New Linux Software Available

New Linux software available from KB1OIQ.  Andy’s Ham Radio Linux, version 21, is a remastered version of Ubuntu 16.04.3 LTS.  This software collection consists of the Linux operating system and a wide selection of ham radio programs.  32-bit and 64-bit versions are available.  The previous version was downloaded just over 12,000 times.  More information can be found at Andy’s Ham Radio Linux site.

Credit: ARRL Eastern MA Section News – November 2017

Angelo “Charlie” Puzo, W1VPB, SK

Angelo “Charlie” Puzo died suddenly on November 26, 2017 after a short illness.  He was born January 23, 1933 and grew up in Worcester.  He is survived by his wife Michele (Joseph) Puzo, son John Puzo and significant other Nancy Moscato, daughter Maria Buhl and husband John, son Jared Wall and wife Kendra, four grandchildren Daniel & Jacob Buhl, Jackson & Everleigh Wall.  He leaves behind his sister Barbara Puzo Apholt of Hubbardston, MA.  He was predeceased by his son Joseph, 1982, and brother Richard Puzo, 2013.

He passed the Novice Class License exam as a teen.  Since then he has held the call letters W1VPB and has been active in the Barnstable, Provincetown and Orleans Amateur Radio Clubs.  At the age of 82, he passed the Extra Class exam and was a volunteer examiner.  Charlie joined SEMARA in October 2016.

Donations can be made to the Family Pantry of Cape Cod.

Condolences to his family.

International Grid Chase 2018

ARRL Contest Branch Manager Bart Jahnke, W9JJ says the new 630 and 2200-meter bands will be fair territory in the ARRL International Grid Chase.  The year-long operating event begins on January 1, 2018 at 0000 UTC (New Year’s Eve in US time zones).  The object is to work stations in as many Maidenhead grid squares as possible, and radio amateurs around the world are encouraged to take part.  Contacts made on the 60-meter band will not be eligible for award credit, however.

US radio amateurs are advised, however, that the use of 630 and 2200-meters requires advance notification to the Utilities Technology Council (UTC) of their intention to operate on one or both bands.  If UTC does not respond within 30 days or specifically denies access, these stations may commence operation there.

Once approved to use either 630-meters, 2200-meters or both, US radio amateurs must adhere to the FCC rules regarding the use of those bands.

Highlights:

  • Amateurs operating on 472-479 kHz (630 meters) may run up to 5 W equivalent isotropically radiated power (EIRP), except in parts of Alaska within 800 kilometers of Russia, where the maximum would be 1 W EIRP.
  • Amateurs operating in the 135.7-137.8 kHz band (2200-meters) may run up to 1 W EIRP.
  • The FCC has placed a 60-meter (approximately 197 feet) above-ground-level (AGL) height limit on transmitting antennas used on 630-meters and 2200-meters.
  • The bands are available to General class and higher licensees, using CW, RTTY, data, phone, and image.

Any contact you make in 2018, with the exception of contacts on 60-meters, can count toward your International Grid Chase score, and contacts do not have to include an exchange of grid squares.  Participants may upload their logs to Logbook of The World (LoTW), and as long as the other operators worked use LoTW, they get credit automatically once they upload their logs.  This means that contest contacts will also count, as will contacts with special event stations, or other on-air activities that use LoTW to confirm contacts.

Email the ARRL Contest Branch for more information – contests [at] arrl [dot] org.

Credit: The ARRL Letter – November 16, 2017

Hints and Sounds

From The ARES E-Letter for November 15, 2017

  • Hint: With appropriate guying, an extension ladder can be used to hold up a Yagi under Field Day or DXpedition conditions.  In this picture a SteppIR 2-Element Yagi for the current VK9MA DXpedition has been mounted and is being tested. It can be turned manually.
     
  • Sounds: Here are some sounds you don’t want to hear: RFI.  The ARRL “sound library” contains known RFI sources and some that have not yet been identified.  If you have a potential RFI problem, compare your noise to these to help eliminate it.

SKYWARN Recognition Day – December 2, 2017

SKYWARN Recognition Day (SRD) will take place this year on Saturday, December 2 from 0000Z until 2400Z (starts on the evening of Friday, December 1, in US time zones).  During the SKYWARN Special Event, hams will set up stations at National Weather Service (NWS) offices and contact other radio amateurs around the world.

Participating Amateur Radio stations will exchange a brief description of their current weather (rainy, windy, partially cloudy, etc.) with as many NWS-based stations as possible on 80, 40, 20, 15, 10, 6, and 2 meters plus 70 centimeters.  Contacts via repeaters are permitted.

Credit: The ARES E-Letter – November 15, 2017

Meteor Showers for Remainder of 2017

A few opportunities to try out meteor scatter communications.  JT6M is optimized for the 6-meter band; FSK441 is generally used on the 2-meter and 70-centimeter amateur bands.

The dates are only for the peak activity; meteors will be also be produced on either side of the peak dates and appear in other parts of the sky as well.

November 4, 5 – Taurids Meteor Shower
Produces about 5-10 meteors per hour.  Meteors will radiate from the constellation Taurus.

November 17, 18 – Leonids Meteor Shower
Produces up to 15 meteors per hour at its peak.  Meteors will radiate from the constellation Leo.

December 13, 14 – Geminids Meteor Shower
Produces up to 120 multicolored meteors per hour.  Meteors will radiate from the constellation Gemini.

December 21, 22 – Ursids Meteor Shower
Produces about 5-10 meteors per hour.  Meteors will radiate from the constellation Ursa Minor.