Amateur Radio News and Events

Get your daily fix of amateur radio news.

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


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  • Amateur Radio Testing

    Testing for amateur radio licenses will be conducted prior to the next 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. Now it the time to get that license! Any questions, please contact us; DCARC email.
  • Hamfest Chattanooga

    W4AM Chattanooga Logo
    Two Days of Radio Fun for the Price of One Day.
    Your admission ticket is good for both days!
    Outdoor Flea Market opens at 1 PM EDT on Friday & 6 AM EDT on Saturday.
    Purchase Tickets at the Door (streamlined process).
    D-STAR Meet-N-Greet Banquet (Click for Details).
    Commercial Dealer/Vendor Appreciation Meal Provided.
    Check Out Our Door Prize List.
    Hamfest Hours:
    Friday, October 18 ‐ Event Open from 1 PM ‐ 7 PM EDT.
    Saturday, October 19 ‐ Event Open from 8 AM ‐ 3 PM EDT.
    Anticipated Door Prizes Include:
    • Two Icom 7300s.
    • Two Icom IC-5100ADs.
    • One Icom IC-4100A.
    • One Icom IC-2730A.
    • Two Icom ID-51A Plus 2s.
    • One Icom ID-31A Plus.
    • One Icom IC-V86.
    • Kantronics KAM-XL TNC.
    • The Tornado Alert Device.
    Forum topics will include:
    • APRS for Today.
    • The Sounds of Amateur Radio.
    • The 10 Easiest Ways to Get on the Air./li>
    • D-Star Forum.
    • ARRL forums.
    • D-Star without Code Plugs.
    • How Amateur Radio And The ARRL Are Transitioning And Adapting To The Changing Populations And Needs Of The 21st Century.
    Check with W4AM.Net or HAMFESTCHATTANOOGA.NET for latest info.

    Location of the Deep South ARC Hamfest:
    JC Davis Auditorium
    400 Thompson Blvd
    Chickasaw, AL. 36611
    TIME: 8am to 2pm
    ADMISSION: $5.00 dollars

    ARRL Alabama Section
    Section Manager: JVann Martin Sr, W4JVM
  • 2019 MARC Hamfest

    Montgomery Amateur Radio Club
    Hamfest 2019

    Saturday, November 9, 2019


    Alcazar Shrine Temple
    555 Eastern Blvd
    Montgomery, AL 36117

    Location Maps

    Doors open to the Public at 8:30 AM

    Talk-In: W4AP, 146.84 (-), 123 Hz tone

    Free parking!

    Hamfest particulars: Thanks to our vendors/supporters:
      VE Testing: 8:00 AM, all licenses   Be Ready Solar
      ARRL Card Checker   Ham World
      Interesting forums   KM4MPF Sales
    Great  door prizes Mastrant
      Inside Tables   N3FJP Amateur Radio Software
      Lots of vendors   Satellite Sam
    Free bone-yard The Sign Man
    Excellent concession food Tower Electronics

    Bargain rates:
      Admission: $ 8.00 at the door
      Tables: $15.00 each - includes one admission
      Tailgate: Free, designated area, park and setup yourself
    Vendor Support:
      Easy access to the facility floor for setup
      Convenient setup hours:
        Friday, November 8:     3:00 - 8:00 PM, talk-in 146.84 (-)
        Saturday, November 9: 7:00  - 8:20 AM, talk-in 146.84 (-)
      Free pre-show continental breakfast for vendors!!

    Contact points:
      General information: Table Rentals:
      Fred Beatty, K8AJX, Hamfest Chair Lew Nyman, K1AZE, Tablemaster
      (334) 270-0909 (334) 354-1933
      or email hamfest or email hamfest

    Sponsored by:
    The Montgomery Amateur Radio Club

    P.O. Box 3141 Montgomery, AL

  • 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


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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 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.


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  • HAM Test Study Resources
  • 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. provides similar resources.
    QRZ is a popular source of help, although I have not personally studied there. is a paid service with excellent reviews on

    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.