NAB is the Hottest Show in Town
National Association of Broadcasters Show attracts 103,042
Nevada Hams Enjoy International DX Convention in Visalia
Pancakes and Radios Proved To Be A Good Mix at Monthly Las Vegas Swapmeet
As any diehard Southern Nevada swapmeet attendee will tell you, if you are going to the monthly tailgate at the AES parking lot in Las Vegas, you better get there before sunrise.
Those people who wait around till the 7:00 AM published start time are not likely to find any real deals remaining and they may even find that most every-one has packed up and left for the day. If you wait until 8:00 AM there is a good chance that when you arrive the only thing you will find is an empty blacktop.
That was a bit different at yesterdays event when the last vehicle pulled away at 11:00 AM.
This was, in all probability, due in a large part, by the presence of a Free Pancake, Sausage, and Egg Breakfast provided by the "Hams On The Hill" Field Day group.
The group set up the breakfast to foster camaraderie among the local amateur radio community. "Hams On the Hill" founders John and Elizabeth Bigley provided the food, while members of the Sisterhood Of Amateur Radio grilled it up on their new outdoor range. SOAR recently purchased the stove to support the many meals provided at the annual 4-day Field Day event on Mt. Charleston.
Frank and Linda Kostelac provided the coffee and a huge commercial percolator to prepare it in. Frank Kostelac reports that several gallons of the hot brew was quickly consumed.
The SOAR ladies happily stated that they served hot breakfasts to 75 guests and that several others just dropped in for a cup of coffee.
By 8:00 AM all of the stomachs had been fed and the focus shifted to feeding the spirit. The dining shelter tables were packed away and all of the chairs quickly filled up with ham operators. It was then standing room only for the next two hours while old friends and new friends alike shared stories, showed cell phone photos, and brainstormed future get togethers.
Thanks to AES manager Julio Suarez KP4UZ for his support of this event.
Nevada ARRL State Convention Promises To be Fun/Educational
The clock is ticking down to this years ARRL Nevada State Convention also known as NVCON. With less than a month to go, hams throughout Nevada and the surrounding states are getting excited about all of the activities at the convention.
The gathering is slated to run May 1-3 at the Boomtown Casino-Hotel in Verdi, Nevada.Next month's event will be the second edition of NVCON which made it's inaugural appearance last year in Virginia City.
NVCON was conceived and is organized by the Sierra Nevada Amateur Radio Society (SNARS) of Reno. President Mike Katz and Treasurer Tony Marcin of that group are two of the principal people that have made NVCON a reality.
Last years NVCON, held in Virginia City, was hugely popular. But the town lacked sufficient infrastructure to host a large event and NVCON outgrew Virginia City at their very first event.
A full range of seminars , exhibits, food, swapmeet, and entertainment offers something for everyone. Hotel accommodations for out of town attendees are very reasonable, beginning at the bargain price of $29
West Coast CW Enthusiasts Confab
Held in conjunction with the NVCON convention, the West Coast CW Enthusiasts Confab will offer activities and forums geared specifically toward the CW operator.
Activities include a Friday night CW Dinner, Saturday forums, and special CW operating opportunities during the 7QP contest at the Comstock Memorial Contest Station near Virginia City. The Comstock station will also host an open house on Sunday May3.
For full details and to register for the convention visit: www.NVCON.org
Elko Hams To Once Again Support Lamoille Hill Climb
Elko Velo is ramping up for the annual running of the Lamoille Canyon Hill Climb and once again the Elko Amateur Radio Club is poised to provide communications for the popular event.
Now in it's tenth year, the Hill Climb pits bicyclists against twelve miles of Lamoille Canyon Road, a National Scenic Byway. The road rises some 3000 feet in elevation over the course. Lamoille Canyon is nestled in the Ruby Mountains near Spring Creek, Nevada.
The 75 member Elko Velo (velo is French for BIKE) is also celebrating their 10th anniversary as an organization. The group seeks to promote community spirit, good exercise, and safe bicycling.
Licensed hams who would like to lend a hand should get in touch with Don Tanner KF7GGR, Net Manager for the Nevada Voip Net firstname.lastname@example.org
UNR Radio Pack Heading to a New Home
Yet another Nevada ham radio club suddenly found itself without a meeting place this past Friday morning. The sudden closedown of Carrow's restaurants in the Reno area left the University of Nevada Radio Pack without a meeting site for their weekly Monday morning breakfast meetings.
Club personnel got busy and quickly found a restaurant that would take them. The new location for the ham breakfasts on Monday mornings will be at Sierra Sids Truck Stop in Sparks located on the NE corner of I-80 and E McCarran. Get off I-80 and go North on the right side. Beginning at 7am.
"Hams On The Hill" Field Day Group to Host Free Pancake Breakfast at Saturdays Swapmeet!
The "Hams On The Hill" Field Day crowd is known for cranking out some pretty good eats during the 4 days they play Field Day each summer. But this year they just can't wait until the end of June to rustle up some chow and tell radio lies with their friends.
So they will be brewing some piping, hot java. Flipping a bunch of flapjacks and squeezing the oink out of some good pork sausages at this Saturdays monthly swapmeet at the AES parking lot.
Serving begins at 6:00 AM and ends at 8:00 AM (or until the food and/or lies run out). No charge. Just come and enjoy
"Hams On The Hill" is not a club or organization. It is collection of amateur radio operators from a number of area groups who enjoy the fun and fellowship of sharing ham radio activities.
Nellis Radio Amateur Club and the Salvation Army team up to give NRAC a New Home
In late January the Nellis Radio Amateur Club suddenly found itself without a home. New management personnel at Nellis Airforce Base's Outdoor Recreation decided to begin imposing monthly fee's that were too large for the radio club to raise. Consequently the group became homeless. Additionally, licensing classes and examinations which had been offered at Nellis for the past two decades were also eliminated.
Fortunately for NRAC they have some neighbors who happen to have a pretty good track record of helping the displaced and homeless....the North Las Vegas Corp of the Salvation Army.
Nevada Section Manager John Bigley-N7UR, a long time Salvation Army volunteer, called upon Calvin Groom-KE6OEH Assistant EC for the Salvation Army and Clark County SATERN Coordinator to meet with Salvation Army leaders and see if they could accommodate the Nellis club.
Groom met with the Officer of the North Las Vegas Corp and was able to set up meetings between the Salvation Army and the Nellis Radio Amateur Club leadership. These meetings resulted in Nellis not only being able to have a place to hold their meetings, but also for the Radio Licensing Class to have a place to continue teaching new and upgrading hams.
The Salvation Army North Las Vegas Corp is located on Cheyenne Avenue, right next to the College of Southern Nevada's Cheyenne Campus. The Nellis RAC will hold their first meeting at this new location on Thursday April 9th, at 7:00 PM.
Nellis RAC President Dennis Simon-KB7UTV says that their club is interested in helping both Salvation Army personnel and young people in the Salvation Army's programs to gain amateur radio licenses.
The Salvation Army's Emergency and Disaster Service (EDS) is one of the world's premier disaster recovery agencies. The communications arm of the Salvation Army is SATERN, an acronym for Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network. Groom is the local coordinator for that group.
A Short Podcast about Salvation Army Emergency Communications
Elko Hams Make the (up)Grade
Tuesday night four Elko area hams were able to upgrade to higher classes licenses thanks to some extraordinary efforts of some of their neighboring VE's.
It can be difficult for small towns, such as Elko to gather three Extra class VE's to administer exams. The W7LKO group thought they had their 3 in place for Tuesday evenings exam. That was until Kent Le Barts K6IN got pulled away for an almost 500 mile round trip.
When it appeared that Kent would not make it back in time to assist Bill Hance NV7X and Shane Wiggins NV7SW with the exam, they threw out a last minute plea for help. Dave Hough W7GK answered that call and made the 30 mile round trip to Elko. Kent made it back and it turned out that Dave's trip was in vain.
Thanks to the efforts of these fine gentlemen the following amateurs earned their upgrades:
Lester Jarrell KG7PKW Extra
Shandry Jarrell KG7PKX General
Gary Steinhoff KG7PKV General
Cheryl Scott KB7IWQ General
WCARES PIO talks about Preparedness on Channel 2 News
ARES and disaster preparation was the lead story this evening on KTNV Channel 2 in Reno. Randall Lorenz AF7HD is an ARRL Public Information Officer embedded with Washoe County Amateur Radio Emergency Service (WCARES). Lorenz was interviewed in the wake of several serious fires in the Reno area.
Lorenz talked about the need to be prepared for even the smallest of disasters. He stated that this preparation includes the use of "Go Kits" and plans for the care of pets.
Two Centenarians from the 7th Call Area are Honored By Their States
Last week two 7th Call Area amateur radio operators were honored by their respective states for their lifelong achievements. Both have eclipsed the 100 year mark and remain an active part of their communities. Here are their stories.
At age 102, Arlene "Buddy" Clay KL7OT is inducted into the Alaska Women's Hall of Fame
In Anchorage, Alaska the Alaska Women's Hall of Fame inducted 102 year old Arlene "Buddy" Clay KL7OT for her work in rural justice among the Yup'ik natives.
Back in 1944 the nation was in the throes of World War II when, then 32 year old Arlene, known as "Buddy" to her friends and her late husband Earl Clay-KL7EM stumbled upon an ad in QST magazine. The ad was from the Civil Aeronautics Commission and it was seeking husband and wife teams to join the CAA.
The Clays applied for the job and soon found theirselves at Boeing Field in Seattle, Washington where they received six months of training and were then sent to Nome, Alaska to serve as air traffic controllers for the next two years. They then transferred to the tiny Kuskokwim River village of Aniak. a settlement of 150 Yup'ik natives and about 15 white settlers. They built a cabin overlooking the river. The Clays left the CAA and lived off the Alaskan wilderness for the next 10 years. They built a fish wheel to pull fish from the river during the summer and in the winter they turned to their dog sled team and hunting for their subsistence.
Her husband Earl was an amateur radio operator back in New England where he had held the call W1NOP. Arlene became a licensed ham in 1948 and began calling the Thursday night Snipers Net for the Matanuska Amateur Radio Association. She still calls this net each week from her home at the Primrose Retirement community, in Wasilla, where she now resides after spending 67 years in her riverside cabin.
Arlene describes their first radio as a "Homebrew" rig built on an aluminum cake pan running 10 watts powered by a 1.5-volt dry pack.
In 1956, twelve years after arriving in Alaska, Arlene's husband Earl would die. To support herself and the dogs, Arlene went back to work. She spent half of each day working for the CAA and half of each day working for the Post Office. Arlene would continue to mush dog teams for the next 35 years.
Despite being a graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music, Mrs. Clay has never left the state of Alaska since her arrival in 1944.
In 1960 she began a new career as a magistrate for the Alaska Court System. Responsible for 12 villages located along the Kuskokwim, Yukon, and Iditarod rivers. In the summer she used a 30 foot boat with a 40 HP engine to make her rounds and in the winter she drove her dog teams from village to village handing out justice for the next 18 years.
Utah House of Representatives Honors Greef (Richard) Beckham W7FVM , last living member of Amelia Earhart Navy search team.
On March the sixth, members of the Utah State House of Representatives rose to their feet to pay tribute to Greef Richard Beckham W7FVM on the occasion of his 100th birthday.
A native of Texas, Beckham has packed a lot of living into the last century. As a boy, Beckham learned about radios and Morse Code while in the Boy Scouts. Following high school, this knowledge served him well, when in 1934 he joined the U.S. Navy.
It was during this service in the Navy that Beckham became a footnote in history. He is believed to be the only living person to have been a part of the original 1937 Navy search party for aviator Amelia Earhart who went missing in the vicinity of Howard Island in the South Pacific Ocean.
It was Beckham that sent the first CW messages that Earhart was missing and that they were unable to find her. At the time, Beckham was flying as an observer aboard a Navy seaplane. Beckham took and owns the only footage ever filmed of the Earhart search operations.
The International Group for Historic Airplane Recovery (TIGHAR) believe that they have now located Earhart's plane. Plans call for that group to attempt a recovery expedition in June. Beckham has applied to be a part of that search and is now awaiting a reply.
In 1938 Mr. Beckham left the Navy and became a science teacher in Oregon. His first wife abandoned him and left behind their young son, whom Mr. Beckham raised alone. He went on to earn a pilots license and became a member of the Civil Air Patrol, where his communications and flying skills were used extensively.
After three decades alone, in 1971, he married his second wife, Dolly, who passed away in 2002. In 2005 he married his current wife Vera and converted to the Morman religion. He and Vera have since served two missions with the church. The first was in Johannesburg, South Africa and the second was to St. George, Utah where he and Vera remain to this day.
Mr. Beckham remains active and only recently has given up driving his own car.
Nevada Featured in ARRL Report To America
Amateur Radio: Science and Skill in Service to Your Community
The activation of Clark County ARES/RACES in response to the September 2014 flooding in the Moapa Valley was one of nine amateur radio disaster responses featured in the recently published 14 page Amateur Radio: Science and Skill in Service to Your Community report.
The new report introduces community leaders and emergency managers to amateur radio and the role which it plays as a vital communications resource in times of disaster. The report also highlights the benefits of amateur radio in support of community events.
You can view the entire report by clicking HERE
Next Generation of Amateur Satellites is "In The Bag"
FOX-1 Passes Mission Readiness Review is "Go for Launch"
The Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation, also known as AMSAT has reported that the first of five Fox-1 class cubesats has passed the required final tests and the all important Mission Readiness Review (MRR) and is "Go For Launch".
Fox-1 cubesats will contain FM analog repeaters and are designed to allow amateur radio operators to communicate via space using only a hand-held radio and a hand held, dual-band antenna. This type of operation is similar to that of the AO-51 satellite.
The first bird, dubbed Fox-1 was put thru the final "shake and bake" tests January 21st. "Shake and Bake" refers to the Vibration and Thermal Vacuum tests performed along with the "Day In The Life" (DITL) tests. Fox-1A is now "in the bag", sealed in the anti-static plastic bag that will be it's home until March 25 when it will be integrated into it's launch P-Pod at Cal Poly.
The bird will be launched into Low Earth Orbit (LEO) from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California on August 27, 2015 aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket. The flight is designated as NROL-55 flight for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office. No launch time has been announced.
Fox-1A will have an Uplink frequency of 435.180 Mhz, FM Mode and a Downlink frequency of 145.980 MHZ, FM mode.
Two additional Fox-1 series satellites are scheduled to launch in 2015 and 2016. Fox-1B will hitch a ride with the launch of radiation experiments from Vanderbilt University next year. Fox-1C will be among the cubesats deployed on the maiden mission of the SHERPA cubesat deployer at the end of this year. Two additional cubesats, Fox-1D and Fox-1E are slated for future missions.
Lyon County ARES Responded to Public Safety Communication Failure
Feb. 6th, Lyon County suffered the loss of 2 major repeater sites for the Sherriff and Fire repeaters. A commercial power outage occurred due to wind damage. Both repeater sites, Rawe Peak, and Eagle Ridge switched to backup generators. After a period of time both generators shutdown.
The Emergency Management Coordinator placed a call for LCARES support. LCARES members Paul Strople KG7DQG, and Tom Tabacco KE7NCJ, responded to Eagle Ridge. Dennis Maginot KE7JIS and Brian Dickson KB1BEX traveled to Rawe Peak, and John Abrott KD7NHC went to the Dispatch Center.
The generator on Eagle Ridge was placed back into service by public works, prior to the arrival of LCARES. That team joined the other team on Rawe Peak and set up a communications link between the repeater site and dispatch using Ham radio simplex.
Mobile county radios were placed on “local” to relay sheriff and fire traffic through the relay station. Public works, and the county emergency manager, along with the sheriff arrived at the site. Public works was able to place the generator back into operation. Contributed by John Abrott KD7NHC
Play Ham Radio
1:00 PM This Afternoon!
Some call it "Fox Hunting", "T-Hunting", "RadioSport", or "Hounds and Hare"...but regardless of the name being used, everyone agrees that radio direction finding is a super fun activity.
If you are in the Las Vegas area today you can join in the fun of T-Hunting at 1:00 PM this afternoon. Initial meet-up is via RF on the Fitzgerald's (the "D") repeater 448.075 Mhz.
You may begin from anywhere in the Las Vegas Valley. Primary Fox (transmitter) will be on 146.565 Mhz. The frequency of the Secondary Fox will be listed on the tear tags located with the Primary Fox.
Participants will assemble for dinner at 4-5:00 PM at a location to be decided. Contact Frank Kostelac N7ZEV at 702 361-6080 for information.
NVCON Registration is Now Open
Registration is now open for the second annual NVCON convention in Reno, May 1, 2, & 3. Last years event was a big success and the upcoming convention promises to be even more fun!
Some Convention Highlights:
Steve Lybarger NU7T is Silent Key
Local club leader and CW advocate
Nevada amateur's are saddened by the death of Stephen A. Lybarger, NU7T of Sparks, Nevada. Steve passed away on Friday, February 20.
Lybarger was a past president of the Sierra Nevada Amateur Radio Society of Reno and was one of the founders and a driving force of the Reno QRP Group.
He was an ARRL VE Examiner and had served as Official Observer Coordinator for a period of time .
Lybarger was a strong proponent of the use of morse code. He was a member of the North America QRP CW Club and was well known for his own the air code classes.
He leaves his wife Mimi of 2346 Roman Drive Sparks, Nevada 89434. No services are planned.
If you care to make a donation in Steve's memory, please send your tax deductible donation to Ronald McDonald House Charities of Northern Nevada,323 Maine Street, Reno, Nevada 89502.
New DMR Repeater System is Operational
A newly installed Motorola XPR8400 Digital Mobile Radio (DMR) UHF repeater system owned by the Sierra Nevada Amateur Radio Society is now operational.
The system is currently being "burned in" and is operating low level from downtown Reno. The equipment will soon be moved to it's permanent location atop Peavine Peak in Washoe County.
The repeater operates on 444.925 MHz and is bridged to the CalDMR system, effectively linking the Reno system internationally.
The system was paid for by club member donations. On February 7th a crowd of more than 70 SNARS members squeezed into the Denny's in Sparks, Nevada to hear an overview of the DMR system by the NorCal DMR group.
Nevada Section Manager given tour of new WCARES Amateur Radio Outreach Center
Nevada Section Manager John Bigley, N7UR, recently received an in-depth tour of the newly opened Washoe County ARES Amateur Radio Outreach Center and the Great Western Marketplace facilities.
Randall Lorenz AF7HD, who is an ARRL Public Information Officer embedded with the WCARES group gave Bigley a comprehensive viewing of not only the WCARES suite, but also of the entire Great Western Marketplace facility.
The Great Western Marketplace is a huge 167,000 square foot retail incubator, designed to give small and start-up businesses a brick and mortar site from which their enterprises can grow and prosper. Space for the Amateur Radio Outreach Center was made available thru the generosity of the Naumann Family of Reno, owners and developers of the GWM.
Since opening, the Amateur Radio Outreach Center has had a steady stream of people stopping by to learn more about amateur radio, it's role in emergency communications, and the various hobby aspects associated with ham radio. "I am really impressed with the number of people who are being introduced to amateur radio via this Outreach Center," said Bigley.
While at the facility, SM Bigley had an opportunity to speak with several prospective hams as well as a few licensed operators who stopped by. The center is a resource for area hams, offering information about joining ARES, up-grade classes, continuing education, community resources, and ARRL services.
Great Western Marketplace CEO Trudy Naumann welcomed SM Bigley to the facility. Ms. Naumann expressed GWM's commitment to assist amateur radio in the Reno-Sparks area, not only by the donation of the area which WCARES is is using, but also by making classroom and meeting space available, and by hosting special amateur radio events such as Field Day. Section Manager Bigley congratulated the Naumann family on the inauguration of the facility and thanked them for their support of amateur radio in Nevada.
The Washoe County ARES Amateur Radio Outreach Center is open Friday and Saturdays 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM and on Sunday from 11:00 AM until 4;00 PM. PIO Lorenz is the primary person staffing the center. "Washoe County ARES should be commended for taking the initiative to make this center a reality," Bigley said, "and Randall Lorenz deserves a big round of applause for the dozens of hours he puts in every single week staffing this venue."
Nevada Ham Radio in the Media
Nevada Section Public Information Officer Chuck Farnham WD6CHC of Fallon was the guest Tuesday morning on the "Just The Facts" radio show on America Matters Media stations 101.3 FM and 99.1 FM.
You can listen to the interview below.
AC7EL Completes 100 VE Sessions!
Congratulations go out to Dick Grady AC7EL, of Pahrump, Nevada who on February 7th. participated in his 100th session as a Volunteer Examiner for the ARRL VEC Program.
Grady is the long serving ARRL VE Liaison for Nye County. He also serves as a Director of the Southern Nye County Amateur Emergency Service and as Director of the Pahrump Amateur Radio Repeater Association.
In 1984 the FCC authorized the creation of Volunteer Examination Coordinators (VEC's) to administer amateur radio license examinations.
There are 14 VEC's authorized to certify Volunteer Examiners and to conduct licensing test sessions. The ARRL VEC Program comprises more than 35,000 Volunteer Examiners and administers 90% of all license examinations.
Arizona Near Space Research (ANSR) is pleased to announce the flight of ANSR-87. This high altitude balloon flight will take place on Saturday, January 17, 2015 at 9:00 A.M. The baseline launch site will be the University of Arizona Maricopa Agricultural Center, near Maricopa, AZ (33 deg 04.42 min, 111 deg 58.97 min). The final launch site choice will depend on the predicted winds aloft. Watch for additional announcements prior to launch day.
The balloon will be a 1200-gram weather balloon, filled with hydrogen. The expected burst altitude will be 80,000 feet or more. The flight is anticipated to last about 2.5 hours from launch to touchdown.This flight will be primarily a test flight for the new ANSR Mode-C transponder that is anticipated to fly on future 'heavy' payload flights. The transponder is a Sandia Aerospace STX-165 and is expected to supply altitude data up to 42,000 feet when it will revert to Mode A. The transponder performance throughout the flight will be documented in this experimental flight with cooperation with the FAA. The FAA has assigned the flight the transponder code of 4453, used for high altitude balloon operations.
This flight will include APRS and CW beacons:
-APRS beacons will transmit position information from KA7NSR-13 and KA7NSR-15 both on 144.34 MHz, and K7IIU on 145.725.
-A CW beacon will operate on 147.56 MHz (FM) with the call sign of N7ERU, 20 seconds on and 40 seconds off.
A payload designed and built by students at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University may be included if readied in time. This will be a re-flight of the payload from the ERAU-17 flight.
Our mobile cross band Digipeater will repeat locally the beacons' APRS data to the 144.390 MHz standard APRS frequency and subsequently will be I-GATED to the Internet for out-of-area trackers. You can track the flight using the link: http://aprs.fi/?call=ka7nsr-13 (or ka7nsr-15)
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