This Week In Amateur Radio

This Week in Amateur Radio: North America's Amateur Radio News Magazine. Articles on amateur radio and news stories in the media featured here.
  1. An article in Tuesday's Times Record News has caused a storm among storm chasers, the severe weather enthusiasts who chase thunderstorms in hopes of photographing tornadoes or other weather phenomenon. Sunday night, the Wichita County Amateur Radio Emergency Service, ARES, a group of HAM radio operators who observe weather dangers for local emergency managers, had to shoo at least two chasers from the group's radio frequency repeater. Audio of the exchange is found here.
  2. The storm chasing frenzy is causing headaches for emergency personnel in severe weather situations, such as happened Sunday. On several occasions Sunday, the control operator for Wichita County Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES), the volunteer storm spotter group, had to shoo amateur storm chasers from their closed radio frequency. But the main problem is traffic congestion as amateur chasers converge on roads where severe weather is developing.
  3. Is getting up close and personal with a whirling cloud of moisture and debris useful for anyone? Am I, as a storm chaser, providing any good for anyone; or am I just being selfish and feeding off the storm-induced misery of others? The question is harder to answer than you might think.
  4. Eric Ward, a graduate student at MIT, has always wanted to work in the aerospace industry. "It's a field full of people who are both very passionate about space and also excited about tackling very hard problems," he says.
  5. Three Estes Park High School students in Todd Burke's scientific engineering and research class watched their radiation-measuring device sail high into the air on Feb. 13. SophomoreLevi Carpman and juniors Ben Switzer and Colin Soguero proposed their idea for the device to Edge of Space Sciences (EOSS) in August. EOSS is a Denver-based nonprofit organization that promotes science and education by exploring frontiers in amateur radio and high altitude balloons.
  6. Time is running short to apply for a spot in the ARRL Teachers Institute on Wireless Technology this summer. The deadline is May 1. Now in its 13th year, the Teachers Institute is an intensive expenses paid professional development opportunity for educators who want to receive training and resources to explore wireless technology in the classroom.
  7. The just-ended Heard Island VK0EK DXpedition logged more than 75,000 contacts, but the under-the-radar, contemporaneous VK0LD operation also put a new one into a few more logs. VK0EK logistics team member Mike Coffey, KJ4Z, operated as VK0LD from California, remotely controlling one of the VK0EK Elecraft K3S operating positions. He used a K3/0-Mini and the free RCForb client and remote server software to work 41 stations on 20 meters.
  8. The first-ever ARRL Youth Rally will be a feature of the League’s menu of activities at Hamvention 2016. The event is set for Saturday, May 21, and requires advance online registration. Hamvention takes place May 20-22, and the centerpiece of ARRL Hamvention exhibits and activities is ARRL EXPO, a huge exhibit area in one of the main exhibit halls in Hara Arena. The ARRL Youth Rally is open to youth and young adults aged 11 to 26. Participants will enjoy a full program of hands-on ham radio activities, discovery, sharing, and fun!
  9. ARRL Ohio Section Emergency Coordinator Stan Broadway, N8BHL, says he has expanded participation in his section’s “NVIS Antenna Day” on Saturday, April 23, by inviting stations in neighboring states to participate. This year’s activity also will introduce the “anchor stations” concept, to provide more consistent signal reports. The Near-Vertical Incidence Skywave or NVIS antenna has gained traction among emergency communication groups and others desiring a close-in radiation pattern for regional work on HF.
  10. According to a post on the IARU Region 1 website from Don Beattie, G3BJ, the 2016 World Amateur Radio Direction Finding Championships are expected to attract a record-breaking number of participants. The World ARDF Championships will take place in the Black Sea resort of Albena, Bulgaria, on September 3-9.