocaroline.co.uk
www.facebook.com/radiocarolineofficial
twitter.com/theradcaroline

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ICQ Podcast - The S-Meter

Tuesday 16th April 2019

In this episode, Martin M1MRB is joined by Chris Howard M0TCH, Martin Rothwell M0SGL, Dan Romanchik KB6NU 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 The S-meter by Martin M1MRB

ICQ AMATEUR/HAM RADIO PODCAST DONORS
We would like to thank William Heckleman (KC3HZU) and Kevin Rupp (WN7Z) 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:-

• FCC Asked to Allow All-Digital on AM Band
• MagPi Features Ham Radio
• New Packet Radio - Hamnet over 70cm
• Petition Seeks to Limit Digital Modes to Open-Source Software
• 2019 State of the Hobby Results
• Take In National Voice of America Museum of Broadcasting During Hamvention
• Amateur Radio SSTV Art Expo
• Successful Club Expands Training Team

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

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ISS SSTV at Music is Magic in Space rehearsal

Monday 15th April 2019

The International Space Station SSTV transmissions were received during rehearsals for the Music is Magic in Space performance that will take place at the Royal Albert Hall on April 15

Russian cosmonauts on the ISS transmitted amateur radio SSTV on 145.800 MHz FM from April 11-14.

On Sunday, April 14, radio amateur Laura M6LHT was involved in Music Man Project UK rehearsal of Music is Magic in Space in preparation for their appearance at the Royal Albert Hall on Monday, April 15.
During the rehearsal the ISS came overhead and Laura M6LHT took the opportunity to receive the SSTV pictures. She tweeted: "We are singing to space, & space is singing back!"
https://twitter.com/lhtrevail/status/1117405107564482560
https://twitter.com/lhtrevail/status/1117453101387198464

Details on the unique charity concert featuring hundreds of musicians with a learning disability from across the country at
https://www.royalalberthall.com/tickets/events/2019/music-is-magic/

Music Man Project UK
https://themusicmanproject.com/
https://twitter.com/MusicManProject

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Hurdy Gurdy Museum of Vintage Radio

Monday 15th April 2019

EI0MAR will be QRV as of 0700 Zulu on 27th of April, as an award station once again this year from the Hurdy Gurdy Museum of Vintage Radio in Howth.

International Marconi Day is a twenty four hour event where amateur radio stations operate from various locations around the world with historical connections to Marconi.

You can find out more information about EI0MAR and International Marconi Day on Facebook. Just search under EI0MAR and International Marconi Day or by emailing “ei0mar /at/ eircom /dot/ net”.

IRTS

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Strong radio bursts from sunspot AR2738

Monday 15th April 2019

Massive sunspot AR2738 is sending bursts of radio energy toward Earth strong enough to make audible noises in the loudspeakers of common shortwave receivers. 

An amateur radio astronomer in New Mexico recorded some of the bursts this weekend--and they sound like ocean surf.

Visit today's edition of Spaceweather.com to hear the sounds and find out how you can detect them in your own backyard

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IOTA News from OPDX

Monday 15th April 2019

Island activities:

AS-024. Operators Tak/JR1LZK and Mitsu/JE1HXZ will be active as JR1LZK/6 and JE1HXZ/6, respectively, from Iriomote Island between April 26th and May 6th. Activity will be on 80-6 meters using CW, SSB, RTTY and FT8. QSL via their home callsigns, direct, by the Bureau and LoTW.

AS-079. Take, JS6RRR/JI3DST, will be active from Miyako Island between April 24th and May 7th. He will use the following callsign: JI3DST/6 for DX, and JS6RRR/6 & JL3YWN/6 for JA stations.  Activity will be on 80/40/30/20/17/15/12/10/6 meters using CW, SSB, FM, RTTY and FT8. Operations may vary in case of heavy rains or other conditions. QSL routes are as follows: JI3DST/6 via JI3DST; JS6RRR/6 via JS6RRR and JL3YWN/6: ONLY 1 WAY (Please don't send QSL to him). Please check QRZ.com for details. Look for logs to be posted on ClubLog.

EU-011. Operators Steve/G4EDG, Jeff/G4ELZ and Pete/G4GSA will be active as GB5SM from St.Mary's, Isles of Scilly, between April 20-27th.
Activity will be on various HF bands using CW, SSB, the Digital modes and possibly the Satellites. QSL via LZ1JZ, direct or OQRS. Logs will be uploaded to LoTW and ClubLog.

EU-068. Members of the F6KOP Radio Club will be active as TM5S from Sein Island during the RSGB IOTA Contest (July 27-28th) as a Multi-Single/DXpedition/Mixed-Mode/Low-Power entry. QSL via F5MFV, by the Bureau, direct, ClubLog or eQSL. Operators mentioned are Maurice/F5NQL, Raymond/F6DVH, Pierre-Marie/F4FCE, Bastien/F4EYQ and Fabien/F4GYM.

EU-122. Ian, G3WVG, will be active as MN5A from Rathlin Island, Northern Ireland, during the RSGB IOTA Contest (July 27-28th) as a Single-Op/Mixed-Mode/DXpedition entry. QSL via LoTW.

NA-143. Joe, K5KUA, will once again be active as K5KUA/5 from Galveston Island (USI TX-001S, Galveston County, Texas) during the RSGB IOTA Contest (July 27-28th) as a Single-Op/Island-Fixed/Low-Power entry. Operations will be mostly CW and some SSB. QSL via his home callsign, direct, by the Bureau or LoTW.

OC-059. Haru, JA1XGI, will be active as V6K from Kosrae Island some-time later in the year. Activity will be holiday style on 40/30/20/15/10 meters using mainly CW, sometimes FT8. QSL via his home callsign, direct, by the Bureau, ClubLog's OQRS or LoTW. Look for more details to be forthcoming.

OC-133. Saty, JE1JKL, will once again be active as 9M6NA from Mohammed's, 9M6MO, QTH on Labuan Island, East Malaysia, during the CQWW WPX CW Contest (May 25-26th). He will be on the island between May 23-28th., His focus will be on 6 meters FT8 (50.313 and 50.323 MHz). Also, FT8 (F/H) on 50.318 MHz. QSL via ClubLog's OQRS only for Bureau and direct QSLs. All the logs are promptly uploaded to LoTW. Visit Saty's home page at: https://jsfc.org/je1jkl/9m6na.html

OC-207/OC-128. (Cancelled) The DX1CC DXpedition by operators Ed/4F1OZ and Gil/4F2KW from Arena Island (OC-207), Philippines, expected to take place between April 12-15th, has been cancelled "due to some unforeseen circumstances." The OC-207 activity may take place at a later date. However, they might be active from Palawan Island (OC-128) on the same dates, April 12-15th.

OC-235. Operators Audie/DU1ZDR and Gazelle/DU1ZDQ will be active as DZ1A from Patrick's on the Beach, Siargao Island, between May 4-5th. Activity will be on specifically IOTA frequencies 14260 and 7055 kHz using CW and SSB.

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 129: Peanut Voice Octopus

Sunday 14th April 2019

Tommy demonstrates the free Peanut D-Star app. Emile shows how to use the Raspberry Pi as a voice keyer for his Icom ID-9100. George erects the MFJ Octopus Antenna and details some tips to do it quicker and precise. Plus the usual fun and your viewer email and posts.

1:07:31

Download

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Austria proposes revision to HF ham radio band plans

Sunday 14th April 2019

Austria's Funk News reports on the new HF band plans being proposed by the national amateur radio society ÖVSV to the IARU Region 1 meeting April 27-28

A Google translation reads:

The list of band plans delivered with the April issue of the QSP publication to the members of the national associations and the Austrian Military Radio Society (AMRS) is a simplified representation of the band plans currently recommended by the IARU region1, as the name implies by the ÖVSV.
 
This double-sided work aid for the practical operation on the bands is designed very high quality and is certainly very helpful. The individual band segments are highlighted in different colors and show clearly visible at the beginning and end of the areas for the respective operating modes.

It may be a coincidence that this information has now been published, where an interim meeting of the IARU region1 takes place in Vienna at the end of April, in which an application by the ÖVSV is on the agenda to expand DATA mode allocations by 25% for obvious reasons.

Read the full Funk News article in English at
http://tinyurl.com/FunkNews-HF-Bandplans

FunkNews http://tinyurl.com/Austria-FunkNews

Read the ÖVSV paper VIE19 C4-011 to IARU Region 1
https://vienna.iaru-r1.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/VIE19-C4-011-OeVSV-Extensions-of-data-segments-on-HF-bands.pdf

Other papers for the Vienna meeting can be seen at
https://vienna.iaru-r1.org/conference-documents/

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April 18 is World Amateur Radio Day

Sunday 14th April 2019

The ARRL reports World Amateur Radio Day, on April 18, marks the founding of the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU)

Thursday, April 18, is World Amateur Radio Day (WARD), this year marking the 94th anniversary of the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU), founded in Paris in 1925. Each year, WARD celebrates Amateur Radio’s contribution to society. Groups in the US and around the world will celebrate WARD 2019 with on-the-air activities.

“I am pleased to extend my greetings for World Amateur Radio Day,” IARU President Tim Ellam, VE6SH, said. “April 18 is the day for all of Amateur Radio to celebrate and tell the world about the science we can help teach, the community service we can provide, and the fun we have. I would encourage all radio amateurs to join in the celebrations and promote Amateur Radio on the air or in your community.”

Amateur Radio experimenters were the first to discover that the shortwave spectrum was not the wasteland experts of the time considered it to be but a resource that could support worldwide propagation. In the rush to use these shorter wavelengths, Amateur Radio was “in grave danger of being pushed aside,” the IARU’s history notes. Amateur Radio pioneers met in Paris in 1925 and created the IARU to support Amateur Radio around the globe.

Two years later, at the International Radiotelegraph Conference, Amateur Radio gained allocations still recognized today — 160, 80, 40, 20, and 10 meters. More bands have followed, and the IARU has been working to defend and expand Amateur Radio frequency allocations ever since.

From the 25 countries that formed the IARU in 1925, the IARU has grown to include 160 member-societies in three regions. IARU Region 1 includes Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and northern Asia. Region 2 covers the Americas, and Region 3 is comprised of Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific island nations, and most of Asia.

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has recognized the IARU as representing the interests of Amateur Radio.

Groups are encouraged to promote their WARD activity on social media by using the hashtag #WorldAmateurRadioDay on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

The World Radio Network and the World Friendship Net will participate in World Amateur Radio Day 2019 using special event call sign W2W. A commemorative QSL card will be available, and a 12-hour net will be convened with net controllers from around the world. Join the commemoration at 1600 UTC via Echolink on the World Conference server (IRLP 9251) and on Allstar Node #47620 – World Conference Hub.

Read the full ARRL story at
http://www.arrl.org/news/world-amateur-radio-day-2019-marks-international-amateur-radio-union-founding

IARU
http://www.iaru.org/world-amateur-radio-day.html

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Watch a sunspot crack up

Sunday 14th April 2019

This weekend, one of the largest sunspots in recent years is directly facing Earth.

The behemoth is not producing strong flares, but it is doing something rare and interesting.

A canyon of light (called a "light bridge") is opening inside the sunspot's dark core, presaging a possible disruptive breakup.

The scale of the spot makes it an easy target for amateur astronomers with properly-filtered backyard telescopes.

Visit today's edition of Spaceweather.com to learn more

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2019 State of the Hobby results

Saturday 13th April 2019

Dustin Thomas N8RMA has released the results of the 2019 State of the Hobby survey. Sadly he reports he was subject to four death threats for carrying out the survey

Dustin says:

Radio amateurs have spoken and the results are in!

I truly hope you read and enjoy the report below. It represents approximately 120 hours of blood, sweat and tears each spring, donated out of love for amateur radio and a sense of duty to help in some way.

Share these results with your clubs, ham friends and family, and most importantly challenge them (and yourself) to use the information to enact positive change. We all know this hobby isn't one we can do solo - it's in our best interest to improve and grow it each and every year. It doesn't have to be a grand gesture either - to quote the greatest movie ever, Contact, starting the marvelous Jodie Foster, "small moves Ellie, small moves". Do something small within your community or club to positively promote the hobby and create that ripple...

This year was also new in that I received a larger than normal amount of vitriol and aggression. It's typical when conducting something like this and I tend to not taking it personally. I was the subject of no less than 4 death threats this year, so that was new and exciting. At least to me - my wife, not so much. Regardless of that, I will continue to conduct this survey for as long as the community finds interest and value in it.


See 2019 survey results and links to 2017 and 2018 results at https://www.radiosoth.org/2019/04/2019-state-of-hobby-results.html

Dustin N8RMA

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Ham radio to help during polls in West Bengal

Saturday 13th April 2019

The Deccan Herald reports in a unique initiative, the Election Commission and the Ministry of Communications have granted permission to the use of Amateur Radio for election-related communications

Amateur radio will be used 31 areas across four Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal where there is no mobile network coverage. The ham radio operators will be conveying poll-related information from the related polling booths to the concerned authorities on polling days.

"I am to inform you that your proposal dated 14.03.2019 regarding Amateur (HAM) Radio Communication support through your organisation West Bengal Radio Club in mobile shadow zone areas on poll days i.e 6.5.2019 for no.14 and 15 PCs (Parliamentary constituencies) and on 19.5.2019 for 16,17 and 18 PCs is hereby accepted(sic)," the District Election Officer of North 24 Paraganas district stated in a letter to Ambarish Nag Biswas VU2JFA, Secretary of the West Bengal Radio Club( Amateur club).

The related Lok Sabha constituencies where HAM Radio will be used for poll-related communications are Bangaon, Barrackpore, Dum Dum, Barasat and Basirhat. All the constituencies are located in North 24 Paraganas district. Bangaon and Basirhat are located close to the border with Bangladesh.

Read the full story at
https://www.deccanherald.com/national/national-politics/ham-radio-to-help-during-polls-in-wb-728368.html


West Bengal Radio Club
http://wbradioclub.in/
https://twitter.com/wbradioclub
https://www.facebook.com/pages/West-Bengal-Radio-Club-Amateur-Club/1417707708495400

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Australian CubeSat to use 76 GHz

Saturday 13th April 2019

The IARU Satellite Coordination Panel has announced the amateur radio frequencies for the Australian 76 GHz CubeSat CUAVA-1 that is expected to launch in July 2019

CUAVA-1 is a 3U CubeSat and the first CubeSat project of the new ARC Training Centre for CubeSats, Uncrewed Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), and their Applications (CUAVA), whose primary aim is the education and training of people, mostly PhD students, for the space sector.

With significant heritage from the QB50 CubeSat INSPIRE-2, CUAVA-1 is a 3U CubeSat that will link with the international radio amateur community for outreach, training, and increased data downloads, observe the Earth with a novel multi-spectral imager, use a GPS instrument to explore radio occultation and the reception of GPS signals scattered off the Earth as well as provide a backup determination of the CubeSat location, investigate plasma environment and associated space weather with radiation detectors, and explore the performance of a new communications payload.

This mission addresses issues of radio technique interesting to the radio amateur community in the following ways:

1) Global Radio Amateur Participation in Mission and Data Downlinking We will work with radio amateurs and other groups to receive and decode the spacecraft beacon and downlinked data, with subsequent transfer to the internet database (ideally the SatNOGS database).

In detail, the CubeSat will transmit data, especially recent images over the terrestrial footprint, to participating radio amateurs across the globe. This will directly involve radio amateurs in the mission and its success, by greatly increasing the overall amount of downlinked data available and having the images be directly relevant to the receiving people. The receiving station and people would be identified in the database and then acknowledged in any publications resulting. The mission’s success will thus be directly tied to the involvement of the international radio amateur community.

In addition, the mission should provide multiple opportunities for enhanced outreach and training for both the global amateur radio satellite communities and CUAVA.

2) Student and Radio Amateur Participation in the Groundstation We will train students and desiring radio amateurs in the setup and use of a groundstation hosted by the University of Sydney and then have these people operate the groundstation (including control of the satellite and managing the uplink and downlink) and transfer downlinked data into an internet database (ideally the SatNOGS database).

This will involve existing radio clubs in the training, increasing their memberships and leading to new clubs and people familiar with the international radio amateur and satellite communities.

3) Radio Wave Propagation The ionosphere, thermosphere, and lower atmosphere have multiple effects on the propagation and absorption of radio waves and microwaves.

This mission will study the electron number density as a function of position, time of day, and space weather events using the ``radio occultation’’ of GPS signals and their associated refraction and attenuation. These data will be published and made available for ionospheric research via a website, and provided to Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology and other space weather organisations worldwide. These data are used to predict maximum and minimum usable frequencies for radio amateurs (and both commercial and government users).

In addition, the GPS signal attenuation and electron number density profiles can be used to extract the amount of water as a function of height and used to predict ordinary weather. This work will also add to knowledge of the orbital environment via the drag forces and decay of satellites depending on the gas and plasma densities.

4) Communication Protocols Modulation techniques that will be investigated for the high-speed communications experiment include QPSK, 16-QAM and CPFM. If successful, this technology for wavelengths below 10 cm will increase the data transfer rates by at least 4 orders of magnitude while also decreasing the sizes of antennas and the associated spacecraft.

This experiment will be relevant to spacecraft-toground and inter-spacecraft communication links and is particularly relevant to radio amateurs, universities, and their students and staff, due to the dramatic increases in data rates and capabilities and associated dramatic reductions in costs.

In addition, the use of multiple frequencies is important for rain (and moisture content) attenuation mitigation techniques, as well as to provide another data stream for weather prediction.

5) Radiation Effects on Electronic Components The Low Earth Orbit (LEO) environment is protected from cosmic rays, solar particles, and particles trapped in the Van Allen Belts by Earth’s magnetic field.

Some portions of LEO do harbour regions of enhanced radiation, in the auroral zones and the South Atlantic Anomaly (SAA) for example. In addition, transient solar and magnetospheric particle energization events, a major component of space weather, can change the radiation level by orders of magnitude. This radiation can adversely affect spacecraft which pass through them.

This mission will directly measure the counts of energetic particles as a function of space weather activity, position, and time of day, thereby characterising the Earth’s radiation environment. It will also study the effects of the radiation on the computer and other onboard electronics. Examples of effects include single event upsets (SEUs), degraded solar cells, and non-functioning electronics such as radio receivers and transmitters.

6) Attitude and Position Determination Reception and analysis of GPS signals by the onboard GPS receiver will determine the spacecraft’s attitude and location as a function of time, thereby determining the satellite’s orbit.

Comparisons with NORAD radar-derived orbits will test the on-board GPS receiver and measure drag and other effects. These orbits are vital for radio amateurs interested in testing and characterising their radio equipment, as well as in downloading the satellite beacon and data signals for transmission via the web to the satellite project and the international community.

Proposing to downlink telemetry on 9k6 GMSK AX25 on UHF and high speed downlinks on 2.4 GHz, 5.6 GHz and 76 GHz. Planning a launch from Japan in July 2019 into a 400km orbit.

These frequencies have been coordinated by the IARU:
Downlinks: 437.075 MHz, 2404.000 MHz, 5840 MHz and 76.800 GHz
Uplinks: 145.875 MHz, 2404.000 MHz and 5660.000 MHz

More information on CUAVA-1 can be found at
https://www.cuava.com.au/
https://twitter.com/Arc_Cuava

IARU Satellite Frequency Coordination Panel
http://www.amsat.org.uk/iaru/

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First live two way ROS Data qso over QO-100

Saturday 13th April 2019

First live Two way QSO's reported over QO-100 on 10.489606 GHz Down link frequency between PA1DSB and SV8RV, QSO using off air 10 GHz Rx each side of the qso 95 cm and 1 meter dish tx/rx

Peter PA1DSB reports

I Just was in QSO with 8RV. We did start in TX4. Later TX16. I think power was 10mW into 95cm dish here.
These power levels produced 100% error free copy each way, at -13 dB s/n [in 2.4 KHz]
ROS being weak signal mode has proved ideal over the Sat link , requiring only 10 mW carrier power and no external time locking , providing plain text qso.

Its suggested that the Dial-set-USB for ROS QSO is 10.489606 GHz, being 2G , all traffic may take part in a single channel

SV8RV and others are now monitoring, due to reporting limitations, the psk-map shows qso's as 2 meter band

ROS windows based application may be downloaded form:
https://rosmodem.wordpress.com/

73
Graham, g0nbd

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Solar minimum will be long and deep, experts predict

Friday 12th April 2019

An international panel of researchers led by NASA and NOAA has released a new prediction for the solar cycle.

According to their analysis, the current solar minimum is going to deepen, potentially reaching a century-class low in the next year or so. This will be followed by a new Solar Max in the years 2023-2026.

Visit today's edition of Spaceweather.com to learn how this affects space weather and life on Earth

For those active on HF this report is well worth a read .. Neil G4OAR

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UK Foundation licence changes

Thursday 11th April 2019

BREXIT isn’t the only news from the UK. There have been some interesting changes announced to the UK Foundation Licence examination syllabus, which will come into effect September, 2019.

The major change, from my initial review, is the introduction of digital signals in Section 2F. This includes audio sampling using CD “Red book” examples, how digital signals are processed, what are DACs and ADCs. Section 3M then covers SDRs.

There are some other additions such as introducing polar plots for antennas. The safety section has also been expanded to cover earth
leakage RCBOs.

These UK changes will set clear precedents for similar changes to be
made to the Australian Foundation Licence syllabus, and for the follow on LCD changes to allow digital mode operation for new F calls and existing F calls that have demonstrated knowledge of digital principles. Watch this space over the next year or so …

This is Greg VK2GPK

Wireless Institute of Australia

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The Space Weather Woman

Thursday 11th April 2019

The latest space weather forecast from Dr Tamitha Skov

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WWV and WWVH to announce upcoming HF military communication exercises

Thursday 11th April 2019

The US Department of Defence plans to start making use of a provisional time slot on WWV and WWVH to announce upcoming HF military communication exercises and how the Amateur Radio community can become involved in them.

The announcements will occur at 10 minutes past on WWV and at 50 minutes past on WWVH. WWV and WWVH transmit on 2.5, 5, 10, 15, and 20 MHz.

The initial announcements are set for the period April 20 – May 3.

At the outset, broadcast messages will likely be static. For future exercises, announcements could be updated throughout an exercise.

The messages will direct listeners to a specified website to provide reception reports and feedback.

WIA

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The Gambia operation

Thursday 11th April 2019

Operators Sigi/DL7DF (& XYL Sabine), Csaba/ DH7KU, Manfred/DK1BT, Annette/DL6SAK, Frank/DL7UFR and Jan/SP3CYY are now active as C5DL from The Gambia (WW Loc. IK13PJ) until April 15th.

They have three stations on the air on 160-10 meters using CW, SSB and the Digitals modes. Pilot for this DXpedition is Bernd, DF3CB.

QSL via DL7DF, direct or by the German DARC Bureau.

They will upload the full logs of the DXpedition to LoTW within 6 months after the DXpedition.

For more details and updates, see: http://www.dl7df.com/c5

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Denis G3UVR clocks up YET another 1,000 points !

 

 

Wednesday 10th April 2019

Congratulations to Denis G3UVR who for the second month on the run has earned top place and another 1,000 points for the UKAC 2.3GHz contest held on the 26th March 2019

All points earned by Club Members are normalised and added to the club total. 

In 2018 WADARC finished in an enviable 5th place out of 118 Clubs in the UK. 

If you would like to join the successful contest group of members and help generate even more points for WADARC .. no matter where in the UK you now live,  please speak to Denis at any Club meeting or D & W or email g4oar@wadarc.com

Well done Denis .. great consistency !

More details on our UKAC Contest page.

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FT8 Performance Secrets video

Wednesday 10th April 2019

Neil Smith G4DBN investigates what really matters when you are aiming for the ultimate performance with FT8 and other digital modes 

Neil demonstrates and explains the most common problems which affect the receive and transmit paths on analogue and SDR systems. Using real-world examples of each of the pitfalls, Neil presents practical tools and techniques to help you improve your digimode performance from LF to microwaves.

Watch RSGB 2018 Convention lecture - FT8 Secrets

Download WSJT FT8
http://physics.princeton.edu/pulsar/k1jt/wsjtx.html

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F/ON6JUN/P to commemorate 75th anniversary of D-Day

Wednesday 10th April 2019

Belgium's UBA reports major commemorations are planned to commemorate the D-Day landing of the Allies on June 6, 1944

On the occasion of the 50-year commemoration in 1994, members of the UBA departments NNV and GBN started an annual expedition to Ranville on the historic Pegasus bridge. Corporal Tappenden landed there with the paratroopers of the British 6th Airborne on the night of June 5-6, 1944 near two bridges.

Under the leadership of Major Howard, Tappenden sent the historic "Ham and Jam" to England with his radio station WS 38. This meant that the bridges were intact in their possession. This was the start for the Normandy landing on June 6. The GBN and NNV departments donated a similar WS 38 radio to the museum, with which corporal Tappenden sent this message. The son of Corporal Tappenden sent the message back into the air with this radio station in 2004.

This year the expedition will continue with departure from Belgium on Friday, May 31 and return on June 7. UBA members Xavier ON4ALY, Fernand ON6UF and Hans ON3HBB are present and work together with RSGB sections that operate from the places where the ships left for the Normandy landings.

Want to know more or cooperate with the special radio station F/ON6JUN/P that broadcasts from this unique location?
Send an e-mail to  xavier.goddaer<at>gmail.com

Source UBA
https://tinyurl.com/BelgiumUBA

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Spanish special event

Wednesday 10th April 2019

Look for Spanish stations to sign with the following special prefix callsigns to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the 'Union of Spanish Amateur Radio' (URE) throughout the month of April.

EA stations use AM#70 prefixes (e.g. EA4ZZZ = AM470ZZZ), EB stations use AN#70 prefixes (e.g. EB4ZZZ = AN470ZZZ) and EC stations use AO#70 prefixes (e.g. EC4ZZZ = AO470ZZZ). Listen for QSL info.

Also, there will be 14 stations using the special AM70 prefix between 0000z, April 1st and 2359z, June 9th. The suffixes of the 14 special event stations are each of the letters of the name of the "Unión de Radioaficio- nados Españoles", except the letter "Ñ" which will be replaced by the special URE station AM70URE.

So, the 14 special station callsigns are:
AM70URE (Unión de Radioaficionados Españoles), AM70URE/6 (Balearic Islands), AM70URE/8 (Canary Islands), AM70URE/9 (Ceuta and Melilla), AM70A, AM70C, AM70D, AM70E, AM70F, AM70I, AM70L, AM70N, AM70O, AM70P, AM70R, AM70S and AM70U.

QSL the "AM70" callsigns via EA4URE, by the Bureau (prefered) or direct.

For more details, see: https://70aniversario.ure.es
We also saw AM170URL active. QSL via EA1URL.

OPDX

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Vanuatu IOTA op

Wednesday 10th April 2019

Operators Yan RZ3FW and Sergei R4WAA plan to activate three IOTAs from Vanuatu between November 2-20th, as YJ0RRC and YJ0FWA.


Their tentative schedule is as follows:
November 2-4th -- From Port Vila, Efate Island (OC-035); using the
callsign YJ0FWA.
November 4-8th -- From Gaua Island, Banks Islands (OC-104); using
the callsign YJ0RRC.
November 8-13th -- Tongoa Island, Shepperd Islands (OC-111); using
the callsign YJ0RRC.
November 14-20th -- From Port Vila, Efate Island (OC-035); using the
callsign YJ0FWA.

Activity will be on 160-17 meters using CW, SSB, RTTY and FT8.

Their equipment will be an Icom IC-7200 w/PA Ameritron ALS 500m, Yaesu FT-450D, into 2 phased verticals for 30/40m , sloper 30m, 3 element VDA 20m, VDA 20/17m, top loaded vertical 80/160m and RX Antenna (Flag, BOG 70m). Some antennas may not be used on certain islands.

QSL info was not provided.
They do have a Web page at:

https://r4waa9.wixsite.com/yj0rrc

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IOTA News from the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

Wednesday 10th April 2019

Island activities:

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

AN-004; 3Y, Bouvet Island: The long awaited activation of Bouvet Island had to be cancelled due to adverse weather conditions. After losing radar and communication equipment in a severe storm about 70 miles from the island, the captain of MV Atlantic Tuna decided to return to Cape Town in order to ensure the safety of the DXpedition team and the ship's crew. For a statement of the captain regarding the voyage and wx circumstances see:
https://bouvetoya.org/the-official-statement-of-atlantic-tunas-captain/
Further attempts for a successful activation are being planned, though without any definite schedule so far.

AF-053; J2, Gulf of Tadjoura group und AF-059; J2, Strait of Mandab group: Operators Christian/EA3NT, Col/MM0NDX, and Jonathan/MM0OKG plan to activate Moucha Island (AF-053, WW Loc. LK11or) and Sept Freres Island (AF-059, WW Loc. LK12rl) between April 16 and 21 on 80-10m on CW and SSB as J20DX. AF-059 was on the air for the last time 18 years ago. QSL via LoTW or ClubLog. https://j20dx.com

EU-002; OH0, Aland Islands: Mart/DL6UAA is currently operating as OH0UA from the Aland Islands. QRV until April 19 on HF (CW, digital modes). QSL via DL6UAA (d/B), LoTW.

EU-048; F, Bretagne (Morbihan) Region group: The Charente DX Group (CDXG) plans an activation of Groix Island (DIFM AT012) for April 13 to 20. Operators Franck/F4GBD, Eric/F5LOW, Laurent/F5MNK, Fabrice/F5NBQ, Bertrand/F6HKA, and Leon/ON4ZD will be active as TM4G on HF on CW, SSB, and digital modes. QSL via ON4ZD (d/B), ClubLog OQRS.
http://www.charentedxgroupe.fr/

EU-048; F, Bretagne (Morbihan) Region group: Jerry/F4HJO operates as F4HJO/p from Belle Ile en Mer (DIFM AT015, FFF-0229) between the 13th and 21st on 80 to 15m (SSB, RTTY, FT8). QSL via bureau, ClubLog OQRS.

EU-053; OJ0/SM, Market Reef: Depending on wx conditions, Pasi/OH3WS hopes to operate during his spare time as OJ0W on April 13 and 14 on 60m and 30m (CW only). While on his way on the 12th, a brief operation as OH0/OH3WS is also possible. QSL via OH3WS.

OC-005; VK9, Norfolk Island: Rob/VK2FBBB plans to sign as VK2FBBB/VK9 from Norfolk between April 14 and 27 on 80 and 40m. QSL via VK2FBBB (d/B).

OC-207; DU1, Cagayan Islands: Ed/4F1OZ and Gil/4F2KWT plan to use the Philippine DX Chasers Club's callsign DX1CC from Arena Island between April 12 and 15 on 30, 20, and 17m on CW and SSB. QSL via EA5GL, ClubLog.

OC-211; VK6, Houtmann Abrolhos und OC-183; VK6, Western Australia
State (S.W. Coast) Centre group: Andy/VK5MAV and Vlad/ER1OO activate Houtman Abrolhos Island (OC-211) and Favorite Island (OC-183) as VK5MAV/6 between April 15 and 25. QSL via CLubLog or RN3RQ.
http://vk5mav.wixsite.com/dxpedition

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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New IARU-R1 Monitoring System newsletter available

Tuesday 9th April 2019

Yet again the monthly IARU-R1 Monitoring System newsletter reports on the severe problems being caused by the Russian OTH radar “Contayner” on 14 MHz

Chinese wideband OTH radars have been active on 40 m with 10 or 20 sps and 160 Khz wide (jumping) often in the evenings.

The International Amateur Radio Union Monitoring System (IARUMS) Region 1 March 2019 newsletter can be read at
http://www.iarums-r1.org/iarums/news2019/news1903.pdf

Reports of Amateur Band intruders can be logged on the IARU Region 1 Monitoring System Logger at
http://peditio.net/intruder/bluechat.cgi

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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Annual maintenance shutdown of the MSF service

Tuesday 9th April 2019

The annual maintenance shutdown of the MSF service to allow safe working on the masts and antennas will take place between 7 - 23 May 2019.

The service will be off-air from:
08:00 to 18:00 BST each day, including weekends.

If the weather is unsuitable for work to be carried out, then the service will not be turned off. If the work is completed sooner than 18:00 BST on any day, the service will be restored as soon as possible.

The MSF radio signal is a dedicated time broadcast that provides an accurate and reliable source of UK civil time, based on the NPL time scale UTC(NPL).

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Activation of IOTA EU011

Tuesday 9th April 2019

Announcement of an IOTA activation of EU011 (Isles of Scilly)

Date: From 20th April to 27th April 2019,

Callsign: GB5SM

Operators: G4EDG (Steve) G4ELZ (Jeff) and G4GSA (Pete)

Location: St.Mary’s Isles of Scilly

Modes: CW, SSB, Data modes and possibly Satellite.

QSLs will be managed by LZ1JZ. Direct and OQRS
(please note, via LZ1JZ for this operation only)

Logs will be uploaded to LoTW’and CLUBLOG

73 Jeff G4ELZ

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DXCC Most Wanted

Tuesday 9th April 2019

The 'DXCC Most Wanted' entities list has been updated on ClubLog as of April 5th. The list contains 340 entities.

The following are the top 10 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. FT5/X Kerguelen Island
10. 3Y/P Peter 1 Island

Two changes this month. Kerguelen Island (FT5/X) and Peter 1 Island (3Y/P) switched places in the 9th and 10th positions.

The complete "DXCC Most Wanted" entities list is available at:
https://secure.clublog.org/mostwanted.php

OPDX

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ARISS SSTV transmissions April 11-14

Monday 8th April 2019

ARISS Russia is planning Slow Scan Television (SSTV) image transmissions on 145.800 MHz FM from the International Space Station April 11-14 

ISS SSTV MAI-75 image 9/12 received by Chertsey Radio Club on Baofeng handheld

The transmissions begin Thursday, April 11, 2019 around 18:00 UTC and run continuously until approximately 18:00 UTC on Sunday, April 14, 2019.

This event uses a computer in the ISS Russian Segment, which stores images that are then transmitted to Earth using the ARISS amateur radio station located in the Service Module which employs the Kenwood TM D710E transceiver.

Once the event begins the transmissions will be broadcast at 145.800 MHz using the PD-120 SSTV mode.

Ham radio operators and other radio enthusiasts are invited to post the images they receive at
http://www.spaceflightsoftware
.com/ARISS_SSTV/index.php


Moreover, on request, ARISS SSTV Award Manager Slawek SQ3OOK will provide an SSTV Award, details at
https://ariss.pzk.org.pl/sstv/

To submit a request, please follow this procedure:

1. Load your decoded images on the page:
https://www.spaceflightsoftware
.com/ARISS_SSTV/submit.php


2. Fill in the application form on the website:
https://ariss.pzk.org.pl/sstv/

Please note that the event is dependent on other activities, schedules and crew responsibilities on the ISS and is subject to change at any time.

Please check the following for news and the most current information
AMSAT-BB
https://www.amsat.org/mailman/listinfo/amsat-bb

ARISS
https://twitter.com/
ARISS_status

ISS Ham
https://twitter.com/RF2Space


You can use online radios to receive signals from the International Space Station:
• SUWS WebSDR located Farnham near London
http://farnham-sdr.com/

• R4UAB WebSDR located European Russia
http://websdr.r4uab.ru/


ISS SSTV

https://amsat-uk.org/beginners/iss-sstv/

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Special callsigns 4Z1MOON and 4X1SPACE

Monday 8th April 2019

Israeli radio amateurs salute to the 'Beresheet' unmanned spacecraft that will be launched to the Moon on Friday morning.

2 special callsign will be used for this event:: 4Z1MOON and 4X1SPACE

The activity will be from 7 April to 12 of April.

More information on https://www.space.gov.il/en/node/131517

73 MARK
IARC Contest Manager

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Hams try to re-carve the amateur radio spectrum in fight over open or encoded broadcasts

Monday 8th April 2019

The technology website The Register reports: Radio enthusiasts argue signals must travel in the open, for the sake of national security

Some people have been using ham radio frequencies for communication that's encrypted or difficult to decipher and others argue that's a threat to national security and a violation of the spirit and rules of amateur radio. Really, it's a fight over whether the amateur radio spectrum remains a hobbyist space or develops as a medium for data traffic.

In a letter [PDF] submitted earlier this week to the US Federal Communications Commission, NYU professor Theodore Rappaport, who runs the NYU Wireless research center at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering, voiced support for RM-11831 [PDF], a proposed radio rule revision that, among other things, would require radio transmissions be open to public scrutiny.

"RM-11831 allows ACDS [Automatically Controlled Digital Stations] to continue to operate in ham radio, but simply requires them to use openly decodable transmissions in compliance with FCC rules," Rappaport says.

That means difficult-to-decipher, proprietary automatic repeat query (ARQ) traffic, using radio signal modulation modes like Pactor 3, WINMOR, STANAG, and ARDOP would have to be open source or make easy decoding available to ham radio operators who wish to examine the traffic.

Federal rules ban amateur radio stations from transmitting "messages encoded for the purpose of obscuring their meaning," with some exceptions. Despite this, evolving technology has given rise to a number of services that, some argue, violate these rules, such as Winlink and D-Star.

If the rule change is adopted, it might mean the end of these services, or reduced functionality, and might make it harder for innovative services like New Packet Radio to emerge.

Read the full The Register article:
https://www.theregister.co.uk/2019/04/05/amateur_radio_spectrum/

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Space weather probes shatter GPS navigation record

Monday 8th April 2019

We all use GPS--to find ourselves in the back country, to navigate to the grocery store, to locate lost pets.

NASA's four MMS spacecraft recently used the same system to locate themselves an astonishing 116,300 miles from Earth, almost halfway to the Moon. This shatters previous records and expectations of how far away GPS can work.

Visit today's edition of Spaceweather.com to find out how they did it

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IOTA News from OPDX

Monday 8th April 2019

Island activities:

AS-204. (New IOTA) Members of the Russian Robinson Club (RRC)and operators Vasily/R7AL and Vlad/RK8A will be active as R26RRC from Paramushir Island between May 2-10th. Look for more details to be forthcoming.

EU-048. (Reminder/Update) The Charente DX Group (CDXG) will be active as TM4G from Groix Island (DIFM AT 012) between April 13-20th.
Team members are Franck/F4GBD, Eric/F5LOW, Laurent/F5MNK, Fabrice/ F5NBQ, Bertrand/F6HKA and Leon/ON4ZD/OS0S.
Activity will be on 80-6 meters using CW, SSB and the Digital modes (RTTY, FT8 and other). QSL via ON4ZD, direct, by the Bureau or use as much as possible Clublog's OQRS. For more details, see:
http://www.charentedxgroupe.fr

NA-014. (Update) Mikhail "Mike", VE7ACN, is now active as VE7ACN/CK9 (not VE7ACN/VE9 as first announced) from White Head Island (CISA NB-010, GRID FN64pp), New Brunswik, Canada, until April 11th. Activity will be holiday style on 80-15 meters (depending on the propagation) using mostly CW with some SSB. QSL via Club-Log's OQRS (preferred), LoTW, direct or bureau to VE7ACN. For more details and updates, watch: https://www.ve7acn.com

OC-174. Operators Dindo/DU1UD and Chris/VK3FY will be active as 4E8T from Tawi Tawi Island, Philippines, between April 19-23rd. Activity will be on 40-20 meters using CW, SSB and FT8. QSL via M0OXO direct or OQRS.

OC-183/OC-211. (Reminder/Update) Operators Andy/VK6MAV and Vlad/ER1PP will be active as VK5MAV/6 from both Houtman Abrolhos Island (OC-211) between April 14-19th, and Favorite Island (OC-183) between April 20-23rd. QSL via ClubLog's OQRS, or via RN3RQ. For more details and updates, watch:
http://vk5mav.wixsite.com/dxpedition/next-expedition

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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WOLFWAVE advanced audio processor

Sunday 7th April 2019

WOLFWAVE is an audio processing system designed to improve reception on SSB, CW and data modes.

It includes sophisticated digital band-pass filtering, noise reduction and even age-related hearing correction! All these facilities have been designed to help users increase the performance of their radio systems.

WOLFWAVE also includes a useful low-distortion audio test generator that can generate one or two tones for transmitter testing. Another novel feature is an experimental "CW Regenerator" that gives noise-free CW reception.

WOLFWAVE features a bright OLED spectrum display and on-screen help, all powered by the latest ARM low-power processor with a 20-bit CODEC. There are separate audio outputs for headphones and a loudspeaker.  

WOLFWAVE firmware is upgradeable so users will always benefit from the latest developments. Such is the flexibility of the WOLFWAVE hardware that other enhancements are sure to follow!

Details at: https://www.sotabeams.co.uk/wolfwave-advanced-audio-processor/

Review video from Michael G0POT at: 

WOLFWAVE is available from SOTABEAMS in the UK and their overseas agents.

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Spain: General authorization for 2.4 GHz

Sunday 7th April 2019

Spain's national amateur radio society URE reports the regulator has agreed to allow amateur use of 2400.050 to 2409.500 MHz to access the E'hail-2 / QO-100 geostationary satellite

A Google translation of the URE announcement reads:

Since the State of Qatar sent the geostationary satellite Es'hail-2, the first of its kind to be used by radio amateurs, to space on November 15 of 2018, the URE satellite (AMSAT) raised the possibility of requesting the Administration the free use of the entire segment granted for radio amateurs in Spain and not only segment 2316-2332 MHz.

The Administration, responding to the request submitted by the URE, has developed the present resolution, which authorizes until September 26, 2019, to the holders of radio amateur authorizations, the emission of the amateur radio satellite service from 2400.050 to 2409.500 MHz. For single-sideband telephone communications, with a maximum eirp of 1500 watts, from authorized amateur radio stations located anywhere in the national territory.

The resolution of the Secretary of State for Digital Progress
https://www.ure.es/images/noticias/generales/RESOLUCION-Es-hai.pdf

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

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Buy Swap Sell and Wanted - is it actually a breach of Regulations?

Sunday 7th April 2019

Last week Australia's WIA News mentioned it is 'against the law' for operators discussing buying and selling of equipment on Amateur Radio frequencies

This week WIA News reports:

This may not be entirely correct as George VK3EIP points out in several pieces of correspondence received this week. I'd suggest you read the text edition for his full explanation but in brief it reads..>

We all know that Part 2(6) of the Amateur Radio LCD tells us we must not make a transmission on the amateur bands for 'financial gain'. But what does 'financial gain' mean?

This term is not defined in the LCD and so we should not be surprised that there may be many different views about the meaning of Part 2(6).

One way to make Part 2 clearer, could be to define financial gain in the LCD.

The problem with this approach is that defining terms is always more complicated than it appears and we will probably end up with an LCD that is tangled up in legal knots.

But why reinvent the wheel when we could use one of the definitions that are already out there?

For example the Australian Taxation Office is very interested in the definition of financial gain, it is the basis upon which our taxation system rests. The Income Tax Assessment Act has an explicit definition of financial gain and the definition distinguishes between what constitutes financial gain and simply receiving money. For example, many of us may have sold a computer, a car and yes, a radio. As long as the item was for private use only, then the ATO does not consider the money you received in such a sale as a financial gain and you did not have to declare the money you received in your tax return.

If you were lucky and sold the item for more than what you paid for it there are prescribed thresholds below which a capital gain does not need to be declared as a financial gain as well.

If you use the ATO's definition of financial gain then all you need to ask yourself before using your radio to discuss a potential sale would be 'will the money you receive from the potential sale need to be declared for tax purposes?'

If you do need to declare the money you receive then that money probably fits the definition of a financial gain and so don't talk about it on the air. Otherwise, if it does not fit the ATO's definition of financial gain then you can probably talk about it on the air.

But if you decide to do this proceed carefully. George VK3EIP goes on to say "If you have any doubts at all, then don't do it." Alternatively you might find it useful to talk to your accountant first to ensure you are clear as to whether such a sale would constitute a financial gain.

Clearly it is not as simple as was implied last week and perhaps we need a dialogue between amateurs, the WIA and ACMA to sort out this part of the conditions on our licenses.

Based on advice precedent received by the WIA from the ACMA in 2014, the issue is the combination of an advertisement and perception of financial gain - irrespective of the ATO view which depends on personal circumstances which are entirely unknown to any listener. Legal interpretations of the LCD aren't useful, as it is the perception of financial gain not the reality that matters to the community.

So, with an abundance of caution, here are the advertising guidelines for the WIA broadcast:

Personal advertisements in any context, included in submitted content to the WIA broadcast, will NOT go to air. Usually, due to editing logistics, this will mean the entire content that was submitted will be withheld from the broadcast. This applies whether or not a price is included.

This policy does not apply to club or community events, raffles where tickets are sold only at the event or club premises (i.e. Not available online) or even Silent Key estate notices (with no prices or equipment details) etc. - these will continue to be broadcast as a service to the current and aspirant amateur cohort.

(WIA/VK3EIP)

Source WIA News April 7, 2019
http://www.wia.org.au/members/broadcast/wianews/display.php?file_id=
wianews-2019-04-07


WIA News March 31, 2019 with the misleading Buy Swap Sell and Wanted item
http://www.wia.org.au/members/broadcast/wianews/display.php?file_id
=wianews-2019-03-31


Australian Amateur Radio Licence Conditions Determination (LCD)
https://www.legislation.gov.au/Series/F2015L01113

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Ham radio 5 MHz band in ACMA consultation draft

Sunday 7th April 2019

Roger Harrison VK2ZRH from the WIA's Spectrum Strategy Committee reports on the spectrum management plan that has been published by the regulator ACMA

The WIA news story says:

Earlier this week, the Australian Communications and Media Authority released a document setting out the work that it plans to do in spectrum management from 2019 to 2023.

Called the "Five-year spectrum outlook 2019-23", the 71-page document is what the Authority calls a consultation draft. That is, they are calling for all interested stakeholders to comment on any and every aspect of interest to them.

Naturally, that includes the WIA, on behalf of members and the radio amateur community in general, which includes both licensed amateurs and prospective licensees.

Of particular interest - at the top of many amateurs' wish lists - is work to progress access to the sixty metre band at 5.3 MHz, allocated world-wide to licensed amateurs at the 2015 World Radio Conference.

The ACMA notes that the band is included in the Australian Radiofrequency Spectrum Plan, but there is opposition to the allocation from Defence due to potential interference. However, the ACMA intends to publish a discussion paper in the third quarter of 2019-2020 seeking view on implementation issues.

Under the title of licensing and licensing systems, the ACMA says that, over 2019-2020, it will seek the inclusion of amateur qualifications in the Australian Qualifications Framework to enable more education and training bodies to provide amateur training and qualifications. Sure to be of wide interest in many quarters. There will be public consultation, says the ACMA.

Of direct interest to ALL amateurs and prospective amateurs is the ACMA's intention to commence consultation on potential changes to licence conditions on the fourth quarter of 2018-2019 - coming up real soon, now, and maybe further consultation in the first quarter of 2019-2020.

A few other topics of some interest are also covered in the ACMA's work plan, which I will get to in a later broadcast when I expand on the topics raised here.

The website link to the ACMA's consultation paper can be found in a separate announcement in WIA News on the WIA website at
https://www.wia.org.au/newsevents/news/2019/20190405-2/index.php

This is Roger Harrison VK2ZRH for VK1WIA News.

Source WIA News April 7, 2019
http://www.wia.org.au/members/broadcast/wianews/display.php?file_
id=wianews-2019-04-07

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International Air Ambulance Week 2019

Sunday 7th April 2019

This year's International Air Ambulance Week will take place between 7th and 15th September with the focus on supporting and generating donations for flying medical services around the world.

The event covers two weekends, giving amateurs a great chance to get involved and support the event.

Whilst Amateur Radio Operators / Stations are encouraged to promote the donation causes, it is requested that any donations generated go to the station's chosen local or national cause.

Registration will be mandatory and all stations taking part will be issued a registration number which will be listed on this website.

The registered number needs to be quoted by each station regularly. Included in the list alongside each registered station will be a clickable link enabling those wishing to donate, to donate directly to the charity of the service they wish to support.

The event is primarily intended to help support public donation funded flying medical services, whether part or entirely donation funded, though not restricted entirely to those. The location of the special event station can be anywhere you choose to set it up – club, home or if you can manage the permissions to do it, a public place.

No costs will be involved in registering or taking part and a free series of Awards will be available for those who support the event as detailed below..

An award for having registered and taken part in the event.

A Bronze award for having logged a minimum of 5 IAW station.

A Silver award for having logged a minimum of 10 IAW station.

A Gold award for having logged a minimum of 15 IAW station.

Awards for SWL will follow the the above requirements More than one award may claimed.

Claims for the awards will need to be made to the IAW’s Award Manager by de3ear@darc.de) including an excerpt from the log as proof of a valid claim.

The event’s date has been set to coincide with the UK’s own funding drive week for its own helicopter ambulance services. Almost all of these, around 30 in number, are entirely public donation funded.

The event is intended to commence on the fourth weekend of September annually and is to be run by the same team which operates the well established International Museum Event website
http://www.radio-amateur-events.org/IAW/Registration.htm

http://www.qrz.com/db/m0hem

IAW Manager

73 jon m0hem

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Rockets dump powder into Northern Lights, creating 'blue squids'

Sunday 7th April 2019

Last night in northern Norway, scientists launched two sounding rockets into an ongoing display of Northern Lights.

When they dumped their payloads of chemical powders, the sky went wild with strangely colored shapes. Police station phones lit up with reports of UFOs as squid-like figures danced across the sky.

Visit today's edition of Spaceweather.com to find out what scientists hope to learn from this strange experiment

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Foundations of Amateur Radio #200

Saturday 6th April 2019

When you hear a distress call ...

When you get your amateur radio license you become part of a select group of humans who are required to notify authorities if you happen to hear an emergency transmission. Not only that, you're required to offer assistance.

The regulator in Australia, the ACMA, says this about it:

When a distress call is heard, you must immediately cease all transmissions. You must continue to listen on frequency.

You must record full details of the distress message, in writing and if possible recorded by tape recorder.

You must also wait for a short time to see if the message is heard by a station better placed to help.

If the distress message is not acknowledged within a reasonable time, the amateur is obliged to assist.

The regulator goes on to say that after acknowledging or attempting to acknowledge receipt of the distress message, you should immediately forward details of the distress situation to the nearest police station for land based distress situations or the Australian Maritime Safety Authority for air or sea based distress situations.

In the United States, the ARRL uses the word may, rather than must, but essentially says the same thing. The FCC, the US regulator, says that an amateur station is not restricted by any rules to attract attention in the case of distress, nor is there any restriction on assisting a station in distress. In the UK, the regulator specifies that instead of waiting for a reasonable time you must wait for three minutes for a Coast Station to reply before responding.

Interestingly, getting information on how to respond, what you must and must not do is hard to come by. This in itself is a cause for concern, but let's move on.

Using the Australian example and requirements, how prepared are you to do this? Could you actually record the information, do you have a pen and paper next to your radio and can at short notice dig up a tape-recorder, or presumably some more modern recording device, capable of recording audio from your station?

Do you have have the contact details for search and rescue at hand and are you actually prepared for such activities?

During the week, an amateur in Australia reported that they heard a distress signal five hours after the event. While they were at work, their station recorded off-air and they listened to the recording after returning home. Using social media, they asked the question, should they report this information to authorities?

The answer is Yes, not only should they, in this case, given that they're in Australia, they must. There was no evidence that any other station heard the distress signal, in fact, the evidence was that the other stations continued to transmit on frequency, either completely deaf, or engaged in more pressing activities like hunting for a contact.

I will note that propagation is a fickle beast and it's possible, though improbable, that the other stations on frequency didn't hear the distress call, even through it was repeated. For that reason alone, you should never assume that someone else will deal with it and as I said, in Australia, you don't get the option, you are required to.

A couple of other things came to light for that amateur this week. Their recording was in a format that was hard to process by normal audio processing software, in this case the recording was made as an I/Q recording, we should look at that some other time, but processing the file was non-trivial and valuable time was lost in uploading a huge file, and for others to download it for confirmation. There was also indecision about reporting the call to authorities and if so, to which ones.

I will say that while we don't know the outcome of the distress signal, we do know that it was reported and that at this point is exactly what is required.

The chances that you'll hear a real distress signal in your life are tiny, but if it happens, are you ready for it? I know I have some work to do.

I'm
Onno VK6FLAB

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FCC agrees to 90-day pause in consideration of WT Docket 16-239

Saturday 6th April 2019

The ARRL reports on the latest development in the attempt to scrap the archaic Part 97 symbol rate restriction that has crippled experimentation with amateur radio digital modes for nearly 40 years

The ARRL report says:

It has been almost six years since the ARRL requested the FCC to
consider changes to the Amateur digital rules in 11-708 and almost three years since the ARRL filed comments in the resultant proceeding, identified by the FCC as 16-239.

The Commission's proposed changes differed from the ARRL's initial filing and caused the ARRL to be concerned about possible interference to current users resulting from the deletion of the ARRL's requested 2.8 kHz bandwidth limitation. Due to those concerns the League filed comments with the FCC opposing the deletion of the requested bandwidth.

Since the ARRL's initial filing many individuals and groups have commented to the FCC and publicly regarding issues and potential consequences they passionately believe are implicated by the FCC's proposals embodied in 16-239/11-708.  Additionally, in the six years since the initial filing of 11-708 new information has been presented by individuals and groups who support and oppose the FCC's proposed adoption of 16-239.

Due to the time that has elapsed since the ARRL's initial digital rules change request,  the new information that has become available and the extent of both support and opposition to the proposed rules change,  the ARRL asked the FCC to grant a delay in its consideration of the proposed rules change to provide the League the opportunity to clarify the issues and determine whether a consensus can be reached on some or all of the issues raised by the FCC's proceeding.

At the League's request, the FCC Staff has agreed to a 90-day  pause in the consideration of WT Docket 16-239.

Source ARRL
http://www.arrl.org/news/fcc-agrees-to-90-day-pause-in-consideration-of-wt-docket-16-239

On March 17, 1980, the FCC introduced a 300 baud symbol rate restriction on HF data which had ARRL support. Its intent was to restrict the bandwidth of data transmissions without actually specifying a bandwidth restriction.

In the September 2013 issue of QST the ARRL announced a new position on symbol rates. They proposed that the FCC delete all references to symbol rate from Section 97.307(f) of the amateur regulations and adopt a bandwidth limit of 2.8 kHz for amateur data emissions below 29.7 MHz, see http://www.arrl.org/files/media/News/ItSeemsToUs.pdf

The ARRL Petition filed a Petition for Rule Making RM-11708 on November 15, 2013 followed by an erratum filed November 26, 2013
https://ecfsapi.fcc.gov/file/7520958815.pdf
http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7520959653

FCC 97.307
http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CFR-2011-title47-vol5/pdf/CFR-2011-title47-vol5-sec97-307.pdf

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Digital Modes Petition RM-11831 generates debate

Saturday 6th April 2019

Technology news site The Register has published a article about the proposal to restrict amateur radio digital modes to just those available as open source

The FCC is currently accepting comments on a Petition for Rule Making (RM-11831) seeking to amend FCC Part 97 rules that require all ham radio digital transmissions to use techniques “whose technical characteristics have been documented publicly.” The Petition, filed by Ron Kolarik, K0IDT, of Lincoln, Nebraska, expresses concerns that some currently used digital modes are not readily and freely able to be decoded, and it asks the FCC to require all digital codes to use protocols that “can be monitored in [their] entirety by third parties with freely available, open-source software,” per §97.113(a)(4).

It is thought a wide range of amateur radio digital modes would be adversely impacted if the petition were adopted.

Technology website The Register has now published an article on RM-11831 written by Thomas Claburn which covers some of the arguments, see
https://www.theregister.co.uk/2019/04/05/amateur_radio_spectrum/

The founder of the research center NYU Wireless, New York University Professor Theodore Rappaport N9NB, has issued a press release which can be seen at
https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/nyu-wireless-founder-predicts-proposed-fcc-rule-will-grow-amateur-radio-hobby-and-inspire-future-engineers-300825114.html

The QRZ forum on RM-11831 has received a large number of posts, see
https://forums.qrz.com/index.php?threads/new-digital-petition-at-the-fcc-rm-11831.652589/

Read the Petition for Rule Making RM-11831
https://ecfsapi.fcc.gov/file/100918881206/PETITION%20
FOR%20RULEMAKING.pdf


Read comments submitted to FCC
https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/search/filings?limit=100&
proceedings_name=RM-11831&submissiontype_description
=COMMENT&sort=date_received,DESC


Comments on RM-11831 should be submitted to the FCC by April 29 at
https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/filings/express

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AMSAT files comments in FCC Orbital Debris Mitigation proceeding

Saturday 6th April 2019

AMSAT believes several of FCC's proposed rule changes concerning orbital debris would have an extremely detrimental affect on the amateur satellite service.

The AMSAT News Service Reports:

The Federal Communications Commission has proposed several rule changes related to the amateur satellite service as part of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) related to the mitigation of orbital debris. AMSAT believes several of these rule changes would have an extremely detrimental affect on the amateur satellite service and AMSAT's ability to launch and operate new satellites, including AMSAT's upcoming GOLF satellites.

Today, AMSAT filed comments on the proposed rulemaking.
In the comments, AMSAT argues that amateur satellites often have longer mission lifespans than other small satellite missions and that the Commission should take a mission duration of 5 to 10 years into account when determining whether or not an amateur satellite will meet the orbital debris regulations by transferring to a parking orbit or re-entering the atmosphere within 25 years of mission completion. The current practice is to assume a "zero year" mission and to require that amateur satellites either transfer to a parking orbit or re-enter within 25 years following launch.

AMSAT also urged the Commission to consider alternatives to a proposed rule that would restrict satellites in Low Earth Orbit that plan to meet the orbital debris mitigation guidelines through atmospheric re-entry to altitudes of 650 km or less. AMSAT noted that, had this rule been in place, AO-85 and AO-91 would not have been able to be deployed in their current ellipitcal orbits with apogees of approximately 800 km, despite the fact that both of these satellites will re-enter within 25 years due to their low perigees.
Additionally, AMSAT noted that current plans for the GOLF-1 satellite are to meet orbital debris mitigation guidelines through atmospheric re-entry by deploying a drag device that will ensure re-entry within 25 years despite deployment at an altitude of above 1,000 km. This proposed rule would prohibit GOLF-1's deployment at that altitude.

The Commission's proposed rules would also require that amateur satellite licensees indemnify the government against any claims made against the United States due to the operation of the satellite. AMSAT believes this proposal would end the ability of AMSAT, or any other entity in the United States, to launch and operate amateur satellites and urges the Commission to consider alternatives, such as establishing a fund to pay any such claims, noting that the likelihood of such a claim is low.

For amateur satellites with propulsion, the Commission proposes a rule that would require any command links as well as satellite telemetry be encrypted. While AMSAT understands and agrees that a satellite carrying a propulsion system must have an encrypted command link, the proposal to require all satellite telemetry be encrypted is unnecessary and counter to the spirit of the amateur service. AMSAT notes that open access to telemetry is expected of amateur satellites and is critical to the educational component of amateur radio satellites.

Finally, AMSAT proposes that the Commission exempt amateur space stations co-located on other spacecraft from the orbital debris mitigation regulations, including any indemnification rule. Noting that AMSAT has pursued opportunities to fly a payload as a rideshare aboard government or commercial satellites, AMSAT argues that, as the satellite's owner will need to meet orbital debris mitigation requirements to obtain the license in the primary mission's service, requiring the amateur licensee to meet the orbital debris mitigation requirements as well is redundant. AMSAT proposes that Part 97 be amended to state that amateur space stations co-located on spacecraft with space stations authorized under Part 25 of the Commission's regulations (for commercial spacecraft) or by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) (for government spacecraft) are exempt from these regulations.

AMSAT's comments as filed may be downloaded at
https://tinyurl.com/ANS-095-Comments

The NPRM is International Bureau Docket #18-313 and is available at
https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/FCC-18-159A1.pdf

Interested parties may file reply comments by May 5th at
https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/

[ANS thanks AMSAT Executive Vice President Paul Stoetzer, N8HM, for
the above information]

Register for AMSAT News Service emails at
https://www.amsat.org/mailman/listinfo/ans

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RSGB release vintage ARDF ham radio video

Saturday 6th April 2019

The RSGB has released a vintage silent black and white video of an Amateur Radio Direction Finding (ARDF) field day held in 1947 at Chipping Barnet which was then in Hertfordshire

The Incorporated Radio Society of Great Britain titled the video - D/F Field Day (North of the Thames) May 18th 1947. It has been added to the many amateur radio videos that can be viewed on the Society's YouTube channel.

One thing that's apparent from the video is the difference in the age range of those who participated in amateur radio in the late 1940's compared to today.

Watch RSGB Archive film - D/F Field Day 1947
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D_LHb3wPAfE

Pages 69-70 of the RSGB Bulletin (forerunner of RadCom) for October 1947 contained a fully illustrated report on the North of the Thames ARDF event as well as the South of the Thames event held on July 6, 1947.

The two leading affiliated societies on May 18 were from Essex:
1st Romford and District Radio Society
2nd Southend and District Radio Society
The two clubs swapped positions for the July 6 event.

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Historic ham radio publications preserved on Internet Archive

Friday 5th April 2019

The archivist Jason Scott has helped preserve some historic issues of the RSGB publication T&R Bulletin from as early as 1925 by uploading them in PDF format to the Internet Archive

1925 T&R Bulletin on the Internet Archive
https://archive.org/details/rsgbbulletin

Jason Scott's announcement on Twitter
https://twitter.com/textfiles/status/1113254205244866560

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New episode of ham radio newcomers podcast released

Friday 5th April 2019

'Covering the Rules on Calling CQ' is the focus of the new (April 4) episode of the 'So Now What?' podcast for Amateur Radio newcomers

The ARRL says:

If you’re a newly licensed Amateur Radio operator, chances are you have lots of questions. This biweekly podcast has answers! “So Now What?” offers insights from those who’ve been just where you are now. New episodes will be posted every other Thursday, alternating new-episode weeks with the “ARRL The Doctor is In“ podcast.

“So Now What?” is sponsored by LDG Electronics, a family owned and operated business with laboratories in southern Maryland that offers a wide array of antenna tuners and other Amateur Radio products.

ARRL Communications Content Producer Michelle Patnode, W3MVP, and ARRL Station Manager Joe Carcia, NJ1Q, co-host the podcast. Presented as a lively conversation, with Patnode representing newer hams and Carcia the veteran operators, the podcast will explore questions that newer hams may have and the issues that keep participants from staying active in the hobby. Some episodes will feature guests to answer questions on specific topic areas.

Listeners can find “So Now What?” on Apple iTunes, Blubrry, Stitcher (free registration required, or browse the site as a guest) and through the free Stitcher app for iOS, Kindle, or Android devices. Episodes will be archived on the ARRL website.

So Now What
http://www.arrl.org/news/view/so-now-what-1

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The Space Weather Woman

Friday 5th April 2019

The latest space weather forecast from Dr Tamitha Skov

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Electromagnetic compatibility of Consumer devices:  BNetzA responds

Thursday 4th April 2019

The German Federal Network Agency has sent a letter of reply to the amateur radio round table (RTA) after their response to the agency's draft 2019 plan

A Google translation of the DARC post reads:

The Authority took the RTA opinion as an opportunity to supplement the section on consumer protection. They wanted to include the comments on market surveillance - especially with a focus on online trading. With regard to the point "Electromagnetic compatibility", the authority had already set clear signs and called, for example, for a rethinking of previous protective distances and the consideration of several sources of interference in national and international standardization.

In conclusion, the Federal Network Agency confirms that it has worked well with radio amateurs for years. One appreciated the professional expertise from this circle.

The letter is available in full text after login on the DARC website as board information at:
https://www.darc.de/nachrichten/vorstandsinformationen/

DARC https://darc.de/
https://twitter.com/DARC_eV

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NPR: Hamnet over 70cm

Thursday 4th April 2019

Daniel Estévez EA4GPZ / M0HXM has been looking at NPR, an open-source modem designed to carry IP traffic over the 70cm Amateur Radio band, with data rates of up to 500 kbps

Daniel writes:

Guillaume F4HDK emailed me to introduce me his latest project, NPR (New Packet Radio).The goal of this modem is to be used for the Hamnet Amateur radio IP network, to give access to end users where coverage on the 2.3 GHz and 5 GHz bands is poor due to the terrain.

Overall, I think that NPR is a great project. In its present state it is already a useful kit that anyone can build. It is also a very nice platform to study and experiment with TDMA, and its protocol can be modified and improved further. It is also completely open-source, which I find essential for this kind of Amateur projects. Hopefully it will catch popularity and help increase the amount of data traffic in the 70cm band.

Read Daniel's detailed blog post at
https://destevez.net/2019/04/npr-hamnet-over-70cm/

Daniel notes that many of the National Bandplans for 70cm appear to lack the flexibility to cater for those who wish to experiment with wideband data modes.

The RSGB have prepared a paper - Digital Principles VIE19 C5-024 - for the IARU Region 1 Interim Meeting that takes place in Vienna, Austria, on April 27-28.

The paper says: "The increase in digital modes should be facilitated where possible by reviewing and relaxing Bandwidth restrictions that may have their origins in classical analogue modes (CW, SSB etc) – and may now impede new data modes."

The RSGB proposes "Bandwidth restrictions should be reviewed and relaxed where possible to facilitate experimental and emerging digital communications modes"

Download the paper from
https://vienna.iaru-r1.org/conference-documents/c5/

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New spinoff publication highlights NASA technology everywhere

Thursday 4th April 2019

From precision GPS to batteries for one of the world’s first commercial all-electric airplanes, NASA technology turns up in nearly every corner of modern life. The latest edition of NASA’s Spinoff publication features dozens of commercial technologies that were developed or improved by the agency’s space program and benefit people everywhere. 


The latest issue of NASA’s Spinoff publication features dozens of NASA
innovations improving life on Earth. Credits: NASA

“NASA works hard, not only to develop technology that pushes the boundaries of aeronautics and space exploration, but also to put those innovations into the hands of businesses and entrepreneurs who can turn them into solutions for challenges we all face here on Earth,” said Jim Reuter, acting associate administrator of the agency’s Space Technology Mission Directorate. “These are sometimes predictable, like the many NASA technologies now adopted by the burgeoning commercial space industry, but more often they appear in places that may seem unrelated, like hospitals, farms, factories and family rooms.” 

In this issue of Spinoff, the agency shares new stories of how: 

The publication provides nearly 50 examples of how NASA benefits various industries and people around the world. For example, fitness enthusiasts may be surprised to learn about NASA’s contribution to the Bowflex Revolution resistance-exercise home gym. Other highlights include a crucial component of pacemakers that have helped save lives around the world, as well as reactors that use electricity “breathing” bacteria to clean wastewater and generate power at wineries and breweries.

“The variety and complexity of NASA’s missions drive innovations in virtually every field of technology,” said Daniel Lockney, executive of NASA’s Technology Transfer program. “The result is that there’s not an industry or business out there that can’t make use of our groundbreaking work.” 

The publication also includes a “Spinoffs of Tomorrow” section that showcases 20 new NASA technologies available for license. One innovation on the list uses new materials to literally reinvent the wheel. The superelastic tires were inspired by the Apollo era and developed for future exploration of the Moon and Mars. The technology could find another purpose on Earth. 

Spinoff is part of the agency’s Technology Transfer program within the Space Technology Mission Directorate. The program is charged with finding the widest possible applications for NASA technology through partnerships and licensing agreements with industry, ensuring that NASA’s investments in its missions and research find additional applications that benefit the nation and the world.

Print and digital versions of the latest issue of Spinoff are available at:
https://spinoff.nasa.gov/Spinoff2019/index.html

An iPad version, including shortened versions of the stories, as well as multimedia and interactive features, is available for download in the iTunes store.

For more information about NASA's Technology Transfer program, visit:
https://technology.nasa.gov

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Marconi Special Event

Thursday 4th April 2019

The association's board of CARO, the Club of Amateur Radio in the ORF (Austrian Broadcasting Corporation) and the Documentary Archives Radio Communication /QSL Collection, will operate, for 72 hours only, a special event station with the callsign OE19M between Friday, April 26th, and Sunday, April 28th (00:00-24:00 UTC).

OE19M is an official "International Marconi Day" station. Contacts made on Saturday, April 27th, are valid for the IMD Award.

QSL info is available at: https://www.qrz.com/db/oe19m
Direct QSL (send SAE, w/2 USDs, no IRC) to:
DokuFunk, An den Steinfeldern 4A, A-1230 Wien, Austria Bureau QSL are via OE1WHC.
Press Contact: Wolf Harranth, OE1WHC (office@dokufunk.org) QSL motif download at:
http://www.qsl.at/down/oe19m.tif

OPDX

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SARL plan two additional VHF beacons

Thursday 4th April 2019

Over the past few months the Beacon Workgroup has been engaged in putting together a proposal for two additional beacons to be used for propagation studies.

One beacon is to be deployed near Bethlehem in the Free State and a second beacon somewhere in the centre of the country equidistant from the Western Cape and Gauteng where the two centres of activity are on the VHF and above bands.

The working group has made the decision to go ahead and procure the necessary equipment for the beacons and to deploy the beacon in Bethlehem first and use this site as the test site while efforts are made to procure a site in the central Karoo. A site has been identified in the Karoo and the working group is now busy putting a proposal together to take to the owner of the site.

The working group has also been discussing VHF propagation and forecasting over the inland areas. Along the coast there are the Hepburn charts, but these charts do not really help for the inland areas, or so it is believed. Over the last months some interesting correlations have been made between the actual propagation being experienced by the various forecasting models. It turns out that the Hepburn charts do give an indication of possible band openings inland. Even more interesting however, are the correlations being made between the actual propagation and some of the weather forecasting models available.

Expect to hear more about this at one of the upcoming VHF/UHF and Microwave workshops and at the SARL Unlocking Amateur Radio Technology symposium in Stellenbosch on 12 April. Do no delay, book while you can still benefit from the SARL subsidised attendance fee. Details on www.sarl.org.za.

If you would like to be part of the VHF Working Group, send your Skype name to vhfnews@sarl.org.za and you will be included in the meetings.

South African Radio League

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Petition seeks to limit Digital Modes to open-source software

Wednesday 3rd April 2019

ARRL reports the FCC is asking for comments on a new Petition for Rule Making RM-11831 which calls for 'Amateur Digital Mode Transparency' 

The FCC is accepting comments on a Petition for Rule Making (RM-11831) seeking to amend FCC Part 97 rules that require all ham radio digital transmissions to use techniques “whose technical characteristics have been documented publicly.” The Petition, filed by Ron Kolarik, K0IDT, of Lincoln, Nebraska, expresses concerns that some currently used digital modes are not readily and freely able to be decoded, and it asks the FCC to require all digital codes to use protocols that “can be monitored in [their] entirety by third parties with freely available, open-source software,” per §97.113(a)(4).

Kolarik said his petition also aims to reduce levels of amateur-to-amateur interference from Automated Controlled Digital Stations (ACDS) on HF operating under §97.221(d)(2). Kolarik wants the FCC to delete §97.221(c), which permits automatic control of digital emissions provided the station “is responding to interrogation by a station under local or remote control, and [n]o transmission from the automatically controlled station occupies a bandwidth of more than 500 Hz.”

In his Petition, Kolarik maintains that interference from ACDS continues to be “a major problem on the amateur bands.” He suggested that an absence of formal complaints may be due to the fact that such stations are “difficult to identify.”

Read the full ARRL story at
http://www.arrl.org/news/view/petition-for-rule-making-calls-for-amateur-digital-mode-transparency

Read RM-11831 at
https://ecfsapi.fcc.gov/file/100918881206/PETITION%20
FOR%20RULEMAKING.pdf

2013 RM-11708 and 2016 WT 16-239
http://www.arrl.org/files/media/News/Petition%20for
%20Rule%20Making%20AS-FILED%2011%2015
%202013.pdf

https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/FCC-16-96A1.pdf

Part 97 - Rules of the Amateur Radio Service
http://www.arrl.org/part-97-text

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Managing short wave broadcasts from Ascension Island

Wednesday 3rd April 2019

Radio World reports on the remote Atlantic Relay Station that transmits critical radio broadcasts to millions in Africa and beyond

A six-mile stretch of volcanic rock in the middle of the South Atlantic Ocean is home to the BBC’s Atlantic Relay Station.

Now managed and operated by Encompass Digital Media on behalf of the BBC World Service, the stations’ six powerful shortwave transmitters on Ascension Island beam program in a dozen or more languages to some 30 million listeners in north, west and central Africa.

The shortwave transmitters include two 250 kW Marconi BD272 transmitters originally installed in 1966 (and still in daily use) and four 250 kW RIZ K01 transmitters, which are also capable of transmitting in Digital Radio mode.

Read the Radio World story at
https://www.radioworld.com/columns-and-views/managing-sw-broadcasts-from-ascension-island

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A new digital mode for radio amateurs

Wednesday 3rd April 2019

There used to be a time when amateur radio was a fairly static pursuit. There was a lot of fascination to be had with building radios, but what you did with them remained constant year on year. Morse code was sent by hand with a key, voice was on FM or SSB with a few old-timers using AM, and you’d hear the warbling tones of RTTY traffic generated by mechanical teletypes.

By contrast the radio amateur of today lives in a fast-paced world of ever-evolving digital modes, in which much of the excitement comes in pushing the boundaries of what is possible when a radio is connected to a computer. A new contender in one part of the hobby has come our way from [Guillaume, F4HDK], in the form of his NPR, or New Packet Radio mode.

NPR is intended to bring high bandwidth IP networking to radio amateurs in the 70 cm band, and it does this rather cleverly with a modem that contains a single-chip FSK transceiver intended for use in licence-free ISM band applications. There is an Ethernet module and an Mbed microcontroller board on a custom PCB, which when assembled produces a few hundred milliwatts of RF that can be fed to an off-the-shelf DMR power amplifier.

Each network is configured around a master node intended to use an omnidirectional antenna, to which individual nodes connect. Time-division multiplexing is enforced by the master so there should be no collisions, and this coupled with the relatively wide radio bandwidth of the ISM transceiver gives the system a high usable data bandwidth.

Whether or not the mode is taken up and becomes a success depends upon the will of individual radio amateurs. But it does hold the interesting feature of relying upon relatively inexpensive parts, so the barrier to entry is lower than it might be otherwise. If you are wondering where you might have seen [F4HDK] before, we’ve previously brought you his FPGA computer.

Read the full Hackaday article:
https://hackaday.com/2019/03/31/a-new-digital-mode-for-radio-amateurs/

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Blowing up satellites during solar minimum is a terrible idea

Wednesday 3rd April 2019

Last week, India conducted an anti-satellite weapons test, shattering Microsat-R into more than 6,500 pieces.

Circling Earth like tiny bullets, some of those fragments are now potentially threatening the International Space Station.

Read today's edition of Spaceweather.com to find out why conducting anti-satellite tests during Solar Minimum can be a terrible idea

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IOTA News from the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club

Wednesday 3rd April 2019

Island activities:

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

NA-014; VE9, New Brunswick Province South group: Mike/VE7ACN will operate from White Head Island (CIsA NB-010, WW Loc. FN64pp) from April 5 - 11 as VE7ACN/VE9, mostly CW. QSL via VE7ACN (d/B) und ClubLog OQRS. https://www.ve7acn.com/

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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Using the SSB and FM ham radio satellites

Tuesday 2nd April 2019

John Brier KG4AKV has released a new video showing amateur radio contacts through the XW-2C, XW-2D, CAS-4A SSB satellites and the SO-50 FM satellite

On the AMSAT-BB John writes:

Andrew Knafel KN8FEL saw my videos and through our correspondence I helped him learn how to operate satellites.

He and his family live in Ohio but regularly vacation at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. He has a long time friend who lives near Raleigh, which is on the way to Myrtle Beach, who he usually stops to see.

Since he was in town we met up for an evening to play radio. We worked four passes on four different satellites.

The highlight was making contact through a satellite while standing mere feet away from each other. We actually did this twice on two different satellites. :-)

Watch Talking through a satellite from 15 feet apart
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HbNKiGO1Bfo

Follow Andrew KN8FEL on Twitter:
https://twitter.com/kn8fel

Andrew KN8FEL's equipment:
Arrow II antenna
Yaesu FT-818 for transmit on linear/SSB sats
Wouxon HT for transmit on FM repeater sats
Kenwood TH-D74 for receive

Follow John Brier KG4AKV on Twitter
https://twitter.com/SpaceComms1

John KG4AKV's equipment:
Alaskan Arrow with only one of three sections, except SO-50 pass where
I used two of three sections.
Icom IC-910H for linear sat passes
Kenwood TM-V71 for SO-50.

We worked these four passes:

2019-03-30 - 22:51 UTC - XW-2D
2019-03-30 - 23:10 UTC - XW-2C
2019-03-30 - 23:24 UTC - CAS-4A
2019-03-31 - 00:02 UTC - SO-50

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2019 Syllabus: SDR Slides

Tuesday 2nd April 2019

The RSGB has released SDR and Digital Model Tutorial slides to assist tutors prepare for the new 2019 syllabus that is expected to be used for amateur radio exams from September

The slides were first presented to Tutors at the SDR and Digital Syllabus Matters meeting held on March 17 at Jurys Inn, East Midlands Airport.

Download the Model Tutorial Slides from
https://rsgb.org/main/clubs-training/tutor-resources-2/syllabus/syllabus-2019/

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#Imagineering at the Royal Bath and West Show

Tuesday 2nd April 2019

Mid-Somerset ARC have been invited by the organisers of #Imagineering to provide an Amateur Radio demonstration within the #Imagineering marquee at the Royal Bath and West Show.

Held over 4 days with a likely attendance over 150,000 people the Royal Bath and West Show takes place from Wednesday 29 May 2019 - Saturday 1 June 2019 from 09:00 - 18:00 each day at the Royal Bath and West Showground Shepton Mallet, Somerset, UK.

Mid Somerset ARC have teamed up with Yeovil Amateur Radio Club, South Bristol Amateur Radio Club and the RSGB and RSGB Youth Team to put on a range of amateur radio related activities.

Activities on the stand will show how Amateur Radio has evolved and give people the opportunity to see and operate a modern Amateur Radio station using a variety of modes, try their hand at Morse Code, circuit building, try direction finding and obtain printed and electronic information about Amateur Radio.

For more information please e-mail info@midsarc.org.uk

Useful Links:
Mid Somerset ARC - http://www.midsarc.org.uk/
Yeovil ARC - http://yeovil-arc.com/
South Bristol ARC - https://www.sbarc.co.uk
RSGB - https://rsgb.org/
RSGB Youth Team - https://rsgb.org/main/about-us/committees/youth-team/
RSGB Club Finder - https://rsgb.org/main/clubs/club-finder/
RSGB Introductory Videos - https://rsgb.org/main/publications-archives/video/the-excitement-of-amateur-radio/
Get on the Air - www.getontheair.co.uk
Imagineering - https://imagineering.org.uk/
Royal Bath and West Showground -
https://www.bathandwest.com/

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SARC April Newsletter

Tuesday 2nd April 2019

Projects, views, reviews and Amateur Radio News from the SW corner of Canada. This issue has home-built antenna projects of all types.

You can read or download it as a .PDF file at tinyurl.com/SARC19-04

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Emergency neighbourhood communications courtesy of HELPER

Tuesday 2nd April 2019

For many people, phone and Internet connectivity are omnipresent and always available. It’s possible to upload selfies from a Chinese subway, and search for restaurant reviews in most highway towns, all thanks to modern cellular connectivity. However, in emergencies, we’re not always so lucky. If towers fail or user demand grows too large, things can collapse all too quickly. It’s in these situations that HELPER aims to flourish.

HELPER stands for Heterogeneous Efficient Low Power Radio. It’s a radio system designed to operate in the absence of any infrastructure, creating a pop-up network to serve community needs in disaster areas. Users can share information about available resources, like water, gasoline and food, while emergency workers can coordinate their response and direct aid to those who need it.

It’s a system built around commonly available parts. Raspberry Pis run the back end software and communicate with individuals over WiFi, with LoRa radios handling the longer-range communication from node to node. Combining this communication ability with GPS location and stored map data allows users to more easily find resources and assistance when things go wrong. The journal article is freely available for those wishing to learn more about the project.

It’s a project which aims to keep people safe when conventional networks go down. The key is to remember that once disaster strikes, it’s usually too late to start distributing radio hardware – emergency gear should be in place well before things start to go south. Of course, there’s also the government side of the equation – in the USA, the Emergency Broadcast System is a great example of emergency communications done right.

https://hackaday.com/2019/03/29/emergency-neighbourhood-communications-courtesy-of-helper/

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Money back for broadband and landline customers when things go wrong

Monday 1st April 2019

Ofcom report broadband and landline customers will get money back from their providers when things go wrong, without having to fight for it, from Monday (1 April).

They say: Previously, only around one in seven broadband or landline customers who suffer delayed repairs, installations or missed engineer appointments have received compensation from their provider; and even then, only in small amounts.

So Ofcom has intervened to ensure fairness for customers, while giving companies a strong incentive to avoid delays occurring in the first place.

The UK’s largest broadband and landline providers have agreed to compensate customers when they experience these delays, without having to ask.

BT, Sky, TalkTalk, Virgin Media and Zen Internet had already signed up to the scheme. Ofcom has today announced that EE, Hyperoptic, Plusnet and Vodafone have also agreed to the new terms. Hyperoptic and Vodafone will start paying compensation automatically later this year, while EE expects to be able to start paying automatically next year. Together, the firms that have committed account for more than 95% of broadband and landline customers in the UK.
 

Read more on the Ofcom website
https://ofcom.cmail19.com/t/i-l-nuhire-wklhtkyut-u/

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Ham College 51

Monday 1st April 2019

General Amateur Radio Exam part 22. Simple Decibel power calculations. Receivers
1:11:07

Download

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SSTV iransmissions from ISS set for April 1-2, 2019

Monday 1st April 2019

Cosmonauts on the International Space Station will transmit slow-scan television (SSTV) images on April 1-2 as part of its International MAI-75 experiment, aimed at combining the efforts of universities and radio amateurs in Russia and the US to develop technology and technical tools that enable students to communicate and collaborate with cosmonauts and astronauts.

SSTV images will be transmitted on 145.800 MHz using a Kenwood
TM-D710 transceiver. It's expected that images will be transmitted using the PD-120 SSTV format. Transmissions are scheduled on both days from about 1400 to about 1900 UTC. Listen to the ISS when it is over Russia using the R4UAB WebSDR.

[ANS and ARISS thank R4UAB for the above information.]

73,

Gaston Bertels, ON4WF

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2019 Marconi Day

Monday 1st April 2019

International Marconi Day will take place this year on 27th of April when amateur radio stations will operate from various locations around the world with historical connections to Marconi.

EI0MAR will be QRV as an award station once again this year from the Hurdy Gurdy Museum of Vintage Radio in Howth.

This is a twenty-four hour event and EI0MAR will be QRV from about 0700 Zulu that day. The Marconi Company conducted wireless telegraphy tests at the Martello Tower in 1905.

If you would like to come along that day as a visitor or operator you will be most welcome. The event is organised by the Cornish Radio Amateur Radio Club and awards are made for contacting the registered stations.

You can find out more information about EI0MAR and International Marconi Day on Facebook. Just search under EI0MAR and International Marconi Day or by emailing “ei0mar /at/ eircom /dot/ net”

Irish Radio Transmitters Society

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$2250 fine for using illegal radio transmitter on police channels

Monday 1st April 2019

New Zealand's RSM report a Tauranga man was fined $2250 in the Tauranga District Court for offences relating to the possession and use of unlicensed radiocommunication equipment.

On 24 of August 2018 Mr Elvis Johnstone was stopped by Police in the Whangarei area.  On search of Mr Johnstone’s car, police located a Baofeng UV-5R two way radio. When switched on the device was set to the same frequency as the Northland Police channel.

Charges were laid by Radio Spectrum Management (RSM) under sections 113 and 114 of the Radiocommunications Act 1989. Judge Harding imposed a fine of $3000, discounted by 25% for early guilty plea resulting in a fine of $2250 plus court costs.

National Manager for Radio Spectrum Management Fadia Mudafar says that disregard of the licensing framework has the potential to cause serious harm to radio communications.

“It is particularly important that Radio Spectrum Management protects safety and enforcement agencies’ communication networks. Malicious and harmful interference by unlicensed transmitters is very serious and we hope that this prosecution highlights the consequences of not following rules.”

Since this event, Radio Spectrum Management has taken further steps to stop unlicensed radio use. In October 2018 the Radiocommunications Regulations (Prohibited Equipment – Unrestricted Two Way Radio) Notice 2018 was introduced. This notice prohibits the import, sale, and distribution of unrestricted two-way radio equipment, other than by a permitted person.

Radiocommunications Regulations (Prohibited Equipment – Unrestricted Two Way Radio) Notice 2018

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If you would like to read more news from previous months

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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