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  1. The 2017 Annual General Meeting of the Waverley Amateur Radio Society Inc. will be held at 7:30pm Wednesday 19th April 2017 at the Society’s club rooms, Rose Bay Scout Hall, Vickery Avenue Rose Bay NSW View the full article
  2. Phil gave us a talk on Capacitors, as usual very interesting, especially the video that showed how they were made back then. Thanks Phil View the full article
  3. 03/24/2017The Sun just finished an extended period (16 days) of zero sunspots. There were none on March 4, one visible on March 5, then none on March 6-20. Finally, one sunspot group appeared on March 21-23, with a sunspot number of 12 on all three days. A sunspot number of 12 does not mean there were 12 sunspots. Every group of sunspots counts as 10 points, and every sunspot within those groups counts for one point. Therefore, the minimum non-zero sunspot number is 11. So, for the past three days, there were two sunspots in one group. The average daily sunspot number this week (March 16-22) was 3.4, compared to zero during the previous seven days. Average daily solar flux increased from 70.3 to 71.2. Average daily planetary A index increased from 8.1 to 10 and average mid-latitude A index increased from 6.4 to 7.1. The mid-latitude A index is measured at one magnetometer at Wallops Island, Virginia while the planetary A index is calculated based on a number of magnetic observatories, most in the northern hemisphere. Predicted solar flux is 75 on March 24-26, 78 on March 27-30, 72 on March 31 through April 4, 71 on April 5, 70 on April 6-17, 71 on April 18, 72 on April 19 until May 1 and 71 again on May 2. Predicted planetary A index is 14 on March 24, 8 on March 25-26, then 20, 40, 35, 20 and 18 on March 27-31, then 15, 20 and 15 on April 1-3, 12 on April 4-5, 10 on April 6, 5 on April 7-16, then 8, 12, 20, 8, 5 and 8 on April 17-22 then 8, 35, 30, 20, 18, 15, 20 and 15 on April 23-30, and 12 on May 1-2. The Australian Space Forecast Centre issued a geomagnetic disturbance warning at 2336 UTC on March 23: “Due to the continued effect of the high speed solar wind stream from a recurrent coronal hole, solar wind speed is still high. IF Bz shows sufficiently southward values for long enough intervals of time, there is some possibility for some minor storm periods to occur on 24 March.” From F.K. Janda, OK1HH, geomagnetic activity forecast for the period March 24-April 19, 2017 Geomagnetic field will be: Quiet on March 25, April 8-9, 14-15 Mostly quiet on April 13, 19 Quiet to unsettled March 26-28, April 10, 12, 18 Quiet to active on March 24, 31, April 1-4, 6, 11, 17 Active to disturbed on March 29-30, April 5, 7, 16 Amplifications of the solar wind from coronal holes are expected on March 24, 30-31, April 1-4, (5-8,) 12-13. (14,) 16-20, Dates in parenthesis are less likely to have enhanced solar wind. This weekend is the CQ Worldwide SSB WPX Contest. The CW portion is on May 27-28. See http://www.cqwpx.com/rules.htm for details. One cool aspect of this contest is that unique prefixes count for multipliers. So, instead of counting states worked or countries worked and using those totals to multiply your final score, you total up the number of unique prefixes worked. Right now, as K7RA, I am not in much demand for this contest, because the K7 prefix is quite common. But starting in the 1980s, I was KT7H, and this made my call sought after as a desirable multiplier, depending on how many other stations in the contest had a call sign starting with KT7. The Washington Post comments on the naked Sun. Note there is a comment at the bottom from N3JLY. http://wapo.st/2nKw6nd For more information concerning radio propagation, see the ARRL Technical Information Service at http://arrl.org/propagation-of-rf-signals. For an explanation of numbers used in this bulletin, see http://arrl.org/the-sun-the-earth-the-ionosphere. An archive of past propagation bulletins is at http://arrl.org/w1aw-bulletins-archive-propagation. More good information and tutorials on propagation are at http://k9la.us/. Monthly propagation charts between four USA regions and twelve overseas locations are at http://arrl.org/propagation. Instructions for starting or ending email distribution of ARRL bulletins are at http://arrl.org/bulletins. Sunspot numbers for March 16 through 22, 2017 were 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 12, and 12, with a mean of 3.4. 10.7 cm flux was 70.5, 70.5, 70.2, 71.2, 72.7, 71, and 72.5, with a mean of 71.2. Estimated planetary A indices were 6, 4, 2, 2, 3, 26, and 27, with a mean of 10. Estimated mid-latitude A indices were 5, 3, 1, 2, 2, 18, and 19, with a mean of 7.1. View the full article
  4. 03/24/2017ARRL CEO Tom Gallagher, NY2RF, is now supplementing each of his QST "Second Century" editorials with a "60-Second Century" video. These videos offer a glimpse of the content in each month's QST editorial. ARRL began producing "60-Second Century" with the March QST editorial, and each video is posted on the ARRL YouTube channel, as well as made available through ARRL social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram). Videos will become available on the 10th of each month, when the digital edition of QST is released to members, and they will be archived. For his inaugural "60-Second Century," Gallagher hit the New England National Scenic Trail in Connecticut to review the success of the National Parks on the Air (NPOTA) program in 2016, the topic of his March QST editorial. His most recent edition, for the April QST editorial, addresses the synergy between Amateur Radio and the Maker Movement. View the full article
  5. 03/24/2017“Remote Antenna Tuners” is the topic of the latest episode of the “ARRL The Doctor is In” podcast. Listen...and learn! Sponsored by DX Engineering, “ARRL The Doctor is In” is an informative discussion of all things technical. Listen on your computer, tablet, or smartphone -- whenever and wherever you like! Every 2 weeks, your host, QST Editor-in-Chief Steve Ford, WB8IMY, and the Doctor himself, Joel Hallas, W1ZR, will discuss a broad range of technical topics. You can also e-mail your questions to doctor@arrl.org, and the Doctor may answer them in a future podcast. Enjoy “ARRL The Doctor is In” on Apple iTunes, or by using your iPhone or iPad podcast app (just search for “ARRL The Doctor is In”). You can also listen online at Blubrry, or at Stitcher (free registration required, or browse the site as a guest) and through the free Stitcher app for iOS, Kindle, or Android devices. If you’ve never listened to a podcast before, download our beginner’s guide. Just ahead: “Speech Equalization, Compression, and Processing.” View the full article
  6. 03/24/2017If you’re not familiar with full-carrier amplitude modulation (AM) or have never used it on the air, you’ll have a chance during the AM Rally during the April 1-2 weekend, on the bands between 160 and 10 meters (except 30, 17, and 12 meters) plus 6 meters. Once the primary voice mode on the ham bands, AM eventually gave way to SSB, a form of AM. Yet AM has remained popular among dedicated radio amateurs who consider it their primary operating mode. Many modern transceivers include an AM button. “Whether your rig is software defined, solid state, vacuum tube, hybrid, homebrew or broadcast surplus, you’ll be a welcome part of the AM Rally,” said Clark Burgard, N1BCG, who is spearheading the event with Steve Cloutier, WA1QIX, and Brian Kress, KB3WFV. The AM Rally starts on Saturday, April 1 at 0000 UTC (Friday, March 31, in US time zones) and concludes at 0000 UTC on Monday, April 3. Certificates will be awarded to high-scoring stations in each of five power classes, both for most contacts and most states/provinces worked. The AM Rally website has full details. View the full article
  7. 03/24/2017Nevada mayors Carolyn Goodman of Las Vegas, John Lee of North Las Vegas, and Andy Hafen of Henderson have joined the Clark County Board of Commissioners in proclaiming March 26 to April 2 as “NVCON Week,” recognizing the ARRL Nevada State Convention (NVCON), March 31-April 2. The community leaders encouraged the citizens of their respective localities to pay tribute to the area’s Amateur Radio operators. Nevada radio amateurs will convene in Las Vegas for the NVCON. The state is home to more than 7,600 radio amateurs, many of whom provide communication support during emergencies, disasters, and public events. Featured speakers at NVCON will be noted youth activities program creator and mentor Carole Perry, WB2MGP; Amateur Radio educator Gordon West, WB6NOA, and FEMA Individual Assistance Division Director Christopher Smith. Local TV meteorologist and kids’ author Kevin Janison also will speak. View the full article
  8. Following the sudden and unexpected sad loss of the recently-appointed Examinations Standards Committee Chair Dave Powis, G4HUP, the RSGB Board is again seeking to appoint a suitably qualified replacement. The Committee oversees all aspects of the examinations. More details are on the RSGB website, but if you require further information or an informal chat about the role you can contact the responsible RSGB Director Ian Shepherd, G4EVK, via email to g4evk@rsgb.org.uk. Category: Front Page News, GB2RS Headlines View the full article
  9. The RSGB is delighted to announce that the members of the UK YOTA 2017 team are Peter Barnes, 2E0UAR and Jonathan Sawyer, M0JSX. Peter is 19, and a member of Thornbury and South Gloucestershire ARC. Jonathan is 23, and belongs to the Reading and District ARC. You will be able to read more about them in the May issue of RadCom, which should arrive around Easter. Congratulations to them both. Category: Front Page News, GB2RS Headlines View the full article
  10. The deadline for schools or informal educational institutions and organisations to submit proposals to host amateur radio contacts next year with International Space Station crew members is fast approaching. All applications must be in by 5 April. Organiser ARISS anticipates that contacts will take place between 1 January and the 30 June next year. Any one interested should contact the RSGB liaison Ciaran Morgan via email to ciaran.morgan@rsgb.org.uk for assistance with the application process. Category: Front Page News, GB2RS Headlines View the full article
  11. The 90th RSGB AGM will be held at the Angel Hotel, Castle St, Cardiff CF10 1SZ on Saturday, 22 April, commencing at 12 noon. Details of those standing for elections, the accounts and the Minutes of the 2016 AGM appear in the April RadCom. Votes must be received by the ERS before 12 noon on Thursday, 20 April 2017, as described in RadCom. Lunch will be provided at the AGM for Members who notify their attendance in advance. Please register using the form at rsgb.org/attendagm. Category: Front Page News View the full article
  12. There is no meeting scheduled on 14 April due to Easter holidays. View the full article
  13. 03/23/2017A thorough and fully annotated discussion of Near Vertical Incidence Skywave (NVIS) is available in the research paper, “Radio Communication via Near Vertical Incidence Skywave Propagation: An Overview,” by Ben A. Witvliet, PE5B/5R8DS, and Rosa Ma Alsina-Pagès. First investigated in the 1920s, NVIS propagation was rediscovered during World War II as “an essential means to establish communications in large war zones such as the D-Day invasion in Normandy,” the paper notes, adding that the US Army subsequently sponsored a lot of NVIS field research, especially between 1966 and 1973. More recently, NVIS has become a popular means to enable close-in communication on Amateur Radio HF bands between 3 and 10 MHZ. NVIS can be used for radio communication in a large area (200-kilometer radius) without any intermediate manmade infrastructure, and it has been found to be especially suited for disaster relief communication, among other applications, according to the paper. “A comprehensive overview of NVIS research is given, covering propagation, antennas, diversity, modulation, and coding,” the Abstract explains. “Both the bigger picture and the important details are given, as well as the relation between them.” As the paper describes it, in NVIS propagation, electromagnetic waves are sent nearly vertically toward the ionosphere, and, with appropriate frequency selection, these waves are reflected back to Earth. “The great reflection height of 80 to 350 kilometers results in a large footprint and homogeneous field strength across that footprint,” the paper says. “Due to the steep radiation angles large objects such as mountain slopes or high buildings cannot block the radio path.” As for NVIS antennas, the paper stipulates that important parameters are antenna diagram, polarization, and bandwidth. “As only high elevation angles contribute to NVIS propagation, optimizing the antenna diagram for these elevation angles will increase the effectively transmitted power and improve the signal-to-interference ratio at reception.” View the full article
  14. 03/23/2017One of the enduring mysteries of the 20th Century was the disappearance in 1937 of famed aviator Amelia Earhart and her flight companion and navigator Fred Noonan, while she was attempting to circle the globe. It appeared that Earhart’s plane went down in the South Pacific, in the vicinity of Howland Island; her last-known radio transmission came from there. On February 18, a team from Nauticos — with stratospheric explorer Alan Eustace and aviation pioneer Elgen Long — departed Honolulu for the vicinity of Howland Island, some 1,600 miles to the southwest, to complete the Eustace Earhart Discovery deep sea search for Earhart’s lost Lockheed Electra. Nauticos provides ocean technology services to government, science and industry. The team now is conducting a sonar survey of about 1,800 square miles of sea floor where it’s believed the aircraft may rest, and Amateur Radio has provided a means to link the crew of the research vessel Mermaid Vigilance with youngsters following the expedition, as well as with the International Space Station (ISS) crew. Among those involved in the Earhart search is ARRL Midwest Division Director Rod Blocksome, K0DAS, of Iowa. Earhart was born and raised in Kansas and lived in Iowa and Minnesota. Bryan McCoy, KA0YSQ, of Iowa, also is on the Mermaid Vigilance, which is carrying out the deep-water sonar search for the lost aircraft. The team is using autonomous underwater technology provided by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution to image the ocean floor nearly 18,000 feet below. On March 17, the team launched the REMUS vehicle to search the depths of the Central Pacific. On March 20, another Midwesterner — Tom Vinson, NY0V, of Minnesota — joined other crew members in making contact with US Astronaut and ISS Commander Shane Kimbrough, KE5HOD, who was at the controls of NA1SS aboard the ISS. A couple of Russian-speaking crew members also had the opportunity to speak with one of the cosmonauts onboard the ISS. Earlier, on March 15, Vinson assumed Kimbrough’s role to host a question-and-answer session of his own, with Virginia 5th graders in the classroom of teacher Kathy Lamont, KM4TAY, an alumna of ARRL’s Teacher Institute. The contact was routed over 20 meters from the vessel to Hawaii, and then via EchoLink to Virginia. “My kids had a lot of fun,” she recounted later. Vinson said that promoting science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education “is what we’re all about,” with support from Rockwell-Collins. According to The Daily DX, Vinson has been on 7.027 and 7.165 MHz around 0600 UTC “and whenever I am up on the sunrise across the US.” Blocksome will join him in Majuro, where they will operate April 5-7 using the V73 prefix with their home call signs. View the full article