Amateur Radio News

W6NBC Wins the August QST Cover Plaque Award

ARRL News - Tue, 08/14/2018 - 13:28

The winning article for the August 2018 QST Cover Plaque award is “A Novel Approach to Using Window Line” by John Portune, W6NBC. The QST Cover Plaque Award -- given to the author or authors of the most popular article in each issue -- is determined by a vote of ARRL members on the QST Cover Plaque Poll web page. Cast a ballot for your favorite article in the September issue today.

Categories: Amateur Radio News

New FCC Part 95 Personal Radio Services Rules Published in The Federal Register

ARRL News - Tue, 08/14/2018 - 11:31

Reorganized and updated FCC Personal Radio Services (PRS) Part 95 rules have been published in The Federal Register. Among other things, the PRS covers the Family Radio Service (FRS), General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS), and the Citizens Band Radio Service (CBRS).

The revised rules allot additional FRS channels and increase the power on certain FRS channels from 0.5 W to 2 W. FRS channels are in...

Categories: Amateur Radio News

Texas Volunteer Examiner Setting Sights on Next 1,000 Exam Sessions

ARRL News - Tue, 08/14/2018 - 09:48

In July, Franz Laugermann, K3FL, of Houston, achieved a milestone that no other VEC has before by taking part as a Volunteer Examiner in his 1,000th exam session. And, he told ARRL, he’s far from finished.

“As long as I can be here, I’m gonna go on doing this,” he said, adding that he’s set his sights on 2,000 sessions. “It’s so rewarding to help other people through this.” He estimated that he’...

Categories: Amateur Radio News

2018-08-26 ISS Sighting

SpotTheStation - Sightings for Marysville - Tue, 08/14/2018 - 03:34
Date: Sunday Aug 26, 2018
Time: 6:24 AM
Duration: 1 minute
Maximum Elevation: 10°
Approach: 10° above SE
Departure: 10° above ESE

2018-08-28 ISS Sighting

SpotTheStation - Sightings for Marysville - Tue, 08/14/2018 - 03:34
Date: Tuesday Aug 28, 2018
Time: 6:15 AM
Duration: 3 minutes
Maximum Elevation: 26°
Approach: 11° above S
Departure: 23° above ESE

Indonesian Hams Take Advantage of Satellite for Post-Earthquake Communication

ARRL News - Mon, 08/13/2018 - 11:08

Amateur Radio volunteers in Indonesia have been taking advantage of the LAPAN-ORARI (IO-86) ham satellite in addition to HF on 7.110 MHz as the Lombok area recovers from two recent earthquakes. The death toll now has topped 400. A second powerful earthquake in the area on August 5 killed at least 98 people and seriously injured more than 200 others.

Power in the area has been disrupted, and Kar...

Categories: Amateur Radio News

Storm Takes Down Antennas at Memorial Ham Station on Swedish-Norwegian Border

ARRL News - Mon, 08/13/2018 - 09:05

The SJ9WL-LG5LG Morokulien memorial station on the border of Sweden and Norway is off the air after a large tree, brought down during a severe storm on August 10, caused extensive damage to the station’s antennas. According to one report, the station’s 100-foot tower was broken into pieces after the tree fell across three tower guys. That pulled the support structure toward the station building...

Categories: Amateur Radio News

HAARP’s WSPR Research Campaign Yields Hundreds of Reports on 40 and 80 Meters

ARRL News - Mon, 08/13/2018 - 08:06

Just-completed research at the High-Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) transmitters in Gakona, Alaska, successfully took advantage of the WSPR digital protocol and the Weak Signal Propagation Reporter Network (WSPRnet) on July 30 through August 1. University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) Space Physics Group researcher and HAARP Chief Scientist Chris Fallen, KL3WX, told ARRL that the ...

Categories: Amateur Radio News

2018-08-10 ISS Sighting

SpotTheStation - Sightings for Marysville - Sat, 08/11/2018 - 03:34
Date: Friday Aug 10, 2018
Time: 9:54 PM
Duration: 2 minutes
Maximum Elevation: 12°
Approach: 10° above WSW
Departure: 10° above SSW

2018-08-11 ISS Sighting

SpotTheStation - Sightings for Marysville - Sat, 08/11/2018 - 03:34
Date: Saturday Aug 11, 2018
Time: 9:02 PM
Duration: 3 minutes
Maximum Elevation: 22°
Approach: 20° above WSW
Departure: 10° above S

New US Submarine Forces Commander is Radio Amateur

ARRL News - Fri, 08/10/2018 - 09:07

US Navy Vice Admiral Charles A. “Chas” Richard, W4HFZ, assumed command of US submarine forces during a change-of-command ceremony on August 4, held aboard the submarine USS Washington (SSN-787). He assumed command from Vice Admiral Joseph Tofalo. An ARRL Life Member, Richard, 58, is well-known in the AMSAT and APRS communities. He had been serving as the deputy commander of US Strategic Command...

Categories: Amateur Radio News

The K7RA Solar Update

ARRL News - Fri, 08/10/2018 - 08:31 reported on August 8, 2018 that “Solar minimum conditions are in effect. The Sun has been without sunspots for 39 of the past 42 days. To find a similar stretch of blank suns, you have to go back to 2009 when the Sun was experiencing the deepest solar minimum in a century. Solar minimum has returned, bringing extra cosmic rays, long-lasting holes in the Sun's atmosphere, and st...

Categories: Amateur Radio News

Time to Review Near-Final Field Day Submissions!

ARRL News - Thu, 08/09/2018 - 14:35

The ARRL Contest Branch advises all clubs, groups, and individuals to review their ARRL Field Day 2018 entries for any issues. Entries highlighted in yellow are missing important information and may end up as check logs, if not corrected. Missing items typically are such things as dupe or summary sheets. Supply the requested information by August 14, to be included in the final results in QST. ...

Categories: Amateur Radio News

Charter Member, Past AMSAT President William A. “Bill” Tynan, W3XO, SK

AMSAT news - Thu, 08/09/2018 - 11:01

It is with great sadness that AMSAT reports one of its founding directors and charter members, William A. (Bill) Tynan, W3XO,  passed away peacefully at his home on Tierra Linda Ranch in Kerrville Texas, on August 7, 2018.  He was 91.

William A. “Bill” Tynan, W3XO (SK)

Bill was born October 12, 1926 in Saint Paul, Ramsey County, Minnesota.  But, throughout his adult, life, he left an indelible mark on Amateur Radio with a long list of “firsts” since becoming licensed as W3KMV in early 1946. Indeed, Bill was in the forefront of Amateur Radio’s growth and importance in many ways. His singularly distinctive accomplishments to our Amateur Radio Service were, quite literally, “out of this world.”

His active Amateur Radio interest really began in the mid-30s when he was a young boy. During the Second World War, and after obtaining a Restricted Radio Telephone Permit, he operated in the War Emergency Radio Service (WERS), donating his time to the effort to the citizens of Montgomery County, Maryland and, later, to the District of Columbia by operating WERS systems on 2 1/2 meter VHF (then called UHF).  Of course, this occurred during a time when all Amateur Radio activity had been suspended for the duration of the War.

His wartime activity would later spark his interest in the frequencies above 30 MHz, and he became an active VHF/UHF enthusiast almost since obtaining his first Ham ticket.  However, it was his work in helping others exploit the VHF/UHF spectrum that best characterized Bill’s numerous accomplishments and contributions to Amateur Radio.

For example, in early 1969, Bill attended the charter meeting in Washington, DC to investigate the feasibility of carrying on the work of Project OSCAR, a group of West Coast Hams that had built and launched the very first satellites carrying Amateur Radio.  The meeting later led to the establishment of today’s Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation (AMSAT). Bill was elected to the first Board of Directors of the new organization, and was later named Vice President for Operations.

The first AMSAT Board of Directors, including Bill Tynan, then-W3KMV (third from the right)

Bill performed yeoman service in this position during the OSCAR 6 era, principally because that particular satellite had a nasty habit of unexpectedly changing operating modes “on its own”.  Bill’s superb efforts coordinated the work of dozens of worldwide command stations to keep OSCAR 6 (then the only OSCAR satellite in orbit) up and running for the world’s Amateur Radio Operators to use.  His outstanding work allowed critical Amateur Radio propagation and other experiments, as well as other, more routine communications, to continue virtually unabated.  His singular efforts extended use of a critical, space-based experimental Amateur Radio resource that otherwise would have been given up for lost.

Later, Bill’s strong reputation for getting things done, and his expertise as a leading expert in the VHF/UHF arena, led to a request from the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) that he assume duties as Contributing Editor for QST Magazine’s “World above 50 MHz” column.  Under his superb guidance, and during the next 18 years, Bill kept the column both fresh and alive, while providing Hams worldwide with a powerful forum to advocate and nurture such new Amateur Radio technologies as long-haul VHF/UHF, moonbounce, DX and contest work, as well as emerging meteor scatter and satellite communications.

However, while Bill Tynan’s first love was VHF and UHF work, his heart and soul were always with AMSAT.  Not surprisingly, it is with AMSAT that Bill’s positive impacts on Ham Radio were destined to become some of his longest lasting contributions to our Service.

For example, since his earliest days in AMSAT, Bill was intrigued with the possibility of Hams on the ground being able to talk to Hams in space.  Later, in the mid-1970’s, he actively explored the idea of Amateur Radio operation from aboard the Skylab space station while Owen Garriott, W5LFL, was to be a part of that crew.  Unfortunately, NASA did not approve this proposal, stating that it was too late to modify the station to provide for an antenna.

However, later, as the Shuttle program was beginning (and on behalf of AMSAT) Bill authored the very first draft proposal to allow Amateur Radio operation from the Space Shuttle.  His idea was soon picked up by the ARRL, and it resulted in a formal, joint AMSAT/ARRL proposal to NASA to allow this activity.  Needless to say, Bill’s superb vision led directly to Owen Garriott’s historic first use of Ham Radio from space during the STS-9 mission, thus marking the birth of the  (then) very popular SAREX program.

In 1986, Bill was again elected to the AMSAT Board of Directors, and, in 1991, just as the Phase 3D project (which later became AMSAT-OSCAR 40 on orbit) was beginning to gain momentum, Bill assumed duties as President of the organization at a most critical period in its history.  As with his previous callings, Bill wasted no time in making his lasting mark on the organization.  As one of his first efforts, he was instrumental in pulling a team of over two hundred volunteer people from 13 different countries together with the common goal of building and launching the largest, most complex, and most expensive Amateur Radio satellite ever attempted.  When he finally stepped down from his post as AMSAT President in late 1998, his repeated, annual re-election to this high post made his one of the longest running terms as President in the organization’s history.

In addition to his solid accomplishments in furthering Amateur Radio, Bill remained a very active Radio Amateur.  He was a life member of the ARRL, a life member of AMSAT (membership number 10), and was an active member of the Central States VHF Society, also  serving on its Board of Directors. He was its President in 1992 and put on the organization’s annual conference that year.  Bill was also a member of the Quarter Century Wireless Association, the Radio Club of America, the Institute for Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) as well as the National Space Society.  Locally, he was the Program Chairman of the Hill Country Amateur Radio Club at his home on the Terra Linda Ranch in Kerrville, Texas and also served on the ranch’s Cable TV advisory committee.

During his lifetime, Bill also received several prestigious awards, including “The Ham of Year” in 1996 from the Dayton Amateur Radio Association (DARA) and in 2012, the Barry Goldwater Amateur Radio Award from the Radio Club of America.

Bill is survived by his wife of 51 years, the former Mattie LeNoir of Kilgore Texas, along with numerous cousins, brothers and sisters-in-law. No services will be held.  However, his ashes will be scattered in two locations, the cemetery in Elgin, Texas where his wife will be interred and the cemetery in Hagersville, Ontario, Canada which is his mother’s birthplace, and where his parents are buried.  In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in his name to the charity of your choice.

Statement of AMSAT President Joe Spier, K6WAO, on the passing of Bill Tynan, W3XO:

I can only second the many comments and condolences that are coming in from around the world on the passing of Bill Tynan, W3XO. From the many remembrances of Bill’s past accomplishments, it is clear that AMSAT and amateur radio has lost a dear friend.

Friend is an important way to honor Bill. Bill was a friend to AMSAT, a friend to ARISS, a friend to the ARRL, a friend to amateur radio, a friend to his community, and lifelong friend to his dear wife, Mattie. Bill’s friendship extended to me when I became AMSAT President. After hearing me present on some subject, I received a three page treatise from Bill on the proper use of the pronoun “me.” His keen ear had picked up on my error, and the improvement came in a paper titled “What’s the Matter with Me?”

Bill had a way of looking at issues from a different perspective. Last October’s Board of Directors meeting was in the middle of a “heated” discussion on the verbiage of a proposal, when Bill walked in and sat down. After another 15 minutes of discussion, further discussion on the proposal was tabled until the following day. Bill’s comment after listening to all this was “Wow, sounds just like the board meetings we use to have 40 years ago!”

Recently, Bill asked to step down as the AMSAT OSCAR Number Administrator. Bill has been granting applicants who qualify OSCAR numbers for over two decades, since the late-1990s. Even Bill could not remember the first number he issued, but he believed it was either TO-31 or SO-35. In any case, Bill had issued at least 57 OSCAR numbers. This is over 60%, or very close to two-thirds, of all the OSCAR numbers currently issued at this time.

Bill liked to keep busy with his passion for amateur radio, whether this was working in the foreground or background. Only a few weeks ago, Bill proposed to AMSAT the use of FT-8 as a digital mode on a future satellite. My friend, Bill Tynan, W3XO, was always thinking ahead.

Ad astra.



Categories: Amateur Radio News

Amateur Radio Satellite Pioneer, Past AMSAT President Bill Tynan, W3XO, SK

ARRL News - Thu, 08/09/2018 - 07:50

A giant of the Amateur Radio satellite world has fallen. William A. “Bill” Tynan, W3XO, of Kerrville, Texas, died on August 7, following a lengthy illness. A past AMSAT President and the editor of the QST column “The World Above 50 MHz” from 1975 until 1992, Tynan was 91.

While growing up in Washington, DC, he was entranced by short-wave broadcasts and police radio traffic on his three-band tab...

Categories: Amateur Radio News

The Doctor Will See You Now!

ARRL News - Thu, 08/09/2018 - 06:27

“Antenna Rotators” is the topic of the current (August 2) episode of the “ARRL The Doctor is In“ podcast. Listen...and learn!

Sponsored by DX Engineering, “ARRL The Doctor is In” is an informative discussion of all things technical. Listen on your computer, tablet, or smartphone -- whenever and wherever you like!

Every 2 weeks, your host, QST Editor-in-Chief Steve Ford, WB8IMY, and the Doctor him...

Categories: Amateur Radio News


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