SCARS Weekly Newsletter, March 16, 2015

SCARS Meeting Highlights . . .

Solar Flares, Poor Operating Challenge Eritrea DXpedition . . .

The K7RA Solar Update . . .

Amateur Radio Newsline Report 1956 March 13 2015 . . .

Off-Center-Fed Dipole How-to . . .

OKC Marathon Volunteers . . .

Newsletter Subscriptions . . .

2015 WGD Annual Awards  . . .

Upcoming Hamfests within 250 miles _…_._

SCARS Meeting Highlights

We had 25 brave souls on a miserable Saturday morning at Fire Station #7 Saturday. WAIT! It was anything BUT a miserable Saturday! It was a GREAT day! Where were you?

Anyway, President Phil noted several things: we are in secondary negotiations with the potential tower crew, the County is installing an entirely new backup power system at the County Barn where the repeater is located, Ham Holiday is pretty much locked-in at the Bricktown Hotel again, almost everyone with a handy-talkie got up and talked about what they liked and didn’t like about theirs. A link was shared (I forgot who – sorry) which has LOTS of info on HTs and programming of same.          Here it is:
Go give it a look!

You missed a great meeting.

Oh, and we argued a bit and had lots of donuts left over.  But it’s all good. Don’t miss April’s meeting. There’s stuff going on here.

Gary, WB5ULK

P.S.: I added two Solar Weather links in the “Nets, Links, and Other Stuff” page

P.P.S: Don’t forget the Gossip Net on Tuesday night after the ARES Net.

P.P.P.S: Lan, KC7RUN (new call coming), is going to start a CW Practice Net on 10m immediately after Fred’s Net on Wednesday Night. Don’t worry – it’ll be around 7-8 wpm. Get those keys out!

Solar Flares, Poor Operating Challenge Eritrea DXpedition


An intense burst of noise from what is being called a “monster X-class solar flare” briefly blanked out HF reception around the globe at around 1600 UTC on March 12, and additional disruptions could be on the way. The March 12 event was an X-2.2 flare. X-class flares can have a nearly immediate effect on Earth. The E30FB DXpedition currently under way from Asmara in Eritrea (number 20 on the ClubLog DXCC Most Wanted List) said current solar conditions have been a challenge.

“We are continuing to work through the effects of the X-class solar flare. Conditions have been fluctuating day to day,” reported the DXpedition, headed by Zorro Miyazawa, JH1AJT. Radio blackouts resulting from solar activity also have been reported this week. NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center has issued a G1 minor geomagnetic storm watch for March 13 and 14. But solar flares are not the main problem at E30FB.

“Our main challenge continues to be out-of-turn calling and poor ham spirit on the bands,” the team said. “Our QSO rates could improve, if everyone would listen and follow the DX Code of Conduct.” As is the case with most DXpeditions, the operators will be operating split and not listening for calls on their transmit frequency. The E30FB DXpedition will continue through March 17 — St Patrick’s Day. It is operating on all bands from 160 to 10 meters. The 7QAA DXpedition in Malawi (number 113 on the ClubLog Most Wanted DXCC List) also is active on HF from Africa.

Read the rest at: Solar Flares, Poor Operating Challenge Eritrea DXpedition

The K7RA Solar Update


For the second week in a row, average daily sunspot numbers were down. From ARRL Propagation Bulletins 6-10 the average sunspot numbers were 139, 81.6, 54.6, 59, and 54.1. Over the past week the number was all the way down to 32.

Also for the second week in a row, average daily solar flux had a trend, but this one was up. Average daily solar flux from ARRL Propagation Bulletins 6-11 were 151.1, 144.1, 121.4, 116.3, 122.9 and 127.8. These averages cover dates from January 29 through March 11.

Predicted solar flux is 128 on March 13-14, 130 on March 15-16, 135 on March 17-19, 125 on March 20, 120 on March 21, 115 on March 22-23, 110 on March 24-27 and 115 on March 28-31. Solar flux then goes to a high of 125 on April 2-15, then drops to a low of 110 again on April 20-23.

A LOT more at: The K7RA Solar Update

AR Newsline – News – Amateur Radio Newsline Report 1956 March 13 2015

News Desk

  • ESA to make camera on the Mars Express available for limited public use in May
  • Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2015 is introduced in the House of Representatives
  • Commentary cutoff looms in possible restructuring of 77 to 81 Ghz
  • Lawmakers say activating FM chips in smartphones a matter of public safety
  • German hams bring back an abandoned shortwave station for amateur radio.




Off-Center-Fed Dipole How-to

Dave, NE5S, sends the following:

Rick, DJ0IP, will  give a 2 – 3 hour presentation on Off Center Fed Dipole antennas OCFD’s at the Salvation Army Citadel starting at 6:00PM on 12 Mar 2015. Please disseminate this information.

Off-Center-Fed Dipoles (note that many, including me, would call this a “Windom”, but Amateurs have eye-gouging, hair-pulling, roll-around-on-the-floor fights about the perceived differences) are kind of like a Swiss Army Knife when it comes to simple antennas. There are likely more of these in-use worldwide than there are G5RVs. And much less of a pain to deal with since you can feed them with 50 ohm coax.

Even though he was born in Oklahoma City and his first job was at the Oklahoma City Stockyards, Rick is licensed in 3 countries, none of which are the United States. He has an extensive article about OCFD antennas at the link below, and if you click back to the home page of his website you can find a boat-load of really interesting stuff!

This is the Friday night before our next SCARS meeting.

 OKC Marathon Volunteers

Mike, OKC Marathon comms chair, talked with us Saturday about the needs for communications volunteers for the April 26 OKC Memorial Marathon. They need 80 ops.  ALL the info can be found at The specific Volunteer code to be a communications op is PSC15, but this link will take you directly to the volunteer form and pre-fill that code for you:

Newsletter Subscriptions

I just want to emphasize that I DO NOT automatically put new club members on the Newsletter mailing list. Some people DO NOT want to receive this and I will honor that. If you know of a new member who would like to be on the mailing list, please have them send an email to and ask to be subscribed. I just need a name and a call and I’ll get you added. 


 2015 WGD Annual Awards

See the note below from the WGD Director. There are a number of folks in Oklahoma and perhaps even SCARS which would merit a nomination for this. 3 or more of you get together and nominate some worthy of this and then say why!

It is time to start working on your submissions for the WG 2015 Divisional Awards which will be presented at the ARRL Regional Centennial Convention at HamCom in June.   Nominations for 2015 Award Winners will be accepted until May 1, 2015.  Nomination forms for each nominee (by category) must be supported by at least three ARRL members on the award nomination form, a minimum 150-word statement and any available supporting documentation.  Other rules do apply and can be found on the nomination forms.

The Division Awards judging panel consists of four (4) ARRL members, selected by each of the Section Managers in North Texas, Oklahoma, South Texas and West Texas Sections.  The Section Manager may opt to appoint his/herself to the committee.  The fifth judge is selected by the Division Director and may reside anywhere within the West Gulf Division.   Neither the Division Director nor the Vice Director will participate in the vote.

Upcoming Hamfests within 250 miles

Link below lists all the ARRL-related hamfests within a 250 mile drive of Norman for about the next 5 months. Lots of good ones close to Norman.

As always…Nets, Links, Other Stuff in the link at the top AND in the sidebar. Have a great week!

73 de Gary, WB5ULK …_._

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