06/07/2017 Blair Hearth, KD2EPA, of Oceanport, New Jersey, has joined the select group of individuals who have received Gold certification in the Radio Astronomy Observation program of the International Astronomical League for making at least 10 galactic observations. Hearth, who already had qualified for Silver certification, used the InfoAge Science History Museum’s TLM-18 dish for a few of his observations but most were accomplished by using Amateur Radio equipment to scan the void. A member of the Garden State Amateur Radio Association and the Society of Amateur Radio Astronomers, Hearth in 2015 was the recipient of the ARRL Hudson Division […]

New Jersey Radio Amateur Receives International Astronomical League’s Gold Certification


06/06/2017 Registration is now open for the 2017 Central States VHF Society (CSVHFS) Conference, which is expected to attract VHF/UHF/microwave operators from across the US, Canada, and elsewhere to sunny Albuquerque, New Mexico (DM65) on July 27-30 at the Sheraton Airport Hotel. Lodging information, including the special conference hotel rate and reservation deadline, are on the convention website. An up-close-and-personal tour of the iconic NRAO Very Large Array (VLA) near Magdalena, New Mexico, has been arranged for Thursday, July 27. The deadline to submit papers for publication in the Proceedings, or to propose a presentation for this year’s conference, is […]

Register Now for the 2017 Central States VHF Society Conference


06/02/2017 At 2336 UTC on June 1, the Australian Space Weather Forecast Centre issued a Geomagnetic Disturbance Warning for June 2. “The solar wind is expected to be influenced by a High-Speed Solar Wind Stream over the next 1 or 2 days. The source of this stream is a small coronal hole centered over the equator. Geomagnetic activity may reach active levels.” June 2 geomagnetic conditions are expected to be unsettled to active. A new video from Dr. Tamitha Skov: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WjzyWDhTHlU Average daily sunspot number for the recent reporting week (May 25-31) was down from 31.7 to 15.6, compared to […]

The K7RA Solar Update


06/01/2017 The Sun’s 11-year magnetic cycle appears to be ending, but that won’t happen anytime soon. In a paper submitted on May 26 to the journal Solar Physics, two solar scientists are reinterpreting earlier evidence to hypothesize that the Sun’s rotation rate and magnetic field are in a transitional phase that could lead to lengthening solar cycles, with the cycle ultimately disappearing altogether between 800 million and 2.4 billion years from now. Travis S. Metcalfe and Jennifer van Saders propose the scenario in their paper “Magnetic Evolution and the Disappearance of Sun-like Activity Cycles.” “After decades of effort, the solar […]

Our Sun’s 11-Year Magnetic Cycle Destined to Disappear



06/01/2017 The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) — a nationwide wireless broadband network for first responders — could change the complexion of how the Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES®) functions to support communication for responders during disasters and emergencies. As an independent authority within the US Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunication and Information Administration (NTIA), FirstNet’s mission is to build out, deploy, and operate an interoperable nationwide broadband network dedicated to first responders. Ralph Haller, N4RH, the chairman of the National Public Safety Telecommunications Council (NPSTC), told ARRL that the advent of FirstNet “will likely be as significant as when […]

Buildout of Nationwide First Responder Broadband Network Could Drive ARES Changes


06/01/2017 An Amateur Radio WSPR (Weak Signal Propagation Reporter Network) beacon has been installed and activated onboard the Canada C3 vessel. The ship departed Toronto, Ontario, on June 1 on a 150-day expedition to Victoria, British Columbia, via the Northwest Passage as part of the Canadian Sesquicentennial celebration. Sponsors are calling it an “epic journey to celebrate Canada and connect Canadians.” According to Radio Amateurs of Canada (RAC), Canada C3 organizers permitted a group of enthusiasts under the leadership of Barrie Crampton, VE3BSB, to install the WSPR beacon on the C3 vessel. “This provides a unique opportunity to track the […]

Canada C3 Sesquicentennial Voyage May be Tracked via WSPR Beacon


05/31/2017 Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region VI will conduct a communication test on June 3, from 1300 until 2359 UTC. Region VI consists of Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas. The intent of the test is to complete system checks prior to the “Vigilant Guard” exercise that will take place this summer. Set for August 3-6 from 1300 until 2359 UTC each day, Exercise Vigilant Guard is aimed at training and testing interoperable communications (federal/state/local/tribal/amateur) for a major disaster when the telecommunications infrastructure would be significantly damaged or destroyed. FEMA Region VI will act as net control station, […]

FEMA Region VI to Conduct Communication Test on 60 Meters


05/30/2017 The FCC Enforcement Bureau has sent a California Amateur Radio licensee a Notice of Violation (NoV) alleging that he engaged in unlicensed — or “pirate” — radio broadcasting — on the FM band. The NoV to Lyle E. Hilden, KD6LUL, of Vista, was released on May 26. Depending on Hilden’s responses, the NoV could be a precursor to a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (fine). According to the FCC’s Los Angeles Office, the Enforcement Bureau in March received a complaint of an apparently unlicensed FM broadcasting station on 93.7 MHz in Vista. The NoV does not indicate the […]

FCC Issues Amateur Radio Licensee a Notice of Violation for Pirate Broadcasting



05/30/2017 Jordan’s first CubeSat — JY1SAT — will be launched next February. The spacecraft’s name recalls the Amateur Radio call sign of Jordan’s late King Hussein. JY1SAT will carry a FUNcube 435/145 MHz SSB/CW Amateur Radio inverting transponder and a Slow-Scan Digital Video (SSDV) system to transmit stored images. According to The Jordan Times, a team of 16 university students has been constructing the 1U CubeSat, supervised by a group of experts and academics through weekly meetings at the Royal Jordanian Radio Amateurs Society (RJRAS). RJRAS members Nart Tahamouqa, JY5IB, and Rafiq Farmawi, JY4CI, serve as advisers to the project. […]

Jordan’s First CubeSat Set for Early 2018 Launch


05/30/2017 There will be no Alexanderson Day over-the-air VLF transmission on July 2 from SAQ, the Alexanderson alternator station in Sweden. SAQ periodically schedules transmissions with the nearly century-old behemoth that operates on 17.2 kHz from the World Heritage Grimeton Radio Station. SAQ said the event was cancelled due to ongoing maintenance work at the site. The station will still observe Alexanderson Day with activities that include two startups of the Alexanderson alternator and a “local” transmission. These events will be streamed via YouTube. The site will be open to visitors. Dating from the 1900s, the Alexanderson alternator — essentially […]

SAQ Transmission on Alexanderson Day Cancelled