Scouting’s Jamboree on the Air Set for October 16-18, 2020

Jamboree On The Air 2020 logoJamboree on the Air (JOTA) and Jamboree on the Internet (JOTI) will be held this year on October 16, 17, and 18. Register online as an individual or as a group.

Jamboree on the Air is the largest Scouting event in the world. In a typical year, more than 1 million Scouts participate in JOTA, with over 11,000 stations operated by 20,000+ young radio amateurs from 150+ countries around the world.

JOTA details are available on the K2BSA website. The website menu will direct users to additional supporting information. K2BSA’s Jim Wilson, K5ND, says many locations are already offering virtual radio merit badge classes “and no doubt will be using similar approaches for Jamboree on the Air.” 

Maine Amateur Radio Foundation Promoting New Ham Radio License Plate

Maine special series license plateMaine Amateur Radio Foundation, Inc. is sponsoring a new ham radio vehicle registration plate. According to MARF, “purchasing this plate is an exciting way to show your enthusiasm for ham radio and to support it throughout the state of Maine.

“With the funds raised through the sale of this new specialty plate, the Foundation will be working with you and others like you to train new hams, provide the necessary equipment for community activity and emergency communications support and assist in the maintenance of our repeater infrastructure,” writes MARF President Gary L. Gilman, N1ZNJ.

MARF set an original target date of fall 2020, but due to COVID-19 has moved back the date to the fall of 2021. “[MARF] will be working very hard to collect the necessary two thousand applications for the new registration plate to be issued. With your help, we will succeed in doing so.”

The initial application fee for the registration is $30, five dollars of which are to cover the administrative cost of processing the license plate application. The thirty dollar fee is non-refundable. If MARF fails to reach the necessary two thousand applications, all application fees will be treated as a donation to the Foundation, and the money will be used to fund successful grant applicants within Maine.

According to MARF, the State of Maine requires four thousand active registrations per year to maintain a specialty plate. They encourage all Maine amateurs to order a set for each vehicle that is registered. 

For more information, see:  https://drive.google.com/file/d/1URVdgh7GKzmkcNWlR_BF4ELNHfZ4C8np/view?usp=sharing

Fortieth Anniversary of the MS Prinsedam Rescue at Sea

N1EA QSL cardFrom ema.arrl.org:
 
David J. Ring, Jr., N1EA, writes on Facebook on October 4, 2020:
 
The hand of God watched over them and a miracle happened, 40 years ago tonight.
 
I was woken up by auto alarm bells from the SOS of the burning luxury liner MS PRINSENDAM / PJTA as my ship was sailing southward from Valdez, Alaska on Prince William Sound. When the burning ship lost main and emergency generators, their radio officer told me to take over and I sent out three additional DDD SOS DDD (MAYDAY RELAY) calls.
 
The FCC in Washington reported over 350 ship logs were received. According to RCA San Francisco / KPH senior operator Hansen who copied my handling of the SOS in Morse, he’d been there for 35 years and never heard a finer job of communications. All 535 passengers and crew were rescued safely from lifeboats without even one death. The rescue was greatly helped by the international cooperation involved: the United States Coast Guard, United States Air Force who supplied two rescue swimmers (at that time USCG didn’t have that speciality), Canadian Armed Forces who supplied massive long range helicopters able to fly 300 miles out to sea, and engage in hours of rescue work by lifting survivors out of lifeboats one at a time and dropping them on: my ship, the SOHIO INTREPID, USCG cutters Mellon, Woodrush and Boutwell, United States Merchant Marine and foreign Merchant Navies, including the men and women on Ocean Station PAPA / 4YP manned by Canadian Coast Guard. US Air Force also sent a flight surgeon physician.
 
Because the distress was handled on long range 500 kHz radiotelegraphy, communication with Rescue Coordination Center Juneau, Alaska was instantaneous. Sitting at RCC was a USCG radioman who tuned in 500 kHz and copied the Morse, beating the interoffice teleprinter circuits by five minutes. The City of Sitka, Alaska sent two paramedics. Automated Mutual-Assistance Vessel Rescue System on Governor’s Island, New York City sent SURPICS telling us what ships were in the area. Such beautiful cooperation! Morse XXX and SOS recordings, radio logbooks from WILLIAMSBURGH and EXXON NEW ORLEANS / WNDM whose Radio Officer, Richard Singer provided his excellent assistance as did Radio Officer, Carl Williams on SOHIO INTREPID. Hundreds of people were involved in what has been called “The Greatest Air-Sea Rescue in history.
 
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“Intro to Radio Relay International” Webinar, October 13, 2020

James Wades writes on Facebook’s My ARRL Voice:
 
Due to extremely high interest, we have scheduled a second session of our webinar entitled “Introduction to Radio Relay International and the Inter-national traffic system” to take place on Tuesday, October 13 from 1:00-PM to 3:30-PM EDT (1700Z to 1930Z). The class covers the structure of the traffic system, its international affiliates, and the structure and topology of the manual mode net system, the Digital Traffic Network (DTN), and the Winlink-RRI Radiogram transfer process. Also included is an introduction to the radiogram and radiogram-ICS213 message formats including an explanation of the various components incorporated in their associated network management data. A general overview of RRI management philosophy and RRI emergency response functions are also included. Training certificates will be issued for RRI Training Class TR-002.
The class is limited to 100 people. Register soon, as the first class filled up in just a few hours.

DX Test: WNJC 1360 kHz, Washington Township, NJ, FT-8 Weak Signal Mode, October 10, 2020

WNJC logoLes Rayburn, N1LF, writes:
 
Another DX Test from WNJC-1360 late night tonight! We’re getting spoiled with the weekly DX Test. But tonight’s conditions are the best so far. Great opportunity for DX’ers in Europe and on the West Coast to snag WNJC.
 
Duke Hamann of WNJC has announced another weekly DX Test of WNJC 1360, which will include the FT-8 mode. A first of its kind for a station doing DX Tests on the MW Band. Tonight’s test will be Omnidirectional pattern at 1250 watts. 
 
Reception reports can be sent to Duke at: kc2dux@duxpond.com
 
There is also a Facebook Page devoted to the tests:
 
 
The test will be in two parts:
 
WNJC DX TEST PART ONE 0000 EDT-0100 EDT (0400-0500 UTC)
 
The test begin late tonight starting at midnight on the East Coast of the United States. Late Saturday/Early Sunday, 10/11 at 0000 EDT (0400 UTC) and initially air the same Morse code IDs, jingles, sweep tones, telephone off-hook sounders and other test material.
 
Conditions are the best they’ve been so far during this prolonged DX Test. should provide a good opportunity for the test to be received in Europe.
 
WNJC DX TEST PART TWO 0100 EDT-0200 EDT (0500-0600 UTC)
 
 
Duke Hamann will be testing for a second hour using the amateur radio mode FT-8, developed by Joe Taylor, K1JT, a Nobel Prize winning astrophysicist.
 
FT-8 is a “sound card mode” where you simply input audio from your receiver into your computer’s sound card, then use software to process that audio digging out weak signals in the noise. How well does it work? Using the software and the audio from your receiver, you can decode signals that are as much as -24db below the noise.
 
Many DX’ers have had success using their receivers in the lower-sideband mode (LSB). Since the WNJC transmissions are in AM Mode, they are effectively double-sideband (DSB). Either sideband should work for reception.
 
73,
 
Les Rayburn, N1LF
121 Mayfair Park
Maylene, AL 35114
EM63nf

2020 ARRL Auction Online, October 15-22, 2020

ARRL Auction Online logoThe 2020 ARRL OnLine Auction will be held October 15th -22nd, 2020 with the preview starting today October 8th. Don’t miss this opportunity to get in on the fun and bid on a variety of items at the 15th annual ARRL OnLine Auction to benefit ARRL educational programs.

We suggest you read through the “Help” section, listing bidding tips as well as the link to our Help Desk should you need assistance.

All bidders must register (your arrl.org user ID and password will not work on the auction site). If you have registered for a previous ARRL On-Line Auction, you may use the same log-in information. If you have forgotten your user ID or password, click on the “Help” tab for instructions on how to retrieve these credentials. Make sure your correct address and other information are up to date. The auction site only accepts Visa and MasterCard.

Good luck to all!

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Maine Simulated Emergency Test, October 24, 2020

ARES logoA simulated emergency test will be conducted in Maine on Saturday October 24th from 8 AM until 1 PM. The goal of this exercise will be to relay, send and receive messages over voice and/ or digital means from and to various county Emergency Management Agencies (EMAs) and Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA). It will be a simulated weather emergency whereby the internet has gone down and repeaters have failed, therefore more focus will be placed on simplex communication (VHF/HF).

If you are interested in participating, please reach out to your local ARES/RACES team for more information.  –Maine Telegraph Newsletter, October, 2020

 

Department of Defense Exercise With Amateur Radio Participation, October 2020

MARS logoTom Kinahan, N1CPE, writes:

For almost the whole month of October, (now through October 26) the Department of Defense is conducting a series of exercises that will train the connection of MARS members to the Amateur Radio Service.

There are opportunities for hams to participate in this exercise.

1) Every day at noon local time, there will be a net on 60 meters channel 1 (5.3305 MHz USB) to have checkins from hams. The NCS will ask for your callsign, city and state. As the month moves on, there may be other unplanned requests.

2) Familiarize yourself with the METAR which is transmitted on VHF AM from all major and some less major airports as weather information for pilots. See if you can transcribe the weather information. They speak fast, and usually in mumbles. This is valuable information to the DoD in times of communication outage. Contact me for additional details.

3) There will be ICS-213 messages originating in MARS for certain ARRL and other local ham radio leaders refiled into the NTS system for delivery. NTS nets may carry these messages. Be ready to copy these messages and deliver them, by checking in to your local NTS net.

If you have any questions, please let me know!

 

[Tom Kinahan is the Army MARS Region 1 Executive Officer. He can be contacted at: tom.kinahan@verizon.net]

Northeast MA Fox Hunting Update

From https://ema.arrl.org:

Alan Hicks, KD1D, writes on NEMass fox hunters list:

* All the 2-meter FM foxes belonging to PART of Westford members transmit on 146.565 MHz.  

* Currently the KD1D and W1HFN foxes use the Squawkbox module, which typically transmits a short (e.g. 30 second)  voice message and repeats once per minute. The low  power output of about 50 mW allows more than one Squawkbox to be on the air if they are far enough apart.  Often, I have one operating in Westford and W1HFN has one operating in Littleton simultaneously.

* Other two-meter fox boxes operated by our club members (including KB1MGI) use the Byonics module which sends a series of tones for a fixed period (e.g. 30 minutes) when activated by the hunter sending a DTMF ‘2’ for two seconds.   

* Occasionally, Andy Stuart, KB1OIQ, puts out an 80-meter Fox operating around 3.6 MHz.  

[KB1OIQ: It is supposed to be the color burst frequency.  This fox is really a Cricket 80A CW transceiver driven by an Arduino.  Yes, it is a bit overkill but I had fun making it.  It consumes too much power, so when it is out, it is usually only for a day or two.  It has a built-in real time clock so it only transmits during the daylight hours (approximately). I also occasionally put out a 2m fox, which is a Byonics MicroFox, transmitting about 15 mW.  This fox transmits 24×7 for several days until I retrieve it. I have also been accused of hiding a fox inside of a plastic owl, up on a tree branch.  Fox hunters claim to have heard the CW message, “I am most wise.”]

* The operators usually post frequency and activation information, when they announce the hunt.  I’ve gotten a bit lazy on that score and will try to mend my ways!

* Similarly, we usually announce the location (usually conservation, recreation or other public area), although lately I have been providing only clues to add a challenge.

* Some of the foxes use an HT transmitting 1 or 2 watts, in which case, we usually just announce the town it is in to practice long-distance direction finding similar to what we would need to track down a repeater troll.

It’s great to have fox hunters from outside the Westford area participating!  I will try to take that into consideration when doling out clues in the future.

73 and Happy Hunting!

Alan KD1D

Radio Amateurs of Northern Vermont Activate Niquette Bay State Park, October 4, 2020

 
YouTube image of W1NVT activation, Niquette Bay State Park, Vermont #3136On October 4, 2020 W1NVT [Radio Amateurs of Northern Vermont] activated park # 3136 in Vermont for Parks On The Air. The operators were KB1FRW, W1SJ, and K1BIF. We had two stations, one on 20 and the other on 40 meters. The 20-meter station was a Elecraft K3 with a Heathkit SB-200 amp using a Cobra 80 – 10m antenna up 66 feet. The 40-meter station was a Kenwood TS-480 with an Elecraft KPA-500 amp using a home brew 40m dipole up 65 feet.
 
It was a pleasant Fall day, with temps in the 50s all day. We worked from about 11:45 am to 5:00 pm and put 544 contacts in the log. We thank all those who stuck with us and made it into our log.”

 

A YouTube video can be viewed at https://youtu.be/UiuE5Yoi7A4

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