Amateur radio in the news: Hong Kong, Wales, young hams, and more

Lots of ham radio items in the news lately, so this post is longer than usual….Dan


Hong Kong’s ham radio enthusiasts lend a helping hand. More than just a hobby and a way to socialise, amateur radio provides vital communications to ensure the safe running of Hong Kong’s charity events.

Gwent radio hams ready to help in emergency. They are helping to guard the public in the event of a disaster, but you may not have even heard of them. Gwent’s RAYNET group – a bunch of licensed amateur radio enthusiasts who help the emergency services in the event of a communications meltdown – is part of a national organisation celebrating its 60th anniversary this year.

Lake amateur radio operator gets top marks. Lake County amateur radio operators, often called hams, brought home the bacon in a national Field Day event held earlier this year, it was announced Thursday.

young-hamsYoung hams make the grade.  Surrounded by radio gear, Gene Clark sat in his chair and listened intently as his two sixth grade proteges were interviewed by a reporter recently. Dalton Duggers, 11, and Jordan Sirmans, 12, recently earned their radio technician’s licenses, making them two of the youngest licensed ham radio operators in Georgia. The two friends are are members of the Albany Amateur Radio Club (AARC) and are in the Gifted Program at Merry Acres Middle School.

Okanogan Amateur Radio Club recognizes first concrete pouring at Grand Coulee Dam. Dec. 6th, 1935, was the first “ceremonious pour” of concrete at Grand Coulee Dam. It was the first of a total of 12 million yards, which is enough to pour a sidewalk around the world at the equator twice. The Okanogan County Amateur Radio Club W7ORC sponsored a special event to celebrate the anniversary of the that pouring. Club members used their home radio stations, commonly referred to as “HAM SHACKS,” starting at 4 p.m. Dec 6, and ended at 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec 8.

Family saved by ham radio and Good Samaritan after car accident. On a cold, bitter night earlier this month, the actions of a Good Samaritan and a ham radio probably saved the lives of a family. It began at about 7 p.m. Dec. 6 when Cody Fowler and his wife, Tina, and their two sons, Jacob and Timmy, were on their way home from Pueblo. Because of the bitter cold temperatures and the icy roads, Cody turned around and drove back down the road, where he discovered that a red SUV had slid off into a ditch. The five people in the car had climbed back onto the road….

From my Twitter feed: learn electronics, visualize cellphones, NTS newsletter


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LearnAbout – Electronics


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If your in the school of thought that mobile phone mast RF will cook your mind… check this out and begin to worry:


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A link to a NTS Themed Newsletter :…

Operating Notes: traffic, bees, Ernst Krenkel

One of the students in my last Tech class, has taken up traffic handling. This evening, he forwarded a piece of traffic to me:

Message Number 1058
Station or Origin: KD8RCR
Check 25
Place of Origin: Midland Mi
Date: Nov 26th

ON 3952 KHZ X WE

Somewhere along the way, “KB” got changed to “KD” or vice versa, but it was cool to get it.

The bee’s knees
Last night, I worked Curt, N5CW, on 40m CW. This wasn’t the first time that I’d contacted Curt, but it was the first time that he mentioned that he kept bees. He isn’t the first ham radio operator/beekeeper that I’ve worked. A couple of weeks ago, I worked KC4URI, who also keeps bees, and a while back, W3BEE. I’ve now worked more beekeepers (3) than I have barbers (2).

Ernst Krenkel
RAEMThis evening, I worked RD110RAEM, a special event station commemorating the 110th anniversary of the Arctic explorer and amateur radio operator, Ernst Krenkel, RAEM (1903-1971). He was a famous polar explorer, Hero of the Soviet Union, chairman of the USSR Radiosport Federation (1959-1971), and the first chairman of Central Radio Club of the USSR. There’s even an Ernst Krenkel Museum of Radio and Radio Amateurs in Moscow.

According to Southgate Amateur Radio News, there will be 23 special event stations operating throughout the month of December commemorating Krenkel, including 20 in Russia and three in the Ukraine. On Sunday, December 29, the 42nd RAEM International CW HF Contest will take place.

Amateur radio in the news: Rotary donates to children’s museum, Waukegan ham charged with interference, more than just a hobby


Kids enjoying the exhibits at the Duluth Children's Museum.

Kids enjoying the exhibits at the Duluth Children’s Museum.

Rotary Club of Duluth makes $2,000 donation. Duluth Children’s Museum will use the money to obtain more equipment for the amateur radio communication programming that derived directly from the DCM’s recent Space Station event.

Unfortunately, this item was very short on details, but I’m trying to follow up with the museum to see if I can make contact with the hams in Duluth who are working with the museum there….Dan

Waukegan man charged with making racially offensive radio transmissions. An amateur radio operator from Waukegan was arrested Tuesday after authorities said he breached security and used racially offensive language on a Lake County Sheriff’s Office corrections radio communications system, officials said. Raymond J. Kelly, 24, of the 4800 block of Eastwood Court, was charged with two counts of tampering with jail communications, as well as one count of harassment through electronic communications, said Sara Balmes, spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office.

I was really sorry to read this…Dan

More than a hobby. Being an amateur radio operator is a great hobby for some, but last week, those hobbyists proved just how important their pastime activity can be in an emergency situation.

Ham Radio in the News – 5/30/12

China/PhillipinesHam radio pulled into territorial dispute. China is using amateur radio to claim sovereignty of Scarborough Reef. The Chinese say that in 1990 a German ham was told  by the Philippine ambassador that the reef was not within Philippine territory.

Amateur radio essential tool. Behind the scenes at every Drivesouth Rally of Otago a team of local amateur radio enthusiasts works tirelessly to keep track of every car. Their support is vital to the three-day event, which started last night, as there is either unreliable or no cellphone reception where many of rally’s stages are held.

W6G Salutes Golden Gate Anniversary. The San Francisco Amateur Radio Club helped mark the 75th anniversary of the opening of the Golden Gate Bridge by contacting other amateur radio operators this Memorial Day weekend.

Ham Radio in the News – October 31, 2001

Here is the latest Ham Radio in the News:

99-year-old Ham radio operator still tuned in. This story speaks for itself. I hope I’m still making QSOs when I’m 99.

KL7OT Makes a Contact

Arlene “Buddy” Clay, 99, with her Ham radio set up. After 67 years living along the Kuskokwim River, in January she moved from Aniak to the Primrose Retirement Community in Wasilla. (from The Frontiersman)

Radio club helps to make Halloween a treat. I like this article because it describes ham radio providing a public service that is not emergency communications. I also like the name of the newspaper: The Daily Gleaner.

150 years ago, a primitive Internet united the USA. While not directly related to ham radio, this article puts our current communications technology in perspective. The telegraph was the invention that set the stage for today’s Internet.

I Believe in Ham Radio

WPSU, public radio from Penn State University, has a feature they call, “This I Believe.” It allows their listeners to tell others about their personal philosophy and core values. I Believe is based on the 1950s radio program of the same name and the media project (launched in 2005) from This I Believe, Inc. and Atlantic Public Media.

The latest program in this series is by Ellwood Brem, K3VY, who believes in ham radio. He says,

I believe the world would be a more peaceful place if we were all amateur radio operators. I’m an amateur radio operator — sometimes called a ham radio operator — and I’ve been one for forty-nine years. I delight at talking on my short wave radio to people all over the world.

You can listen to the entire essay if you go to the PSU website.

Ears to Our World

Thanks to Paul, KW1L, for suggesting this……..Dan

BBC’s Digital Planet reports on the organization, Ears to Our World, which brings wind-up short wave radios to some of the most inhospitable parts of the world. As the report notes, there are many remote places that have no Internet access and that shortwave radio is still a way to link them to the rest of the world.

NTS Going Digital?

From Jay Nugent, WB8TKL, AEC Washtenaw — NTS Liasion & Packet Operations, Michigan Section ASM for Digital Technologies:

Over the last couple weeks the Michigan Section National Traffic System (NTS-Digital) has been experimenting with using the digital mode “Olivia” on 75-meters to pass NTS formatted messages. Attendance has varied from just a handfull of participants to a dozen or more. This is a new mode for traffic handling and Net operations, so there are a number of bugs and procedures to be worked out.

Users are invited to fire up their HF rigs and digital decoders and follow along as these traffic nets evolve. And please check-in if you are able and willing. The next net will be held using Olivia 500/8 near 3583 KHz on Feb 16th at 2100 hours local.

Contact Jay for the latest net report and updates to their evolving operating procedure.

Catching Up

I can’t decide whether I’ve been so busy that I haven’t had time to blog much or whether I’m just slowing down. It’s probably a little of each. And doing so much creates so much blog fodder that it can be overwhelming. There’s so much to write about, you can’t figure out where to start.

So, what I’m going to do here is just report quickly on a bunch of things that I’ve been doing lately. I’ll come back to some and write more about them later. Others, I won’t.

More QSLs from Stations Whose Callsigns Spell Words
Sorry to bother you again with this, but for some reason, this fascinates me. Below, you’ll see the latest three that I’ve added to my collection: K5SEE, N4SHY, and K2DOT.


I heard K7OIL on PSK the other night, but wasn’t able to work him. :(

Even more Boy Scouts This Year!
Last year, we had about 120 Boy Scouts attend the 2007 Radio Merit Badge Day. Man, that was crazy. This year was even more crazy. This year, more than 150 showed up! I got Michelle, KD8GWX, to capture some of the craziness on video, and I promise to edit that tape real soon now. Stay tuned for that.

This year, I was partnered with Mark, W8MP. Mark is a really great operator, and he’s great with kids. He convinced one guy, Paul, WA9URF, to stay on the air for more than an hour and talk to more than 40 of the Scouts. Thanks, Mark and Paul!

Thanks to all the other hams that helped out (in no particular order): Pat, W8LNO; Dave, KC8TQB; Ralph, AA8RK; Jeff, W8SGZ; George, K8GEO; Don, K0QEA; and, of course, Jack, WT8N, who really organized the whole thing (and paid for breakfast, to boot).

2008 General Class
For the past couple of months, I’ve been teaching a General Class license course. As always, this class was a lot different than the classes I’ve had in the past. For one thing, a lot of them dropped out this time. There were a dozen who started back in January, but by the end we were down to just five or six.

Life intruded for a couple of them—one student’s wife (or daughter) broke her leg, for example. For some, the material was just over their heads at this point. But, a bunch of them just quit coming. I feel kind of bad about that.

Like last year, a couple of them passed the test before the class ended. Congratulations, Arvid, KC8VGO, and Ian, N8SPE! Arvid was in my very first class five years ago, and he passed back then, but just couldn’t get the code. I’m happy that he finally got his General ticket.

One thing I did differently this time is to have a class project. Five or six of the students built the DC40A QRP transceiver. Building them has taken a bit longer than I anticipated. Even though the class is over, we’re still finishing up the kits. Even so, I think it’s been a great experience for the students.

Ham Radio at the Hands-On Museum
We’re still working on setting up a ham radio station at the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum. One development is that we’re applying for a grant from the IEEE Foundation. We’ll also be applying to the ARRL Foundation.

The IEEE Foundation wants to give money to projects that promote engineering as a career. That’s our slant, anyway. We titled our project, “Kids Connect to Wireless Technology.”

That’s all for now. Gotta go rake the leaves off the lawn and fertilize.