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YOTA 2021

As we are all acutely aware, the median age of a typical Ham Operator is increasing year after year. To confirm this, all we need to do is look around at the next Ham Radio Expo, or Flea Market or even local club meeting and see how many “Old Timers”, not including any of us of course, are in our midst.

YOTA, or Youth On The Air, strives to stir interest in our hobby amongst younger folks, helping to insure our hobby remains viable. This year, YOTA will be operating a Special Event Station beginning next Monday. Let’s take a minute out of our busy summer schedules, to find them, and make a contact.

Youth on the Air Camp 2021 to Activate W8Y and Stream Selected Events Online

The first Youth on the Air (YOTA) camp for young radio amateurs in North, Central, and South America begins on July 11 in West Chester, Ohio. Among other activities, campers will be operating special event station W8Y from the National Voice of America Museum of Broadcasting in West Chester Township, and also from the camp hotel. The camp will run until July 16.

We are at 23 campers,” said Camp Director Neil Rapp, WB9VPG. “We are very excited to finally bring this program to the Americas. Our young people are bringing an incredible lineup of hands-on sessions for their peers. We hope this pilot gives us the information we need to replicate this camp over multiple locations for years to come. We also hope this brings a more robust community of young hams into amateur radio.”

The long-awaited summer camp for up to 30 hams aged 15 through 25 had been set to take place in June 2020, but it had to be rescheduled until summer 2021 because of COVID-19 pandemic concerns. The camp for young hams in the Americas took its cue from the summer Youngsters on the Air camps held for the past few years in various IARU Region 1 countries.

W8Y will be on the air as campers complete projects, between sessions, and during free time. Dedicated operating times on HF will be Monday, July 12, 0100 – 0330 UTC; Tuesday, July 13, 0000 – 0330 UTC and 1800 – 2130 UTC. Dedicated satellite station operating times will be Thursday, July 15, 1400 – 1700 UTC, and Friday, July 16, 1500 – 1700 UTC.

An Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) contact is currently set for either Wednesday, July 14, at 1503 UTC, or Thursday, July 15, at 1416 UTC. It will be streamed live on the Youth on the Air YouTube channel.

ARISS

The camp opening observance on Sunday, July 11, 2100 – 2230 UTC, will feature keynote speaker Tim Duffy, K3LR. The hour-long closing ceremony on Friday, July 16, will begin at 1700 UTC. The YouTube channel will also feature a daily video, highlighting the activities of the previous day.

ARRL and The Yasme Foundation donated project kits for the campers. X-Tronic provided temperature-controlled soldering stations. The brochure on the Youth on the Air website includes more details about the camp. For additional information, contact Camp Director Neil Rapp, WB9VPG.

Source: ARRL Amateur Radio News and YOTA Website

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NEW HAMPSHIRE

As part of our ongoing series on the 50 states, this POST will cover the state of New Hampshire, which was the 9th state to formally ratify the United States constitution, following South Carolina and just ahead of Virginia.

Official seal of New Hampshire
N.H Seal

Quite often, as we work the fifty states for awards and/or endorsements, we may not be aware of some of the fun facts associated with those states. This series focuses on some historical, as well as fun facts about our fifty states.

As part of the New England states, New Hampshire is boarded on the west by Vermont, on the south by Massachusetts and to the east by Maine. It also has a beautiful coast line, along the Atlantic Ocean. Of course, to the far north region of N.H. it boarders Canada, province of Quebec.

New Hampshire is the 5th smallest state, in terms of physical size and is the 10th least populous. The southern part of New Hampshire, over the last 25-30 years, has been invaded by residents of Massachusetts, attempting to escape income and sale taxes in MA, drastically changing the demographics of the state.

The state motto is; “Live Free or Die” and it is proudly displayed on several state emblems, and has even been part of their automobile license plates.

Image result for live free or die license plate

New Hampshire’s nickname is “The Granite State” referring to the extensive granite formations and quarries. Another state landmark, which appeared on the commemorative “state” quarters, “The Old Man of the Mountain” was a series of five granite cliff ledges on Cannon Mountain. Sadly, the old man grew tired of his perch, and has since sloughed off the side of Cannon Mountain, and is no longer there.

Image result for new hampshire old man in the mountain
Old Man of the Mountain

Fun facts about New Hampshire:
1. New Hampshire, was named after Hampshire County in England
2. In 1776, New Hampshire became the first colony to create a constitution and declare its independence from Great Britain
3. Ground winds as high as 231 mph were recorded atop the peaks of Mt. Washington on April 12, 1934. This remained a world record until 1996.
4. New Hampshire has the shortest coastline of any U.S. state. The coastline is just 18 miles long.
5. New Hampshire is one of the thirteen original colonies. It was initially named “North Virginia,” then “New England” and finally “New Hampshire.”
6. Cornish-Windsor Bridge in New Hampshire is the longest wooden covered bridge and the longest two-span covered bridge in the world. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The bridge is approximately 449 feet (137 m) long and 24 feet (7 m) wide, and links NH to VT spanning over the Connecticut River.

Starting Jan. 4, 2021, the bridge will be closed to traffic for one week, from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Cornish-Windsor Bridge

7. A local CCC camp in Stark, N.H. was transformed into a POW camp and approximately 250 German and Austrian prisoners were held there between 1944 and 1946

8. The only FAA-approved ice runway in the lower 48 states is a stretch of New Hampshire’s Winnipesaukee’s lake water. Formerly known as the Alton Bay Seaplane Base, it was first opened to airplane traffic in 2009. The runway is 2,730 feet long and 100 feet wide.

We hope you have enjoyed some of the history and fun facts about the Granite State. Feel free to drop a “comment” regarding this post, or any of our State Information posts, and let us know what other facts you can share about our wonderful 50 states !!

73 for now, Kevin N1KL

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GERATOL NEWS

Greetings fellow GERATOLers, and hope all are doing well.

We have a few GERATOL specific news items, and one generic Ham Radio related item of information for all.

GERATOL NEWS:

We would like to welcome to our GERATOL Website, our latest subscriber, Scott – KC8AOR. Scott will bring up the state of Michigan when he checks into the net. Scott earned his Extra Class license in November. Congrats Scott ! He also likes to pay forward what benefited him so much in his Ham career, by teaching and mentoring new Hams. We welcome you to our website, and more importantly, to our net on 3.668 Mhz. Thanks for taking the time to register on our website.

Congratulations !!

We would like to pass along our CONGRATULATIONS to the following GERATOLers…

  • Carl – W9OO
    • Carl completed the NET 500 Award. He swapped “G” numbers with 500 other GERATOLers !
    • Carl completed the Net 50/50 Award, receiving 50/50 Award #10 As the low number of 50/50 Awards would suggest (His is #10) it is a tough award to complete, working all 50 States, and in addition working 50 other stations, where the operators were licensed 50 years or more !! Well done on both Awards Carl.
  • Steve – AC9GK
    • Steve successfully completed the Board Award, 200, 300 and 400 by working 400 GERATOLers with “G” numbers !! Congrats Steve.
  • Dale – WG5N
    • Dale successfully completed the Net 500 Award, by swapping GERATOL #’s with 500 other GERATOLers. Congrats Dale.

Let’s pass along our congrats to all of the guys who completed these latest awards !! Well done gents !

HAM RADIO NEWS:

Amateur radio licensees and candidates will have to provide the FCC with an email address on applications, effective sometime in mid-2021. If no email address is included, the FCC may dismiss the application as defective.

The FCC is fully transitioning to electronic correspondence and will no longer print or provide wireless licensees with hard-copy authorizations or registrations by mail.

Report and Order (R&O) on “Completing the Transition to Electronic Filing, Licenses and Authorizations, and Correspondence in the Wireless Radio Services” in WT Docket 19-212 was adopted on September 16. The new rules will go into effect 6 months after publication in the Federal Register, which hasn’t happened yet, but the FCC is already strongly encouraging applicants to provide an email address. When an email address is provided, licensees will receive an official electronic copy of their licenses when the application is granted.

Under Section 97.21 of the new rules, a person holding a valid amateur station license “must apply to the FCC for a modification of the license grant as necessary to show the correct mailing and email address, licensee name, club name, license trustee name, or license custodian name.” For a club or military recreation station license, the application must be presented in document form to a club station call sign administrator who must submit the information to the FCC in an electronic batch file.

Under new Section 97.23, each license will have to show the grantee’s correct name, mailing address, and email address. “The email address must be an address where the grantee can receive electronic correspondence,” the amended rule will state. “Revocation of the station license or suspension of the operator license may result when correspondence from the FCC is returned as undeliverable because the grantee failed to provide the correct email address.” 

Source: ARRL News

Regards, Kevin N1KL

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SOUTH CAROLINA

In our ongoing GERATOL Series, highlighting some of the interesting facts surrounding the various United States we attempt to work on the net, this month we are featuring the state of South Carolina.

Flag of South Carolina
S.C. State Flag

South Carolina became the eighth state to ratify the U.S. Constitution on May 23, 1788. It also became the first state to vote in favor of secession from the Union on December 20, 1860. After the American Civil War, it was readmitted into the United States on June 25, 1868.

The Charleston area, along the central coastline of the state, demonstrates the greatest frequency of earthquakes in South Carolina. South Carolina averages 10–15 earthquakes a year below magnitude 3 (FEMA). The Charleston earthquake of 1886 was the largest quake ever to hit the eastern United States. The 7.0–7.3 magnitude earthquake killed 60 people and destroyed much of the city. Faults in this region are difficult to study at the surface due to thick sedimentation on top of them. Many of the ancient faults are within plates rather than along plate boundaries.

The state is occasionally affected by tropical cyclones. This is an annual concern during hurricane season, which lasts from June 1 to November 30. The peak time of vulnerability for the southeast Atlantic coast is from early August to early October, during the Cape Verde hurricane season. Memorable hurricanes to hit South Carolina include Hazel (1954), Florence (2018), and Hugo (1989), all Category 4 hurricanes.

South Carolina averages around 50 days of thunderstorm activity a year. This is less than some of the states further south, and it is slightly less vulnerable to tornadoes than the states which border on the Gulf of Mexico. Some notable tornadoes have struck South Carolina, and the state averages around 14 tornadoes annually. Hail is common with many of the thunderstorms in the state, as there is often a marked contrast in temperature of warmer ground conditions compared to the cold air aloft.

S.C. State House

FUN FACTS ABOUT SOUTH CAROLINA:

South Carolina was one of the original 13 colonies that formed the United States.

South Carolina is home to the legendary “Hell Hole Swamp.” Every year, it hosts a festival complete with a tobacco-spitting contest and the 10K Hell Hole Gator Trot, which is also known as “Redneck Run.”

South Carolina is the only state in the United States to own and operate its own school bus fleet.

Hilton Head, an island off the coast of South Carolina, attracts over 2 million tourists every year. The island is named for Captain William Hilton who discovered it in 1663 and named it after himself.

Famous South Carolinians include Blackbeard, John C. Calhoun, Chubby Checker, Dizzy Gillespie, Sarah Grimke, Andrew Jackson, Jesse Jackson, “Shoeless” Joe Jackson, Mary-Louise Parker, Strom Thurmond, and Vanna White.

South Carolina is home to the legendary Angel Oak Tree, which shades an area of 17,000 square feet with its enormous limbs. This Live Oak tree is considered to be over 500 years old and is one of the oldest living things east of the Mississippi. The tree gets its name from the Angel family who once owned the land the tree is on, on John’s Island, south of Charleston.

Interesting Angel Oak Tree Fact
Angel Oak Tree

On January 28, 1861, the General Assembly added the palmetto tree to the original design. The addition of the tree to the flag helped to launch the Palmetto State as the official nickname for South Carolina.

There you have it, just a few fun facts about the State of South Carolina. Next time you work a station in S.C. you are armed with some information that may surprise them.

73, Kevin N1KL Website Administrator

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KDKA Anniversary

For many of us currently enjoying the amateur radio hobby, we got our start by doing some Short Wave Listening, or even some Broadcast Band using an old tube type radio, with makeshift antennas. In my case, it was an old console radio salvaged from my Grandmothers house, that was in need of some TLC and a decent antenna. I recall tuning the broadcast band, to see where the farthest station I could pull in, was located. KDKA was like real “DX” for a fledging Short Wave Listener.

Pittsburgh radio station KDKA will celebrate 100 years of radio broadcasting in November, and Pennsylvania radio amateurs will honor that milestone in a multi-station special event. KDKA dates its broadcasting history to the airing of the Harding-Cox presidential results on November 2, 1920, and the station has been on the air ever since. The special event, which will involve the operation of four stations, will run through the entire month of November.

This photo of KDKA’s first “broadcast center” offers some detail about the in-house manufactured 100-Watt transmitter used for the Nov. 2, 1920 broadcast. A six-volt lead-acid car battery behind the rig likely provided tube filament voltage.

Special event stations K3K, K3D, K3A, and W8XK will set up and operate at several locations in Pennsylvania during November. Stations will determine their own modes and schedules. Visit the W8XK profile on QRZ.com for information on certificates and QSLs.

What became KDKA initially began broadcasting in 1916 as amateur radio station 8XK, licensed by the Federal Radio Commission (FRC), the predecessor to the FCC. At the time, amateurs were not prohibited from broadcasting. The small station was operated by Dr. Frank Conrad, who was Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Company assistant chief engineer. The transmitter ran 75 W, and the broadcasts gained some popularity in Pittsburgh. 

During World War I, amateur radio operation was suspended due to national security concerns. After the war, 8XK was reorganized as a commercial AM radio station, KDKA. The first transmissions of KDKA originated in a makeshift studio on the roof of Westinghouse K Building in East Pittsburgh.

Ham radio clubs participating in the centennial special event include the North Hills Amateur Radio Club in Pittsburgh — which is planning to operate from KDKA’s 1930s’ transmitter site, where an original tower pier still stands. A 1920s’ transmitter site, in Forest Hills, will serve as another operating location. In addition to the North Hills ARC and Skyview Radio Society, other clubs taking part include the Panther Amateur Radio Club, Steel City Amateur Radio Club, the Wireless Association of South Hills, the Butler County Amateur Radio Public Service Group, and the Washington Amateur Communications Radio Club.

Take a minute to share any of your experiences or thoughts of Broadcast Band listening, or Shortwave Listening in the Comment section of this post.

Source: ARRL News and Radio World

Kevin – N1KL Website Administrator

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HAM News !!

In years gone by, we as HAM operators, relied solely on news about our hobby via magazines, such as QST, CQ, 73, QCWA Journal, etc. Occassionaly, there would be some stories in our local papers, or on local and even national TV news broadcasts, depicting HAMs in action during times of national disasters, such as hurricanes or tornadoes.

In today’s new “digital” world, we can of course, find many interesting stories on line. We can attend “YouTube” university, to find out how to use that new rig, or logging software, or for a more general HAM news update, we can find audio programs via the internet.

Here are a few examples, if you have not already tried, may want to give them a click, to see if they are of interest to you.

HAM NATION

Share in the excitement and importance of Ham radio – from tossing an antenna wire into a tree allowing you to talk to the world, to the importance of ham radio operators in time of disasters with hosts Bob Heil, Gordon West, George Thomas, Don Wilbanks, Valerie Hotzfeld, Amanda Alden, and Dale Puckett.

Ham Nation

HamNation can be found at: https://twit.tv/shows/ham-nation

Amateur Radio Newsline™

ARN is a free service to the amateur radio community.  We produce a weekly audio news bulletin called a “QST” or “bulletin of interest to radio amateurs” that is delivered by a downloadable MP3 audio file from our website or through a podcast subscription.  Operations are supported primarily by voluntary donations from individual amateurs and amateur radio clubs.  We are a 501(c)(3) Federal tax-exempt corporation and most contributions made to us are tax deductible. (Please check with your tax advisor if you have any questions regarding such donations.)

Amateur Radio Newsline

Amateur Radio Newline may be found at: https://www.arnewsline.org/

You may also listen to Amateur Radio Newline broadcasts via EchoLink. Download the EchoLink app on your phone, and not only can you work the world via VOIP, but you can also listen to ARN regularly.

About ARRL Audio News

ARRL Audio News is a summary of the week’s top news stories in the world of Amateur Radio, along with interviews and other features. Enjoy ARRL Audio News anywhere: on your smart phone or tablet, your local repeater, or stream it on the go!

ARRL Audio News is distributed through the podcast host Blubrry.com. You can subscribe to the podcast via your IOS or Android mobile device using your favorite podcast app, or listen and download episodes direct from the Audio News page at Blubrry.

ARRL Audio News details can be found at: http://www.arrl.org/arrl-audio-news

If you already take advantage of these outlets, feel free to leave a “Comment” and tell us how you like/dislike them, and for those not using them already, just a few suggestions to expand your Ham fun.

All the best, Kevin N1KL Website Admin

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FCC Proposes Fees for HAMS

Image result for fcc logo

In case you have not already heard, the FCC is looking to re-instate fees for Amateur radio licensees. The HAMS would pay a $50 fee for each amateur radio license application if the FCC adopts rules it proposed this week. Included in the FCC’s fee proposal are applications for new licenses, renewal and upgrades to existing licenses, and vanity call sign requests. Excluded are applications for administrative updates, such as changes of address, and annual regulatory fees.

The FCC proposal is contained in a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in MD Docket 20-270, which was adopted to implement portions of the “Repack Airwaves Yielding Better Access for Users of Modern Services Act” of 2018 — the so-called “Ray Baum’s Act.”

“[A]pplications for personal licenses are mostly automated and do not have individualized staff costs for data input or review,” the FCC said in its NPRM. “For these automated processes — new/major modifications, renewal, and minor modifications — we propose a nominal application fee of $50 due to automating the processes, routine ULS maintenance, and limited instances where staff input is required.”

The same $50 fee would apply to all Amateur Service applications, including those for vanity call signs. “Although there is currently no fee for vanity call signs in the Amateur Radio Service, we find that such applications impose similar costs in aggregate on Commission resources as new applications and therefore propose a $50 fee,” the FCC said.

The FCC is not proposing to charge for administrative updates, such as mailing address changes for amateur applications, and amateur radio will remain exempt from annual regulatory fees. “For administrative updates [and] modifications, which also are highly automated, we find that it is in the public interest to encourage licensees to update their [own] information without a charge,” the FCC said.

The FCC also proposes to assess a $50 fee for individuals who want a printed copy of their license. “The Commission has proposed to eliminate these services — but to the extent the Commission does not do so, we propose a fee of $50 to cover the costs of these services,” the FCC said.

Deadlines for comments and reply comments will be determined once the NPRM appears in the Federal Register. Interested parties may file comments by using the FCC’s Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS), posting to MD Docket No. 20-270. This docket is already open to accept comments, even though deadlines have not yet been set.

If you ain’t crazy about forking over $50 to renew your license, feel free to submit your input to the NPRM, or if you are an ARRL member, fire off a note to your Section Manager and let him/her know you don’t like it. Or, maybe even if you do like it.

Kevin N1KL

Sources: FCC Website, ARRL News bulletin

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Jamboree-on-the-Air

Jamboree-on-the-Air, or JOTA, is the largest Scouting event in the world. It is held annually the third full weekend in October. JOTA uses amateur radio to link Scouts and hams around the world, around the nation, and in your own community.

Jamboree on the Air (JOTA) and Jamboree on the Internet (JOTI) will be held this year on October 16, 17, and 18. Register online as an individual or as a group.

JOTA details are available on the K2BSA website. The website menu will direct users to additional supporting information. K2BSA’s Jim Wilson, K5ND, says many locations are already offering virtual radio merit badge classes “and no doubt will be using similar approaches for Jamboree on the Air.” 

This year’s event will of course, need to follow all locally required COVID19 precautions. As a former Pack and Troop Committee Chairman, I recall conducting several JOTA events from remote Scout Camp locations as well as from my own ham shack. The boys were thrilled when they heard stations from all over the country, and world reply to our CQ. So if you have time that weekend, feel free to tune around and make a few JOTA participants happy.

Kevin N1KL

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Ham In Space !

Radio Amateur Takes Part in Historic First Commercial Human Spaceflight to ISS

Bob Behnken, KE5GGX, was one of two NASA astronauts who recently made spaceflight history. Behnken and Doug Hurley were the first astronauts since the 1970s to make a water landing, after their Crew Dragon capsule splashed down in the Gulf of Mexico. On May 30, the pair made history as the first live crew to be launched into space in a commercial vehicle, for a stay on the International Space Station (ISS), marking the return of human spaceflight to US soil for the first time in nearly a decade.

Bob Behnken KE5GGX (left)

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine proclaimed that the US was entering a new era of human spaceflight, noting that NASA was no longer the only option for US space travel. “We are going to be a customer,” he said. NASA has contracted with two companies — SpaceX and Boeing — to ferry astronaut crews to and from the ISS.

While part of the space station crew for 2 months, Behnken and Astronaut Chris Cassidy, KF5KDR, the sole American on board when their Endeavour capsule docked, carried out four spacewalks to install new batteries on the ISS.

The SpaceX Crew Dragon vehicle was designed for short-term missions, and Behnken and Hurley’s mission had only been expected to last a week. As a result, Behnken did not receive Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) training on the radio gear in the Russian sector. NASA subsequently decided to monitor the mission and make a decision on how long the Crew Dragon would stay. Cassidy fielded all ARISS school contacts.

Source: ARRL News

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MASSACHUSETTS

As a Worked All States net, we are continuing to share several fun facts about those “states” we are attempting to work, as we strive toward completion of the Unbelievable Operating Achievement Award, or any of the other awards and/or endorsements.

This week, we focus on the sixth state to ratify the constitution, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. MA ratified the constitution on February 6th, 1788.

Image result for massachusetts state flag
Massachusetts State Flag

Massachusetts, along with Virginia, Pennsylvania and Kentucky, are called “Commonwealths”. Commonwealth is a traditional English term for a political community founded for the common good.

One interesting fact about the state of Massachusetts, is that Maine was part of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts until 1820, when it voted to secede from Massachusetts to become a separate state. On March 15, 1820. Smart move on their part !! I can say that, I live in MA.

Other interesting and fun facts about MA include:
Both volleyball and basketball were invented in Western, MA. In fact, today the Basketball Hall of Fame resides in the city of Springfield, and the Volleyball Hall of Fame is in Holyoke, both in Western MA.

Basketball Hall of Fame
Basketball Hall of Fame
International Volleyball Hall of Fame Logo Vector
Volleyball Hall of Fame

Other fun facts:
The Chocolate Chip Cookie didn’t exist prior to 1938, when it was invented by the owner of the Toll House Inn in Whitman, Massachusetts.

There’s a Native American lake named Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg. It means “you fish on your side, I fish on my side, and no one fishes in the middle”. It’s located in Webster, MA and we just call it, Webster Lake.

Paul Revere actually shouted “The Regulars are coming out”, not “The British are coming”, since Massachusetts colonists still considered themselves British citizens at the time.

A 216-year old business in Dalton, Massachusetts called Crane & Co. produces almost all of the paper used for U.S. currency, as well as banknotes for many foreign countries.

Boston built the first subway system in the United States in 1897. It probably ran better then as well. I’ve had the misfortune of taking the “T” before and after sporting events in Boston. They are still looking for “Charlie on the MTA” !!

Hope you enjoyed the fun facts about Massachusetts. Can anyone guess which state will be the next we discuss ?

Kevin N1KL

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