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The News

Ham Ops First to Report Haiti Quake

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Over the past few days, Charlie Wooten has had his ear on his ham radio. Steadily listening to updates from the devastation in Haiti.

He’s one of hundreds of amateur radio operators or “hams” in our area. He runs his ham from what he calls his shack at his home.

When the 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit Haiti, hams were the first ones to break the news.

haiti earthquake

Communications are still limited, but Wooten has been able to hear a Haitian priest and a U.N. worker on the Salvation Army’s amateur radio network.

“They want to set up some repeaters, vhf repeaters. They need the radios, equipment, walkie talkies to make that system viable for them to be able to hear in Port Au-Prince,” Wooten said.

In Wooten’s back yard, you’ll find this 70-foot tall beam tower. The tower rotates to find the best signals, giving ham operators like Charlie a way to communicate and provide a helping hand to those who can’t be heard.

“The equipment is so compact and very efficient and doesn’t require a lot of sophistication more than a car battery and a piece of wire to be able to be on the air to talk hundreds even thousands of miles,” Wooten said.

Charlie, who worked at Newschannel 7, said back in 1969, he and some of his fellow hams went down to cover Hurricane Camille.

He said for ten days, his crew was the only line of communication out of Pass Christian, Mississippi.

He calls his work an expensive hobby, but a very important hobby.

Read more: Ham Radio - Ham Events - Ham Reviews - Ham Links - Ham News

 

This Week in Amateur Radio #874 - Week of 1/10/10

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Edition #874 of This Week in Amateur Radio, and This Week in Amateur Radio Headline News, have been released. Both are now posted and available for download at www.twiar.org. Subscribe on our site or: FIND US NOW ON I-TUNES! --> You can also direct download through our portal for web enabled devices (PS3, Blackberry, etc) at www.kxkvi.blogspot.com. Visit our blog at www.twiari.blogspot.com. This Week in Amateur Radio Full Version with special features and all the latest news - Running time: 118 minutes. This Week in Amateur Radio Headline News version runs 60 minutes with limited special features. This Week in Amateur Radio is available for regular download at our web site in MP3 format. Streaming audio is also available, as is RSS/XML subscriptions for the podcast. Enjoy, and see you next week! de George - W2XBS This Week in Amateur Radio

Read more: This Week in Amateur Radio Podcast

 

Hospitals, Emergencies and Ham Radio

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Most people on the street are clueless about the meaning of the Amateur Radio service. If they have heard of it, they respond by saying, oh yeah, you mean CB radio right?

Although many of us kick-started our interest in the radio hobby on 11 meters,  nothing is more upsetting to a licensed amateur than that comment. To be classified along with a free-bander illegally running 1500 watts on HF is more than an embarrassment, it’s a personal insult.

Others, who know perhaps a little more about the service will say something like yeah, my grandfather was a ham radio guy back in the 50’s. Then they continue by spinning a short story about watching the tubes glow in Grandpa’s radios when they were small children.

As us “modern” Hams know the reflection of Grandpa’s tubes aren’t much more that a fading memory today. The need breed of Ham Radio operator has a wide variety of choices to investigate within the hobby and recognition of the Amateur Radio service has recently been placed into the limelight again with  H.R. 2160, “The Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Enhancement Act of 2009″.

As a matter of fact, two hospitals in Mississippi now have Ham Radio Stations. The answer to the question why is simple.

As Larry Wagner stated in the article posted on 1/10/2010 in USA Today, “When all other communication systems go down in an emergency such as a hurricane, ham radio operators are the last ones who are still talking to one another.”

Read the full article here:

http://content.usatoday.net/dist/custom/gci/InsidePage.aspx?cId=delawareonline&sParam=32490121.story

Read more: Ham Radio - Ham Events - Ham Reviews - Ham Links - Ham News

 

Recently received QRSS signals

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After the recent reception report of my QRSS signal, I realised it had been a while since I had been running my QRSS receive setup so I decided to put it on.  The antenna is my standard HF doublet and the receiver is the K3, which was dialed to the 10.140 MHz.  For the software I use Baudline (previously mentioned here) which is different to the application used by most of the grabbers, Argo. I like Baudline, I can set it running for hours, save the recording as a file and do post processing on the received signal. For QRSS that processing is adjusting the colour display, colour aperture and time scale.  I feel I am slowly get more familiar with this powerful application, but I still have plenty to learn.

Here are some traces of signals I have received over the last few days.

KC7VHS located in La Cruces, New Mexico

AA5CK QRSS signal

AA5CK located in Sayre, Oklahoma

WA5DJJ QRSS signal

WA5DJJ located in La Cruces, New Mexico

VE1VDM QRSS signal

VE1VDM located in Upper Onslow, Nova Scotia

The QRSS transmitter of  Dave, WA5DJJ is described on his QRSS web page and if you scroll down to the bottom you will see a picture of Perry, KC7VHS, building his transmitter which was captured above. Theo, AA5CK, on his web page shows how he uses an iDuino board as the QRSS keyer.  He also explains the how he uses the key to create a dual frequency CW modulation for QRSS, which I have also seen in his QRSS trace. Vernon, VE1VDM is usually know for his QRSS grabber, when he transmits his signal is usually well received here at my QTH.

Finally, it is important to remember that the power level of these QRSS transmitters will be 1W or less, indeed usually a QRSS transmitter on 30m is around a one or two hundred milliWatts.

Additional

This afternoon (after making the posting) AA5CK’s signal was received again, so I clipped the dual frequency CW trace.  Here it is.

AA5CK DFCW QRSS trace

AA5CK dual frequency CW QRSS trace

To read it the ‘dits’ and ‘dahs’ are of the same duration, but the ‘dit’ is at the lower level to the ‘dah’.   The callsign should become clear, although the ‘K’ is a little faded.

Read more: VA3STL's Weblog

 

2009 Reveals Surge In Ham Radio Licenses

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According to the ARRL VEC  more than 30,000 new licenses were issued in 2009.

Apparently, the restructuring of the licensing process by the FCC in 2007 has elevated the demand for exam sessions and this past year was a banner year for new Amateur Radio licensees.

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ARRL VEC Manager Maria Somma, AB1FM  said. “This high level of exam session activity has produced an elevated influx of new applications,  far outpacing recent years.”

30,144  licenses were granted in 2009 which is an increase of about 7.5 percent over 2008.  16,368 licenses were issued in 2005 showing that the restructuring has caused an impressive 84 percent gain over 2005.

Other than the standard books which are always available, there are other ways to study for your license.

If the idea of downloading and learning from an audio source appeals to you try visiting http://fccexam.com/

More news about the Licensing Increase can be found at
http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2010/01/06/11278/?nc=1

Visit the AH0A for detailed licensing statistics
http://www.ah0a.org/

Read more: Ham Radio - Ham Events - Ham Reviews - Ham Links - Ham News

 

2009 sees surge of new USA Amateur Radio licensees

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This past year was a banner year for new Amateur Radio licensees

Read more: Southgate Amateur Radio News RSS Feed

 

Yasme Excellence Awards

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On January 8, 2008, The Directors of The Yasme Foundation announced the establishment of the Yasme Excellence Awards. The Awards for 2009 have just been announced

Read more: Southgate Amateur Radio News RSS Feed

 

Radio Amateur on-the-air at 102

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Radio Amateur Ethel Williamson VE3DTW, has been back on the air at the age of 102

Read more: Southgate Amateur Radio News RSS Feed

 

Amateur Radio in the Gulf Times

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Last month, the Gulf Times newspaper reported on the Open Day held by the Qatar Amateur Radio Society (QARS)

Read more: Southgate Amateur Radio News RSS Feed

 

New Indian Amateur Radio Satellite

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StudSat (STUDent SATellite) is slated for a March 2010 launch and will carry a camera capable of 90 metre resolution

Read more: Southgate Amateur Radio News RSS Feed

 

St. Albans Amateur Radio Advanced Course

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A course for the Amateur Radio Advanced exam is starting in St. Albans next week

Read more: Southgate Amateur Radio News RSS Feed

 

Swedish withdrawal of Power Line Adapters

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The latest issue of the EUROCOM newsletter has an item on the withdrawal by Sweden of polluting Power Line Adaptors (PLA)

Read more: Southgate Amateur Radio News RSS Feed

 

Home wireless video developments

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The use of 60 GHz for home video networking moves a step closer with plans to incorporate SiBeam chips in an HD TV and Blue-Ray player, while the WHDI Consortium is moving ahead with plans for 5 GHz

Read more: Southgate Amateur Radio News RSS Feed

 

EU nations divided on use of airport body scanners (AP)

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Members of staff are seen demonstrating a new full body security scanner at Manchester Airport, Manchester, England, Thursday Jan. 7, 2010. Airline passengers bound for the United States faced a hodgepodge of security measures across Europe and airports did not appear to be following a U.S. request for increased screening of passengers from 14 countries. (AP Photo/Jon Super).AP - European nations were sharply divided Thursday over the need to install full-body scanners at European airports, with some EU members playing down the need for beefed-up security measures.


Read more: Yahoo! News: Technology News

 

Iran posts banned websites list in cyber crackdown: report (AFP)

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An Iranian youth browses a political blog at an Internet cafe in the city of Hamadan, 360 kms southwest of Tehran, in May 2009. The Iranian judicial authorities have published a long list of banned Internet websites in a new crackdown on online networks, including those deemed immoral, the press reported on Thursday.(AFP/File/Nima Daymari)AFP - The Iranian judicial authorities have published a long list of banned Internet websites in a new crackdown on online networks, including those deemed immoral, the press reported on Thursday.


Read more: Yahoo! News: Technology News

 

Boost widens reach of $50 unlimited phone service (AP)

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AP - Boost Mobile, a prepaid cell service sold by Sprint Nextel, says it will start offering its $50 per month unlimited calling plan on the Sprint network. That network has wider coverage and much higher data speeds than the Nextel network used by other Boost phones.

Read more: Yahoo! News: Technology News

 

Cellular group says mobile calls safe from hackers (Reuters)

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Reuters - A wireless industry group said mobile phone conversations are safe from eavesdropping, even after a German security expert released the code for unscrambling calls made using most of the world's cell phones.

Read more: Yahoo! News: Technology News

 

French panel: Tax Google to fund the arts (AP)

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AP - How to help prop up the ailing music industry? Tax Google, suggests a new report commissioned by the French government.

Read more: Yahoo! News: Technology News

 

Lenovo Hybrid Is Both a Laptop and a Tablet Computer (NewsFactor)

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NewsFactor - Lenovo is previewing a new type of hybrid PC at the Consumer Electronics Show this week featuring laptop and tablet capabilities. Called the IdeaPad U1, the hybrid device has a base that functions as a laptop and a detachable screen that doubles as a multi-touch slate tablet. Moreover, each component has its own dedicated processor and operating system.

Read more: Yahoo! News: Technology News

 

Microsoft shows off Windows tablets at gadget show (AP)

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Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer gives the keynote address at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2010. (AP Photo/Laura Rauch)AP - Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer showed off a new touch-screen, tablet-style computer from Hewlett-Packard Co., the first of several such devices expected to be unveiled this month.


Read more: Yahoo! News: Technology News

 

GameStop cuts profit view; holiday sales stagnate (Reuters)

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Reuters - GameStop Corp said on Thursday holiday sales failed to improve from 2008, and cut its fourth-quarter profit forecast, sending shares of the biggest U.S. videogame retailer to a 13-month low.

Read more: Yahoo! News: Technology News

 

Pandigital's new digital frame has AT&T connectivity (Macworld.com)

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Macworld.com - Apparently, AT&T thinks that millions of iPhones pounding on its wireless infrastructure isn't enough. AT&T will also have Pandigital's new Photo Mail LED Digital Photo Frame fighting with the iPhone (and eventually WebOS and Android smartphones) for wireless access.

Read more: Yahoo! News: Technology News

 


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