6 Meters Mobile with the FT-857D and ATAS-120A

Savannah – Earlier today, I visited the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge to decompress from the week at work. While I was there, a rainstorm came up so I parked on the side of the wildlife drive and waited for the storm to pass. Since it is Sporadic E season and I haven’t had the opportunity to try out the new ATAS-120A mobile HF/6 Meter antenna on 6 Meters, I tuned the FT-857D to 50.125 MHz and pressed the Tune button. After a few seconds, the ATAS-120A tuned itself to the frequency and showed a low SWR. A few minutes later I heard a station start calling CQ so I returned his call. It turned out to be Ron, K5WLT from Seguin, TX (near San Antonio). It was the first 6 Meter contact I’ve made in years (the Opek HVT-400B never really got the job done for me on 6 Meters) and the first one I’ve made with the ATAS-120A. K5WLT gave me a good signal and audio report, so I’m very pleased with what the mobile HF/6 Meter setup is capable of. I imagine that for the rest of the summer, whenever I’m on the road, I’ll have the FT-857D tuned to 50.125 MHz listening for E openings!

After the rain stopped, it turned out to be a pretty good refuge visit, too. I got one of my best Glossy Ibis photos yet and saw a Purple Gallinule, but it was too far away for a good photo.

IMG_0286_resize-01
Glossy Ibis at the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge

Savannah, GA to Clarkesville, GA Road Trip Scanning Report; 5/6 March 2018

Clarkesville, GA – On Monday and Tuesday I had to make a trip up to Clarkesville, GA for work; it’s an almost five-hour drive from Savannah, so it was good to have the radios in the car to keep me company on the way up. My route of travel was I-16 westbound from Savannah to US 1 in Swainsboro to SR 17 in Wrens to overnight in Lavonia and the to Clarkesville via SR17 on Tuesday morning. The trip home on Tuesday evening was a reverse of the trip up. The route took me through an area along SR 17 that featured a lot of public safety DMR trunking systems as well as some NXDN systems, so it was a great opportunity to get some more experience with DMR and listen to some NXDN traffic for the first time. During the trip, I used a Uniden Home Patrol 2, a Uniden BCD436HP, a Whistler TRX-1, and a Yaesu FT-8800 transceiver.

The Whistler TRX-1 definitely outperformed the Uniden BCD436HP on DMR, especially when all of the DMR TRS parameters were unknown. Although I haven’t been particularly pleased with the TRX-1 on 700/800 MHz P25 trunking, I was definitely pleased with its VHF DMR and NXDN performance during this trip. The audio from both DMR and NXDN was crisp, clear, and perfectly readable.

 

Amateur Radio

With the exception of one 70cm repeater, all of the repeaters I heard active during the trip were 2 Meter repeaters. It seemed that throughout the trip I was within the range of at least one repeater at all times. In hindsight, as well as I was hearing public safety traffic from the South Carolina counties bordering Georgia, I probably should have programmed in some repeaters from the South Carolina side of the Georgia/South Carolina border; the next time I make this trip I plan on doing so.

146.790 (CSQ) – Swainsboro (Emanuel Co)
147.000 (PL 156.7) – Twin City (Emanuel Co)
145.190 (PL 71.9) – Appling (Columbia Co)
147.120 (CSQ) – Wrens (Jefferson Co)
146.625 (CSQ) – Elberton (Elbert Co)
146.835 (CSQ) – Thomson (McDuffie Co)
146.715 (PL 100.0) – Lavonia (Franklin Co)
145.250 (PL 71.9) – Toccoa (Stephens Co)
147.330 (PL 127.3) – Toccoa (Stephens Co)
442.500 (PL 88.5) – Toccoa (Stephens Co)
147.180 (CSQ) – Baldwin (Banks/Habersham Co)

 

Public Safety

If you’re going to travel up SR 17 through east Georgia and/or northeast Georgia and want to monitor public safety communications along the way, you’ll want to use a DMR capable scanner or you may miss a considerable amount of traffic. Although some counties simulcast primary dispatch for Fire/EMS communications on an analog frequency, far more traffic is on the DMR and in some instances NXDN systems in Banks, Habersham, Jefferson, Lincoln, McDuffie (encrypted), Stephens (encrypted) Washington, and White (encrypted except for Dispatch) counties

Local Conventional/Single Frequency TRS
154.3250 (PL 146.2) – Banks County FD Dispatch
154.0100 (PL 173.8) – Burke County FD/EMS Dispatch
154.2200 (PL 179.9) – Elbert County FD Dispatch
154.3700 (PL 167.9) – Franklin County FD Dispatch
155.3100 (PL 186.2) – Habersham FD Dispatch (Simulcast with DMR TRS)
154.2350 (PL 156.7) – Habersham EMS Dispatch (Simulcast with DMR TRS)
156.1650 (PL 97.4) – Clarkesville FD Dispatch (Habersham Co)
154.2950 (PL 218.1) – Madison County EMS Dispatch
154.3850 (PL 103.5) – Madison County FD Dispatch
151.4075 (NXDN) – McDuffie County FD; enc
154.4300 (PL 146.2) – Rabun County FD Dispatch
155.2050 (PL 100.0) – Rabun EMS/Rabun Hospital
155.6625 (PL 192.8) – Rabun County 911
154.2500 (PL 85.4) – Stephens County FD Dispatch
155.715 (CSQ) – White County FD Dispatch (simulcast with NXDN)
152.5325 (NXDN CC 15, TG 154600, SL 1) – White Co FD Dispatch South; enc/unenc
152.5475 (NXDN CC 15, TG 154600, SL 1) – White Co FD Dispatch North; enc/unenc
154.4450 (PL 210.7) – Wilkes County FD Dispatch
154.0100 (PL 179.9) – Abbeville County FD FD 1 (SC)
153.9500 (PL 151.4) – Anderson County FD Dispatch (SC)
155.5650 (D 464) – Anderson City FD Dispatch (Anderson Co, SC)
156.1950 (PL 162.2) – Belton FD (Anderson Co, SC)
158.8050 (D 464) – Honea Path FD (Anderson Co, SC)
154.1300 (PL 103.5) – Oconee County FD Dispatch (SC)
150.8050 (PL 103.5) – Oconee County FD Tac (SC)
453.4000 (PL 136.5) – Jackson County FD Dispatch (NC)

State Conventional
159.1200 (PL 127.3) – Georgia Forestry District 1 Repeater

Banks County NXDN TRS
TG 80 – Banks County Fire/EMS Dispatch

Bulloch TRS
TG 2224 – Statesboro FD Dispatch

Habersham County DMR TRS
TG 100 – unknown
TG 152 – unknown
TG 180 – unknown
TG 300 – Fire/EMS Dispatch
TG 602 – unknown
TG 604 – School Bus Dispatch

Jefferson County DMR TRS
TG 109 – Jefferson County FD Dispatch
TG 115 – Public Works?
TG 116 – Public Works?

Washington County DMR TRS
TG 42 – unknown
TG 700 – unknown

Palmetto 25 (Richmond County, GA)
TG 55242 – Richmond County FD Tac 2

North Carolina VIPER TRS
TG 52109 – NC Wildlife Resources District 9

 

FedCom

For those interested in FedCom monitoring, there are a number of agencies in east and northeast Georgia to listen to. East Georgia offers some opportunities with from the US Army Corps of Engineers at Strom Thurmond Lake and the Department of Energy from the Savannah River Site TRS.  Northeast Georgia offers opportunities from the National Park Service at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the US Forestry Service at several National Forests.

Conventional FedCom
169.5500 ($4C5) – NPS, Great Smoky Mountains Natl Park, Clingman’s Dome
170.8375 ($4C5) – NPS, Great Smoky Mountains Natl Park, Fry Mountain
173.5375 ($100) – USACE, Strom Thurmond Lake
171.5500 (PL 103.5) – USFS, Nantahala Natl Forest Zone 2 East

Savannah River Site TRS
TG 48240 – Savannah River Site FD
TG 48592 – unknown
TG 48624 – unknown
TG 49072 – unknown
TG 49392 – unknown (enc)
TG 50032 – unknown

 

Aviation/MilCom

I didn’t hear nearly as much MilCom traveling through east and northeast Georgia as I normally do in coastal Georgia, but you do have great signals on the Bulldog MOA in East Georgia as you’re practically underneath the MOA in some areas. I was hoping to get some signals on the Fort Gordon sites of the US Army TRS, but it wasn’t to be, I never heard a bit of it. On the other hand, I was within easy range of Augusta Regional Airport and Fort Gordon related aircraft that were using it. You’re also within the range of Shaw AFB, McEntire JNGB, and Charleston AFB during parts of the trip.

If you’re interested in civilian aviation, you’re in great luck as you’ll be on the east and northeast sides of Atlanta’s airspace, making it an extremely target rich environment. As far as the airports along the route go, all of them with the exception of Augusta Regional use Unicom frequencies, although Athens does have an approach/departure frequency before aircraft switch to its airport’s Unicom frequency.

339.500 – VMFA-115 Tac 1
225.675 – VMFA-115 Tac 2
258.900 – VMFA(AW)-224 Tac 2
349.225 – VMFAT-501 Tac 2
341.825 – VMFAT-501 Tac 3
354.325 – MAG-31, VMFT-401 Air-to-Air
361.800 – MAG-31, VMFT-401 Air-to-Air

318.100 – Columbia, SC Approach/Departure
141.900 – 55th FS Air-to-Air

318.100 – Columbia, SC Approach/Departure
298.300 – 169th FW Ops
141.825 – 169th FW V14

132.475 – Athens Approach/Departure
122.950 – Unicom; Athens

118.700 – Augusta Regional Tower
119.150 – Augusta Approach/Departure
126.800 – Augusta Approach/Departure

119.300 – Charleston Approach/Departure
120.700 – Charleston Approach/Departure

124.200 – Atlanta Approach/Departure, Warner Robins/Macon
293.525 – 116th/461st ACW “PEACHTREE Ops”

122.700 – Unicom; Cornelia/Washington/Wrens/Oconee
122.800 – Unicom; Toccoa/Jefferson/Thomson/Elberton
122.900 – Unicom; Canon/Waynesboro/Louisville/Millen
123.000 – Unicom; Sandersville
123.075 – Unicom; Gainesville
123.600 – Unicom; Anderson, SC

119.375 – ZTL Macon High
120.425 – ZTL Georgia High
120.450 – ZTL Tiroe Low
121.350 – ZTL Logen Low
123.950 – ZTL Sinca Low
124.325 – ZTL Clark Hill Ultra High
124.375 – ZTL Lanier High
124.425 – ZTL Charlotte High
124.875 – ZTL Allatoona Ultra High
125.025 – ZTL High Rock Ultra High
125.575 – ZTL LaGrange High
125.625 – ZTL Spartanburg High
125.825 – ZTL Hampton Ultra High
126.425 – ZTL Dublin High
126.675 – ZTL Crossville High
128.100 – ZTL Augusta Low
129.925 – ZTL Burne High
132.050 – ZTL Dalas Low
132.625 – ZTL Shine Low
132.975 – ZTL Pulaski High
133.100 – ZTL Departure North
133.150 – ZTL Locas Low
133.175 – ZTL Rocket High
133.600 – ZTL Hinch Mountain Low
134.075 – ZTL Blue Ridge Ultra High
134.500 – ZTL South Departure Low
134.550 – ZTL Moped Low
134.800 – ZTL Commerce Ultra Low
135.350 – ZTL Unarm Low
263.125 – ZTL Unarm Low
269.100 – ZTL Spartanburg High
269.175 – ZTL Burne High
269.625 – ZTL Sinca Low
291.750 – ZTL High Rock Ultra High
296.600 – ZTL Lawtey Ultra High
322.325 – ZTL Augusta Low
353.925 – ZTL Lanier High
360.750 – ZTL South Departure Low

343.750 – Bulldog MOA

284.500 – SEALORD North Primary
349.800 – W-137 Discrete
376.900 – W-137 Discrete

364.200 – NORAD AICC

324.600 – AR-207

 

If it wouldn’t have been such a quick trip, 600 miles over two days, it would have been a wonderful road trip, but as it was it wasn’t all that bad. Getting to see the mountains was quite the departure from the normal coast scenes of coastal Georgia. While in northeast Georgia, I took the opportunity to visit both the Currahee Museum in Toccoa and Tugaloo State Park between Toccoa and Lavonia; I’ll have a post up about that later. I definitely want to get back up to northeast Georgia and spend some more time, so it’s been added to my vacation to-do-list.

 

 

Amateur Radio and History for March 2018

History related special event station for March 2018 include EI50AOM, which continues from January and February along with several Military History special event stations and a station commemorating the founding of one of the original 13 US Colonies. N4H will commemorate the Creek War/War of 1812 Battle of Horseshoe Bend and K7T will commemorate the Civil War Battle of Picacho Peak. K5B will remember those who died during World War II’s Bataan Death March. K5C will commemorate the commissioning of the battleship USS Texas (BB-35). WM3PEN will commemorate the charter of the Province of Pennsylvania, one of the original 13 US Colonies which became one of the original 13 stats, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

 

Special event station EI50AOM will operate in Baltimore, County Cork, Ireland from 1 January 2018 to 31 March 2018 in remembrance of the 50th anniversary of the crash of Aer Lingus Flight 712. The callsign combines the aircraft’s registration with the 50th Anniversary of the crash. Aer Lingus Flight 712, a Vickers Viscount 803 with Irish registration EI-AOM crashed on 24 March 2017 near Tuskar Rock, County Wexford, Ireland with 57 passengers and 4 crew aboard; all 61 perished in the crash. The cause of Flight 712’s crash has never been determined. Initial investigations into the crash were not thorough so the crash has been surrounded by controversy. One theory that evolved was that Flight 712 was downed by a missile from a testing facility at RAF Aberporth in Wales; another theory was that it crashed as a result of a collision with an Irish Air Corps training aircraft. A more thorough investigation in 2002 determined that Flight 712 crashed as the result of a mechanical failure stemming from metal fatigue, corrosion, control surface flutter, or a bird strike. Of the 61 fatalities, the remains of only 14 were ever found. EI50AOM will be devoting one day of operations to each person lost in the crash.

EI50AOM will be operating on or around 21.317, 18.127, 14.217, and 7.127. QSL via Tim McKnight, EI2KA, Gortadrohid, Ringarogy Island, Baltimore, Co. Cork, Ireland. For more information, see:  https://www.qrz.com/db/ei50aom

 

The Oro Valley Amateur radio Club will be operating special event station K7T from Tucson, AZ on 10 March 2018 to commemorate the Battle of Picacho Peak. The Battle of Picacho Peak took place on 15 April 1862 between a patrol of the 1st California Cavalry (Union) and Confederate pickets from the Arizona Rangers (Confederate States) near Picacho Peak between current day Phoenix and Tucson, AZ. To be honest, I’d never heard of this battle until I saw the special event listing, but it was the westernmost battle fought during the American Civil War. Fought between 13 Union Troopers and 10 Arizona Troopers, it was very small unit action. The Arizona Troopers were lying in wait to ambush an oncoming union force of which 1st California Cavalry patrol was a part. Their commander was under orders not to engage with Confederate forces immediately, but to wait for the rest of the Union force to arrive; instead of waiting, he decided to attack. In the attack, he was killed along with two other California Troopers and three others were injured. The Arizona Troopers suffered three captured and maybe two injured. The impatience of the Union patrol leader resulted in delaying an attack by the main Union force and prevented that attack from being the surprise that it was planned to be.

K7T will be CW on or around: 7.040 and 14.040; on PSK on or around 7.070 and 14.070; on FT8: on or around 7.074  and 14.074; and on SSB on or around 7.200 and 14.250. No paper QSL, please. Email for QSL to hfsig@tucsonhamradio.org www.tucsonhamradio.org

 

The Menasco Amateur Radio Club will be operating special event station K5C from Cleburne, TX from 10-14 March 2018 in honor of the commissioning of the USS Texas (BB-35) on 12 March 1914. The USS Texas was a New York class dreadnought battleship armed with 10 14-inch guns, 21 5-inch guns, and an assortment of smaller guns and torpedo tubes. She saw action in both World War I and World War II. During World War I, she served with the Royal Navy Grand Fleet after the United States entered the war, performing convoy escort and blockade duties. During World War II, she participated in the North African campaign, the invasion of Europe, the invasion of southern France, the Battle of Iwo Jima, and the Battle of Okinawa. She was decommissioned in April 1948 and turned over to the State of Texas to become a museum ship, a role she still serves to this day. The USS Texas is the only surviving dreadnought battleship and the only surviving capital ship (primary combat ship) that saw action in both World War I and World War II. The USS Texas is also active on the air via the Battleship Texas Radio Station, NA5DV (her active duty callsign was NADV). I’ve had a QSO with the station on several times and always consider an honor to work a station aboard such a historic ship.

K5C will be active on or around 14.045, 14.324, 7.045, or 7.185. QSL. via Club KC5NX, 9200 Summit Court West, Cleburne, TX 76033. For more information:  kc5nx.radio.club@gmail.com or www.qrz.com/db/kc5nx

 

 

USS_Texas-2
USS Texas (BB-35) in 1919 (Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=397489)

 

 

The Holmesburg Amateur Radio Club, WM3PEN, will operate a special event station from Philidelphia, PA on 11 March 2018 to commemorate Pennsylvania Charter Day. Pennsylvania Charter Day honors the granting of the Province of Pennsylvania to William Penn by King Charles II of England on 4 March 1681. In the Charter, Charles II cited enlarging the empire, trade, and civilization and Christianization of the natives as reasons for granting Penn the colony, but Pennsylvania is considered a Reformation Colony; more than likely, Charles II granted it to William Penn as repayment of debt incurred to Penn’s father during the Stuart Restoration. The Charter laid out the boundaries of the Province, the powers that Penn (and his descendants) would have as proprietor, and what Penn would owe the King annually in return for the grant. Since Charles and his advisors knew that Pennsylvania would have a Quaker majority, a clause was also included that provided for an Anglican clergyman if one was requested by twenty of the Province’s inhabitants. The 1783 Treaty of Paris ended the American Revolution and the American colonies became independent from the British Empire, nullifying the Charter. As a result, Pennsylvania became a Commonwealth and the second of the original 13 states of the United States of America.

WM3PEN will be operating on or near 14.280 and 7.230. QSL via Holmesburg ARC, 3341 Sheffield St, Philadelphia, PA 19136. www.harcnet.org

 

The Mesilla Valley Radio Club will be operating special event station K5B as part of the Las Cruces, NM Bataan Memorial Death March from 23-26 March 2018. The Bataan Memorial Death March is in memorial of the Bataan Death March that occurred during World War II as Japan captured the Philippines. After the defeat of American forces in the Battle of Bataan, which lasted from 7 January to 9 April 1942, the Japanese began a forced march of Filippino and American Prisoners of War from Bataan to Capas over a distance of 60-70 miles. In all sense of the words, the march was a war crime. Prisoners were rarely fed or given water. Those that were unable to continue the march were killed. Prisoners were randomly beaten and killed by their captors. What medical care that was available was provided by American doctors among the POWs, no medical care was provided by the Japanese. Somewhere between 60,000 and 80,000 POWs began the march; sources on the number of deaths vary, but between 5,000-18,000 Filipinos died and between 500-650 Americans died during the march. After the war, the Japanese commander of the Philippines, General Masaharu Homma was arrested and tried by a war tribunal for war crimes related to the Bataan Death March; he was found convicted on 11 February 1946 and executed on 3 March 1946 in Manila.

The special event listing submitted to the ARRL does not include any HF frequency or QSL information; QRZ lists the club’s address as Mesilla Valley Radio Club, PO Box 1443,
Las Cruces, NM 88004.

 

The Lake Martin Amateur Radio Club will be operating special event station N4H on 24 March 2018 in Alexander City, AL to commemorate the 203rd anniversary of the Battle of Horseshoe Bend. The Battle of Horseshoe Bend took place on 27 March 1814 near Dadeville, AL within a bend of the Tallapoosa River known as Horseshoe Bend. The battle put an end to the Creek War, which ran concurrently with the War of 1812. The Creek war pitted the Upper Creek tribe, who were allied with the British in the War of 1812 against the Lower Creek tribe who were allied with the United States during the War o 1812. The American forces were led by Andrew Jackson, who at the time was a Major General in the Tennessee militia. Attacking the Upper Creek position from both the front and rear, Jackson’s forces eventually overwhelmed the Upper Creeks and the battle turned into a slaughter. The American and Lower Creek forces suffered around 60 dead and 154 wounded but the Upper Creeks suffered somewhere around 800-850 dead. In addition to Upper Creek warriors killed during the battle, others were killed when timber they were hiding in was burned and others were killed as they tried to swim the river in retreat. Against orders from the Federal government, Jackson negotiated the Treaty of Fort Jackson, which approximately 20 million acres from mostly the Upper Creeks to the United States. It was the beginning of the end for both the Upper Creeks and the friendly Lower Creeks, however. Alabama and Georgia continued to grow and the Creeks were pushed out of their lands. Eventually, the Creeks were one of the five tribes removed from the southeast during the “Trail of Tears.”

N4H will be active on or around 14.200 and 7.250. Certificate & QSL. Michael Courtney, 96 Alabama Drive, Alexander City, AL 35010

 

It’s also worth mentioning that NASA’s Amateur Radio Clubs will be on the air throughout 2018 as part of a year-long special event “NASA on the Air.” They’ll be commemorating events such as the 60th anniversary of NASA’s founding on 29 July 1958, the 20th anniversary of the launch of the first element of the International Space Station on 20 November 1998, the 20th anniversary of the launch of the International Space Station’s Node 1 on 4 December 1998, and the 50th anniversary of Apollo 8’s launch on 21 December 1968 and splashdown on 27 December 1968. The clubs will also be on the air for other occasions throughout the year. You can keep up with the events and when the clubs will be on the air by checking their website or following NASA Radio Clubs on Twitter.

 


 

If you’re interested in reading more about the events encompassed by this month’s special event stations, here are some that I’ve read and suggest:

  1. The War of 1812: A Forgotten Conflict by Donald R. Hickey
  2. Castles of Steel: Britain, Germany, and the Winning of the Great War at Sea by Robert K. Massie
  3. Pacific Crucible: War at Sea in the Pacific, 1941-1942 by Ian W. Toll

 

Amateur Radio and History for February 2018

History related Amateur Radio special event stations in February 2018 include stations related to an aircraft crash in Ireland (continued from January), King Hussein of Jordan, the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo, the Space Shuttle Columbia, the Battle of Iwo Jima in World War II, the Civil War submarine Hunley, and a shipwreck in 1918. There will also be special event stations remembering President George Washington, but I thought my readers would be familiar enough with him that I wouldn’t need to write a paragraph about him.

Special event station EI50AOM will operate in Baltimore, County Cork, Ireland from 1 January 2018 to 31 March 2018 in remembrance of the 50th anniversary of the crash of Aer Lingus Flight 712. The callsign combines the aircraft’s registration with the 50th Anniversary of the crash. Aer Lingus Flight 712, a Vickers Viscount 803 with Irish registration EI-AOM crashed on 24 March 2017 near Tuskar Rock, County Wexford, Ireland with 57 passengers and 4 crew aboard; all 61 perished in the crash. The cause of Flight 712’s crash has never been determined. Initial investigations into the crash were not thorough so the crash has been surrounded by controversy. One theory that evolved was that Flight 712 was downed by a missile from a testing facility at RAF Aberporth in Wales; another theory was that it crashed as a result of a collision with an Irish Air Corps training aircraft. A more thorough investigation in 2002 determined that Flight 712 crashed as the result of a mechanical failure stemming from metal fatigue, corrosion, control surface flutter, or a bird strike. Of the 61 fatalities, the remains of only 14 were ever found. EI50AOM will be devoting one day of operations to each person lost in the crash.

EI50AOM will be operating on or around 21.317, 18.127, 14.217, and 7.127. QSL via Tim McKnight, EI2KA, Gortadrohid, Ringarogy Island, Baltimore, Co. Cork, Ireland. For more information, see:  https://www.qrz.com/db/ei50aom

 

A variety of stations will be operating as special event stations during the month of February in memory of King Hussein bin Talal of Jordan. For more information on participating stations, see the JY1 Special Event Memorial Station website. King Hussein ruled Jordan through a tumultuous portion of Jordan’s history from 1952 to 1999. Throughout his reign, King Hussein found himself in an unenviable position, both geographically and policy-wise; he was between Israel and the west on one side and the Palestinians, other Islamic and Arab nations, and the Soviet Bloc on the other. Regardless, his reign was a positive one; Jordan was better off when he passed than when he ascended to the throne. Quality of life and literacy in Jordan, its economy, and its infrastructure all improved throughout his reign. King Hussein was an enthusiastic amateur radio operator, active under the callsign JY1, so an amateur radio special event station in his honor is a fitting way to remember such a historic leader.

JY1 special event stations will be operating on or around 14.250, 14.025, 7.185,  and 7.025. QSL via Ayman J. Azar, 8261 Decatur St, Lake Station, IN 46405.

 

Special event station K7T will operate in Tucson, AZ on 3 February 2018 to commemorate the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo, which ended the Mexican American War of 1846-1848. In addition to monetary settlements, the treaty ceded to the United States from Mexico territory that would eventually part of 10 western states. Controversy over whether those territories and states would be free or slave would help lead to the Civil War just over a decade later.

K7T will be operating on or around 14.250, 14.070, 7.200, and 7.070. QSL via Oro Valley ARC, via e-mail only to, hfsig@tucsosnhamradio.org for PDF. No paper QSLs, please. Email hfsig@tucsosnhamradio.org for PDF certificate. www.tucsonhamradio.org

 

The Nacogdoches Amateur Radio Club will be operating special event station K5C on 3 and 4 February 2018 in memory of the astronauts that perished in the shuttle Columbia crash and in honor of the amateur radio operators who assisted in recovery efforts. Columbia was returning from the STS-107 mission when it disintegrated over Texas and Louisiana killing all aboard: Rick Husband, William McCool, Michael Anderson, Kalpana Chawla, David Brown, Laurel Clark, and Ilan Ramon. It was determined that the cause of the crash was by hot atmospheric damage penetrating Columbia’s heat shield and damaging its structural integrity through damage caused pieces of foam insulation that came off of the external fuel tank during launch. After the crash, a multitude of volunteers responded to the area to help search for debris, which was spread across a massive area. Among those volunteers were amateur radio operators who provided key communications support for the search.

K5C will be active on or around 21.350, 14.270, and 7.220. QSL via Nacogdoches Amateur Radio Club, 167 CR 2093, Nacogdoches, TX 75965. w5nac.com

 

On 10 February 2018, NI6IW at the USS Midway (CV-41) in San Diego, CA will operate as a special event station in commemoration of the US Marine Corps raising the American flag on Mt. Suribachi during the Battle for Iwo Jima. The invasion of Iwo Jima began on 19 February 1945 with the goal of depriving the Japanese the use of its airfields and utilizing them as emergency landing fields for B-29s that were attacking Japan from the Marianas. Mt. Suribachi was the islands high ground and the Japanese were tunneled into it with firepower that could range the island, so it was an important early target. It was taken on 23 February 1945 and on that day the iconic Joe Rosenthal’s photo of the flag being raised was taken. Rosenthal’s photo, however, was of the second raising; a small flag had been raised first and Rosenthal captured the image of the second group of Marines replacing it with a larger flag.

NI6IW will be active on or around 14.320 and 7.250, on PSK31 on 14.070, and on D-STAR on REF001C. QSL via USS Midway (Cv-41) COMEDTRA, 910 N Harbor Drive, San Diego, CA 92101.

 

The Trident Amateur Radio Club will be operating special event station N4HLH from Charleston, SC on 17 February 2018 in commemoration of the submarine Hunley sinking the USS Housatonic in Charleston Harbor during the Civil War. The Hunley was built in Mobile, AL and transported to Charleston, where she sank twice during testing, killing 13 crew members. On 17 February 1864, the Hunley attacked the USS Housatonic at the entrance of Charleston Harbor in an attempt to break the Union blockade of the city.; it was the first successful attack by a submarine on a surface ship, using her spar torpedo. The Housatonic sank in five minutes, but the Hunley did not survive the attack either, sinking after the torpedo exploded. There is some debate about how the Hunley‘s crew died, but they likely died due to blast injury caused when the spar torpedo exploded (the spar torpedo being too far away from the rest of the submarine to prevent damage).  The Hunley wasn’t located until 1995 and was raised in 2000; she is now on display at the Warren Lasch Conservation Center in Charleston, SC.

N4HLH will be active on or around 28.462, 14.262, 7.262, and 7.117 as well as the SC Hearts linked repeater system. QSL via Brian Freedman W4BFZ, PO Box 60732, North Charleston, SC 29419. A certificate is $5 and SASE 9X12 envelope. For QSL send card and SASE. tridenthams.org/hunley.htm

 

The Society of Newfoundland Amateurs will be operating special event station VO1MZL from St. John’s, Newfoundland on 23 and 24 February 2018 in memory of the sinking of the SS Florizel. Commissioned in 1909, the SS Florizel was a passenger liner specially designed for traveling through icy water and was the flagship of the Red Cross Line. On 23 February 1918, she left port in St. John’s, Newfoundland en route to New York with 78 passengers and 68 crew aboard. The Chief Engineer ignored the Captain’s orders for full speed in order to prolong the voyage enough to result in a layover at Halifax where he could visit family, as a result, the Captain ordered a turn too early and the ship ran into rocks at Horn Head Point. Most of the survivors took shelter in the ship’s Marconi Shack, from which an SOS message was sent. Despite the SOS and subsequent rescue efforts, only 44 survived the crash. The special event callsign, VO1MZL is based on the Florizel‘s callsign MZL.

VO1MZL will be operating on or around 14.200 (hopefully they move up a bit for us General-class hams). QSL via Admiralty House Communications Museum, 365 Old Placentia Road, Mount Pearl, NL A1N0G7, Canada. http://www.admiraltymuseum.ca/

 

It’s also worth mentioning that NASA’s Amateur Radio Clubs will be on the air throughout 2018 as part of a year-long special event “NASA on the Air.” They’ll be commemorating events such as the 60th anniversary of NASA’s founding on 29 July 1958, the 20th anniversary of the launch of the first element of the International Space Station on 20 November 1998, the 20th anniversary of the launch of the International Space Station’s Node 1 on 4 December 1998, and the 50th anniversary of Apollo 8’s launch on 21 December 1968 and splashdown on 27 December 1968. The clubs will also be on the air for other occasions throughout the year. You can keep up with the events and when the clubs will be on the air by checking their website or following NASA Radio Clubs on Twitter.

 


 

If you’re interested in reading more about the events encompassed by this month’s special event stations, here are some that I’ve read and suggest:

ARRL Board of Directors Agrees to Review of Conduct Code for Directors

This article from the ARRL website is several days old, but unfortunately, I’ve had the flu and wasn’t up to posting it until now.  I still want to share it because it’s relevant to several of my recent posts on issues with the ARRL.

The ARRL Board of Directors took action on a number of items at its Annual Meeting, January 19-20, in Windsor, Connecticut, including adopting a motion to a review the entire code of conduct for Board members, known officially as the ARRL Policy on Board Governance and Conduct of Members of the Board of Directors and Vice Directors. ARRL Officers, Directors, and Vice Directors will review the code of conduct and complete a final draft version 60 days ahead of the Board’s July 2018 meeting.

In the same motion, the Board deleted a confidentiality requirement that precludes Board members from disclosing anything about the body’s deliberations or from discussing or disclosing the votes of the Board or individual members — including their own — unless the Board had previously made the votes public. Also, the Board suspended Section 8 of the code, “Support of Board Decisions,” until after the complete review is acted upon. Both actions are effective immediately.

The Board also voted unanimously to amend a policy affecting candidates for ARRL elected offices, including Directors and Vice Directors. The new policy calls for candidates to be informed in writing at the outset of the nomination process that decisions of the Board’s Ethics and Elections Committee concerning candidate eligibility will be made public unless the candidate requests otherwise. In addition, if the Ethics and Elections Committee rejects a candidate’s petition, the candidate may ask that the reason(s) for rejection not be made public. Unless confidentiality is requested within 10 business days, the reason(s) for rejection may be made public.

A proposed addition to the ARRL Articles of Association regarding the personal liability and indemnification of Directors will be reviewed by the Executive Committee, the General Counsel, and ARRL Connecticut corporate counsel. Proposed amendments to the ARRL Bylaws regarding Life Membership were referred to the Administration and Finance Committee for further consideration.

It was decided that if these or any additional changes are proposed, they will be made available to the membership and will be accompanied by explanatory “white papers” before the Board considers action on them.

The Board approved an amendment, effective immediately, to Section II, Rule 1 of ARRL’s DXCC Rules (Political Entities) that will confer DXCC entity status to an entity that has its own International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) member societyand is included on the US Department of State’s list of Independent States in the World. In 2004, the Board had removed a rule that extended DXCC status by virtue of having been admitted as an IARU member society. (See related story.)

In other action, the Board approved a motion requiring that minutes of Board meetings be published only after being formally approved by the Board.

The Board unanimously adopted ARRL’s 2018-2019 financial plan. Up to $30,000 was allocated to fund the discovery and strategy phase of the Lifelong Learning Initiative. The Board will receive a progress report on the project at its July meeting.

Addressing administrative matters, the Board unanimously adopted a motion to form a CEO Search Committee to identify a candidate for Chief Executive Office for Board election. The committee, which is authorized to engage a search consultant, will report periodically to the Board and at the July meeting. Committee members will include Treasurer Rick Niswander, K7GM (chair), Central Division Director Kermit Carlson, W9XA; Roanoke Division Director Jim Boehner, N2ZZ, West Gulf Division Director Dr. David Woolweaver, K5RAV, and First Vice President Greg Widin, K0GW.