As of 12/11/17 the 444.375 KD4WX repeater will be off the air temporarily for repairs.
From ARRL News
The wave of software-based digital modes over the past several years has altered the atmosphere of the HF bands. Some suggest the popularity of modes that make it possible to contact stations neither operator can even hear has resulted in fewer CW and SSB signals on bands like 6 meters and 160 meters. Traditional modes require far more interaction and effort on the part of the operator; the newer digital modes not so much. The recent advent of the still-beta “quick” FT8 mode, developed by Steve Franke, K9AN, and Joe Taylor, K1JT — the “F” and the “T” in the mode’s moniker — has brought this to a head. Some now wonder if FT8 marks the end of an era and the start of a new, more minimalist age. Continue reading
From ARRL News
The Citizen Tribune newspaper in Tennessee recently reported that a newly re-opened RadioShack store in Jefferson City has partnered with the Lakeway Amateur Radio Club (LARC) to offer licensing classes. Manager Reed Freers also created a new addition to the store, which he has described as the “Makers’ Space,” the newspaper said.
This open area of the store will be home to classes in such subjects as soldering, using drones, setting up a Facebook page, and configuring and using a smartphone.
“These types of programs were dropped by RadioShack years ago,” Freers told the newspaper. “Now we have the opportunity to bring them back. We have to get to the next generation. RadioShack will die out if we don’t get to them.”
The bankrupt RadioShack has closed its company-owned retail outlets. Freers’ store was among the last to go dark. He was given the opportunity to reopen as a franchise store, however, and he purchases his stocke from a RadioShack distribution center.
Submitted by KD4WX
Caribbean Telecommunications Union Head Calls for “New Generation” of Hams
In remarks made on International Disaster Reduction Day, Friday, October 13, Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU) Secretary-General Bernadette Lewis described Amateur Radio as a “bedrock of sustained communications” during emergencies, and strongly suggested cultivating a new and younger generation of radio amateurs to carry this role forward. She spoke as part of a panel on emergency telecommunications during the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) World Telecommunication Development Conference 2017 (WTDC-17), now under way in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The CTU, she said, has been considering the role of Amateur Radio in light of this “very, very, violent hurricane season.”
“Amateur Radio has been a staple, and it is because of…the Amateur Radio operators in the region that we get a lot of the information that we need,” she told her audience. Her presentation defined Amateur Radio as one component of the coordination of preparedness, response, and recovery efforts on the part of national emergency management agencies.
Moderator Vanessa Gray later asked Lewis what “one concrete step” could be taken to make better use of information and communication technologies (ICT) for disaster management.
“We really have to cultivate a new generation of Amateur Radio operators,” Lewis replied without hesitation. “We found that they are all on the northern side of 50.”
“Amateur Radio has been the bedrock of sustained communications during such emergencies,” she continued, “and one of the things we’re looking at is actually facilitating this process of having a network of disaster-resistant centers that that, in times when you don’t have a disaster, could be used for training new operators and generating that interest across the region.”
Lewis, of Trinidad and Tobago, reiterated her remarks in condensed form during a subsequent interview, in which she called hurricanes “a fact of life” for Caribbean countries, and suggested that hurricane-devastated countries need to think carefully about how to rebuild their infrastructure to make it less prone to storm damage.
WTDC-17, which continues through October 20, considers topics, projects and programs relevant to telecommunication development. The conference theme this year is “ICT for Sustainable Development Goals.” ARRL Technical Relations Specialist Jon Siverling, WB3ERA, and International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) Emergency Communications Special Advisor Rod Stafford, W6ROD, are attending.
Submitted by KD4WX
Interference from LED Lighting Systems
Light Emitting Diode (LED)
LED lighting is set to revolutionise the way we light our homes, businesses, vehicles, trains, boats, aircraft, and more. The humble LED uses a fraction of the energy of incandescent lamps and offers thousands of hours of lifetime. Sadly, the control and power electronics are proving to be less than reliable, and when poorly designed, can generate a considerable amount of radio interference. This interference has been shown to wipe out ￼ Band II VHF Stereo and ￼ Band III DAB radio. As the safety-of-life aircraft band sits in the middle of those two, poorly designed LED lighting also posses a danger to aircraft communications, navigation beacons, and ￼ Instrument Landing Systems. Boat and car owners, who have retro-fitted LED lamps to existing lighting systems have also experienced interference from some types of lamps.
There are two known generators of interference: The first source is the switched-mode power-supply. Due to the size constraints, some manufacturers are missing out the necessary filter components and this results in a great deal of conducted emissions.
The second source can come from a device known as a buck-driver – a type of switched-mode power-supply that regulates lower voltages (typically 12V) to provide a constant-current to the Light Emitting Diode. These devices typically operate with a switching-frequency of 5000 Hz, but they can produce harmonics (mixing of multiple frequencies) that extend up to 30MHz, and higher. Some are making it to 220MHz, where they cause serious degradation to any nearby DAB radios.
The following are known to be affected by LED lighting interference:
Digital Audio Broadcast (DAB)174 – 240 MHz
Marine VHF156 – 162.025 MHz
Amateur Radio 2 metre band144 – 146 MHz
Airband118 – 136.975 MHz
FM Stereo broadcast88 – 108 MHz
Baby monitors49.30 – 49.89 MHz
High frequency services, inc. long range marine & airband, Shortwave broadcasts, Amateur radio allocations, Citizens’ Band radio, plus wireless devices operating on 27MHz3 – 30 MHz
EMC industry investigates
The EMC industry has published concerns over the proliferation of LED lighting that fails to meet any standardised testing and the essential requirements of the EMC Directive. The European Union is also concerned and has published a Cross Border Surveillance Report on the issue. Publishing a report is only helpful if member state’s Market Surveillance authorities are actually doing their job!
We are gratefully indebted to the EMC testing house METECC for sharing their finding after testing a large number of off-the-shelf LED lamps.
Submitted by KD4WX
For those with DMR radios, the N0GSG contact manager is now available with updated support for MD2017 and MD9600 radios. It also allows a single code plug to be moved between radios from Connect Systems, Tytera, Retevis, and AnyTone. Detailed information and the download is available from the following link. A donation is optional.
To all radio amateurs
SB SPACE ARL ARLS009
ARLS009 FalconSAT-3 Now Open for Amateur Radio Use
The Air Force Academy satellite FalconSAT-3 is now open for Amateur Radio use as a digital store-and-forward system. Built in 2005 and 2006 by cadets and faculty in the Space Systems Research Center at the US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, FalconSAT-3 was
launched in 2007.
The satellite has completed its scientific and training missions, and the Academy now is making it available for Amateur Radio use. The Packet Bulletin Board System operates at 9600 baud with a 145.840 MHz uplink/435.103 MHz downlink. Output power is 1 W, and the downlink is continuously on. Digipeating is enabled for live QSOs, but unattended digipeating operation is not authorized at this time.
Additional information is available on the AMSAT website at, https://www.amsat.org/falconsat-3/ .
Submitted by KD4WX