By Tim McGillen/N9CA 2023 LCARC President
January 2023 issue
*Click on blue wording to open internet topic links
Happy New Year ! I’m personally wishing the best for each of you and your loved ones in 2023.
It’s truly hard for me to believe it has been another year already. Guess it’s true: The days are long, but the years fly by!
December 2022, the LCARC celebrated out 70th year as a Ham Radio Club. Cake, coffee, soda, and most importantly, ham radio fellowship were the order of the evening - plus a short HR program by yours truly.
Friday January 13th, is our next live meeting at 7:30PM in the EMA offices, 2900 W. 93rd Ave Crown Point IN 46307.
Our program will be “A Virtual Tour of Chicago’s FM Radio Station WBEZ”.
You do not have to be a Club member to attend. You may face mask if you wish. Fans will be running, windows will be cracked, social distancing observed as possible. EZ free parking and handicapped accessibility.
Online Amateur Radio License Examination
Since June 2020, many ARRL VE teams have gone completely electronic by using a web-based examination system to administer online exams for remote, video-supervised sessions or in-person sessions.
The remote sessions are conducted using a video conferencing platform with ExamTools onscreen tests. Online exams can also be used at in-person sessions (candidates must have tablets or computers for fully electronic in-person sessions)
The online exam platform includes registering and tracking candidates throughout the session, onscreen exams and grading, online signing of Certificates of Successful Completion of Examination (CSCEs) and 605 forms, logging and compiling the session stats and VE participation list, and output files for upload to the coordinating VEC. The program manages almost everything needed to conduct a test session.
Interested ARRL VE team leaders should email the ARRL VEC at VEC@arrl.org for details and instructions on creating an ExamTools account and training with an experienced team.
JANUARY’S ARRL EVENTS
Jan 7th ARRL Kids Day Twice a year, ARRL offers an event designed to promote Amateur Radio to our youth. Share the excitement with your kids or grandkids, a Scout troop, a church or the general public!
Jan 7-8 ARRL RTTY Contest Objective: Amateurs worldwide contact and exchange QSO information using only the Radioteletype (RTTY) mode on the 80, 40, 20, 15, and 10 meter bands. Any station may work any other station. Stations may be worked once per band. Automated operation is not permitted. Each claimed contact must include contemporaneous direct initiation by the operator on both sides of the contact.
Jan 21-23rd ARRL VHF And Up Contest Objective: For amateurs in the US and Canada (and their possessions) to work as many amateur stations in as many different 2 degrees x 1 degree Maidenhead grid squares as possible using authorized frequencies above 50 MHz. Stations outside the US & Canada (and their possessions) may only work stations in the US (and its possessions) and Canada. Visit: www.arrl.org
Other Worldwide Contests
www.ARRL.org/contest-calendar *pick the month you wish
LOCAL HR NETS
Courtesy of KC9UNS www.tinyurl.com/chicago-ham-nets
The LCARC Information NET Every Wednesday - at 8:00pm. 147.000 and 442.075 (pl 131.8) Informal, informative, and fun. A great way to stay connected with local hams. Typically 30 minutes long.
A new VarAC V6.4.15 program has just been released. The software is free. Visit Youtube for how to use this cool keyboard P-P digital mode.
A big thing with the new version is Narration! Yes, synthesized text-to-voice that will read outload anything you want. From Broadcasts to CQ calls. From chat messages to real-time alerts, you name it !
Rep. Lesko Introduces Bill to Replace Symbol Rate Limit With A Bandwidth Limit12/22/2022
Congresswoman Debbie Lesko (AZ-08) introduced a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives (H.R. 9664) on December 21, 2022, to require that the FCC replace the current Amateur Radio HF digital symbol rate limit with a 2.8 kHz bandwidth limit.
The Back Story
The ARRL petitioned the FCC in 2013 (RM-11708) for the same relief. Finally, in 2016, the FCC issued a “Notice of Proposed Rulemaking” (WT Docket No. 16-239) in which the FCC agreed that the HF symbol rate limit was outmoded, served no purpose, and hampered experimentation. But… the FCC questioned whether any bandwidth limit was needed at all !
Most amateurs, including the ARRL, objected to there being no signal bandwidth limit in the crowded HF ham bands, and so, there has been no action to date by the FCC on this matter. Stay tuned
In a Future Filled With Electric Cars, AM Radio May Be Left Behind
Carmakers say electromagnetic interference causes static and noise on AM transmissions, annoying customers.
Broadcasters say they could lose a connection to their core listeners, who rely on the radio for emergencies.
Quote from BMW: “Rather than frustrate customers with inferior reception and noise, the decision was made to leave the AM radio band off vehicles that feature “eDrive technology,” their name for the system that powers BMW electric vehicles.
Tesla, Audi, Porsche and Volvo have also deleted AM radio from their electric vehicles, as has Volkswagen from its electric S.U.V., ID.4. Ford said that the 2023 F-150 Lightning, (it’s popular electric pickup truck), has also dropped AM radio.
Mid-Winter Sporatic E – Or Was It Tropo?
The main Sporadic-E (Es) season normally lasts from May to August every year, but… there is also a smaller secondary peak during the Winter months around December 21st.
What caught my interest was in December I was hearing 10 meter signals at mid-day from just 400 miles away. My question: was it Es or some kind of tropospheric ducting?
Most of the time, E-Skip stations will be 1000+ miles away. www.DXMAPS.com offers real-time E-skip maps, and there were definitely Es clouds, hovering over just the Midwest US. Hmmm?
My Recent 10 Meter Observations 01/03/2023A good indicator of band conditions on 10m is via the 10m beacon band. In general, most state-side beacons are found from 28.2 – 28.3 MHz while DX (ex-US) beacons are heard from 28.1 – 28.2 MHz.
While listening to 10 meter beacons 01/03/2023 at 2:00PM, I observed a phenomena. Each beacon I heard had a distorted delayed echo of itself right on the same frequency. At first, I thought it was some “lid” jamming. But all the beacons?
I think what I was hearing was the beacons via both a “short path” and then a distorted delayed long path signal -on frequency - that had traveled all the way around the world with a time delay. Very cool and worth your moment to listen for.
Using A Drone To Put Up A HAM Radio Antenna
You say your antenna came down? You just want another antenna? You don’t want to climb ladders, houses, or trees especially in the winter? Clever hams to your rescue.
Interesting Ham Internet Sites Worth a Look
www.voacap.com HF radio propagation prediction maps using real-time MUF and SFI
www.onallbands.com DX Engineering’s Own HR newsletter
See you on lucky Friday January the 13th @ 7:30PM
The Official Newsletter of the LCARC