While the loss of our clubrooms and equipment is sad, it does pale into insignificance when you compare it to the loss of 12 family homes two days before Christmas. We have received many emails with offers of equipment and money. Our next meeting is on Jan 6th, we will then be discussing what direction we will be going and what our equipment needs might be. We are a small club and our needs are minor, I will be contacting the people who have emailed with offers of support after the club meeting. But there is one story from the fire that promotes D-Star which I though I would share.
The last remaining crew member of the 1947 Kon-Tiki expedition, and one of the radio operators. His exploits in the Norwegian resistance are the stuff of legends.
World War II veteran is a retired engineer, former leader of the Masons and a ham radio operator. It's entirely possible you wouldn't notice Jim Allen on the street. And if you did, you might think, "there goes another old feller," and maybe honk your horn at him to move out of your way. "C'mon old man! I'm in a hurry!" But if you slowed down and took the time to talk to him, you'd soon learn you had discovered a time machine.
** HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM TWIAR **
Edition #872 of This Week in Amateur Radio,
and This Week in Amateur Radio Headline News,
have been released. Both are now posted and
available for download at www.twiar.org.
This is our annual Christmas Special program.
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This Week in Amateur Radio Full Version with
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special Christmas present to you. Running time: 120 minutes.
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version runs 60 minutes with limited special features.
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de George - W2XBS
This Week in Amateur Radio
Today we have had freezing rain. The temperature has been just a few degrees below freezing and as the rain hits the ground or other structures it freezes. This ice can build up producing thick layers. It sticks to the cars, trees and antennas. So today I have been watching the antennas and checking they have not come down under the weight of the ice. The photo below shows the Par end-fed antenna that I have as a back-up antenna. You can see the ice encasing the antenna wire, cable and support line.
Ice on Par end-fed antennas
So far none of the antennas have come down.
Besides the treacherous road conditions this freezing rain produces, there is a risk to power lines. For locals here in Ottawa this causes them to remember the devastating ice storm of 1998. The damage and havoc caused by that storm is shown in the CBC archive footage below. So far, thankfully, this current round freezing rain has not been as severe as 1998.
CBC Archives: 1998 Ice Storm
UPDATE: 27th Dec. 2009.
Well, we did loose power today. From 2:30 am to 11:30 am we had no electric and since we are on a well that meant there was no water either. So we woke and switched into ‘emergency preparedness’ mode. Thankfully we have natural gas for cooking so we could boil water for a cup of tea (my English origins still show through).
Temperatures were good for the time of year, about 0ºC, and so the house did not get cold. Later in the day temperatures went a little positive and so much of the ice melted.
The solar surface continues "busy" with occasional sunspots as we conclude a very active December 2009. This insures that 2009 will fall several days short of the 266 blank days of 2008. This was a year with the greatest count of sunspot free days since 1913, and another indication of the deepness of the recent solar minimum.
Sad news from Port Lincoln today. Yesterday we had a bush fire threaten the outskirts of Port Lincoln during a Catastrophic Fire danger day (FDI 100+). Strong, hot North winds made fighting the fire impossible and a wind change made things a lot worse. 12 homes were lost, countless sheds and rural properties have been destroyed... but thankfully, no lives were lost but it's not going to be a merry Christmas for some families this year.
ADRIAN, Mich. -- The end of a three-year struggle with state and federal agencies was punctuated Wednesday by a 102-foot emergency radio tower. Curtis Parsons, Lenawee County's emergency management coordinator, was smiling as a crane set in place the tower that has been a headache for the Lenawee County Emergency Services Department since the fall of 2006. An antenna tower was proposed when the county's new emergency operations center was established. Officials are to gather in the center to direct responses to disasters. But a state agency objected that the tower would interfere with the view of the historic Lenawee County Courthouse across the street. Antennas for the Civil Air Patrol and a local amateur radio group were attached to the tower Wednesday and readied for immediate use. Connections to the county's fiber optic cable are to be completed in the spring, Parsons said, finally giving radio equipment at the emergency operations center its own antenna.
To give a short summary for those like me, what really happens is that the JS script running on your browser (which gets downloaded from the webpage/site you are viewing) issues various HTTP requests to the server “asynchronously” while you are plugging in some values into a form. There is a standard way of issueing this request – XMLHttpRequest. Once we get the data, we can modify the structure of the HTML Page. I was sort of lying. HTML page is not modified. The HTML page is read by the browser, parsed and arranged as a Tree structure and is made accessible to the JS Script. This structure is called DOM – Document Object Model. Think of DOM as a parsed HTML page re-arranged as a Tree, because HTML Document is indeed a heirarchical data structure and can be represented as a tree. The attributes of any HTML tag is now an attribute of a node in the tree and is accessible to the JS. JS script can now add/delete/change any node or its properties in the tree. When a change in DOM is made, it reflects immediately in the rendered page and one need not do a “refresh”.
This is the essense of what happens in the so called “Web 2.0″ style websites. Unfortunately, web has too many jargons which creates an impression that it is highly complex. It is complex but with a bit of effort, it is not difficult to understand.
I found the IBM DeveloperWorks series on AJAX very useful in understanding the above concepts.
The 11-year-old resident of Port Dover recently took a gruelling 25-page test on the finer points of ham radio operation. It took him nearly two hours to answer 100 multiple-choice questions, but he passed with flying colours with a score of 85 percent. By virtue of that performance, Andrew became one of the youngest people in Canada to earn an amateur radio licence. The "basic plus" licence earned Andrew the call sign VE3NOA and entitles him to converse with amateur radio operators anywhere on commercially available equipment. "You can talk to anybody in the world, learn new languages and meet new people," Andrew said yesterday. "And if I ever need to talk to my dad on the radio, I just come down here (in the basement) and give my call sign and his call sign." That dad would be Gary Copeland, owner of Dover Antenna Service and holder of an advanced radio licence. Andrew has had a long fascination with his father's hobby. He decided to get serious, however, after attending a recent meeting of the Norfolk Amateur Radio Club. "I wanted to accomplish something," Andrew said. "And when I learned I could be the youngest (licence holder) in Canada, I said OK. I looked at the guys at that meeting and said I wanted to be one of them."
BAGUIO CITY -- There is no mountain high enough to block a Christmas greeting because highland communities that have no mobile telephone signals can still be reached by Morse Code. In this day and age, the Commission on Information and Communication Technology (CICT) in the Cordillera Administrative Region is still operating a telegraph system that serves clients here. Nothing beats the old technology, according to telegraph operators working at the Baguio City Post Office, never mind that each word transmitted costs a customer P2.40. (Mobile or landline telephone calls cost P10 a minute.) Customers who use the telegraph to send Christmas greetings use "broken English" to shorten their messages, rather like today's text messages, according to samples obtained by the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
A metal skeleton holding a sweeping antenna stands more than 80 feet high behind David McPhie's Holladay home, connecting him to the world. But for his neighbors, who live in the shadow of the towering antenna, it's an eyesore and, they fear, dangerous. McPhie's radio antenna has touched off an attempt by the Holladay City Council to regulate radio towers for the first time, an effort that has run into opposition from wireless hobbyists who say the proposed ordinance is misguided, unlawful and could undermine public safety. McPhie, who has been an amateur radio operator since 1966, has talked to fellow radio enthusiasts in several dozen countries in Europe, South America, Asia and around the world. Amateur radio Those conversations require a tower and antenna that will let him shoot his signal across the globe. In 1993, he built a tower and antenna that stood a combined 68 feet. Then, more recently, he replaced the structure with a new tower that stands 20 feet taller. His neighbors, Tom and Joan Kingdon, say the antenna could hurt their property values, and they are concerned the energy it emits might be harmful. Tom Kingdon said he gathered signatures from other neighbors bothered by the antenna and complained to the city, which told McPhie he had 90 days to remove it. But when the attorney pushed back, the city backed down. Instead, the city is working on an ordinance regulating future towers built in the city limits.
It appears Santa Claus is going to have to battle the elements as he rides into the area on Christmas Eve. National Weather Service Meteorologist Barrett Smith said Harnett County and the surrounding area can expect rain starting late Thursday night and continuing into Christmas morning. b"We're looking at a storm system that will affect the area starting late Thursday night and into Friday morning," Mr. Smith said. Mule City Feeds owner Paul Dunn said Santa placed an order for the company's special blend of reindeer food last month. "He does it right after Thanksgiving every year," Mr. Dunn said. "We give him our special blend that we feed racehorses and that does the trick for them." Mr. Dunn said for some reason, the reindeer can't make it around the world on just deer feed. As an amateur radio operator, Mr. Dunn also provided some insight into just how Santa travels around the world on Christmas Eve. "He gets on the radio and we start talking to him and help him steer," Mr. Dunn said of his fellow radio operators. "Santa doesn't believe in GPS yet," Mr. Dunn said. "He does it the old-fashioned way."
PICAYUNE -- Mention the term "Ham radio operator" to most people, and they will envision an old codger, puffing on a pipe or cigar, sitting in his shed by the house with a set of headphones on, talking to someone on the other side of the world, with a massive antenna shooting up right beside his hobby shack. But did you know that Highland Community Hospital has a ham radio station. So does the Pearl River County Hospital in Poplarville. So does the Emergency Operations Centers in Poplarville and Picayune. So does the Pearl River County Baptist Association Shelter out from McNeill, and the fire stations. Why? It's because, says Larry Wagoner, when all other communication systems go down in an emergency such as a hurricane, ham radio operators are the last ones who are still "talking to one another."
Imagine a threat to the global community with the potential to damage communication satellites, interrupt navigation systems, shut down regional power grids, impede oil and gas exploration, expose aircraft crews to high levels of radiation, and endanger the lives of astronauts. That threat exists, but it's not from any well-organized terrorist group. It's from the sun. "Ultraviolet and X-ray radiation and particle emissions from the sun affect the ionosphere and [the Earth's magnetic field] and can cause lots of problems to space and ground assets," explained Russell Howard, an astrophysicist at the Naval Research Laboratory, in a Dec. 21 interview on Pentagon Web Radio's audio webcast "Armed with Science: Research and Applications for the Modern Military." Howard was joined in the interview by George Doschek, head of the Naval Research Laboratory's Solar Terrestrial Branch, who explained that the "solar wind," a stream of charged particles and radiation constantly blowing toward the Earth, is intensified by disturbances in the sun's magnetic field, such as sunspots, solar flares, and coronal mass ejections. "All the activity on the sun is produced when the sun's magnetic field is converted into particle emissions and acceleration, and radiation," Doschek said. He explained that the magnetic field of the sun actually stores energy, which is released in bursts when the structure of the field suddenly changes to a configuration that holds less energy. "When that happens," he said, "we think that the excess energy goes into radiation and accelerating particles." Howard, who holds a doctorate in chemical physics, said the release of electromagnetic radiation in the form of X-rays, ultraviolet rays, and gamma rays, interacts with the Earth's ionosphere. "The ionosphere is an electrically charged layer of the Earth's atmosphere," he said. "It's most important, because it reflects radio waves, and that's what allows us to propagate radio waves around the Earth," said Doschek, who holds a doctorate in physics. Radiation affects the ionized particles in the ionosphere, causing them to absorb radio waves, causing communication fade-outs, he explained.
STEPHANIE Gregory is all EARS -- and she couldn't be happier she's making waves. The bubbly seven-year-old is the youngest licensed radio amateur in the United Kingdom. And it's all down to the help and support she's been given as a member of the Elderslie Amateur Radio Society (EARS). Stephanie has just passed her amateur radio exams which means she no longer has to operate from the radio club under supervision.
AMSAT-NA OSCAR Number Coordinator Bill Tynan, W3XO has informed Alan Kung, BA1DU, Amateur Satellite Project Manager and Chief Executive Officer of AMSAT-China that XW-1 is now designated as Hope OSCAR 68, or HO-68
The movie of the recent ILOTA (Istanbul Lighthouse On The Air) activation is now available on the web
RegHardware reports that the spec for 60 GHz WiGig will be released in the New Year