The annual SKYWARN Recognition Day (SRD) on-the-air activity will take place Saturday, December 3, from 0000 until 2400 UTC (starts on the evening of Friday, December 2, in US time zones).
SKYWARN Recognition Day was developed in 1999 by the National Weather Service and ARRL to honor the contributions that SKYWARN volunteers make to the NWS mission — the protection of life and property during threatening weather. During the SKYWARN Special Event, hams will operate from several NWS offices. W1AW will take part in the event.
The object of the event is for all participating Amateur Radio stations to exchange contact information with as many NWS stations as possible on 80, 40, 20, 15, 10, 6, and 2 meters plus 70 centimeters. Contacts via repeaters are permitted.
Stations will exchange call signs, signal reports, locations, and a one or two-word description of the weather at their respective locations (e.g., “sunny,” “rainy,” “partly cloudy,” “windy”). NWS stations will use various modes, including SSB, FM, AM, RTTY, CW, and PSK31. While using digital modes, special event stations will append “NWS” to their call signs (e.g., N0A/NWS).
Event certificates will be electronic and printable from the main website after the conclusion of SRD. An online submission form is available to submit your log summary for SRD.
SRD Webinar Set
A webinar will be offered on November 30 at 0100 UTC (the evening of November 29 in US time zones) in advance of the 18th SKYWARNRecognition Day (SRD) on December 3. Register for the webinar online.
The pre-event webinar will cover SKYWARN Recognition Day basics, explain how to participate, and alert participants to a few changes in store for 2016. The webinar will be recorded and posted to the ARRL YouTube channel.
Members of ARRL Headquarters staff will be on the air as W1T, November 28-December 4, in honor of Mark Twain’s 181st birthday. On November 30, Twain’s actual birthday, the Mark Twain House and Museum in Hartford, Connecticut has granted permission for a special event station to be set up in the front yard of the house from 9 AM until 4 PM EST (1400-2100 UTC).
Born in Missouri in 1835, Twain lived in Hartford from 1874 to 1891 and wrote many of his greatest works during that time, including The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court.
“We are so excited to have our neighbors at ARRL with us on Mark Twain’s 181st birthday!” said Betsy Maguire, Manager of Living History at the Mark Twain House and Museum. “This is a rare treat for the Museum staff, our visitors, and hopefully, many amateur operators across the country who make contact with the station. As a lover of the science and technology of his day, Samuel Clemens would definitely approve of a ‘special event station’ on the grounds of ‘the loveliest home that ever was.’”
W1T activity on November 30 will be exclusively from the Mark Twain House and Museum; all other W1T activity during the week will be conducted from other sites, as ARRL staff time permits. All bands and modes will be considered, including satellite operation. A special W1T QSL card will be available to commemorate the event. Complete information is available on the W1T listing at qrz.com.
According to a Mumbai Mirror report, radio amateurs who have been hearing mysterious signals on 2 meters for the past 5 months have tracked them down to a source somewhere off the Maharashtra-Gujarat coast in the Arabian Sea. Ankur Puranik, VU2AXN, a spokesperson for a local Amateur Radio club, said the group had advised the Ministry of Telecommunications as well as defense and law enforcement officials to take note of the unknown signals and consider investigating them.
The newspaper account, attributed to the Indo-Asian News Service (IANS), said the club contacted authorities after using direction-finding techniques to determine that the signals were originating from somewhere around 100 nautical miles in the high seas. Puranik said those making the transmissions were speaking in a language the Mumbai hams did not understand. Radio amateurs in the Mumbai area have reported hearing the unknown signals at various times of day — although more frequently at night — and said they continue.
Earlier this year, radio amateurs along the Bengal-Bangladesh border reported hearing strange, unidentified VHF radio transmissions that one called “highly suspicious.” — Thanks to Southgate Amateur Radio News
The Hurricane Watch Net (HWN) has announced tentative plans to activate on Thursday, November 24, at 1200 UTC on its primary frequency of 14.325 MHz. If propagation dictates, the net will operate on 7.268 MHz as well. Once activated, the net will remain in continuous operation until further notice.
“Planning to activate for a hurricane is usually an easy task,” said HWN Manager Bobby Graves, KB5HAV, in announcing the activation. “Every now and then, a storm comes along [that is] forecast to become a hurricane prior to landfall.” He said he called the activation in light of the uncertainty over whether Otto would again reach hurricane strength prior to making landfall in Central America.
Amateur Radio emergency nets on 40 and 75 meters have activated in anticipation that Tropical Storm Otto may make landfall in Central America. In Costa Rica a net is operational on 7080 kHz. In Nicaragua, National Red Cross Emergency Net frequencies in use are 7098 kHz (7105 kHz alternate) and 3798 kHz (3805 kHz alternate). The official net station is YN1YN. Some “high-risk” populations have been evacuated in certain areas where flooding is most likely.
As of 2100 UTC on November 23, the storm’s center was about 140 miles northeast of Limon, Costa Rica, and some 180 miles east-southeast of Bluefields, Nicaragua, tracking to the west at 7 MPH. Maximum sustained winds are 70 MPH. Otto is expected to produce rainfall amounts of 6 to 12 inches, with isolated amounts of 15 to 20 inches, across northern Costa Rica and southern Nicaragua through Thursday. This rainfall will likely result in life-threatening flash floods and mudslides.
Outer rain bands from Otto are expected to produce rainfall amounts of 4 to 8 inches over San Andres and Providencia islands, and the higher terrain of central and western Panama and southern Costa Rica through November 23.
“Your cooperation in helping keep a clear frequency greatly enhances our mission in helping those affected by hurricanes,” Graves said. The Net will announce any changes to its plans onits website.
JOTA is a spectacular opportunity to introduce Scouts to amateur radio. For many, this will be their first exposure to the world of ham radio. Some will go on to become hams, enjoying the hobby for a lifetime. A few will even find the basis of a career in science and technology.
We’ve assembled a fair bit of information here to help you work with your Scouting partner in setting up this event. You should also consult the American Radio Relay League information at www.arrl.org/jamboree-on-the-air-jota .
As a licensed amateur radio operator, you must, …
of course, comply with FCC regulations regarding frequencies, power, quality of signal, etc. Third-party traffic is approved by the FCC. Therefore, Scouts can talk with other Scouts when both stations are licensed by the FCC. When the station you are in contact with is outside U.S. jurisdiction, a third-party agreement must exist between the U.S. and that country’s telecommunications authority. If an agreement exists, then Scouts in the U.S. may talk directly to the Scouts in that country. If not, then the licensed ham radio operator must talk for the Scouts. The full list of countries with a designation of which countries have third-party agreements with the U.S. is at this link: www.arrl.org/third-party-operating-agreements .
- All radio operators must operate their station strictly in accordance with FCC regulations.
- Stations should try to contact each other by calling “CQ Jamboree” or “CQ JOTA” or by answering other stations sending this call.
- Any authorized amateur radio frequency may be used. It is suggested that the frequencies listed below be used, at least for a starting point. Once contact is established, you can move to another frequency to leave the calling frequency open for others.
- Any amateur mode of operation can be used such, as CW, SSB, PSK, SSTV, FM, and satellite. The more modes in operation, the more exciting the event will be for the Scouts.
- JOTA is not a contest. The idea is to contact other Scout stations and allow as many Scouts as possible to talk to other Scouts and learn about who they are and what they are doing. You might think about counting the Scouts on both sides of the QSO rather than the number of QSOs!
- All frequencies are shown as megahertz.
- Primary HF recommendations are for General Class licensees. Technicians may take advantage of 10 m and VHF/UHF for voice communications.
- After contact is made on Calling Channel or frequency, move to another channel or frequency for QSO.
- Experiment with modes prior to JOTA or Radio Scouting demo. ‘Murphy’s Law’ prevails!
- Use web search tools to find lots of helpful information about any of the modes commonly used for JOTA and Radio Scouting.
- WOSM (World Organization of the Scouting Movement) calling frequencies are shown to indicate center of international activity.
HF SSB Voice
||WOSM Calling Frequencies
||Suggested Band Segment for US Stations
||3.940 & 3.690(1)
||3.920 – 3.940
3.670 – 3.690 (1)
|(1) Extra segment
||7.190 & 7.090 (2)
||7.180 – 7.200
7.270 – 7.290
|(2) 7.090 not available in Region 2
||14.270 – 14.290
14.320 – 14.340
||18.140 – 18.150
||21.360 – 21.400
||24.960 – 24.980
||28.350 – 28.400 (3)
||(3) Includes Novices & Techs
||50.160 – 50.200
||WOSM Calling Frequencies
||Suggested Band Segment for US Stations
||3.560 – 3.570 (3)
||(3) Includes Novices & Techs
||7.030 – 7.040 (3)
||(3) Includes Novices & Techs
||14.050 – 14.060
||18.070 – 18.080
||21.130 – 21.140 (3)
||(3) Includes Novices & Techs
||24.900 – 24.910
||28.170 – 28.180 (3)
||(3) Includes Novices & Techs
||50.150 – 50.160
Call CQ JOTA. The chart below shows the commonly used frequencies for PSK-31.
||(4) Region 2 (USA).
7.040 to 7.060 for Regions 1 & 3
||(5) Most activity for JOTA will be on 20 m
||(6) Most activity can be found at 21.070
2 Meter FM Simplex
147.450, 147.480, 147.510, 147.540* * Use 147.540 as Calling Channel. Always listen first to avoid interfering with another QSO or auxiliary or control link. Avoid 146.520, the National FM Simplex Calling Frequency, as well as 146.550, which is commonly used by mobiles and RVers.
70 CM FM Simplex
446.000*, 445.950, 446.050, 446.100, 446.150 * Use 446.000 as Calling Channel. Always listen first to avoid interfering with another QSO or auxiliary or control link.
REF033A has been allocated as a full-time JOTA/Radio Scouting D-STAR Reflector. After contact is established, stations should disconnect from REF033A and connect to one or other repeater or migrate to an unused Reflector.
SIMPLEX Channels: 145.670*, 145.640, 145.610, 438.010. * 145.670 and 438.010 are commonly used as the National D-STAR Simplex Channels and should be used only as Calling Channels for JOTA. Always listen first to avoid interfering with another QSO.
All wide area talkgroups are permitted for use for JOTA for establishing contacts. After contact is established, stations should utilize as few resources as possible. For international, national, and regional QSO’s, stations should move their transmissions to one of the DMR-MARC UA talkgroups or to the DCI TAC-310 talkgroup.
For intrastate contacts, stations may use their area’s statewide talkgroup (if applicable). The use of your repeater’s local talkgroup (if applicable) is always permitted. A full list of repeaters and their available talkgroups can be found at http://www.dmr-marc.net/repeaters.html .
SIMPLEX Channels: 441.0000*, 446.5000, 446.0750, 433.4500, 145.7900*, 145.5100. All simplex frequencies operate on time-slot 1 and use color code 1. (*are commonly used as the National DMR Simplex Channels and should be used only as Calling Channels for JOTA. Always listen first to avoid interfering with another QSO.)
Use Topic Channel Node 9091 as a Common Meeting Place or Calling Channel. After contact, disconnect from 9091 and one station should connect to another’s local node.
Software or apps available for Windows, Mac, iPhone/iPad, and Android. Dedicated Conference Node *JOTA-365* (node 480809). When contact is made on a Conference Node, it is recommended the two parties establish direct contact with each other to free up the Conference Node.
CQSRVR: CQ JOTA
CQSRVR: CQ SCOUTS (other times of the year)
Check your insurance coverage for your equipment and, if the Scouts are visiting your ham station, your premises. This is just one more element to verify before the event to avoid any problems repairing or replacing equipment damaged during the event.
You’re encouraged to send news releases of the event to your local newspapers and television and radio stations. You can encourage photographers to attend the event. You can also forward photos to your local news media, including weekly papers. A sample news release is included on this website.
- Jamboree-on-the Air is about getting young people to talk to each other using amateur radio.
- Arrange for the use of a club call sign, or apply for a special-event call sign in plenty of time.
- Prepare some simple diagrams and explanations showing how radio works and how signals can be transmitted around the world as well as to the nearest repeater.
- Arrange with the Scout leaders regarding venue, QSL cards, patches, participation certificates, other activities, physical arrangements, publicity, and details required for the JOTA report form on this website.
- Notify the national JOTA organizer of your event using the details on the registration form on this site.
- Go to Scout meetings beforehand to introduce the subject.
- Organize activities such as kit building, soldering practice, SSTV, FSTV, packet radio, and weather satellite reception. The simplest of things, such as a closed-circuit RTTY station, can generate a great deal of excitement.
- Offer to train Scouts for the Radio merit badge.
- Offer a Technician license preparation course for those interested in learning and doing more with ham radio.
- Ensure that no more than three Scouts are watching one Scout on the air. Keep Scouts involved and active or they will quickly grow bored.
- Ensure that the station is safe for young visitors.
- Observe your license conditions, especially regarding third-party traffic.
- Involve the Scouts in the contact. The goal is to involve as many Scouts as possible in making a contact. It is not to maximize the number of contacts or the distance of the contacts; it’s about the experience for the Scouts.
- Try to use plain, understandable English where possible. When you do use Q-signals and other ham radio terms, take time to explain them to the Scouts.
- Don’t try to work weak stations from remote locations. Go for stronger, more local stations that unpracticed ears can hear easily and understand. Local FM repeaters can be just as exciting for Scouts.
- Don’t feel you have to keep the station on the air with no Scouts present.
Useful Internet Sites
K2BSA Amateur Radio Association
BSA JOTA Information
World Organization of the Scout Movement JOTA Information
ARRL JOTA Information
Ultimate resources site for everything ham radio
Best all-around Radio Scouting discussion group
Worldwide coverage; however, be certain to post identical information at ScoutRadio at Yahoo
Emphasis on discussion, announcements, and promoting getting “Scout Camps on the Air (SCOTA)”
It’s recommended that you also look over the “Guidelines for Scout Leaders.” It will give you an idea of the necessary preparation by your partners in the event, and perhaps you’ll see areas where you can help.
Best wishes for a great Jamboree-on-the-Air. We look forward to hearing all about it in your JOTA report.
With Scouting’s Jamboree On The Air (JOTA) just days away, JOTA Coordinator Jim Wilson, K5ND, said this week that he’s optimistic a record number of US JOTA stations will register this year. He said it was a bit more difficult to compare figures from earlier years, because the JOTA and JOTI (Jamboree on the Internet) registrants are in the same database. The official JOTA-JOTI sign-up systemremains open. JOTA will be on the air October 14-16.
“We currently have 448 US stations signed up out of a world-wide total of 2,800,” Wilson said. “We expect to have a few thousand more stations around the world signed up by JOTA-JOTI weekend. Make sure you register your station.”
Wilson is not optimistic about favorable HF propagation …
this weekend, however, but he’s hoping for the best. Most JOTA activity will center around selected HF frequencies.
The “PI4RAZ/J JOTA / Scouting Cluster Node” is one place to find out who’s on the air and where. “Hearing them might be another matter, but it’s a good starting point,” Wilson said. A “Scouts QSO” page lets JOTA stations make schedules with one another. No log-in is necessary. “Just use your call sign to post information,” Wilson said.
To help newcomers to ham radio, a Radio Scouting Quick Reference Card was developed by Tom Schuessler, N5HYP, to help Scouts with phonetics and call signs. On the back side of the card are common Q signals and a list of questions to help get Scout-to-Scout conversations going.
Wilson again urged all stations that register to file post-JOTA reports. Every station that files a report will be entered into a drawing for an Icom radio.
More than 1 million Scouts in 150+ countries — at nearly 18,000 stations — are expected to take part in JOTA 2016, engaging with other Scouts to talk about Amateur Radio and their Scouting experiences.
It is with a great deal of sadness that I must announce the passing of Roy R. Goodrich, KI4ZIT of Abilene.
Roy passed on September 24th.
On September 12, 2016 by voice vote, the US House of Representatives suspended its rules and unanimously approved H.R. 1301, the Amateur Radio Parity Act, as amended.
H.R. 1301 now procceeds to the US Senate for consideration. Click here to read the full story.
What will the Radio Parity Act Do?
The US House of Representatives will consider the Amateur Radio Parity Act, H.R. 1301, under a suspension of the rules on Monday, September 12. A suspension of the rules is a legislative procedure used to quickly pass non-controversial bills.
Speaking at the New England Division Convention on September 10 in Massachusetts, ARRL CEO Tom Gallagher, NY2RF, expressed confidence that the bill would pass the House, but said the legislation would face additional hurdles in the US Senate.
In July, an amended version of the bill received a unanimous favorable report from members of the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee. Before reporting the bill out of committee, the panel first voted to accept the amended language “in the nature of a substitute.” Rep Greg Walden, W7EQI (R-OR), who chairs the Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, said the substitute bill represented “a good balance” following months of meetings, hard work, and compromise, and he recommended the measure to his colleagues.
“The amendment guarantees that even in deed-restricted communities, Amateur Radio operators are able to use an effective outdoor antenna,” Walden said. “Without an effective antenna Amateur Radio operators are severely limited, so this amendment ensures that amateurs are free to pursue their passion wherever they live.”
In June, the ARRL and the Community Associations Institute (CAI) — the national association of homeowners associations (HOAs) — announced that they had reached consensus on rhw substitute language for H.R. 1301 in an effort to move the bill through committee and to overcome objections to the companion US Senate bill,S. 1685.
For more information on H.R. 1301, visit the ARRL website.
I have been informed that an emergency exercise is being held September
12th through the 16th. Anyone who can help please contact our SEC Dale
Durham, W5WI @ Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Cellphone: 830-719-9000.
ARRL West Texas Section
Section Manager: Ron Harden Jr, KB5HGM