Welcome to Ham Radio's only Free R-Rated Daily Newsletter


THURSDAY EDITION: I just completed a tour guide for Rockport, MA. It will sent out for printing next week after a final proofreading, it is a 100 page guide with all the activities, history, trivia, etc a visitor would ever need to enjoy a vacation here,..if all goes well, I will start on a guide to Gloucester next...

Peter Waters demonstrates the features of the new Elecraft K3S

Peter Waters, of Waters & Stanton, Europe’s ham store, demonstrated the features of the new Elecraft K3S this week.

The K3S has many new functions which were previously options on the K3, including the new, low phase noise synthesizer.

Check out this YouTube video for full details of the changes and upgrades made to this super-fine transceiver:

Amateur Radio Volunteers Muster for “Unprecedented” Weather Event

When extremely heavy rainfall hit Texas and Oklahoma over the Memorial Day holiday weekend, Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) and SKYWARN volunteers scrambled to assist local emergency operations centers and National Weather Service (NWS) offices.

“This has probably been the most significant weather event to hit Texas,” ARRL South Texas Section Manager Lee Cooper, W5LHC. “We have had major tropical storms and hurricane events, but the widespread combination of heavy rains, tornadoes, and flooding all at same time and covering two-thirds of the state, is pretty much unprecedented for us.”  ARRL STORY

China Set to Launch Several Amateur Radio Satellites this Summer

CAMSAT has announced that the CAS-3 amateur satellite system is nearing completion, and six Chinese amateur satellites will be launched in mid-July.

“All six satellites are equipped with substantially the same Amateur Radio payloads, a U/V mode linear transponder, a CW telemetry beacon and an AX.25 19.2k/9.6k baud GMSK telemetry downlink,” the CAMSAT announcement said. CAMSAT said that each Amateur Radio complement has the same technical characteristics, but will operate on different 70 centimeter uplink and 2 meter downlink frequencies  ARRL STORY

MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND EDITION: Hug a veteran and thank them for their service.  Looks like a great weather weekend for Memorial Day....Iraq war veteran who lost his legs in combat finds a brand new friend in a rescue dog named Tango who is also missing a leg. "Being as I'm an amputee, as well, we thought ... maybe we could teach each other a few things,"

QSO Today EP42 Carol Milazzo KP4MD

From the very beginning of her ham radio journey, almost 50 years ago, Carol Milazzo, KP4MD, applies the scientific method to her study and enjoyment of amateur radio.

Whether she is modeling antennas for installation in her attic or to using WSPRnet to study VHF and UHF propagation, Carol takes meticulous notes, adds footnotes and illustrations, and now produces video.
This makes Carol a terrific online Internet Elmer.

KP4MD joins Eric, 4Z1UG, on QSO Today.

Show Notes: http://www.qsotoday.com/podcasts/kp4md

Joe-K1JEK with one of the kids at the special needs fishing derby...

Updated Amateur Radio Emergency Service Manual Now Online
The latest edition (March 2015) of the Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES) Manual now is online.

This edition includes various Incident Command System (ICS) forms for ARES use, clarifies the role of the Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES), contains an improved chapter on ARES training, and includes all current ARRL memoranda of understanding/agreement.

RADIO FRANCE INTERNATIONAL SPLATTERING ON 40 METERS The latest Region 1 International Amateur Radio Union Monitoring System Newsletter carries a report that Radio France International on 7.250 MHz has been producing strong splatter down to 7.185 every evenings at about 2100 UTC. Wolfgang Hadel, DK2OM, is the Region 1 coordinator for the service. He says that he has informed the German department of Post and Telecommunications which in turn sent an official complaint to France. Peter Jost, HB9CET, the Vice Coordinator confirmed Hadel's observations. DK2OM also says that on April 28th at 0900 UTC he found a strong Russian noise floor centered on 14 dot 120 MHz with an S9 +40 dB. The width of the signal covered from 13.960 to 14.260 MHz. Its believed to be located in Moscow and was disturbing Nepali emergency communications on 14.205 MHz USB. More is on the web in PDF format at tinyurl.com/intruder- watch-spring-2015 (IARUMS-R1) **

RESTRUCTURING: THAILAND MILITARY ARGUES RIGHT TO KEEP 50- 54MHZ Thailand's military appears to have successfully defended its right to the 6 meter band for national security purposes. This during a recent public hearing on the revised telecommunications and broadcasting spectrum master plan put forth by the Thai National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission or NBTC. Bruce Tennant, K6PZW, has more: -- [K6PZW] Under the original master plan proposal, the 50 to 54 MHz band was to be re-designated for radio amateurs. However, the NBTC has not allowed hams to use the spectrum given continued protest from the Army.ƒ_"ƒ_"Jakkree Hantongkom, HS1FVL, is the president of the Radio Amateur Society of Thailand, He is quoted as saying that the 50 to 54 MHz band was an international band for amateurs. On the other side were representatives from defense agencies who said the band should be allocated to the military for national security purposes. ƒ_"ƒ_"Currently hams in Thailand can use the 144 to 146 MHz band, while the army uses 50 to 54 MHz in actual emergencies or during drills. The revised master plan instead will give hams in Thailand an additional megahertz by expanding the 2 meter allocation upward to 147 MHz but 6 meters will remain with the military. For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Bruce Tennant, K6PZW, in Los Angeles. -- About 500 attended the hearing about half whom were Air Force, Royal Thai Army, and Royal Thai Navy personnel. A full report is atwww.nationmultimedia.com/business/Military- argues-right-to-50-54MHz-30259457.html (National Media) **

RADIO STATS: HAM RADIO NUMBERS FALL AND RISE IN GERMANY The number of German radio amateurs has fallen the 5th successive year. This according to the country's national society, the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club. The DARC reports that as of December 31, 2014 there were a total of 67,468 licenses of which 60,019 were holders of the German Class A. By comparison as of the end of 2010 there were 72,293 German hams holding this license class. That's a loss of 4645 hams in just under 5 years. On a positive note there has been an upswing in Germany's Class E license with its D N prefix block. At the end of 2014 there were 7,449 Class E holders . This license is issued specifically for training young people who want to enter the hobby. (DARC, Southgate) **

PROPAGATION: TRANSATLANTIC BEACON RECEPTION ON 144 MHZ OVER 2900 MILE PATH The 144.436 MHz D4C propagation beacon in the Cape Verde Islands has been received in the Caribbean. This over what might be a record setting distance of 2900 miles. A post on the D4C Facebook page says that on May 6th the new beacon was heard by David Petersen, PJ4VHF, on the island nation of Bonaire. Pedersen, who is a broadcast engineer with Trans World Radio station PJB says that the beacon signal was 5-1-9 on a Kenwood TS-2000 fed by a pair of 13 element yagis. Bonaire is an island in the Leeward Antilles in the Caribbean Sea. Together with Aruba and Curacao it forms the group known as the ABC islands, located off the north coast of South America near the western part of Venezuela At the other end of the path Cape Verde officially the Republic of Cabo Verde is an island country spanning an archipelago of 10 volcanic islands in the central Atlantic Ocean. Located 350 miles off the coast of Western Africa they cover a combined area of slightly over 1,500 square miles. The Cape Verde beacon was installed by the Monteverde Contest Team D4C. More about it is on line at tinyurl.com/D4C-cape-verde (Southgate, Wikipedia, Monteverde Contest Team) *

RESCUE RADIO: HAM RADIO HELPS IN RESCUE OF FIVE NEAR TAOS NEW MEXICO Amateur radio aided in the rescue of a family of five on Sunday morning, May 10th. This after being stranded overnight in the Carson National Forest south of Taos, New Mexico. Amateur Radio Newslines Heather Embee, KB3TZD has the details: -- [KB3TZD] According to a report in the Taos News, the familyƒ_Ts truck got stuck Saturday evening May 9th after sliding off a forest road approximately 10 miles east of New Mexico State Road 518. Taos Amateur Radio Club President Brian Williams, NB5R, who was helping coordinate rescue efforts said that no one was injured but a man left the truck to find help and grew dehydrated after several hours walking in the wet, freezing weather. The man returned to his family but was reportedly displaying symptoms of hypothermia. The family had called for help around midnight and remained in contact with authorities. They were found shortly before 10:30 a.m. the following morning. I'm Heather Embee, KB3TZD, reporting. -- Taos County Sheriffs deputies coordinated the rescue. They were joined by New Mexico State Police, Taos County Emergency Medical Services and members of Taos Search and Rescue as well as Taos Amateur Radio Emergency Services. (Taos News) **

RECUE RADIO: HAM RADIO RESPONDS TO OKLAHOMA STORMS As storms swept into the central Oklahoma on Wednesday May 6th radio amateurs acting as SKYWARN storms spotters were busy confirming observations and reporting the effects of the damaging storms. The severe weather made a direct hit on the community of Bridge Creek just 30 miles south west of Oklahoma City. Along with damaging homes, the power grid was also impacted by the storms. The Bridge Creek Volunteer Fire Department lost power and the back-up system did switch on. Matt Garcia, N5PTV was able to use a portable generator and restore the radio communications. Mike Rockey, KE5EQC, is the Vice President of the Aeronautical Center Amateur Radio Club. He said that hams were requested by the Southern Baptist Convention Disaster Relief to assist in the communications effort in Bridge Creek area. Oklahoma Section Emergency Coordinator Mark Conklin, N7XYO, said that notification went out to all of the ARES-OK registered radio operators to help fill this need. Amateurs were operating from a re-purposed travel trailer which is a partnership between and the Grady County Sheriff's department and Aeronautical Center Amateur Radio Club. The trailer is equipped with a pair of VHF/UHF mobiles, a High Frequency multi-band radio and emergency power. It can also be configured with public safety radios for the sheriff's department use. Bridge Creek was one of several communities hardest hit by an F5 twister in the deadly May 3, 1999, tornado outbreak. (KC5FM, N7XYO) **

RADIO LAW: RIVERSIDE CALIFORNIA TO REVISIT HAM RADIO TOWER DECISION Planning officials in Riverside, California, say that are taking a second look at an amateur radio tower and antenna that has stirred up a bit of controversy. This after being installed in a backyard a historic neighborhood home. The tower and antenna belong to Paul Braiman, W2PIR. After getting a city permit, Braiman installed the tower to replace a 42 foot pole on his garage about two years after he moved to Riverside from Lake Arrowhead. The motorized tower can extend up to 57 feet, 6 inches.ƒ_" Since then residents have spoken out for or against the tower. At least half a dozen lodged complaints with city officials and with Councilman Mike Gardner, who represents the area. They complained that the tower and the antenna on top of it detracted from the neighborhoodƒ_Ts historic character. On April 28th came word that the city Historic Preservation Office staff were to go in person to see the tower. They will also were to talk with W2PIR about what the equipment is and if thereƒ_Ts a way to reduce its impact on the protected historic district. (Press-Enterprize) **

HAM APPS: MAC LOGGER DX HD VR. 1.21 FOR IPAD HAS BEEN RELEASED Dog Park Software has announced that version 1.21 of Mac Logger DX HD for the iPad has been released. Mac Logger DX HD is an amateur radio application that monitors the spots from your favorite DX Cluster for DXing, contesting or casual rag-chewing. It also alerts you to rare contacts or band openings by looking up and displaying real time propagation paths on a zoomable map. And it can log your contacts to a super fast s-q-l database. Mac Logger DX HD is available from the iTunes store. More about it is on the web at dogparksoftware.com (Dogparksoftware release) **
NAMES IN THE NEWS: W7ACK NAMED NEW COMMANDER OF OKLAHOMA CAP Some names in the news. First up is Civil Air Patrol Colonel Dale E. Newell, W7ACK, who has assumed command of the Oklahoma Wing of the Civil Air Patrol. Newell joined the Civil Air Patrol following his retirement from the Washington Army National Guard in 1992. He holds numerous emergency services qualifications and has served in CAP search and rescue and homeland security missions. In addition Newell also serves as the Amateur Radio Emergency Services Carter County Emergency Coordinator and as a Skywarn Storm Spotter in Carter County. The change of command ceremony was held at April 25th during the Oklahoma Wing Annual Conference. Newell replaces CAP Colonel Joe Cavett, who had commanded the wing since 2011. (ardmorette.com) **

NAMES IN THE NEWS: K5NLM NAMED NORTH TEXAS SM The ARRL North Texas Section has a new Section Manager. Nancy McCain, K5NLM, of Fort Worth took over the position on May 1st. She succeeds incumbent Chris Brewer, N5GMJ, who resigned due to increased work and family commitments. McCain has been active in ARES, RACES, and in Army and Navy MARS. She is a retired emergency management specialist and will complete the current term of office as North Texas Section Manager which runs until March 31, 2017. (ARRL) **

HAM HAPPENINGS: 2015 AMSAT-NA BOARD OF DIRECTORS NOMINATIONS NOTICE AMSAT North America is seeking nominations for its Board of Directors election to fill the seats of four director's terms expire this year. In addition, up to two alternates may be elected for one year terms. A valid nomination requires either one Member Society or five current individual members in good standing to nominate an AMSAT-NA member for Director. Written nominations, consisting of the nominee's name and call, and the nominating individual's names, calls and individual signatures should be mailed to AMSAT-NA, 10605 Concord St, #304 Kensington, MD 20895-2526. Electronic nominations date go by FAX to 301-822-4371 or e-mail to Martha (at) amsat (dot) org. The cutoff is June 15th. (AMSAT-NA) **

HAM HAPPENINGS: RSGB NAMES 2014 CLUBS OF THE YEAR The Radio Society of Great Britain has named its Club of The Year Award winners for 2014. The Small Club category with 25 members or less was won by St. George's Academy. The Large Club with 25 members or more was given to London Hackspace. Separate prizes were given to each. The RSGB Club of The Year Award is sponsored by Essex, England based amateur radio dealer Waters and Stanton. The winners were announced at the organizations recent Annual General Meeting in London. A documentary video about London Hackspace is at tinyurl.com/ngp3l9d (RSGB) **

HAM HAPPENINGS: CENTRAL STATES VHF SOCIETY ANNUAL CONFERENCE JULY 23 - 26 The Central States VHF Society Annual Conference for 2015 will be held in the Denver Colorado Metro area between Thursday July 23rd and Sunday July 26th. The local sponsor this year is Rocky Mountain Ham Radio with the convention venue being the Denver Marriott Westminster Hotel. This years conference will feature technical programs, noise figure measurements, rover vehicles and more, The featured speaker for the Saturday evening banquet is Rick Roderick K5UR. Roderick is the First Vice President of ARRL and an avid VHF'er. Conference registration, as well as a link to the conference venue for bookings is now available at 2015.csvhfs.org. (AMSAT

HAM RADIO IN SPACE: FUNCUBE TRANSPONDER FOR NAYIF-1 CUBE SAT AMSAT-UK and AMSAT Netherlands have announced that a FUNcube communications package has been selected as a major payload for the Nayif-1 CubeSat. This mission is intended to provide Emirati students with a tool to design and test systems in space. Amateur Radio Newslines Ralph Squillace, KK6ITB, reports: -- [KK6ITB] Nayif-1 is being developed by the Emirates Institution for Advanced Science and Technology in partnership with American University of Sharjah. It is expected that this payload will provide a large amount of valuable environmental data from space together with a new UHF to VHF linear transponder for amateur SSB and CW communications. AMSAT will be working closely with the Emirati students, in collaboration with support partner Innovative Solutions In Space B.V. from the Netherlands, to develop this new system in time for the launch which is scheduled to take place towards the end of 2015. For the Amateur Radio Newsline, I'm Ralph Squillace, KK6ITB. -- News of this joint venture was announced on April 25th during the Dutch Satellite Interest Day event in the Netherlands. More information, with details of frequencies and planned operating schedules, will be made available as soon as it's available. (AMSAT UK) **

EMERGING TECHNOLOGY: GOOGLE X RESEARCH LAB DEVELOPING SOLID STATE BATTERY Google X Research Labs is said to be working on several new battery technologies one of which is a solid-state power cell in the form of a thin-film. Solid-state batteries could be a technology that would change our portable energy consumption with its high energy density. By using solid electrodes, solid-state batteries are much safer and even human implant application might be possible. In the past several years, Google has been venturing out to many other technologies that utilize batteries. Developing its own in-house battery technology could shape and mold how the energy source behaved. You can read more at tinyurl.com/google-battery (slashgear.com) **

WORLDBEAT: INTERNATIONAL RADIO SERBIA TO CLOSE ON JUNE 30 Another shortwave broadcaster is making ready to shut down. The Bulgarian DX Blog reports that International Radio Serbia is going to close all operations on June 30th after 79 years of broadcasting. Serbian International Radio currently has programming in 12 languages, including Italian and English. More than 70 employees of the station recently protested the announced termination of the operation in front of the Serbian government building in Belgrade. (Southgate) **
ON THE AIR: ARPOC AND EURAO SPRING QSO PARTY On the air, word that Europe's Amateur Radio Portable Operators Club has announced its first joint QSO party in association with the European Radio Amateurs' Organization also known by the acronym EURAO. EURAO hold 4 casual QSO parties a year with each one having a different theme to encourage a specific area of the hobby. This spring the theme will be "Have fun, go portable." (EURAO) **

PROPAGATION: SRI LANKAN 6 METER BEACON BACK ON AIR The 4S7B Sri Lanka six meter propagation beacon that resides on 50 dot 0h-0h-9 MHz is back on the air. Located near the capitol city of Colombo, 4S7B runs 25 watts to a ground plane antenna in grid square MJ96xv . It is a joint project of Radio Society of Sri Lanka and the 6 Meter Beacon Project, Inc. Reception reports are welcome and should be sent to 4S7JL at his address or e-mail found on QRZ.com.

THURSDAY EDITION: This is a story about how the U.S. military built a lavish headquarters in Afghanistan that wasn’t needed, wasn’t wanted and wasn’t ever used—at a cost to American taxpayers of at least $25 million.

Lafayette Radio

Established in the 1920s, Lafayette Radio Electronics (LRE) became a thriving mail-order catalog business; the electronic components it sold were useful to amateur radio operators and electronic hobbyists in areas where such components were not available in local retail outlets. Lafayette's main competitors were Radio Shack, Allied Radio, Heathkit, and "mom and pop" (independent) radio dealers throughout the United States. Early Lafayette Radio stores were located in Jamaica, N.Y. and Manhattan in the mid-1950s. The electronics kits were produced in the Jamaica facility.

Lafayette advertised heavily in major U.S. consumer electronics magazines of the 1960s and 1970s, particularly Stereo Review, High Fidelity, Audio, Popular Mechanics, and Popular Electronics. The company offered a free 400-page catalog filled with descriptions of vast quantities of electronic gear, including microphones, tape recorders, speakers, and other components.
By the late 1970s, Lafayette expanded to major markets across the country, struggling to compete with Radio Shack, which was purchased by Tandy Leather Co. in 1963. Lafayette ran into major financial difficulty when the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) expanded a new citizens band radio ("CB") spectrum to 40 channels. Lafayette's buyers had firm commitments to accept delivery of thousands of older design units capable of only 23 channels, and were not able to liquidate the inventory without taking a serious loss. Eventually, all of the old CB radios were sold for under $40.[2]

With fewer than 100 stores, far fewer than the aggressively expanding Radio Shack's thousands of local outlets, Lafayette Radio remained more of a dedicated enthusiasts' store than a mass marketer. The company was also hurt by the advent of electronics retailers relying on aggressive marketing techniques and competitive pricing in the late 1970s. Many experienced managers departed. Formerly a national chain, the remaining Lafayette stores in the state of New York closed by the end of 1981.
Lafayette's products ranged from stereos to two-way radios for amateur radio, CBers, and shortwave listeners. Many were dedicated types with special functions, such as VHF receivers for police and fire channels built into a CB radio. The company's best selling products were often shortwave receivers, parts, and portable radios. In the 1960s, many Lafayette brand radios were rebranded Trio-Kenwood sets. A significant share of 1960s and 1970s vintage Lafayette hi-fi gear was manufactured by a Japanese subcontractor named "Planet Research". "Criterion" brand speakers were built by several offshore and some domestic assemblers. Science kits were popular, and Lafayette offered a small Atom Smasher (van de Graaff generator), Model F-371.

While the catalog heavily promoted their own branded products, Lafayette also carried models from many other hi-fi manufacturers of the era, including Marantz, Fisher, Pioneer, Sansui, AR, Dynaco, KLH, Wharfedale, Bozak, BIC, BSR McDonald, Garrard, Dual, TEAC, Akai, Shure, Empire, Pickering, Electro-Voice, JVC, Panasonic, Sony and others. The catalogs and advertising helped promote the concept of high-fidelity sound to customers, some of whom lived many miles away from major electronics stores, during a time when only the largest urban areas had dedicated "stereo" stores. Lafayette also offered TV vacuum tube testing, for customers who wanted to service their own televisions.

Lafayette was quick to jump on industry trends, embracing first open reel tape recorders and later 8-track cartridge recorders and compact cassette recorders, along with an amazing array of gimmicks, supplies, and accessories. During the mid-1970s, the company was one of few places one could actually experience four channel ("quadraphonic") sound. However the lack of a single industry standard (Columbia SQ vs. JVC's CD-4 and Sansui's QS) dampened sales, and the experiment ended in 1976.

Lafayette also sold a variety of electronic musical equipment made by different manufacturers. There were solid-body and hollow-body electric guitars, probably made by Teisco or Harmony. Microphones, amplifiers, and various electronic effects such as reverbs were available, many of which sported the Lafayette brand name, most notably the Echo Verb and Echo Verb II. One of the most famous effects that Lafayette sold was the Uni-Vibe, used by many musicians, most notably Jimi Hendrix. Robin Trower, Stevie Ray Vaughan and others later used the effect to emulate Hendrix's sounds and achieve new ones of their own.

Grand County Search and Rescue plucks radio operator off Mt. Flora

On Sunday, May 17, Grand County earch and Rescue helped 59-year-old Littleton resident, Brad Bylund, off of Mount Flora above Berthoud Pass.

Mr Bylund is a “Ham” — a common nickname for amateur radio enthusiast — who enjoys his hobby by summiting a peak and seeing who he can reach with his radio via the Colorado Connection Repeaters ham radio network. His intended destination was Mount Flora, on snowshoes, according to CGSAR.

The initial call came just before noon for a subject stranded in a whiteout, with GPS coordinates that put him barely into Clear Creek county at 12,600 feet southeast of the summit of Mt. Flora. While GCSAR was responding, the Clear Creek sheriff also responded and paged Alpine Rescue Team, headquartered in Evergreen.

One GCSAR member was already skiing the pass. He met up with another member and they proceeded into the search area on skis as Team 1. In addition, six other members either responded or were on standby in case they were needed.

As GCSAR was launching Team 2; Alpine Rescue showed up with 21 rescuers and placed one ham radio operator on Floyd Hill, who was able to talk to the subject. It was quickly agreed to just send in their four best skiers to back up our Team 1, and Alpine Rescue took operational command and managed the remainder of the mission.

“Mr. Bylund was quite lucky the ledge below the cornice stopped him from tumbling to a worse fate.”Mike LeiserField director, Grand County Search and Rescue

The subject was located three-quarters of a mile west of where his cell phone indicated he was. He had decided to turn around due to weather before he reached the top of Mt. Flora and was in the vicinity of Robert Peak when he strayed onto a cornice, and it collapsed onto a ledge below. He was able to alert another ham operator who called 9-1-1. Teams 1 & 2 came together and used a rope belay to safely extract the subject from the precarious position he had been in. Even after three hours of being unable to move from his location he was in good condition and good spirits.

Team 3, which consisted of 13 Alpine rescuers, went up to the top of Colorado School of Mines Peak to rendezvous with the subject and bring him safety back to the Berthoud parking lot. Teams 1 & 2 then made a few well deserved turns on the way to the parking lot.

“Mr. Bylund was quite lucky the ledge below the cornice stopped him from tumbling to a worse fate,” said Mike Leiser, field director of Grand County Search and Rescue. “He then was able to use the Colorado Connection to contact a fellow ham radio operator who notified authorities of Mr. Byland’s precarious location.”

The total mission took 5 hours and 20 minutes.

“We very likely saved the subject’s life given his precarious location and position in unstable snow.” wrote John Sanderson, GCSAR president.

TUESDAY EDITION: I believe Joe-K1JEK is holding a social at HRO Salem this Thursday at noon for those available. ....Dayton Hamvention continues through Sunday afternoon. It is offering live coverage of selected forums on its website. ...

Dayton Hamvention 2015: Day 2 — Aisle-Jamming Attendance, ARRL Member Forum

[UPDATED 2015-05-16 1902 UTC] Large crowds are jamming the aisles in the Hara Arena complex for Day 2 of Dayton Hamvention® 2015. ARRL Publications Manager and QST Editor Steve Ford, WB8IMY, described the indoor atmosphere as “tropical” — very warm and humid.   ARRL

New Firmware Update for the IC-7600 HF Amateur radio Transceiver

Icom have announced a significant firmware update for the IC-7600 HF Transceiver at the Dayton Hamvention 2015. The update provides a new range of functions including waterfall screen for the band scope, amongst many!

Details of each update and download instructions are as follows.
Please note that before you install the firmware, you should download the installation guide using the link on the firmware update page:

IC-7600 All versions: Firmware Update Version 2.00 – Download here!


• Waterfall screens, mouse operation, and other additional functions have been added to the spectrum scope.
• An APF AF Level setting has been added.
• CI-V commands for antenna control, logging software and RIT/DELTA-TX have been added.
• TX Delay (HF/50M) settings have been added to adjust the TX delay time.
• A Standby setting has been added to remotely turn ON the IC-7600 transceiver by a command from the REMOTE jack.
• “MOS-FET” is now the default value of “SEND Relay Type.”

Further Information

For more information, please refer to IC-7600 Information for Firmware version 2.00.

• Firmware can be updated using a USB flash drive. Thoroughly read Section 14 (UPDATING THE FIRMWARE) of the instruction manual to know what the update requires.
• Backup your transceiver’s data onto a USB flash drive as it is possible that your data could get lost or corrupted during the update. Thoroughly read Section 10 (File saving) of the instruction manual for details.
• Never turn OFF the transceiver power during the update.

Geomagnetic Storm on May 19th

A moderate (G2-class) geomagnetic storm is underway on May 19th as Earth enters an unsettled stream of solar wind.
High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras, especially during the hours around local midnight.
Visit http://spaceweather.com for updates

MONDAY EDITION: If anyone in New England is sad they are missing the Dayton Hamfest, don't be. The upcoming Boxboro Hamfest is the same damn thing and the toilets work. Same vendors, same flea market of old shit, and same ARRL speakers, etc......coming up this August ....

Emoticons, Braille, and Morse code are among the various forms of language featured in the Boy Scouts of America’s newest merit badge, Signs, Signals, and Codes. Introduced in February by Boy Scouts of America (BSA), the badge is the 135th addition to the merit badge program.

Whether Scouts are hiking a trail, signaling for help in an emergency, or texting their friends, some form of communication is involved. Newtown resident Catherine Summ, a Boy Scout Troop 270 committee member who has been involved with local troop for about a decade, recently shared some of her expertise in a specialized communications field to help create the latest merit badge introduced by the national organization.

Ms Summer was selected in 2013 to be part of the ten-person Development Team for the new badge. The badge merges the use of technology, including text messages and emojis, with plenty of tradition. Scouts are also introduced, while earning this badge, to emergency signaling, Morse code, American Sign Language, Braille, trail signs, sports officiating hand signals, traffic signs, and what Ms Summ describes as “a lot of nonverbal communication.”

Ms Summ discovered the project about 18 months ago.

“I was flipping through an issue of Scouting magazine back in late 2013, and saw this small ad that said Boy Scouts of America was looking for people to help develop a new badge,” Ms Summ said. “I couldn’t believe I saw this tiny blurb, in the upper left hand corner of the page, that basically said ‘We’re working on a new merit badge. If you know Braille or American Sign Language, and would be interested in contributing to this badge, please get in touch.’”

Ms Summ, who is a teacher for the visually impaired, was interested.

“I thought this would be a great way for me to contribute to Boy Scouts,” she said. After sending an e-mail to BSA showing her interest and sharing some of her professional credentials, Ms Summ was eventually connected to Pat Mitchell, of Billings, Mont., who is also a teacher of the visually impaired who became involved in the project.

The full committee, with members spread from Connecticut to Hawaii, began working on the new badge in January 2014. The group’s first deadline was within a few months.

“BSA wanted to fast-track this,” said Ms Summ. “They were hoping to have it by the time summer camps started last year.

“We worked really hard, and had about 80 percent of the work done, but just couldn’t finish in time for that,” she said.

Instead, committee members continued contacting each other. Ms Summ and her committee counterpart were in contact regularly, on the phone and through e-mail correspondence, “sometimes daily,” she said. The full committee had also weekly meetings via telephone and e-mails.

“My colleague in Montana and I were corresponding quite frequently,” she said. “We were working on a draft, or we were researching, and we would just correspond via e-mail or by phone, at least once a week for a period of four or five months.”

Their task, she pointed out, was to take the equivalent of a full-year graduate course and boil it down into six pages devoted to Braille, plus an insert with examples of the Braille alphabet and numbers, and a few simple phrases. The insert, a sheet of tough cardboard stock, allows Scouts to go hands-on for this section of their merit badge.

“That insert was important,” said Ms Summ. “We were thinking about the fact that there are boys who might be in troops in more remote or rural locations, or in areas where you don’t have a teacher for the visually impaired, or you don’t know someone who reads Braille,” she said. “How would they get that exposure? Now, they’ve got it right here.”

The badge was formally released by BSA earlier this year.

“As the largest youth-serving organization, the Boy Scouts of America strives to create new programs and opportunities for youth members that speak to their evolving interests,” Steve Bowen, chair of the Merit Badge Development Committee, said via press release when the new badge was announced a few months ago. “By pursuing this merit badge, Scouts will learn to translate other forms of nonverbal communications, such as emojis, which is a productive skill they can use both in and out of Scouting.”

To earn this merit badge, Scouts are required to demonstrate their practical knowledge of their newly acquired skills by completing the following requirements:

*Be able to communicate with another person by spelling their first name using Morse code, American Sign Language, and semaphore;

*Identify the letters of the Braille alphabet that spell their name by either sight or touch, decode a six- to ten-word Braille message and create a Braille message to share with their counselor/troop- leader;

*On a Scouting outing, lay out a trail for their patrol or troop to follow, using only the trail signs and markers provided by troop leaders;

*Test their parents, friends, or troop leader by giving them examples of their favorite text symbols or emoticons, and identify the meaning or usage of each symbol.

Tim Malaney, who served as the lead volunteer for the merit badge committee, said via press release that introducing Scouts to a variety of nonverbal techniques, “we’re giving them the tools they need to develop into effective communicators.

“We hope the merit badge program continues to grow alongside advancements in technology and learning so we can continue to provide value to our youth members,” Mr Malaney added.

Ms Summ is pleased with the work she and the entire committee did.

“We really wanted to create a fun merit badge,” she said. “It was a really good experience. I would not mind doing this again.”

She also called BSA’s process “a truly democratic process.”

“They really wanted everyone’s input,” she added. “Everyone had equal say, from the design of the badge, the requirements, and even the cover of the badge guide.”

Her one regret was that those who worked on the badge are so far spread that not only did they never meet, but there was never a commemoration of their work.

“We cannot celebrate this achievement together,” she said.

Fox-1 news from Dayton

During the Dayton Hamvention, AMSAT Vice President Operations, Drew Glasbrenner, KO4MA, and AMSAT Vice President - Engineering Jerry Buxton, N0JY, provided more information about the Fox-1 satellites under development.

Buxton, N0JY, says Fox-1A has passed all environmental testing and is integrated into the P-POD deployment canister. "The 'remove before flight pin' has been pulled, the doors closed on the P-POD, and everything is aboard the shipping container now en route to Vandenberg Air Force Base in California for launch", said Buxton.

Previously Buxton had announced plans to incorporate an L band receiver in Fox-1C and Fox-1D. The addition will allow ground commanded selection of the U/v (normal Fox-1 bands) or the new L/v 1.2 GHz (23 cm) mode. Both bands will operate as FM single channel.
See: http://www.amsat.org/?p=4000


New England Hams you might run across on 3864 or 3910.........

K1TP- Jon....Editor of As The World Turns....
W1STS- Scott...philosopher, hat
NIEDU- Dave.... ex-Asst. manager at HRO's Salem store and for some unknown reason rides his cycle year round..
KB1JXU- Matthew...75 meter regular...our token liberal Democrat out of VT

KA1BXB-Don....75 meter Regular......residing on the Cape of Cod, flying planes and playing radio
KMIG-Rick....75 Meter Regular....teaches the future of mankind, it's scary!
W1GWU-Bob....one of the Hosstrader's original organizers, 75 meter regular, Tech Wizard!!!
K1PEK-Steve..Founder of Davis-RF....my best friend from high school 

K9AEN-John...Easy going ham found at all the hamfests
WB1DVD- Gil....Gilly..Gilmore.....easy going, computer parts selling, New England Ham..

K1JEK-Joe.........Easy going, can be found at every ham flea market in New England ...Cobra Antenna builder..
K1BXI- John.........Dr. Linux....fine amateur radio op ....wealth of experience...
KA1GJU- Kriss- Tower climbing pilot who cooks on the side at Hosstrader's...
KB1CJG-"Cobby"- Low key gent can be found on many of the 75 meter nets.........
N1XW.....Mike- claims to have been abducted by aliens......Temper!
W1XER...Scott....easy going guy
K1BQT.....Rick....very talented ham, loves his politics, has designed gear for MFJ...
W1KQ- Jim-  Retired
Air Force Controller...told quite a few pilots where to go!
N1OOL-Jeff- The 3936 master plumber and ragchewer...
K1BRS-Bruce- Computer Tech of 3936...multi talented kidney stone passing ham...
WB1AAZ- Mike, Antrim, NH, auto parts truck driver-retired
K1BGH- Arthur, Cape Cod, construction company/ice cream shop, hard working man....
W1VAK- Ed, Cape Cod, lots of experience in all areas, once was a Jacques Cousteus body guard....
KD1ZY- Warren....3910 regular
N1IOM- Paul.....3910 test king....testing......
N1YSU- Bob,  easy going, kind of like Mr. Rogers until politics are brought up then watch out...
K1BNH- Bill- Used to work for a bottled gas company-we think he has been around nitrous oxide to long .

K1PV- Roger....75 meter regular, easy going guy...

Silent Key W1OKQ- Jack....3936 Wheeling and Dealing......keeping the boys on there toes....
Silent Key W1TCS- Terry....75 meter regular, wealth of electronic knowledge...
Silent Key WIPNR- Mack....DXCC Master, worked them all!.. 3864 regular for many years...
Silent Key
WILIM- Hu....SK at 92... 3864 regular for many years...
Silent Key N1SIE- Dave....Loves to fly
Silent Key:
N1WBD- Big Bob- Tallest ham, at 6'10", of the 3864 group and owner of Peanut (silent key)- mascot....
Silent Key: W1FSK-Steve....Navy Pilot, HRO Salesman, has owned every radio ever built!
Silent Key: W4NTI-Vietnam Dan....far from easy going cw and ssb op on 14275/313
Silent Key:K1FUB-Bill- Loved ham radio........Ham Radio Ambassador!
Silent Key: K1GAR- John- Very colorful character!......claims to an appointed "hambassador" by Gordon West.....
Silent Key: N1GXW-Frank-Mellow Mainer..........
Silent Key:W1JSH-Mort- Nice fellow to talk to on 3936 on the early afternoon session

Silent Key: K4WHO-Kerry-Mellow ham, professional musician, one of the nice guys on 20 meters..........