Amateur Radio News and Events

Get your daily fix of amateur radio news.

Then get up to date on news from our surrounding area.

Events

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  • Dekalb County ARC Christmas Party

    Please join the Dekalb County ARC members for their annual Christmas party.  All are welcome.
    No charge for dinner.
    When: Tuesday, December 17, 2019
    Where: Pleasant Hill Community House and Polo Club
    at the intersection of County Roads 44 and 502 on Sand Mountain, DeKalb County. Amateur radio testing will begin at 3:30PM.  Bring photo ID, your best game, and $10 cash for testing.
    Dinner will be served at 5:00pm including turkey, ham, dressing, cranberry sauce, and much more.
    For further information:DCARC email
  • Jackson County December Meeting and Christmas Parade

    Please join the Jackson County ARC members for their meeting and parade.  All are welcome.
    When: Saturday, December 14, 2019
    Join us for breakfast at 9:30am.  Meeting will come to order at at 10:00am.
    Where:Christmas parade will be at 5:00PM and follow the usual route from Collins Elementary to the square on Broad Street.
    As of Saturday, 12/07/19 there were two seats still available on the float.
    If you don't wish to ride but still want to help, bring some candy to the meeting for us to throw to the kiddies watching the parade. (Make sure it is individually wrapped).
    Who:For further info please contact Richard.
    Emergency Coordinator.
    Secretary/Treasurer.
    Jackson County ARES/RACES.
    Jackson County Amateur Radio clubjcar.us
    Phone: 256-527-9331.
    Email Richard at kb4rma@jacksoncoares.org email
  • Amateur Radio Testing

    Testing for amateur radio licenses was conducted prior to the 10/22/19 meeting of the Dekalb County Amateur Radio Club on October 22 at 6:00 at the DeKalb County Activities Building, 111 Grand Avenue SW, Commission Chambers 2nd floor.
    Join those obtaining and upgrading their amateur license!
    Amateur License testing 10-22-19
    Any questions, please contact us; DCARC email.
  • 2019 ALABAMA S.E.T.

    Many of our counties across Alabama will be conducting their 2019 SET. I encourage everyone to work together and support surrounding counties to build a stronger network. These exercises are very beneficial in testing our ability to communicate on normal power and off grid. Good Luck everyone with your exercise and please do not forget to send your reports to our SEC David Gillespie, W4LHQ.

    ARRL Alabama Section
    Section Manager: JVann Martin Sr, W4JVM
    w4jvm@arrl.org

News

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  • DX in Challenging Times

    When your DX signal doesn't bounce as well as last month's rent check then give these methods a try.



  • Propagation Reports

    No sunspots
  • The sun is sleeping. We are at a solar minimum.   Our friends at Spaceweather.comreported on September 26 there were no sunspots for over 3 weeks, or more precisely 24 consecutive days.     She has nearly gone flatlined.    Last Monday marked the summer autumnal equinox, and during the northern summer more than 89% of the days were sunspot free.     For this year the spotless days percentage is 72%, matching the last solar minimum of 2008 and 2009.

    Passing the equinox is historically a good time for HF propagation, even with low solar activity for both spring in the Southern Hemisphere and fall in the northern.   However, current conditions are poor for all bands except 80/40 meters which are fair in the daytime and good at night.     30 meters through 10 meters are all poor.     Six meters and above is currently closed.     Over the past week (September 19-25) average daily solar flux shifted marginally from 68.1 to 67.3, while average daily planetary A index reflected quiet geomagnetic indices changing from 8.3 to 5.4 and mid-latitude indices went from 8 to 4.6.
    Predicted solar flux is 67 on September 27 to October 4, and 68 on October 5 through November 10.
    Predicted planetary A index is 28, 45, and 20 on September 27-29, 12 on September 30 and October 1, 8 on October 2-3, 5 on October 4-5, 12 on October 6, 5 on October 7-9, then 8, 5, 8, 10, 8 and 8 on October 10-15, then 5 on October 16-19, then 12 and 8 on October 20-21, 5 on October 22-24, then 25, 18, 10, 5 and 8 on October 25-29, then 5 on October 30 through November 1, 10 on November 2, 5 on November 3-5, then 8, 5, 8, 10 and 8 on November 6-10. The planetary A index forecast of 28, 45 and 20 on September 27-29 is due to solar wind spewing from a large coronal hole. This is the same hole that gave us the planetary A index of 38 and 45 on August 31 and September 1. Look for it again on October 25-26 after yet another trip around the Sun.

    Spaceweather.comreported in an email on September 26:   GEOMAGNETIC STORM WARNING: A large hole in the Sun's atmosphere is facing Earth and spewing a stream of solar wind in our direction. NOAA forecasters say there is a chance of moderately-strong G2-class geomagnetic storms when the gaseous material arrives on Sept. 28th. The last such storm in early September produced auroras visible in many northern-tier US states. Visit today's edition of Spaceweather.com for more information and forecasts.

    Geomagnetic activity forecast for the period September 27 until October 22, 2019 from F.K. Janda, OK1HH is as follows:
    • Quiet on: October 8, 16-17
    • Quiet to unsettled on: October 3-4, 7, 9, 20
    • Quiet to active on: October 1-2, 6, 10-11, 15, 18-19, 22
    • Unsettled to active on: September 30, October (5, 12-14,) 21
    • Active to disturbed: September 27-28, (29)
    Solar wind is expected to increase on: September 27-30, October 1 (-4, 7-9,) 11 (-14,) 21-23
  • ARRL Renews Request for FCC to Replace Symbol Rate with Bandwidth Limit
     ARRL renewed its request that the FCC delete symbol-rate limits for data transmissions in the Amateur Service rules. As it did in its initial filing, ARRL asked the FCC to couple the removal of the symbol rate limits with the adoption of a 2.8 kHz bandwidth limit. In response to a 2013 ARRL Petition for Rulemaking (RM-11708), the FCC proposed deleting the symbol-rate limits but declined to replace them with the 2.8 kHz bandwidth that ARRL wanted.
    If I, Charles Gray KM4SDB, may interject a personal opinion here:  When visiting ARRL headquarters my first question was why the ARRL had not pursued this issue with greater vigor.  It was reported to me at that time that it wasn't a priority with the membership.  As this rule change is critical to the future of amateur radio digital modes I hope that all amateurs will express their support for it.
    

Technology

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  • HAM Test Study Resources
  • HamStudy.org provides excellent resources for study and exams for all amateur licenses.     Flash cards for study are well presented and up to date, practice exams provide extensive review of missed questions.
    HamExam.org provides similar resources.
    QRZ is a popular source of help, although I have not personally studied there.
    HamRadioLicenseExam.com is a paid service with excellent reviews on eham.net.

    There are many other excellent online study and test sites that can aid you in your quest for a Ham license.     For those that may not have Internet connectivity during study time the pool questions for each exam can be downloaded and reviewed offline.
    Technician class exam pool.
    General class exam pool.
    Extra class exam pool.

    Keep in mind that DCARC members are here to help you in your quest.     Please let us know if you have any questions about the wonderful world of Ham radio.