SCARS Weekly Update, First Edition, 2015

Editor’s Prerogative

2014 has come and gone. We’ve lost some good friends and gained new ones. Amateur Radio has gained a few more friends in Congress, among Emergency Managers, and a few local government officials. We’ll know soon enough if the new Chairman of the FCC, Tom Wheeler, is a friend or foe. Honestly, from here I cannot tell, but his pedigree from Cable Television and the Wireless Industry, would lead me to believe that until he proves otherwise, I will consider him one who would throw us under-the-bus so Industry could have the spectrum we hold dear.

The VE Team continues to assist those who wish to try Amateur Radio by running well-oiled sessions. Peter, N5UWY, and the entire Team, do a great job of making this happen. Thursday night, January 1st, we had 5 folks take, and pass, exams for either new or upgraded licenses, including one young teenager who upgraded to General. In fact, I believe that we had enough VEs at that session to run 3 full sessions with a couple to spare!

New year – new officers. President Phil and President-Elect Harold both need our support if we are to keep SCARS moving forward.

Bill Lockett. SCARS President for 14 years. 14 years! He will tell you that he had a great time and that it was an honor and privilege to be President for 14 years. But you and I both know that sometimes we didn’t make his job very easy. Next time you see him, tell him that you appreciate what he did for us, and apologize for taking so many years off his life!

Some stuff I gleaned from around the Internet this week. Click the link at the end of each entry for the full article. If you run across an item of interest, please forward it to me at!

73 de Gary, WB5ULK …_._

This video is the demolition of a 300′ cable head end tower in Jackson, MN. Built in 1953, it did not want to fall over. Much like the one at the County Yard!

via Jackson Tower Demolition – YouTube.

14th Annual GREATER HOUSTON HAMFEST Sponsored by the Brazos Valley Amateur Radio Club

Expanded Hours!  Saturday, March 28, 2015 – 8 am – 3:30 pm

Fort Bend County Fairgrounds, 4200 Highway 36, Rosenberg, Texas

http://www.houston for detailed information.

—–Hamfest Talk-in —  146.94 (-) PL 167.9 —–

Featured Speaker: Dr. Joe Taylor, K1JT, Nobel Laureate and originator of many programs for amateur digital modes including, WSPR and WSJT for both UHF/VHF and HF Communication.

On-line seller Table selection

Early Registration $8 includes two raffle tickets; $10 at the door, includes one raffle ticket..

• Raffle — valuable prizes to be won; Additional Raffle tickets $1 each, 7 for $5

• CW Pileup Contest – How well can you copy code in a pileup?

• Equipment test station – spot check equipment before you buy

• Tailgate area – 7AM early seller/buyer access

• Special seller parking for easy unloading and table access

• Great Sessions

Special Event Station KK5W, live during the Hamfest.

Keynote Speaker:   Norm Fusaro, W3IZ, ARRL Membership and Volunteer Programs.  “Logbook of the World”



All mode, all band MF/HF/VHF/UHF transceiver with C4FM (System Fusion) Digital capability


MFJ-225, 1.8 – 170 MHz Graphic Analyzer

Other Prizes TBD – Check website for updated list

For detailed info, pre-registration and table selection, please go to:

Every pre-paid admission receives two raffle tickets

Door prizes drawn every 10-20 minutes.

Admissions:     On-Line reservations up until March 14, 2015 – $8; includes 2 raffle tickets and special VIP express entry. At-Door: $10 – Includes 1 raffle ticket.  Scouts in uniform & children under 14 free!

Tailgate        $5 per vehicle.  No individual admission required to tailgate area.

Tables:          All tables – $15 (choose tables on-line in advance). Those with 5 or more tables receive 2 free admission

Electricity available to pre-registrants ($5 total).   On-site registration – electricity as available.

Set-up available: Friday 3-7 PM, Saturday 6-8 AM

Contact Michael Wrenn, K5WRN: or cell: 440.973.6676

Note:  The GHH reserves the right to change this information.

K7RA Solar Update – 01/02/2015

Now that we are just barely into the New Year 2015, I’ll review Cycle 24 progress during 2014. It now seems certain that this cycle peaked in the spring of 2014, but, fortunately, solar cycles typically decline at a slower rate than they rise, so this cycle peak should have plenty of life left.

Solar activity softened over the week of December 25-31, as compared to the previous week. Average daily sunspot numbers dropped 30 points from 132.9 to 102.9, and average daily solar flux was down 55.7 points to 134.9.

via The K7RA Solar Update.

Band Plan

A band  plan refers to a voluntary division of a band to avoid interference between incompatible modes.


Sharing arrangements

Detailed packet frequencies [PDF]

Phone patch, autopatch and HF/VHF/UHF operating guidelines

“Considerate Operator’s Frequency Guide”

via Band Plan.

Upcoming Hamfests


FOREST HILL, TEXAS — The Cowtown Amateur Radio Club will hold the Cowtown Hamfest 2015 and ARRL North Texas Section Convention Friday, January 16 and Saturday, January 17 at The Forest Hill Civic and Convention Center. Email: . Website: . Talk-in 147.28 (PL 110.9). VE exams.

HAMMOND, LOUISIANA — The Southeast Louisiana Amateur Radio Club will hold the 34th Annual Hammond Hamfest Saturday, January 17 at Magnuson Hotel & Conference Center. Website: . Talk-in 147.000- (PL 107.2), 145.130- (PL 107.2), or 444.250+ (PL 107.2). VE exams.

JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI — The Jackson Amateur Radio Club will hold the Capital City Hamfest and ARRL Mississippi State Convention Friday, January 23 and Saturday, January 24 at the Jackson MS Tradesmart. Contact: JARC, P.O. Box 55643, Jackson, MS 39216-5643. Email: . Website: . Talk-in 146.16+ or 146.34+. VE exams.

OLATHE, KANSAS — Special Event Station, KSØKS, will air from 1600 to 21 UTC, Saturday, January 24. Frequencies include 28.320, 21.320, 14.250, 10.115, 7.250. QSL a SASE to KSØKS, P.O. Box 3144, Olathe, KS 66063. EQSL and LOTW.

via CQ – Hamfests & Special Events

This is a very cheap, and very capable tablet that runs the full Windows 8.1 operating system – this means that you can potentially run your favourite ham radio PC desktop applications on a low-price tablet device in the field. This opens the potential for PSK31, JT65, WSPR data modes, as well as PC logging apps, SDRs and all sorts.

via Linx Windows 8.1 Tablets – Bargain Alert – Essex Ham.

Dog Park Software is pleased to announce that version 5.57 of MacLoggerDX has been released.

What’s New in this version:

• Optimized for Yosemite.

• Requires OS X 10.6.8+ and Intel 64 bit Processor.

• Added SKCC to Log, ADIF and Reports. Log updated to v6 db.

• Show SKCC for alternate call.

• Grab latest SKCC, LOTW and SCP files automatically.

• Save and restore dxcluster spots between sessions.

• Added support for QRZ XML Secondary Calls (OS X 10.9+).

• Added support for K9JM CI-V Router.

• Added support for Kenwood TS-590SG.

• Faster Select Duplicate QSOs.

via MacLoggerDX Version 5.57 released.

Amateur Radio Parity Act – End of Year Status

With the adjournment of the 113th Congress in December 2014, it is time to assess where the Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2014 stands.  The bill, known as HR 4969, did not receive consideration by the full House of Representatives, but that does not mean the bill has been defeated.  In fact, right up to the final gavel, members of the House were stepping up to sign-on as co-sponsors.  Including the original sponsor, Congressman Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, 70 Representatives signed on in support of the bill in the six-months following its introduction into the House.

Realistically, very few bills succeed the first time. However, the bipartisan support garnered by this bill –  44 Republicans and 26 Democrats – is a good measure that we can be successful.  As with many things, it takes time.  The adjournment of the 113th Congress means HR 4969 “dies” in committee.  While we are disappointed, there is every reason to be hopeful when the new Congress assembles in January 2015.

via HR-4969

Welcome to the WA7BNM Contest Calendar. This site provides detailed information about amateur radio contests throughout the world, including their scheduled dates/times, rules summaries, log submission information and links to the official rules as published by the contest sponsors.

8-Day Calendar

Lists details for each contest during an 8-day period, starting with yesterday.

12-Month Calendar

Lists the names and dates for each contest for a 12-month period starting with the month immediately previous to the current month. Due to the difficulty obtaining accurate contest information, as much as 12 months in advance, not all contests may appear for later months.

via WA7BNM Contest Calendar: Home

House Number Four – RFI Snipe Hunt

It seems that if I’m not chasing down noisy power poles or hunting for drifting wireless headsets, both of which have tried their best to tax my 6m reception this past year, I spend several hours each year chasing down delinquent noise generators!

via House Number Four |

Regular recurring stuff in the link at the top in in the sidebar.

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