A Moscow Aviation Institute MAI-75 slow-scan television (SSTV) experiment event is planned for Wednesday, September 30, from 1305 UTC to 1845 UTC, and Thursday, October 1, from 1230 UTC to 1745 UTC. SSTV signals will be transmitted on 145.800 MHz, plus/minus Doppler shift.
The QSO Today Virtual Ham Expo over the August 8 – 9 weekend appears to have been an unmitigated success, so much so that another virtual event will be held next March.
“It was far better than we expected,” Virtual Ham Expo chair Eric Guth, 4Z1UG/WA6IGR, told ARRL. “We had over 26,000 registered and over 14,000 on the platform both days.”
Guth said event sponsors and exhibitors that he’s heard from so far “are thrilled with the turnout, engagement, and responses that they received.” He said they’re also enthusiastic about the second QSO Today Virtual Ham Expo, set for March 13 – 14, 2021. “Our plan is to offer this twice a year,” Guth added.
The show, an ARRL-sanctioned event, was developed on the vFairs virtual conference platform, and cleverly re-created the atmosphere of a typical large hamfest, with several tracks of forum sessions on a wide array of topics. Those who had registered but did not log into the live event can see it all on demand until September 9.
Youth on the Air in the Americas is planning additional home-based activities for this summer, due to the postponement of its inaugural summer camp at the National Voice of America Museum of Broadcasting in West Chester Township, Ohio. Virtual YOTA Day will take place on Wednesday, June 24. Activities will include a series of youth-led forums and some competitions that can be done from home — even without a radio. Virtual YOTA Day begins at 1800 UTC on June 24 and continues until 2400 UTC.
Those who had been selected to attend YOTA camp 2020 will be able to meet on Zoom for a day of learning and fun, plus a chance to win prizes, but anyone interested will be able to get in on Virtual YOTA Day via the official Youth on the Air YouTube channel and play along at home. Some activities will include learning how to track down the location of a transmitter without leaving your chair, sharpening contesting skills, and more.
[UPDATED 2020-01-05 @1704 UTC] Wireless Institute of Australia (WIA) President Greg Kelly, VK2GPK, says the bushfires in Australia have caused or are expected to cause significant disruption of telecommunication services in the states of Victoria and New South Wales. “The scope and range of these impacts is unknown at this stage but are predicted to cover all internet and phone (fixed and mobile) and other commercial radio services,” Kelley said. Radio amateurs are supporting relief operations and communication.
WICEN (Wireless Institute Civil Emergency Network) in New South Wales reports it has been active assisting in a number of multi-agency activities during the bushfire emergency, in its role as a support squad of the NSW Volunteer Rescue Association (VRA) operations center in Bega. WICEN teams in NSW and in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) have sent a team to Bega, to help re-establish radio communication services, disrupted by fire activity. WICEN and other VRA squads continue to support the Rural Fire Service (RFS) at various Fire Control Centers and the Bushfire Information Line. Other WICEN members remain active with the RFS and the State Emergency Service.
ARRL Puerto Rico Section Manager Oscar Resto, KP4RF, says small tremors continue on the island in the wake of the 6.4 magnitude earthquake that struck the southwestern part of the island on January 7. A magnitude 5.8 quake struck a day earlier. The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) reported widespread power outages after generating plants automatically activated protective shutdown systems following the earthquake. Resto told ARRL this week that considerable generating capacity was lost to earthquake damage, and that it will take at least several days before replacement units can be brought back on line. Only about 20% of the island has electric power at this point, he estimated on January 8.“We have a shortage of about 1,100 megawatts of power,” Resto told ARRL. “We normally need about 2,000 megawatts for the island.”
The FCC recently invited public comment on ARRL's 2018 Technician Enhancement Petition for Rule Making (RM-11828). It asks the FCC to expand HF privileges for Technician licensees to include limited phone privileges on 75, 40, and 15 meters, plus RTTY and digital mode privileges on 80, 40, 15, and 10 meters. It does not seek to create a new Amateur Radio license class.
Specifically, ARRL proposes to provide present and future Technicians with phone privileges at 3.900 to 4.000 MHz, 7.225 to 7.300 MHz, and 21.350 to 21.450 MHz, and with RTTY and digital privileges in current Technician allocations on 80, 40, 15, and 10 meters.
The FCC has also invited public comment on an entirely unrelatedPetition for Rule Making (RM-11829), filed in 2017 by ARRL member Gary A. Hampton, AD0WU, of Longmont, Colorado. Hampton has asked the FCC to create a new "Tyro" entry-level license class, which would require a minimal online examination as well as mentoring by an Amateur Radio licensee of Technician class or higher. Tyro licensees would have to be at least 11 years old and would earn operating privileges on 99 channels in a 70-centimeter segment that Hampton calls a "TyroSubBand." It would offer no HF privileges.
These are not competing petitions. Members of the Amateur Radio community should evaluate both proposals on their own merits and comment if they desire. ARRL has provided a summary of the Technician Enhancement proposals and explained their advantages.