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Media Hit: NPR reports that ham radio is experiencing a surprising and healthy growth
Image: Phil Temples, K9HI, operates on the HF bands at a recent Handiham Radio Camp session.
We consider any mention of ham radio on a network like National Public Radio to be a real media hit! NPR is reporting that far from being a fading 20th-Century technology, ham radio is instead experiencing healthy growth. The story appeared on the NPR network’s “All Things Considered” afternoon show on April 5, 2010.
There was some interesting listener feedback today – we heard one fellow who took the story to task for not including a mention of amateur radio’s role in emergency communications. You will also find many interesting comments on the NPR website.
HF band conditions remain generally poor as solar wind buffets ionosphere
Image: SOHO solar view as of 7 April 2010.
Spaceweather.com reported last Monday that a solar wind struck Earth’s magnetosphere at approximately 0800 UT and sparked the strongest geomagnetic storm of the year. The event registered 7 on the K index scale.
The ham radio HF bands remain in exceptionally poor shape, with widespread outages. Aurora activity is continuing. Strange whistling sounds are being heard on the HF bands, and usually reliable net frequencies have been nearly wiped out by poor propagation and noise.
One Handiham Remote Base user reported that the station wasn’t working right – he could only hear noise. Of course not all of us have experienced the effects of a widespread solar wind and the resulting poor HF conditions. This morning the Remote Base was checked on 75m, and stations are being heard somewhat better than they were in the past two days.
Today’s Spaceweather.com reports: “NOAA forecasters estimate a 45% chance of geomagnetic activity and a 10% chance of severe geomagnetic storms around the Arctic Circle during the next 24 hours. The source of this activity is a fast and gusty solar wind stream that has been blowing around Earth for two days.”
FCC loses in case regulating Internet service providers
Washington Post: Comcast on Tuesday won a legal challenge against the Federal Communications Commission, in a ruling by a federal court that undermines the agency’s ability to regulate Internet service providers. For more information, visit the Washington Post online.
April Events by N1YXU
As you look through the events page for this month, you will notice there are quite a few activities. I confess my bias in the “Editor’s Pick of the Month” since a good friend of ours is one of thirteen operators who are currently in Iraq. Check out the details, and be sure to listen for them.
Laurie Meier, N1YXU
Nets and Emergency Communications Review by WA0TDA
Photo: Patrick Tice, WA0TDA, in his ham radio shack.
Nets & Emergency Communications – second in our series of an operating basics review.
By Patrick Tice
This web outline is based on a PowerPoint presentation that I use to teach these concepts to prospective new hams who have enrolled in the Technician Class course. We are presenting it here because the skills and terms related to nets and emergency communications are so basic to good operating that we can all do with a review. Read the rest on handiham.org, or listen to the audio version.