“ARRL Requests Expanded HF Privileges for Technician Licensees”

From ARRL (source)

ARRL Requests Expanded HF Privileges for Technician Licensees


ARRL has asked the FCC to expand HF privileges for Technician licensees to include limited phone privileges on 75, 40, and 15 meters, plus RTTY and digital mode privileges on 80, 40, 15, and 10 meters. The FCC has not yet invited public comment on the proposals, which stem from recommendations put forth by the ARRL Board of Directors’ Entry-Level License Committee, which explored various initiatives and gauged member opinions in 2016 and 2017.
Continue reading ““ARRL Requests Expanded HF Privileges for Technician Licensees””


Australian Hams Seek Power Increase

From ARRL (source)

Wireless Institute of Australia Seeks Amateur Radio Power Increase


The Wireless Institute of Australia (WIA) is seeking a power increase for radio amateurs. WIA is pushing telecommunications regulator the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) to bump up maximum power levels for all three licenses classes to 50 W for Foundation licensees, 200 W for Standard licensees, and 1,500 W for Advanced licensees.

WIA Board member Justin Giles-Clark, VK7TW, said comments would be solicited from the membership before the request goes to the ACMA.

For some time the WIA has pushed for higher power limits for Advanced licensees, who feel the current 400 W HF power limit (120 W on constant-carrier modes) puts them at a disadvantage, especially in contests, while other countries permit 1 kW or more.

In 2013, ACMA ended an 18-month trial that allowed participating Advanced licensees to run up to 1 kW on HF. Currently, Foundation licensees on HF may run up to 10 W PEP on SSB (or 3 W on CW, AM, or FM), while Standard licensees have a 100-W PEP HF power limit (SSB) or 30 W for constant-carrier modes.

Submitted by KD4WX

D-Star ONE Phoenix

From ARRL (source)

D-Star ONE Phoenix, First D-Star Communication Spacecraft, Launched
A Soyuz rocket launched D-Star ONE Phoenix and 10 other satellites into orbit on February 1 from Vostochny Cosmodrome in Russia. Developed by German Orbital Systems in Berlin in cooperation with the Czech company iSky Technology, D-Star ONE Phoenix carries an Amateur Radio relay payload (call sign DP1GOS). It replaces the D-Star ONE nanosatellite that failed to attain orbit following a November Soyuz launch from Vostochny.
Downlink frequencies are 435.700 MHz for telemetry and 435.525 MHz for D-Star. The uplink is 437.325 MHz.
D-Star ONE Phoenix is a 3U CubeSat equipped with four identical radio modules with D-Star capability, operating in half-duplex mode with a power output of 800 mW. The two telemetry and telecommand modules both receive, and both in sequence, so each telemetry frame is repeated. The other two modules are dedicated to Amateur Radio, although only one will operate at a time.
The modules are configured to work as D-Star repeaters, so they retransmit received D-Star frames on the downlink frequency. They also have a D-Star voice beacon. — Thanks to AMSAT News Service, D-Star ONE

Submitted by KD4WX

“Number Stations” on HF

From ARRL (source)

Secretive “Numbers Stations” Persist on HF


For many years, unidentified radio broadcasts have been transmitting coded messages, using numbers, such as “6-7-9-2-6. 5-6-9-9-0.” Even today, tuning across the HF spectrum typically will yield a “numbers station,” a mechanical-sounding voice (male or female) methodically announcing groups of single-digit numbers for minutes on end. According to Radio World, you may have tuned into a spy agency’s numbers station transmitting coded instructions to their minions worldwide. Shades of “The Americans” TV spy drama, where characters routinely receive coded messages via radio.

Numbers station transmissions typically consist of a voice “reading out strings of seemingly random numbers,” explained Lewis Bush, author of Shadows of the State, a new history of numbers stations. “These are sometimes accompanied by music, tones or other sound effects,” he said. Paul Beaumont, an associate editor of Eye Spy Intelligence Magazine, a publication dedicated to espionage and intelligence, is quoted in the Radio World article as saying, “Voice (numbers) stations are known to be spy messages.”

The article said that one of the best-known numbers stations was “The Lincolnshire Poacher,” so called due to its use of “The Lincolnshire Poacher” folk song played on a pipe organ as an identifier. Radio amateurs used direction-finding equipment to pin down the station’s eventual location to an RAF base on Cyprus, the article said.

Submitted by KD4WX

WSPR Beacon in Antarctica

From ARRL (source)

Permanent WSPR Beacon in Antarctica Now on the Air

The DP0GVN WSPR beacon now is in operation from the German Neumayer III Research Station of the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in Antarctica. The installation is part of a scientific project of the Technical University of Munich in cooperation with the University of Bremen and the German Amateur Radio Club (DARC).

“The beacon is still under test and will be shut down occasionally for more configuration and optimization of antennas and software, before it can be mounted at the final installation site in a few weeks,” said Rainer Englert, DF2NU.

The technology consists of a multiband WSPR receiver that can simultaneously monitor up to eight bands from 160 to 6 meters and feed several hundred receive reports per hour to WSPRnet. The 5-W multiband transmitter also had been commissioned and is working into a vertical antenna.

“After a few days in service, DP0GVN has received several thousand beacons spots already,” Englert reports.

In related news, DP0GVN will be the call sign for Matthias Maasch, DH5CW, starting in February, at Neumayer III Research Station for 1 year, and he plans to be active on HF. For the past year, he has been using DH5CW from the German Antarctic Base. QSL DP0GVN via DL5EBE. — Thanks to Tom Kamp, DF5JL, IARU Region 1 HF Committee Chairman via Rainer Englert, DF2NU, and The Daily DX

Submitted by KD4WX

WCARC Changes for 2018


Welcome to a new year with the White County Amateur Radio Club (WCARC)! We hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season. As of our January meeting, there have been a few important changes in the club.

First up, let’s welcome our new officers for 2018. Club President is John O’Connor (KD4WX), Vice President is Daniel Marcum (KK4MKZ), and Secretary is Steve Kujawski (NN9J). They are dedicated to making 2018 a great year for WCARC.

Second, WCARC will now be charging dues. The rates are as follows: $20 per year for an Individual licensed ham, and $30 for a Family of two or more licensed hams per year. As with anything, it takes a little cashflow to keep things running smoothly. This includes upkeep of the local repeaters we all enjoy using, small promotional items for local events such as the Liberty Square Celebration, etc. WCARC has proudly been dues free since the beginning, relying on a few generous donations to make all of this happen. We feel like the new rates are reasonable, and will help the club grow and become more stable. Dues are to be paid by or on the date of the February club meeting each year. Check whitecountyarc.org soon for more information and a copy of the membership application.

Lastly, but most importantly, WCARC needs to update the club roster. This is where we need your help, and you should be receiving an email about this soon. If you wish to remain an active member of the White County Amateur Radio Club, please respond to the email or contact us through the website and let us know. It is crucial that the club to keep an up-to-date list of our active members, not only for our own records, but for the ARRL and ARES as well. We will be doing this update at the beginning of each year and we would very much appreciate your response.

That’s all for now. We hope you have a wonderful new year and that ham radio and WCARC will be part of it.

Very 73,

White County Amateur Radio Club