Amateur Radio

  • The national ARRL Simulated Emergency Test (SET) is slated for the October 4-5 weekend, although the window for local and regional exercises is September 1 through November 30 each year. All groups conduct their events over the course of 48 hours. The SET is a nationwide exercise in disaster response and emergency communication, administered by ARRL emergency coordinators and net managers, in which volunteers respond to a mock emergency or disaster, such as an earthquake or hurricane. Members of the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES), the Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES), the National Traffic System (NTS), SKYWARN, the ARRL Field Organization, and other groups work together to plan and develop simulated emergency and disaster scenarios, in consultation with the various served agencies that rely on radio amateurs during emergencies. The SET gives volunteer public service communicators the opportunity to focus on their capabilities, strengths, and weaknesses while interacting with NTS nets. It also provides a public demonstration — to served agencies such as the Red Cross, state and local emergency managers, and the news media — of the value that Amateur Radio provides. The SET helps radio amateurs gain communication experience using standard procedures and a variety of modes, under simulated disaster-response conditions. Participating groups earn points toward an overall SET score, adding a competitive component to the activity. Results are listed inQST (see pages 71-73 the July issue of QST for the 2013 SET results). Visit the ARRL Public Service/Field Services page and click on “SET Score Card” for an explanation of how points are earned. Many ARES groups across the country will be participating, and all ARES members are invited to support the national SET and their local ARES group’s activity. During this year’s SET, participating ARES/NTS members can earn SET bonus points by participating in the...
  • NWS Binghamton Winter Weather Preparedness Webinar Thursday September 25th 2014 1 pm Register Today Space is limited. Reserve your Webinar seat now at: For audio on this call… Dial: 1-203-607-5026 Passcode: 636205 In order to prepare for the upcoming winter season, I wanted to invite you to a webinar that will cover the following topics: – Winter climatology – Types of Winter Storms – NWS Winter Weather Products and Services – Proposed changes to winter storm criteria. – Snow squalls alerting program. – Winter 2014-15 Outlook: an early look. – Winter Preparedness including NY and PA winter weather awareness weeks. Title: NWS Binghamton Winter Weather Preparedness Webinar Thursday September 25th 2014 1 pm Date: Thursday, September 25, 2014 Time: 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM EDT After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar. System Requirements PC-based attendees Required: Windows® 8, 7, Vista, XP or 2003 Server Mac®-based attendees Required: Mac OS® X 10.6 or newer Mobile attendees Required: iPhone®, iPad®, Android™ phone or Android tablet
  • ATLANTA –  Seeking reliable backup communication in a crisis, emergency managers are finding new solutions in an old technology: ham radio. “It’s just another avenue, another opportunity for us to be able to communicate,” said Herb Schraufnagel, public safety captain with Emory University Hospital Midtown. Emory HealthCare is among a growing number of hospital systems to adopt ham radio. Hospital administrators and government officials took a lesson from Hurricane Katrina, which left some Gulf Coast medical centers isolated from the outside world, as landlines and cell towers failed. When power, phone and Internet services go down, a battery-powered amateur radio and portable antenna can provide that crucial link to the outside world. “Ham radio will never die,” said Barry Thomas, Sr., a ham radio enthusiast and employee at Emory University Hospital Midtown. “The quickest means of communication is Morse Code. It’ll get out when none of this will,” Thomas said, referring to a room filled with computers and smartphones.’ “It is interesting that some of the technology that has been around for 80, 90, 100 years is still relevant,” said John Davis, a ham radio enthusiast. In addition to major hurricanes, Davis says the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 rekindled interest in ham radio as a public safety tool. The Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) has set up a permanent ham radio station in its command center. “We look at ham radio operators just like GEMA staff, just like DOT staff and Georgia State Patrol staff,” said GEMA Director Charlie English. “They are a critical partner with us.” The number of ham radio licenses is at an all-time high in the U.S. (723,182, as of April, according to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) data compiled by Joe Speroni of the Amateur Radio Education Web Site, “I really hope that it stays relevant and that we can be a resource to...
  • US Navy personnel helping to look for missing Malaysia Air Flight MH370 are using the signal-processing and analysis package Spectrum Laboratory by Wolf Buescher, DL4YHF, to analyze recently detected 37.5 kHz “pings” that may be from the missing plane’s “black box.” Some Spectrum Laboratory screen shots as seen aboard the Australian Defense Vessel Ocean Shield were shown on TV. The US Navy personnel are guests aboard the Australian ship. VLF experimenter Warren Ziegler, K2ORS, said the software is the same package Amateur Radio experimenters used recently to detect transatlantic signals on 29 kHz. “Wolf’s package is very first-rate software, and I know that there have been other professional uses, but this was quite an interesting one!” Ziegler said. The software began as a simple DOS-based FFT program, but it is now a specialized audio analyzer, filter, frequency converter, hum filter, data logger and more, and it is available for download from DL4YHF’s Amateur Radio Software site. Buescher said he was skeptical about the initial “ping” detection by one of the search vessels, but now, he says, “the spectrogram taken by the US team aboardOcean Shield is convincing.” He said a screenshot from Australian TV clearly shows the “bip-bip-bip” ultrasonic bursts or pings, “just as they should look,” rather than a “just a wobbly carrier that comes and goes.” “In slow-CW terms, it would be an ‘outstanding signal.’” Buescher said. “Now keeping fingers crossed that the [“black box”] batteries last a bit longer than specified. The experts say the pinger’s battery usually degrades slowly, instead of going QRT abruptly.”
  • Amateur Radio, Federal Government Engaged in Joint 5 MHz Communication Exercise Amateur Radio operators and federal government stations are engaged in a 12-day nationwide test of their capability to communicate with each other on HF in the event of an emergency or disaster. The High Frequency Interoperability Exercise 2014 (HFIE-2014) is running concurrently with the federal National Exercise Program (NEP) 2014. Activity is taking place on two of the five 60 meter channels. The primary center-frequency channel is 5358.5 kHz, and the secondary center-frequency channel is 5373.0 kHz. Amateur Radio is secondary to government users on the band. The joint readiness exercise that began March 27 will continue through April 7and include all areas of the US. Participants will use Automatic Link Establishment (ALE), a standardized digital selective calling protocol, to establish communication between stations. “The HFIE has been a semi-annual exercise for some years,” explained HFIE-2014 Coordinator Bonnie Crystal, KQ6XA. “Previously, HFIE has been a ham-only exercise. This year, we scheduled HFIE so it coincides with the NEP.” Participation in the interoperability exercise is open to all ALE-capable federal government radio stations and to all ALE-capable US Amateur Radio stations. A Special Temporary Authorization (STA) has been granted, giving permission for radio amateurs to communicate with federal government stations for the duration of the exercise. Crystal said ALE signaling “sounds like turkey gobble,” adding that ALE calls last about 15 seconds. Stations listening “may also hear the operators then start talking on USB voice,” she said. “The signals can be up to about 40 seconds long, if there’s texting riding on it, using a very rapid type of ARQ [automatic repeat request] handshaking.” “Once someone links with another station, they have the choice of using SSB voice or sending/receiving up to about 80 characters of text,” Crystal said. “Or they...
  • Found this on a QRZ forum and I have tested this and but to bed the rumors you need a sound card for PSK31. Rule 1) THROW OUT YOUR HESITATION, and most importantly stick that money back in your wallet! you don’t need a cent to try PSK31. Really, it is NOT that difficult(I’m talking to you, Pat ‘MHZ here!! ) You don’t need no high falutin, new fangled fancy pancy interface. Why would you want to spend $100 on one of these ritzy interfaces to TRY OUT PSK31?!?!  Ok, I’ve just ranted and railed against Rigblaster/Signalink and other dedicated hardware interfaces, what is the secret formula to getting started on PSK31 for free?  Here are your necessary parts: 1) Radio, preferably with VOX setup. If it doesn’t have VOX, no problem! 2) Hand microphone for radio. Any other kind will also do. 3) Speaker/Microphone on your computer. Either built in or jack will work for both.  4) Software – If you’re running windows, Digipan is the most popular option. For Linux, MacOS or others (including Windows), FLDigi is an excellent option. Best of all, both are free. Optional 5) Headphones. Not required, but will make transmitting easier.  Optional 6) audio patch cable, like the one found here Steps 1) Find out the central PSK31 Frequency for the band you want to work. Tune your VFO to the listed frequencies, and bump the SSB mode into USB 2) If you have an audio patch cable with the necessary adapters if any for your radio, plug it into the audio out (headphone jack) of your radio into the microphone jack on you computer’s soundcard. If you don’t have a patch cable but rather a built in microphone on your laptop/webcam/etc, move that to as close to the radio’s speaker as possible.  3)With your radio’s handmic, place it to as close to your computer’s speakers as possible. If you have headphones, plug...
  • January 8, 2013

    Using and Installing Echolink

    Using and operating Echolink For Ham Radio or Amateur Radio EchoLink is a free computer-based Amateur Radio system that allows radio amateurs to communicate with other amateur radio operators using Voice over IP (VoIP) technology on the Internet for at least part of the path between them. It was designed by Jonathan Taylor callsign K1RFD. EchoLink uses similar technologies that resemble Skype, Google Talk, Airware and Chatroulette. Echolink has a unique addition to VoIP with the ability to link to an amateur radio station’s transceiver. Thus any low-power handheld amateur radio transceiver which can contact a local Echolink node then use the Internet connection of that station to send their transmission via VOIP to any other active Echolink node, world-wide. No special hardware or software is required to relay a transmission via an Echolink node. If more information or to use EchoLink below is there website.
  • October 14, 2012

    Antenna Repair In The Sky 540m

    Antenna Repair In The Sky 540 Meter Antenna A friend of mine found this video and sent it to me though this was worth posting for all you radio enthusiasts.
  • September 6, 2012

    J-pole Antenna

    I purchased this J-pole Antenna and decided to mount the antenna on a pole outside my house.  I give this pole a lot of credit I am able to get great distance and range on the 2 meter band.  This antenna was defiantly worth the purchase which was reasonable at $35.