ARRL Amateur Radio News

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The American Radio Relay League (ARRL) is the national association for amateur radio, connecting hams around the U.S. with news, information and resources.
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Talks on Possible 4U1UN Reactivation Continue

Tue, 03/28/2017 - 17:49

United Nations Headquarters Amateur Radio club station 4U1UN representatives are still in talks with the UN Department of Public Information with an eye toward permanently reactivating the station. Although within the geographical confines of New York City, 4U1UN qualifies as a separate DXCC entity.

“Hopefully we’ll have an opportunity to plead our case to the new administration as well. Keep yo...

Ham-Astronauts Engaging in Series of Spacewalks; Two Heading Home Soon

Tue, 03/28/2017 - 15:03

International Space Station (ISS) Expedition 50 Commander Shane Kimbrough, KE5HOD, will take one more spacewalk on March 30 before he heads back to Earth in a Soyuz MS-02 vehicle on April 10, joined by crewmates Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko. The spacewalks are aimed at preparing the station for the future arrival of US commercial crew spacecraft and upgrading station hardware.

On March 2...

AMSAT Reschedules Fox Series Launches

Tue, 03/28/2017 - 14:50

AMSAT has announced that the launches of its Fox-1Cliff and Fox-1D CubeSats have been rebooked from a single launch to separate launches. Both satellites initially were set to go into space on the Spaceflight Formosat-5/Sherpa mission aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 (Sherpa is launched as a rideshare program for small, low-budget satellites). Fox-1Cliff will launch on Spaceflight’s SSO-A dedicated rid...

Moderate (G2) Geomagnetic Storm In Progress, G2 Warning Extended

Mon, 03/27/2017 - 22:00

NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) reports a moderate (G2) level geomagnetic storm is in progress. The G2 threshold was reached on March 27 at 1948 UTC.

SWPC forecasters have extended the G2 Geomagnetic Storm Warning until March 28 at 0300 UTC, as coronal hole high-speed stream effects continue to influence Earth. A large, Earth-facing canyon-shaped hole in the Sun's atmosphere is spe...

UK Museum Wants to Hear from Those Who Remember Sputnik Launch

Mon, 03/27/2017 - 15:54

As part of an effort to tell the story of the International Geophysical Year (IGY) 60 years ago, a Cambridge, England, museum wants to hear from anyone who remembers the Soviet Union’s launch of Sputnik 1 on October 4, 1957. Many radio amateurs and shortwave listeners (SWLs) of the era were among those thrilled to receive the satellite’s 20 MHz beacon.

The Scott Polar Research Institute Polar Mu...

OZ7IGY 40 MHz Beacon Shifts to Next Generation Beacons Platform

Mon, 03/27/2017 - 15:33

The 40 MHz OZ7IGY beacon was migrated to the Next Generation Beacons platform on March 25. The beacon was activated during a 60th anniversary event for OZ7IGY, making it the oldest ham radio beacon still on the air. The beacon was inaugurated at the start of the International Geophysical Year (IGY). The nominal frequency is 40.071 MHz. The beacon’s output power is 20 W into an omnidirectional h...

The K7RA Solar Update

Fri, 03/24/2017 - 12:43

The Sun just finished an extended period (16 days) of zero sunspots. There were none on March 4, one visible on March 5, then none on March 6-20. Finally, one sunspot group appeared on March 21-23, with a sunspot number of 12 on all three days.

A sunspot number of 12 does not mean there were 12 sunspots. Every group of sunspots counts as 10 points, and every sunspot within those groups counts f...

ARRL "60-Second Century" Videos Preview QST Editorials

Fri, 03/24/2017 - 12:24

ARRL CEO Tom Gallagher, NY2RF, is now supplementing each of his QST "Second Century" editorials with a "60-Second Century" video. These videos offer a glimpse of the content in each month's QST editorial.

ARRL began producing "60-Second Century" with the March QST editorial, and each video is posted on the ARRL YouTube channel, as well as made available through ARRL social media platforms (Face...

The Doctor Will See You Now!

Fri, 03/24/2017 - 12:20

Remote Antenna Tuners” is the topic of the latest episode of the “ARRL The Doctor is In” podcast. Listen...and learn!

Sponsored by DX Engineering, “ARRL The Doctor is In” is an informative discussion of all things technical. Listen on your computer, tablet, or smartphone -- whenever and wherever you like!

Every 2 weeks, your host, QST Editor-in-Chief Steve Ford, WB8IMY, and the Doctor himself, J...

AM Rally on April 1-3 Weekend an Opportunity to Try a Vintage Mode

Fri, 03/24/2017 - 12:16

If you’re not familiar with full-carrier amplitude modulation (AM) or have never used it on the air, you’ll have a chance during the AM Rally during the April 1-2 weekend, on the bands between 160 and 10 meters (except 30, 17, and 12 meters) plus 6 meters.

Once the primary voice mode on the ham bands, AM eventually gave way to SSB, a form of AM. Yet AM has remained popular among dedicated radio ...

Mayors, Commissioners of Clark County, Nevada, Salute Amateur Radio

Fri, 03/24/2017 - 12:12

Nevada mayors Carolyn Goodman of Las Vegas, John Lee of North Las Vegas, and Andy Hafen of Henderson have joined the Clark County Board of Commissioners in proclaiming March 26 to April 2 as “NVCON Week,” recognizing the ARRL Nevada State Convention (NVCON), March 31-April 2.

The community leaders encouraged the citizens of their respective localities to pay tribute to the area’s Amateur Radio o...

NVIS Research Paper Available

Thu, 03/23/2017 - 19:40

A thorough and fully annotated discussion of Near Vertical Incidence Skywave (NVIS) is available in the research paper, “Radio Communication via Near Vertical Incidence Skywave Propagation: An Overview,” by Ben A. Witvliet, PE5B/5R8DS, and Rosa Ma Alsina-Pagès.

First investigated in the 1920s, NVIS propagation was rediscovered during World War II as “an essential means to establish communication...

Amateur Radio Links Search for Amelia Earhart’s Plane with ISS Crew, Classroom

Thu, 03/23/2017 - 19:31

One of the enduring mysteries of the 20th Century was the disappearance in 1937 of famed aviator Amelia Earhart and her flight companion and navigator Fred Noonan, while she was attempting to circle the globe. It appeared that Earhart’s plane went down in the South Pacific, in the vicinity of Howland Island; her last-known radio transmission came from there. On February 18, a team from Nauticos...

Virginia Engineering Students Tackle Satellite, Ground Station Projects

Wed, 03/22/2017 - 18:03

The University of Virginia (UVA) reports that some of its engineering students are among those at other Commonwealth schools working on Amateur Radio satellites and matching ground stations to track them and collect data. UVA said its student-built satellite is set to go into space late next year aboard an International Space Station resupply vehicle for later deployment from the ISS. The UVA p...