JOTA 2017 Organizers Urge Scout Stations to Register Now

Scouting’s Jamboree on the Air/Jamboree on the Internet (JOTA/JOTI) event takes place over the October 20 – 22 weekend, and organizers are urging Scout stations planning to participate to register now. The world JOTA-JOTI Team has activated its online sign-up system. This year’s event will be the 60th Jamboree on the Air.

“Our number one message at this time is to register their station and get ready for JOTA,” JOTA Coordinator Jim Wilson, K5ND, told ARRL. “It’s time for Scout groups to bring together their open action items — ordering patches, printing handouts, gathering equipment, reminding staff members, verifying location, and getting the word out to the Scouts to be prepared for a fabulous experience talking with other Scouts across the country and hopefully around the world.”

Continue reading JOTA 2017 Organizers Urge Scout Stations to Register Now

Reports of Hurricane Devastation on Dominica Relayed by Amateur Radio, Picked up by Media


[This updates a report posted earlier.]
 In the immediate aftermath of then-Category 5 Hurricane Maria’s passage over Dominica on Monday, Frans van Santbrink, J69DS, on St. Lucia checked into the VoIP Hurricane Net to relay damage reports he’d gathered via repeater conversations with other hams there. The New York Times also reported and posted audio that Amateur Radio was a primary source to gather initial damage reports from the storm-ravaged Caribbean Island nation of some 70,000 residents. US-based Julian Antoine, J73JA, solicited reports via a VoIP connection with the J73MAN repeater on Dominica.

 

“All power lines are down, our telephone lines are down, Internet lines, everything is down,” came a reply to Antoine’s inquiry. “Roads are blocked with debris. No confirmed information on fatalities or injuries.”

What seems to be a subsequent responder reported, “Lots of flooding, water coming into windows and doors,” while another indicated that while he was “nice and dry now,” he had lost his roof and was at a shelter. “From what I’ve seen so far, it’s pretty bad,” another report stated. The same responder said he could see some landslides too, along with broken trees and utility poles. “It’s just damage all over,” concluded the report, apparently from J73CC.

VoIP Hurricane Net Operations Director Rob Macedo, KD1CY, told ARRL that he recorded the audio that the New York Times used on Tuesday while he was monitoring the J62DX-L link on EchoLink.

In his report to the VoIP Hurricane Net, van Santbrink recounted a damage account from Kerry Fevrier, J69YH, in Roseau, Dominica. “Trees down, river has flooded half the village, cars are all over, most houses have lost their roofs or are destroyed, the area between his house and the church is just flattened…in his words, ‘devastation is total,’” van Santbrink told the net.

He also heard from J73CI, who has lost his roof; J73WA on the northern end of the island, who lost his tower and was uncertain how he was going to weather the back end of the storm, and J73MH, who also lost his roof and was “just hunkering down and hoping for the best.” — Thanks to the VoIP Hurricane Net; New York Times

The Doctor Will See You Now!


“How High is High Enough” (a discussion of antenna height) is the topic of the current (September 7) 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, Joel Hallas, W1ZR, will discuss a broad range of technical topics. You can also e-mail your questions to doctor@arrl.org, and the Doctor may answer them in a future podcast.

Enjoy “ARRL The Doctor is In” on Apple iTunes, or by using your iPhone or iPad podcast app (just search for “ARRL The Doctor is In”). You can also listen online at Blubrry, or at Stitcher (free registration required, or browse the site as a guest) and through the free Stitcher app for iOS, Kindle, or Android devices. If you’ve never listened to a podcast before, download our beginner’s guide.

Just ahead: “Soldering and Unsoldering.”

W1AW to Resume its Normal Transmission Schedule on Thursday Morning

Maxim Memorial Station W1AW at ARRL Headquarters will not transmit bulletins or code practice this evening. The station will not be staffed overnight but plans to resume its normal schedule of transmissions on Thursday morning, September 21.

 

W1AW has not yet been reopened to visitors.

W1AW will continue monitoring active nets and 60 meter interoperability channels as needed. The station has been helping to support its partners for HF and long-haul communication response to Hurricane Maria and has been monitoring the Hurricane Watch Net, SATERN, and the Caribbean Emergency Weather Net, as well as checking Winlink2000 e-mail, keeping an ear on the VoIP Hurricane Net, and providing interoperability support by keeping various frequencies open for hurricane traffic.

W1AW has been staffed around the clock during this communication emergency.

 

Caribbean Emergency Weather Net Requests Clear Frequency


09/20/2017

The Caribbean Emergency Weather Net (CEWN) has been providing round-the-clock coverage during the passage of Hurricane Maria and in the storm’s immediate wake on 7.188 and 3.815 MHz and is requesting a clear frequency. The CEWN is continuing to handle health-and-welfare traffic in and out of Dominica and is accepting inquiries via e-mail. (Indicate your name location as well as that of the party sought).

Jeff Austin, 9Y4J, has reported that no emergency operations center has been established, airports remain closed, and damage assessment of the seaports is under way, which would determine how soon relief supplies and significant human resources can access the island.

Hurricane Watch Net, VoIP Hurricane Net, WX4NHC Stand Down from Maria Activations


09/21/2017

The Hurricane Watch Net (HWN) stood down on September 20 after 60 hours of activation for Hurricane Maria as did the VoIP Hurricane Net and WX4NHC at the National Hurricane Center. The International Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network (SATERN) SSB Net will be in extended monitoring mode through Friday.

“The latest storm track is very good news for the Bahamas and the Dominican Republic,” the Assistant HWN Manager Mike Webb, KC0YHM, said on Wednesday. “We will watch the storm as it progresses…just in case.” The net wrapped up its activation by gathering damage reports and offering health-and-welfare guidance.

Continue reading Hurricane Watch Net, VoIP Hurricane Net, WX4NHC Stand Down from Maria Activations

QST Announces 2017 Antenna Design Competition Winners

QST has announced the winners of its 2017 Antenna Design Competition. Following a solicitation for entries earlier this year. members submitted nearly 100 antenna designs in three categories: 160 Meters and Lower Frequencies, 80 Through 10 Meters, and 6 Meters and Higher Frequencies.

Winners will receive certificates and cash prizes. The winning designs are also eligible for publication in QST and other ARRL media.

Continue reading QST Announces 2017 Antenna Design Competition Winners

Enigma Reloaded Event Returns on September 22

The 4th running of the Enigma Reloaded operating event will get under way on September 22 and continue until September 30. Sponsored by the A.R.I. Fidenza Radio Club, the event celebrates the history of the Enigma cipher machine and its crucial role in World War II, as well as the individuals who developed the device and contributed to its success.

Enigma Event 2017 takes place in two stages: From September 22 until September 29, so-called Activator Stations will be on the air for others to work. On September 30, Activator Stations will exchange predefined CW messages previously encrypted by a real or emulated Enigma machine.

The somewhat cryptic details and rules are available on the official website. — Thanks to Cristiano Cornini, IW4CLV, President, A.R.I. Fidenza Radio Club

Amateur Radio Emergency Net Active in Wake of Earthquake in Central Mexico

The FMRE National Emergency Net has activated on 7.060 MHz following a magnitude 7.1 earthquake in the central Mexico state of Puebla at 1814 UTC on Tuesday. The net also uses 3.690 MHz and 14.120 MHz as well as IRLP reflector 9200, channel 08.

The epicenter was some 75 miles southeast of Mexico City, which felt the temblor. Preliminary reports indicate a lot of collapsed buildings and missing people.

The FMRE net has been handling traffic to make up for the loss of some cellular networks, FMRE President Al Tomez, XE2O, told ARRL. The earthquake came 32 years to the day after a 1985 magnitude 8.0 earthquake struck the Mexico City, killing some 9,500 people in and around the capital city.

Just one week ago, a magnitude 8.1 earthquake struck off Mexico’s southern coast, killing more than 60 people and causing considerable damage.

 

W1AW Supporting Partners in Hurricane Response; Bulletins and Visitor Operations Currently Suspended

The Hiram Percy Maxim Memorial Station, W1AW, has suspended its regular bulletin transmissions beginning September 19, 2017 in order to help support its partners for both HF and long-haul communications response for Hurricane Maria. W1AW will be monitoring the Hurricane Watch, SATERN, and Caribbean Emergency Weather nets; checking Winlink2000 e-mail; checking into the VoIP Weather Net, and providing interoperability support by keeping various frequencies open for hurricane traffic. The station will be manned 24 hours a day during this communications emergency. All W1AW visitor operations are suspended for the time being.